Since the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the nineties, its former constituent republics have been mired in a state of perpetual conflict.
Nowhere is this more apparent than the contested state of Kosovo.
In 1998, Albanian separatists in the Serbian province of Kosovo i Metohija began a campaign of attacks, with the express objective of creating a unified, ethnically homogenous, Greater Albanian state. Spearheaded by an organization known as the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which is widely regarded by many nations, including the United States, as a terrorist organization, ethnic Albanian militants attacked Serbian security forces, and terrorized civilians in a brutally violent campaign.
As Newton’s Third Law states, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When Albanian attacks intensified, Serbian security forces rose to meet them, and the world began to take notice. Already an international pariah state following the recent conflicts in Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina, Serbia, then known as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and controlled by Slobodan Milosevic, found itself on the losing end of a public relations battle. The KLA, playing the role of freedom fighters, managed to find allies in many Western nations, including NATO members. What followed was a coordinated campaign against Milosevic’s Yugoslavia, including a highly controversial 78-day bombing campaign. Following this, hostilities officially ended with the passing of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244, which mandated a withdrawal of Serbian forces from Kosovo and the institution of a multinational, United Nation-led peacekeeping force, known as the Kosovo Force (KFOR).
Image on the right: The ruins of the Church of Saint Elijah (Crkva Svetog Ilije) in Podujevo, which was destroyed by Albanian radicals during the 2004 pogrom.
During the interim period between cessation of major hostilities and the unilateral declaration of independence in 2008, the region of Kosovo has witnessed an increase in tensions between Serbs and Albanians. One key occurrence was an anti-Serbian pogrom in 2004, which essentially amounted to an act of ethnic cleansing, according to Admiral Gregory G. Johnson, then commander of NATO forces in southern Europe. Nearly one thousand homes were destroyed, along with some of the most sacred and historic sites in Serbian Orthodoxy. Tensions became even more strained when, ten years on from the onset of hostilities in 1998, Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia, with the tacit approval of many Western nations. This move was and is seen as highly controversial in that it went against the binding UNSC Resolution 1244, which respects Serbian territorial sovereignty and integrity.
Twenty years have now passed since the opening of hostilities, and problems in Kosovo still run rampant. The economic situation is dire, with the employment rate sitting at 29.8% (while the unemployment rate was 30.5%, and the rate of inactivity was 57.2%) in 2017, according to a Labour Force Survey by the Kosovo Agency of Statistics. The region is experiencing a consistently declining population, as many people journey abroad in hopes of finding better economic prospects. Somewhat ironically, residents in Kosovo, including many Albanians, often opt for a Serbian passport, which they are entitled to under Serbian law (as Kosovo is still held as a Serbian province). They then make use of this document to make their way towards the more prosperous countries of the European Union.
Enter Hashim Thaci and Ramush Haradinaj: the former, a “President;” the latter, a “Prime Minister;” both, former commanders in the KLA; and both, accused of wartime atrocities. Facing an increasingly difficult economic situation in Kosovo, social tensions, and sliding approval ratings, both have run afoul of the other in their efforts to retain popular support, while attempting to stem the flow of emigres and maintain their grip on the region.
Thaci, formerly a key figure in the KLA, now appears to favour the image of a global leader and statesman. He cozies up to many leaders of the most powerful nations on Earth, and seeks to present an optimistic view of Kosovo as a new and rising star amongst the world’s nations. He sits opposite of Serbia’s Aleksandar Vucic in Brussels, where normalization talks between Belgrade and Pristina occur. He purveys the image of a negotiator.
On the other hand, Haradinaj appears to prefer the image of a populist hardliner, one which he has held since his days in the KLA. His bluster and swagger is vaguely reminiscent of Benito Mussolini, and given the option between offering the carrot or the stick, he always opts for the stick. Known for his violent outbursts, Haradinaj was remembered by one British soldier who liaised with him as “a psychopath,” and has been accused of killing both his rivals and enemies. Of the two, Haradinaj is said to enjoy overwhelming support and popularity in Kosovo, more so than Thaci.
Few governments in the world are completely cohesive, and differing viewpoints and priorities often cause conflict. This goes without saying for the government of the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo. Fights and tear gassings in parliament are common, and partisan politics are the norm. However, politics become especially tricky when the President and Prime Minister hold different perspectives. Case and point, the normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo.
Talks between Belgrade and Pristina have always been tense, with bad blood running on both sides of the table. While Aleksandar Vucic’s Serbian government is well-united behind the notion of normalizing relations with Kosovo while maintaining a policy of non-recognition, Kosovo’s strategy is somewhat more divided. Hashim Thaci appeared to have favoured an exchange of territories, likely Northern Kosovo for Serbia’s Presevo Valley, a notion which has piqued the interest of many international observers. For his part, Ramush Haradinaj has bluntly stated his opposition to this plan, responding that such an action would only destabilize the region and lead to war.
Haradinaj’s strategy at reconciliation is more populist. In November of 2018, Haradinaj stirred Albanian sentiments when he announced that Kosovo would institute a tariff on Serbian products, at a rate of 100%, and that this tariff would remain until Serbia recognized Kosovo. This tariff was likely a knee-jerk response to Serbia’s efforts to torpedo Kosovo’s latest attempt to join Interpol, as well as other organizations such as UNESCO. A slap in the face to the Central European Free Trade Agreement, of which Kosovo (through the United Nations’ Mission in Kosovo) is a signatory, Haradinaj’s latest move has been met with near-universal condemnation by world leaders, many who see it as a step backwards for stability in the Western Balkans.
The most recent and serious development to normalization between Serbia and Kosovo, as of December 2018, has been the announcement of the provisional institutions in Kosovo to transform the Kosovo Security Forces into the Kosovo Army. Seen by Serbia as the “most direct threat to peace and stability in the region,” denounced by NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg as ill-timed and regrettable, and noted by UN head António Guterres as a cause for concern, there are widespread fears that the creation of this new army will provide a mechanism which Kosovar Albanians may use to expel the remaining Serbian populace in Kosovo. In response, the Serbian government is now under pressure to consider options up to, and including, military intervention, in order to protect its endangered populace. They also asked for an urgent convening of the United Nation’s Security Council, which took place on December 17, 2018. This latest move by the Kosovar provisional authorities is yet another gross violation of UNSC Resolution 1244, and has arguably brought the Western Balkans, a veritable powder keg, to the absolute brink of war for the first time in two decades.
There is little doubt that the provisional authorities in Kosovo feel safe in their actions, for they have previously enjoyed the backing of many of the world’s most powerful nations. However, as they continue to unilaterally increase tensions with neighbouring Serbia, they may find that their list of allies is growing thin, as many nations tire of dealing with their impetuousness. Responses to their most recent moves have been overwhelmingly negative, with the European Union, Germany and the United States (among others) decrying many of these actions as unconstructive and destabilizing. Meanwhile, Serbian lobbying efforts against Kosovo are reaching a fevered pitch. The Serbian government and Foreign Ministry are working overtime to encourage nations to revaluate their positions on Kosovo’s sovereignty, and these efforts have proven successful, with twelve nations so far revoking their recognition of Kosovo.
Coordinated efforts between Serbian non-governmental organizations and actors have also proven effective in subverting Kosovo’s national aspirations. Serbian not-for-profits have assisted in delivering humanitarian aid to Serbian enclaves in Kosovo, many of whose residents live in abject poverty and suffer under a severely oppressive, Albanian dominated regime. These organizations endeavour not only to help their countrymen through material means, but also through the effective dissemination of information about the plight of the Serbian populace in Kosovo to audiences worldwide.
One such effort was the immensely successful #nokosovounesco social media campaign of 2015. Through an intense social media campaign and the circulation of a petition denouncing the Kosovar provisional authorities desire to join UNESCO while remaining unwilling to protect many medieval Serbian heritage sites, Canadian-based humanitarian organization 28. Jun and Serbian-Canadian filmmaker Boris Malagurski were successful in their objective of preventing the provisional authorities in Kosovo from obtaining membership in UNESCO.
These efforts continue to this day; building on the foundation of the #nokosovounesco campaign, a new program titled Dogodine u Prizrenu(Next Year in Prizren) was launched earlier in 2018 by 28. Jun and Mr. Malagurski, with the aim of concluding on the Orthodox New Year, January 14, 2019. The most critical component of the Dogodine u Prizrenu project is the recirculation of the earlier petition denouncing Kosovo’s membership in UNESCO which, as of the end of November, 2018, has attracted over 150,000 signatures. 28. Jun also enjoys the exclusive status as being the only NGO operating in the Western Balkans which has entered into the prestigious Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. This status enabled them to present this petition to Chairwoman Rita Izsak-Ndiaye during a session of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Forum on Minority Issues in Geneva, on November 30, 2018. This latest move has solidified 28. Jun’s position as Serbia’s leading voice on the international stage, and has provided Serbians with another voice by which they can denounce the provisional authorities in Kosovo.
As the Serbian government and private organizations such as 28. Jun continue to curtail the efforts of the provisional authorities in Kosovo to solidify their position as a sovereign nation on the international stage, the Kosovar authorities are playing a dangerous game. In a move reminiscent of the brinkmanship observed during the escalation of the conflict between North and South Vietnam during the early 1970s, the provisional authorities in Kosovo are ratcheting up the tensions in the Western Balkans at every point They are gauging the reactions of Serbia to determine what actions they are able to get away with, despite being in contravention of many international laws and agreements. While Serbia is now reacting passively, and remains open to negotiation and dialogue, it must be known that a nation can only be pushed so far before it is forced to react in a negative manner. In order to ensure peace and stability in the Western Balkans, the provisional authorities in Kosovo must not act rashly and impulsively. Pristina must return to the bargaining table with Belgrade, lest they push the envelope too far and find out the hard way that there are very real consequences to one’s actions.
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Introduction – Nothing is More Dangerous than a Discreet Nazi
People have been digesting the appointment of Stephen Bannon as Trump’s chief strategist and the sudden rise in overt racism and Nazi symbology. There are people saying “Heil Trump”, giving Nazi salutes, and spray-painting swastikas in alarming numbers. The US is a large, populous, diverse country, but there is clearly something of significance here beyond just a few ignorant teenagers with spraycans and emotional issues.
The overt Nazism is very disturbing. It was less than reassuring when Anne Coulter sought to tweet some perspective “Rachel shows FIVE PEOPLE at Richard Spencer meeting ...
With the March 24 ICTY decision condemning Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic for war crimes, exactly 17 years after NATO began its bombing spree on Serbia, international criminal justice revealed itself once again as an instrument of US and NATO foreign policy.
[They chose that the 24th of March to render judgment regarding Karadzic iquite deliberately with a view to erasing the history of NATO crimes.]
If any doubts persist, it is worth remembering how the Former US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, David Scheffer, perceived that tribunal. Writing about it in his memoirs, Scheffer wrote unabashedly:
the tribunal was an important judicial tool, and I had enough ...
50 years after the June 1967 Israeli conquest of all of Palestine, the US Alliance-backed, invasion-, occupation- , theft- , genocide-, lying- and race-based pariah state of Apartheid Israel still comprehensively violates all basic human rights of the Occupied Palestinians. The Zionist ethnic cleansing of 90% of Palestine means that the Two-State Solution is dead and demands comprehensive Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against genocidally racist, nuclear terrorist Apartheid Israel and all its supporters.
The World must demand an end to race-based Apartheid Israel after the example of post-Apartheid South Africa and its replacement by a unitary state in Palestine with ...
Aleppo has become synonymous with destruction and “Syrian state-generated” violence among those whose perception of the situation in the war-torn nation is contained within the prism of mainstream media narratives.The NATO-aligned media maintains a tight grip on information coming out of this beleaguered city, ensuring that whatever comes out is tailored to meet State Department requirements and advocacy for regime change. The propaganda mill churns out familiar tales of chemical weapons, siege, starvation, and bombs targeting civilians–all of which are attributed to the Syrian government and military, with little variation on this theme.The purpose of this photo essay and my ...
Whether the information originated from hacked e-mails and computer files or Freedom of Information Act requests, the revelations about the political and business activities of Hillary and Bill Clinton and their cronies hearken back to another era, the Great Depression of the 1930s and the crime spree of another unscrupulous couple: bank robbery desperados Bonnie and Clyde.Aside from Hillary Clinton running her own lucrative «off-the-books» foreign policy via her private email servers and e-mail chain of associates and flunkies, it was her and her husband’s joint Clinton Foundation and Teneo Capital operations that scream out the word «corruption.» The servers ...
IntroductionSome have tried to debunk the view that the West implicitly or explicitly promised Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not expand east after German reunification and dissolution of the Warsaw Pact). These claims are misleading and obfuscate the historical record of at least a clear understanding, if not promise that there should be no NATO expansion eastward in any way, shape or form. At the very least the West made a implied commitment not to expand NATO east. It is more precise to say, however, that the West gave an explicit verbal, that is, unwritten guarantee not to ...
In the current context, the US is threatening to wage a preemptive nuclear war against Russia, which possesses a vast arsenal of nuclear weapons. Hillary Clinton has confirmed that “nukes are on the table” and she intends to use them if she becomes president. We need to defend ourselves against Russia, Iran, North Korea and China. Her solution is to blow up the planet.World War II ended in Mushroom Clouds.If Hillary decides to wage a preemptive nuclear war on Russia, World War III would commence with mushroom clouds.How would World War III end. Would it have an ending?In the words ...
The propaganda by the Christian churches in regard to their role during WWII in Fascist Italy, Yugoslavia, and Nazi Germany has so conditioned their believers that most of them believe that Christianity played an honorable role at best, and only a silent role at worst. Yet there seems little recognition that the very framework of the beliefs owned by the Fascists and Nazis came from their Christian upbringing from church, school, and Christian traditions. The entire anti-Jewish and racial sentiments came not from some new philosophy or unique ideology, but rather from centuries of Christian preaching against the Jews, gypsies, ...
Donald Trump entered military terra incognita on Thursday by launching an illegal Tomahawk missile strike on an air base in eastern Syria. Beyond the clear violation of international law, the practical results are likely to be disastrous, drawing the U.S. deeper into the Syrian quagmire.
But it would be a mistake to focus all the criticism on Trump. Not only are Democrats also at fault, but a good argument could be made that they bear even greater responsibility.
For years, near-total unanimity has reigned on Capitol Hill concerning America’s latest villains du jour, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. Congressmen, senators, ...
Can the world wake up?
On September 19, 2000, going on 16 years ago, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the London Telegraph reported:
Declassified American government documents show that the US intelligence community ran a campaign in the Fifties and Sixties to build momentum for a united Europe. It funded and directed the European federalist movement.
The documents confirm suspicions voiced at the time that America was working aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into a European state. One memorandum, dated July 26, 1950, gives instructions for a campaign to promote a fully fledged European parliament. It is signed by Gen. William J. Donovan, ...
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Interview with Čedomir Prlinčević
Formerly the Chief Archivist of Kosovo and President of the Jewish Community of Priština; driven from Kosovo by KLA terrorists in 1999
Interviewer: Jared Israel
Translator: Petar Makara
[Posted 3, December 2000 * New introduction, 4 April 2006]
This is the second Emperor’s Clothes interview with Čedomir Prlinčević (pronounced Ched-o-meer Pra-linch-eh-vich).
Mr. Prlinčević, an historian, was chief archivist in Priština, capital of Kosovo, and head of the Jewish community there until, as he explained in his first Emperor’s Clothes interview, the terrorist KLA drove him and his family and thousands of others from their homes. Heavily armed British NATO forces stood by, ...
On July 9, 2006, the U.S. Army charged five US soldiers with the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi, and the murder of her parents and 5-year-old sister. This brutal and senseless war crime raises the issue of rape in war. The lynchpin of US propaganda and infowar spin is that Soviet troops raped German women when the Red Army took Berlin in 1945. This was meant to take away from the Russian military achievement in taking Berlin. The Russian soldiers were “rapists” while US soldiers were “liberators”, handing out chocolate bars, chewing gum, ...
Facts And Truth @ YouTube: “Remember why NATO spent 78-days bombing Yugoslavia in the spring of 1999? There was the ethnic cleansing. The atrocities. The refugees chased out of Kosovo by the Serb army. The mass graves. The heaps of bodies tossed into vats of sulphuric acid at the Trepca mines. NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said there were 100,000 Kosovo Albanian Muslims unaccounted for.
Problem is, none of it happened.”
Forensic report throws doubt on US/NATO claims of Racak “massacre”
By Richard Tyler
wsws.org, 12 February 2001
A forthcoming article by three Finnish pathologists throws further doubts upon official descriptions of a “massacre” in ...
A historical overview and Estonia's minorities
Estonia (Eesti, Estland) is a Baltic state that was colonized by the German Teutonic Order of Knights from 1346 being, therefore, dominated politically and economically by a German-speaking landowning aristocracy, which succeeded to maintain its social and economic position even during the Swidish occupation of the territory of present-day Estonia from 1561 to 1721 and for most period of subsequent Russia's administration since 1721 to 1915. From 1855 the ethnic Estonians received the right to possess the land. Migration increased the Estonian population in the cities during the time of the Russian administration. It is ...
Israel is concealing vital records to prevent darkest periods in its history from coming to light, academics sayAl-Jazeera – 9 June 2016Israel is locking away millions of official documents to prevent the darkest episodes in its history from coming to light, civil rights activists and academics have warned as the country’s state archives move online.They claim government officials are concealing vital records needed for historical research, often in violation of Israeli law, in an effort to avoid damaging Israel’s image.The Israeli army has long claimed to be the “most moral” in the world.Accusations of increased secrecy come as Israel marks ...
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is calling for an “impartial investigation” into grisly reports by a European investigative commission alleging that Kosovo government officials were involved in the trade of human organs.In an exhaustive report released by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in December, it was alleged that Serbian detainees of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) were kidnapped and murdered by Kosovo Albanians so their organs could be sold on the black market.The report says the crimes occurred after the Kosovo War ended in 1999.These shocking allegations came on the heels of a two-year investigation into a ...
IntroductionThis 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 ...
With rare exception, the question of whether the atomic bombs were necessary to end World War Two is debated only deep within the safety of academic circles.
Could a land invasion have been otherwise avoided? Would more diplomacy have achieved the same ends without the destruction of two cities? Could an atomic test on a deserted island have convinced the Japanese? Was the surrender instead driven primarily by the entry of the Soviets into the Pacific War, which, by historical accident, took place two days after Hiroshima—and the day before Nagasaki was immolated?
But it is not only the history of the ...
After the catastrophic attacks of September 11 2001 monumental sorrow and a feeling of desperate and understandable anger began to permeate the American psyche. A few people at that time attempted to promote a balanced perspective by pointing out that the United States had also been responsible for causing those same feelings in people in other nations, but they produced hardly a ripple. Although Americans understand in the abstract the wisdom of people around the world empathizing with the suffering of one another, such a reminder of wrongs committed by our nation got little hearing and was soon overshadowed by ...
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