The dramatic developments surrounding the independence referendum in Catalonia, as well as the plebiscite for the self-determination of Iraqi Kurds, have once again raised the issue of the lack of clear criteria in international practice for allowing the self-determination of nations and territories. This creates a breeding ground for double standards and speculative political maneuvers. And although Catalan separatism has a long and unique history, an assessment of current events shows that there are links to other regional crises including in the Balkans, where the double standards and geopolitical games have become fully apparent.
Richard Haass, president of the influential US Council on Foreign Relations, recently took an active part in discussions on these issues. In an article published on the Project Syndicate website on 29 September, four days after the referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan and two days before the referendum in Catalonia, Haass writes that in today’s world, new statehood depends largely on recognition by other states. He then goes on to try to formulate his own set of standards that he believes should be applied in such situations. There are five of these ‘Haass standards’ (read: the Council on Foreign Relations’ standards): the existence of historical foundations that indicate “a clear collective identity for the people in question”; the existence of convincing arguments proving that “the status quo is imposing a large political, physical, and economic price” on the population; a clear indication by the population that “it strongly favors a new and separate political status”; an indication that the new state will be “viable”; and, finally, that secession will not “jeopardize the viability of the rump state or the security of neighboring states”.
If you look at former Yugoslavia in terms of these rules, then it is easy to see the West’s extreme haste in recognizing the independence of a number of Yugoslav republics, as well as the Serbian province of Kosovo. Among other things, there would have been no “large political, physical, and economic price” should Kosovo have kept its status after 1999 as a territory under the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo with broad powers.
There are serious issues in assessing the “collective identity” of Kosovo Albanians, whom Albanian experts themselves and the leaders of the Albanian nationalist movement have traditionally regarded as part of the Albanian ethnic group since the activities of the League of Prizren from 1878-1881, an ethnic group that is currently exercising its self-determination as part of the Republic of Albania. Indeed, the level of “collective identity” of Bosnian Muslims and even of Montenegrins is historically inferior to that of Catalans and even more so of Kurds.
No serious expert would say that self-proclaimed Kosovo is financially viable without the support of the West. According to the estimates of independent organizations, the international community gave Kosovo $2.3 billion in aid between 1999 and 2002. Between 2005 and 2008, the country received $1.9 billion, nearly half of its GDP, to carry out reforms. The amounts are smaller these days, nevertheless in 2016, according to data from the IMF, Kosovo’s budget received €173 million in “foreign financing”, which is comparable to its expenditure on pensions and other welfare payments.
As for Richard Haass’ final point that the secession of a country should not jeopardize “the viability of the rump state or the security of neighboring states”, the armed Kosovo Albanian separatism and its unilateral support from the West were directly responsible for the destabilization in other Albanian-populated regions of the Balkans and created an extremely dangerous precedent.
There is good reason why the Balkan states are now further away from joining the European Union than they were a few years ago. This was demonstrated, in particular, by the 2017 Western Balkans Summit held this summer in Trieste under the aegis of the Italian government involving delegations from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo. As emphasized by Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, the EU intends to “keep open the prospect of countries of the Western Balkans joining the European Union”, but that now was not the right time and that, generally speaking, preparations for the Balkan countries to join the EU would “require a lot of time”.
There can be little doubt that the future situation both in Catalonia and surrounding Iraqi Kurdistan will reveal evidence of geopolitical maneuvers and machinations that have little in common with the interests of international stability and the aspirations of the people. As the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia notes in connection with the Catalan referendum, “the simple and stark reality is that the EU is not particularly worried about popular protests”. The newspaper continues: “Many countries achieved independence in the final years of the 20th century – the former Soviet republics, the Balkan states, and even South Sudan – but their quest for independence received the blessing of the hegemonic powers and organizations: the US, NATO, the EU, and the IMF. The collapse of the USSR and Yugoslavia was part of their strategic plans with regard to these enemy countries… The independence of Kosovo was recognized, but the separatist sentiments in Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Crimea and southeast Ukraine have faced strong opposition.”
“The will of the peoples of the European Union is placed on a pedestal, but only if this will is in line with oligarchical and hegemonic interests… These interests could hypothetically change in favor of Catalonia gaining independence, but this will only happen if the Spanish government suddenly starts to pursue a socially oriented policy and tries to withdraw from NATO (no European party has ever won an election with such a program), counterbalanced by a neo-liberal Catalan government oriented towards NATO membership,” concludes La Vanguardia, sarcastically. Well, there’s certainly some truth in it.
By Pyotr Iskenderov
Senior Researcher, Institute of Slavic Studies
Source: Strategic Culture Foundation
The world has suddenly realised that there is a “refugee crisis”. There are more refugees now than at any time since World War II. The number has grown three-fold since the end of 2001. The problem is treated as if it arose just recently, but it has been a long time coming. The pressure has been building and building until it has burst the dams of wilful ignorance.
Death and despair has migrated to the doorsteps of Europe. But tens of millions of people do not simply abandon home and native land for an insecure dangerous future of desperate struggle. The ...
Video documentary movie on the first ISIS in Europe in Islamic Caliphate of Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1992-1995.
This movie is made by the British SKY NEWS after the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Similar documentary movies on the ISIS Bosnia-Herzegovina made by the Bosnian Serbs were never shown to the Western audience.
Duration of the movie is 8 min. and 17 sec.
In the movie are presented and future Al-Qaeda Mujahedeen holy fighters.
From the movie is clear what was a real nature of the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1990s.
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Back in the 1990s something happened in central Bosnia-Herzegovina that inspired people to this day and helps explain why that country now has more men fighting in Syria and Iraq (over 300), as a proportion of its population, than most in Europe.
The formation of a "Mujahideen Battalion" in 1992, composed mainly of Arab volunteers in central Bosnia, was a landmark. Today the dynamic of jihad has been reversed and it is Bosnians who are travelling to Arab lands.
"There is a war between the West and Islam," says Aimen Dean, who, as a young Saudi Arabian volunteer, travelled to fight in ...
Families want to know if one of the reasons of halting the investigation was, as they claim, the fact that the murderer came from the village of Ćuška, the birthplace of the former commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army and the current minister of Kosovo’s security forces, Agim Ceku.
GORAŽDEVAC, SRNA – Tuesday marks the 12th anniversary of the murder of Serbian children in Goraždevac near Peć. On August 13, 2003, Ivan Jovović aged 19 and Pantelija Dakić aged 12 were taking a swim in the Bistrica River when they were shot dead with automatic weapons.
Their peers Đorde Ugrenović aged 20, ...
The most useful parable about progressives is that offered by Bernard Sanders, self-styled “socialist-progressive-independent” rep from Vermont. Sanders owes his political career to rage against the Vietnam War among radicals, many of whom moved into the state in the early 1970s. They forthwith planned a long-term, carefully organized, assault on Vermont’s two-party structure. Sanders linked his political ambitions to this effort to organize a third force, the Progressive Alliance. He became mayor of Burlington and, later, congressman.
At a rapid clip the emphasis moved from party-building to Sanders-building. By 1994, it was apparent that the only movement B. Sanders was interested in ...
On December 19, 2005, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced the appointment of Ambassador Frank G. Wisner as the Special Representative of the US Secretary of State to the Kosovo Status Talks.
Who is Frank G. Wisner, Jr.?
If his name sounds familiar that is because he is the son of Frank Gardiner Wisner, Sr., the CIA agent most responsible for the recruitment of Nazis by the US government after World War II. A former member of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the World War II precursor to the CIA, Frank G. Wisner, Sr., was one of the most infamous ...
Bosnia and Kosovo are two of the biggest exporters of jihadists joining the Islamic State (ISIS) and al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria) from the Balkans. As The Cipher Brief reported last month, legacies of the Communist era and the wars of the 1990s – presence of foreign fighters, economic and physical destruction, a lack of funding to rebuild, and the near eradication of moderate Islamic institutions – paved the way for Islamic extremist groups to establish a foothold in both countries. Now, ISIS recruiters are targeting Bosnia and Kosovo, and many Bosnians and Kosovars have left to fight in Syria and ...
Central Bosnia in 2016: Flags of the ISIS
The conflicts that engulfed the former Yugoslavia still remain unresolved in the political arena and open to Western political shenanigans and covert meddling from Turkey and Saudi Arabia in Bosnia and Kosovo. Orthodox Christianity faces many attacks and only a naïve individual would claim that America and the hands of Turkey and Saudi Arabia are clean.
America and other Western nations did little to stop Turkey invading Cyprus in 1974 and creating a de-facto nation and altering the demographics of northern Cyprus and using this area for military purposes.
Irrespective of the rights and wrongs ...
After Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo is a second ISIS in Europe today. From June 1999, when NATO troops occupied Kosovo and brought to power militant Muslim Albanian Jihad fighters, systematic destruction of (Serbian Orthodox) Christianity is visible on every corner.
The most disappointed fact in post-war Kosovo reality is an ethnic and cultural cleansing of all non-Albanians and not-Albanian cultural heritage. The proofs are evident and visible on every corner of Kosovo territory. For instance, on the arrival of KFOR (international but in fact NATO „Kosovo Forces“) and UNMIK („United Nations Mission in Kosovo“) to Kosovo in 1999, all the names of the ...
In examining the future, we must look to the past.
As we watch the media today, we are spoon fed more and more propaganda and fear of the unknown, that we should be afraid of the unknown and have full faith that our government is keeping us safe from the unknown. But by looking at media today, those of us who are old enough will be reminded of the era of Cold War news articles, hysteria of how the Russians would invade and how we should duck and cover under tables in our kitchens for the ensuing nuclear war.
Under this mass ...
VIDEO: German documentary film about the false pretext and German propaganda used to exert and sustain public support for illegal NATO aggression against Serbia and Montenegro.
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The political settlement in the former Yugoslavia is unraveling. In Bosnia, the weakest state in the region, both Serbs and Croats are mounting a concerted challenge to the Dayton peace accords, the delicate set of compromises that hold the country together. In Macedonia, political figures from the large Albanian minority are calling for the federalization of the state along ethnic lines. In Kosovo, the Serb minority is insisting on the creation of a network of self-governing enclaves with effective independence from the central government. In Serbia’s Presevo Valley, Albanians are agitating for greater autonomy. In Montenegro, Albanians have demanded a ...
Kosovo is Clinton Country: a 10-foot-high statue of Bill overlooks “Bill Clinton Boulevard” in the capital city of Pristina. Hillary is also memorialized in what has become the crime capital of Europe: right off the street named for her husband is a store named “Hillary,” featuring women’s clothing modeled after the putative Democratic party nominee for President. Pantsuits figure prominently. As Vice puts it: “While former President Bill Clinton has had a boulevard named after him, it’s without a doubt that his wife’s the real star out here.” Why is that?
As Gail Sheehy pointed out in her biography of Hillary, ...
The Green Corridor is a geopolitical concept with two meanings: (a) The Islamists’ goal of creating a contiguous chain of Muslim-dominated polities from Istanbul in the southeast to northwestern Bosnia, a mere 120 miles from Austria ; and (b) The process of increasing ethno-religious assertiveness among the Muslim communities along that route. The process entails four key elements:
Expanding the area of those communities’ demographic dominance;
Establishing and/or expanding various entities under Muslim political control with actual or potential claim to sovereign statehood;
Enhancing the dominant community’s Islamic character and identity within those entities, with the parallel decrease of presence and power of non-Muslim groups; and
Prompting Muslim communities’ ambitions for ever bolder ...
Mirė vienas didžiausių pasaulyje tarptautinių karo nusikaltėlių JAV senatorius Džonas Makeinas. Jis , kaip ir kitas JAV karo nusikaltėlių gaujos sėbras Zbignevas Bzežinskis, darė karo nusikaltimus visame pasaulyje, žudė civilius gyventojus, moteris, vaikus, senelius Vietname, Irake, Jugoslavijoje, Libijoje, Sirijoje, Jemene, Somalyje, Nigerijoje, Gruzijoje, Ukrainoje, kišosi į visų pasaulio šalių vidaus reikalus, dalyvavo vykdant spalvotas revoliucijas visose Rusijos pasienyje esančiose buvusiose tarybinėse valstybėse, Vidurio ir Rytų Europoje, Pabaltijo respublikose, Šiaurės Afrikoje, Artimuosiuose ir Vidurio Rytuose, rėmė nusikalstamus fašistinius režimus, nacionalistines chuntas, islamo teroristines organizacijas minėtose šalyse, yra tiesiogiai atsakingas už jo remtų partijų – konservatorių, liberalų, socdemų, nacistų, nacionalistų, fašistų, islamo teroristų ...
Article by Vladislav B. Sotirovic: „Nationalism and Territorial Claims of the Yugoslavs: Challenge to Re-Map the Balkans in the 21st century. Case Study“, Journal of Security Studies and Global Politics, Vol. 2, № 1, 2017, Islamabad, Pakistan, online: http://sciplatform.com/journals, ISSN (online) 2519-9609, pp. 69−81 (PDF)
In this Talking Point Dr Marcus Papadopoulos says that ordinary people in the West were not told that after Serbia lost control of Kosovo, following the Nato bombing campaign against Belgrade and other Serbian cities in 1999, the region became a centre-point in Europe for the trafficking of people, drugs and organs. When Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, Western politicians hailed the event.
The United States, which engineered the disputed act of independence, led the way in recognising the new Balkan state, with its allies quickly following suit.
Many of the leading figures in today’s Kosovan government are ...
For all the attention paid to the emergence of homegrown Islamist terrorists in Belgium, France and other European countries, one of the continent’s biggest radicalization problems is taking place on its fringes.
Kosovo, the tiny Muslim-majority Balkan nation of just 1.8 million, has produced more foreign fighters per capita than any other Western nation since ISIS declared its now-defunct caliphate in 2014. Some 413 Kosovo citizens, including women and children, have joined that group and other Islamist extremist factions since the war in Syria began in 2012.
As it attempts to join the European Union, Kosovo has been under pressure to stamp ...
Last Thursday, news reports were largely devoted to the March 22 Brussels terror bombings and the US primary campaigns. And so little attention was paid to the verdict of the International Criminal Tribunal for (former) Yugoslavia (ICTY) finding Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic guilty of every crime it could come up with, including “genocide”. It was a “ho-hum” bit of news. Karadzic had already been convicted by the media of every possible crime, and nobody ever imagined that he would be declared innocent by the single-issue court set up in The Hague essentially to judge the Serb side in the ...
The Great Powers installed a German army officer, a German Prince William, Wilhelm of Wied, Germany, as the first recognized ruler of an “independent” Albania, a puppet or proxy regime or government set up by the Great Powers.
In many ways, the conflict between the Great Powers and Serbia over Albania in 1912-1913 prefigured and foreshadowed and was the precursor of the open conflict over Kosovo beginning in 1998. Albania achieved independence only because Serbia and the other Balkan League powers were able to defeat Ottoman Turkey militarily. The Great Powers immediately established a protectorate in Albania and planned to use ...
The Refugee Crisis and the New Holocaust
Bosnia-Herzegovina ISIS in the 1990s: A Short Documentary Movie by the SKY News
Bosnia: The Cradle of Modern Jihadism?
The Murderers of Serbian Children in Goraždevac Remain “Unknown”
The Birkenstock Bomber: When Bernie did Serbia
Who was US Special Representative to Kosovo Frank G. Wisner?
Exporting Jihad: Bosnia and Kosovo
Bosnia, Cyprus and Kosovo: America and Islamism in the Balkans
Crucified Kosovo With Photo Albums
Demonization of Russia in a New Cold War Era
German Documentary Film on NATO’s War Against Yugoslavia in 1999 (English Subtitle)
Dysfunction in the Balkans: Can the Post-Yugoslav Settlement Survive?
Kosovo: Hillary Clinton’s Legacy of Terror
Kosovo and the Jihadist Green Corridor in the Balkans
Nationalism and Territorial Claims of the Yugoslavs
Kosovostan – An European Trafficking Point
Kosovo: Home to Many ISIS Recruits
International Injustice: The Conviction of Radovan Karadzic
Great Powers Rivalry and the Emergence of Albania in 1912-1913