Hey Obama, What About Serbia’s “Territorial Integrity”?

Or Yugoslavia’s for that matter. The level of western cynicism on “territorial integrity” is far greater than you probably know. The Kosovo-Crimea discrepancy is just the tip of the iceberg

Earlier this month Obama gave an earful to Putin (from a G7 meeting held 2,000 kilometres away from Moscow) complaining that this day and age you just can’t go around violating the “territorial integrity” and “sovereignty” of other countries:

“Does he continue to wreck his country’s economy and continue Russia’s isolation in pursuit of a wrong-headed desire to recreate the glories of the Soviet empire? Or does he recognize that Russia’s greatness does not depend on violating the territorial integrity and sovereignty of other countries?

That’s a rather strange statement I think because evidence Obama’s regard for sovereignty of other countries is in a rather short supply.

You’d think under Obama US military didn’t occupy Iraq and Afghanistan and bombed Libya (as well as drone bombed a bunch of others albeit with the consent of their notional governments.) Also there’s scarcely anyone who needs to be reminded of the fact that US helps the demise of governments and hand picks their replacements in foreign countries on a regular basis – not the least it did so in Ukraine itself.

Nor is there evidence of any principled regard of Obama, the US or the West for the notion “territorial integrity” of other countries. Under his presidency the US continues to pressure foreign governments and international bodies to accept the dismemberment of Serbia that it orchestrated under Clinton and Bush.

The hypocrisy of Washington and its lesser partners which severed Kosovo from Serbia, but “lambasts” Russia for incorporating Crimea is something that will not escape many. However, few are aware of the full extent of western cynicism and lack of principle on this matter.

Opportunistic western flip-flops on territorial integrity did not start with Kosovo and Crimea, but much earlier and accompanied the entire break up Yugoslavia.

 Green = states which recognize Kosovo as not part of Republic of Serbia

In 1991 Slovenia and Croatia, constituent republics of Yugoslavia, unilaterally declared independence from federal Yugoslavia. The Yugoslav central government (headed by the Croatian Ante Marković) opposed this, holding that the two did not follow proper procedure and their attempt to remove themselves from the federation was illegal.

Indeed, the Yugoslav Constitution was clear that just like the borders of constituent republics could not be altered without their consent, so the borders of the federation could not be altered without the consent of all the constituent republics. Thus while the law in Yugoslavia theoretically allowed for a secession of a constituent republic, this required the consent of all the other republics, which Slovenia and Croatia did not acquire.

Rather than respect Yugoslavia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty the west championed Slovenia’s and Croatia’s independence. EU offered moral and diplomatic support for Slovenia and Croatia separating from Yugoslavia and Germany, which was the most animated on the issue, also covertly provided intelligence. All of this had started before the two had even declared independence.

Supposedly western states held that international borders were inviolable and even confirmed this notion in the Helsinki Accords, but then came up with a convoluted reason why Yugoslavia was the “exception” where they didn’t need to – the EU ruled that Yugoslavia was “in the process of disintegration” and therefore normal rules did not apply.

The next year with western encouragement and support (this time mainly American rather than German) Bosnia and Herzegovina also declared independence as the third Yugoslav constituent republic to do so.

Slovenia was nationally homogenous, but within the borders of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina both was a large Serbian population which wished to remain in Yugoslavia. Quickly they took control of the areas where they lived and declared their own political entities – hoping to be allowed to remain a part of a single state with Serbs of Serbia. The west would have none of it, but instead fought them tooth and nail.

According to western states Yugoslavia’s territorial integrity did not need to be respected – ergo the support for independence of its republics, but the territorial integrity of these new controversial states which had only come into existence as subjects of international law five minutes ago had to be absolute. Croatia could secede from Yugoslavia, but Croatian Serbs could not counter-secede from Croatia to remain a part of Yugoslavia. Bosnia and Herzegovina could secede from Belgrade, but the Serbs of Bosnia and Herzegovina could not counter-secede to remain under Belgrade.

Although the EU had rejected the notion that Slovenia and Croatia needed the consent of other Yugoslav republics to secede legally as called for by the Constitution of the federal state, it insisted the notion that their own borders may not be changed without their own consent must be upheld.

Although they had championed the secession of Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia, western states militantly opposed the secessionist projects of Croatian and Bosnian Serbs. They fought it diplomatically, waged a massive propaganda effort against it, condemned it at the UN, instituted a comprehensive sanctions regime against Belgrade for supporting it, funneled arms to Croatian and Bosnian Muslim forces, installed themselves as less than fully impartial peacekeepers in the conflict and eventually directly intervened against it militarily in NATO’s “Operation Deliberate Force”.

The next western flip flop on territorial integrity in former Yugoslavia followed with Kosovo.

Albeit the west had previously insisted that the territorial integrity of what had been constituent republics of Yugoslavia was absolute, it now came up with a reason (the Serbs’ bad behavior) why this didn’t apply to Serbia.

Whereas it had helped prevent local Serbs from seceding from Croatia and Bosnia, the US championed the independence of Kosovo Albanians from Serbia thus redrawing the borders of a former Yugoslav constituent republic that west had claimed was a no-no in the other cases.

Naturally as the US sponsored the independence of Kosovo in repeatedly warned the Kosovo Serbs (who form a solid majority in its northernmost bit) against any thought of counter-seceding in order to remain under Serbia.

So let us recount the western position:

  • It claimed to uphold the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries and the inviolability of borders in Europe
  • However, this did not extend to the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Federal Yugoslavia which could be trampled at will
  • Nonetheless, albeit the territorial integrity of Federal Yugoslavia itself wasn’t worth anything, the territorial integrity of its constituent republics seeking independence was holly
  • Albeit the territorial integrity of the Yugoslav constituent republics of Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina was holly, the territorial integrity of Serbia was not
  • Albeit Slovenes, Croats and Bosnian Muslims could leave Yugoslavia, Serbs could not leave Croatia and Bosnia
  • Albeit Serbs could not leave Croatia and Bosnia, Kosovo Albanians could secede from Serbia
  • Albeit Kosovo Albanians could secede from Serbia, Kosovo Serbs could not secede from Albanian-run Kosovo
  • Albeit Kosovo could unilaterally secede from Serbia under NATO military control, Crimea could not unilaterally secede from Ukraine under Russian military control

May world be spared hunger, plague and western principles.


By Marko Marjanović

2015-06-17

Source: http://russia-insider.com/en/hey-obama-what-about-serbias-territoral-integrity/ri8092

04 May 1999, PRISTINA, Yugoslavia — THE SITUATION IN PRISTINA — Image by © CORBIS SYGMA

The Pan-Slavism and Tsarist Russia’s Balkan policy

The Balkan Peninsula together with the region of the South-East Europe historically have been one of the most important focal points of the Russian foreign policy, cultural influences and attempts to spread ideology of the Orthodox solidarity and the Slavic reciprocity.[1] These ideas are common to almost all trends of the Russian public life in the past and today.

After Russia lost the Great Crimean War of 1853–1856 she intensified its cultural influence in the region of the South-East Europe for the purposes of beating the Habsburg (the Roman-Catholic) rivalry and to spread an idea of the Pan-Slavism in this part of Europe.[2] However, the Great Crimean War was in essence the British war against Russia (Figes, 2010; Lambert, 2011; Small, 2014) in order to stop further Russian victories against the Ottoman Empire (Isaacs, 2001, 156; Anisimov, 298−299). After this war it became obvious for Russia that the West European great powers[3] are her enemies, especially the United Kingdom. It will take even 50 years for Russia to sign a military-political agreement with the United Kingdom (in 1907) only after a final sharing the spheres of influence in Persia (Hans-Erich, 1985, 134).[4]

The political and economic rivalry between Russia, on one hand, and the Habsburg Monarchy (Austria-Hungary from 1867) and the German Empire (from 1871), on other, over the dominance at the Balkans was strongly affected in Russia by the growth of the Pan-Slavic sentiment, based on the common Slavic origin, mutual Paleoslavonic language, and above all it was grounded on emotional sentiment to liberate those South Slavs who were under the Ottoman yoke (Jelavich, 1991).[5] Historically, Russia had three pivotal interests in both regions the Balkans and the South-East Europe: 1) strategic, 2) cultural, and 3) religious (Castellan, 1992). It is important to stress a fact that Russia, together with the West European states, participated in the process of modernization of the eastern Balkan nations and states (Black, 1974).[6]

From a strategic point of view, the Russian diplomacy concerned the Balkans and the South-East Europe as essential for the Russian state security and above all for the stability of the Russian state frontiers.[7] Russia’s intention was to obtain a favorable frontier in Bessarabia (today an independent Republic of Moldova) and to have control over the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, which became very important to the Russian commercial and economic development and geopolitical projects; in particular for the shipment of surplus grain from today Ukraine or known also as a Little Russia (Прыжов, 1869; Соловьев, 1947)[8] to the world markets.

The Bosporus and the Dardanelles became a part of Russia’s “security zone” in both economic and political terms. The Russian main concern was to safeguard free passage through the Bosporus Straits to the Mediterranean Sea (Jelavich, 1973). Simultaneously, Russia intended to block the expansion of the other European great powers, particularly of Austria-Hungary and Germany, into the region.[9]

Taking religious and cultural aspects of the Russian interests in the Balkans and the South-East Europe, largely due to the Russian Pan-Slavic agitation, Russia succeeded to develop from 1870 a strong interest in the fate of the Balkan Slavs and the South-East European Orthodox Christians. The Pan-Slavism, based on the myth of the Slavic solidarity and primarily on the Orthodox Slavic reciprocity, which created strong ethnic, religious and cultural sentiments among the Slavic Orthodox population (but not among the Roman Catholic Slavs), became at the end of the 19th century one of the dominant driving forces behind the Russian policy in the Balkans and the South-East Europe. The myth of the Slavic solidarity and brotherhood exerted a considerable influence on many intellectuals and found support in official circles in Russia, Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria.[10]

The Tsarist Russia was sincerely trying all the time to reconcile the Slavic nations in conflict, especially those of the Christian Orthodox faith for the sake of the Pan-Slavic ideals of intra-Slavic solidarity, reciprocity and brotherhood. Probably the case of the Serbian-Bulgarian conflict in 1912−1915 over the Macedonian Question is the best example of such Russian policy of Panslavism. In the other words, Russia became the creator of the 1912 Serbian−Bulgarian treaty and recognized arbiter in 1912−1913 diplomatic conflict between Serbia and Bulgaria over the destiny of Macedonia after the Balkan Wars (Ћоровић, 1990а, 20−24). The Russian Balkan policy in this case was a real Panslavonic one as St. Petersburg wanted to satisfy territorial claims of both sides by negotiations and diplomatic agreement between Sofia and Belgrade. When Austria-Hungary declared war to Serbia on July 23rd, 1914 all Entente member states, including and Russia, were making pressure on Serbia to give territorial compensation (the Vardar Macedonia) to Bulgaria for the Bulgarian participation in the war against the Central Powers. Serbia was promised, like in the secret 1915 London Treaty, territorial concessions in the Western Balkans populated by the ethnic Serbs living in the Dual Monarchy. For instance, a Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sazonov, on August 5th, 1914 urged the Serbian Government to give to Bulgaria Macedonian territories up to the line Kriva Palanka−Ohrid with Struga for Bulgarian active participation in the war against Austria-Hungary and towns of Shtip, Radovishte and the lands up to Vardar river for Bulgarian “friendly neutrality”. For such Serbia’s sacrifice, Russia promised to Belgrade to support Serbia at the end of the war in realization of her “national ideals”. However, Sazonov was clear in this case that Serbia by giving such territorial sacrifice is going to very contribute to the Russian “life wish” to establish the Panslavonic fraternity and eternal friendship between the Serbs and Bulgarians (Радојевић, Димић, 2014, 138). The same territorial requirements to Serbia were vainly repeated once again by the Entente member states in 1915 before Bulgaria finally joined the war on the side of the Central Powers in October of the same year (Avramovski, 1985, 55−172; Трубецки, 1994, 21−158).

Unfortunately, Serbia rejected such friendly Russia’s proposals and as a consequence lost 25% of its population during the WWI, 50% of industry and the most important its statehood. Instead of a strong and efficient United Serbia it was created loose, destructive and above all anti-Serbian Yugoslavia with the Roman Catholic Croats and Slovenes as the clients of Vatican.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Anisimov, J. (2014). Rusijos istorija nuo Riuriko iki Putino: Žmonės. Įvykiai. Datos. Vilnius: Mokslo ir enciklopedijų leidybos centras.

Avramovski, Ž. (1985). Ratni ciljevi Bugarske i Centralne sile 1914−1918. Beograd: Institut za savremenu istoriju.

Black, E. C. (1974). “Russia and the Modernization of the Balkans”. Jelavich, Ch. & Jelavich, B. (eds.). The Balkans in Transition: Essays on the Development of Balkan Life and Politics since the Eighteenth century, Archon Books.

Castellan, G. (1992). History of the Balkans: From Mohammed the Conqueror to Stalin. New York: Columbia University Press, East European Monographs, Boulder.

Cooper, F. A., Heine, J., Thakur, R. (eds.) (2015). The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy. Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press.

Figes, O. (2010). The Crimean War: A History. New York: Metropolitan Books.

Gvosdev, K. N., & Marsh, Ch. (2014). Russian Foreign Policy: Interests, Vectors, and Sectors. Thousand Oaks: CoPress.

Hans-Erich, S., & et al (eds.) (1985). Westerman Großer Atlas zur Weltgeschichte. Braunsschweig: C. A. Koch’s Verlag Nachf.

Isaacs, A., Alexander, F., Law, J., Martin, E. (eds.) (2001). Oxford Dictionary of World History. Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press.

Jelavich, B. (1973). The Ottoman Empire, the Great Powers, and the Straits Question, 1870−1887, Indiana University Press.

Jelavich, B. (1991). Russia’s Balkan Entanglements, 1806−1914. Bloomington.

Kohn, H. (1960). Pan-Slavism: Its History and Ideology. Vintage.

Lambert, A. (2011). The Crimean War: British Grand Strategy Against Russia, 1853−56. Surrey: Ashgate Publishing Limited.

Mansbach, W. R., Taylor, L. K. (2012). Introduction to Global Politics. London−New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Narochnitskaya, A. N. (1998). “Spiritual and geopolitical rivalry in the Balkans at the brink of the XXI century”. Eurobalkans, autumn. 18–23.

Palmowski, J. (2004). A Dictionary of Contemporary World History from 1900 to the Present Day. Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press.

Plokhy, S. (2008). Ukraine & Russia: Representations of the Past. Toronto−Buffalo−London: University of Toronto Press Incorporated.

Plokhy, S. (2010). The Origins of the Slavic Nations: Premodern Identities in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Riasanovsky, V. N. (2006). A History of Russia. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Small, H. (2014). The Crimean War: Queen Victoria’s War with the Russian Tsars. London: Tempus Publishing.

Tsygankov, P. A. (2013). Russia’s Foreign Policy: Change and Continuity in National Identity. Lanham, Mar.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Попов, Н. (1870). Србија и Русија: Од Кочине крајине до Св. Андрејевске скупштине. Београд: Државна штампарија.

Прыжов, И. Г. (1869). Малороссия (Южная Русь) в истории ее литературы с XI по XVIII век., Воронеж.

Поповић, В. (1940). Европа и српско питање. Београд.

Радојевић, М., Димић, Љ. (2014). Србија у Великом рату 1914−1918. Кратка историја. Београд: Српска књижевна задруга−Београдски форум за свет равноправних.

Соловьев, А. В. (1947). „Великая, Малая и Белая Русь“. Вопросы истории. Москва: Академия наук СССР. 7. 24−38.

Трубецки, Н. Г. (1994). Рат на Балкану 1914−1917. и руска дипломатија. Београд: Просвета.

Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic

www.global-politics.eu/sotirovic

globalpol@global-politics.eu

© Vladislav B. Sotirovic 2016

Endnotes:

[1] The Balkans is a peninsula in the South-East Europe that today includes Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Greece, Albania, Macedonia (the FYROM), Bulgaria and the European portion of Turkey. The South-East Europe is enlarged Balkans with Romania and Moldova.

[2] The Balkans was all the time a peninsula of a clash of civilizations. According to Samuel P. Huntington, a civilization is a cultural entity and he identified eight such civilizations. One of them was the Slavic-Orthodox. Civilizations differ in terms of history, language, culture, tradition but above all religion. Huntington argued that every civilization had and has a protector core state as, for instance, Russia historically was and today is a protector of the Slavic-Orthodox civilization (Mansbach, Taylor, 2012, 447).

[3] Great power was originally in the 18th century the term for a European state which could not be conquered by any other state or even by several of them. After the WWII this term is applied to a country that is regarded as among the most powerful in the global system and global politics (Mansbach, Taylor, 2012, 578).

[4] The British-Russian convention over Persia in 1907 divided the country into a northern section under the Russian influence, a neutral part in the middle, and a southern zone under the UK’s influence (Palmowski, 2004, 304).

[5] About the Pan-Slavism, see in (Kohn, 1960).

[6] About the Russian history, see in (Riasanovsky, 2006).

[7] About Russia’s foreign policy interests, see in (Tsygankov, 2013; Gvosdev, 2014).

[8] About Ukraine-Russian identity relations, see in (Plokhy, 2008; Plokhy, 2010).

[9] About the spiritual and geopolitical rivalry in the Balkans by the great European powers, see in (Поповић, 1940; Narochnitskaya, 1998). According to Lord Palmerston, the nations (states) have no permanent enemies and allies; they have only permanent interests (Cooper, Heine, Thakur, 2015, 72).

[10] For instance, about Russia’s influence in Serbia from the end of the 18th century to the mid-19th century, see in (Попов, 1870).

Book By Vladislav B. Sotirovic: “Global Research. Selected articles” (Second Edition), Vilnius, 2016

Book by Vladislav B. Sotirovic: Global Research. Selected articles (second edition), Vilnius: UAB “Mylida”, 2016

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International Injustice: The Conviction Of Radovan Karadzic

zlocini-nad-srbima-u-srebrenici-i-okolini-4

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 1990s civil wars that tore apart the once independent country of Yugoslavia.

Although it bears the UN stamp of approval, thanks to the influence of the Western powers, ICTY is essentially a NATO tribunal, with proceedings in English according to a jurisprudence invented as it goes along.  Its international judges are vetted by Washington officials.  The presiding judge in the Karadzic case was a South Korean, O-Gon Kwon, selected surely less for his grasp of ethnic subtleties in the Balkans than for the fact that he holds a degree from Harvard Law School. Of the other two judges on the panel, one was British and the other was a retired judge from Trinidad and Tobago.

As is the habit with the ICTY, the non-jury trial dragged on for years – seven and a half years to be precise.  Horror stories heavily laced with hearsay, denials, more or less far fetched interpretations end up “drowning the fish” as the saying goes. A proper trial would narrow the charges to facts which can clearly be proved or not proved, but these sprawling proceedings defy any notion of relevance. Nobody who has not devoted a lifetime to following these proceedings can tell what real evidence supports the final judgment. The media stayed away from the marathon, and only showed up to report the inevitable “guilty” verdict condemning the bad guy. The verdict reads a bit like, “they said, he said, and we believe them not him.”

There was a civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina from April 1992 to December 1995. Wars are terrible things, civil wars especially.  Let us agree with David Swanson that “War is a crime”.  But this was a civil war, with three armed parties to the conflict, plus outside interference.  The “crime” was not one-sided.

Muslim False Flags

The most amazing passage in the rambling verdict by Judge O-Gon Kwan consists of these throw-away lines:

“With respect to the Accused’s argument that the Bosnian Muslim side targeted its own civilians, the Chamber accepts that the Bosnian Muslim side was intent on provoking the international community to act on its behalf and, as a result, at times, engaged in targeting UN personnel in the city or opening fire on territory under its control in order to lay blame on the Bosnian Serbs.”

This is quite extraordinary. The ICTY judges are actually acknowledging that the Bosnian Muslim siJohnstone-Queen-Cover-ak800--291x450de engaged in “false flag” operations, not only targeting UN personnel but actually “opening fire on territory under its control”.  Except that that should read, “opening fire on civilians under its control”. UN peace keeping officers have insisted for years that the notorious Sarajevo “marketplace massacres”, which were blamed on the Serbs and used to gain condemnation of the Serbs in the United Nations, were actually carried out by the Muslim side in order to gain international support.

This is extremely treacherous behavior.  The Muslim side was, as stated, “intent on provoking the international community to act on its behalf”, and it succeeded!  The ICTY is living proof of that success: a tribunal set up to punish Serbs. But there has been no move to expose and put on trial Muslim leaders responsible for their false flag operations.

The Judge quickly brushed this off: “However, the evidence indicates that the occasions on which this happened pale in significance when compared to the evidence relating to [Bosnian Serb] fire on the city” (Sarajevo).

How can such deceitful attacks “pale in significance” when they cast doubt precisely on the extent of Bosnian Serb “fire on the city”?

The “Joint Criminal Enterprise” Label

ICTY’s main judicial trick is to have imported from US criminal justice the concept of a “Joint Criminal Enterprise (JCE)”, used originally as a means to indict gangsters.  The trick is to identify the side we are against as a JCE, which makes it possible to accuse anyone on that side of being a member of the JCE. The JCE institutionalizes guilt by association. Note that in Yugoslavia, there was never any law against Joint Criminal Enterprises, and so the application is purely retroactive.

Bosnia-Herzegovina was a state (called “republic”) within Yugoslavia based on joint rule by three official peoples: Muslims, Serbs and Croats.  Any major decision was supposed to have the consent of all three.  After Slovenia and Croatia broke away from Yugoslavia, the Muslims and Croats of Bosnia voted to secede from Yugoslavia, but this was opposed by Bosnian Serbs who claimed it was unconstitutional.  The European Union devised a compromise that would allow each of the three people self-rule in its own territory. However, the Muslim leader, Alija Izetbegovic, was encouraged by the United States to renege on the compromise deal, in the hope that Muslims, as the largest group, could control the whole territory. War thus broke out in April 1992.

Now, if you asked the Bosnian Serbs what their war aims were, they would answer that they wanted to preserve the independence of Serb territory within Bosnia rather than become a minority in a State ruled by the Muslim majority. Psychiatrist Radovan Karadzic was the elected President of the Bosnian Serb territory, “Republika Srpska”. However, according to ICTY the objective of the Serbian mini-republic was to “permanently remove Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from Serb-claimed territory … through the crimes charged”, described as the “Overarching Joint Criminal Enterprise”, leading to several subsidiary JCEs.  Certainly, such expulsions took place, but they were rather the means to the end of securing the Bosnian Serb State rather than its overarching objective. The problem here is not that such crimes did not take place – they did – but that they were part of an “overarching civil war” with crimes committed by the forces of all three sides.

If anything is a “joint criminal enterprise”, I should think that plotting and carrying out false flag operations should qualify.  ICTY does not seem interested in that.  The Muslims are the good guys, even though some of the Muslim fighters were quite ruthless foreign Islamists, with ties to Osama bin Laden.

One of the subsidiary JCEs attributed to Karadzic was the fact that between late May and mid-June of 1995, Bosnian Serb troops fended off threatened NATO air strikes by taking some 200 UN peacekeepers and military observers hostage.  It is hard to see why this temporary defensive move, which caused no physical harm, is more of a “Joint Criminal Enterprise” than the fact of having “targeted UN personnel”, as the Muslim side did.

The final JCE in the Karadzic verdict was of course the July 1995 massacre of prisoners by Bosnian forces after capturing the town of Srebrenica.  That is basis of conviction for “genocide”. The Karadzic conviction rests essentially on two other ICTY trials: the currently ongoing ICTY trial of Bosnian Serb military commander General Ratko Mladic, who led the capture of Srebrenica, and the twelve-year-old judgment in the trial of Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic.

The Karadzic verdict pretty much summarizes the case against General Mladic, leaving little doubt where that trial is heading.  Karadzic was a political, not a military leader, who persistently claims that he neither ordered nor approved the massacres and indeed knew nothing about them. Many well informed Western and Muslim witnesses testify to the fact that the Serb takeover was the unexpected result of finding the town undefended. This makes the claim that this was a well planned crime highly doubtful. The conclusion that Karadzic was aware of what was happening is inferred from telephone calls. In the final stages of the war, it seems unlikely that the Bosnian Serb political leader would compromise his cause by calling on his troops to massacre prisoners. One can only speculate as to what “a jury of peers” would have concluded.  ICTY’s constant bias (it refused to investigate NATO bombing of civilian targets in Serbia in 1999, and acquitted notorious anti-Serb Bosnian and Kosovo Albanian killers) drastically reduces its credibility.

What exactly happened around Srebrenica in 1995 remains disputed.  But the major remaining controversy does not concern the numbers of victims or who is responsible.  The major remaining controversy is whether or not Srebrenica truly qualifies as “genocide”.  That claim owes its legal basis solely to the 2004 ICTY judgment in the Krstic case, subsequently echoed (but never investigated) by the International Court of Justice.

“Procreative Implications”

That judgment was very strange.  The conclusion of “genocide” depended solely on the “expert” opinion of a sociologist. It was echoed again in the Karadzic case. ICTY reiterated its earlier judgment that the “killings demonstrate a clear intent to kill every able-bodied Bosnian Muslim male from Srebrenica. Noting that killing every able-bodied male of a group results in severe procreative implications that may lead to the group’s extinction, the Chamber finds that the only reasonable inference is that members of the Bosnian Serb Forces orchestrating this operation intended to destroy the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica as such.”

al-nusra-frontIn other words, even though women and children were spared, Srebrenica was a unique genocide, due to the “severe procreative implications” of a lack of men.  The ICTY concluded that “the members of the Srebrenica JCE… intended to kill all the able-bodied Bosnian Muslim males, which intent in the circumstances is tantamount to the intent to destroy the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica.” Thus genocide in one small town.

This judgment is widely accepted without being critically examined.  Since wars have traditionally involved deliberately killing men on the enemy side, with this definition, “genocide” comes close to being synonymous with war.

In fact, not all Srebrenica men were massacred; some have lived to be witnesses blaming the Bosnian Muslim leadership for luring the Serbs into a moral trap.  Moreover, there were many Muslim soldiers temporarily stationed in Srebrenica who were not natives of the town, and thus their tragic fate had nothing to do with destroying the future of the town.

Never mind.  ICTY did its job.  Karadzic, aged 70, was sentenced to 40 years in prison.  As if to make a point, the verdict was announced on the 17th anniversary of the start of NATO bombing of what was left of Yugoslavia, in order to detach Kosovo from Serbia.  Just a reminder that it’s not enough for the Serbs to lose the war, they must be criminalized as well.

The verdict is political and its effects are political.  First of all, it helps dim the prospects of future peace and reconciliation in the Balkans.  Serbs readily admit that war crimes were committed when Bosnian Serb forces killed prisoners in Srebrenica.  If Muslims had to face the fact that crimes were also committed by men fighting on their side, this could be a basis for the two peoples to deplore the past and seek a better future together. As it is, the Muslims are encouraged to see themselves as pure victims, while the Serbs feel resentment at the constant double standards.  Muslim groups constantly stress that no verdict can possibly assuage their suffering – an attitude that actually feeds international anti-Western sentiment among Muslims, even though the immediate result is to maintain the Yugoslav successor states as mutually hostile satellites of NATO.

The other political result is to remind the world that if you get into a fight with the United States and NATO, you will not only lose, but will be treated as a common criminal.  The US-led NATO war machine is always innocent, its adversaries are always guilty.  The Roman Empire led the leaders it defeated into slavery.  The United States Empire puts them in jail.


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Kosovo: Key Dates In The Century Long Goal To Create Greater Albania

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Key facts about Kosovo’s Islamic Albanian minority of Serbia and the century long drive by Islamic extremists to exterminate Kosovo Serbs from that region:

1389—Muslims defeat Christian Serb defenders in Kosovo, depopulate the area and invite mountain tribe of Albanians, in exchange for converting to Islam, to take over pillaged land from Serbs.

1594—Sinan Pasha, an ethnic Albanian, who was a commander in the Ottoman Turkish Empire, burned the relics of St. Sava at Vracar, Belgrade. St. Sava is the Saint that brought Serbs into Christianity.

1878—Albanian nationalist leaders meet in Prizren, known as the First League of Prizren, to announce the creation of a Greater Albania, which will include all areas settled by Albanians, including Kosovo-Metohija, western Macedonia, known as Illirida, southern Montenegro, and northern Greece, Chameria. This is when the Kosovo or “Kosova” separatist agenda starts.

1878—Ottoman Turkish forces put down Albanian insurgency to create a Greater Albania. This was the first attempt to create an Albanian “Kosova” by an insurgency or by military force. A century later, another Greater Albania insurgency would have NATO and US backing.

1900-1918—Austria-Hungary and Italy are sponsors of a Greater Albania and support Albanian expansion in the Balkans, at the expense of Serbia.

1912—Albanian ultranationalists seize Skopje in Macedonia as part of a Greater Albania.

1920—After borders of “Jugoslavia” are legally settled under international law and recognized by the League of Nations, Albanian separatists launch a terrorist insurgency in “Kosova”, murdering Serbian civilians and police. This is known as the “kachak movement” and is the start of Albanian attempts to take over “Kosova” by military or armed force.

1941—Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini invade, occupy, and dismember Yugoslavia. They make “Kosova” a part of a Greater Albania under Mustafa Kruja. Western Macedonia is also made a part of Greater Albania by Hitler and Mussolini.

Muslim Albanian Nazi slaying a priest in Kosovo with dull knife during WWII.

1941-1944—“Kosova” is made “independent” and part of a Greater Albania by Adolf Hitler. This is when Albanian ultra-nationalists realized their goal to create a Greater Albania and an independent Kosova under Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.

1943—The Second League of Prizren, sponsored and established by Nazi Germany, reaffirms the commitment to create and maintain an independent “Kosova” and a Greater Albania under Nazi sponsorship. Later, the US and EU would replace Nazi Germany as the sponsor of Greater Albania.

1944—Albanians create a Nazi Waffen SS Division, Skanderbeg, made up mostly of Kosovo Albanian Muslims, “Kosovars”. These Albanian Muslim Nazi SS troops murder thousands of Kosovo Serbian Christians and drive thousands of other Kosovo Serbs out of Kosovo.

Albanian Muslims murder Kosovo Serbian civilians in streets in 1941 after Adolf Hitler granted them “independence”.

1944—Kosovo Albanian Muslims play a role in the Holocaust, the murder of European Jews. The Albanian “Kosovar” Skanderbeg Nazi SS Division rounds up Kosovo Jews who are sent to the Nazi concentration camp at Bergen Belsen where they are killed.

1948—The U.S. brings Midhat Frasheri, the leader of the Nazi/fascist Balli Kombetar, National Front, whose goal is a Greater Albania that includes Kosovo, and other wanted Albanian “Kosovar” war criminals, such as Xhafer Deva and Hassan Dosti, to the U.S. to form anti-Communist forces for the takeover of Albania. The U.S. put the Communist regime in power in Albania then sought to overthrow it by means of “regime change”.

1951—The U.S. organizes and launches Operation Fiend, one of the first experiments in “regime change” in Albania. Frank Wisner is one of the leaders of the project. His son would lead the efforts in 2006 to create a Greater Albania, an independent “Kosova”, which his father failed to achieve.

1968—Albanian separatism in Kosovo emerges. Closer tries with Albania are established.

1969—Kosovo Albanians begin closer ties with Tirana and begin importing textbooks and teachers from Albania and create their own Albanian school system and university. The “Albanianization” of Kosovo begins.

July, 1999– Islamic Albanian forces murder 14 Serbian farmers in Kosovo and then burn their bodies after Kosovo is occupied by U.S. and NATO forces.

1974—The Communist dictator Josip Broz Tito changes the Yugoslav constitution giving Kosovo Albanians control of Kosovo. Albanians control every area of Kosovo from the police to teachers to judges.

1981—Albanians in Kosovo demand independence or secession from Yugoslavia. They demand to be a Republic which is code for independent or a part of Albania. They demand: “We Want a Unified Albania!” Dozens are killed in separatist riots. Serbian Patriarchate in Pec is burned down but no one knows how or why.

1982—British historian Nora Beloff notes that “ethnic cleansing” originated in Kosovo when Albanian Muslims killed or drove off Serbs. Albanians begin terror campaign of ethnic cleansing against Kosovo Serbs. From 1981-1989, an estimated 20,000 Kosovo Serbs are driven out of Kosovo by Albanian ultranationalists.

1982—Ethnically motivated murders of Kosovo Serbs begin with the murders of Kosovo Serbs Danilo Milincic and Miodrag Saric.

1985—Kosovo Serb Djorje Martinovic is “found with a broken bottle up his anus.” Albanian attackers sodomized him to force him out of the province to create an ethnically pure Kosova. US media claims that Martinovic was a closet homosexual who injured himself. The brutal sodomy of Martinovic inflames passions in the rest of Serbia.

1987—Fadil Hoxha, leader of Kosovo Albanians, advocates that Albanian Muslims rape Kosovo Serb women.

February, 2001 — 100 Serbian civilians blown up after Islamic Albanian extremists plant the bomb in the bus.

1989—Murders, rapes, desecration of Kosovo Serbian property, churches, and cemeteries forces Serbian government to rescind “autonomy” that Communist dictatorship created.

1991—Albanian separatists respond by proclaiming Kosovo a republic, which is tantamount to independence, which is recognized only by neighboring Albania. Albanian separatists gain sponsorship of a Greater Albania by contributing money to Thomas Lantos, Robert Dole, and Joe Biden. The U.S. becomes the sponsor of Greater Albania.

1996—A violent and armed terrorist and separatist group emerges, the KLA/UCK, whose goal is to create a Greater Albania, an independent “Kosova”. KLA begins killing Kosovo Serb civilians and police. Dozens of Yugoslav policemen, Serbs and Albanians, are brutally murdered by the KLA.

April, 1998—95 percent of the Yugoslav population rejected international mediation on Kosovo in a referendum. The so-called Balkan Contact Group imposed new international sanctions against Yugoslavia even though the decision was by a majority of the Yugoslav population, that is, was democratically determined.

Albanian urinates on Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo that was destroyed by Albanian Muslims while another Albanian Muslim films it on a cell phone camera, 2004.

July-August, 1998—The KLA separatists takes over 40 percent of Kosovo by force, by killing Yugoslav police and driving Kosovo Serbs out. The KLA terrorist groups are well-armed and supplied. The U.S. is one of the backers of the KLA separatists or terrorists.

1998—US State Department declares the KLA separatists are “terrorists”. US media dismisses the pronouncement.

1998—US media dismiss the fact that the Kosovo conflict is an illegal land grab, a separatist, ethnic war to create a Greater Albania. Instead, the US media concoct a deception that the conflict is about “greater rights” and “genocide”, when it is about Greater Albania, an independent, ethnically pure “Kosova”.

October, 1998—NATO plans airstrikes against Yugoslav targets, which would later include hospitals, nursing homes, passenger trains, TV stations, power grids, factories, and busses. Many of these attacks are war crimes under international law.

January 15, 1999—A “massacre” is manufactured in Racak by the US media and government. In fact, those killed were KLA separatists who had murdered Serbian policemen and had been killed in combat against Yugoslav police.

February, 1999—At a staged peace conference at Rambouillet, the US demands that Serbia allow Kosovo to become an independent nation after three years and that US and NATO troops be allowed to occupy Serbia. The US diktat was meant to force a war which the U.S. had long been planning. Rambouillet was a transparent sham.

 

 

 

 

 

1983 — Kosovo Serb farmer carries his daughter who was raped by Kosovo Albanian Muslims. Rape of girls was used by the Islamic extremists to drive out the Christian Serbs.

March, 1999—Yugoslavia’s democratically elected leaders reject the US peace deal as tantamount to dismemberment and military occupation, unacceptable to a sovereign state.

March 24, 1999—NATO launched air strikes against Yugoslavia for 78 days, killing thousands of Serbian civilians. The KLA and U.S. advisers create a fake humanitarian catastrophe by telling and even forcing Kosovo Albanians to flee into Albania and Macedonia Yugoslav forces are falsely blamed for driving out Albanians. The U.S. scores a huge propaganda success with images of refugees.

June 10, 1999—NATO forces Slobodan Milosevic to withdraw Yugoslav forces from Kosovo and to allow NATO to occupy it. NATO occupies Kosovo.

June 12, 1999—After 50,000 NATO peacekeepers begin deployment in Kosovo, over 200,000 Kosovo Serbs, Roma, Gorani, and Jews are forced out of Kosovo by Albanians. Thousands of Kosovo Serbs are murdered by Albanians as NATO takes control of the province. Over 150 Serbian Orthodox Churches would be destroyed by Albanian Muslims protected by NATO troops.

March, 2004—March Pogroms: Albanians attack the last remaining Kosovo Serbs to drive them out of the province to create an ethnically pure Shqip Kosova.

October, 2006—Serbia held a referendum and approved a new constitution which declared that Kosovo was an integral part of Serbia. This decision had the support of the majority of the population of Serbia, that is, was democratically determined

January 21, 2007—Serbia held parliamentary elections where the Radical Party won the most votes, although not enough votes to form a new government.

April, 2007—Russia rejected the Marti Ahtisaari proposal in the U.N. Security Council because it violated Serbian sovereignty by supporting Albanian separatism.

June, 2007—U.S. President George W. Bush claimed that Kosovo had to be independent “sooner rather than later.” This is an issue for the UN to be decided under international law, however, not a decision for the President of the U.S.

 

 

 

 

 

1999 — Albanian Islamic terrorists, popularly referred in Western media as “rebels”, pose with severed heads of Kosovo Serbs after a beheading session. Beheading is a popular way of slaying among Muslims.

August, 2007—Envoys from the U.S., EU and Russia began 120 days of further negotiations between Albanian separatists and the Serbian government in order to reach an agreement. No agreement was forthcoming because the only “agreement” the U.S. was pushing was an independent “Kosova”. There was nothing to negotiate about. The negotiations were a sham and a hoax.

December, 2007—Albanian separatist efforts fail at the U.N. The U.S. and Albanian goal is then to unilaterally declare independence outside of international law and the UN Charter, which is illegal and violates the sovereignty of Serbia and denies the will of the majority of Serbs. The majority of the Serbian population rejects the secession of Kosovo by Albanian separatists. This decision is reached by means of the democratic process.

February, 2008—Having failed to achieve their separatist agenda through international law and in the U.N., the U.S. switched gears and told the Albanian separatists to unilaterally declare an independent “Kosova”. This is an illegal act which violates all international norms and conventions and laws. The U.S. reliance is on military force only. The illegal measure is justified by force only.


2008-02-17

Source: http://www.serbianna.com/news/2008/01360.shtml

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Book: Prof. Petar V. Grujic, “Kosovo Knot”, Pittsburg, PA: Rosedog Books, 2014, pp. 450

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Kosovo has been a troublesome region of West Balkan for the last half millennium. The latest events, which have resulted in NATO occupation of the southern province of Serbia, marked the culmination of the violence that includes both domestic and international agencies.

Many authors have dealt with the Kosovo affair, but none of them endeavored to present a complete picture of the case. This book attempts to provide a broad and objective analysis of the problem from the historical, anthropological, political and sociological points of view. The emphasis is on the sociological side of the conflicts.

Only by understanding the differences of the mental structures and civilizations of the populations involved can one hope to achieve a just and sustainable solution. It is shown that the Kosovo affair is a part of the perennial issue of montagnards versus plane people.

This forms the background of the conflicts West Balkan has witnessed in the last decades. The Kosovo case cannot be considered isolated from the global political situation and this book provides bold, even provocative, examinations of the principal players from outside.

It provides also a detailed account of the political situation in Serbia for the last half century, with a detailed account of the struggle to overthrow Milosevic’s regime.

From the book review.

The book is available at amazon.com

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An Outlook Of Radical Islamism In Bosnia

Terrorist al-Nusra Front is blamed for massacre and abduction of Syrian civilians.

Information available to experts on international terrorism indicate that Bosnia Herzegovina is presently one of the epicentres of extremist Islamic circles in Europe, as it represents a hub for potential Islamic terrorists – the so called “white” or “European” Al-Qaeda .

Money from Islamic countries that is laundered through “humanitarian” organizations finances the religious education of at least 100,000 young Bosnian Muslims. In addition to such education, which follows the interpretations of Wahhabi Islam, there is another type of “training” in various officially registered camps throughout the B-H Federation. There, the young and carefully selected Wahhabis attend “additional courses” in marksmanship, explosives and martial arts.

Organizations such as “Furqan,” the “Active Islamic Youth,” the “Muslim Youth Council” and others – differing only in name and primary donors, but otherwise interchangeable – teach young Muslims computer and Internet skills, so they could establish contacts with their coreligionists worldwide. Knowing all this, the former head of UN Mission in Bosnia Jacques Paul Klein has stated that some 200 mujahid’din in Bosnia did not represent a danger, because they can be easily controlled. Klein knew it would be a lot more difficult to stop the spread of young Bosnian Wahhabis throughout Europe, youths who consider Osama Bin Laden and the mujahid’din role models. Nowadays there is still a strong presence of a variety of extremist Islamic groups in Bosnia-Herzegovina, under the pretext of charity funds and related philanthropic establishments. Thus it is not of surprise that the U.K Foreign Office has previously warranted concern safety for every British national traveling there, especially in relation to potential terrorist incidents.
According to EU reports, many Islamic charities that have been banned still operate in BiH – including Al Hаramain, Al Maysed Al Aqsa, and Benevolence International Foundation (BIF). All these organizations were banned in BiH (after direct political pressure from the West) but there are indications they remain active. Specifically noted was BIF, which was blacklisted in the U.S. In August 2002, the Federal Banking Agency approved the merger of Vakufska and Depozitna banks, owned by Yasin Al-Qadi (44.3%) and “Mahmal Investments” (44.2%), which has been under investigation by intelligence agencies for years, on suspicion of funding terrorism.
Between 1998 and 2000, “Енгра д.о.о” was conducting financial transactions on behalf of an organization linked to Bin-Laden, through accounts with Depozitna and Vakufska banks of Sarajevo (Zenica branch).

Moreover certain connections can be outlined for the financial institutions that are linked to Islamic causes in Turkey, such as the Al Baraka Finance and the link between Faisal Bank (Now named Family Finance) which has its roots in Saudi Arabia and the core of the Islamic elite of that country. The former is linked to Islamic-Balkan affairs. Vakufska Banka (Islamic bank in Bosnia) has several partners in Europe and especially in Turkey, where the bank is above all the main correspondent of Al Baraka Turkish Finance House. Mohamed Galeb Kalaje Zouaydi, financial head of al-Qaida in Spain, and financier of the Hamburg cell, transferred to UBL Courier for Europe, Mohamed Baiahah (aka Abu Khaled), and $97,000 US on July 2000, through al Baraka Turkish Finance House in Turkey. According to the Spanish police documentation, Muhamed Galeb Kalaje Zouaydi used several times Al Baraka Turkish Finance House to transfer money to al-Qaida operatives.

The involvement of extremists with the local banking system, is the main source of capital for functions, such as proving up to 500 Euros to local men and woman in order to wear the appropriate attire in their daily lives and in short to recruit them into becoming followers in Wahhabism. The sum is substantial in Bosnia, but also in Kosovo and FYROM where similar phenomena have been recorded by the local media. Moreover the locals that are been recruited and converted from moderate Islam to its extremist form, have also other benefits, such as scholarships for their offspring, as well as a wider network of support, which is much needed in societies with high unemployment and poverty.
The main areas in Bosnia, where in particular the Wahhabis have managed to spread considerably their reach are: Serici, Zeljezno, Polje Pojska, Mehurici, Bocinja, Travnik, Gornja Maoca, Grmusa, Velika Kladusa, and Debeljak.

The World Islamic League (Rabita), which is mostly controlled by Saudi Arabian religious circles, has invested substantially in the Western Balkans and in January 2006 it financed with 150,000 USD youth programs by bringing that capital from Mecca through Munich and into the Societe Generale banking outlet in the Novi Pazar city of Serbia, where radicalism has increased over the past decade.
In Albania recently it was made public by the media, that quite a few international terrorism supporters were active in the country and in neighbouring countries such as Bosnia over the past decades. The most well-known one is Yasin Abdullah Ezzedine Qadi the owner of the Muwafaq Company. He has also involved in the “cell” foundation Makhtab al-Khidamat that was related to Osama Bin Laden in the 90’s. According to UN sources the foundation was implicated in 1995 in transferring weaponry from Albania to Bosnia Herzegovina in order to support the Muslim side and under the direction of the Al Qaeda’s terrorist network.

Another notable figure mentioned in the Albanian press, is Abdul Latif Saleh, who had obtained Albanian citizenship and was associate of Bin Laden. Through the Al Haraiman foundation’s branch in Albania he was promoting radical Islam in the country and also laundered capital to be used for international subversive activities.

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Another nine figures associated with the aforementioned are: Adb Al Wahab Abd Al Hafiz; Abderrahmane Kifane; Ali El-Heit; Fethi Ben Hassen Ben Salem Al-Haddad; Farid Aider; Abdelhadi Ben Debka; Moustafa Abbes; Othman Deramchi; Yacine Ahmed Nacer. They were active in Albania but also toured across several countries and coordinated the expansion of the terrorist network by facilitating amongst other the trafficking of Islamists from Asia to Europe and the forging of travel documents, as well as, money laundering operations.

Safet Ekrem Durguti was the head of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation in the region and was cooperating with Jemaah Islamiyah, Al-Al-Islmaiya Itihadd, the Egyptian Jihad and the Lashkar-e- Tayyiba. He was active for a number of years in Albania and also promoted Bin Laden’s reach in the Balkans.

A UN report has also identified the Aqeel Abdulaziz Aqeel Al-Aqeel and Suliman Hamd Suleiman Al-Buthe, as formerly Albanian -based heads of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation in Tirana and direct supporters of terrorist acts.

Furthermore, Yassin Kadi, also controlled a number of other companies in the Balkans, such as: Lox Holl LTD, Caravan Construction: Caravan Albania, Cavallo SHPK, Twaik East, Karavan Durres Street Project, Camel SHPK, Medicare Co SHPK, Medicare LTD, Albanian Snacks, Alintin Albania Office, Albanian International and Development by Morgan and Morgan Trust Corporation LTD address: Road Town; Parsea Estate P.O. Box 3149 British Virgin Islands, Alintid beton, Emane SHPK.
In late March 2010, an international Wahhabi organization has launched a campaign in Bosnia-Herzegovina calling on non-Muslims to convert to Islam.

The organization, which calls itself “Poziv u Raj” (Invitation To Heaven), has been putting up slick billboards and posters and distributing leaflets in Sarajevo, Bihac, Sanski Most, Maglaj, Zenica, Travnik, Tuzla, and Tesanj.

The group also has been organizing public lectures in Bosnian cities and towns by a Greek man and a German man who recently converted to Islam. The organization maintains its core base in Germany and has a reach in several countries in Europe by actively trying to infiltrate moderate Muslim organizations.
According to a past report by Juan Carlos Antúnez, the Bosnian Wahhabi movement is currently comprised of two main streams:

– A Salafi / Wahhabi stream loyal to the B-H Islamic Community;

– A Salafi / Wahhabi stream outside the control of the B-H Islamic Community. This stream can also be divided into two main groups: Missionary and Jihadi.

It seems that for the long-term purposes of further subversion of radical elements of the Bosnian Wahhabi networks into B-H, the infiltration of the religious structure of the mainstream Muslim community is needed.
Hajrudin Somun the former ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Turkey noted in an article in the Zaman newspaper, that “Wahhabis began spreading their interpretation of Islam in poor villages, opening dozens of Quran schools and preparing to take over the country’s Islamic Community. Two prominent Kosovo imams were brutally attacked by Wahhabis in January 2009. First, Osman Musliu, who tried to prevent them from occupying the Zabel Mosque, was attacked.

He said he “doubted that Serbia had damaged Kosovo as badly as the Wahhabi infiltration.” A few days later, Kosovska Mitrovica imam Hamit Kamberi was beaten by the “people in short pants” so fiercely that he lost his consciousness”. Literally hundreds of similar incidents took place over the past decade in Kosovo, Bosnia, FYROM, and Southern Serbia and there are unverified information for such cases in Montenegro, Bulgaria and Albania.
Anes Alic reporting for the ISN, comments on the “Bosnian Muslim cleric Muhamed Porca, who has served as the head of the Vienna-based Al-Tawhid Mosque since 1993. Bosnian intelligence believes he is the main source of financial and ideological support for the Bosnian Wahhabi movement.

Imamovic also runs an extremist website putvjernika.com, which glorifies jihad and tabulates number of dead Americans in the war on terror. Imamovic has previously attracted public attention by his statement on the website that suicide attacks are not forbidden by Islam, and that they should be used in “exceptional circumstances.”

The “Green traverse” theory that was made especially known in the early 90’s seems to have become a reality due to the growing influence of radicals in the Balkans, coupled with the chronic corruption issues in the region that facilitates organized crime operations that feed with capital groups of extremists and especially in the sectors of human trafficking and narcotics. Already the media attention in the issue is becoming stronger and that may well prove to be a factor of importance if one adds the increasing international competition regarding the future geopolitical direction of the whole of the Balkan region.


19-05-2013

By Ioannis Mantzikos

Source: Modern Diplomacy

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This Is Croatia: A Book Of Basic Info About The Country (PDF)

Edward S. Herman (ed.), The Srebrenica Massacre: Evidence, Context, Politics (PDF Book)

The Birkenstock Bomber: When Bernie Did Serbia

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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.

SandersAt 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 was that of liberal money into his political campaign trough. One political piece of opportunism followed another, always forgiven by Vermont pwogressives who are frightened of Sanders and fear to speak out against the loudmouth fraud, even though, in 1998, Sanders spoke vehemently in Congress in favor of sending his state’s nuclear waste into a poor, largely Hispanic, township in Texas called Sierra Blanca.

Sanders supported sanctions against Iraq. Then he voted in favor of the war on Serbia. He did it once, he did it twice and on April 28, 1999, he did it again. This was the astounding imp-cr213-213 tie vote, which meant that the House of Representatives repudiated the war on Serbia launched by Clinton in violation of Article One of the US Constitution., which reserves war-making powers to Congress. So if the “socialist progressive” Sanders, who owes his entire career to antiwar sentiment, had not voted for NATO’s bombers, the result would have been even more dramatic, a straight majority for the coalition of Republicans and radical Democrats, such as Dennis Kucinich, Cynthia McKinney, Barbara Lee, Pete Stark and a handful of others.

On April 26, 1999, even before his most recent vote of shame, Sanders’s office was occupied by fifteen radical Vermonters sickened by his stance. The last time any political rep from Vermont had an office occupied was when a group later known as the Winooski 44 sat in (Republican) Jim Jeffords’s office in 1984, protesting Reagan’s war in Central America. Jeffords waited three days before asking the police to remove the protesters. Sanders waited six hours.

On Monday May 3, Sanders held a town hall meeting in Monteplier attended by the fifteen protesters, wearing chains. The man in Sanders’s Burlington office who told the protesters that Sanders wouldn’t speak to them was Philip Fiermonte, ironically one of the Winooski 44.

Readers of the Washington Post’s first edition can be forgiven if they missed the historic House vote refusing to approve the bombings. At first the Post reported the vote coyly on page A27. In the late edition, the Post still played down the vote. The New York Times had a better sense of news and history and put the vote on its front page, above the fold: “Deadlocked House Denies Support for Air Campaign.” The Washington Times did better too, with a front-page banner headline: “House Refuses to Back Air War on Serbs: Separate Vote Denise Funds for Deploying Ground Forces.” In the Vietnam era it took years for resistance in the House to even approach that level. Too bad Sanders was on the side of the laptop bombers.


This article is excerpted from Imperial Crusades: Iraq, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia (Verso) by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair.

15-06-2016

About the author:

Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net. Alexander Cockburn’s Guillotined! and A Colossal Wreck are available from CounterPunch.

Source: http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/15/the-birkenstock-bomber-when-bernie-did-serbia/

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Kosovo: Hillary Clinton’s Legacy Of Terror

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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, it was Mrs. Clinton who hectored her husband into bowing to a chorus of neoconservative and liberal interventionist voices and finally giving the order to bomb the former Yugoslavia. Traveling to Kosovo when Serbs in the northern part of the country were demanding some form of local autonomy to stave off violent attacks by Kosovar ultra-nationalists, Mrs. Clinton reassured her hosts that the US would stand behind Pristina: “For me, my family and my fellow Americans this is more than a foreign policy issue, it is personal.” She then physically embraced Kosovo President and Mafia chieftain Hacim Thaci – who has since been credibly accused by the Council of Europe of stealing human organs from Serb victims and selling them on the black market.

Hillary owns Kosovo – she is not only personally responsible for its evolution from a province of the former Yugoslavia into a Mafia state, she is also the mother of the policy that made its very existence possible and which she carried into her years as Secretary of State under Barack Obama.

As the “Arab Spring” threatened to topple regimes throughout the Middle East, Mrs. Clinton decided to get on board the revolutionary choo-choo train and hitch her wagon to “moderate” Islamists who seemed like the wave of the future. She dumped Egyptian despot Hosni Mubarak, whom she had previously described as a friend of the family, and supported the Muslim Brotherhood’s bid for power. In Libya, she sided with Islamist rebels out to overthrow Moammar Ghaddafi, celebrating his gruesome death by declaring “We came, we saw, he died.” And in Syria, she plotted with Gen. David Petraeus to get around President Obama’s reluctance to step into the Syrian quagmire by arming Syrian rebels allied with al-Qaeda and other terrorist gangs.

The Clintonian legacy of enabling Islamist terrorists extends to present day Kosovo, where the New York Times has revealed an extensive network of ISIS-affiliated madrassas – indoctrination centers – funded by the Saudis, the Qataris, and the Kuwaitis. The Times reports:

“Every Friday, just yards from a statue of Bill Clinton with arm aloft in a cheery wave, hundreds of young bearded men make a show of kneeling to pray on the sidewalk outside an improvised mosque in a former furniture store.”

“The mosque is one of scores built here with Saudi government money and blamed for spreading Wahhabism” in the 17 years since the war ended with Kosovo’s independence, says the Times.

“Since then – much of that time under the watch of American officials – Saudi money and influence have transformed this once-tolerant Muslim society at the hem of Europe into a font of Islamic extremism and a pipeline for jihadists.”

Kosovo is jihadi heaven. The Times informs us that “Over the last two years, the police have identified 314 Kosovars – including two suicide bombers, 44 women and 28 children – who have gone abroad to join the Islamic State, the highest number per capita in Europe.”

The Wahabist ideology carried by radical imams is directly financed by the Saudis, the Qataris, the Kuwaitis, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman. All of these countries, by the way, are major donors to the Clinton Foundation.

Hillary Clinton’s Islamist-friendly foreign policy created a terrorist base in Kosovo, and her friends the Saudis are instrumental in setting up the conditions whereby ISIS has gained a foothold in the heart of Europe. At sprawling Camp Bondesteel, where US troops have been stationed since the “liberation,” radical imams recruited three Kosovar employees, including Lavdrim Muhaxheri, who is today a commander of the Islamic State: his claim to fame is that he was videotaped executing a Syrian by blowing him to bits with a rocket-propelled grenade. (“I did not do anything less or more than what KLA soldiers did during the war,” he declared in an interview with an Albanian newspaper.)

thaciclintonAfter ignoring the problem for years, the authorities are making a show of rounding up terrorist suspects: five were recently arrested and given long sentences, but there are hundreds more where that came from.

Kosovo today is a fulcrum of terrorism, violence, crime, and virulent nationalism. The Parliament is in chaos as Albanian ultra-nationalists demanding union with Albania shut down sessions with smoke bombs and mob action. This is the legacy of the Clintons in the Balkans: a terrorist state run by Mafia chieftains that has become the epicenter of radical Islamism in the midst of Europe.

This is “blowback” with a vengeance, and Hillary Clinton and husband Bill have their fingerprints all over this outrage: but of course the “mainstream” media isn’t holding them to account. The Times story on the rise of ISIS in Kosovo never mentions the dubious duo, and is vague when it reports on the three employees of Camp Bondesteel who wound up in Syria’s terrorist camps. Who are the other two besides Muhaxheri? Did  they receive any military training? This Reuters report confirms that NATO brought Muhaxheri to Iraq, where he worked for two years at a military base.

And there’s more where he came from. As Reuters informs us:

“Thousands of Kosovars have moved on from Bondsteel to work with U.S. contractors on bases in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade, earning the kind of money they can only dream of in Kosovo.”

The terrorist pipeline runs from Kosovo, to Iraq and Afghanistan, and then on to Syria – where they fill the ranks of ISIS and al-Qaeda.

Could there be a more perfect illustration of how the principle of “blowback” works, and how we’re creating an army of Frankenstein monsters?

All this brings back memories  of Antiwar.com’s first days: this site was born as a protest against US intervention in the former Yugoslavia. Back then we warned again and again (and again!) about the specter of Islamist extremism as the energizing ideology of the Albanian separatists, both in Kosovo and Bosnia.

We were right on target.

That’s the great advantage of being a regular reader of Antiwar.com – we bring you the news before it happens. That’s years before it happens.

But we can’t continue to do it without your support – your financial assistance is critical to our continued existence.

Unlike the War Party, we here at Antiwar.com don’t get seven-figure donations from big foundations, foreign countries, or anybody else for that matter. We depend on you – our readers and supporters – for the funds we need to do our work.

And we need your help today. Our fundraising campaign has entered a crucial phase: a group of generous donors has contributed $29,000 – but we can’t get those funds until and unless we match that money in smaller donations.

That’s where you come in.

We’ve been holding down the fort for over 20 years – yes, that’s right. It seems like only yesterday when we first burst on the scene, but in reality a lot of time has passed – enough to demonstrate that we’ve been right so many times that we might as well be officially designated an authentic oracle.

It takes a lot of effort – and, yes, some money – to keep this site going. We’ve done our part, day in and day  out, for two decades – and now it’s time for you to do your part. We aren’t asking for a lot: what we spend annually is a drop in the bucket compared to what the War Party spends. And yet it’s enough to get by – and that’s all we ask.

NOTES IN THE MARGIN

You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.

I’ve written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and David Gordon (ISI Books, 2008).

You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here.


25-05-2016

By Justin Raimondo

Author bio:

Justin Raimondo is the editorial director of Antiwar.com, and a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute. He is a contributing editor at The American Conservative, and writes a monthly column for Chronicles. He is the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement [Center for Libertarian Studies, 1993; Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2000], and An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard [Prometheus Books, 2000].

Source: http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2016/05/24/kosovo-hillary-clintons-legacy-terror/

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Kosovo ISIL – A Photo Documentation

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A Collection Of Thoughts About American Foreign Policy

american-empire

Louis XVI needed a revolution, Napoleon needed two historic military defeats, the Spanish Empire in the New World needed multiple revolutions, the Russian Czar needed a communist revolution, the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires needed World War I, Nazi Germany needed World War II, Imperial Japan needed two atomic bombs, the Portuguese Empire in Africa needed a military coup at home, the Soviet Empire needed Mikhail Gorbachev … What will the American Empire need?

I don’t believe anyone will consciously launch World War III. The situation now is more like the eve of World War I, when great powers were armed and ready to go when an incident set things off. Ever since Gorbachev naively ended the Cold War, the hugely over-armed United States has been actively surrounding Russia with weapons systems, aggressive military exercises, NATO expansion. At the same time, in recent years the demonization of Vladimir Putin has reached war propaganda levels. Russians have every reason to believe that the United States is preparing for war against them, and are certain to take defensive measures. This mixture of excessive military preparations and propaganda against an “evil enemy” make it very easy for some trivial incident to blow it all up. – Diana Johnstone, author of “Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton”

In September 2013 President Obama stood before the United Nations General Assembly and declared, “I believe America is exceptional.” The following year at the UN, the president classified Russia as one of the three threats to the world along with the Islamic State and the ebola virus. On March 9, 2015 President Barack Obama declared Venezuela “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States”.

Vladimir Putin, speaking at the UN in 2015, addressing the United States re its foreign policy: “Do you realize what you have done?”

Since the end of World War 2, the United States has:

  1. Attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically-elected.
  2. Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.
  3. Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.
  4. Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries.
  5. Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.*
  6. Plus … although not easily quantified … has been more involved in the practice of torture than any other country in the world … for over a century … not just performing the actual torture, but teaching it, providing the manuals, and furnishing the equipment.

*See chapter 18 of William Blum, “Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower”

On October 28, 2016 Russia was voted off the UN Human Rights Council. At the same time Saudi Arabia won a second term, uncontested. Does anyone know George Orwell’s email address?

A million refugee from Washington’s warfare are currently over-running Europe. They’re running from Afghanistan and Iraq; from Libya and Somalia; from Syria and Pakistan.

Germany is taking in many Syrian refugees because of its World War Two guilt. What will the United States do in the future because of its guilt? But Americans are not raised to feel such guilt.

The Plan is for the United States to rule the world. The overt theme is unilateralism, but it is ultimately a story of domination. It calls for the United States to maintain its overwhelming superiority and prevent new rivals from rising up to challenge it on the world stage. It calls for dominion over friends and enemies alike. It says not that the United States must be more powerful, or most powerful, but that it must be absolutely powerful. Vice-President Dick Cheney – West Point lecture, June 2002

Two flew over the cuckoo’s nest: “We are, as a matter of empirical fact and undeniable history, the greatest force for good the world has ever known. … security and freedom for millions of people around the globe have depended on America’s military , economic, political, and diplomatic might.” – Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney, “Why the world needs a powerful America” (2015)

State Department spokesperson Mark Toner: “Assad must go even if Syria goes with him.”

Many of the moves the Obama administration has made in terms of its Cuba policy are in lockstep with Bill Clinton’s, as expressed in the recommendations of a 1999 task force report from the Council on Foreign Relations. The report asserted that “no change in policy should have the primary effect of consolidating, or appearing to legitimize, the political status quo on the island.”

A successful American regime change operation in Syria would cut across definite interests of the Russian state. These include the likely use of Syria as a new pipeline route to bring gas from Qatar to the European market, thereby undercutting Gazprom, Russia’s largest corporation and biggest exporter. Assad’s refusal to consider such a route played no small role in Qatar’s pouring billions of dollars in arms and funds into the Syrian civil war on behalf of anti-Assad forces.

War with Russia will be nuclear. Washington has prepared for it. Washington has abandoned the ABM treaty, created what it thinks is an ABM shield, and changed its war doctrine to permit US nuclear first strike. All of this is obviously directed at Russia, and the Russian government knows it. How long will Russia sit there waiting for Washington’s first strike? – Paul Craig Roberts, 2014

Iran signed the nuclear accords with the United States earlier this year by agreeing to stop what it never was doing. Any Iranian nuclear ambition, real or imagined, is of course a result of American hostility towards Iran, and not the other way around.

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If the European Union were an independent and rational government it would absolutely forbid any member country from stockpiling American nuclear weapons or hosting a US anti-ballistic missile site or any other military base anywhere close to Russia’s borders.

Full Spectrum Dominance, a term the Pentagon loves to use to refer to total control of the planet: land, sea, air, space, outer space and cyberspace. Can you imagine any other country speaking this way?

Henry Kissinger at the Paris Peace Talks, September 1970. “I refuse to believe that a little fourth rate power like North Vietnam does not have a breaking point.”

In 2010, WikiLeaks released a cable sent to US embassies by then- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She wrote this: “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support for Al Qaeda, the Taliban, al Nusra and other terrorist groups … worldwide.” Surely this resulted in at least Washington’s much-favored weapon: sanctions of various kinds. It did not.

US General Barry McCaffrey, April 2015: “Because so far NATO’s reaction to Putin’s aggression has been to send a handful of forces to the Baltics to demonstrate ‘resolve,’ which has only convinced Putin that the alliance is either unable or unwilling to fight. So we had better change his calculus pretty soon, and contest Putin’s stated doctrine that he is willing to intervene militarily in other countries to ‘protect’ Russia-speaking people. For God’s sake, the last time we heard that was just before Hitler invaded the Sudetenland.”

No, my dear general, we heard that repeatedly in 1983 when the United States invaded the tiny nation of Grenada to protect and rescue hundreds of Americans who supposedly were in danger from the new leftist government. It was all a fraud, no more than an excuse to overthrow a government that that didn’t believe that the American Empire was God’s gift to humanity.

Since 1980, the United States has intervened in the affairs of fourteen Muslim countries, at worst invading or bombing them. They are (in chronological order) Iran, Libya, Lebanon, Kuwait, Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Kosovo, Yemen, Pakistan, and now Syria.

How our never-ending mideast horror began: Radio Address of George W. Bush, September 28, 2002: “The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons, is rebuilding the facilities to make more and, according to the British government, could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order is given. The regime has long-standing and continuing ties to terrorist groups, and there are al Qaeda terrorists inside Iraq. This regime is seeking a nuclear bomb, and with fissile material could build one within a year.” Yet … just six weeks before 9/11, Condoleezza Rice told CNN: “Let’s remember that his [Saddam’s] country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt.”

The fact is that there is more participation by the Cuban population in the running of their country than there is by the American population in the running of theirs. One important reason is the absence of the numerous private corporations which, in the United States, exert great influence over all aspects of life.

The U.S. is frantically surrounding China with military weapons, advanced aircraft, naval fleets and a multitude of military bases from Japan, South Korea and the Philippines through several nearby smaller Pacific islands to its new and enlarged base in Australia … The U.S. naval fleet, aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines patrol China’s nearby waters. Warplanes, surveillance planes, drones and spying satellites cover the skies, creating a symbolic darkness at noon. (Jack A. Smith, “Hegemony Games: USA vs. PRC”, CounterPunch)

Crimea had never voluntarily left Russia. The USSR’s leader Nikita Khrushchev, a native of the region, had donated Crimea to Ukraine in 1954. Crimeans were always strongly opposed to that change and voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia after the US-induced Ukrainian coup in 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin refers to the Ukrainian army as “NATO’s foreign legion”, which does not pursue Ukraine’s national interests. The United States, however, insists on labeling the Russian action in Crimea as an invasion.

Putin re Crimea/Ukraine: “Our western partners created the ‘Kosovo precedent’ with their own hands. In a situation absolutely the same as the one in Crimea they recognized Kosovo’s secession from Serbia legitimate while arguing that no permission from a country’s central authority for a unilateral declaration of independence is necessary… And the UN International Court of Justice agreed with those arguments. That’s what they said; that’s what they trumpeted all over the world and coerced everyone to accept – and now they are complaining about Crimea. Why is that?”

Paul Craig Roberts: “The absurdity of it all! Even a moron knows that if Russia is going to put tanks and troops into Ukraine, Russia will put in enough to do the job. The war would be over in a few days if not in a few hours. As Putin himself said some months ago, if the Russian military enters Ukraine, the news will not be the fate of Donetsk or Mauriupol, but the fall of Kiev and Lviv.”

In a major examination of US policy vis-à-vis China, published in March 2015, the authoritative Council on Foreign Relations bluntly declared that “there is no real prospect of building fundamental trust, ‘peaceful coexistence,’ ‘mutual understanding,’ a strategic partnership, or a ‘new type of major country relations’ between the United States and China.” The United States, the report declares, must, therefore, develop “the political will” and military capabilities “to deal with China to protect vital U.S. interests.”

John F. Kennedy changed the mission of the Latin American military from ‘hemispheric defense’ – an outdated relic of World War II – to ‘internal security,’ which means war against the domestic population. – Noam Chomsky

Cuban baseball players who are paid a million dollars to play for an American team are not “defectors”, a word which has a clear political connotation.

Boris Yeltsin was acceptable to American and Europeans because he was seen as a weak, pliable figure that allowed Western capital free rein in the newly opened Russian territory following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Yeltsin’s era was also a time of rampant corruption by Russian oligarchs who were closely associated with Western capital. That corrosive culture came to a halt with the election of Vladimir Putin twice as president between 2000-2008, and again in 2012.

Many ISIS leaders were former Iraqi military officers who were imprisoned by American troops. The fight isn’t against ISIS, it’s against Assad; at the next level it isn’t against Assad, it’s against Putin; then, at the next level, it isn’t against Putin, it’s against the country most likely to stand in the way of US world domination, Russia. And it’s forever.

Connecting to the US-based Internet would mean channeling all of Cuba’s communications directly to the NSA.

George W. Bush has been living a comparatively quiet life in Texas, with a focus on his paintings. “I’m trying to leave something behind”, he said a couple of years ago. Yeah, right, George. We can stand up some of the paintings against the large piles of Iraqi dead bodies.

Seymour Hirsch: “America would be much better off, if, 30 years ago, we had let Russia continue its war in Afghanistan … The mistake was made by the Carter administration which was trying to stop the Russians from their invasion of Afghanistan. We’d be better off had we let the Russians beat the Taliban.” (Deutsche Welle, April 2, 2014 interview) We’d be even better off if we hadn’t overthrown the progressive, secular Afghan government, giving rise to the Taliban in the first place and inciting the Russians to intervene on their border lest the Soviet Islamic population was stirred up.

The former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in an interview in 1998 summed up exactly what the US thinks of the UN: “The UN plays a very important role. But if we don’t like it, we always have the option of following our own national security interests, which I assure you we will do if we don’t like what’s going on.” She is now a foreign-policy advisor to Hillary Clinton.

A leader taking his (or her) nation to war is as dysfunctional in the family of humankind as an abusive parent is in an individual family. – Suzy Kane

It would be some time before I fully realized that the United States sees little need for diplomacy. Power is enough. Only the weak rely on diplomacy … The Roman Empire had no need for diplomacy. Nor does the United States. – Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1992 to December 1996

Interventions are not against dictators but against those who try to distribute: not against Jiménez in Venezuela but Chávez, not against Somoza in Nicaragua but the Sandinistas, not against Batista in Cuba but Castro, not against Pinochet in Chile but Allende, not against Guatemala dictators but Arbenz, not against the shah in Iran but Mossadegh, etc. – Johan Galtung, Norwegian, principal founder of the discipline of peace and conflict studies

No mention was made that Iraq’s Christians had been safe and sound under President Saddam Hussein – even privileged – until President George Bush invaded and destroyed Iraq. We can expect the same fate for Syria’s Christians if the protection of the Assad regime is torn away by the US-engineered uprising. We will then shed crocodile tears for Syria’s Christians. – Eric Margolis, 2014

Jewish Power is the capacity to silence the debate on Jewish Power. – Gilad Atzmon

We need a trial to judge all those who bear significant responsibility for the past century – the most murderous and ecologically destructive in human history. We could call it the war, air and fiscal crimes tribunal and we could put politicians and CEOs and major media owners in the dock with earphones like Eichmann and make them listen to the evidence of how they killed millions of people and almost murdered the planet and made most of us far more miserable than we needed to be. Of course, we wouldn’t have time to go after them one by one. We’d have to lump Wall Street investment bankers in one trial, the Council on Foreign Relations in another, and any remaining Harvard Business School or Yale Law graduates in a third. We don’t need this for retribution, only for edification. So there would be no capital punishment, but rather banishment to an overseas Nike factory with a vow of perpetual silence. – Sam Smith

I have come to think of the export of ‘democracy’ as the contemporary equivalent of what missionaries have always done in the interest of conquering and occupying the ‘uncivilized’ world on behalf of the powers that be. I have said that the ‘church’ invented the concept of conversion by any means, including torture and killing of course, as doing the victims a big favor, since it was in the interest of ‘saving’ their immortal souls. It is now called, ‘democratization’. – Rita Corriel

It is more or less impossible to commemorate the war dead without glorifying them, and it is impossible to glorify them without glorifying their wars. – Paul Craig Roberts


2016-11-06

By William Blum

Prof. Petar V. Grujic: Twenty Principal Misconceptions About The Kosovo Issue

Twenty Principal Misconceptions about the Kosovo Issue

Making Balkan Caliphate: The Wahhabies – A New Danger For The Balkan And European Security

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Editor’s note:

This article was written and originally published in January 2015.     

„God is our objective, the Quran is our Constitution, the Prophet is our leader, struggle is our way, and death for sake of God is the highest of our aspirations“

Jihadi credo

The West Europe before the 2014 Christmas became once again a target of several mini-terrorist acts by the radical Islamists among whom the Wahabbies are the most active and dangerous. On Tuesday, December 23rd, Germany’s security service warn of highest terrorist threat in decades as the German participation in the anti-ISIS struggle became the reason for potential terrorism. However, it turned that the Balkans became a center of their activities and recruitment either for the radicalization of Islam in Europe or for the Jihad war at the Middle East. For the reason of high concentration and not properly control activities by the Islamic radicals, the Balkan Keg can explode once again.

In the mid-December 2014 a Prosecutor’s Office in Bosnia-Herzegovina ended the investigation against Bilal Bosnic, informal leader of the Wahabbi community in this country, and several tens of his followers who have been arrested three months ago within a police action „Damask“ under the accusation of urging young men to join Islamic State and recruiting local Muslims for the holy war in the Middle East. Police has a video record of one of his public lectures in the region of Cazinska Krajina in the North-West Bosnia-Herzegovina in which he is praising the ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) that is as organization close to the Al-Qaeda. It is expected that a court procedure against this Wahabbi group will start soon in the next 2015.

The issue became in fact quite serious as it is already only one step to do a bloody terror act with a mass death-toll by such radical Islamic groups operating at the Balkan regions under supervision of the western countries or their marionette governments – Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro and the FYR of Macedonia. We have to remember two cases from the recent years as a warning that the things can go soon out of control.

The 2011 Terror Act in Sarajevo

At about 4 p.m, October 28th, 2011, a young man Mevlid Jasharevic (23) from the city of Novi Pazar (a city and municipality located in the South-West Serbia, in the Rashka District), armed with an assault rifle (“Kalashnikov”) with three spare rounds opened fire near the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo, a capital of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. He fired shots at the building with five boxes of ammunition (each containing thirty 7,2 mm caliber bullets), but finally was wounded in the leg and arrested. During the shooting the attacker shouted “Allahu Akbar!” („God is Greatest!“), as did the same on December 21st, 2014 in Dijon (France) a car driver (born in 1974) who ploughed into a group of people (a city pedestrians) with a clear intention to kill as much as of them. In the 2011 Sarajevo case, at least one police officer was injured in the shooting spree before the gunman was taken down.

A young attacker Mevlid Jasharevic was related to the terrorist group, which was trained in the village of Gornja Maocha in the Muslim-Croat part of Bosnia-Herzegovina (the Croatian-Bosniak Federation accounting for 51% of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina; 49% belongs to the Republic of Srpska, according to the Dayton Accords signed on November 21st, 1995). This terrorist group was led by a Muslim Nusret Imamovic from Kalesija, a town in the North-East Bosnia-Herzegovina, before the group was destroyed in February 2010 when the Bosnian-Herzegovinian security forces took action and detained Imamovic and six others suspected of subversive activities. According to the police, Jasharevic had two hand grenades. It turned out that Jasarevic is a member of the Wahhabi movement in Novi Pazar. He was detained (together with Fatmir Muratovic), by Serbia’s police in December 2010 for possession of a large knife outside a meeting of the foreign ambassadors in the city. The US Ambassador to Serbia Mary Warlick was present at that meeting as well.

The terrorist attack in Sarajevo once again demonstrated at that time that the Wahhabi movement was a serious issue in Bosnia-Herzegovina regarding the radical Islamist threat, and that it was necessary to consolidate police and security forces in the region against the organized Islamic terrorism.[I] However, this terror act in Sarajevo organized and committed by the Balkan Wahhabi group was not the first and probably not the last. On January 15th, 2008, for instance, the court procedure against a group of militant Muslims from Rashka commenced in Belgrade, in the Supreme Court of Serbia. The Court convicted the group of planning terror acts in Belgrade in an Al-Qaeda style.[II]

The 2007 Planned Terror Act in Belgrade

On December 5th, 2007 a Serbian security forces arrested 15 members of an Islamic Wahhabi terror group in Rashka (a district populated by mixed Serb-Orthodox and Boshnjak Muslim inhabitants).[III] This group originated in Saudi Arabia fighting for transformation of the Balkans into an Islamic Caliphate or even into Talibanistan.[IV] The above people have been charged by the Serbian authorities for planning terror attacks in various locations of Belgrade, including the bombings of the US Embassy too. According to the Prosecutor’s Office in Belgrade, the Wahhabies established a close network with their peers, commanders, ideologues and mentors abroad, namely in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Austria and Saudi Arabia. They communicated by phone, e-mail and the CD-recorded commands.

These 15 Muslims were led by a Muslim Bosniak Senad Ramovic from the city of Novi Pazar where rival Muslim groups have been for many years engaged in a mutual violence. The authorities in Serbia at that time accused Senad Ramovic of conspiring to kill the Muslim leader Mufti Muamar Zukorlic. One of the accused, Senad Vjeselovic, also from Rashka, recognized that the group was in close contact with various radicals in Mecca and Medina (in Saudi Arabia), who were passing the orders from Sheiks on whether Mufti Zukorlic should be assassinated or not. The Serbian authorities have also found maps in the confiscated computer owned by Mehmed Koljshija, a member of this terrorist group. The maps identified locations inside the city of Belgrade such as the National Theatre, Beogradjanka building (highest building in the Balkans), Hotel Park (all buildings in the down town) and the US Embassy (in Knez Milosh Street). Serbian state security forces have also seized various weapons that can fully arm from 30 to 40 individuals.

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The Wahhabies at the Balkans

The Wahhabi movement first emerged in the Balkans during the 1992−1995 civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, when around 5.000−8.000 of the Mujahedeen fighters from the Islamic countries came to fight on the side of local Muslims (Slavic Bosniaks)[V] against the Christian Orthodox Serbs and Roman-Catholic Croats for the spreading of Islam by sward following the Prophet and the holy book of Quran[VI] taking into consideration a basic political principle of Islam that all Muslims in the world are the members of a single (Islamic) nation.[VII] Many of those Wahhabies and other Jihad fighters have remained in the country since the very beginning of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina (April 1992), taking active part in the holy war against infidels as members of the Mujahedeen groupings under the command of the Muslim government of Bosnia-Herzegovina.[VIII]

Many of those Arab Mujahedeens received after the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina a citizenship and passports of this country as a grant for their active participation in the war on the Allah’s side including and the Wahabbies from Saudi Arabia.[IX] The most infamous and cruel Muhajedeen military unit in Bosnia-Herzegovina was the “El Mujahedeen”. However, after the pressure by the US and British governments passports issuing policy in Bosnia-Herzegovina is radically restricted for the former Mujahedeens and today Wahabbies. After the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina they have been active in Kosovo, the South-East Serbia’s district of Rashka (Novi Pazar in Turkish) and the West Macedonia and now the Wahabbies are running, for instance, about 30 Quran’s schools in the US created quasi-state of the Republic of Kosovo(a)[X] taking an active part together with the local Muslim Albanians in a systematic policy of destruction of the Christian (Serbian) cultural inheritance transforming Kosovo into a new Islamic State.[XI] An Albanian language media in Kosovo several times reported that due to its unimpeded activity, after the Kosovo War of 1998−1999, the nature of Muslim Albanian community in Kosovo experienced serious trials influenced crucially by the Wahhabies as they are against any foreign cultural influence and impose their „exclusive teachings“ at funerals, circumcision rites and religious gatherings, contest the theory of natural or social occurrences and offer in return their interpretation of the Sharia or the Quran. According to the Prishtina media, for instance, a young man from Peć (Pejë in Albanian or Ipek in Turkish in the western part of Kosovo) Elvis Goga is referred to as the chief Mujahedeen in Kosovo, and that the NGO’s are still active under the umbrella of the Joint Saudi Committee for the Relief of Kosovo and Chechnya – an organization that contributed very much to the expansion of the Wahhabism in Kosovo.[XII] The situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rashka or the West Macedonia is quite similar to the Kosovo case. From all of these regions the local Muslims are recruited for the holy war in the Middle East today including females.

A fact is that many Islamic NGO’s emerged in Kosovo after the war in 1999 and tackled poverty issues in Kosovo’s suburbs and surrounding villages. They must respect the Saudi government’s stand to stay active on the ground „as long as there is a need for that“. According to recent statements of Serbian political and security analysts, Kosovo Albanians and international Mujahedeens, including the ones who are members of the Al Qaeda’s network and the Wahhabi movement, are getting prepared for a possible „Kosovo Spring“ given that international/western KFOR and EULEX institutions in Kosovo are not able to bring the northern part of Kosovo under full political control and governance of the central authority in Prishtina (with expected cleansing of the local Serbs as it was already done in the rest of Kosovo). How much the situation with the Wahhabi movement at the Balkans is seriuos today can illustrate a real fact that in November 2014 was arrested in Vienna a chief organizer of the transfer of Jihad soldiers from the region of the Balkans to Syria and Iraq was a native Slav Bosniak, a member of the Wahhabi movement. According to September 2014 report, Bosnian children attended the ISIS summer camp in Syria – a report covered by an ISIS video footage on Bosnia-Herzegovina’s kids with the guns in one of the ISIS training camps.

Kosovo after mid-June 1999, when the NATO occupied this South Serbia’s province, became mostly exposed to the Wahabbi influence, but not Bosnia-Herzegovina.[XIII] According to some western sources, only in Kosovo there are today around 50.000 adult male radical Muslims in the age of fighting who are in fact led by the Saudi Wahabbies. These Islamic radicals are extremely anti-Christian destroying the Christian shrines and attacking even the Christian Albanians for whom the Albandom is not providing any umbrella of protection. Even the Roman-Catholic nun, saint, Nobel peace prize winner, Mother Theresa (1910−1997), who was of the Albanian ethnic origin,[XIV] is not exception from the Wahabbi and other radical Muslims’ persecution. But what is of the most important concern is the fact that the Wahabbies are destroying at the Balkans and old Ottoman-time Islamic monuments including and the mosques announcing them as a non-Islamic in essence. However, the local Muslim authorities, either in Kosovo or in Bosnia-Herzegovina, are usually presenting to the global (western) mainstream mass-media such cases as a consequence of the 1990’s wars in ex-Yugoslavia, i.e., as a Serb-Christian cultural genocide against the Yugoslav Muslim population.

A crucial question is why the West (the USA) is closing the eyes to the process of Islamization of the Balkans and extermination of the Cristian population in the regions administered by the Muslim majority or better to say, by the Islamic regimes installed exactly by the western „democracies“ on the ruins of ex-Yugoslavia?

2. Sotirovic 2013

Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic

www.global-politics.eu/sotirovic

globalpol@global-politics.eu

© Vladislav B. Sotirovic 2015

____________________

Endnotes:

[I] On Islamic terrorism at the Balkans, see [Shay Sh., Islamic Terror and the Balkans, Transaction Publishers, 2008]. On radical Islam today, see [Pargeter A., The Muslim Brotherhood: From Opposition to Power, London: Saqi Books, 2013; Wickham R. C., The Muslim Brotherhood: Evolution of an Islamist Movement, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013].

[II] On the Afghan Taliban-Bosnian Bosniak connections, see [Kohlmann F. E., Al-Qaida’s Jihad in Europe: The Afghan-Bosnian Network, New York: Berg, 2004]. On the Al-Qaeda’s network in Bosnia-Herzegovina, see [Schindler R. J., Unholy Terror: Bosnia, Al-Qa’ida, and the Rise of Global Jihad, St. Paul, MN: Zenith Press, 2007].

[III] On the national identity of the Rashka’s district (Sanjak of Novi Pazar) Slavic Muslims, see [Fridman F., The Muslim Slavs of Bosnia and Herzegovina (With Reference to the Sandzak of Novi Pazar): Islam as National Identity, Nationalities Papers, 2000].

[IV] On the radical Islam at the Balkans and its ideology and doctrine, see [Deliso Ch., The Coming Balkan Caliphate: The Threat of Radical Islam to Europe and the West, Westport, Connecticut−London: Praeger Securiti International, 2007; Bergem P. (ed.), Talibanistan: The Borders Between Terror, Politics, and Religion, Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press, 2013].

[V] On historical development and identity of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Muslim community, see [Donia J. R., Fine Jr. J., Bosnia and Hercegovina: A Tradition Betrayed, New York: Columbia University Press, 1994; Pinson M. (ed.), The Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina: Their Historic Development from the Middle Ages to the Dissolution of Yugoslavia, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1996]. On dissolution of ex-Yugoslavia, see [Woodward L. S., Balkan Tragedy: Chaos and Dissolution After the Cold War, Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1995; Owen D., Balkan Odyssey, London: Indigo, 1996; Finlan A., The Collapse of Yugoslavia 1991-1999, Ospray Publishing, 2004; Sotirović B. V., Emigration, Refugees and Ethnic Cleansing: The Death of Yugoslavia, 1991−1999, Vilnius: Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences Press, 2013; Mikasinovich B., Yugoslavia: Crisis and Disintegration, Plyroma Publishing Company, 2014].

[VI] See [Lings M., Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources, Inner Traditions, 2006; The Quran, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008; Husain E., The Islamist, New York: Penguin Group, 2008; Euben L. R., Zaman Q. M. (eds.), Princeton Readings in Islamist Thought: Texts and Contexts from Al-Banna to Bin Laden, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009; Spencer R., Islam: Religion of Bigots, Sherman Oaks, CA: David Horowits Freedom Center, 2013].

[VII] Јевтић M., „Исламска суштина албанског сецесионизма и културно наслеђе Срба“, Национални интерес (National Interest), vol. 17, no. 2, Belgrade: Institute for Political Studies, 2013, 231−252; Davidson L., Islamic Fundamentalism: An Introduction, Santa Barbara, California: Praeger, 2013.

[VIII] There is a short documentary movie (8 min.) made by the British “SKY News” after the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina about the Arab Mujahedeens fighting in Bosnia-Herzegovina on the side of the Army of Bosnia- Herzegovina led by the Muslim government in Sarajevo and about the impact of the Wahabbies on the Muslim society in post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina. The movie is available on [http://vimeo.com/8482257]. On the holy war of Jihad, see [Firestone R., Jihad: The Origin of Holy War in Islam, Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press, 1999; Cook D., Understanding Jihad, Berkley−Los Angeles, California: University of California Press, 2005; Kepel G., Jihad: The Trial of Political Islam, London: I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd, 2006; Bonner M., Jihad in Islamic History: Doctrines and Practice, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008; Bostom G. A., The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims, New York: Prometheus Books, 2008; Lindsey H., The Everlasting Hatred: The Roots of Jihad, Washington, D.C.: WND Books, 2011; Kemp A., Islam’s 1,300 Year War on Western Civilisation, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013].

[IX] On Wahhabies and their mission, see [Algar H., Wahhabism: A Critical Essay, Oneonta, NY: Islamic Publications International, 2002; DeLong-Bas J. N., Wahhabi Islam: From Revival and Reform to Global Jihad, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004; Bradley R. J., Saudi Arabia Exposed: Inside a Kingdom of Crisis, Palgrave Macmillan, 2006; Allen Ch., God’s Terrorists: The Wahhabi Cult and the Hidden Roots of Modern Jihad, Da Capo Press, 2007; Ayoob M., Kosebalaban H. (eds.), Religion and Politics in Saudi Arabia: Wahhabism and the State, Lynne Rienner Pub., 2008; Commins D., The Wahhabi Mission and Saudi Arabia, London−New York: I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd, 2009; Hegghammer Th., Jihad in Saudi Arabia: Violence and Pan-Islamism since 1979, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010; Lacroix S., Awakening Islam: The Politics of Religious Dissent in Contemporary Saudi Arabia, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2011; Dillon R. M., Wahhabism: Is It a Factor in the Spread of Global Terrorism? Kindle edition, 2012; Salvato F., The Muslim Brotherhood & Wahhabism in America, Virginia Beach, VA: BasicProject, 2012; Peskes E. (ed.), Wahhabism: Docrine and Development, Critical Surveys in Islamic Denominations Series, 2014; Crawford M., Ibn‘Abd Al-Wahhab, London: Oneworld Publications, 2014; Subhani J. A., Wahhabism, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014].

[X] About Wahabbies, Al Qaeda, Jihadists and Mujahedeens in Kosovo see [“Al Qaeda in Kosovo” at http://www.serbianna.com/columns/mb/035.shtml].

[XI] On destruction of the Serbian Christian property and pogrom of the Serbs by Kosovo Muslim Albanians see, for instance [March Pogrom in Kosovo and Metohija. March 17-19, 2004 with a survey of destroyed and endangered Christian cultural heritage, Belgrade: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia-Museum in Priština (displaced), 2004].

[XII] For example, on the Jihad in Bosnia-Herzegovina, see [http://www.nspm.rs/komentar-dana/dzihad-u-sarajevu.html]. About the CIA and Al Qaeda at the Balkans, see [http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1394711/posts].

[XIII] See more in [Потежица О., „Вахабити придошлице на Балкану“, Политикологија религије, № 1, Београд, 2007].

[XIV] On Mother Teresa, see [Spink K., Mother Teresa: An Authorised Biography, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2011; Scot D., The Love That Made Mother Teresa: How Her Secret Visions and Dark Nights Can Help You Conquer the Slums of Your Heart, Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 2013; North W., Mother Teresa: A Life Inspired, North Wyatt, 2014].

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ISIL 2

Ethnic Cleansing In Kosovo And The Rights Of The Serbian Minority: Ten Years After The “March Pogrom 2004″

Bil-Klinton-Pristina

Editor’s note: This article was written and originally published in March 2014

Introduction

This article deals with the question of political and human/minority rights in the region of Kosovo & Metohija ten years after the „March Pogrom 2004“ and fifteen years after the NATO’s military aggression on Serbia and Montenegro and occupation of the region. An importance of this research topic is in a fact that for the first time in the European history a terrorist-style and mafia-ruled (quasi)independent state was created by a full diplomatic, political, economic, military and financial sponsorship by the West under the umbrella of the NATO’s and the EU’s protective administration. The precedence of Kosovo’s self-proclaimed independence in February 2008 already had several negative „domino effect“ consequences elsewhere in Europe (the Caucasus, the Crimean Peninsula…). The aim of the paper is to present a current situation in Kosovo & Metohija and possible consequences of the Kosovo case for the international relations and the post-Cold War world’s order.

Global Pax Americana and post-modern colonialism

It passed ten years after the „March Pogrom 2004“ in Kosovo & Metohija against the local Serbs organized and done by Kosovo Albanians, led by the veterans from the Kosovo Liberation Army – the KLA and logistically supported by the NATO’s occupation troops in Kosovo & Metohija under the name of the Kosovo Forces – the KFOR. That was simply a continuation of the last stage (up to now) of dismemberment of ex-Yugoslavia – the Kosovo War (1998-1999) and the NATO’s military intervention (March 24th–June 10th, 1999) against and aggression on Serbia and Montenegro (at that time composing the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – the FRY) by violating the international law.[1] In this context, we can say that at the end of the 20th century the fate of ex-Yugoslavia was being determined by several international organizations, but not decisively by the Yugoslavs themselves.[2]

The NATO’s military intervention against the FRY in March-June of 1999 (led by the USA) for the formal reason of protection of the human (Albanian) rights in Kosovo,[3] marked a crucial step toward finishing the process of creation of the global „Pax Americana“ in the form of the NATO’s World Order – the NWO.[4] As the NATO used force against the FRY without the UN Security Council sanctions and permission and also without an official proclamation of the war we can call this military intervention in fact as a pure „agression“ against one sovereign state.[5] In the Balkans NATO acquired not only a big military experience and an opportunity to exhaust old and use new weapons,[6] but also managed to enhance its activities, making its way to a global organization.

After the Kosovo War the UN’s Security Council Resolution 1244 (from June 1999) gave the mandate for the effective protection of the universal human and minority rights values of all inhabitants on the territory of the southern Serbia’s Autonomous Region of Kosovo & Metohija (in English language known only as Kosovo).[7] At such a way, the responsibility for protection of human lives, freedom and security in Kosovo was thus transferred to the “international” public authorities, but in fact only to the NATO: the administration of the United Nations’ Mission in Kosovo – the UNMIK, and the “international” military forces – (the KFOR, Kosovo Forces). Unfortunately, very soon this responsibility was totally challenged as around 200.000 ethnic Serbs and members of other non-Albanian communities were expelled from the region by the local ethnic Albanians led by the KLA’s veterans. At any case, mostly suffered the ethnic Serbs. It left today only up to 3% of the non-Albanians in Kosovo in comparison to the pre-war situation out of a total number of the non-Albanians in this province that was at least 12%. Only up to March 2004 around 120 Serb Orthodox Christian religious objects and cultural monuments were devastated or destroyed.[8]

However, the most terrible in the series of Kosovo Albanian eruptions of violence against the Serbs living in this region was organized and carried out between March 17th19th, 2004, having all the features of the Nazi-style organized pogroms. During the tragic events of the “March Pogrom 2004”, in a destructive assault of tens of thousands by Kosovo Albanians led by armed groups of redressed the KLA’s veterans (the Kosovo Protection Corpus – the KPC, a future Kosovo Albanian regular army), a systematic ethnic cleansing of the remaining Serbs was carried out, together with destruction of houses, other property, cultural monuments and Serbian Orthodox Christian religious sites. Nevertheless, the international civil and military forces in the region have been only “stunned” and “surprised” what was going on. The “March Pogrom 2004”, which resulted, according to the documentary sources, in the loss of several tens of lives, several hundreds of wounded (including and the members of the KFOR as well), more than 4.000 exiled ethnic Serbs, more than 800 Serbian houses set on fire and 35 destroyed or severely damaged Serbian Orthodox Christian churches and cultural monuments,[9] surely revealed the real situation on the ground in Kosovo even 60 years after the Holocaust during the WWII. Unfortunately, the attempts of the Serbs and especially by the government of Serbia at that time led by dr. Vojislav Koštunica (a leader of the Democratic Party of Serbia) to call an international attention to the human and minority rights violation situation in this region proved to have been both unsuccessful and justified.

It is thus necessary to reiterate that ethnic cleansing of the Serbs (and other non-Albanian population) in the region of Kosovo by the local Albanians after the mid-June 1999 means putting into practice the annihilation of a Serbian territory of exquisite historic, spiritual, political and cultural top-level significance in terms of the Serbian nation, state and the Church, and its every-day visible transformation into another Albanian state in the Balkans with a real wish and possibility to unify it with a neighboring motherland Albania. At such a way, the main geopolitical goal of the First Albanian Prizren League from June 1878 is being brought to its attainment, including its implications for the Preševo Valley in South-East Serbia, Western Macedonia up to the River of Vardar, a Greek portion of the Epirus province and the Eastern Montenegro. It is known that the Albanian political workers required within a framework of the First Albanian Prizren League (1878-1881) a creation of a Greater Albania as an autonomous province in the Ottoman Empire composed by “all Albanian ethnic territories”. More precisely, it was required that four Ottoman provinces (vilayets) of Scodra, Ioannina, Bitola and Kosovo would be combined into a single Albanian national Ottoman province of Vilayet of Albania. However, in two out of four required “Albanian” provinces – Bitola and Kosovo, the ethnic Albanians did not compose even a single majority at that time.[10] Nevertheless, such a Greater Albania with a capital in Tirana existed during the WWII under Mussolini’s and Hitler’s protectorate.

The Albanian national movement, established in accordance with the program of the First Albanian Prizren League in 1878, is keeping on with its terrorist activities up today. It was particularly active in the period of Italian and German supported Greater Albania from April 1941 to May 1945, when it undertook the organization of the Albanian Quisling network of agents. During this period of time around 100.000 Serbs from Kosovo & Metohija have been expelled from their homes to addition of around 200.000 expelled during Socialist Yugoslavia from 1945 to 1980 lead by Josip Broz Tito who was of Slovene and Croat ethnic origin born in Croatia and notorious anti-Serb.[11] The process of articulation of the Albanian secessionist movement in Kosovo & Metohija continued during the post-WWII Yugoslavia and was carried out by Kosovo Albanian anti-Serb communist partocracy. The process became particularly intense and successful in the period between 1968-1989. For instance, only from 1981 to 1987 there were 22.307 Serbs and Montenegrins who were forced to leave Kosovo & Metohija.[12] The entrance of the NATO’s troops in the region in June 1999 marks the beginning of the last stage of the Albanian-planned and carried out the “Final Solution” of the Serbian Question on the territory of Kosovo & Metohija – a historical and cultural cradle of the Serbian nation, but in which only the ethnic Albanians have to live in the future.

In the light of the main Albanian goal – to establish ethnically pure Greater Albania – it is “understandable” why it is so important to destroy any Serbian trace on the territory defined by the aspirations. The Albanian terrorism has been developing for more than two centuries. It has the profile of ethnically, i.e. the Nazi-racist style motivated terrorism (like the Croat one), marked by excessive animosity against the Serbs.[13] Its principal features are the following:

  1. All kinds of repressive measures directed against the Serbian population.
  2. Carrying practical actions to force the Serbs to leave their homes.
  3. Devastation of the Serbian Orthodox Christian religious objects and other cultural monuments belonging to the Serbian nation which are clearly testifying ten centuries long presence of the Serbs in Kosovo & Metohija.
  4. Destruction of the complete infrastructure used by the members of the Serbian community.
  5. Destruction of the Serbian cemeteries what means de facto destruction of the historical roots of the Serbs in the region.

A long standing Muslim Albanian oppression and terror against the Christian Orthodox Serbian community in Kosovo & Metohija is a specific phenomenon with the grave consequences not only for the local Serbs. It became, however, clear that sooner or later it will bring about severe problems for the rest of Europe as well.

Ten years have passed from the „March Pogrom 2004“ and fifteen years since the NATO’s military aggression against a sovereign European state of the FRY. At the moment, the crucial questions are:

1) What goals did NATO pursue?

2) Whether it managed to cope with its tasks in the following (15) years?

3) What did these years bring to those who threw bombs and those who were attacked?

It has to be made clear that during the Kosovo War the NATO did not achieve a military victory as it failed to destroy the army of the FRY and the soldiers’ morale. However, a campaign of bombing got the right political atmosphere for destroying Serbia (purposely not so much Montenegro) and for imposing their conditions on the Serbian government, including the rules of the cooperation with the EU, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (in the Hague) and with the NATO as well. After June 1999 Serbia lost almost all opportunities to control its own state’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and national security becoming in a pure sense of meaning a western political and economic colony. After several years of injustice and punishment by the West before 1999 the Serbs as a nation lost the will to fight, to resist as they were practically alone when tried to repel the attack of the powerful western military alliance in March-June 1999. As a consequence, after June 1999 it became much easier for the West to continue a process of destruction of Yugoslavia and to carry out a policy of transforming the region into its own colonial domain with occupied Kosovo & Metohija as the best example of „die rückkehr des kolonialismus“.[14]

In October 2000 Slobodan Milosević, who was a head of Serbia for ten years, was ousted by the street revolution putsch-style like it was done with Ukrainian president Viktor Janukovich in Kiev in February 2004.[15] At first sight, the move came as unexpected, easy and legal, in the other words – Yugoslavia’s home affair. However, the „Revolution of the Fifth October 2000“ in Belgrade, in fact, had been very thoroughly prepared by special divisions („Otpor“ or „Resistance“) sponsored by the West, especially by the CIA. The method proved to be so successful that, according to one western documentary movie based on the testimonies by the members of the Serbian “Otpor“ movement, it was later used in Georgia (the „Rose Revolution“ in November 2003) and Ukraine (the „Orange Revolution“ from late November 2004 to January 2005 and finally in 2013/2014), but failed in Moldova and Iran in 2009. The same source claims that the Georgian opposition were taught in Serbia, while their Ukrainian colleagues of the „Orange Revolution“ were drilled also in Serbia and in Georgia.[16]

From the time of the end of the Cold War (1989) Serbia remained as a symbol of independence and disobedience to the NATO’s World Order in Europe. However, the new authorities in Serbia after October 2000 obeyed to the NATO’s World Order and everything went smoothly. The dismemberment of the FRY started when having arrived in Belgrade in February 2003, Javier Solana, a top the EU representative and official, suggested to a group of officials from Serbia and Montenegro to admit that the FRY ceased to exist, and adopt the Constitution charter, written in Brussels. Its text was proclaiming, for the beginning, the appearance of a new country. Solana did not face any resistance. Consequently, the FRY was renamed to the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, and officially abolished the name ”Yugoslavia” that was in official use from 1929. In 2006 Montenegro and Serbia declared independence, thereby ending the common South Slavic state (only Bulgarians have been out from this state as the South Slavs) established in 1918 under the original name of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (this name was used till 1929). It was Javier Solana who did it regardless the fact that he up today remains a war criminal for majority of the Serbs as he bombed their country in 1999 as the General Secretary of the NATO killing 3.500 citizens of Serbia including and children and women with a material damage to the country around 200.000 billion US $.[17]

Monah na rusevinama crkve

After the year of 2000 it was easier to implement the NATO’s plans which seemed simply fantastic under Slobodan Milošević as president of Serbia and later the FRY.[18] The last Yugoslavia (Serbia & Montenegro) was undermined, its integration slowed down till final dissolution in 2006 and Serbia’s strength exhausted. What the NATO, USA and EU failed to achieve in the castle of Rambouillet (in France) in 1998/1999 (during the ultimatum-negotiations with S. Milošević on Kosovo crisis) and through 78 days of cruel and inhuman bombing in March-June 1999, they got on July 18th, 2005, when Serbia and Montenegro signed a deal with the NATO “On the Lines of Communication”. This was a technical agreement which allows the NATO’s personnel and equipment to transit through the country. Under the deal, the NATO could enjoy such opportunities for quite a long time – “until all peacekeeping operations in the Balkans are over”. Thus the NATO was given the green light to enlarge its presence in the region and control the army of both Serbia and Montenegro. On April 1st, 2009 Albania and Croatia have completed the accession process, and have joined the NATO as full members and at a such a way surrounding Serbia and Montenegro by NATO members from all sides except from Bosnian-Herzegovinian. Today the Balkans are NATO’s permanent military base. For instance, in October 2008 Serbia’s defence minister and the NATO’s officials signed agreement on information security, which allows the NATO to control everyone who deals with their documents or just cooperates with them. For the very reason the NATO insisted on secrecy of the negotiations with Serbia.

The aftermath of the 1999 aggression on Serbia and Montenegro for the NATO was the most favourable. Nobody condemned NATO and they felt even more confident in global perspective (Afghanistan in 2001, Iraq in 2003…). In the recent years the world has witnessed that the NATO was making several attempts of its own expansion. Currently, the NATO’s military bloc is occupying more positions at the Balkans, using old and building new military camps with attempt to include into its organization Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina (the later one after cancellation of the Republic of Srpska). Still existing a huge NATO’s military camp „Bondsteel“ in Kosovo & Metohija is the best proof that the region is going to be under the US/NATO’s dominance for a longer period of time if the balance between the Great Powers (the US/Russia/China) will not be changed. However, the current crisis over Ukraine is the first herald of such change, i.e. of the beginning of the new Cold War era.

The most disappointed fact in the present post-war Kosovo reality is for sure an ethnic and cultural cleansing of all non-Albanians and not-Albanian cultural heritage under the NATO/KFOR/EULEX/UNMIK umbrella. The proofs are evident and visible on every corner of Kosovo territory, but purposely not covered by the western mass media and politicians. For instance, on the arrival of the KFOR (an international, but in fact the NATO’s „Kosovo Forces“) and the UNMIK (the „United Nations’ Mission in Kosovo“) to Kosovo & Metohija in 1999, all names of the towns and streets in this province were renamed to have the (Muslim) Albanian forms or new names. The monuments to Serbian heroes like the monument devoted to duke Lazar (who led the Serbian Christian army during the Kosovo Battle on June 28th, 1389 against the Muslim Turks) in the town of Gnjilane, were demolished. The Serbs were and are getting killed, assassinated, wounded and abducted, their houses burned to the ground. As we mentioned earlier, the most infamous ethnic cleansing was done between March 17th and 19th 2004 – the „March Pogrom“.

As of today, a number of the Serbs that were killed or went missing in Kosovo & Metohija from June 1999 onward (after the KFOR arrived), is measured in thousands, the number of demolished Serbian Christian Orthodox churches and monasteries is measured in hundreds, and the number of burned down Serbian houses in tens of thousands. Even though the KFOR had as much as 50.000 soldiers in the beginning as well as several thousand of policemen and civilian mission members, mainly none of the above mentioned crimes have been solved. In fact, murdering a Serb in Kosovo is not considered as a crime, on a contrary, the murderers of children and the elderly are being rewarded as heroes by their ethnic Albanian compatriots. The province is almost ethnically cleaned like Albania and Croatia. For the matter-of-fact, according to the last pre-war official Yugoslav census of 1991 there were 13% of non-Albanians in Kosovo & Metohija (in reality surely more). However, it is estimated that today 97% of Kosovo & Metohija’s population is only the ethnic Albanian. In the light of the main national goal by the Albanians – the establishment of another Albanian state in the Balkans and Europe, as the first step towards the pan-Albanian state unification – we can „understand“ why it is important to destroy any Serbian trace in the „territory defined by the aspirations“.[19]

In the name of a Greater Albania

The final stage of cutting of Kosovo & Metohija from their motherland of Serbia came on February 17th, 2008 when Kosovo Albanians received Washington’s permission to proclaim its formal (quasi)independence what happened in fact later than expected by Russia and China. At the UN Security Council Moscow said „no“ to Kosovo’s independence as Russia respects interests of Serbia and officially condemns all attempts to impose decisions on other members of the international community by breaking the international law (in the Kosovo & Metohija case it is the UN Resolution 1244). The fact is that the Serbs have not forgotten Kosovo, but have not done much about it either. Now there are some 80 states that recognized Kosovo independence, including 23 EU and 24 NATO members (out of 192 UNO members).[20] Almost all of them are the neighbours of Serbia and with the exception of Bosnia-Herzegovina all the ex-Yugoslav republics have recognized Kosovo. Bosnia-Herzegovina did not recognize it for the very reason: the Republic of Srpska, still as an autonomous political unit within Bosnia-Herzegovina alongside with the Muslim-Croat Federation according to the Dayton/Paris Peace Agreement in 1995, has and use the veto right. At the moment, in Kosovo there is the EULEX (European civil mission) and the Kosovo issue is gradually being moved out of the UNO jurisdiction and out of reach of the Russian veto in the UN Security Council becoming more and more the NATO and the EU governed territory. There is and the so-called Kosovo Security Forces (in fact the redressed members of the KLA, which is formed according to Martti Ahtisaari’s plan with active support from the NATO to be in the next years transformed into the regular Army of the Republic of Kosovo.

What is true about today political reality in Kosovo & Metohija is a fact that this territory in a form of a client (quasi)state is given to be administered by the members of the KLA – a military organization which was in 1998 proclaimed by the US administration as a terrorist one. Anyway, the KLA is the first successful rebellious movement and terrorist organisation in Europe after the WWII. The movement was originally developed from a tiny Albanian diaspora in Switzerland in the second half of the 1980s to around 18.000 soldiers[21] financed and clearly supported by all means by the US administration.[22] In order to realize its own crucial political task – a separation of Kosovo & Metohija province from the rest of Serbia with a possibility to unite it with Albania, the KLA was allied with the NATO between 1997-1999. The KLA’s strategy of the war terror was based on a long tradition of the Albanians to oppose by arms any organized authority in a form of a state from the Ottoman time up today. However, the military intervention by the NATO in 1999 against Serbia and Montenegro over the Kosovo question was portrayed in the American and the West European media as a necessary step to prevent the Serbian armed forces from repeating the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina. But the truth was that Serbia trained its military on Kosovo & Metohija because of an ongoing armed struggle by the KLA’s terrorist and separatist organization to wrest independence from Serbia for the sake of creation of a Greater Albania with ethnically pure Kosovo & Metohija and later on the western parts of the FYR of Macedonia, the Eastern Montenegro and the Greek Epirus.[23]

Nevertheless, an active US President Barrack Obama congratulated at the very begginnig of his presidential mandate the leaders of the „multiethnic, independent and democratic Kosovo“ regardless to the facts that those leaders (especially Hashim Tachi – the „Snake“ and Ramush Haradinay) are proved to be notorious war criminals, that the region (state?) is not either multicultural, nor really independent and particularly not democratic one. However, there are several official EU’s declarations and unofficial political statements encouraging Belgrade and Priština to cooperate and „develop neighbourly relations“ what practically means for Serbia that Belgrade has firstly to recognize Albanian Kosovo independence in order to become the EU member state after the years or even decades of negotiations. The another fact is that the process of international recognizing of the Kosovo’s independence is much slower that Priština and Washington expected at the beginning. From the time of Kosovo’s self-proclamation of independence Serbia’s greatest diplomatic „success“ is the majority of votes in 2008 of the UNO General Assembly supporting the decision that the case of Kosovo independence should be considered by the International Court of Justice in the Hague (established in 1899). On the one hand, the Court’s decision on the issue in July 2010 was very favourable for Kosovo’s Albanian (the KLA’s) separatists and terrorists as it was concluded a verdict that an unilateral proclamation of Kosovo’s independence in February 2008 was done within a framework of the international law. However, on the other hand, the Court’s verdict in 2010 already became also very favourable for separatism movements elsewhere like in March 2014 for the separatists in Crimean Peninsula or maybe soon for their colleagues from Catalonia, Scotland, the Northern Italy (Lega Nord)…[24] Kosovo’s self-proclamation of independence has a direct domino effect only a few months later when in August 2008 the South Ossetia and Abkhazia did the same from Georgia.[25]

The (murky) reality in the present day Kosovo & Metohija, on the other side, is that there is not a single ethnic Albanian party at the deeply divided Kosovo’s political scene which would be ready to accept a „peaceful reintegration“ of the region into Serbia’s political sphere and there is no a single ethnic Albanian politician who is not concerned about the danger posed by the „division of Kosovo“ to the Albanian (major) part and Serbian (minor) part and does not oppose slightest suggestions of the Serbian autonomy for the northern portion of Kosovo & Metohija. However, what is more important: Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian leaders and even the citizens of the Albanian ethnic origin do not even consider national dilemma like „Europe or independence!“ There is no doubt what their answer is going to be in that case. On the other side, what is going on about and in Serbia? The answer is that a nation unable to make a choice between a territorial integrity on the one side, and a membership in an international association (although an important one) on the other, i.e. a nation who cannot choose between these two „priorities“ really deserves to lose both.

Conclusion

At the end, if the international law and fixed order are broken on the one side of the globe (ex. Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq) it is nothing strange to expect that the same law and order are going to be broken somewhere else (ex. at the Caucasus, Ukraine, Spain, United Kingdom, Italy, France…) following the logic of the so-called „domino effect“ reaction in the international relations. Finally, it has to be noted that if the Albanian extremism is not stopped, the FYR of Macedonia and Montenegro will have to give parts of their territories populated by the ethnic Albanians (the Western Macedonia and the Eastern Montenegro). In this case, Europe will have to decide how to discuss the issue of the borders’ revision and how to recognize a new enlarged state of a Greater Albania.

2. Sotirovic 2013

Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic

www.global-politics.eu

globalpol@global-politics.eu

© Vladislav B. Sotirovic 2014

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_____________________________

Endnotes:

[1] That the NATO violated the international law by bombing the FRY in 1999 was clearly recognized in March 2014 by at that time Germany’s cancellor (the PM) Gerhard Schreder (Нова српска политичка мисао, March 10th, 2014: http://www.nspm.rs/hronika/gerhard-sreder-intervenicija-na-krimu-je-krsenje-medjunarodnog-prava-ali-to-je-bilo-i-nase-bombardovanje-srbije-1999.html). On this issue see documentary movie in three parts: „NATO’s Illegal War Against Serbia“ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joaNkHKxapk; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gaz8rzUW0Lc; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4vzr8l3FvU). On the identity and politics in the post-Yugoslavia’s successor states, see: Robert Hudson, Glenn Bowman, After Yugoslavia: Identities and Politics Within the Successor States, London-New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

[2] On the issue of destruction of ex-Yugoslavia and Kosovo question, see: F. Stephen Larrabee (ed.), The Volatile Powder Keg: Balkan Security after the Cold War, Washington, D.C.: The American University Press, 1994; Susan L. Woodward, Balkan Tragedy: Chaos and Dissolution After the Cold War, Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1995; Richard H. Ullman (ed.), The World and Yugoslavia‘s Wars, New York: A Council on Foreign Relations, 1996; James Gow, Triumph of the Lack of Will: International Diplomacy and the Yugoslav War, London: Hurst & Company, 1997; John B. Allcock, Explaining Yugoslavia, New York: Columbia University Press, 2000; Jelena Guskova, Istorija jugoslovenske krize 19902000, I-II, Beograd: IGA“M“, 2003; Ian King, Whit Mason, Peace at Any Price: How the World Failed Kosovo, London: C. Hurst & Co. (Publishers) Ltd, 2006; David Chandler, From Kosovo to Kabul and Beyond: Human Rights and International Intervention, London-Ann Arbor, MI: Pluto Press, 2006; David L. Phillips, Liberating Kosovo: Coercive Diplomacy and U.S. Intervention, Cambridge, MA: Belfer Center for Science, 2012; Misha Glenny, The Balkans: Nationalism, War, and the Great Powers 18042011, New York-London: Penguin Books, 2012.

[3] See: Ken Booth (ed.), The Kosovo Tragedy: The Human Rights Dimensions, London-Portland, OR: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd, 2001.

[4] On the issue of the NWO and the Russian Balkan policy, see: Vladislav B. Sotirović, „The NATO World Order, the Balkans and the Russian National Interest“, Vladislav B. Sotirović, Balcania: Scientific Articles in English, Vilnius: Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences Press „Edukologija“, 2013, pp. 110-129; James Headley, Russia and the Balkans: Foreign Policy from Yeltsin to Putin, London: Hurst & Company, 2008.

[5] Costis Hadjimichalis, „Kosovo, 82 Days of an Undeclared and Unjust War: A Geopolitical Comment“, European Urban and Regional Studies, 7 (2), 2000, pp. 175-180.

[6] On the issue of used depleted uranium by the NATO during the Persian Gulf War and the Kosovo War, see: Darryl P. Arfsten, Kenneth R. Still, Glenn D. Ritchie, „A Review of the Effects of Uranium and Depleted Uranium Exposure on Reproduction and Fetal Development“, Toxicology and Industrial Health, 17, 2001, pp. 180-191. It has to be noticed that the depleted uranium was used by the NATO‘s forces in 1999 bombing of the FRY in armour-penetrating munitions, military vehicle armor, and aircraft, ship and missile counterweighting and ballasting applications. The combat applications of the depleted uranium alloy in the Persian Gulf War and the Kosovo War resulted in human acute exposure to the depleted uranium‘s dust, vapor or aerosol, and to the chronic exposure from tissue embedding of the depleted uranium‘s shrapnel fragments.

[7] On the universal human and minority rights, see: Will Kymlicka (ed.), The Rights of Minority Cultures, Oxford-New York: Oxford University Press, 2000; Jan Knippers Black, The Politics of Human Rights Protection, Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2010; Dinah L. Shelton, Paolo G. Carozza, Regional Protection of Human Rights: Basic Documents, Oxford-New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. It has to be stressed that the Albanian minority in Serbia within the region of Kosovo & Metohija in the Socialist Yugoslavia enjoyed all kind of minority rights according to the international law and even above it. The region has its own president, constitution, parliament, police, academy of science, law, press, education system, etc. In the other words, Albanian-run and dominated Kosovo & Metohija was in fact an independent political subject in Yugoslavia equal with all Yugoslavia’s republics. Within such political conditions Kosovo Albanians developed a high range of the policy of the oppression and expulsion from the region of the ethnic Serbs with a strong tendency to separate the region from the rest of Serbia and include it into a Greater Albania. What Milošević’s government did in 1989 it was abolishment of just political independence of both autonomous regions in Serbia – Vojvodina and Kosovo & Metohija in order to protect the country from territorial destruction. However, even after 1989 Kosovo Albanians enjoyed minority rights according to the basic standards of the international law. Many minorities in Europe or elsewhere today can just dream about minority rights left to Kosovo Albanians by Serbia’s government in 1989. For the matter of comparison, for instance, the Kurds in Turkey (from 1999 a candidate country for the EU membership) enjoy no single minority right for the very reason as they are not recognized as minority group at all. From the legal point of view by the Turkish government, the Kurds do not even exist in Turkey as the ethnocultural and linguistic group. For this reason, the process of Kurdish assimilation in Turkey is on the way on. On the Kurdish question in Turkey, see: Metin Heper, The State and Kurds in Turkey: The Question of Assimilation, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007; Cenk Saraçoglu, Kurds of Modern Turkey: Migration, Neoliberalism and Exclusion in Turkish Society, Tauris Academic Studies, 2010; Michael M. Gunter, The Kurds: The Evolving Solution to the Kurdish Problem in Iraq and Turkey, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011; Noah Beratsky (ed.), The Kurds, Greenhaven Press, 2013; Ramazan Aras, The Formation of Kurdishness in Turkey: Political Violence, Fear and Pain, London-New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2014.

[8] On this issue, for instance, see: Мирко Чупић, Отета земља. Косово и Метохија (злочини, прогони, отпори…), Београд: НОЛИТ, 2006;

Video: Boris Malagurski, “Kosovo: Can You Imagine?”, Canada, 2009

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nHWsWOgtiw&index=2&list=PL999EB6ACC07FC959);

Video: “La Guerra Infinita”, First part, RAI, Italy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho2yXwa2dtE&index=21&list=PL999EB6ACC07FC959);

Video: “La Guerra Infinita”, Second part, RAI, Italy

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EnMJXvK7Bw&index=37&list=PL999EB6ACC07FC959).

[9] March Pogrom in Kosovo and Metohija. March 1719, 2004 with a survay of destroyed and endangered Christian cultural heritage, Belgrade: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia-Museum in Priština (displaced), 2004, p. 8.

[10] Душан Т. Батаковић, Косово и Метохија: Историја и идеологија, Београд: Чигоја штампа, 2007, p. 61.

[11] On Tito’s biography, see: Jasper Ridley, Tito. Biografija, Zagreb: Prometej, 2000; Перо Симић, Тито. Феномен 20. века, Београд: Службени гласник-Сведоци епохе, 2011.

[12] Јеврем Дамњановић, Косовска голгота, Београд: Интервју, специјално издање, (22. октобар) 1988, p. 38.

[13] On terrorism in Yugoslavia, see: Радослав Гаћиновић, Насиље у Југославији, Београд: Евро, 2002.

[14] Hannes Hofbauer, Eksperiment Kosovo: Povratak kolonijalizma, Beograd: Albatros Plus, 2009 (original title: Experiment Kosovo: Die Rückkehr des Kolonialismus).

[15] On the street-putsch in Ukraine in February 2004, see: „Vitrenko Says World Must Name ‚Neo-Nazi Putsch‘ in Ukraine; Cites Zepp-LaRouche on Danger of World War III“ (http://larouchepac.com/node/29889).

[16] Video: „Beyond the Revolutions: The CIA’s Otpor Organization“ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWhtdPZNsns).

[17] On the NATO’s „humanitarian“ intervention in Yugoslavia, see: David N. Gibbs, First Do No Harm: Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia, Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2009.

[18] On Slobodan Milošević from the western perspective, see: Louis Sell, Slobodan Milosevic and the destruction of Yugoslavia, Durham-London: Duke University Press, 2002; Adam LeBor, Milosevic. A Biography, London-Berlin-New York-Sydney: Bloomsbury, 2012.

[19] On this issue, see: Petar V. Grujić, Kosovo Knot, Pittsburgh: RoseDog Books, 2014.

[20] On Kosovo’s transition to (quasi)independence, see: Aidan Hehir (ed.), Kosovo, Intervention and Statebuilding: The International Community and the Transition to Independence, London-New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2010. On the question of contested states, see: Deon Geldenhuys, Contested States in World Politics, London-New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

[21] James Pettifer, The Kosova Liberation Army: Underground War to Balkan Insurgency, 19482001, London: C. Hurst & Co. (Publishers) Ltd, 2012, the back cover. This book is official history of the KLA ordered and financed by the Albanian-run Kosovo government composed by the KLA veterans.

[22] Sinisa Ljepojevic, Kosovo Murky Reality, Bloomington, Indiana: AuthorsHouse, 2008, p. 1.

[23] See pro-Albanian and pro-western points of view on historical background for the KLA with described its activities up to and including the NATO intervention: Henry H. Perritt Jr. Kosovo Liberation Army: The Inside Story of An Insurgency, University of Illinois, 2008. The Albanian KLA is not lesser separatist and terrorist than, for instance, the Kurdish PKK. However, it is allowed for the Turkish government by the „international“ community to use all legal and other means to fight the PKK including and a clear violation of the human rights. On the question of the PKK party, see: Ali Kemal Özcan, Turkey’s Kurds: A Theoretical Analysis of the PKK and Abdullah Öcalan, London-New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2006; Aliza Marcus, Blood and Belief: The Kurdish Fight for Independence, New York-London: New York University Press, 2007; Abdullah Öcalan, Prison Writings: The PKK and the Kurdish Question in the 21st Century, London: Transmedia Publishing Ltd, 2011; Charles Strozier, James Frank, The PKK: Financial Sources, Social and Political Dimensions, VDM-Verlag Dr. Müller, 2011.

[24] On Lega Nord, see: Anna Cento Bull, Mark Gilbert, The Lega Nord and the Northern Question in Italian Politics, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001; Thomas W. Gold, The Lega Nord and Contemporary Politics in Italy, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003; Manlio Graziano, The Failure of Italian Nationhood: The Geopolitics of a Troubled Identity, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010; Andrej Zaslove, The Re-Invention of the European Radical Right: Populism, Regionalism, and the Italian Lega Nord, Montreal & Kingston-London-Ithaca: McGill-Queens University Press, 2011.

[25] Vladislav B. Sotirović, “Kosovo and the Caucasus: A Domino Effect”,Vladislav B. Sotirović, Balcania: Scientific Articles in English, Vilnius: Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences Press „Edukologija“, 2013, pp. 130-141.

NokosovounescoJPG

NATO & The Humanitarian Dismemberment Of Yugoslavia

Bagra USA

On March 24th, 1999, NATO launched its 78-day round the clock aerial assault on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia without the approval of the United Nations Security Council. Over a thousand NATO warplanes delivered over 2,000 airstrikes in nearly 40,000 sorties, dropping over 20,000 bombs over the former Yugoslavia, killing thousands of civilian men, women, and children, as well as upwards of a thousand Yugoslav soldiers and police.[1] [2] [3] NATO employed weapons considered criminal by international law such as depleted uranium and cluster bombs.[4] [5] [6] [7]

The popular narrative is that is that the Western powers dropped these bombs out of humanitarian concern, but this claim falls apart once the distorted lens of Western saviourism is dropped and actual facts are presented. In truth, NATO intervention in Yugoslavia was predicated on the imperialist, colonialist economic and ideological interests of the NATO states, masquerading for the public as a humanitarian effort, that in fact served to dismantle the last remnant of socialism in Europe and recolonize the Balkans. This becomes apparent when the economic interests and actions of the NATO bloc in the decades leading up the breakup are analyzed, when what actually occurred during the intervention is further explored, and when the reality of life in the former Yugoslavia in the aftermath of the ‘humanitarian’ intervention is more closely examined. It becomes clear that the most suffering endured by the Yugoslav people since Nazi occupation was the result of the actions of NATO with the United States at its helm.

As the Ottoman Empire crumbled in the late 1800s, the other empires set their eyes on Turkish possessions in the Balkan peninsula. The Slavs of the Balkans struggled for independence, aided by the Russian Empire. In response, the Western powers attempted to prop up the Ottomans to circumvent the growing Russian sphere of influence. Eventually the Great Powers called the Congress of Berlin to redivide the Balkans amongst themselves. Leon Trotsky wrote of this process:

The states that today occupy the Balkan Peninsula were manufactured by European diplomacy around the table at the Congress of Berlin in 1879. There it was that all the measures were taken to convert the national diversity of the Balkans into a regular melee of petty states. None of them was to develop beyond a certain limit, each separately was entangled in diplomatic and dynastic bonds and counterposed to all the rest, and, finally, the whole lot were condemned to helplessness in relation to the Great Powers of Europe and their continual intrigues and machinations.[8]

Borders were strategically drawn across artificial ethnographic lines in a process that came to be known as ‘Balkanization’. The newly independent Bulgaria had its interests in Macedonia, which was still Turkish, whereas Serbia’s interests laid within Austro-Hungarian borders, and Romania’s to the north in Russia and Hungary. Therefore, Pan-Slavism was no longer a viable uniting force within the Balkans against empire. Nonetheless, leaving the peninsula in this semi-liberated state could merely delay the inevitable and eventually war would break out in the First and Second Balkan Wars, followed by the First World War. In the wake of these wars the first Yugoslavia would finally be born. It would last until World War II, when fascist occupation once again divided the Balkans. Many regions were annexed by the Axis empires outright, while Croatia was expanded and transformed into a Nazi puppet state. The Yugoslav people once again rallied behind the banner of Pan-Slavism and the dream of the re-establishment of a multiethnic state – this time led by the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, aiming to expel fascism and establish a socialist Yugoslavia. In 1945, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was built around six socialist republics and two autonomous provinces in Serbia. The right to self-determination of all nations was guaranteed. The state provided education, employment, healthcare and housing, and most importantly, ethnic tensions ran at an all time low as nationalism was stamped out in favour of ‘brotherhood and unity’ between nations. Unlike the Eastern Bloc countries, Tito’s Yugoslavia took a more open approach to foreign policy and established relations with the West and the capitalist bloc (at the expense of their relations with the USSR). This friendliness with the West would sow the seeds for the demise of Yugoslavia.

The multiethnic and socialist Yugoslavia achieved a life expectancy of 72 years, near full literacy and averaged 7% GDP growth in the 60s.[9] Free medical care and education were provided, as was the right to an income and housing. Yugoslavia was temporarily tolerated by the west as a buffer between the Soviet sphere and Western Europe, but in 1984, the destabilization of Socialist Yugoslavia and the imposition of the market became official U.S policy with National Security Decision Directive 133.[10] After the failure of the Vietnam War, U.S foreign policy avoided direct intervention and instead opted for the funding of contras or the imposition of market reforms and ‘shock therapy’ via U.S dominated institutions such as the World Bank or IMF. Fortunately for the US, Yugoslavia’s ‘non-aligned’ stance in the Cold War meant it had been taking on IMF loans since the end of WWII, and by 1981 the SFRY had racked up nearly $20 billion in foreign debt. The IMF and World Bank demanded an economic ‘restructuring’. Neoliberal austerity reforms were imposed on Yugoslavia – wages were frozen, state subsidized pricing was abolished, worker-managed enterprises were dismantled and social spending was cut. The national wealth was directed towards debt payments as unemployment skyrocketed. The economic reforms “wreaked economic and political havoc… Slower growth, the accumulation of foreign debt and especially the cost of servicing it as well as devaluation led to a fall in the standard of living of the average Yugoslav… The economic crisis threatened political stability … it also threatened to aggravate simmering ethnic tensions”.[11]

Growth in industrial production shrank from 7% to negative 10% by 1990 as foreign capital and imports flooded the republics, smothering domestic production. In 1989-1990 alone the World Bank created 600,000 layoffs; an additional hundreds of thousands of Yugoslavs worked without pay for months at a time.[12] The IMF froze wages as inflation skyrocketed and by early 1990 real wages had dropped 41%.[13] Overall the IMF and World Bank programs greatly undermined the federation and fuelled ethnic tensions and secessionist movements which would tear Yugoslavia apart, namely by freezing transfer payments from Belgrade to the republics.[14] [15] As the IMF took control of the Central Bank and rendered the federal government almost completely powerless, secessionist movements began gaining traction in the republics. Germany, a NATO member, backed these secessionist movements in Slovenia and Croatia.[16] This included arms shipments and training. [17] Slovenia and Croatia were among the richer republics, and as the IMF imposed economic crisis worsened they became increasingly opposed to having to subsidize the poorer republics. In 1991 they both declared independence and were immediately recognized by Germany. The leader of the newly independent Croatia was one Franjo Tudjman, who wrote in 1989 that there was a need to “be rid of the Jews” and that Holocaust death tolls had been inflated.[18] The Western backed leader went as far as to hail the fascist Ustaše (Nazi collaborators, who established the first independent Croatia during WWII) and apologize for their crimes – namely the ethnic cleansing of Serbs.[19] The Krajina Serbs inside Croatia made clear that they wished to remain a part of the Yugoslav federation – they were not recognized by any NATO members. Tudjman’s Croatia followed in the fascist Ustaše’s footsteps and between 1991 and 1995 the US backed Croatia drove out half a million Serbs. In 1992 Macedonia also declared ‘independence’ and accepted occupation by US troops. In the same year fighting broke out in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where the situation was more complicated – no single nationality held a majority. Nonetheless, the United States and Germany backed the Croatian and Bosnian separatists, providing training and arms, and thus fanning the flames of the conflict.[20]

The Western-backed leader of the Republic of Bosnia & Herzegovina[21] was Alija Izetbegović. Unlike Tudjman, he did not simply apologize for fascists; during WWII he joined the Young Muslims, a group which advocated for an Islamic Bosnia and collaborated with the Nazi SS. [22] He did not hide his desires for an Islamic state and declared “[t]he media should not be allowed… to fall into the hands of perverted and degenerate people who then transmit the aimlessness and emptiness of their own lives to others. What are we to expect if mosque and TV transmitter aim contradictory messages at the people?”.[23] Foreign Islamist fighters flooded the country, with passports provided by the Bosnian government. The only thing that was missing was Osama bin Laden himself – one Bosnian newspaper noted that “If bin Laden does not have a… passport, then he has only himself to blame. He should have asked for it in time”.[24] In 1992, the Carrington–Cutileiro plan proposed a degree of autonomy to the Bosnian Serbs in order to prevent war. After a meeting with US ambassador Warren Zimmerman, Izetbegović was convinced to withdraw his signature, and the Bosnian war broke out.

The NATO powers (namely the U.S) had facilitated Slobodan Milosevic’s rise to power as president of Serbia in 1989 to further open up the Yugoslav markets, but the Milosevic leadership and the Yugoslav people refused to completely dismantle Yugoslav socialism in Serbia – as late as 1999, as much as 75% of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s (FRY)[25] basic industry remained publicly owned.[26] Over half a million Serbian workers engaged in massive walkouts and protests against IMF restructuring – often joined by Croatian, Bosnian Muslim, Roma, and Slovenian workers.[27] In Bosnia, a large number of Muslims refused to give up on the Yugoslav idea – rightly believing it was only way to keep the Balkans free from conflict.[28] Bosnian and Croatian Serbs clung to the Federation when Croatia and Bosnia declared independence. In the West this was spun as Serbian expansionism – Western media often parroted the claim that Milosevic wanted a “Greater Serbia”. In fact, the Serbs were simply holding on to what remained of Yugoslav socialism while the Federation was being ripped at the seams by foreign powers and their proxies. It became clear that socialism in Yugoslavia was resilient and was withstanding IMF restructuring and the conflict that came with it, NATO intervened militarily. 1992’s ‘humanitarian’ UN sanctions on Yugoslavia isolated the country economically. Per capita income fell to $700 per year, unemployment rose to 60%, Serb civilians endured a 37% increase in infectious fatalities and their caloric intake fell 28%. Most astonishingly, inflation reached 363 quadrillion percent.[29] No sanctions were placed on Tudjman’s Croatia, which in the same time period, with the support of private military companies composed of U.S veterans, ethnically cleansed nearly 200,000 Serbs through rapes, executions, and shelling.[30] [31]

When starving Yugoslavia didn’t end the conflict, NATO began bombing Bosnia into peace in 1994. The U.S brokered the Dayton Peace Accords in late 1995 between Yugoslavia, Bosnia, and Croatia – without the Bosnian Serb leadership present. Milosevic made many concessions – willing to do near anything to end the isolation of Yugoslavia[32] and agreed to the partitioning of Bosnia into a Muslim-Croat Federation and a Serbian Republic – both became IMF/NATO neocolonies with a non-Bosnian “High Representative” appointed by the US and EU with full executive authority.[33] Radovan Karadžić, president of the Serb Republic, who still opposed secession, was forced out of power. A right-wing monarchist took his place and promptly purged the army, police, and government of any anti-NATO or leftist Serbs. Dissident radio stations were shut down and protests were suppressed with NATO armour.[34]

With all dissent crushed and the state purged of any officials not approved by the West, the transformation of Bosnia into a NATO colony was complete. A similar fate awaited the autonomous Serbian province of Kosovo. The ‘Kosovo Liberation Army’, which was recognized by the US State Department as a terrorist organization, received British and CIA training and arms.[35] The group received the majority of its funding – and many members – from the Albanian diaspora, Islamist fundamentalist groups, and the international drug trade. The KLA relied on drug trade, assassination, intimidation (of not only Serbs but also ethnic Albanians who opposed them), destruction of Serbian property (namely homes and churches), and other acts of ethnic cleansing of non-Albanians. The Milosevic government was provoked and cracked down the KLA terror, in turn it was portrayed as genocidal against Kosovar Albanians. At this point, the Yugoslav federation was still suffering from economic collapse and had no interest whatsoever in another war, let alone more NATO bombs.

12 time

Allegations of mass expulsions of the Albanian population by ‘Serbian’ (Yugoslav forces) began to surface, but a OSCE monitor reported no international refugees and only a couple thousand internally displaced before NATO bombing. Hundreds of thousands of Albanians would be displaced by NATO bombs, as were 100,000 Serbs (who were supposed to be the perpetrators of the genocidal ethnic cleansing).[36] One Albanian woman crossing into Macedonia put it bluntly and told a news crew “There were no Serbs. We were frightened of the bombs.”[37] Allegations of systematic, mass rapes and ‘possible sites of mass graves’ were made. One NATO spokesperson alleged that the 200,000 Albanian women in refugee camps amazingly gave birth to 100,000 babies in the span of 60 days, apparently due to ‘Serbian mass rapes’. Genocide allegations were popular; vastly different figures of 100,000, 500,000, 225,000, and 10,000 dead or missing were made by the U.S, NATO, UN, Kosovo and various NGOs. The FBI carried out an investigation across the “largest crime scene in the FBI’s… history” in June 1999. They found not hundreds of thousands of bodies, but 200 total across 30 sites.[38] Of course, the Yugoslav army, and especially Serbian paramilitary groups did carry out massacres and rapes – but nothing on the level of the systematic and genocidal allegations that were made to justify bombing. In fact, NATO committed a slew of war crimes in the 1999 bombing campaign – the bombing was illegal from the very beginning and was launched without the approval of the UN Security Council.

The 1995 and 1999 NATO bombings aided ethnic cleansing of Serbs in Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo. Cluster bombs were dropped on highly populated urban areas. NATO estimated 350 would be killed in the bombing of an office building in Belgrade housing TV and radio stations, and political parties – the bombs were dropped anyway. NATO insisted afterwards that the civilian deaths were ‘unintended’. NATO jets bombed a refugee convoy, killing dozens of non combatants, first trying to pin the attack on Yugoslav forces before retreating and claiming it was an ‘accident’. When a hospital was bombed, the only excuse NATO could muster was that it was actually a military barracks. Journalists who visited immediately after found only the remains of civilians and a hospital in ruins.[39] State owned and only state owned firms and factories were bombed, as were state owned housing projects, water supplies, railroads, bridges, hospitals and schools. This amounted to “privatization by bombing.”[40]A Spanish NATO pilot confirmed that NATO jets were “destroying the country, bombing it with novel weapons, toxic nerve gases, surface mines dropped with parachute, bombs containing uranium, black napalm, sterilization chemicals, sprayings to poison the crops and [more]”, going on to call it “one of the biggest barbarities that can be committed against humanity.”[41]

The situation in the former Yugoslavia has not improved since the NATO’s ‘democracy’ bombs were dropped. The FRY finally collapsed in 2006 and the Balkans have been Balkanized once again. ‘Yugonostalgia’ has swept across the Balkans – many remember the days of the SFRY as ones where they lived better.[42] [43] [44] As many as 81% of Serbians believe they lived best in the age of socialism.[45] Similar trends exist in Slovenia, Bosnia, and Macedonia. [46] [47] [48] A ‘Yugoslav’ identity persists in the Balkans. [49] In the wake of the tons of depleted uranium dropped on the former Yugoslavia, there has been a spike in leukemia and cancer.[50] [51] Serbia is still host to hundreds of thousands of refugees and displaced peoples. The neocolonial protectorate installed in Bosnia has proved hugely unpopular – many call it a ‘failed state’. Corruption is rampant and economic growth is slow. In a 2013 survey, half the respondents chose the word “lethargic” to describe their current state of mind – less than 15 percent used positive words such “optimistic” or “content”.[52] The citizens of Bosnia and Kosovo see their governments as corrupt, and worse still see government efforts to curb corruption as essentially useless. The anniversary of Milosevic’s death is still honoured across Serbia – he is seen as a man who stood up to the NATO forces that would soon destroy their country.[53] Anti-NATO demonstrations in the country gather thousands, if not tens of thousands in the streets.[54] Many Serbs still wish to see NATO punished for war crimes during the bombing campaigns – it seems NATO imposed democracy has not been accepted with open arms in the Balkans.

By the year 2000, Yugoslavia had been ripped apart with NATO bombs, IMF restructuring and ethnic conflict. Serbia was destroyed and the rest of the republics were transformed into neocolonies of the Western powers. The most popular narrative is that the West intervened in the region out of humanitarian concern – to stop genocide. However, this claim doesn’t hold up when actual facts are brought into play. In reality, the NATO intervention in Yugoslavia was not a humanitarian one; it was instead motivated by the colonial-imperialist, economic and ideological interests of the member states of NATO – namely the United States and Germany.

Although the bombing was dressed up as ‘humanitarian’, all it really served to do was dismantle all that remained of socialism in Europe and once again ‘Balkanize’ and colonize the Balkans. This truth becomes obvious upon a principled analysis of the economic interests and actions of the NATO bloc before formal intervention, an investigation into how the actual intervention was handled, and a look into the current state of the former Yugoslavia. The ‘humanitarian’ and ‘democratic’ bombs dropped on Yugoslavia resulted in hundreds of billions of dollars in economic damage which dramatically reduced the living standards of the Yugoslav people – the most damaging in the region since the Nazi occupation during WWII. The strategy of Balkanization and ‘humanitarian intervention’ has become the West’s (often through NATO) modus operandi; the same strategy of partitioning unified economically nationalist and independent states first exercised over Yugoslavia has also been practiced in Iraq, Libya, and now Syria. The results are always the same – a drop in living standards, a huge resentment towards the West and NATO from the populations of the targeted countries, and a profit for the imperialist powers.

Notes

[1] W.J Fenrick, “Targeting and Proportionality during the NATO Bombing Campaign against Yugoslavia, “European Journal of International Law 12, no. 3 (2001), 489-502.

[2] Human Rights Watch, The Crisis In Kosovo, Report. (2000).

[3] “Stradalo 1.008 Vojnika I Policajaca,” RTS, February 11, 2013,http://www.rts.rs/page/stories/sr/story/9/Politika/1264384/Stradalo-1.008-vojnika-i policajaca.html. (accessed May 11, 2016).

[4] “UN: Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, 1977.” International Documents on Corporate Responsibility.

[5] Andrew Webster, “Hague Conventions (1899, 1907),” The Encyclopedia of War, (2011).

[6] “NATO Reveals Kosovo Depleted Uranium Use,” BBC News, March 22, 2000,http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/686593.stm. (accessed May 11, 2016).

[7] Helen Fawkes, “Scars of NATO Bombing Still Pain Serbs,” BBC News, March 24, 2009,http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7960116.stm. (accessed May 11, 2016).

[8] Leon Trotsky, George Weissman, and Duncan Williams, The Balkan Wars, 1912-13: The War Correspondence of Leon Trotsky, New York: Monad Press, (1980), 15.

[9] Michael Parenti, To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia. London: Verso, (2000), p. 21.

[10] Paul F. J Aranas, Smokescreen: The US, NATO and the Illegitimate Use of Force. (New York: Algora Pub., 2012).

[11] Sean Gervasi, ‘Germany, the US, and the Yugoslav Crisis, Covert Action Quarterly, No. 43, Winter (1992-93): 42.

[12] World Bank, Industrial Restructuring Study: Overview, Issues, and Strategy for Restructuring, (Washington, D.C., June 1991), viii

[13] Gervasi: 44

[14] Michel Chossudovsky “Dismantling Former Yugoslavia, Recolonizing Bosnia.” Capital & Class 21, no. 2 (Winter, 1997): 1-12.

[15] Parenti, To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia, 21

[16] Ibid., 25

[17] Ibid., 27

[18] Franjo Tuđman, Franjo Tudjman on the Jews: Excerpts from the Book: “Wastelands–historical Truth” (Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, 1989).

[19] Memorandum on the Violation of the Human and Civil Rights of the Serbian People in the Republic of Croatia. (Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, 1995).

[20] Parenti, To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia, 31

[21] The economic crisis brought on political changes – a multi party system was introduced and the republics began dropping ‘Socialist’ from their names.

[22] Ibid., 51

[23] Ibid., 53

[24] Diana Johnstone, Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO, and Western Delusions, (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2002), 62.

[25] The FRY was formed in 1992 to replace the SFRY after all republics except Serbia & Montenegro seceded.

[26] Parenti, To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia, 22

[27] Ibid.

[28] Misha Glenny, The Fall of Yugoslavia, (London: Penguin, 1992), 19-24

[29] Ramsey Clark, NATO in the Balkans: Voices of Opposition, (New York: International Action Center, 1998).

[30] Parenti, To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia, 44

[31] P.W. Singer, Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry. (Cornell University Press, 2003), 119–125.

[32] According to American diplomat Richard Holbrooke, Izetbegovic, on the other hand, rejected “any form of compromise”

[33] Parenti, To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia, 50

[34] Ibid., 58-61

[35] Ibid., 99, 102

[36] Ibid., 103

[37] Ibid., 131

[38] Ibid., 147

[39] Ibid., 120-121

[40] Michael Parenti, The Face of Imperialism, (Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2011), 103.

[41] Parenti, To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia, 123

[42] Rebecca Collard, “When We Were Yugoslavs: The Rise of Yugonostalgia”, Public Radio International, June 2, 2015,http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-06-02/when-we-were-yugoslavs-rise-yugonostalgia. (accessed May 11, 2016).

[43] “Ex-Yugoslavs Pine for Unity and Dignity.” BBC News, May 23, 2008, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7417328.stm. (accessed May 11, 2016).

[44] Dan Bilefsky, “Oh, Yugoslavia! How They Long for Your Firm Embrace”, The New York Times, January 30, 2008,http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/30/world/europe/30yugo.html?_r=0. (accessed May 11, 2016).

[45] “Serbia Poll: Life Was Better Under Tito.” Balkan Insight, December 24, 2010,http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/for-simon-poll-serbians-unsure-who-runs-their-country. (accessed May 11, 2016).

[46] Velikonja, Mitja. “”RED SHADES”: NOSTALGIA FOR SOCIALISM AS AN ELEMENT OF CULTURAL PLURALISM IN THE SLOVENIAN TRANSITION.” Slovene Studies 30, no. 2, (October 2008).

[47] Maria Todorova and Zsuzsa Gille, Post-communist Nostalgia, (New York: Berghahn Books, 2010).

[48] Sinisa Jakov Marusic, “Poll Finds Macedonians Nostalgic for Communist Era”, Balkan Insight, November 24, 2010,http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/macedonians-deem-communist-past-better-than-present. (accessed May 11, 2016).

[49] Anes Makul, and Heather Mcrobie. “Yugoslavs in the Twenty-first Century: ‘erased’ People.” Open Democracy, February 17, 2011, https://www.opendemocracy.net/heather-mcrobie-anes-makul/yugoslavs-in-twenty-first-century-%E2%80%98erased%E2%80%99-people. (accessed May 11, 2016).

[50] Vesna Peric Zimonjic, “Fallout of Serbia Bombing ‘Continues to Kill’” Anti War, March 24, 2009,http://www.antiwar.com/ips/zimonjic.php?articleid=14450. (accessed May 11, 2016).

[51] Marlise Simons, “Radiation From Balkan Bombing Alarms Europe.” The New York Times, January 7, 2001,http://www.nytimes.com/2001/01/07/world/radiation-from-balkan-bombing-alarms-europe.html. (accessed May 11 2016).

[52] Alexandra Stiglmayer, “Work in Progress: Bosnia 20 Years after Dayton.” NATO Review.

[53] “Supporters and Comrades Honor Milošević.” B92, March 12, 2013, http://www.b92.net/eng/news/society.php?yyyy=2013&mm=03&dd=12&nav_id=85118. (accessed May 11, 2016).

[54] “Over 10,000 Participate in Anti-NATO Rally in Serbia – Organizer (VIDEO).” Sputnik, March 27, 2016,http://sputniknews.com/europe/20160327/1037059522/nato-protests-serbia.html. (accessed May 11, 2016).

Bibliography

Aranas, Paul F. J. Smokescreen: The US, NATO and the Illegitimate Use of Force. New York: Algora Pub., 2012.

“Supporters and Comrades Honor Milošević.” B92. http://www.b92.net/eng/news/society.php?yyyy=2013&mm=03&dd=12&nav_id=85118 (accessed May 11, 2016).

“NATO Reveals Kosovo Depleted Uranium Use.” BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/686593.stm (accessed May 11, 2016).

“Ex-Yugoslavs Pine for Unity and Dignity.” BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7417328.stm (accessed May 11, 2016).

“Serbia Poll: Life Was Better Under Tito.” Balkan Insight. http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/for-simon-poll-serbians-unsure-who-runs-their-country (accessed May 11, 2016).

Bilefsky, Dan. “Oh, Yugoslavia! How They Long for Your Firm Embrace.” The New York Times.http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/30/world/europe/30yugo.html (accessed May 11, 2016).

Chossudovsky, Michel. “Dismantling Former Yugoslavia, Recolonizing Bosnia.” Capital & Class 21, no. 2 (Winter, 1997): 1-12..

Clark, Ramsey. NATO in the Balkans: Voices of Opposition. New York: International Action Center, 1998.

Collard, Rebecca. “When We Were Yugoslavs: The Rise of Yugonostalgia.” Public Radio International.http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-06-02/when-we-were-yugoslavs-rise-yugonostalgia (accessed May 11, 2016).

Fawkes, Helen. “Scars of NATO Bombing Still Pain Serbs.” BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7960116.stm(accessed May 11, 2016).

Fenrick, W.J. “Targeting and Proportionality during the NATO Bombing Campaign against Yugoslavia.”European Journal of International Law 12, no. 3 (2001): 489-502.

Gervasi, Sean. “Germany, the US, and the Yugoslav Crisis.” Covert Action Quarterly 43 (1992): 42.

Glenny, Misha. The Fall of Yugoslavia. London: Penguin, 1992.

“UN: Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, 1977.” International Documents on Corporate Responsibility.

Johnstone, Diana. Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO, and Western Delusions. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2002.

Makul, Anes, and Heather Mcrobie. “Yugoslavs in the Twenty-first Century: ‘erased’ People.” openDemocracy.https://www.opendemocracy.net/heather-mcrobie-anes-makul/yugoslavs-in-twenty-first-century-%E2%80%98erased%E2%80%99-people (accessed May 11, 2016).

Marusic, Sinisa Jakov. “Poll Finds Macedonians Nostalgic for Communist Era.” Balkan Insight.http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/macedonians-deem-communist-past-better-than-present (accessed May 11, 2016).

Memorandum on the Violation of the Human and Civil Rights of the Serbian People in the Republic of Croatia. Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, 1995.

Parenti, Michael. To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia. London: Verso, 2000.

Parenti, Michael. The Face of Imperialism. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2011.

“Stradalo 1.008 Vojnika I Policajaca.” RTS.http://www.rts.rs/page/stories/sr/story/9/Politika/1264384/Stradalo+1.008+vojnika+i+policajaca.html (accessed May 11, 2016).

Simons, Marlise. “Radiation From Balkan Bombing Alarms Europe.” The New York Times.http://www.nytimes.com/2001/01/07/world/radiation-from-balkan-bombing-alarms-europe.html (accessed May 11, 2016).

Singer, P. W. Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2003.

“Over 10,000 Participate in Anti-NATO Rally in Serbia – Organizer (VIDEO).” Sputnik.http://sputniknews.com/europe/20160327/1037059522/nato-protests-serbia.html (accessed May 11, 2016).

Stiglmayer, Alexandra. “Work in Progress: Bosnia 20 Years after Dayton.” NATO Review.http://www.nato.int/docu/Review/2015/Also-in-2015/dayton-20-years-bosnia-serbia/EN/index.htm (accessed May 11, 2016).

Human Rights Watch. The Crisis In Kosovo. Report. 2000.

Todorova, Maria Nikolaeva., and Zsuzsa Gille. Post-communist Nostalgia. New York: Berghahn Books, 2010.

Trotsky, Leon, George Weissman, and Duncan Williams. The Balkan Wars, 1912-13: The War Correspondence of Leon Trotsky. New York: Monad Press, 1980.

Tuđman, Franjo. Franjo Tudjman on the Jews: Excerpts from the Book: “Wastelands–historical Truth” Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, 1989.

Velikonja, Mitja. “”RED SHADES”: NOSTALGIA FOR SOCIALISM AS AN ELEMENT OF CULTURAL PLURALISM IN THE SLOVENIAN TRANSITION.” Slovene Studies 30, no. 2 (October 2008).

Webster, Andrew. “Hague Conventions (1899, 1907).” The Encyclopedia of War, 2011.

World Bank, Industrial Restructuring Study: Overview, Issues, and Strategy for Restructuring. Report. Washington, D.C, 1991.

Zimonjic, Vesna Peric. “Fallout of Serbia Bombing ‘Continues to Kill’” Anti War. http://www.antiwar.com/ips/zimonjic.php?articleid=14450 (accessed May 11, 2016).


By Shay Lafontaine (Canada)

Source: CounterPunch

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04 May 1999, PRISTINA, Yugoslavia --- THE SITUATION IN PRISTINA --- Image by © CORBIS SYGMA

Independent State Of The Republic Of Kosovo

Јужна Косовска Митровица 2015 новембарKosovo Parliament announced the independent state of the Republic of Kosovo in February 2008 as a democratic and multicultural political community.

Here we present a photo from November 2015 on which you can see heavily damaged Serbian Orthodox church and totally destroyed Serbian Orthodox tombstones in the southern part of the town of Kosovska Mitrovica inhabited by the Muslim Albanians.

The Kosovo ISIS is doing its job profoundly.

Enjoy Kosovo independence!

Europe’s Palmyra: How Kosovo’s Medieval Culture Was Demolished By Albanians

Јужна Косовска Митровица 2015 новембар

BELGRADE – Serbia organized an exhibition of cultural and historical heritage of Kosovo and Metohija in Paris, the headquarters of UNESCO, to serve as a reminder to the West of how they let it be destroyed since the 2000s.

There is a lot of Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija. Now, Kosovo is an independent state, partially recognized by Western countries. But the world was shocked by anti-Serbian riots organized by Albanians during the Kosovo unrest in 2004. Many Serbian monuments were damaged in the chaos.

Albanian extremists living in Kosovo, since the 2000s, have continued to raid and damage Serbian cultural heritage monuments under the guise of a political crisis. Last year, President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic showed a film to foreign ambassadors about the anti-Serb riots in March 2004 in a bid to prevent Kosovo’s entry into UNESCO. The diplomats were shocked.

cropped-Monah-na-rusevinama-crkve.jpg

It is unknown whether the ambassadors understood that Serbian heritage in Kosovo does not belong to any particular time or any particular generation, but to all of mankind. The attempt to push Kosovo into UNESCO failed, however, the savagery of Albanian extremists continues today.

Art historian and former director of the National Museum in Belgrade, Nikola Kusovac, said that those who decide the fate of the most significant monuments obviously do not understand that it is thanks to these shrines that the Serbs maintain their identity and their roots. These monuments have a lasting value, Kusovac told Sputnik.

10 I morto i Serbi

“It is ridiculous even to think that the hand of the one who destroyed and burned this heritage for years could now protect it. Their own heritage is limited to just the walls that they built around their homes. All those who do not have evidence of the creative spirit, now want to usurp those created by Serbian hands,” Kusovac told Sputnik. The most recent episode was a fight with Kosovo police who were agitated by the fact that Serbs originally from the Kosovo town of Musutiste wanted to visit a ruined church of the Virgin Protectoress (Church of the Virgin Hodegetria), which is under UNESCO protection, as well as to visit graves of their relatives.

As the photo demonstrates, not much is left of the church, a symbol for not just Serbia but for Christians in the entire region.

In 1905, archaeologist and art historian Gabriel Millet visited the Serbian lands and wrote that a new world had opened up before him. He immediately understood the specifics of Serbian Byzantine art and wrote that the monuments of Serbian medieval culture were quite special and unique.

A hundred years later, Millet’s covenants have been forgotten and the Serbian scientific community has once again been forced to show the world precious samples of Serbian cultural heritage.

The Government of Serbia organized the exhibition to attract the attention of UNESCO to protect the Serbian treasures located in Kosovo and Metohija. Almost forty ambassadors of the UNESCO member states observed the beauty of “Serbian Byzantium” in Paris. It was just 20 years ago when West closed its eyes on the fate of this heritage and it seems like it is in no hurry to open them. More than 150 churches and monasteries were damaged in 2004 during mass attacks by Albanian extremists on Serbian shrines.

Among the rubble were monasteries on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Ten medieval architectural monuments were destroyed just in Prizren, among them was the temple of the Mother of God Ljeviška, as well as the previously mentioned Church of the Virgin Hodegetria. The Monastery of the Holy Archangels was also almost completely demolished.

After the demolition, UNESCO included the monasteries of Visoki Dečani, Gračanica and the Patriarchate of Peć into the list. It should be noted that in 2012, 2 million dollars of the funds slated for the restoration of Orthodox churches in Kosovo were allocated by UNESCO Russia.

Shortly after the destruction of the monuments, the Mayor of Venice Massimo Cacciari said it was as if the Cathedral of St Mark’s in Venice had been destroyed or any other such important artifact in Italy or France. Today, slogans of Daesh and other terrorist organizations are now visible on the shrines. Perhaps this slogan best illustrates the extremists’ intentions.

Daesh terrorists destroyed the ancient city of Palmyra because they believed that history began with them.


Source: Sputnik

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ChurchRoof

Videos On Ex-Yugoslavia: Reverse Side Of The Truth



Four Serbian monasteries from the Middle Ages in Kosovo and Metohija still not destroyed by local Albanians

Четири српска средњевековна манастира на Косову и Метохији која још увек нису срушена од стране месних Шиптара


U.S.A. documentary movie about the fabricated lies by Bosnian Muslims and Croats about the civil war in Titoist Bosnia & Herzegovina and Croatia during the time of the destruction of Yugoslavia, 1991-1995. This documentary movie (26 min.) was never publically shown.

Документарни филм у трајању од 26 минута производње Сједињених америчких држава о исфабрикованим лажима од стране босанских муслимана и Хрвата о грађанском рату на просторима титоистичке Босне и Херцеговине и Хрватске за време растурања Југославије 1991.-1995. г. Овај филм није никада нигде јавно приказиван.

Документарни филм о хрватским геноцидним злочинима над Србима током Другог светског рата, а све уз благослов римокатоличке цркве и Ватикана.
Филм садржи потресне сцене и слике, и није препоручљив за малолетне особе и особе са нарушеним здравственим стањем.


In the village of Račak, near Štimlje, Kosovo and Metohia, in the Republic of Serbia, on 16 January 1999, CIA and UCK Albanian separatists staged a “massacre” scene collecting bodies of those killed in UCK battle with Serbian security forces. CIA operative William Walker was immediately sent – with TV cameras and all – to witness “evidence of a massacre” and blame it on Serb forces. Walker’s emotional interviews in front of the cameras were promptly shown on all major TV networks around the world. This “massacre” was soon used by the US government to blackmail Serbia with an ultimatum demanding a complete surrender of its territory to US military forces, which would have a complete freedom of movement across Serbia and would not be accountable for any of their actions, and then in March of 1999 as a justification for NATO to carry out a 78 day-long bombing campaign on Serbia that killed some 3500 people and destroyed the economy of this country. As another consequence a treaty was signed providing for withdrawal of Serbian forces from the province of Kosovo and Metohia in June 1999 and occupation of it by NATO countries, and exodus of about 250,000 of non-Albanians: Serbs, Romany, Turks, Croats and others ensued. Although UN Resolution 1244 guarantees Serbia sovereignty on the territory of Kosovo and Metohia, the Albanians have declared independence in Feb 2008 and actively block the return of the expelled population to their homes, jobs and farms. NATO forces have mostly turned a blind eye to destruction of 172 churches and monasteries, many of them priceless cultural and Christian treasures from 13-17th centuries.

Curiously, at the Hague tribunal the “Račak massacre” was suddenly dropped from charges against Slobodan Milošević, the then president of Serbia.

Another curiosity is that shortly after the Račak operation- and prior to the NATO bombing campaign against Serbia – Gen. Goran Radosavljević, who commanded Serbian forces in the Račak operation, was commended for contribution to peace and awarded a medal for masterful execution of an operation against terrorist forces by NATO Commander Gen. Robertson in Bruxelles.

Рачак (алб. Reçak) је насеље у општини Штимље на Косову и Метохији. Атар насеља се налази на територији катастарске општине Рачак површине 443 ha. Насеље је важило за упориште ОВК. У лето 1998, због непрестаних борби између ОВК и југословенских снага безбедности, већина становништва већ је била напустила село. У време Случаја Рачак (15. јануар 1999), у селу је било само око 400 житеља[тражи се извор од 06. 2010.].

Село Рачак се налази на излазу из клисуре Црнољеве, у близини Штимља. У писаним документима село се помиње 1343. и 1345. године, у повељама српског краља и цара Стефан Душан. По турском дефтеру из 1487. године, у селу је постојао манастир Св. Врачи. Изнад села су остаци темеља цркве из 14. века, за коју тамошњи житељи мисле да је била посвећена Св. Врачима. Црквиште је заштићено законом као значајан споменик српске културе.


Documentary movie about NATO lies upon Kosovo & Metohija case in 1999 for the sake to bomb Serbia and occupy this south Serbia’s province – a cradle of Serbia (parts 1-3).
Документарни филм из три дела о НАТО лажима о Косову и Метохији како би извршили агресију на Србију и окупирали ову јужну србијанску покрајину.


Documentary movie of the truth about Bosnian town of Srebrenica in July 1995 and the destiny of the Serbs in Sarajevo during the civil war in Bosnia & Herzegovina, 1992-1995. Movie is made by Norwegian directors and shown for the first time in Sweden and Norway in summer 2011. Movie is in English and Serbian language.

Документарни филм о Сребреници и догађајима у њој јула 1995. г. који даје истиниту слику о бошњачко-муслиманским војним формацијама у Сребреници и Сарајеву као и о судбини српских цивила у Сарајеву, Сребреници и околини Сребренице. Филм је норвешке производње а први пут је приказан у лето 2011. г. у Шведској и Норвешкој. Језици су енглески и српски.

1. Шиптарски лажови from Vladislav B. Sotirovic on Vimeo.

1. Шиптарски лажови. All copyrights reserved.

2. Шиптарски лажови from Vladislav B. Sotirovic on Vimeo.

Шиптарски лажови. All copyrights reserved.

Western documentary movie in two parts about Kosovo Albanian big lies in 1999 concerning the truth in Kosovo.

Destroyed Serbian villages in Metohija from Vladislav B. Sotirovic on Vimeo.

Video is showing several destroyed Serbian villages in Metohija near the city of Peć. All of them are destroyed by local ethnic Albanians after mid-June 1999. The video is made in April 2005.

Muslim Albanians are setting in flame Serbian church in Kosovo from Vladislav B. Sotirovic on Vimeo.

“March Pogrom” committed by Muslim Albanians against the Serbs in Kosovo & Metohija during three days: March 17-19, 2004. Video is showing how Albanians are setting in flame Serbian Orthodox Church in the town in Podujevo on March 19, 2004. NATO troops around are just watching the scene.


Interview with a French General about the truth why NATO bombed Serbia in 1999


Canadian documentary movie about Kosovo reality under NATO occupation after June 1999


Canadian documentary movie about Yugoslavia: “Weight of Chains”, 2010


Russian documentary movie about Kosovo Serbs and Russian citizenship


Documentary movie about Bosnian Serb Army General Ratko Mladic on Russia Today channel


Documentary movie about Kosovo: “Stolen Kosovo” by the Czech Republic


Western documentary movie about ex-Yugoslavia: “The Roots of War”


Documentary movie about the holocaust against the Jews and Serbs during the WWII


Documentary footage (1-3) about attack on Yugoslav Army unarmed withdrawing forces by Bosnian Muslim fighters in the city of Tuzla, Bosnia, May 15th, 1992. Around 200 young Yugoslav soldiers are killed


City of Vukovar after liberation by Yugoslav Army and volunteers from Croat terrorist forces and Nazi criminals, November 1991. Belgrade TV


British SKY NEWS documentary film about Muslim Mujahedins fighting in Bosnia & Herzegovina on the side of Muslim government in 1992-1995


US documentary movie “RETLINES” with English subtitle from 1991 about Vatican smuggling Croat Nazi Ustashi to South America in 1945

Ratlines were a system of escape routes for Nazis and other fascists fleeing Europe at the end of World War II. These escape routes mainly led toward havens in South America, particularly Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, and Chile. Other destinations included the United States and perhaps Canada and the Middle East. There were two primary routes: the first went from Germany to Spain, then Argentina; the second from Germany to Rome to Genoa, then South America. The origins of the first ratlines are connected to various developments in Vatican-Argentine relations before and during World War II.

The major Roman ratline was operated by a small, but influential network of Croatian priests, members of the Franciscan order, led by Father Krunoslav Draganović. Draganović organized a highly sophisticated chain with headquarters at the San Girolamo degli Illirici Seminary College in Rome, but with links from Austria to the final embarcation point in the port of Genoa. The ratline initially focused on aiding members of the Croatian Ustashe movement, most notably the Croat wartime dictator Ante Pavelić.
Priests active in the chain included: Fr. Vilim Cecelja, former Deputy Military Vicar to the Ustashe, based in Austria where many Ustashe and Nazi refugees remained in hiding; Fr. Dragutin Kamber, based at San Girolamo; Fr. Dominik Mandić, an official Vatican representative at San Girolamo and also “General Economist” or treasurer of the Franciscan order – who used this position to put the Franciscan press at the ratline’s disposal; and Monsignor Karlo Petranović, based in Genoa. Vilim would make contact with those hiding in Austria and help them across the border to Italy; Kamber, Mandić and Draganović would find them lodgings, often in the monastery itself, while they arranged documentation; finally Draganović would phone Petranović in Genoa with the number of required berths on ships leaving for South America.

The operation of the Draganović ratline was an open secret among the intelligence and diplomatic communities in Rome. As early as August 1945, Allied commanders in Rome were asking questions about the use of San Girolamo as a “haven” for Ustashe. A year later, a US State Department report of 12 July 1946 lists nine war criminals, including Albanians and Montenegrins as well as Croats, plus others “not actually sheltered in the COLLEGIUM ILLIRICUM [i.e., San Girolamo degli Illirici] but who otherwise enjoy Church support and protection.” The British envoy to the Holy See, Francis Osborne, asked Domenico Tardini, a high ranking Vatican official, for a permission that would have allowed British military police to raid ex-territorial Vatican Institutions in Rome. Tardini declined and denied that the church sheltered war criminals.

In February 1947 CIC Special Agent Robert Clayton Mudd reported ten members of Pavelić’s Ustasha cabinet living either in San Girolamo or in the Vatican itself. Mudd had infiltrated an agent into the monastery and confirmed that it was “honeycombed with cells of Ustashe operatives” guarded by “armed youths”. Mudd also reported: “It was further established that these Croats travel back and forth from the Vatican several times a week in a car with a chauffeur whose license plate bears the two initials CD, “Corpo Diplomatico”. It issues forth from the Vatican and discharges its passengers inside the Monastery of San Geronimo. Subject to diplomatic immunity it is impossible to stop the car and discover who are its passengers.” Mudd’s conclusion was the following: “DRAGANOVIC’s sponsorship of these Croat Ustashes definitely links him up with the plan of the Vatican to shield these ex-Ustasha nationalists until such time as they are able to procure for them the proper documents to enable them to go to South America. The Vatican, undoubtedly banking on the strong anti-Communist feelings of these men, is endeavoring to infiltrate them into South America in any way possible to counteract the spread of Red doctrine. It has been reliably reported, for example that Dr. VRANCIC has already gone to South America and that Ante PAVELIC and General KREN are scheduled for an early departure to South America through Spain. All these operations are said to have been negotiated by DRAGANOVIC because of his influence in the Vatican.”

The existence of Draganović’s ratline has been confirmed by a Vatican historian, Fr. Robert Graham: “I’ve no doubt that Draganović was extremely active in syphoning off his Croatian Ustashe friends.” On four occasions the Vatican intervened on behalf of interned Ustasha prisoners. The Secretariat of State asked the U.K. and U.S. government to release Croatian POWs from British internment camps in Italy.

Документарни филм ИСТИНА на руском језику, 2005 from Vladislav B. Sotirovic on Vimeo.

26 мая 2011 года спецслужбами Сербии арестован генерал Ратко Младич, который обвиняется МТБЮ (Международный трибунал по бывшей Югославии) за уничтожение мирных жителей во время югославских войн, а в целом по 11 пунктам, ни одно из которых не имеет доказательств гибели людей в результате расстрела, а не боевых действий. 31 мая 2011 года марионеточные власти Сербии экстрадировали генерала Младича в Гаагу ради вступления Сербии в ЕС. Предана культура и память предков в угоду популистским политическим веяниям. Такие политики скоро предадут собственную мать и отца, нагадят на могилы дедов и прадедов. На саммите «большой восьмерки» в Довиле 2 июня 2011 года Баррозу заявил журналистам, освещающим саммит: «Арест Ратко Младича стал очень позитивным сигналом Европейскому союзу и соседям Сербии». Каких же соседей он имел ввиду, не Россию ли ? Россия так не считает. Хорватский прозападноевропейский марионеточный фашизм и исламский фундаментализм на Балканах как инструмент информационной войны является основной причиной разжигания межнациональных столкновений и разрушения государственности Югославии. Виновны в этом только политики ЕС и стран НАТО ныне в подавляющем большинстве представленные в Гаагском трибунале по бывшей Югославии. А генерал Ратко Младич защищал свой народ от экстремистов и бандитов. Свидельств и доказательств тому множество, в том числе в недалёком прошлом на Балканах в 30-40-е годы 20 века.

REVERSE SIDE OF THE TRUTH (VIDEOS ABOUT EX-YUGOSLAVIA)

Can You Imagine? Readers Оn Еx-Yugoslavia

March Pogrom 2004 Book and Photo Evidence

KOSOVSKA GOLGOTA Intervju 1988

20 Principal Misconceptions on Kosovo Issue

The Srebrenica Massacre Evidence Context Politics Edward S Herman Phillip Corwin

Kosovo Murky Reality

Lista Diane Budisavljevic 1941 Do 1945 by Владислав Б. Сотировић/Vladislav B. Sotirović

Josip Broz Tito Bez Maske! by Владислав Б. Сотировић/Vladislav B. Sotirović

Hayden Mass Killings and Images of Genocide in Bosnia by Sanimideg

CAN YOU IMAGINE?/МОЖЕТЕ ЛИ ДА ЗАМИСЛИТЕ? (Ex-Yugoslavia)

Documentary Movies About Kosovo

Rachak Village in Kosovo 1999- Lies and the truth from Vladislav B. Sotirovic on Vimeo.

Лажи и истине о случају села Рачак на Косову и Метохији у јануару 1999. г.

1. Albanian lies on Kosovo truth in 1998-1999: Western TV documentary material from Vladislav B. Sotirovic on Vimeo.

1. Шиптарски лажови/Albanian lies on Kosovo truth. All copyrights reserved. First part

2. Albanian lies on Kosovo truth in 1998-1999: Western TV documentary material from Vladislav B. Sotirovic on Vimeo.

Шиптарски лажови/Albanian lies on Kosovo truth. All copyrights reserved. Second part

Vladislav B. Sotirovic on Kosovo, Lithuanian national TV (LTV), 2008 from Vladislav B. Sotirovic on Vimeo.

Vladislav B. Sotirovic on Kosovo, Lithuanian national TV (LTV), 2008. In Lithuanian language.

Vladislav B. Sotirovič apie Kosovą. LTV, 2008.

Владислав Б. Сотировић о Косову и Метохији на литванској националној телевизији (ЛТВ) 2008. г. на литванском језику.

Српска деца са Косова и Метохије певају песму “ОЈ КОСОВО, КОСОВО…”, 2009 from Vladislav B. Sotirovic on Vimeo.

Српска деца из Косовске Митровице певају усташи Борису Љубову Францетићу песму “Ој Косово, Косово”. Снимак је начињен 2009. г. и заштићен од стане аутора.
Serbian children from Kosovo and Metohija are singing a song “Oj Kosovo, Kosovo…” in Serbian language. Video is copyrighted by the author.

Serbian Kosovo: Church Bogorodica Ljeviška in Prizren/Српско Косово: Богородица Љевишка from Vladislav B. Sotirovic on Vimeo.

Serbian shrine Bogorodica Ljeviška (Virgin Mary of Ljevishka) is a cathedral church in the city of Prizren in western part of Kosovo & Metohija region. The city was a capital of medieval Serbia. This church is built by Serbian king Milutin between 1307-1309. This church belongs to one of four masterpieces of Serbian sacral architecture in the Middle Ages in Kosovo & Metohija that was a central part of Serbian medieval state. The video is in Serbian language.

Српска богомоља Богородица Љевишка је катедрална црква у стоном Призрену у Метохији. Задужбина је краља Милутина и подигнута је између 1307. г. и 1309. г. Једно је од четири ремек-дела српског средњовековног сакралног градитељства на Косову и Метохији – центру српске срењевековне државе. Видео је на српском језику.

Serbian Kosovo: Pećka Patrijaršija/Српско Косово: Пећка патријаршија from Vladislav B. Sotirovic on Vimeo.

Pećka Patrijaršija (Patriarchate of Pec) is a complex of Serbian medieval sacral buildings near the city of Peć in western part of Kosovo & Metohija. Pećka Patrijaršija was a seat of Serbian Archbishops and Patriarhs from 13th c. up to 1760. This church complex belongs to one of four masterpieces of Serbian sacral architecture in the Middle Ages in Kosovo & Metohija that was a central part of Serbian medieval state. The video is in Serbian language.

Пећка патријаршија је комплекс средњевековних црквених грађевина и налази се у непосредној близини града Пећи у Метохији. Била је седиште српских епископа и патријараха од 13.-ог столећа па до 1760. г. Овај црквени комплекс припада једном од четири ремек-дела српског средњовековног сакралног градитељства на Косову и Метохији – центру српске срењевековне државе. Видео је на српском језику.

Serbian Kosovo: Monastery of Visoki Dečani/Српско Косово: Манастир Високи Дечани from Vladislav B. Sotirovic on Vimeo.

Monastery Visoki Dečani (High Dechani) is built by two Serbian rulers: king Stefan Dečanski and emperor Stefan Dušan between 1327 and 1335. This monastery belongs to one of four masterpieces of Serbian sacral architecture in the Middle Ages in Kosovo & Metohija that was a central part of Serbian medieval state. The video is in Serbian language.

Манастир Високи Дечани је задужбина српског краља Стефана Дечанског и српског цара Стефана Душана. Манастир је грађен између 1327. г. и 1335. г. Манастир је једно од четири ремек-дела српског средњовековног сакралног градитељства на Косову и Метохији – центру српске срењевековне државе. Видео је на српском језику.

Serbian Kosovo: Gračanica monastery/Српско Косово: Манастир Грачаница from Vladislav B. Sotirovic on Vimeo.

Serbian monastery of Gračanica (Grachanica) in Kosovo & Metohija bult by Serbian king Milutin in 1321. The monastery is near Priština and belongs to one of four masterpieces of Serbian sacral architecture in the Middle Ages in Kosovo & Metohija that was a central part of Serbian medieval state. The video is in Serbian language.

Манастир Грачаница је задужбина српског краља Милутина и подигнут је 1321. г. Налази се у близини Приштине. Манастир припада једном од четири ремек-дела српског средњовековног сакралног градитељства на Косову и Метохији – центру српске срењевековне државе. Видео је на српском језику.

Destroyed Serbian villages in Metohija from Vladislav B. Sotirovic on Vimeo.

Video is showing several destroyed Serbian villages in Metohija near the city of Peć. All of them are destroyed by local ethnic Albanians after mid-June 1999. The video is made in April 2005.

Canadian General Lewis Mackenzie about Kosovo & Metohija from Vladislav B. Sotirovic on Vimeo.

TV Interview with retd. Canadian Major General Lewis Mackenzie about Kosovo & Metohija on February 21, 2008. He was UN troops Commander in Chief in Bosnia & Herzegovina in the 1990’s. At the moment of the interview he was an international military analyst.

Muslim Albanians are setting in flame Serbian church in Kosovo from Vladislav B. Sotirovic on Vimeo.

“March Pogrom” committed by Muslim Albanians against the Serbs in Kosovo & Metohija during three days: March 17-19, 2004. Video is showing how Albanians are setting in flame Serbian Orthodox Church in the town in Podujevo on March 19, 2004. NATO troops around are just watching the scene.


Documentary movie about NATO lies upon Kosovo & Metohija case in 1999 for the sake to bomb Serbia and occupy this south Serbia’s province – a cradle of Serbia (part 1)


Documentary movie about NATO lies upon Kosovo & Metohija case in 1999 for the sake to bomb Serbia and occupy this south Serbia’s province – a cradle of Serbia (part 2)

3rd part. NATO’s Illegal War against Serbia. The lies of the “Rachak-village massacre” in January 1999 from Vladislav B. Sotirovic on Vimeo.

3rd part. NATO’s Illegal War against Serbia. The lies of the “Rachak-village massacre” in January 1999


Documentary movie “Kosovo: Can You Imagine?” by Boris Malagurski in 2009


The real Albanian origin – from the Caucasus Albania


Bulgarian politician tears the false flag of Kosovo


“La Guerra Infinita” – Rai Tre (First movie)


“La Guerra Infinita” – Rai Tre (Second movie)


“Бомбардовање Србије” 1 – Пут у рат (Цео филм)


“Бомбардовање Србије” 2 – Како се водио рат (Цео филм)


“Бомбардовање Србије” 3 – Жртве рата (Цео филм)


Забрањени филм: “Смртоносна прашина”

Historical & Other Maps

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Administrative division of the Roman Empire about 395 A.D.

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Europe in the early Middle Ages: The Carolingian Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Arab Caliphate and the Slavs

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Europe in 526: The Germanic kingdoms and the Byzantine Empire

12 europe_peoples_900

Ethnographic map of Europe about 900

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Europe, North Africa and the Near East at the time of the First Crusade

Lenkija ir LDK za vreme Jogaile 1386 do 1434

The Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania after the Kreve Union (1385)

10 Europe in time of crusades

A time after the First Crusade

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German Central Europe about 1500

Lithuanian_state_in_13-15th_centuries

Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the 13-15th centuries

20. CE and SEE 1815 to 1859

The Balkans from 1815 to 1859: Political division between the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg Monarchy

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The Balkans in the mid-19th century

16 balkans 1856 to 1878

The Balkans from 1856 (Paris Peace Treaty) to 1878 (Berlin Congress)

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The Balkans after the Berlin Congress in 1878 till the Balkan Wars in 1912-1913

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Ethnographic map of the “Yugoslavs” submitted to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 by the “Yugoslav” representatives

2. YUG map-Nazi-1940

Ethnographic map of Yugoslavia according to the German intelligence service in 1940

127. Kraljevina Jugoslavija 1929

Administrative division of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia into 9 banovinas from 1929 to 1939

40 DijalektiStokavskogNarecja

Dialectical map of the Shtokavian tongue

157. Iran Persia Arabia 1850

A map of Persia & Arabia in 1850

Ethnolinguistic groups in Caucasus 2009

Ethnolinguistic groups in the Caucasus in 2014

Separatisti Euroseparatism

Map_of_Occupation_Palestinian_by_ademmm

Middle East in focus

Population map

Population map

 

Countries Destroyed By Hillary Clinton

clinton-syria-destruction

In an email sent to his business partner and Democratic fundraiser Jeffrey Leeds, former Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote of Hillary Clinton, “Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris.”

Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State during Barack Obama’s first term was an unmitigated disaster for many nations around the world. Neither the Donald Trump campaign nor the corporate media have adequately described how a number of countries around the world suffered horribly from Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy decisions.

Millions of people were adversely harmed by Clinton’s misguided policies and her “play-to-pay” operations involving favors in return for donations to the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative.

The following is a before and after chart illustrating, country by country, the destabilizing effects of Clinton’s policies as Secretary of State:

Abkhazia

Before Hillary: In 2009, more and more nations began recognizing the independence of this nation that broke away from Georgia and successfully repelled a U.S.-supported Georgian invasion in 2008.

After Hillary: Clinton pressured Vanuatu and Tuvalu to break off diplomatic relations with Abkhazia in 2011. The State Department pressured the governments of India, Germany, and Spain to refuse to recognize the validity of Abkhazian passports and, in violation of the US-UN Treaty, refused to permit Abkhazian diplomats to visit UN headquarters in New York. The Clinton State Department also threatened San Marino, Belarus, Ecuador, Bolivia, Cuba, Somalia, Uzbekistan, and Peru with recriminations if they recognized Abkhazia. Georgia was connected to Clinton through the representation of Georgia in Washington the Podesta Group, headed by Tony Podesta, the brother of Mrs. Clinton’s close friend and current campaign chairman John Podesta.

Argentina

Before Hillary: Under President Nestor Kirchner and his wife Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Argentina’s economy improved and the working class and students prospered.

After Hillary: After former president Nestor Kirchner’s sudden death in 2010, the U.S. embassy in Buenos Aires became a nexus for anti-Kirchner activities, including the fomenting of political and labor protests against the government. Meanwhile, Clinton pressed Argentina hard on its debt obligations to the IMF, also crippling the economy.

Bolivia

Before Hillary: Bolivia’s progressive president Evo Morales, the country’s first indigenous Aymara leader, provided government support to the country’s coca farmers and miners. Morales also committed his government to environmental protection. He kept his country out of the Free Trade Area of the Americas and helped start the Peoples’ Trade Agreement with Venezuela and Cuba.

After Hillary: Clinton permitted the U.S. embassy in La Paz to stir up separatist revolts in four mostly European-descent Bolivian provinces, as well as foment labor strikes among miners and other workers in the same model used in Venezuela.

Brazil

Before Hillary: Brazil’s progressive presidents, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, ushered in a new era for the country, with workers’ and students; rights at forefront and environmental protection and economic development for the poor major priorities.

After Hillary: Clinton’s authorization of massive electronic spying from US embassy in Brasilia and consulate general in Rio de Janeiro resulted in a “constitutional coup” against Rousseff and the Workers’ Party government, ushering in a right-wing, CIA-supported corrupt government.

Central African Republic

Before Hillary: Under President Francois Bozize, the CAR remained relatively calm under a peace agreement hammered out under the auspices of Muammar Qaddafi’s Libya.

After Hillary: In 2012, Islamist terrorists of the Seleka movement and supported by Saudi Arabia conducted an uprising, massacring Christians and riving Bozize’s government from power. The CAR became a failed state under Clinton’s State Department.

Ecuador

Before Hillary: Ecuador began sharing its oil wealth with the people and the economy and the plight of the nation’s poor improved.

After Hillary: Clinton authorized a 2010 National Police coup against President Rafael Correa. The economy soon plunged as labor disputes wracked the mining and oil sectors.

Egypt

Before Hillary: Under Hosni Mubarak, Egypt was a stable secular nation that suppressed jihadist politics in the mosques. The jihadist-oriented Muslim Brotherhood was kept at bay.

After Hillary: After Clinton’s 2011 “Arab Spring” and the toppling of Mubarak, Egypt saw Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood elected president. Immediately, the secular country began a process of Islamization with Christian Copts experiencing repression and violence, including massacres. Morsi’s rule resulted in a military coup, thus ending Egypt’s previous moves toward democracy.

Germany

Before Hillary: The nation was a peaceful country where German culture, as well as religious freedom and women’s rights were guaranteed.

After Hillary: Clinton’s “Arab Spring” eventually resulted in a flood of mainly Muslim refugees being welcomed into Germany from the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. Today, Germany is wracked by Muslim refugee street crime, unsanitary and harmful public health habits of migrants, sexual assaults by migrant men of women and children, increased acts of terrorism, and a diminution of German culture and religious practices.

Greece

Before Hillary: Greece was a nation that saw government safety net social services extended to all in need. It also remained a top tourist destination for northern Europeans.

After Hillary: The 2010 debt crisis emaciated the Greek economy and Clinton remained adamant that Greece comply with draconian economic measures dictated by Germany, the European Union, and the IMF/World Bank. Making matters worse, Clinton’s “Arab Spring” eventually resulted in a flood of mainly Muslim refugees being welcomed into first, the Greek isles, and then mainland Greece, from the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. Today, Greece, especially the islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Symi, Rhodes, Leros, and Kos, are wracked by Muslim refugee crime, unsanitary public health habits of migrants, sexual assaults by migrant men of women and children, acts of arson and vandalism, and a diminution of Greek culture and religious practices.

Guatemala

Before Hillary: Under President Alvaro Colom, the nation’s first populist progressive president, the poor received access to health, education, and social security.

After Hillary: Clinton authorized the U.S. embassy in Guatemala to work against the 2011 election as president of Colom’s wife, Sandra Torres. Colom was succeeded by a right-wing corrupt president who resigned for corruption and then was arrested.

Haiti

Before Hillary: Haiti was prepared in 2011 to re-elect Jean-Bertrand Aristide, forced out of office and into exile in a 2004 CIA coup. The prospects of Artistide’s return to power was a blessing for the slum dwellers of Haiti.

After Hillary: Clinton refused to allow Aristide to return to Haiti from exile in South Africa until it was too late for him to run in the 2011 election. Under a series of U.S.-installed presidents, all approved by Bill and Hillary Clinton, Haiti is a virtual cash cow for the Clintons. The Clinton Foundation diverted for its own use, international aid to Haiti, and the Clintons ensured that their wealthy friends in the hotel, textile, and construction businesses landed lucrative contracts for Haitian projects, none of which have benefited the Haitian poor and many of which resulted in sweat shops and extremely low wage labor practices.

Honduras

Before Hillary: Emergent multi-party democracy with a populist progressive president, Manuel Zelaya. Children received free education, poor children received free school meals, interest rates were reduced, and the poorest families were given free electricity.

After Hillary: Clinton authorized a military coup d’etat against Zelaya in 2009. Clinton family “fix-it” man Lanny Davis became a public relations flack for the military dictatorship. Resulting fascist dictatorship involved in extrajudicial death squad killings of journalists, politicians, and indigenous leaders followed the “constitutional coup” against Zelaya. During 2012, Clinton ordered U.S. embassy in Tegucigalpa to work against 2013 election of Xiomara Castro de Zelaya as president.

Iraq

Before Hillary: Under Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq experienced small moves toward an accommodation with the Kurds of the north and Sunnis. Iran acted as a moderating political force in the country that deterred any attempts by Saudi-supported jihadis to disrupt the central government in Baghdad.

After Hillary: Clinton’s Arab Spring resulted in the rise of the Sunni/Wahhabist Islamic State in northern and western Iraq and Iraq’s plunge into failed state status. Shi’as, Kurds, Yazidis, Assyrian Christians, and moderate Sunnis were massacred by the jihadis in northern, western, and central Iraq. The Iraqi cities of Mosul, Kirkuk, and Nineveh fell to ISIL forces with non-Muslims being raped, tortured, and executed and priceless antiquities being destroyed by the marauding jihadists.

Kosovo

Before Hillary: Kosovo, which became independent in 2008, initially granted its Serbian minority in northern Kosovo and Metohija some degree of self-government.

After Hillary: In 2009, Kosovo increasingly became a state ruled by criminal syndicates and terrorists of the former Kosovo Liberation Army. The rights of Serbs were increasingly marginalized and Kosovo became a prime recruiting ground for jihadist guerrillas in Arab countries subjected to Clinton’s “Arab Spring” operations, including Libya and Syria.

Clinton pressured states receiving U.S. aid and other U.S. allies to recognize Kosovo’s independence. These included Pakistan, Palau, Maldives, St. Kitts-Nevis, Dominica, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Burundi, East Timor, Haiti, Chad, Gambia, Brunei, Ghana, Kuwait, Ivory Coast, Gabon, St. Lucia, Benin, Niger, Guinea, Central African Republic, Andorra, Oman, Guinea-Bissau, Qatar, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Honduras, Somalia, Djibouti, Vanuatu, Swaziland, Mauritania, Malawi, New Zealand, Dominican Republic, Jordan, Bahrain, and Comoros. In the Kosovo capital of Pristina, there is a 10-foot-high statue of Bill Clinton standing over Bill Clinton Boulevard. Not far away is a women’s clothing store called “Hillary.”

Libya

Before Hillary: Under Muammar Qaddafi, post-sanction Libya saw a boom in urban construction and a new major international airport to serve as a hub for Africa. Plans announced for an African dinar, supported by Libyan gold holdings, to serve the needs of Africa. All Libyans received free education and medical care. There was a program for revenue sharing of Libya’s oil wealth with the Libyan people.

After Hillary: Clinton’s 2011 regime change operations against Qaddafi, which saw the Libyan leader sodomized, beaten, and shot in the head by U.S.-supervised jihadist rebels, resulted in Clinton laughing about the incident in the infamous, “We came, we saw, he died” comment. Libya became a failed state where Islamic jihadist terrorists vied for control of the country and Qaddafi’s arm caches were given or sold to jihadist terrorists in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, the pan-Sahel region, and sub-Saharan Africa. After Qaddafi’s ouster, black African guest workers and their families were massacred by jihadist forces.

Malaysia

Before Hillary:Malaysia, before 2009, was a religiously tolerant nation where Buddhists, Christians, and Hindus enjoyed freedom of religion.

After Hillary: In 2009, Najib Razak became prime minister and he began accepting bribes from Saudi Arabia that totaled some $2.6 billion with additional Malaysian public money in Razak’s personal bank accounts plus the Saudi cash totaling some $3.5 billion. Razak began allowing Saudi-influenced clerics to push for sharia law throughout Malaysia and Christians in Sarawak, Sabah, and Penang began experiencing Wahhabist repression. Clinton was silent about Malaysian persecution of non-Muslims. The reason may have been a reported several hundred million donation from Razak’s slush fund into the Clinton Foundation’s coffers.

Palestine

Before Hillary: In 2012, Palestine was granted non-member observer status in the United nations. The 2009 Goldstone Report of the UN found that Israel violated international humanitarian law in its war against Gaza in 2009. Palestine was gaining more support and sympathy internationally and was successfully putting to rest Israeli propaganda disinformation.

After Hillary: Hillary Clinton rejected the Goldstone Report as “one-sided.” Clinton’s unbridled support for expanding Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem and its silence on the dehumanizing Israeli blockade of Gaza, emboldened Israel’s theocratic right-wing government to further encroach on Palestinian territories and cementing into place an apartheid-like series of Palestinian “Bantustans” in the West Bank and an open-air ghetto in Gaza.

Paraguay

Before Hillary: The country under Fernando Lugo began lifting out of poverty the nation’s rural campesinos and urban workers. Paraguay also began a steady move toward democratization after years of military dictatorships.

After Hillary: Clinton’s 2012 “constitutional coup” against Fernando Lugo brought back into power the military-industrial oligarchy with the nation’s campesinos being forced back into poverty and repressive rule.

South Sudan

Before Hillary: Prior to independence in 2011, South Sudan, while rife with intra-tribal feuding, was relatively calm.

After Hillary: After being rushed into indepenence from Sudan in 2011, South Sudan, a special project of Clinton, George Soros, and actor George Clooney, descended into civil war and chaos. It beat all records in being transformed from a newly-independent state into a failed state.

Syria

Before Hillary: Syria was a multi-cultural and multi-religious secular state championing the concept of pan-Arab socialism and progressive policies advanced by Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser. Syria was not a safe place for jihadism.

After Hillary: After Clinton’s 2011 green light for the “Arab Spring,” Syria became a failed state where the Islamic State gained a firm foothold. Minority Alawites, Christians, Druze, and Kurds were massacred by jihadist groups aided and abetted by NGOs and other interests backed by Clinton.

Thailand

Before Hillary: Thailand’s Red Shirt movement was a powerful force that demanded a return to democracy in Thailand and the restoration of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted in a 2006 military coup, to power.

After Hillary: A Red Shirt protest in 2010 resulted in a bloody crackdown by the Thai military. Clinton remained silent about the Thai army’s killing of protesters and the mass arrests of Red Shirt leaders. U.S. military assistance to the Thai government was continued by Clinton. When Thaskin’s sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, became prime minister in 2011, Clinton began working to undermine her and her government in a manner not unlike Clinton’s subterfuge against Rousseff in Brazil and Cristina Kirchner in Argentina. When iot comes to women leaders, Clinton only tolerates conservatives who kow-tow to the United States. The pressure against Yingluck eventually resulted in her ouster in 2014 and her being criminally charged in the same manner that saw Rousseff charged in Brazil.

Tunisia

Before Hillary: Tunisia was one of the most secular nations in the Arab and Islamic world. A top destination for European tourists, the country was more European in its outlook than North African.

After Hillary: After Clinton’s 2011 “Jasmine Revolution,” a textbook themed revolution crafted by Clinton’s friend George Soros, Tunisia descended into Islamist rule and violence. Today, Tunisia is the top country for recruits to the Islamic State.

Turkey

Before Hillary: Turkey was moving steadily closer to European standards on human rights and democracy. Even under the Islamist-oriented Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country remained committed to pluralism.

After Hillary: Clinton authorized the shipment of Libyan weapons captured from Qaddafi’s arms caches to Turkish middlemen in the employment of Erdogan’s government for transfer to the jihadist rebels in Syria. A complication in this arrangement resulted in the September 11, 2012 jihadist attack on the CIA warehouse facility in Benghazi, which killed U.S. envoy Chris Stevens and other State Department personnel. Turkey’s dalliance with jihadist rebels in Syria was mirrored by increasing Islamization of Turkey. The events of 2011 and 2012 resulted in Turkey today being ruled by an Islamist strongman, Erdogan, with open political opposition being stamped out.

Ukraine

Before Hillary: Ukraine was a stable and neutral country that neither aligned itself with the West and NATO nor with Russia under the presidency of Viktor Yanukovych, elected in 2009 and inaugurated in 2010.

After Hillary: Clinton tried everything possible to ensure the 2009 defeat of Viktor Yanukovych. The State Department and its friends in the George Soros camp provided assistance to Clinton’s favorite candidate Yulia Tymoshenko to defeat Yanokovych. It was this early interference in the 2009 election that ultimately led to the “Euromaidan” themed revolution in 2014 against the government, resulting in civil war, the retrocession of Crimea back to Russia, and secessionist states in eastern Ukraine. Clinton’s policies directly led to a failed state in Europe.

Venezuela

Before Hillary: Under Hugo Chavez, the country provided basic social services to its poorest of citizens. Venezuela also provided discounted gasoline to several Caribbean and Central American countries through the PetroCaribe consortium.

After Hillary: After Clinton allowed the U.S. embassy in Caracas to foment anti-Chavez labor and political protests, the country began to falter economically. After Chavez’s 2012 diagnosis of terminal cancer, the State Department stepped up pressure on Venezuela, crippling the nation’s economy and political system.

Western Sahara

Before Hillary: Recognized by the African Union and several nations around the world as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Western Sahara saw some hope for an evacuation of illegal Moroccan occupation trops from its territory.

After Hillary: In 2010, Moroccan troops began entering Sahrawi refugee camps and attacking residents, even in UN-protected exclusion zones, where Moroccan troops were prohibited from entering. Clinto ensured that UN talks and a proposed popular referendum on the future of Western Sahara were stalled. Clinton pressured a number of states to withdraw their recognition of the SADR, including St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Paraguay, Haiti, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Malawi, Kenya, Mauritius, Zambia, Panama, and Burundi. The Clinton Foundation received a 2011 donation of $1 milion from a Moroccan phosphate company owned by the Moroccan government and which has mining operations in Western Sahara.

Yemen

Before Hillary: Yemen was a largely secular state that was transforming into a federation where the rights of South Yemen and the Zaidi Houthis of north Yemen were being recognized.

After Hillary: Clinton’s “Arab Spring” of 2011 and the fall of Abdullah Saleh from power saw Yemen become a failed state. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the Islamic State gained control over several areas of North and South Yemen. The fall of Saleh permitted Saudi Arabia to conduct a genocidal war in the country with Mrs. Clinton’s full support.

Wayne Madsen is an investigative journalist who consistently exposes cover-ups from deep within government. Want to be the first to learn the latest scandal? Click on the banner above and subscribe today!


2016-09-22

About the author:

Wayne Madsen is an investigative journalist who consistently exposes cover-ups from deep within the government. Want to be the first to learn the latest scandal? Go to WayneMadsenReport.com subscribe today!


Source: Info War

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The Vatican Bank Clean Up Is A Cover Up: Nazi Linked Assets Ignored

ustasa20sjekirom20skidafa9

Washington: Cardinal George Pell, who is Vatican Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, told The Tablet, a Catholic newspaper on June 17, 2016, that: ““The Vatican is committed to transparency, international cooperation and the use of contemporary international standards in financial reporting.”

Cardinal Pell further praised Jean Baptiste de Franssu, the director of the Vatican Bank as one who had done “an excellent clean out job.”

Pell further stated: “Pope Francis continues to insist that the financial reforms must continue.”

Nowhere in Pell’s message was there any mention of the Nazi linked Ustasha Treasury first identified by the US State department in 1998 as a suspicious World War Two era transaction involving gold and other valuables looted from Serbian, Jewish, and Roma victims of the Holocaust in former Yugoslavia and deposited at the Vatican for safekeeping.

The Ustasha Treasury was the subject of a decade long lawsuit against the Vatican Bank by Holocaust survivors and resulted in the four-day testimony of former US Special Agent William Gowen who investigated a mysterious ten truck treasure convoy that unloaded its contents at St. Peter’s Square in 1946. The lawsuit however was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds. A later inquiry by the European Commission resulted in a referral to the Vatican Financial Intelligence Unit which resisted all efforts by Holocaust survivors to force an inquiry.

This office has filed a canon law petition with the Vatican in an attempt to compel Cardinal Pell to do his job and audit the bank accounts identified with Holocaust loot. Cardinal Pill and the Vatican however have so far denied the Holocaust victims an accounting.

Only further pressure on the Vatican by the international community will have any effect stated Jonathan Levy, one of the lead counsel for plaintiffs since 1999. When asked who might take the lead, Levy suggested, “There are those at the highest levels of the Serbian, Vatican and US governments who have personal knowledge the Ustasha treasury and its facts. It is time they finally act on their conscience. There is a time for diplomacy and a time to call out the cleaners at the Vatican who seek to bury historical facts no matter how painful they may be to acknowledge.”

The canon law petition alleges much of the Ustasha Treasury was recycled through the Vatican Bank to covertly assist CIA backed Croatian nationalists in their decades long effort to reestablish an independent Croatian state.

For a copy of the Canon Law Petition please see:


Dr. Jonathan Levy

info@brimstoneandcompany.com

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The Role of the Catholic Church in Yugoslavia’s Holocaust

Adolf Hitler and Ante Pavelić.
Adolf Hitler and Ante Pavelić. Not many people know about the Ustaše and its leader, Ante Pavelić. Before 1941, the organization was a radical fascist terrorist group. But when Axis powers invaded, it was given control of Croatia by the Nazis. They shared Hitler’s goal of ethnic cleansing

During the Second World War in Yugoslavia, Catholic priests and Muslim clerics were willing accomplices in the genocide of the nation’s Serbian, Jewish and Roma population. From 1941 until 1945, the Nazi-installed regime of Ante Pavelic in Croatia carried out some of the most horrific crimes of the Holocaust (known as the Porajmos by the Roma), killing over 800,000 Yugoslav citizens – 750,000 Serbs, 60,000 Jews and 26,000 Roma. In these crimes, the Croatian Ustasha and Muslim fundamentalists were openly supported by the Vatican, the Archbishop of Zagreb Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac (1898-1960), and the Palestinian Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini. Many of the victims of the Pavelic regime in Croatia were killed in the war’s third largest death camp – Jasenovac, where over 200,000 people – mainly Orthodox Serbs met their deaths. Some 240,000 were “rebaptized” into the Catholic faith by fundamentalist Clerics in “the Catholic Kingdom of Croatia” as part of the policy to “kill a third, deport a third, convert a third” of Yugoslavia’s Serbs, Jews and Roma in wartime Bosnia and Croatia (The Yugoslav Auschwitz and the Vatican, Vladimar Dedijer, Anriman-Verlag, Freiburg, Germany, 1988).

On April 6th 1941, Nazi Germany invaded Yugoslavia. By April 10th, Croatian fascists led by Ante Pavelic were allowed by Hitler and his ally Mussolini to set up an “independent” puppet state of Croatia. Hitler granted “Aryan” status to Croatia as his fascist allies carved up Yugoslavia. Pavelic had been awaiting these developments whilst under the auspices of Mussolini in Italy who had granted them the use of remote training camps on a Aeolian island and access to a propaganda station Radio Bari for broadcasts across the Adriatic. As soon as the new fascist state of Croatia was born, a campaign of cold-blooded terror began, as noted by John Cornwell in his book Hitler’s Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII (Viking, London, UK, 1999):

“(It was) an act of ‘ethnic cleansing’ before that hideous term came into vogue, it was an attempt to create a ‘pure’ Catholic Croatia by enforced conversions, deportations, and mass exterminations. So dreadful were the acts of torture and murder that even hardened German troops registered their horror. Even by comparison with the recent bloodshed in Yugoslavia at the time of writing, Pavelic’s onslaught against the Orthodox Serbs remains one of the most appalling civilian massacres known to history” (p 249)

Furthermore, as Cornwell notes, Pius XII had not only “warmly endorsed” Croat nationalism, he had, before the war in November 1939, described the Croats in a speech as an “the outpost of Christianity” of whom “the hope of a better future seems to be smiling on you”. Pavelic and Pope Puis XII “frequently exchanged cordial telegrams” according to Dedijer, one on New Year’s Day 1943, saw the Pope give his blessing to Pavelic:

Everything that you have expressed so warmly in your name and in the name of the Croatian Catholics we return gracefully and give you and the whole Croatian people our apostolic blessing (Dedijer, p 115).

On April 25th 1941, following his seizure of power, Pavelic decreed that all publications, private and public, of the Cyrillic script was banned. In May 1941, anti-Semitic legislation was passed, defining Jews in racist terms, preventing them from marrying “Aryans”. One month later all Serb Orthodox primary and preschools were closed. As soon as Pavelic had taken power, the Catholic Church in Croatia began compelling Orthodox Serbs to convert to the Catholic religion. But this was, as pointed out by Cornwell, a highly-selective policy: the fascists had no intention of allowing Orthodox priests or members of the Serb intelligentsia into the religion – they were to be exterminated along with their families. However, for those Serbs who were forced to convert, there was no immunity or protection from the Catholic church when the “crazed bloodletting” of the Ustashe began, as indicated by the speech made by the Croatian Nazi Mile Budak, who was a Minister in the Ustasha regime in Gospic, Bosnia during July 1941:

We will kill one part of the Serbs, the other part we will resettle, and the remaining ones we will convert to the Catholic faith, and thus make Croats of them (Dedijer, p 130).

Budak was talking about something that had already started: In an example of savage butchery carried out in the village of Glina on May 14th 1941, hundreds of Serbs were brought to a church to attend an obligatory service of thanksgiving for the fascist state of Croatia. Once the Serbs were inside, the Ustashe entered the Church armed only with axes and knives. They asked all present to produce their certificates of conversion to Catholicism – but only two had the required documents, and they were released. The doors of the church were locked and the rest slaughtered.

Like with the Jews, who had to wear the Star of David in public, the Serbs were forced to wear a blue band with the letter “P” (i.e., Orthodox) on their sleeve. The Nazi regime decreed that the Roma were to be “treated as Jews” and they were forced to wear yellow armbands. (A History of the Gypsies of Eastern Europe and Russia, David M. Crowe, St. Martin’s Griffin, New York, USA, 1994).

Stepinac blesses the puppet Nazi regime in Croatia

When the Nazi’s installed the puppet Ustashi regime in May 1941, Stepinac immediately offered his congratulations to Pavelic, and held a banquet to celebrate the founding of the new nation. After the opening of the Ustasha Parliament, Pavelic attended Zagreb cathedral, where Stepinac offered special prayers for Pavelic and ordered a solemn “Te Deum” to be sung in thanks to God for the establishment of the new regime. In May 1941, Stepinac also arranged to have Pavelic received personally by Pope Pius XII in Rome in the Vatican, where on the same occasion, he signed a treaty with Mussolini. Once Pavelic was in power, Stepinac issued a Pastoral Letter ordering the Croatian clergy to support the new Ustasha State. Stepinac later recorded in his diary on 3rd August 1941 that “the Holy See (the Vatican) recognized de facto the independent State of Croatia”. In the same year, Stepinac himself declared:

“God, who directs the destiny of nations and controls the hearts of Kings, has given us Ante Pavelic and moved the leader of a friendly and allied people, Adolf Hitler, to use his victorious troops to disperse our oppressors… Glory be to God, our gratitude to Adolf Hitler and loyalty to our Poglavnik, Ante Pavelic.”

The involvement of Catholic clergy either in active participation or in blessing the Ustashi involvement in the Holocaust is well-documented. Stepinac himself headed the committee which was responsible for forcible “conversions” to Roman Catholicism under threat of death, and was also the Supreme Military Apostolic Vicar of the Ustashi Army, which effected the slaughter of those who failed to convert. Stepinac was known as the ‘Father Confessor’ to the Ustashi and continually bestowed the blessing of Catholic Church upon its members and actions.

Right from the very beginning, the Vatican knew what was happening in Croatia, and certainly known to Pius XII when he greeted Pavelic in Vatican – just four days after the massacre at Glina. On this visit, Pavelic had a “devotional” audience with Pius XII, and the Vatican granted de-facto recognition of fascist Croatia as a “bastion against communism” – despite the fact that the Vatican still had diplomatic ties with Yugoslavia. Cornwell observes that right from the start it was known that Pavelic was a “totalitarian dictator”, a “puppet of Hitler and Mussolini”, that he had passed racist and anti-Semitic laws, and that he was “bent on enforced conversions from Orthodox to Catholic Christianity”. Effectively, on behalf of Hitler and Mussolini, the Pope was “holding Pavelic’s hand and bestowing his papal blessing” to the new puppet state of Croatia. Thus, it can argued, that the Catholic Cardinals in the Vatican were accomplices of the Holocaust in Yugoslavia and the extermination of the country’s Jews, Serbs and Roma citizens. Indeed, many members of the Croatian Catholic clergy took a “leading part” in the Holocaust.

One leading member of the Catholic church in Croatia was the Nazi collaborator Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac. When he met Pavelic on April 16th 1941, he later noted that he had promised that he would “not show tolerance” to the Orthodox Serbian church – which gave Stepinac the impression that Pavelic “was a sincere Catholic”. By June 1941, when German army units were reporting that the “Ustashe have gone raging mad” killing Serbs, Jews and Roma, Catholic priests, notably Franciscans took a leading part in the massacres, as pointed out by Cornwell:

“Priests, invariably Franciscans, took a leading part in the massacres. Many, went around routinely armed and performed their murderous acts with zeal. A Father Bozidar Bralow, known for the machine gun that was his constant companion, was accused of performing a dance around the bodies of 180 massacred Serbs at Alipasin-Most. Individual Franciscans killed, set fire to homes, sacked villages, and laid waste the Bosnian countryside at the head of Ustashe bands. In September of 1941, an Italian reporter wrote of a Franciscan he had witnessed south of Banja Luka urging on a band of Ustashe with his crucifix.” (p 254).

It is clear now, that other members of the Catholic Cardinals in Europe also knew about the massacres. On March 6th 1942, a French Cardinal Eugène Tisserant, a close confidant of the Pope to the Croatian representative to the Vatican:

“I know for a fact, that it is the Franciscans themselves, as for example Father Simic of Knin, who have taken part in attacks against the Orthodox populations so as to destroy, the Orthodox Church. In the same way, you destroyed the Orthodox Church in Banja Luka. I know for sure that the Franciscans in Bosnia and Herzegovina have acted abominably, and this pains me. Such acts should not be committed by educated, cultured, civilized people, let alone by priests”. (p 259)

The Catholic Church took full advantage of Yugoslavia’s defeat in 1941 to increase the power and outreach of Catholicism in the Balkans – Stepinac had shown contempt for religious freedom in way that even Cornwell says was “tantamount to complicity with the violence” against Yugoslavia’s Jews, Serbs and Roma. For his part, the Pope “was never but benevolent” to the leaders and representatives of fascist Croatia – in July 1941 he greeted a hundred members of the Croatian police force headed by the Zagreb chief of police; in February 1942, he gave gave an audience for Ustashe youth group visiting Rome, and he also greeted another representation of Ustashe youth in December of that year. The Pope showed his true colours when in 1943 he told a Croatian papal representative that he was:

“Disappointed that, in spite of everything, no one wants to acknowledge the one, real and principal enemy of Europe; no true, communal military crusade against Bolshevism has been initiated” (p 260)

Stepinac for one, appears to have been a full supporter of forced conversions – along with many of his bishops, one of whom described the advent of fascist Croatia as “a good occasion for us to help Croatia save the countless souls” – i.e., Yugoslavia’s non-Catholic majority. Throughout the war, Croatian bishops not only endorsed forced conversions, they never, at any point, dissociated themselves from Pavelic’s regime, let alone denounce it or threaten to excommunicate him or any other senior member of the regime. In fact, before Yugoslavia was invaded, Stepinac had told Regent Prince Paul of Yugoslavia in April 1940:

“The most ideal thing would be for the Serbs to return to the faith of their fathers, that is, to bow the head before Christ’s representative (the Pope). Then we could at last breathe in this part of Europe, for Byzantinism has played a frightful role in the history this part of the world” (p 265).

The Pope was better informed of the situation inside Yugoslavia than he was about any other area of Europe. His apostolic delegate, Marcone, was a regular visitor to Croatia, travelling on military planes between Rome and Zagreb. Cornwell describes Marcone – who was the Popes personal representative in Croatia – as “an amateur who appeared to sleepwalk through the entire bloodthirsty era” (p 257).

The Vatican would also have been aware of frequent BBC broadcasts on Croatia, of which the following (which were monitored by the Vatican State), on February 16th 1942, was typical:

“The worst atrocities are being committed in the environs of the archbishop of Zagreb [Stepinac]. The blood of brothers is flowing in (the) streams. The Orthodox are being forcibly converted to Catholicism and we do not hear the archbishop’s voice preaching revolt. Instead it is reported that he is taking part in Nazi and Fascist parades” (p 256).

And, according to to Dedijer:

Throughout the whole war in more than 150 newspapers and magazines, the church justified the fascist state under Pavelic as the work of God.

Many Roman Catholic priests served the Ustasha state in high positions. The pope appointed the highest military vicar for Croatia. The latter had a field chaplain in every unit of the Ustasha army. The task of this field chaplain consisted among other things of repeatedly goading the Ustasha units in their mass murders of the peasant population. High dignitaries of the Roman Catholic Church and of the Ustasha state together organized the mass conversion of the Orthodox Serbian population. Hundreds of Orthodox churches in Serbia were plundered and destroyed; the three highest dignitaries and two hundred clerics were murdered in cold blood; the remainder of the clergy were driven into exile. In the concentration camp of Jasenovac, hundreds of thousands of Serbs were murdered under the command of Roman Catholic priests.

Execution of prisoners at the Jasenovac concentration camp, which was briefly run by a Franciscan military chaplain, Miroslav Filipović, who was reportedly stripped of his status by the church but was hanged in his clerical robes

The papal emissary Marcone was in Croatia during this entire time. He sanctioned silently all the gory deeds and permitted pictures of himself with Pavelic and the German commanders to be published in the newspapers. After the visit to Pope Pius XII, Ante Pavelic exchanged Christmas and New Year’s greetings with him that were published in the Ustasha press.

Pavelic escapes to Argentina disguised as a Catholic priest

The Catholic Church was not only closely involved with the Ustasha movement in wartime Croatia, it helped many Nazi war criminals escape at the end of the war, including Ante Pavelic, who fled to Argentina via the Vatican and the “ratlines” of the Vatican. In mid-year 1986 the U.S. government released documents of their counter-espionage agency, the OSS. These reveal that the Vatican had organized a safe-flight route from Europe to Argentina for Pavelic and two hundred of his advisors known by name. The fascists hid frequently during their flight in cloisters and in many instances disguised themselves as Franciscan monks (Pavelic himself escaped disguised as a Catholic priest).

Also, at the end of the war, the Ustashe looted some $80 million from Yugoslavia, much of which was composed of gold coins. Here again, they had the total collaboration of Vatican, which according to Cornwell included not only hospitality of a pontifical Croatian religious institution (the College of San Girolamo degli Illirici in Rome), but also provision of storage facilities and safe-deposit services for the Ustashe treasury. During the war, the College of San Girolamo became a home for Croatian priests receiving Vatican-sponsored theological education – after the war, it became the headquarters for the postwar Ustashe underground, providing Croatian war criminals with escape routes to Latin America.

A leading figure at the College of San Girolamo was the Croatian priest and Nazi war criminal Father Krunoslav Draganavic – described once by U.S. intelligence officials as Pavelic’s “alter ego”. His arrival in Rome in 1943 was to coordinate Italian-Ustashe activities, and after the war, he was a central figure in the organising escape routes for Nazi’s to Argentina. It was later claimed that members of the CIA had said that he had been allowed to store the archives of the Croatian legation inside the Vatican, as well as valuables brought out of Yugoslavia by fleeing Ustashe in 1945.

The most famous Nazi mass-murderer who passed through the College of San Girolamo was Klaus Barbie, known as the Butcher of Lyons, the Gestapo police chief in that French city between 1942 and 1944, who had tortured and murdered Jews and members of the French resistance. Barbie lived under Draganavic’s protection at San Girolamo from early 1946 until late 1947, when the US Counter Intelligence Corp helped him escape to Latin America. Another Nazi war criminal, Franz Stangl, the commandant of the Treblinka death camp was assisted with false papers and hiding places in Rome by the Nazi sympathizer Bishop Alois Hudal. Draganavic was expelled from San Girolamo a few days after Pope Pius XII death in October 1958.

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Ratlines were a system of escape routes for Nazis and other fascists fleeing Europe at the end of World War II. These escape routes mainly led toward havens in South America, particularly Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, and Bolivia. Other destinations included the United States, Great Britain, Canada and the Middle East

While it may be true that individual Catholics risked their lives to save the Jews, Roma and Serbs from the Holocaust, the Catholic Church, as an entity, did not. The Vatican also assisted thousands of Nazi war criminals such as Adolph Eichmann, Franz Stangl (the commandant of Treblinka), Walter Rauf (the inventor of the “mobile” gas chamber), and Klaus Barbie (the “Butcher of Lyons”). Pope Pius XII personally authorized the smuggling of Nazi war criminals, which was directed by his political advisor Giovanni Montini (who later became Pope Paul VI). Shortly before his death in Madrid in 1959, Pope John XXIII granted Pavelic his special blessing. On his death bed, Pavelic held a wreath that was a personal gift from Pope Pius XII from the year 1941.

Stepinac found guilty of collaboration

After the war Stepinac was arrested by the Yugoslav government and sentenced to 17 years in prison for war crimes. A parade of prosecution witnesses at his trial in Zagreb testified on October 5, 1946, that Catholic priests armed with pistols went out to convert Orthodox Serbs and massacred them. In one instance, one witness said 650 Serbs were taken into a church under false pretenses, and then were stabbed and beaten to death by Ustashi members after the doors were locked. Stepinac was convicted on all principal counts of aiding the Axis, the Nazi puppet of Ante Pavelic, and of glorifying the Ustashi in the Catholic press, pastoral letters, and speeches. He eventually died under house arrest in 1960 after being sentenced to life imprisonment for collaboration by the postwar communist government in Yugoslavia.

The Investigation by the Yugoslav War Crimes Commission established that Stepinac had played a leading part in the conspiracy that led to the conquest and breakdown of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1941. It was furthermore established that he had played a role in governing the Nazi puppet state of Croatia, that many members of his clergy participated actively in atrocities and mass murders, and, finally, that they collaborated with the enemy down to the last day of the Nazi rule, and continued after the liberation to conspire against the newly created Federal Peoples Republic of Yugoslavia.

Stepinac only served a few years in prison because of the Vatican’s anti-Communist propaganda of the “suffering martyr” and their organizing of “Cardinal Stepinac Associations” which lobbied for his release.

Jews and Serbs say that Stepinac was a Nazi collaborator. Catholic supporters claim he initially backed the regime, but later withdrew his support because of the mass executions and forced conversions of Orthodox Christians to Catholicism – although little credible evidence is presented of this.

Archbishop Stepinac was beatified by Pope John Paul II in Croatia on October 1998. Following the countries succession from Yugoslavia in 1991, the ultra-Nationlist Tudjman regime in Croatia renamed a village in Krajina after him. The late President Tudjman himself is on record as having said that he is “proud that his wife has no Jewish or Serbian blood in her”. Ironically, unlike Pavelic himself, whose wife seems to have been Jewish (Pavelic’s mother-in law, Ivana Herzfeld was said to be was Jewish)

Ante Pavelić giving Nazi salute (far left) with Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac (far right) and other Catholic Church leaders
Ante Pavelić giving Nazi salute (far left) with Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac (far right) and other Catholic Church leaders

Like the French Nazi Jean-Marie Le Pen (who described the Holocaust as a “mere detail of history”), Tudjman also become a Holocaust revisionist. In his book Wastelands of History, he questioned the truth behind the Holocaust and moved to cover up the role of Ustashe regime in the darkest period of Croatia’s history. Worse, Tudjman rehabilitated fascist war criminals and gave them medals, and, as in the case of Stepinac, had streets named after them.

On two occasions in 1970 and 1994, attempts were made to the Yad Vashem Holocaust to get Stepinac added to the “List of the Righteous” – which includes people like Oskar Schindler, but this was turned down. Interestingly, the request was sent by private Jewish citizens from Croatia and not the official Jewish organization in Croatia, which has never sent such a request. Explaining the refusal, an official of the Yad Vashem explained that:

“Persons who assisted Jews but simultaneously collaborated or were linked with a Fascist regime which took part in the Nazi orchestrated persecution of Jews, may be disqualified for the Righteous title”.

Nazi connection to Franciscan Order uncovered near Medjugorje, Bosnia

The Franciscan order has always denied the evidence of its wartime ties to the Ustasha regime in Croatia. They acted as facilitators and middlemen in moving the contents of the Ustasha Treasury from Croatia to Austria, Italy and finally South America after the war. During the Nazi occupation of Bosnia, the Franciscans were closely involved with the Ustashe regime. Not far from Medjugorje in Bosnia (where the Virgin Mary is said to put in nightly appearances for the tens of thousands of Roman Catholic pilgrims), is the Franciscan monastery at Sirkoi Brijeg which has become the centre of allegations linking it to disappearance of the Ustashe treasury after the war.

In San Francisco Federal Court in November 1999, in what was described as “tangible proof” of the Nazi Franciscan connection, was obtained when cameramen working for Phillip Kronzer (who has helped expose the Medjugorje myth) obtained entry to the Monastery and filmed a secret shrine honouring the Ustashe. A plaque dedicated to Franciscan monks who were Ustasha members was filmed along with a massive shrine lining the walls complete with photographs of Ustasha soldiers some in Nazi uniforms. The admonition, “Recognize us, We are yours” can clearly be seen in the video footage. On a later visit to the monastery the shrine had been dismantled but the videotape preserved the evidence and has now been made available by the Kronzer Foundation.

Cold War Era Files May Hold the Key to Holocaust Lawsuit

A Freedom of Information Act lawsuit was filed in August 2000 in San Francisco, USA by California attorneys Jonathan Levy and Tom Easton against the U.S. Army and the CIA. Easton and Levy are also pursuing a Holocaust era lawsuit against the Vatican Bank and Franciscan Order regarding the disappearance of the World War II Nazi Croatian treasury including gold, silver, and jewels plundered from concentration camp victims in Croatia and Bosnia, mainly Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies.

The lawyers are seeking the release of over 250 documents from the files of Draganavic. He is now regarded as one of the principal operators of the so-called Vatican “ratline” that smuggled Nazis and their loot to South America between 1945 and the late 1950’s. Beneficiaries of the ratline included Adolf Eichman, Klaus Barbie “the butcher of Lyons” and the notorious Croatian mass murderer Ante Pavelic as well as thousands of lesser known Nazis and collaborators.

While file releases on the ratline date from as early as the 1983 Barbie case, a core of documents remain withheld on grounds of “national security.” It is these documents the attorneys want from the Army and CIA. They describe him as a “sinister priest” who is alleged to have worked at various times for the secret services of Croatia, the Vatican, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia as well as British and American intelligence.

The attorneys have suggested that the withheld documents, most well over 40 years old are highly embarrassing to the Americans, the British, and Vatican and hold the key to a multinational money laundering scheme that used Holocaust victim loot to finance covert Cold War era operations against the Soviet Union and its allies.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.


About the author:

Born in Tralee, Co. Kerry in 1936, Seán Mac Mathúna spent many years working as a teacher before taking up writing full-time in the 80s. His collection of short stories ‘Ding’ established Mac Mathúna as a gifted short story writer and ‘The Atheist’ was nominated for the European Literary Prize.

The original source of the article: http://churchandstate.org.uk/2015/12/the-role-of-the-catholic-church-in-yugoslavias-holocaust/

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Slobodan Milosevic: The Killing Of An Innocent Man

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Slobodan Milosevic photo
Photo by ictyphotos

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague quietly acknowledged the innocence of former president of Serbia and Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic. Ten years after the very suspicious death of the Serbian leader in a Dutch prison, the 1,300th page of the 2,000-page document on the case of Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb leader, acknowledged that Milosevic had not committed crimes against humanity, nor had he organized any mass killings or deportations of Croats and Bosnians. In other words, it was an innocent man who died in a UN prison. French journalist Dimitri De Koshko was working in Yugoslavia at the time of Milosevic’s arrest. Koshko was closely following the parody of the trial in The Hague. In an interview with Pravda.Ru, Dimitri De Koshko talked about circumstances of the possible murder of the Serbian leader in prison.

Today, we are talking about the trial in The Hague that has seen its legal ending only now. Milosevic was posthumously and very quietly acquitted by the Tribunal.

I’m a journalist and I can not judge on the legal side of the case, but I can assure you that a whole sea of lies was created to destroy Milosevic. His name was stained in the era of the Dayton Accords, in 1995, during Bill Clinton’s presidency. The American administration used to have its own approach to the problem. The US used to be most interested in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the three main ethnic groups that had entered into civil strife there, namely the Croats, the Bosnians and the Serbs. The massacre that erupted in that region was especially brutal.

One can say that an entire ocean can be reflected in a drop of water. All elements of the Yugoslavian conflict could be found in the republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Milosevic was strongly opposed to the division of the territory.

Milosevic continued to insist on his position even when he was taken into custody for the trial in The Hague, where he died ten years ago. It should be noted that he died under very strange circumstances.

Without his knowledge, Milosevic was given a drug that neutralized the effect of the medicines against high blood pressure that the Serbian leader was taking. This is absurd, but the Dutch government refused to share details of Milosevic’s treatment. According to the data made available through Wikileaks, it turns out that the judges in The Hague were discussing details of Milosevic’s treatment with employees of the US Embassy in the Netherlands. This is a direct violation of medical confidentiality. It turns out that Milosevic did not know what medications he was taking in prison. All this is strange, to say the least.

Ten years ago, Milosevic was charged with genocide against Albanians. He refused to acknowledge that he was involved in the crime. According to the Court, 250,000 Albanians were killed in Kosovo. FBI agents and agents from other, so-called Western democracies, went to Kosovo to investigate. Those people found no traces of mass graves there. They did find the remains of Serbs and Roma tortured by the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army. The latter used to enjoy NATO’s full support at the time.

Let us not forget that all those terrible events began with the bombings of Yugoslavia, at NATO’ own initiative. It turns out that Milosevic had not succumbed to the provocations. When the judges failed to prove Milosevic’s guilt, they switched to Bosnia. I must say here that Milosevic’s position was very different from that of Karadzic. Milosevic’s entire life was very closely connected with the principles of the so-called “Yugoslav socialism.” He had been following those principles in Yugoslavia and in his native land, Serbia. At that time, Serbia was the only republic of the former Yugoslavia, where there was no ethnic cleansing. This comes contrary to what my dear colleagues from Western publications were saying.

Additionally, everyone ignores the fact that the Serbs were expelled from Krajina (Croatia) in a brutal way. I mean the crimes committed by pro-Croat Nazi gangs. By the way, they use the same techniques in the East of Ukraine now. It just so happens that the world will learn the truth about the current events in Ukraine in about a decade. The West, including Western media, used to be silent about Iraq and then about Libya. They did not say anything about the blatant crimes that were committed in Yugoslavia.

Milosevic was acquitted on the 1,303rd page of the document against former head of the Croatian Serbs, Radovan Karadzic. One needs to bear in mind the fact that the position of Milosevic was very different from that of Karadzic. Yet, the Western media was hysterically screaming about their common guilt. Western journalists used to call Milosevic another Hitler, but Milosevic had never built any form of dictatorship in his country. Yet, the journalists had to follow the mainstream, to build their careers. Independent journalists would be accused of working for Milosevic. Nowadays, they accuse us, independent journalists, of working for Putin.

We saw the hanging of Saddam Hussein and then the lynching of Muammar Gaddafi. It appears that the crimes that the West has committed during the last 10-15 years were part of the plan to destabilize the state of affairs in the world.”

We were all following the course of the USA. One should give then-French President Jacques Chirac credit for refusing to follow the Americans in Iraq. As for Gaddafi, he was a dictator, but he managed to reconcile different tribes in his country to ensure peaceful life for people.

Now the USA is obsessed with the idea to topple Bashar Assad, who is a member of the Alawite minority. Assad is the key to the rights of minorities in Syria, even though his rule does have certain dictatorial traits.

Now the West has to deal with refugees from Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, a whole region of central Africa and Afghanistan. These days, we can see the Western media demonizing Russia, just like they were demonizing Milosevic and Serbia.


Crimes Of Genocide Against The Serbian People

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The controversial film director has been reported to authorities by the Antifascist League.

A criminal complaint against film director Jakov Sedlar has been filed due to historical counterfeits that he used during the production of his documentary “Jasenovac – The Truth”. The complaint has been filed by the Antifascist League of Croatia due to criminal offense of incitement to violence and hatred, reports tportal.hr on July 15, 2016.

In the explanation of the compliant, the Antifascist League states that Sedlar in the film publicly denied and significantly reduced the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, primarily directed against members of Serbian national minority, using mistaken concepts, false arguments, counterfeits, concealment of historical facts, in a way which can encourage violence or hatred against the group and its members.

The film denies, according to the Antifascist League, and significantly reduces the scope of genocide committed against Jews, Serbs and Roma, and entices hatred primarily against Serbs.

The League finds that the film, by expressing untruths about the Serbian minority, creates extremely negative atmosphere of hatred, intolerance and demonization of certain groups and their members, which is a typical process of creating the preconditions for promoting animosity and hatred in the public as well.

They also hold that the director clearly presented demonizing and discriminatory attitude towards an entire community based on their ethnic identity and ethnicity. “With the distribution of the film throughout Croatia, in particular in schools, and abroad within the Croatian communities, the organizers seek to encourage others to adopt the ideas presented in the film and create feelings of deep animosity and hatred towards the Serbian minority group. Based on all the above, we urge the responsible authorities to carry out the actions prescribed by the Criminal Procedure Code in order to raise official criminal charges against the accused”, states the criminal complaint.

Vedran Palvic

Croatian Director Reported for Jasenovac Camp Film

Sven Milekic

The Anti-Fascist League of Croatia filed a criminal complaint to the state attorney’s office on Friday, accusing film director Jakov Sedlar of “public incitement to violence and hatred”.

The League claimed that Sedlar used his film Jasenovac – The Truth, focusing on the Croatian fascist WWII concentration camp at Jasenovac, to target the country’s ethnic and religious minorities, particularly Serbs.

The movie premiered in Zagreb in April, at a screening attended by the controversial culture minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic, and sparked negative reactions from Croatian Jews.

The Israeli ambassador to Croatia, Zina Kalay Kleitman, wrote in an open letter that the film “attempts to revise historical facts and offends the feelings of people who have lost their loved ones in Jasenovac”.

According to the list made by the memorial site at Jasenovac, while the country was ruled by the Nazi puppet Independent State of Croatia, NDH, Croatian Ustasa fascist units killed 83,145 people at the camp between 1941 and 1945. The vast minority of victims were Serbs, Roma and Jews.

The Anti-Fascist League of Croatia filed a detailed criminal complaint in which it claimed that Sedlar had falsified the death toll at the camp, rejecting both memorial site numbers, as well as figures given by Yad Vashem centre in Jerusalem, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Vienna and the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.

The League claimed that by doing this, Sedlar tried to prove that the Communist authorities killed more people at the camp after the NDH was ousted than the Ustasa between 1941 and 1945 – an allegation which has never been substantiated.

“[Sedlar] concealed the scientifically-established facts of the genocidal character of the NDH,” says the League’s criminal complaint.

It accuses Sedlar of avoiding mention of the Ustasa units and NDH government’s involvement in genocide and crimes against humanity and trying to portray Jasenovac as “a communist myth”.

The League also said that in the film, Sedlar used a faked photo-montage of a 1945 front page of the Croatian newspaper Vjesnik in his attempts to show that the Communists falsified facts about Jasenovac.

The front cover used by Sedlar was proven to be a fake in April by journalist Lovro Krnic, who went through all the issues of the newspaper from that period.

Sedlar rejected this however, claiming it was the original front page that “can’t be found in the archives”. He also insisted that the Jasenovac death toll had been inflated by the Communists.

The Leaguealso claimed that in the film, Sedlar used forged letters allegedly sent by NDH leader Ante Pavelic, among other inaccuracies.

“Therefore, by creating untruths, he says something extremely negative regarding the Serb minority in the film, creating an atmosphere of hatred and intolerance and demonising certain groups and their members in a typical process of creating the preconditions for promoting animosity and hatred among the public,” the criminal complaint alleges.

Sedlar has not yet commented on the complaint.


Embracing the US-NATO War Criminals Who Destroyed Our Country

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Seventeen years have passed and many people have already forgotten that the U. S. and a number of other NATO countries collectively waged one of the most destructive wars on the European continent since the end of World War II–the modern aerial bombing campaign against the Serbian people. In the tradition of the New World Order, this “intervention” wasn’t called “war.” It was argued by various Western politicians and the corporate media that the bombing campaign was directed against the late Serbian President Milošević and his “propaganda machine.”[i] In fact, the NATO bombs loaded with depleted uranium[ii] were falling on bridges, maternity hospitals, private residences of ordinary people, a moving train, a Serbian TV station, the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, as well as water plants, schools, electrical power plants, and many other objects that were crucial for the society to function.

Even in 2016, there are still several ruined buildings in downtown Belgrade. These sites have not been cleaned up nor repaired. Medical doctors are finally speaking up and emphasizing that the skyrocketing rates of cancer and other deadly diseases will only continue to rise because it takes 10-15 years for the accumulated environmental toxicity to also build up in people’s bodies.[iii] In other words, more than two thousand five hundred killed[iv] and several thousand wounded people were only immediate victims of the NATO’s “humanitarian intervention.” This military action will continue to take its toll affecting multiple generations as time passes. It is worth mentioning that NATO forces also bombed bridges, refugee centers, busses, hospitals and other important objects in Kosovo–then Serbia’s autonomous province–and now self-proclaimed country. Kosovo was the territory that NATO allegedly wanted to protect in 1999. Soon after the military intervention, NATO seized control over the province, making it a de facto U. S. protectorate, even though it was legally a U. N. protectorate[v]. The United States created its largest military base in Europe and took control over Kosovo’s population and its natural resources.[vi]

One would think that under these circumstances, no Serbian government would be allowed to become too friendly with NATO and to de facto accept the loss of Kosovo—a significant part of its territory that is also considered its cultural cradle. The reality has proven otherwise. In spite of significant opposition expressed by a great majority of the Serbian population,[vii] several governments have actually approved NATO’s plans for controlling the Balkan Peninsula and hosted NATO summits and leaders. While the most recent poll conducted in April 2016 revealed that 71.6% of the survey respondents[viii] didn’t want Serbia to join NATO, these governments signed agreements that gave NATO full access to Serbia’s territory and a promise of so-called military partnership. Such uneven partnership that requires Serbia to commit to making immense changes in its socio-economic and political system, while hardly mentioning any NATO obligations, is in the tradition of a post-Orwellian world called “Partnership for Peace.”

In this article I provide a brief background on the impacts of the 1999 NATO bombing campaign that devastated the whole society, followed by a detailed analysis of recent agreements between Serbia and NATO. These recent agreements were also accompanied with a local Serbian law ratifying the 2015 agreement on “logistical support.” In the concluding remarks I include some reflections on future developments that could possibly lead to Serbia’s full membership in the North Atlantic organization.

Background: Effects of the 1999 NATO Aerial Bombardment

In the last report issued by the “Dr. Milan Jovanović Batut” Institute for Public Health, Serbian health professionals provided alarming data for the period ending in 2012. According to this report, in Central Serbia and the northern province of Vojvodina, cancer rates, including leukemia and lymphoma grew 80% following the NATO bombing[ix]. Professor Slobodan Čikarić, who is a medical doctor and the President of the Serbian Cancer Society, emphasized that Serbia had the highest cancer mortality rates in Europe. Even the Kosovo Public Health Institute registered a 57% increase in cancer rates for the years 2013 and 2014. [x]

Earlier reports were equally disturbing. Michel Chossudovsky wrote in the fall of 1999:

Amply documented, the radioactive fall-out causes cancer potentially affecting millions of people for generations to come. According to a recent scientific report, “the first signs of radiation on children including herpes on the mouth and skin rashes on the back and ankles” have been observed in Yugoslavia since the beginning of the bombings. [xi]

In 2005, it was reported that between 1999 and 2001, 140,000 people were suffering from cancer in Serbia. On average, 25,000 new cases were registered per year. This data was reported by the Serbian Public Health Ministry during a press conference. Some Serbian media and the general public started calling this phenomenon, a “cancer epidemic.” [xii]

A team of scientists from Serbia and the Serbian diaspora organized an international conference in 2001 in Belgrade to inform the international community about the horrible truth about health effects and environmental devastation that followed the NATO bombing. Professor Jasmina Vujić, who teaches at the U. C. Berkley Nuclear Science Department, was one of the primary organizers of this conference. Vujić published an article with Dragoljub Antic in the New Serbian Political Thought (NSPM) in 2015, and provided references to some attempts to decontaminate the environment[xiii].

Some media and research institutions informed the public that there had been a media blockade and that many politicians had remained silent about depleted uranium for a long time. Such media outlets recognized that NATO had unleashed a “silent killer, low level nuclear war waged on the Serbian population[xiv]. Their realization that everything becomes even more serious if depleted uranium enters the waterways and food chain is consistent with the depleted uranium science that examines various effects of depleted uranium[xv]. This kind of examination is included in the basic documents published by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency[xvi]. While there could be disagreements about the lifespan of depleted uranium and there are different opinions about the effectiveness of clean up technologies, it should be also noted that the Serbian government hasn’t invested in any consistent cleanup efforts. While some clean-up is mentioned in several sources[xvii], it is most likely that Serbia has not had enough funds, equipment, and trained personnel to invest in a consistent decontamination process.

NATO bombings specifically targeted civilian populations and objects. Michael Parenti documented multiple examples of NATO war crimes and comprehensively analyzed the underlining motives of U. S. and NATO decision makers.

Sometimes, the NATO attackers defended their atrocities by claiming that a civilian target was really a military one, as when NATO mouthpiece Jamie Shea unblushingly announced that the bombing of Surdulica hospital was deliberate because the hospital was really a military barracks. This was a blatant fabrication. [xviii]

Some people still remember the media campaign during the bombing. Those images traumatized the majority of the Serbian population and disturbed many around the world.

We have seen those endlessly repeated snippets of footage of bomb explosions lighting up the night sky over Belgrade. We’ve even seen pictures of that burned train at the Grdelica gorge where fifty five Serb passengers were blown to bits or burned alive and another sixteen wounded.[xix]

Gregory Elich documented multiple examples of devastation caused by the NATO bombing throughout Serbia. One of the most striking examples was the destruction of Niš–the third largest Serbian city that was shelled with cluster bombs on multiple occasions, including hospitals, private homes and the DIN cigarette factory which was bombed on four occasions. [xx]

According to experts, exposure to depleted uranium is more dangerous for young people whose bodies are developing, as organs and cells that reproduce faster become more sensitive to the effects of radiation. [xxi] Millions of people, animals and plants were exposed to depleted uranium. However, deadly diseases and environmental devastation were not the only effects of NATO’s “intervention.”

In addition to displacement and ethnic cleansing of Serbs, Roma, dissident Kosovars and others, NATO’s occupation of Kosovo and its subsequent secession from Serbia became a reality. There is no secret that human and organ trafficking[xxii], trafficking in narcotics[xxiii], Israeli-like strategies to expand settlements to include the lands previously belonging to Serbian residents, and general desperation of the entire population have become Kosovo’s unfortunate reality.[xxiv] Even in June of 1999, right after the NATO war was concluded, it was evident that very little would be improved in Kosovo. On the contrary, the situation became graver over the years.

Under NATO occupation, the rate of killing was about the same as before the bombings, thirty or so a week. The very level of killing that was detected as a human catastrophe and used to justify an eleven-week bombardment, continued after the bombardment. [xxv]

Here is how Diana Johnstone describes additional goals and effects of NATO’s war on Serbia:

In addition to “inflicting hardships in the daily lives of more Serbs”, bombing the country’s infrastructure also was seen as having a long-term political impact by destroying Serbia’s economic self-sufficiency. As an anonymous German official explained that the “kind of money that will be needed to rebuild bridges or even dredge the wrecks out of the Danube” was expected to provide “major leverage for Western countries.” The destroyed country would have to follow the dictates of the destroyers[xxvi].

The Serbia-NATO agreements analyzed in this article certainly resemble a situation in which the destroyed country has to follow the dictates of the destroyers. Johnstone added that:

In his first wartime interview, NATO’s air commander Lieutenant General Michael Short acknowledged that bombing was intended to cause distress among civilians. [xxvii]

In the passage included below Andrej Grubačiċ emphasized that NATO supervised the ethnic cleansing of Roma and Serbian population in Kosovo.

Before 1999 there was about 120,000 Roma in Kosovo. After the bombing in November of 1999, only 30,000[xxviii]. In March of 2000, former UN special investigator for the former Yugoslavia Jiri Dienstbier reported to the UN Commission on Human Rights that “330,000 Serbs, Roma, Montenegrins, Slavic Muslims, pro-Serb Albanians and Turks had been displaced in Kosovo.” [xxix]

Another immediate impact was that the bombing put approximately 500,000 people out of work[xxx]. Over the years Serbia’s rates of unemployment have remained among the highest in Europe. [xxxi]

A number of other prominent intellectuals also wrote about the NATO intervention and dismantling of Yugoslavia, providing data and theoretical frameworks to understand original goals and permanent consequences. Noam Chomsky often addressed multiple myths and ironies utilized by politicians and the media. Below is an example provided in one of his articles.

The sole purpose of the bombing was to demonstrate to Serbia and to the world NATO’s capacity to bomb, thus killing nearly 2,000 civilians, destroying much of Serbia’s infrastructure, prompting expulsion and flight of around a million Kosovars. The vast crimes took place after the bombing began: they were not a cause but a consequence. It requires considerable audacity, therefore, to take the crimes to provide retrospective justification for the actions that contributed to inciting them. [xxxii]

Tariq Ali said that the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was a war for U. S. hegemony in Europe. [xxxiii] This is consistent with conclusions that were eloquently articulated by Michael Parenti, Diana Johnstone, Michel Colon, Michel Chossudovsky, Andrej Grubačić, Gregory Elich, Sara Flounders, and others. In Johnstone’s words: “As a result of intervention in Yugoslavia it was concluded that “the presence of U. S. conventional and nuclear forces in Europe remains vital for the security of Europe.”[xxxiv]

NATO’s Continuous Dominance and Serbia – NATO Agreements

The U. S. and NATO leaders knew that they couldn’t expect complete acceptance by the Serbian population right after they inflicted so much devastation and suffering. Consequently, Serbian authorities had concealed their talks with NATO officials[xxxv] and had to wait until 2005 and 2006 to enter into specific agreements. Serbian President Boris Tadić and Foreign Minister Vuk Drašković signed agreements regarding the use of information and communication systems. Tadić’s government paved the road for future governments to give even more access to NATO leaders. Behind closed doors, Serbian politicians have discussed “modernization” of the Serbian military, acquisitions of NATO technology and future support of NATO missions. At the same time, Serbia’s parliamentary resolution of 2007, asserting military neutrality still remains in effect.[xxxvi]

On May 25, 2010, the Serbian Ministry of Defense signed an agreement with NATO in Edinburgh, accepting NATO’s codification system[xxxvii]. This agreement was ratified by the Serbian Law that confirmed the formation of the Serbian National Codification Bureau. The codification agreement ensured that the Serbian Ministry of Defense accepted standardization of data, rules and procedures, as outlined in the NATO Codification Brochure. This also means that there would be an exchange of commercial and state codes of so called type S, internal Serbian codification and advertisement of such data in the NATO Master Catalogue of References for Logistics. In other words, the NATO Automated Business System will be used as the main source for the official state (and military) documents. It is not explicitly stated, but by using the NATO technology and data systems, Serbia is adjusting to NATO’s standards and also making its systems open to the oversight of the Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD). So this was the first step of opening the door to “collaboration” with NATO. The parties to this agreement–Serbian Ministry of Defense and CNAD–committed to resolving any possible disputes by themselves, without taking them to international courts or third parties. Anyone familiar with dispute resolution principles might wonder how this can work in practice, especially between parties with such power imbalance.

According to the Individual Partnership Action Plan that was signed by Serbia and NATO in December of 2014, this agreement was connected to Serbia’s request to join the European Union (E. U.). Even though this plan was supposed to be a military type of “partnership,” there were numerous non-military reforms and conditions outlined within it. Serbia committed to specific standards imposed by the E. U. and NATO regarding human rights, the rule of law, global security, terrorism, cybercrimes, restructuring its economy and media, in addition to boosting its military power, and “managing crises.”

In the introduction to this agreement it is highlighted that since 2006, when Serbia joined the so-called “Partnership for Peace,” this collaboration has been continually advanced and a work group was formed to coordinate all activities. Composition and roles of this work group were not specified in detail. However, it was emphasized that comprehensive social reforms were expected from Serbia. Serbia’s previous collaboration in the areas of diplomacy, security, destruction and storage of excess ammunition, and implementation of UN Resolution 1325 (on Women, Peace and Security) was acknowledged.

When it comes to economic reforms, it is expected from Serbia to continue and soon conclude the process of privatization and otherwise reform its economy in order to attract foreign capital. This was not specified in the agreement, but we know from multiple sources that the phrase “attracting foreign capital investments” means destruction of labor rights, as well as selling natural and human resources for bargain prices[xxxviii]. What was specified includes negotiations about Serbia’s membership in the World Trade Organization, and the expectation of Serbia’s greater participation in the E.U. and global markets. Serbia is expected to conclude negotiations, join the World Trade Organization and invite foreign investment. Tax reform is a part of this strategy to attract foreign capital by reducing taxes on foreign investments in Serbia. Completion of the privatization process is also a goal outlined in this agreement, implying that Serbia still has important resources that are not privatized. For example, there were recent attempts to privatize Serbian Telecom and remarkable displays of public resistance.

So called liberalization of financial services and domestic markets was also emphasized. At that time, the destiny of the South Stream pipeline was not known and Serbia’s possible participation in this project was mentioned, along with a diverse array of other possibilities to ensure “security” of energy resources.

By signing this agreement Serbia also accepted the responsibility and commitments to develop its military capabilities in order to make them available for possible participation in multinational operations overseen by the U.N. and E.U. Even though it was mentioned that Serbia could take advantage of the resources provided to all members through the Partnership for Peace, NATO’s obligations were not spelled out in the text of the agreement. However, Serbia committed to improve education, training and readiness of its military personnel. Furthermore, it was noted that Serbia was ready to improve its military equipment. Financial plans for this kind of modernization/improvement were not specified.

According to this agreement signed in 2014, Serbia also committed to conduct a media campaign to promote military reforms, including the extent and benefits of its collaboration with NATO within the Partnership for Peace framework. This comprehensive media strategy would include print and digital resources, and support given to academic, NGO, and research centers to organize round tables to promote NATO. The strategy would also encourage Serbian scientists, university professors and research institutions to collaborate with NATO and participate in joint projects. Support provided by NATO public diplomacy groups (it is not clear from the text of the agreement what these groups are and how they operate), other members of the Partnership for Peace, the taskforce for cooperation with NATO, as well as NATO’s Military Office located in Belgrade, was seen as crucial in the implementation of this strategy. It was not clearly defined why all of these resources were needed. However, knowing that less than 12% of Serbia’s population approves any kind of collaboration with NATO[xxxix], these clauses are better understood.

The section of this agreement that outlines specific individual actions also includes a timeframe for implementation. For example, continuation and further improvement of political dialogue with NATO was marked as “ongoing;” coordination and corresponding processes of “E.U. integration” as a “continuous process;” improvement of public opinion regarding global security and NATO as being “implemented in 2014,” etc. Another important goal outlined in the agreement was Serbia’s continued cooperation through the Serbian Mission at NATO. The so-called European integration processes were connected with Serbia joining an agreement for Stabilization and Association with the E. U. Negotiations about E. U. membership were connected with changing laws to correspond to the E. U. legal system, and to build positive relationships with neighbors, including Kosovo. Furthermore, this plan includes preparation and implementation of the National Program for Acceptance of E. U. Values and Traditions. These values and traditions are not listed in the agreement. Serbia committed to supporting various organizations for regional stability, the E. U. Strategic Partnership for the Danube River, and the continuation of negotiations with Priština regarding the Brussels’ Agreement, in collaboration with NATO’s Kosovo Force (KFOR) in the context of U. N. Security Council Resolution 1244. Collaboration and work with the U. N., Organization for European Security and Cooperation—OEBS (Serbian acronym), and the European Council also became logical parts of this agreement, as Serbia has a long history of cooperation with these organizations.

When it comes to multiculturalism and human rights, Serbia committed to “anti-discriminatory practices,” inclusion of Roma, and to improve the social status of other marginalized groups. Serbia also has to reform its legal system according to an already accepted strategy for 2013-2018 and must harmonize its legal standards with international laws and the E. U.’s legal traditions. It is not specified what laws and legal traditions need to be incorporated.

In terms of international obligations and the “global fight against terrorism,” Serbia has special responsibilities to respond to the U. N. Security Council Resolution 1373, and to improve its readiness for this fight. By 2015 Serbia also needed to ratify an additional protocol to accompany its agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Training of personnel employed in the business and governmental sectors to improve their skills in the detection, control and prevention of controlled substances is yet another obligation that Serbia accepted by signing this agreement with NATO. Somewhat connected to that is the improved training regarding the transmission of sensitive information and protection of data from cyber-attacks.

Reforms of the military and intelligence agencies are also a demand put on Serbia. While it is stated that the Serbian Parliament has oversight role in this area, it is also emphasized that the members of Parliament needed to be trained in order to make informed decisions.

Military Aspects of the 2014 Agreement with NATO

It is stated in the agreement that, in order to expand its contributions to attaining global security, Serbia has to increase its participation in multinational military actions. Serbia should explore possibilities for participation in E. U. combat operations. This is an aspect of Serbia’s obligation to work closely with NATO’s Office in Belgrade in order to improve its military technology and defense system. In addition to Partnership for Peace, Serbia will also participate in NATO’s Building of Integrity program, particularly adapted for application in Southeast Europe.

Serbia’s obligations are numerous and include development of a NATO fund that will be given to the Serbian Ministry of Defense for the purposes of secure storage and demilitarization of excess ammunition. These weapons and ammunition need to be safely stored by using the full capacity of the Technical and Overhaul Center located in Kragujevac. Another important activity is the collaboration with OEBS and UNDP towards expanding capacity for management of conventional ammunition supplies.

Serbia also committed to continue to work on its own defense strategy, develop new military doctrines, create new laws and regulations, and implement the long term strategic plan developed by the Serbian Government in 2011. In order to participate in multinational military operations, Serbia is obligated to develop a national codification system that is compatible with NATO’s codification standards. This includes national laws in the area of defense, transportation of military personnel, equipment and weapons. Serbia has to work towards establishing new models of supporting its own troops once they are ready to participate in multinational military operations and also support the host country where these operations occur. In preparation for this kind of readiness, Serbia is obligated to develop new types of military education and training, in accordance with NATO and Boulogne standards. It also has to exchange information with partners about its military. Serbia’s military personnel will join trainings and multinational military exercises conducted by its partners. A regional center for the training of Serbian military was supposed to be open by the end of 2015 within the “South NATO Base.” It is unclear from this agreement if the base is located in Kosovo or elsewhere.

Modernization of Serbia’s military is already in progress, based on this agreement. This kind of modernization includes acquisition of more complex weaponry and military equipment, including drones, ground vehicles, airplanes, communications controls, and information technology. Serbia also has to complete reports on these acquisitions and negotiations with contractors. Serbia’s Military-Technological Institute is obligated to conduct research on the possibilities for better international cooperation, modernization of its own defense systems and connections with NATO. To that end Serbia will participate in numerous activities of the Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD) and coordinate its regulations with European regulations that control export of weapons.

Information Campaign

When the Serbian government signed the 2014 agreement with NATO’s Partnership for Peace, it also accepted an obligation to develop a public information strategy for collaboration with the Partnership for Peace in order to ensure public support. This public support should be displayed for both Serbia’s participation in NATO and Serbia’s own military force. Serbia is committed to participating in the NATO program called “Science for Peace and Security” and will inform the general public about it. For this purpose, informational events will be organized on a regular basis, and information will be posted on the Serbian Military Defense website. [xl] There will be a positive institutional atmosphere created for Serbia’s participation in this program by supporting development of infrastructure and tax-free acquisition of research technology. It is implicitly suggested that it is NATO’s obligation to provide tax-free scientific equipment and research technology.

Serbia also accepted the obligation to improve its relationships with other countries in the region. Some of these countries are partners or members of NATO. It is not specified what countries the agreement refers to. By the end of 2015, all documents and plans for emergency situations and crisis management were supposed to be completed and accepted by the Serbian government. Serbia also participated in regional multinational military training in 2014 and 2015, according to this Agreement.

Serbia’s Agreement with NATO Regarding Logistical Support

Serbia signed another agreement with NATO’s Support and Procurement Organization (NSPO) in the area of logistical support. This agreement was completed in Copenhagen in September, 2015. At the beginning of 2016 the Serbian Parliament passed a law that ensures implementation of this agreement.

In the preamble of the Agreement it is emphasized that as a participating member of NATO’s Partnership for Peace Serbia expressed interest in services provided by NSPO in order to establish cooperation in the areas of logistics, operations and systems support. It is also noted that Serbia signed an Agreement on the Security of Information and the Code of Conduct with NATO in 2008. In 2015, NATO consented to provide the Republic of Serbia with support services. These services include, but are not restricted to, supplies, maintenance, procurement of good and services, transportation, configuration control and technical assistance. The Government of Serbia will pay for the cost of these services provided by NSPO.

Article 4 of the Agreement also reads: “Under no circumstance shall this Agreement lead to any liabilities for NSPO or NSPA.” The Serbian Government waived all claims for injury, death or damages resulting in normal use or operation of materials and services. Shipments are insured by NSPO. In terms of security requirements any exchange of classified information must comply with requirements outlined in NATO’s Security Policy. Both parties committed to treat information belonging to the other Party as classified information and avoid disclosure, dissemination or transfer.

NSPO, its assets, income and other property are exempt from all taxes and other duties, customs and quantitative restrictions on imports and exports. NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) personnel shall be integrated with the personnel of NATO’s Military Liaison Office (MLO), located in Belgrade. It is not specified where exactly this Office is located in Belgrade. It would be enlightening to conduct a survey among Belgraders to discover how many of them are aware that this MLO exists. This agreement gives NSPA personnel and their vehicles the right to free passage and access throughout the Republic of Serbia. NSPA personnel is also exempt from taxation by Serbia on salaries received from NSPA, movable property, or any income received outside Serbia. NSPA is allowed to contract directly for acquisition of goods, services and construction within or outside Serbia and such contracts are also exempt from duties taxes or other charges.

This agreement also has a settlement of dispute clause. As was the case with previous agreements, this one also determines that any possible disputes should be settled between the two parties without recourse to any national or international court or tribunal, including third party mediation. In other words, if Serbia is not satisfied with implementation of any of the provisions of this agreement, it will have to rely on the much more powerful NATO to examine any sources of disagreements. Since the Serbian government accepted all provisions by signing the agreement it would be fair to conclude that those government and military representatives either believed that NATO dispute resolution teams would be truly impartial, or that it was highly unlikely that any disputes would arise in the future.

Serbia’s Future With NATO?

Many questions can be posed about Serbia’s collaboration with NATO and future developments in the entire region. While Serbian Prime Minister Vučić and President Nikoliċ both stated multiple times that Serbia had no plans to become a NATO member, it is reasonable to conclude that the country has, nevertheless, accepted many obligations that are typically expected from NATO countries.

While Serbia needs to remain neutral based on its own laws, it is difficult to understand the constitutionality of the Serbia – NATO agreements. Additionally, we can ask ourselves whether various sets of Serbian government and military leaders believed that by collaborating with NATO they had a greater chance to be accepted by the European Union. Perhaps they were also hoping that NATO countries would in return pay for at least some of the damage that resulted from the 1999 bombing campaign. Have they have also hoped that NATO would commit to decontaminate certain areas affected by depleted uranium? Or was it all about their own preservation of power and control? Some researchers and political scientists have testified that nothing positive has come forward as a result of Serbia’s cooperation with NATO. The Director of The Serbian Center for Geostrategic Studies, Dragana Trifković, expressed her views recently, highlighting that it wasn’t in Serbia’s best interest to collaborate with NATO, adding that this could even hurt its regional interests.[xli]

Serbia’s politicians often repeat that, in accordance with their country’s main values, they continue to promote military neutrality by working closely with both NATO and Russia. Yet, many have observed that such “neutrality” remains quite asymmetric. Sergej Belous noted that Serbia had only two military exercises with Russia in 2015, while twenty two were performed with NATO. At the same time, it signed only two military agreements with Russia and twenty four with NATO. For that reason he added that this neutrality is “quite lame.”[xlii] Reuters also published an article by Aleksandar Vasović on July 3, 2016 entitled With Russia as an ally, Serbia edges towards NATO. The Serbian news agencies Tanjug and B92 reported just recently that Russia expected Serbia’s support for its efforts in Aleppo[xliii].

Maria Zakharova, spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said that it was a special humiliation to be dragged into NATO after fatal U. S. bombings. [xliv] The president of the Srebrenica Historical Project, Stephen Karganović had a similar idea and wrote about “Serbia’s march into NATO servitude.” He added that even though Serbia has laws on the books that prevent the government from joining any military block and require neutrality, government officials receive marching orders from their Western masters[xlv]. Tanjug reported on June 25, 2016 that Serbia already gave information about its security and military forces to NATO. This would be, indeed, consistent with the provisions of the above analyzed agreements to share data and relevant information. Regardless of different ways to approach this consistent cooperation with NATO, all of the agreements that Serbia signed with NATO can only be interpreted as heavily imbalanced, with one side—the Serbian side—accepting 90% of the obligations. It is often not clear what kinds of benefits stem from such agreements. In other words, it could be interpreted that Serbia accepted most obligations that stem from NATO membership, but since it is formally not a member, it cannot be given any rights exclusively given to members. At the same time, these deals seem profitable for NATO because they provide a platform for tax-free sale of data collection systems, military technology, and much more. They also provide additional avenues for NATO to be present on the ground in Belgrade and entire country.

The Serbian population doesn’t have a favorable opinion about their country’s relationship with NATO—the organization that waged a full scale war against them only seventeen years ago. In March of this year, the people’s voices were the loudest, demanding a referendum about NATO membership. Some local alternative and foreign media reported that as many as 10,000 people protested in downtown Belgrade on March 24, 2016, the anniversary of the beginning of NATO bombing[xlvi]. In the late 1990s Sara Flounders expected that the angry demonstrations against NATO would spread across the region, but over the years they have remained for the most part relatively small and easy to contain[xlvii]. The Serbian population is still struggling with economic, health, and social devastation, which makes it difficult to uncover concealed information and find time to organize. Additionally, it remains to be seen if the information campaign aimed at improving the image of NATO will become effective in the near future. The upcoming months and years might become critically important for the future of Serbia and the entire region.

Notes

[i] The corporate media and politicians often used this phrase throughout the 1990s: before, during and after the NATO war against Serbia. See: Barry Lituchy. Media Deception and the Yugoslav Civil War. In: NATO in the Balkans. 1998. New York: International Action Center. p. 205; also, Inside Milosevic’s Propaganda Machine, July 4, 1999 TIME magazine. http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,27726,00.html

[ii] The use of depleted uranium was confirmed by multiple sources including U. S. and NATO officials. See: http://educate-yourself.org/cn/depleteduraniumlegacyyugoslavia28aug13.shtml

http://www.globalresearch.ca/15-years-on-looking-back-at-natos-humanitarian-bombing-of-yugoslavia/5375577

Michele Chossudovsky. 2003. NATO’s War of Aggression Against Yugoslavia. ahttp://www.globalresearch.ca/natos-war-of-aggression-against-yugoslavia-2/5517027

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-u-s-nato-military-intervention-in-kosovo/1666

Shay Lafontaine. NATO and the Humanitarian Dismemberment of Yugoslavia. Counterpunch, May 17, 2016. http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/17/nato-the-humanitarian-dismemberment-of-yugoslavia/

Also see: Michael Parenti. 2000. The Rational Destruction of Yugoslavia. http://www.michaelparenti.org/yugoslavia.html

and Robert Fisk. 2000. Amnesty Internations: NATO Deliberately Attacked Civilians in Serbia. Independent, June 7, 2000. http://www.commondreams.org/headlines/060700-02.htm

[iii] This article was based on the report published by the Serbian News Agency SRNA. http://www.blic.rs/vesti/drustvo/posledice-nato-bombi-srbija-je-prva-u-evropi-po-smrtnosti-od-tumora/1c0wce1

[iv] NATO casualties are documented by multiple sources and they differ substantially. According to the Serbian officials, they are still confirming the exact civilian deaths, but the numbers that they published in 2013 include 2,500 dead and 12,500 injured civilians along with 631 members of Serbian armed forces in addition to 28 missing.

http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/number-of-victims-of-nato-bombing-still-unknown

[vi] Check out 2 documentaries by Boris Malagurski: The Weight of Chains and The Weight of Chains 2. http://weightofchains.ca/

[vii] The majority of Serbian population opposes any collaboration with NATO, as well as E. U. membership http://inserbia.info/today/201604/serbs-want-russia-do-not-want-eu-and-nato-poll/

[ix] This article was based on the report published by the Serbian News Agency SRNA; http://www.blic.rs/vesti/drustvo/posledice-nato-bombi-srbija-je-prva-u-evropi-po-smrtnosti-od-tumora/1c0wce1

[x] This article was based on the report published by the Serbian News Agency SRNA; http://www.blic.rs/vesti/drustvo/posledice-nato-bombi-srbija-je-prva-u-evropi-po-smrtnosti-od-tumora/1c0wce1

[xi] Michel Chossudovsky. NATO’s War of Aggression in Yugoslavia: Who are the War Criminals? Global Research, March 21, 2006. (reprinted the 1999 article) p. 2 http://www.globalresearch.ca/nato-s-war-of-aggression-in-yugoslavia-who-are-the-war-criminals/2144

[xii] Posledice upotrebe municije sa osiromasenim uranijumom: epidemija kanceroznih oboljenja:

http://www.mycity-military.com/Opste-vojne-teme/Posledice-upotrebe-municije-sa-osiromasenim-uranijumom.html

[xiii] Jasmina Vujić and Dragoljub Antic. March 31, 2015. Ekološke i zdravstvene posledice NATO bombardovanja 1999, sa akcentom na osiromaseni uranijum. http://www.nspm.rs/srbija-i-nato/ekoloske-i-zdravstvene-posledice-nato-bombardovanja-1999-s-akcentom-na-osiromaseni-uranijum.html

[xv] Irving Wesley Hall. Depleted Uranium for Dummies. Global Research, April 17, 2006. http://www.globalresearch.ca/depleted-uranium-for-dummies/2269

[xvi] Depleted Uranium Technical Brief: EPA 402-R-06-011. December 2006 https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-05/documents/402-r-06-011.pdf

[xvii] Example: Jasmina Vujić and Dragoljub Antic. March 31, 2015. Ekoloske i zdravstvene posledice NATO bombardovanja 1999, sa akcentom na osiromaseni uranijum. http://www.nspm.rs/srbija-i-nato/ekoloske-i-zdravstvene-posledice-nato-bombardovanja-1999-s-akcentom-na-osiromaseni-uranijum.html, p.

[xviii] Michael Parenti. 2000. To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia. New York: Verso. p. 121

[xix] A. Cockburn and Jeffery St. Clair. 2004. Imperial Crusades: Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yugoslavia. New York: Verso. p. 17

[xx] Gregory Elich. 2015. No War Crimes Here. Counterpunch, April 22, 2015. http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/04/22/no-war-crimes-here/ and Gregory Elich. 2006. Strange Liberators: Militarism, Mayhem, and the Pursuit of Profit. Llumina Press. Pp.

[xxi] Rade Biočanin and Mirsada Badić. The mystery of depleted uranium in NATO projectiles, p. 7 www.cqm.rs/2010/pdf/5/22.pdf

[xxii] Organ trafficking in Kosovo:

http://www.justiceinfo.net/en/tribunals/mixed-tribunals/2509-european-court-in-view-on-kosovo-organ-trafficking.html

http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/appeal-court-acquitted-two-in-medicus-case-03-03-2016

Clint Williamson, chief prosecutor of the Special Investigative Task Force (SITF), released a statement last year accusing KLA leaders of murdering a “handful” of people. The report follows the investigation of an earlier Council of Europe inquiry led by Dick Marty, a Swiss politician, in 2010. According to the investigation, senior officials led a “campaign of persecution” toward Serbs, Roma, other minority groups in Kosovo, as well as Albanians who either worked with Serbs or opposed the KLA.

Border kidnappings mentioned here: https://news.vice.com/article/kosovo-rejects-special-court-to-prosecute-organ-harvesting-and-other-alleged-war-crimes

[xxiv] Economic Desperation Forces Kosovars to Flee. Financial Times, March 26, 2015. https://www.ft.com/content/4a5b7426-d2cf-11e4-a792-00144feab7de

[xxv] Parenti, Ibid, p. 163

[xxvi] Diana Johnstone. 2002. Fools Crusade. Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions. NY: Monthly Review. P. 250

[xxvii] Ibid, p. 249

[xxviii] Andrej Grubaċić. 2010. Don’t Mourn, Balkanize! Oakland: PM Press. P. p. 146

[xxix] Ibid, p. 155

[xxx] Ibid, p. 38

[xxxii] Noam Chomsky. 2001. A Review of NATO’s War over Kosovo. Z Magazine, April-May, 2001 and Chomsky.info

[xxxiii] Gray Carter. 2014. Why did NATO bomb Serbia? There Must be Justice, May 30, 2014, p. 1

[xxxiv] Johnstone, Ibid., p. 266

[xxxv] Serbian authorities conceal agreements with NATO, Pravda.Ru, February 26, 2016, p. 2; http://www.pravdareport.com/news/world/europe/24-02-2016/133627-serbia-0/

[xxxvi]Ibid, p. 1; Resolution of the National Assembly on the protection of sovereignty, territorial integrity and constitutional order of the Republic of Serbia: http://www.parlament.gov.rs/Seventh_Sitting_of_the_Second_Regular_Session_of_the_National_Assembly_of_the_Republic_of_Serbia_in_2007.6537.537.html

[xxxvii] I received copies of all Serbia – NATO agreements analyzed in this article from a Serbian friend. I am not sure how easy or difficult it would be for “ordinary Serbian residents” to obtain any of these copies.

[xxxviii] Check out 2 documentaries by Boris Malagurski: The Weight of Chains and The Weight of Chains 2. http://weightofchains.ca/ in these two documentaries Malagurski interviewed numerous experts who provided data on the destruction of the Serbian economy and impacts on the working people and compared the case of Yugoslavia with examples from other countries.

[xl] However, at earlier this year, the public support for any collaboration with NATO stayed as low as 11%. http://inserbia.info/today/201604/serbs-want-russia-do-not-want-eu-and-nato-poll/

[xlii] Serbia’s Asymmetric Neutrality: Teetering Between NATO and Russia. Nyatider.nu https://www.nyatider.nu/serbias-asymmetric-neutrality-teetering-between-nato-and-russia/

[xliv] Rt.com news article about Serbia being dragged into NATO, February 22, 2016. https://www.rt.com/news/333218-serbia-joining-nato-humiliating/>

[xlv] Stephen Karganović. Serbia’s march into NATO servitude. The Saker, July 11, 2016. http://thesaker.is/serbias-march-into-nato-servitude/

[xlvii] Sara Flounders. 1998. NATO in the Balkans. New York: International Action Center. p. 9

By Milina Jovanović

04-09-2016

Bosnia: The cradle of modern jihadism?

Сребреница српска

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 central Bosnia in 1994. “Bosnia gave the modern jihadist movement that narrative. It is the cradle.”

UN firefight

Conventional wisdom holds that it was the fight against the Soviet Union’s occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s that created the modern notion of jihad or “holy war”. Aimen Dean’s point is that the West and the Salafists (or adherents to a strict form of Islam going back to observance in the Middle Ages) were on the same side in Afghanistan, but became enemies in Bosnia.

At first, in 1992, it was just a few dozen militants who went to defend their co-religionists in Bosnia, as Serbian paramilitaries drove them from their homes in the west and east of the country. But it was in early 1993, when it became a three-way fight against Catholic Croatians as well as the Serbs, that the Mujahideen Battalion swelled to the hundreds and started to hunt non-believers more actively.

mujahideen

After Croatian militias massacred around 120 Bosnians in Ahmici in April 1993, the Mujahideen were involved in numerous reprisals. At Guca Gora monastery two months later, they drove out nearly 200 Croatians, who were evacuated by British United Nations troops. They then entered the chapel, desecrating its religious art, and filmed themselves doing

British troops fought the Mujahideen Battalion at Guca Gora and elsewhere in the summer of 1993 – the opening shots of that army’s fight against jihadism. Vaughan Kent-Payne, then a major commanding a company of British troops involved in those battles, says the foreign fighters were “way more aggressive” than local Bosnian troops, frequently opening fire on the UN’s white-painted vehicles.

In the nearby town of Travnik, that had been almost equally Muslim, Croatian and Serb before the war, the foreigners helped drive out thousands, and tried to impose Sharia law on those who remained. They were also involved in kidnapping local Christians, and beheaded one, Dragan Popovic, forcing other captives to kiss his severed head.

‘They did Bosnia a disservice’

The Popovic case eventually went to court, so the facts have been well established. But the Mujahideen Battalion was also suspected in many others including the kidnap and murder of aid workers as well as the execution of 20 Croatian prisoners.

bosna_39The foreigners never amounted to more than one per cent of the fighting force at the disposal of the Sarajevo government, despite the frequent claims of the Serb and Croatian media to have spotted Islamic fanatics from abroad just about everywhere. From an early stage the Mujahideen also started recruiting Bosnians and, by 1995, in the final months of the war, the incorporation of several hundred local men allowed the outfit to be expanded into the Mujahideen Brigade, around 1,500 strong.

By the summer of 1993, the Sarajevo government was starting to wake up to the potentially toxic effect of these jihadists on their image as a multi-ethnic, secular republic. So, in an attempt to control it, the battalion was placed under the command of III Corps, the Bosnian Army formation headquartered in the central city of Zenica.

Its commander at the time, Brigadier General Enver Hadzihasanovic, ended up facing a war crimes trial in the Hague on charges of overall responsibility for some of the Mujahideen’s behaviour, including the Travnik kidnappings. In the end, the prosecution dropped those charges, but the general served two years, having been found guilty of having (Bosnian) troops under him who had abused prisoners.

From the outset, the general had felt the Mujahideen were a dubious military asset, and wrote a secret message to army chiefs in 1993, saying: “My opinion is that behind [the Mujahideen] there are some high-ranking politicians and religious leaders.” Reflecting now on the jihadists’ participation in the war he adds, “they didn’t help Bosnia at all, on the contrary, I think they did Bosnia a disservice.”

However, as the general’s 1993 memo implied, there were some leaders, including Alija Izetbegovic, Bosnia’s President at the time, who were happy to welcome the foreign fighters, partly as a way of keeping wealthy Arab donors sweet.

Recruiting ban

When the war ended, under the Dayton Peace Accord, all foreign fighters had to leave, and they were duly ordered out in 1996. Remembering that day, Aimen Dean says there were high emotions, shouting and tears at the Mujahideen base: “And the reason is because everyone was there hoping to die as a martyr. Now that chance was taken from them.”

Hundreds of Mujahideen went from Bosnia to Chechnya, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Among their alumni were two of the 9/11 hijackers, the murderer of American hostage Daniel Pearl and numerous other al-Qaeda cadres.

More than 300 of the foreigners remained in Bosnia, buried in its soil, a testimony to the heavy casualties taken by the unit. A few dozen Arabs who had met local women or were fearful of going home also managed to stay, by taking Bosnian citizenship.

Today also there are suggestions in Sarajevo that the SDA – the late President Izetbegovic’s party – is not taking a tough enough line against foreign fighters. Only this time they are the hundreds of Bosnians who are choosing to fight in Iraq and Syria. There is “a recalcitrance from more radical elements of the SDA” about condemning those who go to the Middle East to fight, says one Sarajevo diplomat.

In fairness, the Sarajevo government has taken action to ban recruiting for foreign wars (in the name of any religion or cause) and has mounted numerous raids to disrupt extremist networks and arrest those who have returned from fighting in the Middle East.

However, its critics note that for years it turned a blind eye to those Arab Mujahideen who remained in Bosnia but continued to agitate, and has allowed several communities of home-grown Bosnian Salafists to emerge in recent years.

Among those who link what is happening now with the 1990s is Fikret Hadzic, who has been charged with fighting for the so-called Islamic State in Syria. He met our BBC team but said that legal restrictions prevented him giving an on-camera interview, however he was happy to be quoted in print.

Hadzic had joined the Mujahideen unit in 1994. For years after the war he worked as a driver and mechanic before deciding he needed to join the fight against “the Assad Shia regime” in Syria. While he insisted he was not a member of IS, and disapproved of its methods, Hadzic told us that before returning from Syria last year he had met some Bosnian members of the organisation who appeared in an IS video that was released this June.

Other Bosnians who served with that unit back in the war include the leader of an important Salafist mosque in Sarajevo, and Bilal Bosnic, who is in detention awaiting trial. Bosnic is charged with recruiting fighters for the Islamic State group.

With IS now trying to start a “new front for the Caliphate” in the Balkans, there are many who worry that Bosnia is vulnerable because it remains so weak and fragmented, even two decades after its war ended.

Linguistic Engineering: New “Boshnjak” Identity and “Bosnian” Language

10481028976_9aeab4bcd3_b_Bosnia

On November 21st, 2015 it was the 20th anniversary of the 1995 Dayton Peace Accord – a treaty signed by four Presidents (the USA, Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina) that led to an end of the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

As a result of the Dayton Peace Accord a new “independent and internationally recognized state” emerged: Bosnia-Herzegovina as a confederation of two political entities (the Republic of Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation) but ethnically strictly divided into three segments composed by the Serb, Croat and Muslim (today Boshnjak) controlled territories. In contrast to the Republic of Srpska (49% of the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina) the Muslim (Boshnjak)-Croat Federation is cantonized on the ethnic basis.

However, Bosnia-Herzegovina is today just another non-functional western project – a country that is not independent; it is a Western protectorate, a territory, fully dependent on international financial donations and credits. The country is ethnically divided as imposed by US-NATO without any inter-ethnic cooperation between the three leading ethnic groups.

Nevertheless, one of the most important features of post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina is a creation and existence of a new ethnolinguistic and ethnonational identity – the (Muslim) “Boshnjaks” who speak the “Bosnian” language as a separate and independent language from the family of the South Slavic languages. This is an artificial construct with a view to creating ethnic and linguistic divisions.

The political consequences of  the “Boshnjak” project are of international significance: this ethnonational identity is based Islam and Muslim political ideology as all other identity components, including the language which in the 1980s was Serbo-Croatian. Subsequently, the Muslim Boshnjaks accepted all components of political Islam ideology and as a consequence the world is today faced with the fact that the Muslim part (cantons) of Bosnia-Herzegovina is the first European Islamic State (the second one is Muslim Albanian Kosovo) – a country that is a main European recruitment center for the Middle East Jihad fighters.

Nevertheless, the political project of making the “Boshnjak” ethnonation required and the creation of a separate ethnolanguage for such ethnonation in order to prove that the Boshnjaks deserved to be treated as a separate nation with their own independent state.

The object of this article is to present the process of making separate (from Serbian, Croatian and Montenegrin) Boshnjak ethnolinguistic national identity by using the technique of “linguistic engineering/chirurgic” in the process of creation of an independent (from Serbian/Montenegrin and Croatian) Bosnian language as a national language of Bosnian-Herzegovinian South Slavic Muslims (former speakers of common Serbo-Croat language). We will present as well the ways in which various elements of linguistic diversity within former Serbo-Croat language have been “emblematized” and taken as markers of ethnonational and political identity of Muslim Boshnjaks in multicultural/multiconfessional Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1993, when official Boshnjak ethnonational identity was introduced, up today.

The relationship between language, nation and state is a part of an ideological composition either in Bosnia-Herzegovina or in the rest of the Balkans (similarly to majority of European regions). Bosnia-Herzegovina is a Balkan historical province where the consequences of the clash between national ideologies, which are both domestically rooted and imported from outside with more or less autonomous currents of thinking and behaviour, have been deep and extreme.

Importedideology of the 19th century German Romanticism of linguistically rooted ethnonational identity and solving the national-state problem (“Eine sprache, ein folk, ein staat”) is fused with more autonomous currents that were heavily imbued with “bloody memories” from WWII and resulted in what is labelled  to be  “post-Communist nationalism”. Such amalgamation became a basis for the creation of increasingly homogeneous states with rejuvenation of inter-ethnic intolerance.

The land of Bosnia-Herzegovina is probably the best Balkan example of a crucial interface between language and nationalism. For the purpose that they are separate nations all three major ethnoconfessional players in Bosnia-Herzegovina legally proclaimed their own national languages to be disconnected with Serbo-Croatian.  That was of especial importance to the Muslims/Boshnjaks as without “evidence” that their native language is different from Serbian and Croatian they will hardly convince the international community that they are not originally Serbs or Croats, which was a crucial justification of their claims to live in internationally independent “national” state organization.[1]

The Bosnian language (de facto of only Muslim Boshnjaks), as a separate (South) Slavic one, was officially inaugurated in 1996 by publishing the book: S. Halilović, Pravopis bosanskog jezika (Orthography of Bosnian Language) in the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina – Sarajevo. According to the Orthography… (and other similar publications), Bosnian language is different in comparison with “relative” Serbian and Croatian because of the following main reasons:

  1. The use of phoneme “h” in certain words differently from Serbian, Croatian and Montenegrin. For instance, the word coffee” is written and pronounced in these languages as: in Bosnian: kahva; Serbian/Montenegrin: кафа/kafa; Croatian: kava; in Bosnian hudovica (widow), in Serbian/Croatian udovica, etc.
  2. Greater use of “Turkish” words (i.e. of Oriental origin) like ahbab (friend); amidža (uncle); adet (custom/habit), akšam (twilight), etc. (all of these words are known in Serbian, Montenegrin and Croatian languages but not used regularly as they are replaced by the Slavic words).[2]
  3. Using of only one form of the Future tense: “ja ću kupiti/kupit ću” (I will buy) that is used in standard Croatian as well, but no use of forms “купићу/ја ћу да купим” as in standard Serbian/Montenegrin.[3]
  4. The use of Ijekavian sub-dialect of the Shtokavian dialect but not the Ekavian one of the same dialect.[4] However, Ijekavian sub-dialect is used in spoken and standard language by all Serbs, Croats and Boshnjaks westward from Drina River (historically and politically separating Serbia from Bosnia-Herzegovina) and by Serbs in Western Serbia and by all Slavs in Montenegro.

Nominally, the Bosnian language is written in both Latin and Cyrillic scripts. However, in practice it is only in Latin (like Croatian) for the purpose to break any link with the Serbs for whom the Cyrillic script is (by language law) the first, while Latin is the second national alphabet.[5]

48 a 1994 etnicka BiH

It has to be emphasised that Croatian, Bosnian, Montenegrin and Serbian Latin script is identical. In a historical context, the native language of the inhabitants of Bosnia-Herzegovina (claimed to be Bosnian one) was written by three alphabets: “latinica” (Latin), “bosančica/bosanica” (Cyrillic) and “arabica” (Arabic). However, with regard to “bosančica”, the fact that this script came to mediaeval Bosnia-Herzegovina from Serbia and during the Ottoman rule is not recognized. It was known within the Bosnian Muslim feudal circles as “Old Serbia” up to the mid-19th century. At the same time Croatian philology claims that “bosančica” is Croatian national Cyrillic script. By “arabica”, undoubtedly, it was written in one of the most beautiful profane lyric, religious and fine literature – “književnost adžamijska”.[6]

Regardless of official domestic and international recognition of a separate Bosnian language, linguistically speaking, grammar and spelling of Serbian, Montenegrin, Croatian and Bosnian languages are broadly the same. [7] It shows that all four of them have the same origin, process of development and linguistic essence. Even the fact that there are 8% of lexical differences between them does not imply practical obstacles for understanding and communication in everyday life.

The common link that is connecting in practice and even in literature Bosnian with neighbouring Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian and Montenegrin languages are about 3000 Oriental words (“turcizmi”). For many of them there is no domestic Slavic alternative.[8]

One of the main problematic issues concerning ethno-linguistic-statehood reality of Boshnjaks is the fact that their ethnic, language and state names do not have the same terminology as in the majority of European nations (ex. Polish nation; Polish state; Polish language, etc.). In the other words, their ethnonational name – “Boshnjaks” does not correspond to the name of their national state – “Bosnia-Herzegovina” and both do not correspond to their national language name – “Bosnian”. In this context, why do Boshnjaks not speak the Boshnjak language but rather speak Bosnian? In this regard, it has to be said that originally from 1991 up to 1996 Boshnjaks pretended to officially speak theBoshnjak language (but never tried to rename Bosnia-Herzegovina into “Boshnjakia”). Such practice was even internationally sanctioned by the Dayton Peace Treaty in November 1995 when the text of the agreement was signed in four languages: English, Croatian, Serbian and Boshnjak (not Bosnian!).

However, very soon the ideologists of the Boshnjak ethnonational identity understood that international science of Slavonic philology is very suspicious upon the use of Boshnjak language as it is not at all rooted in the historical sources in which from the year 1300 up to 1918 is mentioned only the Bosnian language (in fact as a provincial language spoken by the Orthodox, Catholic and from 1463 Muslim communities).[9] The Bosnian language, as a mother tongue of all inhabitants of Bosnia-Herzegovina was especially promoted at the time of Austro-Hungarian administration in this province from 1878 to 1918.[10] However, such solution was decisively rejected by the Serbs and Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina who called their languages after their ethnic names. Thus, the idea of the Bosnian language at that time (as today as well) was accepted only by local Muslim inhabitants.[11]

Nevertheless, the Austro-Hungarian policy of the Bosnian language as a native one of all inhabitants of Bosnia-Herzegovina is accepted today by those who advocated the Bosnian language as a mothertongue of Serbs, Croats and Boshnjaks from Bosnia-Herzegovina and of the Boshnjaks from Sandžak area (Рашка in Serbian language and historiography). The last one was devided after 1913 between Serbia and Montenegro but before 1878/1908 being a part of the Ottoman province (pashaluk in Serbo-Croat) of Bosnia (not of Bosnia-Herzegovina!) which existed from 1580 to 1878/1908.[12]

The truth is that in the 15th and the 16th centuries “Bosnian” (or “Serbo-Croat” or “Serbian” or “Croat”) language was the second diplomatic and official language at the court in Istanbul (after the Turkish one) due to the fact that at that time there were many high Ottoman officials and the Janissaries[13] in Istanbul (including and Grand Vizirs) originating from Bosnia-Herzegovina. However, this fact became the basis for the claims that the  Bosnian language was at that time some kind of Balkan lingua franca and a diplomatic language in Europe. Nevertheless, the sources are telling us that in the most cases the local South Slavic population of ex-Serbo-Croat language (especially those from Dubrovnik) have been calling their language as  “our language”, “Slavic language”, “Illyrian language”, etc., but only in very rear cases by ethnic names.[14]

The creators and promoters of a separate Bosnian language, in order to prove their standpoint, have applied the technique of “linguistic engineering”, similar to their Croatian colleagues concerning the Croatian language.[15] In both cases, it was and is done for the very purpose to prove that their ethnic groups are linguistically independent which enables them to call themselves separate nations  internationally recognized as independent nation states according with the right to self-determination. However, in contrast to Croatian case, Bosnian “linguistic engineering” is not based on the introduction of neologisms[16] but rather on the re-introduction of Oriental words which had been brought to the Balkans by the Ottoman authorities (those words are of Turkish, Arab and Persian origin).

In conclusion, we can say that the problem of official recognition of a separate Bosnian language of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Boshnjaks can be solved taking into consideration two standpoints:

  1. Linguistic standpoint.
  2. Socio/polito-linguistic standpoint.

De facto (linguistically), Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin languages are part of one standard-linguistic system. They express unity in orthography, grammar, morphology, syntax, phonology and semantics. For instance, all of them have 30 phonemes (25 consonants and 5 vocals). Between them there are only app. 8% lexical differences (including and “neologisms”). However, there is a tendency to create lexical differences with a view to creating barriers, in order to firmly justify ethno-linguistic and state-political differentiation. The obvious fact is that the level of understanding is almost 100% (excluding the most newest neologisms).

De Jure (in socio/polito-linguistic point of view) these four languages are separate ones and  internationally recognised. While Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin are considered separate languages in essence they are they same language.

The crucial technique of “linguistic engineering” pertaining to the Bosnian language is its lexical Orientalization with the three sociolinguistic and ethnonational tasks to be achieved:

  1. Inner homogenization of Boshnjak nation
  2. Denacionalization of Croats and Serbs within Bosnia-Herzegovina (by suggestion that all inhabitants of this state speak the Bosnian language)[17]
  3. External heterogenization of ethnoconfessional Boshnjak nation in relation to the neighbouring Serbs and Croats.[18]

The politics of “linguistic engineering” in the case of the Bosnian and Croatian languages was implied for the final aim to create firstly independently standardized national languages within officially common Serbo-Croatian one (during ex-Yugoslav (con)federation) and later (after collapse of Yugoslavia in 1991) internationally recognized separate languages by deepening and using as much as the dialectical/regional differences of the same spoken Serbo-Croatian language. The ultimate result was that minor speaking differences were proclaimed for the national characteristics and as such have been used to be lay the foundations of the newly declared autonomous national languages. Consequently, the common Serbo-Croatian language has ceased to exist together with a common Serbo-Croatian nationality.

Finally, the Muslim community in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 20th century is no longer a religious community. It has been categorized and internationally recognized as a national identity with its own national language. However, Boshnjaks, Croats and Serbs from Bosnia-Herzegovina (likewise from Montenegro, Sandžak or ex-Republic of Serbian Krayina) all speak the same language which in the 20th century came to existence as Serbo-Croatian with a shared historical past.

If one were to apply a German Romanticist criteria upon ethnonational identity Serbs, Montenegrins, Boshnjaks and majority of the Croats would be considered as a single ethnolinguistic nation with the right to live in a unified nation state organization with a common identity.

2. Sotirovic 2013

Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic

www.global-politics.eu

globalpol@global-politics.eu

© Vladislav B. Sotirovic 2016

_____________________

Endnotes:

[1] An extra ordinary feature of Bosnia-Herzegovina is that it covers the fault lines between three major confessions: Roman Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Islam. From this point of view, local nationalism(s) are not only ethnic; they are even more confessional ones.

[2] Lexical differences have been a primary criterion for the establishment of a separate Bosnian language.

[3] However, both Serbs from Eastern Herzegovina (regularly) and Western Serbia (in many cases) are using future tense construction “ja ću kupiti/kupit ću” like in standard Bosnian and Croatian.

[4] Former Serbo-Croat language was composed by (officially) three dialects: Chakavian, Kajkavian and Shtokavian. The last one became standardized literal language for Serbs, Croats, Montenegrins and Muslims/Boshnjaks. Shtokavian dialect was/is subdivided into three sub-dialects: Ijekavian (mlijeko = milk), Ikavian (mliko) and Ekavian (mleko). Ikavian is not standardized.

[5] Similar policy of using alphabet in Bosnian language was pursued by Austro-Hungarian authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1878–1918.

[6] Besides these mentioned, historically, on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina have been used and Glagolitic and Greek scripts.

[7] According to the Constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina official languages are: Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian. Such constitutional-linguistic situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina is quite similar to the Swiss one – Italian, French and German (plus Romansh, spoken by very small community).

[8] During the Bosnian-Herzegovinian civil war of 1992–1995 Bosnian-Herzegovinian Serbs tried unsuccessfully to purify their language by elimination of the “Turkish” words. However, in many cases it was impossible without creation of new neologisms (ex: čarape=socks, šećer=sugar, pamuk=cotton, etc.). It is interesting that common nickname for Bosnian Muslims given by the local Christians, but also and as a group name used by Bosnian-Herzegovinian Muslims to identify themselves, was Turci (the Turks). The Bosnian-Herzegovinian Christians used and the term poturice (those who became the Turks, i.e. convertors). The Bosnian-Herzegovinian Muslims, on the other hand, called the real ethnolinguistic Turks (Turkish language speakers) from Anatolia as Turkuše or Turjaši.

[9] In historical sources the name Bosanski jezik (Bosnian language) is mentioned for the first time in the year of 1300. It is true that the earliest Slavonic philologists like P. J. Šafaŕík, J. Dobrovský and J. Kopitar used the term Bosnian language but only as provincial speech of all inhabitants of the Ottoman Pashaluk of Bosnia but not as a language of Bosnians in ethnic term.

[10] For instance, according to the decree of 1880 for Austro-Hungarian administration in Bosnia-Herzegovina existed only Boshnjaks who are by confession divided into those of Muslim, Catholic and Orthodox denominations. In general, Austro-Hungarian administration in Bosnia-Herzegovina very much favored local Roman Catholic and Muslim inhabitants at the expense of the Orthodox.

[11] It has to be emphasized that even before Austro-Hungarian administration in Bosnia-Herzegovina the local population used the terms Bosnian (“bosanski”) for the language and Bosnians (“Bosanci”) for themselves as inhabitants of this province alongside with more pure ethnic names Serbian/Serbs and Croatian/Croats.

[12] Ottoman Pashaluk of Bosnia before 1683 encompasses and parts of historical territories of Croatia and Dalmatia.

[13] Vinko Pribojević, a Dominican friar from the island of Hvar in Dalmatia in his De origine successibusque Slavorum (Venice, 1532) pointed out that Ottoman sultans appointed many South Slavs as the commanders of his army and that 20.000 of his guard (the Janissaries) are recruited among the Thracians, Macedonians and Illyrians (for Pribojević all of them have been South Slavs – aboriginal Balkan people, speaking one language that was later on called “Serbo-Croat”). With the help of them the Ottomans subjugated many states and peoples in Europe.

[14] Mavro Orbini, a Benedictine abbot from Dubrovnik, in his famous pan-Slavic book (“the Bible of pan-Slavism”) De regno Sclavorum (in Italian version Il regno degli Slavi), printed in Pesaro in 1601, was very clear telling that all South Slavs are speaking the same language and composing one nation within a wider network of united ethnolinguistic Slavdom. More precisely, he inclined to call all speakers of ex-Serbo-Croat language of Shtokavian dialect as the Serbs. However, a Croatian nobleman of German origin from Senj, Pavao Ritter Vitezović (1652–1713) in his political-ideological-programmatic book Croatia rediviva: Regnante Leopoldo Magno Caesare, Zagreb, 1700 claimed that all Slavs, including and those in the Balkans, originated from the Croats and speaking in the essence Croatian language with regional dialects. The essence of both Orbini’s and Ritter’s (likewise Pribojević’s) writings is that all South Slavs (especially the Shtokavians) are composing one ehnolinguistic group (in modern sense – nation).

[15] “Linguistic engineering” of Croatian language can be followed even from 1967 when a majority of the most important Croatian scientific, literal and cultural institutions signed a Declaration upon the name and position of Croatian literal language (“Deklaracija o nazivu i položaju hrvatskog književnog jezika”) requiring to be officially separated from Serbian one and purified from the so-called “srbizmi” (the words of a Serbian origin).

[16] Croatian neologisms in fact have to replace both the international words (not translated in Serbian) and common Croato-Serbian words in order to make a deeper distance between Croatian and Serbian languages for the sake of lesser understanding as a crucial proof that these two languages and ethnic groups are separated. For instance: korjenoslovstvo (etymology), narječoslovstvo (dialectology), točnozor (sniper), vrhoskuplje (summit), odmoridbenik (tourist), veleprevrat (revolution), etc. There were and such proposals for neologisms which hardly took roots like: okolotrbušni hlačodržač (belt for trousers), uljudba (civilization), vrtolet (helicopter), prosudba (mark), etc.

[17] The first President of post-Yugoslav independent Bosnia and Herzegovina and a leader of ruling Muslim political Party of Democratic Action (SDA), Alija Izetbegović, was known as an author of nationalistic Islamic Declaration from 1970 according to which any form of multiculturalism and multiconfessionalism was not possible for the Muslims who have to establish pure Islamic society firstly by Islamization of the whole Muslim community.

[18] The most problematic and unproved in the sources hypothesis upon the ethnic origins of the Boshnjaks (supported by, for instance, Bosnian linguist Dževad Jahić) is that they are posteriors of the mediaeval Bosnian Bogumils who allegedly have been a separate ethnic group, i.e. not Serbs or Croats.

Balkan geographic map

The Authoritarian Militarization Of The Croats

blajburg-ustase

The internal and much more external destruction of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s was celebrating in 2015 its 20th years of anniversary. However, this historical and much more geopolitical event still needs a satisfactory research approach in regard to the true geopolitical reasons and political-military course of the destruction of this South Slavic and Balkan state. During the last quarter of century, the (western) global mainstream media unanimously accused Serbia and the Serbs for the national chauvinism as the main cause of the bloody wars on the territory of ex-Yugoslavia in the 1990s. However, the role and direct impact of the other Yugoslav republics and nations in the process of killing the common state was not taken (purposely) into the consideration; especially of the Croats and Croatia as the biggest nation and republic after the Serbs and Serbia. This article is an attempt to contribute to the full-scale of understanding of the process of destruction of the former Yugoslavia taking into account the role of Croats and Croatia.

The Croat ultranationalists (i.e., the followers of the Ustashi movement) called in the 1990s for the full scale of Croatia’s militarization in order to achieve their chauvinistic and racist political goals of the Croat-based ethnically pure independent (a Greater) Croatia. In their opinion, a full or complete political independence of the ethnically pure Croatia within the borders of the Socialist Republic of (a Greater) Croatia could be reached only by the open war against Croatia’s Serbs and the Yugoslav authorities, but not negotiating with them. In this respect, a leader of the most ultranationalist political party in Croatia – the HSP (the Croat Party of Rights), Ante Đapić, was clear in his statements to abandon the political activity if a single part of the territory of Croatia is going to be lost by the negotiations with the Serbs.[1] The WWII Ustashi (Nazi) movement followers openly advocated in the 1990s a full scale of the war against “the Serb aggressors” for the sake to gain Croatia’s independence. That was done at least for two crucial reasons:

  1. They believe that a struggling for the Croat nation’s ethnopolitical goals was a legitimate framework of both a beating the Serb nationalism and fulfilling the Croat historical task of creation of the Greater Roman Catholic Croatia without the Orthodox infidels.
  2. They sponsored the attitude that the Serbs cannot be trusted as a nation to negotiate with them about the peaceful agreement on the disputed issues with the Croatia’s Government and therefore the war was the only way to pacify the Serbs from Croatia according to the pattern of the pacification (i.e., the ethnic cleansing) of the Palestinians in Israel.[2]

Henceforth, the “Israelization” of a Greater Croatia became the ultimate goal of the Croat ultranationalists in their policy to Croatia’s Serbs. In order to achieve their “Israelization” political goals, the Ustashi followers in the HDZ’s (the Croat Democratic Union) governed Croatia followed exactly the militarization pattern of the ethnic Croat society in the WWII Independent State of Croatia. Therefore, the most ultranationalist Ustashi political party in the 1990s Croatia – the HSP, established its own ruthless paramilitary party’s militia in 1991 under the name of the Croat Defense Forces (the HOS) with using all kinds of the WWII Ustashi regime insignia followed by several similar militia detachments by other Croat ultranationalist organizations. The Croatian state army (the HV) was, nevertheless, during the 1990s under direct influence and control by the most extremist wing of the ruling HDZ that successfully cooperated with the HOS and the other Croat paramilitaries in the West Herzegovina and the North and Central Bosnia in the military actions of ethnic cleansing of the Orthodox Serbs and the Muslim Bosniaks.[3]

The eminent militarization of the ethnic Croat society in the 1990s was in direct coordination with the fundamental task of all Croatia’s Croat ultranationalists that all other rights and duties of the society have to be put in the service of the state interests. As all ultranationalist segments of the ethnic Croat society in Croatia fought for the independent pure ethnic Croat Croatia, the ultimate ethnopolitical goal of them was to mobilize all ethnic Croats for the execution of the “Final Solution” in regard to the “Serb Question” in a Greater Tito-Tuđman’s Croatia. Therefore, the authoritarian political system and government based on the absolute HDZ’s majority in the Parliament were necessary in order to achieve this goal. As an example, the experience of the Latin American dictatorships in the 1970s and the 1980s of a centralized political system, strong military-police forces, oppressed freedom of the mass-media, and above all a silent opposition were activated. A parliamentary multi-party democracy became just a façade of a classical Latin American dictatorship[4] as a western parliamentary democracy[5] was understood as a harmful experiment for the realization of the Croat ethnopolitical goals primarily against the Serbs.

The alternative to the parliamentary democracy was only a one-party’s dictatorship that could save Croat national interests from the destructive nature of the parliamentarian democracy. Subsequently, in the 1990s it was established in Croatia a HDZ’s one-party political system with strong cult of leadership of the President Dr. Franjo Tudjman, who was seen in the eyes of the right-wing political structures as a political reincarnation of the WWII NDH’s (the Independent State of Croatia) führer, Ante Pavelić. Tudjman, as an inviolable dictator of Croatia, was even proclaimed by some of the HDZ’s members and other right-wing followers as a “Father of the Homeland” like by Hrvoje Šošić who was a leader of the Croat Party (the HS) and a MP.[6] In essence, the Croat extremists only gave a declarative support to the liberal democratic institutions while in the practice rejected them as the political framework within which the national goals are going to be reached. However, a formal support for the liberal democracy and its political institutions were of the very practical nature to present a newly independent Croatia as a western-type democratic political system in contrast to Milošević’s Serbia as an expression of the Balkan/Oriental autocracy. Hence, the HDZ’s Croatia pretended to present herself as a last bulwark of the European civilization and values in the South-East Europe. Nevertheless, in the practice, the HDZ functioned in all ways that undermined a real democracy even to a greater extent than Milošević’s regime in Serbia at the same time. The extremist wing within the HDZ, including and Tudjman himself, openly used all kind of mechanisms of political oppression against the opposition that was proclaimed as the enemy of the Croat nation and Croatia and collaborators with the Serbo-Chetnik aggressors. As in many cases of personal dictatorship, Tudjman as well saw himself as a personification of the state and state institutions. In the other words, he attempted to equating his own personality with the survival of Croatia. As the opposition leaders and party’s members have been constantly under the physical intimidation as the „betrayers“ of Croatia it was created very inhospitable political atmosphere for any sincere democratic talks and exchange of the views. Surely, Tudjman’s regime in Croatia was much more effective in silencing its own opposition than Milošević’s regime in Serbia. It is visible at least from the fact that in Tudjman’s Croatia there was no single mass-meeting of the opposition against the regime differently to Serbia under Milošević’s strong hands. The latter finally and lost power exactly after the mass-protests in Belgrade on October 5th, 2000 (the first „Colored Revolution“ in Europe).

Хрватска данас

Tudjman’s authoritarian dictatorship was especially hostile towards the opposition press that was considered as a fifth column in Croatia. The opposition journalists were accused for irresponsible (miss)usage of their freedom of expression. As a matter of fighting against the opposition press, it was introduced a special (illegal) taxation of independent weeklies but primarily of the most anti-regime’s newspaper – the Feral Tribune from Split. During the election campaigns, the opposition parties were denied equal and full access to the state-controlled press and TV, likewise in Serbia, and therefore violating one of the fundamental elements and conditions of the parliamentary democracy. Hence, the electoral results theoretically were not fair what does not mean that a majority of the ethnic Croats from Croatia would not vote for the HDZ in the case of fair electoral campaign. Similarly to all totalitarian regimes, the HDZ’s controlled Parliament passed a special law (in the spring 1996) for „defamation“ against the state officials. However, such or similar law did not exist in Milošević’s Serbia. Tudjman’s personal efforts to make stronger his own political (authoritarian) position in Croatia at any cost of liberal democratic institutions are obvious and very similar to his counterpart in Serbia in the 1990s with one difference: Tudjman was more successful in destroying liberal democracy in Croatia in comparison to Milošević’s efforts to do the same in Serbia.

For the HDZ’s political leadership, „without Franjo Tudjman there would be no HDZ and without the HDZ there would be no Croatia“.[7] It is clear that Tudjman’s party attempted to equating itself with the creation and survival of the post-Yugoslav Croatia while Tudjman himself attempted to personalize the institution of the presidency. Any opposition to himself or his political party were seen as the opposition to Croatia as the stare and the Croats as the nation that is probably mostly visible from the fact that Tudjman as a President of Croatia refused to ratify electoral results for the Zagreb municipality’s mayor in 1995 as the opposition leader won under the excuse that Croatia’s capital cannot be in the hands of the enemies of Croatia.

As a part of anti-liberal policy, the liberal-democratic notion of the citizenship was crucially challenged by the HDZ’s ruling authority as the voting rights for the state and the other public officials became based on the ethnic (Croat) background rather than on the residence criteria. Therefore, it was practically reserved twelve seats in Croatia’s Parliament for the ethic Croat diaspora for the very reason that the HDZ was and is traditionally supported by the Croat diaspora especially from Bosnia-Herzegovina. The citizenship law was also changed in the favor of the ethnic Croat diaspora as Croatia was proclaimed as the motherland of all ethnic Croats.[8] However, a similar ethnocitizenship/voting law in Milošević’s Serbia was never introduced at least for the very political reason that the Serb diaspora in the West opposed his policy as anti-Serbian. In the other words, Milošević’s Serbia was seen, by the Constitution, as a homeland of all her inhabitants, rather than only of all ethic Serbs wherever they live.

Probably, the HDZ’s deny of any kind of the regional autonomy in Croatia was the expression of the policy of anti-liberal democracy concept of minority rights. Therefore, the regional parties of Istria, the Serbian Krayina and Dalmatia suffered mostly from such policy of a brutal centralization of Croatia. However, in Milošević’s Serbia, two regions of Vojvodina and Kosovo-Metochia enjoyed at least ethnocultural regional autonomy if not political one as it was fixed in the time of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia according to the 1974 Constitution (up to 1989).

2. Sotirovic 2013

Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic

www.global-politics.eu

globalpol@global-politics.eu

© Vladislav B. Sotirovic 2016

___________________________________

Notes:

[1] Interview with Ante Đapić (July 13th, 1994), J. A. Irvine, “Ultranationalist Ideology and State-Building in Croatia, 1990−1996”, Problems of Post-Communism, July/August 1997, pp. 36, 42; Glas Slavonije, Osijek, August 18th, 1995.

[2] Interview with Ante Đapić (July 13th, 1994), J. A. Irvine, “Ultranationalist Ideology and State-Building in Croatia, 1990−1996”, Problems of Post-Communism, July/August 1997, pp. 36, 42. On the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by the Israeli Jewish authorities, see: I. Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Oxford: Oneworld, 2011.

[3] For instance, in the case of the village of Ahmići in the Lašva Valley (the Vitez municipality) on April 16th, 1993 when around 120 Bosniaks were massacred by the forces of the Croat Defense Council (Ch. R. Shrader, The Muslim-Croat Civil War in Central Bosnia: A Military History, 1992−1994, College Station, Tex., 2003, 92−95).

[4] On the Latin American dictatorships, see: S. Mainwaring, A. Pérez-Liñán, Democracies and Dictatorships in Latin America: Emergence, Survival, and Fall, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013; J. Dávila, Dictatorship in South America, Chichester: Wiley−Blackwell, 2013; J. A. Galván, Latin American Dictators of the 20th century: The Lives and Regimes of 15 Rulers, Jefferson, NC−London: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2013.

[5] On democracy, see: B. Crick, Democracy: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press, 2002; Ch. Tilly, Democracy, Cambridge−New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007; J. B. Pilet, W. P. Cross (eds.), The Selection of Political Party Leaders in Contemporary Parliamentary Democracies: A Comparative Study, New York: Routledge, 2014.

[6] According to Tanjug, May 21, 1995.

[7] Novi list, October 15th, 1995.

[8] On the concept of citizenship, see: W. Kymlicka, Multicultural Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights, Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press, 1995; R. Bellamy, Citizenship: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press, 2008; É. Balibar, Citizenship, Cambridge, UK−Malden, USA: Polity Press, 2015. The same citizenship concept, for example, is accepted by all three Baltic states after the collapse of the Soviet Union: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

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From The History of Anti-Russian Policy: The First Balkan Alliance (1866−1868)

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The creation of the First Balkan Alliance against the Ottoman Empire in 1866–1868 in the light of territorial requirements of the Balkan states and nations at the expense of the decreasing power of the Ottoman authorities and the Ottoman state integration was the first political-military treaty on the mutual cooperation by the Christian Balkan states and nations. The secret paragraphs of bilateral military-political contracts between Greece and Serbia and Serbia and Montenegro in regard to territorial inheritance of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans are the most important points of the treaty.

Serbia became a leader of the Balkan coalition and the main champion of the idea that the “Eastern Question” had to be resolved by the Balkan peoples in the war against the Ottoman Empire without interference of the great European powers. The pivotal impetus for the making of the First Balkan Alliance came from the side of Serbia’s prince Mihailo I Obrenovic (1860−1868) whose predominate political task in the foreign policy was to create a South Slavic state under the Serbian leadership, which would be composed by all South Slavic territories in the Ottoman Empire. For that purpose he needed a cooperation of the other Balkan Christian states and the peoples as Serbia was not strong enough to solely defeat the Ottoman Empire. The most reasonable solution was to create a joint Balkan military-political defensive-offensive coalition which will military defeat the Ottoman Empire and expel the Ottoman authorities from the Balkans as a fundamental precondition for the creation of the united South Slavic state in the Balkans.  

Surely, the main diplomatic efforts of the Balkan Christian states from 1860 to 1868 was put to create a joint Balkan political-military alliance against the Ottoman Empire. The purpose of this defensive-offensive pact was to solve the “Eastern Question” without interference of the great European powers in the Balkan affair implementing the principle “the Balkans to the Balkan peoples!” This principle was founded on the axiom that each European nation, smaller or bigger, has a right to self-determination and ethnic unification into a single national state. Subsequently, the “Eastern Question” had to be resolved by expulsion of the Ottomans from the Balkans and division of their Balkan possessions among the Balkan Christians. The chief initiator for the negotiations, which should lead to the agreement of the common Balkan alliance was the Principality of Serbia. The idea of Balkan federation or confederation emerged during the negotiations as well as the plan to make in the future a united South Slavic state composed by Principality of Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slavonia, Dalmatia, Bulgaria, Kosovo-Metohija, Thrace, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Either the Balkan Federation/Confederation or the South Slavic/Yugoslav Empire had to be a principle guarantee for the real independent life of the Balkan nations freed from the tutorship and control by the European states especially Russia, Italy and the Habsburg Monarchy. However, in fact, such South Slavic state would be under protectorship of France and Great Britain as their Balkan colony and bulwark against especially Russian influence into the region.

The negotiations passed through two phases: I) from 1860 to 1865, and II) from 1866 to 1868. In both of them the crucial bone of contention became how to share the inheritance of the Ottoman territorial possessions in Europe. To fix the exact borders between the Balkan states after the defeat of the Ottoman army has been from that time till the end of the Second Balkan War in 1913 always a principle obstacle for the fruitful cooperation of the Balkan nations. Especially as an apple of discord appeared to be Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The First Balkan Alliance was finally created in 1866, 1867 and 1868 by signing bilateral agreements between Serbia and Montenegro, Serbia and Romania, Serbia and Greece and by reaching the oral agreements between Serbia and the Croatian National Party, Serbia and the Bulgarian revolutionaries, Serbia and the Christian Albanian representatives and finally Romania and the Bulgarian representatives in Bucharest. The prime importance of these either signed or oral agreements is that they represent for the first time in the

17 Balkans after Berlin Congress 1878

Balkan history a regional unity politically directed towards the national liberation. These agreements were reached principally because of the two reasons:

  1. All Balkan Christian states and nations had a common enemy – the Ottoman Empire; and
  2. All of them became afraid that the foreign powers, on the first place Russia and Austria, will resolve the “Eastern Question” in their favor by dividing the spheres of influence in the region not taking into consideration the wishes and interests of the Balkan nations.

The core of the First Balkan Alliance was Serbia and the pivotal advocate of it was her ruler prince Mihailo I Obrenovic. However, the alliance was not effectuated because the general Balkan revolution and war against the Ottoman Empire was to be postponed, in fact till 1912, for three reasons:

  1. Prince Mihailo I was assassinated in Belgrade on June 10th, 1868 and the new Serbian monarch prince Milan Obrenovic, a minor at that time, followed other options to solve the “Eastern Question”;
  2. Neither Balkan state was prepared enough in military and diplomatic points of view to wage the war at that moment against the Ottoman Empire; and
  3. Austria-Hungary (from 1867) became extremely hostile towards the idea of the Balkan revolution which will lead to the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and unification of the Serbs by inclusion of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo-Metohija, Macedonia and Montenegro into a greater/united Serbia.

After the Habsburg military debacle in the Prusso-Austrian and the Italo-Austrian Wars of 1866 the main concern of Austrian foreign policy became to annex Bosnia-Herzegovina that means direct collision with Serbia and the deterioration of diplomatic relations with Russia. In essence, the idea of Austria-Hungary concerning the Balkan affairs was that the Ottoman Empire should not be dismissed in Europe, but just reformed.

Nevertheless, the First Balkan Alliance gave two fundamental attainments to the Balkan peoples, which were realized at the beginning of the 20th century:

  1. An inspiration for a union of their forces for the national liberation against the Ottoman Empire, which was achieved after the First Balkan War of 1912–1913 won by the members of the Second Balkan Alliance; and
  2. A notion of united South Slavic lands, which was mainly realized after the First World War by creation of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes on December 1st, 1918.

However, the First Balkan Alliance from the 1860s was clearly French design and primarily anti-Russian. Namely, the Polish uprising against the Russian authorities in 1863 influenced Napoleon III to create a new plan for redrawing European national borders which would have great consequences for the Balkan affairs in the case of its implementation. More precisely, in March of 1863 the French emperor informed the Austrian ambassador in Paris, count Metternich, regarding his idea of a new political map of Europe:

  1. The historical Kingdom of Poland would be reestablished within the borders which Poland had before its First partition in 1772;
  2. The reestablished united Kingdom of Poland (including and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania) would be governed by one Habsburg archduke;
  3. Italy would gain the province of Venice from Austria;
  4. Austria would be territorially compensated by annexation of Silesia and Serbia;
  5. France would annex the region of the Rhine;
  6. Prussia would, as territorial compensation, annex the Kingdom of Saxony and the Kingdom of Hanover; and finally
  7. The European possessions of the Ottoman Empire would be divided between the Balkan states.

Clearly, such Napoleon’s plan to remap Europe was in essence anti-Russian and creation of some „Yugoslavia“ at the Balkans was a part of his anti-Russian policy. Nevertheless, Franz Joseph I (1830–1916, the emperor of Austria and the king of Hungary from 1848 to 1916) rejected this plan because the British diplomats saw in this plan Napoleon’s intention to reestablish French supremacy in Europe.[1] At the same time, the Serbian government became acquainted with Napoleon’s new plan to cede Serbia to Austria in July 1863 through Italian deputy in parliament, Vegezzi-Ruscal.[2]As a consequence of these events Serbia lost confidence in France’s Balkan policy.

As a kind of political answer Belgrade intensified its own propaganda among the South Slavs and developed a network of agencies for the preparation of an anti-Ottoman revolution, especially in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The fundamental task for intensification of the Serbian national work in the Ottoman province of Bosnia-Herzegovina (the so-called Pashalik of Bosnia that also included the territory of Rashka/Sanjak) at the time of the Polish uprising of 1863–1864 was Serbia’s intention to impede the realization of Napoleon’s idea of ceding this Ottoman province to Austria as a compensation for Austrian evacuation of Venezia Giulia – an idea that was contrary to the Serbian national interest. For this reason, Serbian national propaganda and other activities in the Pashalik of Bosnia were developed to such extent that in February 1864 the governor of this province, Osman-pasha, warned the Sublime Porte in Istanbul that Belgrade had already completed preparing the Bosnian Serbs for the uprising: 1) Serbia had armed them with weapons and ammunition produced in Serbia; 2) Serbia had established a revolutionary network within the whole territory of the province; and 3) Serbia had concentrated its own military forces along its border with Bosnia. By the spring of 1864 the Ottoman authorities were so convinced that the Balkan revolution would soon break that they started concentrating their forces along the Serbian and Romanian borders in Bulgaria, Rumelia and Bosnia. As a part of military preparations against Serbia and Romania the Porte instituted obligatory military service in both Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania. According to the Russian diplomatic reports from Albania, the Ottoman policy towards the Albanian tribal aristocracy became softer and many Albanian feudal lords (beys) returned to state offices.[3] A new number of the Muslim Tatars and the Cherkezs were settled in Bulgaria along the Serbian border as a protective measure against the Serbian aggression on the Ottoman Empire in addition to 150,000 Tatars and Muslim Circassians living in Bulgarian territory after the Crimean War (1853–1856).[4]The Ottoman military plan was to have these Muslim settlers, expelled by the Russian authorities from the Caucasus area, serve as frontiersmen along the Ottoman military frontier in the Balkans. Nevertheless, the Ottoman military intervention against Serbia and Romania was finally thwarted only because of the French diplomatic intervention in Istanbul in 1864.[5]

 

2. Sotirovic 2013Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic

www.global-politics.eu

globalpol@global-politics.eu

© Vladislav B. Sotirovic 2016

Endnotes:

[1] Seton-Watson R. W., “Les relations de l’Autriche-Hongrie et de la Serbie entre 1868. et 1874”, Le Monde Slave, № 2, Paris, 1926, p. 433; Bourgeois E., Manuel Historique de Politique Entrangère, III, Paris, 1924, p. 369.
[2]Diplomatic Archives of Serbia, Archives of Ilija Garašanin, “Ilija Garašanin to Vegezzi-Ruscal”, concept, August 27th, 1863, Belgrade.
[3]Diplomatic Archives of Serbia, Archives of Ilija Garašanin, Belgrade, “A copy of report of Russian consul in Rumelia and central Albania to the director of the Asiatic Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs”, Bitola (Monastir), March 15th/27th, 1864, № 77 (translated from Russian).
[4] Poulton H., The Balkans. Minorities and States in Conflict, London, 1994, p. 117.
[5]Archives du Ministère des Affaires Étrangères, Paris, vol. Turquie, Belgrade, “Botmillian to de Lhuys”, August 23rd, 1864, Belgrade, № 85.

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U.S. Geopolitical Games In Montenegro And Proven Winning Approach by Đukanović

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In December last year, NATO officially invited Montenegro to become the 29th member state of the most powerful military organisation of our times, if not, in fact, of all time. The country’s Prime Minister, Milo Đukanović, assured the NATO secretary-general that “you can count on us at any time.” It is always nice to hear that someone has your back. But in Montenegro’s case, it means that they have our back with an entire active-duty military force of only two thousand personnel. It is not quite clear how the tiny nation of less than 700,000 people enhances U.S. security in the slightest. In fact, one might argue that adding Montenegro to NATO actually detracts from U.S. security.

That the invitation will have flattered the already over-inflated ego of the country’s Prime Minister, Milo Đukanović, and his ruling clique, there is, of course, little doubt. Nevertheless, this was flattery to deceive, for as everybody knows, Montenegro’s voice in NATO will be like a whistle in a whirlwind.

With an ‘ideological war’ being waged in the small Balkan nation over the last several months, city streets across the country have been turned into a battlefield between the government and pro-democracy, anti-NATO demonstrators. Now it looks as though the government of Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic will avoid risking a referendum on the issue.

Ironically, the Montenegrin government’s official Twitter account cited the prime minister as saying that Wednesday’s decision was a “historic day…the most important after the 2006 referendum,” (in which voters narrowly chose to secede from Montenegro’s union with Serbia).

Although Montenegro’s opposition, the Democratic Front coalition, formed in 2013, has repeatedly assailed the Đukanović clique for its corrupt, criminal, nepotistic clientelism, for its vote-rigging and for its abusively manipulative relationship with the media, none of which has shaken US support for Đukanović.

All the Balkan nations have the same tradition – they unite to face a common threat despite all the differences. The one who identifies the threat, who unites and protects the people, can surely count on their loyalty and support. Political strategists of the Milo Đukanović had no scruples in taking advantage of this virtue during the election campaigns of 2006, 2008, and 2012.

This year election wasn’t doomed to make an exception. The prime-minister and his team prepared two scenarios relying upon the police and special services as a repressive factor.

First of all, the first scenario envisaged a threat coming from the outside. It’s an open secret that nationalists still hatch a design to reconstruct “Greater Albania” with southern Montenegro in mind. Besides one shouldn’t forget about unrecognized Kosovo teeming with terrorists who have been granted a pardon by the West. Memories about the 90s full of tragedy and sorrow are still alive in memory of Montenegrins, that is why series cross-border collision were elaborated. A military conflict would have entitled the authorities to impose emergency rule and consequentially postpone the parliamentary elections sine die.

This scenario could have passed, although it had to be thoroughly prepared. However, there was a certain restriction that played a key role. Countries with border conflicts are not allowed to join NATO, so another way to raise an international scandal and start political intrigues was chosen.

It was an arrest of 20 Serbians accused of a coup attempt. They were charged with preparing acts of terrorism in Podgorica and even kidnapping of Milo Đukanović! It does’t matter that no evidence has been found to this very day. What is more, instead of looking for evidence the investigative bodies involved destroyed it. According to Milivoje Katnić, chief special prosecutor of Montenegro, “the weapons for the terrorist attacks were seized and destroyed within the territory of a foreign country”.
There is an amusing coincidence. Six of the detainees have been released despite the gravity of the charges. As many as 14 people are still under arrest, exactly the same number of people were arrested during the parliamentary elections back in 2006. The only difference is that they were Albanians then.

Some facts suggest that the “Serbian threat” was staged by Milo Đukanović himself. Provocateurs of a person called Pajo Božović recruited the “conspirators”. Đukanović personally ordered that 100 militants formed into four groups should be trained. For this very purpose Božović hired a number of provokers and built up financing via tried out scheme of “Prva Banka Crne Gore” (First Bank of Montenegro). The Bank issued the money to certain people who then paid the deceived Serbs. The records of telephone conversations of Božović (+3816540XXXX) also point to this fact. Why were Serbs chosen to fall victim of a provocation? Since the well-known referendum on Montenegro’s independence Serbs have been Milo Đukanović’s key enemy. It is primarily Serbs making a little fewer than half of Montenegro’s population who pose a real opposition to the NATO membership plan cherished by the prime-minister.

Furthermore, it was necessary to “appoint” a suitable conspiracy leader. Former commander of Serbian Gendarmerie Bratislav Dikić ideally suited for this role. On receiving a call from a former colleague, he moved on to Montenegro in order to put two and two togeteher what was going on and foil the provocation whatsoever. The phone call records (+3816414XXXX, +3826902XXXX) testify to the fact that the coup plotting and staging were Božović’s handwork, with influential persons of Montenegrin special services being involved.

The next was the corrupt media to join the battle by overblowing a scandal. Apart from it, the chief special prosecutor took active part in the crude provocation against Dikić by accusing Serbs of mounting a coup with no proof presented.

These mean steps taken by Đukanović made it possible to have the population frightened and impact the election results. The second scenario finally worked out. Innocent people were tossed into jail under trumped-up charges. They are undoubtedly being exerted pressure on in order to disclose the sort of evidence Milo Đukanović needs.

Since the EU, NATO, and Western countries accepted the election in Montenegro, it all looks like a large-scale crime against Montenegrins and people of Serbia.

Frankly, adding Montenegro to NATO is ridiculous. New York City would be a more useful NATO member. After all, according to Michael Bloomberg, the New York City Police Department “is the seventh largest army in the world.” With just under 35,000 officers, the NYPD is over seventeen times larger than the Montenegrin armed forces. In fact the NYPD budget, clocking in last year at $4.8 billion, amounts to just under half of Montenegro’s GDP. Adding New York City to NATO also has the additional benefit of not worsening tensions with Russia.

Facetiousness aside, NATO expansion is no laughing matter. It is nothing personal against Montenegro, but its addition to NATO is simply irresponsible. It will not contribute to U.S. security and will serve as another point of contention with Russia. The U.S. senate should exercise its veto power over Montenegro’s invitation into the alliance when it is introduced, and in the future should put the kibosh on any more attempts at NATO expansion that don’t contribute to U.S. security.

2016-10-26

By Alice Donovan

The European Union, Moral Hypocrisy, and Stroking Tension in the Balkans

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Over the past several years, analysts and commentators have noticed a rising tide of domestic support for the Croatian homegrown Nazi movement of the Second World War, the Ustashe, which actively exterminated Serbs, Jews, and Roma in the territory it controlled from 1941-45. Far from condemning this alarming development, the Croatian government, the European Union, and non-state actors within it have tacitly and actively supported the rising tide of sympathy towards the Ustashe.

This disconnect between the ostensible “European values” of human rights and tolerance that the European Union claims to represent, and its tacit support of trends towards extremist politics in Croatia will have a significant impact on the increasing trend of Euroscepticism in Serbia and other Balkan states. Furthermore, the Union’s unabashed condemnation of legitimate populist movements in Europe, including but not limited to the Brexit campaign, as “racist” and “xenophobic,” while quietly supporting genuinely extremist political elements will contribute to the increasingly popular perception of the EU as a morally bankrupt and hypocritical entity.

Surge in Ustasha Sympathy

The Republic of Croatia has, since its independence, often reverted to the imagery of its Second World War predecessor; the Independent State of Croatia (NDH). The NDH was a puppet state sponsored by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, and was administered by the Ustashe. During its brief four-year lifespan, the NDH made use of a form of clerical fascism built on the basis of discrimination and systematized liquidation of non-Croatian elements within its boundaries. It was responsible for the deaths of anywhere between 300,000 to 600,000 Serbs and tens of thousands of Jews and Roma.

While restricted by law, Ustashe symbolism is freely exhibited at sporting events, political rallies, and all manners of public gatherings. The penalties for these displays are often restricted to a small monetary fine. By comparison, German law (Strafgesetzbuch section 86a) stipulates that a fine and/or a sentence of up to three years imprisonment will be administered.

Ustasha support among football hooligans (including a recent event during Euro 2016 where Croatian fans openly brandished swastikas) has been popular for decades; a more alarming trend is the active and tacit support of the Ustashe movement and legacy coming from the Croatian government. Earlier this year, the government of Croatia was condemned for appointing Zlatko Hasanbegovic, a prominent and open admirer of the Ustashe regime to be the country’s minister of culture. Croatia’s president, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, is an avid fan of the pro-Ustashe musician Marko Perkovic “Thompson” and, while describing the Ustashe regime as “criminal”, also stated in the past that the NDH “at least protect[ed] the interests of the Croatian people” during its short and incredibly violent reign.

Silence at Best, Encouragement at Worst

Despite ongoing reports by international NGO’s of state-sponsored discrimination against Croatian Serbs and routine desecrations of Serbian churches and cultural monuments at the hands of pro-Ustashe elements in the country, the European Union has remained almost completely silent on the issue of growing pro-Ustashe sympathies in the Croatian government and political scene.

Rather than condemn the rising tide of Ustashe sympathy in the country or denounce the appointment of Ustashe sympathizers to some of the Croatian government’s highest ministries, the European Union has chosen to tacitly support the creeping return of political extremism to Croatia. On June 15th, an exhibition dedicated to Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac was held at the European Parliament, one of the EU’s most important institutions of governance. Cardinal Stepinac, who served as the Croatian Catholic Archbishop of Zagreb from 1937 to 1960, was an active supporter of the Ustashe regime and according to prominent Balkan historian Bernd Jurgen Fischer “had close association with the Ustashe leaders as the archbishop of the capital city, had issued proclamations celebrating independent Croatia, and welcomed the Ustashe leaders.”

The European Union has yet to respond to any of the criticisms lodged against it for hosting an event dedicated to a key supporter of a Nazi-backed regime that murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians during the Second World War.

Ustashe

A recent definition (photo) of the Ustashe regime in the leading German language dictionary ‘Duden’ as a “movement which fought against ‘Serbian centralism’” has also provoked a firestorm of controversy and a rapidly growing online petition sponsored by the humanitarian organization 28 Jun. (full disclosure: we are both members of this organization). The definition makes no reference to any of the Ustashe’s well-documented and numerous crimes against civilian populations, giving it the appearance of a legitimate political movement with reasonable aims. These recent events are contributing to the growing sentiment among many Serbs who feel alienated by the European Union, and as if a double standard is being applied with regards to Serbia.

Loss of Credibility

Since Serbia attained candidate status in 2011, the European Union has imposed on it a host of requirements and stipulations that ostensibly deal with human rights and unresolved issues stemming from the Yugoslav Conflicts of the 1990’s. The Serbian government has largely complied with the conditions imposed on it by the European Union and has committed itself to the EU through acts such as extraditing members of its own government and “normalizing” relations with the Republic of Kosovo (a self-declared state which unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008) at the behest of the European Union. Additionally, many EU states voted in favour of a failed UN resolution that sought to classify the controversial events in Srebrenica in 1995 as “genocide”.

Given the fact that the European Union has both passively supported the rise tide of extremist political inclinations in one of its member states by refusing to condemn it and actively supported it by hosting exhibitions in its honor, Serbs’ enthusiasm for joining the EU will likely continue to wane. The European Union has demonstrated a lack of integrity and even-handedness in upholding its stated human rights values by enforcing relatively harsh standards for Serbia while imposing virtually none on Croatia, even going as far as openly supporting some of Croatia’s worst historical human rights abusers. Coupled with growing Eurosceptic sentiments in both Serbia and Europe as a whole, the European Union’s quiet support of radicalized politics in Croatia could jeopardize the EU’s strategic goals of acquiring Serbia as a member.

Furthermore, the double standard shown by the European Union in its dealings with Croatia and Serbia represent yet another example of the moral hypocrisy of the European Union. While top EU officials were quick to denounce legitimate populist movements such as the Brexit campaign as racist and xenophobic, those same officials and institutions have done nothing but tacitly support genuinely extremist politics in Croatia. Eurosceptic parties such as Front Nationale and the Austrian Freedom Party are routinely branded as “far right” and “radical” while political extremism in Croatia is allowed to flourish. If the European Union does not take steps to meaningfully combat this moral hypocrisy, then it is likely that the trend of increasing skepticism towards the Union will continue to rise unabated.

2016-10-13

About the authors:

Nenad Dumanovic is the founder and principal of Impressify, an Alberta-based content marketing company. He is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s Honours political science program and wrote his thesis on Bitcoin and the political, legal, and regulatory ramifications of digital currency and financial technology. Nenad is an active member of 28. Jun, a Canada-based not-for- profit organization and is launching Konstantine, a digital magazine about current events in the Balkans in Winter 2016.

Daniel Jankovic is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s History and Economics program. He studies history and economics, and has an avid interest in political discourse and international relations, especially in regard to the Balkans of Southeastern Europe. He recently completed an in-depth analysis on the death of the residential bar and its social impact in the Balkans. The paper is slated to be published in several academic journals in the upcoming year. He is an active member of 28. Jun, a Canada-based not-for-profit organization and is launching Konstantine, a digital magazine about current events in the Balkans in Winter 2016.

Source: Modern Diplomacy

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Serbia: Parliamentary elections for the NATO/EU’s membership

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Author’s note: a draft version of the article was originally written at the end of December 2015 and published in March 2016. This is the extended article’s version.

On April 24th, 2016 Serbia faced three-level elections: for the national parliament, local municipalities and Vojvodina’s autonomous provincial administration. The elections did not cover Kosovo province as current Serbia’s pro-NATO/EU’s government already two years ago de facto recognized in its negotiations with the EU and Pristina’s government that this province is not any more an integral part of the legal and administrative system of the Republic of Serbia. Nevertheless, these elections were in the real sense of the meaning the historical once as it had to be finally clarified which “empire” Serbia is going to join in the coming future: the NATO/EU’s one or the Russian.

Kosovo

Serbia’s PM Aleksandar Vučić (originally from municipality of Bosnian town of Bugojno) had informed the nation on December 17th, 2016 after the session of the General Board of his ruling (and dictatorial western-backed) Serbian Progressive Party (SPP) that Serbia will face in the spring 2016 all three-level elections at the same time: the extraordinary parliamentary, the local and Vojvodina’s provincial. The purpose of the extraordinary parliamentary elections, according to the PM, was to obtain a full mandate for his SPP until 2020 in order to finish all designed “progressive” reforms in the country which is on the “stable and safe road”. However, the fundamental question was and is: what is the stable and safe road of the present-day Serbia?

One can ask why A. Vučić opted for the extraordinary parliamentary elections if it is known that his party has controlling the parliament with an absolute majority in coalition with (Slobodan Milošević’s established) the Serbian Socialist Party (SSP) and there are no any serious tensions in the society or any significant opposition to his in fact personal and party’s authoritarian regime which is overwhelmingly supported by the west?

The answer can be only one and simple: it is de facto decision by the main sponsor and even establisher of the SPP – the US embassy in Belgrade. A decade ago, the party was suddenly established by two top ex-radicals: Aleksandar Vučić – a Secretary General and Tomislav Nikolić – a vice-president of the Serbian Radical Party (SRP) which was in the 1990s in governmental and nato2-790x451parliamentary coalition with Slobodan Milošević’s SSP. From that time up to now the party’s main political course is the pro-western one, with the cardinal aim for Serbia (without Kosovo) to become a full Member State of the European Union (the EU) and of course of the NATO. The NATO’s membership is, however, not openly advocated for the only reason not to alienate the ethnic Serbs from Serbia (as a majority of population) from the western course of the party and now the government. Nevertheless, it is quite clear that these two memberships have to go together and even that Serbia, like the FYR of Macedonia or Montenegro, firstly has to join the NATO as the open doors for the EU’s membership. The practical problem for both the US and the EU administrations is that overwhelming majority of the ethnic Serbs from Serbia oppose Serbia’s membership to the NATO. According to many investigations of the public opinion during the last decade, it is clear that absolute majority of Serbia’s citizens do not want to see their country as a NATO’s member and even more, they will not support the EU’s membership if the NATO’s membership is a necessary condition. It is also clear that recognition of Kosovo’s independence has to be a crucial political condition for Serbia’s EU’s membership that is originally scheduled by Brussels to happen in 2020 or very soon after this year.

As the western client state of Serbia already started on December 14th, 2015 the final phase of the negotiations with the EU, the very practical problem for the western bosses of quasi Serbia’s independence is how to avoid national dissatisfaction and even possible revolution when Serbia will finally and de jure recognize Kosovo’s independence as a technical precondition for a full membership to the EU? Obviously, Washington decided to make as stronger as position of the SPP in the parliament after the new elections hoping that the party will form the government without making any parliamentary coalition. The hope was a real and realistic having in mind at least three fundamental facts:

  1. All Serbia’s mass media (excluding only part of the internet that is not making any serious influence to the electorate) is under a full Vučić’s (i.e., the US) control.

  2. The citizens of Serbia, including primarily the ethnic Serbs, are during the last 15 years of “democratic” regimes quite well bombed by the pro-western governmental and the NGO sector’s controlled media that the Uncle Sam could believe that their minds are already well prepared (washed) for the final decision to join the western (anti-Russian) train.

  3. The Russian factor in Serbia, due to such media situation and governmental-NGO’s anti-Russian propaganda, is already not serious obstacle for the realization of the crucial western political plans with this Balkan country (likewise with the FYR of Macedonia and Montenegro).

Russia

Obviously, Russia was and is the only great global power which historically was and still is protecting the national interests of Serbia and the Serbs and for that reason for Washington, Berlin and Brussels is clear that the Russian influence in the region, but above all among the Orthodox Serbs, has to be as much as minimized in order to totally transform Serbia and the Republic of Srpska (still part of Bosnia-Herzegovina) into their classical 19th century oversea political, economic and financial colonies as it was already done with all ex-Socialist Central European nations who joined both the EU and the NATO. The western long-term designs with the Serbs are, as well as, clear: to dismiss the Republic of Srpska in Bosnia-Herzegovina and to separate territories of Vojvodina and Raška (Sandžak in Turkish) from the rest of Serbia. In this case, Serbia will have state borders as it was already at the time between the Berlin Congress (1878) and the Balkan Wars (1912−1913). Nonetheless, with such post-2000 October Revolution Serbia’s governments and the Russian not proper political activity in the region such scenario is quite possible.

The Uncle Sam was realistically expecting that coming Serbia’s extraordinary parliamentary elections are going to be won (with absolute majority) by its client Vučić’s SPP due to expected absence of approximately half of Serbia’s electorate and already enough pro-western and anti-Russian washed brains of the majority of those who will vote. In this case the SPP will form extremely stable government in the parliament with an absolute majority of the seats. In fact, finally, it happened: Vučić’s SPP won 48,23% of the votes (electoral activity was 55%) and in a coalition with its traditional parliamentary collaborator Milošević’s SSP (10,98% of the votes) or even alone can continue with its authoritarian governmental practice for the next four years that is quite enough to irretrievably hook up Serbia’s wagon to the NATO/EU’s train composition.

The consequences are going to be drastic and even catastrophic for Serbia’s territorial integrity and national interest of the ethnic Serbs but for Russia as well, as the Russian influence in the region is going to be totally eliminated.

Finally, a great part of guiltiness for such situation is on the Russian side itself as Russia simply left the Serbs on the western mercy in 2003 when the Russian peace-keeping troops left both Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo. It is not also understandable why Russia is not financing and politically supporting any serious pro-Russian political party or NGO in Serbia, or at least why such party and/or NGO (if exists) is not profoundly supported by Moscow as it is openly done by Washington, Brussels and Berlin with their own client political parties and NGO’s sector. Vučić’s SPP is currently the most successful western financed and sponsored story in Serbia and Moscow very well know that party’s official policy of “and Europe and Russia” is only a great bluff for the people’s masses especially at the time of electoral campaigns. The SPP’s “stable and safe road” is a road to the NATO and the EU.

Question

But why Russia left Serbia to go on this road? The only reasonable and logical explanation seems to be that according to some secret deal between Washington and Moscow achieved even before Kosovo’s independence proclamation in February 2008, the Balkans is left to the western areal dominance at the exchange for the Transcaucasus and the part of East Europe (the East and South Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova) which are included into Russia’s sphere of influence.

Jpeg

Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic

Mykolas Romeris University

Institute of Political Sciences

Vilnius, Lithuania

www.global-politics.eu

globalpol@global-politics.eu

© 2016 by Vladislav B. Sotirovic

три срс смрада

Russia’s Balkan Politics: From the Politics of Pan-Slavic Reciprocity of the Tsarist Russia to the “Realpolitic” of the Republic of Gazprom Russia

800px-Imperial_Standard_of_the_Emperor_of_Russia_(1858–1917).svg

Abstract: This article investigates the Russian foreign politics at the region of the Balkan Peninsula after the dissolution of the Soviet Union at the time of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) World Order in relation to the Pan-Slavic ideals of intra-Slavic solidarity, reciprocity and brotherhood. The particular stresses are put on four main research topics: 1. The Pan-Slavism and Russia; 2. Relations between pro-Western and pro-Orthodox approaches of the Russian national interests on Russia’s domestic political scene; 3. Different attitudes towards the Balkans in Russia; and 4. Historical ties and future perspectives between Russia and the Serbs. A research methodology is based on investigation of the adequate historical sources and studying of the relevant scientific literature on the subject of our research. The main research results of the article show that: 1. Historically only (the tsarist) Russia was interested in protection of the Balkan Orthodox Slavs from any foreign power within the framework of the Pan-Slavic ideology of intra-Slavic reciprocity, solidarity and brotherhood; 2. The Balkan Orthodox nations have mostly to thank Russia for their state independence and preservation of national identities; 3. The post-Cold War Russia is only a taycoonized Gazprom Republic having no real intentions, at least until the 2014 Ukrainian crisis, to change the present day NATO’s World Order of Pax Americana; and 4. The Serbs and Serbia became the crucial victims of the post-Cold War perfect partnership in international relations between the West and the Gazprom Republic of Russia.

 Keywords: NATO, World Order, Russia, Serbs, Serbia, foreign policy, Balkans, South-East Europe, South-East Slavs, Pan-Slavism, international relations, global politics, Pax Americana

1. The Pan-Slavism and Russia

The Balkan Peninsula together with the region of the South-East Europe historically have been one of the most important focal points of the Russian foreign policy, cultural influences and attempts to spread ideology of the Orthodox solidarity and the Slavic reciprocity.[1] These ideas are common to almost all trends of the Russian public life in the past and today.

After Russia lost the Great Crimean War of 1853–1856 she intensified its cultural influence in the region of the South-East Europe for the purposes of beating the Habsburg (the Roman-Catholic) rivalry and to spread an idea of the Pan-Slavism in this part of Europe.[2] However, the Great Crimean War was in essence the British war against Russia (Figes, 2010; Lambert, 2011; Small, 2014) in order to stop further Russian victories against the Ottoman Empire (Isaacs, 2001, 156; Anisimov, 298−299). After this war it became obvious for Russia that the West European great powers[3] are her enemies, especially the United Kingdom. It will take even 50 years for Russia to sign a military-political agreement with the United Kingdom (in 1907) only after a final sharing the spheres of influence in Persia (Hans-Erich, 1985, 134).[4]

The political and economic rivalry between Russia, on one hand, and the Habsburg Monarchy (Austria-Hungary from 1867) and the German Empire (from 1871), on other, over the dominance at the Balkans was strongly affected in Russia by the growth of the Pan-Slavic sentiment, based on the common Slavic origin, mutual Paleoslavonic language, and above all it was grounded on emotional sentiment to liberate those South Slavs who were under the Ottoman yoke (Jelavich, 1991).[5] Historically, Russia had three pivotal interests in both regions the Balkans and the South-East Europe: 1) strategic, 2) cultural, and 3) religious (Castellan, 1992). It is important to stress a fact that Russia, together with the West European states, participated in the process of modernization of the eastern Balkan nations and states (Black, 1974).[6]

From a strategic point of view, the Russian diplomacy concerned the Balkans and the South-East Europe as essential for the Russian state security and above all for the stability of the Russian state frontiers.[7] The Russian intention was to obtain a favorable frontier in Bessarabia (today an independent Republic of Moldova) and to have control over the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, which became very important to the Russian commercial and economic development and geopolitical projects; in particular for the shipment of surplus grain from today Ukraine or known also as a Little Russia (Прыжов, 1869; Соловьев, 1947)[8] to the world markets.

 The Bosporus and the Dardanelles became a part of Russia’s “security zone” in both economic and political terms. The Russian main concern was to safeguard free passage through the Bosporus Straits to the Mediterranean Sea (Jelavich, 1973). Simultaneously, Russia intended to block the expansion of the other European great powers, particularly of Austria-Hungary and Germany, into the region.[9]

Taking religious and cultural aspects of the Russian interests in the Balkans and the South-East Europe, largely due to the Russian Pan-Slavic agitation, Russia succeeded to develop from 1870 a strong interest in the fate of the Balkan Slavs and the South-East European Orthodox Christians. The Pan-Slavism, based on the myth of the Slavic solidarity and primarily on the Orthodox Slavic reciprocity, which created strong ethnic, religious and cultural sentiments among the Slavic Orthodox population (but not among the Roman Catholic Slavs), became at the end of the 19th century one of the dominant driving forces behind the Russian policy in the Balkans and the South-East Europe. The myth of the Slavic solidarity and brotherhood exerted a considerable influence on many intellectuals and found support in official circles in Russia, Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria.[10]

The Tsarist Russia was sincerely trying all the time to reconcile the Slavic nations in conflict, especially those of the Christian Orthodox faith for the sake of the Pan-Slavic ideals of intra-Slavic solidarity, reciprocity and brotherhood. Probably the case of the Serbian-Bulgarian conflict in 1912−1915 over the Macedonian Question is the best example of such Russian policy of Panslavism. In the other words, Russia became the creator of the 1912 Serbian−Bulgarian treaty and recognized arbiter in 1912−1913 diplomatic conflict between Serbia and Bulgaria over the destiny of Macedonia after the Balkan Wars (Ћоровић, 1990а, 20−24). The Russian Balkan policy in this case was a real Panslavonic one as St. Petersburg wanted to satisfy territorial claims by both sides by negotiations and diplomatic agreement between Sofia and Belgrade. When Austria-Hungary declared war to Serbia on July 23rd, 1914 all Entente member states, including and Russia, were making pressure on Serbia to give territorial compensation (the Vardar Macedonia) to Bulgaria for the Bulgarian participation in the war against the Central Powers. Serbia was promised, like in the secret 1915 London Treaty, territorial concessions in the Western Balkans populated by the ethnic Serbs living in the Dual Monarchy. For instance, a Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sazonov, on August 5th, 1914 urged the Serbian Government to give to Bulgaria Macedonian territories up to the line Kriva Palanka−Ohrid with Struga for Bulgarian active participation in the war against Austria-Hungary and towns of Shtip, Radovishte and the lands up to Vardar river for Bulgarian “friendly neutrality”. For such Serbia’s sacrifice, Russia promised to Belgrade to support Serbia at the end of the war in realization of her “national ideals”. However, Sazonov was clear in this case that Serbia by giving such territorial sacrifice is going to very contribute to the Russian “life wish” to establish the Panslavonic fraternity and eternal friendship between the Serbs and Bulgarians (Радојевић, Димић, 2014, 138). The same territorial requirements to Serbia were vainly repeated once again by the Entente member states in 1915 before Bulgaria finally joined the war on the side of the Central Powers in October of the same year (Avramovski, 1985, 55−172; Трубецки, 1994, 21−158).

2. The Post-Cold War Russia between the “Westernizers” and the Patriots”

With the official end of the Cold War (1949−1989),[11] the Balkans, especially the question of the destiny of the former Yugoslavia, reemerged as one of the major concerns in Russia.[12] However, in fact, for the NATO and its leader – the USA, the Cold War is still on agenda of the global arena as after 1991 the NATO’s expansion and politics is directed primarily against Russia (Thompson, 1998) but China as well. Nevertheless, a fact that the NATO was not dissolved after the end of the Soviet Union (regardless on all official explanations why) is the crucial argument for our opinion that the Cold War is still reality in the world politics[13] and the international relations.

It has to be noticed that the USSR was simply dissolved by one man-decision – the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, who, concerning this matter, made a crucial deal in October 1986 with the US administration at two-days bilateral meeting with the US President Ronald Reagan in Reykjavik in Iceland (Wilson, 2014; Adelman, 2014). It is a matter of fact that the USSR was the only empire in the world history which became simply dissolved by its own government as the rest of the world empires were destroyed either from the outside after the lost wars or from the inside after the bloody civil wars or revolutions.[14]

In our opinion, there were three main hypothetical reasons for Gorbachev’s decision to simply dissolve the Soviet Union:

  1. Personal bribing of Gorbachev by the western governments (the USA and the EC).

  2. Gorbachev’s wish, as the first and the only ethnic Russian ruler of the USSR to prevent a further economic exploitation of the Russian federal unit by the rest of the Soviet republics that was a common practice since the very beginning of the USSR after the Bolshevik (an anti-Russian) Revolution and the Civil War of 1917−1921.

  3. Gorbachev’s determination to transform Russian Federation, which will firstly get rid of the rest of the Soviet tapeworm republics, into economically prosperous and well-to-do country by selling its own Siberia’s natural resources (gas and oil) to the West according to the global market prices.

In order not to spoil very good business relations with the West the Russian foreign policy during the last 23 years, up to the 2014 Ukrainian crisis, was totally soft and even subservient to the West to whose mercy Moscow left the rest of the world including and the ex-Soviet republics with at least 25 million of the ethnic Russian population outside the motherland. For the matter of comparison, Belgrade in 1991 also left all other Yugoslav republics to leave the federation free of charge, at least for the second Gorbachev’s reason to dissolve the USSR, but with one crucial difference in comparison with the Russian case in the same year: the ethnic Serbs outside Serbia were not left at mercy, at least not as free of charge, to the governments of the newly (an anti-Serb) proclaimed independent states emerged on the wreck of (an anti-Serb and dominated by Croatia and Slovenia) ex-Yugoslavia.[15] That was the main sin by Serbia in the 1990s and for that reason she was and still is sternly fined by the West.[16]

Russia’s policy and attitude towards the South Slavs in the Balkans after the dissolution of the USSR is a part of a larger debate over Russia’s “national interest” and even over the Russian new identity (Laruelle, 2012). Since 1991, when its independence was formalized and internationally recognized, Russia has been searching for both her national identity and foreign policy.

The intellectual circles in Russia have debated very much over the content of the Russian national self-identity for centuries. On the one hand, there were/are those who believe that the Russian culture is a part of the European culture and as such the Russian culture can accept some crucial (West) European values in its development, especially from the time of the emperor Peter the Great (1672−1725).[17] This group, we could call them as  the “Westernizers”, have never negated the existence of Russia’s specific characteristics as an Eurasian country, but have always believed that staying within the framework of the “Russian spectrum” is equivalent to the national suicide (a “fear of isolation” effect). On the other hand, there are those who have tried to preserve all traditional Russian forms of living and organizing, including both political and cultural features of the Russian civilization, not denying at the same time that Russia is a European country too. This, we can name them as the “patriotic” group, or the “Patriots”, of the Slavic orientation, partly nationalistically oriented, have believed and still believe that the (West) European civilizational and cultural values can never be adjusted to the Russian national character and that it is not necessary at all for the Russian national interest (a “fear of self-destruction” effect).

A confrontation of these two groups characterizes both the Russian history and the present-day political and cultural development. Very similar situation is, for instance, in Serbia today as the society is sharply divided into the so-called “First” (“patriotic”) and the “Second” (“western”) Serbia supporters.

At the moment, the basic elements of the Russian national identity and state policy are:

  1. The preservation of Russia’s territorial unity.

  2. The protection of Russia’s interior integrity and its external (state) borders.

  3. The strengthening of Russia’s statehood particularly against the post-Cold War NATO’s Drang nach Osten policy.

It means that the post-Soviet Russia (the Gazprom Republic of the “Power of Siberia”) rejected, at least for some time, the most significant element in her foreign policy that has historically been from the time of the emperor Ivan the Terrible (1530−1584) the (universal) imperial code – constant expansion of its territory or, at least, the position of a power that cannot be overlooked in the settlement of strategic global matters.[18] Therefore, after the Cold War Russia accepted the US’ global role of the new world Third Rome.[19] For the matter of illustration, the US had 900 military bases in 2014 in 153 countries around the world.

From historical point of view, it can be said that the US’ imperialism started in 1812 when the US’ administration proclaimed the war to Great Britain in order to annex the British colony of Canada (Parks, 1986, 182−202). However, the protagonists of a “Hegemonic stability theory” argue that “a dominant military and economic power is necessary to ensure the stability and prosperity in a liberal world economy. The two key examples of such liberal hegemons are the UK during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the USA since 1945” (Heywood, 2011, 229).

At the present stage of Russia’s history, characterized by very harmonious (symphonic) economic and political relations with the West, at least up to the 2014 Ukrainian crisis, especially with Germany, Russia in fact became a political colony of the West which is seen in Moscow eyes only as a good source for making money. The results of such kind of Russia-West relations are Russian tourists all over the world, an impressive Russian state gold reserves (500 billion €), buying real estate properties all over the Mediterranean littoral by the Russians, huge Russian financial investments in Europe and finally, Russian authorization of the NATO’s and the EU’s aggressive foreign policy that is mostly visible exactly at the Balkans.

Russia’s foreign policy is surely a part of her national and cultural identity as for any other state in history. From 1991 up to at least 2014, Moscow accepted the western academic and political propaganda as a sort of the “new facts” that:

  1. Russia is reportedly no longer a global super or even military power, although its considerable military potential is undeniable and very visible.

  2. Russia allegedly has no economic power, although it has by very fact an enormous economic potential.

  3. Russia, as a consequence, cannot have any significant political influence which could affect the new international relations established after 1989/1991, i.e. the NWO (the NATO’s World Order), or better to say – the Pax Americana.[20]

It made Russia a western well paid client state as in essence no strategic questions can be solved without Russian permission, however for certain sum of money or other way of compensation. For instance, the Kosovo status was solved in 2008 between Russia and the NATO/EU on exactly this way as Russia de facto agreed to Kosovo self-proclaimed independence (as the US’s client territory or colony) for in turn the western also de facto agreement to the South Ossetian and Abkhazian self-proclaimed independence as in fact the Russian client territories or colonies.[21]

Russia as a country is unpredictable when it is isolated, and its unpredictability can be dangerous for the surrounding regions as well as for the global international relations. This thesis has had its confirmation in the events concerning the conflicts in both former Yugoslavias (the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – the SFRY and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – the FRY), and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (the FYROM). The cultural, religious and historic ties with the Orthodox Slavs who live in the Balkans (together with the western money) determine the Russian attitude and politics towards the political challenges in the South-East Europe during the last decades especially what concerns the Orthodox Slavs in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo-Metohija and Macedonia (i.e., the Serbs, Montenegrins and Macedonians).[22]

In Russia emerged after Gorbachev’s dissolution of the Soviet Union two ideological-political streams in the general debate in the Russian society about the national interest. The first emphasizes the importance of Russia’s long-standing ethnic, cultural and religious ties with the Balkan peoples, especially with the Serbs, Montenegrins, Bulgarians and Macedonians.[23] The second stresses the importance of the good ties with the West and integration of Russia into a broader Euro-Atlantic framework.

Since Russia formally has lost all the attributes of a super power after the dissolution of the Soviet Union (up to 2014), her political elite has in the early 1990s become oriented towards closer association with the institutional structures of the West – in accordance with her officially general drift towards liberal-democratic reform (in fact towards the tycoonization of the whole society and politics, like in all East European transitional countries). Till 1995 Russia had become a member of almost all structures of the NATO, even of the “Partnership for Peace Programme” what is telling the best about the real aims of the Gazprom Russia’s foreign policy up to 2014 when Russia finally decided to defend her own national interest, at least at the doorstep (i.e., in the East Ukraine) of her own home. In May 1997 Russia signed the “NATO’s−Russia Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security”, what meant de facto that she accepted the NATO as the core of the Euro-Atlantic system of security.

For the matter of comparison with the USA, in October 1962, at the height of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union came to the brink of a real nuclear war over the placement of the USSR’s missiles in the island of Cuba – a courtyard (not even a doorstep) of the USA. It was the closest moment the World ever came to unleashing the WWIII (Kennedy, 1999; Munton, 2006; Dobbs, 2008; Pardoe, 2013). In the other words, during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 Kennedy’s administration was ready to invade the independent state of Cuba (with already the US’ military base on the island) and even to go to the WWIII against the USSR if necessary as Washington understood Cuba as a courtyard of the USA.

Whether or not the ruling structures in Russia had expected a more important role for their country in its relations with the new partners, since 1995 there has been certain stagnation in the relations with the West, accompanied by the insistence on the national interests of Russia. In practice, this was manifested in the attempts to strengthen the connections with the Commonwealth of the Independent States (the CIS) with which Russia had more stable and secure relations. However, the state of relations within the CIS, accompanied with a very difficult economic and politically unstable situation in some of the countries in the region, prevented any organizational or other progress in this direction. Still, the CIS has remained the primary strategic focus for Russia, especially when it comes to the insolent expansion of the NATO towards these countries (the NATO’s Drang nach Osten).

3. Russia, the West and ex-Yugoslavia

An economic and political situation in Russia, the changes, the rate and the content of her fitting into the existing international relations influenced Russia’s attitude towards the wars on the territories of the former SFRY. Since the beginning of the disintegration of the SFRY, Russia has taken very diplomatic position that these conflicts are the Yugoslav domestic (inner) affairs and consequently should be settled peacefully, without the use of force, with the United Nations (the UN) or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (the OSCE) as the mediator organizations.[24] Russia kept this official position throughout all wars in Yugoslavia, till the end of the military conflict in Kosovo-Metohija in June 1999, but even and during the NATO’s military occupation of Kosovo-Metohija followed by the expulsion of majority of the ethnic Serbs and all other non-Albanian ethnicities by the Albanians from the region from 1999 up today (March Pogrom…, 2004; Чупић, 2006).[25]

In a view of Russia’s position in Europe and the world (especially in relation to the USA), characterized by her need and wish to become at least a respectable partner to the most developed countries, Russia was until 2014 blindly following the decisions of her “partners” from the West, especially at the time of the “western clown of Boris Yeltsin”[26] in the global politics. For instance, Russia recognized Croatia and Slovenia in February 1992 as independent states; in May 1992 she did the same with the FYROM and in August of the same year with Bosnia-Herzegovina. Although Russia was formally on the side of Serbia and the Serbs during the time of the dissolution (destruction) of ex-Yugoslavia in the 1990s, mainly because of deep historic, cultural and political linkages with the Serbs, Moscow actually accepted the decisions of its western partners and followed their obviously anti-Serb Balkan policy (Guskova, 1996). Such attitude was the result of her orientation towards the policy of getting closer to the European economic, political and security institutions, but above all to the European market. For Russia, the Balkans is still just a part of her European (economic) strategy, but not the main task of her European (political) policy.

This is quite similar with the case of the NATO’s military aggression on the FRY in 1999 for the real reason to occupy and separate Kosovo-Metohija from Serbia for the final sake of creation of a Greater Albania (Hadjimichalis, 2000).[27] Formally, Russia remained resolute in her demand that the conflict in Kosovo-Metohija had to be resolved in the Security Council of the UN or in the OSCE, but in fact nothing did to really help the Serbs in their legitimate struggle against the Albanian secessionist nationalism and the US’ imperialism – exactly what Washington and Brussels wanted and needed from Moscow at that time. From the very fact, when several western countries decided to intervene against the FRY in March 1999, Russia did nothing concrete to change that decision, although Moscow nominally disagreed because there was no formal decision in the Security Council of the UN and she was against the use of force in regional ethno-political conflicts in general. In fact, the Russian pro-western tycoon authorities did not wish to get directly involved in the conflict in Kosovo-Metohija in order to keep very prosperous economic relations with the West. Formally, during the NATO’s military aggression on the FRY (much more on Serbia than on Montenegro) Russia tried to sustain contacts with Serbia. These attempts met with the approval of a part of the public, which, along with the nationally oriented intellectual and political elite, was pushing Russia into a conflict with the West, with the USA in particular, for the matter to defend the Orthodox Slavs in the Balkans as historically Russia was a natural, and even recognized, protector of them during the time of the existence of the Ottoman Empire.

For the matter of fact, the Russian protection of the Balkan and the South-East European Orthodox population started with the Treaty of Küçük Kajnarca of July 21st, 1774 with the Ottoman Empire when Russia got the right to establish within the Ottoman Empire her own diplomatic consulates in Iaşi and Bucharest, and to make representations on behalf of the Orthodox Moldavia and Walachia (today parts of Romania) in Istanbul (Magocsi, 2002, 72). The Russian Empire by this treaty even became a protector of all Balkan Christian nations especially the Orthodox (Поповић, 1940; Радојевић, 2014, 114).

During the Kosovo Crisis and War of 1998−1999 the relations between Russia and the USA became the worst since the end of the Cold War period, but in essence nothing was changed after the war in relations between Russia and the West.[28]

Nevertheless, the Russian participation with the NATO in international contingent of the “peace-keeping” forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina (the IFORS/SFOR) and Kosovo-Metohija (the KFOR) shows that (Gazprom) Russia became highly opportunistic and even smarmy to the West as she consciously accepted to participate in these NATO’s military missions only for the reason to internationally legalize the new NATO’s World Order (Pax Americana) that is obviously on the first place de facto anti-Russian.[29] It is very unconvincing explanation by the Russian “Westernizers” that this decision to participate in the NATO’s “peace-keeping missions” in the Balkans in the 1990s was for Moscow only possibility to “prove” that Russia is still not out from the arena of international politics of the great (western) powers and to have some influence in the region. However, it is known that this participation (till 2003) was under the full-scale dictate of the NATO what is clearly visible from at least three facts:

  1. Russia did not get its own sectors of protection and command either in Bosnia-Herzegovina or Kosovo-Metohija nevertheless Russia required them. The territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina was divided into three sectors of protection: the Canadian, the US, and the French, while Kosovo-Metohija into five: the British, the Italian, the French, the German and the US. However, it was no single Russian one.

  2. A brigade of the Russian peace-keepers has been based in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the US’ sector, the Multinational Division North, since January 1996, numbering only some 1,200 airborne troops. The Russian zone of responsibility was running between the predominantly “Croat and Muslim Federation” of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the predominantly “Serb Republic”. However, about 30 US’ soldiers were permanently stationed at the Russian brigade’s headquarters in Ugljevik (the North-Eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina) while the Russian peace-keeping troops were in fact under the US’s supervision and command. In this respect, can you imagine the US’ military brigade under the Russian supervision and command in Afghanistan or Iraq? We have also to notice that in 1877 Russia entered the war against the Ottoman Empire because of Bosnia-Herzegovina (the so-called “Great Eastern Crisis”) and even the First World War in 1914 after the “Sarajevo Assassination” and Austria-Hungary’s ultimatum to the Kingdom of Serbia (Радојевић, Димић, 2014, 113−114).[30] However, it was an imperial Romanovs’ Russia (not at all in much better position to the western great powers as today Russia is), but not the Gazprom one. In July−August 1914 Serbia could see and feel who was her a real and only friend (even the “mother”) in Europe what was very proved in the Great War until the very end of the Romanov’s Imperial Russia (i.e., until the 1917 March Revolution). In the other words, Russia risked everything, even not properly prepared for the war at all, in order to give a crucial help to unprotected Serbia – a country facing at that time a real possibility to disappear from the map of Europe as a state and political reality.[31] We have to notice on this place a very fact that when Serbia received a war proclamation by the Dual Monarchy on July 23rd, 1914 she had only two formal (by treaty) allies: Montenegro and Greece from 1912. However, only Montenegro put into effect its treaty obligations, while Greece interpreted the 1913 Military Convention with Serbia on the way that Greece was obliged to give a military assistance to Serbia only in the case of a war proclamation by Bulgaria to Serbia but not and by Austria-Hungary (Радојевић, Димић, 2014, 136).[32] However, at the time of the Austro-Hungarian war declaration to Serbia, Russia did not have any formal (treaty) obligations to Serbia to help her but regardless to this fact Russia proclaimed a military mobilization in order to protect Serbia from the aggressive Germanic Drang nach Osten policy at the Balkans. The Russian military mobilization became just a pretext to Germany to declare the (Great) war against Russia (on August 1st, 1914) and against France (on August 3rd, 1914) (Palmowski, 2004, 693).

  3. The Russian peace-keeping contingent in Kosovo-Metohija of some 3,150 soldiers (out from total 45,000 international NATO’s troops in Kosovo-Metohija) was deployed in three sectors: in the US-led Multinational Brigade East, in the French-led Multinational Brigade North, and in the German-led Multinational Brigade South. In June 1999, when the NATO’s troops occupied Kosovo-Metohija, the NATO’s headquarters in Brussels decisively rejected the Russian demand that Russia should have her own sector of protection in Kosovo-Metohija. We also have not to forget that the Russian troops (came from Bosnia-Herzegovina) occupied the Prishtina airport in June 1999 before the NATO’s troops from the south reached the administrative centre of Kosovo-Metohija. That was at the moment a greatest victory of Russia over the West from the time of dissolution of the Soviet Union. However, very soon the same Russian troops left the Prishtina airport under the western pressure what shows at the best a real self-wanted position of (Gazprom) Russia in the NATO’s World Order after the end of the Cold War (1949−1989). Consequently, Moscow in 2001 left Afghanistan in full mercy of the US’ occupation – the land which was only three decades ago (in 1979) understood by Kremlin as exclusively its own sphere of dominance without any western interference.[33]

Obviously, only limited and formal Russian participation in the so-called “peace-keeping forces” in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo-Metohija, that is in fact just international legalization of the NATO’s occupation of these lands, is accepted by the NATO’s headquarters as it gives the NATO a legitimacy of “human rights protection” in the Balkans. Following its orientation towards the “well-to-do Russian home”, combined with her new national security concept of protecting Russia’s state borders, but without crossing them in international relations (up to 2008 informal war with Georgia and especially the Russian direct military involvement in Syrian conflict in 2015), Russia was trying to achieve the optimum of such kind of politics – to play a role of a formally respectable power on the international scene which will take its part in the most significant strategic changes in the world done by the NATO’s and the US’ administrations followed by their crucial European client – the European Union (the EU) for the sake of keeping perfect economic relations with the West. However, the 2014 Ukrainian crisis clearly shows that for the West any kind of Russia’s defense of her own national interest around the globe, including and on the doorstep of her own home, is simply seen as a form of a new Russian imperialism (Mankoff, 2011; Herpen, 2014; Lucas, 2014).

Russia’s attitude towards the “Serb Republic” in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and the FYROM was up to 2014 regarded in the contexts of her attempts to put into practice her common westernization policy with the ultimate goal to integrate Russia into the western political scope and system.[34] Having in mind this, it was quite predictable before the 2014 Ukrainian crisis that the Russian military forces could participate in the future in the NATO-led international peace keeping forces in the FYROM (MACFOR), Vojvodina (VOJDFOR) or Sanjak (SANDFOR) under the same conditions as it was in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo-Metohija.

For the matter of better clarification, Serbia’s northern region of Vojvodina, populated by the Serb majority and non-Serb minority (predominantly the Hungarian one) and her south-west region of Sanjak (in Serbian language Raška), populated by mixed Orthodox Serbian and Muslim Bosniak population (ethno-linguistic Serbs of Shtokavian language who became voluntary converted into Islam during the Ottoman rule) (Вуковић, 1911; Костић, 1955),[35] are scheduled by the West (the USA, the NATO, the EU) as the next regions of separation at the Balkans where the western peace-keeping troops are going to be located if Russia would surrender to the West in the case of Ukraine. Thus, such Russian role in the Balkan affairs fits to the ideas of the main Russian proponents of the so-called “Atlantic’s School” (for instance, a former Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Andrey Kozyrev), which tends to play down the idea of Russia as the protector of the (Orthodox) Slavs in the South-East Europe.

15 balkans_1856The Balkans in 1856

However, on the other hand, the Russian “Westernizers” emphasize the crucial importance of co-operating with the West for the Russian economic and cultural development in the future. Subsequently, they explicitly reject a policy based on the ethnic, religious and cultural ties with the Balkan Orthodox Slavs, particularly with the Serbs. Absolutely the same situation is and with the Serbian “Westernizers” (the “Second Serbia”) who are rejecting any ties with Kosovo-Metohija for the sake of Serbia’s (i.e., remains of Serbia) “prosperity” in the (western) future. It was quite visible either during the process of dissolution (or better to say – destruction) of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s or after that up today.[36]

The myths of a fundamental Slavic brotherhood and the pan-Slavic solidarity, based on common Slavic origin and language, and especially with the Orthodox South Slavs, based on shared culture and the same religion is by now put aside as an ancient history by Moscow. It was visible, at least, twice in relations to the Serbs: 1) when the Parliament of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia proclaimed a state unity with Russia in 1999 during the NATO’s aggression, and 2) when Kosovo-Metohija’s Serbs (around 90,000) required Russia’s citizenship in 2011. However, Moscow in both cases simply was deaf, regardless on the fact that it would be a perfect opportunity and formal excuse for Russia to do really something for the Serbs and to stop a NATO’s military machinery at the Balkans.

Nevertheless, some of influential Russia’s political leaders and representatives are still ardent to the ideology of the Pan-Slavic common ethno-linguistic origin, cultural reciprocity, solidarity and brotherhood – at least formally. For instance, during a visit to Serbia in January 1994 Vladimir Zhirinovsky warned the West that any attack on Serbia or Bosnian-Herzegovinian Serbs would be considered by the Russians as an attack on Russia herself.[37] However, when it happened in reality in 1995 and 1999 Russia did simply nothing to protect Krayina’s and Bosnian-Herzegovinian Serbs (in 1995) and Serbia (in 1999). It is interesting that on the same occasion he called for a union of all Slavic nations from “Knin to Vladivostok”. Zhirinovsky was at that time also the main advocator of a radical revision of the political map of Europe, especially in the South-East Europe. In the other words, in his conception of reshaping the political map of Europe, the new (Russian) order in the South-East Europe has to be based on the (by now utopian) “Slavic pyramid” as:

  1. Bosnia-Herzegovina would be divided between a Greater Serbia and a Greater Croatia.

  2. A Greater Bulgaria would be created with its capital in Sofia.

  3. Greece would be given parts of European Turkey.

  4. Hungary would get back Transylvania from Romania.

It is quite predictable that the idea of the Pan-Slavic solidarity, reciprocity and brotherhood will be put on agenda of the Russian national interest if the Russian “Patriots” and the “Pan-Slavic nationalists” gained political power in Russia (we do not consider Putin’s regime as a real patriotic one). In this case, the concept of reshaping the South-East Europe on the model of some kind of the “Slavic pyramid” will surely play a significant role in the Russian foreign policy.

Nevertheless, there would be a very little chance for the Roman Catholic Slavs to accept such political program as they are firstly the Roman Catholics and only than the Slavs as the Yugoslav experience shows. In the other words, Vatican will never agree that the Roman Catholics are going to be governed by the Orthodox Christians (Екмечић, 2010, 516). On the other hand, during the Great War of 1914−1918 a Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Dmitrievich Sazonov (1910−1916) was explicitly advising Serbia’s ambassador to Russia, dr. Miroslav Spalajković (1913−1919) that any state combination with the Roman Catholic Slovenes and Croats would be political disaster for Serbia as Slovenes and Croats will be all the time just Vatican’s separatist fifth column and trouble makers in any kind of Yugoslavia.[38] In reality, as a matter of historical fact, both the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and Josip Broz’s Titoslavia were destroyed with a great help of Vatican exactly by the Roman Catholic Croats (who were strongly supported by the Roman Catholic Slovenes in the case of destruction of Titoslavia in 1989−1991).[39]

4. Conclusions

At the end we will express several basic conclusions in relations to the topic of contemporary Russian relations with the Balkans, or better to say, to the debate of the main issue of the present-day Russian foreign policy – between the West and herself:

  • The post-Soviet Russia was at least until 2014 Ukrainian crisis politically very deeply involved in the western system of international relations and cultural values that was basically giving to Moscow a status of the western client partner on the international scene of the NATO’s World Order.

  • A full victory of the Russian “Westernizers” up to 2014 allow them to further westernize Russia according to the pattern of the Emperor Peter the Great with the price of Russia’s inferiority and even servility in the international relations. For that reason, the West already succeeded (at least up to 2014) to encircle Russia with three rings of Russia’s enemies: the NATO at the West, the Muslim Central Asian states at the South and China at the South-East.

  • The West was buying Russia’s inferiority at the international scene by keeping perfect economic relations with Moscow that was allowing Russia, especially Russia’s tycoons, to become enormously reach. These harmonious West-Russia political-economic relations are going to be broken in the future only under two circumstances: I. If the Russian “Patriots” with take political power in Kremlin (after the military putsch or new revolution?), or II. If the West will introduce any kind of serious economic sanctions against Russia (i.e. to restrict importing Russian gas and oil or to limit business operations of the Russian oil and gas companies outside Russia).

  • Up to now, the South-East Europe is left to the western hands by Moscow and the region is already incorporated into the NATO’s World Order as a part of the western (the NATO & the EU) post-Cold War concept of the Central and East Europe as a buffer zone against Russia.[40]

  • Russia in this region has only and exclusively economic-financial interest (the “Southern Stream”, investments, buying the real estate properties, selling her own products, etc.). The region was becoming more and more under the Russian direct financial control. As one of the best examples is Montenegro with 40% of the Russian investment out of total foreign one.

  • The only political and national losers at the Balkans, as the outcome of such West-Russia post-Soviet relations, are the Serbs who as a nation have been expelled from Croatia and lost their Republic of Serbian Krayina, lost 20% of their ethno-historical land in Bosnia-Herzegovina, lost Kosovo-Metohija and will lose Vojvodina and Sanjak in the near future if Russia will lose a current battle for Ukraine (or the Little Russia). In this case, the state territory of Serbia, according to the western designers from the very end of the Cold War era, would be reduced to the borders of the so-called Bismarck’s Serbia (or Bismarck’s paşalik) after the Congress of Berlin in 1878 up to the Balkan Wars of 1912−1913.[41]

  • The essential historical disadvantage of Serbia and the Serbs as a nation was and still is that they did not have and do not have a common state borders with (the tsarist) Russia and Russians – the only European great power nation and state who never humiliated Serbia and the Serbs and the only nation and state in the world to whom the Serbs have to really thank for the preservation of their national identity and state independence.

 

Jpeg

Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirović

Mykolas Romeris University

Institute of Political Sciences

Vilnius, Lithuania

www.global-politics.eu/sotirovic

globalpol@global-politics.eu

 

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Поповић, Б. Н. (2007). Србија и Царска Русија. Београд: Службени гласник.

Прыжов, И. Г. (1869). Малороссия (Южная Русь) в истории ее литературы с XI по XVIII век., Воронеж.

Поповић, В. (1940). Европа и српско питање. Београд.

Радојевић, М., Димић, Љ. (2014). Србија у Великом рату 1914−1918. Кратка историја. Београд: Српска књижевна задруга−Београдски форум за свет равноправних.

Самарџић, Р. и други. (1989). Косово и Метохија у српској историји. Београд: Српска књижевна задруга.

Соловьев, А. В. (1947). „Великая, Малая и Белая Русь“. Вопросы истории. Москва: Академия наук СССР. 7. 24−38.

Трубецки, Н. Г. (1994). Рат на Балкану 1914−1917. и руска дипломатија. Београд: Просвета.

Чупић, М. (2006). Отета земља. Косово и Метохија (злочини, прогони, отпори…). Београд: НОЛИТ.

Ћоровић, В. (1920). Црна књига: Патње Срба Босне и Херцеговине за време светског рата 1914−1918. године. Београд−Сарајево.

Ћоровић, В. (1990a). Наше победе. Београд: Култура.

Ћоровић, В. (1990b). Велика Србија. Београд: Култура.

Владислав Б. Сотировић

БАЛКАНСКА ПОЛИТИКА РУСИЈЕ:

ОД ПОЛИТИКЕ СВЕСЛОВЕНСКЕ УЗАЈАМНОСТИ ЦАРСКЕ РУСИЈЕ ДО „РЕАЛ-ПОЛИТИКЕ“ РЕПУБЛИКЕ ГАЗПРОМ РУСИЈЕ

Резиме

У овом чланку се истражује спољна политика Русије на Балкану након нестанка Совјетског Савеза у времену светског поретка који диктира НАТО пакт а у вези са идеалима панславизма, међусловенске солидарности, узајамности и братства. Посебан нагласак је стављен на следеће четири најбитније истраживачке теме: 1. Панславизам и Русија; 2. Однос између прозападних и проправославних снага на политичкој сцени Русије по питању руског националног интереса; 3. Различити приступи руској балканској политици у Русији; и 4. Руско-српски повесни односи и перспективе у будућности односа Русије и Срба. Методологија истраживања је заснована на коришћењу адекватних повесних источника и релевантне стручне литературе везане за тематику чланка. Главни резултати нашег истраживања показују да: 1. Историјски посматрано, само је (царска) Русија била заинтересована да заштити балканске Словене православне хришћанске оријентације од било које стране силе а у оквиру политике свесловенства и идеологије засноване на међусловенској узајамности и братству; 2. Балканске православне нације могу пре свега да захвале Русији на својим независним државама и очувању свог националног идентитета; 3. Русија након Хладног рата није ништа друго него тајкунизована Газпром Република која нема стварних намера, бар до украјинске кризе 2014. г., да нарушава тренутни светски поредак НАТО пакта – амерички мир; и 4. Срби и Србија су постали главне жртве овако идеалних партнерских односа на међународном плану након Хладног рата између Запада и Републике Газпром Русије.

Кључне речи: НАТО, светски поредак, Русија, Срби, Србија, спољна политика, Балкан, Југоисточна Европа, Јужни Словени, панславизам, међународни односи, глобална политика, амерички мир

ENDNOTES

[1] The Balkans is a peninsula in the South-East Europe that today includes Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Greece, Albania, Macedonia (the FYROM), Bulgaria and the European portion of Turkey. The South-East Europe is enlarged Balkans with Romania and Moldova.

[2] The Balkans was all the time a peninsula of a clash of civilizations. According to Samuel P. Huntington, a civilization is a cultural entity and he identified eight such civilizations. One of them was the Slavic-Orthodox. Civilizations differ in terms of history, language, culture, tradition but above all religion. Huntington argued that every civilization had and has a protector core state as, for instance, Russia historically was and today is a protector of the Slavic-Orthodox civilization (Mansbach, Taylor, 2012, 447).

[3] Great power was originally in the 18th century the term for a European state which could not be conquered by any other state or even by several of them. After the WWII this term is applied to a country that is regarded as among the most powerful in the global system and global politics (Mansbach, Taylor, 2012, 578).

[4] The British-Russian convention over Persia in 1907 divided the country into a northern section under the Russian influence, a neutral part in the middle, and a southern zone under the UK’s influence (Palmowski, 2004, 304).

[5] About the Pan-Slavism, see in (Kohn, 1960).

[6] About the Russian history, see in (Riasanovsky, 2006).

[7] About Russia’s foreign policy interests, see in (Tsygankov, 2013; Gvosdev, 2014).

[8] About Ukraine-Russian identity relations, see in (Plokhy, 2008; Plokhy, 2010).

[9] About the spiritual and geopolitical rivalry in the Balkans by the great European powers, see in (Поповић, 1940; Narochnitskaya, 1998). According to Lord Palmerston, the nations (states) have no permanent enemies and allies; they have only permanent interests (Cooper, Heine, Thakur, 2015, 72).

[10] For instance, about Russia’s influence in Serbia from the end of the 18th century to the mid-19th century, see in (Попов, 1870).

[11] The Cold War was the struggle and conflict between the USA and its allies, including supporters of the capitalism, engaged in ideological and political warfare against the USSR and its allies, advocates of the communism, an alternative and incompatible, economic and political system (Mansbach, Taylor, 2012, 102).

[12] About history of the Cold War, see in (Lewis, 2005; Zubok, 2007).

[13] World or global politics is political interactions between and among sovereign (independent) states as well as nonstate actors (ex., the NGOs).

[14] About the end of the USSR, see in (Plokhy, 2014).

[15] About different opinions on the nature of Yugoslavia, see in (Allcock, 2000; Sabrina, 2006).

[16] About the wars of Yugoslavia’s succession in the 1990s, see in (Trifunovska, 1994; Woodwards, 1995; Ullman, 1996; Oven, 1996; Marković, 1996; Guskova, 2003; Sotirović, 2013a).

[17] About Peter the Great and his reforms in Russia, see in (Hughes, 2000; Cracraft, 2003).

[18] About the idea of the Holy Russia as a Third Rome, see in (Johnson, 2004).

[19] About the US’ post-Cold War imperialism and global hegemony, see in (Kiernan, 2005; Baron, 2014).

[20] The Pax Americana is a key phenomenon of the post-Cold War era as an informal the US’ empire whose tenets lie in the global capitalist trading system which reached across the globe. After 1991 the USA became a single state in the world with a global hegemonic ambitions and capacities, at least up to 2014. “The core feature of the Pax Americana is a multilateral system of global governance” (Atlagić, 2015, 32).  About the Pax Americana, see in (Dorrien, 2004; Clarke, 2008; Parchami, 2009; Roncallo, 2014). On the remaking of the World Order, see (Huntington, 2002; Kissinger, 2014). On the post-Cold War US-Russia’s relations up to the 2014 Ukrainian crisis, see in (Stent, 2014). In essence, the Pax Americana is nothing else then a synonym for a post-Cold War New World Order: “A term coined by George Bush Snr following the successful expulsion of Iraq from Kuwait in the first Gulf War…the idea that New World Order was short-hand for US policy preferences and further American imperialism” (Haynes, et al, 2013, 712).

[21] About the “Kosovo precedent” and the ethnopolitical conflicts in the Caucasus, see in (Weller, 2009; Tsurtsumia, 2010; Hehir, 2010; Francis, 2011; Souleimanov, 2013; Sotirović, 2013b).

[22] About Russia’s foreign policy, see in (Donaldson, 2014). About Russia and her closest neighbours, see in (Szajkowski, 1994; Hungtington, 2011, 151−155). About Russia and the Balkans after 1991, see in (Ekinci, 2013).

[23] About the Montenegrin ethnic origin and identity, see in (Glomazić, 1988; Lazarević, 2014). On the problem who are the Macedonians and the “Macedonian Question”, see in (Martis, 1984; Poulton, 2000; Pettifer, 2001; Damianopoulos, 2012).

[24] Russia strongly opposed an official western stereotyped standpoint on the fundamental causes of the destruction of ex-Yugoslavia. According to this view, a personality of Serbia’s President Slobodan Milošević and his political idea to create a Greater Serbia was the main cause of the destruction of the country followed by the bloody war (Mansbach, Taylor, 2012, 442)

[25] About the “Kosovo Question”, see in (Grujić, 2014).

[26] About Boris Yeltsin and Russia in his time, see in (Colton, 2008; Curtis, 2014).

[27] About the NATO’s military intervention in 1999 against Serbia and Montenegro, see in (Gibbs, 2009; Phillips, 2012).

[28] About this issue, see more in (Headley, 2008).

[29] About the globalization of the NATO pact, see in (Kitchen, 2010; Nazemroaya, 2012).

[30] About discussion on the origins of the WWI, see in (Бјелајац, 2014). It has to be noticed on this place that the assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Fedinand and his wife Sophia in Sarajevo on June 28th, 1914 that triggered the Great War as an excuse for the Dual Monarchy to formally declare war to Serbia (Ћоровић, 1990b, 79) was organized and committed by the conspiratorial revolutionary underground organization from Bosnia-Herzegovina – the Young Bosnia (like Jung Deutschland Bund) with a great help of Serbia’s military officer Dragutin Dimitrijević Apis (later Colonel) who was a leader of another conspiratorial underground revolutionary organization from Serbia – the Black Hand (Казимировић, 2013). Serbia’s Government did everything to prevent the assassination but it in vain. However, the Austro-Hungarian state intelligence service new very well about the preparation of the assassination but purposely did nothing to prevent it. An essence of the issue was that the members of the Young Bosnia have been not from Serbia but from Austria-Hungary, fighting for a pan-Serbian political unification in a form of a united or Greater Serbia (Dieterich, 1925, 226) likewise Apis too who was originally an ethnic Vlach (not a Serb) from the Eastern Serbia. Both organizations new well that a price for the unification was a war against the Dual Monarchy in which Serbia had to pay a terrible price. Unfortunately, after the Great War Serbia was out of 25% of her pre-war population and 50% of the pre-war industrial infrastructure. Nevertheless, at the end of the war it was not created a Greater Serbia but rather a common state with the Roman Catholic Slovenes and Croats and Muslim Bosniaks who became at such a way abolished for their terrible war crime atrocities in the uniforms of the Dual Monarchy against Serbia’s civilians during the Great War and occupation of Serbia. Josip Broz Tito (1892−1980) was also one of those South Slavs fighting in the Western Serbia in 1914−1915 as a soldier of infamous the 42nd Devil Division which committed recorded war crimes against the Serbian civilians (for instance, recorded by a Swiss German Archibald Rudolf Reiss, 1875−1929). Similar war crimes and torture against the Orthodox Serb civilians were done in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the war by the Austro-Hungarian authorities (Ћоровић, 1920). It is interesting that according to the American historian MacMillan, the Young Bosnia’s ideals were of the Pan-Slavonic nature. However, she equated the Young Bosnia with Al-Qaeda and Iran (MacMillan, 2006). Nevertheless, a majority of the Young Bosnia’s members or their ideological fathers were coming from the “vukojebinje” areas (“the land where wolves fuck”) as it was the case, for instance, with Vladimir Gaćinović (1890−1917) born in the village of Kačanj near Bileća in Herzegovina – a son of Serb Orthodox priest (Misha, 1999, 293−297).

[31] The Russian Emperor Nicolas II expressed to Serbia’s Prime Minister Nikola Pašić a final support to Serbia’s independence and real military-political protection in the case of Austro-Hungarian proclamation of the war to Serbia in the spring of 1914 (Драгнић, 1994, 118). An ultimate support to Serbia Russia expressed on July 24th, 1914 (a day after the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia) during the meeting between Sazonov and Spalajković in St. Petersburg (Поповић, 2007, 86−87).

[32] Nevertheless, Greece did not proclaim war to Bulgaria in 1915 when Bulgaria did it to Serbia due to the pro-German policy of the King Constantine I who was the brother-in-law of Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II.

[33] About the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan, 1979−1989, see in (Grau, 2002; Fremont-Barnes, 2012; Riedel, 2014). On the US’ military involvement in Afghanistan from 2001 onwards, see in (Gall, 2014).

[34] About this issue, see more in (Mendeloff, 2008; Kanet, 2010; Leichtova, 2014).

[35] About the Bosniaks, as a matter of comparison, see in (Donia & Fine, 1994; Pinson, 1996).

[36]About the problems and challenges of the Balkan security and Russia in the 1990s, see in (Shoup, 1990; Гуськова, 1992−1993; Larrabee, 1994; Бодсон, 1996; Gow, 1997).

[37] A same kind of just declarative support to Serbia was expressed by a President of the Gazprom Republic of Russia – Vladimir Putin in Belgrade on October 14th, 2014.

[38] About the process of creation of the first Yugoslavia (the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes) during the Great War, see in (Sotirović, 2012).

[39] About debates on the reasons for the dissolution of the Yugoslav federation in the 1990s, see in (Guskova, 2003, I, 51−59).

[40] About the post-Cold War western supremacy in the global politics and international relations, see in (Mayer, 2014; Pijl, 2014). About a typical example of the western (the US’) colony in the region, Kosovo-Metohija as a part of the Pax Americana, see in (Hofbauer, 2009). On the relations between the NATO and the European Union, see in (Simon, 2013). About the history of a greater concept of the East Europe between the Germans and the Russians, see in (Bideleux & Jeffries, 1999; Janos, 2000). It is realistically expected that Montenegro will become a full Member State of the NATO in 2016 or at least in 2017.

[41] At the Congress of Berlin (from June 13th to July 13th, 1878), Bismarck’s main political goal was to maintain a balance of power in Europe which would block creation of any anti-German bloc. His assessment was based on the realpolitik politics of hard practical interests. Serbia’s official representative to the Congress, Jovan Ristić, became “brought down to earth during the second week of the Congress” (Misha, 1999, 149).

nato2-790x451

The 1878 San Stefano Treaty and the Albanians

32-bg-berlincongress

After the Russian military victory over the Ottoman Empire in the 1877−1878 Russo-Ottoman War it was signed the San Stefano Treaty between these two states on March 3rd, 1878. According to the treaty, a Greater “San Stefano” Bulgaria, under the direct protection by Russia, had to be established within the borders of the Ottoman Empire. However, an idea of “San Stefano Bulgaria” directly affected three Balkan nations: the Serbs, Greeks and Albanians as some of their ethnic and historical territories had to become part of a Greater Bulgaria. The “San Stefano Bulgaria” was projected by the Russian authorities to cover territory from the Danube River to the Aegean Sea and from the present-day Albania to the Black Sea, including all of geographic-historical Macedonia, the present-day East Serbia and the present-day Southeast Albania. As a result, the Albanian nation living in the present-day Southeast Albania and the West Macedonia would become part of a Greater Bulgaria that would be governed by the Russian authorities.[1]

It is characteristic of both the San Stefano Treaty and the Berlin Congress that they conceived parts of the Albanian-populated Balkan territories to be given to the other Balkan states according to the principle of ethnic and historical rights. The remained Albanian ethnic space would be within the borders of the Ottoman Empire but without any “special status”, i.e., autonomous rights and ethno-political privileges.

The Ottoman government itself was feeble to protect the Albanian populated territories consisted of more than 80% of the Muslim population, which showed high degree of political and ideological loyalty towards the Sultan and the Sublime Porte in Istanbul. Nevertheless, the decisions of the 1878 San Stefano Treaty resulted in the organization of the Albanian self-defence system by their (Muslim) political leadership, which considered an autonomous status of Albania, similarly to the status of Serbia, Moldavia and Wallachia, as only guarantee for a justifiable administration over the Albanians in the future.

The San Stefano Treaty accorded to the Slavic Bulgaria a portion of the following Albanian-settled lands: the district of Korçë and the Debar area. According to the same treaty, Montenegro was granted with several municipalities at the present-day North Albania and the areas of Bar and Ulcinj. The border between Ottoman Albania and Montenegro was fixed on the Bojana River and the Scodra Lake. Nevertheless, an official representative of the Principality of Montenegro, Radonjić, required in Adrianople (Edirne) the city of Scodra to be included into enlarged Montenegro.[2]

However, what was exactly regarded at that time as Albania, and the Albanians as an ethnic identity, it was not clear to anybody in Europe. The main reason was the fact that the official Ottoman censuses became quite unreliable source to fix such problems because they were based rather on the religious identity than on strict ethno-national (i.e., ethno-linguistic) belonging. Practically, all Ottoman Islamic population, either they were the Albanians, Bosnians or Turks, were selected to one category – the Muslims. A national/ethnic differences were not marked in the Ottoman censuses at all. Nevertheless, regardless on the lack of the official statistics, it is possible to reconstruct the dispersion of the Albanian ethnicity at that time by using other historical sources. One of such sources is a report to the Austro-Hungarian authorities about the northern boundaries of the Albanian language written by the Austro-Hungarian consul F. Lippich in the mid-1877 during the Great Eastern Crisis and the Russo-Ottoman War of 1877−1878. According to this report, a northern linguistic border of the Albanians run from the city of Bar on the Montenegrin Adriatic littoral towards the Scodra Lake, then through two Montenegrin regions of Kolašin and Vasojevićs, after that towards the Ibar River and the city of Novi Pazar in Sanjak (Raška) up to the area of the South Morava River at the present-day Serbia. The Albanian linguistic borderland was fixed on the East and South-East to be around the Ochrid Lake, the cities of Bitola (Monastir) and Debar, and the upper Vardar River.[3] However, in many of these areas the Albanian language was spoken together with the Slavonic languages as they are today the Serbian, Montenegrin and Macedonian.

Surely, the San Stefano Treaty provoked the Albanian nationalism and forged the Albanian national renaissance movement. A germ of the Albanian national movement was growing from the 1840’s to the time of the Great Eastern Crisis of 1875−1878 when the first requirements for the establishment of the Albanian-language schools and the preservation of national language were requested by the Albanian public workers in the Ottoman Empire (Naum Panajot Bredi, Engel Mashi, Josiph Kripsi, John Skiroj, Hieronim de Rada, Vincenzo Dorsa, etc). However, the Albanian national renaissance received a new impetus during the Balkan crisis of 1862 at the time of a new Montenegrin-Ottoman war when several members of the so-called “Scodra group” (Zef Ljubani, Pashko Vasa and others) propagated the uprising of the North Albanian tribes in the Mirditë region against the Montenegrin territorial pretensions on the Albanian-populated areas. They also opposed the Ottoman authorities as they relied on the support by the French Emperor Napoleon III (1852−1870). In the case of successful result of the rebellion the independent and united principality of Albania would be created at the Balkans. It would include all Albanian-populated territories in the Balkans. The main Albanian ideologist from that time was Zef Jubani, born in Scutari in 1818, who claimed that the Albanian population already became a nation at that time.[4] His primary political goal was a creation of an autonomous united Albania within the Ottoman Empire. Others, like Thimi Mitko and Spiro Dineja, favoured Albania’s separation from the Ottoman Empire and creation of a dual Albanian-Greek confederation state similar to Austria-Hungary. During the Great Eastern Crisis of 1875−1878, the Albanian uprising in Mirditë in 1876−1877, led by the Albanian patriots from Scodra, had as its ultimate political goal a creation of an autonomous Albania in the Ottoman Empire. The leaders of the uprising visited Montenegrin court in order to obtain a financial support from the Montenegrin Prince Nikola I (1860−1910; King 1910−1918). Such support was promised to the leader of the Albanian delegation, Preng Dochi. What is important to stress is that the Montenegrin Prince stated on this occasion that Montenegro does not have any territorial aspirations towards the “Albanian” territories. At the same time, the Russian diplomat in Scodra, Ivan Jastrebov, pointed out that Europe faced the “Albanian Question”.

At the same time, the Albanian tribal chieftains from the South Albania and the North Epirus under the presidency of a prominent Muslim Albanian feudal lord Abdul-beg Frashëri convoked in 1877 a national meeting in the city of Jannina when they required from the Sublime Porte in Istanbul to recognize a separate Albanian nationality, and therefore to give them a right to form an autonomous Albanian province (vilayet) within the Ottoman Empire. They required, in addition, that all officials in such Albanian vilayet should be of the Albanian ethnic origin (but only the Muslims), the Albanian-language schools to be open and finally the Albanian-language courts to be created. The memorandum with such demands was sent to the Sublime Porte, but this supreme Ottoman governmental institution rejected to meet any of these Albanian national requirements.

A publishing of the San Stefano Treaty’s articles caused a great unrest and dissatisfaction among the Albanian people.[5] From that time onward, a previous Albanian movement just for improvement of the social conditions of the Albanians living in the Ottoman Empire became, however, now transfigured into the Albanian national movement (but in essence it was rooted into the Islamic tradition and political dogmatism) requiring either the creation of politically autonomous province of Albania within the Ottoman Empire or a making of an independent Albanian national state (based on the Islamic tradition).[6]

Especially the Northeast and East Albania experienced massive unrest and protests against the San Stefano Treaty that were addressed to the Great European Powers.[7] Thus, in April 1878 the Albanians from the city of Debar sent a telegram to the British and Austro-Hungarian ambassadors to the Ottoman Empire, Layard, Zichy respectively, protesting against the annexation of the region of Debar by a newly projected San Stefano Bulgarian principality. It was emphasized in the telegram that the people from Debar are the Albanians but not Bulgarians. Furthermore, according to the protest memo, the district of Debar encompassed 220,000 Muslims and 10,000 Christians; all of them were the ethnic Albanians.[8] Finally, it was required that the Great European Powers would not allow Bulgaria to annex the Debar region; instead, it should be left in the Ottoman Empire (as a “national” state of all Muslim Albanians).[9]

Similarly to the Albanians from Debar, their compatriots from the city of Scodra and the Northwest Albania asked the Austro-Hungarian authority to foil inclusion of the Albanian territories into Montenegro (whose independence was recognized by the Berlin Congress in 1878).[10] The Albanians from several districts in Kosovo-Metochia (Prizren, Đakovica, Peć) protested in a memorandum to Vienna against partition of their lands between Serbia and Montenegro.[11] On May 8th, 1878 when “…today, we learned from the newspapers that the Ottoman government, unable to resist the pressure of Russia, has been obliged to accept our annexation by the Montenegrins…” a protest of Albanian population of Scodra, Podgorica, Spuž, Žabljak, Tivat, Ulcinj, Gruda, Kelmend, Hot and Kastrat was addressed to the ambassador of France in Istanbul against the annexation of the Albanian lands by the Principality of Montenegro.[12] The Albanian people from the North Albania and Kosovo-Metochia, either the Muslims or the Roman Catholics, started to organize their own self-defence detachments (a territorial militia) and the local committees against incorporation of these territories into either Serbia or Montenegro. Another task of those numerous committees was to help to the Albanian refugees from the areas already taken by the Serbs and Montenegrins according to the San Stefano Treaty.[13] Thus, for example, on June 26th, 1878 from Priština was issued a protest of 6,200 Albanian emigrants expelled from the districts of Niš, Leskovac, Prokuplje and Kuršumlija, addressed to the Berlin Congress against the mass murders and rapes committed by Serbia’s army and the Bulgarian military units.[14]

However, such official protests by the Albanians were much more a way of a propaganda work but not the reality on the ground at least not to such extend as presented. The fact was that majority of the (Muslim) Albanian „refugees“ in fact voluntary left those lands ascribed by the Russian-Ottoman Treaty of San Stefano to a Greater Bulgaria for the reason that the Muslims can not, in principle, to leave under non-Muslim government – i.e., the government of the „infidels“.

IMG_20160218_162405

Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic

Mykolas Romeris University

Institute of Political Sciences

Vilnius, Lithuania

globalpol@global-politics.eu

 

ENDNOTES:

[1] Parliamentary Papers, series “Accounts and Papers”, Vol. LXXXIII, Turkey, № 22, London, 1878, 10.

[2] “Article № 1” of the San Stefano Peace Treaty in Parliamentary Papers, series “Accounts and Papers”, Vol. LXXXIII, Turkey, № 22, London, 1878, 9−10; Sumner B. H., Russia and the Balkans, 1870−1880, Oxford, 1937, 410−415.

[3] Haus-Hof-und Staatsarchiv, Politisches Archiv, XII/256, Türkei IV, Lippich F., “Denkschrift über Albanien”, Wien, June 20th, 1877, 8−9.

[4] According to M. Jevtić, the Albanians have not been formed as a nation in a modern European sense of the meaning of the term at that time or they are not a nation even today as the main framework of the Albanian national identity was and is primarily Islam – a religion which does not recognize existence of any ethno-linguistic identity among the Muslims who are considered to be one (confessional) “nation” [Јевтић М., Албанско питање и религија, Београд: Центар за проучавање религије и верску толеранцију, 2011; Јевтић М., „Исламска суштина албанског сецесионизма и културно наслеђе Срба“, Национални интерест, Vol. 17, No. 2, 2013, 238]. On the Islamic tradition and political doctrine, see in [Itzkowitz N., Ottoman Empire and Islamic Tradition, Chicago−London: The University of Chicago Press, 1980].

[5] Archives du Ministère des Affaires Etrangères, Paris, “Ceccaldi to Waddington, April 27th, 1878”, № 213, Turquie, Correspondance politique des consuls, Scutari, 1878−1879, Vol. XXI.

[6] On the strong confessional-political division and even religious wars between the Albanians later on in 1915, see in [Pollo S., Puto A., Histoire d’Albania des origines á nos jours, Roanne, 1974, 183−186; Јевтић М., Проблеми политикологије религије, Београд: Центар за проучавање религије и верску толеранцију, 2012, 159−161].

[7] An academic concept of a Great Power is defined as a state “deemed to rank amongst the most powerful in a hierarchical state-system. The criteria that define a great power are subject to dispute, but four are often identified. (1) Great powers are in the first rank of military powers, having the capacity to maintain their own security and, potentially, to influence other powers. (2) They are economically powerful states… (3.) They have global, and not merely regional, spheres of interests. (4) They adopt a ‘forward’ foreign policy and have actual, and not merely potential, impact on international affairs” [Heywood A., Global Politics, New York−London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, 7].

[8] The numbers of people of the Debar district was drastically exaggerated. The ethnic Albanians have not been the only districts’ inhabitants.

[9] Parliamentary Papers, series “Accounts and Papers”, “Layard to Salisbury, Therapia, May 4th, 1878, Vol. LXXXIII, Turkey, № 41, London, 1878, 60−61; Archives du Ministère des Affaires Etrangères, Paris, “Ceccaldi to Waddington, Scutari, May 4th, 1878”, № 214, Turquie, Correspondance politique des consuls, Scutari, 1878−1879, Vol. XXI.

[10] Novotny A., Österreich, die Türkei und das Balkan-problem im Jahre des Berliner Kongresses, Graz−Köln, 1957, 246.

[11] Ibid, 37, 247−253; Parliamentary Papers, series “Accounts and Papers”, 1878, Vol. LXXXI, Turkey, № 45, London, 1878, 35−36.

[12] Archives du Ministère des Affaires Etrangères, Paris, French Embassy at the Sublime Porte, Turkey, Vol. 417, 51−54, Supplement to the Report № 96 (original in French); Pollo S., Pulaha S., (eds.), Pages of the Albanian National Renaissance, 1878−1912, Tirana, 1978, 12−13.

[13] Parliamentary Papers, series “Accounts and Papers”, “Green to Salisbury, May 3rd, 1878”, Vol. LXXXIII, Turkey, № 40, London, 1878, 60; Archives du Ministère des Affaires Etrangères, Paris, “Ceccaldi to Waddington, Scutari, May 4th, 1878”, № 214, Turquie, Correspondance politique des consuls, Scutari, 1878−1879, Vol. XXI; Ibid, a copy of telegram signed by the Montenegrin Prince Nikola I Petrović-Njegoš, Cetinje, June 5th, 1878, as annexe № 1 to Dèpêche, June 9th, 1878, № 218.

[14] Politisches Archiv des Auswartigen Amtes, Bonn, Turkey 129, Vol. 2, The Acts of the Congress of Berlin, 2, 1878, document № 110 (telegram); Pollo S, Pulaha S., (eds.), The Albanian League of Prizren, 1878−1881. Documents, Vol. I, Tirana, 1878, 73−74.

31 san_stefano_bg

Twenty Principal Misconceptions About The Kosovo Issue

Јужна Косовска Митровица 2015 новембар

1. Kosovo issue is a conflict between ethnic Albanians and ethnic Serbs over the territory

Wrong: It is a part of the conflict between Balkan Albanians and the surrounding populations, in Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia and Greece (ex. clashes between Albanians and Macedonians in Macedonia from 1991 onward including and open rebellion in 2001 & 2015

2. The issue is a fight of Albanians for their political rights

Wrong: The crux of the matter lies at the biological level. The real rationale is a demographic explosion which is going on within the Albanian population for a century or so (rate of growth by Albanians four to five time faster than the average rate in other European countries) and the ensuing expansion for Lebensraum

3. The southern Serbian province is called Kosovo

Wrong. It is Kosovo and Metohia, abbreviated KosMet. Kosovo itself is an abbreviation of Kosovo Polje, what in Serbian language means Blackbird Field (in German Amselfeld). Metohia is a corrupted Greek name for Metohi, meaning dependency to monastery, referring to the land bestowed by Serbian kings and other rulers to the monasteries and churches in KosMet like of Pecka Patrijarshija, Dechani, Grachanica etc. (the 13-14 century).

4. Ethnic Albanians at KosMet (Shqipetars in the following, as they call themselves) constitute a majority of 90% out of total KosMet’s population

Wrong. In the last reliable census carried out at KosMet in 1961, Shqipetars constituted 67% of the overall population, with (predominantly) Serbs and others sharing the rest. As for the subsequent censuses (1971, 1981, 1991) Shqipetars refused to take part in them. All figures quoted for the period after 1961 are estimates only

5. Shqipetars are autochthonous population at KosMet

Wrong. In the Middle Age KosMet was the central part of Serbian state, culture and civilization. Shqipetars were tiny minority (about 2%, according to the Ottoman census in 1455), nomadic herdsmen mostly. They came to KosMet from North and Central Albania mainly after the First Great Serb Migration in 1690 from KosMet to Vojvodina (then in Habsburg Empire), after an abortive uprising against the Ottoman rule in 1689. When KosMet was liberated from Ottoman rule in 1912, by Serbia, Serbs and Shqipetars shared equally the overall population there (50% versus 50%). All toponyms (place names) at Kosmet are Slavonic-Serb, except for a few of them (as opposite to the state in Albania)

6. KosMet is an undeveloped, poor region

Wrong. It is the most fertile land in Serbia (apart from Vojvodina). The average DNP per family is the same as in the rest of Serbia. It is low only if counted per head, since the Shqipetars’ family has six times more children than Serbian family (and former Yugoslavia’s one, for that matter. We are referring to a proper family here, not to the so-called fis, extended Shqipetar family, which may comprise hundreds members). In fact, accounting for the fact that proportionally more Shqipetars are working in the Western Europe, their income are not accounted for when estimating family earnings and KosMet appears better off than the rest of Serbia. That KosMet is a prosperous region can be verified by direct inspection at the spot. KosMet is the biggest coal reservoir in Europe

7. The aim of Shqipetars is an independent Kosova

Wrong. It is a common goal of all Albanians to live in a single (united) national state of (a Greater) Albania. The political program of a Greater Albania is designed in 1878 by the Albanian First Prizren League (1878-1881). This aim has been practically already achieved. KosMet has been practically annexed by Albania as there is no border between KosMet and Albania. As for the West Macedonia, it is a matter of the near future. The next step is Cameria, as the Southern Epirus (today in Greece) is called by Albanians and the East Montenegro

8. The expulsion of Serbs from KosMet after June 1999 is an act of retaliation

Wrong. The process of Shqipetar committed ethnic cleansing of KosMet goes on for the last century and refers to all non-Shqipetars (Roma, Turks, Croats, etc). It is a clear case of well planned ethnic cleansing, whose rationale is an extreme xenophobia. As a matter of fact, Albania appears the most pure ethnic state in Europe, 98%, with Greeks, Slavs, Jews, Roma, etc. banished in one or other way. After the NATO occupation of KosMet in 1999 the ethnic “purity” has reached the figure of 97%.

9. KosMet used to be economically supported by the rest of former Yugoslavia

Wrong. Since the Serbia’s contribution to the Yugoslav Federal Fund for the undeveloped regions matched exactly the amount donated by the Fund to KosMet, it was Serbia which helped KosMet to construct the infrastructure, schools, the Prishtina University, hospitals, factories, mines, etc. Further, since the Shqipetar population consists mainly of children and teenagers, who used to get children allowance, it was another source of enormous income from the rest of Serbia, which had on average less than 1.5 children per family (as compared with 8 with Shqipetars)

10. There is no such an entity as a Greater Albania

Wrong. Although there not publicized, the maps of that projected united national state of all Albanians do appear occasionally in the Western press, either explicitly, or as the region with predominant Albanian population. The point with the latter is that these regions exceed the (semi) official maps of the future united Albanian state, and even include regions without Albanian population at all!

terorista-pripadnik-ovk-uck

11. Albanians are autochthonous Balkan population descending from the ancient Balkan Illyrian tribes

Wrong. They appear in the mid-11th century in the Balkan history and their origin appears uncertain (most probably they came to the Balkans from the Caucasus Albania via Sicily, according to the Byzantine sources, in 1043). As for the claims of Illyrian heritage (which is more a political wishful thinking than a very historical fact), distinguished English linguist Potter wrote “Some would associate it with extinct Illyrian, but with so doing they proceed from little known to the unknown”

12. The rebellion in Southeast Serbia at Preshevo valley is due to the Belgrade repression on the Shqipetar population there

Wrong. This region was not included into the KosMet (autonomous) region after the WWII, for the simple reason that Shqipetars were a tiny minority at that time there. Now, many villages, which were purely Serb, are inhabited exclusively by Shqipetars. The influx from KosMet, plus the enormous natural birth rate, made this population to be majority in two of three rebellious counties. Due to this fast change in the ethnic structure, and due to the large percentage of young people not eligible for voting, Shqipetars’ representatives there are not proportional to the overall share of the population in the region. In fact Preshevo issue is a paradigm of the Albanian syndrome, as conspicuous at KosMet, and at Macedonia. First comes land occupation, then fight for the “political rights” and finally secession. It is the system which Henry Kissinger called “Domino Game” (referring to the Communist tactics in spreading over the borders). What Slobodan Miloshevic did at Kosmet in 1998 was much the same as J. B. Tito did in 1944-1945, after the Albanian rebellion of the Kosovo Liberation Army (the KLA) at Drenica (February 1998), when the military rule had to be imposed in the Province

13. Shqipetars used to be friendly with their neighbors. They were protecting Orthodox monasteries there

Wrong. After the World War II more than 250.000 non-Shqipetars moved from KosMet due to the “demographic pressure”, not to mention violence. After NATO’s “humanitarian intervention” in 1999 at least 200.000 (according to some claims up to 300.000) non-Shqipetars fled away from massacres (including and Muslim Turks, Muslim Gorani, Muslim Roma population, etc.). At the same time, more than 200.000 Albanians moved to KosMet after the WWII (most probably even more than 300.000), and about 300.000 after the expulsion of non-Shqipetars in 1999. As for the shrines, they are protected in the same manner as the synagogues in Germany by the NSDAP party members. Only from 1999 to 2001 about 100 monasteries and churches have been leveled to the ground at KosMet. The peak of KosMet Albanian organized ethnic cleansing and destruction of Serb Orthodox shrines came in March 2004 (the „March Pogrom“, March 17-19th, 2004)

14. The „blood feud“ has been extinguished among Albanians

Wrong. It was much reduced during the communist regimes in the area (Albania, Montenegro, KosMet), but has been revived after the “democratic governments” have taken power in Albania. It is widely spread at KosMet, despite the opposite claims by the local politicians. In fact, the persecution and expulsion of non-Shqipetar population in 1999 was experienced by Shqipetars as a collective blood feud as it is, for instance, recognized by Shqipetar girl Rajmonda from KosMet in the British Channel 4 documentary movie „Why Rajmonda Lied“ (June 1999)

15. The KFOR holds control at KosMet and helps the region reestablish the order and law

Wrong. It has no control whatsoever over the local population, in particular the irregulars of the KLA, turned into mock police forces. The whole region, y compris North Albania (and Montenegro for that matter) is the European center for drug traffic and smuggling of arms, tobacco etc. There are no proper juridical system, no effective police, prisons, etc. What KFOR/EUFOR can do the most is to protect itself, but it is well aware that when Shqipetars conclude the UN/EU presence is a nuisance for them, international forces will be expelled easily. A single step from “protection force” to hostages would be sufficient, and everybody at the spot is aware of that

16. Americans are siding with Albanians in the current Balkan affairs

Wrong. They are directly involved, at all levels, from financing, organizing, training, arms supplies, diplomatic supports, etc. Training camps at the North Albania, KosMet, and Macedonia are lead by American instructors, who are engaged even at the front line, as the case with Arachinovo near Skopje illustrates, for instance

17. The rationale for the American interference into the Albanian issue is a humanitarian concern for human rights in the area

Wrong. All events that lead to the violation of human rights and massacres were induced by Americans and (to a lesser extent) by Germans. Nothing of those would have happened had not the NATO (sic) intervened in the region. The USA is interested in the peace, not in justice. Since Albanians do not appear convenient interlocutors for political discourse, Americans insist to the rest to submit to the Albanian demands, who have made their political goals their political rights! As a “collateral gain” the USA have got an important stronghold in the region (like the military base Bondsteel at KosMet), a secure (sic) passage for the oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea, via Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania, to the Adriatic cost, etc. Another “collateral gain” is, of course, a free traffic of heroin from Afghanistan (occupied and controlled by the USA in 2001) through the area, right to the USA schools, colleges, etc (among other destinations). It is a claim that even 90% of the West European drug market is controlled by Albanian narco-dealers

18. It was Slobodan Miloshevic who was to blame for the NATO ‘s intervention in 1999

Wrong. It was the Belgrade government responsibility to protect interest of the state of Yugoslavia, in face of a violent rebellion. The manners this state affairs have been conducted, including all eventual misdeeds committed over civilians is a matter of humanitarian concern and should be cleared up at the Hague Tribunal (or other international tribunal for the war crimes). But it does not justify bombing of Yugoslavia nor deprivation of a state to conduct its internal affairs. KosMet issue is much older than Slobodan Miloshevic and much deeper than disputes over political rights and state borders. Macedonia 2001 & 2015 affairs clearly demonstrate this

19. Former Yugoslavia disintegrated because of Slobodan Miloshevic

Wrong. His political (sic) manners only provided an excuse to Slovenia and Croatia for leaving Yugoslavia. The real rationale for this understandable decision was to leave the state that was burdened with the time bomb called KosMet, which the Federal Police hardly dismantled in 1981. And, of course, Slovenia and Croatia decided to leave Yugoslavia, a country in which they could not enjoy any more a privileged economic and political position as they used to have after the WWII. The same applies, mutatis mutandis, to the dispute between Montenegro and Serbia from 1999 to 2006

20. It is the duty of the international community to help the Albanian issue settled down

Wrong. The international community does not comprehend the nature of the problem, for good reason, since it is not a political one, but a clash between a Middle Age (tribal) mentality and a (quasi) modern European standard of civilization. The only reasonable way towards a permanent and rational solution would be an a agreement between Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Greece and Albania, on mutual responsibilities and a civilized settling down of this Balkan affair, without interference from the outside, certainly not from the USA. If the USA want to compete for a role of an arbiter, they should first qualify by helping a permanent settling down of the Palestinian issue in the Middle East

p_grujic
Author: Prof. Dr. Petar V. Grujic

2. Sotirovic 2013
Corrector: Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic

© Petar V. Grujic & Vladislav B. Sotirovic 2016

kosare-albanians

A Road of ISIL Jihadists

isis, albania, map.jpgMuslim populated states of the South-East Europe are the reservoirs of the ISIL Jihadist fighters in the Middle East: Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia. All of these states are the marionettes of the US. This road map was originally published with the article in one Albania’s newspapers in Tirana in October 2015.