Friday, May 30, 2008
Three Serbian nationalist parties on Wednesday signed an agreement to form a coalition to run Belgrade's local government, after gaining a 58-seat majority in the national assembly.
Although no one protested against the 11 May election results, Tadic’s Democratic Party, who won 45 seats, claim they have a mandate to rule Belgrade, though they can’t form a majority government.
According to election law, the constituent session of the new assembly should be held by 6 June, but Tadic’s party colleague acting Mayor Zoran Alimpic called the session for 14 July.
Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica said in a statement on Friday that Alimpic’s unreasonable delay was “undermining democratic order in the country and threatened state institutions”.
Several hundred supporters of the nationalist coalition gathered in front of the town hall on Friday where nationalist leaders held an outdoor media conference, protesting against what they called a “violation of the voters' will”.
“Can anyone imagine that anywhere in Europe today an assembly session isn’t called just because someone doesn’t like the existing majority,” Kostunica said.
He said that Tadic’s manoeuvre and "usurpation of power" could push the country into a grave crisis."
"In most democratic countries the only democratic government is the one formed by a majority in parliament, everything else is a violation of the voters’ will and usurpation of power,” said Kostunica.
Nationalist leaders claim that Tadic, whose coalition won 102 deputies in the 250-seat Serbian Parliament was buying time to lure MP’s and councilmen from the nationalist coalition to form both a national and a city government in Belgrade.
Kostunica and Tadic split after Kosovo declared independence last February.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
read more | digg story
read more | digg story
In the last few months, a number of stories have emerged about Serbia's potential deal with Russia's Gazprom for South Stream and what it might mean to the West's US-backed Nabucco project to provide alternative energy sources to Europe. But there have also been indicators that the Balkans may also contain some valuable oil reserves, themselves.
A few days ago, Croatia's Javno News Agency ran a story that said the US Amoco Oil Company has known about oil in Bosnia-Hercegovina since the early 1990's, but that the original reports were sold to the Russians years ago. One analyst estimated that the oil reserves in Hercegovina could make Bosnia one of the richest countries in the world and another went as far as saying the Hercegovina reserves could be as substantial as those of Saudi Arabia (although this could be a great exageration). Estimates say that BH could be sitting on roughly 500 Million tons of oil . Apparently, some energy analysts are taking this seriously.
New Kosova Report, stated that vast oil reserves have also been located in Northern Albania. According to their sources, "The Balkans region has proven oil reserves totaling approximately 345 million barrels. Of that, 198 million barrels is located in Albania. And the unproven reserve holds up to 2.987 billion barrels of oil and 3.014 trillion cubic feet of natural gas."
Britain's Med Oil has been drilling offshore to try and locate Albanian reserves off the coast in both the Adriatic and Ionian Sea
To date, these are the prime oil and gas reserves that have been located in the neighborhood, but the Balkans are still a critical transit route of many plans to get Caspian oil to Europe & beyond.
One pipeline project is AMBO (Albanian-Macedonian-Bulgarian-Oil), which is backed by the US government. It would transport 750,000 barrels of oil per day from Burgas, Bulgaria to Vlore, Albania, thereby avoiding the potential of spills into the Bosphorus shipping lanes. This project, conceived in the mid-1990's, has already received over $900 million in financing and has passed major political and environmental hurdles.
Both the knowledge of Balkan oil reserves and many of these pipeline projects have been in the works since the late 1980's and early 1990's, although the information had not been widely released to the general public until recently.
So how, if at all, has this affected Western political attitudes and actions regarding the break-up of Yugoslavia and other countries in the Balkans?
More than a few political analysts & veteran bloggers believe that this why we bombed Serbia and took away Kosovo in the first place -- it had nothing to do with Milosevic, Serbia and Albanians -- it was that the oil companies wanted to build a military base in Kosovo to guard the AMBO pipeline and Balkan oil reserves. The fact that plans for Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo were on the table before the first bomb was ever dropped on Serbia, helps make the case more convincing. Global Research deduced the following:
Camp Bondsteel was not the outgrowth of a humanitarian or "Just War" on behalf of Kosovar Albanians. The construction of Camp Bondsteel had been envisaged well in advance of the bombings and invasion of Kosovo in 1999.
The plans to build Camp Bondsteel under a lucrative multibillion dollar DoD contract with Halliburton's Texas based subsidiary KBR were formulated while Dick Cheney was Halliburton's CEO.
Construction of Camp Bondsteel was initiated shortly after the 1999 invasion under the Clinton administration. Construction was completed during the Bush administration, after Dick Cheney had resigned his position as Halliburton's CEO:
The US and NATO had advanced plans to bomb Yugoslavia before 1999, and many European political leaders now believe that the US deliberately used the bombing of Yugoslavia to establish camp Bondsteel in Kosovo.. According to Colonel Robert L. McCure, “Engineering planning for operations in Kosovo began months before the first bomb was dropped.” (See Lenora Foerstel, Global Research, January 2008)
One of the objectives underlying Camp Bondsteel was to protect the Albanian-Macedonian-Bulgarian Oil pipeline project (AMBO), which was to channel Caspian sea oil from the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Burgas to the Adriatic.
Coincidentally, two years prior to the invasion, in 1997, a senior executive of `Brown & Root Energy, a subsidiary of Halliburton, Edward L. (Ted) Ferguson had been appointed to head AMBO. The feasibility plans for the AMBO pipeline were also undertaken by Halliburton's engineering company, Kellog, Brown & Root Ltd.
The AMBO agreement for the 917-km long oil pipeline from Burgas to Valona, Albania, was signed in 2004.
When George Bush went to Albania last year, Albanians were waiving flags stating "Proud to be Partners". While most Americans assumed that the Albanians were referring to an "Albanian partnership with America", it's a lot more probable that they were referring to a partnership with the Bush oil business. America fire power just facilitated Albanians' new-found fame and territory (Kosovo) while Americans will continue to be stuck with a rising price per gallon in filling up their tanks for many years to come.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
(Excerpt) A former SS doctor accused of sending 900 sick children to their deaths under the Nazi euthanasia programme has been awarded a German medical association's highest honour.
The decision comes as Jewish organisations continue to press Germany to put 92-year-old Hans-Joachim Sewering on trial for mass murder.
He was given the Guenther-Budelmann medal by the German Federation of Internal Medicine for "unequalled services in the cause of freedom of the practice and the independence of the medical profession and to the nation's health system".
Sewering was a doctor at a tuberculosis clinic near Munich before World War II.
He allegedly signed orders sending 900 German Catholic children from the clinic to a "healing centre".
In fact, it was a killing centre carrying out a secret Nazi policy of murdering the handicapped who were declared "useless eaters" by the Nazis before the war.......Daily Mail
Serbian police stormed the houses of two former leaders of the "Liberation army of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja" (UCPBM) near the regional hub of Presevo (Serbia) on Saturday, and found five assault rifles, two RPG's, 20 missiles, ten heavy machine guns, five pistols, two hand grenades and more than 20,000 pieces of ammunition.
The owners of those houses, brothers Nazmi and Adan Hajredini were immediately arrested, raising a storm of protests in the local Albanian community, whose leaders claim that police action presents "yet another proof of Belgrade's pressure on Albanians" in three southern Serbian municipalities.... Kosovo Compromise
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
So given that Albanians already have a country called "Albania", why did we give them another one? And given Kosovo churches were built by Serbs as "Serbian Orthodox Churches" and Kosovo Albanians are overwhelmingly Muslim, why should these churches in Kosovo now be "Albanianized"? From "New Kosova Report":
As part of the Ahtisaari Plan, the government has proposed a new law which identifies the national holidays of Kosovo. This excludes the 28th November, ‘Flag Day’, which is the date on which Albanians everywhere celebrate the independence of Albania, the 12th June, when NATO forces entered Kosovo, and the 5th March, the day when all those who died for Kosovo are remembered. This is simply the next step in the whitewashing of history and the removal of all signs of an Albanian identity in Kosovo. Instead the law includes holidays which have no meaning, such as Europe Day (is Kosovo meant to celebrate its exclusion from the EU on this day or its administration by the EU and thus its lack of democracy?). Whilst the right to express the majority Albanian identity of Kosovo is excluded, religious holidays are included. Add to this mix the Ahtisaari Plan’s declaration that all Orthodox monuments are ‘Serb,’ rather than the mixed cultural heritage of all the people of Kosovo, and it becomes clear that this combination is designed precisely to divide us into competing religious identities, whilst removing what unites us. Kosovo is 95% Albanian. It is a majority Albanian state and it is possible and right to express that identity whilst at the same time, guaranteeing and protecting the rights of all minorities within the state.
DiCarlo is understood to have said during a recent visit to Kosovo that “part of the joint plan between the United States and Kosovo was to achieve 97 recognitions by September.
After that, Kosovo was supposed to apply for a membership of the UN General Assembly”, an unnamed source told Television Kosovo.
According to the source, that plan might fall through owing to the relatively small number of countries that have recognized Kosovo and the inefficiency of the Kosovo government, writes Priština daily Koha Ditore.
SerbBlog: Wow, do you think Kosovo independence might not be such an easy sell because the Albanians got caught selling 70% of Western Europe's heroin? Or trafficking in sex slaves? Or ripping out the organs from live victims and putting them for sale to the highest bidder? Or that Kosovo has no legal economy and will have to be financially supported by international aid, forever?
Nah, Rosemary, you are right -- must just be Kosovo Albanian "lobbying efforts" that are not as successful as they should be -- NOT!
PS Now, the US denies that this report in the Kosovo Albanian media is accurate. But why would they make up something so obviously unfavorable to themselves?
Monday, May 26, 2008
Last year, the 2007 Eurovision win of Marija Serifovic was not only a big morale booster for Serbia at the time, it also meant that the Eurovision was coming to Belgrade in 2008 -- an opportunity that was met with both hope and trepidation by all concerned. The enormous amount of time, money an preparation that was going to be necessary to show the world that "Belgrade could pull this off" with organization and style to showcase this capital city at it's European best, was not for the faint of heart. This was especially true, given that of all the many talents Serbs may be known to possess, "organization" is generally not "a national trait" -- yet "organization" was an essential skill for hosting 15,000 visitors to the city, coordinating the performances and voting on acts from 43 countries, with live performance broadcasting and voting from around the world in an arena of twenty-two thousand people.
Even after many months of planning, events in Belgrade in February of this year following the declaration of Kosovo independence almost derailed Eurovision 2008 in Belgrade.
The burning of the US embassy and looting by a small number of rioters in Belgrade on February 22nd, 2008, raised security concerns for the European Broadcasting Union, and for a short time, the sponsors were considering changing the venue to another country. But security guarantees by Serbia ultimately alleviated their fears and within a few days, Eurovision Belgrade was back on track again.
Ultimately, last week Eurovision 2008 came to Belgrade and the Eurovision 2008 Finals were held and broadcast this last Saturday night, telecast live around the world to several hundred million people. Eurovision Belgrade 2008 was a beautiful, well-organized, brilliant hit!
The news outlet Blic reported:
According to CNN, “Serbian authorities went out of their way to throw a well-organized party, seizing the chance to present the country to the world as a normal European nation after years of pariah status in the 1990s under late strongman Slobodan Milosevic.”Even the representatives of the ex-Yugoslav countries had lots of positive things to say about their Eurovision experience in Belgrade. Delegations from Bosnia and Herzegovina , Croatia, Macedonia , Montenegro and Slovenia participated in the contest and enjoyed the Belgrade nightlife.
According to BBC, Serbia and Belgrade have proven to be part of Europe and have shown a friendly face to numerous guests, something which hasn’t been seen in the media for a long time.
German broadcasting station “Deutsche Welle” highly praises Belgrade for hosting the greatest Eurovision so far, with 43 participating countries and for perfect organization at the “Belgrade Arena”, as well as in the city center, where thousands of people watched the live broadcast.
As an American --prior to reporting on Marija Serifovic's win last year -- I had never even heard of "Eurovision". But, Saturday, I viewed the entire 3 hr and 18 minute live broadcast of the Eurovision 2008 Finals online, and now I understand friends who been hooked on this annual high-camp phenomena for years. Where else can you see a pop singer on the same stage with a world class violinist and an Olympic Gold Medalist ice skater, all performing at the same time? (And, this Russian threesome, led by Dima Bilan, even turned out to be the 2008 Eurovision winners!)
A new arrangement of Marija Serifovic's 2007 winner, "Molitva", opened the show and wasn't to be missed. And a familiar face, Vlade Divac, even made an appearance, throwing a basketball into the audience to open the live, worldwide voting.
At the end, there was the tiniest bit of sadness that "lightning" didn't choose to strike twice in the same spot (or even in the same neighborhood) with another Balkan Eurovision win. Serbia's entry, "Oro" sung by Jelena Tomasevic was really beautiful and even Croatia's entry, which also made it to the finals, featured a nice song by some sweet old guys. But this was not to be, because this year it was Russia's turn. And in May, 2009 --for the first time in Eurovision history -- Moscow will be the Eurovision hosts.
Overall, hosts Zeljko Joksimovic and Jovana Jankovic, the organizers of Eurovision 2008, and the City of Belgrade, took their bows to verbal standing ovations. They had made their country -- and Serbs everywhere -- once again, very proud!
And many thanks are once again due to that a little "long-shot entry" from Kragujevac, named Marija Serifovic -- and her fans -- without whom this opportunity would not have been possible !
Saturday, May 24, 2008
PRAGUE -- Czech President Vaclav Klaus described his meeting with Serbia's Ambassador Vladimir Vereš in an article published by a Prague newspaper today.
Klaus received Vereš Friday ahead of his return to Belgrade, after the Czech government decided to recognize the Kosovo Albanian's unilateral declaration of independence earlier this week.
"I was very upset by the words of Ambassador Vereš, who said that Serbs did not take personally Kosovo recognitions by countries such as Finland, Holland or Germany, but that the Czech government's move hurt them," Klaus wrote in an article for Mlada Fronta Dnes daily, which he entitled, "How ashamed I was".
The Czech president reminded that he personally cannot be at peace with the recognition, and that for this reason he decided to receive Vereš, which the diplomats describe as a highly unusual move, according to the state protocol.
"I thought that this accelerated invitation to the Serb ambassador ahead of his unwanted departure will give at least a small signal to our people and people in Serbia that nothing changes in the relationship Czechs have with Serbs," Klaus wrote.
He added that Vereš reminded him of several key moments in the common history of the two nations.
One is the fact that the first Czechoslovakian president, Tomaš Garrigue Masaryk, could only travel in Europe during the First World War because Serbia issued him with a passport, and that the German Gestapo persecuted Masaryk's followers in occupied Yugoslavia during the Second World War.
"The ambassador's father studied in Prague after the war, to be sent home by our authorities after 1948, because he would not renounce Tito in favor of Stalin," Klaus continued.
He reminded the readers of the Czech Republic's most influential newspaper that as the Warsaw Pact troops entered Czechoslovakia in 1968, Yugoslavia was the only country to declare its own mobilization.
Meanwhile, the Czech foreign minister expressed regret over the Serbian ambassador's departure, but added his government had no choice but to recognize the secession.
"I respect the president's opinion. I, too, am sorry that the Serbian ambassador is leaving, but our government could make no other decision but to recognize Kosovo," Karel Schwarzenger told Mlada Fronta Dnes.
Prime Minister Miroslav Topolanek said he hoped "Serbia's move would not disturb the relations between the two countries". He was referring to the recall of the ambassador, something done with previous recognitions as well.
Topolanek said via his spokeswoman that the Czech Republic "continues to support Serbia's integration into EU structures".
The Czech government's decision to recognize the unilateral independence, which Serbia rejects as illegal, has caused a storm in the local political scene, which continues unabated for the third day.
The decision will have to be justified in parliament at the start of June, but the jurisdiction to make the recognition remains with the cabinet.
The leader of the Czech communists, Vojteh Filip, said last night that his party will propose a law that will in the future make the parliament the institution with this jurisdiction.
"Legally, the Czech decision to recognize Kosovo will be finalized once the presidents appoints the Czech ambassador to Priština. We have asked Vaclav Klaus to block the appointment of Janjina Hžebičkova," Filip explained.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Mr. Nikolic, despite resistance in Europe, it is possible that Serbia could soon see a governing coalition made up of Radicals, Socialists and Vojislav Kostunica's Democratic Party of Serbia. Even at this stage, no one seems to think that such a government could stay together for long. Some even think that it could lead to civil war.
Tomislav Nikolic: The European Union has divided our people into good Serbs and bad Serbs, thus destabilizing the country. Europe puts all its support behind the Democratic Party (eds. note: The Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Serbia are two different parties) of Boris Tadic, despite the fact that 90 percent of all voters have cast their ballots for parties in favor of joining the EU.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: That is a different message from the one often heard from your Serbian Radical Party.
Nikolic: Of course we are in favor of the EU. But what is the difference between our demand that the EU accept Kosovo as a part of Serbia and President Tadic, who, just after the elections, said he would never recognize the independence of Kosovo? It is clear that without this recognition, we will never become part of the EU..... Continued
Friday, May 23, 2008
PRAGUE -- A bus from the Czech Republic carrying humanitarian aid to the Kosovo Serbs has been stoned near Dečani, Czech radio reports.
An informal Czech group called the Petition Board Against Recognizing Kosovo’s Independence organized a visit by a group of 20 students to visit Kosovo and bring aid to the Serbs living in Kosovo.
Czech radio confirmed that on their way to High Dečani monastery, Albanian youths threw stones at the bus bearing Czech license plates. It was also confirmed that no-one was injured during the incident.
“The fact that the Czech government recognized Kosovo’s independence, of which I am deeply ashamed, has meant nothing to those ‘peace loving’ and ‘democratic’ Albanians”, said Jaroslav Foldina, regional leader of the Czech Social Democrats, in a statement given to the online edition of daily Pravo. Foldina was one of the passengers on the bus.
"We’re talking a lot with people in Kosovo, and everyone kept asking about it (yesterday’s recognition of Kosovo by the Czech government). I kept repeating the same answer: Serbia was not betrayed by the Czech people, but by the Czech government. The people have always been the same”, he insisted.
Following distribution of the humanitarian aid, the students and the Petition Board intend to organize demonstrations in Kosovska Mitrovica in protest at the Czech government’s decision to recognize Kosovo’s independence.
The Kosovo Police Service (KPS) has not received any information about any attack on the the bus.
KPS spokesman Veton Elshani told the Beta News agency that they had received no reports or information about a bus with Czech license plates, nor any other bus for that matter, being attacked yesterday.
“No one reported any attack on a bus to the police", said Elshani.
He added that since the beginning of this year, four Serb families had been living in Dečani, and that, so far, they had reported no problems.
If Czechs were expecting any better a "thank you" from Kosovo Albanians for recognition other than getting pelted with rocks, then Czechs forgot who they were dealing with -- a people who financially bled Yugoslavia dry for the last sixty years, violently drove the native Serbs out of their homes and then said "thanks" to Serbia by ripping off Kosovo!
The foreign minister of the Albanians in Kosovo, Skender Hyseni, was recently on an "on-his-knees" begging tour of Latin America in order to find those corrupt or stupid enough to grant recognition to his quasi statelet. Skender has presented his credentials to numerous Latin America diplomats, along with personal letters of recommendation from several Columbian drug cartels & William Walker (AKA Mr. Massacre who set up the Racak hoax for "the Kosovars"), plus several "offers you can't refuse" from the Bush Administration. John McCain also threw in a stellar recommendation for Skender in return for the generous donations the Albanian Mafia has made to McCain's presidential campaign. McCain, Chair of the IRI since 1992, offered some additional coaching from old IRI "assets" who overthrew several governments in the neighborhood, and advised a stop off in Bolivia where Croatian-born Branko Marinkovich is attempting a coup to seize power from the native population. (If it works, Branko says that he's in!)
Skender was traveling with several suitcases full of Albanian narco-mafia money, after having just returned from a pick up in Columbia, and is handing the rolled-up hundred generously. Skender has also been willing to give free sex junkets to leaders who sign up for this "Kosovo recognition" program (Skender couldn't fit kidnapped sex slaves in his bags to take with him, no matter how hard he tried). Skender is giving out coupons for "free organ-transplants" (if they don't mind that the organ was taken out of a living victim on an Albanian kitchen table with a rusty knife) for anyone wiling to sign on the dotted line.
Skender's biggest problem is that most Latin American diplomats are having a hard time finding "Kosovo" on a map of Europe, and can often be heard arguing between themselves, "No, no alli-- eso es Serbia, no Albania!" Most Latin American diplomats can only understand the arguments for Kosovo's "independence" when they are far too drunk to be allowed to sign anything. Skender suggested that not being able to "locate Kosovo" on a map should not get in their way, given that only one in ten Costa Ricans knew where Kosovo was, but recognized it anyway! Unfortunately for Skender, the diplomats replied that they were "not THAT drunk"!
Skender is studiously avoiding two places -- Argentina & Brazil. Carla del Ponte is the new Swiss Ambassador to Argentina and Carla just dropped a political bombshell on Kosovo with her revelations on involuntary Serb organ donors in her new book -- questions to Skender about that book might be just too uncomfortable and would ruin the festive mood. And then there is Brazil, where UN Representative Gerard Galluci was very well-respected in diplomatic circles -- Galluci blew the whistle on the horrible treatment of Serbs in Kosovo in a recent UN document, and the ghost of Galluci in Brazil might just haunt Skender in diplomatic circles there.
Skender did get several Amazon tribes to agree to "recognize Kosovo" -- if they ever found Europe. And George Bush is even thinking about giving these Amazon tribes new countries of their own, just to improve the Kosovo recognition numbers. (I mean, getting Nauru -- an 8 sq mile island in Micronesia-- onboard was a real coup in the game!)
Yet from the real Latin American countries, Skender only got a lot of "Hasta Luego's", not a few "Adios'!", and nothing more. But President Bush promised to "those people a talking to!" for Skender, especially if Skender promised to find Bush's watch!
Friday, May 16, 2008
Hundreds of successful asylum seekers could have their British citizenship revoked after investigators uncovered a massive immigration fraud.
The Home Office is targeting Albanians who claimed to be victims of the war in Kosovo.
According to the Daily Mail's sister paper, the Evening Standard, more than 80,000 refugees settled in Britain when Nato expelled Serbian forces from the province amid accusations of "ethnic cleansing" in 1999.
Now the Home Office has evidence that many were not refugees fleeing the war but economic migrants from neighbouring Albania who adopted fake Kosovar identities to claim asylum......Continued
I have just returned from Serbia, where I presented a paper at a conference on the Kosovo question. I left only a day before the election and had the opportunity to get some idea of public opinion......Continued
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Several Serbian Dailies today are reporting rumors that two completely opposite alliances for forming a new Serbian government after the election are "almost done deals" -- in a political space where only one (if any of these rumors) can possibly be true. How much is "wishful thinking" and how much is down-right deception, is anybody's guess, particularly given that many of Serbia's prime newspapers are foreign owned or influenced.
Swiss-owned Blic reported yesterday that a Tadic coalition with the Socialists was a done deal (or a nearly done one), but that they were holding up an announcement. Meanwhile B92 (which was financed by George Soros) is reporting a story of a real deal between the Radicals, Kostunica's Democrats and the Socialists --at least over the administration of Belgrade -- and it is also reporting many of the players, including the Socialists themselves, are saying that the Kostunica/Nikolic platform is closer to theirs than the Tadic one -- but that "they will also listen to offers from Tadic's coalition".
The one and only that you can be assured of at this moment, is that because the Socialists (the old party of Slobodan Milosevic) are desperately needed by both ends of the spectrum to form a new government, they are enjoying being treated like the "Prom Queen" after so many years of being treated like the "Ugly Sister". The Socialists will likely get as much political mileage out of this courtship by both sides as they can before committing to take one side or the other.
As I outlined in "Ignoring the Man Behind the Curtain" right after the election, while the Western MSM was screaming "Tadic won!", those who delved a little deeper to understand how the Serbian government system worked, were in for a big surprise. Yes, it was true that Tadic's coalition was "the biggest SINGLE winner" with 39% of the vote, it is also true that 61% of the population of Serbia did NOT vote for Tadic, but instead elected other representatives who collectively could challenge Tadic's ability to put together a government. Yet as predicted, Tadic is pouting for the press that "no one gave a mandate to his rival, Kostunica", which is true. But what is also true is that no one gave "a mandate" to Tadic either if he can't get any of the other elected representatives in the Serbian Parliament to work with him!
Meanwhile, after Tadic and the so-called Democrats had sold their souls -- with Tadic's predecessor in the party also having sold off most of Serbia's assets to global financial interests just to prove what "pro-Western capitalists" they were -- Tadic this week morphed the other direction attempting to prove what a "socialists" they have always been in order to attract the Serbian Socialist Party to the "Democratic ticket". It wasn't too hard for them, given that Tadic's party has belonged to Socialist International for a long time, yet this is something that has rarely been revealed in the Western press. The Tadic morph in the media from "avowed Western capitalist" to "avowed Socialist" happened so fast and so completely that it made Western readers heads spin. (But after watching Hillary try to turn herself into "a warrior princess", and McCain meeting with La Raza, nothing should surprise us about any politician, let alone Boris Tadic.)
Tadic wasn't alone in trying to woo the 20 Serbian Socialist seats. Even Javier Solana was heard to say, "the SPS (Socialists) does not have to continue to forever exist as the ‘'Milošević party’”, although that positive attitude to toward the Serbian Socialists well may conditional on the Socialists supporting the EU/US boy, Tadic, who needs them desperately. The EU has also told Serbia that "the EU expects a Serbian government by June 10th". Last time I checked, Serbia was not yet an EU country, so what right has the EU to "expect" anything from Serbia?
The US was blunt about what they want in Serbia --"we expect a pro-European government", period. The Bush Administration wants Boris Tadic in power and makes no bones about it. They might as well say, "We really don't care what Serbian citizens want or what the Serbian Constitution says, you will do what we say because we are America!". Enough to make me cringe, hearing this from someone who is supposed to be a diplomat, let alone an American diplomat.
The Bush Administration and the US State Department just doesn't get it -- tell Serbs what "they must do" and they give you the finger -- they did the same to the Turks, they did it to Austro-Hungary, they did it to Nazi Germany and they will do the same to us. It's who they are -- a tough, strong-minded lot who value their independence over anything else -- and if they haven't broken down after seventeen years of insults, sanctions, bombing and emotional abuse, it isn't ever going to happen. Of all the people on this planet who should understand this independent mentality, it should be us Americans -- because it is precisely who we used to be.
Ironically, it is precisely "the real American" in me that hopes Serbia tells us and the EU to go to hell, and then does what it needs to do for it's country and for its people, for freedom and real democracy, not swallowing the canned versions of "democracy"sold by NGO's and slimy bureaucrats.
But the election is over, the votes have already been cast, and it will be a wait until we see what Serbia will make from the results of this election -- meanwhile, the media will continue to place it's bets.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Part I, Part II, Part III
Earlier articles relating to illegal Albanian organ trafficking of non-Serbs can be found here
And additional information on Albanian Criminal Activities in Kosovo & the US can be found in the minutes of the Subcommittee on Crime Hearing, US House of Representatives, 106th Congress (2000), titled: "THE THREAT POSED BY THE CONVERGENCE OF ORGANIZED CRIME, DRUG TRAFFICKING, AND TERRORISM"
Monday, May 12, 2008
Like the scene in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy is told to "behold the Great Wizard!" and to "ignore the man behind the curtain" (who is pulling the levers to create the Great Wizard's false image), today's Serbian election headlines in the West proclaim an ultimate triumph for Tadic's "pro-EU, pro-Western" forces in Serbia": "Pro-EU alliance wins Serbia election", "Serbia's Tadic claims victory for pro-EU camp", and "Pro-EU Forces Win in Serbia"
These headlines sound like the issue is resolved, the shower of EU carrots worked, back to business now because "Serbia is all settled, the Balkans are stabilized and Serbia now has a pro-EU government". Might be a lot easier if it were true, but this is not the case in Serbia, not by a long shot. In fact, the political war to form a new government in Serbia hasn't even begun yet, and by all indications, it could result in some a very unexpected twists, turns or reversals -- or it could all collapse in failure and require another return to the ballot box for Serbian voters.
Yes, it's true that Serbian elections results yesterday provided "a win" for the Tadic pro-EU coalition forces as they took home 38.75% of the vote and 102 seats in the Parliament. The Nikolic Radicals were second with 29.2% of the vote & received 77 seats in the Parliament*. Kostunica's Democratic Party of Serbia was a distant third, and won only 11.34% and 30 seats in the Parliament.
But Serbia's Parliamentary election is not "a winner take all" game -- at least not unless you win by more than 50% of the vote and the Tadic coalition didn't do that -- they only got a little less than 39%. According to the Serbian Constitution, a coalition of at least 126 seats out of 250 seats in Serbia's Parliament is absolutely necessary in order to form a new government . Tadic forces right now have, neither enough seats (104) on their own to accomplish that alone, nor do they appear to have enough in the way of "friends and allies" anymore in other Serbian political parties to make that happen. Tadic needs at least 22 more seats in the Parliament in order to form a government and there is a huge question as to where he can possibly pick up those seats.
Tadic's signature on the SAA document without the agreement of the Parliament drove away the usual king-maker party, Kostunica's Democratic Party of Serbia, and it is highly doubtful that they are ever coming back to the Tadic coalition. In fact, it was Tadic's signature on that SAA document that led to Kostunica's picking up his toys & going home in the first place, resulting in the dissolution of the last government only a few months after Tadic's February's election "win" and requiring this new election.
But here is where the Serbian election results could get really dicey: minority parties could ultimately prove to be the real "winners" of this political war to establish a government, and Tadic & Company could get left completely out in the cold.
An alliance between Nikolic's Radical Party and Kostunica's Democrats (not unlikely) would give them a combined 107 seats in the Parliament, three more than Tadic has now. If these two in turn, ally with the Socialists (just possible) who won 20 seats in the Parliament, they are over the top at 127 seats in the Parliament, and the Nikolic/Kostunica/& Socialist Alliance could be the real winners of this election in being able to form a government -- leaving the Tadic coalition marginalized and screaming "It's not fair!" to anyone who will listen. But according to the Serbian Constitution, this would be completely "fair", and no less "democratic" than our own US electoral college system -- come to think of it, Serbia's is actually more "fair & democratic" because every block of voters gets a voice in the parliament until the next election. If this minority coalition scenario happens, it just could turn Boris Tadic into the "Al Gore" of Serbia (which might still be a real step up for him from the "Judas" nickname he has been wearing lately after the SAA signature.)
The only strategy for Tadic now is to get one or more of the minority parties on his team, and that is not going to be easy.
Adding Nikolic's Radicals would put Tadic way, way over the top at 179 seats, but that's a highly improbable alliance for a hundred different reasons, not the least of which is that they are at opposite ends of the political spectrum from one another.
Adding Kostunica's thirty seats alone could also do it for Tadic (132 seats) -- but even more improbable now given the state of their relationship after Tadic not only signed the SAA, but at the same time, one of Tadic's minions publicly stabbed Kostunica in the back with an EU official.
Adding an alliance with the old Milosevic Socialists would help Tadic. (Now wouldn't that be a real irony?) But even with the Socialists (124 total seats), Tadic would still need to pick up a minuscule leftover minority party with a few seats -- who in this case are actual "minorities", Bosniak Muslims, Presevo Albanians, Vojvodina Hungarians, etc. -- to make it over the top. The real minorities love Tadic (so does Kosovo's Hashim Thaci), so those little votes are easy, but an alliance with the Socialists would damage Tadic's narcissistic image in the West and it would be a marriage of convenience sure to collapse at the first sign of trouble. Plus, the Socialists are unlikely to be willing to join into that little political orgy, whoever's bed that they might otherwise be willing to get into.
In any case, Tadic has 90 days to form a new government. My bet is that if it doesn't happen very soon, it isn't going to happen for Tadic at all. Then one of two things will happen -- either a Nikolic/Kostunica/Socialist will step in to fill the void (if they wait at all). Or it will be back to new elections and this Serbia/EU/Russia/US circus will start all over again.
Gee, aren't we glad that "Kosovo independence" stabilized the Balkans? NOT! Kosovo has been the single biggest destabilizing factor in this Serbian political free-for-all, whether directly or indirectly, and it's all because President Bush decided to follow Bill Clinton's stupid political lead --right off a Balkan cliff. And we are going to be picking up the pieces of that Kosovo Independence "crash" for a long time, as far away as Tibet and "Palestine", let alone Serbia.
Something that will not likely make an impression on the Western press is the real level of Serbian voter ambivalence in this election. Only 60% of Serbia's eligible voters even turned out to vote at this crucial moment in Serbia's history. Does this mean that they don't care? Or that they can't decide?
Well, let's see. Pretend you are a Serbian voter and you've got two main choices: 1. Vote for the party that is pro-EU and promises you "a better future", in spite of the fact that most of that EU countries supported the ripping off of 15% of your most precious territory (Kosovo), love to humiliate you every chance they get and are sending a mission to your territory without an invitation? 2. Or, vote for the party that wants to turn more toward Russia, knowing that the Russians haven't told you what "the bill" for their support is yet, and you know that the EU & US will use you as their punching bag to an even greater extent if you vote pointing East?
So what's your choice? Screw yourself or screw yourself?
It's not hard to understand the Serbian feeling that there is "no right answer, the game is rigged for you to lose so you might as well not play (vote) at all". And, every election in that last seven years for Serbia (and there have been many) has been billed by politicians & the West as as "crucial", "make or break", "East or West", "EU or isolation" "life or death". That would wear me out, too -- especially when not much changes no matter who you vote for.
Although the stakes were not as high (or were they?) I can recall a similar feeling years ago, back when I couldn't even force my hand to check the box for either "Bill Clinton" or "Bob Dole" for president -- a nasty, frustrating scenario that is likely to be repeated this November, with new players but the same Catch 22 alternatives. Luckily, no one was threatening me with economic sanctions and violence as they are with Serbian voters, whatever choice I made (or were they?).
What is very certain is that the real heat on Serbia's new government (or lack of one) is due to be turned up even higher next month:
In June, the Eulex Mission is due to be deployed to Kosovo.
In June, Kosovo's contrived, mail-order "constitution" is due to come into effect, and the US & EU will pretend to take it seriously, even if no one else in the world does.
And, this June will be the first Serbian Vidovdan without Kosovo. Vidovdan, commemorating a time when six hundred years ago Serb Christians stood up to the Islamic invasion in spite of knowing they would lose their lives against overwhelming odds, but that generation of Serbs had the guts to do it anyway because they said to themselves, "Better a grave than a slave". So what will this generation of Serbs and Serbians tell themselves on this Vidovdan, a date when so many significant events have taken place in Serbian history? That they are the ones who lost Kosovo, who don't have the guts to fight for it, and who would rather be "EU slaves than graves"? Or that they are just sick of dying & killing for Western "entertainment" value.
Once again, 2008 post-election Serbia ultimately finds itself in the same predicament that Bishop Sava so eloquently described Serbia's position in the 13th century:
“At first we were confused. The East thought that we were West while the West considered us to be East. Some of us misunderstood our place in the clash of currents so they cried that we belong to neither side and others that we belong exclusively to one side or the other. But I tell you Ireneus we are doomed by fate to be the East in the West and the West in the East, to acknowledge only heavenly Jerusalem beyond us and here on earth--no one.” —St. Sava to Irenaeus 13th Century
Must be the geography. Because few countries have been forced to fight against so many larger and more formidable powers as many times as Serbia has just for their right to exist and have a normal life -- with elections and politicians that really mean so very little to the ultimate quality of their lives, no matter how hard they try to get it right.
*Since this article was written, a more accurate election vote count has emerged and has altered the numbers slightly. Nikolic's Radicals picked up one more seat in the Parliament and the Liberal Democrats lost a seat.
According to preliminary results from RIK, the coalition of the DSS and NS won 15.21%, the coalition SPS-PUPS-JS won 10.75%, whereas the Liberal Democratic Party remains with 3.95%.
This data was processed from 612 polling stations in which the turnout stood at 64.3%.
The Centre for Free and Democratic Elections (CeSID) stated earlier tonight that the turnout was 60.7% of the total registered number of voters in Serbia.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
This is his tenth career title.
The match didn’t start well for Novak. He made many unforced errors. The Swiss played really great, put the pressure on Djokovic and broke his service in the fifth game. Both players held their services till the end of the first set, and Wawrinka won it 6:4 in 39 minutes.
Novak played much better from the middle of the second set. He made less unforced errors, and won 78% of points on his second service (it was only 38% in the first set). He made a break in the sixth game for 4:2 lead and after 40 minutes closed the second set 6:3.
Djokovic put enormous pressure on Wawrinka in the opening game of the third set, and broke his opponent’s serve after a long rally when the Swiss made an unforced error.
Wawrinka was serving in the nineth game to stay in the match. Djokovic booked his first championship point on his rival’s serve, but Wawrinka saved it. Novak took the chance on his second championship point, this time with a glorious forehand winner.
"This is one of the best tournaments I've won," the Serb said in fluent Italian after receiving the winner's trophy from four-time Rome champion Gabriela Sabatini.
Djokovic's third victory of 2008 will move him within 310 points of second-ranked Rafael Nadal in the ATP rankings.
Djokovic acknowledged he is a contender to become No. 1.
"I hope so. But I don't want to think about No. 1 yet," he said. "I know a lot of people will start talking now about me being one of the best players. Let's see. I'm taking it as it comes."
Next week Novak is playing another Masters Series tournament, in Hamburg.
As the third-seeded, Novak is BYE in the first round. In the second round he’ll play against the winner of the match between Juan Ignacio Chela (ARG) and qualifier.
Last year Djokovic made it to the quarterfinals. Roger Federer won the title, beating Rafael Nadal in the finals.
Our sources confirm, a Macedonian bank had tipped off the Authorities since January 2007 of suspicious money transfers. An Albanian, Bekir Halimi has been receiving 2,115 euros payments from Kuwaiti Organization "Revival Islamic Heritage Society".
"The Revival Islamic Heritage Society has been blacklisted by the United Nations because of their close ties to terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda", said Interior Ministry's spokesperson, Ivo Kotevski.
The money transfer through a swift account was done via Kuwaiti and two German banks evnetually ending up on Halimi's account.
According to the Interior Ministry's counter terrorism unit, Bekir Halimi had central role in all activities in the financing of humanitarian organization Bamiresija.
Macedonian Police had entered Bamiresija's facilities to investigate. It entered the operational facility on Lazar Iliev street, the praying areas on Petre Gorgiev street #63, the publishing house Nun, on Lazar Tanev street as well as the Trade Organization "R-Orient" and Studio Facility on Pance Nedolkovski street.
For a humanitarian organization, there are certainly many facilities. According to our source who spoke on condition of anonymity, these "humanitarian" organizations are used primarily for financing terrorism as well as money laundering.
Macedonian police seized electronic equipment, financial information. No charges have been filed so far as the investigation is ongoing, however, Bekir Halimi may face charges on financing terrorism, unlawful financial work, money laundering. Connections are sought on a global level between Halimi's organization and others.
Our sources confirmed there are suspicion that Halimis' organization has been accepting money from other organizations as well. The annual funds Bamiersija has received surpass 4.5 milion euros.
It is thought, the groupations are connected through out the Balkans, in Kosovo, Albania, Sandzak, Bosnia, Montenegro, coordinated by very powerful organization at a global level.
Halimi's organization is contrary to the constitutional laws of Macedonia with their goal being the creation of sharia law in this country.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Albanian protesters sprayed the building of the United Nations interim Kosovo mission with sewage water [AFP]
The protesters said the United Nations' interim Kosovo mission (Unmik) and the Kosovo government were responsible for failing to use their powers to prevent the elections from going ahead.
During Friday's protest, the demonstrators dumped rubbish in front of the UN mission and government buildings.
Albin Kurti, leader of the Self-determination Youth Movement, said the rubbish symbolised what the protesters thought of the Unmik and government decision to ignore the polls.
The Serbian government, which staunchly opposes Kosovo's move, is organising its May 11 parliamentary and local elections in Kosovo, where more than 115,000 Serbs have registered to vote.
Kosovo, where ethnic Albanians make up 90 per cent of the 1.8 million population, declared independence from Serbia on February 17.
Kosovo has been recognised by around 40 countries, including the US and most European Union nations, since its declaration.
"If there were no demonstrations against Serbia's elections ... then the world would have understood this as consent or weakness from Albanians and the path for the cantonisation of Kosovo would have opened," Kurti said.
"We are not against the Serbs here, we are against the structures of Serbia here."
The protesters also sprayed the Unmik buildings with sewage water.
The "self-determination" movement, which opposes the presence of the international community in Kosovo, also protested against Eulex, the European Union's incoming police and justice mission
UN and ethnic Albanian leaders are concerned that Belgrade may use the polls to strengthen a parallel Serbian administration at the local level.
Such a structure has remained since the 1999 war in the area, thanks to Serbia's political and financial assistance.
Leaders of the Kosovo Albanian government and Unmik have said that the local elections are illegal and that they will simply ignore the vote.
Speaking last week, Hajredin Kuci, Kosovo's deputy prime minister, said: "The Serbian elections are not legal and legitimate. But the government won't use any violence to stop them."
Friday, May 09, 2008
"Certain technical corrections in translation of the signed text may occur", the EU bureaucrats told Tanjug "without clarifying what this actually means", the Tanjug reporter said.
The responsibility for the translation of the Temporary Agreement into Serbian lies on the Serbian side, but this version is being double-checked by the legal and linguistic experts of the and returned for corrections. The final version of the document in English will be published by the EU "in the next few months", the EU officials said.
Temporary Agreement was the second document Tadic's DS members signed in addition to the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA). Temporary Agreement is shorter than the SAA and, according to the EU officials, "it serves to enable the implementation of the trade part of the Agreement prior to its ratification which, within the EU, could take up to two years".
The EU officials have also confirmed to Tanjug that, contrary to Tadic's claims, not a single line of the SAA and the Temporary Agreement signed by DS is active now, nor will it be implemented before the EU Council of Ministers reaches a decision that has fulfilled the condition of finalizing the cooperation with the Hague.
Government Does Not Adopt Documents of Unknown Contents
Reacting to Tadic's announcement that the ministers belonging to his coalition will request government adoption of the Solana-Tadic pact, alongside the adoption of the Russian energy deal, scheduled for Friday, May 9, Premier Kostunica said he will not take part in the deception, since the DSS-NS [Kostunica's coalition] ministers are entirely unaware of the full contents, including the possible amendments to the two documents Tadic's party signed with Solana in .
Prime Minister Kostunica said that the original contracts signed by Bozidar Djelic on April 28 in have not been submitted to the Government of and that the ministers cannot consider adopting the contracts they are not fully familiar with, and certainly not based on someone's word.
Kostunica said it is unclear why the signed contracts have not been made available to the ministers and the public and how was it possible for these contracts to be kept hidden from the government and public.
"A case like this is unprecedented in the course of Serbian Government activities, as well as in the work of any other European state. However, sooner or later the real reasons for hiding the originals of the signed contracts will become clear," Kostunica said.
Kostunica also said that the government had never adopted a document contents of which were unknown to a number of ministers.
“Not only does Solana Agreement represent a deceit and signing away on Kosovo independence, but Tadic-Djelic signature was also put on an accompanying document that we have yet to see,” the prime minister cautioned.
He said that none of the ministers from the Democratic Party of Serbia-New (DSS-NS) coalition had seen the Temporary Agreement which had accompanied the SAA Tadic and Djelic have signed.
“And now we hear that the [Tadic's] DS will try to present that agreement, which no one has yet seen, at the next cabinet meeting,” Kostunica said.
He said that Serbian citizens had to know that this was a case of “trying to pull off*grand hoax, and this is an agreement which goes directly against the state and ’s national interests.”
“All this goes to show that, when one is dealing with deceit, one falls ever deeper into big mistakes,” surmised Kostunica.
Slippery Slope: Tadic's DS Plunging Headlong Into Disaster
DSS spokesman Andreja Mladenovic has also called on Tadic and Djelic to make the originals of the documents they signed public.
“The public has to know why are they hiding the Temporary Agreement and if there are any new amendments and annexes to the SAA,” Mladenovic said, adding that Tadic and Djelic were for some reason hiding both the Temporary Agreement and Solana’s SAA, which they signed in .
Mladenovic said that Tadic's party had claimed that it could not show that document to the public "because it was in a special electronic format."
“Then, how was that Temporary Agreement signed in the first place, if it is in a 'special electronic format', unknown to the public,” the DSS spokesman wondered.
“We call on Tadic and Djelic to say what are they trying to hide and where have they hidden the temporary agreement. Not only is it against the Constitution, but it’s downright bullying to request adoption of an illegal document that ministers and the public still haven’t seen,” Mladenovic said, adding that the DS “was plunging headlong into complete ruin and would bear full responsibility for this unconstitutional act.”
Thursday, May 08, 2008
History in the Making
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
It's a well-known dictum, attributed to Benjamin Franklin. He was only the publisher of the book in which it appeared; what he actually wrote, some time earlier, was "Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power." Either way, Franklin was talking about the core issue in the affairs of men: the constant struggle between freedom and "security," the latter being the chief promise of the state.
Franklin's descendants seem to have made their choice long ago; even as every politician pays lip service to liberty, and the current Emperor actually wages wars of conquest across the globe in the name of "freedom" (what a perversion of the very idea!), American politics these days is all about "security."
On the other hand, "Franklin's choice" is still available to the people of Serbia – a country whose history in the past two decades has been affected by the American Empire as much as that of Iraq or Afghanistan. For the past seven years, Serbia has been ruled by parties and personalities set in power by the U.S.-sponsored "democratic revolution" of October 2000. It was neither a revolution nor particularly democratic – indeed, one of the first things the "revolutionaries" did was burn the parliament and the ballots from the recent presidential election. Nor did the victorious "democratic reformers" pay any heed to such insignificant details as the law, the constitution, or parliamentary procedure, bulldozing over anything that found itself in the way of their ambition: to make Serbia into a "normal" country by joining the EU and NATO, and taking its rightful place at the Empire's feet.
Selling a Pipe Dream
For seven years, Empire's willing executioners have run Serbia, promising progress and prosperity. They delivered on none of those promises, instead bringing debt, plunder, and humiliation.
To fully chronicle the abuses heaped upon Serbia by the sycophants and bootlickers of those who sought the End of History and sneered at the "reality-based community" would take more time and space than is available here. This column has noted but a few things over the years, from the blatant and unrepentant trampling of any legal order, to the wholesale plunder of the country, ending with what in any "normal" state would be considered high treason: acquiescence in the illegal seizure of Serbia's territory that was the "declaration of independence" by rebel Albanians in the occupied province of Kosovo.
In exchange for giving up their land, identity, culture, faith, history, and property – such trifles! – the Serbs are being offered a golden future in the European Union. Set aside for now the question whether a modern-day USSR is really the paradise they make it out to be; there is one tiny problem standing in the way of this utopian dream. Namely, the Empire has explicitly ruled out Serbia's "integration." Even when the EU pretends to make deals with Serbia, they are dead on arrival at best.........Continued
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Republican Riot (Excerpt)
Below is an early email I received from a reader named Theodore, who served almost three decades in the U.S. Navy. It is from September 2006, and is followed by his more recent email to me last week
Thank you for your continual education of what “The Kosovo War” was/is really about. The Serbs were/are still wronged - and worst of all the world refuses to look into the situation or that the true travesty is that the islamic-fascists have benefited from it. Thanks to Bill and Monica! At that time I was a member of the US Armed Forces so did my duty and participated in that “war”. Having learned the truth - partly through your writings - I am ashamed of the medals awarded for that (and almost wish to throw them away - preferably at Bill Clinton). One of the medals was nicknamed the “Girl Scout Medal” as it is green and yellow and named ambiguously (like all the wishy-washy Clinton-era things were ): the “Armed Forces Service Medal”, which to those of “old-school” means nothing as we serve(d) with pleasure and pride and need(ed) no medal for this. Another of the Clintonistas’ lame attempts to placate our military…Email from last Thursday:
I was debating on removing the medals awarded for actions in the “K.C.” [Kosovo Campaign] from my (now retired) uniform. When Kosovo was stolen - a few weeks ago - that did it. I took a step - meaningless to 99.999% of people - as these have no idea of the significance of such medals/military traditions.
It was/is very difficult to do this.....
Monday, May 05, 2008
(Swans - May 5, 2008) The Kosovo debacle continues to haunt Western governments, especially the U.S., and has already exacerbated a number of conflicts in Turkey, China, Spain, and the Caucasus regions. The illegal recognition of Kosovo's "independence" by mostly Western nations (less than 40 out of 192) has encouraged terrorists that they can successfully alter the borders of sovereign nations via force. Though the Kosovo case is called "special" by many Western foreign policy "experts," in reality, it is the tremendous misreporting and censorship of the Serbian side of the tragic Yugoslav civil wars which condoned and justified mistreatment of Serbians that is unique and has encouraged Western imperialism elsewhere via the "humanitarian" intervention "concept."
Recently, Hague prosecutor Carla Del Ponte wrote a book wherein she detailed a macabre international trafficking ring involving the harvesting of organs from live Serbian prisoners during 1999 organized at the highest levels of Kosovo Albanian leadership and her extreme difficulty in prosecuting these criminals due to Western lack of interest in prosecuting crimes committed against Serbian civilians. The government of Switzerland banned her book. This pattern of censorship of Serbian suffering has been consistent since the Western-catalyzed breakup of Yugoslavia in 1989. Rarely do Western media outlets allow a Serbian voice to be heard except maybe fifth-column "Serbian" voices from extremists who wanted NATO to bomb their own people (e.g., Srdja Popovich). Too frequently, we hear anti-Serbian perspectives from Albanians, Croatians, Bosnian Muslims, Slovenians (many of whom have no connection with or expertise on Serbia), or other ignorant, racist, and biased columnists who know nothing of the Balkans or are virulent Serb- and Russian- haters (e.g., Georgie Ann Geyer, Morton Abramowitz, and Zbigniew Brzezinski). Indeed, many Western columnists such as David Rhode and Samantha Power made their careers, even winning Pulitzer prizes, at the expense of Serbian suffering and the truth alleging "genocide" committed by Serbians but never investigating atrocities committed against Serbians that (e.g., in the case of Srebrenica) formed a strong motive for revenge. When anti-Serbian points of view were published or aired, rarely did the Western media allow a response. If we were lucky, a published letter to the editor of 250 words or less would have to suffice as a response to 800-plus-word articles full of distortions, misrepresentations, and outright lies. And of course, there were numerous times (e.g., The Boston Globe and The New York Times) where dozens if not hundreds of us responded to falsities in numerous articles to see nothing published challenging the "conventional wisdom." In an interview with Voice of America in 1999 (which even misspelled my name), my words were so distorted, clipped, and misrepresented that I will never grant an interview with this organization again. It appears that many of our political and social "elite" need to revisit the concept of debate, which is essential to democracy.
Universities were not immune to censorship of the Serbian point of view as activists and scholars with potentially "pro-Serbian" or alternative points of view were rarely invited to symposia and conferences "debating" the Yugoslav civil wars. When challenging biased anti-Serbian presentations, we were frequently not allowed to ask questions or given a few minutes (for one question) to counter the ignorance of an hour-long presentation. After our challenging Croatian Prof. Ivo Banac at a conference at Wellesley College many years ago, a professor there actually apologized to our group of activists for the fact that no Serbians were invited to present their views except Srdja Popovich, who advocated the bombing of his own people.
As a Serbian-American activist, I could write (and probably will) a book on the countless futile attempts I and my fellow activists had trying to express points of view contrary to the US State Department whether in writing letters, op-eds, calling radio stations and television stations, in Western nations. The goal of preventing the Serbian side of the tragic civil wars was aimed at misrepresenting what were really civil wars in the former Yugoslavia, where no side was completely innocent, as wars of "aggression" where all Serbs were "evil" and their enemies (Croats, Bosnian Muslims, Slovenians, Kosovo Albanians, etc.) were all "angels." By encouraging racism against Serbians and Serbian-Americans, NATO illegal and vicious aggression against the Serbian people was made palatable to many in the West. Just as some US soldiers referred to dead Iraqis as "crispy critters" in the first Gulf War in 1991, and the subsequent atrocities and torture committed by some US soldiers in places such as Abu Ghraib prison and Haditha, mercilessly slaughtering your enemies whether innocent civilians or fighting opponents is made much easier when they are viewed as subhuman. Given that, e.g., Richard Holbrooke referred to all Serbs as "murderous assholes" and Madeleine Albright told a friend of mine (in Serbian) that Serbs are animals, it is evident that racism exists at the highest levels in the US government.
As a deeply patriotic American, I am very concerned that many of my misguided, ignorant, and corporate-controlled leaders are leading my country toward total war and economic ruin. The "humanitarian" intervention in Yugoslavia was a ruse to support NATO's continued senseless existence (in the wake of the Cold War) and illegal occupation of Kosovo to act against Russia and to serve as the strong arm of US foreign policy. It has set a precedent for how to achieve Western foreign policy objectives using the pretence of bringing "democracy" to "enemy" nations such as the formerly peaceful and truly multiethnic former Yugoslavia by encouraging secessionists, ethnically cleansing and slaughtering the "enemy" population (Serbs) from their centuries-old territories, and rewarding "client" separatists/terrorists by aiding in the creation of fascist ethnically and religiously "pure" banana republics such as Croatia and Kosovo that still revere the Nazis to this day. The Western "might versus right" and "preemptive" approach violates international law and is destroying the current world order that was established over the sacrifices made by millions during WWII. The mainstream corporate-controlled Western media has served as a cloak to mask machinations of Western leaders and is the single greatest threat to democracy and world peace today. All citizens of the world must learn the truth of what really transpired in Yugoslavia and stop their leaders from continuing on their disastrous course toward WWIII.
About the Author
Michael Pravica is an assistant professor of physics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (tenured effective July 1, 2008). Of Serbian ancestry, Professor Pravica has been active in seeking to present an alternative point of view on the civil wars in the Balkans since 1992. He was formerly the Vice President of the Serbian American Alliance of New England, the Vice President of the Serbian American Alliance of New York, and the Treasurer of the St. Simeon's Serbian Orthodox Church in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Friday, May 02, 2008
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday she intended to discuss the risk of Kosovo's fragmentation with her European counterparts at a meeting where Russia has not been invited.
"We want to make certain that there are no efforts to partition Kosovo," the top US diplomat told reporters while en route to London, where she will also attend talks on Iran's nuclear programme and the Middle East peace process.
"Kosovo is now an independent country recognised by all the countries that will be coming to this meeting."
Kosovo unilaterally announced its independence from Serbia on February 17 and since then, around 40 countries have recognised its declaration, but Belgrade and Moscow have rejected it.
The meeting which Rice will attend will also feature foreign ministers from Britain, France, Germany and Italy, along with the European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana.
The five countries are members of the so-called Kosovo Contact Group, which also includes Russia, whose diplomatic chief Sergei Lavrov was set to be in London Friday for talks on the Middle East peace process.
Lavrov was not, however, invited to discussions between Rice and her European colleagues, according to a senior official in the US State Department, who declined to be identified.
"There are good arguments for maintaining the contact group," the official said.
"It still exists. But given the differences between the five countries and Russia, it is useful to coordinate strategy."
Rice said that the United States continues "to have discussions with the Russians."
"We will continue to try to make sure that despite the differences we have on Kosovo, that those differences do not fuel in any way further conflict there."
The Hague, 2 May (AKI) - Prosecutors in the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia on Friday have appealed against the sentence of Kosovo's former prime minister Ramush Haradinaj and demanded a retrial.
Haradinaj was accused of crimes against Serb, Roma (gypsies) and non-loyal ethnic Albanian civilians during an ethnic Albanian rebellion against Belgrade rule in 1998. But he was acquitted in early April due to a lack of evidence.
In the appeal signed by chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz, the prosecutors complained they were unable to present complete evidence against Haradinaj and his two accomplices Idriz Balaj and Lah Brahimaj because of alleged intimidation of witnesses.
“The appeals panel should order a retrial in which the responsibility of Ramush Haradinaj, Idriz Balaj and Lah Brahimaj would be determined,” Brammertz said in the appeal.
Reportedly many witnesses refused to appear before the court and nine died allegedly under mysterious circumstances before the trial began.
Haradinaj (photo) was a commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army in western Kosovo during the rebellion and later became prime minister.
He resigned and submitted himself to the tribunal after he was indicted in 2005. He and Balaj were acquitted, while Brahimaj was sentenced to six years in jail. The prosecutors demanded a 25-year sentence for all three indictees.
The prosecutors said that procedural errors committed by the tribunal made the verdict invalid because key evidence relevant to the case wasn’t presented.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
When did you become interested in Balkan crisis?
In March of 1999, when there was suddenly talk of America bombing a European country, I became very suspicious. Particularly because the president was a clown named Bill Clinton who had gotten into trouble too many times. It was obvious to me that this was being done against national interest and in Bill Clinton’s interest.
I couldn’t believe that this was actually going to happen, that it was unstoppable. Everything started to feel surreal; my husband and I were going through life day to day as if just existing, just going through the motions: shower, work, eat, sleep—but our souls were somewhere else. We were completely disoriented; it felt like the bottom fell out from under the earth and America was slipping away. I knew that this would come back to haunt America. I also knew that America had turned a very dark corner. The fact that our usually anti-war, mainstream Left supported this war was even more proof that this was probably very bad for America. Given that the person in the Oval Office spent his life working against American interests, I sensed there was something anti-American about this “war”.
I wrote my first article on the subject about one month into the unimaginable bombing, but because I still knew so little about the conflict, the article worked from the premise that it was just an ancient ethnic rivalry with moral equivalence between the two sides—certainly nothing like the “holocaust” it was being portrayed as. Soon it became apparent that we were bombing Christians on behalf of Muslims who were as usual claiming that they were being “oppressed”. That’s when my suspicions began to be confirmed.
I expected the farce of this war to be exposed at any second, and all the lies revealed—especially after the bombing, as the news reports coming from the region showed what the Albanians did next, such as moving on to Macedonia—like clockwork. But months passed by, and then years, and there was nothing. Not from the liberal media, and not from the right that usually distrusts the liberal media. Only from the radical Left was any reporting being done, and I realized that a great lie had been built around the Serbs. So as the silence about this recent “war” continued, I kept digging, and researching, and writing, and the truth got uglier and uglier with every stone I looked under. It became my mission to spread the truth. I thought that the trial of Milosevic would help; I expected it to be front-page news every day that it was happening, because it was called “the Second Nuremberg”. But there was silence even on that, so my interest in the subject intensified. It was a phenomenon unlike anything I’d ever seen. It was sometime in 2002 that this went from being about America and American security for me to being about the Serbs and the great injustice that they were the victims of—by America’s hand. At this point, it was still all about Kosovo for me; midway through the Milosevic trial it became evident that Kosovo was simply a repetition of what was done to the Serbs in Bosnia and Croatia........Continued
People rejoice, nations hear:
Christ is Risen, and brings us joy!
Stars dance, the mountains sing:
Christ is Risen, and brings us joy!
Forests murmur, winds hum,
Christ is Risen, and brings us joy!
Seas bow, animals roar:
Christ is Risen, and brings us joy!
Bees swarm, and the birds sing,
Christ is risen, and brings us joy!
Angels stand, tripling the song:
Christ is Risen, and brings us joy!
Sky humble yourself, and elevate the earth,
Christ is Risen, and brings us joy!
Bells chime, to tell to all
Christ is Risen, and brings us joy!
Glory to You God, everything is possible to You,
Christ is Risen, and brings us joy!
Belgrade - Italian car maker FIAT and Serbia's Zastava automobiles Wednesday signed an agreement on forming a joint company in which the Italian firm will own majority of stakes. FIAT's vice president Alfredo Altavilla and Serbian Economy minister Mladjan Dinkic signed in Belgrade a memorandum under which FIAT will invest 700 million euros in the factory and own 70 per cent of the shares, while Serbia will invest 100 million euros and own 30 per cent.
FIAT plans to start manufacturing new class A model by 2009 with a production of 200,000. By 2010, FIAT should also start production of a class B model which would boost entire production in Zastava to 300,000 vehicles a year.
FIAT and Zastava began their cooperation in 1950s with the production of Fiat 500 car model. Around million of these automobiles were manufactured in Zastava between 1955 and 1985.
He explained that in order for Kosovo to join the summit there had to be a consensus from all 19 attending states.
“As you know, some of the countries attending the forum have recognised Kosovo while others have clearly stated against that. This means that reaching a consensus on this issue is impossible. At the same time, Macedonia too has not built its position towards Kosovo so we can not invite it," Crvenkovski said.
On Tuesday, Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci slammed Macedonia’s decision not to invite Kosovo’s President Fatmir Sejdiu to the summit.
“Nobody can ignore the independence of Kosovo,” Thaci told media in Pristina.
The Presidential summit which is to be held from May 2-3, in Macedonia’s lake town of Ohrid is to gather 19 leaders from Central and Southeast Europe. Of them, 17 will be represented with their heads of states.
The EU enlargement process as well as the influence it has over the countries’ economies and energy sectors will be discussed during the assembly.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in mid-February.
Macedonia has not yet recognised its independence while new parliamentary elections are due to be held by June. However, both countries have previously expressed their will to build friendly relations.