Monday, July 30, 2007

Demand Investigation of Ahtisaari Corruption of Kosovo Plan!

Sign the Petition to Demand an Investigation of former UN Special Envoy for Kosovo, Marti Ahtisaari, that he was paid by the Albanian mafia to produce his recommendations for the future status of Kosovo

To: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, US Pres George W. Bush, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

Summary: We the undersigned demand of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Bush Administration, a full, speedy and transparent, investigation regarding the allegations made against former UN Special Envoy for Kosovo, Marti Ahtisaari, that he was paid by the Albanian mafia to produce his recommendations for the future status of Kosovo as an independent entity, with the results of this investigation to made public. Further, we demand to know whether or not the specific German BND report mentioned below does exist and, if so, who else is implicated in this corruption scandal and what the evidence it against them. Finally, we want to know what action has been and will be taken by the UN, should any and all of these allegation prove true.

Full Petition:

1. Whereas, on The Finnish News Agency, STT, published on June 26 and June 27, 2007, two articles stating that the UN Special Envoy for Kosovo was "bought" by the Albanian mafia in order to support independence for Kosovo. The STT articles reported that the information was initially published by the Banja Luka (Republica Srpska, Bosnia & Herzegovina) Daily Fokus on June 21, 2007, entitled "The Albanian Mafia Bought Ahtisaari";

2. Whereas, on July 10, 2007, Defense and Foreign Affairs Special Analysis, Volume XXV, No. 56, a product of the well-respected Global Information Service, issued a report confirmed the following facts regarding the Ahtisaari Bribery allegations :
    • UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon requested that the German Federal Intelligence Service, BND, inform him in detail on what was happening in Kosovo, and he received a detailed report on Special Envoy Ahtisaari's activities in Kosovo;
    • The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was informed that Albanian separatists in Kosovo had paid for Ahtisaari's plan which proposed ultimate independence for the Serbian province;
    • The BND secret service team, headed by Brigadier Luke Neiman, who was directly appointed by the German Government to designate part of the German Secret Service apparatus to the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNOSEK: United Nations Office the Special Envoy for Kosovo), discovered the connection between the Albanian mafia and Marti Ahtisaari. Brig. Neiman had recordings of discussions between Ahtisaari and Albanians; how they transferred money; the banks accounts plus codes in Switzerland and Cyprus;
    • One of the BDN recordings revealed the transportation of two-million euros from the Swiss Bank based in the city of Visalia, account number 239700-93457-00097, owned by Exhet Boria, which was masked by an offshore account with a code XS52-KOLER to Ahtisaari's bank account in the Bank of Cyprus, account number 3459346699004533, code VOLANND;
    • It was also reported was the visit of two men to UNOSEK, in the presence of Ahtisaari on February 12, 2007, at 06:23 hrs (local time) in one black Mercedes four-wheel drive SUV, with license plate PR-443-22CD, which was confirmed to belong to the Albanian Government in Prishtina. The two visitors carried two silver briefcases which were handed to Ahtisaari. A source inside the UNOSEK facilities confirmed that the briefcases contained cash and were delivered to the UN Special Envoy for Kosovo. Twelve days later, at 17:44 hrs (local), the same car, with the license plates removed, visited UNOSEK but this time it was Exhet Boria himself and two bodyguards that entered the building, carrying again two silver briefcases. Exhet Boria is a Kosovo Albanian figure involved in organized crime and heroin trade in Europe and he is the "right hand" of Behgjet Pacolli, the Albanian billionaire mafia boss, living in Switzerland. The BND agents realized that the four briefcases had diplomatic luggage labels, and noted that they finally arrived in Finland without being checked -- because of the diplomatic tagging -- and were delivered at Ahtisaari's house. The briefcase cash totaled 40-million euros;
    • The German agents also confirmed that Ahtisaari had many telephone conversations with Behgjet Pacolli. Furthermore, on February 28, 2007, at 23:47 hrs (local), the BND agents noted the arrival of a NATO KFOR (Kosovo Force) four-wheel drive vehicle carrying two women who were followed by Boria's bodyguard. The women stayed in Ahtisaari's quarters until 05:17 hrs next day, and left with the same car;
    • The office of the UN Special Envoy for Kosovo responded to STT that "this is a silly story that comes from the press of Serbia (Bosnia & Herzegovina). We have nothing to add", said Remi Dourlot, Ahtisaari's spokesman based in Vienna. According to STT, the accusations where not commented on by the UN or by Ahtisaari himself;
    • The President of the National Assembly of Serbia, Oliver Dulic, has made a formal inquiry into the allegations in order to confirm Ahtisaari's involvement with Albanian organized crime;
    • The GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs station in south-eastern Europe has conducted research in the Balkans and from secure sources it was revealed that the BND report does indeed exist, and that the information contained is not "Serbian fiction" but a reality;
    • The same research also revealed additional secure and confirmed information that the former KLA leader, Hashim Thaci (also known as "the snake" of KLA), had made a plan of "100 days" for Kosovo's independence. The first session of the Kosovo Parliament would, under the plan, then decide and announce Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence (UDI);
    • Meanwhile, GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs sources confirmed that the BND report also contained extensive additional information on the involvement in corrupt activities of other international community personalities involved in Kosovo;
3. Whereas, James Jatras, Director of the American Council for Kosovo, in a letter dated, July 24, 2007, has already asked that Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki Moon, publicly confirm or deny the existence of the BND report on Ahtisaari, as described in the GIS/D&FA Special Analysis above, and also demanded the status of the investigation on Ahtisaari. Copies of this letter were also forwarded to members of Congress and the Media;

4. Whereas, "The Ahtisaari Plan for Kosovo" encourages UN member states to violate the charter of the United Nations, violate the precepts of the "Helsinki Final Act" (signed by 35 member states in 1975, including the United States, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Vatican, and what was Soviet Union and Yugoslavia), and violate UN SC Resolution 1244 which specifically preserves Serbia's territorial integrity.

5. Whereas, the Bush Administration's position on the issue of Kosovo has been in support of "The Ahtisaari Plan", and there is evidence pointing to the Ahtisaari Plan's recommendations having been the result of corruption;

We, the undersigned, demand of UN Secretary Ban Ban Ki-moon and the Bush Administration, a full and transparent investigation of the Ahtisaari corruption allegations in public view. If Mr. Ahtisaari is innocent, he deserves to have his names cleared of such allegations. If not, we want to know the evidence against him. We want to know if the above-mentioned BND report does exist, and if so, what additional information on the involvement in corrupt activities of "other international community personalities involved in Kosovo" this report contains. And if the allegations prove to be substantiated, what action does the UN intend to take to deal with this corruption?

As taxpayers, who tax dollars finance the UN's entire existence, we are entitled to no less than full disclosure of any potential corruption of the UN -- especially when it affects the foreign policies of nations, leading to potential wars and unnecessarily putting the lives of our military men and women at risk!

Sign the Petition Now!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Are you a Sheep, Wolf or Sheepdog?

A friend forwarded me this email today, and it gave me pause to think. Although the email was primarily referencing soldiers and the military, it could do well to define the roles many of us play in life as voting citizens, too. Some of us are indeed "sheep" who quietly do what we are told, some "sheepdogs" who fight to defend ethical principles, while there are more than a few political "wolves" who seek to take advantage of the docile and obedient sheep. Ultimately, we all must chose what we will be in this world -- sheep, sheepdog or wolf -- and as for me, "Sar Planinac is my Breed"!

Anyway, here is the email:

This letter was written by Charles Grennel and his comrades who are veterans of the Global War On Terror. Grennel is an Army Reservist who spent two years in Iraq and helped to put together the first Iraq elections, January of 2005.

It was written to Ms. Jill Edwards, at that time a student at the University of Washington who did not want to honor Medal of Honor winner USMC Colonel Greg Boyington. (Black Sheep Squadron, WWII). Ms. Edwards and other students and faculty at UW expressed the opinion that those who serve in the U.S. armed services are not good role models for students.

Here's Grennel's response:

"Dear Miss Edwards,

I read of your "student activity" regarding the proposed memorial to Col. Greg Boyington, USMC and a Medal of Honor winner. You may be too young to appreciate fully the sacrifices of generations of servicemen and servicewomen on whose shoulders you and your fellow students stand. I forgive you for the untutored ways of youth and your naiveté. It may be that you are, simply, a sheep. There's no dishonor in being a sheep - - as long as you know and accept what you are.

In a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November 24, 1997 William J. Bennet made the following observations: "Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident." We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.

Then there are the wolves and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy. Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

Then there are sheepdogs and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf. If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the uncharted path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.

We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what makes them sheep.They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids' schools. But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid's school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours. Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports, in camouflage fatigues, holding an M-16.

The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, "Baa." Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.For instance, the students at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. But when the school was under attack, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, those once-ignored officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them.

This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door. Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed, right along with the young ones.

Now, here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently: The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, while the sheepdog lives for that day.

After the attacks on September 11, 2001 , the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes." The sheepdogs said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference."

You want to be able to make a difference. There is nothing morally superior about a warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the sheep.

There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language: slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims exactly like big cats do in Africa , selecting one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.

Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I'm proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.

Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001 , Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury , New Jersey . Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When they learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd and the other passengers confronted the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers - athletes, business people and parents -- from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.

"There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men." - Edmund Burke.

Here is a point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves. They didn't have a choice.

But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision.

If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you.

If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior's path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip, and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.

This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in between.

Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. It's ok to be a sheep, but do not kick the sheep dog. Indeed, the sheep dog may just run a little harder, strive to protect a little better and be fully prepared to pay an ultimate price in battle and spirit with the sheep moving from "baa" to "thanks".

Like good sheepdogs, we warriors do not call for gifts or freedoms beyond our lot. We just need a small pat on the head, a smile and a thank you to fill the emotional tank which is drained while protecting the sheep. And when our number is called by "The Almighty", and day retreats into night, a small prayer before the Heavens just may be in order to say thanks for letting you continue to be a sheep. And be grateful for the thousands - millions - of American sheepdogs who permit you, Ms. Edwards - the freedom to express even bad ideas."

Saturday, July 28, 2007

(Byzantine Sacred Art) According to Helsinki Final Act Most Western States are Thugs and Criminals

The Helsinki Final Act, signed by 35 states, including United States, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Vatican, and what was Soviet Union and Yugoslavia back in 1975 stresses in the clear-cut terms that participating states:

  • [...] will respect each other's sovereign equality and individuality as well as all the rights inherent in and encompassed by its sovereignty, including in particular the right of every State to juridical equality, to territorial integrity and to freedom and political independence [...] They consider that their frontiers can be changed, in accordance with international law, by peaceful means and by agreement.
  • [...] will refrain [...] from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations and with the present Declaration. No consideration may be invoked to serve to warrant resort to the threat or use of force in contravention of this principle [...]
  • [...] they will refrain from any manifestation of force for the purpose of inducing another participating State to renounce the full exercise of its sovereign rights.....Byzantine Sacred Art

(AKI) Bosnia: High Representative demands expulsion of Islamic radicals

Sarajevo, 27 July (AKI) - Miroslav Lajcak, the high representative of the international community in Bosnia, has called for the extradition of foreigners with suspected links to Islamic terrorist organizations, including Syrian-born Imad al-Husseini, known as Abu Hamza.

Bosnian daily Nezavisne novine said on Friday that Lajcak, who took office of high representative (OHR) on July 1 warned Bosnian security chief Tarik Sadovic he would be fired if his ministry was too slow in extraditing foreigners, including Abu Hamza, whose citizenships have been revoked.

Thousands of mujahadeen from Islamic countries flocked to Bosnia to fight for local Muslims in 1992-1995 civil war, and many remained in the country after the war even taking Bosnian citizenship.

After intelligence reports suggested they were indoctrinating local youths to radical Islam and operating terrorist training camps, the authorities revoked the citizenship of close to 400 individuals, but failed to extradite them to their home countries as prescribed by law.

Lajcak has wide arbitrary powers, including firing local officials and imposing laws if local politicians can't agree on them. Lajcak reportedly told Sadovic he has to choose between losing his post or extraditing Abu Hamza by "respecting letter and spirit of the law".

Lajcak's move coincided with a US finance ministry report, naming hundreds of individuals and organizations working in Bosnia to help finance Osama bin Laden's terrorist network. Several former Bosnian officials, including late president Alija Izetbegovic, are high on the list of 30 suspected organizations..........AKI

Friday, July 27, 2007

Interesting New Book:"33 Questions About American History You're Not Supposed to Ask"

In 33 Questions About American History You’re Not Supposed to Ask, Thomas E. Woods Jr., the New York Times bestselling author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, sets the record straight with a provocative look at hidden truths about our nation’s history that have been buried because they’re too politically incorrect to discuss. Woods draws on real scholarship—as opposed to the myths, platitudes and slogans so many other “history” books are based on—to ask and answer tough questions about American history, including:

"Did Bill Clinton actually stop a genocide in Kosovo, as his sycophantic followers insist?"

Short Answer: "The real Clinton legacy in Kosovo: thousands of Serbian homes looted and vandalized, and 150 Christian churches and monasteries destroyed!"

SerbBlog says, "Wow! This author actually did tell the truth!"

(AKI) Kosovo: Negotiating 'troika' to be named

Belgrade, 26 July (AKI) - A six-nation Contact group for Kosovo will soon name a negotiating 'troika' of US, EU and Russian representatives to mediate new talks on the status of Serbia’s breakaway province whose majority ethnic Albanians demand independence, Serbian media reported on Thursday.

The group, comprising representatives of the US, Britain, Italy, France, Germany and Russia made the decision at a meeting in Vienna on Tuesday, the reports said.

The move came after Russia, a veto wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, blocked a UN resolution that would grant Kosovo independence in an internationally supervised process as proposed by chief UN negotiator Martti Ahtisaari.

The Security Council, after several attempts to push through the resolution, decided to turn the problem over to the Contact group.

Whereas the identeties of US and Russian representatives have yet to be disclosed, the EU chief for security and foreign policy Javier Solana, his deputy Stephen Lene and Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt have been mentioned as possible mediators.

The Contact group was tasked with bringing Kosovo's ethnic Albanian and Serb delegations back to the negotiating table aimed at reaching a compromise settlement that would win UN approval...... AKI

Chicago Tribune: Hillary "Clinton unlikely to change course on intervention"

Steve Chapman
July 26, 2007

During the Democratic debate in South Carolina, I heard something I never expected to hear: Hillary Rodham Clinton coming out against U.S. military intervention.

At least I think she was coming out against U.S. military intervention. Asked whether U.S. troops should be sent to Darfur, the New York senator made a valiant effort to dodge the question by declaiming about sanctions, divestment and UN peacekeepers. But when pressed, "How about American troops on the ground?" she finally said, a bit awkwardly, "American ground troops I don't think belong in Darfur at this time."

But don't bet that she'll stick to that position if she's elected. It goes against type. Clinton favored intervention in Haiti in 1994. She favored intervention in Bosnia in 1995. She favored intervention in Kosovo in 1999. As first lady, Clinton said, "I am very pleased that this president and administration have made democracy one of the centerpieces of our foreign policy." Before the Kosovo war, she phoned Bill from Africa and, she recalled later, "I urged him to bomb.".....Chicago Tribune

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Serb Unity Congress: "Secretary Rice's Irresponsible Kosovo Remarks Undermine U.S. Security"

During a recent visit to Portugal, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stated that "we're committed to an independent Kosovo and we will get there one way or another.”

In the current delicate political juncture, when key international players (including UN Security Council members and EU nations ) involved in helping determine a fair resolution to the Kosovo issue have agreed that a new round of good-faith negotiations between the parties, with no fixed time limits or default solutions, is necessary to move forward from the current stalemate - the present statement amounts to a sabotage that mocks the process and dooms the outcome.

A similar - though less brazen - stance by the State Department at the outset of the 2006 Vienna status talks likewise wiped out any substantive negotiations between the parties and directly led to the current political impasse.

With a continuing American responsibility for assisting a just resolution to this political conflict, its ability to act as honest and independent broker is virtually destroyed with such an irresponsible bias towards one particular solution.

Furthermore, the current insistence on this specific outcome compromises US foreign policy on multiple levels. Defying international law by pressing the dismembering of a state that has clearly committed to its territorial integrity is bound to open a Pandora's box of secessionist claims worldwide, resultant instability and sundry blow-back of a kind historically poorly handled by the US.

Moreover, the abandonment of the earlier sensible "[human rights] standards before status" policy for the province, in the face of naked threats of violence by a narco-mafia clique with reported Al-Qaeda ties, is certain to bode ill for both our ongoing efforts in the War on Terror and the perceived sincerity of our worldwide human rights agenda.

If there was any question about the effect of the Secretary's public comments, that was promptly removed when the provincial Prime Minister Agim Ceku stated he will call on the Assembly of Kosovo to have November 28th as the day when the province will unilaterally declare its independence. This plan (called "Plan U" for "Unilateral Independence") was presented to the Kosovo Albanian delegation in advance of its trip to Washington DC this week, to meet with Secretary Rice.

This is sadly a very predictable outcome of a very irresponsible remark. We now have the Kosovo governmental institutions poised for a declaration of unilateral independence, an outcome feared by all other international factors, but with the explicit support of the United States.

While the rest of the International Community is desperately trying to figure out a sustainable solution and bring lasting peace to the region, the Secretary of State is presenting the United States foreign policy as one where terrorism is not only tolerated, but rewarded.
(SerbBlog emphasis)

The Serbian Unity Congress strongly condemns such destructive statements, especially coming from a key player in the ongoing discussions on the future of this province.

Furthermore, the Serbian Unity Congress calls on members of Congress and Senate to come out strongly against such acts, exerting their mandated oversight of the State Department, raise the level of scrutiny of the Administration's policy regarding Kosovo-Metohija, and its implications on US security and national interest.

Serbian Unity Congress
2311 M Street NW, Suite 402, Washington, DC 20037
Telephone: (202) 463-8643 Fax: (202) 318-4757
www.serbianunity.net

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Demanding Answers on the Status of the Ahtisaari Bribery Investigation

James Jatras, Director of the American Council for Kosovo, has written a letter to UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon demanding details on the status of the Ahtisaari Bribery investigation. Copies of this letter have also been sent to members of Congress and the media. The letter is available in PDF format here

American taxpayers have always financed much of the UN budget, and
rampant corruption at the UN has been ignored & tolerated for years. But this is different -- if, as the official UN Negotiator for Kosovo, Marti Ahtisaari was paid over $50M by the Kosovo Albanian Mafia to recommend "Kosovo Independence" and the US State Department stands foursquare for the "Ahtisaari Plan", then it really makes one wonder how far up the chain that this corruption might go!

This Ahtisaari Bribery Allegation deserves a transparent investigation and outcome. If Marti Ahtisaari is innocent, then he deserves to have his name cleared. But if Ahtisaari is not innocent, then we deserve to know exactly what happened , who was involved and how they will be punished, so that steps can be taken to make sure that this doesn't happen again!

Bosnia Drops "God of Justice" as an Anthem

BANJA LUKA, Bosnia (Reuters) - A regional court on Wednesday banned a 19th century Serb national song as the anthem of Bosnia's Serb Republic, saying it violated the national interests of Muslims and Croats living there.

"'The God of Justice'... does not represent all three constitutional peoples......Reuters

Finished Shooting "Serbian Scars", Michael Madsen Loves Serbia

(Blic) By A. Novakovic

A five week shooting of the film “Serbian Scars” finished two days ago in Belgrade. The lead roles belong to Michael Madsen, Mark Dacascos, Jana Milic, Sergej Trifunovic and Vladimir Rajcic, American actor of Serbian origin, who is also the script writer. The first run of the film is expected at the end of the year. The film is directed by Brent Huff. According to Rajcic’s words, Madsen is delighted with Serbia, its hospitality and “sljivovica”!

A. Novaković “We shot the last scenes of the film on the streets at the foot of Kalemegdan. The final scenes will be shot in Chicago and than 11-day editing and postproduction will ensue. The opening night will be in December or January first in Belgrade, then in London, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Madsen and me became very good friends during the shooting and at the end of the year we will start working on a new movie „Straight Bullet“, starring Halle Barry and Dennis Hopper. We are still not sure whether Tarantino will be a film director or producer,” said Vladimir Rajcic for “Blic”.

“Somehow I have an impression that this role has changed my entire life. I love this country because it makes me feel relaxed”, Madsen said about Serbia.

Monday, July 23, 2007

NYT: Montenegro, An Adriatic Stretch Is Awaiting Its Riviera Moment

By CLAY RISEN

Published: July 22, 2007

THE British writer Rebecca West once called Budva, the largest and northernmost city on the Montenegrin Riviera, “a little white tortoise against the blue sea.” Not much has changed over the course of two wars, a Communist regime and almost 70 years since she wrote that: Budva is still a white-walled jewel jutting into the glass-clear Adriatic Sea, a dramatic entry point to the miles of beaches that stretch south toward the Albanian border. Along its lee side lies a small harbor stocked with fishing and pleasure boats; along its seaside runs an imposing Venetian fortress.

With its narrow stone streets and expansive sea views, Budva reminds many visitors of Dubrovnik, its tourist-choked Croatian neighbor 60 miles north. And Montenegro, having seen what a little tourism can do for an ex-Communist economy, is eager to cash in on the similarities. Though not yet a member of the European Union, it has already adopted the euro as its official currency, the better to draw wealthy Western Europeans. Hotel staff members wear neatly pressed uniforms and speak perfect English. And everywhere roads are being widened, wineries are sprouting and luxury resorts are opening for business — at a steep discount from even Croatia’s tourist fare, let alone France’s or Italy’s.

The old city of Budva teems with shops, restaurants and bars, interposed with the occasional church-fronted plaza. The town (according to legend founded by Cadmus and Harmonia, but more likely settled in the fifth century B.C. by Greek colonists) and its environs abound with ruins, primarily Roman, including thermae uncovered by a 1979 earthquake. The newer parts of the city are not much to look at beyond the beach, although in fairness it’s hard to tell for all the construction and roadwork.

To avoid the crowds, you can head southeast a mile or two to a new strip of luxury hotels rising along Becici’s beach, including the four-star Queen of Montenegro, where a little over 100 euros a night will fetch a balconied room overlooking the Adriatic. The hotel, majority-owned by an Austrian concern, is the result of a rush by international investors to cash in on the Montenegrin coast’s growing popularity. Just up the road is the Hotel Splendid, built by a Russian company; meanwhile, a Singaporean company has plans to renovate Sveti Stefan, a fishing-village-cum-hotel — once luxe, now down at the heels — on a small peninsula a few miles south of Budva.........The New York Times

Is Bush Ceku's hostage, or is Ceku Bush's?

By Boba Borojevic Ottawa , July 23, 2007
James Jatras on the crucial victory in the UN SC

The status of the UN-run Serbian province of Kosovo-Metohija, whose ethnic Albanians are demanding independence, is in the balance because Russia is threatening veto. Some western nations have been trying to push a draft resolution in the Security Council to implement key provisions of UN mediator Martti Ahtissari's plan to grant "supervised independence" to Albanians living in the Serbian province of Kosovo-Metohija.

Friday, they ran into opposition from Moscow, which had said it would use its power of veto and block the move. Faced with Russian and Belgrade’s opposition the United States and its European allies decided not to have vote on independence in the UN SC and said they would hand the issue back to a six-nation Contact Group. Meanwhile, Agim Cheku, Kosovo Albanian leader announced that he would proclaim Kosovo’s independence unilaterally on November 28.

The news is that Condoleezza Rice, the American Secretary of State, will ask the leaders of Kosovo not to do anything rash. European foreign ministers are also expected to discuss the crisis in the upcoming days. The international Contact Group, which includes the United States, Britain, France and Russia, will discuss what to do next on Wednesday.

James Jatras, director of the American Council for Kosovo, a lobby group based in Washington DC, believes that Washington does not have strong enough support of the European countries for this crucial move.

“If they were determined to try to impose the solution outside the Security Council,” Jatras said, “they would have gone forward with the vote knowing that the Russians would have vetoed it. They would use that as a pretext to say: ‘Now, you see we don’t have any other choice but to try some other way.’.........Serbianna

Kosovo: Ethnic Albanian leaders in Washington after independence blueprint shelved

Washington/Belgrade, 23 July(AKI) – Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian leaders were due to meet in Washington on US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice on Monday to try and clarify the diplomatic impasse over the breakaway province's independence from Serbia.

The Kosovan leaders and Rice will try and chart a way forward on the province's future status after the United Nations Security Council last Friday withdrew a draft resolution granting Kosovo internationally supervised independence.

After repeated efforts to push through a resolution based on the proposal by UN special negotiator Martti Ahtisaari, western powers, which favour independence, decided to shift the problem to a six-nation Contact group for Kosovo. The group - comprising the US, Great Britain, Italy, France, Germany and Russia - should hold a further 120 days of negotiations between Pristina and Belgrade.

Meanwhile German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Monday proposed that the new talks be coordinated by an international “troika” consisting of the US, EU and Russia. He was speaking to journalists in Brussels, where Kosovo is high on the agenda of a summit of EU foreign ministers. Such a troika would be "the best chance" so far to secure a deal on Kosovo, he said.

Russia, as a veto wielding permanent member of the Council, has blocked several draft resolutions, siding with Belgrade in opposing Kosovo's independence and demanding new talks which might lead to a compromise solution.

The shelving of Ahtisaari’s plan in the UN was greeted in Serbia as a “great victory” for Belgrade and Moscow, but some political analysts have warned the Contact group's brief is not entirely clear.........ADNKRONOS

"Kosovo" or "Kosova"?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Kosovo eyes November 28 independence declaration

By Fatos Bytyci Fri Jul 20, 7:21 AM ET

PRISTINA, Serbia (Reuters) - Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Ceku said on Friday the province should declare unilateral independence from Serbia on November 28, arguing that a Western bid to steer its secession through the United Nations had failed.

Faced with a threatened Russian veto, the West looks likely on Friday to shelve the latest, watered-down U.N. resolution on the fate of the U.N.-run province.

Ceku's announcement threw down the gauntlet to the European Union, which fears a unilateral move by Kosovo outside the United Nations would split the 27-member bloc.

Ceku said the Kosovo parliament should adopt a resolution setting the date on his return from Washington, where on Monday he is due to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

"November 28 is a day of celebration," he said after meeting Kosovo's U.N. governor, when asked by reporters why he had chosen that day. November 28 marks independence day in neighboring Albania, a date also celebrated by Kosovo's 90-percent Albanian majority.

"The United Nations has failed to act," Ceku added.

The U.N. governor, Joachim Ruecker, did not comment on the issue. Technically, the U.N. mission would have to annul any unilateral declaration, and risk a violent backlash.

Ceku said he proposed the move to President Fatmir Sejdiu and opposition leaders, but did not say whether they had agreed.

Kosovo has so far shied away from setting a deadline without explicit Western support, and some ethnic Albanian leaders fear it will only antagonize their backers.

Russia is frustrating Western efforts to steer Kosovo's secession through the United Nations, eight years since NATO allies wrested control of the territory from Serbia to halt the killing of Albanians in a two-year counter-insurgency war.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was due to discuss the issue in Berlin on Friday with his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

DIFFERENT OPTIONS

Moscow has rejected the latest draft U.N. resolution, which would mandate the EU to take over from the U.N. mission and calls for another 120 days of Serb-Albanian talks in a bid to win Russia's support. Moscow says it still amounts to independence for Kosovo, which Belgrade has ruled out.

Britain's U.N. ambassador, Emyr Jones Parry, told reporters in New York: "I can only conclude that we are not going to progress in the council (so) we are looking energetically at the different options."

Envoys of the six-power Contact Group on Kosovo - the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Russia - are expected to meet in Vienna next week to discuss launching another 120 days of shuttle diplomacy.

Thirteen months of Serb-Albanian talks ended in stalemate in March, before U.N. mediator Martti Ahtisaari proposed independence supervised by the European Union.

Washington has indicated it would support a unilateral declaration, but the EU says it needs a U.N. resolution, not least to deploy its largest ever civilian mission.

Kosovo Albanian leaders face mounting public pressure to strike out alone, and threats of unrest if they do not.

Ceku said the resolution would invite the European Union to take over supervision of the territory.

The West sees little prospect of forcing Kosovo Albanians back into the arms of Belgrade, but Serb ally Russia says any solution at the United Nations must have Serbian consent.

U.N. action on Kosovo called off because of Moscow

Fri Jul 20, 2007 5:53PM BST

By Evelyn Leopold

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States and Europeans discarded on Friday their U.N. Security Council resolution on Kosovo's future status because of Russian opposition.

Moscow fears the complicated European-American sponsored draft resolution would lead to independence for the breakaway province from Serbia. Belgrade opposes this.

Instead, the Western nations would try to initiate negotiations between the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo through the Contact Group of advisors on the Balkans, composed of Britain, France, Italy, Germany, the United States and Russia. But no country has veto rights.

"We regret ... that it has been impossible to secure such a resolution in the United Nations Security Council," said France's U.N. Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sabliere on behalf of the resolution's sponsors, the United States, Britain, Belgium, Italy and Germany...........Reuters


Chickens Come Home to Roost -- Albanian Mafia Gun Battle on Tony Blair's Block

By Duncan Robertson

UK Daily Mail


An Albanian gangster has been gunned down amid a bloody turf war over the right to rob the parking metres in Tony Blair's street.

Even as police protections team were assessing security at the former Prime Minister's new London home in Connaught Square, criminals were clashing over who 'owned' metres in the exclusive neighbourhood.

It culminated in a shooting at an Albanian private members' club which left one man dead, and two others wounded.

Two other men in the room hurled themselves out of a second-floor window as they fled for their lives.

Gangster Kujtim Spahiu, 33, has been jailed for 33 years in prison for his part in the shootings after a five-week trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court, east London. Judge David Radford also recommended his deportation.

Another Albanian meter robber, Herland Bilali, said to have been the lead gunman in the attack, has never been traced by police.

Two other suspects, Mohammed Mehmeti and Lulzim Bici, who were waiting in the getaway car outside the club, were cleared of any involvement in the killing.

The Albanian gangs had devised a lucrative and ingenuously simple scam which netted them £1.25 million in £1coins from meters in the City of Westminster alone.

The racket proved so successful it was exported to other cities where old-style coin-operated meters were still in use.

Although the ringleaders have never been caught the scale of the scam was uncovered by the bloody dispute over the meters in Connaught Square.

After weeks of verbal threats and escalating tensions, the two different factions alleged in court to have been run by Petrit Brahoj, 31, and his rival Herland Bilali, 28, clashed on the night of October 13.

Jurors heard how Spahiu and Bilali tracked Brahoj to an Albanian club above an Auto Audio workshop, in Park Royal, north London.

They then burst into the club and sent innocent drinkers diving for cover as they sprayed the hall with bullets. Bricklayer Prel Marku, 22, was shot in through the head in the crossfire, while the intended target Petrit Brahoj was shot three times and survived. Another man was wounded in the leg.

The owner of the club, Musa Prahmani, and another customer escaped with their lives after leaping through a second floor window.

They landed on an inflatable dinghy after falling 25ft through the roof of an next door workshop.

The gunmen made their getaway in a Volkswagen, leaving the remaining club customers cowering the in the corner. Spahiu was arrested in Manchester on November 15.

Fatmir Xhemajli, a barman at the club, had told how he came face to face with one of the gunmen.

He said: "There was swearing and shouting and shots were fired bam, bam, bam. I turned back and tried to open the door and he pointed the gun at me.

"I saw three people lying and they weren't moving at all. The one furthest away wasn't moving and the other was crying for help."

Spahiu claimed he had no idea what would happen when he turned up with wanted associate Bilali. He said he had his head in his hands when Bilali started shooting.

But he was found guilty of murdering Marku and the attempted murder three others trapped inside the club room. Bici and Mehmeti were accused of waiting for the killers in the Volkswagen Golf getaway car, but they denied any knowledge of the murder.

Judge David Radford told Spahiu: "All of the offences were the result of a premidtated plant to shoot those you knew were in dispute in the turf war over territor in the lucrative business stealing from car parking.

"As a result of the combined actions of you and Herland Bilali, three men were shot and two men catapulted themselves themselves out of a second floor window.

"(Prel Marku) sadly died. His presence at the club was an entirely innocent one. Nothing can begin to excuse your participation in what amounts to gangland shootings."

Iran's Early "Investment" in the Balkans

JAVNO (CROATIA)

Iran Gave Croatia Millions for Help to Bosnia

Croatia provided Bihac with weapons and ammunition in exchange for millions of dollars it received from Iran.

Lajla Mlinaric

In 1994 and 1995 Iran paid Croatia more than 50 million dollars so Zagreb could deliver weapons and ammunition to the Bosnian government necessary for the defence of Bihac, former Bosnian diplomat, Ivica Misic, said.

In a brief interview published by the Nezavisne novine daily from Banja Luka (BH), Misic said that he had personally witnessed talks between the then Bosnian foreign minister Haris Silajdzic, former Croatian foreign minister Mate Granic and Iranian official Ali Akbar Velayati.

"At the meeting it was agreed that Croatia deliver weapons, ammunition and other assistance to Bihac and that everything would be paid for by Iran", Misic said, explaining that the talks had held place in New York in the autumn of 1994 when Silajdzic had asked for help to prevent the occupationof Bihac.

"It was a vast amount of money that encompassed some earlier deliveries as well", the former Bosnian ambassador at the United Nations said.

Misic did not specify the exact amount of money, but said that it was "much more" than 46 million dollars as had been speculated.

"Velayati asked Granic how much money was needed. I was shocked with the number Granic came up with and Velayati just said: Send the weapons to the Bosnians and tomorrow you will get the check", Misic said.

Mate Granic confirmed for Nezavisne novine the cooperation between Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Iran, but refuted that he had personally attended the meeting Misic spoke about.

Her Highness Has Spoken: "Kosovo Will be Independent One Way or Another"

Voice of America
July 19, 2007

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says Washington is fully committed to achieving independence for Serbia's breakaway Kosovo province, despite Russia's opposition.

Secretary Rice told reporters Thursday that Kosovo will get its independence "one way or another," without clarifying whether the United States is prepared to recognize Kosovo's independence unilaterally.

She spoke to reporters on the way to Lisbon for a meeting with the Quartet of Middle East negotiators.

The United Nations Security Council will meet on Friday to discuss the latest draft resolution on Kosovo's future status.

In Montenegro, the speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, Boris Gryzlov, told reporters that Russia will veto any U.N. resolution on Kosovo that is unacceptable to Serbia. He said Kosovo's independence would spark conflicts in different parts of the world.

The latest draft resolution on Kosovo, supported by the United States and the European Union, offers 120 days for further negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina, giving them a chance to reach a mutual agreement.

State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo, told VOA's Albanian Service that the U.S. believes the route to a negotiated settlement has been exhausted. But she said Washington has agreed to additional negotiations in response to Russia's concerns.

Serbia has rejected the latest revised draft, saying it contains a path to Kosovo's future independence. Kosovo's ethnic Albanians are determined to gain their own state.

Kosovo's leaders are meeting with Secretary Rice on Monday to discuss the diplomatic impasse over the province's status.

Kosovo Monks refuse to remove Serbian flag from monastery

Protosingel Petar, the Abbot of the
monastery of Djurdjevi Stupovi
(The Pillars of St. George) near Prizren,
and Abbot of the monastery of Zociste.
(Photo Courtesy Byzantine Sacred Art Blog)


by Z.J.
Blic

Wednesday, 18 July 2007 The brotherhood of Zociste Monastery in Metohija has declined to remove the Serbian flag from their belltower after being asked to do so yesterday by international forces in Kosovo and Metohija. The request to remove the flag was made after Albanian threats that if the monks did not do this, the monastery would be attacked.

Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren said that "if someone is bothered by the flag, then they should intervene" but that the monks would not remove the flag. Members of Austrian KFOR which secures the monastery advised the monks early yesterday morning that the Albanians are threatening to attack the monastery, stating that it is KFOR's task to protect those who are threatened and to calm those who are creating disturbance in Kosovo. They then requested that the flag be removed. Yesterday the Kosovo Government had no comment regarding threats directed at the Serbian Orthodox Church, claiming that they had no knowledge of the matter.

"If the Kosovo Albanians have the right to display the flag of another country - Albania - on their homes and huts, why would Serbs not have the same right to do so on their monastery," said Bishop Artemije. He added that Zociste Monastery is located in its own country of Serbia.

Zociste Monastery was completely dynamited in 1999. However, three years ago the monastery elder, Father Petar (Ulemek), received the blessing of Bishop Artemije to begin rebuilding the holy shrine. The consecration of the renewed church and the return of the holy relics of Unmercenary Physicians Cosmas and Damian after eight years took place on Saturday, the monastery patron saint's day, and gathered some 3,000 Serbs from all parts of Kosovo and central Serbia. Five monks live in the monastery.

Zociste Monastery is currently unique in Kosovo and Metohija in that it is the only restored and consecrated holy shrine out of the approximately 150 that have been destroyed (since) 1999. As well, it was restored largely through individual donations, and unique in that since the first day of the brotherhood's return, it has also received visits from local Albanians who say that they "respect the Unmercenary Physicians".

Kosovo: On the Best "National Interest" that Money Can Buy

by Prof. R. K. Kent
Global Research
June 30, 2007

Foreign press notes that the U.N. Secretary General has received a detailed report from the German Intelligence Service (BND). Ban Ki-moon had requested himself that a section of BND be posted to the U.N. Mission at Kosovo to unravel the web of complexities which envelop this province of Serbia. As is widely known the U.N.'s Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari has proposed to sever Kosovo from Serbia, act which would create a newly independent state on the grounds of Albanian demographic preponderance.

If implemented, it would not only violate the U.N.'s own resolution to the contrary. It well could give a green light to similar candidates in Spain and France, in Great Britain (independent Scotland) as well as lead to a Mexican-American movement (seconded by Mexico and supported by the Union of Latin American States) demanding that California be severed from the United States and given the status of an independent and internationally recognized state. Why not independent Texas, not to add more candidates around the planet Earth? But, these projections are not of immediate concern, especially when contrasted with a sensational and detailed revelation. The assigned BND team, led by Brigadier Luke Neiman. discovered without much effort that Mr. Ahtisaari had frequent contacts with Albanian separatist leaders and had received large sums of money with the equivalent value of about 53 million dollars. The details are listed with teutonic precision.

Among them are recorded conversations about money transfers, specific bank accounts and codes in Switzerland and Cyprus, substantial supplies of heroin......Global Research

Thursday, July 19, 2007

"Buying Kosovo": Kosovo Albanian Pacoli is paying 60 lobbyists in Washington for Kosovo Independence

Fokus daily, Banja Luka, Republika Srpska
June 29, 2007 20:03
by Z.S. - D.DJ.

Bexhet Pacoli, the richest Kosovo Albanian in the world from whose telephone, according to BND findings, a transaction in the amount of two million euros was arranged from a Swiss bank to one in Cyprus in the name of Kosovo special envoy Martti Ahtisaari, openly claims that he is paying 60 people just in Washington who are lobbying for the independence of Kosovo.

"In Washington I am paying a team of 60 people who are lobbying for Kosovo in the administration of president George Bush and in the U.S. Senate and Congress," said Pacoli in a recently published interview. He added that he is also good friends with former U.S. president Bill Clinton.

This billionaire came under media scrutiny eight years ago when he was suspected of having bribed Russian president Boris Yeltsin.

Current chief prosecutor of the Hague tribunal Carla del Ponte, then Swiss federal prosecutor, burst into the facilities of the Mabetex company in Lugano at the request of Russian federal prosecutor Yuri Skuratov.

Bexhet Pacoli, originally from the village of Marevac near Pristina, is the owner of the general contracting and engineering company Mabetex, which is based in Lugano, whose assets are estimated at between two and three billion dollars and which employs approximately six thousand people in 18 branches located throughout the world.

In terms of financial power Mabetex is among the 70 strongest companies in Switzerland, with representative offices in the USA, Austria, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, China, Russia, the Ukraine, Moldava, Kazakhstan, Slovenia and elsewhere.

He has a daughter in Bosnia-Herzegovina who is also involved in project design and registered under the same name, Mabetex DOO, in Sarajevo.

His decision to make his economic empire work for political purposes is confirmed by the newly founded organization of Kosovo Albanians in the USA called the Alliance for a New Kosovo, which he finances directly, and the newly founded political party called New Kosovo Alliance, through which Pacoli hopes to see himself as the premier of an independent Kosovo.

The Alliance for a New Kosovo is headed by two lobbyists from the U.S. offices of Jefferson Waterman, former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council Samuel Hoskinson and former deputy assistant secretary for East-West trade in the State Department Kempton Jenkins.

This lobbying group will also act through its advisory body, which includes former U.S. secretary of defense and deputy CIA director Frank Carlucci, who served as secretary of defense in the Reagan administration and the long-time president of the Carlyle Group, a powerful military-industrial corporation.

Among the senior advisors of Carlyle is former U.S. president George Bush, and until the September 11 attacks its executive board also included the Bin Laden family.

BND findings

Upon arriving in Kosovo, BND agents uncovered a clear and frequent relationship and communication between the leading figures of the Albanian mafia, their intermediaries and Martti Ahtisaari.

According to what the agents uncovered, several calls were made to the building of the special envoy for Kosovo, Martti Ahtisaari, from numbers known to belong to Albanian billionaire Bexhet Pacoli.

The content of the conversation from this number related to an unknown monetary transaction in the amount of two million euros from a Swiss bank in Basel, from account number 239700-93457- 00097, protected as an offshore sub-account under the code XS52-KOLER, which is owned by Exhet Boria, the right hand of the head of the Albanian mafia, to account number 3459346699004533, account code VOLANND, at the Bank of Cyprus.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

New Kosovo draft introduced ahead of UN vote

by Gerard Aziakou Wed Jul 18, 3:02 AM ET

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - Western nations late Tuesday introduced their latest draft resolution on Kosovo's future ahead of what could be an imminent vote in the UN Security Council despite opposition from veto-wielding Russia.

The latest text, co-sponsored by Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and the United States, was "put in blue", meaning readied for a vote.

But a Western diplomat cautioned that the text, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, did not necessarily mean a vote in the ensuing 24 hours as is usually the rule, saying the goal was "to test the strength of Russian opposition."

The draft is a slightly amended version of the text rejected by Russia Monday, even though the sponsors had dropped an earlier reference to an automatic path to the "supervised independence" advocated by UN Kosovo mediator Martti Ahtisaari.

Moscow has threatened to veto any solution that is not acceptable to its ally Serbia, which adamantly opposes independence for the UN-run, Albanian-majority province it views as the cradle of its culture and religion.

The latest draft welcomes the willingness of members of the Contact Group on Kosovo -- Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the United States -- and the European Union (EU) to facilitate new talks between Belgrade and Kosovo's Albanian separatists during a 120-day period "to determine whether common ground can be found".

It also affirms the Council's "readiness to review the situation further in light of those negotiations"..... AFP

SerbBlog: Great line in this article from Britain's deputy UN ambassador Karen Pierce: "What is interesting in this is the extent to which the Russians have outsourced their foreign policy to Belgrade".

No, Karen! What's really interesting is "the extent to which the US has outsourced our Balkan foreign policy to Pristina".

Monday, July 16, 2007

Ahtisaari’s Corruption Confirmed Beyond Doubt & US State Department Won't Deny It

From Byzantine Sacred Art

U.S. State Department Unable to Deny Reports on Ahtisaari Corruption
Excerpt From July 13 Press Briefing


Mr. Lambros.

QUESTION: On Kosovo. Mr. Casey, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov suggested today Martti Ahtisaari unfitness* to mediate further talks based on a bunch of reports that Albanian mafia bribed the UN Kosovo mediator, something which has been most* confirmed by Washington-based Global Information System, GIS, and Gregory Copely of Defense and Foreign Affairs Institute. Given the U.S. Government concern about corruption at the UN, should the U.S. Government be calling for an investigation into this matter? How do these allegations impact U.S. confidence in Ahtisaari’s fitness to mediate further talks in Kosovo?

MR. CASEY: Mr. Lambros, I think that the reports you’re referring to probably fall into the category of spurious [German Intelligence and GIS reports are “spurious”?!]. But look, Mr. Ahtisaari is a distinguished former head of government of Finland, a person with a tremendous amount of experience and a track record in working on these issues. He has the full confidence of the Secretary General who appointed him UN and certainly the plan that Mr. Ahtisaari put forward has the full endorsement of the United States as the basis for moving forward.

We’ve put forward a Security Council resolution with others that calls presently for a period of additional discussions among the parties prior to implementation of those recommendations. But again, I don’t see any reason why there should be any question about the work that he did. We very much appreciate and respect the efforts that he made. We believe that he came up with a good plan and one that’s in the best interests of the Kosovars, of the Serbian people and of the region as a whole.

QUESTION: One more on the same issue. According to reports, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon already started an investigation about these payments, confirmed the existence by a report prepared for him by the German intelligence agency BND unit assigned to the UN mission in Kosovo. Any comment on it?

MR. CASEY: Mr. Lambros, you’re free to go ask the UN what investigations it has or hasn’t started. [...] If you’d like to pursue shadows, feel free to talk to the UN about it.
Far More Than “Shadows” — Gregory Copley: Ahtisaari’s Corruption Confirmed Beyond Doubt

In July 14 exclusive interview with Belgrade daily Vecernje novosti, the President of the International Strategic Studies Association Gregory Copley confirmed that everything published about Martti Ahtisaari being bribed by the Albanian mafia to propose independence for southern Serbian Kosovo province is correct.

“We have been investigating a number of corruption cases in the Balkans during the past 15 years. We have received a lot of information and heard rumors about corruption in the Martti Ahtisaari’s office, but we waited until we heard for the article published by the Banja Luka daily Fokus. That’s when we started our own investigation. Talking with the number of our sources, we confirmed that German Intelligence Service BND has indeed put this report together. Our report is created for the governments which are the only ones using the Global Information System. As far as I understand, it was leaked to the media,” said Copley..... Read the Rest at Byzantine Sacred Art

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Russian FM says Ahtisaari unfit to be negotiator

MOSCOW-Russia's foreign minister suggested Friday that the U.N. envoy overseeing talks on Kosovo's status is biased and questioned his ability to foster a fair settlement of its dispute with Serbia.

Sergey Lavrov was responding to published remarks by U.N. envoy Martti Ahtisaari that said Russia would diminish its international stature if it were to block negotiations on the future of the breakaway Serbian province, presumably by vetoing a potential U.N. resolution.

Lavrov said he had not heard Ahtisaari's comments, published Thursday in a Finnish newspaper, but that they would be "out of place."

"If such an announcement lowers someone's international status, it is not Russia's," he told reporters. Read the Rest at Serbianna

Reuters: Kosovo police trade shots with "uniformed" gunmen

PRISTINA, July 14 (Reuters) - Police in the breakaway Serbian province of Kosovo were fired at on Saturday when they went to check reports from villagers that uniformed men with weapons had been spotted on a mountainside.

They fired back but no injuries were reported, police said.

Police and troops of the NATO-led peacekeeping mission were searching the area, in northwestern Kosovo near the village of Radisheve, well south of the internal border with Serbia proper. Local sources saw NATO helicopters overhead.

"Kosovo police received a call that some local people, while they were cutting wood, saw some armed men in uniform," police spokesman Besim Hoti told Reuters. "Police went to investigate and someone started shooting at them."

Local sources said the men were wearing Serbian police uniforms -- a distinctive blue camouflage. This could not be immediately confirmed. Rural Kosovo has seen a number of shooting incidents in the past years over illegal wood-felling by villagers.

Radisheve lies between ethnic Albanian and Serb municipalities in the tense north of Kosovo, one of the many areas where NATO's KFOR patrols maintain a close watch to prevent ethnic violence between the two communities.

Unease is growing among Kosovo's 90 percent Albanian majority over further delays in a U.N. plan, backed by the West, which would lead the province to independence under European Union supervision.

Russia, supporting Serbia's total refusal to consider independence, has blocked the process by threatening to use its U.N. Security Council veto. Serbia has ruled out any change to its borders but has no plan to reintegrate Kosovo's two million Albanians into the country's political life.

Kosovo has been run by the United Nations for the past eight years. In June 1999, Serb forces were forced to withdraw following 11 weeks of NATO bombing aimed at stopping their brutal crackdown on an Albanian guerrilla insurgency in which between 7,500 and 12,000 Albanian civilians were killed and 800,000 expelled.

(Reporting by Fatos Bytyci; writing by Douglas Hamilton; editing by Richard Williams))

Kostunica says USA "insults" Serb intelligence

BELGRADE, July 11 (Reuters) - Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica on Wednesday accused the United States of insulting his country's intelligence by pledging friendship while backing independence for breakaway Kosovo province.

He vowed that no amount of declarations by Washington would make Kosovo independent and again warned that future relations would suffer if the United States and its European Union allies back independence for Kosovo's two million ethnic Albanians.

Kostunica has made Kosovo the top policy issue for Serbia's two month old government, although polls show most Serbs are far more concerned about jobs, wages and prosperity.

He has turned to Russia for help in blocking Kosovo's independence, and his rhetoric has become anti-Western.

"Kosovo will not be independent and that fact cannot be changed by American officials with their daily statements advocating independence for the province," he said in a statement given to the government-backed news agency, Tanjug.

Kostunica was responding to comments by U.S. envoy Daniel Fried, who on Tuesday reaffirmed American friendship for Serbia while repeating that Kosovo would inevitably be independent.

"It is particularly unacceptable to explain this attempted seizure of Kosovo as a form of honest friendship towards Serbia," the Serbian premier said.

"Such an explanation is an insult to common sense."

Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic on Tuesday called independence for Kosovo "an indecent proposal".

Serb forces killed between 7,500 and 12,000 Kosovo Albanians in the 1998-99 counter-insurgency war and drove 800,000 out of the country before NATO intervened with a bombing campaign. That forced the Serbs out after 11 weeks and ushered in United Nations rule eight years ago.

Serbia's demand to reassert sovereignty includes an offer of autonomy for the Albanians -- who make up 90 percent of the population -- but does not include Serbian citizenship.

The West wants the United Nations Security Council to resolve Kosovo's status this year. A new draft resolution proposes 120 days of further talks to seek a compromise -- which diplomats say is currently very hard to imagine.

Rumours are rife that partition is the only viable solution that the two sides might agree on, but neither Serbs nor Kosovo Albanians nor any outside power has yet proposed it.

Vlade's Big Retirement Party in Serbia

Serbian legendary basketball player Vlade Divac would hold a party of farewell from active play in his home town on Sept. 22, with the participation of world top basketball players, local press reported on Thursday.

Magic Johnson, one of the best basketball players of all time, would attend the party in Divac's home town of Prijepolje, 300 kilometers southwest of the capital Belgrade, the Serbian daily Politika reported.

"This is a great event for Prijepolje, a spectacular event that will mark this year in Serbia. So many top basketball players have never gathered in one place and our task is to welcome them, as well as tens of thousands of visitors who are expected in Prijepolje," said Nedzad Turkovic, mayor of Prijepolje.

Divac, 39-year-old, is a retired Serbian professional basketball player who spent most of his career in the NBA. The 2.16-meter center was known for his deft passing skills. On July 14, 2005, Divac announced his retirement, ending his sixteen-year basketball career.

Given the limited hotel room availability in the region, the world's top basketball players will be accommodated in Belgrade from where they will get to Prijepolje in helicopters, according to the reports.

Source: Xinhua

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Perils of Kosovo’s Independence

by Srdja Trifkovic
Chronicles Magazine

Italy’s political forces of all color and hue are alarmed by the possibility of Kosovo’s proposed independence even though some prefer to pretend otherwise, Alleanza Nazionale Senator Alfredo Mantica, deputy chairman of the Commission on Foreign Affairs, told me in Rome earlier this month. Mantica, a veteran politician who was Italy’s deputy foreign minister in Berlusconi’s coalition government, favors a pause (of several months “to reflect on this issue, and to consider the consequences of opening what may well prove to be Pandora’s box.” Mantica has no doubt that Kosovo’s independence would establish an important precedent, regardless of various assurances from Washington and Brussels to the contrary. He fears that this precedent would have the potential to destabilize Europe: the “right to self-determination” would be invoked by every dissatisfied minority, especially in the eastern half of the Old Continent.

Alfredo ManticaSenator Mantica regrets the fact that the position of Italy in the European debate on Kosovo is weak, which reflects the lack of either principled courage or imagination within the ruling leftist coalition. In the beginning, he points out, the position of the Italian government was totally different. Initially, after the end of the intervention by NATO in 1999, that position was based on the need to devise a form of specific autonomy for Kosovo but not to consider independence as a viable option, let alone support it. The focus at that time was on the well-known “109 Standards” for Kosovo, standards concerning the respect for human rights of the Province’s minority communities, the rule of law, the return of refugees, and so on, before any “final status” could be considered.

“The problem of Kosovo was perceived in Rome as a problem of Italy’s national security,” Mantica says, “because we considered Kosovo a territory incapable of introducing the rule of law. We realized that Kosovo was a criminal would-be state whose criminality was largely directed against Italy..... Excerpt -- Read the Rest at Chronicles

(SerbBlog: And see post below for just why Ahtisaari would be so adamant and uncompromising re Kosovo Albanian Independence -- he was heavily paid to back it!)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

DFA: Ahtisaari Bribery Allegations are Confirmed!!

Evidence That UN Special Envoy for Kosovo Marti Ahtisaari Received Albanian Mafia Bribes for Kosovo Independence (Alan Peters Newsbrief Exclusive)

Defense & Foreign Affairs Analysis.


By Valentine Spyroglou, GIS Station Chief, South-East Europe.

On July 8, 2007 the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army, Ushtria Çlirimtare e Kosovës or UÇK) war veterans issued an announcement warning the international community and especially the United Nations (UN) not to interfere the process of recognizing Kosovo’s independence.

The KLA announcement specifically said that the Albanian leaders of Kosovo should not accept more suspensions (delays) or new negotiations because these would lead to new hostilities. If their demands were not accepted, then the KLA veterans warned that they would have to take action as KLA soldiers and honor the oath of their national heroes.

The announcement came while the UN Special Envoy for Kosovo, former Finnish President Marti Ahtisaari, was publicly accused of having connections with the Albanian mafia in Kosovo.

The Finnish News Agency, STT, published on June 26 and June 27, 2007, two articles stating that the UN Special Envoy for Kosovo was “bought” by the Albanian mafia in order to support independence for Kosovo. The STT articles reported that the information was initially published by the Banja Luka (Republica Srpska, Bosnia & Herzegovina) Daily Fokus on June 21, 2007, entitled “Albanian Mafia Bought Ahtisaari”.

According to the Banja Luka report, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had requested that the German Federal Intelligence Service, BND, inform him in detail on what was happening in Kosovo, and he finally received a detailed report on Special Envoy Ahtisaari’s activities in Kosovo.

Based on the Banja Luka article, the UN Secretary General was informed that Albanian separatists in Kosovo had paid for Ahtisaari’s plan which proposed independence for the Serbian province. The BND secret service team, headed by Brigadier Luke Neiman, who was directly appointed by the German Government to designate part of the German Secret Service apparatus to the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNOSEK: United Nations Office of the Special Envoy for Kosovo), discovered the connection between the Albanian mafia and Marti Ahtisaari. Brig. Neiman had recordings of discussions between Ahtisaari and Albanians; how they transferred money; the banks accounts plus codes in Switzerland and Cyprus.

One of the BDN recordings revealed the transportation of two-million euros from the Swiss Bank based in the city of Visalia, account number 239700-93457-00097, owned by Exhet Boria, which was masked by an offshore account with a code XS52-KOLER to Ahtisaari’s bank account in the Bank of Cyprus, account number 3459346699004533, code VOLANND.

What was also reported was the visit of two men to UNOSEK, in the presence of Ahtisaari on February 12, 2007, at 06:23 hrs (local time) in one black Mercedes four-wheel drive SUV, with license plate PR-443-22CD, which was confirmed to belong to the Albanian Government in Priština.

The two visitors carried two silver briefcases which were handed to Ahtisaari. A source inside the UNOSEK facilities confirmed that the briefcases contained cash and were delivered to the UN Special Envoy for Kosovo. Twelve days later, at 17:44 hrs (local), the same car, with the license plates removed, visited UNOSEK but this time it was Exhet Boria himself and two bodyguards that entered the building, carrying again two silver briefcases.

Exhet Boria is a Kosovo Albanian figure involved in organized crime and heroin trade in Europe and he is the “right hand” of Behgjet Pacolli, the Albanian billionaire mafia boss, living in Switzerland.

The BND agents realized that the four briefcases had diplomatic luggage labels, and noted that they finally arrived in Finland without being checked — because of the diplomatic tagging — and were delivered at Ahtisaari’s house. The briefcase cash totaled 40-million euros. The German agents also confirmed that Ahtisaari had many telephone conversations with Behgjet Pacolli.
Furthermore, on February 28, 2007, at 23:47 hrs (local), the BND agents noted the arrival of a NATO KFOR (Kosovo Force) four-wheel drive vehicle carrying two women who were followed by Boria’s bodyguard. The women stayed in Ahtisaari’s quarters until 05:17 hrs next day, and left with the same car.

The office of the UN Special Envoy for Kosovo responded to STT that “this is a silly story that comes from the press of Serbia (Bosnia & Herzegovina). We have nothing to add”, said Remi Derlo, Ahtisaari’s spokesman based in Vienna. According to STT, the accusations where not commented on by the UN or by Ahtisaari himself.

However, the President of the National Assembly of Serbia, Oliver Dulić, has made a formal inquiry into the allegations in order to confirm Ahtisaari’s involvement with Albanian organized crime.

Meanwhile, on the date on which the accusations on Ahtisaari were published, June 21, 2007, the UN Security Council session discarded the US-UK proposal to suspend negotiations for 120 days and then apply the Ahtisaari plan for giving independence to Kosovo. Also, that same day the EU warned the Albanians in Kosovo not to take unilateral decisions/action because these would be characterized “irresponsible behavior”.

The GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs station in south-eastern Europe has conducted research in the Balkans and from secure sources it was revealed that the BND report does indeed exist, and that the information contained is not “Serbian fiction” but a reality.

The research also revealed additional secure and confirmed information. Specifically, it was confirmed that the former KLA leader, Hakim Thaci (also known as “the snake” of KLA), had made a plan of “100 days” for Kosovo’s independence.

It is foreseen that elections would be held in Kosovo, in November 2007; the Kosovo Parliament will have 120 seats from which 100 seats will be taken by Albanians, 10 seats by the Serbs, and 10 seats will be occupied by the remaining minorities in Kosovo. The election winner would be Hakim Thaci, winning 75 seats.

The remaining 25 seats would be taken by Albanian parties in Kosovo. They consider that the Serbs would not vote, hence the 10 Serbian seats would be taken again by representatives of Hakim Thaci.

The first session of the Kosovo Parliament would, under the plan, then decide and announce Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence (UDI). According to highly-reliable sources, Thaci and his friends had taken their decisions unilaterally and despite the UN Security Council decision, regardless of what this could mean for the security of the region.

Meanwhile, GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs sources confirmed that the BND report also contained extensive additional information on the involvement in corrupt activities of other international community personalities involved in Kosovo.

As a result, it was understood that, under the pressure of the emerging information/facts, the UN was now considering promoting the partition of Kosovo, rather than adopting the Ahtisaari plan for granting complete independence to Kosovo.

President Bush, Life Imitates Art!


A big thank you to my friend Aleksandar K. in Serbia for alerting me to a new American/Serbian movie production currently filming in Chicago and in Serbia, called "Serbian Scars". This awesome poster tells the truth that "Freedom's Never Free!" and for once, Serbs may be the good guys of the story!

The movie website's photo gallery already has some breathtaking shots of both Chicago and Serbia, and if the music on the website is any indication, the score sounds terrific. If the film is even half as good as the poster, they'll have a hit on their hands!

The movie's website describes the film's plot "as an action/thriller" with Serbian brothers who come to America trying to save their father, but who get manipulated by a terrorist and are forced to make the decision of whether or not "to return to Serbia and risk the lives of millions, or follow their hearts and save the people they love most (in America)".

Sounds like the characters have to decide whether to save their own skins -- or save ours. (Hmmmm... after President Bush's bizarre remarks in Albania, will you Serb boys give us another chance?)

Actually, the storyline is perfectly plausible, as Serbia has as big a stake in fighting Islamic terrorists as we do. If only the US State Department will digest that simple concept and quit trying to play Russian Roulette with American & Serbian lives in order to please Saudi Arabia and the Albanian Mafia, America just may make it through (more than just this movie) alive!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

COUNTERTERRORIST BLOG SWARM NEEDED!

From 1389 Blog:

This article by Julia Gorin is a must read for everyone:

Ending the Balkan Quagmire at American Thinker

This article is all about how US and EU counterterrorism foreign policy went so horribly wrong. It explains how jihadist terrorism has succeeded in overrunning Europe and in attacking the US. It's particularly important for Americans to read this article, because it cites news stories from reputable sources that have had some exposure in Europe, but haven't made it into the US media.

So why am I asking for a blog swarm?

Exactly because this information isn't getting around in the US, and I want this story to get some exposure!

Why is this story being kept off the radar screen in the US?

Simple: It's a catalogue of errors and misdeeds that makes the US media conglomerates look bad, and the US government (i.e., nearly everyone on both sides of the aisle) look even worse. It reveals an ongoing foreign policy fiasco that makes the Bay of Pigs Invasion look like a victory by comparison. And it isn't just a fiasco for the government, it's a fiasco for the American and European public, because it has greatly increased everyone's vulnerability to jihadist terrorism.

What to do?

  • Link to the original story on your blog.
  • Ask everyone else you know to do the same.
  • Publicize the story in any other legitimate way that you can think of.
  • If you wish, post a comment here indicating where else this article is being publicized.

This story has been submitted to Digg as How US and EU counterterrorism foreign policy went so horribly wrong. ..... 1389 Blog