The series of long-scale Christian national movements in the Balkans, triggered off by 1804 Serbian revolution, decided more than in the earlier centuries, the fate of Serbs and made ethnic Albanians (about 70% of whom were Muslims) the main guardians of Turkish order in the European provinces of Ottoman Empire. At a time when the Eastern question was again being raised, particularly in the final quarter of 19th and the first decade of 20th century, Islamic Albanians were the chief instrument of Turkey’s policy in crushing the liberation movements of other Balkan states. After the congress of Berlin (1878) an Albanian national movement flared up, and both the Sultan and Austria-Hungary, a power whose occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina heralded its further expansion deep into the Balkans, endeavored, with varying degrees of success, to instrumentalize this movement. While the Porte used the ethnic Albanians as Islam’s shock cutting edge against Christians in the frontier regions towards Serbia and Montenegro, particularly in Kosovo, Metohia and the nearby areas, Austria-Hungary’s design was to use the Albanians national movement against the liberatory aspirations of the two Serbian states that were impeding the German Drang nach Osten. In a rift between two only seemingly contrary strivings, Serbia and Montenegro, although independent since 1878, were powerless (at least until the Balkan wars 1912-1913) without the support of Russia or other Great Power to effect the position of their compatriots within the borders of Ottoman Empire.
During the Serbian revolution, which ended with the creation of the autonomous Principality of Serbia within the Ottoman empire (1830), Kosovo and Metohia acquired special political importance. The hereditary ethnic Albanian pashas, who had until then been mostly renegades from the central authorities in Constantinople, feared that the flames of rebellion might spread to regions they controlled thus they became champions for the defense the integrity of the Turkish Empire and leaders of many military campaigns against the Serbian insurgents, at the core of the Serbian revolution was the Kosovo covenant, embodied in the “revenge of Kosovo”, a fresh, decisive battle against the Turkish invaders in the field of Kosovo. In 1806 the insurgents were preparing, like Prince Lazar in his day, to come out in Kosovo and weigh their forces against the Turks, However, detachments of Serbian insurgents reached only the fringes of northern Kosovo. Metohia, Old Raska (Sandzak), Kosovo and northern Macedonia remained outside the borders of the Serbian principality. In order to highlight their importance in the national and political ideologies of the renewed Serbian state, they were given a new collective name. It was not by chance that Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic, the father of modern Serbian literacy, named the central lands of the Nemanjic state – Old Serbia.
Fearing the renewed Serbian state, Kosovo pashas engaged in ruthless persecution in an effort to reduce number of Serbs living in their spacious holdings. The French travel writer F.C.H.L Pouqueville was astounded by the utter anarchy and ferocity of the local pashas towards the Christians. Jashar-pasha Gjinolli of Prishtina was one of the worst, destroying several churches in Kosovo, seizing monastic lands and killing monks. In just a few years of sweeping terror, he evicted more than seventy Serbian villages between Vucitrn and Gnjilane, dividing up the seized land among the local Islamized population and mountain folk that had settled there from northern Albania. The fertile plains of Kosovo became desolate meadows as the Malisor highlanders, unused to farming knew not to cultivate.
The revolt of the ethnic Albanian pashas against the reforms introduced by the sultans and fierce clashes with regular Turkish troops in the thirties and forties of the 19th century, emphasized the anarchy in Kosovo and Metohia, causing fresh suffering among the Serbs and the further devastation of the ancient monasteries. Since neither Serbian nor Montenegro, two semi-independent Serbian states, were able to give any significant help to the gravely endangered people, Serbian leaders form the Pristina and Vucitrn regions turned to the Russian tsar in seeking protection from their oppressors. They set out that they were forced to choose between converting to Islam or fleeing for Serbia as the violence, especially killings, the persecution of monks, the raping of women and minors, had exceeded all bounds. Pogroms marked the decades to come, especially in period of the Crimean War (1853-1856) when anti-Slav sentiments reached their peak in the ottoman empire: ethnic Albanians and the Cherkeses, whom the Turks had resettled in Kosovo, joined the Ottoman troops in persecuting Orthodox Serbs.
The brotherhood of Decani and the Pec Patriarchate turned to the authorities of Serbia for protection. Pointing to the widespread violence and increasing banditry, and to more frequent and persisted attempts by Catholic missionaires to compel the impoverished and spiritually discouraged monk communities to concede to union. Prior Serafim Ristic of Decani loged complaints with both the sultan and Russian tsar and in his book Plac Stare Srbije (Zemun 1864) he penned hundreds of examples of violence perpetrated by the ethnic Albanians and Turks against the Serbs, naming the perpetrators, victims and type of crime. In Metohia alone he recorded over one hundred cases in which the Turkish authorities, police and judiciary tolerated and abetted robbery, bribery, murder, arson, the desecration of churches, the seizure of property and livestock, the rape of women and children, and the harassment of monks and priests. Both ethnic Albanians and Turks viewed assaults against Serbs as acts pleasing to Allah acts that punishing infidels for not believing in true God: kidnapping and Islamizing girls were a way for true Muslims to approach Allah. Ethnic Albanian outlaws (kayaks) became heroes among their fellow-tribesmen for fulfilling their religious obligations in the right way and spreading the militant glory of their clan and tribe.
Eloquent testimonies to the scope of the violence against the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohia, ranging from blackmail and robbery to rape and murder, come from many foreign travel-writers, from A. F. Hilferding to G. M. McKenzie – A. P. Irby. The Russian consul in Prizren observed that ethnic Albanians were settling the Prizren district underhidered and were trying, with the Turks, to eradicate Christians from Kosovo and Metohia. Throughout the 19th century there was no public safety on the roads of Metohia and Kosovo. One could travel the roads which were controlled by tribal bands, only with strong armed escort. The Serbian peasant had no protection in the field where he could be assaulted and robbed by an outlaw or bandit, and if he tried to resist, he could be killed without the perpetrator having to face charges for the crime. Serbs, as non-Muslims, were not entitled to carry arms. Those who possessed and used arms in self-defence afterwards had to run for their life. Only the luckiest managed to reach the Serbian or Montenegrin border and find permanent refuge there. They were usually followed by large families called family cooperatives (zadruga), comprising as many as 30-50 members, which were unable to defend themselves against the numerous relatives of the ethnic Albanian seeking vengeance for his death in a conflict with an elder of their clan.
Economic pressure, especially the forced reducing of free peasants to serf, was fostered by ethnic Albanian feudal lords with a view to creating large land-holdings. In the upheavals of war (1859, 1863) the Turkish authorities tried to restrict enterprising Serbian merchants and craftsmen who flourished in Pristina, Pec and Prizren, setting ablaze entire quarters where they worked and had their shops. But it was the hardest in rural areas, because ethnic Albanians, bond together by tight communities of blood brotherhoods or in tribes, and relatively socially homogeneous, were able to support their fellow tribesman without too much effort, simply by terrorizing Serbs and seizing their property and livestock. Suppression in driving of the Serbian peasantry, space was made for their relatives from northern Albania to move in, whereby increased their own prestige among other tribes. Unused to life in the plains and to hard field-work, the settled ethnic Albanians preferred looting to farming.
Despite the hardships, the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohia assembled in religious-school communes which financed the opening of schools and the education of children, collected donations for the restoration of churches and monasteries and, when possible, tried to improve relations with the Turkish authorities. In addition to monastic schools, the first Serbian secular schools started opening in Kosovo from mid-1830s, and in 1871 a Seminary (Bogoslovija) opened in Prizren. Unable to help politically, the Serbia systematically aided churches and schools from the 1840s onwards, sending teachers and encouraging the best students to continue with their studies. The Prizren seminary the hub of activity on national affairs, educated teachers and priests for all the Serbian lands under Turkish dominion, and unbeknownst to authorities, established contact on a regular basis with the government in Belgrade, wherefrom it received means and instructions for political action.
Ethnic circumstances in Kosovo and Metohia in the early 19th century can be reconstructed on the basis of data obtained from the books written by foreign travel writers and ethnographers who journeyed across European Turkey. Joseph Miller’s studies show that in late 1830s, 56,200 Christians and 80,150 Muslims lived in Metohia; 11,740 of the Muslims were Islamized Serbs, and 2,700 of the Christians were Catholic Albanians. However, clear picture of the ethnic structure during this period cannot be obtained until one takes into account the fact that from 1815 to 1837 some 320 families, numbering ten to 30 members each, fled Kosovo and Metohia ahead of ethnic Albanian violence. According to Hilferding’s figures, Pec numbered 4,000 Muslim and 800 Christian families, Pristina numbered 1,200 Muslim, 900 Orthodox and 100 Catholic families with a population of 12,000.3
Russian consul Yastrebov recorded (for a 1867-1874 period) the following figures for 226 villages in Metohia: 4,646 Muslim ethnic Albanian homes, 1,861 Orthodox and 3,740 Islamized Serbs and 142 homes of Catholic Albanians. Despite the massive departure of the population for Serbia, available data show that until Eastern crisis (1875-1878), Serbs formed the largest ethnic group in Kosovo and Metohia, largely owing to a high birth rate.
The biggest demographics upheaval in Kosovo and Metohia occurred during the Eastern crisis, especially during the 1876-1878 Serbo-Turkish wars, when the question of Old Serbia started being internationalized. The Ottoman empire lost a good deal of territory in its wars with Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Austria-Hungary occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the second war with the Turks, Serbian troops liberated parts of Kosovo: their advance guard reached Pristina via Gnjilane and at the Gracanica monastery held a memorial service for the medieval heroes of Kosovo battle… After Russia and Turkey called a truce, Serbian troops were forced to withdraw from Kosovo. Serbian delegations from Old Serbia sent petitions to the Serbian Prince, the Russian tsar and participants of the Congress of Berlin, requesting that these lands merge with Serbia. Approximately 30,000 ethnic Albanians retreated from the liberated areas (partly under duress), seeking refuge in Kosovo and in Metohia, while tens of thousands of Serbs fled Kosovo and Metohia for Serbia ahead of unleashed bashibozouks, irregular auxiliaries of Ottoman troops.4
On the eve of the Congress of Berlin in the summer of 1878, when the great powers were deciding on the fate of the Balkan nations, the Albanian League was formed in Prizren, on the periphery of ethnic Albanian living space. The League called for the preservation of Ottoman Empire in its entirety within the prewar boundaries and for the creation of autonomous Albanian vilayet out of the vilayets of Kosovo, Scutari, Janina and Monster (Bitolj), regions where ethnic Albanians accounted for 44% of overall population. The territorial aspirations of the Albanian movement as defined in 1878, became part of all subsequent national programs. The new sultan Abdulhamid II (1878-1909) supported the League’s pro-Ottoman and pro-Islamic attitude. Breaking with the reformatory policy of his predecessors, sultan adopted pan-Islamism as the ruling principle of his reign. Unsatisfied with the decisions taken at the Congress, the League put up an armed opposition to concession of regions of Plav and Gusinje to Montenegro, and its detachments committed countless acts of violence against the Serbs, whose very existence posed a permanent threat to Albanian national interests. In 1881, Turkey employed force to crush the League, whose radical wing was striving towards an independent Albanian state to show that it was capable of implementing the adopted reforms. Notwithstanding, under the system of Turkish rule in the Balkans, ethnic Albanians continued to occupy the most prominent seats in the decades to come.
Surrounded by his influential guard of ethnic Albanians, the Abdulhamid II became increasingly lenient toward Islamized Albanian tribes who used force in quelling Christian movements: they were exempt from providing recruits, paying the most of the regular taxes and allowed at times to refuse the orders of local authorities. This lenient policy towards the ethnic Albanians and tolerance for the violence committed against the Serbian population created a feeling of superiority in the lower strata of Albanian society. The knowledge that no matter what the offense they would not be held responsible, encouraged ethnic Albanians to ignore all the lesser authorities. Social stratification resulted on increasing number of renegades who lived solely off banditry or as outlaws. The policy of failing to punish ethnic Albanians led to total anarchy which, escaping all control, increasingly worried the authorities in Constantinople. Anarchy received fresh impetus at the end of the 19th century when Austria-Hungary, seeking a way to expand towards the Bay of Salonika, encouraged ethnic Albanians to clash with the Serbs and disobey the local authorities. Ruling circles in Vienna saw the ethnic Albanians as a permanent wedge between the two Serbian states and, with the collapse of the system of Turkish rule, a bridge enabling the Dual Monarchy to extend in the Vardar valley. Thus, Kosovo and Metohia became the hub of great power confrontation for supremacy in the Balkans.
The only protection for the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohia until the end of 1880s came from Russian diplomats, Russia being the traditional guardian of the Orthodox and Slav population in the Ottoman Empire Russia’s waning influence in the Balkans following the Congress of Berlin had an unfavorable impact on the Serbs in Turkey. Owing to Milan and Alexander Obrenovic’s Austrophile policy, Serbia lost valuable Russian support at the Porte in its efforts to protect Serbian population In Kosovo and Metohia, Serbs were regarded as a rebellious, treasonous element, every move they made was carefully watched and any signs of rebellion were ruthlessly punished. A military tribunal was established in Pristina in 1882 which in its five years of work sent hundreds of national leaders to prison.
The persistent efforts of Serbian officials to reach agreement with ethnic Albanian tribal chiefs in Kosovo and Metohia, and thus help curb the anarchy failed to stem the tide of violence. Belgrade officials did not get a true picture of the persecutions until a Serbian consulate was opened in Pristina in 1889, five centuries after a battle in Kosovo. The government was informed that ethnic Albanians were systematically mounting attacks on a isolated Serbian villages and driving people to eriction with treats and murders: “Go to Serbia -you can’t survive here!”. The assassination of the first Serbian Consul in the streets of Pristina revealed the depth of ethnic Albanian intolerance. Until 1905, not a single Serbian diplomat from Pristina could visit the town of Pec or tour Metohia, the hotbed of the anarchy. Consuls in Pristina (who included the well-known writers Branislav Nusic and Milan M. Rakic) wrote, aside to their regular reports, indepth descriptions of the situation in Kosovo and Metohia. Serbia’s sole diplomatic success was the election of a Serbian candidate as the Raska-Prizren Metropolitan in 1896, following a series of anti-Serbian orientated Greek Bishops who had been enthroned in Prizren since 1830.
Outright campaigns of terror were mounted after a Greaco-Turkish war in 1897, when it appeared that the Serbs would suffer the same fate as the Armenians in Asia Minor whom the Kurds had wiped out with blessing from the sultan. Serbian diplomats launched a campaign at the Porte for the protection of their compatriots, submitting extensive documentation on four hundred crimes of murder, blackmail, theft, rape, seizure of land, arson of churches. They demanded that energetic measures be taken against the perpetrators and that the investigation be carried out by a joint Serbo-Turkish committee. But, without the support of Russia, the whole effort came to naught. The prime minister of Serbia observed with resignation that 60,000 people had fled Old Serbia for Serbia in the period from 1880 to 1889. In Belgrade, a Blue Book was printed for the 1899 Peace Conference in the Hague, containing diplomatic correspondence on acts of violence committed by ethnic Albanians in Old Serbia, but Austria-Hungary prevented Serbian diplomats from raising the question before the international public. In the ensuing years the Serbian government attempted to secretly supply Serbs in Kosovo with arms. The first larger caches of guns were discovered, and 190l saw another pogrom in Ibarski Kolasin (northern Kosovo), which ended only when Russian diplomats intervened.
The widespread anarchy reached a critical point in 1902 when the Serbian government with the support of Montenegrin diplomacy again raised the issue of the protection of the Serbs in Turkey, demanding that the law be applied equally to all subjects of Empire, and that an end be put to the policy of indulging ethnic Albanians, that they be disarmed and that Turkish garrisons be reinforced in areas with a mixed Serbian-ethnic Albanian population. Russia, and then France, supported Serbia’s demands. The two most interested parties, Austria-Hungary and Russia, agreed in 1897 to maintain the status quo in the Balkans, although they initiated a reform plan to rearrange Turkey’s European provinces. Fearing for their privileges, ethnic Albanians launched a major uprising in 1903; it began with new assaults against Serbs and ended with the assassination of the newly appointed Russian consul in Mitrovica, accepted as a protector of the Serbs in Kosovo.
The 1903 restoration of democracy in Serbia under new King Petar I Karadjordjevic marked an end to Austrophile policy and the turning towards Russia. In response, Austria-Hungary stepped up its propaganda efforts among ethnic Albanians. At the request of the Dual Monarchy, Kosovo and Metohia were exempt from the Great Powers Reform action (1903-1908). A new wave of persecution ensued: in 1904,108 people fled for Serbia from Kosovo alone. Out of 146 different cases of violence, 46 ended in murder; a group of ethnic Albanians raped a seven-year-old girl. In 1905, out of 281 registrated cases of violence, 65 were murders, and at just one wedding, ethnic Albanians killed nine wedding guests.
The Young Turk revolution in 1908, which ended the “Age of Oppression” (as Turkish historiography refers to the reign of Abdulhamid II), brought no changes in relations between ethnic Albanians and Serbs. The Serbs’ first political organization was created under the auspices of the Young Turk regime, but the ethnic Albanian revolt against the new authorities’ pan-Turkish policy triggered off a fresh wave of violence. In the second half of 1911 alone, Old Serbia registrated 128 cases of theft, 35 acts of arson, 41 instances of banditry, 53 cases of extortion, 30 instances of blackmail, 19 cases of intimidation, 35 murders, 37 attempted murders, 58 armed attacks on property, 27 fights and cases of abuse, 13 attempts at Islamization, and 18 cases of the infliction of serious bodily injury. Approximately 400,000 people fled Old Serbia (Kosovo, Metohia, Raska, northern and northwest Macedonia) for Serbia ahead of ethnic Albanian and Turkish violence, and about 150,000 people fled Kosovo and Metohia, a third of the overall Serbian population in these parts. Despite the persecution and the steady outflow of people. Serbs still accounted for almost half the population in Kosovo and Metohia in 1912. According to Jovan Cvijic’s findings, published in 1911, there were 14,048 Serbian homes in Kosovo, 3, 826 in Pec and its environs, and 2,400 Serbian homes with roughly 200,000 inhabitants in the Prizren region. Comparing this statistics dating from the middle of the century, when there were approximately 400,000 Serbs living in Kosovo and Metohia, Cvijic’s estimate that by 1912 about 150,000 refugees had fled to Serbia seems quite acceptable.
The Serbian and Montenegrin governments aided the ethnic Albanian rebels against Young Turks up to a point: they took in refugees and gave them arms with a view to undermining Turkish rule in the Balkans, dispelling Austro-Hungarian influence on their leaders and curbing the violence against Serbs. But it was all in vain as intolerance for the Serbs ran deep in all Albanian national movements. Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria and Greece realized that the issue of Christian survival in Turkey had to be resolved by arms. Since Turkey refused to guarantee the Christians the same rights it had promised the ethnic Albanian insurgents, the Balkan allies declared war in the fall of 1912.
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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.
At a rapid clip the emphasis moved from party-building to Sanders-building. By 1994, it was apparent that the only movement B. Sanders was interested in 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 213-213 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.
About the author:
In the sea of misinformation sloshing around the Western media during the Yugoslav civil wars, Serbs fared the worst. As a rule, they were accused even of atrocities that never happened, or were committed by others. The real truth would usually emerge several years later, from the mouths of international officials who at the time held important and responsible positions.
Jack Kelley: Thousands of Serbs died due to his fabricated stories; that puts him on war criminal list
American press and electronic media have “discovered” that the Serbs weren’t the “bad guys” to the extent the American reporters from the Balkans made them out to be. Even though Jack Kelly, a correspondent of USA Today, resigned years ago because his employers decided he had deceived his editors and fabricated information in his reports from over 90 countries, including Serbia, his lies remained ‘cemented’ and not even a matter of questioning and examinations anymore. However, the cause for investigating Kelly was his article, “UN: Reports connect Serbs to war crimes,” which Kelly filed from Belgrade on July 14, 1999.
In the article, Nelly said he talked to a human rights activist in Belgrade, who had allegedly received a confession from a Serbian soldier that he had orders to commit ethnic cleansing. Internal investigation established that Kelly never met the activist. Kelly claimed to have interviewed the activist, but as he could not find the translator who was supposedly present at the conversation to confirm the story, he asked a friend – also a translator – to lie to the editors and pass herself off as the witness. Kelly explained this fraud by “panic” that had seized him because of the investigation.
Reporters in CIA Service
In the sea of misinformation sloshing around the Western media during the Yugoslav civil wars, Serbs fared the worst. As a rule, they were accused even of atrocities that never happened, or were committed by others. The real truth would usually emerge several years later, from the mouths of international officials who at the time held important and responsible positions
British general Mike Jackson with Albanian terrorists in the province of Kosovo i Metohija, 1999. On the picture: British general Jackson, war criminal, mafia leader Ramush Haradinai, Albanian and Croatian general involved in genocide of Serbs both in Krajina and Kosovo i Metohija, Rahim Ademi
When Serbs captured a British mercenary, Robert Allan Lofthouse, in February 1993 on Mt. Majevica, he confessed to Serb counter-intelligence agents that he had been in satellite communication with an American reporter. The reporter was Roy Gutman, former Reuters correspondent in Belgrade, later reporting for Newsday from Zagreb and Sarajevo. According to Lofthouse, the American told him he was a CIA agent “2-IC”.
Gutman’s first war report was in 1991. He filed a story from Herceg-Novi [Montenegro], reporting on the Serb destruction of Old Town Dubrovnik as if he witnessed it first-hand. He later reported the same way on Serb “massacres” and “mass rapes” in Bosnia.
Sources for his reports were the Islamic Community, Turkish-American Women’s Society, manager of Tuzla television Dr Arif Tanović, and the mercenary, Robert Allan Lofthouse
Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Tony Blair; US Secretary of Defense William Cohen claimed to the world that Serbs had killed “100,000 Albanians” in Kosovo. KFOR has so far exhumed less than 3000 dead, mostly Serbs; meanwhile several thousands Serbs are still missing.
Another arrested reporter, American David Rohde, was deported from the Serb Republic win late 1995. As a correspondent of the Boston-based Christian Science Monitor, Rohde used CIA sources to locate places near Srebrenica where Muslims had supposedly been massacred.
Born in Hartford, Kentucky in August 1967, Rohde was “always there when America defended its national interests – Cuba, Syria, USSR, Estonia, and Bosnia,” say his parents, Harvey and Carol.
Pulitzer for a deception
Rohde came to the Serb Republic with falsified documents and no reporter card. His predecessor, Jonathan Landay, was expelled from Pale after he was caught sending information to the CIA. In Srebrenica, Rhode found “blood on the walls and scattered documents of the missing,” but no mass graves he was looking for at CIA’s behest. Having been presented as a “victim of the Serbs” upon returning to the US, Rohde received the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for his report on mass graves in Srebrenica (which were never found).
US Army analyst, Lt. Col John E. Sray wrote in his wartime diary that famous reporters Christiane Amanpour and Peter Jennings accepted Muslim propaganda as unvarnished truth, and sent anti-Serb reports from Bosnia.
Serbs were blamed for the atrocities in Vase Miskina street [breadline] and Markale [marketplace], where several dozen innocent civilians were killed. This led to sanctions against Serbia (from 1992 onward), and the bombing of Bosnian Serb military positions [in 1995]. Almost a decade later, then-UNPROFOR commander, UK General Michael Rose explained in his memoirs that Serbs were falsely accused, and that the fatal shells most likely came from Muslim positions in order to provoke a reaction of the West.
Invisible for global media presstitutes – Severed Serb heads, both in Bosnia and Kosovo, seem to be media – invisible.
Concerning the 1993 massacre at the Sarajevo Markale marketplace, future US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright not only lied, but in her effort to deceive the world also declared the evidence “classified.” The evidence she tried to suppress has revealed beyond any doubt that Bosnian Muslims butchered their own people to win world sympathy. That lie has subsequently cost the Serbs thousands of innocent lives.
The Western public calmly ignores the fact that many Pulitzer laureates built their careers on Serb-slandering lies. Reporters of the British ITN, who shot the exclusive footage of “starving Bosniaks in Serb concentration camps,” did not confess until 1997 that the footage was a deception. CNN’s star reporter Christiane Amanpour often reported from Pale, claiming to be “live from Sarajevo,” and solicited outrage against the “Chetniks who raped 50,000 Bosniak women.” No one in the West seemed interested for the epilogue of such stories, such as the case of one of the allegedly “raped” Bosniak women, who was given asylum in Switzerland and there gave birth to an African baby. Similar monstrous lies were repeated during the Kosovo war, again demonizing the Serbs.
Richard Hoolbroke joins KLA terrorists involved in organized crime including organ harvesting
Walker’s Salvador Experiences
US Secretary of Defense William Cohen claimed to the world that Serbs had killed “100,000 Albanians” in Kosovo. KFOR has so far exhumed less than 3000 dead, one-third of which are Serbs.
William Walker with his hands in his pockets conducting a so-called “investigation of the massacre”. Walker refused to allow representatives of the domestic media to be present during his “investigation process” and personally selected the teams of reporters who could accompany him
The most grotesque lie was the staged “massacre” in Račak, in January 1999, when Serbs were accused of executing 45 Kosovo Albanians. That there was no blood at the alleged “murder scene,” and that US Ambassador William Walker [of the OSCE mission] three times prevented the Serbian forensic pathologist, one Dr. Marinković, from investigating the scene, indicates that the justification for bombing [and invasion] of Serbia was nothing but a Big Lie.
Ambassador Walker told the media the purported massacre was “the most of horrific thing he has ever seen.” No one seemed to recall the fact that during Walker’s mandate in El Salvador [in the 1980s], the Death Squads decapitated thousands of victims. According to the testimony of priest Daniel Santiago, the heads would then be mounted on pikes. Walker Voker kept silent about these atrocities because the perpetrators were trained by the US and sponsored by the CIA
Paddy Ashdown selling arms to Albanian aggressors in the province of Kosovo i Metohija
Wesley Clark’s claim that NATO air force had “destroyed the Serb army” should also be counted among the lies of Western propaganda. It was debunked when several hundred undamaged Serb tanks left Kosovo. The truth was that during the 78-day bombing campaign, which cost American taxpayers tens of billions of dollars, only 13 Serbian vehicles were destroyed.
Reporting from Gorazde, writes Lt. Col. Sray, both Amanpour and Jennings claimed that “Serbs are devastating the town, house by house,” deliberately omitting the fact that Muslim troops had mined the houses and then left, abandoning their civilians. According to Lt. Col. Sray, CNN’s correspondents assassinated the character of General Michael Rose, accusing him of being a “Serb-lover.” Rose was also accused of surrendering Gorazde to Serbs, because he “did not want to defend a Muslim town.” After a fierce media campaign, the British general was forced to leave Sarajevo in disgrace.
“A Great Job”
“In the past three years, the [American] media has done a great job of buttressing the negative image of the Serbs and Serbia, so much so that on dozens of occasions it actually helped achieve political results that went a long way in inflicting deadly injury to the Serbs in Croatia, Bosnia, and in Serbia. In the end, unless the United States policy of ‘punish the Serbs’ – especially through sanctions against Serbia – is revised, it will have succeeded in its aim, namely, to destroy a country and demoralize a nation,” wrote in 1995 Norma von Ragenfeld-Feldman, a Ph. D in history, in the San Francisco magazine Unity Herald
Let’s hope that some of these dishonest men and women who caused so much death and desaster will pay for all their crimes.
By Grey Carter
Source: There Must be Justice
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The Axis powers invaded Yugoslavia on 6 April 1941. Vladko Maček, the leader of the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) which was the most influential party in Croatia at the time, rejected offers by the Nazi Germany to lead the new government. On 10 April the most senior home-based Ustaša, Slavko Kvaternik, took control of the police in Zagreb and in a radio broadcast that day proclaimed the formation of the Independent State of Croatia (Nezavisna Država Hrvatska, NDH).
The new Independent State of Croatia” was established as a pro-Nazi government. It was dedicated to a clerical-fascist ideology influenced both by Nazism and extreme Roman Catholic fanaticism. On coming to power, the Ustaša Party dictatorship in Croatia quickly commenced on a systematic policy of racial extermination of all Serbs, Jews and Gypsies living within its borders.
The NDH was ruled by Ante Pavelic under the title Poglavnik, or “Headman”. Pavelic served as leader of the Independent State of Croatia, a puppet state of the Axis Powers, throughout the four years of its existence, but since the Ustaše did not have a capable army or administration necessary to control the territory, the Germans and the Italians split the NDH into two zones of influence, one in the southwest controlled by the Italians (with Pavelić as Headman), and the other in the northeast controlled by the Germans.
Pavelić first met with Adolf Hitler on June 6, 1941. Mile Budak, then a minister in Pavelić’s government, publicly proclaimed the violent racial policy of the state on 22 July 1941. The Ustaša’s organization was a typically fascist organization and its military strength was an instrument for the implementation of the Ustaša’s Nazi ideology.
The first “Legal order for the defense of the people and the state” dated April 17, 1941 ordered the death penalty for “infringement of the honor and vital interests of the Croatian people and the survival of the Independent State of Croatia”. It was soon followed by the “Legal order of races” and the “Legal order of the protection of Aryan blood and the honor of the Croatian people” dated April 30, 1941, as well as the “Order of the creation and definition of the racial-political committee” dated June 4, 1941.
The enforcement of these legal acts was done not only through normal courts but also new out-of-order courts as well as mobile court-martials with extended jurisdictions.
The NDH Ustaša terror was also aimed at the Serbian Orthodox Church. Three Orthodox bishops and most of the Orthodox priests were murdered by the end of 1941 in the cruelest of manners. During the war, 450 Orthodox churches were demolished. Mass conversions were forced upon Serb villagers but the exact number of Serbs forcibly converted to Catholicism has never been established.
One Orthodox Serb from Okučani reported:
“The new government told me that I’d have to convert to Roman Catholicism if I wanted to keep my job. I refused and was fired in July 1941. I moved my family to the nearby town of Okučani where I managed to find work. But in Okučani I was arrested, once by the Germans and once by the Croatian fascists. Both of those times I was released. Now I’ve been arrested yet again by the Croatian fascists. My crime—being a Serb.”
The Ustaša army (Ustaška vojnica) was organized by Slavko Kvaternik, and it was made up of Ustaša units (filled out with volunteers) under the direction of the Central Ustaša Headquarters, of special police units (redarstvo) and the Home Guard (domobrani), and in August of 1941 the Ustaša Secret Service was formed by Ustaša Security Service Kommando Eugen Dido Kvaternik who also oversaw the concentration camp system throughout the sphere of Ustaša control.
In the early stages of the Ustaša rule there were no legal regulations about sending people to concentration camps or the length of sentences. Such things were decided by Pavelić’s emissaries, district prefects, deputy prefects, camp supervisors and other Ustaša commanders. Such practices remained even later, and when the regulations were finally passed, no one actually obeyed them.
The first camps in the NDH were founded on the island of Pag at the place called Slano, on Mount Velebit near Gospić at a place called Jadovno, and in Bosnia at Kruščica near Travnik. Besides Jasenovac, the larger camps were:
Jadovno near Gospić
Kruščica near Vitez and Travnik in Bosnia
Loborgrad in Zagorje
Tenja near Osijek
The establishment of the Jasenovac Camp System
Jasenovac was established in August, 1941 and was dismantled in April, 1945. The creation and management of the camp complex were given to Department III of the Croatian Security Police (Ustashka Nadzorna Sluzba; UNS) which was headed by Vjekoslav Maks Luburic, who commanded the Jasenovac camp.
The camp spread out over 210 square kilometers, along the Sava River from Stara Gradiska in the east to the village Krap1je in the west, and from Strug in the north to the line between Draksenic to Bistrica in the south.
The choice of the wider region of Jasenovac for such a monstrous camp was made for several reasons. One of them was certainly the suitable geographic position. The Zagreb-Belgrade railway was in the vicinity and was important for the transport of the prisoners. The terrain was surrounded by the rivers Sava, Una and Velika Struga, in the middle of the swampy Lonjsko poije area, so that escape from the camp was almost impossible.
On the other side of the Sava, the Gradina region was hardly accessible and often flooded by the river, uninhabited and far from all witnesses. It was the ideal place for hiding mass murders.
Jasenovac became the largest and most important concentration camp (sabirni logor) and extermination camp complex in the Nezavisna Hrvatska Drzava (NDH), Independent State of Croatia, during World War II. The Jasenovac concentration camp complex would be crucial in the systematic and planned genocide of the Orthodox Serbs of the Srpska Vojna Krajina and of Bosnia-Hercegovina by the Croats and Bosnian Muslims.
Other concentration camps were established in Sisak, Stara Gradiska, Djakovo, Lepoglava, Loborgrad. In all, there would be 22 concentration camps in the NDH, almost half of which were commanded by Roman Catholic Croatian priests.
The first transports brought Serbs and Jews to the nearby village of Krapje, which was 7 miles west of Jasenovac. At this site, the prisoners were forced to build the camp that was called Jasenovac Camp No. 1. A second camp was built after the increase in the number of prisoners called Camp No.2.
Camp No.3 was built near the Ciglara brick factory, Ozren Bacic & Company, at the mouth of the Lonja and downstream from Jasenovac. Camp No.4 was built in Jasenovac itself near the former leather factory. The camp at the nearby town of Stara Gradiska is referred to as Camp No.5.
The maximum capacity of all the camps was 7,000 prisoners but usually only 4,000 prisoners were there at any one time.
Jasenovac was in fact a system or complex of concentration and extermination camps occupying a surface of 130 square miles, set up under decree-law, No. 1528-2101-Z-1941, on September 25,1941, legally authorizing the creation of ‘assembly or work camps for undesirable and dangerous persons.
The Ustaše interned mostly Serbs in Jasenovac. Other victims included Jews, Bosniaks,Gypsies, and opponents of the Ustaša regime. Most of the Jews were murdered there until August 1942, when they started being deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Jews were sent to Jasenovac from all parts of Croatia after being gathered in Zagreb, and from Bosnia and Herzegovina after being gathered in Sarajevo.
Some came directly from other cities and smaller towns. On their arrival most were killed at execution sites near the camp: Granik, Gradina, and other places. Those kept alive were mostly skilled at needed professions and trades (doctors, pharmacists, electricians, shoemakers, goldsmiths, and so on) and were employed in services and workshops at Jasenovac.
The living conditions in the camp were extremely severe: a meager diet, deplorable accommodations, a particularly cruel regime, and cruel behavior by the Ustaše guards. The conditions improved only for short periods during visits by delegations, such as the press delegation that visited in February 1942 and a Red Cross delegation in June 1944.
Following the Wannsee Conference of January 20, 1942, where the ‘Final Solution to the Jewish Problem’ was formulated, the Germans proposed through SS Sturmbannfuehrer Hans Helm that the Croats transfer Jewish prisoners to German camps in the east.
Kvaternik, agreed that the NDH would arrest the Jews, take them to railheads, and pay the Germans 30 Reich marks per person for the cost of transport to the extermination camps in the east. The Germans agreed that the property of the Jews would go to the Croat government.
SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Franz Abromeit was sent to supervise the deportations to Auschwitz. From August 13-20,1942, 5,500 Jews from the NDH were transpoted to Aushwitz on five trains from the Croat concentration camps at Tenje and Loborgrad and from Zagreb and Sarajevo.
Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler was on a state visit to Zagreb in May,1943 when two trains on May 5 and 10 trasported 1,150 Jews to Auschwitz.
Wholesale murder of the prisoners was also carried out in the forest near the Krapje Camp, near the „Versaj“ Camp and „Uštica“ Camp on the whole left bank of the Sava, downriver from Jasenovac to Jablanac and Mlaka. Furthermore, within the complex of Camp III there was also a crematorium which was actually an oven for baking bricks, that the Ustaša converted for the use burning the bodies of their victims.
The crematorium became known as “Picili’s Funaceo” after the designer of the oven conversion plan, Hinko Picili.
In addition to the horrendous conditions in the Jasenovac camps, the guards also cruelly tortured, terrorized, and murdered prisoners at will. Here the most varied forms of torture were used: finger and toe nails were pulled out with metal instruments, eyes were dug out with specially constructed hooks, people were blinded by having needles stuck in their eyes, flesh was cut and then salted.
People were also flayed, had their noses, ears and tongues cut off with wire cutters, and had awls stuck in their hearts. Daughters were raped in front of their mothers, sons were tortured in front of their fathers.
The prisoners and all those who ended up in Jasenovac had their throats cut by the Ustaša with specially designed knives, or they were killed with axes, mallets and hammers; they were also shot, or they were hung from trees or light poles. Some were burned alive in hot furnaces, boiled in cauldrons, or drowned in the River Sava.
The acts of violence and depravity commited in Jasenovac were so brutal that General von Horstenau, Hitler’s representative in Zagreb, wrote:
“The Ustaša camps in the NDH are the “Epitome of horror”!
Stara Gradiska was the most notorious camp in the Jasenovac complex besides the main camp (Ciglana), mainly due to the crimes which were committed against women and children.
Camp staff, Antun Vrban, Nada Luburic, Maja Buzdon, Jozo Stojcic, and especially the commandant and former-friar Miroslav Filipovic-Majstorovic, were notorious both in Jasenovac and Stara Gradiska, for killing scores of inmates with his bare hands, women and children included.
In in cellar 3 at Stara Gradiska, (known as the “Gagro Hotel”), starved inmates were first tortured and then slowly strangled to death by wire.
In the Dinko Sakic trial, witness Ivo Senjanovic recalled how people were locked there without food or water:
“The people were gradually dying. It was horrible to hear them cry for help.”
The treatment of inmates was so horrific that on the night of August 29, 1942, bets were made among the prison guards as to who could liquidate the largest number of inmates. One of the guards, Petar Brzica reportedly cut the throats of 1,360 prisoners with a butcher knife. A gold watch, a silver service, a roasted suckling pig, and wine were among his rewards.
The type of knife used for cutting prisoners’ throats became known as srbosjek translated as the “Serb-cutter”. Because of his expertise with the sbosjek, Petar Brzica was dubbed “King of the Cut-throats”.
It is estimated that close to 600,000 (depending on who’s statistics you agree with), mostly Serbs, Jews, Gypsies, were murdered at Jasenovac.
The number of Jewish victims was between twenty and twenty-five thousand, most of whom were murdered there up to August 1942, when deportation of the Croatian Jews to Auschwitz for extermination began.
Statistics for Romani victims are difficult to assess, as there are no firm estimates of their number in prewar Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The best estimates calculate the number of Romani victims at about 26,000, of whom between 8,000 and 15,000 perished in Jasenovac.
There are only loose estimates for the number of Croats murdered by the Ustaša. This group included political and religious opponents of the regime, both Catholic and Muslim. Between 5,000 and 12,000 Croats are believed to have died in Jasenovac.
In early April 1945, the partisans were fighting nearby Jasenovac and its subcamps, so the Ustase began eliminating traces of the camp, killing some of the inmates and transporting others to Lepoglava and from there to Jasenovac I.
The ultimate liquidation of the Camp was begun on April 20, when the last large group of women and children was executed. On April 22, 1945, under the leadership of Ante Vukotic, about 600 people armed with bricks, poles, hammers and other things, broke down the doors, shattered windows and ran out of the building. About 470 people were sick and unable to fight barehanded with the armed Ustaša, so they did not take part in the rebellion.
The 150 meter long path to the east gate of the camp was covered by the crossfire of the Ustaša machine guns, and many prisoners were killed there. A large number of them was killed on the wires of the camp. A hundred prisoners managed to break through the broken gate of the camp. Only 80 prisoners survived while 520 of them died in the first assault. The remaining 470 within the camp were later killed by the Ustaša.
Yugoslav Army forces entered the Stara Gradiska camp on April 23, and Jasenovac on May 2, 1945. Before leaving the camp, the Ustaša killed the remaining prisoners, blasted and destroyed the buildings, guard-houses, torture rooms, the “Picili Furnace” and the other structures. Upon entering the camp, the liberators found only ruins, soot, smoke, and dead bodies.
During the following months of 1945, the grounds of Jasenovac were thoroughly destroyed by forced laborers, composed of 200 to 600 Domobran soldiers captured by the Partisans, thereby making the area a labor camp. They leveled the camp to the ground and among other things dismantled a two-kilometer long, four-meter high wall that surrounded it.
The National Committee of Croatia for the investigation of the crimes of the occupation forces and their collaborators stated in its report of November 15, 1945 that 500,000-600,000 people were killed at Jasenovac.
Dedijer, Vladimir. The Yugoslav Auschwitz and the Vatican: The Croatian Massacre of the Serbs during World War II. Buffalo, New York: Prometheus Books, 1992.
Romans, J. Jews of Yugoslavia, 1941- 1945: Victims of Genocide and Freedom Fighters, Belgrade, 1982
Fotich, Konstantin. The War We Lost:Ý Yugoslavia’s Tragedy and the Failure of theÝWest. New York: Viking Press, 1948.
Brochure of the Jasenovac Research Institute, written by JRI Research Director Barry Lituchy, (c) 2000.
Gutman, Israel,ed. The Encyclopedia of the Holocaust. 4 vols. New York:
Ustaša Camps by Mirko Percen, Globus, Zagreb, 1966. Second expanded printing 1990.
Ustashi and the Independent State of Croatia 1941-1945, by Fikreta Jelic-Butic, Liber, Zagreb, 1977.
US National Archives
*Special thanks to the USHMM
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The last open armed conflict in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – FYROM (former Socialist Republic of Macedonia as one of six federal republics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) in the May 2015 was just an expected continuation of constant tensions between the ethnic Albanians and the Macedonian Slavs during the last quarter of century.[i] However, these tensions are time to time transformed into the open armed conflicts of the Albanian extremists, usually coming from Kosovo, with the Macedonian security forces.
The most notable conflict incidents in Macedonia after the Kosovo War in 1998−1999, when the Kosovo Albanians started to export Kosovo revolution to Macedonia, up to 2015 are recorded in 2001 that was ended by the EU/USA sponsored Ohrid Agreement, in 2007 when on November 7th, Macedonian special police forces liquidated six armed Albanians from the neighboring Kosovo on the Shara Mt. in the North Macedonia – the region known from 1991 as the most nationalistic and separatist Albanian area at the Balkans after Kosovo and in 2008 after the parliamentary elections in June.
In the 2007 case, for instance, police found a large amount of hidden arms and ammunition on one location at the Shara Mt. (brought from Kosovo). The Balkan political analysts are kin to speculate that what is happening in Macedonia after 1999 is just a continuation of the export of the 1998-99 Kosovo revolution. 1998−1999. It basically means that Macedonia is scheduled by the Kosovo Albanian “revolutionaries” (i.e., by the political leadership of the Kosovo Liberation Army−the KLA) to be the next Balkan country which will experience a “Kosovo syndrome” that was successfully finished by the proclamation of the Kosovo independence in February 2008. It is as well as assumed that Montenegro is going to be the third Balkan country infected by the process of Kosovization.
The pre-1991 “Macedonian Question”
Macedonia always was the crossroad of the Balkans having a vital strategic position at the peninsula. The geostrategic importance of Macedonia was probably expressed the best by the German kanzellar Otto von Bismarck: “Those who control the valley of the River Vardar are the masters of the Balkans”.[ii]
A whole historic-geographic territory of Macedonia was formerly part of the Ottoman Empire from 1371 to 1912. Macedonia was the first Yugoslav land to be occupied by the Ottomans and the last one to be liberated from the Ottoman yoke. Before the Ottoman lordship, Macedonia was governed by the Byzantine Empire, Bulgaria and Serbia. A Bulgarian sponsored the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (the IMRO) was established in 1893 in Thessaloniki with the ultimate political goal to include whole Macedonia into Bulgaria. After the Balkans Wars of 1912−1913 a territory of historic-geographic Macedonia was partitioned between Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria. During WWI Macedonia became a scene of fierce fighting between the Central Powers and the Entente (the Macedonian front). Allied forces landed at Thessaloniki in October 1915 to be soon accompanied with approximately 150.000 Serbian soldiers who escaped from the occupied Serbia. In September 1918 under the French General Franchet d’Esperey, a joint British, French and Serbian army advanced against Bulgaria and soon liberated Serbia.[iii]
After the WWI the Treaty of Neuilly confirmed the Vardar Macedonia as a part of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, while the Aegean Macedonia with Thessaloniki remained the Greek and the Pirin Macedonia the Bulgarian. In the 1920s a large population movement transformed the ethnic composition of the population of the historic-geographic Macedonia. The crucial exchange of population occurred after the Treaty of Lausanne as some 350.000 Muslims from Macedonia were exchanged with Turkey by around 1.200.000 ethnic Greeks from Anatolia. In the interwar time a Bulgarian sponsored IMRO terrorism activity increased in the Yugoslav Macedonia seeking to destabilize the country in order to finally annex Macedonia into Bulgaria.[iv] After 1945 the Vardar Macedonia became a socialist republic within the Yugoslav federation with recognized a separate Macedonian nationality, Macedonian language and alphabet which was standardized for the first time in history. Up to 1991 the Yugoslav authorities fostered Macedonian self-identity and nationalism at the expense of the Serb and Bulgarian national interests.[v] Therefore, for the very reason to keep a territorial integrity of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia, her Albanian minority was not granted a status of an autonomous province like the Kosovo Albanians in Serbia who had, according to the last Yugoslav constitution in 1974, their own president, government, assembly, police, university and academy of sciences – a state within the state.
The post-1991 “Macedonian Question”
During the violent destruction of ex-Yugoslavia, in November 1991 the Socialist Republic of Macedonia proclaimed independence that was firstly recognized by Bulgaria. However, Bulgaria never recognized a separate Macedonian language and ethnicity as for Bulgarians up to today all Macedonian Slavs are ethnolinguistic Bulgarians.[vi] Of course, when Skopje decided to declare independence, the Macedonians decided at the same time to deal alone with the Albanian nationalism and separatism in Macedonia without help by the Serbs.
The government in Skopje believed that the West will protect a territorial integrity of Macedonia and therefore yet in 1991 NATO’s troops were invited to be deployed in this newly proclaimed independent state which became internationally recognized in 1993 but with a provisional state’s name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – a unique case in world history. Nevertheless, a new Macedonian constitution, a constitutional state’s name (the Republic of Macedonia) and the state’s symbols created immediately extremely tense and hostile relationships with a neighboring Greece as Skopje developed rival (and unjust) claims to the ethnohistorical heritage of the ancient Macedonians and the Kingdom of Macedonia.[vii] Greece and the FYROM recognized each other five years after the Macedonian official proclamation of independence when Greece lifted economic blockade against the FYROM as well.
However, the crucial challenge to the post-1991 “Macedonian Question” is coming from the ethnic breakdown of the country and historical background of interethnic relations between the Macedonian Slavs and the Macedonian Albanians. The later are the biggest and most nationalistic ethnic minority in the FYROM composing today about 30% of total population. Their number increased during the Kosovo War in 1998−1999, especially during the NATO’s “a prominent example of unauthorized humanitarian intervention”[viii] against Serbia and Montenegro, as the Kosovo Albanians, formally as the refugees, came to Macedonia followed by their compatriots from Albania – a country out of any warfare at that time. Majority of those Albanian “refugees”[ix] in fact never returned back to their homeland. Inter-ethnic tensions between the Macedonian Slavs and the Macedonian Albanians soon became increased due to both worsening economic situation and the uncompromised Albanian nationalism as an effect of the exported “Kosovo syndrome”.
The “Kosovo syndrome”
The export of the Kosovo revolution after 1999 as a direct outcome of the “Kosovo syndrome” to neighboring Macedonia is in direct connection with much serious regional problem of creation of a Greater Albania from 1878 up today. After June 1999 when the NATO’s troops occupied and divided Kosovo into five occupation zones, transforming this region into their colony,[x] West Macedonia became a stronghold for the rebel Albanian terrorist forces which in fact came from Kosovo.
The Macedonian Albanian separatism backed by the KLA paramilitary troops in the area of Tetovo, Kumanovo and Gostivar in the North-West Macedonia became directly encouraged by the fact that neighboring Kosovo Albanians finally succeeded to separate Kosovo from the rest of Serbia with direct NATO’s and EU military and diplomatic support. The same or very similar scenario was drawn now and for the West Macedonia with Skopje as a capital of the Albanian independent state of the Republic of Ilirida – a state proclaimed by the local Albanian nationalists twice after the destruction of ex-Yugoslavia: in 1992 and in September 2014. Of course, an ultimate goal is pan-Albanian unification with Tirana as a capital of a Greater Albania as it was during the WWII. Here it has to be stressed that between Kosovo, West Macedonia and Albania in fact there is no cross-border checking as it is formally controlled by the Albanians themselves, if it is controlled at all. Therefore, in practice a Greater Albania already exists. Furthermore, the traffic connections between Tirana and Prishtina are planned to be radically improved as the Kosovo Albanian government recently agreed with the government of Albania to connect their two capitals with a modern highway probably financially sponsored by the western economies.
The “Macedonian Question” has always been at the heart of Balkan politics and of interest to the Great Powers. Macedonia – the small, landlocked territory of the South Balkans has been contested during the last 150 years by all of its four neighbors – Serbia, Bulgaria, Albania and Greece. A Socialist Yugoslavia of Josip Broz Tito claimed to have solved the “Macedonian Question” by the establishment of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia as a part of the Yugoslav Federation from 1945 to 1991. Nonetheless, the destruction of the second Yugoslavia in 1991 reopened the issue of the future of the territory of the Vardar Macedonia – a Serbian-Yugoslav part of a geographic-historic Macedonia given to the Kingdom of Serbia by the Bucharest Peace Treaty on August 10th, 1913.[xi] A successor “Republic of Macedonia” has been proclaimed as an independent state in November 1991 but it has not received immediately universal international recognition either of its formal political independence or of its state-flag and state-name.
Basically, after 1991 up today there are three main problems in regard to the “Macedonian Question”:
- Will Macedonian state’s territory be divided between the Slavic Macedonians and the ethnic Albanians (who are 30% of Macedonia’s population)?;
- Will all members of the international community recognize the name of “Republic of Macedonia” (according to the Macedonian Constitution of 1991) or they will continue to call this country as it is today officially named by the UNO – the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (the FYROM); and
- Will the FYROM have territorial claims on other parts of geographic-historic Macedonia included into Greece (the “Aegean Macedonia”) and Bulgaria (the “Pirin Macedonia”) after the Second Balkan War in 1913?
The Macedonian independence from 1991 created an extremely tense relationship with the Greek government, since Macedonia developed rival claims for ethnicity and statehood. This rivalry was epitomized in a dispute about the state’s name, as Greece objected to the use of Macedonia, whose historical heritage it claimed. These two countries eventually recognized each other in 1995, and the Greek economic blockade against Macedonia was lifted.
Nevertheless, the crucial problem in this country is that the ethnic make up of the FYROM continued to change as the Albanian refugees poured in from Kosovo and Albania increasing the size of the Albanian minority de facto to 30%.
Tensions were increased through the worsening economic situation, which escalated as a result of international sanctions and the war against its main trading partner – ex-Yugoslavia. As the situation in Kosovo escalated and war erupted in 1998−1999, Macedonia became an important stronghold for the moderate Albanian opposition from Kosovo, but also for the rebel KLA. Extremely encouraged by the recognition of the Albanian required rights in Kosovo from June 1999 by the West, the Albanian minority in the West Macedonia became more assertive and politically aggressive.
Following violent clashes in 2001 between the Macedonian police forces and the (Kosovo) Albanian rebels, NATO followed the plea of the pro-western Macedonian government and increased its presence in this South Balkan country. A higher scale of a civil war was narrowly avoided in 2001 when the Macedonian parliament in Skopje agreed, but under direct western (EU/US) pressure and blackmailing, great concessions granting linguistic and limited political autonomy to the Albanian minority in Macedonia.
In return, the KLA rebels in Macedonia (under the official name of the Albanian National Army – the ANA) agreed to give up their arms to NATO’s troops – a gesture that was done more for the TV screens as the main guns’ arsenal of the KLA was returned back to Kosovo to be activated in Macedonia once again on May 9−10th, 2015. This happened regardless of the presence of NATO’s peace-keeping troops in Macedonia which came in the early 1990s following the plea of the Macedonian government after violent clashes between the Macedonian police and Albanian rebels.
The “Macedonian Question” after the 2001 KLA rebellion in Macedonia primarily was dependent on solving the “Kosovo Question”. In the other words, it was logically expected that in the case of “international” (i.e., the western) recognition of Kosovo and by the west sponsored quasi-independence after February 17th, 2008, the Albanians from the West FYROM (likely followed by their compatriots from the East Montenegro) will follow a Kosovo example of regional revolution for the sake of getting territorial-national independence with a final aim to be united with a motherland Albania as it was clearly noticed even in 1997 by the late Kosovo Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova and more recently in May 2015 confirmed by the PM of Albania, Edi Rama.
Now we are witnessing a process of practical realization of the Greater Albania project that was designed for the first time by the Albanian First Prizren League in 1878. Or better to say, we are today dealing with the revival of a Greater Albania created by Mussolini in 1941 – a real state that existed until the end of the WWII. A difference is only that the WWII Greater Albania was sponsored by the western nazifascism while a present-day Greater Albania is backed by the western self-proclaimed liberal democracies.
The present Macedonian government of Nikola Gruevski (PM from 2006 and a leader of the VMRO-DPMNE) which has confronted the KLA, is punished (May 2015) by US-NATO for two reasons:
- A Macedonian policy not to introduce sanctions against Russia.
- A Macedonian wish to join Russia’s sponsored “Turkish Stream” of supplying Europe with the Siberian gas.
As the current Greek government is becoming closer to Russia, the Kosovization of Macedonia could be used against Greece, as a means to undermine the Greek pro-Russian policy. Namely, a summer holiday tourism is for Greece one of the most important incomes for the national budget per year. As a huge number of the European tourists are coming to Greece by the highway that is crossing Serbia, Macedonia and exactly the Kumanovo area it can be expected that in the case of conflict situation in the FYROM, the tourist industry in Greece will be affected.
- European tourists travelling by land will have to cross conflict areas in Macedonia.
- The conflict in Macedonia could spill over into Greece itself and most probably into Serbia.
Finally, the armed KLA rebellion in May 2015 against the state of Macedonia was used as a means to destabilize the government in Skopje in the form of a Colored Revolution, similar to Belgrade in October 2000. As in Serbia after October 2000, a new post-revolution Macedonian government sponsored by the West would be instrumental into transforming Macedonia into another client state of the post-Cold War NATO’s World Order. The success of the US-NATO plan very much depends on the role played by Russia.[xii]
© Vladislav B. Sotirovic 2016
[i] On this issue, see [L. Danforth, The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World, Princeton, 1995].
[ii] M. Glenny, The Balkans: Nationalism, War and the Great Powers, 1804−1999, New York: Viking, 1999, 156.
[iii] On the Macedonian front, see [G. W. Price, The Story of the Salonika Army, London 1918].
[iv] On the terrorism by IMRO, see [A. Londres, Terror in the Balkans, London, 1935].
[v] On this issue, see [S. E. Palmer, R. King, Yugoslav Communism and the Macedonian Question, Connecticut, 1971].
[vi] On the question of ethnic background of the Macedonians, see [H. N. Brailsford, Macedonia – Its Races and Their Future, London, 1906; H. Poulton, Who Are the Macedonians?, London, 1995]. On the Bulgarian standpoint, see [Macedonia: Documents and Material, Sofia, 1974].
[vii] On the Greek point of view, see [N. K. Martis, The Falsification of Macedonian History, Athens, 1984]. The fact is that the ancient “Macedonians were located between the Thracians and the Greeks, inhabiting the fertile plains drained by the Vardar and Struma rivers. From antiquity to the present the question has been debated as to whether these early Macedonians were Greeks or barbarians” [L. S. Stavrianos, The Balkans since 1453, New York: Rinehart & Company, Inc., 1958, 18]. However, the Macedonian kings and aristocracy have been the Greeks in language, culture and outlook who were inviting the Greeks of learning from Greek world to their courts. On the Macedonian point of view, see [S. Konechni, V. Georgieva, Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Macedonia, Skopje, 1998].
[viii] J. L. Holzgrefe, R. O. Keohane (eds.), Humanitarian Intervention. Ethical, Legal, and Political Dilemmas, Cambridge−New York, Cambridge University Press, 2005, 1. On the legal aspect of the humanitarian intervention, see [Ch. Gray, International Law and the Use of Force. Fully Updated Second Edition, Oxford−New York, Oxford University Press, 2004].
[ix] Majority of the Kosovo Albanian “refugees” during the Kosovo War 1998−1999 were not real refugees as they left their homes under the agreement with the KLA in order to show to the mainstream western mass media how the Serbian government is oppressive against the Kosovo ethnic Albanians.
[x] H. Hofbauer, Eksperiment Kosovo: Povratak kolonijalizma, Beograd: Albatros Plus, 2009.
[xi] В. Ћоровић, Наше победе, Београд: Култура, 1990, 82.
Twenty Principal Misconceptions about the Kosovo Issue
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“
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.
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?
Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic
© Vladislav B. Sotirovic 2015
[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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Editor’s note: This article was written and originally published in March 2014
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. 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.
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, 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. 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. In the Balkans NATO acquired not only a big military experience and an opportunity to exhaust old and use new weapons, 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). 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.
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 17th–19th, 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, 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. 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. 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. 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. Its principal features are the following:
- All kinds of repressive measures directed against the Serbian population.
- Carrying practical actions to force the Serbs to leave their homes.
- 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.
- Destruction of the complete infrastructure used by the members of the Serbian community.
- 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“.
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. 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.
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 $.
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. 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“.
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). 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 financed and clearly supported by all means by the US administration. 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.
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)… 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.
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.
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.
Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic
© Vladislav B. Sotirovic 2014
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 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.
 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 1990–2000, 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 1804–2011, New York-London: Penguin Books, 2012.
 See: Ken Booth (ed.), The Kosovo Tragedy: The Human Rights Dimensions, London-Portland, OR: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd, 2001.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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
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
 March Pogrom in Kosovo and Metohija. March 17–19, 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.
 Душан Т. Батаковић, Косово и Метохија: Историја и идеологија, Београд: Чигоја штампа, 2007, p. 61.
 On Tito’s biography, see: Jasper Ridley, Tito. Biografija, Zagreb: Prometej, 2000; Перо Симић, Тито. Феномен 20. века, Београд: Службени гласник-Сведоци епохе, 2011.
 Јеврем Дамњановић, Косовска голгота, Београд: Интервју, специјално издање, (22. октобар) 1988, p. 38.
 On terrorism in Yugoslavia, see: Радослав Гаћиновић, Насиље у Југославији, Београд: Евро, 2002.
 Hannes Hofbauer, Eksperiment Kosovo: Povratak kolonijalizma, Beograd: Albatros Plus, 2009 (original title: Experiment Kosovo: Die Rückkehr des Kolonialismus).
 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).
 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.
 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.
 On this issue, see: Petar V. Grujić, Kosovo Knot, Pittsburgh: RoseDog Books, 2014.
 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.
 James Pettifer, The Kosova Liberation Army: Underground War to Balkan Insurgency, 1948–2001, 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.
 Sinisa Ljepojevic, Kosovo Murky Reality, Bloomington, Indiana: AuthorsHouse, 2008, p. 1.
 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.
 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.
 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.
A follow-up of Professor Vladimir Kozin’s comments on NATO’s Fact Sheet about relations with Russia published in December 2014. The topics to be covered in this part:
- NATO’s operation in Afghanistan was a failure;
- The NATO-led mission in Afghanistan failed to stop the Afghan drugs trade;
- NATO’s operation over Libya was illegitimate;
- NATO’s operation over Kosovo was illegitimate;
- The cases of Kosovo and Crimea are identical;
- Russia’s annexation of Crimea was justified;
- The Ukrainian authorities are illegitimate.
NATO’s operation in Afghanistan was a failure
NATO claim: NATO took over the command of the UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in 2003.
Under NATO’s command, the mission progressively extended throughout Afghanistan, was joined by 22 non-NATO countries and built up from scratch an Afghan National Security Force of more than 350,000 soldiers and police.
Threats to Afghanistan’s security continue. However, the Afghan forces are now ready to take full responsibility for security across the country, as agreed with the Afghan authorities.
NATO has agreed to continue providing training, advice and assistance to the Afghan forces, and has planned a mission to do so, “Resolute Support”, as of 1 January.
Prof. Vladimir Kozin:
Yes, the NATO mission in Afghanistan was a complete military failure. The armed opposition in that country was not destroyed, despite high numbers of casualties among civilians, as well as soldiers and officers from the Western coalition. If the Afghan armed forces were capable of truly maintaining control over security in the country, Washington would not have signed an agreement with Kabul about maintaining its military presence there until 2024. If not later.
The NATO-led mission in Afghanistan failed to stop the Afghan drugs trade
NATO claim: As with any sovereign country, the primary responsibility for upholding law and order in Afghanistan, including as regards the trade in narcotics, rests with the Afghan government.
The international community is supporting the Afghan government to live up to this responsibility in many ways, including both through the United Nations and through the European Union.
NATO is not a main actor in this area. This role has been agreed with the international community.
Prof. Vladimir Kozin:
NATO has not stopped and is not prepared to stop the Afghan drug threat, offering up the ridiculous excuse that it has no specific mandate to do so. But if they wanted, such a mandate could be written up and signed within a couple of days. Apparently, NATO’s “non-interference” in drug production in Afghanistan is something of interest to the alliance: not only Russian citizens die from ingesting cocktails of Afghan drugs, but also Europeans.
NATO’s operation over Libya was illegitimate
NATO claim: The NATO-led operation was launched under the authority of two UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR), 1970 and 1973, both quoting Chapter VII of the UN Charter, and neither of which was opposed by Russia.
UNSCR 1973 authorized the international community “to take all necessary measures” to “protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack“. This is what NATO did, with the political and military support of regional states and members of the Arab League.
After the conflict, NATO cooperated with the UN International Commission of Inquiry on Libya, which found no breach of UNSCR 1973 or international law, concluding instead that “NATO conducted a highly precise campaign with a demonstrable determination to avoid civilian casualties.”
NATO’s operation over Libya was illegitimate, inhumane, and had extremely dangerous military, political, and economic consequences: there is still no civil peace there. Libya’s ruler was killed in a barbaric manner. The Libyan economy has utterly disintegrated. As for NATO’s air operation, once it began to destroy Libya’s military hardware, soldiers, and civilians on the ground, NATO then overstepped its mandate to ensure a “no-fly zone” in the sky over Libya.
NATO’s operation over Kosovo was illegitimate
NATO claim: The NATO operation for Kosovo followed over a year of intense efforts by the UN and the Contact Group, of which Russia was a member, to bring about a peaceful solution. The UN Security Council on several occasions branded the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo and the mounting number of refugees driven from their homes as a threat to international peace and security. NATO’s Operation Allied Force was launched to prevent the large-scale and sustained violations of human rights and the killing of civilians.
Following the air campaign, the subsequent NATO-led peacekeeping operation, KFOR, which initially included Russia, has been under UN mandate (UNSCR 1244), with the aim of providing a safe and secure environment in Kosovo.
Prof. Vladimir Kozin:
NATO’s security operation over Kosovo was illegitimate because it was carried out without the approval of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia at that time and was conducted against a backdrop of a barbaric, massive bombing campaign in Yugoslavia in 1999, including in the provinces of Kosovo and Metohija, which were part of that country. There was no full approval from the UN Security Council.
It should be noted that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia never attacked a NATO country.
As the director of the Regional Center of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo and Metohija in 2001, I saw too many ruined buildings there that had been damaged by NATO air attacks. The damage caused by NATO aggression was in excess of $100 billion. NATO has still never compensated Serbia for the human and financial costs that country endured.
Members of the alliance have still not full complied with UN Security Council Resolution 1244, which was adopted after the end of the NATO bombing campaigns. What’s more, they have grossly violated it. Of particular significance is the paragraph that provides for “substantial autonomy” for the territory of Kosovo and Metohija within the framework of the Yugoslav state, but without recognizing its independence. This position is reflected in the preamble to Resolution 1244 and in the addendum to it.
The territory’s Serbian population still lives in confined enclaves and is unable to travel freely through the larger area around them.
The cases of Kosovo and Crimea are identical
NATO claim: The Kosovo operation was conducted following exhaustive discussion involving the whole international community dealing with a long-running crisis.
Following the operation, the international community engaged in nearly ten years of diplomacy, under UN authority, to find a political solution and to settle Kosovo’s final status, as prescribed by UNSCR 1244.
In Crimea, there was no pre-existing crisis, no attempt to discuss the situation with the Ukrainian government, no involvement of the United Nations, and no attempt at a negotiated solution.
In Kosovo, international attempts to find a solution took over 3,000 days. In Crimea, Russia annexed part of Ukraine’s territory in less than 30 days.
Pro-reunification rally in Simferopol, March 16, 2014.
Prof. Vladimir Kozin:
But in terms of their development, the cases of Crimea and Kosovo are not identical. The independence of the Republic of Crimea was proclaimed through an open and democratic referendum. The “independence” of Kosovo and Metohija was declared by its parliament, in which the vast majority of the deputies (up to 90%) were Kosovo Albanians. Kosovo Serbs opposed this decision. But they were driven out of the territory, and therefore were not able to take part in determining its fate.
After the collapse of the USSR, the leaders of the Republic of Crimea held repeated discussions with all the presidents of Ukraine regarding the issue of its independence and their requests for greater autonomy. But when they received it, it was a stripped-down version, with significant infringement of the rights and freedoms of the Russian-speaking, Crimean Tatar, and other non-Ukrainian populations.
Once the ultra-nationalist leaders took power in Kiev in Feb. 2014, their course shifted sharply toward the glorification of Banderites and Nazis, and toward the use of weapons against demonstrators and police officers on Independence Square in Kiev, which aroused deep concern among the residents of Crimea.
All of this preordained and hastened the Republic of Crimea’s withdrawal from Ukraine in 2014.
Russia’s reunification with Crimea was justified by ICJ Kosovo verdict
NATO claim: The court stated that their opinion was not a precedent. The court said they had been given a “narrow and specific” question about Kosovo’s independence which would not cover the broader legal consequences of that decision.
Prof. Vladimir Kozin:
A response has already been provided in regard to the “annexation” of Crimea.
This was no “annexation.” It is enough to cite the position of the UN Charter in regard to the right of nations to self-determination – a stance no one has yet renounced.
It is enough to take into account the opinion of the overwhelming majority of the citizens of the Republic of Crimea, who simply did not want to continue as part of Ukraine – a country that forbade them to speak their native language or use it in their schools, that collected taxes from the region and took the money back to Kiev, that oppressed the ethnic Russians, Tatars, and other nationalities who lived on the Crimean peninsula, and that had destroyed Crimea’s priceless historical monuments.
Essentially, officials in the national Ukrainian government had been actively carrying out “internal aggression” in Crimea since 1991.
The Ukrainian authorities are illegitimate
NATO claim: Ukraine’s President Poroshenko was elected on 25 May with a clear majority in a vote which the OSCE characterized (report here) as showing the “clear resolve of the authorities to hold what was a genuine election largely in line with international commitments and with a respect for fundamental freedoms.” The only areas where serious restrictions were reported were those controlled by separatists, who undertook “increasing attempts to derail the process.”
The current parliament was elected on 26 October in a vote which the OSCE characterized (report here) as “an amply contested election that offered voters real choice, and a general respect for fundamental freedoms”. It again pointed out that “Electoral authorities made resolute efforts to organize elections throughout the country, but they could not be held in parts of the regions (oblasts) of Donetsk and Luhansk or on the Crimean peninsula”.
Finally, Russian officials continue to allege that the Ukrainian parliament and government are dominated by “Nazis” and “fascists.” However, in the parliamentary elections, the parties whom Russia labelled as “fascists” fell far short of the threshold of 5% needed to enter parliament. Ukraine’s electorate clearly voted for unity and moderation, not separatism or extremism, and the composition of the parliament reflects that.
In short, the President and parliament are legitimate, the actions of the separatists were not.
Grotesque presidential elections in Ukraine were held in May 2014
Prof. Vladimir Kozin:
The current Ukrainian government in Kiev took power illegally and with bloodshed.
The presidential elections in Ukraine were held in violation of Europe’s electoral standards. A large percentage of potential voters did not take part.
The term “separatists” is incorrect. The militia in the Donbass is made up of fighters for freedom and independence. They do not want to live in a state that grossly violates human rights and is decimating a people, their religion, language, and culture. One that wants to turn the Donbass into nothing but scorched earth.
The period since February 2014 has shown that this state represents an authority that is unprofessional and pitiless toward the people, and which has brought great suffering to the country and inflicted painful socioeconomic consequences upon the citizens of Ukraine.
This is an authority that can steal the energy supplies with which it is being provided and use lies to present its views.
This is an authority that destroyed the Malaysian airliner flying over its country.
This is an authority that has no intention of repaying its recognized financial and economic debts.
This is an authority that for the sake of its own selfish ambitions is prepared to shatter peace and stability in Europe and all over the world.
If NATO cannot or does not want to see this, that means that at present and for the foreseeable future, NATO is and will remain an accomplice to the aggressive, warring, and inhumane regime in Kiev.
And one last comment. As Russian President Vladimir Putin noted at his Dec. 18 press conference, the Berlin Wall has collapsed, but “new walls are being built.” In his words “… the best thing to do is to stop building walls and to start building a common humanitarian space of security and economic freedom.”
If the United States and NATO are not able to understand this, then Europe and the entire world can expect to see some difficult times. The “Cold War” will continue. That war is unpredictable. We will be lucky if its main phase lasts only three years and is over by 2017, as the famous Russian astrologer Pavel Globa believes.
But what if it drags on?
Then that will be the sole fault of the US and NATO, which are consciously and deliberately making a shambles of regional and global stability.
About the author:
Professor Vladimir Kozin was directly engaged in NATO-related issues during his 40-years-long professional career in the Russian Foreign Ministry. He was one of the leading negotiators from the Russian side at the most of the Russia-US diplomatic and military talks on disarmament, strategic deterrence and other issues in 1990s.
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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.   NATO employed weapons considered criminal by international law such as depleted uranium and cluster bombs.   
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.
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. 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. 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”.
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. The IMF froze wages as inflation skyrocketed and by early 1990 real wages had dropped 41%. 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.  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. This included arms shipments and training.  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. 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. 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.
The Western-backed leader of the Republic of Bosnia & Herzegovina 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.  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?”. 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”. 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) basic industry remained publicly owned. 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. 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. 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. 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. 
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 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. 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.
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. 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.
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). One Albanian woman crossing into Macedonia put it bluntly and told a news crew “There were no Serbs. We were frightened of the bombs.” 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. 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. 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.”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.”
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.   As many as 81% of Serbians believe they lived best in the age of socialism. Similar trends exist in Slovenia, Bosnia, and Macedonia.    A ‘Yugoslav’ identity persists in the Balkans.  In the wake of the tons of depleted uranium dropped on the former Yugoslavia, there has been a spike in leukemia and cancer.  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”. 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. Anti-NATO demonstrations in the country gather thousands, if not tens of thousands in the streets. 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.
 W.J Fenrick, “Targeting and Proportionality during the NATO Bombing Campaign against Yugoslavia, “European Journal of International Law 12, no. 3 (2001), 489-502.
 Human Rights Watch, The Crisis In Kosovo, Report. (2000).
 “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).
 “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.
 Andrew Webster, “Hague Conventions (1899, 1907),” The Encyclopedia of War, (2011).
 “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).
 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).
 Leon Trotsky, George Weissman, and Duncan Williams, The Balkan Wars, 1912-13: The War Correspondence of Leon Trotsky, New York: Monad Press, (1980), 15.
 Michael Parenti, To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia. London: Verso, (2000), p. 21.
 Paul F. J Aranas, Smokescreen: The US, NATO and the Illegitimate Use of Force. (New York: Algora Pub., 2012).
 Sean Gervasi, ‘Germany, the US, and the Yugoslav Crisis, Covert Action Quarterly, No. 43, Winter (1992-93): 42.
 World Bank, Industrial Restructuring Study: Overview, Issues, and Strategy for Restructuring, (Washington, D.C., June 1991), viii
 Gervasi: 44
 Michel Chossudovsky “Dismantling Former Yugoslavia, Recolonizing Bosnia.” Capital & Class 21, no. 2 (Winter, 1997): 1-12.
 Parenti, To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia, 21
 Ibid., 25
 Ibid., 27
 Franjo Tuđman, Franjo Tudjman on the Jews: Excerpts from the Book: “Wastelands–historical Truth” (Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, 1989).
 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, To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia, 31
 The economic crisis brought on political changes – a multi party system was introduced and the republics began dropping ‘Socialist’ from their names.
 Ibid., 51
 Ibid., 53
 Diana Johnstone, Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO, and Western Delusions, (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2002), 62.
 The FRY was formed in 1992 to replace the SFRY after all republics except Serbia & Montenegro seceded.
 Parenti, To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia, 22
 Misha Glenny, The Fall of Yugoslavia, (London: Penguin, 1992), 19-24
 Ramsey Clark, NATO in the Balkans: Voices of Opposition, (New York: International Action Center, 1998).
 Parenti, To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia, 44
 P.W. Singer, Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry. (Cornell University Press, 2003), 119–125.
 According to American diplomat Richard Holbrooke, Izetbegovic, on the other hand, rejected “any form of compromise”
 Parenti, To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia, 50
 Ibid., 58-61
 Ibid., 99, 102
 Ibid., 103
 Ibid., 131
 Ibid., 147
 Ibid., 120-121
 Michael Parenti, The Face of Imperialism, (Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2011), 103.
 Parenti, To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia, 123
 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).
 “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).
 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).
 “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).
 Velikonja, Mitja. “”RED SHADES”: NOSTALGIA FOR SOCIALISM AS AN ELEMENT OF CULTURAL PLURALISM IN THE SLOVENIAN TRANSITION.” Slovene Studies 30, no. 2, (October 2008).
 Maria Todorova and Zsuzsa Gille, Post-communist Nostalgia, (New York: Berghahn Books, 2010).
 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).
 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).
 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).
 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).
 Alexandra Stiglmayer, “Work in Progress: Bosnia 20 Years after Dayton.” NATO Review.
 “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).
 “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).
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.
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Johnstone, Diana. Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO, and Western Delusions. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2002.
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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.
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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.
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.
“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.
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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. All copyrights reserved.
Шиптарски лажови. All copyrights reserved.
Western documentary movie in two parts about Kosovo Albanian big lies in 1999 concerning the truth in Kosovo.
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.
“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.
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?/МОЖЕТЕ ЛИ ДА ЗАМИСЛИТЕ? (Ex-Yugoslavia)
Лажи и истине о случају села Рачак на Косову и Метохији у јануару 1999. г.
1. Шиптарски лажови/Albanian lies on Kosovo truth. All copyrights reserved. First part
Шиптарски лажови/Albanian lies on Kosovo truth. All copyrights reserved. Second part
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 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
“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
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”
Administrative division of the Roman Empire about 395 A.D.
Europe in the early Middle Ages: The Carolingian Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Arab Caliphate and the Slavs
Europe in 526: The Germanic kingdoms and the Byzantine Empire
Ethnographic map of Europe about 900
Europe, North Africa and the Near East at the time of the First Crusade
The Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania after the Kreve Union (1385)
A time after the First Crusade
German Central Europe about 1500
Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the 13-15th centuries
The Balkans from 1815 to 1859: Political division between the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg Monarchy
The Balkans in the mid-19th century
The Balkans from 1856 (Paris Peace Treaty) to 1878 (Berlin Congress)
The Balkans after the Berlin Congress in 1878 till the Balkan Wars in 1912-1913
Ethnographic map of the “Yugoslavs” submitted to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 by the “Yugoslav” representatives
Ethnographic map of Yugoslavia according to the German intelligence service in 1940
Administrative division of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia into 9 banovinas from 1929 to 1939
Dialectical map of the Shtokavian tongue
A map of Persia & Arabia in 1850
Ethnolinguistic groups in the Caucasus in 2014
Middle East in focus
November 1991 is a month and year that will forever live in infamy when it comes to one of the most grievous crimes committed under the rubric of Western foreign policy, as it was on this month in this year that the break-up and destruction of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) was set in train.
The Arbitration Commission of the Peace Conference on Yugoslavia was a body set up in 1991 by the Council of Ministers of the European Economic Community (EEC) in response to the conflict that had broken out between separatists in Slovenia and Croatia and the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) earlier that year. It was tasked with providing the peace conference with legal advice and on 21 November, in the first of its legal opinions on the crisis, it determined that Yugoslavia was “in the process of dissolution.”
Just four simple words, yet taken together they constituted a blatant violation of the Yugoslav constitution. They are words which still today call to mind Rome adjudicating on the destruction of Carthage.
From that moment on Yugoslavia’s fate was sealed, though it would take a protracted and bloody civil war before it was finally consigned to history, ending a multiethnic state founded on the principle of international brotherhood and solidarity that had emerged from the ashes of a central European continent devastated by the 1936-45 war against fascism.
The Western depiction of the break-up of Yugoslavia would have us believe that it was down to the inherent barbarity and cruelty of the Serbs, the largest ethnic group in the former SFRY, in attempting to suppress the legitimate right of the other constituent Yugoslav peoples – Slovenes, Croats, Kosovan Albanians, etc. – to self-determination. In this narrative the Serbs – a people who numbered among the most of any single ethnic group killed by the Nazis and their collaborators in the Second World War – were summarily and disgracefully demonized to an extent unparalleled in the postwar period.
In order to understand the break-up of Yugoslavia it is important to understand something of its history. The six Balkan republics of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia were brought together after the Second World War in 1945 to form the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito, a Croat who led the Partisan resistance to the Nazi occupation of the Balkans and the old monarchist kingdom of Yugoslavia. Their resistance was so effective and determined that the Germans were forced to divert considerable men and resources in order to meet it.
Between 1960 and 1980 Yugoslavia enjoyed a period of sustained economic growth that funded its commitment to social and economic justice. Free health care and education was provided as a right for all its citizens regardless of ethnicity, as was the right to work, a living wage, affordable housing and utilities, while most of its economy came under state ownership.
As a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement of nations that refused to be subsumed into either the Soviet or Western blocs during the Cold War, Yugoslavia enjoyed considerable influence and prestige on the international stage.
Yet despite Tito’s refusal to be subsumed into the Soviet Bloc, Yugoslavia remained safe from capitalist penetration while the Soviet Union existed as a countervailing force to US-led western imperialism. As soon as the Soviet Union collapsed, however, this protective cloak was removed and the die was cast.
Fuelling the economic growth enjoyed by Yugoslavia during the ‘60s and ‘70s was its decision to borrow heavily from the West in order to invest in industry and the production of both export and consumer goods. This rendered the Yugoslav economy vulnerable to the fluctuations of global capitalism. And so it proved, when as a result of the world recession of the 1970s export markets contracted with the result that Yugoslavia’s export production dried up along with its ability to service its debts. In response the IMF demanded a restructuring of the state’s economy in order to prioritize debt repayment. Stuck between the hammer of indebtedness and the anvil of continued borrowing in order to subsidize its commitment to the provision of education, health care, housing and social security for its citizens, by the late 1980s the Yugoslav economy was in free fall.
It was at this point that central banks moved in at the behest of policy-makers in Washington, London and Bonn. Determined to break up the last socialist country in Europe, they threatened to institute an economic blockade unless the Yugoslav government agreed to hold separate elections in each of its six republics. The passing of the US Foreign Operations Appropriations law 101-513 in 1991 contained a section relating specifically to Yugoslavia, stipulating that all loans, aid and credits would be cut off within six months unless elections were held.
The most devastating provision of the law stipulated that only the forces within Yugoslavia deemed democratic by Washington would now receive loans from the US. Various right-wing factions in each of the six republics benefited directly from this provision and became the recipients of US largesse. In a climate of growing economic crisis it was a measure guaranteed to exacerbate ethnic tensions and give succor to centrifugal and separatist forces within SFRY.
Germany recognized the secession of first Slovenia and Croatia in December 1991, whereupon civil war ensued. It lasted for the next eight years until a three-month NATO air war unleashed against the Serbs, who had refused to acquiesce in the break-up of the federal republic, brought it to an end.
As Tariq Ali observed at the time, “American strategists, desperate to retain NATO as their battering-ram in new Europe, maneuvered Europe into a war in order to prove that NATO had a permanent function, that it was the ultimate arbiter and could act alone, presenting the rest of the world with a fait accompli.”
Atrocities were committed by all sides in the conflict, yet it was the Serbs who carried the can. During the trial of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic’s in The Hague evidence of genocide against his government was never produced. Yet the former Serb leader was only personally exonerated in March of this year in a five-volume ruling of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the prosecution of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić.
NATO’s relevancy and continued purpose was affirmed with its role in the break-up of Yugoslavia, the last socialist state and economy left in the heart of Europe, which for obvious reasons could not be allowed to survive. Its descent into the ugly swamp of ethnic conflict came as a result of economic crisis, creating a political crisis that was exploited by the West in the interests of securing new markets and sources of raw materials in service to western neoliberalism.
On April 20 1955, Marijan John Markul entered the FBI’s Los Angeles office and told a shocking story. The man who then introduced himself as Marshal Josip Broz Tito was not actually him, but a Russian agent who assumed the identity of Tito after Josip Broz disappeared in Russia in 1937. This is stated in the FBI’s report from the beginning of May 1955, writes daily newspaper “Kurir”.
Secret FBI reports from the fifties were recently opened and released to the public.
Marijan Markul was born in Livno in 1909. He moved to the United States in 1936, and received citizenship in 1944 after he served in the US army for two years during the Second World War.
The report said it was not certain how much information he provided was accurate, but said that he claimed to be “a socialist and wanted to provide information that could be important for the security of the United States.”
Report on the meeting of FBI agents with Markul states that Markul visited Yugoslavia in 1953, and that he met with Tito on two occasions. The first meeting lasted about an hour, and on that occasion, he noted that Marshal Tito had five fingers on each hand.
Markul argued that real Tito lost the middle finger and index finger of the left hand. He added that Tito he met with in 1953 was well educated and an excellent piano player. On the other hand, he said that real Tito was uneducated, and as far as Markul knew, he did not know how to play the piano.
Among other things, Markul claimed that Josip Broz was about 180 centimeters tall, while “fake” Tito was only 160 cm tall. Markul also said that the man who in fifties posed as Tito spoke soft with a slight Russian accent. Real Tito, he said, spoke pronouncedly and sharply.
Markul claimed that real Tito was very sickly, had tuberculosis and disappeared in Russia in 1937. He also said that in late twenties he talked to real Tito in Yugoslavia, and met with him in Paris in 1935 or 1936, adding that he was firmly convinced that this man was real Josip Broz.
After meeting the Marshal in 1953, Marijan visited his married sister in Zagreb. They led a conversation about whether the man was real Tito, and agreed that he was not, according to Markul. The sister said that she and her husband had lived in the belief that Tito who lived at the address Uzicka 15 was a fraud. Her husband, a man named Boris Gorić had confirmed that he was not sure of the identity of Tito, and that this thing was rumored throughout Yugoslavia.
The report states that his sister then said that neither she nor her husband did not believe that at the forefront of Yugoslavia was real Josip Broz Tito. They first began to doubt that in 1937, when they heard his voice at radio and noticed a change of accent. Markul also claimed that his father Ivan knew real Tito, as they worked in the same city, and that he agreed that these were two different people.
Ivan Markul and Josip Broz worked in the same city, and Ivan was convinced that Marshal in Belgrade was not the same as comrade Tito – Secretary of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia.
Markul had the second meeting with Tito in 1953 in Zagreb. This time Marijan and his wife Ingrid were almost completely ignored by the Marshal. After the audience with the Marshal, Markul talked for hours with Aleksandar Rankovic, for whom he claimed was actually the most powerful man in Yugoslavia.
Rankovic and Markul allegedly were together in prison at the end of the twenties of the last century because of the syndicated operation and during that time became close friends. It is therefore Markul openly told Rankovic that he knew that Tito in the next room is fake.
Markul claimed that Rankovic was the main man in charge of security in Yugoslavia, and that in conversation with him he expressed his doubts to what Rankovic replied that he should not be burdened with these things and should enjoy his stay in Yugoslavia. This sidetracking only fomented Markul’s doubt, according to the document.
Markul told the FBI agents that, in his opinion, the Yugoslav authorities secretly cooperated with the Soviet Union and that in the coming period it would become clear to everyone. He also expressed his conviction that the Soviet authorities could, if they wished, easily get rid of Broz, and added that all of his statements could be confirmed by certain Zivko Topalovic from France.
Zivko Topalovic, according to Markul, knew real Tito, and the Yugoslav authorities sentenced him to 20 years in prison, which is why he fled to France. Topalovic believed that the person who presented himself as Tito was Russian General Nikolai Lebedev.
Markul concluded that the Yugoslav government only pretended that it was at odds with the Soviet Union in order to receive assistance from the United States, and that there was never a real rift between the two countries.
Markul accused the Yugoslav authorities to cooperate with the Soviets and said that within four or five months it would become more than obvious to everyone. He continued with accusations and said that the man who presented himself as Tito was actually a Russian agent and an obedient to the Soviet Union.
Markul himself said that he spent several years in Russia, and that he thought he saw many of the Russian agents in the streets of Yugoslavia. In 1930 he went to Russia, and he thought that society was well-ordered, but he was caught “because he failed to meet the labor quota”. He told American agents that he fled from Russia three years later across Siberia.
“Markul claims that Yugoslav authorities pretend that there are disagreements with the Soviet Union, in order to get help from the US, and that in fact there is no real rift between Yugoslavia and the Soviets,” reads the document.
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We bribed parties and politicians who have enticed hate between the nations. Our ultimate goal was to enslave you!
WebTribune publishes their interview with former CIA agent Robert Baer during his promotion tour in Quebec for upcoming book “Secrets of the White House” last week.
My boss, who was formerly a US Senator, stressed repeatedly that some kind of scam would go down in Bosnia. A month before the alleged genocide in Srebrenica, he told me that the town would be headline news around the world and ordered us to call the media.
Robert Baer, a former CIA officer, has authored many books which disclosed the secrets of both the CIA and the administrations of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He has been arrested and detained several times. Mitt Waspurh, a personal friend who worked at the Senate and shared information was killed at gunpoint. As a senior CIA operative, Baer worked in Yugoslavia during the 1991-94 period and in the Middle East. He has worked on several documentaries on National Geographic, accusing the Bush administration of waging war for oil.
The interview was conducted live in Canada, during my trip a few days ago. Robert Baer is currently promoting his book “The Secrets of the White House” in Quebec, where we talked. In an interview we spoke of the background of the war in Yugoslavia.
Where and when was your first job in Yugoslavia?
I arrived by helicopter with three agents. We landed on 12 January 1991 in Sarajevo. Our job was to keep an eye on alleged terrorists of Serbian nationality, who were expected to attack Sarajevo.
Who were the terrorists in question and why were they supposed to carry out these attacks?
They gave us files about a group called “Supreme Serbia” detailing plans to conduct a series of bomb attacks on key buildings in Sarajevo in opposition to Bosnia’s ambition to leave former Yugoslavia.
Did that group ever exist and what exactly you were doing in Sarajevo under CIA command?
No such group ever existed! Our headquarters lied to us. Our mission was to alarm and spread panic among politicians in Bosnia, simply to fill their heads with the idea that Serbs would attack. To begin with, we accepted the story, but after a while we started to wonder. Why were we raising such hysteria when the group clearly did not exist?
How and when did the mission end and did it have a name?
For me it ended after two weeks, I landed a new job in Slovenia. The operation lasted a month and had the name “Istina” (i.e. “truth”) although it was anything but!
Why did you go to Slovenia?
I received instructions that Slovenia was ready to declare independence. We were given money, a few million dollars, to fund various NGOs, opposition parties and various politicians who have inflamed hatred.
Did you have an opinion about the CIA propaganda and did your colleagues think?
Of course, no one turns down a CIA mission, especially when we were all nervous and prone to paranoia! Many CIA agents and senior officers disappeared simple because they refused to conduct propaganda against the Serbs in Yugoslavia. Personally I was shocked at the dose of lies being fed from our agencies and politicians! Many CIA agents were directed propaganda without being aware of what they are doing. Everyone knew just a fraction of the story and only the one who create the whole story knew the background – they are politicians.
So there was only propaganda against the Serbs?
Yes and no. The aim of the propaganda was to divide the republics so they would break away from the motherland Yugoslavia. We had to choose a scapegoat who would be blamed for everything. Someone who would be responsible for the war and violence. Serbia was chosen because in some ways it is a successor to Yugoslavia.
Can you name the politicians in the former Yugoslavia were paid by the CIA?
Yes, although it is somewhat delicate. Stipe Mesic, Franjo Tudjman, Alija Izetbegovic, many counselors and members of the government of Yugoslavia, were paid as were Serbian generals, journalists and even some military units. Radovan Karadzic was being paid for a while but stopped accepting help when he realised he would be sacrificed and charged with war crimes committed in Bosnia. It was directed by the American administration.
You mentioned that the media was controlled and funded, how exactly did that happen?
This is already known, some CIA agents were responsible for writing the official statement that the announcers read on the news. Of course the news presenters were oblivious to it, they got the news from their boss and he got it from our man. Everyone had the same mission: to spread hatred, nationalism and the differences between people through television.
We all know of Srebrenica, can you say about it?
Yes! In 1992 I was in Bosnia again, but this time we were supposed to train military units to represent Bosnia, a new state that had just declared independence. Srebrenica is an exaggerated story and unfortunately many people are being manipulated. The number of victims is the same as the number of Serbs and others killed but Srebrenica is political marketing. My boss, who was formerly a US Senator, stressed repeatedly that some kind of scam would go down in Bosnia. A month before the alleged genocide in Srebrenica, he told me that the town would be headline news around the world and ordered us to call the media. When I asked why, he said you’ll see. The new Bosnian army got the order to attack homes and civilians. These were of course citizens of Srebrenica. At the same moment, the Serbs attacked from the other side. Probably someone had paid to incite them!
Then who is guilty of genocide in Srebrenica?
Srebrenica should be blamed on Bosnians, Serbs and Americans – that is us! But in fact everything has been blamed on the Serbs. Unfortunately, many of the victims buried as Muslims were Serbs and other nationalities. A few years ago a friend of mine, a former CIA agent and now at the IMF, said that Srebrenica is the product of agreement between the US government and politicians in Bosnia. The town of Srebrenica was sacrificed to give America a motive to attack the Serbs for their alleged crimes.
Ultimately why do you think Yugoslavia collapsed and why did your government want to do it?
It is all very clear, the people who incited the war and dictated the terms of the peace now own the companies that exploit various mineral resources and the like! They simply made slaves of you, your people work for nothing and that produce goes to Germany and America…they are the winners! You will eventually have to purchase and import what you have created yourself, and since you have no money, you have to borrow, that’s the whole story with the whole of the Balkans!
You were never in Kosovo as a CIA agent, but did you feel any pressure from America?
Of course! Kosovo has taken for two reasons, first because of mineral and natural resources, and secondly, Kosovo is a military base of NATO! In the heart of Europe is their largest military base.
Do you have a message for the people of the former Yugoslavia?
I have. Forget the past, it was staged and false. They manipulated you, they got what they wanted and it is stupid that you still hate one another, you must show that you are stronger and you realise who has created this ! I sincerely apologise! That’s why I have for a long time disclosed the secrets of the CIA and the White House!
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After the April War of 6−18th, 1941, the Germans, Italians, Bulgarians and Hungarians occupied and divided the territory of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia into several parts. The Germans annexed the North Slovenia and put under their direct occupation the Yugoslav part of Banat and the Central Serbia with Kosovska Mitrovica. The Italians occupied the South Slovenia, established their marionette regime in Montenegro and annexed the Gulf of Boka Kotorska, parts of Konavli and Dalmatia. The Hungarians annexed Prekomurje, Baranja and Bachka. The Bulgarians occupied the East and Central Vardar Macedonia and the South-East Serbia. The Italians established their own marionette state of a Greater Albania with the East Montenegro, Kosovo (without its northern part that was occupied by the Germans for economic reasons) and the West Vardar Macedonia.
However, the most important post-April War creation on the territory of ex-Kingdom of Yugoslavia was an Independent State of Croatia that was officially proclaimed on April 10th, 1941. It was composed by Croatia, Slavonia, parts of Dalmatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the East Srem (today in Serbia). The official name of the state was Neovisna država Hrvatska (the NDH) with a capital in Zagreb. It had 6.663.157 inhabitants according to the last pre-war census and covered the territory of 102.725 sq. km. According to the Rome Treaties from May 1941 the NDH gave to its patron Italy Kastav and Sushak with its hinterland, the islands of Krk and Rab, the North Dalmatian and parts of the Central Dalmatian littoral, the biggest part of the Adriatic islands and a part of Konavle. Therefore, Italy realized all paragraphs of the secret London Treaty signed between Italy and the Entente in April 1915. Nevertheless, after the capitulation of Italy on September 8th, 1943 the NDH tried to incorporate parts of Dalmatia but did not succeed to establish a real state-administrative sovereignty over these territories due to the German obstruction.
The collapse of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1941 was very rapid for at least three reasons:
1. The country was not prepared for the war at all.
2. The aggressors were much stronger from all points of view.
3. The Croat treachery during the April War.
As a consequence of the military defeat, some 375.000 officers and soldiers of the Yugoslav army, but only of the Serb origin, fell into the Axis hands and became the prisoners of war in Germany. Nevertheless, on the territory of the NDH fanatical Serb-hating Croat Nazi-Ustashi were on the loose, perpetrating appalling massacres which very soon led to the Serb uprising and the loss of de facto control over the large areas. Destruction of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, her occupation followed by the creation of a Greater NDH and massacres of its Orthodox and Jewish population were the historical triumph of Vatican and the Roman Catholic separatism.
After the April War in 1941 and the occupation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, as a leading pre-war Croat politician Vladimir Vladko Machek refused the Italian and German offer to become a head of the new quisling state of the NDH, the Croat Nazi-Ustashi leader, Ante Pavelic was brought back from Italy to lead this Independent State of Croatia. V. Machek himself clearly noted that the declaration of the NDH on April 10th 1941 was greeted with “a wave of enthusiasm” in Zagreb “not unlike that which had swept through the town in 1918 when the ties with Hungary were severed”. The territory of NDH, as the rest of ex-Kingdom of Yugoslavia was divided between the German and Italian zones of influence and administration. When the Nazi-Ustashi Poglavnik (Führer) Ante Pavelic was returned from Italy to be appointed by the Italians as the leader of the NDH he came with some 300 supporters, but it turned out soon that he got a silent massive support by the ethnic Croats in the country. The Ustashi movement, established in 1929, found their ideological roots in the mid-19 century chauvinistic Roman-Catholic and Serbophobic ideologist Ante Starchevic – a founder of nationalistic Croat Party of Rights. A. Starchevic was exactly the person who formulated within the ideological framework of a Greater Croatia the Nazi-Ustashi-committed brutal and sadistic genocide against the Serbs during the WWII on the territory of the NDH.
The Italian installation of the Ustashi regime in the NDH meant nothing else than the Serbophobic Roman Catholic fanatics were now in power in a state where the law and order were framed on the pattern of the Nazi Germany’s anti-Jewish law and order – in a state whose population was barely 50 per cent Croat followed by 12 per cent Muslims (today Bosniaks) and at least one-third the Serbs whose destiny was to disappear by these or other means. The Bosnian-Herzegovinian Muslims officially were declared by the Ustashi regime as the “flower of the Croat nation”, i.e., as the ethnic Croats of the Islamic faith and as such the Bosniaks took a full participation in the Croat-run four years sadistic genocide against the Orthodox Serbs. During the war the most infamous Bosnian-Herzegovinian Muslim military unit was the SS Hanjar Division that was inspected by H. Himler himself. However, differently to the Muslim case in the NDH, the implacable extreme Serbophobic regime in Zagreb sought to exterminate all Serbs on the territory of the NDH according to the self-proclaimed principle by the NDH Minister of Education, Mile Budak on June 22nd, 1941: one third to kill, one third to expel and one third to convert to the Roman Catholicizm (to Croatize). The first laws in the NDH were to ban the Cyrilic script and to outlaw the Serbs who had to wear a special sign on their cloths that they are the Orthodox. The Serb Orthodox churches and schools were firstly closed and later destroyed. The Ustashi organized bloody massacres of the Serbs even inside the churches (in Glina in August 1941) or the schools (in Prebilovci in August 1941). Deportations of the Serbs to Serbia were part of the Ustashi-designed “Final Solution” of the Serb Question in the NDH – in 1945 there were around 400.000 Serb refugees in Serbia from the NDH.
We do not have right to forget that the essence of the NDH was that this state was the first Vatican-sponsored state in the Balkans. The Roman Catholic Church in the NDH put itself to the full exposal to the new Nazi Roman Catholic Ustashi authorities and even participated directly in the massacres of the Orthodox Serbs. For the Roman Catholic clergy in the NDH one of the most controversial demands of the Ustashi authorities was the conversion of the Serbs to the Roman Catholicism. In principle, the clergy was uncomfortable with this policy of direct conversion, without the converts first accepting the Union act (recognizing the Pope as a head of the church but keeping Slavonic liturgy). Nevertheless, the Roman Catholic Church in the NDH accepted a forced conversion of the Serbs under the formal pretext of saving their lives. It is estimated that a total number of converted Orthodox Serbs in the NDH was around 300.000, but it is recorded also that many of already converted Serbs became anyway murdered by the Ustashi detachments. In the spring of 1943 the Ustashi government created a Croatian Orthodox Church that was headed by Bishop Hermogen – the Russian Orthodox priest who escaped from the USSR.
The first organized massive massacre of the Serbs in the NDH was committed on April 28th, 1941 when 187 Serbs from the village of Gudovac and its surroundings were massacred. Among the most brutal and sadistic massacres at the beginning of the NDH was in Glina on August 5th, 1941 when some 1.200 Orthodox Serbs dressed in their Sunday best were called to the local Orthodox church from surrounding villages to be converted into the Roman Catholicism. However, instead of the conversion they were locked inside the church and slaughtered by knives. In August 1941 occurred and the Prebilovci massacre of the local Serbs in the East Herzegovina including and the children in the village school. A report on this event by the local Italian commander to Mussolini is very sensitive and anti-Catholic as the commander noticed that after the Prebilovci massacre is shameful to be a Roman Catholic. The organized Ustashi genocide against the Serbs very soon became rapid and efficient that according to the U.S. official reports up to August 1942 there were some 600.000 killed people in the NDH, overwhelming majority of them the Serbs. The massacres of Croat-Muslim Ustashi forces were to such extent that even Adolf Hitler was forced to personally intervene in this case in order to restrain the Ustashi barbarism. It is also recorded that the German troops were in some cases in Bosnia-Herzegovina opening fire on the Ustashi solders in order to save the lives of the Serbs. That was a fact that the Serbs and the Jews were fleeing from the German to the Italian occupation zone of Yugoslavia for the very reason as the Italians protected them from the Ustashi knives.
In the attempt to finally solve the Serb Question westward the Drina River, the Ustashi government established a network of death camps among all Jasenovac (a Yugoslav Auschwitz) nearby the Sava River on the very border with Bosnia-Herzegovina became the most infamous in which perished around 700.000 people among them 500.000 the Serbs. The extermination techniques included a slaughtering of the prisoners by a special type of knife known as the Srbosjek (a Slaughterer of the Serbs) made in the Solingen factory in Germany under the Ustashi design or making the hand-washing soaps of alive boiled human bodies sold in the shops in Zagreb. The evidences of extermination of the Serbs were sent by the local executors to Zagreb and from Zagreb later to Vatican. The most enduring of this genocide is for sure the scene described by the Italian journalist and writer Curzio Malaparte in his book Kaputt. This book is account of his wartime experiences as a war correspondent. Therefore, several months after the NDH became proclaimed Malaparte went to make an interview with Ante Pavelic – a head of the state and a leader of the Ustashi movement. On this occasion he was joined by the Italian minister in Zagreb, Raffaele Casertino. What he wrote as a witness is:
“While he spoke, I gazed at a wicker basket on the Poglavnik’s desk. The lid was raised and the basket seemed to be filled with mussels, or shelled oysters – as they are occasionally displayed in the windows of Fornum and Mason in Piccadilly in London. Casertano looked at me and winked, “Would you like a nice oyster stew?” “Are they Dalmatian oysters?” I asked the Poglavnik. Ante Pavelic removed the lid from the basket and revealed the mussels, that slimy and jelly-like mass, and he said smiling, with that tired good-natured smile of his, “It is a present from my loyal Ustashis. Forty pounds of human eyes.”
The NDH was internationally recognized by Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Japan, Spain, National China, Finland, Denmark and Manchuria. It existed from April 10th, 1941 to May 15th, 1945. In the other words, the NDH existed a whole week after the German capitulation as the last Nazi state in Europe. After the war a new communist authorities in Yugoslavia, led by Josip Broz Tito of the Croat and Slovenian origin, did everything to eliminate the evidences of the Croat-Muslim Magnum Crimen against the Serbs during the war. A most notorious case happened with the death camp of Jasenovac that was totally demolished. Very soon after the war simply nothing left as an evidence of the 9th Circle of Dante’s Hell followed by destruction of the written and other documents. After 1990 a new nationalistic government of Franjo Tudjman in Zagreb did everything to disgracefully whitewash a history of the NDH directly supported by the official scientific institutions in Croatia. In this context, one of the most shameful “scientific” publications was published in several languages by the Croatian Institute of History in 1997.
Today, it is much more reliable to consult the German and Italian sources on the NDH than the archival material from the Yugoslav archives. Therefore, the most useful reports to Berlin and Rome are by the German and Italian embassies in Zagreb, German General Artur von Flebs, German dr. Josef Fessl, German Wilhelm Hetl, German Lothar Rendulitz, German Herman Neubacher, German dr. Josef Matl, Italian General Pitzio Biroli, Italian General Mario Roata, Italian Colonel Guisepe Angelini, Italian Enzo Cataldi or Italian historian Salvatore Loi who published an extremely valuable anthology of the Italian documents and reports on the Italian military operations in Yugoslavia in 1978. S. Loi’s account on the NDH is probably one of the most relevant and realistic. According to him, the NDH became transformed into the lake of Serb blood until the mid-August 1941. The Croat-Muslim genocide against the Serbs was, according to the same author, the most barbaric part of the WWII, even more barbaric than the holocaust against the Jews.
Subsequently, it is not of any surprise that the U.S. President Th. F. D. Roosevelt told in 1944 that after the war the Croats as a nation has no any right to their own national state as they showed to be the animals during the war. For such nation as the Croats were, Roosevelt anticipated an international monitoring but not any kind of Croatia. However, after the war a Croat led the Communist Party of Yugoslavia created even bigger Croatia within Yugoslavia than it was before the war reducing Serbia into the borders before the Balkan Wars of 1912−1913. Finally, the Croats backed by Vatican and Germany continued a policy of the NDH in 1991 and in essence succeeded as today in Croatia there are only up to 4 per cents of the Serbs in comparison to 25 per cents in 1940 or 12 per cents in 1990.
Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic
© Vladislav B. Sotirović 2016
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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 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.
A recent definition (pictured below) 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.
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.
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]
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]
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]
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.
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.
[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
Michele Chossudovsky. 2003. NATO’s War of Aggression Against Yugoslavia. ahttp://www.globalresearch.ca/natos-war-of-aggression-against-yugoslavia-2/5517027
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.
[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:
[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.
[xxii] Organ trafficking in Kosovo:
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
[xxiii] Kosovo heroin trafficking: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2000/mar/13/balkans
[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/
[xli] Srbija nema nikakvog interesa da saradjuje sa NATO. http://www.pravda.rs/2016/07/15/srbija-nema-nikakvog-interesa-da-saradjuje-sa-nato/
[xlii] Serbia’s Asymmetric Neutrality: Teetering Between NATO and Russia. Nyatider.nu https://www.nyatider.nu/serbias-asymmetric-neutrality-teetering-between-nato-and-russia/
[xliii] Tanjug & B92, August 8, 2016. http://www.b92.net/info/vesti/index.php?yyyy=2016&mm=08&dd=09&nav_category=78&nav_id=1163953
[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/
[xlvi] Serbia’s Asymmetric Neutrality, Nyatider.nu. https://www.nyatider.nu/serbias-asymmetric-neutrality-teetering-between-nato-and-russia/
[xlvii] Sara Flounders. 1998. NATO in the Balkans. New York: International Action Center. p. 9
By Milina Jovanović
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- The use of Ijekavian sub-dialect of the Shtokavian dialect but not the Ekavian one of the same dialect. 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.
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”.
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.  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.
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). 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. 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.
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.
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 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.
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. 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 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:
- Linguistic standpoint.
- 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:
- Inner homogenization of Boshnjak nation
- Denacionalization of Croats and Serbs within Bosnia-Herzegovina (by suggestion that all inhabitants of this state speak the Bosnian language)
- External heterogenization of ethnoconfessional Boshnjak nation in relation to the neighbouring Serbs and Croats.
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.
Prof. Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirovic
© Vladislav B. Sotirovic 2016
 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.
 Lexical differences have been a primary criterion for the establishment of a separate Bosnian language.
 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.
 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.
 Similar policy of using alphabet in Bosnian language was pursued by Austro-Hungarian authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1878–1918.
 Besides these mentioned, historically, on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina have been used and Glagolitic and Greek scripts.
 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).
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 Ottoman Pashaluk of Bosnia before 1683 encompasses and parts of historical territories of Croatia and Dalmatia.
 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.
 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).
 “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).
 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.
 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.
 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.
The U.N. Organization was established in 1945 for the very security reason – to preserve the peace in the world. We believe that the governmental bodies and administrative structures of the U.N. have to be composed by the proved democratically oriented politicians and magistrates but above all this requirement has to be applied to the post and function of the U.N. Secretary-General. Nevertheless, in the history of the U.N. there is at least one (extremely) problematic appointment to the post of the U.N. Secretary-General: Kurt Waldheim from Austria.
On the official website of the U.N. about its fourth Secretary-General one can read his biography as:
KURT WALDHEIM (AUSTRIA)
FOURTH UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL
Kurt Waldheim was appointed Secretary-General of the United Nations for a five-year term beginning on 1 January 1972. The Security Council had recommended the appointment on 21 December 1971 and the General Assembly approved it by acclamation on the following day.
The Secretary-General was born at Sankt Andra-Wordern, near Vienna, Austria, on 21 December 1918. He graduated from the University of Vienna as a Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1944. He is also a graduate of the Vienna Consular Academy.
Mr. Waldheim joined the Austrian diplomatic service in 1945, and from 1948 to 1951 he served as First Secretary of the Legation in Paris. He was head of the personnel department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Vienna from 1951 to 1955 In 1955 he was appointed Permanent Observer for Austria to the United Nations and later that year became head of the Austrian Mission when Austria was admitted to the Organization.
From 1956 to 1960, Mr. Waldheim represented Austria in Canada, first as Minister Plenipotentiary and later as Ambassador. From 1960 to 1962 he was head of the Political Department (West) in the Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, subsequently becoming Director-General for Political Affairs until June 1964.
From 1964 to 1968, Mr. Waldheim was Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations. During that period he was Chairman of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space; in 1968 he was elected President of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
From January 1968 to April 1970, Mr. Waldheim was Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Austria. After leaving the Government, he was unanimously elected Chairman of the Safeguards Committee of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and in October 1970 he again became the Austrian Permanent Representative to the United Nations, a post he held until he was elected Secretary-General of the Organization.
In April 1971, he was one of the two candidates for the Federal Presidency of Austria.
During his first three years as Secretary-General, Mr. Waldheim made it a practice to visit areas of special concern to the United Nations. In March 1972 he travelled to South Africa and Namibia in pursuance of a mandate given him by the Security Council in order to assist in finding a satisfactory solution for the problem of Namibia.
The Secretary-General paid three visits to Cyprus, in June 1972, August 1973 and August 1974, for discussions with government leaders and to inspect the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in the island. During his visit in August 1974, in the wake of the hostilities, Mr. Waldheim arranged for talks to begin between Acting President Glafcos Clerides and Rauf Denktash.
The Secretary-General also made a number of trips to the Middle East in the continuing search for peace in the area. In August 1973 he visited Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and Jordan; in June 1974 he met with the leaders of Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Jordan and Egypt; and in November 1974 he went to Syria, Israel and Egypt in connection with the extension of the mandate of United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). On these visits he also inspected the United Nations peace-keeping operations in the area – the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) and UNDOF.
In February 1973, during an official trip to the subcontinent, the Secretary-General discussed with the Governments of India,Pakistan and Bangladesh the problems created by the war between India and Pakistan and ways and means to overcome its consequences. He also inspected the United Nations Relief Operation in Bangladesh, the largest relief operation ever undertaken under United Nations auspices.
In February and March 1974, the Secretary-General visited a number of countries in the Sudano-Sahelian area of Africa where the United Nations had undertaken a major relief operation to assist the victims of a prolonged drought.
The Secretary-General also opened and addressed a number of major international conferences convened under United Nations auspices. These include the third session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Santiago, April 1972), the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm, June 1972), the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (Caracas, June 1974), the World Population Conference (Bucharest, August 1974) and the World Food Conference (Rome, November 1974).
The Secretary-General participated in Security Council meetings held away from Headquarters, in Africa (Addis Ababa, January 1972) and in Latin America (Panama, March 1973).
He addressed and attended meetings of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in Rabat (June 1972 on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the OAU, in Addis Ababa (May 1973) and in Mogadiscio (June 1974). He also addressed the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington (March 1972).
In February 1973, the Secretary-General took part in the Paris International Conference on Viet-Nam; in December of the same year he presided over the first phase of the Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East.
In July 1973, Mr. Waldheim addressed the Conference on European Security and Co-operation in Helsinki.
On the invitation of their respective Governments, the Secretary-General paid official visits to a number of countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe.
Married and the father of three children, Mr. Waldheim is the author of a work on Austria’s foreign policy, The Austrian Example, which has been published in German,English and French.
However, the crucial part of the Mr. Waldheim’s biography, as an appropriate person for the post of the U.N. Secretary-General is totally missing from his official U.N. bio. This crucial and mostuly problematic part of his biography, nevertheless, one can find at the Wikipedia’s website:
Military service in World War II
In early 1941, Waldheim was drafted into the Wehrmacht and posted to the Eastern Front where he served as a squad leader. In December of that year, he was wounded but he returned in 1942 to service. His service in the Wehrmacht from 1942 to 1945 was the subject of international review in 1985 and 1986. In his 1985 autobiography, he stated that he was discharged from further service at the front and, for the remainder of the war, finished his law degree at the University of Vienna, in addition to marrying in 1944. After publication, documents and witnesses came to light that revealed Waldheim’s military service continued until 1945, during which time he rose to the rank of Oberleutnant.
Service in Yugoslavia and Greece
- Interpreter and liaison officer with the 5th Alpine Division (Italy) in April/May 1942, then,
- O2 officer (communications) with Kampfgruppe West in Bosnia in June/August 1942,
- Interpreter with the liaison staff attached to the Italian 9th Army in Tirana in early summer 1942,
- O1 officer in the German liaison staff with the Italian 11th Army and in the staff of the Army Group South in Greece in July/October 1943, and
- O3 officer on the staff of Army Group E in Arksali, Kosovska Mitrovica and Sarajevo from October 1943 to January/February 1945.
By 1943, Waldheim was serving in the capacity of an ordnance officer in Army Group E which was headed by General Alexander Löhr. In 1986, Waldheim said that he had served only as an interpreter and a clerk and had no knowledge either of reprisals against local Serb civilians or of massacres in neighboring provinces of Yugoslavia. He said that he had known about some of the things that had happened, and had been horrified, but could not see what else he could have done.
Much historical interest has centered on Waldheim’s role in Operation Kozara in 1942. According to one post-war investigator, prisoners were routinely shot within only a few hundred meters (yards) of Waldheim’s office, and just 35 kilometres (22 mi) away at the Jasenovac concentration camp. Waldheim later stated that “he did not know about the murder of civilians there”.
Waldheim’s name appears on the Wehrmacht ’s “honor list” of those responsible for the militarily successful operation. The Nazi puppet state, the Independent State of Croatia, awarded Waldheim the Medal of the Crown of King Zvonimir in silver with an oak branches cluster. Decades later, during the lobbying for his election as U.N. Secretary General, Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito, who had led anti-German forces during the war, awarded Waldheim one of the highest Yugoslav orders.
Waldheim denied that he knew war crimes were taking place in Bosnia at the height of the battles between the Nazis and Tito’s partisans in 1943. According to Eli Rosenbaum, in 1944, Waldheim reviewed and approved a packet of anti-Semitic propaganda leaflets to be dropped behind Soviet lines, one of which ended: “Enough of the Jewish war, kill the Jews, come over.”
In 1945, Waldheim surrendered to British forces in Carinthia, at which point he said he had fled his command post within Army Group E, where he was serving with General Löhr, who was seeking a special deal with the British.
Kurt Waldheim (second from left) with the Italian General Ercole Roncaglia, Col. Hans Herbert Macholz, and SS-Grupenführer Artur Phleps at Podgorica (Montenegro, Yugoslavia) airfield on May 22nd, 1943
Kurt Waldheim as President of Austria and Josip Broz Tito as President of Yugoslavia: Post-war continuation of the Nazi-Communist collaboration on the territory of the Independent State of Croatia in the WWII
The ex-Nazi Oberleutnant, serving in the 5th Alpine Division Pusteria, Kampfgruppe West as the fourth U.N. Secretary General
“Kosovo: Can You Imagine?” is a documentary film by Canadian film maker Boris Malagurski, about the Serbs that live in Kosovo and the lack of human rights that they have today, in the 21st century.
Most of the Kosovo Serbs have been ethnically cleansed by the Albanians who make up the majority of Kosovo.
Kosovo has been under UN administration since 1999 when NATO bombed Serbia for 78 days to halt a crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatism in its province of Kosovo.
In the years following the war, thousands of Serbs were expelled from their homes, kidnapped and killed. Their houses, cultural and religious sites were burned and destroyed.
Kosovo for the Serbs is what Jerusalem is for the Jewish people. It is the cradle of their statehood, culture and religion. Most of the important Serbian Christian Orthodox monasteries are in Kosovo.
Today, Serbs still have a deep spiritual and traditional connection to Kosovo, a land which is being cleansed of everything Serbian.
Most of the Kosovo Serbs are internally displaced, some of them live in small containter camps, in ghettos, all this in the heart of Europe in the 21st century.
We follow the stories of several Serbs who have fell victim to a nationalist and irredentist ideology that has a goal of creating a pure Albanian state of “Kosova” (“Kosovo” in Albanian).
Serbs in Kosovo have no basic human rights. You will be shocked to learn which atrocities they have to face each day.