The emergence of “Balkan Jihad” and its progress in the region

Kosovo ISIL Ridvan Haqifi and Lavdrim Muhaxheri

Two Kosovo Albanian Muslim muhajedeens (with the passports of Republic of Kosovo) as members of ISIL in Syria in 2015 (Official ISIL’s video material)

After the 9/11, a worldwide “War on terror” begun in order to disband and neutralize Islamic terrorist networks across the globe. The main focus of the largest anti-terrorist campaign in history is focused in the Middle East area, as well as in Afghanistan.

The Balkan Peninsula is the European area where this campaign has also taken place, with numerous arrests and a continuous effort into riding the fundamentalist out of the area. The question arising though, is how did the extremists gain a foothold in South Eastern Europe in the first place, and what was the reaction of the international community over the previous years.

The presence of Islam in the Balkans dates back in the 13th century.

In order to create the much needed mercenary armies, against the then archenemy, the Francs; Byzantine Emperors allowed Muslim Turks into modern day Bulgaria. They were used mainly as cavalry forces due to their excellent techniques in that kind of war. Over the coming decades the antagonism between the Francs and the Vatican from one side and the Byzantium from the other, led to the final conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks in 1453. Gradually virtually the whole of the Balkans came under Muslim dominance and were included in the Dar al Islam territory stretching from the Hindu river and up to Gibraltar.

In Bosnia in particular the sect of Vogomils –Eastern Orthodox sect-, converted to Islam for a variety of societal and spiritual reasons. Since the Vogomils were the affluent class of the central Balkans they soon became the ruling class over millions of Christians of mostly Slavic descent.

In Albania the Islamic takeover had a dramatic effect and in a matter of 150 years 2/3rds of the population converted from the Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholicism into Islam. The main reason for such a large proselytism in Albania had been the traditional adherence towards the stronger ruler that the mountainous Albanians have showed since their early history. During the Roman Empire times, the Albanians served as elite corps in the Armies of the Emperors Empires –i.e. Diocletian was of Albanian descent- and tended to absorb the cultural and religious norms of their regional superintendents. The same was the case in the more or less Greek dominated Byzantium. As soon as the “Eastern Roman Empire” waned in favor of the Western one; there was a mass conversion to Catholicism in the early 13th century .

The historical collective path of the Albanian people can be compared with that of the mountainous Swiss that have eloquently absorbed influences and norms by the much larger and influential neighbors (Germany, France, and Italy).

It is against this historical background that the Islamic fundamentalist drama in the Balkans evolved in the 1990s. Evan F. Kohlmann, author of Al-Qaeda’s Jihad in Europe: The Afghan-Bosnian Network argues that “key to understanding Al Qaida’s European cells lies in the Bosnian war of the 1990s” . Using the Bosnian war as their cover, Afghan-trained Islamic militants loyal to Osama bin Laden convened in the Balkans in 1992 to establish a European domestic terrorist infrastructure in order to plot their violent strikes against the United States.

So, the outbreak of the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992 presented an unparalleled opportunity for the international Mujaheedin to storm Europe, establish safe havens in the area and thus initiate re-conquest of regions they previously ruled . The leader of Bosnia, Alia Izebegovic was eager to obtain as much assistance as possible and didn’t hesitate in providing the necessary framework by which the Islamic ties were forged . In the same year, a variety of Islamic mercenaries flocked into the Balkans in order to support the “Holy cause”, meaning the establishment of the first Islamic state in Europe .

The end of the war in 1995 saw quite a few of those mujahedin, acquiring Bosnian citizenship and establishing the first Islamic community in the village of Bocinja Donja . During 2006 and 2007, hundreds of citizenships were revoked by Islamists residing in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Nevertheless the whereabouts of most of them remain unknown, raising fears for potential terrorist acts by them in the future and in an European soil . What is more, the Novi Pazar town in Sanjak area in Southern Serbia; has become a core for Islamic fundamentalism, linked with Al-Qaeda cells. Novi Pazar is the focus of the Islamist attempt to build a landbridge from Albania and Kosovo to Bosnia. Further to the East, in southern Serbia’s Raška Oblast, are three other concentrations of Muslims: Sjenica and Pester area (lightly populated but mostly Muslim), Prijepolje (some 50 percent Muslim) and — very close to the Bosnia border where Republica Srpska controls the slender Gorazde corridor — Priboj (also some 50 percent Muslim).

The land between is Serbian farmland, but the Islamist goal is to link the cities as “evidence” that the entire region is, or should be, Muslim territory. The same strategy worked successfully in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where Serbian farmers were driven off their lands during the civil war.

Just south of the Serbian area of Raška Oblast is the Montenegrin part of Raška region, where, for example, Bijeljo Polje is some 60 to 80 percent Muslim, and Pijevlja, close to the Bosnian border, is about 40 percent Muslim. These Montenegrin towns, like those of the Western Serbian Raška region, are the key to the illicit arms and narcotrafficking across the Gorazde Corridor to Bosnia.

An Islamist university has opened in Novi Pazar, ostensibly a normal college, but led by an Islamist mufti of little formal education. This modern institution — whose officials proclaim it a normal educational institution — reveals its character in its symbol: the Wahabbi/Salafi Dawa symbol, an open Q’uran surmounted with a rising sun. The university, in a renovated former textile factory, is a known center of radical Islamist thinking. A book fair held there in early October 2003 distributed very radical Islamist literature, specifically advocating conflict with the West.

The Dawa sign indicates that the university is predominantly Saudi-funded, although some Western funding is known to have been pumped into the institution, reportedly largely to undermine Serb interests in the region .

Western tolerance of Islamic radicals, however, was one of the gravest mistakes of modern times . In addition, a well organized criminal network has already been established in Sarajevo that in a large extent facilitates illegal immigration from Asia to Europe . That activity is coupled with the narcotics trade that is being supplemented by the infamous “Balkan Drug route”  It is illuminating to note that the areas from where this route is passing are under Muslim influence mostly.

Sources

Chicago-Kent College of Law and the Illinois Institute of Technology (1996), ” Nationbuilding in the Balkans-History of Albanians”. Web Site: http://pbosnia.kentlaw.edu/resources/history/albania/albhist.htm

Evan F. Kohlmann, “Al-Qaeda’s Jihad in Europe“,Berg Publications, Preface, Oxford-UK, September 2004.

Kokalis Foundation; Kennedy School of Government; Harvard University, Presentation paper by Xavier Bougarel, “Islam & Politics in the Post-Communist Balkans. Website: http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/kokkalis/GSW1/GSW1/13%20Bougarel.pdf

Foreign Military Studies Publications (02/1995), By LTC John E. Sray, U.S. Army, “Mujahedin Operations in Bosnia”. Website: http://leav-www.army.mil/fmso/documents/muja.htm

Department of the USA Navy; Naval Historical Centre Publications (26/07/2005), By Steven Woehrel, “Islamic terrorism & the Balkans”. Website: http://www.history.navy.mil/library/online/islamic_terrorism.htm

Reuters, Alert Net Service (11/04/2007), By Daria Sito-Sucic, “Bosnia revokes citizenship of Islamic ex-soldiers”. Web Site: http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L1151505.htm

Information was provided by a variety of ISSA Reports, informal journalist sources from Serbia, Albania & FYROM. The material has been made publicly else were and has not been contended for its reliability.

For extensive and sensitive information on the subject see: ISSA Special Report (17/09/2003). Web Site: http://128.121.186.47/ISSA/reports/Balkan/Sep1703.htm#App1

Council on Foreign Relations; Open Edition (13/02/2002), By David L. Phillips, “Keeping the Balkans free of Al-Qaeda”. Website: http://www.cfr.org/publication/4344/rule_of_law.html?breadcrumb=%2Fregion%2F385%2Fbalkans

European Commission; External Affairs Service (2004), “The Contribution of the European Commission to the Implementation of the EU-Central Asia Action Plan on Drugs”. Website: http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/drugs/hero.htm


19-05-2013

By Ioannis Michaletos

Source: Modern Diplomacy

9 Samodreza

Destroyed 14th century Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo (Samodreza) by Kosovo ISIL

John Fire Lame Deer to the American people

Kosovo: Europe’s “Mafia State”: Hub of the EU-NATO drug trail

Kosovo’s Prime Minister Accused of Running Human Organ, Drug Trafficking Cartel

In another grim milestone for the United States and NATO, the Council of Europe (COE) released an explosive report last week, “Inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo.”

The report charged that former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) boss and current Prime Minister, Hashim Thaçi, “is the head of a ‘mafia-like’ Albanian group responsible for smuggling weapons, drugs and human organs through eastern Europe,” The Guardian disclosed.

According to a draft resolution unanimously approved December 16 in Paris, the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights found compelling evidence of forced disappearances, organ trafficking, corruption and collusion between criminal gangs and “political circles” in Kosovo who just happen to be close regional allies of the United States.

The investigation was launched by Dick Marty, the Parliamentary Assembly for the Council of Europe (PACE) special rapporteur for human rights who had conducted an exhaustive 2007 probe into CIA “black fights” in Europe.

The PACE investigation gathered steam after allegations were published by former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Carla Del Ponte in her 2008 memoir.

After it’s publication, Ms. Del Ponte was bundled off to Argentina by the Swiss government as her nation’s ambassador. Once there, the former darling of the United States who specialized in doling out victor’s “justice” to the losers of the Balkan wars, was conveniently silenced.

A series of damning reports by the Center for Investigative Journalism (CIR), the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) and the BBC, confirmed Del Ponte’s allegations and spurred the Council to act.

Reporting for the BBC, investigative journalist Michael Montgomery learned that political opponents of the KLA and Serb prisoners of war “simply vanished without a trace” into a secret prison “in the Albanian border town of Kukes.”

According to sources who feared for their lives, including former KLA guerrillas, the BBC revealed that disappeared civilians “were Serbs and Roma seized by KLA soldiers and were being hidden away from Nato troops. The source believes the captives were sent across the border to Albania and killed.”

In an uncanny echo of Nazi practices during the period of the Third Reich, The New York Times reported that “captives” were “‘filtered’ for their suitability as donors, based on sex, age, health conditions and ethnic origin. “We heard numerous references to captives’ not merely having been handed over, but also having been ‘bought’ and ‘sold,’” the special rapporteur told the Times.

“Some of the guards told investigators,” the Times reports, “that a few captives understood what was about to happen and ‘pleaded with their captors to be spared the fate of being chopped into pieces’.”

Mercy was in short supply however, behind KLA lines.

The report states: “As and when the transplant surgeons were confirmed to be in position and ready to operate, the captives were brought out of the ‘safe house’ individually, summarily executed by a KLA gunman, and their corpses transported swiftly to the operating clinic.”

Once organs were removed from the victims they were auctioned off to the highest bidder and sold by a global trafficking ring still operating today.

The former prosecutor further alleged, The Guardian reported, that “she had been prevented from investigating senior KLA officials” who she claimed had “smuggled captive Serbs across the border into Albania, where their organs were harvested.”

In a classic case of covering-up the crimes of low-level thugs to protect more powerful criminals, Del Ponte has charged that forensic evidence gathered by ICTY investigators at one of the northern Albania death houses was destroyed at The Hague.

International Network

This brisk underground trade didn’t end in 1999 however, when the break-away Serb province was occupied by NATO troops; on the contrary, operations expanded and grew even more profitable as Kosovo devolved into a protectorate of the United States.

In fact, a trial underway in Pristina has revealed that “desperate Russians, Moldovans, Kazakhs and Turks were lured into the capital ‘with the false promise of payments’ for their kidneys,” The Guardian reported.

It was a “growth industry” that fed on human misery. According to The Guardian, recipients “paid up to €90,000 (£76,400) for the black-market kidneys [and] included patients from Canada, Germany, Poland and Israel,” EU prosecutor Jonathan Ratel told the British paper.

“Donors” however, were left holding the bag, lucky to escape with their lives.

At the center of the scandal is the Medicus clinic. Located some six miles from downtown Pristina, Medicus was allegedly founded by university hospital urologist Dr Lutfi Dervishi, and a former permanent secretary of health, prosecutors claim, provided the clinic with a false license to operate.

Two of the accused, The Guardian revealed, “are fugitives wanted by Interpol: Moshe Harel, an Israeli said to have matched donors with recipients, and Yusuf Sonmez, perhaps the world’s most renowned organ trafficker.”

Prosecutors believe that Harel and Sonmez are the brains behind Medicus and that Shaip Muja, a former KLA “medical commander” who was based in Albania, may have overseen operations at the “clinic.”

Muja remains a close confidante of Thaçi’s and, in an macabre twist, he is currently “a political adviser in the office of the prime minister, with responsibility for health,” The Guardian reports.

Investigators averred they had “uncovered numerous convergent indications of Muja’s central role [in] international networks, comprising human traffickers, brokers of illicit surgical procedures, and other perpetrators of organised crime.”

Besides lining the pockets of Albanian, Israeli and Turkish criminals who ran the grisly trafficking ring, whose interests might also be served in covering-up these horrific crimes?

A Gangster State, but which One?

The veil of secrecy surrounding KLA atrocities could not have been as complete as it was without the intervention of powerful actors, particularly amongst political and military elites in Germany and the United States who had conspired with local gangsters, rebranded as “freedom fighters,” during the break-up of Yugoslavia.

As in Albania years before NATO’s Kosovo adventure, organized criminal activities and “the trade in narcotics and weapons [were] allowed to prosper,” Michel Chossudovsky wrote, because “the West had turned a blind eye.”

These extensive deliveries of weapons were tacitly permitted by the Western powers on geopolitical grounds: both Washington and Bonn had favoured (although not officially) the idea of a ‘Greater Albania’ encompassing Albania, Kosovo and parts of Macedonia. Not surprisingly, there was a ‘deafening silence’ on the part of the international media regarding the Kosovo arms-drugs trade. (“The Criminalization of Albania,” in Masters of the Universe? NATO’s Balkan Crusade, ed. Tariq Ali, London: Verso, 2000, pp. 299-300)

The consequences of this “deafening silence” remain today. Both in terms of the misery and impoverishment imposed on Kosovo’s citizens by the looting of their social property, particularly the wholesale privatization of its mineral wealth which IMF economic “reforms” had spawned, and in the political cover bestowed upon Pristina’s gangster regime by the United States.

In the intervening years NATO’s “blind eye” has morphed into something more sinister: outright complicity with their Balkan protégés.

Virtually charging the ICTY with knuckling under to political pressure from the Americans, the PACE report states that “the ICTY, which had started to conduct an initial examination on the spot to establish the existence of traces of possible organ trafficking, dropped the investigation.”

“The elements of proof taken in Rripe, in Albania” during that initial inquiry investigators wrote, “have been destroyed and cannot therefore be used for more detailed analyses. No subsequent investigation has been carried out into a case nevertheless considered sufficiently serious by the former ICTY Prosecutor for her to see the need to bring it to public attention through her book.”

This is hardly surprising, considering that the ICTY was created at the insistence of the Clinton administration precisely as a retributive hammer to punish official enemies of the U.S.

Hailed as an objective body by media enablers of America’s imperial project, with few exceptions, while it relentlessly hunted down alleged Serbian war criminals–the losers in the decade-long conflagration–it studiously ignored proxy forces, including the KLA, under the operational control of German and American intelligence agencies.

The report averred that human organ trafficking was only a part of a larger web of crime and corruption, and that murder, trafficking in women, control over global narcotics distribution and money laundering networks were standard operating procedure for Thaçi and other members of the “Drenica group,” the black widows at the center of the KLA spiders’ web.

For his part, Thaçi has called the PACE report “libelous” and the Kosovo government has repudiated the Council’s findings claiming that the charges “were not based on facts and were construed to damage the image of Kosovo and the war of the Kosovo Liberation Army.”

While one can easily dismiss prevarications from Kosovo’s government, the White House role in covering-up the crimes of their client regime should have provoked a major scandal. That it didn’t only reveals the depths of Washington’s own venal self-interest in preventing this sordid affair from gaining traction.

In  all likelihood fully-apprised of the Council of Europe’s investigation through any number of American-friendly moles implanted in European institutions as WikiLeaks Cablegate files have revealed, last summer Thaçi met with U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden at the White House.

Shamelessly, Biden “reaffirmed the United States’ full support for an independent, democratic, whole, and multi-ethnic Kosovo,” and “reiterated the United States’ firm support for Kosovo’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” according to a White House press release.

Indeed, the vice president “welcomed the progress that Kosovo’s government has made in carrying out essential reforms, including steps to strengthen the rule of law.”

An all too predictable pattern when one considers the lawless nature of the regime in Washington.

The Heroin Trail

As I reported more than two years ago in “Welcome to Kosovo! The World’s Newest Narco State,” the KLA served as the militarized vanguard for the Albanian mafia whose “15 Families” control virtually every facet of the Balkan heroin trade.

Albanian traffickers ship heroin originating exclusively from Central Asia’s Golden Crescent. At one end lies America’s drug outpost in Afghanistan where poppy is harvested for processing and transshipment through Iran and Turkey; as morphine base it is then refined into “product” for worldwide consumption. From there it passes into the hands of the Albanian syndicates who control the Balkan Route.

As the San Francisco Chronicle reported back in 1999, “Kosovars were the acknowledged masters of the trade, credited with shoving aside the Turkish gangs that had long dominated narcotics trafficking along the Balkan Route, and effectively directing the ethnic Albanian network.”

As the murdered investigative journalist Peter Klebnikov reported in 2000 for Mother Jones, as the U.S.-sponsored war in Kosovo heated up, “the drug traffickers began supplying the KLA with weapons procured from Eastern European and Italian crime groups in exchange for heroin. The 15 Families also lent their private armies to fight alongside the KLA. Clad in new Swiss uniforms and equipped with modern weaponry, these troops stood out among the ragtag irregulars of the KLA. In all, this was a formidable aid package.”

Despite billions of dollars spent on failed interdiction efforts, these patterns persist today as more than 106 metric tons of heroin flow into Europe. So alarmed has the Russian government become over the flood of heroin penetrating their borders from Central Asian and the Balkan outposts that some officials have likened it to American “narco-aggression” and a new “opium war, researcher Peter Dale Scott reported.

Scott avers: “These provinces” in Afghanistan, “support the past and present CIA assets in the Karzai regime (headed by Hamid Karzai, a former CIA asset), including the president’s brother Ahmed Wali Karzai, an active CIA asset, and Abdul Rashid Dostum, a former CIA asset. In effect America has allied itself with one drug faction in Afghanistan against another.” Much the same can be said for CIA assets in Pristina.

As the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) published in their 2010 World Drug Report:

Once heroin leaves Turkish territory, interception efficiency drops significantly. In the Balkans, relatively little heroin is seized, suggesting that the route is exceedingly well organized and lubricated with corruption. … Another notable feature of the Balkan route is that some important networks have clan-based and hierarchically organized structures. Albanian groups in particular have such structures, making them particularly hard to infiltrate. This partially explains their continued involvement in several European heroin markets. Albanian networks continue to be particularly visible in Greece, Italy and Switzerland. Italy is one of the most important heroin markets in Europe, and frequently identified as a base of operation for Balkan groups who exploit the local diaspora. According to WCO seizure statistics, Albanians made up the single largest group (32%) of all arrestees for heroin trafficking in Italy between 2000 and 2008. The next identified group was Turks followed by Italians and citizens of Balkan countries (Bulgaria, Kosovo/Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and to some extent Greece). A number of Pakistani and Nigerian traffickers were arrested in Italy as well.

As has been documented for decades, U.S. destabilization programs and covert operations rely on far-right provocateurs and drug lords (often interchangeable players) to facilitate the dirty work. Throughout its Balkan campaign the CIA made liberal use of these preexisting narcotics networks to arm the KLA and then provide them with targets.

When NATO partners Germany and the U.S. decided to drive a stake through Yugoslavia’s heart during the heady days of post-Cold War triumphalism, their geopolitical strategy could not have achieved “success” without the connivance, indeed active partnership forged amongst Yugoslavia’s nationalist rivals. As investigative journalist Misha Glenny has shown,

Most shocking of all, however, is how the gangsters and politicians fueling war between their peoples were in private cooperating as friends and close business partners. The Croat, Bosnian, Albanian, Macedonian, and Serb moneymen and mobsters were truly thick as thieves. They bought, sold, and exchanged all manner of commodities, knowing that the high levels of personal trust between them were much stronger than the transitory bonds of hysterical nationalism. They fomented this ideology among ordinary folk in essence to mask their own venality. As one commentator described it, the new republics were ruled by “a parastate Cartel which had emerged from political institutions, the ruling Communist Party and its satellites, the military, a variety of police forces, the Mafia, court intellectuals and with the president of the Republic at the center of the spider web…Tribal nationalism was indispensable for the cartel as a means to pacify its subordinates and as a cover for the uninterrupted privatization of the state apparatus. (McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2008, p. 27)

Thaçi and other members of his inner circle, Marty avers, were “commonly identified, and cited in secret intelligence reports,” published by the German secret state agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst or BND “as the most dangerous of the KLA’s ‘criminal bosses’.”

Trading on American protection to consolidate political power, thus maintaining control over key narcotics smuggling corridors, the special rapporteur writes that “having succeeded in eliminating, or intimidating into silence, the majority of the potential and actual witnesses against them (both enemies and erstwhile allies), using violence, threats, blackmail, and protection rackets,” Thaçi’s Drenica Group have “exploit[ed] their position in order to accrue personal wealth totally out of proportion with their declared activities.”

Indeed, multiple reports prepared by the U.S. DEA, FBI, the BND, Italy’s SISMI, Britain’s MI6 and the Greek EYP intelligence service have stated that Drenica Group members “are consistently named as ‘key players’ in intelligence reports on Kosovo’s mafia-like structures of organised crime.”

As the Council of Europe and investigative journalists have documented, northern Albania was the site not only of KLA training camps but of secret detention centers where prisoners of war and civilian KLA opponents were executed and their organs surgically removed and sold on the international black market.

“The reality is that the most significant operational activities undertaken by members of the KLA–prior to, during, and in the immediate aftermath of the conflict–took place on the territory of Albania, where the Serb security forces were never deployed.”

The report avers, “It is well established that weapons and ammunition were smuggled into parts of Kosovo, often on horseback, through clandestine, mountainous routes from northern Albania,” the site of secret NATO bases, “yet only in the second half of 1998,” Marty writes, “through explicit endorsements from Western powers, founded on strong lobbying from the United States, did the KLA secure its pre-eminence in international perception as the vanguard of the Kosovar Albanian liberation struggle.”

“What is particularly confounding” Marty writes, “is that all of the international community in Kosovo–from the Governments of the United States and other allied Western powers, to the EU-backed justice authorities–undoubtedly possess the same, overwhelming documentation of the full extent of the Drenica Group’s crimes, but none seems prepared to react in the face of such a situation and to hold the perpetrators to account.”

While the special rapporteur’s outrage is palpable, the ascension of a political crime family with deep roots in the international drugs trade and other rackets, including the grisly traffic in human organs, far from being an anomalous event conforms precisely to the structural pattern of capitalist rule in the contemporary period.

“What we have uncovered” Marty informs us, “is of course not completely unheard-of. The same or similar findings have long been detailed and condemned in reports by key intelligence and police agencies, albeit without having been followed up properly, because the authors’ respective political masters have preferred to keep a low profile and say nothing, purportedly for reasons of ‘political expediency’. But we must ask what interests could possibly justify such an attitude of disdain for all the values that are invariably invoked in public?”

Marty need look no further for an answer to his question than to the “political masters” in Washington, who continue to cover-up not only their own crimes but those of the global mafias who do their bidding.

As we have seen throughout the latter half of the 20th century down to the present moment, powerful corporate and financial elites, the military and intelligence agencies and, for lack of a better term, “normal” governmental institutions are suborned by the same crooked players who profit from war and the ensuing chaos it spawns to organize crime, thereby “rationalizing” criminal structures on more favorable terms for those “in the loop.”

In this regard, the impunity enjoyed up till now by Thaçi and his minions merely reflect the far-greater impunity enjoyed by the American secret state and the powerful actors amongst U.S. elites who have profited from the dirty work allegedly performed by Kosovo’s Prime Minister, and others like him, who are counted amongst the most loyal servants of imperial power.


About the author:

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly and Global Research, his articles can be read on Dissident Voice, The Intelligence Daily, Pacific Free Press, Uncommon Thought Journal, and the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks. He is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military “Civil Disturbance” Planning, distributed by AK Press and has contributed to the new book from Global Research, The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century.

22-12-2010

Original source of the article: www.globalresearch.ca

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Sixteenth anniversary of the attack on Yugoslavia: Expulsion of Roma from Kosovo

Once NATO’s 1999 war on Yugoslavia came to an end, units of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) poured across the border. The KLA wasted little time in implementing its dream of an independent Kosovo purged of all other nationalities. Among those bearing the brunt of ethnic hatred were the Roma, commonly known in the West as Gypsies. Under the protective umbrella of NATO’s Kosovo Force (KFOR), the KLA was free to launch a pogrom in which they beat, tortured, murdered and drove out every non-Albanian and every non-secessionist Albanian they could lay their hands on.

Not long after the war, I was a member of a delegation that interviewed people who had been forced from their homes in Kosovo. We heard how attacks on people often took place in the presence of KFOR soldiers, who invariably did nothing. Indeed, by all accounts, the relationship between KFOR and the xenophobic KLA was mutually warm and supportive.

Albanians who wanted to live together in a multiethnic society, or even those who held ordinary government jobs such as mailman, were not immune from attack either. We talked with an Albanian man who had been a member of the Yugoslav government in Kosovo up until the arrival of KFOR. He told us that the KLA had driven out of Kosovo 150,000 Albanians did not share its extremist views. Another Albanian we talked with in Belgrade wanted to return to Kosovo but was concerned about his safety if he did so. In time, his feelings of homesickness overcame his fear. He returned home, only to be killed in a rain of automatic rifle bullets fired by KLA soldiers who broke into his home.

Typically, refugees of the “wrong” ethnicity went largely unnoticed in the West. To learn more about the forgotten ones, we joined Jovan Damjanovich, president of the Association of Romani Organizations of the Republic of Serbia, in his office in the slightly rundown Belgrade suburb of Zemun. A passionate man, Damjanovich briefed us on how his community had fared at the hands of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
The situation of the Roma was dire. The Yugoslav government, financially strapped by harsh Western sanctions and struggling to care for several hundred thousand refugees from earlier wars in Croatia and Bosnia, was now confronted with the sudden influx of hundreds of thousands more.

We were driven to a Roma settlement in Zemun Polje, located on the outskirts of the town. Romani residents here had taken more than five thousand refugees into their homes, placing an enormous strain on the local population’s personal finances. Those who had little opened their homes to help their fellow human beings. It said much for the people here.

The moment our cars pulled to a stop at the end of the settlement, a crowd formed around us. We interviewed a number of Roma and Egyptian refugees from Kosovo. Tefiq Krashich brought his family here from Obilich after KLA soldiers came to his house and threatened to kill his family. For two months, his family had nowhere to sleep until being taken in by a local family. They now had shelter but life remained difficult. “We have no food,” Krashich said. “We are starving. We are begging in the streets for food.”

Threats drove Pucho Rezhezha and his family from their home. After murdering Pucho’s brother, the KLA warned that they would kill everyone in the family if they did not leave Kosovo.

We interviewed a few more people, all with similar tales to tell, but emotions soon started to flare out of control, prompting Damjanovich to cut short the interviews. As our cars drove down the dirt road that ran alongside the settlement, children ran excitedly behind us, enveloped in the dust kicked up by the cars. We sped past two boys standing by the side of the road, pumping their fists in the air while chanting, “Yugoslavia! Yugoslavia!”

The next day, Damjanovich arranged for us to resume our interviews, this time in the center of Zemun. Even before we managed to set up our video cameras, we were surrounded by refugees, anxious to tell us their stories and to hear what others had to say. The weather was sweltering, and sweat poured down my back as the crowd closed around us. Estref Ramdanovich, vice president of the Roma association, informed us that out of a total population of 150,000 Roma in Kosovo, the KLA had by that point expelled 120,000. “The KLA soldiers don’t want any other ethnic group to be in Kosovo,” he explained. “Only Albanians.” Ramdanovich was one of those who had sacrificed much to help others, having taken an astonishing twenty refugees into his home.

With rising emotion, Jovan Damjanovich described the situation. “How many refugees are in the streets, in the bus stations, in the railroad stations, in the parks!” He planned to issue appeals for aid.

“Soon winter will arrive. The international organizations cannot remain blind and deaf when people are dying at their feet. It is a humanitarian catastrophe. Not only is the KLA burning houses. Not only are they expelling people. Not only are they killing many people. They want to create an ethnically clean Kosovo. We think the international community, on the basis of the United Nations Charter, has to do something. Because if there exists humanity, if there exists civilization, we cannot watch the death of a nation.”

It was no surprise to me when the so-called “international community” – a term that somehow always means only powerful interests in the United States and Western Europe and excludes the vast majority of the world’s population – continued to ignore the plight of these politically inconvenient refugees. Little more than a week after our visit to Zemun, Nusret Saiti, leader of the largest remaining Roma community in Kosovo, reported that the KLA had torched over 99 percent of the town’s Romani homes, leaving only three standing. The KLA was stripping the demolished homes for building materials, Saiti said, but NATO’s KFOR mission made no effort to stop them. In just the first year and a half alone of NATO occupation, more than 800 Roma were either killed or had gone missing, a situation which Western officials willfully ignored. Only much later, after most of the Roma had been expelled from the province, were primitive and inadequate refugee camps set up under guard within Kosovo.

We began to talk with the refugees. A soon as Yugoslav forces departed from Kosovo, the KLA showed up, they all told us. Bajrosha Ahmeti burned with anger.

“My daughter, Enisa Ahmeti, was raped by KLA soldiers. At night, we were sleeping in our house, and KLA soldiers broke in and dragged my daughter out and raped her.”

The KLA gang then forced the family from their home, without allowing them to pack. “These are the only clothes I have. I have no food, nowhere to sleep,” she told us. “Should I sleep on the street? The children awake at night, calling ‘Mama, Mama,’ and I have nothing to give them. They can’t sleep well. They can’t eat.”

Adan Berisha told us that he and his wife were tortured by KLA soldiers. He pointed to his wife, whose face and arm were disfigured. It appeared that acid had been poured on her. But that was not the end of the family’s woes, for the KLA also murdered Berisha’s 12-year-old son. After killing the boy, the KLA soldiers threw Adnan, his wife, and grandson out of their home and began to haul away their possessions.

“A KLA soldier gave us only three hours to leave our home. He told us he would kill us if we stayed even half an hour longer than that. Three hours to leave Kosovo. I can’t go back to Kosovo because the militias will kill me.”

Lacking money or assets of any kind, the family’s trek from the province was difficult. Drawing attention to his grandson, Adnan said,

“This little baby, who is only three months old, went four days without eating. After we escaped from the Albanians, we went to Nish, where we didn’t have any food or water to give to this little baby.”

Adnan reached into his pocket for his wallet and produced a photograph of his son. There was a painful moment of silence as we gazed at the picture of the murdered boy. Then Adnan remarked in a quiet voice filled with anguish, “Sorrow. A world of sorrow.”

Four KLA soldiers broke into the home of Elas Raqmani one morning at about 6:00 AM. Two were armed with rifles and the others with knives. “KLA soldiers took everything – all of the furniture from my home,” he recounted.

“My stove was taken out. The washing machine, refrigerator, and freezer were taken out. We were watching, but I was so sick of the sight, I couldn’t bear to watch the Albanians taking my things right out front.”

The intruders then ordered the family to leave. Only later did Raqmani learn that many of his neighbors were killed that day. Raqmani told us that he had worked for fifty years, and his family lived very well until the day he lost his home. His wife was now reduced to visiting the markets each day and asking for leftover vegetables.

Raqmani expressed himself with a passion that swept all before it, and strong emotions spread throughout the crowd as he spoke. “Kosovo was taken away from us. I’m not against the American people, but this decision they made strikes me as loony. The rights of every people – the Serb, the Montenegrin, and the Gypsy – have been annulled.” Angrily slapping the table before him, Raqmani exclaimed,

“People are going out to kill, but you, as an army, just sit there. Did you come here to help or to watch this circus going on? Events now are making history. It is not acceptable what the American people are doing to us. If they came to help, let me see them help. But if they did not come to help, then everyone – Serbs and Gypsies – will be stamped out! They are allowing that to be done!”

Surrounded by her young children, Ajsha Shatili told us she was forced to leave her home on June 19, only a few days after the withdrawal of Yugoslav forces.

“KLA soldiers dragged my children and me from our home and started removing all of my furniture. I called three British KFOR soldiers for help. They came but did nothing. They only told me, “Good, good. Don’t cry. It will be good.” Wiping away her tears, she told us that a KLA soldier wounded her son by plunging a knife into his back when he attempted to stop the looting. Once the KLA soldiers had taken everything they wanted, they proceeded to burn down both of her homes under the indifferent gaze of the British soldiers. Like so many others, she now owned only the clothes she was wearing when she was driven out of Kosovo. Fortunately, all of her friends and relatives managed to escape from Kosovo before being killed. “They were all afraid for their lives,” she explained. When asked what would have happened had she and her family stayed in Kosovo, Shatili answered in a voice so filled with torment that it was almost a howl of pain. “Everyone would be killed! Everyone!”

Five KLA soldiers came to the home of Hashim Berisha in search of his brother, who was a soldier in the Yugoslav army. Hashim was ordered to produce his brother, or they would kill his entire family. He went to his sister’s house and told her what had happened. His sister then ran to report the incident at the local British KFOR headquarters, where the matter failed to interest them. They merely pointed out that she could go wherever she would like to go just so she would not be killed. The next day, Hashim surreptitiously checked on his house and saw that it had been burned down. The KLA eventually caught up with his brother and subjected him to a severe beating. He was fortunate to have survived. Afterwards, Hashim’s brother went to KFOR headquarters in Prishtina, and told them his story. But KFOR’s translator was a KLA sympathizer, and it soon became apparent that what the translator was telling KFOR bore no resemblance to his story. Having no desire to wait around to be killed, he gathered his family and left Kosovo.

When KLA soldiers looted all of the furniture from his home in Uroshevac, Abdullah Shefik knew it was time to go. Shefik collected his family and friends, eleven people in all, and squeezed them all into his van, with the few possessions they managed to fit in. They headed north to escape Kosovo, but along the route they encountered a KLA roadblock. “They were waiting for us. KLA soldiers stopped me and ordered me to leave my van with them. KFOR soldiers stood nearby when my van was hijacked, but they did nothing.” The KFOR unit was American, Shefik added, but “viewed the whole thing and said nothing.”

Bechet Koteshi told us that as soon as British and French KFOR troops entered Gnjilane, KLA soldiers rampaged through the town, attacking Serbs and Roma. “KFOR did nothing because they were on the other side of the town, but the town is not very big, so they had to know what was happening.” Koteshi was in a pharmacy when the shooting began. He departed immediately, riding his bicycle home as fast as possible. “Three hundred meters behind me was another man riding a bicycle, and KLA soldiers threw a grenade at him and killed him.” Some weeks later, Koteshi snuck back into Kosovo to check briefly on his father, who was living in a tent after his home had been torched by the KLA. “It was so hard for him because he lived in a tent with no electricity and no water. Two days ago, KLA terrorists entered the camp and shouted at them, so they fled their tents in fear.”

NATO was complicit in these acts of terror, as borne out by our interviews and those conducted by others. The role of NATO was summed up by a refugee interviewed by Roma activist Sani Rifati:

“When NATO bombs stopped falling in Yugoslavia, my family returned to Kosovo. We were watching the KLA and KFOR soldiers hugging each other and celebrating their arrival in Kosovo. At that moment I thought, this can’t be happening! Why is that KLA terrorist soldier going to hug a KFOR soldier? I realized it is going to be like hell here. Within three days, all non-ethnic Albanians had to leave Kosovo. My house was burned by ethnic Albanians in front of KFOR forces. I went to report to the so-called foreign peacekeepers that my house was burning — and one of the soldiers was telling me it’s okay. My friend’s sister was raped by ethnic Albanians, and she went to report to the KFOR officer; he was telling her it’s okay. My neighbor was kidnapped by KLA and his wife went to report that he’s gone and the officer was telling her it’s okay. KLA was taking our brothers, relatives, friends and taking them to the KLA torture rooms, and wives went to report to the KFOR officers; they were telling them it’s okay. KLA and ethnic Albanians were killing Romani people and they were telling us it’s okay. Is that really okay? We were kicked out from my home in five minutes. KLA terrorists came to my house and told me that in five minutes we must leave our home and then they’re going to burn it.”

Roma leader Jovan Damjanovich issued a statement condemning the KLA’s campaign of terror. “This state of affairs calls into question the justification for the foreign presence. The exodus of Serbs, Montenegrins, and Romanies continues on the lines of the Nazi scenario of fifty years ago, while the world looks on.” Damjanovich’s plea did not go unnoticed in the West, and he was added to the European Union and U.S. sanctions list, whose members were banned from travel and their funds held in foreign accounts seized.

We met Bajram Haliti, who had been an official in the Yugoslav government in Kosovo. In addition to his role in the Kosovo government prior to NATO occupation, he also served in the national government as Secretary for Development of Information on the Languages of National Minorities. Haliti was gentle and soft-spoken, and I took an immediate liking to this scholarly man who described himself as a humanist. Haliti was a poet, and had also published a study entitled The Roma: a People’s Terrible Destiny, on the subject of the Nazi genocide against the Roma people in the Second World War. At his home in Kosovo, his personal library contained over 500 books on the subject, from all over the world. But KLA soldiers burned down both of Haliti’s homes, and the library he had spent a lifetime collecting went up in flames. “I can’t set a price on that library,” he sadly told us.

“The Roma people are in a very hard situation,” Haliti told us.

“It is the same situation Jewish people faced in 1939. At that time, Hitler persecuted every Jew in his territory. And now we have [KLA leader and present-day Kosovo foreign minister] Hashim Thaci. Now Romani houses are burned down, and Roma are expelled by the KLA.”

At the beginning of May 1999, Haliti sent an open letter to U.S. President Clinton, calling for an end to the war. “Only peaceful means can lead to a just settlement for all national communities which live in Kosovo and Metohija.” The letter made an impression in Washington: Haliti was placed on the first sanctions list. The swiftness in which sanctions were imposed on Jovanovich and Haliti demonstrated the West’s responsiveness to the Roma people’s situation.


About the author:

Gregory Elich is on the Board of Directors of the Jasenovac Research Institute and the Advisory Board of the Korea Policy Institute. He is a columnist for Voice of the People, and one of the co-authors of Killing Democracy: CIA and Pentagon Operations in the Post-Soviet Period, published in the Russian language.

2015-05-02

Original source of the article:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/a-world-of-sorrow-the-tragic-plight-of-the-roma-in-the-aftermath-of-natos-war-on-yugoslavia/5446872

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Greater Albania: A United States project against the Orthodox world?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012, the Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha advocated granting Albanian citizenship to all Albanians, wherever they reside. This statement was made during a visit of the city of Vlora where the independence of the Albanian state was declared, only 100 years ago. At the time Albania had just liberated itself from Ottoman rule.

This declaration follows a separate statement, collective this time, that Sali Berisha had made with his Kosovar counterpart Hashim Thaci a few weeks ago, promising the union of all Albanians. The place was, I must say, well chosen since the vast majority of the inhabitants of Kosovo today are of Albanian origin, which has not always been the case.

During the Balkan War in 1913, Serbs still constitute the majority of the population. In 1941, Kosovo is attached to the Greater Albania (already) fascist Italian protectorate. After the war, Tito would prohibit Albanian immigration since Yugoslavia, according to him, could be strong only if Serbia were as weak as possible. In 1974, it is he who attributes to Kosovo autonomous province status which would be removed by Slobodan Milosevic in 1989, while the Serbs already composed no more than 15% of the population.

When in 2008 Kosovo declares independence, nearly a decade after the Western military intervention, few commentators call attention to the dominant “Albanity” of this new small state. On the contrary, it is a time of real celebration for that supposedly oppressed people who finally gained freedom. In most Western countries and the European Union, the recognition is instantaneous, without any question being raised about the treatment of the Serb minority and the future that awaited it, despite the terrible precedent of 2004, when Christians were victims of pogroms, burned down churches, and the violation of their most basic human rights. It is true that Europe, sorry the European Union, at that time had other priorities: the essential organization of gay pride in Belgrade.

It took only 4 years for the farce of Kosovo’s independence to finally emerge publicly. Only 4 years for the Albanian Prime Minister to prove the Serb nationalists right when they consistenly maintained that it was not Kosovars (the inhabitants of the Kosovo region being Serbs) they were facing but well and truly Shqiptars, in a new episode of the ancient conflict in the Balkans that has pitted for nearly 6 centuries the Orthodox Slavs against the sons of the Ottoman Empire converts.

In October 1999, the U.S. General and NATO Supreme Commander Wesley Clark (far right) meets with the head of the UN mission in Kosovo, Bernard Kouchner (second from left), and KLA leader Hashim Thaci (far left). Today, as Prime Minister of Kosovo, Thaci is accused in a report of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to have participated in the trafficking of organs taken, inter alia, from Serb prisoners by men of the KLA

Western support for the creation of Kosovo and hostility against Serbia may seem completely inexplicable. Yet from 1991 to 2008, U.S. strategists have been led by a single logic: the destruction of Serbia, to debilitate her as much as possible for the inevitable historical moment in the future when she would again turn to Russia.

Of course, it was necessary at the same time to also devitalize Russia. If, from 1991 to 2000, a military and media war was waged against Milosevic’s Serbia with the aim of annihilating it, an economic and moral war was being unleashed against Yeltsin’s Russia. The crusade against the communist world has turned into a crusade against the Orthodox world, and essentially against its most sovereign political nerve center: Russia.

The theoretician of Russia’s containment in Eurasia, Zbigniew Brzezinski, said himself in 2007 that “After the collapse of the USSR, the main enemy of the USA will be the Russian Orthodox Church.” The creation of Greater Albania can probably be seen in this historical and geostrategic light. It is like tossing a new match, one that could create a spark and start a new fire in the Balkan inferno. This fire would result in the further weakening of Europe, but also deepen the destabilization of the Orthodox world (Macedonia, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia …) and curb its rapprochement with Russia. Indirectly, it is Russia’s influence in Eastern Europe that would be challenged, and therefore its rapprochement with Western Europe. In doing so, the United States would once again achieve their primary objective: to prevent a rapprochement between continental Europe and the Catholic and Orthodox worlds.


By Alexandre Latsa
Original source of the article: http://www.voltairenet.org/article177054.html

The Nato-aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999

Was Serbia attacked in 1999? To answer that question, Milica-Hänsel Radojkovic draws on period documents (including Willy Wimmer’s letter to Chancellor Gerhard Schröder). He highlights the unacceptability of the Rambouillet proposals, designed to justify a war that had already started.

Fourteen years ago, after the negotiation conferences in Rambouillet and Paris between 6th and 23rd February 1999, the global media informed the general public that “the Serbian delegation did not accept the offered agreement and rather qualified it as null and void”, while indicating that allegedly the so-called Contact Group for Yugoslavia stood behind the agreement. This body consisted of four NATO country-members plus Russia, but Russia rejected to endorse the military section (Annex B) of the offered agreement – a fact hidden in the media information.

What had actually taken place in Rambouillet and Paris and what did the “Annex B” exactly say? The then US State Secretary, Madeleine Albright claimed that “the military portion of the agreement was practically the essence of the agreement offered in Rambouillet” which was unacceptable for the delegation from FR Yugoslavia.

Zivadin Jovanovic, the then Yugoslav Minister of Foreign Affairs, said in his interview to Politika, the Belgrade daily, of 6th February 2013, that “in Rambouillet no attempt was made to reach accord, nor were there any negotiations or an agreement”. Yugoslav delegation was invited to Rambouillett to participate in the negotiations with the Albanians’ delegation from Kosovo.

It seems true that indeed no negotiations have taken place. This conclusion derives on basis of several statements made by some western officials, including, among others, the then Chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The biased writing of western press and the partial claims by the western politicians about “the failure in the negotiations through non-acceptance of the political document about broad autonomy for Kosovo” on the part of Yugoslav side was meant to support the preparation of public opinion for the military aggression of the North-Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) that had already been planned for October 1998, but was postponed for obvious reasons until 24th March 1999. The truth is that the Yugoslavian delegation has requested several times, as indicated in its written communications to the negotiation mediators, direct negotiations between the Yugoslav and Kosovo delegations, which is a fact proven by the official documents. Christopher Hill, the American representative in the negotiations, claimed in his response to such requests, that the Kosovo delegation “did not want direct negotiations”. “It became clear to all of us then that direct dialogue was not suitable for the Americans and that this was the real reason why the direct contact was not taking place”, Jovanovic points out. “It would be quite hard to believe, in case that the Americans had really wanted direct negotiations, that the Kosovo delegation would not accept their request”, he added.

Global media and the then western officials have also intentionally misinterpreted the alleged rejection by Yugoslavia to allow “installation of peace-keeping forces in Kosovo (and Metohija)”. However, the truth is that the Yugoslav delegation did accept the political portions of the Rambouillet draft agreement, but not its “Annex B” with the Points 2, 5 and 7 that proposed and required a military occupation of the entire territory of FR Yugoslavia (i.e. Serbia with 2 autonomous provinces, and Montenegro). Therefore, the global public opinion was an object of manipulated information which told that Serbs were “rejecting arrival of peace-keeping forces in Kosovo (and Metohija)”.

But, what are “peace-keeping forces” really in international practice and law? In international practice they imply the forces under United Nations (UN) Administration (also called “Blue Helmets”), consisting of troops provided by the UN member countries and not by NATO troops.

To understand what exactly caused FR Yugoslavia to reject the military portion of the document offered in Rambouillet, one has to read its provisions:

(I) The NATO troops are allowed to freely and without charges to use any and all land, water and air spaces and equipments;

(II) Their soldiers will enjoy diplomatic immunity and will not be held responsible for any damage made on the territory of FR Yugoslavia under civil and/or criminal laws;

(III) Their soldiers may carry weapons on them even when wearing civil attire;

(IV) Their soldiers may at any time take for use the entire electro-magnetic space of FRY, that is, the TV and radio frequencies, police and ambulance frequencies, civil protection and other frequencies, without announcement or any fee or charges whatsoever;

(V) Their soldiers may at any time arrest any citizen on the FRY territory, without any warrant or decision of a court or any FRY authority.

Global media, particularly those in the NATO countries, and the then American and European officials, have withheld the truth about the content of the military document by charging the leaders of Serbia and Yugoslav President for “the lack of cooperation in the efforts to find a peaceful solution”. Just like in Rambouillet, “the Paris Conference also was not an event witnessing any serious ‘attempt’ for accord, negotiations or agreement”. American envoy, Christopher Hill, only required from the Yugoslav delegation to sign the text he had prepared and served on the table on basis of the ‘take it or leave it’ principle”, says Former Minister Zivadin Jovanovic.

In addition to numerous condemnations concerning the draft agreement text offered, that were expressed by renowned global law experts, a special attention is drawn to the evaluation of the document provided in an interview to the Daily Telegraph (London) by the former US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger on 27th June 1999. He said,

“The Rambouillet draft agreement text, requiring stationing of NATO troops throughout Yugoslavia, was a provocation. It served as a pretext for the launching of a bombing campaign. The Rambouillet document was such that no Serb could accept it. That horrible document should have not been submitted

These words indicate, among other things, that the 1999 aggression against FR Yugoslavia was in fact presented in the western media as an epilogue reflected through the launching of the new interventionist strategy of NATO led by USA. This strategy was officially inaugurated at NATO meeting in Washington on 25th April 1999, that is, at the time of actual aggression against FRY.

In the aggression against FRY the NATO was changed from a defensive alliance into an aggressive one with the self-proclaimed right to intervene as a military force throughout the world. Furthermore, the judgement of the Yugoslav leaders implementing the country’s official policy was correct in saying that one of the goals of this particular aggression was establishment of a precedent for military actions across the world without any decision of the UN and by violation of the UN Charter. This judgement was verified at the conference of NATO member states and membership candidates held in Bratislava in April 2000. The conference was organized just a few months after the aggression against FR Yugoslavia by the State Department and the American Enterprise Institute of the Republican Party, and was attended by some very high officials (government representatives and ministers of foreign affairs and defense) of NATO member states and membership candidates. The main topics at the conference were the Balkans and expansion of NATO. In his written summary of the conference conclusions sent to the Chancellor of Germany, Gerhard Schroeder, on 2nd May 2000, Willy Wimmer, the then member of German Parliament (Bundestag) and Chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OESC, claimed that by the NATO attack on FRY, according to the admittance by USA, a precedent was established in order to be used whenever necessary. “It is understood that it is all about an excess that can be referred to at any time”, Wimmer explained one of the crucial conclusions. It was actually a retroactive confirmation that the real goal of the Rambouillet talks was not to allow any direct negotiations between the involved parties (Serbs and Albanians) or any political solution, but rather to ensure a pretext for the aggression, as Henry Kissinger indicated quite well (“It was just a pretext to launch the bombing campaign”).

Next, Willy Wimmer points out in his written communication that “the war against FR Yugoslavia was waged to rectify the wrong decision made by General Dwight Eisenhower in World War Two”. Consequently, for strategic reasons American troops need to be stationed over there, so as to compensate for what was not done in 1945 (Point 4 of his letter). By building the Bondstill Military Base in Kosovo – the largest one in Europe, Americans have practically materialized their position at the Bratislava conference about “their need to station American soldiers in that space, for strategic reasons”. Wimmer’s letter also asserts (under Point 1), “The organizers of this conference have requested that international recognition of the independent state of Kosovo should be accomplished as fast as possible by the countries making the circle of allied states”, whereas “Serbia (the successor of Yugoslavia) must be permanently excluded from the European development course” (according to Wimmer, probably for the purpose of unhampered military presence of USA in the Balkans).

Willy Wimmer also claims,

«“The assertion that NATO had violated all international rules, and particularly all relevant provisions of international law, during the attack against FR Yugoslavia, has not been contradicted” (Point 11)

The text also says that

« “the American side is aware and prepared, in the global context and to achieve its own goals, to undermine the order of international law” »

meaning that international law is considered an obstacle for the planned expansion of NATO.

And Wimmer then ends his letter with the following words, “Force has to stand above law”.

Texte intégral de la lettre adressée, le 2 mai 2000, au Chancelier de la République fédérale d’Allemagne, Gerhard Schöder, par Willy Wimmer, alors vice-président de l’Assemblée parlementaire de la OSCE

Mr Gerhard Schroeder, MP
Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany,
Federal Chancellery,
Schlossplatz 1, 10178 Berlin

Berlin, 05-02-2000

Dear Chancellor,

Last weekend, I was in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava, where I had the opportunity to participate in a conference jointly organized by the US State Department and the American Enterprise Institute (the institute of the Republican Party foreign policy) with focus on the themes of the Balkan and NATO enlargement.

The event was attended by high-ranking personalities already reflected in the presence of several prime ministers and foreign and defense ministers from the region. Of the many important issues that could be dealt with under that topic, some deserve particularly to be reported.

1. The organizers requested that the Allies achieve recognition of the independence of the state of Kosovo, according to international law. [1]

2. The organizers declared that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was beyond any jurisdiction, in particular beyond the Final Act of Helsinki. [2]

3. The European legal system is an obstacle to the implementation of NATO plans. The American legal system was more suitable for this, even when being used in Europe.

4. The war against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was conducted to revise a false decision made by General Eisenhower in World War II. Due to strategic reasons, the decision to deploy US soldiers in the region had to be rectified. [3]

5. The European Allies went along with the war in Yugoslavia in order to overcome de facto the dilemma caused by the April 1999 ‘New Strategic Concept’, which was enacted by the Alliance and the European predisposition of an existing mandate from the UN or the OSCE.

6. Irrespective of the subsequent legalistic European interpretation, where the enlarged task field of NATO in the Yugoslavian war exceeded the contract territory, it was an exceptional case, obviously a precedent which anyone at any time could and would rely on. [4]

7. The goal of the recently pending NATO expansion, is to restore the geographical situation between the Baltic Sea and Anatolia, as it had been at the time of the height of Roman expansion. [5]

8. In order to achieve this, Poland is to be surrounded in the north and south by democratic neighboring states. Romania and Bulgaria are to secure the ground connection to Turkey, Serbia (most likely to ensure a US military presence) was to be permanently excluded from European development.

9. North of Poland, it is important to maintain the complete control of entry from St. Petersburg to the Baltic Sea. [6]

10. In each case, the right of self-determination is given priority over all other provisions or rules of international law. [7]

11. The assessment, according to which NATO, when attacking the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia actually infringed upon international rule and, above all, any relevant provisions of international law, did not evoke contradiction. [8]

After this very candidly run event and in view of participants and organizers, one cannot help but make an assessment of the statements made at this conference.

In the global context and in order to achieve their goals, the American side, deliberately and intendedly wants to lever out the international legal system which was developed as a result of two world wars in the last century. Power shall precede law. Where international law stands in the way, it will be eliminated.

When a similar development happened to the League of Nations, the Second World War was not far off. This type of thinking which considers its own interests as being absolute, can only be called totalitarianism.

Sincerely,

Willy Wimmer
Member of Parliament,
Chairman oft he CDU district association Lower Rhine,
Vice-President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

By Milica Radojkovic-Hänsel

(Translation Current Concerns)

Notes:

[1] So far, the Kosovo continues to nominally be a province of Serbia, which in turn is a constituent republic of Yugoslavia. Maintaining this status, had been a prerequisite for the termination of the so-called Kosovo war in June 1999. Officially, maintaining this status is the program of the West until today.

[2] The Helsinki Final Act, the so-called CSCE Order, had put down the foundations of coexistence of the European states in 1975. These principles included amongst others the inviolability of borders.

[3] This seems to refer to the Allied invasion of Europe during the Second World War. Churchill et.al. had demanded then that an Allied invasion of the Balkans was to take place. Instead, Eisenhower as Commander of Chief of the Allied forces commanded invasions of Sicily (1943) and France (1944). As a result, there was no Western occupation of the Balkans at the end of the Second World War.

[4] On the part of NATO, the 1999 Kosovo war was performed without UN mandate. Such a mandate would have complied with the wish of the European governments but not the American government. The latter wants to act preferably self-confidently without international restrictions. Items 5 and 6 apparently meant that with this war a) the European states would have overcome their commitment towards their public regarding such a UN mandate and b) a precedent for future operations without UN mandate was created.

[5] The Roman Empire never extended to the Baltic Sea. Should Wimmer here have reported the statements correctly, ‘Roman’ on the one hand, means the Roman Empire, and on the other hand, the Roman church.

[6] Thus this means to cut away Russia from its Baltic Sea connection and therefore to cut it off from Europe.

[7] Emphasizing this right of self-determination, the American Wilsonianism, coined after the former president Woodrow Wilson, shows itself once again, according to Rudolf Steiner who was a main opponent of the founding of the threefold movement. Steiner saw this as a program for the “destruction of the coexistence of the European peoples”. It allows the destruction of almost all European countries by accentuating “minority problems”.

[8] Apparently, this is about the reactions to a Wimmer draft. The conference participants were apparently aware of these violations against the provisions of international law, yet they did not care.


Kosovo: Heroin transport corridor

US-NATO military control of Kosovo serves several purposes for Washington’s greater geo-strategic agenda. First it enables greater US control over potential oil and gas pipeline routes into the EU from the Caspian and Middle East as well as control of the transport corridors linking the EU to the Black Sea.

It also protects the multi-billion dollar heroin trade, which, significantly, has grown to record dimensions in Afghanistan according to UN narcotics officials, since the US occupation. Kosovo and Albania are major heroin transit routes into Europe. According to a 2008 US State Department annual report on international narcotics traffic, several key drug trafficking routes pass through the Balkans. Kosovo is mentioned as a key point for the transfer of heroin from Turkey and Afghanistan to Western Europe. Those drugs flow under the watchful eye of the Thaci government.

Since its dealings with the Meo tribesmen in Laos during the Vietnam era, the CIA has protected narcotics traffic in key locations in order partly to finance its covert operations. The scale of international narcotics traffic today is such that major US banks such as Citigroup are reported to derive a significant share of their profits from laundering the proceeds.

One of the notable features of the indecent rush by Washington and other states to immediately recognize the independence of Kosovo is the fact that they well knew its government and both major political parties were in fact run by Kosovo Albanian organized crime.

Hashim Thaci, Prime Minister of Kosovo and head of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, is the former leader of the terrorist organization which the US and NATO trained and called the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, or in Albanian, UCK. In Kosovo crime circles he is known as Hashim “The Snake” for his personal ruthlessness against opponents.

In 1997, President Clinton’s Special Balkans Envoy, Robert Gelbard described the KLA as, “without any question a terrorist group.” It was far more. It was a klan-based mafia, impossible therefore to infiltrate, which controlled the underground black economy of Kosovo. Today the Democratic Party of Thaci, according to European police sources, retains its links to organized crime.

A February 22, 2005 German BND report, labeled Top Secret, which has since been leaked, stated, “Über die Key-Player (wie z. B. Haliti, Thaci, Haradinaj) bestehen engste Verflechtungen zwischen Politik, Wirtschaft und international operierenden OK-Strukturen im Kosovo. Die dahinter stehenden kriminellen Netzwerke fördern dort die politische Instabilität. Sie haben kein Interesse am Aufbau einer funktionierenden staatlichen Ordnung, durch die ihre florierenden Geschäfte beeinträchtigt werden können.“ (OK=Organized Kriminalität). (Translation: “Through the key players—for example Thaci, Haliti, Haradinaj—there is the closest interlink between politics, the economy and international organized crime in Kosovo. The criminal organizations in the background there foster political instability. They have no interest at all in the building of a functioning orderly state that could be detrimental to their booming business.”

The KLA began action in 1996 with the bombing of refugee camps housing Serbian refugees from the wars in Bosnia and Croatia. The KLA repeatedly called for the “liberation” of areas of Montenegro, Macedonia and parts of Northern Greece. Thaci is hardly a figure of regional stability to put it mildly.

The 44 year old Thaci was a personal protégé of Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright during the 1990s, when he was a mere 30-year old gangster. The KLA was supported from the outset by the CIA and the German BND. During the 1999 war the KLA was directly supported by NATO. At the time he was picked up by the USA in the mid-1990s, Thaci was founder of the Drenica Group, a criminal syndicate in Kosovo with ties to Albanian, Macedonian and Italian organized mafias.  A classified January 2007 report prepared for the EU Commission, labeled “VS-Nur für den Dienstgebrauch” was leaked to the media. It detailed the organized criminal activity of KLA and its successor Democratic Party under Thaci.

A December 2010 Council of Europe report, released a day after Kosovo’s election commission said Mr Thaci’s party won the first post-independence election, accused Western powers of complicity in ignoring the activities of the crime ring headed by Thaci: “Thaci and these other ‘Drenica Group’ members are consistently named as ‘key players’ in intelligence reports on Kosovo’s mafia-like structures of organised crime,” the report said. “We found that the ‘Drenica Group’ had as its chief – or, to use the terminology of organised crime networks, its ‘boss’ – the renowned political operator … Hashim Thaci.”

The report stated that Thaci exerted “violent control” over the heroin trade. Dick Marty, the European Union investigator, presented the report to European diplomats from all member states. The response was silence. Washington was behind Thaci.

The same Council of Europe report on Kosovo organized crime accused Thaci’s mafia organization of dealing in trade in human organs. Figures from Thaçi’s inner circle were accused of taking captives across the border into Albania after the war, where a number of Serbs are said to have been murdered for their kidneys that were sold on the black market. In one case revealed in legal proceedings in a Pristina district court in 2008 organs were said to have been taken from impoverished victims at a clinic known as Medicus – linked to Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) organ harvesting in 2000.

The question then becomes, why are Washington, NATO, the EU and inclusive and importantly, the German Government, so eager to legitimize the breakaway Kosovo? A Kosovo run internally by organized criminal networks is easy for NATO to control. It insures a weak state which is far easier to bring under NATO domination. Combined with NATO control over Afghanistan where the Kosovo heroin controlled by Prime Minister Thaci originates, the Pentagon is building a web of encirclement around Russia that is anything but peaceful.

The Thaci dependence on US and NATO good graces insures Thaci’s government will do what it is asked. That, in turn, assures the US a major military gain consolidating its permanent presence in the strategically vital southeast Europe. It is a major step in consolidating NATO control of Eurasia, and gives the US a large swing its way in the European balance of power. Little wonder Moscow has not welcomed the development, nor have numerous other states. The US is literally playing with dynamite, potentially as well with nuclear war in the Balkans.


Author: F. William Engdahl is author of Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order. He may be contacted via his website, www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net

12-04-2012

Source: www.globalresearch.ca

Donald Trump – Not My President!

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Documentary film “Stolen Kosovo” (The Czech Republic)

The truth about Kosovo and Metochia.

This documentary film was made by the Czech Republic TV and banned in all mainstream globalist media in western countries.

It will reveal to you the horrifying story of Kosovo that nobody ever wanted to tell you and debunking all hoaxes, lies and propaganda NATO used for trigger events…

In 1999 NATO bombed Serbia for 78 days and destroyed everything on its way bridges,hospitals,schools, telecommunicat­ion buildings, military bases…killing more than 2.500 and wound more than 5.000 civilians.

One of the reasons why NATO bombed Serbia is to build the biggest military base in Albania, so they can move on and destroy other countries in the future.

The Muslim Albanians demolished many Serbian Christian Orthodox monasteries, churches and monuments in Kosovo and Metochia.

They burned as well many Serbian houses and levelled Serbian cemeteries to the ground with committing ethnic cleansing and genocide.

Number of killed Serbian civilians is still unknown.

Today Kosovo is the biggest nest of organized crime, human and drug trafficking in Europe.

Today, Kosovo is a part of the global Islamic State’s organization.

 

stolen kosovo from krukke on Vimeo.

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Pope Francis at Auschwitz But Not Where Catholics Slaughtered 700,000 Serbs, Jews and Roma in WWII

Jasenovac in Croatia was the third largest World War II concentration camp in Europe by number of victims. It was operated by the Catholic and Nazi-allied Ustasha government. Wartime Croatia has been called “one great slaughterhouse.”

The prisoners – mostly Serbs, Jews and Roma had their throats cut with specially designed knives, or they were killed with axes, mallets and hammers; they were also shot, or they were hung from trees or light poles. Some were burned alive in hot furnaces, boiled in cauldrons, or drowned in the River Sava.

Here the most varied forms of torture were used. Finger and toe nails were pulled out with metal instruments, eyes were dug out with specially constructed hooks, people were blinded by having needles stuck in their eyes, flesh was cut and then salted. People were also flayed, had their noses, ears and tongues cut off with wire cutters, and had awls stuck in their hearts. Daughters were raped in front of their mothers; sons were tortured in front of their fathers.

Said plainly, in the concentration camps at Jasenovac and Stara Gradiska, the Ustasha surpassed all that even the sickest mind could imagine and do in terms of the brutal way people were murdered. …

More than 74,316 children were killed. During the Second World War, the only place where there were special camps for children was Croatia. …

Estimates of the total numbers of men, women and children killed there range from 300,000 to 700,000.

“700,000 in a total population of a few million, proportionally, would be as if one-third of the US population had been exterminated by a Catholic militia.”

For the Ustasha (Ustase, Ustaša), “relations with the Vatican were as important as relations with Germany because Vatican recognition was the key to widespread Croat support.” (Phayer, The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 1930–1965 (2000) p. 32)

Ante Pavelic, the “Butcher of the Balkans,” had already been convicted in France for planning the 1934 assassination of King Alexander of Yugoslavia and French Foreign Minister Louis Barthou when he was received in a private audience by Pope Pius XII in May 1941 shortly after becoming dictator of Croatia. “After receiving the papal blessing, Pavelic and his Ustasha lieutenants unleashed an unspeakable genocide in their new country. But Pius XII refused to cut his ties with Catholic Croatia and in 1943 once again imparted the papal blessing on Pavelic, who by that time was a genocidal killer.” (Phayer, Pius XII, The Holocaust, and the Cold War (2008) p. 219)

“It is well known that many Catholic clerics participated directly or indirectly in the Ustaša campaigns of violence.” (Phayer, 2000, pp. 34-35)

Pope Pius XII could not plead ignorance to these atrocities. “Both the nuncio [Vatican ambassador] and the head of the [Croatian] Church, Bishop Alojzje Stepinac, were in continuous contact with the Holy See while the genocide was being committed.” (Phayer, 2000, p. 30)

Vatican Bank

“Approximately half of what [Vatican agent] Fr. Krunoslav Draganovic took out of Croatia was in the form of gold coins, most of which had been looted from Jewish and Serbian victims of Ustasha terror.” (Phayer, 2008, p. 215) Along with gold taken from the pre-war Yugoslav treasury, the coins were transported by truck through Austria and Italy into Rome.

Based on accounts by Emerson Bigelow, in the U.S. Army reporting to the U.S. Treasury Dept, and U.S. intelligence agents William Gowen and James Angelton, “There is no reason to doubt that the Ustasha gold ended up as a deposit in the Vatican Bank.” (Phayer, 2008, p.217) In addition, Gowen later gave testimony at a U.S. federal court in San Francisco that his investigation in 1947 led him to believe that the Vatican was “implicated at the highest level.

In an April 2014 “Open Letter to Pope Francis,” William Dorich, whose father and 16 other relatives were burned alive by the Ustasha and Catholic priests, he asks the pontiff to open the Vatican archives from World War II and make restitution for the gold and other assets stolen from the Ustasha victims and deposited in the Vatican.

Dorich was one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit first filed in 1999 against the Vatican Bank by elderly Ustasha victims and their heirs for compensation. When their claim was rejected by U.S. courts for lack of jurisdiction, their attorney, Dr. Jonathan Levy, began petitioning directly to the Vatican, including a letter to Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis’ prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy.

“As the postwar years rolled by, the deposited gold had to be ‘laundered’ or changed into various currencies to finance an evolving sequence of tasks. The immediate need was for upkeep for many dozens of Ustasha exiles. False papers had to be fabricated. Some of the funds had to be used for the paying for passage of war criminals.” (Phayer, 2008, p. 217)

Ratlines

As an Allied victory became more certain, two distinct ratlines developed, both operated by Catholic clerics.

Austrian Bishop Hudal’s ratline began to assist highly-placed German and Austrian war criminals. To escape Germany, the best route lay across the Alps to Italy. The American OSS was able to trace support of Hudal’s operation to the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission of Assistance and expatriated Germans and Austrians in Argentina. That Hudal was a notorious Nazi sympathizer was well known in the Vatican. (Phayer, 2008, pp. 196-199)

Due to a “long-time relationship with Himmler’s SD espionage service,” (Phayer, 2008, p. 206) Hudal was able to assist monsters – just a few named here — to escape to South America: Adolf Eichmann, Josef Mengele, Franz Stangl, Eduard Roschmann, Alois Brunner, Walter Rauff.

Pius XII “made no effort to remove Bishop Hudal from the Austrian refugee program under the Pontifical Commission of Assistance until 1952, at which time all, or almost all, of the perpetrators of World War II atrocities who had not been apprehended had made good their escape.” (Phayer, 2008, p. 200)

Numerically, the largest ratline was operated by Fr. Draganovic, and “reveals the direct involvement of Pius XII himself.” Draganovic had served as an army chaplain with the rank of lieutenant colonel at Jasenovac. After the collapse of the Ustasha regime, Draganovic returned to his base in Rome where he established escape routes for Croatian war criminals. This was accomplished largely through the Croatian seminary, St. Jerome’s, located near the Vatican. (Phayer, 2008, pp. 231-232)

A large number of clerical and lay Ustasha war criminals took cover in St. Jerome. The Vatican wanted Draganovic to take care of the criminals and Draganovic served the Vatican as the front man in this venture. As one U.S. Army intelligence report put it, “in many instances it was hard to distinguish the activity of the Church from the activity of Draganovic.” (Phayer, 2008, p. 233) “All intelligence agents involved in the case, regardless of nationality, believed by 1947 that Ante Pavelic had found refuge in a Vatican property or properties.” (Phayer, 2008, pp. 222-223)

“The Vatican was able to use deposits of stolen Nazi funds to finance these [ratlines].” Also, “It would have been perfectly possible to channel funds to escaped war criminals in South America from Vatican Swiss bank accounts through the branches of Sudameris” a South American bank in which the Vatican was heavily invested and “which in the eyes of the Allies was simply an Axis Bank.” (Pollard, Money and the Rise of the Modern Papacy p. 202)

Both ratlines moved war criminals through the port of Genoa to Barcelona, and from Spain to Argentina. (Phayer, 2008, p. 232) In June 1947, “an American diplomat working in the Buenos Aires embassy wrote to the State Department deploring the fact that ‘the Vatican and Argentina [are conniving] to get guilty people to haven in latter country.’” (Phayer, 2008, p. 194)

Based on previously secret files, “investigators of the central war criminal authority in Germany estimated 9,000 war criminals escaped to South America, including Croatians, Ukrainians, Russians and other western Europeans who aided the Nazi murder machine. Most, perhaps as many as 5,000 went to Argentina.”

Argentina

The Peron government (1946 to 1955) was “so keen to have the war criminals that it sent recruiting agents to Italy to persuade them to come. Like all the other institutions that helped former SS men such as Eichmann get away, the Peron government was well aware of the crimes they had committed.”

Argentina and the Third Reich were “closely linked.” Peron had a secret postwar organization that provided a safe haven to war criminals, giving them landing permits and visas. Many were even given jobs in Perón’s government.

Pavelić arrived in Buenos Aires on November 6, 1948, on an Italian merchant ship and was employed as a security adviser to Peron. In 1950, Pavelić was given amnesty by Peron when the Yugoslav government asked for him to be extradited as a war criminal. He was allowed to stay in Argentina along with 34,000 other Croats, including former Nazi collaborators.

“Many South American countries postwar were ruled by fascist-style military dictatorships that had welcomed the brutal servants of Nazism with few questions asked.”

“Some Jewish groups in Argentina saw a continued Nazi influence in the armed forces and the police long after the first Peron government. They claimed there was persistent anti-Semitism at an official level, and that neo-Nazi propaganda was rife.”

The Dirty War — a period from 1976 to 1983 — shocked the conscience of the world. In the aftermath of a military coup, the junta and their hired killers “disappeared” an estimated 30,000 suspected of opposing them. There were also “child murders, mass executions and a harrowing array of other daily war crimes.”

“Disappeared” refers to one of the many types of Nazi atrocities copied by Latin American dictators. In 1941, Hitler ordered the Nacht und Nebel Erlass (Night and Fog Decree) designed to make anyone “deemed to be a threat … vanish without a trace into the night and fog” and murdered in secret. A victim who is murdered or executed in public becomes a martyr and public opinion is raised against the perpetrators.

“Uncertainty about the fate of those abducted sowed terror in society,” wrote Juan Méndez of Human Rights Watch. The situation “forced friends and relatives to renounce and ignore old ties, intimidated parents and siblings.”

“The Nazi influence was very much a part of the [Dirty War]. Pictures of Hitler hung in torture chambers and the torturers sometimes played Hitler speeches while torturing. While Argentina had the largest concentration of Jews in Latin America, Argentine society, particularly the Church and the military, were bastions of anti-Semitism.”

Navy School of Mechanics, Buenos Aires

After Jasenovac, Pope Francis’ next stop should be at ESMA — acronym for Escuela de Mecánica de la Armada (Navy School of Mechanics) – “ground zero for torture during the Dirty War” and now a memorial.

“ESMA was the largest of nearly 400 detention and torture camps that operated in Argentina, where almost 5,000 people died.” Victims were trade unionists, students, those who helped the poor – anyone thought to be “leftist.”

Of the 30,000 who perished, about 1,900 were Jews — or more than 6 percent of the victims, even though Jews numbered only about 1 percent of the population. Argentina’s approximately 300,000 Jews suffered in greater proportion, because so many were members of that country’s intellectual elite and its left-wing …

“Jews suffered all types of torture,” at ESMA, “but there was one that was especially sadistic and cruel: A tube was inserted into the victim’s anus or in a woman’s vagina and a rat would be let loose inside the tube. The rodent would try to get out and eat the internal organs of the victims.”

Ana Maria Careaga was sixteen at the time of her disappearance. She was recently married and three months pregnant. “As soon as we arrived at the camp, they stripped, and began torturing me. The worst torture was with the electric prod — it went on for many hours, with the prod in my vagina, anus, belly, eyes, nose, ears, all over my body. They also put a plastic bag over my head and wouldn’t take it off until I was suffocating.”

“Our bodies were a source of special fascination,” Astelarra recounted, shuddering at the memory. “They said my swollen nipples ‘invited’ the prod, eased the passage of current.”

It was rare for a pregnant detainee to survive; most were killed soon after giving birth and their babies sold to “proper” couples, usually from the military or police.

Typically, ESMA inmates were “left hooded the whole time.” In addition to being “burned and poked and prodded, they would have had objects painfully inserted into their orifices. As they screamed, they would have heard cries of others being tortured nearby.”

In 1995, former navy Captain Adolfo Scilingo confessed that “between 1,500 and 2,000” ESMA inmates “were disposed of” by putting them on a military plane and then – stripped naked, drugged but alive — dropped from a height of about 13,000 feet into the Atlantic Ocean.” Scilingo reported that the Catholic hierarchy “approved [of this] as a Christian form of death.” When Scilingo felt anguished after directing these death flights, he would seek counseling from Catholic chaplains at ESMA.

“In out-of-the-way streets, on isolated highways, along the Atlantic Ocean and Plate River [Rio de la Plata] corpses periodically were discovered by civilians. Riddled with bullets, missing digits and teeth, most of the bodies were too ravaged to be identified.

When the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights visited ESMA in 1979, they found no sign of prisoners. With the aid of the Church, the Army had hidden them in the “Island of Silence,” a vacation retreat that belonged to Cardinal Juan Carlos Aramburu, Archbishop of Buenos Aires from 1975 until 1990.

Church and the Dictatorship

Like the Ustasha and Jasenovac, the junta was supported by the Catholic Church and the torture and deaths at ESMA and other detention centers were known by the Vatican, Argentine hierarchs and Pope Francis, then Fr. Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

The military had presented themselves as the defenders of “tradition, family and property … The internal enemy was [declared] more dangerous than enemies from abroad because it threatened the fundamental Western and Christian values of Argentine society.”

“Patriotism came to be associated with Catholicism,” said Kenneth P. Serbin, a history professor at the University of San Diego who has written about the Roman Catholic Church in South America. “So it was almost natural for the Argentine clergy to come to the defense of the authoritarian regime.”

In his book, El Silencio (The Silence), Horatio Verbitsky reports that the Catholic Church actively participated in the dictatorship while having full knowledge of the human rights violations being committed at the time. The secret relations that El Silencio revealed also include the collaboration of the secretary of the military vicariate, Bishop Emilio Graselli, and his program of reeducation of the prisoners of ESMA.

Gen. Jorge Videla’s junta “had a close alliance with the Church where they served as confidants to the military in that period … During his tenure, Videla expanded the Church’s economic benefits” and authorized a generous “retirement package for high-ranking Church officials.”

Archbishop Adolfo Tortolo, vicar of the armed forces, said that “General Videla adheres to the principles and morals of Christian conduct. As a military leader he is first class, as a Catholic he is extraordinarily sincere and loyal to his faith.’ He also said that when confronting subversion, the military should take on ‘hard and violent measures.’”

Cardinal Raul Primatesta made it clear at the start of the dictatorship that “the Church wants to understand, cooperate” with the junta. Primatesta prohibited the lower clergy from speaking out against state violence.

In 1997, Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, a group of women who protested against the disappearance of their children, petitioned the Italian government to prosecute Cardinal Pio Laghi, Pope Paul VI’s ambassador to Argentina, as an Italian citizen.

“As nuncio from 1974 to 1980, Laghi silenced international protests, falsely stated to relatives that he knew nothing of the fate of victims and expelled from the country priests and religious who protested the ‘disappearances’ and tortures.” Laghi, the Mothers charge, “was seen in the clandestine detention centers. He was consulted as to whether prisoners should be spared or killed, and they asked his advice regarding ‘the Christian and compassionate way to liquidate them.’ … He participated actively with the bloody members of the military junta and he undertook personally a campaign designed to hide the horror, death and destruction. … He was one of those who governed the country from the shadows.” Laghi escaped prosecution on the basis of his diplomatic immunity.

Laghi was particularly close to Admiral Emilio Massera, head of ESMA. “They played tennis together almost every day. Massera was convicted in 1985 of human rights violations and again in 1999 for disappearances. He was also charged with abducting babies of women who went into labor or suffered involuntary caesarian births while in prison.”

“The secret relations that El Silencio revealed also include the [power of] seduction Admiral Emilio Massera exercised over Pope Paul VI.”

Like Pius XII, Paul VI was kept informed by Argentine hierarchs. “On April 10, 1978, prelates of the Argentine Bishops Conference all went to the president’s mansion where they typed a summary of the dialogue held with Videla and sent it to the Vatican.”

Bergoglio and the Dirty War

While Fr. Jorge Mario Bergoglio (later Pope Francis) was the Jesuit provincial of Argentina, the Jesuit Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires awarded an honorary doctorate to Massera on November 25, 1977. It was “inexcusable” for Bergoglio to honor Massera, head of ESMA where “thousands of young Argentines were tortured and murdered in a reproduction of Auschwitz,” Roberto Pizarro, Dean of the Faculty of Economics of the University of Chile and rector of University Academy of Christian Humanism wrote. For Bergoglio to have “cultivated a relationship” with Massera is a “stain” on his record for which “Argentines, the Jesuits and the two hundred billion Catholic in the world deserve an explanation,” declared Pizarro.

Witness to the Truth: The Complicity of Church and Dictatorship in Argentina (1986) by Emilio F. Mignone “exposes the ‘sinister complicity’ between the Church and the military.” Mignone wrote that before the 1976 coup, Archbishop Adolfo Tortolo worked out a deal with the dictators that bishops would be consulted before a priest was arrested. The army “did the dirty work of cleaning up the inside of the Church,” that is, getting rid of “leftist” clergy, brothers and nuns. Churchmen could give a “green light” for those they wanted abducted while offering their protection to those they wanted spared.

The part Bergoglio played in the abduction and torture of his priests, Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalic, was first published in Mignone’s book. Mignone’s daughter was “disappeared” along with seven other young volunteers by Navy commandos from a Buenos Aires shantytown in May 1976. They had been working alongside the Jesuit priests, Yorio and Jalics, who were taken a week later but were later released after being tortured.

By agreement with the government, priests were “licensed.” “A week before the arrest of the two priests, Archbishop Juan Carlos Aramburu had withdrawn their ministerial licenses without reason or explanation. Because of various expressions heard by Yorio in captivity, it was clear to him that the Navy interpreted Aramburu’s decision and, perhaps, some criticism from his provincial, Jorge Bergoglio, as an authorization to take action against him. Most certainly, the military had warned both Aramburu and Bergoglio of the supposed danger that Yorio posed,” according to Mignone. He thought Bergoglio’s criticism “served as part of the basis for the arrest, imprisonment and torture of the Jesuit priests.”

Mignone died in 1998, Yorio in 2000. Yorio’s siblings, Graciela and Rodolfo, repeated their brother’s accusation that Bergoglio had given a “green light” to their abduction as did Jalics’ siblings. Another Jesuit present at the time, Juan Luis Moyano Walker, confirmed that Bergoglio did not protect his priests working with the poor. Jalics issued a statement that Bergoglio had not turned them over to the military, but he was silent as to whether Bergoglio had facilitated their abduction. The only person actually present at the time who confirmed Bergoglio’s assertion that he tried to help Yorio and Jalics was Alicia Olveira, a personal friend.

In 2005, the military chaplain said that the Minister of Health should be thrown into the sea because of his progressive views on contraception. “It doesn’t take much effort at all to imagine what that must sound like to the ears of an Argentine with any sense of history,” historian Ernesto Semán noted. The government asked for the chaplain’s removal. Cardinal Bergoglio refused.

A series of interviews with Videla from 2010 were published in July 2012. He confirmed that “he kept the country’s Catholic hierarchy informed about his regime’s policy of ‘disappearing’ political opponents, and that Catholic leaders offered advice on how to ‘manage’ the policy.” Videla said that his “relationship with the Catholic Church was excellent, very friendly, honest and open.”

Church leaders had little choice but to respond when Videla’s interviews were made public. As cardinal primate, Bergoglio would have approved such an important declaration. The statement, Los Obispos de la República Argentina, 104º Asamblea Plenaria, 9 de noviembre de 2012, absolved the Church: “We have the word and testimony of our elder brothers, the bishops who preceded us about whom we cannot know how much they personally knew of what was happening. They tried to do everything in their power for the good of all, according to their conscience and considered judgment.” Videla’s statement was “completely divorced from the truth of what the bishops were involved in at that time.” The bishops also equated the “suffering” from “state terrorism” with “the death and devastation caused by guerrilla violence,” referencing the quickly-crushed left-wing opposition. The bishops conclude: “For our part, we have cooperated with the law when we have been asked for information which we have. In addition, we encourage those with information on the whereabouts of stolen children or know clandestine burial sites, to recognize their moral obligation to go to the relevant authorities.”

Four months later, when Pope Francis was elected and the initial reporting about the new pontiff questioned his cooperation with the junta, the Vatican press office issued a statement that the “accusations” came from “left-wing anticlerical elements to attack the Church.”

In 2015, when Chileans protested Pope Francis’ appointment of a bishop due to his covering up dozens of clerical sexual abuse cases, the pope called them “lefties.”

Opening the archives

After taking office, Pres. Nestor Kirchner made it a government priority to pursue justice by holding trials of those accused of human rights abuses committed during the Dirty War.

Cardinal Bergoglio was called to testify twice. The first was in November 2010 during a trial for ESMA officials. María Elena Funes — a former detainee at ESMA and a lay volunteer who was kidnapped along with Yorio and Jalics and, like them, later released — had testified that they were abducted in May 1976 after Bergoglio removed their protection. Bergoglio was called as a witness.

The second time was September 2011 during a trial for officials who stole babies. The five-month pregnant Elena de la Cuadra was kidnapped in 1977 and “disappeared” at ESMA. She was killed after giving birth and her baby was given to one of the favored families. Her father had gone to see Bergoglio twice asking for help, but was referred elsewhere.

The Vatican Embassy kept a secret list of thousands of people who “disappeared.” Laghi confirmed in 1995 that he knew of some 6,000 cases. A priest “discovered a second list of 2,100 ‘disappeareds’” kept by Tortolo, vicar of the armed forces.

In both his testimonies, Bergoglio told the court he would make Church records available. But neither Bergoglio nor other prelates provided any of the documents.

As pope, Bergoglio said he would produce the documents promised in his testimony in April 2013April 2015, and March 2016. This last time, Pope Francis’ spokesman said that first the records needed to be studied and agreement reached with the Argentine Bishops Conference. Then they would be released only by “specific legal questions requested by rogatory [a formal request from a court to a foreign court for some type of judicial assistance] or matters of a humanitarian nature.”

In spite of the iron curtain dividing Europe at the time, John Paul II returned to Poland less than eight months after his election. Benedict XVI went to Germany only four months after his election although it was a practically obligatory that he go to the World Youth Day in Cologne. In any case, after a year and a half pope, Benedict made a visit to his birthplace in Bavaria.

On February 18, 2016, a reporter asked: “Holy Father, when are you going to go to Argentina?” Bergoglio responded: “China. (laughs) To go there. I would love that. I would like to say something just about the Mexican people …”


2016-07-30

About the author:

Betty Clermont is author of The Neo-Catholics: Implementing Christian Nationalism in America (Clarity Press, 2009).

Source: Daily Kos

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“March Pogrom” in Kosovo

Why US’s “collateral damage” and “errors” are not a war crime?

BELGRADE – Many innocent civilians were killed in American military interventions around the world – from Vietnam and Serbia to Iran and Afghanistan, because of the alleged “errors” or “collateral damage” – without consequences for civil and military leadership. In addition to political, military and every other power, Americans secured itself with legal mechanisms.

Twenty-two civilians, wounded and doctors, among them three children, were killed in the American bombing of a hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz. Americans acknowledged the error and apologized. The President of the United States expressed his condolences, the military leadership announced three independent investigations. “Doctors without borders” (MSF) do not believe them, they seek an independent arbitration by the international commission.

Not even the fact that Afghans demanded the action does not justify what Americans did, allegedly because there were wounded Taliban in the hospital. Even the commander of US forces in Afghanistan acknowledged that before the attack, they had to check who was the target.

“This is a medical facility which has special protection in the international law, much larger and more comprehensive than other civilian objects. One cannot speak about collateral damage here,” said Vesna Knezevic Predic of the Faculty of Political Sciences for RTS.

 

“Collateral damage” – Orwellian term, as it is referred to by CNN, can be used only when the objective is primarily military. Even then, under one condition.

“Collateral victims must not be disproportionately higher in comparison to what is military advantage,” said Ivan Jovanovic, an expert in the international criminal law.

This is not a war crime “but an incident in the fog of war.” This is an explanation of US Senator John McCain for the bombing of the hospital. Unconvincingly. When the goal is a medical facility, the number of those killed is added to the number of those who could have been provided with help if doctors survived.

This is why MSF seek international arbitration. Before the International Criminal Court in The Hague? Hardly. The United States have not signed the Rome Statute which established it. American Heritage Foundation researcher Steven Groves believes that this is the way it should remain.

 

“The Rome Statute created a seriously flawed institution that lacks prudent safeguards against political manipulation, possesses sweeping authority without accountability to the U.N. Security Council, and violates national sovereignty by claiming jurisdiction over the nationals and military personnel of non-party states in some circumstances. These concerns led President Bill Clinton to urge President George W. Bush not to submit the treaty to the Senate for advice and consent necessary for ratification. After extensive efforts to change the statute to address key U.S. concerns failed, President Bush felt it necessary to “un-sign” the Rome Statute by formally notifying the U.N. Secretary-General that the U.S. did not intend to ratify the treaty and was no longer bound under international law to avoid actions that would run counter to the intent and purpose of the treaty. (…) The U.S. has taken legislative and diplomatic steps to protect U.S. citizens, officials, and military personnel from the ICC’s jurisdiction, which the U.S. considers illegitimate. (…) ” said Groves.

 

However, they could still find themselves before the court in The Hague, if it is established that they are unable or unwilling to punish those responsible for violations of international law, experts say.

“How likely is it that in some of these cases where the violation is obvious, the International Criminal Court or any other international institution could come to a conclusion that the United States are unable or unwilling to sanction violation? It is a matter of which we do not have think much, as the answer is quite clear,” said Vesna Knezevic Predic.

Americans have protected themselves with another instrument from the international responsibility. They guarantee the exemption of US citizens from the jurisdiction of the ICC with bilateral agreements.

However, at least formally, there are mechanisms. America signed the Geneva Convention and Additional Protocol which provides establishment of a commission competent to establish facts, at the initiative of the signatory states.

“Unfortunately, so far the Commission has not had a lot of work,” says Vesna Knezevic Predic.

Experts are convinced that there would be a lot of work if the Commission dealt with, either alleged collateral damage, or the mistakes made during American interventions from Vietnam, Iraq, Sudan, to the bombing of Yugoslavia. Bill Clinton apologized for the destruction of the Chinese embassy and called it an accident.

 

Nobody apologized for the killing of three-year-old Milica Rakic, at least 14 killed in train in Grdelica Gorge, or for 16 reporters killed in the bombing of RTS. Nobody was responsible for them or any other victim of NATO bombing.

 

There is a belief among lawyers that Croatian General Ante Gotovina was not convicted for indiscriminate bombing, because otherwise it would be a precedent for future judicial practice.

“By which American generals, or officers but also generals and senior officers of other armies that also participate in the wars in the world could easily be found responsible or to answer for incidents similar to the one in Kunduz,” said Ivan Jovanovic.

In the case of bombing of the hospital in Afghanistan, lawyers believe that the responsibility of the United States should be considered separately from the responsibility of individuals who ordered and executed it. It is difficult to belive that America will be tried, but as far as its citizens are considered, everything is, obviously, in the hands of the US courts.


The history of “Humanitarian Warfare”: NATO’s reign of terror In Kosovo, the destruction of Yugoslavia

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 is controlled by those who have committed extensive war crimes.

US-NATO started the war on Yugoslavia. President Milosevic was indicted on charges of war crimes. He was poisoned in his prison cell under the auspices of the ICTY. 

According to Nuremberg jurisprudence, the ultimate war crime consists in starting a war. According to William Rockler, former prosecutor of the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal:

“The [1999] bombing war violates and shreds the basic provisions of the United Nations Charter and other conventions and treaties; the attack on Yugoslavia constitutes the most brazen international aggression since the Nazis attacked Poland to prevent “Polish atrocities” against Germans. The United States has discarded pretensions to international legality and decency, and embarked on a course of raw imperialism run amok.”

According to Nuremberg jurisprudence, NATO heads of State and heads of government are responsible for the supreme crime: “the crime against peace.”

Reagan’s NSDD 133 (1984) “Secret and Sensitive”

There is evidence that the US administration in liason with its allies took the decision in the early 1980s to destabilise and dismantle Yugoslavia.

The decision to destroy Yugoslavia as a country and carve it up into a number of small proxy states was taken by the Reagan adminstration in the early 1980s. 

A “Secret Sensitive” National Security Decision Directive (NSDD 133) entitled “US Policy towards Yugoslavia.”  (Declassified) set the foreign policy framework for the destabilization of Yugoslavia’s model of market socialism and the establishment of a US sphere of influence in Southeastern Europe.

Yugoslavia was in many regards “an economic success story”. In the two decades before 1980, annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaged 6.1 percent, medical care was free, the rate of literacy was 91 percent, and life expectancy was 72 years.

While NSDD 133 was in itself a somewhat innocous document, it provided legitimacy to the free market reforms. A series of covert intelligence operations were implemented, which consisted in creating and supporting secessionist paramilitary armies, first in Bosnia then in Kosovo.

These covert operations were combined with the destabilization of the Yugoslav economy. The application of strong economic medicine under the helm of the IMF and the World Bank ultimately led to the destruction of Yugoslavia’s industrial base, the demise of the workers’ cooperative and the dramatic impoverishment of its population.

Kosovo “Independence”

The record of US-NATO war crimes is important in assessing recent developments in Kosovo.

From the outset of their respective mandates in June 1999, both NATO and the UN Mission to Kosovo (UNMIK)  have actively supported the KLA, which has committed numerous atrocities.

It is important to understand that these atrocities were ordered by the current and former prime ministers of the Kosovo “government”.

Since 1999, State terrorism in Kosovo has become an integral part of NATO’s design.

The present government of prime minister Hashim Thaci (a former KLA Commander), is an outgrowth of this reign of terror. It is not a government in the common sense of the word. It remains a terrorist organization linked to organised crime. It is instrument of the foreign occupation.

Michel Chossudovsky, 23 February 2008, 5 August 2015


NATO HAS INSTALLED A REIGN OF TERROR IN KOSOVO

by Michel Chossudovsky

10 August 1999

This text was presented to the Independent Commission of Inquiry to Investigate U.S./NATO War Crimes Against The People of Yugoslavia, International Action Center, New York, July 31, 1999.

PART I: MASSACRES OF CIVILIANS IN KOSOVO

While the World focusses on troop movements and war crimes, the massacres of civilians in the wake of the bombings have been casually dismissed as “justifiable acts of revenge”. In occupied Kosovo, “double standards” prevail in assessing alleged war crimes. The massacres directed against Serbs, ethnic Albanians, Roma and other ethnic groups have been conducted on the instructions of the military command of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).

NATO ostensibly denies KLA involvement. These so-called “unmotivated acts of violence and retaliation” are not categorised as “war crimes” and are therefore not included in the mandate of the numerous FBI and Interpol police investigators dispatched to Kosovo under the auspices of the Hague War Crime’s Tribunal (ICTY). Moreover, whereas NATO has tacitly endorsed the self-proclaimed KLA provisional government, KFOR the international security force in Kosovo has provided protection to the KLA military commanders responsible for the atrocities. In so doing both NATO and the UN Mission have acquiesced to the massacres of civilians. In turn, public opinion has been blatantly misled. In portraying the massacres, the Western media has casually overlooked the role of the KLA, not to mention its pervasive links to organised crime. In the words of National Security Advisor Samuel Berger,

“these people [ethnic Albanians] come back … with broken hearts and with some of those hearts filled with anger.”1

While the massacres are seldom presented as the result of “deliberate decisions” by the KLA military command, the evidence (and history of the KLA) amply confirm that these atrocities are part of a policy of “ethnic cleansing” directed mainly against the Serb population but also against the Roma, Montenegrins, Goranis and Turks.

Serbian houses and business have been confiscated, looted, or burned, and Serbs have been beaten, raped, and killed. In one of the more dramatic of incidents, KLA troops ransacked a monastery, terrorized the priest and a group of nuns with gunfire, and raped at least one of the nuns. NATO’s inability to control the situation and provide equal protection for all ethnic groups, and its apparent inability or unwillingness to fully disarm the KLA, has created a serious situation for NATO troops…2

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), confirms in this regard that:

“more than 164,000 Serbs have left Kosovo during the seven weeks since… the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) entered the province… A wave of arson and looting of Serb and Roma homes throughout Kosovo has ensued. Serbs and Roma remaining in Kosovo have been subject to repeated incidents of harassment and intimidation, including severe beatings. Most seriously, there has been a spate of murders and abductions of Serbs since mid-June, including the late July massacre of Serb farmers.”3

POLITICAL ASSASSINATIONS

The self-proclaimed Provisional Government of Kosovo (PGK) has also ordered assassinations directed against political opponents including “loyalist” ethnic Albanians and supporters of the Kosovo Democratic League (KDL). These acts are being carried out in a totally permissive environment. The leaders of the KLA rather than being arrested for war crimes, have been granted KFOR protection.

According to a report of the Foreign Policy Institute (published during the bombings):

“…the KLA have [no] qualms about murdering Rugova’s collaborators, whom it accused of the `crime’ of moderation… [T]he KLA declared Rugova a `traitor’ yet another step toward eliminating any competitors for political power within Kosovo.”4

Already in May [1999], Fehmi Agani, one of Rugova’s closest collaborators in the Kosovo Democratic League (KDL) was killed. The Serbs were blamed by NATO spokesperson Jamie Shea for having assassinated Agani. According to Skopje’s paper Makedonija Danas, Agani had been executed on the orders of the KLA’s self-appointed Prime Minister Hashim Thaci.5 “If Thaci actually considered Rugova a threat, he would not hesitate to have Rugova removed from the Kosovo political landscape.”6

In turn, the KLA has abducted and killed numerous professionals and intellectuals:

“Private and State properties are threatened, home and apartment owners are evicted en masse by force and threats, houses and entire villages are burned, cultural and religious monuments are destroyed… A particularly heavy blow… has been the violence against the hospital centre in Pristina, the maltreatment and expulsion of its professional management, doctors and medical staff.”7

Both NATO and the UN prefer to turn a blind eye. UN Interim Administrator Bernard Kouchner (a former French Minister of Health) and KFOR Commander Sir Mike Jackson have established a routine working relationship with Prime Minister Hashim Thaci and KLA Chief of Staff Brigadier General Agim Ceku.

ATROCITIES COMMITTED AGAINST THE ROMA

Ethnic cleansing has also been directed against the Roma (which represented prior to the conflict a population group of 150,000 people). (According to figures provided by the Roma Community in New York). A large part of the Roma population has already escaped to Montenegro and Serbia. In turn, there are reports that Roma refugees who had fled by boat to Southern Italy have been expelled by the Italian authorities.8 The KLA has also ordered the systematic looting and torching of Romani homes and settlements:

“All houses and settlements of Romani, like 2,500 homes in the residential area called `Mahala’ in the town of Kosovska Mitrovica, have been looted and burnt down”.9

With regard to KLA atrocities committed against the Roma, the same media distortions prevail. According to the BBC: “Gypsies are accused by [Kosovar] Albanians of collaborating in Serb brutalities, which is why they’ve also become victims of revenge attacks. And the truth is, some probably did.”10

INSTALLING A PARAMILITARY GOVERNMENT

As Western leaders trumpet their support for democracy, State terrorism in Kosovo has become an integral part of NATO’s postwar design. The KLA’s political role for the post-conflict period had been mapped out well in advance. Prior to Rambouillet Conference, the KLA had been promised a central role in the formation of a post-conflict government. The “hidden agenda” consisted in converting the KLA paramilitary into a legitimate and accomplished civilian administration. According to US State Department spokesman James Foley (February 1999):

“We want to develop a good relationship with them [the KLA] as they transform themselves into a politically-oriented organization, …[W]e believe that we have a lot of advice and a lot of help that we can provide to them if they become precisely the kind of political actor we would like to see them become.’”11

In other words, the US State Department had already slated the KLA “provisional government” (PGK) to run civilian State institutions. Under NATO’s “Indirect Rule”, the KLA has taken over municipal governments and public services including schools and hospitals. Rame Buja, the KLA “Minister for Local Administration” has appointed local prefects in 23 out of 25 municipalities.12

Under NATO’s regency, the KLA has replaced the duly elected (by ethnic Albanians) provisional Kosovar government of President Ibrahim Rugova. The self-proclaimed KLA administration has branded Rugova as a traitor declaring the (parallel) Kosovar parliamentary elections held in March 1998 to be invalid. This position has largely been upheld by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) entrusted by UNMIK with the postwar task of “democracy building” and “good governance”. In turn, OSCE officials have already established a working rapport with KLA appointees.13

The KLA provisional government (PGK) is made up of the KLA’s political wing together with the Democratic Union Movement (LBD), a coalition of five opposition parties opposed to Rugova’s Democratic League (LDK). In addition to the position of prime minister, the KLA controls the ministries of finance, public order and defence. The KLA also has a controlling voice on the UN sponsored Kosovo Transitional Council set up by Mr. Bernard Kouchner. The PGK has also established links with a number of Western governments.

Whereas the KLA has been spearheaded into running civilian institutions (under the guidance of the OSCE), members of the duly elected Kosovar (provisional) government of the Democratic League (DKL) have been blatantly excluded from acquiring a meaningful political voice.

ESTABLISHING A KLA POLICE FORCE TO `PROTECT CIVILIANS’

Under NATO occupation, the rule of law has visibly been turned up side down. Criminals and terrorists are to become law enforcement officers. KLA troops which have already taken over police stations will eventually form a 4,000 strong “civilian” police force (to be trained by foreign police officers under the authority of the United Nations) with a mandate to “protect civilians”. Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien has already pledged Canadian support to the formation of a civilian police force.14 The latter which has been entrusted to the OSCE will eventually operate under the jurisdiction of the KLA controlled “Ministry of Public Order”.

US MILITARY AID

Despite NATO’s commitment to disarming the KLA, the Kosovar paramilitary organisation is slated to be transformed into a modern military force. So-called “security assistance” has already been granted to the KLA by the US Congress under the “Kosovar Independence and Justice Act of 1999″. Start-up funds of 20 million dollars will largely be “used for training and support for their [KLA] established self-defence forces.”15 In the words of KLA Chief of Staff Agrim Ceku:

“The KLA wants to be transformed into something like the US National Guard, … we accept the assistance of KFOR and the international community to rebuild an army according to NATO standards. … These professionally trained soldiers of the next generation of the KLA would seek only to defend Kosova. At this decisive moment, we [the KLA] do not hide our ambitions; we want the participation of international military structures to assist in the pacific and humanitarian efforts we are attempting here.” 16

While the KLA maintains its links to the Balkans narcotics trade which served to finance many of its terrorist activities, the paramilitary organisation has now been granted an official seal of approval as well as “legitimate” sources of funding. The pattern is similar to that followed in Croatia and in the Bosnian Muslim-Croatian Federation where so-called “equip and train” programmes were put together by the Pentagon. In turn, Washington’s military aid package to the KLA has been entrusted to Military Professional Resources Inc. (MPRI) of Alexandria, Virginia, a private mercenary outfit run by high ranking former US military officers.

MPRI’s training concepts which had already been tested in Croatia and Bosnia are based on imparting “offensive tactics… as the best form of defence”.17 In the Kosovar context, this so- called “defensive doctrine” transforms the KLA paramilitary into a modern army without however eliminating its terrorist makeup.18 The objective is to ultimately transform an insurgent army into a modern military and police force which serves the Alliance’s future strategic objectives in the Balkans. MPRI has currently “ninety-one highly experienced, former military professionals working in Bosnia & Herzegovina”.19 The number of military officers working on contract with the KLA has not been disclosed.

PART II. FROM KRAJINA TO KOSOVO. A FORMER CROATIAN GENERAL APPOINTED KLA CHIEF OF STAFF

The massacres of civilians in Kosovo are not disconnected acts of revenge by civilians or by so-called “rogue elements” within the KLA as claimed by NATO and the United Nations. They are part of a consistent and coherent pattern. The intent (and result) of the KLA sponsored atrocities have been to trigger the “ethnic cleansing” of Serbs, Roma and other minorities in Kosovo.

KLA Commander Agim Ceku referring to the killings of 14 villagers at Gracko on July 24, claimed that: “We [the KLA] do not know who did it, but I sincerely believe these people have nothing to do with the KLA.”20 In turn, KFOR Lieutenant General Sir Mike Jackson has commended his KLA counterpart, Commander Agim Ceku for “efforts undertaken” to disarm the KLA. In fact, very few KLA weapons have been handed in. Moreover, the deadline for turning in KLA weaponry has been extended. “I do not regard this as noncompliance” said Commander Jackson in a press conference, “but rather as an indication of the seriousness with which General Ceku is taking this important issue.”21

Yet what Sir Mike Jackson failed to mention is that KLA Chief of Staff Commander Agim Ceku (although never indicted as a war criminal) was (according to Jane Defence Weekly June 10, 1999) “one of the key planners of the successful `Operation Storm’” led by the Croatian Armed Forces against Krajina Serbs in 1995.

General Jackson who had served in former Yugoslavia under the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) was fully cognizant of the activities of the Croatian High Command during that period including the responsibilities imparted to Brigadier General Agim Ceku. In February 1999, barely a month prior to the NATO bombings, Ceku left his position as Brigadier General with the Croatian Armed Forces to join the KLA as Commander in Chief.

FROM KRAJINA TO KOSOVO: THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME

According to the Croatian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, Operation Storm resulted in the massacre of at least 410 civilians in the course of a three day operation (4 to 7 August 1995).22 An internal report of The Hague War Crimes Tribunal (leaked to the New York Times), confirmed that the Croatian Army had been responsible for carrying out:

“summary executions, indiscriminate shelling of civilian populations and “ethnic cleansing” in the Krajina region of Croatia….”23

In a section of the report entitled “The Indictment. Operation Storm, A Prima Facie Case.”, the ICTY report confirms that:

“During the course of the military offensive, the Croatian armed forces and special police committed numerous violations of international humanitarian law, including but not limited to, shelling of Knin and other cities… During, and in the 100 days following the military offensive, at least 150 Serb civilians were summarily executed, and many hundreds disappeared. …In a widespread and systematic manner, Croatian troops committed murder and other inhumane acts upon and against Croatian Serbs.” 24

US `GENERALS FOR HIRE’

The internal 150 page report concluded that it has “sufficient material to establish that the three [Croatian] generals who commanded the military operation” could be held accountable under international law.25 The individuals named had been directly involved in the military operation “in theatre”. Those involved in “the planning of Operation Storm” were not mentioned:

“The identity of the “American general” referred to by Fenrick [a Tribunal staff member] is not known. The tribunal would not allow Williamson or Fenrick to be interviewed. But Ms. Arbour, the tribunal’s chief prosecutor, suggested in a telephone interview last week that Fenrick’s comment had been `a joking observation’. Ms. Arbour had not been present during the meeting, and that is not how it was viewed by some who were there. Several people who were at the meeting assumed that Fenrick was referring to one of the retired U.S. generals who worked for Military Professional Resources Inc. … Questions remain about the full extent of U.S. involvement. In the course of the three yearinvestigation into the assault, the United States has failed to provide critical evidence requested by the tribunal, according to tribunal documents and officials, adding to suspicion among some there that Washington is uneasy about the investigation… The Pentagon, however, has argued through U.S. lawyers at the tribunal that the shelling was a legitimate military activity, according to tribunal documents and officials”.26

The Tribunal was attempting to hide what had already been revealed in several press reports published in the wake of Operation Storm. According to a US State Department spokesman, MPRI had been helping the Croatians “avoid excesses or atrocities in military operations.”27 Fifteen senior US military advisers headed by retired two star General Richard Griffitts had been dispatched to Croatia barely seven months before Operation Storm. 28 According to one report, MPRI executive director General Carl E. Vuono: “held a secret top-level meeting at Brioni Island, off the coast of Croatia, with Gen. Varimar Cervenko, the architect of the Krajina campaign. In the five days preceding the attack, at least ten meetings were held between General Vuono and officers involved in the campaign…”29

According to Ed Soyster, a senior MPRI executive and former head of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA):

“MPRI’s role in Croatia is limited to classroom instruction on military-civil relations and doesn’t involve training in tactics or weapons. Other U.S. military men say whatever MPRI did for the Croats and many suspect more than classroom instruction was involved it was worth every penny.” Carl Vuono and Butch [Crosbie] Saint are hired guns and in it for the money,” says Charles Boyd, a recently retired four star Air Force general who was the Pentagon’s No. 2 man in Europe until July [1995]. “They did a very good job for the Croats, and I have no doubt they’ll do a good job in Bosnia.”30

THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL’S COVER UP

The untimely leaking of the ICTY’s internal report on the Krajina massacres barely a few days before the onslaught of NATO’s air raids on Yugoslavia was the source of some embarrassment to the Tribunal’s Chief Prosecutor Louise Arbour. The Tribunal (ICTY) attempted to cover up the matter and trivialise the report’s findings (including the alleged role of the US military officers on contract with the Croatian Armed Forces). Several Tribunal officials including American Lawyer Clint Williamson sought to discredit the Canadian Peacekeeping officers’ testimony who witnessed the Krajina massacres in 1995.31

Williamson, who described the shelling of Knin as a “minor incident,” said that the Pentagon had told him that Knin was a legitimate military target… The [Tribunal’s] review concluded by voting not to include the shelling of Knin in any indictment, a conclusion that stunned and angered many at the tribunal”…32

The findings of the Tribunal contained in the leaked ICTY documents were downplayed, their relevance was casually dismissed as “expressions of opinion, arguments and hypotheses from various staff members of the OTP during the investigative process”.33 According to the Tribunal’s spokesperson “the documents do not represent in any way the concluded decisions of the Prosecutor.” 34

The internal 150 page report has not been released. The staff member who had leaked the documents is (according to a Croatian TV report) no longer working for the Tribunal. During the press Conference, the Tribunal’s spokesman was asked: “about the consequences for the person who leaked the information”, Blewitt [the ICTY spokesman] replied that he did not want to go into that. He said that the OTP would strengthen the existing procedures to prevent this from happening again, however he added that you could not stop people from talking”.35

THE USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN CROATIA

The massacres conducted under Operation Storm “set the stage” for the “ethnic cleansing” of at least 180,000 Krajina Serbs (according to estimates of the Croatian Helsinki Committee and Amnesty International). According to other sources, the number of victims of ethnic cleansing in Krajina was much larger.

Moreover, there is evidence that chemical weapons had been used in the Yugoslav civil war (1991-95).36 Although there is no firm evidence of the use of chemical weapons against Croatian Serbs, an ongoing enquiry by the Canadian Minister of Defence (launched in July 1999) points to the possibility of toxic poisoning of Canadian Peacekeepers while on service in Croatia between 1993 and 1995:

“There was a smell of blood in the air during the past week as the media sensed they had a major scandal unfolding within the Department of National Defense over the medical files of those Canadians who served in Croatia in 1993. Allegations of destroyed documents, a coverup, and a defensive minister and senior officers…”37

The official release of the Department of National Defence (DND) refers to possibility of toxic “soil contamination” in Medak Pocket in 1993 (see below). Was it “soil contamination” or something far more serious? The criminal investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) refers to the shredding of medical files of former Canadian peacekeepers by the DND. In other words did the DND have something to hide? The issue remains as to what types of shells and ammunitions were used by the Croatian Armed Forces ie. were chemical weapons used against Serb civilians?

OPERATION STORM: THE ACCOUNT OF THE ROYAL CANADIAN REGIMENT

Prior to the onslaught, Croatian radio had previously broadcasted a message by president Franjo Tudjman, calling upon “Croatian citizens of Serbian ethnicity… to remain in their homes and not to fear the Croatian authorities, which will respect their minority rights.”38 Canadian peacekeepers of the Second Battalion of the Royal 22nd Regiment witnessed the atrocities committed by Croatian troops in the Krajina offensive in September 1995:

“Any Serb who had failed to evacuate their property were systematically “cleansed” by roving death squads. Every abandoned animal was slaughtered and any Serb household was ransacked and torched”.39

Also confirmed by Canadian peacekeepers was the participation of German mercenaries in Operation Storm:

“Immediately behind the frontline Croatian combat troops and German mercenaries, a large number of hardline extremists had pushed into the Krajina. …Many of these atrocities were carried out within the Canadian Sector, but as the peacekeepers were soon informed by the Croat authorities, the UN no longer had any formal authority in the region.”40

How the Germans mercenaries were recruited was never officially revealed. An investigation by the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) confirmed the that foreign mercenaries in Croatia had in some cases “been paid [and presumably recruited] outside Croatia and by third parties.”41

THE 1993 MEDAK POCKET MASSACRE

According to Jane Defence Weekly (10 June 1999), Brigadier General Agim Ceku (now in charge of the KLA) also “masterminded the successful HV [Croatian Army] offensive at Medak” in September 1993. In Medak, the combat operation was entitled “Scorched Earth” resulting in the total destruction of the Serbian villages of Divoselo, Pocitelj and Citluk, and the massacre of over 100 civilians.42

These massacres were also witnessed by Canadian peacekeepers under UN mandate:

“As the sun rose over the horizon, it revealed a Medak Valley engulfed in smoke and flames. As the frustrated soldiers of 2PPCLI waited for the order to move forward into the pocket, shots and screams still rang out as the ethnic cleansing continued. …About 20 members of the international press had tagged along, anxious to see the Medak battleground. Calvin [a Canadian officer] called an informal press conference at the head of the column and loudly accused the Croats of trying to hide war crimes against the Serb inhabitants. The Croats started withdrawing back to their old lines, taking with them whatever loot they hadn’t destroyed. All livestock had been killed and houses torched. French reconnaissance troops and the Canadian command element pushed up the valley and soon began to find bodies of Serb civilians, some already decomposing, others freshly slaughtered. …Finally, on the drizzly morning of Sept. 17, teams of UN civilian police arrived to probe the smouldering ruins for murder victims. Rotting corpses lying out in the open were catalogued, then turned over to the peacekeepers for burial.”43

The massacres were reported to the Canadian Minister of Defence and to the United Nations:

“Senior defence bureaucrats back in Ottawa had no way of predicting the outcome of the engagement in terms of political fallout. To them, there was no point in calling media attention to a situation that might easily backfire. …So Medak was relegated to the memory hole no publicity, no recriminations, no official record. Except for those soldiers involved, Canada’s most lively military action since the Korean War simply never happened.”44

PART III. NATO’S `POST CONFLICT’ AGENDA IN KOSOVO

Both the Medak Pocket massacre and Operation Storm bear a direct relationship to the ongoing security situation in Kosovo and the massacres and ethnic cleansing committed by KLA troops. While the circumstances are markedly different, several of today’s actors in Kosovo were involved (under the auspices of the Croatian Armed Forces) in the planning of both these operations. Moreover, the US mercenary outfit MPRI which collaborated with the Croatian Armed Forces in 1995 is currently on contract with the KLA. NATO’s casual response to the appointment of Brigadier General Agim Ceku as KLA Chief of Staff was communicated by Mr. Jamie Shea in a Press Briefing in May:

“I have always made it clear, and you have heard me say this, that NATO has no direct contacts with the KLA. Who they appoint as their leaders, that is entirely their own affair. I don’t have any comment on that whatever.”45

While NATO says it “has no direct contacts with the KLA”, the evidence confirms the opposite. Amply documented, KLA terrorism has been installed with NATO’s tacit approval. The KLA had (according to several reports) been receiving “covert support” and training from the CIA and Germany’s Bundes Nachrichten Dienst (BND) since the mid-nineties. Moreover, MPRI collaboration with the KLA predates the onslaught of the bombing campaign.46 Moreover, the building up of KLA forces was part of NATO planning. Already by mid-1998, “covert support” had been replaced by official (“overt”) support by the military Alliance in violation of UN Security Council Resolution UNSCR 1160 of 31 March 1998 which condemned: “…all acts of terrorism by the Kosovo Liberation Army or any other group or individual and all external support for terrorist activity in Kosovo, including finance, arms and training.”

NATO officials, Western heads of State and heads of government, the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan not to mention ICTY chief Prosecutor Louise Arbour, were fully cognizant of General Brigadier Agim Ceku’s involvement in the planning of Operation Storm and Operation Scorched Earth. Surely, some questions should have been asked…

Yet visibly what is shaping up in the wake of the bombings in Kosovo is the continuity of NATO’s operation in the Balkans. Military personnel and UN bureaucrats previously stationed in Croatia and Bosnia have been routinely reassigned to Kosovo. KFOR Commander Mike Jackson had previously been responsible as IFOR Commander for organising the return of Serbs “to lands taken by Croatian HVO forces in the Krajina offensive”.47 And in this capacity General Mike Jackson had “urged that the resettlement [of Krajina Serbs] not [be] rushed to avoid tension [with the Croatians]… while also warning returning Serbs “of the extent of the [land] mine threat.”48 In retrospect, recalling the events of early 1996, very few Krajina Serbs were allowed to return to their homes under the protection of the United Nations.

And a similar process is unfolding in Kosovo, ie. the conduct of senior military officers conforms to a consistent pattern, the same key individuals are now involved in Kosovo. While token efforts are displayed to protect Serb and Roma civilians, those who have fled Kosovo are not encouraged to return under UN protection… In postwar Kosovo, “ethnic cleansing” implemented by the KLA has been accepted by the “international community” as a “fait accompli”…

While calling for democracy and “good governance” in the Balkans, the US and its allies have installed in Kosovo a paramilitary government with links to organised crime.

The foreseeable outcome is the outright “criminalisation” of civilian State institutions and the establishment of what is best described as a “Mafia State”. The complicity of NATO and the Alliance governments (namely their relentless support to the KLA) points to the de facto “criminalisation” of KFOR and of the UN peacekeeping apparatus in Kosovo. The donor agencies and governments (eg. the funds approved by the US Congress in violation of several UN Security Council resolutions) providing financial support to the KLA are, in this regard, also “accessories” to the de facto criminalisation of State institutions. Through the intermediation of a paramilitary group (created and financed by Washington and Bonn), NATO ultimately bears the burden of responsibility for the massacres and ethnic cleansing of civilians in Kosovo.

STATE TERROR AND THE `FREE MARKET’

State terror and the “free market” seem to go hand in hand. The concurrent “criminalisation” of State institutions in Kosovo is not incompatible with the West’s economic and strategic objectives in the Balkans. Notwithstanding the massacres of civilians, the self-proclaimed KLA administration has committed itself to establishing a “secure and stable environment” for foreign investors and international financial institutions. The Minister of Finance Adem Grobozci and other representatives of the provisional government invited to the various donor conferences are all KLA appointees. In contrast, members of the KDL of Ibrahim Rugova (duly elected in parliamentary elections) were not even invited to attend the Stabilisation Summit in Sarajevo in late July.

“Free market reforms” are envisaged for Kosovo under the supervision of the Bretton Woods institutions largely replicating the structures of the Rambouillet agreement. Article I (Chapter 4a) of the Rambouillet Agreement stipulated that: “The economy of Kosovo shall function in accordance with free market principles”. The KLA government will largely be responsible for implementing these reforms and ensuring that loan conditionalities are met.

In close liaison with NATO, the Bretton Woods institutions had already analysed the consequences of an eventual military intervention leading to the military occupation of Kosovo: almost a year prior to the beginning of the War, the World Bank conducted “simulations” which “anticipated the possibility of an emergency scenario arising out of the tensions in Kosovo.”49

The eventual “reconstruction” of Kosovo financed by international debt largely purports to transfer Kosovo’s extensive wealth in mineral resources and coal to multinational capital. In this regard, the KLA has already occupied (pending their privatisation) the largest coal mine at Belacevac in Dobro Selo northwest of Pristina. In turn, foreign capital has its eyes rivetted on the massive Trepca mining complex which constitutes “the most valuable piece of real estate in the Balkans, worth at least $5 billion.”50 The Trebca complex not only includes copper and large reserves of zinc but also cadmium, gold, and silver. It has several smelting plants, 17 metal treatment sites, a power plant and Yugoslavia’s largest battery plant. Northern Kosovo also has estimated reserves of 17 billion tons of coal and lignite.

In the wake of the bombings, the management of many of the State owned enterprises and public utilities were taken over by KLA appointees. In turn, the leaders of the Provisional Government of Kosovo (PGK) have become “the brokers” of multinational capital committed to handing over the Kosovar economy at bargain prices to foreign investors. The IMF’s lethal “economic therapy” will be imposed, the provincial economy will be dismantled, agriculture will be deregulated, local industrial enterprises which have not been totally destroyed will be driven into bankruptcy. The most profitable State assets will eventually be transferred into the hands of foreign capital under the World Bank sponsored privatisation programme. “Strong economic medicine” imposed by external creditors will contribute to further boosting a criminal economy (already firmly implanted in Albania) which feeds on poverty and economic dislocation.

“The Allies will work with the rest of the international community to help rebuild Kosovo once the crisis is over: The International Monetary Fund and Group of Seven industrialized countries are among those who stand ready to offer financial help to the countries of the region. We want to ensure proper coordination of aid and help countries to respond to the effects of the crisis. This should go hand in hand with the necessary structural reforms in the countries affected helped by budget support from the international community.”51

Morever, the so-called “reconstruction” of the Balkans by foreign capital will signify multibillion contracts to foreign firms to rebuild Kosovo’s infrastructure. More generally, the proposed “Marshall Plan” for the Balkans financed by the World Bank and the European Development Bank (EBRD) as well as private creditors will largely benefit Western mining, petroleum and construction companies while fuelling the region’s external debt well into the third millennium.

And Kosovo is slated to reimburse this debt through the laundering of dirty money. Yugoslav banks in Kosovo will be closed down, the banking system will be deregulated under the supervision of Western financial institutions. Narcodollars from the multibillion dollar Balkans drug trade will be recycled towards servicing the external debt as well as “financing” the costs of “reconstruction.” The lucrative flow of narcodollars thus ensures that foreign investors involved in the “reconstruction” programme will be able reap substantial returns. In turn, the existence of a Kosovar “narco State” ensures the orderly reimbursement of international donors and creditors. The latter are prepared to turn blind eye. They have a tacit vested interest in installing a government which facilitates the laundering of drug money.

The pattern in Kosovo is, in this regard, similar to that observed in neighbouring Albania. Since the early 1990s (culminating with the collapse of the financial pyramids in 1996-97), the IMF’s reforms have impoverished the Albanian population while spearheading the national economy into bankruptcy. The IMF’s deadly economic therapy transforms countries into open territories. In Albania and to a lesser extent Macedonia, it has also contributed to fostering the growth of illicit trade and the criminalisation of State institutions.

NOTES

1. Jim Lehrer News Maker Interview, PBS, 26 July 1999.
2. Stratfor Commentary, “Growing Threat of Serbian Paramilitary Action in Kosovo”, 29 July 1999.
3. Human Rights Watch, 3 August 1999.
4. See Michael Radu, “Don’t Arm the KLA”, CNS Commentary from the Foreign Policy Research Institute, 7 April, 1999).
5. Tanjug Press Dispatch, 14 May 1999.
6. Stratfor Comment, “Rugova Faced with a Choice of Two Losses”, Stratfor, 29 July 1999.
7. Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Yugoslav Daily Survey, Belgrade, 29 June 1999.
8. Hina Press Dispatch, Zagreb, 26 July 1999.
9. Ibid.
10. BBC Report, London, 5 July 1999.
11. New York Times, 2 February 1999.
12. Financial Times, London, 4 August 1999.
13. See Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Mission in Kosovo, Decision 305, Permanent Council, 237th Plenary Meeting, PC Journal No. 237, Agenda item 2, Vienna, 1 July 1999.
14. Statement at the Sarajevo Summit, 31 July 1999.
15. 106th Congress, April 15, HR 1425.
16. Interview with KLA Chief of Staff Commander Agim Ceku, Kosovapress, 31 July 1999.
17. See Tammy Arbucki, “Building a Bosnian Army”, Jane International Defence Review, August 1997.
18. Ibid.
19. Military Professional Resources, Inc, “Personnel Needs”, http://www.mpri.com/current/personnel.htm
20. Associated Press Report.
21. Ibid.
22. The actual number of civilians killed or missing was much larger.
23. Quoted in Raymond Bonner, War Crimes Panel Finds Croat Troops Cleansed the Serbs, New York Times, 21 March 1999).
24. Ibid.
25. Ibid.
26. Raymond Bonner, op cit.
27. Ken Silverstein, “Privatizing War”, The Nation, New York, 27 July 1997.
28. See Mark Thompson et al, “Generals for Hire”, Time Magazine, 15 January 1996, p. 34.
29. Quoted in Silverstein, op cit.
30. Mark Thompson et al, op cit.
31. Raymond Bonner, op cit.
32. Ibid.
33. ICTY Weekly Press Briefing, 24 March 1999).
34. Ibid.
35. Ibid.
36. See inter alia Reuters dispatch, 21 October 1993 on the use of chemical grenades, a New York Times report on 31 October 1992 on the use of poisoned gas).
37. Lewis MacKenzie, “Giving our soldiers the benefit of the doubt”, National Post, 2 August 1999.
38. Slobodna Dalmacija, Split, Croatia, August 5 1996.
39. Scott Taylor and Brian Nolan, The Sunday Sun, Toronto, 2 November 1998.
40. Ibid.
41. United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Fifty-first session, Item 9 of the provisional agenda, Geneva, 21 December 1994).
42. (See Memorandum on the Violation of the Human and Civil Rights of the Serbian People in the Republic of Croatia,
http://serbianlinks.freehosting.net/memorandum.htm
43. Excerpts from the book of Scott Taylor and Brian Nolan published in the Toronto Sun, 1 November 1998.
44. Ibid.
45. NATO Press Briefing, 14 May 1999.
46. For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, Kosovo `Freedom Fighters’ Financed by Organized Crime, CAQ, Spring-Summer 1999.
47. Jane’s Defence Weekly, Vol 25, No. 7, 14 February 1996.
48. Ibid.
49. World Bank Development News, Washington, 27 April 1999.
50. New York Times, July 8, 1998, report by Chris Hedges.
51. Statement by Javier Solano, Secretary General of NATO, published in The National Post, Toronto May 1999.


By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

Michel Chossudovsky is the author of the international best America’s “War on Terrorism”  Second Edition, Global Research, 2005. He is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Center for Research on Globalization.

Source: http://www.globalresearch.ca/nato-s-reign-of-terror-in-kosovo/8168

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Syrian rebels get arms from Kosovo and Bosnia

The DEBKA website, close to Israeli military intelligence, knows well all the behind the curtain details of regional politics. A few days ago it reported about basically new turns of the way the events unfold in Syria. According to it, the Syrian extremists received a load of heavy weapons for the first time since the war started. The senders are the groups from Kosovo and the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina linked to Al Qaeda. The package includes Kornet and Fagot anti-tank systems delivered by the Soviet Union to former Yugoslavia in the past. The weapons ended up in the hands of extremists as a result of well-known bloody events. As to Israeli intelligence sources, the heavy weapons have been delivered from the Balkans to Syria by sea with the help of Albanian mafia, which is dry behind ears in such operations…

This is the first time the Syrian anti-government forces got a substantial load of heavy arms getting around the control of Western and Arab special agencies (the foreign intelligence agencies have simply overlooked the delivery). The major part of weapons is sent to Jabhat al-Nusra, an Al Qaeda linked Islamist group.

Having received arms, the Jabhat al-Nusra armed groups risked an intervention to Lebanon and engaged Hezbollah in the Shiite stronghold of Bekaa valley trying to do away with an ally of Bashar Assad. They have become strong enough to launch offensives in some areas inside Syria. The combat actions go along with intensive terrorist activities, for instance, another bloody act took place in the heart of Damascus near the Baath headquarters, not far from the Russian embassy. It resulted in the death of dozens civilians, including many children from a neighboring school. According to the United Nations, at least 70 thousand people have lost their lives in Syria as a result of the confrontation between the government forces and the rebels. Two mortar shells exploded at the Tishreen stadium in Damascus when the athletes were training. As to SANA, a player form the Watbah football team was killed; his two fellow players were wounded.

The Middle East events could not have passed the Muslim part of the Balkans. The arms supplies to Syria are not an exception. After the guns silenced there, the radical movements and Islamist organizations started to conduct their activities under cover, but today it is coming to light. The reason is the extremists had felt comfortable in Europe till they started to be refused entry and citizenship by many countries of the continent making them go to other places. In the past Al Qaeda supported the Kosovo and Bosnian brothers in faith with experienced personnel and arms. Now it wants the debts to be paid back. Al Qaeda emissaries have no intent to curb their activities in the Balkans. 

While war raged in Bosnia and Herzegovina, around two thousand militants from Arab countries went there to join the fray. Some of them had direct links to Osama bin Laden. After the war ended as a result of Dayton accords, many of them remained in the country and became the citizens. The Saudi Arabia funded King Fahd mosque in Sarajevo that is believed to be the headquarters of the Wahhabi militants. Off and on terrorist acts committed by Islamists take place in the Republic. For instance, 23-year-old Mevlid Jasarevic, came from Serbia, the southern region of Sandzak, to shoot his rifle at the US embassy building in Sarajevo. He heavily wounded a policeman. A bomb went off at the police precinct station in Bugojno, one constable died, six wounded. It was done by a local Wahhabi militant.

At the beginning of February 2013 local Albanian radicals declared the establishment of the “Islamic Movement to Unite” or LISBA, which is considered in the West as the first really fundamentalist party in the Balkans. The party is registered and is preparing for Kosovo parliamentary elections. LISBA has a public leader, Arsim Krasniqi, though Fuad Ramiqi is widely reported to be its controlling figure. He is known to be is associated through the fundamentalist European Muslim Network, led by the Islamist media celebrity Tariq Ramadan, with the Qatar-based hate preacher Yusuf Al-Qaradawi. He has ties with the more moderate Party for Democratic Action or SDA in Bosnia-Herzegovina and similar organizations in Macedonia. Ramiqi protested against a legal ban on girls wearing headscarves (hijab) in Kosovo public schools.

This is just the top of the iceberg. The radicalization of population in Kosovo is boosted by total unemployment and spreading criminality. The self-proclaimed Kosovo independence supported by the West gave little to common people, it’s no surprise they are vulnerable to Islamist propaganda. Some Kosovars are linked to arms smuggling, they act as instructors on its use in Syria enriching their own combat experience. Drug flows are already flooding Europe. In future it may be added by the re-export of war skills to defend the European Muslims rights.

The policy of the West in Syria is myopic. It goes on losing control over the events in this country. In fact it gives refuge to terrorists and faces the prospect of raging terror spilling over to Europe. Hotbeds of Islamic extremism that appeared with the connivance of the West in the former Yugoslavia are sparked again under the influence of Middle East events. Europe appears to be threatened by a big fire…


23-02-2013

Source: Oriental Review

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The Contradictory Statement of Riyadh on Syria Talks

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir currently stated that the Syrian talks in Astana would lead to ceasefire in the country.

However, in this context, the minister’s statement sounds a little bit strange as throughout the Syrian conflict, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have been providing comprehensive assistance to Islamic State terrorists, supplying weapons, equipment and mercenaries to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. There are undeniable proofs of these “acts of good will” on behalf of Saudi Arabia.

Large chemical reserves seized by the Syrian army last week in eastern Aleppo destined for the manufacture of explosives can be characterized as striking example of “act of a good will”. The bags with chemical materials had the name of the Saudi chemical plant Sachlo printed on them. Besides, the previous month, Saudi Interior Ministry stated that more than 1,500 Saudi Arabia subjects fought in the ranks of ISIS in Syria.

Moreover, along with the strong evidence of the Saudi presence in Syria, there are also witnesses and even participants of Riyadh’s intervention. At the very beginning of conflict, Daily Telegraph journalists stated that Syrian Army arrested several opposition militants who confessed in being paid from the representatives of Saudi Arabia directly through their commanders. They also admitted that they got about $25 per day without including $400 for their participation in military operations against the Syrian government.

It should be mentioned that Saudi Arabia’s Defense budget is still one of the biggest in the world and equals to $18.7 billion while the manpower of Saudi Arabia estimates some 200,000 servicemen. In comparison, China spends $17 billion on defense with the strength of 2,4 million servicemen. Consequently, it is believed that the military budget is spent on financing terrorist and radical organizations, due to which the KSA government tends to overthrow the legitimate government of Syria.

To be mentioned is that Al-Jubeir’s statement drastically differs for the earlier stated goal as Saudi Arabia is unlikely interested in peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis. Saudi Arabia also fears that if the Syrian government gets an upper hand over terrorists, they will have to return home. Thus, the major part of the militants is the Persian Gulf citizens and it is a direct threat to the Saudi Arabia regime.


By Sophie Mangal

The NATO campaign against freedom of expression

This is a long story which extends over fifteen years. NATO first attempted to silence those citizens who were trying to discover the truth about the attacks of 11 September 2001. Then it turned on those who contested the oficial version of the «Arab Springs» and the war against Syria. One thing leading to another, it then attacked those who denounced the coup d’état in Ukraine. Now NATO is behind the accusations by a pseudo-NGO that the people who campaigned for Donald Trump are Russian agents.

The attacks of 11 September 2001 were followed by a permanent state of emergency and a series of wars. As I wrote at the time, the theory that they were directed by a group of jihadists from a cave in Afghanistan does not stand up to analysis. On the contrary, everything points to the conclusion that the attack were organised by a faction of the military-industrial complex.

If this analysis is correct, the course of events could only lead to repression in the United States and the Allied states.

Fifteen years later, the wound that I opened is still not shut – in fact the opposite is true, given the events that followed. The «Arab Springs» were added to the Patriot Act and the oil wars which followed. Not only does the majority of the US population no longer believe what the government has been telling it since 9/11, but by voting for Donald Trump, it has expressed its rejection of the post-9/11 system.

It so happens that I opened the debate on 9/11 to the world, that I was part of the last government of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, and that I report on the war against Syria from the ground. At first, the US administration thought that they could extinguish the blaze by accusing me of writing contentious rubbish for money, hitting me where they thought it would hurt most, in other words, my wallet. And yet my ideas have never ceased to spread. In October 2004, when 100 US personalities signed a petition demanding the re-opening of the enquiry on the attacks of /9/11, Washington began to worry [1]. In 2005, in Brussels, I gathered more than 150 personalities from all over the world – including Syrian and Russian guests such as the ex-Chief of Staff for the Federation armies, General Leonid Ivashov – to denounce the neo-conservatives, and demonstrate that the problem was becoming global [2].

While during the mandate of Jacques Chirac, the Elysée worried about my safety, in 2007 the Bush administration asked newly-elected President Nicolas Sarkozy to have me physically eliminated. When I was warned by a friend, an officer of the Staff, that Sarkozy’s response had been positive, there was only one way out left to me – exile. My other friends – for thirteen years I had been the national secretary of the Parti Radical de Gauche – stared at me in disbelief, while the Press accused me of spiralling into paranoïa. No-one came publicly to my help. I found refuge in Syria, and travelled the world outside of NATO territory, escaping numerous assassination or kidnap attempts. For the last fifteen years, I have been opening debates which have become generalised. I have always been attacked when I was alone, but when my ideas have been shared, thousands of people have been persecuted for having analysed and developed them.

It was during this same period that Cass Sunstein (husband of US ambassador to the UNO, Samantha Power [3]) wrote a mémoire with Adrian Vermeule for the universities of Chicago and Harvard concerning the struggle against «conspiracy theories» – the name they gave to the movement I had initiated. In the name of the defence of «Liberty» confronted by extremism, the authors defined a programme to annihilate this opposition:

“We can easily imagine a series of possible reponses.
- 1. The government could forbid conspiracy theories.
- 2. The government could impose a sort of tax, financial or other, on those who distribute such theories.
- 3. The government could engage in counter-discussion to discredit conspiracy theories.
- 4. The government could engage credible private parties in a counter-discussion.
- 5. The government could engage in informal communication with third parties and encourage them” [4].

The Obama administration hesitated to publicly choose this path. But in April 2009, at the NATO summit in Strasbourg-Kehl, it proposed to create a «Strategic Communication Service». It also fired Anthony Jones from the White House in 2009, because the famous lawyer had spoken bluntly on the subject [5].

The project for NATO’s Strategic Communication Service slept in boxes until the Latvian government manifested itself. It was finally set up in Riga under the direction of Janis Karklinš – who was also an executive at the UNO World Summit on the Information Society and the Forum on the Governance of the Internet. Conceived by the British, it included participations from Germany, Estonia, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland and the United Kingdom. In the beginning, it limited itself to producing an increasing number of studies.

Everything changed in 2014 when the Khodorkovsky family think tank, the Institute of Modern Russia in New York, published an analysis by journalists Peter Pomerantsev and Michael Weiss [6]. According to their report, Russia had deployed a vast propaganda system abroad. However, rather than presenting themselves in a favourable light, as they had sone during the Cold War, Moscow had allegedly decided to inundate the West with «conspiracy theories» in order to create general confusion. And the authors also specified that these «theories» no longer concerned just 9/11, but also the coverage of the war against Syria.

By seeking to reactivate the anti-Soviet feelings of the Cold War, this report marked a turning-pont in values. Until then, the US ruling class had sought only to mask the crime of 11 September, by accusing a handful of insignificant «beards». From now on, the aim was to accuse a foreign state of being responsible for the crimes committed by Washington in Syria.

In September 2014, the British government created the 77th Brigade, a unit tasked with countering foreign propaganda. It was composed of 440 soldiers plus a thousand civilians from the Foreign Office, including MI6, and the Co-operation and Stabilisation Unit. We do not know what their targets were. This brigade worked with the 361st Civil Affairs Brigade of the US Land Army (based in Germany and Italy). The military units were used to disturb Western Internet sites which were trying to establish the truth about 11 September as well as the war against Syria.

At the start of 2015, Anne Applebaum (wife of the Polish ex-Minister for Defence, Radosław Sikorski), created within the Washington Center for European Policy Analysis a unit called the Information Warfare Initiative [7]. It was originally intended to counter Russian information in Central and Eastern Europe. It entrusted Peter Pomerantsev (mentioned above) with this initiative, as well as Edward Lucas, one of the chief editors of The Economist.

Even though Pomerantsev was both the co-reporter for the Institute of Modern Russia and the assistant chief executive of the Information Warfare Initiative, he no longer mentioned 9/11, and no longer considered the war against Syria to be central, but only as a recurring theme which enabled him to speculate about the actions of the Kremlin. He concentrated his attacks on the TV channel Russia Today and the Press agency Sputnik, two Russian public organisms.

In February 2015, the Fondation Jean-Jaurès, think tank of the French Socialist Party and contact for the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), published in its turn a Note, Conspirationism, state of play [8]. It ignored the developments concerning Russia, and picked up the debate where Cass Sunstein had left it. She recommended, purely and simply, to forbid the «conspiracy theorists» to express themselves. From his side, the Minister of Education organised workshops in schools to warn school-children against these «conspirationists ».

On 19 and 20 March 2015, the European Council asked the High Representative Federica Mogherini to prepare a plan of «strategic communication» to denounce the Russian disinformation campaigns concerning Ukraine. The Council mentioned neither 9/11 nor the war against Syria, and changed targets to concentrate exclusively on the events in Ukraine.

In April 2015, Madame Mogherini created within the European External Action Service (EEAS) a Strategic Communications Unit [9]. She was directed by an agent of the British MI6, Giles Portman. Twice a week, she distributed to a large number of European journalists arguments which were supposed to demonstrate Moscow’s bad faith – arguments which went on to supply the European media with an abundance of fodder.

From its creation, NATO’s Centre of Strategic Communication incorporated a service of the Atlantic Council, the Digital Forensics Research Lab. A Manual of Strategic Communication was drawn up by NATO. It was intended to co-ordinate and replace the old system in terms of Public Diplomacy, Public Relations (Public Affairs), Public Military Relations, Operations on Electronic Communication Systems (Information Operations) and Psychological Operations.

Inspired by NATO, on 23 November 2016, the Polish ex-Minister for Foreign Affairs and now European Deputy, Anna Fotyga, forced through the European Parliament a resolution about «Strategic Communication of the Union aimed at countering propaganda directed against her by third parties» [10]. Once again the target had been displaced – it was no longer a case of countering the dispute over 9/11 (now 15 years old), nor that of the war against Syria, but to create an amalgam between the contesting positions on the events in Ukraine, and Daesh. So we had come full circle – according to NATO, those who contested 9/11 were attempting to rehabilitate al-Qaïda, and those who were playing Russia’s game were attempting to destroy the West, like Daesh. And so what if NATO supports al-Qaïda in East Aleppo?

Launched by a resounding article in the Washington Post, on 24 Novembre 2016 [11], a mysterious group entitled Propaganda or Not? established a list of de 200 Internet sites – including Voltairenet.org – who were allegedly tasked by the Kremlin with relaying Russian propaganda and intoxicating US public opinion to the point where they elected Donald Trump.

While Propaganda or Not? does not publish the names of its directors, it does indicate that it unites four organisations – Polygraph, The Interpreter, the Center for European Policy Analysis and the Digital Forensic Research Lab.

- Polygraph is one of the sites of Voice of America, the US public radio and television organisation controlled by the Broadcasting Board of Governors.
- The Interpreter is a magazine of the Institute of Modern Russia, now broadcast by Voice of America.
- The Center for European Policy Analysis is a pseudopod of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) directed by Zbigniew Brzeziński and Madeleine Albright.
- And finally, the Digital Forensic Research Lab is a programme of the Atlantic Council.

In a document distributed by Propaganda or Not?, this pseudo-NGO, born of associations financed by the Obama administration, clearly names its enemy – Russia. It accuses Russia of having been the origin of the 9/11 Truth Movement and the Internet sites supporting Syria and Crimea.

On 2 December 2016, the United States Congress voted a law forbidding all military co-operation between Washington and Moscow. In the space of a few years, NATO has re-activated MacCarthyism.


2016-05-12
By Thierry Meyssan
Source: Voltaire Net

The Obama Legacy: Genocide, Destruction, Chaos, Color Revolutions And Subservience To World Zionism

As of this moment, from the gentrified hipster hellholes in Brooklyn to the pedophile-infested devil-den of Hollywood to Satan-occupied Washington DC, liberals nationwide are wailing, howling, shrieking and blubbering over Barack Obama getting out of the White House. Their tears are gushing like rushing rivers breaking through weak dams in pusillanimous sadness, their little Judaized hearts are breaking into pieces of Gefilte fish because an end has come to the presidency of this man they repetitiously and affectionately refer to as “American’s First ‘Black’ President” who brought “hope and change” not only to the USA but the world at large. But who exactly are they weeping for? Who is this harbinger of butterflies, rainbows, unicorns and cookie-delivering fairies that made God’s Green Earth such a better place? Who?! This man is a fantasy. A morbid, monstrous delusion that exists nowhere but the warped minds of snowflakes, teacups and muffintops everywhere.

The real Obama is a deviant degenerate who frequented the back-alley bathhouses of Chicago’s South Side; a Manchurian candidate like no other, groomed for power by the likes of the Crowns, the Pritzkers, Rabbi Arnold Wolf and adoringly referred to as the “first Jewish president” of the US by Chicago Jewish News; the son of an archaic, globe-holding British bloodline through his malevolent mother, an Anglo CIA operative who made her career in the “regime change” cog known as the Ford Foundation; the bloodthirsty, astute student of Operation Cyclone father Zbigniew Brzezinski; the servant of International Jewish Finance who bailed out the big banks; the vassal of Monsanto; the paid puppy from purgatory of Big Pharma; the enemy of the poor. The only “messiah” Obama is comparable to is the false one spoken of in Islamic and Christian eschatology. Indeed, at every turn, with every move and from every angle, Obama furthered the agenda of Dajjal.

Mr. “Hope and Change” kicked off his Tuesday mornings by looking over his Kill List and deciding who he was going to slaughter with flying death machines. And speaking of drones, not to mention JSOC death squad special ops, Mr. “Audacity of Hope” upped the ante in both Pakistan and Somalia. Thanks to his Zionist Jew “expert” Bruce Reidel, Mr. Nobel “Peace” Prize went haywire in occupied Afghanistan, butchering tens of thousands with his night raids, air raids, drone raids and other forms of mayhem, all for the sake of protecting the Empire’s interests in natural gas, heroin, lithium and other minerals. Mr. “Presidential Swag” sold foreign regimes $278 billion worth of weaponry, $115 billion of which went to the backwards, hateful, repressive, misogynistic, murderous, demonic, tyrannical regime of Saudi Arabia. The winged robots of bloodshed really were the pride-and-joys of Mr. “Community Organizer”, as he launched more than 10 times the amount of drone strikes the Bush regime did. “First Jewish President” indeed, as the predator drone, Obama’s baby, is the invention of Jewish-Zionist terrorist Abraham Karem.

It’s in the new wars and the color revolution coups though where President Kill List really shines. Mr. “I Know Beyonce and Jay-Z So You Should Love Me Hard Goyim” kicked off his presidency in ’09 by launching the Green Revolution against the Islamic Republic of Iran and toppling the government of Manuel Zelaya in Honduras. In ’10, Mr. “Katy Perry’s One Of My Favorite People” granted cover to the illegitimate ‘Israeli’ regime’s bloody assault on the Freedom Flotilla in which an American citizen, Furkan Dogan, among 8 other unarmed activists, was murdered. Obama also kicked off the “Arab Spring” by manipulating popular dissent and taking down Ben Ali in Tunisia. The removal of Mubarak in Egypt followed and then NATO’s annihilation of Libya along with the assassination of Muammar Qadhafi. A campaign of fourth generation warfare utilizing Takfiri terrorists from over 100 countries around the globe was launched against the Syrian Arab Republic–an iniquitous and insidious aggression that has left hundreds of thousands of Syrians dead. A genuine rebellion was demolished in Bahrain. US-backed air strikes slammed the Ivory Coast. Fernando Lugo was overthrown in Paraguay. A genocidal war on Gaza was unleashed with the outgoing US president’s support in November ’12. He joined the Zionist scheme to crack Sudan in half. A second coup unfolded in Egypt, toppling Mursi and the “Muslim” Brotherhood and replacing them with Zionist collaborationist Sisi. In Mali, a criminal intervention was orchestrated to loot the ancient North African nation of its gold and keep it destabilized with terrorism.

More carnage popped off in ’14 with the US-led creation of ISIS in Iraq, a coup in Ukraine aimed at undermining Russia followed by a subsequent genocide against Russian civilians in the Donbass and another slaughterous ‘Israeli’ assault on Gaza that left over 2,200 innocents martyred, including 500+ Palestinian children. And perhaps in his worst, most nightmarish and most sickening atrocity of all, Mr. “Huffington Post Says My Swag Is Untouchable” greenlit Saudi Arabia’s massacre in Yemen and provided the Kingdom of Darkness with all-out cover. Over 12,000 Yemeni men, women and children have been killed thus far. Millions of Yemenis are starving thanks to the siege being upheld by the Saudi regime with British, ‘Israeli’ and yes, Obama’s approval.

Obama also declared economic war on Lebanon with a sanctions regime targeting Lebanese banks as a means of turning the population against Hizbullah, ousted Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, meddled in the elections of Haiti, Argentina and Chile, backed Buddhist extremist death squads in the Rakhine State of Myanmar, gave the nod to the horror inflicted on Sheikh Zakzaky and Nigeria’s Shi’a and tried but failed to implement “regime change” in Turkey, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador. Again, I say “First Jewish President” indeed because the “Arab Spring” blueprint was laid out by Jewish neocon Joshua Muravchik in his disturbing volume “The Next Founders” and the phrase “Arab Spring” itself was coined by Jewish neocon “Charles Krauthammer”. And again, a legacy of “hope and change” is cruel, CRUEL comedy  when it is understood that the record reflects Obama bringing war, death, famine, chaos, mass murder, scorched earth and bloodshed wherever he stuck his Zionized hands. Some criminals have rap sheets a mile long… Obama’s rap sheet is a planet long, with offenses committed in every hemisphere.

And for the grand slam, the biggest supporters of Mr. “I Knew Edward Said Back In The Day”, i.e. Latinos and Black Folk, got shafted royally in too many ways to enumerate but still inexplicably think of him with fondness. Latinos voted for Obama over McCain in the 2008 election by a margin of more than two-to-one but Obama deported some 2.5 million “illegal” immigrants from mostly Latin American nations, making him the Deporter-In-Chief who threw out more people from the US than any other president in history put together. Black Folk voted for Obama in near totality and yet Mr. “I Invited Kendrick Lamar To The White House” didn’t do a damn thing for African-Americans but expand the police-surveillance state, fatten up the Prison Industrial Complex (aka the New Jim Crow), protect killer cops and put an actual multi-million-dollar bounty on the head of legendary Black heroine Assata Shakur. Obama didn’t close Gitmo. He didn’t free Mumia and Peltier. He cracked down on the indigenous people of Standing Rock. He gave ‘Israel’ the biggest military aid package ever at $38 billion over 10 years. He declared war on raw milk and other miraculous organic foods. Obama was not FOR the people in any way, shape or form. He was (and still is) against us in every capacity, soup to nuts.

With the Obama legacy now carved into burnt flesh, etched into destroyed ancient architecture and woven into the tapestry of the history of the world’s oppressed people forever, the questions do not, contrary to popular opinion, revolve around what Donald Trump may or may not do. What should really be asked is where in the name of all that is good and holy in this life have all the aforementioned snowflakes, teacups and muffintops been the last 8 years as Barack Obama turned the planet into his very own personal stomping ground? The real lesson to be learned here from all these liberal hypocrite maggots is that coups, drone strikes, kill lists, prosecuting whistleblowers, love for Saudi Arabia, unwavering support for the cancerous tumor ‘Israel’ and various other “lovelies” are all perfectly fine and even laudable so long as you know rappers, singers, actors and do your dirt with “swag”.

The irony of it all? Despite his Anglo upbringing and overall rejection of his African/Muslim roots, the very Zionist Jews who have controlled him hideously refer to him as “nigger”, “schvartze” and “kushi” to this day, testaments to how deeply ingrained Anti-Blackness is within Jewish culture and how far Obama has sunk as a person, serving a supremacist entity and a global power matrix which hate him entirely for the color of his skin and background but have used him and his manufactured story anyway to play the masses like drums in a garage band. Such a spineless, utterly yellowbelly coward this man is. Trust, a special place in the hellfire awaits this mass murdering war criminal who is so addicted to conflict that he had to order just one more war, the new crisis in The Gambia, before he departed his post. Man oh man, what a psychopathic barbarian. This wolf in sheep’s clothing. This death-dealer in savior’s garb. And there’s more than a few seats waiting for all his moronic cheerleaders too. Let’s see how much they give a damn about “swag” when they’re roasting in The Crusher for eternity. Good riddance, Baruch (which is what he should be called because he served Organized Jewish Interests so loyally). May ALLAH (SWT) never forgive you for the immeasurable agony you’ve wrought on humanity.

Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump

You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful women. I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.” Donald Trump

Donald Trump is an American capitalist. He is a real estate mogul who owns buildings, casinos and golf courses. He has bought a football team, founded a modeling agency and established a university. Trump’s precise net worth is unknown, yet is estimated in the billions.

Donald Trump is a celebrity. He appeared in twelve films and fourteen television series. He starred in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Wrestle Mania’s “The Battle of the Billionaires”. Trump was the executive producer of NBC’s reality show The Apprentice, which was nominated for two Emmy awards for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program in 2004 and 2005.

Donald Trump is a notorious womanizer. He has been married three times, most recently to the model Melania Knauss. He owned the Miss USA beauty pageant from 1996-2015. Trump has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by a long list of women.

Donald Trump is a newly-minted politician. He is a dog-whistling, media-spinning, deal-making sensationalist. His scapegoating and outlandish policies have brought together desperate blue collar workers, unabashed racists, primitive misogynists, messianic Christians, hard-core militarists and crony capitalists. On his breakneck ascent to the top, Trump managed to dazzle an arrogant media establishment, humiliate senior members of the Republican party and pull the carpet from under the elitist neoliberal Clinton machine.

Everyone loves to hate Donald Trump, and with good reason. Trump’s motivations are domination, reward and victory. He is primarily concerned with puffing up and stroking his bombastic ego and shows no moral integrity or concern for the greater good.

In the biggest upset in modern times, on November 8th, 2016 Trump won the Presidency of the United States of America: the richest, strongest super-power in world history. Now that Trump has assumed the role of number one politician, he will be faced with challenges that affect millions of people. Among the many national and international tasks facing him, lies the poster child of political challenges – the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel-Palestine Today

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a political battle between Zionists and an indigenous Palestinian population over the land between the river Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea. Jewish Zionism, a settler-colonialist project and ideology, was born out of the emancipation and secularization of Eastern European Jews in the 19th century. Profoundly influenced by European nationalism, Zionism redefined “Jewishness” for the purpose of outlining a unitary ethnic group that originated in historic Palestine and therefore had concrete and justified claims to the land. In the words of Professor of History Yakob M. Rabkin, “Traditional Jews can be distinguished by what they do or should do; the new Jews by what they are.”

In its infancy, various branches of Jewish Zionism struggled for dominance; on the one extreme were those who advocated for an inclusive multinational state that would seamlessly integrate into the Middle East and would serve as a cultural center for Jews, and on the other those who championed an exclusivist, nationalistic and Jewish homeland and haven. The latter emerged triumphant, resulting in an ethnic cleansing of Palestinians during the Israeli war of independence in 1948, also known as the Palestinian Nakba, Arabic for “catastrophe”. Since then, the state of Israel has continued its brutal practices of ethnic cleansing and apartheid toward Palestinians within its 1948 borders and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), captured in 1967, with the underlying goal of controlling all land and resources. May 2017 will mark the 50th anniversary of Israeli control of the OPT.

Currently, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu presides over the most extreme right-wing government in Israel’s history. His coalition weds fundamentalist Judeo-supremacist Zionists, ultra-orthodox Jews and secular capitalists. Whereas Netanyahu and his government aim for Jewish dominance over a segregated, privatized and deregulated Israel, Palestinians seek justice and equality either in their own autonomous state, or within a binational Israel-Palestine. Since the Oslo Accords in 1993, Israeli leaders including Netanyahu have exploited the façade of negotiations with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to continue building and populating illegal settlements and dispossessing Palestinians by force. A comparison between the economies of Israel and the OPT is but one of many gross inequalities that exist between the societies: the per-capita gross national income (GNI) in Israel was $35,670 in 2014, while in the OPT it was a measly $3,090.

Know Your Enemy

The struggle for justice in Israel-Palestine has long depended on a solicitous approach toward the American President and Congress. Donald Trump is a new and different sort of politician: he seems capricious, thin-skinned, ignorant and childish. However, a careful examination of Trump’s words and deeds portrays a consistent mindset and agenda that should be carefully studied in order to formulate a long-term and sensible strategy for ending the Israeli Occupation.

My style of deal-making is quite simple and straightforward. I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to get what I’m after. Sometimes I settle for less than I sought, but in most cases I still end up with what I want.” – Donald Trump (From Trump – The Art of the Deal; Page 45)

Donald Trump was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. After attending several Ivy League schools, he became his father Fred Trump’s protégé in the art of navigating the high-stakes world of New York City real estate. In contrast to Old Man Trump who built housing for the middle-class, Donald made a fortune from catering exclusively to the needs of the uber-wealthy.

Following in the footsteps of his father, Trump has never had qualms with exploiting workers or government loopholes. In fact, he takes pride in his manipulative practices. Trump’s fortune has been built on three grand thefts: wage theft from workers; tax theft from the state; and land theft from the commons. Though appealing to the working class throughout his campaign, Trump never truly cared about working Americans, and has already betrayed his promises to “drain the swamp” by appointing several billionaires and Goldman-Sachs operatives to key government positions.

Trump’s history begs the question: where does he, a man who has no identifiable moral backbone or social conscience, stand on an ideological quagmire like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Trump and Israel: A No-Brainer

People think I’m a gambler. I’ve never gambled in my life. To me, a gambler is someone who plays slot machines. I prefer to own slot machines. It’s a very good business being the house.” – Donald Trump; Trump – The Art of the Deal; Page 48

Israel is deeply entrenched in American politics and discourse and is sometimes referred to as the 51st state. Along with the U.S., Israel has the worst inequality in the developed world with the richest 10% earning 15 times more than the poorest, according to a report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Israeli and American societies are both based on settler-colonialism and capitalism and their elites closely cooperate to advance mutually beneficial political, commercial and military interests. Israel, referred to by Nixon’s Defense Secretary Melvin Laird as one of America’s “cops on the beat” in the Middle East, employs powerful lobbying groups in Washington, such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and billionaires such as Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban, to promote its friends and terrorize its enemies. Furthermore, Israel and its lobbies in the U.S. use sophisticated propaganda, also known as “hasbara” in Hebrew, to present Israel and its brutal policies favorably and dehumanize and villainize Palestinians.

Though Netanyahu’s right-wing dominates American politics and the public narrative within Israel and mainstream media in the U.S., world Jewry is in a state of crisis.

On one side of this struggle are those committed to our vision of time-honored Jewish and democratic values – grounded in respect for “the other,” a tolerance for dissent, and a willingness to sacrifice territory for peace. On the other side are those who seem willing to muffle dissent, view all conflict as zero-sum, and place retaining captured land and territory at the center of its value system.” – Jeremy Ben Ami, President of J Street

After initially claiming neutrality on Israel-Palestine in February, Donald Trump aligned himself with Netanyahu’s Israel at the AIPAC conference in March. Since, he has demonstrated his favoritism in rhetoric and deeds, and on some issues has gone farther to the right than Netanyahu himself. Trump supports the expansion of Israeli settlements in the OPT and annexation of parts of the West Bank, prioritizes the controversial move of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and has suggested he may appoint his son-in-law Jared Kushner to head Middle East peace negotiations, in spite of Kushner’s vested interests in Israel and the OPT. In addition, Trump has appointed his bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman as ambassador to Israel, a hardliner who has called President Obama an anti-Semite and J Street, the liberal Zionist group, kapos (Jewish collaborators with the Nazis). Trump, Kushner and Friedman have chosen to partner with the most extreme right-wing forces in Israeli society, and by so doing have in effect put the final nail in the coffin of the two-state solution, an illusion of Palestinian self-governance, which has been central to the American policy in the Middle East.

Trump has also stated he would dismantle the Iranian nuclear deal, which has been a crux of contention between the Obama administration and Netanyahu, and has backed his rhetoric with the appointment of cabinet members such as James “Mad Dog” Mattis, a man hell-bent on antagonizing the Iranian regime. As a natural born autocrat, Trump knows an external perceived threat is useful; there is nothing like the possibility of war to consolidate power and distract from corruptions. This manipulative and often deadly technique has been perfected by Bibi Netanyahu, Trump’s ideological twin.

Trump and Netanyahu: Natural Allies

The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N.)! Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!” – Donald Trump on Twitter

Trump and Netanyahu are mirror images of each other in their demagoguery, corruption, lack of social conscience and racism, including white supremacy. They share a similar brand of right-wing ethnocentric populism, which employs dog whistles and fear-mongering to galvanize support and consolidate power. Authoritarians at heart, their mandate is to guarantee the purity, safety and well-being of the in-group- white Anglo-Saxons and Jews, respectively. Sons who grew up in the shadows of powerful and influential father figures, they developed narcissistic tendencies that have led them down a path of an incessant need for power, reward and fame, a lifestyle of extravagance, wastefulness and corruption, and a propensity to throw temper tantrums when they do not get what they want.

Trump and Netanyahu also share a gift for manipulating the media. Throughout his campaign Trump, the ever dramatic reality-show star, received more free press than any other candidate by playing on the networks’ need for ratings. He frequently uses his popular Twitter account at all times of day or night to communicate random nonsensical thoughts and misinformation to millions of his followers, and as a useful means to divert attention from corruptions and critique.

Using and perfecting the skills he initially acquired as a furniture salesman, Bibi is a master of spin and propaganda and has successfully crushed free press in Israel. Moreover, in a shrewd political appointment, Netanyahu selected Miri Regev to head the Israeli Culture Ministry, knowing full well she will target the critical left-leaning media and art establishments. Trump’s contrarian cabinet appointments demonstrate that he will use similar tactics to restrain departments that are opposed to his policies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be headed by Scott Pruitt, a known advocate for the fossil fuel industry.

But how does one reconcile Trump’s history of racism and allegiances with white supremacist and anti-Semitic groups with his devotion for Netanyahu’s Israel?

Anti-Semitism, Trumpism and Zionism

I will be Donald Trump’s most loyal advocate”– David Duke, former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan

PJTN congratulates President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Pence on a historic victory of biblical proportions” Laurie Cardoza-Moore, a Christian Zionist leader

Anti-Semites and Zionists have long collaborated toward mutual interests. While the former have been interested in ridding Europe and America of Jews, the latter have worked toward moving as many Jews as possible to Israel in order to Judaize it, i.e. as a weapon against the “demographic threat” posed by native Palestinians.

There are two major classes of anti-Semites. The first is religiously grounded and views Jews as lapsed children of god to be converted or employed as an instrument of the second coming of the messiah, and the second discriminates against Jews based on alleged biological differences, which are seen as underlying threats of ethical “contamination” and disintegration. Both groups support Trump.

“Trumpism” is the perfect nexus for tribal and nationalistic attitudes that are championed by both classes of anti-Semites, white supremacists and Jewish right-wing Zionists. The far-right website Breitbart News serves as an outlet for these agendas in general and Trump’s candidacy in particular. In fact, Larry Solov the CEO and owner of Breitbart confessed that the idea for the website was conceived in Israel. Furthermore, Trump selected Breitbart’s former executive chair, pro-Israel anti-Semite Steve Bannon, to be his campaign manager and future chief strategist and Senior Counselor in his administration.

But this twisted alliance is not a new phenomenon. Christian Zionism, which thrived in Britain and America well before Jewish Zionism, is an ideology that aims to bring about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and is rooted in religious anti-Semitism. Tens of millions of Evangelical Christian Zionists seek to hasten the arrival of the messiah by fomenting an apocalyptic scenario in which Good triumphs over Evil. This doomsday battle will only occur when/if there is an ingathering of Jews in a Jewish-controlled Holy Land (i.e. modern day Israel), during which they will all be annihilated, except for several thousand who will submit to Christ. As such, it is not surprising that evangelical groups comprised a major voting block and source of financial support for the erratic Trump, who recently declared he may renew the nuclear arms race, and for their other favorite politician, Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been itching to bomb Iran and possibly kick off World War 3.

Though pro-Israel groups have been collaborating with Christian Zionists for decades, the inherently immoral hypocrisy of this cooperation does not escape them. As such, they have been working hard to redefine the term “anti-Semite” so that it includes organizations with broader humanist concerns who criticize Israeli policies, such as the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. As a result of intense lobbying, the State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism now includes “demonizing”, “delegitimizing” and “applying a double-standard to the state of Israel”. Incidentally, these humanist groups include many progressive Jewish members.

Trump-inspired anti-Semitism has proven to serve right-wing Israel and its American advocates even before he has manned the Oval Office. The spike in anti-Semitic attacks after the election has encouraged the bipartisan Anti-Semitism Awareness Act in Senate, which targets students who criticize Israeli policies on campuses across the United States. With Bannon closely advising Trump in the White House, and right-wing Israel’s uncontrollable glee at his triumph, there is no doubt that Israel will continue to work closely with anti-Semites in and out of Trump’s administration to promote its expansionist agenda.

The Art of the Deal

The worst thing you can possibly do in a deal is seem desperate to make it. That makes the other guy smell blood, and then you’re dead. The best thing you can do is deal from strength, and leverage is the biggest strength you can have. Leverage is having something the other guy wants. Or better yet, needs. Or best of all, simply can’t do without.” – Donald Trump; Trump – The Art of the Deal; Page 53

The future looks bleak. Trump has partnered with the darkest and most extreme elements in American and Israeli societies, championing a disastrous agenda that will escalate the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Palestinian society. Lately, the most serious threats to Israel have come from the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the BDS movement. Once again Trump has proven his loyalty to Israel by denouncing the Obama administration’s decision to abstain on UNSC resolution 2334 and by appointing Nikki Haley, a vocal supporter of anti-BDS legislation and Israeli policies, as the incoming U.S. Ambassador to the UN.

Palestinians should avoid dealing with Trump from a point of desperation; any signs of weakness will evoke Trump’s sadistic nature. In his own words: “sometimes, part of making a deal is denigrating your competition.” Instead, Palestinians and their advocates would perhaps be wise to exploit Trump’s narcissistic need to be liked and his fear of humiliation.

Concurrently, and in similar fashion to the struggle against apartheid South Africa, Palestinian advocates must continue to focus on other members of the international community. It is painfully obvious that the struggle should prepare for the long haul and partner with groups who are facing similar challenges in the United States, South America, Europe and Asia. Meanwhile, Trump’s radical agenda of supporting the expansion of illegal settlements, annexing parts of the OPT and moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem may serve as a blessing in disguise by finally destroying the last traces of the façade known as the “peace process”, the two-state illusion and the ethnocratic aberration known as “The Jewish state”. Greater pressure will inevitably result in the recognition of Palestine-Israel as a single, bi-national, and democratic state between the river Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea. Trump may well not care that this may be the ultimate outcome of his words and actions, so long as he appears as a president of decisive action in a circle of transient winners.

Life is very fragile, and success doesn’t change that. If anything, success makes it more fragile. Anything can change, without warning, and that’s why I try not to take any of what’s happened too seriously. Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game. I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about what I should have done differently, or what’s going to happen next. If you ask me exactly what the deals I’m about to describe all add up to in the end, I’m not sure I have a very good answer. Except that I’ve had a very good time making them.” – Donald Trump; Trump – The Art of the Deal; Page 63


2017-01-20

By Yoav Litvin

Source: Counter Punch

Illegal occupation of southern Serbia: Kosovo – Analysis

Serbia today is a member-State of United Nations (U.N.), after the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was split into several nations during the early 1990’s when war broke out between Serbian General Milosevic and neighboring nations. After partition, Serbia is still the most powerful “state” of the former Yugoslavia.

“Kosovo”, the term used for the territory of southern Serbia, is de-jure recognised as a “state” by over 110+ “states”, but is not a “state” itself, as per the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States (1933), and is not a “state” at the U.N. where 2/3rd positive vote is required by the U.N. General Assembly for “statehood”.

Article 1 of the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States (1933) requires that a “state” must have the “capacity to enter into relations with other states” and be a “government”. The entity of the self-termed “government of Kosovo” has neither. The “Declaration of Independence” of “Kosovo” was upheld by an “advisory opinion” at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2010, but an ICJ “advisory opinion” is not legally binding upon any member-State.

ICJ “advisory opinion” on “Kosovo” expressly states that the Court has not made any determination on whether “Kosovo” is a “state”, within the definition of international law or at the U.N., as stated in paragraphs 49-56 of the ICJ advisory opinion.

Furthermore, a “Declaration of Independence” does not mean that the entity has legal rights to exercise control over the territory it claims or even the self-termed “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”, or the Afghan Taliban’s “Declaration of Independence” would be valid for control of the nation today, since the U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution to assist the Afghan Taliban in 1992, for state-building, when they were controlling Afghanistan.

Since “Kosovo” is not a “state” at the U.N. as it does not have the required 2/3rd majority diplomatic recognition, it is in direct violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions (1949), Article 8 (b) (viii) of the Rome Statute (2002), as well as Article 85 (4) of the Additional Protocol I (1977) since Serbia is a “state” and “Kosovo” is conducting:

“The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory”

Therefore, the self-termed “government of Kosovo” is not a “government” for the purpose of being a “state” as per the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States (1933), but an “Occupying power” of Serbia. The entity of “Kosovo” does not have the “capacity to enter into relations with other states” as only “governments” do, in most cases.

Key word here proving that “Kosovo” does not meet the qualifications for a “state” as per the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States (1933), as mentioned in Article 1 is it mentions “other states”, implying that “Kosovo” must be a “state” itself to enter into relations with “other states”.

“Kosovo” is not allowed to sign any international treaties and conventions, due to the fact that an entity needs to be a “state”, so they have not even signed the Geneva Conventions (1949); one of the most basic conventions of international law, since it is based on many other conventions which preceded in relation to international humanitarian law (IHL) from the 1800’s.

Nevertheless, the entity of “Kosovo” was established by a U.N. Military Observers including the U.N. Protection Force (UNPROFOR) in 1991, U.N. Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium (UNTAES), etc, which were tasked with restoring peace, as well as law and order, without hindering “political independence” in the former Yugoslavia.

The principle of “political independence” was mentioned in one of the first U.N. Peacekeeping Resolutions in 1991 for the former Yugoslavia, as the U.N. Security Council Resolution which “dispatched small group of personnel (Croatia)” stated that:

“…the people of peoples of Yugoslavia to decide upon and to construct their future Yugoslavia, in liaison with the International Committee of the Red Cross”.”

The Geneva Conventions (1949) were in large, drafted by members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which “Kosovo” is not a signatory to, as it cannot sign without “statehood”.

Since Serbia is a member-State of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and “Kosovo” is not a “state”, as per international law; Serbia may file a complaint against the “Occupying power” of “Kosovo” by a “Referral of a situation by a State Party” allowed via Article 14 of the Rome Statute (2002), referring to the “situation” of the war crime of illegal occupation of southern Serbia.

The war crime of illegal occupation is being aided and abetted, in violation of Article 25 of the Rome Statute (2002), by the military alliance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) division for “Kosovo”, also committing the “crime of aggression” since it does not have any U.N. Authorisation to be in Serbia.

This division is called “NATO-KFOR”, which is composed of mostly of United States (U.S.) Armed Forces which are to be prosecuted in an International Criminal Tribunal for the United States of America for crimes against humanity, war crimes, violations of the Geneva Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948), violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (1997), as well as other serious violations of international law in the near future, as it committed these violations on its own territory as well as territories of many other nations, and where Israel, Canada, including nations are complicit in these violations.

Despite the fact that the ICC has jurisdiction on crimes from 2002 onwards, the bombings by NATO in the 1990’s against civilian targets are not to be taken lightly and can be introduced as evidence, if it is relevant to NATO-KFOR’s war crimes in Serbia today.

Serbia also has the option of charging these individuals at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which is not a criminal court to issue arrest warrants, but can issue an order for the illegal war criminals of the war criminal entity of the “government of Kosovo”, the Occupying power, to evacuate the war criminal entity of the “government of Kosovo” of what is considered Serbia for all legal purposes.

This is a comparatively easy case, since the area “Kosovo” is claiming, is still part of southern Serbia. In addition, “Kosovo” has self-admitted to committing “crimes against humanity” as part of an “ethnic cleansing” campaign of Serbians, so many of the belligerent “Kosovo Liberation Army” officials are to face trial in a European Union (E.U.) Tribunal for the same.

Self-admission of “ethnic cleansing” by “Kosovo” only leads us to the human rights violations being committed in southern Serbia today, such as the continuing of the “genocide” against Serbians since there are attacks including disappearances with “discriminatory intent” against Serbians by this war criminal entity; which Serbia can also prosecute at the ICC, as documented by human rights organisations such as Amnesty International.

“Discriminatory intent” is the main criteria distinguishing “crimes against humanity” from “genocide”, and this mens rea or mindstate is easier to prove when there is continuing occurrences of these crimes, especially if it is part of a “policy”.

The ICC is “complimentary” to other national courts, so cases can proceed against this entity at the European Courts and the ICC at the same time, for the same crimes, such as the “ethnic cleansing” against Serbians; a watered-down term for “genocide” against Serbians, for which a case can be made for, against “Kosovo”, at the ICC.

Kosovo is not depicted as a separate “state” on the U.N. World Map (Today), issued by the U.N. Secretariat, nor the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)’s yearly “World Heritage Maps”. Since Kosovo is not a “state” under international law, “Kosovo” is an Occupying power, committing the war crime of illegal occupation against a “state”; Serbia, as per international law.

Superpower alliance of BRICS (Brasil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and most of its allies do not recognise this war criminal entity.

Despite the fact it is the prerogative of states to recognise other states, it can be argued that the “other states” that have recognised this illegal war criminal entity, have done so under false pretext, thinking it was a “state” as per the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States (1933).

Once there is “knowledge”, as stated in the Rome Statute (2002), of a war crime, those who continue to supply arms or defence equipment, etc, are “aiding and abetting” those war crimes so therefore; can be held for complicity for the same crime as per Article 25 of the Rome Statute (2002).

Those who recognise “Kosovo” as a separate entity can also be held accountable under Article 25 (3) (d) (i) (ii) since recognition can be considered as an act to:

  1. Be made with the aim of furthering the criminal activity or criminal purpose of the group, where such activity or purpose involves the commission of a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;
  2. Be made in the knowledge of the intention of the group to commit the crime.

The presence of NATO-KFOR in “Kosovo”, which consists of mostly U.S. Armed Forces, with the knowledge war crimes are occurring, makes the contingent complicit if it goes to trial at the ICC.

“Kosovo” is a rouge regime committing the war crime of illegal occupation can be prosecuted at the ICC, and should be brought to the attention of the public as well as the concerned, so no further recognitions or aid can be given to the war criminals; “the government of Kosovo” and “NATO-KFOR”, in the absence of any legal authorisation from the U.N. or a bi-lateral treaty with the “state”, which is required to be in southern Serbia, as per international law.

These persons will not be able to travel to any other member-State of the ICC, which is most of Europe, South America, and Africa, or they will be arrested for extradition, for prosecution at the ICC.

The E.U. insisting on Serbia recognising Kosovo as a separate “state”, as a pre-condition for membership, will have to retract this pre-condition, as it is requesting Serbia to recognise war criminals.

If this “situation” is referred to the ICC, Serbia will be able to regain its land back, hold war criminals accountable for serious violations of international human rights law against Serbians, and join the E.U. on new terms.


2015-09-03

About the author:

Dr. Parasaran Rangarajan is the President of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation in Law’s Mission to the United Nations (SAARCLAW-UN). First President in history representing the governments of 9 nations in South Asia — 30% of the world’s population — in international law and to the United Nations. Counsellor [Sixth Committee] for the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, Consultant for SAAG, Editor-in-chief for the International Law Journal of London.

Source

 

“We have the right to live”: NATO’s war on Yugoslavia and the expulsion of Serbs from Kosovo

In the period before the 1999 NATO attack on Yugoslavia, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) waged a campaign to secede and establish an independent Kosovo dominated by Albanians and purged of every other ethnic group. In October 1998, KLA spokesman Bardhyl Mahmuti spelled the KLA’s vision: “We will never change our position. The independence of Kosovo is the only solution…We cannot live together [with Serbs]. That is excluded.”

Once NATO’s war came to an end, the KLA set about driving out of Kosovo every non-Albanian and every pro-Yugoslav Albanian it could lay its hands on. The KLA left in its wake thousands of looted and burning homes, and the dead and dying.

Two months after the end of the war, I visited Hotel Belgrade, located on Mt. Avala, a short distance outside of Belgrade. Those who had been driven from their homes in Kosovo were housed in hotels throughout Yugoslavia, and in this one lived Serbian refugees.

The moment I entered the hotel, the sense of misery overwhelmed me. Children were crying, and the rooms were packed with people. The two delegation members who accompanied me and I were shown all three floors, and the anger among the refugees was so palpable I felt I could reach out in the air and touch it. Nearly everyone here had a loved one who had been killed by the Kosovo Liberation Army. All had lost their homes and everything they owned.

Initially, many of them refused to talk with us, and one refugee demanded of me in a mocking tone, “Can you get my home back?” It was not until a while later that we discovered that due to a misunderstanding, some of the refugees thought the NATO commander of the attack on Yugoslavia, Wesley Clark, had sent us there. We were quick to correct that misapprehension, and then people were more inclined to talk with us. There was still, however, some residual reluctance based on three prior experiences these refugees had with Western visitors, all of whom had treated them with arrogance and contempt. A reporter from the Washington Post was said to have been particularly abusive and insulting.

Several refugees were too upset to talk. The eyes of one woman and her son still haunt me. I could see everything in their eyes – all that they had suffered.

We climbed the stairs to the third floor and began our interviews there. A family of seven people were crowded into the first room we stopped at. We were told that five of them slept at night on the two beds, and the other two on the floor. Goran Djordjevich told us his family left Kosovo on June 13. “We had to leave because of the bandits. They threatened to kill us, so we had to leave. The moment NATO came we knew that we would have to leave.” After having talked with Roma and pro-Yugoslav Albanian refugees on earlier occasions, his family’s story was a familiar one to us by now, in that threats from KLA soldiers had prompted a hasty departure.

“We not only had a house, but also our farm and our property,” Djordjevich continued. “We just let the cattle free and we fled. I drove the tractor from our village to Belgrade for four nights and five days. When our army withdrew and NATO came in, we followed the army. You know, the Albanian bandits were there all the time in the surrounding forest and the moment NATO advanced, they just joined them and started terrorizing us. They were shooting at us but we were the lucky ones because we were with the army; so we were safer, but the ones who left later were in jeopardy. Very soon after we left our house they came to the village and burned the whole village, razing it to the ground. They were firing and burning everything.”

One young man who appeared to be about twenty years-old would not give his name, but spoke to us in halting English. “The American leader is very bad. He killed too many children. Too many bombs. Too many old men. He’s guilty for too much death. I was in Kosovo when the American Air Force bombed and killed our children. They wanted to kill our children; not just our soldiers. They wanted to kill our people. For them it was just a game”

The young man witnessed a startling development when he encountered NATO’s Kosovo Force (KFOR). “When our soldiers, our boys, started to withdraw from Kosovo, KFOR came in. The first soldiers were American soldiers and German soldiers. They took the weapons from the Serbian people, and in front of our eyes, gave them to the Albanian people to kill the Serbian people. We saw that.” I asked, “You saw KFOR turning arms over to the KLA?” The youth replied, “Yes. And giving them to KLA terrorists.”

At the end of the hall, a family of eight was packed into a single room, their mattresses arranged side-by-side from one end of the room to the other. An eighty year-old man reclined on a mattress, his cane nearby. His silence conveyed an aura of deep sorrow. Mitra Dragutinovich said they left Kosovo on June 11. “We knew that the moment the army left Kosovo, then the KLA would take over. The terrorists started threatening, killing, and shooting. Many people were wounded. Our cousin is a pediatrician, and an Albanian woman came to his office with a child and took a gun from her trousers and wounded him, He lost a kidney. Pointing to the eighty year-old man, she said, “The pediatrician who was wounded is his grandson.”

A woman approached, and with rising emotion addressed us in a sharp tone. “Why did the Americans and the Germans come? Why did they come? Did they come to protect us, or did they come to massacre us, to drive us from our homes, to violate our women, and to kill our children? I can’t believe that someone who had first bombed you for three months, every day and for 24 hours, that after that he will come to protect you. I wonder how [US President] Clinton can’t be sorry for the children at least. Are there children in your country? Does he know what it means to be a child? You know, we could retaliate. We could also organize terrorist actions and kill your children in the United States. But we are people with a soul. We would never, never, do that to any American child, because we are people with a soul.”

I asked what life had been like in her village during the bombing, and she answered, “It was awful. We were frightened. We were in our country. We were on our soil. But now, we are no longer on our soil, because we are occupied down there. Whoever they are, be they Americans, British, Germans, French, let them take care of their own problems at home and we shall deal with our problems here, in our country, because this is our country.”

We returned to the first floor, where we found a small crowd gathered in the lobby. Nikola Cheko was from Velika Hocha, near Orahovac. He had a strikingly expressive manner of speaking that I found quite moving, injecting each word with intense and sincere feeling. “We were surrounded from the very beginning of the aggression on March 24. We were surrounded by the Albanians. No electricity. No water. No bread. None of the conditions necessary for life. No one is taking care of us. KFOR: Nothing! They couldn’t care less for poor Serbs. They think we are stupid farmers; we’ll survive somehow and no one needs us, so KFOR simply forgets us. It’s a shame. It’s a shame for KFOR, for the United States, for Great Britain, for France, for Germany, for NATO, and all the big powers of the world. We are all human beings. We have the right to live. The nationality, the race and the religion are not important at all. A human being should first be a human being. A true human being is the one who is ready to help the victim in need. I think that KFOR should open its eyes and see what’s going on down there and behave according to Resolution 1244 and the documents signed by our Yugoslav representatives and the UN representatives in Kumanovo. In Kosovo, it’s not only Velika Hocha that is in trouble. There are many, many villages where people are absolutely in great need and dying. It’s high time that we become human beings and behave like human beings in the first place.”

Emotions in the room were running quite high and it took considerable prodding and encouragement to get anyone else to talk. My entreaties were met with silent rejection and it was at this point that our translator discovered that everyone thought that NATO general Wesley Clark had sent us. Once our translator cleared up that matter, the people were still disinclined to speak.

A woman in her thirties shouted out, “I don’t want to talk because no one will help. Two of my brothers have been kidnapped.” It was an opening, and I explained that the American people were unaware of what was happening, and that is why we wanted these interviews. Her name was Biljana Lazich, from Sopin, and pretty soon she began to talk more freely. “You know, we are all dressed in black [for mourning]. When Kosovo was part of Serbia and when our army was there, the KLA took my brothers prisoner. They were farmers and they were kidnapped from their homes. We didn’t hear anything from them for a whole year. My mother did everything possible and impossible, through the tracing service of the Yugoslav Red Cross and International Red Cross. The International Red Cross informed us that my brothers were alive and that they would be exchanged. It was in July last year, ten days after they had been taken prisoner.”

But nothing happened. Months passed and one day Lazich’s mother visited William Walker, who had been installed at U.S. insistence as head of the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission. The ostensible purpose of the OSCE mission was to reduce the level of conflict between the Yugoslav security forces and the KLA, but the signed agreement applied only to Yugoslavia. The KLA was not part of the agreement, and was free to run wild. Walker packed the mission with CIA agents, who were busy marking targets for the impending NATO attack and providing military training to the KLA. Shortly before departing Kosovo, they handed communications and satellite global positioning equipment to the KLA.

Walker was unresponsive to the pleas, Biljana Lazich told us, and “didn’t say anything.” He was just “beating around the bush,” and “nothing happened.”

Life during the bombing was “awful, awful,” she continued. “We were frightened, both of the bombs coming from the sky and of the KLA. Before the war and the bombing, we had good relations with our neighbors. But when the bombing started, we knew what was in store for us, because we knew the intent of the KLA. We were afraid of the KLA and we wouldn’t allow our kids to leave our houses. They were all locked inside. We didn’t allow the children to play outside at all. We were particularly afraid for the children. The situation was unbearable! We had to flee, to save the children at least.”

Lazich introduced her mother-in-law, Dobrila Lazich, who told us what the KLA had done to her brother’s 13-year-old son in September 1998. The boy “came to see his relatives. First, he came to see one aunt and uncle and then he went to visit the other aunt and uncle, and between the two houses he was kidnapped and killed.” The boy’s mother was reluctant to talk to us, but her relatives pushed her forward and she spoke in a barely audible voice. Her name was Stana Antich and she told us how she sought help from William Walker, but he would not do anything.

At this point, Biljana stepped forward and interjected, “The boy was only 13-years-old. How could he be guilty to anyone? He’s just 13. I have a brother-in-law who was beaten to death, in Dragobilje.” The OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission “knew they were taken prisoner and they communicated to us that they were alive and well, but finally we got their dead bodies.” A third man “was returned alive, but unconscious and very severely beaten.”

Despite some honest members, as a general rule nothing could have been expected from the leadership of an OSCE mission that was riddled with CIA agents. I asked the question that I already could guess the answer to. What did the OSCE Verification mission do in response to these murders? “Nothing,” Biljana responded. “Nothing. They were just sitting idle, waiting for them to beat them to death. They didn’t intervene. They didn’t come to help us. They just came to help the KLA.” Biljana spoke of how people disappeared or were killed outright. “The whole world knew that, but no one wanted to condemn the KLA for these crimes. They put all blame on the Serbian police, constantly accusing them of persecuting the Albanians.”

Dostena Filipovich appeared to be in her sixties and wore a scarf over her head. She told us how she had sent her three children out of Kosovo to ensure their safety. “My husband and I, as elderly people, stayed back to protect and defend the house. Since there were few Serbs who stayed behind in our village, some Albanians started molesting us, threatening and firing guns in front of our windows, so we decided to leave our village. We took only hand luggage and our cow and went to a neighboring village. We have only what we are wearing. We had a lot of poultry. We had a lot of cattle. We didn’t let them loose. We just locked them in the stable and the chicken coop, expecting to return. You remember I said that we decided to go to another Serbian village, but when we arrived there, the people were also fleeing. Since the roads were jammed, we couldn’t move fast and we wanted to go to Brecovica but the roads were so jammed we couldn’t move from Prizren. Even though KFOR was in Prizren, the KLA attacked us in Prizren, firing on our column.” I asked, “And KFOR did nothing?” The tone of Filopovich’s response indicated that she was still astonished to that day. “Nothing! Nothing! Just watching and laughing, watching and laughing.”

The column of refugees eventually made their way to another Serbian village to stay overnight, but at 3:00 AM they heard gunfire in the surrounding area and decided to leave. They arrived at another village, populated by both Serbs and Albanians. “When we arrived in that village, three KLA soldiers wearing different colors of caps came, together with KFOR.” Nevertheless, the refugees spent two nights in the village. “Serbs were not allowed to stand guard. Only local Albanians were allowed to stand guard. Then KFOR called all the Serbian men to surrender their weapons to KFOR. KFOR then handed all the weapons over to the KLA.” Once that happened, it was clear to the refugees that they would have to leave. “KFOR organized our column, one tank in front and the other in back. And then we noticed a lorry full of Albanians came. They were our neighbors. They smeared their faces so as not to be recognized, but we recognized them all the same. They wanted to plunder us. To be honest, KFOR did not allow them to do so. We were honest people. We didn’t have trouble with the neighbors. We didn’t take anything from anyone, so our consciences were quite clear. We thought that we should be protected, as honest people.”

First KFOR collected all out weapons, so we were easy prey. Before my eyes, the KLA killed my uncle. Actually, they slaughtered him with an axe and left his body. They didn’t bury him. They cut him into pieces. KFOR simply doesn’t prevent the KLA from doing anything. They can do anything. They just simply sit and watch and do nothing. We were not allowed to protect ourselves. We were driven out of our own homes. We were unarmed. We were at the mercy of the KLA terrorists. They had support from KFOR. They gave them arms. They took the arms from us. We left our homes with our naked souls and nothing else.

I asked if anyone else would like to be interviewed and all declined. There was a young girl in the room, aged around 12 or 13. A couple of people told me that the KLA had murdered her father. Several people encouraged her to talk but she vigorously shook her head no. They asked the girl again, and she broke into tears. With a loud, heart-rending sob, she spun around and fled down the hallway, leaving behind her a trail of echoing cries. Shaken, I stood there in silent contemplation when someone jarred me back to awareness by asking if I wanted the girl brought back. I could not inflict that on her and said no.

Bozhe Antich was sitting on a folding chair. Before he uttered a word, one could sense that terrible things had happened to him. He spoke out, “I have experienced a great tragedy.” We walked over to listen to his story. “It’s difficult for me to talk. I am from the village of Sopin, in the municipality of Suva Reka. The KLA killed my brother’s son. He was 42 years old. They killed him because he was a Serb. They killed my best friend, a mechanic. His name is Ranchel Antich, from Ljeshane village. They also killed Dr. Boban Vuksanovich, director of the health center in Suva Reka. They also killed my daughter-in-law’s brother, 32-years-old, just because he was a Serb. He was killed 200 meters from his home. They were not in politics. They were ordinary workers, mechanics. They went to the monastery to repair a machine there, and the road was bombed. They were on the way to the Holy Trinity Monastery, a very old monastery from the 14th century. They left Suva Reka, on the way to repair the machine. It’s four kilometers from Suva Reka. The KLA ambushed them, first killing the driver of the car. Then they pushed the car down over a cliff. Several of the passengers in the car were wounded. The terrorists were not satisfied with killing the driver, the doctor and my cousin. They wanted to kill everyone in the car. So when the car came to a stop at the bottom of the hill, they followed the car and killed my other nephew with sixteen bullets in his body.”

This incident took place during the NATO war. Not long after the murders occurred, a criminal investigator visited the site and KLA soldiers killed him, too. The Holy Trinity Monastery, where Antich’s friends and family were headed the day they were killed, also met a sad fate. When KFOR entered Kosovo in mid-June 1999, KLA soldiers looted and burned the monastery, and the next month they returned and demolished it with explosives. The Holy Trinity Monastery was one of 84 churches and monasteries the KLA destroyed during its rampage in the first few months under the protective wing of NATO. Many of the buildings dated back to the Middle Ages, and some were designated by UNESCO as world historic sites. KFOR would eventually place under guard some of the more historic sites that had managed to survive, but the demolition of religious sites nevertheless continued on a sporadic basis. In March 2004, Albanian extremists launched a new pogrom, killing, beating and driving away Serbs and setting their homes ablaze. During those attacks, another 35 churches and monasteries were destroyed or damaged.

“We can’t go back as long as the KLA has KFOR protection, a shield for their murderous activities,” Bozhe Antich explained. “If someone is human, he should at least be sorry for the little children who have been murdered. Because all the children of this world are children in the first place, regardless of their religion, race, and ethnic origin. What is the future of our children now? They have no homes. They have no schools for now. We were not poor people. We had our property down there. We had houses. We had land. For example, in my case, I worked for 33 years. Now, I am a beggar. I have nothing. Our country, Serbia, is in deep economic crisis. Serbia cannot help. What is our future? All those supporting these criminal activities, committed by Albanian terrorists, should face the truth and see in us human beings, because we are human beings.”

Sava Jovanovich presented photographs of his demolished home in Kosovo. Scrawled on one wall was ‘UCK’, the initials for ‘KLA’ in the Albanian language. Another graffiti message read, “Return of Serbs prohibited.” Jovanovich and his four brothers lived in houses that were next to each other. They left Kosovo on June 11 and 12. “It was an exodus,” Sava recalled. “My father decided to protect the houses. I asked about my father, and they told me, “We don’t know anything. We have no news from him. We don’t know.” The KLA “took everything, all the wheat, and then they burned down the granary. They also plundered the wheat and corn from my brothers’ property and then burned down the building. We had about 15 cows, 20 pigs, and lots of poultry, and now we have nothing.”

The lack of news of his father’s fate distressed him, and he blamed Western intervention for the tragedy that had befallen his family. “My father remembers the stories from his grandfather, from the time when he lived while the region was still under the Ottoman Empire. And my father lived under German occupation during the [Second] World War. They didn’t have to leave their homes. Now is the first time we were forced to leave. It is worse than under the Ottomans and the Germans.”

I mentioned to him that U.S. officials were saying that members of the KLA could join the new police force being established in Kosovo. Jovanovich was startled. “This is impossible, because they hate the Serbs and they are against the Serbs. This is not possible.” But that is precisely what happened, as KLA soldiers filled the ranks of the newly formed police force in NATO-occupied Kosovo.

About one month after I returned to the United States, I read an article from the Yugoslav press. A reporter had interviewed many of the same refugees at Mt. Avala, including Sava Jovanovich. In the intervening time, Jovanovich had finally received news of his father. “I heard that Albanian robbers hanged my father, who didn’t want to leave, at his doorstep.”


About the author:

Gregory Elich is on the Board of Directors of the Jasenovac Research Institute and the Advisory Board of the Korea Policy Institute. He is a columnist for Voice of the People, and one of the co-authors of Killing Democracy: CIA and Pentagon Operations in the Post-Soviet Period, published in the Russian language.

Saudi Arabia Reacts to Preparation for Astana Talks

Saudi Arabia believes that the talks in the Kazakh capital Astana could lead to a stable ceasefire, according to the statement made by the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. He expressed hope for reaching a ceasefire saying that the Astana talks are worth testing. He also confessed that so far the negotiation process has not resulted in the halt of fighting and transition to peaceful settlement.

Al-Jubeir also mentioned that if the talks succeed, the way of political means should be studied more closely. He refused to comment on the talks agenda, pointing out that its possible success does not mean that the Kingdom abandon Syrian moderate opposition who fights for toppling the government of Bashar al-Assad.

This statement was further confirmed by the two-day meeting between Saudi diplomats and Syrian opposition figures which has been recently held in the Saudi capital Riyadh. The meeting served to coordinate positions of Saudi Foreign Ministry and the opposition High Negotiation Committee. After the meeting the HNC declared its extended support for the opposition delegation to the Astana talks and expressed hope for consolidating the ceasefire and giving new momentum to the Geneva talks.

We could only hope that Saudi Arabia, which is currently suffering from defeats in the war with the Houthi rebels in Yemen, is not going to undermine the Astana talks to sabotage the peaceful settlement process. At the same time the HNC, feeling pressure and being a Kingdom’s proxy, could persist in its efforts for ousting Bashar al-Assad.


By Sophie Mangal

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On target: Ukraine could learn from Kosovo’s troubles

There was an interesting announcement recently that went almost entirely unnoticed in the Canadian media.

On June 17, Peter Szijjarto, foreign minister of Hungary’s centre-right government, made the startling declaration that his national security forces will erect a four-metre wall along the entire 175 kilometres of shared border with Serbia.

Szijjarto’s rationale for resorting to such a drastic measure results from a months-long flood of asylum seekers pouring into southern Hungary. While tens of thousands of these desperate illegal immigrants have been caught, detained and returned into Serbia, the vast majority have used the processing time for their asylum applications to simply disappear into other western European countries.

This, of course, explains why there is no public outcry from other members of the European Union over Hungary’s decision to fence out this wave of desperate humanity.

For impoverished Serbia, staunching the flow of these refugees at its northern border has generated the opposite reaction.

“I thought the Berlin Wall had fallen, but now new walls are being constructed,” stated Serbia’s foreign minister, Ivica Dacic, referring to the Cold War barrier that stood from 1961 until 1991.

“We are absolutely and fiercely against (Hungary’s) decision to build a fence.”

While the nationalities of those fleeing through Serbia into Hungary and beyond include Syrians, Somalis and even Afghans, the irony is that the vast majority of asylum seekers are ethnic Albanians from Kosovo.

The most recent exodus began in earnest in the fall of 2014, when the Serbian government relaxed travel restrictions on Albanians entering from the declared independent state of Kosovo. Serbia has never recognized Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence and still legally considers the region to be sovereign Serbian territory.

In 1999, Kosovo was ravaged by a brutal civil war between ethnic Albanian separatists and Serbian security forces. The root cause of the public discontent was a severely depressed economy, overpopulation and unemployment. The Albanian underworld was able use that unrest to ignite and impassion a wave of nationalist sentiment that soon boiled over into a full-scale armed insurgency.

That year was the 50th anniversary of NATO and, given the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, there was a strong desire for NATO leaders to prove that the alliance was still relevant. Thus, NATO threw its full weight behind the Albanian Kosovo rebels.

In the spring of 1999, NATO warplanes, including Canadian CF-18s, launched a 78-day bombing campaign — not just against Serbian military targets in the disputed territory of Kosovo but against civilian infrastructure and utilities throughout all of Serbia. With NATO combat forces, including Canadians, massed in Macedonia for a possible ground war, the Serbian government negotiated a ceasefire on June 10, 1999.

Under the negotiated terms of UN Resolution 1244, Kosovo was to remain the sovereign territory of Serbia after a brief military occupation by NATO troops. Serbian security forces were to resume control of Kosovo’s border crossings and provide protection for the numerous sacred Serbian religious sites and monasteries within the disputed territory.

Of course, that was never actually in the cards. NATO negotiators had never wanted to have ground troops fight their way through Kosovo’s forebodingly steep mountain passes. Therefore, they agreed to all Serbian demands, knowing full well that they would never honour the deal.

In February 2008, that duplicity was formalized when the United States hastily recognized Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence and strong-armed allies such as Canada into following suit.

However, the precedent of such declarations of territorial independence based upon ethnic regional majority has prevented many countries from recognizing Kosovo. For instance, Spain, with its Basque separatist movement, and Azerbaijan, with its claim over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, cannot recognize a unilaterally declared independence.

With Russia using its veto to deny Kosovo membership in the UN and Spain, Slovakia, Greece and Cyprus doing likewise to keep it out of the European Union, Kosovo has remained in a strange quasi-limbo status on the international stage.

What matters most, however, is that at the end of the day, you cannot subsist on flags. Despite its declared independence, unemployment, poverty, corruption and widespread crime are driving a new flood of Albanian Kosovars to seek a better life — anywhere but in Kosovo.

The people of Ukraine who see their salvation in the form of a NATO intervention should take a good look at NATO’s “success” in Kosovo. Short-term military solutions do not solve long-term economic problems.


By Scott Taylor

2015-06-28

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Victims Of The (Western) Christian Faith

Listed are only events that solely occurred on command or participation of church authorities or were committed in the name of Christianity. (List incomplete)

Ancient Pagans


  • As soon as Christianity became legal in the Roman Empire by imperial edict (315), more and more pagan temples were destroyed by Christian mob. Pagan priests were killed.
  • Between 315 and 6th century thousands of pagan believers were slain.
  • Examples of destroyed Temples: the Sanctuary of Aesculap in Aegaea, the Temple of Aphrodite in Golgatha, Aphaka in Lebanon, the Heliopolis.
  • Christian priests such as Mark of Arethusa or Cyrill of Heliopolis were famous as “temple destroyer.” [DA468]
  • Pagan services became punishable by death in 356. [DA468]
  • Christian Emperor Theodosius (408-450) even had children executed, because they had been playing with remains of pagan statues. [DA469]
    According to Christian chroniclers he “followed meticulously all Christian teachings…”
  • In 6th century pagans were declared void of all rights.
  • In the early fourth century the philosopher Sopatros was executed on demand of Christian authorities. [DA466]
  • The world famous female philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria was torn to pieces with glass fragments by a hysterical Christian mob led by a Christian minister named Peter, in a church, in 415.
    [DO19-25]

Mission


  • Emperor Karl (Charlemagne) in 782 had 4500 Saxons, unwilling to convert to Christianity, beheaded. [DO30]
  • Peasants of Steding (Germany) unwilling to pay suffocating church taxes: between 5,000 and 11,000 men, women and children slain 5/27/1234 near Altenesch/Germany. [WW223]
  • 15th century Poland: 1019 churches and 17987 villages plundered by Knights of the Order. Number of victims unknown. [DO30]
  • 16th and 17th century Ireland. English troops “pacified and civilized” Ireland, where only Gaelic “wild Irish”, “unreasonable beasts lived without any knowledge of God or good manners, in common of their goods, cattle, women, children and every other thing.” One of the more successful soldiers, a certain Humphrey Gilbert, half-brother of Sir Walter Raleigh, ordered that “the heddes of all those (of what sort soever thei were) which were killed in the daie, should be cutte off from their bodies… and should bee laied on the ground by eche side of the waie”, which effort to civilize the Irish indeed caused “greate terrour to the people when thei sawe the heddes of their dedde fathers, brothers, children, kinsfolke, and freinds on the grounde”.
    Tens of thousands of Gaelic Irish fell victim to the carnage. [SH99, 225]

Crusades (1095-1291)


  • First Crusade: 1095 on command of pope Urban II. [WW11-41]
  • Semlin/Hungary 6/24/96 thousands slain. Wieselburg/Hungary 6/12/96 thousands. [WW23]
  • 9/9/96-9/26/96 Nikaia, Xerigordon (then Turkish), thousands respectively. [WW25-27]
  • Until January 1098 a total of 40 capital cities and 200 castles conquered (number of slain unknown) [WW30]
  • After 6/3/98 Antiochia (then Turkish) conquered, between 10,000 and 60,000 slain. 6/28/98 100,000 Turks (incl. women and children) killed. [WW32-35]
    Here the Christians “did no other harm to the women found in [the enemy’s] tents – save that they ran their lances through their bellies,” according to Christian chronicler Fulcher of Chartres. [EC60]
  • Marra (Maraat an-numan) 12/11/98 thousands killed. Because of the subsequent famine “the already stinking corpses of the enemies were eaten by the Christians” said chronicler Albert Aquensis. [WW36]
  • Jerusalem conquered 7/15/1099 more than 60,000 victims (Jewish, Muslim, men, women, children). [WW37-40]
    In the words of one witness: “there [in front of Solomon’s temple] was such a carnage that our people were wading ankle-deep in the blood of our foes”, and after that “happily and crying for joy our people marched to our Saviour’s tomb, to honour it and to pay off our debt of gratitude.”
  • The Archbishop of Tyre, eye-witness, wrote: “It was impossible to look upon the vast numbers of the slain without horror; everywhere lay fragments of human bodies, and the very ground was covered with the blood of the slain. It was not alone the spectacle of headless bodies and mutilated limbs strewn in all directions that roused the horror of all who looked upon them. Still more dreadful was it to gaze upon the victors themselves, dripping with blood from head to foot, an ominous sight which brought terror to all who met them. It is reported that within the Temple enclosure alone about ten thousand infidels perished.” [TG79]
  • Christian chronicler Eckehard of Aura noted that “even the following summer in all of Palestine the air was polluted by the stench of decomposition”. One million victims of the first crusade alone. [WW41]
  • Battle of Askalon, 8/12/1099. 200,000 heathens slaughtered “in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ”. [WW45]
  • Fourth crusade: 4/12/1204 Constantinople sacked, number of victims unknown, numerous thousands, many of them Christian. [WW141-148]
  • Rest of Crusades in less detail: until the fall of Akkon 1291 probably 20 million victims (in the Holy land and Arab/Turkish areas alone). [WW224]Note: All figures according to contemporary (Christian) chroniclers.

Heretics and Atheists


  • Already in 385 C.E. the first Christians, the Spanish Priscillianus and six followers, were beheaded for heresy in Trier/Germany [DO26]
  • Manichaean heresy: a crypto-Christian sect decent enough to practice birth control (and thus not as irresponsible as faithful Catholics) was exterminated in huge campaigns all over the Roman empire between 372 C.E. and 444 C.E. Numerous thousands of victims. [NC]
  • Albigensians: the first Crusade intended to slay other Christians. [DO29]
    The Albigensians (Cathars) viewed themselves as good Christians, but would not accept Roman Catholic rule, and taxes, and prohibition of birth control. [NC]
    Begin of violence: on command of pope Innocent III (the greatest single mass murderer prior to the Nazi era) in 1209. Beziérs (today France) 7/22/1209 destroyed, all the inhabitants were slaughtered. Number of victims (including Catholics refusing to turn over their heretic neighbors and friends) estimated between 20,000-70,000. [WW179-181]
  • Carcassonne 8/15/1209, thousands slain. Other cities followed. [WW181]
  • Subsequent 20 years of war until nearly all Cathars (probably half the population of the Languedoc, today southern France) were exterminated. [WW183]
  • After the war ended (1229) the Inquisition was founded 1232 to search and destroy surviving/hiding heretics. Last Cathars burned at the stake 1324. [WW183]
  • Estimated one million victims (Cathar heresy alone), [WW183]
  • Other heresies: Waldensians, Paulikians, Runcarians, Josephites, and many others. Most of these sects exterminated, (I believe some Waldensians live today, yet they had to endure 600 years of persecution) I estimate at least hundred thousand victims (including the Spanish inquisition but excluding victims in the New World).
  • Spanish Inquisitor Torquemada, a former Dominican friar, allegedly was responsible for 10,220 burnings. [DO28]
  • John Huss, a critic of papal infallibility and indulgences, was burned at the stake in 1415. [LI475-522]
  • Michael Sattler, leader of a baptist community, was burned at the stake in Rottenburg, Germany, May 20, 1527. Several days later his wife and other follwers were also executed. [KM]
  • University professor B.Hubmaier burned at the stake 1538 in Vienna. [DO59]
  • Giordano Bruno, Dominican monk, after having been incarcerated for seven years, was burned at the stake for heresy on the Campo dei Fiori (Rome) on 2/17/1600.
  • Thomas Aikenhead, a twenty-year-old scottish student of Edinburgh University, was hanged for atheism and blasphemy.

Witches


  • From the beginning of Christianity to 1484 probably more than several thousand.
  • In the era of witch hunting (1484-1750) according to modern scholars several hundred thousand (about 80% female) burned at the stake or hanged. [WV]
  • Incomplete list of documented cases:
    The Burning of Witches – A Chronicle of the Burning Times

Religious Wars


  • 15th century: Crusades against Hussites, thousands slain. [DO30]
  • 1538 pope Paul III declared Crusade against apostate England and all English as slaves of Church (fortunately had not power to go into action). [DO31]
  • 1568 Spanish Inquisition Tribunal ordered extermination of 3 million rebels in (then Spanish) Netherlands. [DO31]
    Between 5000 and 6000 Protestants were drowned by Spanish Catholic Troops, “a disaster the burghers of Emden first realized when several thousand broad-brimmed Dutch hats floated by.” [SH216]
  • 1572 In France about 20,000 Huguenots were killed on command of pope Pius V. Until 17th century 200,000 flee. [DO31]
  • 17th century: Catholics slay Gaspard de Coligny, a Protestant leader. After murdering him, the Catholic mob mutilated his body, “cutting off his head, his hands, and his genitals… and then dumped him into the river […but] then, deciding that it was not worthy of being food for the fish, they hauled it out again [… and] dragged what was left … to the gallows of Montfaulcon, ‘to be meat and carrion for maggots and crows’.” [SH191]
  • 17th century: Catholics sack the city of Magdeburg/Germany: roughly 30,000 Protestants were slain. “In a single church fifty women were found beheaded,” reported poet Friedrich Schiller, “and infants still sucking the breasts of their lifeless mothers.” [SH191]
  • 17th century 30 years’ war (Catholic vs. Protestant): at least 40% of population decimated, mostly in Germany. [DO31-32]

Jews


  • Already in the 4th and 5th centuries synagogues were burned by Christians. Number of Jews slain unknown.
  • In the middle of the fourth century the first synagogue was destroyed on command of bishop Innocentius of Dertona in Northern Italy. The first synagogue known to have been burned down was near the river Euphrat, on command of the bishop of Kallinikon in the year 388. [DA450]
  •  694 17. Council of Toledo: Jews were enslaved, their property confiscated, and their children forcibly baptized. [DA454]
  • 1010 The Bishop of Limoges (France) had the cities’ Jews, who would not convert to Christianity, expelled or killed. [DA453]
  • 1096 First Crusade: Thousands of Jews slaughtered, maybe 12.000 total. Places: Worms 5/18/1096, Mainz 5/27/1096 (1100 persons), Cologne, Neuss, Altenahr, Wevelinghoven, Xanten, Moers, Dortmund, Kerpen, Trier, Metz, Regensburg, Prag and others (All locations Germany except Metz/France, Prag/Czech) [EJ]
  • 1147 Second Crusade: Several hundred Jews were slain in Ham, Sully, Carentan, and Rameru (all locations in France). [WW57]
  • 1189/90 Third Crusade: English Jewish communities sacked. [DO40]
  • 1235, Fulda/Germany: 34 Jewish men and women slain. [DO41]
  • 1257, 1267: Jewish communities of London, Canterbury, Northampton, Lincoln, Cambridge, and others exterminated. [DO41]
  • 1290 Bohemia (Poland) allegedly 10,000 Jews killed. [DO41]
  • 1337 Starting in Deggendorf/Germany a Jew-killing craze reaches 51 towns in Bavaria, Austria, Poland. [DO41]
  • 1348 All Jews of Basel/Switzerland and Strasbourg/France (two thousand) burned. [DO41]
  • 1349 In more than 350 towns in Germany all Jews murdered, mostly burned alive (in this one year more Jews were killed than Christians in 200 years of ancient Roman persecution of Christians). [DO42]
  • 1389 In Prag 3,000 Jews were slaughtered. [DO42]
  • 1391 Seville’s Jews killed (Archbishop Martinez leading). 4,000 were slain, 25,000 sold as slaves. [DA454] Their identification was made easy by the brightly colored “badges of shame” that all Jews above the age of ten had been forced to wear.
  • 1492 In the year Columbus set sail to conquer a New World, more than 150,000 Jews were expelled from Spain, many died on their way: 6/30/1492. [MM470-476]
  • 1648 Chmielnitzki massacres: In Poland about 200,000 Jews were slain. [DO43]

(I feel sick …) this goes on and on, century after century, right into the kilns of Auschwitz.

Native Peoples


  • Beginning with Columbus (a former slave trader and would-be Holy Crusader) the conquest of the New World began, as usual understood as a means to propagate Christianity.
  • Within hours of landfall on the first inhabited island he encountered in the Caribbean, Columbus seized and carried off six native people who, he said, “ought to be good servants … [and] would easily be made Christians, because it seemed to me that they belonged to no religion.” [SH200]
    While Columbus described the Indians as “idolators” and “slaves, as many as [the Crown] shall order,” his pal Michele de Cuneo, Italian nobleman, referred to the natives as “beasts” because “they eat when they are hungry,” and made love “openly whenever they feel like it.” [SH204-205]
  • On every island he set foot on, Columbus planted a cross, “making the declarations that are required” – the requerimiento – to claim the ownership for his Catholic patrons in Spain. And “nobody objected.” If the Indians refused or delayed their acceptance (or understanding), the requerimiento continued:

    “I certify to you that, with the help of God, we shall powerfully enter in your country and shall make war against you … and shall subject you to the yoke and obedience of the Church … and shall do you all mischief that we can, as to vassals who do not obey and refuse to receive their lord and resist and contradict him.” [SH66]

  • Likewise in the words of John Winthrop, first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony: “justifieinge the undertakeres of the intended Plantation in New England … to carry the Gospell into those parts of the world, … and to raise a Bulworke against the kingdome of the Ante-Christ.” [SH235]
  • In average two thirds of the native population were killed by colonist-imported smallpox before violence began. This was a great sign of “the marvelous goodness and providence of God” to the Christians of course, e.g. the Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony wrote in 1634, as “for the natives, they are near all dead of the smallpox, so as the Lord hath cleared our title to what we possess.” [SH109,238]
  • On Hispaniola alone, on Columbus visits, the native population (Arawak), a rather harmless and happy people living on an island of abundant natural resources, a literal paradise, soon mourned 50,000 dead. [SH204]
  • The surviving Indians fell victim to rape, murder, enslavement and Spanish raids.
  • As one of the culprits wrote: “So many Indians died that they could not be counted, all through the land the Indians lay dead everywhere. The stench was very great and pestiferous.” [SH69]
  • The Indian chief Hatuey fled with his people but was captured and burned alive. As “they were tying him to the stake a Franciscan friar urged him to take Jesus to his heart so that his soul might go to heaven, rather than descend into hell. Hatuey replied that if heaven was where the Christians went, he would rather go to hell.” [SH70]
  • What happened to his people was described by an eyewitness:
    “The Spaniards found pleasure in inventing all kinds of odd cruelties … They built a long gibbet, long enough for the toes to touch the ground to prevent strangling, and hanged thirteen [natives] at a time in honor of Christ Our Saviour and the twelve Apostles… then, straw was wrapped around their torn bodies and they were burned alive.” [SH72]
    Or, on another occasion:
    “The Spaniards cut off the arm of one, the leg or hip of another, and from some their heads at one stroke, like butchers cutting up beef and mutton for market. Six hundred, including the cacique, were thus slain like brute beasts…Vasco [de Balboa] ordered forty of them to be torn to pieces by dogs.” [SH83]
  • The “island’s population of about eight million people at the time of Columbus’s arrival in 1492 already had declined by a third to a half before the year 1496 was out.” Eventually all the island’s natives were exterminated, so the Spaniards were “forced” to import slaves from other caribbean islands, who soon suffered the same fate. Thus “the Caribbean’s millions of native people [were] thereby effectively liquidated in barely a quarter of a century”. [SH72-73] “In less than the normal lifetime of a single human being, an entire culture of millions of people, thousands of years resident in their homeland, had been exterminated.” [SH75]
  • “And then the Spanish turned their attention to the mainland of Mexico and Central America. The slaughter had barely begun. The exquisite city of Tenochtitlán [Mexico city] was next.” [SH75]
  • Cortez, Pizarro, De Soto and hundreds of other Spanish conquistadors likewise sacked southern and mesoamerican civilizations in the name of Christ (De Soto also sacked Florida).
  • “When the 16th century ended, some 200,000 Spaniards had moved to the Americas. By that time probably more than 60,000,000 natives were dead.” [SH95]

Of course no different were the founders of what today is the US of America.

  • Although none of the settlers would have survived winter without native help, they soon set out to expel and exterminate the Indians. Warfare among (north American) Indians was rather harmless, in comparison to European standards, and was meant to avenge insults rather than conquer land. In the words of some of the pilgrim fathers: “Their Warres are farre less bloudy…”, so that there usually was “no great slawter of nether side”. Indeed, “they might fight seven yeares and not kill seven men.” What is more, the Indians usually spared women and children. [SH111]
  • In the spring of 1612 some English colonists found life among the (generally friendly and generous) natives attractive enough to leave Jamestown – “being idell … did runne away unto the Indyans,” – to live among them (that probably solved a sex problem).
    “Governor Thomas Dale had them hunted down and executed: ‘Some he apointed (sic) to be hanged Some burned Some to be broken upon wheles, others to be staked and some shott to deathe’.” [SH105] Of course these elegant measures were restricted for fellow Englishmen: “This was the treatment for those who wished to act like Indians. For those who had no choice in the matter, because they were the native people of Virginia” methods were different: “when an Indian was accused by an Englishman of stealing a cup and failing to return it, the English response was to attack the natives in force, burning the entire community” down. [SH105]
  • On the territory that is now Massachusetts the founding fathers of the colonies were committing genocide, in what has become known as the “Peqout War.” The killers were New England Puritan Christians, refugees from persecution in their own home country England.
  • When however, a dead colonist was found, apparently killed by Narragansett Indians, the Puritan colonists wanted revenge. Despite the Indian chief’s pledge they attacked.
    Somehow they seem to have lost the idea of what they were after, because when they were greeted by Pequot Indians (long-time foes of the Narragansetts) the troops nevertheless made war on the Pequots and burned their villages.
    The puritan commander-in-charge John Mason after one massacre wrote: “And indeed such a dreadful Terror did the Almighty let fall upon their Spirits, that they would fly from us and run into the very Flames, where many of them perished … God was above them, who laughed his Enemies and the Enemies of his People to Scorn, making them as a fiery Oven … Thus did the Lord judge among the Heathen, filling the Place with dead Bodies”: men, women, children. [SH113-114]
  • So “the Lord was pleased to smite our Enemies in the hinder Parts, and to give us their land for an inheritance”. [SH111].
  • Because of his readers’ assumed knowledge of Deuteronomy, there was no need for Mason to quote the words that immediately follow:
    “Thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth. But thou shalt utterly destroy them…” (Deut 20)
  • Mason’s comrade Underhill recalled how “great and doleful was the bloody sight to the view of the young soldiers” yet reassured his readers that “sometimes the Scripture declareth women and children must perish with their parents”. [SH114]
  • Other Indians were killed in successful plots of poisoning. The colonists even had dogs especially trained to kill Indians and to devour children from their mothers breasts, in the colonists’ own words: “blood Hounds to draw after them, and Mastives to seaze them.” (This was inspired by Spanish methods of the time)
    In this way they continued until the extermination of the Pequots was near. [SH107-119]
  • The surviving handful of Indians “were parceled out to live in servitude. John Endicott and his pastor wrote to the governor asking for ‘a share’ of the captives, specifically ‘a young woman or girle and a boy if you thinke good’.” [SH115]
  • Other tribes were to follow the same path.
  • Comment the Christian exterminators: “God’s Will, which will at last give us cause to say: How Great is His Goodness! and How Great is his Beauty!”
    “Thus doth the Lord Jesus make them to bow before him, and to lick the Dust!” [TA]
  • Like today, lying was morally acceptable to Christians then. “Peace treaties were signed with every intention to violate them: when the Indians ‘grow secure uppon (sic) the treatie’, advised the Council of State in Virginia, ‘we shall have the better Advantage both to surprise them, & cutt downe theire Corne’.” [SH106]
  • In 1624 sixty heavily armed Englishmen cut down 800 defenseless Indian men, women and children. [SH107]
  • In a single massacre in “King Philip’s War” of 1675 and 1676 some “600 Indians were destroyed. A delighted Cotton Mather, revered pastor of the Second Church in Boston, later referred to the slaughter as a ‘barbeque’.” [SH115]
  • To summarize: Before the arrival of the English, the western Abenaki people in New Hampshire and Vermont had numbered 12,000. Less than half a century later about 250 remained alive – a destruction rate of 98%. The Pocumtuck people had numbered more than 18,000, fifty years later they were down to 920 – 95% destroyed. The Quiripi-Unquachog people had numbered about 30,000, fifty years later they were down to 1500 – 95% destroyed. The Massachusetts people had numbered at least 44,000, fifty years later barely 6000 were alive – 81% destroyed. [SH118] These are only a few examples of the multitude of tribes living before Christian colonists set their foot on the New World. All this was before the smallpox epidemics of 1677 and 1678 had occurred. And the carnage was not over then.
  • All the above was only the beginning of the European colonization, it was before the frontier age actually had begun.
  • A total of maybe more than 150 million Indians (of both Americas) were destroyed in the period of 1500 to 1900, as an average two thirds by smallpox and other epidemics, that leaves some 50 million killed directly by violence, bad treatment and slavery.
  • In many countries, such as Brazil, and Guatemala, this continues even today.

More Glorious Events in U.S. History

  • Reverend Solomon Stoddard, one of New England’s most esteemed religious leaders, in “1703 formally proposed to the Massachusetts Governor that the colonists be given the financial wherewithal to purchase and train large packs of dogs ‘to hunt Indians as they do bears’.” [SH241]
  • Massacre of Sand Creek, Colorado 11/29/1864. Colonel John Chivington, a former Methodist minister and still elder in the church (“I long to be wading in gore”) had a Cheyenne village of about 600, mostly women and children, gunned down despite the chiefs’ waving with a white flag: 400-500 killed.
    From an eye-witness account: “There were some thirty or forty squaws collected in a hole for protection; they sent out a little girl about six years old with a white flag on a stick; she had not proceeded but a few steps when she was shot and killed. All the squaws in that hole were afterwards killed …” [SH131]
    More gory details.
  • By the 1860s, “in Hawai’i the Reverend Rufus Anderson surveyed the carnage that by then had reduced those islands’ native population by 90 percent or more, and he declined to see it as tragedy; the expected total die-off of the Hawaiian population was only natural, this missionary said, somewhat equivalent to ‘the amputation of diseased members of the body’.” [SH244]

20th Century Church Atrocities


  • Catholic extermination camps
    Surprisingly few know that Nazi extermination camps in World War II were by no means the only ones in Europe at the time. In the years 1942-1943 also in Croatia existed numerous extermination camps, run by Catholic Ustasha under their dictator Ante Paveliç, a practicing Catholic and regular visitor to the then pope. There were even concentration camps exclusively for children!
    In these camps – the most notorious was Jasenovac, headed by a Franciscan friar – orthodox-Christian Serbians (and a substantial number of Jews) were murdered. Like the Nazis the Catholic Ustasha burned their victims in kilns, alive (the Nazis were decent enough to have their victims gassed first). But most of the victims were simply stabbed, slain or shot to death, the number of them being estimated between 300,000 and 600,000, in a rather tiny country. Many of the killers were Franciscan friars. The atrocities were appalling enough to induce bystanders of the Nazi “Sicherheitsdienst der SS”, watching, to complain about them to Hitler (who did not listen). The pope knew about these events and did nothing to prevent them. [MV]
  • Catholic terror in Vietnam
    In 1954 Vietnamese freedom fighters – the Viet Minh – had finally defeated the French colonial government in North Vietnam, which by then had been supported by U.S. funds amounting to more than $2 billion. Although the victorious assured religious freedom to all (most non-Buddhist Vietnamese were Catholics), due to huge anticommunist propaganda campaigns many Catholics fled to the South. With the help of Catholic lobbies in Washington and Cardinal Spellman, the Vatican’s spokesman in U.S. politics, who later on would call the U.S. forces in Vietnam “Soldiers of Christ”, a scheme was concocted to prevent democratic elections which could have brought the communist Viet Minh to power in the South as well, and the fanatic Catholic Ngo Dinh Diem was made president of South Vietnam. [MW16ff]
    Diem saw to it that U.S. aid, food, technical and general assistance was given to Catholics alone, Buddhist individuals and villages were ignored or had to pay for the food aids which were given to Catholics for free. The only religious denomination to be supported was Roman Catholicism.
    The Vietnamese McCarthyism turned even more vicious than its American counterpart. By 1956 Diem promulgated a presidential order which read:

    “Individuals considered dangerous to the national defense and common security may be confined by executive order, to a concentration camp.

    Supposedly to fight communism, thousands of Buddhist protesters and monks were imprisoned in “detention camps.” Out of protest dozens of Buddhist teachers – male and female – and monks poured gasoline over themselves and burned themselves. (Note that Buddhists burned themselves: in comparison Christians tend to burn others). Meanwhile some of the prison camps, which in the meantime were filled with Protestant and even Catholic protesters as well, had turned into no-nonsense death camps. It is estimated that during this period of terror (1955-1960) at least 24,000 were wounded – mostly in street riots – 80,000 people were executed, 275,000 had been detained or tortured, and about 500,000 were sent to concentration or detention camps. [MW76-89].
    To support this kind of government in the next decade thousands of American GI’s lost their life.

  • Christianity kills the cat
    On July 1, 1976, Anneliese Michel, a 23-year-old student of a teachers college in Germany, died: she starved herself to death. For months she had been haunted by demonic visions and apparitions, and for months two Catholic priests – with explicit approval of the Catholic bishop of Würzburg – additionally pestered and tormented the wretched girl with their exorcist rituals. After her death in Klingenberg hospital – her body was littered with wounds – her parents, both of them fanatical Catholics, were sentenced to six months for not having called for medical help. None of the priests was punished: on the contrary, Miss Michel’s grave today is a place of pilgrimage and worship for a number of similarly faithful Catholics (in the seventeenth century Würzburg was notorious for it’s extensive witch burnings).
    This case is only the tip of an iceberg of such evil superstition and has become known only because of its lethal outcome. [SP80]
  • Rwanda Massacres
    In 1994 in the small African country of Rwanda in just a few months several hundred thousand civilians were butchered, apparently a conflict of the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups.
    For quite some time I heard only rumors about Catholic clergy actively involved in the 1994 Rwanda massacres. Odd denials of involvement were printed in Catholic church journals, before even anybody had openly accused members of the church.
    Then, 10/10/96, in the newscast of S2 Aktuell, Germany – a station not at all critical to Christianity – the following was stated:”Anglican as well as Catholic priests and nuns are suspect of having actively participated in murders. Especially the conduct of a certain Catholic priest has been occupying the public mind in Rwanda’s capital Kigali for months. He was minister of the church of the Holy Family and allegedly murdered Tutsis in the most brutal manner. He is reported to have accompanied marauding Hutu militia with a gun in his cowl. In fact there has been a bloody slaughter of Tutsis seeking shelter in his parish. Even two years after the massacres many Catholics refuse to set foot on the threshold of their church, because to them the participation of a certain part of the clergy in the slaughter is well established. There is almost no church in Rwanda that has not seen refugees – women, children, old – being brutally butchered facing the crucifix.
    According to eyewitnesses clergymen gave away hiding Tutsis and turned them over to the machetes of the Hutu militia.
    In connection with these events again and again two Benedictine nuns are mentioned, both of whom have fled into a Belgian monastery in the meantime to avoid prosecution. According to survivors one of them called the Hutu killers and led them to several thousand people who had sought shelter in her monastery. By force the doomed were driven out of the churchyard and were murdered in the presence of the nun right in front of the gate. The other one is also reported to have directly cooperated with the murderers of the Hutu militia. In her case again witnesses report that she watched the slaughtering of people in cold blood and without showing response. She is even accused of having procured some petrol used by the killers to set on fire and burn their victims alive…” [S2]More recently the BBC aired:Priests get death sentence for Rwandan genocide
    BBC NEWS April 19, 1998
    A court in Rwanda has sentenced two Roman Catholic priests to death for their role in the genocide of 1994, in which up to a million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed. Pope John Paul said the priests must be made to account for their actions. Different sections of the Rwandan church have been widely accused of playing an active role in the genocide of 1994...
  • As can be seen from these events, to Christianity the Dark Ages never come to an end.

 


If today Christians talk to me about morality, this is why they make me sick.


 

References

[DA]
K.Deschner, Abermals krähte der Hahn, Stuttgart 1962.
[DO]
K.Deschner, Opus Diaboli, Reinbek 1987.
[EC]
P.W.Edbury, Crusade and Settlement, Cardiff Univ. Press 1985.
[EJ]
S.Eidelberg, The Jews and the Crusaders, Madison 1977.
[HA]
Hunter, M., Wootton, D., Atheism from the Reformation to the Enlightenment, Oxford 1992.
[KM]
Schröder-Kappus, E., Wagner, W., Michael Sattler. Ein Märtyrer in Rottenburg, Tübingen, TVT Media 1992.
[LI]
H.C.Lea, The Inquisition of the Middle Ages, New York 1961.
[MM]
M.Margolis, A.Marx, A History of the Jewish People.
[MV]
A.Manhattan, The Vatican’s Holocaust, Springfield 1986.
See also V.Dedijer, The Yugoslav Auschwitz and the Vatican, Buffalo NY, 1992.
[NC]
J.T.Noonan, Contraception: A History of its Treatment by the Catholic Theologians and Canonists, Cambridge/Mass., 1992.
[S2]
Newscast of S2 Aktuell, Germany, 10/10/96, 12:00.
[SH]
D.Stannard, American Holocaust, Oxford University Press 1992.
[SP]
German news magazine Der Spiegel, no.49, 12/2/1996.
[TA]
A True Account of the Most Considerable Occurrences that have Hapned in the Warre Between the English and the Indians in New England, London 1676.
[TG]
F.Turner, Beyond Geography, New York 1980.
[WW]
H.Wollschläger: Die bewaffneten Wallfahrten gen Jerusalem, Zürich 1973.
(This is in german and what is worse, it is out of print. But it is the best I ever read about crusades and includes a full list of original medieval Christian chroniclers’ writings).
[WV]
Estimates on the number of executed witches:

  • N.Cohn, Europe’s Inner Demons: An Enquiry Inspired by the Great Witch Hunt, Frogmore 1976, 253.
  • R.H.Robbins, The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology, New York 1959, 180.
  • J.B.Russell, Witchcraft in the Middle Ages, Ithaca/NY 1972, 39.
  • H.Zwetsloot, Friedrich Spee und die Hexenprozesse, Trier 1954, 56.

2002-08-16

By Kelsos

Source

Join the debate on our Twitter Timeline!

NATO’s illegal war against Serbia

Facts And Truth @ YouTube: “Remember why NATO spent 78-days bombing Yugoslavia in the spring of 1999? There was the ethnic cleansing. The atrocities. The refugees chased out of Kosovo by the Serb army. The mass graves. The heaps of bodies tossed into vats of sulphuric acid at the Trepca mines. NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said there were 100,000 Kosovo Albanian Muslims unaccounted for.

Problem is, none of it happened.”

 

Forensic report throws doubt on US/NATO claims of Racak “massacre”

By Richard Tyler
wsws.org, 12 February 2001

A forthcoming article by three Finnish pathologists throws further doubts upon official descriptions of a “massacre” in the Kosovan village of Racak in 1999.

An advance copy of the article, obtained by the World Socialist Web Site, to be published in Forensic Science International at the end of February, has rekindled suspicions that the Racak events were portrayed as the mass execution of innocent Kosovar Albanians by the US in order to push its NATO allies into support for the war against Serbia.

Washington proclaimed the discovery of some 40 bodies in Racak as proof positive of a “crime against humanity” committed on the orders of Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic. The Racak “massacre” played a central part in justifying NATO’s war against Serbia. As an article in the Washington Post noted, “Racak transformed the West’s Balkan policy as singular events seldom do. The atrocity …. convinced the administration and then its NATO allies that a six-year effort to bottle up the ethnic conflict in Kosovo was doomed.”

On March 19, 1999, President Bill Clinton told the world’s press, “We should remember what happened in the village of Racak back in January, innocent men, women and children [the pathologists’ report shows only one of the dead was aged under 15, and only one was a woman—RT] taken from their homes to a gully, forced to kneel in the dirt, sprayed with gunfire—not because of anything they had done, but because of who they were.” Five days later NATO planes, headed by the US, began bombing Belgrade.

The American William Walker, who was OSCE (Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe) chief in Kosovo in 1999, played a central role in Washington’s propaganda offensive to gain support for Western military intervention. Walker claimed those killed in Racak were unarmed villagers who had been shot at close range. He said many of the bodies showed signs of being deliberately disfigured. News broadcasts around the world carried pictures of the dead lying in a shallow gully.

His allegation that a “crime against humanity” had been committed was echoed by the leader of a team of Finnish pathologists, who were in Kosovo on behalf of the European Union as part of an investigation into a number of other sites where bodies had been found. This team was asked to perform autopsies on the Racak dead.

On March 17, 1999, just a week before the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia began, the leader of the EU Forensic Experts Team (EU-FET), Dr. Helena Ranta, told a press conference in the Kosovan capital Pristina, that a “crime against humanity” had been committed in Racak. Furthermore, Dr. Ranta insisted, “there were no indications of the people being other than unarmed civilians.”

In contrast to the official claims that the bodies discovered in Racak were the victims of a mass execution of peaceful Kosovan Albanian villagers carried out by Serbian security forces, the article in Forensic Science International explicitly says: “Determination of reasons for events, their political and moral meanings, or the connection of victims to political or other organisations are questions which lie beyond the scope of forensic science.”

The article also notes that “The EU-FET was unable to confirm the chain of custody, concerning the localisation of the victims at the site of the incident and their transportation to the institute of forensic medicine in Pristina. Thus, the Finnish team could not confirm that the victims were from Racak. The course of events prior to victims being brought to the autopsy was also not confirmed by the EU-FET.”

The pathologists found only six bodies had suffered a single gunshot wound, with most being covered in multiple wounds. The trajectories showed the bullets coming from many different angles and elevations. Very few of the dead appeared to have been shot at close range. And in contrast to the claims by Walker, no evidence of deliberate disfigurement of the bodies was found.

These findings would tend to support those eyewitnesses who reported that there had been violent clashes between Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) forces and Serbian units near Racak the day before the bodies were found, and that the dead may have been killed in this firefight. OSCE observers and journalists who visited the village immediately after the fighting did not report finding any signs of a massacre and the 40 bodies were only discovered some 12 hours later.

The Serbian authorities denied their forces had carried out any executions in Racak, and said the bodies could well be those of dead KLA fighters. Dr. Sasa Dobricanin, a Yugoslavian pathologist who worked alongside the Finnish team, told the press, “Not a single body bears any sign of execution.”
Although the precise circumstances of how those in Racak came to be killed are still unclear, there are compelling political reasons for at least considering an alternative scenario to that presented by NATO and the US. Not least of these is American support for the KLA and Albanian separatists, who were engaged in violent guerrilla actions against Serbian police and army posts in Kosovo.

To bring NATO directly into the conflict it was necessary to scuttle the Rambouillet peace talks and overcome scepticism in the KLA, particularly among America’s European allies. Presenting the Racak killings as a deliberate Serbian atrocity would have precisely this aim.

This was particularly key in Germany, where the West’s war against Iraq in 1991 had unleashed a sizeable protest movement. There the Racak killings provided a “humanitarian” justification for military intervention abroad by German troops for the first time since World War Two. Green party leader and Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer called for German soldiers to participate in the attack on Yugoslavia, saying “Racak was the turning point for me.”

Copies of the full report by the EU-FET team were handed over to the German government, which at that time held the EU presidency, and to the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY), where the Racak killings still form part of the ICTY indictment of Milosevic.

If the Racak killings were a deception, aimed at eliciting Western support for the KLA, it would not be the first time that such a subterfuge has been employed in the Balkans. Dozens were killed in January 1995 when a mortar shell landed in a crowded market square in the Muslim-controlled sector of Bosnia’s capital Sarajevo. This tragedy, blamed upon Serbian forces, was used to reverse Western policy in Bosnia, eventually leading to its occupation by a mixed US and European force. A later investigation by the UN concluded from the trajectory of the mortar shells that they had most likely been fired from Muslim militia positions overlooking Sarajevo.

The full report by the Finnish pathologists remains under lock and key to this day.

An interview broadcast by Germany’s main television channel with Dr. Helena Ranta indicates the pressure placed on her at the time to go along with charges that a “crime against humanity” had taken place. She told ARD that she was “conscious that one could say that the whole scene in this small valley was arranged. Because this is actually a possibility. This conclusion was included in our first investigation report, and also in our later forensic investigations, which we made in November 1999 directly in Racak. And we passed on this conclusion directly to the Court of Justice in The Hague. [OSCE representative] Walker came to Racak on Saturday, and it was his personal decision to speak about a ‘massacre’. I systematically avoided using this word.”

“Racak was at that time a stronghold of the KLA. I am convinced that there is enough information in order to establish that armed engagements between the Serbian army and the KLA took place there. There is no doubt about this. Moreover, I was told, and I was also able to read the information myself about the fact that KLA fighters were killed there on this day.”

We bombed the wrong side?

by Maj-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie, now retired, commanded UN troops during the Bosnian civil war of 1992.
National Post, 6 April 2004

Five years ago our television screens were dominated by pictures of Kosovo-Albanian refugees escaping across Kosovo’s borders to the sanctuaries of Macedonia and Albania. Shrill reports indicated that Slobodan Milosevic’s security forces were conducting a campaign of genocide and that at least 100,000 Kosovo-Albanians had been exterminated and buried in mass graves throughout the Serbian province. NATO sprung into action and, in spite of the fact no member nation of the alliance was threatened, commenced bombing not only Kosovo, but the infrastructure and population of Serbia itself — without the authorizing United Nations resolution so revered by Canadian leadership, past and present.

Those of us who warned that the West was being sucked in on the side of an extremist, militant, Kosovo-Albanian independence movement were dismissed as appeasers. The fact that the lead organization spearheading the fight for independence, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), was universally designated a terrorist organization and known to be receiving support from Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda was conveniently ignored.

The recent dearth of news in the North American media regarding the increase in violence in Kosovo compared to the comprehensive coverage in the European press strongly suggests that we Canadians don’t like to admit it when we are wrong. On the contrary, selected news clips on this side of the ocean continue to reinforce the popular spin that those dastardly Serbs are at it again.

A case in point was the latest crisis that exploded on March 15. The media reported that four Albanian boys had been chased into the river Ibar in Mitrovica by at least two Serbs and a dog (the dog’s ethnic affiliation was not reported).Three of the boys drowned and one escaped to the other side. Immediately, thousands of Albanians mobilized and concentrated in the area of the divided city. Attacks on Serbs took place throughout the province resulting in an estimated 30 killed and 600 wounded. Thirty Serbian Christian Orthodox churches and monasteries were destroyed, more than 300 homes were burnt to the ground and six Serbian villages cleansed of their occupants. One hundred and fifty international peacekeepers were injured.

Totally ignored in North America were the numerous statements from impartial sources that said there was no incident between the Serbs, the dog and the Albanian boys. NATO Police spokesman Derek Chappell stated on March 16 that it was “definitely not true” that the boys had been chased into the river by Serbs. Chappell went on to say that the surviving boy had told his parents that they had entered the river alone and that three of his friends had been swept away by the current. Admiral Gregory Johnson, the overall NATO commander, further stated that the ensuing clashes were “orchestrated and well-planned ethnic cleansing” by the Kosovo-Albanians. Those Serbs forced to leave joined the 200,000 who had been cleansed from the province since NATO’s “humanitarian” bombing in 1999. The ‘”cleansees” have become very effective “cleansers.”

In the same week a number of individuals posing as Serbs ambushed and killed a UN policeman and his local police partner. During the firefight one of them was wounded which caused an immediate switch from Serbian to Albanian as he screamed, “I’ve been hit”! The UN pursued the attackers and tracked them to an Albanian-run farm where they discovered weapons and the wounded Albanian who had died from his wounds. Four Albanians were arrested. Once again, the ambush had been reported in the United States but not the follow-up which clearly indicated yet another orchestrated provocation by the Albanian terrorists.

Kosovo is administered by the UN, the very organization many Canadians have indicated they would like to see take over from the United States in Iraq. The fact the UN cannot order its civilian employees to go or stay anywhere — they have to volunteer — combined with recent history that saw the UN abandon Iraq after a single brutal attack on their compound in Baghdad and the reality that Kosovo, under the organization’s administration, is a basket case, disqualifies it from consideration for such a role.

Since the NATO/UN intervention in 1999, Kosovo has become the crime capital of Europe. The sex slave trade is flourishing. The province has become an invaluable transit point for drugs en route to Europe and North America. Ironically, the majority of the drugs come from another state “liberated” by the West, Afghanistan. Members of the demobilized, but not eliminated, KLA are intimately involved in organized crime and the government. The UN police arrest a small percentage of those involved in criminal activities and turn them over to a judiciary with a revolving door that responds to bribes and coercion.

The objective of the Albanians is to purge all non-Albanians, including the international community’s representatives, from Kosovo and ultimately link up with mother Albania thereby achieving the goal of “Greater Albania.” The campaign started with their attacks on Serbian security forces in the early 1990s and they were successful in turning Milosevic’s heavy-handed response into worldwide sympathy for their cause. There was no genocide as claimed by the West — the 100,000 allegedly buried in mass graves turned out to be around 2,000, of all ethnic origins, including those killed in combat during the war itself.

The Kosovo-Albanians have played us like a Stradivarius. We have subsidized and indirectly supported their violent campaign for an ethnically pure and independent Kosovo. We have never blamed them for being the perpetrators of the violence in the early ’90s and we continue to portray them as the designated victim today in spite of evidence to the contrary. When they achieve independence with the help of our tax dollars combined with those of bin Laden and al-Qaeda, just consider the message of encouragement this sends to other terrorist-supported independence movements around the world.

Funny how we just keep digging the hole deeper!


2015-03-24

Source: www.inserbia.info

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Photo story: Muslim Albanian Islamic State of Kosovo from 1999 onwards

Photo evidence of Jihadization of Kosovo & Metochia by Muslim Albanians from June 1999 onward. Kosovo after June 1999 when became occupied by NATO troops became the first world’s ISIS/ISIL.

The EuroChristian culture of the ethnic Serbs is systematically destroyed like today in the Middle East for the reason to create pure Islamic state. At the same time Kosovo & Metochia is becoming overwhelmingly Islamized with ethnic cleansing of all non-Albanians especially of the Christian Serbs.

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The myth of NATO’s “humanitarian intervention” in Kosovo

Some of those currently advocating bombing Syria turn for justification to their old faithful friend “humanitarian intervention”, one of the earliest examples of which was the 1999 US and NATO bombing campaign to stop ethnic cleansing and drive Serbian forces from Kosovo. However, a collective amnesia appears to have afflicted countless intelligent, well-meaning people, who are convinced that the US/NATO bombing took place after the mass forced deportation of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo was well underway; which is to say that the bombing was launched to stop this “ethnic cleansing”. In actuality, the systematic forced deportations of large numbers of people from Kosovo did not begin until a few days after the bombing began, and was clearly a Serbian reaction to it, born of extreme anger and powerlessness.This is easily verified by looking at a daily newspaper for the few days before the bombing began the night of March 23/24, and the few days after. Or simply look at the New York Times of March 26, page 1, which reads:

… with the NATO bombing already begun, a deepening sense of fear took hold in Pristina [the main city of Kosovo] that the Serbs would NOW vent their rage against ethnic Albanian civilians in retaliation.

On March 27, we find the first reference to a “forced march” or anything of that sort.

But the propaganda version is already set in marble.


2013-09-04

By William Blum

Source: http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com

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From Cold to “Hot War”? Operation Barbarossa II

I stated some months ago, while assembling a criminal dossier against the NATO powers for the ultimate war crime of aggression, that the build-up of NATO forces in Eastern Europe, particularly American, concentrated on the Baltic states and Ukraine, presaged hybrid war operations against Russia leading to a general war. This build up of forces and ancillary developments I termed Operation Barbarossa II in light of the remarkable similarities to the build up of forces by Nazi Germany for the invasion of the USSR in 1941 which the Germans code-named Operation Barbarossa. Events have only confirmed my views.

The degradation of American democracy continues before our eyes with the incessant hysterical allegations against Russia generally and the manipulation of Donald Trump as a device to put out even more sensational allegations, a campaign which serves two purposes; the first, to build up anti-Russian feeling in the west to war levels by accusing Russia of cyber attacks and attacks on “democracy,” the second to either justify the removal of Trump as a factor in the presidency or to force him to toe the line of the war faction and drop any conciliatory rhetoric towards Russia.

It appears that this strategy is working. At his recent press conference Trump not only adopted the “Russia did it” theme but went further and stated that if people thought Hilary Clinton was going to be tough on Russia, they would soon see that he will be tougher than she ever could be. The hopes by some in the United States that Trump was going to open a new policy of dialogue with Russia have been completely shattered. But this should have been no surprise with his immediate insult to China the day after his election and with his cabinet choices and their various testimonies before Congress the past days, as they are vetted for their posts, that show his administration will use war to dominate the world just as enthusiastically as the outgoing administration.

Trump has said that it is better to have good relations with Russia and that only fools would reject that idea. But this statement is part of the general line that if Russia does not do what the US dictates then, of course, force will be used instead. On the PBS Newshour on Thursday July 12 a “former” senior CIA officer, when asked whether Trump had a point in wanting good relations with Russia, laughed and said, “The United States should not look for good relations with any country. We should strive for one thing only, the advancement of American national interests, and if diplomacy does not work then coercion must be used.” This is the talk of gangsters.

The world is fatigued with the circus that is the struggle for power taking place between the ruling factions in the United States. There is clearly little to separate these factions ideologically regarding foreign policy and very little regarding domestic policy. It’s just a gang war.

The use of lurid allegations against Trump to portray him as not only a willing dupe of Russia but also a target of blackmail, which allegations appear to originate with a “former” senior MI6 agent named Christopher Steele, smacks of the MI5 and MI6 plot to bring down British Prime Minister Harold Wilson in the 1970s, as they had brought down the Labour government in 1924 with the production and distribution in the press of a forged letter from Zinoviev to the British Communist Party calling for a mass insurrection in Britain. In Wilson’s case too, forged documents were put out by MI5 and MI6 with the help of the CIA, through a compliant media, to smear him as a Russian agent and he later stated that he knew of two planned military coups against him. John Kennedy was assassinated in the coup d’état of 1963 in a poisonous atmosphere generated by allegations he was “soft on communism,” that is, once again, the Russians.

Frankly, whether Trump is ousted in a coup, or by impeachment later, as the Washington Post suggested could happen, or is allowed to stay in office as a compliant front man as the other presidents have been since Kennedy was murdered, matters not; the result is the same, the continuation of a permanent war regime in the United States, that lives for, by and through a permanent state of war. The American people were brainwashed into tolerating and accepting the coup of 1963 and it would hardly be surprising if another one is carried out and tolerated when intelligence agencies, political enemies, the media and Hollywood celebrities are openly calling for a coup to be staged. Democracy? The vote? Who cares? Civil unrest? A price to pay. The result is that the preparations for war continue, and are amplified by the Trump election, which the intelligence services are using to intensify the propaganda attack on Russia and President Putin.

Meanwhile, as the media and Obama regime keep the people off-balance with the Trump scandal US military forces continue their deployments against Russia and China. The machine is in motion. In Europe the Americans have just added to the pressure on Russia with the placement of the 3rd Armoured Brigade in Poland, right on Russia’s doorstep, which Russia rightly considers a threat to its security. This is a unit that was involved as an assault force in the Normandy landings in 1944 and was used to invade Iraq in 2003. The unit is noted for its speed of attack. These forces will fan out from Poland to cover a wide front from Estonia and Latvia to Romania with tank, artillery and armoured mobile infantry units. These are not garrison or occupation troops, these are assault troops.

US Army General Scaparrotti, commander of US forces in Europe and NATO supreme allied commander in Europe, stated that the movement of this force to Poland “marks a significant moment in European deterrence and defence.” He stated,

“The European infrastructure and integrated support has enabled our forces to rapidly be ready and postured should they need to deter Russian aggression.”

Since there is no Russian “aggression” and since the Americans are continually stating that they expect Russia to engage in hybrid, that is unconventional warfare against Eastern Europe, we can be sure that these forces themselves and their specialised units will engage in false flag attacks and provocations to make it look like Russia is taking hostile action to justify the use against Russia of these and allied European forces. It is just a matter of time unless a diplomatic breakthrough occurs which appears highly unlikely, despite Russia’s diligent efforts.

At the same time it was reported on Friday the 13th that Trump’s appointed foreign minister. Mr. Tillerson stated to Congress on the 11th of January, that the US should deny Beijing access to its islands in the South China Sea. China state media responded that any such attempt would lead to large-scale war. Yet, on January 5th, just a few days before Tillerson’s statement the Pentagon announced that “ships and units from the USS Carrier Carl Vinson strike group will soon depart San Diego for the western Pacific” where US strategic B1 and B2 bombers have already been deployed on Guam, capable of carrying nuclear armed cruise missiles.

And lastly, on the propaganda front, the recent illegal seizure of investigatory material by Dutch police from Dutch journalists returning from Donetsk once again adds to the evidence that the shoot down of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 with 298 people on board in July 2014 was an action of the Kiev regime with US knowledge. I recently stated in an essay on that subject that it was a Kiev military jet that shot down the airliner, and referred to a Sukhoi 25 being used but I since been shown evidence that it was in fact a Kiev Mig-29 that was used. In any event, the NATO powers have colluded in covering up this fact in order to keep up their propaganda the Russia was behind it.

The situation is grave and the doomsday clock must be knocking on the door of midnight. Many of us have called for the anti-war and peace movements to mobilise but they are nowhere to be seen. Many of them, especially in the United States have been co-opted into supporting these wars, and the left, that is supposed to be against imperialist wars, whether the hard or the soft left, appears to be too weak to make itself felt. It seems there are too few of us in the west any more who give a damn.

But we better act now and make people give a damn or else it will be too late because as my friend, Harold Pinter, so well put it to me once at dinner in London, the world is faced with a people in love with themselves who don’t seem to care about anything or anybody except themselves and think they can commit any crime and get away with it. I can’t express the disgust so well as Harold did in a poem he once sent me that he found difficult to get published, one of several, but which is now in a short collection of his poems called War. Perhaps if there were more like him, more poems like this, read widely enough, more voices speaking out, people would react, wake up, stiffen up, get back their sense of decency and backbone. I don’t know. But I offer it to you here in the hope, perhaps naïve, that it has an effect.

God Bless America

Here they go again,

The Yanks in their armoured parade…


2017-01-18

About the author:

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

Kosovo and Ukraine: US-NATO operations. Compare and contrast

There have been at least two countries in Europe in recent history that undertook ‘anti-terrorist’ military operations against ‘separatists’, but got two very different reactions from the Western elite.

The government of European country A launches what it calls an‘anti-terrorist’ military operation against ‘separatists’ in one part of the country. We see pictures on Western television of people’s homes being shelled and lots of people fleeing. The US and UK and other NATO powers fiercely condemn the actions of the government of country A and accuse it of carrying out ‘genocide’ and ’ethnic cleansing’ and say that there is an urgent ‘humanitarian crisis.’Western politicians and establishment journalists tell us that ‘something must be done.’ And something is done: NATO launches a ‘humanitarian’ military intervention to stop the government of country A. Country A is bombed for 78 days and nights. The country’s leader (who is labeled ‘The New Hitler’) is indicted for war crimes – and is later arrested and sent in an RAF plane to stand trial for war crimes at The Hague, where he dies, unconvicted, in his prison cell.

The government of European country B launches what it calls an ‘anti-terrorist’ military operation against ‘separatists’ in one part of the country. Western television doesn’t show pictures or at least not many) of people’s homes being shelled and people fleeing, although other television stations do. But here the US, UK and other NATO powers do not condemn the government, or accuse it of committing‘genocide’ or ‘ethnic cleansing.’ Western politicians and establishment journalists do not tell us that‘something must be done’ to stop the government of country B killing people. On the contrary, the same powers who supported action against country A, support the military offensive of the government in country B. The leader of country B is not indicted for war crimes, nor is he labeled ‘The New Hitler” despite the support the government has got from far-right, extreme nationalist groups, but in fact, receives generous amounts of aid.

Anyone defending the policies of the government in country A, or in any way challenging the dominant narrative in the West is labeled a “genocide denier” or an “apologist for mass murder.” But no such opprobrium awaits those defending the military offensive of the government in country B. It’s those who oppose its policies who are smeared.

What makes the double standards even worse, is that by any objective assessment, the behavior of the government in country B, has been far worse than that of country A and that more human suffering has been caused by their aggressive actions.

In case you haven’t guessed it yet – country A is Yugoslavia, country B is Ukraine.

Yugoslavia, a different case

In 1998/9 Yugoslavian authorities were faced with a campaign of violence against Yugoslav state officials by the pro-separatist and Western-backed Kosovan Liberation Army (KLA). The Yugoslav government responded by trying to defeat the KLA militarily, but their claims to be fighting against ’terrorism’ were haughtily dismissed by Western leaders. As the British Defence Secretary George Robertson and Foreign Secretary Robin Cook acknowledged in the period from 1998 to January 1999, the KLA had been responsible for more deaths in Kosovo than the Yugoslav authorities had been.

In the lead-up to the NATO action and during it, lurid claims were made about the numbers of people who had been killed or ‘disappeared’ by the Yugoslav forces. “Hysterical NATO and KLA estimates of the missing and presumably slaughtered Kosovar Albanians at times ran upwards of one hundred thousand, reaching 500, 000 in one State Department release. German officials leaked ‘intelligence’ about an alleged Serb plan called Operation Horseshoe to depopulate the province of its ethnic Albanians, and to resettle it with Serbs, which turned out to be an intelligence fabrication,” Edward Herman and David Peterson noted in their book The Politics of Genocide.

“We must act to save thousands of innocent men, women and children from humanitarian catastrophe – from death, barbarism and ethnic cleansing from a brutal dictatorship,” a solemn-faced Prime Minister Tony Blair told the British Parliament – just four years before an equally sombre Tony Blair told the British Parliament that we must act over the ‘threat’ posed by Saddam Hussein’s WMDs.

Taking their cue from Tony Blair and Co., the media played their part in hyping up what was going on in Kosovo. Herman and Peterson found that newspapers used the word ‘genocide’ to describe Yugoslav actions in Kosovo 323 times compared to just 13 times for the invasion/occupation of Iraq despite the death toll in the latter surpassing that of Kosovo by 250 times.

In the same way we were expected to forget about the claims from Western politicians and their media marionettes about Iraq possessing WMDs in the lead-up to the 2003 invasion, we are now expected to forget about the outlandish claims made about Kosovo in 1999.

But as the award winning investigative journalist and broadcaster John Pilger wrote in his article Reminders of Kosovo in 2004, “Lies as great as those told by Bush and Blair were deployed by Clinton and Blair in grooming of public opinion for an illegal, unprovoked attack on a European country.”

The overall death toll of the Kosovo conflict is thought to be between 3,000 and 4,000, but that figure includes Yugoslav army casualties, and Serbs and Roma and Kosovar Albanians killed by the KLA. In 2013, the International Committee of the Red Cross listed the names of 1,754 people from all communities in Kosovo who were reported missing by their families.

The number of people killed by Yugoslav military at the time NATO launched its ‘humanitarian’ bombing campaign, which itself killed between 400-600 people, is thought to be around 500, a tragic death toll but hardly “genocide.”

“Like Iraq’s fabled weapons of mass destruction, the figures used by the US and British governments and echoed by journalists were inventions- along with Serbian ‘rape camps’ and Clinton and Blair’s claims that NATO never deliberately bombed civilians,” says Pilger.

No matter what happens in Ukraine…

In Ukraine by contrast, the number of people killed by government forces and those supporting them has been deliberately played down, despite UN figures highlighting the terrible human cost of the Ukrainian government’s ‘anti-terrorist’ operation.

Last week, the UN’s Human Rights Office said that the death toll in the conflict in eastern Ukraine had doubled in the previous fortnight. Saying that they were “very conservative estimates,” the UN stated that 2,086 people (from all sides) had been killed and 5,000 injured. Regarding refugees, the UN says that around 1,000 people have been leaving the combat zone every day and that over 100,000 people have fled the region. Yet despite these very high figures, there have been no calls from leading Western politicians for ‘urgent action’ to stop the Ukrainian government’s military offensive. Articles from faux-left ‘humanitarian interventionists’ saying that ‘something must be done’ to end what is a clearly a genuine humanitarian crisis, have been noticeable by their absence.

There is, it seems, no “responsibility to protect” civilians being killed by government forces in the east of Ukraine, as there was in Kosovo, even though the situation in Ukraine, from a humanitarian angle, is worse than that in Kosovo in March 1999.

To add insult to injury, efforts have been made to prevent a Russian humanitarian aid convoy from entering Ukraine.

The convoy we are told is ‘controversial’ and could be part of a sinister plot by Russia to invade. This from the same people who supported a NATO bombing campaign on a sovereign state for“humanitarian” reasons fifteen years ago!

For these Western ‘humanitarians’ who cheer on the actions of the Ukrainian government, the citizens of eastern Ukraine are “non-people”: not only are they unworthy of our support or compassion, or indeed aid convoys, they are also blamed for their own predicament.

There are, of course, other conflicts which also highlight Western double standards towards‘humanitarian intervention’. Israeli forces have killed over 2,000 Palestinians in their latest ruthless ‘anti-terrorist’ operation in Gaza, which is far more people than Yugoslav forces had killed in Kosovo by the time of the 1999 NATO ‘intervention’. But there are no calls at this time for a NATO bombing campaign against Israel.

In fact, neocons and faux-left Zionists who have defended and supported Israel’s “anti-terrorist”Operation Protective Edge, and Operation Cast Lead before it, were among the most enthusiastic supporters of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. Israel it seems is allowed to kill large numbers of people, including women and children, in its “anti-terrorist” campaigns, but Yugoslavia had no such“right” to fight an “anti-terrorist” campaign on its own soil.

In 2011, NATO went to war against Libya to prevent a “hypothetical” massacre in Benghazi, and to stop Gaddafi ‘killing his own people’; in 2014 Ukrainian government forces are killing their own people in large numbers, and there have been actual massacres like the appalling Odessa arson attack carried out by pro-government ‘radicals’, but the West hasn’t launched bombing raids on Kiev in response.

The very different approaches from the Western elite to ‘anti-terrorist’ operations in Kosovo and Ukraine (and indeed elsewhere) shows us that what matters most is not the numbers killed, or the amount of human suffering involved, but whether or not the government in question helps or hinders Western economic and military hegemonic aspirations.

In the eyes of the rapacious Western elites, the great ‘crime’ of the Yugoslav government in 1999 was that it was still operating, ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, an unreconstructed socialist economy, with very high levels of social ownership – as I highlighted here.

Yugoslavia under Milosevic was a country which maintained its financial and military independence. It had no wishes to join the EU or NATO, or surrender its sovereignty to anyone. For that refusal to play by the rules of the globalists and to show deference to the powerful Western financial elites, the country (and its leader) had to be destroyed. In the words of George Kenney, former Yugoslavia desk officer at the US State Department: “In post-cold war Europe no place remained for a large, independent-minded socialist state that resisted globalization.”

By contrast, the government of Ukraine, has been put in power by the West precisely in order to further its economic and military hegemonic aspirations. Poroshenko, unlike the much- demonized Milosevic, is an oligarch acting in the interests of Wall Street, the big banks and the Western military-industrial complex. He’s there to tie up Ukraine to IMF austerity programs, to hand over his country to Western capital and to lock Ukraine into ‘Euro-Atlantic’ structures- in other words to transform it into an EU/IMF/NATO colony- right on Russia’s doorstep.

This explains why an ‘anti-terrorist’ campaign waged by the Yugoslav government against ‘separatists’ in 1999 is ‘rewarded’ with fierce condemnation, a 78-day bombing campaign, and the indictment of its leader for war crimes, while a government waging an ‘anti-terrorist’ campaign against ‘separatists’ in Ukraine in 2014, is given carte blanche to carry on killing. In the end, it’s not about how many innocent people you kill, or how reprehensible your actions are, but about whose interests you serve.


About the author:

Neil Clark is a journalist, writer and broadcaster.

21-08-2014

Original source of the article: www.globalresearch.ca

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Why Kosovo is ineligible for membership in UNESCO?

Because the request for its membership is a serious breach of the international law, the Constitution of UNESCO, the legally binding UN Security Council resolution 1244 (1999) and the Charter of the UN whose Article 25 says that „The Members of the UN agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter”.

Because according to the UN Security Council resolution 1244, which reaffirms the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (now Serbia), Kosovo and Metohija is an integral part of the Republic of Serbia, under the administration of the UN. Since Kosovo cannot be considered a State, it does not fulfill the basic requirement for membership set out by the UNESCO Constitution.

Because unilateral attempts such as this one seriously harm and disrupt the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, under the auspices of the European Union in which mutually acceptable solutions for many complex issues have been devised so far. The issue of the Serbian cultural heritage and the property of the Serbia Orthodox Church has not yet been discussed within the dialogue where it belongs.

Because this is an unacceptable politicization of UNESCO which should not overtake the competences of the UN Security Council as the highest authority for the preservation of the international peace and security. UNESCO should not serve as an instrument for the affirmation of an illegal and unilaterally declared independence of a part of the territory of one UN member state. The primary goal of UNESCO is to promote universal values of humanity through education, science and culture not to make political decisions with regard to the statehood.

Because this would be a dangerous precedent, harmful for many states. This would open the door for other entities to follow the same path thus threatening territorial integrity and sovereignty of other member states.

Because this issue is polarizing the membership of UNESCO.

Because, besides not being a state, Pristina does not have moral credibility for membership. Anyone aspiring to UNESCO membership must prove not only in words but as well in deeds its commitment to the goals of the UNESCO Constitution, which certainly is incompatible with deliberate, systematic, vandal demolition of Serbian cultural and historic monuments with the aim to remove the traces of centuries-long existence of Serbs in this area as well as the impunity of the perpetrators of such barbaric acts unworthy of the 21st century. These acts are comparable only to the acts of destruction of cultural heritage by terrorist groups in the Middle East and elsewhere that the world is witnessing and UNESCO is strongly condemning.

Because four Serbian orthodox monasteries are inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage in danger although the armed conflict in Kosovo is over for many years now. In danger from whom?

Because the inclusion of this item in the provisional agenda of the 197th session of the UNESCO Executive board raises serious concerns about the compliance with procedure and the respect of the established UNESCO rules. Just to mention that that even publishing of the document on the unacceptability of Kosovo’s application for UNESCO membership from the standpoint of the international law, prepared by Serbian Delegation to UNESCO, as an official document, as we requested, was refused. And the only intention was the voice of Serbia also to be heard.

Because we all would have to live with the negative consequences of such an irresponsible decision from the lesioning of the international law up to the fate of the Serbian cultural heritage in the province of Kosovo and Metohija which not only belongs to the Serbian people but also represents a part of the historical and civilizational heritage of modern Europe and the world.


Source: No Kosovo Unesco

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Kosovo history – Second part

Kosovo and Metohia, two central regions of perennial Serbia, are the very essence of Serbian spiritual, cultural identity and statehood since Middle Ages to date. Fertile and clement planes of Kosovo with mild climate, and reach in water resources, with high mountain chains bordering with Albania have been good-blessed environment for a fruitful development of the highest achievements in all fields in medieval Serbia. The cultural and demographic strength of the Serbs is best illustrated by the presence of 1.500 monuments of Serbian culture identified so far. Numerous outstanding noble Serbian families used to live in these regions, as families Brankovic, Hrebeljanovic, Music, Vojinovic, some of which were the inceptors of Serbian dynasties.

A great number of noble castles existed all over Kosovo with rich aristocratic life going on inside their walls. They were also meeting places of Serbian nobility and centers where important political and other decisions have been taken and places attended by foreign envoys and outstanding guests from noble foreign ruling families. Here are some of famous medieval castles: Svrcin, Pauni, Nerodimlja, Stimlje and many others. In Svrcin, for example, the famous Serbian Emperor Dusan was first crowned king in 1331, and Pauni, famous for its beauty, were favored place of king Milutin. In Pauni in 1342 Serbian Emperor Dusan had received Jovan VI Kantakuzin, one of the pretenders to the Byzantine throne at that time. Nerodimlja, with the fortress of Petric over the castle, was favorite residence of Stevan Decanski.It is in the Stimlje castle that king Uros issued his charges. In Ribnik, near Prizren, were the castles of Serbian Emperors Dusan and Uros.

The Serbian elite and minor nobility has built in these regions hundreds of smaller chapels and several dozens of monumental Christian monasteries. Some of them have been preserved to date, such as Patriarchy of Pec (since 1346 site of the Serbian Patriarch), Decani, Gracanica, Bogorodica Ljeviska, Banjska, Sveti Arhandjeli near Prizren and others. Serbian churches and monasteries had been for centuries owners of great complexes of fertile land. Metohia, the name originated from the Greek word metoh means church land. Highly developed economic life was an integral part of a high level of civilization attained in medieval Serbia. Prizren, for example, was a famous economic and commercial center, with developed silk production, fine crafts, and numerous settlements where the merchants from Kotor and Dubrovnik had their houses, and in 14 century, Prizren was the site of the consul from Dubrovnik for the whole Serbian State. And many other commercial centers such as Pristina, Pec, Hoca, Vucitrn, testify of the strength of highly developed economic life in these regions. Famous mining center were Trepca, Novo Brdo and Janjevo, out of which in the 15 century Novo Brdo had become one of the most important mining centers of the Balkans. Silver and gold were exported to the big European centers in great quantities. The Serbian society of the Middle Ages was in all respects identical to European social, economic and cultural developments of that time, much more integrated in Europe then it may seem when analyzed from the later perspective.

Turkish invasion means a fatal turning point in Serbian history in the second half of the 15 century. As known from history, the advance of the Turks towards Europe was a rather slow process. Prince Lazar Hrebeljanovic and Serbian nobility in the famous battle of Kosovo in 1389 did everything humanly possible to stop the Turkish invasion toward south eastern Europe. It was not only a clash of two armies led by their rulers Serbian prince Lazar and Turkish sultan Murat (who both perished in the battle of Kosovo), but also a clash of two civilizations, one Christian and European and other Islamic and Asiatic. Later on, in Serbian national conscience the battle of Kosovo has acquired mythical dimension of a crucial historical event, greatly affecting the consequence destiny of the whole Serbian nation. The Serbian epic poetry is very rich and the cycle of poems devoted to Kosovo are a pearl of that treasure and moral and psychological support to Serbian people during the centuries of forendous slavery under the Turks till the 19 century, and speaking of Kosovo and Metohia till 1912, when they were finally liberated from the Turks. This is the reason why in Serbian national poetry we find such a great number of representatives of Serbian nobility, of Serbian castles and outstanding Serbian monasteries from Kosovo and Metohia. Prizren, from example, in our national poetry is called the “Serbian Constantinople”. All topics connected with Kosovo are symbols of a high medieval civilizational level of the Serbian society and culture, its aristocratic wealth and glamour on the one hand, and on the other the fall of that civilization due to the violent and cruel blow of the Ottoman invaders.

The Turkish invasion of south eastern Europe and the Serbian lands as its part, have not only brought about the fall of Christian civilization, but are also responsible for the destruction of all social structures, the elimination of the Serbian elite and the destruction of the most outstanding cultural achievements. One part of Serbian nobility was killed, one part expelled to Asia, one part forced to take up Islam, and one part managed to emigrate north, west and across the Adriatic to Italy. Average people deprived from its leaders had no option but to stick to the traditional national values. It is thanks to the Orthodox Church which managed to revive its work in 1557 (renewal of the Patriarchy of Pec), that Serbian people kept alive the awareness of the medieval national state and high achievements of its civilization. Many medieval castles and towns were destroyed, many churches were raised to the ground , and some of them turn into the mosques. At the beginning of the 17 century, Sveti Arhandjeli (where emperor Dusan was buried), the monumental mausoleum of Emperor Dusan was totally destroyed, and the precious polished stone out of which the church was built was used for building the Sinan-pasa mosque, sill existing in Prizren to date. Bogorodica Ljeviska, the monumental legacy of King Milutin, in 1756 was turned into the mosque and only after the First World War it was again restored into a Christian church. Turkish invasion and the consequences of their conflict with Christian Europe, particularly since the siege of Vienna in 1683, had considerably changed the ethnic and demographic picture of that part of Serbia. The orthodox Serbs were the absolute majority population until the end of the 17 century, and before the First Migration of the Serbs in 1690, due to the defeat of the Christian Europe in the conflict with the Turks and the participation of the Serbs in that conflict of the side of Christian Europe. The Turks settled in towns, and the Albanians (at that time called Sqipetars) coming from the mountains of northern Albania of today started settling in smaller groups on Serbian land in bordering regions of Metohia.

Until the 18th century, there are no Sqipetars (now called Albanians) in Kosovo and Metohia in bigger agglomerations. Actually, they began settling in this region in greater numbers only in the 18th and 19th century from today’s northern Albania. In addition to the newly settled Sqipetars (now called Albanians) who were mostly Muslims or converted to Islam soon after settling in Kosovo, it is also the Islamization of the Serbs that brought about great changes in the cultural environment of this region. Many of Islamized Serbs gradually fused with predominantly Albanian Moslems and adopted their culture and even language. At the beginning of the second half of the 19th century, the Turks also settled Cherkeses in this region. Despite of all these artificial demographic changes, Orthodox Serbs decreased for almost 50% of the total population living in Kosovo and Metohia. In the second half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century the Serbian middle class in Prizren, Pec, Pristina and other towns was the main driving force of the urban and economic development of the region . The news paper “Prizren” was published both in Serbian and Turkish language. In 1871 the Orthodox Theological School was founded in Prizren by Sima Igumanov. During the eighties and nineties a great number of new schools, cultural institutions and banks were founded.

It is during the Second World War, that the most drastic changes in the demographic picture of Kosovo took place. In Kosovo and Metohija the Albanian nationalists got free hand to terrorize the Serbs. Under such pressure estimated 75,000 Serbs left Kosovo. In their empty houses about the same number of Albanians from Albania settled. This definitely tipped the balance in the Albanian favour. The first official census in post-WWII Yugoslavia (in 1948) showed 199,961 Serbs and Montenegrins in Kosovo and 498,242.

After the Second World War, As a result of unbelievable demographic explosion Albanian population in Kosovo doubled by 1971. The official Yugoslav census for that year shows 916,168 Albanians living in Kosovo, while Serb and Montenegrin population reached only to number 259,819. This demographic trend clearly demonstrates that the theory of Serb repression over Albanians after the WWII is absolutely not correct. The truth is that the Communist authorities favorized the Albanians on the expense of Serbs allowing uncontrolled settlement of Albanian immigrants and tolerating different methods of ethnic discrimination over the Serbs which made more and more Serbs leave the province and seek better life in Central Serbia. By 1990ies more than 800 settlements in which Serbs lived with Albanians became ethnically clean Albanian villages.

In an attempt to prevent the secession of Kosovo and Metohija Serbian government in 1990 abolished Kosovo Albanian autonomy. A failure of Milosevic government to develop true democratic institutions instead and using the police methods to prevent Albanian secession even more increased ethnic Albanian wish to cut of from Serbia. When the KLA rebels began attacks on Serbs in 1998 the Government brought the army and police to put the rebellion down. In the course of the civil war – 1998-1999 which ended by the NATO intervention against Yugoslavia more than 500.000 Kosovo Albanians fled the province to Macedonia and Albania. After the war, despite the international presence, KLA organized persecutions of Serb population and more than 200.000 Serbs fled Kosovo and Metohija. Only 90.000 Serbs remained living in total isolation, dispersed in several KFOR protected Serb enclaves.


Source: No Kosovo Unesco

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Kosovo history – Third part

For the Serbs as Christians, their loss of state independence and fall to the Ottoman Empire’s kind of theocratic state, was a terrible misfortune. With the advent of the Turks and establishment of their rule, the lands of Serbs were forcibly excluded from the circle of progressive European states wherein they occupied a prominent place precisely owing to the Byzantine civilization, which was enhanced by local qualities and strong influences of the neighboring Mediterranean states. Being Christians, the Serbs became second-class citizens in Islamic state. Apart from religious discrimination, which was evident in all spheres of everyday life, this status of rayah also implied social dependence, as most of the Serbs were landless peasants who paid the prescribed feudal taxes. Of the many dues paid in money, labor and kind, the hardest for the Serbs was having their children taken as tribute under a law that had the healthy boys, taken from their parents, converted to Islam and trained to serve in the janissary corps of the Turkish army.

An analysis of the earliest Turkish censuses, defters, shows that the ethnic picture of Kosovo and Metohia did not alter much during the 14th and 15th centuries. The small-in-number Turkish population consisted largely of people from the administration and military that were essential in maintaining order, whereas Christians continued to predominate in the rural areas. Kosovo and parts of Metohia were registrated in 1455 under the name Vilayeti Vlk, after Vuk Brankovic who once ruled over them. Some 75,000 inhabitants lived in 590 registered villages. An onomastic analysis of approximately 8,500 personal names shows that Slav and Christian names were heavily predominant.

Along with the Decani Charter, the register of the Brankovic region shows a clear division between old-Serbian and old-ethnic Albanian onomastics, allowing one to say, with some certainty which registrated settlement was Serbian, and which ethnically mixed. Ethnic designations (ethnic Albanian, Bulgarian, Armenian, Greek) appeared repeatedly next to the names of settlers in the region. More thorough onomastic research has shown that from the mid-14th to the 15th centuries, individual Albanian settlements appeared on the fringes of Metohia, in-between what had until then been a density of Serbian villages. This was probably due to the devastation wrought by Turks who destroyed the old landed estates, thus allowing for the mobile among the population, including ethnic Albanian cattlemen, to settle on the abandoned land and establish their settlements, which were neither big nor heavily populated.

A summary census of the houses and religious affiliations of inhabitants in the Vucitrn district (sanjak), which encompassed the one-time Brankovic lands, was drawn in 1487, showed that the ethnic situation had not altered much. Christian households predominated (totaling 16,729, out of which 412 were in Pristina and Vucitrn): there were 117 Muslim households (94 in Pristina and 83 in rural areas). A comprehensive census of the Scutari district offers the following picture: in Pec (Ipek) there were 33 Muslim and 121 Christian households, while in Suho Grlo, also in Metohia, Christians alone lived in 131 households. The number of Christians (6,124) versus Muslim (55) homes in the rural areas shows that 1% of the entire population bowed to the faith of the conqueror. An analysis of the names shows that those of Slav origin predominated among the Christians. In Pec, 68% of the population bore Slav names, in the Suho Grlo region 52%, in Donja Klina region 50% and around monastery of Decani 64%.

Ethnic Albanian settlements where people had characteristic names did not appear until one reached areas outside the borders of what is today Metohia, i.e. west of Djakovica. According to Turkish sources, in the period from 1520 to 1535 only 700 of the total number of 19,614 households in the Vucitrn district were Muslim (about 3,5%), and 359 (2%)in Prizren district.

In regions extending beyond the geographic borders of Kosovo and Metohia, in the Scutari and Dukagjin districts, Muslims accounted for 4,6% of the population. According to an analysis of the names in the Dukagjin district’s census, ethnic Albanian settlements did not predominate until one reached regions south of Djakovica, and the ethnic picture in the 16th century in Prizren and the neighboring areas remained basically unchanged.

A look at the religious affiliation of the urban population shows a rise in the Turkish and local Islamized population. In Prizren, Kosovo’s biggest city, Muslims accounted for 56% of the households, of which the Islamized population accounted for 21%. The ratio was similar in Pristina, where out of the 54% Muslim population 16% were converts. Pec also had a Muslim majority (90%), as did Vucitrn (72%). The Christians compromised the majority of the population in the mining centers of Novo Brdo (62%), Trepca (77%), Donja Trepca and Belasica (85%). Among the Christians was a smattering of Catholics. The Christian names were largely from the calendar, and to a lesser extent Slav (Voja, Dabiziv, Cvetko, Mladen, Stojko), and there were some that were typically ethnic Albanian (Prend, Don, Din, Zoti).

After the fall of Serbia in 1459, the Pec Patriarchate soon ceased to work and the Serbian eparchies came under the jurisdiction of the Hellenic Ochrid Archbishophoric. In the first decade following Turkish conquest, many large endowments and wealthier churches were pillaged and destroyed, while some turned into mosques. The Our Lady of Ljeviska Cathedral in Prizren was probably converted into a mosque right immediately following the conquest of the town; Banjska, one of the grandest monasteries dating from the age of King Milutin, suffered the same fate. The Church of the Holy Archangels near Prizren, Stefan Dusan’s chief endowment was turned into ruins. Most of the monasteries and churches were left unrenewed after being devastated, and many village churches were abandoned. Many were not restored until after the liberation of Kosovo and Metohia in 1912. Archeological findings have shown that some 1,300 monasteries, churches and other monuments existed in the Kosovo and Metohia area. The magnitude of the havoc wrought can be seen from the earliest Turkish censuses: In the 15th and 16th centuries there were ten to fourteen active places of Christian worship. At first the great monasteries like Decani and Gracanica, were exempt from destruction, but their wealthy estates were reduced to a handfull of surrounding villages. The privileges granted the monastic brotherhoods by the sultans obliged them to perform the service of falconry as well.

Two brothers of different faith and historical roles – Patriarch Makarije Sokolovic and his relative (a brother) Mehmed Pasha Sokollu (who was taken as a little child by Turks to be a yannisar)

The restoration of the Pec Patriarchate in 1557 (thanks to Mehmed-pasha Sokolovic, a Serb by origin, at the time the third vizier at the Porte) marked a major turn and helped revive the spiritual life of the Serbs, especially in Kosovo and Metohia. Mehmed-pasha Sokolovic (Turkish: Sokollu) enthroned his relative Makarije Sokolovic on the patriarchal throne. Like the great reform movements in 16th century Europe, the restoration of the Serbian Orthodox Church meant the rediscovery of lost spiritual strongholds. Thanks to the Patriarchate, Kosovo and Metohia were for the next two centuries again the spiritual and political center of the Serbs. On an area vaster than the Nemanjic empire, high-ranking ecclesiastical dignitaries revived old and created new eparchies endeavoring to reinforce the Orthodox faith which had been undermined by influences alien (particularly by Islamic Bekteshi order of dervishes) to its authentic teachings.

Based on the tradition of the medieval Serbian state, the Pec Patriarchate revived old and established new cults of the holy rulers, archbishops, martyrs and warriors, lending life to the Nemanjic heritage. The feeling of religious and ethnic solidarity was enhanced by joint deliberation at church assemblies attended by the higher and lower clergy, village chiefs and hajduk leaders, and by stepping up a morale on the traditions of Saint Sava but suited to the new conditions and strong patriarchal customs renewed after the Turkish conquest in the village communities.

The spiritual rebirth was reflected in the restoration of deserted churches and monasteries: some twenty new churches were built in Kosovo and Metohia alone, inclusive of printing houses (the most important one was at Gracanica): many old and abandoned churches were redecorated with frescoes.6

Serbian patriarchs and bishops gradually took over the role of the one-time rulers, endeavoring with assistance from the neighboring Christian states of Habsburg Empire and the Venetian Republic, to incite the people to rebel. Plans for overthrowing the Turks and re-establishing an independent Serbian state sprang throughout the lands from the Adriatic to the Danube. The patriarchs of Pec, often learned men and able politicians, were usually the ones who initiated and coordinated efforts at launching popular uprisings when the right moment came. Patriarch Jovan failed to instigate a major rebellion against the Turks, seeking the alliance of the European Christian powers assembled around Pope Clement VII. Patriarch Jovan was assassinated in Constantinople in 1614. Patriarch Gavrilo Rajic lived the same fate in 1659 after going to Russia to seek help in instigating a revolt.

The least auspicious conditions for an uprising were actually in Kosovo and Metohia itself. In the fertile plains, the non-Muslim masses labored under the yoke of the local Turkish administrators, continually threatened by marauding tribes from the Albanian highlands. The crisis that overcome the Ottoman Empire in the late 16th century further aggrovated the position of the Serbs in Kosovo, Metohia and neighboring regions. Rebellions fomented by cattle-raising tribes in Albania and Montenegro, and the punitive expeditions sent to deal with them turned Kosovo and Metohia into a bloody terrain where Albanian tribes, kept clashing with detachments of the local authorities, plundered Christian villages along the way. Hardened by constant clashes with the Turks, Montenegro gradually picked up the torch of defending Serbian Orthodoxy; meanwhile, in northern Albania, particularly in Malesia, a reverse process was under way. Under steady pressure from the Turkish authorities, the Islamization of ethnic Albanian tribes became more widespread and the process assumed broader proportions when antagonistic strivings grew within the Ottoman Empire in the late 17th and early 18th century.

The ruins of the Ancient Novo Brdo Basilica – Novo Brdo was one of the major medieval cities in Kosovo. In the 14th century the population of Novo Brdo was greater than London

It is not until the end of the 17th century that the colonization of Albanian tribes in Kosovo and Metohia can be established. Reports by contemporary Catholic visitators show that the ethnic border between the Serbs and Albanians still followed the old dividing lines of the Black and White Drim rivers. All reports on Kosovo and Metohia regard them as being in Serbia: for the Catholic visitors, Prizren was still its capital city. In Albania, the first wave of Islamization swept the feudal strata and urban population. Special tax and political alleviations encouraged the rural population to convert to Islam in larger number. Instead of being part of the oppressed non-Muslim masses, the converts became a privileged class of Ottoman society, with free access to the highest positions in the state. In Kosovo and Metohia, where they moved to avoid heavy taxes, Catholic tribes of Malesia converted to Islam. Conversion to Islam in a strongly Orthodox environment rendered them the desired privileges (the property of Orthodox and of the Catholics) and saved them from melting with Serbian Orthodox population. It was only with the process of Islamization that the ethnic Albanian colonisation of lands inhabited by Serbs became expansive.

The ethnic picture of Kosovo did not radically change in the first centuries of Ottoman rule. Islamization encompassed part of a Serbian population, although the first generations at least, converted as a mere formality, to avoid heavy financial burdens and constant political pressure. Conversion constituted the basis of Ottoman policy in the Balkans but it was les successfull in Kosovo and Metohia, regions with the strongest religious traditions, than in other Christian areas. The Turks’ strong reaction to rebellions throughout the Serbian lands and to the revival of Orthodoxy, embodied in the cult of Saint Sava, the founder of the independent Serbian church, ended in setting fire to the Mileseva monastery the burial place of the first Serbian saint. The Turks burned his wonder working relics in Belgrade in 1594, during a great uprising of Serbs in southern Banat. This triggered off fresh waves of Islamization accompanied by severe reprisals and the thwarting of any sign of rebellion.

Apart from Islamization, Kosovo and Metohia became the target of proselytizing Catholic missionaries at the end of 17th century, especially after the creation of the Sacra Congregazione de Propaganda Fide (1622). The ultimate aim of the Roman Catholic propaganda was to converts the Orthodox to Graeco-Catholicism as the initial phase in completely converting them to the Catholic faith. The appeals of patriarchs of Pec to the Roman popes to help the liberatory aspirations of the Serbs were met with the condition that they renounce the Orthodox faith. In spreading the Catholicism, the missionaries of the Roman Curia had the support of local Turkish authorities; a considerable number of the missionaries were of Albanian origin. Consequently, the propagators of Catholic proselytism persisted in inciting Catholic and Muslim Albanians against the Serbs, whose loyalty to Orthodoxy and their medieval traditions was the main obstacle to the spreading of the Catholic faith in the central and southern regions of the Balkans.9

Catholic propaganda attempts at separating the high clergy of the Serbian Orthodox Church from the people prompted the Pec Patriarchate to revive old and create a new cults with even greater vigor. In 1642 Patriarch Pajsije, who was born in Janjevo, Kosovo, wrote The Service and The Life of the last Nemanjic, the Holy Tsar Uros, imbuing old literary forms with new content reflecting the contemporary moment. By introducing popular legends (which gradually took shape),into classical hagiography Patriarch Pajsije strove to establish a new cult of saints which would have a beneficial impact on his compatriots in preserving their faith.

Parallel with the Orthodox Church national policy in traditionally patriarchal societies, popular tales gradually matured into oral epic chronicles. Nurtured through epic poetry, which was sung to the accompaniment of the gusle, epic tales glorified national heroes and ruler, cultivating the spirit of non-subjugation and cherishing the hope in liberation from the Turkish yoke. Folk poems about the battle of Kosovo and its heroes, about the tragic fate of the last Nemanjices, the heroism of Prince Lazar and his knight Milos Obilic, and, especially, about Kraljevic Marko (King Marko Mrnjavcevic) as the faultless and dauntless legendary knight who was always defeating Turks and saving Serbs, were an expression not only of the tragic sense of life in which Turkish rule was a synonymous to evil, but a particular moral code that in time crystalized into a common attitude towards life, defined in the first centuries of Ottoman rule. The Serbian nation’s Kosovo covenant is embodied in the choice which, according to legend, was made by Prince Lazar on the eve of the battle of Kosovo. The choice of freedom in the kingdom of heaven instead of humiliation in the kingdom of earth constituted the Serbian nation’s spiritual stronghold. Prince Lazar’s refusal to resign to injustice and slavery, raised to the level of biblical drama, determined his unquenchable thirst for freedom. Together with the cult of Saint Sava, which grew into a common civilisational framework in everyday life, the Kosovo idea which, in time, gained universal meaning. With its wise policy the Patriarchate of Pec carefully built epic legend into the hagiography of old and new Serbian saints, glorifying their works in frescoes and icons.


Source: No Kosovo Unesco

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Donald Trump: It was a great mistake to bomb the Serbs who were our allies in both world wars

Donald Trump with Larry King on the occasion of the anniversary of the bombing of Serbia criticized Bill Clinton and criminal attack on Serbs, the ally of America in both wars.

“The Clintons have made a mess in the Balkans and Kosovo. Look what we did to Serbia in an aerial bombardment from a safe height. Those same Serbs rescued American pilots in World War II.

It is a mistake that we bombed a nation that has been our ally in two world wars. Clintons believe that was a success, and I find it shameful.

I extend an apology to all the Serbs for the error of American policy, primarily Clinton’s. We need allies in fight against Islamic terrorism who have combat experience fighting this evil – and that in Europe are the Russians and the Serbs.

If I become the head of America the foreign policy will change the course that has until now often been wrong”.


23-12-2015

Source: Newswatch Report

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Obama: Yes We Can

America’s “Junkyard Dogs”: Operation Storm, 20 Years On

A great explanation from an excellent analyst of what happened in Serbia 20 years ago, and why the Ukraine feels like Deja Vu

‘Operation Storm’ in August 1995, when Croatia overran the Serb-inhabited territory of Krajina, was the biggest single instance of ethnic cleansing in the Yugoslav Wars, Because the attack was backed by the US, however, it was never treated as a crime.

Between August 4 and August 7, up to 2,000 people were killed and over 220,000 driven from their homes by the Croatian army. No “invaders,” these Serbs had lived in the Krajina – their word for borderlands – for centuries. The 1995 onslaught was not just a final phase of the war that began in 1991, but a continuation of the 1940s Nazi atrocities, and a long, sordid history of oppression and betrayal going back to the 1800s.

In the late 1600s, the Hapsburg Empire (later Austria-Hungary) established a buffer zone along the border with the Ottoman Turks. in exchange for military service, the Orthodox Serb frontiersmen were granted religious liberties by the Catholic Hapsburgs. By the 1800s, the Ottomans were in retreat and Austria became obsessed with subjugating the Serbs and trying to subsume them into the Catholic Croat population.

When Austria-Hungary disintegrated in 1918, the Croats chose to join the Serbs in a new South Slav kingdom – Yugoslavia – rather than be partitioned between Hungary, Austria and Italy. In April 1941, as Yugoslavia was invaded by the Axis powers, Croatian Nazis known as “Ustasha” declared an independent state with the backing of Hitler and Mussolini.

This Ustasha Croatia conducted a campaign of mass murder, expulsion and forced conversion of Serbs to Catholicism, which outright disgusted the Italians and made even some Germans recoil in horror. A Croatian legion was sent to the Eastern Front, where it perished under Stalingrad. When the Communist regime of Marshal Tito took over Yugoslavia in 1945, however, Croatian atrocities were hushed up for the sake of “brotherhood and unity.”

The end of Communism in 1990 saw a revival of Nazi symbols and vocabulary in Croatia. President Franjo Tudjman denied Ustasha atrocities and expressed joy his wife was “neither Serb nor Jewish.” Serbs were stripped of equal citizenship and declared a minority. When Tudjman declared independence in June 1991, the Serbs saw 1941 all over again. They took up arms and declared the Krajina Republic – not denying the Croats their right to independence, but disputing Zagreb’s claim to lands Croatia acquired under the same Yugoslavia it now sought to leave.

When the disintegrating Yugoslav Army backed the Krajina Serbs, Zagreb cried “Serbian aggression.” International pressure and UN sanctions sought to cut off Belgrade’s support for the rebels. When Tudjman failed to crush the Serb resistance, an armistice was arranged in January 1992. Krajina was placed under the protection of UN peacekeepers, dubbed UNPROFOR.

Meanwhile, the Clinton administration began backing Croatia and the Bosnian Muslims in their war against the local Serbs. In 1994, MPRI – a private company staffed with retired US military officers – was paid to train and equip the Croatian military. Officially, of course, they were teaching them democracy and human rights.

In May 1995, Croatia launched a strike on the Serb enclave of Western Slavonia. The UN did nothing, while the Western media was firmly focused on Bosnia. Everything was ready for the main event, dubbed “Operation Storm.” It began on August 4, with a predawn artillery barrage and the assault by 200,000 Croatian troops, trained by MPRI and armed with surplus Warsaw Pact weapons procured from eager Eastern European aspirants to NATO membership.

Three days later, most of Krajina’s Serbs had been expelled from their homes, while around 2,000 were dead. Churches, cemeteries and entire villages were razed to the ground, while refugee columns were strafed by fighter jets. Serbia did not react at all, prompting speculation to this day that Slobodan Milosevic was somehow “in on it” with Zagreb and Washington. A simpler explanation may lie in the fact that his Army Chief of Staff and spymaster were both working for the CIA at the time, as General Momcilo Perisic and Jovica Stanisic admitted years later.

The US-backed war crimes tribunal for Yugoslavia made a show of demanding the arrest and extradition of several Croatian generals involved in “Storm.” In April 2011, the tribunal convicted Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac, while acquitting Ivan Cermak. However, the basis for their convictions was an arbitrary standard for artillery strikes never previously used – indeed, one that would have acquitted all the Serb officers charged with shelling civilians. The purpose of this became apparent when the tribunal cited this arbitrary standard as grounds for reversing Gotovina and Markac’s convictions on appeal, in November 2012.

By that time, Croatia had already been admitted to NATO (2009), and cleared for membership in the European Union, which it joined in 2013.

Washington claims to be engaged in Croatia to foster “a democratic, secure, and market-oriented society that will be a strong partner in Euro-Atlantic institutions.” Yet in his 1998 memoir ‘To End A War,’ US diplomat Richard Holbrooke paints a different picture, quoting a note from his colleague Robert Frasure written during a meeting with Croatian officials on August 17, 1995:

“Dick: We ‘hired’ these guys to be our junkyard dogs because we were desperate. We need to try to ‘control’ them. But this is no time to get squeamish about things.”

This was just ten days after the mass expulsion and murder of Serbs, as US diplomats directed the Croatian troops’ incursion into Bosnia. Meanwhile, Tudjman’s government gloated over achieving what their Nazi predecessors only dreamed of, thanks to its choice of sponsors. A 2001 census showed 380,000 fewer Serbs in Croatia than a decade prior, a change from citizens with equal rights to a statistical error. The US government was most certainly not “squeamish” – not then, and not now.

If all of this bears an uncanny resemblance to the crisis in Ukraine, that’s because it does. The US is using the same arsenal of accusations employed against Serbia in the 1990s to blame Russia for “aggression” in Ukraine. Those Ukrainians who refused to live under a pro-US coup regime in Kiev are demonized as “terrorists.” Meanwhile, the pro-Nazi elements in Ukraine are being given the same whitewash into “democratic reformers” as their colleagues in Croatia. They even have US troops training and equipping them, quite openly.

Last September, after Kiev’s forces suffered a crushing defeat in attempting to subdue the rebels, one Ukrainian lawmaker suggested following Croatia’s example. While tolerating the existence of Krajina for three years, wrote Yuriy Lutsenko, the Croats strengthened their military and the economy. “And then in a couple hours, a tank attack wiped the separatists off the face of the earth,” he said.

Lest there be any confusion, Lutsenko was the head of the majority Poroshenko Bloc in Ukraine’s parliament. Washington routinely describes the regime of President Petro Poroshenko as democratic reformers bent on bringing Western values to Ukraine – at gunpoint, apparently.

Croatia marked the 20th anniversary of its victorious crime with a military parade and a statue of President Tudjman in the formerly Serb city of Knin. The lands “liberated” in 1995 remain “scattered ghost villages strewn with shell-scarred houses overgrown with ivy and tall grass,” to quote a Reuters description from 2005.

Washington was not content with crushing Krajina. In 1999, NATO attacked what was left of Yugoslavia and occupied Kosovo, a southern province of Serbia, declaring it an independent state in 2008. In October 2000, the US organized a“color revolution” in Belgrade, the first of its kind, bringing into power a puppet government. Serbia has been ruled by client regimes ever since.

By rewarding Tudjman’s atrocities, the West has effectively endorsed the Croatian Nazi atrocities from the 1940s, of which the 1990s policy was a continuation. Two decades after “Operation Storm,” Krajina stands as a symbol of the conviction that the US and its “junkyard dogs” – whether in Zagreb, Kiev, or elsewhere – can act with absolute impunity. Likewise, the fate of Krajina and the Serbs in general is meant to be a message to the world that resistance to US goals is futile.

But the East remembers.


2015-08-05

By Nebojsa Malic

This article originally appeared at Russia Today

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Russian Geopolitics from Ivan the Terrible to Vladimir Putin

Is it necessary to prove that Vladimir Putin is poorly regarded by the western press? He’s so despised that the review L’Express wrote about a report addressed to the Pentagon that asserts that « Putin’s neurological development was significantly interrupted in infancy » and that « the Russian President carries a neurological abnormality. » The authors of the report say that “ his behaviour and facial expressions reveal someone who is defensive in large social settings.”

The implicit conclusion of such a report that was acted on by the Pentagon, is that Putin can’t communicate, that he is unable to have an open and constructive dialog with the others and also that he could be dangerous, declare a war without prior judgment. The credulous reader is frightened and wonders how such a man can be the leader of Russia. He has a glance at what has happened in the past few years and suddenly understands why Putin invaded Georgia in 2008, why he annexed Crimea, why he supported the separatists in Donbas and why he’s bombing the Islamic fundamentalists in Syria right now to support the torturer Al-Assad! What’s the difference between mentioning this report and spreading propaganda?

What if Putin weren’t the man they describe? Just suppose there were some kind of logic in his foreign policy

According to the geographer George Friedman, nations are like chess players who act in the narrow limits of a series of rules that reduce the range of good moves. The more logic a player is, the more predictable he is because he’s able to chose the best tactics “until that one brilliant unexpected stroke”. George Friedman believes nations don’t act irrationally. “Nations are constrained by reality. They generate leaders who would not become leaders if they were irrational” (Friedman, p.29). He thinks leaders “understand their menu of next moves and execute them”. When they fail it’s not because they are stupid but just because the circumstances didn’t provide them the right possibilities.

Then following George Friedman’s approach to Geopolitics, let’s ask ourselves: is it possible to understand the initiatives taken by Vladimir Putin on the international chessboard?

In his book The Next 100 Years, George Friedman insists on the fact that Russia is landlocked while the United States has “easy access to the world’s oceans”. During the Cold War, the United States – which wanted to “contain and thereby strangle the Soviets” – created a “massive belt of allied nations” extending from the North Cape of Norway to Turkey to the Aleutian Islands” (Friedman, p.45). “Blocked by geography”, the USSR couldn’t win the Cold War and finally collapsed in 1991. Friedman forecasts that in the 21st century, after a second Cold War, Russia will collapse again for the same geographical reason.

But being landlocked is not the only drawback of Russian geography. To understand this, the journalist Tim Marshall invites us to take a look as this map of Europe where the European plain have been darkened.

This plain that goes from the Atlantic coasts to the Ural Mountains and from Finland to the Black Sea and the Caucasus is a huge and open corridor through which all the invasions have passed in the last 500 years: the Poles in 1605, the Swedish in 1707, the French in 1812 and finally the Germans in 1914 and 1941. Such invasions were made possible because the plain offers no resistance to invaders. There you will find “no mountains, no deserts, and few rivers” to cross. In order to face this problem, the Russian leaders decided to attack first. The only way to avoid insecurity was to move their borders to places easier to control and defend where they could reach natural obstacles to invasions. Ivan the Terrible was the first to move outward. “He extended his territory east to the Ural Mountains, south to the Caspian Sea, and north toward the Arctic Circle”. He “gained access to the Caspian, and later the Black Sea, thus taking advantage of the Caucasus Mountains as a partial barrier between itself and the Mongols”. He also “built a military base in Chechnya to deter any would-be attacker”. Then came Peter the Great and after him Catherine the Great. They “expanded the empire westward, occupying Ukraine and then reaching the Carpathian Mountains”. They took control of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to defend themselves “against attacks from the Baltic Sea”. And after WWII, Stalin occupied eastern Europe and put there allied regimes, just to create a buffer zone to close off the European plain, pushing westward until they reach a narrow area, easier to control against the enemies. We can see actually that the border between West and East Germany is easier to defend than the current Russian border. And this data doesn’t depend on the personality of a leader, whether he is an emperor, a dictator or an elected president. This point of view is largely shared by Alexander Dugin.

Alexander Dugin is a geographer but not only that. He’s also a fervent Russian moved by a love for his country. For him, Russia is more than a landlocked and vast country, more than a flag. It’s a besieged civilization that must be defended. “Russia is not the Federation of Russia, Russia is the Russian world, a civilization, one of the poles of a multipolar world” he says in an interview given to Katehon.com under the title: “War in Ukraine Will Resume Soon”.

Like Tim Marshall, Alexander Dugin leans on geography to justify, and even prolong, President Putin’s foreign policy. According to him, the war against Georgia, the Crimea annexation and the bombing campaign in Syria – where Russia has a naval base in Tartus (the western readers don’t know that Syria is, like Crimea or Transcaucasia, an outpost that allows Russia not to get imprisoned in his own borders) – were actions dictated by a geopolitical necessity that transcends the personality of its leaders. According to him, Russia should have annexed the Russian-speaking provinces of Ukraine and he believes that sooner or later it will have to do this. Not because Russians are avid of territories or imperialistic. By doing that, Russia will guarantee its own survival. “If we loose the Donbas, then we’ll lose Crimea and then all of Russia” he says. Annexing Ukraine is not an objective. Ukraine doesn’t need to become a vassal state. “I’m not against a sovereign Ukraine, if only it would be our ally or partner or, in the least, a neutral, intermediate space” he says. And he adds: “What shouldn’t be allowed is an Atlanticist occupation of Ukraine”. Here, Dugin speaks from the realm of necessity. That’s what he means when he says that it is “geopolitical axiom”. “Our enemies perfectly understand that Russia can become great again only together with Ukraine”. According to him, “There is no other way. The Russian Spring is impossible without a Eurasian pivot in Ukraine, no matter what form, peaceful or not, that it takes”. Dugin thinks that keeping independent the Donetsk and Lugansk republics between Ukraine and Russia is a categorical imperative. “He who controls the borders of the DPR and LPR with Russia controls everything” he says, imitating Mackinder’s famous slogan.

Syria is part of the same issue. Alexander Dugin thinks Syria « is a more distant goal, but not less important». He assures that the existence of ISIL is «a plan of the Americans». According to him, «The Islamic State is a special operation directed against the opponents of American hegemony in the Middle East and in particular against us [Russians]» and he adds that “Islamic fundamentalism has traditionally been an instrument of American and Atlanticist geopolitics”. I suggest that those who might consider Alexander Dugin a conspiracy theorist read the confessions of Zbigniew Brzezinski who, when he was Jimmy Carter’s Security Adviser received, on July 3rd, the presidential authorization to finance battalions of mujahedeen in order to offer the Russians their own “Vietnam War” in Afghanistan.

Dugin thinks that to confront the American threat, Russia has to show its own force and stop using the diplomatic solution.

War seems unavoidable for Russia, this vast and landlocked country that the American oligarchy wants to chase away from everywhere, from the Baltic Coasts, from the Caucasus, from the Black Sea and from the Mediterranean, expecting to chase it away from Siberia during the next step. And this war won’t be the consequence of President Putin’s personality but the result of a geopolitical turmoil deliberately organized by the western oligarchs.

Nevertheless, no doubt the idiots will keep on braying that Putin is a bloodthirsty dictator and that Russia is a dangerous and barbarian country.

Those idiots are not only the enemies of Russia. They’re also the enemies of Truth and their omnipresence in the media landscape and in the political world has made Europe a big diseased body whose members are gradually being eaten by the Atlanticist gangrene.


By Bruno Adrie

Sources:

George Friedman, The Next 100 Years, Allison & Busby, London, 2009

Tim Marshall, « Russia and the Curse of Geography » , The Atlantic Monthly, October 31st 2015

Tim Marshall, Prisoners of Geography, Scribner Book Company, October 27th  2015

Alexander Dugin, « War in Donbass will be imposed on us by Washington and Kiev » , Katehon.com, November 2nd  2015 (reblogged here)

Bruno Adrie, « Brzezinski, Obama, Islamic fundamentalism and Russia » (Part I), brunoadrie.wordpress.com,October 26th 2015

Bruno Adrie, « Brzezinski, Obama, Islamic fundamentalism and Russia » (Part II), brunoadrie.wordpress.com, November 2nd 2015

Israel Supports Islamic Terrorists

Israel claims that it’s in a mortal struggle with Islamic terrorists …

But as we reported last year, the Israeli military has admitted to supporting Syrian Islamic jihadists. And see this.

Last week, Daily Mail journalists embedded with Israeli troops reported:

Almost every night, Israeli troops run secret missions to save the lives of Syrian fighters, all of whom are sworn enemies of the Jewish state.

***

Analysts suggest the Jewish state has in fact struck a deadly ‘deal with the devil’ – offering support to the Sunni militants who fight the Syrian ruler Assad in the hope of containing its arch enemies Hezbollah and Iran.

***

Many of the casualties rescued by Israel belong to Salafist groups …. Some may be members of Jabhat al-Nusra, a Syrian group affiliated to Al Qaeda that has kidnapped scores of UN peacekeeping troops in this area, and has massacred Christians deeper in Syria.

***

In the three years that Israel has been running these operations, it has saved the lives of more than 2,000 Syrians – at least 80 per cent of whom are male and of fighting age – at a cost of 50 million shekels (£8.7 million).

***

‘Above all, Israel wants to prevent Hezbollah from gaining control on the other side of the border,’ said Michael Stephens, Research Fellow for Middle East Studies at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).

‘The Sunni militants are fighting Hezbollah, so for now they share the same objectives as Israel. That’s why we’re seeing this odd cooperation between people who would be enemies under any other circumstances.

***

Significantly, an Israeli spokesman confirmed that no medical support has been provided to any militants from the Shia alliance.

‘From an Israeli viewpoint, it’s a case of my enemy’s enemy is my friend,’ said Kamal Alam, research analyst at RUSI and an expert in Syrian affairs.

‘There is no one they can trust in the Syrian quagmire, but if you get rid of Hezbollah, that’s the end of Iran in the region. Israel’s main aim has to be to eliminate Hezbollah – and whoever takes on Hezbollah is an uneasy but necessary ally.

‘In giving medical support to these fighters, Israel has done a deal with the devil.’

Indeed, Israel has made no secret of the fact that it prefers ISIS and Al Qaeda to the Iranian backed terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah:

In September 2013, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, then a close adviser to Prime Minister Netanyahu, told the Jerusalem Post in an interview: “The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc. … We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.” He said this was the case even if the “bad guys” were affiliated with Al-Qaeda.

In June 2014, Oren expanded on this thinking at an Aspen Institute conference, extending Israel’s preference to include even the hyper-brutal Islamic State. “From Israel’s perspective, if there’s got to be an evil that’s got to prevail, let the Sunni evil prevail,” Oren said.

But it’s not just Iran or Shias … Israel decided long ago to break up Syria and Iraq into numerous mini-states.  And Israel wants a compliant government in Syria to allow its pipelines to win out over competing pipelines.

No wonder the Israeli air force has bombed near the Syrian capital of Damascus, and attacked agricultural facilities and warehouses (the Syrian government is the main opponent of ISIS in Syria).

We noted last year:

The Times of Israel reported Wednesday:

A Free Syrian Army commander, arrested last month by the Islamist militiaAl-Nusra Front, told his captors he collaborated with Israel in return for medical and military support, in a video released this week.Read more: Syrian rebel commander says he collaborated with Israel.

In a video uploaded to YouTube Monday … Sharif As-Safouri, the commander of the Free Syrian Army’s Al-Haramein Battalion, admitted to having entered Israel five times to meet with Israeli officers who later provided him with Soviet anti-tank weapons and light armsSafouri was abducted by the al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front in the Quneitra area, near the Israeli border, on July 22.

“The [opposition] factions would receive support and send the injured in [to Israel] on condition that the Israeli fence area is secured. No person was allowed to come near the fence without prior coordination with Israel authorities,” Safouri said in the video.

***

In the edited confession video, in which Safouri seems physically unharmed, he says that at first he met with an Israeli officer named Ashraf at the border and was given an Israeli cellular phone. He later met with another officer named Younis and with the two men’s commander, Abu Daoud. In total, Safouri said he entered Israel five times for meetings that took place in Tiberias.

Following the meetings, Israel began providing Safouri and his men with “basic medical support and clothes” as well as weapons, which included 30 Russian [rifles], 10 RPG launchers with 47 rockets, and 48,000 5.56 millimeter bullets.

Also on Wednesday, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency – a 97-year old Jewish wire service –reported:

A senior employee of the Dutch Justice Ministry said the jihadist group ISIS was created by Zionists seeking to give Islam a bad reputation.

Yasmina Haifi, a project leader at the ministry’s National Cyber Security Center, made the assertion Wednesday on Twitter, the De Telegraaf dailyreported.

“ISIS has nothing to do with Islam. It’s part of a plan by Zionists who are deliberately trying to blacken Islam’s name,” wrote Haifi ….

In March, Haaretz reported:

The Syrian opposition is willing to give up claims to the Golan Heights in return for cash and Israeli military aid against President Bashar Assad, a top opposition official told Al Arab newspaper, according to a report in Al Alam.

***

The Western-backed militant groups want Israel to enforce a no-fly zone over parts of southern Syria to protect rebel bases from air strikes by Assad’s forces, according to the report.

Perhaps that’s why ISIS, Al Nusra and the other Islamic terrorists in Syria haven’t tried to lay a glove on Israel?

This isn’t an isolated dynamic …

Ignorance and Indoctrination of Westerners Kills Millions

Our Planet Earth is heading straight towards the most dangerous collision in its history. It is not a collision with some foreign body, with an asteroid or a comet, but with the most brutal and selfish chunk of its own inhabitants: with people who proudly call themselves “members of the Western civilization.”

Again and again it is clearly demonstrated that Western culture, which the paramount psychologist Carl Jung used to call “pathology”, couldn’t be trusted.

This “culture” had already mercilessly slaughtered several hundreds of millions of people in all corners of the world; it enslaved entire continents, and plundered all that had any value, whether it was located above or under the surface of earth.

Inhabitants of Europe, the United States, as well as rulers of the client states, showed chilling indifference towards the suffering of their victims.

They also demonstrated utmost ignorance and the highest level of indoctrination!

For centuries, citizens of France, United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and other Western nations were staring at the battle ships leaving their shores, sailing towards Asia, Latin America and Africa … Mouths open wide; they were pretending that they did not really know what horrors these ships were going to spread. When the ships returned, packed with slaves and unimaginable booty, they shut down their brains, claimed ignorance once again, attributing thriving of their cities and states to some “Western ingenuity, enterprising spirit and hard work,” but definitely not to terror, rape and appalling plunder of the world.

What Germans did, gazing at the chimneys of the concentration camps that were regurgitating thick smoke of the victims of Holocaust and then claiming that “they did not know”, was exactly what all Europeans did for centuries and millennia, when their troops and “investments” into all sorts of Crusades, were looting and brutalizing everyone on the surface of our Planet.

Throughout the history, holocausts have been performed, again and again, all over Africa, in the Middle East, in Latin America, Caribbean, sub-Continent, and Asia Pacific, even in Oceania.

The Westerners never lifted a finger to stop crimes that their states have been committing! As long as they were getting fat, why should they? Their servile and cowardly intellectuals are still refusing, with some tiny exceptions that do not constitute even 1 percent, to depict gruesome destruction, humiliation and torment of “the others”. Western philosophers are locked at the sclerotic institutions called universities, whoring for tenures, instead of describing the world in all its sickening dismay. The media and artists are not fairing any better.

The role of Christianity has been vast and monstrous. In a foreseeable future I will dedicate an essay that will describe its responsibility for the global genocide, as well as a slender but provocative philosophic book on the same topic, co-authored with one of the leading Christian theologians. Christianity (even its non-religious forms called “secularism” or “atheism”) has been spreading intolerance, bigoted dogmas, exclusivism and complexes of superiority. It offered justification; it even inspired the crusades, colonial expansionism, mass murder as well as destruction of entire local cultures.

And yet, the same bandit nations, the same cowardly but sadistic culture, the same perverse religion, are still clinging to power, still torturing and murdering the millions.

Their gangrenous sisters, capitalism and nihilism, are brainwashing people all over the world, while driving them into dark valleys of despair.

It is because their weapons of mass destruction are the deadliest, their propaganda the most advanced, their opposition the most indoctrinated and their opposition almost non-existent!

*

War after war, genocide after genocide, the Westerners are still playing dumb! They refuse to acknowledge whet they are doing to the world.

When over 100 French people died during a bizarre recent string of attacks in Paris (who was behind them? West’s allies – jihadists, or maybe their own establishment?), Europeans began mourning their own victims – and pointing fingers at “the others”. People all over the world, either too scared to say “no” or too brainwashed as well, began expressing solidarity with the French nation.

Part of “The Jungle”, a terrible refugee camp near the French city of Calais, went ablaze. Refugees got attacked all over Europe, as “retaliation”. But retaliation for what? After all, refugees were only escaping their countries that were ruined and plundered by both Europe and the United States!

But this is not how a common European was instructed to see the world.

The common European and North American is much more submissive to the regime, than a common inhabitant of any other part of the world. He or she learns what is required to be learned, listens attentively what the media/propaganda people digest and serve. Debates are almost always within the permitted framework.

A common citizen of a Western country devours hours of bizarre entertainment daily (including “news entertainment”). They watch dozens of propaganda films and clips, every year. He or she can hardly make any distinction between reality and fiction, anymore. Such a citizen is willing to sacrifice billions of men, women and children all over the world just for their own material benefits and wellbeing.

All he or she knows, all he or she feels is (somehow abstractly) is that they are somehow “superior” to the rest of humanity; that their culture is exceptional and predestined to rule the world. All heor she senses is that he or she has the right to consume and to use all the natural resources of the world, and that their government can decide which country outside the Western realm should be allow to stand and which would be forced to fall.

Millions of human lives lost in the Middle East, tens of millions of men, women and children murdered by imperialism in Africa? Who cares? Who bloody cares? Westerner eats, copulates, sometimes works and then he either tries to enjoy his life, or he fights for much better benefits… for himself, or for herself. Rest of the world is there to provide or to subsidize such benefits; that is all.

The dumber they, the Westerners, are, the more self-assured and arrogant their worldview. You see people like this in a pub, but you also see them controlling all international organizations, even the UN agencies. Those big, beefy, tall Germans, Scandinavians, North Americans, Brits – speaking with air of a stone superiority to those “agile Asians, clumsy Africans and insecure Arabs”! Telling them what to do, how to run their societies. Absolutely no shame! You would never hear them lamenting: “We fucked up the world. We raped the planet. We are still doing it…” Never.

No apologies, no remorse, no grand plan for how to reverse the flow, how to return at least some part of what had been stolen and how to stop murdering.

Of course, everywhere you go, you read stuff like “May Peace Prevail on Earth!”

*

Yes, over 100 people died in Paris. Right before that, almost 50 died in Beirut, Lebanon. While thousands are dying in Yemen, every month… While 17,000 already vanished in Iran – victims of West-sponsored terrorism… While hundreds of thousands have been dying in Libya and Syria… While millions have been dying in Somalia and Iraq… While some 10 millions already died in a looted and raped DRC (the Democratic Republic of Congo) … All of them victims of Western assaults and banditry or of Western-sponsored terrorism directly!

All those Mujahedeen, al-Qaida, al-Nusra, IS… That entire Wahhabi fundamentalism created first by the British and later North American imperialism. All that vile, toxic stuff that had been armed, and financed and serviced by the Europeans, as well as Saudis, Turks and other great allies of the West.

And why was that stinky stuff so diligently armed and financed? So it could ruin and destroy progressive, socialist Islam, from Egypt to Iran to Indonesia! So it could destroy the Soviet Union and any Marxist roots in Afghanistan! So it could murder millions of progressive people in those proud and independent nations. So the West could rule, unopposed, grabbing all it wants, deciding who will be governing where!

*

Now Russia stands against the terror with its fighter jets. Its bombers are flying sorties for survival of this humanity. Just recently, Russia already paid a tremendous price, and we all know what it was. But it is used to paying unimaginable prices, for the survival of our planet. 25 million human lives in just one war, in order to defeat Nazism. Or great chunk of economic output of the USSR, “just” in order to defeat Western imperialism and colonialism.

China sent military advisers, and is standing by, rock solid, shoulder-to-shoulder Russia.

Syria managed to shock the world by refusing to surrender, by fighting with unimaginable heroism against all odds. Half of its people are on the move, millions of refugees are flooding all shores, but the country is standing tall, injured and bleeding but standing, nevertheless.

And so is Latin America, despite all those vicious attacks from the West. Standing, damn it, standing towering and proud!

And those ignorant, selfish, brutal hordes in the West see nothing. They repeat propaganda injected to their heads, providing slight variations to it, calling it freedom of expression!

*

After the “Paris attacks”, Western propaganda is in top gear once again. Its apparatchiks were clearly “prepared and ready”. Future direct attacks against Syria are already “justified” well in advance. Not against ISIS (although that would be the official pretext), but against President al-Assad and his government which is, despite everything, supported by the majority of Syrian people. Attacks against Syria will not be called “Western terrorism”, but something like a “heroic revenge”.

Can this planet be entrusted to those who watch crap on their television screens, day after day – both Hollywood propaganda production, and news propaganda briefings?

Can anything that comes from the West be taken seriously, after centuries of lies and murder?

Who is killing whom, lately? Who is behind what?

I will stick to what I know. And what I know is who is actually killing millions in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

I will not speculate about some “insider job” of the Empire, although I have some strong suspicions; of course I do! For now I will only stick to facts that I can prove.

And the facts are simple and horrendous: the Empire has been murdering tens of millions of people on our planet. The Empire, and that self-perpetuated ignorance, fundamentalism and blindness of its indoctrinated citizens!


About the author:

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest books are: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and  “Fighting Against Western Imperialism”.  Discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western TerrorismPoint of No Return is his critically acclaimed political novel. Oceania – a book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia: “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and the Middle East. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

Source: http://www.telesurtv.net/english/bloggers/Ignorance-and-Indoctrination-of-Westerners-Kills-Millions-20151116-0001.html

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The Criminalization of Parliamentary Democracy

Syria is being bombed as part of a “counter-terrorism campaign” allegedly against the Islamic State, an elusive “outside enemy” based in Raqqa, Northern Syria.

While the ISIL is said to be “threatening the Western World”, the evidence confirms that the Islamic State is supported and financed by the Western military alliance, together with Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.  Amply documented, Al Qaeda and its various affiliates including the Islamic State Caliphate Project are creations of Western intelligence. 

Moreover, whatever the justification, the bombing of a sovereign country is an illegal and criminal act under international law. It constitutes a war of aggression, namely a crime against the peace under Nuremberg (Principle VI):

It is also defined as an illegal act under Article 2, paragraph 4 of the UN Charter:

“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

What is important to underscore is that neither Nuremberg Principle VI, nor Article 2 of the UN Charter can be overridden by an ad hoc resolution of the United Nations Security Council put forth by one or more permanent members of the Security Council (e.g. UNSC Resolution 2249) with a view to justifying an act of military aggression. 

“Self Defense”

In bombing Syria, the Western military alliance claims the right to “self-defense”: our countries are “being attacked from abroad”.  An alleged ISIL terrorist attack, however,  is not tantamount to “an act of war” by a foreign power as defined under international law.

Ironically, this fake pretext of “self defense” invoked by several EU member states, was claimed by the French government two months prior to the Paris November 13th terrorist attack. In the words of France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius …” Due to this threat [ISIL] we decided to start reconnaissance flights to have the option for airstrikes, if that would be necessary. This is self-defense,” (quoted by RT, September 23, 2015, emphasis added)

The US, France, Britain are the aggressor nations against Syria. They cannot under any circumstances invoke the Right of Self-defense. In contrast, Syria is the victim of foreign aggression and has the Right to Self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter which states that:

“Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of collective or individual self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a member of the United Nations.”

The Criminalization of Parliamentary Democracy 

Britain’s Cameron government has sought to justify an outright act of war by seeking the endorsement of  the House of Commons.

The justification to wage war on Syria is a Big Lie, it borders on the absurd. Prime Minister Cameron claims that the ISIL plots “to kill the British People” are  decided in Raqqa, Northern Syria by an entity which just so happens to be supported (covertly) by the US, NATO, not to mention Turkey and Saudi Arabia. This political narrative sounds strangely familiar. As we recall, the George W. Bush administration had intimated that the terrorist attacks in 2001 against America had been coordinated out of Osama bin Laden’s headquarters in the Tora Bora mountain caves of  Afghanistan.

According to Prime Minister Cameron:

“ The question before the House today is how we keep the British people safe from the threat posed by Isil.

… they [ISIL] have plotted atrocities on the streets here at home. Since November last year our security services have foiled no fewer than seven different plots against our people, so this threat is very real. The question is this: do we work with our allies to degrade and destroy this threat, and do we go after these terrorists in their heartlands, from where they are plotting to kill British people, or do we sit back and wait for them to attack us?…

Paris wasn’t just different because it was so close to us, or because it was so horrific in scale; as different because it showed the extent of terror planning from Daesh in Syria and the approach of sending people back from Syria to Europe.

This was if you like, the head of the snake in Raqqa in action. 

So it’s not surprising in my view that the judgement of the Chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee and the judgement of the Director General of the Security Service is that the risk of a similar attack in the UK is real and that that the UK is already in the top tier of countries on Isil’s target list.

The action we propose to take is legal, it is necessary and it is the right thing to do to keep our country safe.

(David Cameron’s speech to the House of Commons, Hansard, December 2, 2015, emphasis added)

Members of Parliament on both sides of the House are fully aware that Prime Minister Cameron is a liar and that the bombing raids ARE ILLEGAL UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW. But those lies are now endorsed by the House of Commons in a historic vote.

The text of the motion is as follows (December 2, 2015, Hansard)

Making a Criminal Act “Legal” and “Democratic”

Endorsement of an illegal and criminal act of war by a majority parliamentary vote in the British House of Commons does not in any way “make it legal” to bomb Syria. Whatever the pretext, a war of aggression cannot be upheld as an instrument of peacemaking and democracy.

A criminal act endorsed by a democratically elected legislature remains a criminal act. Nonetheless, what should be emphasized is that the parliamentary vote in favour of Cameron’s motion modifies  the criminal nature of the decision-making process.

Responsibility for war crimes committed against Syria no longer rests solely with Her Majesty’s government: A criminal act of war endorsed by the legislature ultimately signifies the de facto criminalization of  parliamentary democracy. Each and every member of parliament who voted in favor of the bombing raids is a war criminal under international law.

The “humanitarian” bombing campaign against Syria which has resulted in countless civilian deaths has been endorsed by the legislature in Britain, as well as in France and Germany.

What we are dealing with is the criminalization of the State.

In retrospect, Tony Blair is not the only war criminal on the block, neither are Prime Minister David Cameron, France’s President Francois Hollande and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel. Those who within the national legislature uphold the conduct of wars of aggression (as defined under Nuremberg, Principle VI) are also war criminals. The legislative process in several EU countries has become criminalized. The state apparatus is criminalized.

Inasmuch as The Judiciary upholds the legitimacy of a national government’s decision to wage air strikes directed against a sovereign country, the judicial system is also criminalized.


Israelis – Not Muslims – Cheered in Jersey City on 9/11

The corporate media don’t like Donald Trump. They used to like him a lot; in fact, Big Business Media are responsible for making this minor multi-millionaire into a household name. But Trump is on their hit list, nowadays, because the Republican presidential candidate insists on telling his own lies, rather than sticking to the list of official lies parroted by corporate media every minute of every day.

Donald Trump told a really “HUGE” – as he would put it – lie when he claimed to have watched thousands of Muslims cheering in Jersey City, New Jersey, as the World Trade Center came down on 9/11. Every corporate news outlet in the country rushed to debunk Trump’s fictitious account. The Washington Post [2] offered psychological theories for why Trump gets away with telling fantastic lies. The New York Times [3] said there was no evidence that Jersey City Muslims cheered the destruction on 9/11. CNN said it never happened. And, they were right.

However, by making only a partial correction of Donald Trump’s prevarication, the corporate media were telling their own lie about what happened on 9/11. There was, in fact, celebration in Jersey City on that fateful morning, and the incident did, briefly, make a major news splash. But the people doing the cheering weren’t Muslims: they were five young Israelis in a white moving van, who were observed in Liberty Park ecstatically taking pictures of themselves framed against the smoking ruins of the Twin Towers. As ABC News [4] reported, the five were later arrested at gunpoint near the New Jersey Giants football stadium. Most U.S. intelligence sources believed the men were Israeli spies, and that their “moving company” was an Israeli intelligence cover. They were detained for a while, and then deported.

“Who is the biggest liar?”

In the year before 9/11 scores of young Israelis posing as “art students” were arrested after penetrating U.S. Defense Department and other classified sites. Both stories made national news. The corporate media could not have avoided running across articles on the “cheering Israelis” when they set about debunking Donald Trump’s “cheering Muslims” account. But, not one of them dare to mention that, yes, some people were seen celebrating 9/11 at Liberty State Park in Jersey City.

I was in a different part of the park on 9/11 morning, alone except for two young Israelis [5] with very expensive cameras, carrying phony New Jersey press credentials, who claimed to be Polish but spoke Hebrew to each other. The two young men were giddy with joy at the destruction that the three of us were observing across the Hudson River.

Later that day, I learned from local and national news outlets about the five Israelis who were dancing with delight [6] about a mile upriver from me and the two other Israelis. Articles about Israelis celebrating 9/11 would have come up in any search to correct Donald Trump’s tall tale – but the corporate media kept that part of the story from the public. They censored their own correction of Donald Trump. So, who is the biggest liar? Trump, who lies to advance his own personal interests, or the U.S. corporate media, who lie to the people on behalf of the State of Israel, and Zionism.

Listen to the audio here


About the author:

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com [7].

Notes:
[1] http://www.blackagendareport.com/israelis_cheered_9/11
[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/11/24/donald-trump-might-not-be-lying-about-people-cheering-on-911/
[3] http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/25/nyregion/a-definitive-debunking-of-donald-trumps-9-11-claims.html
[4] http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=123885&page=1
[5] http://www.blackagendareport.com/node/966
[6] http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/fiveisraelis.html
[7] Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com
[8] http://www.blackagendareport.com/category/other/ba-radio-commentary

Twenty-Six Things About The Islamic State (ISIL) That Obama Does Not Want You To Know About

This article was first published in November 2014.  

Recent developments confirm what is known and documented: Washington is behind the Islamic State (ISIS) and at the same time it is behind the moderate Al Qaeda terrorists, which the Obama administration is supporting as part of America’s campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS). And they expect us to believe that they are committed to waging a campaign against terrorists.

The Islamic State (ISIS) was until 2014 called al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).

Al Nusra is an al Qaeda affiliate which has committed countless atrocities in Syria.  It is now considered by the Obama administration as the “Moderate Opposition”. 

America’s “anti-terrorist campaign’ consists in supporting a so-called “moderate” Al  Qaeda entity (Al Nusra)  with a view to going after another al Qaeda entity entitled The Islamic State, formerly designated as Al Qaeda in Iraq.  

“Al Qaeda is going after Al Qaeda”, and both wings of al Qaeda are supported covertly by US intelligence. 

Both ISIS and Al Nusra are protected by the Western military alliance. Both Al Qaeda entities are used to destroy Syria and Iraq. The air campaign allegedly against ISIS does not target ISIS, it targets Syria and Iraq, schools, hospitals, factories, residential areas, government buildings, roads, bridges, etc. 

Both Al Qaeda affiliated entities are being used to destroy Iraq and Syria as nation states.

The terrorists  are the foot-soldiers of the Western military alliance.

US-NATO-Israel are state sponsors of terrorism, providing training, weapons and money to various terrorist formations. 

The endgame is “regime change” in Syria and the fragmentation of Iraq.  

Michel Chossudovsky, September 03, 2015

The US led war against  the Islamic State is a big lie.

Going after ” Islamic terrorists”, carrying out a worldwide pre-emptive war to “Protect the American Homeland” are used to justify a military agenda.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is a creation of US intelligence. Washington’s “Counter-terrorism Agenda” in Iraq and Syria consists in Supporting the Terrorists.  

The incursion of the Islamic State (IS) brigades into Iraq starting in June 2014 was part of a carefully planned military-intelligence operation supported covertly by the US, NATO and Israel.

The counter-terrorism mandate is a fiction. America is the Number One “State Sponsor of Terrorism” 

The Islamic State is protected by the US and its allies. If they had wanted to eliminate the Islamic State brigades, they could have “carpet” bombed their convoys of Toyota pickup trucks when they crossed the desert from Syria into Iraq in June. 

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The  Syro-Arabian Desert is open territory (see map below). With state of the art jet fighter aircraft (F15, F22 Raptor, CF-18) it would have been  -from a military standpoint-  a rapid and expedient surgical operation  

In this article, we address 26 concepts which refute the big lie.  Portrayed by the media as a humanitarian undertaking, this large scale military operation directed against Syria and Iraq has resulted in countless civilian deaths.

It could not have been undertaken without the unbending support of  the Western media which has upheld Obama’s initiative as a counter-terrorism operation.  

THE HISTORICAL ORIGINS OF AL QAEDA

1. The US has supported Al Qaeda and its affiliated organizations for almost half a century since the heyday of the Soviet Afghan war. 

2. CIA training camps were set up in Pakistan.  In the ten year period from 1982 to 1992, some 35,000 jihadists from 43 Islamic countries were recruited by the CIA to fight in the Afghan jihad.

“Advertisements, paid for from CIA funds, were placed in newspapers and newsletters around the world offering inducements and motivations to join the Jihad.”

3. Since the Reagan Administration, Washington has supported the Islamic terror network.

Ronald Reagan called the terrorists “freedom fighters”. The US supplied weapons to the Islamic brigades.  It was all for “a good cause”: fighting the Soviet Union and regime change, leading to the demise of a secular government in Afghanistan.

Ronald Reagan meets Afghan Mujahideen Commanders at the White House in 1985 (Reagan Archives)

4. Jihadist textbooks  were  published by the University of Nebraska. “. “The United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings”

5. Osama bin Laden, America’s bogyman and founder of Al Qaeda was recruited by the CIA in 1979 at the very outset of the US sponsored jihadist war against Afghanistan . He was 22 years old and was trained in a CIA sponsored guerilla training camp.

Al Qaeda was not behind the 9/11 Attacks. September 11, 2001 provided a justification for waging a war against Afghanistan on the grounds that Afghanistan was a state sponsor of terrorism, supportive of Al Qaeda. The 9/11 attacks were instrumental in the formulation of the “Global War on Terrorism”.

THE ISLAMIC STATE (ISIL)

6. The Islamic State (ISIL) was originally an Al Qaeda affiliated entity created by US intelligence with the support of Britain’s MI6, Israel’s Mossad, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Saudi Arabia’s General Intelligence Presidency (GIP), Ri’āsat Al-Istikhbārāt Al-’Āmah ( رئاسة الاستخبارات العامة‎).

China unlikely to join Obama's anti-ISIS coalition: Report

7. The ISIL brigades were involved in the US-NATO supported insurgency in Syria directed against the government of  Bashar al Assad.

8.  NATO and the Turkish High Command were responsible for the recruitment of ISIL and Al Nusrah mercenaries from the outset of the Syrian insurgency in March 2011. According to Israeli intelligence sources, this initiative consisted in:

“a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels. The Turkish army would house these volunteers, train them and secure their passage into Syria. (DEBKAfile, NATO to give rebels anti-tank weapons, August 14, 2011.)

9. There are Western Special Forces and Western intelligence operatives within the ranks of the ISIL. British Special Forces and MI6 have been involved in training jihadist rebels in Syria.

10. Western military specialists on contract to the Pentagon have trained the terrorists in the use of chemical weapons.

“The United States and some European allies are using defense contractors to train Syrian rebels on how to secure chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria, a senior U.S. official and several senior diplomats told CNN Sunday. ( CNN Report, December 9, 2012)

11. The ISIL’s practice of beheadings is part of the US sponsored terrorist training programs implemented in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

12. Recruited by America’s ally, a large number of ISIL mercenaries are convicted criminals released from Saudi prisons on condition they join the ISIL. Saudi death row inmates were recruited to join the terror brigades. 

13. Israel  has supported  the ISIL and Al Nusrah brigades out of the Golan Heights.

Jihadist fighters have met Israeli IDF officers as well as Prime Minister Netanyahu. The IDF top brass tacitly acknowledges that “global jihad elements inside Syria” [ISIL and Al Nusrah] are supported by Israel. See  image below:

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon next to a wounded mercenary, Israeli military field hospital at the occupied Golan Heights’ border with Syria, 18 February 2014″

Inline images 1

SYRIA AND IRAQ

14. The ISIL are the foot soldiers  of the Western military alliance. Their unspoken mandate is to wreck havoc and destruction in Syria and Iraq, acting on behalf of their US sponsors.

15. US Senator John McCain has met up with jihadist terrorist leaders in Syria. (see picture right)

16.  The Islamic State (IS) militia, which is currently the alleged target of  a US-NATO bombing campaign under a “counter-terrorism” mandate, continues to be supported covertly by the US.  Washington and its allies continue to provide military aid to the Islamic State.

17. US and allied bombings are not targeting the ISIL, they are bombing the economic infrastructure of Iraq and Syria including factories and oil refineries.

18.  The IS caliphate project is part of a longstanding US foreign policy agenda to carve up Iraq and Syria into separate territories: A Sunni Islamist Caliphate, an Arab Shia Republic, a Republic of Kurdistan.

THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM (GWOT)

19. “The Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT) is presented as a “Clash of Civilizations”, a war between competing values and religions, when in reality it is an outright war of conquest, guided by strategic and economic objectives.

20. U.S. sponsored Al Qaeda terror brigades (covertly supported by Western intelligence) have been deployed in Mali, Niger, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, Somalia and Yemen.

These various affiliated Al Qaeda entities in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa  and Asia are CIA sponsored “intelligence assets”. They are used by Washington to wreck havoc,  create internal conflicts and destabilize sovereign countries.

21. Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al Shabab in Somalia, the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) (supported by NATO in 2011),  Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM),  Jemaah Islamiah (JI) in Indonesia,  among other Al Qaeda affiliated groups are supported covertly by Western intelligence.

22. The US is also supporting Al Qaeda affiliated terrorist organizations in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region of China. The underlying objective is to trigger political instability in Western China.

Chinese jihadists are reported to have received “terrorist training” from the Islamic State “in order to conduct attacks in China”. The declared objective of these Chinese-based jihadist entities (which serves the interests of the US)  is to establish a Islamic caliphate extending into Western China.  (Michel Chossudovsky, America’s War on Terrorism, Global Research, Montreal, 2005, Chapter 2).

HOMEGROWN TERRORISTS

23. The Terrorists R Us:  While the US is the unspoken architect of the Islamic State,  Obama’s holy mandate is to protect America against ISIL attacks.

24. The homegrown terrorist threat is a fabrication.  It is promoted by Western governments and the media with a view to repealing civil liberties and installing a police state. The terror attacks by alleged jihadists and terror warnings are invariably staged events. They are used to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.

In turn, the arrests, trials and sentences of “Islamic terrorists” sustain the legitimacy of America’s Homeland Security State and law enforcement apparatus, which has become increasingly militarized.

The ultimate objective is to instill in the minds of millions of Americans that the enemy is real and the U.S. Administration will protect the lives of its citizens.

25.  The “counter-terrorism” campaign against the Islamic State has contributed to the demonization of Muslims, who in the eyes of Western public opinion are increasingly  associated with the jihadists.

26  Anybody who dares to question the validity of the “Global War on Terrorism” is branded a terrorist and subjected to the anti-terrorist laws.

The ultimate objective of the “Global War on Terrorism” is to subdue the citizens, totally depoliticize social life in America, prevent people from thinking and conceptualizing, from analyzing facts and challenging the legitimacy of the inquisitorial social order which rules America.

The Obama Administration has imposed a diabolical consensus with the support of its allies, not to mention the complicit role of the United Nations Security Council.  The Western media has embraced the consensus; it has described the Islamic State as an independent entity, an outside enemy which threatens the Western World.


By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky