Friday, October 17, 2008

INTERVIEW WITH NOAM CHOMSKY

10/10/2008 06:44 PM

INTERVIEW WITH NOAM CHOMSKY

'The United States Has Essentially a One-Party System'

The linguist and public intellectual Noam Chomsky has long been a critic of American consumerism and imperialism. SPIEGEL spoke to him about the current crisis of capitalism, Barack Obama's rhetoric and the compliance of the intellectual class.

SPIEGEL: Professor Chomsky, cathedrals of capitalism have collapsed, the conservative government is spending its final weeks in office with nationalization plans. How does that make you feel?

A happy purchaser of a new iPhone. "Consumption distracts people. You cannot control your own population by force, but it can be distracted by consumption."
AP

A happy purchaser of a new iPhone. "Consumption distracts people. You cannot control your own population by force, but it can be distracted by consumption."

Chomsky: The times are too difficult and the crisis too severe to indulge in schadenfreude. Looking at it in perspective, the fact that there would be a financial crisis was perfectly predictable, its general nature, if not its magnitude. Markets are always inefficient.

SPIEGEL: What exactly did you anticipate?

Chomsky: In the financial industry, as in other industries, there are risks that are left out of the calculation. If you sell me a car, we have perhaps made a good bargain for ourselves. But there are effects of this transaction on others, which we do not take into account. There is more pollution, the price of gas goes up, there is more congestion. Those are the external costs of our transaction. In the case of financial institutions, they are huge.

SPIEGEL: But isn't it the task of a bank to take risks?

Chomsky: Yes, but if it is well managed, like Goldman Sachs, it will cover its own risks and absorb its own losses. But no financial institution can manage systemic risks. Risk is therefore underpriced, and there will be more risk taken than would be prudent for the economy. With government deregulation and the triumph of financial liberalization, the dangers of systemic risks, the possibility of a financial tsunami, sharply increased.

SPIEGEL: But is it correct to only put the blame on Wall Street? Doesn't Main Street, the American middle class, also live on borrowed money which may or may not be paid back?

Chomsky: The debt burden of private households is enormous. But I would not hold the individual responsible. This consumerism is based on the fact that we are a society dominated by business interests. There is massive propaganda for everyone to consume. Consumption is good for profits and consumption is good for the political establishment.

SPIEGEL: How does it benefit politicians when the populace drives a lot, eats a lot and goes shopping a lot?

Chomsky: Consumption distracts people. You cannot control your own population by force, but it can be distracted by consumption. The business press has been quite explicit about this goal.

SPIEGEL: A while ago you called America “the greatest country on earth.” How does that fit together with what you've been saying?

Chomsky: In many respects, the United States is a great country. Freedom of speech is protected more than in any other country. It is also a very free society. In America, the professor talks to the mechanic. They are in the same category.

SPIEGEL: After travelling through the United States 170 years ago, Alexis de Tocqueville reported, "the people reign over the American political world as God rules over the universe." Was he a dreamer?

Chomsky: James Madison’s position at the Constitutional Convention was that state power should be used "to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority." That is why the Senate has only a hundred members who are mostly rich and were given a great deal of power. The House of Representatives, with several hundred members, is more democratic and was given much less power. Even liberals like Walter Lippmann, one of the leading intellectuals of the 20th century, was of the opinion that in a properly functioning democracy, the intelligent minority, who should rule, have to be protected from “the trampling and the roar of the bewildered herd.” Among the conservatives, Vice President Dick Cheney just recently illustrated his understanding of democracy. He was asked why he supports a continuation of the war in Iraq when the population is strongly opposed. His answer was: “So?”

SPIEGEL: “Change” is the slogan of this year’s presidential election. Do you see any chance for an immediate, tangible change in the United States? Or, to use use Obama’s battle cry: Are you "fired up”?

Chomsky: Not in the least. The European reaction to Obama is a European delusion.

SPIEGEL: But he does say things that Europe has long been waiting for. He talks about the trans-Atlantic partnership, the priority of diplomacy and the reconciling of American society.

Chomsky: That is all rhetoric. Who cares about that? This whole election campaign deals with soaring rhetoric, hope, change, all sorts of things, but not with issues.

SPIEGEL: Do you prefer the team on the other side: the 72 year old Vietnam veteran McCain and Sarah Palin, former Alaskan beauty queen?

Chomsky: This Sarah Palin phenomenon is very curious. I think somebody watching us from Mars, they would think the country has gone insane.

SPIEGEL: Arch conservatives and religious voters seem to be thrilled.

Chomsky: One must not forget that this country was founded by religious fanatics. Since Jimmy Carter, religious fundamentalists play a major role in elections. He was the first president who made a point of exhibiting himself as a born again Christian. That sparked a little light in the minds of political campaign managers: Pretend to be a religious fanatic and you can pick up a third of the vote right away. Nobody asked whether Lyndon Johnson went to church every day. Bill Clinton is probably about as religious as I am, meaning zero, but his managers made a point of making sure that every Sunday morning he was in the Baptist church singing hymns.

SPIEGEL: Is there nothing about McCain that appeals to you?

Chomsky: In one aspect he is more honest than his opponent. He explicitly states that this election is not about issues but about personalities. The Democrats are not quite as honest even though they see it the same way.

SPIEGEL: So for you, Republicans and Democrats represent just slight variations of the same political platform?

Chomsky: Of course there are differences, but they are not fundamental. Nobody should have any illusions. The United States has essentially a one-party system and the ruling party is the business party.

SPIEGEL: You exaggerate. In almost all vital questions -- from the taxation of the rich to nuclear energy -- there are different positions. At least on the issues of war and peace, the parties differ considerably. The Republicans want to fight in Iraq until victory, even if that takes a 100 years, according to McCain. The Democrats demand a withdrawal plan.

Chomsky: Let us look at the “differences” more closely, and we recognize how limited and cynical they are. The hawks say, if we continue we can win. The doves say, it is costing us too much. But try to find an American politician who says frankly that this aggression is a crime: the issue is not whether we win or not, whether it is expensive or not. Remember the Russian invasion of Afghanistan? Did we have a debate whether the Russians can win the war or whether it is too expensive? This may have been the debate at the Kremlin, or in Pravda. But this is the kind of debate you would expect in a totalitarian society. If General Petraeus could achieve in Iraq what Putin achieved in Chechnya, he would be crowned king. The key question here is whether we apply the same standards to ourselves that we apply to others.

SPIEGEL: Who prevents intellectuals from asking and critically answering these questions? You praised the freedom of speech in the United States.

Chomsky: The intellectual world is deeply conformist. Hans Morgenthau, who was a founder of realist international relations theory, once condemned what he called the conformist subservience to poweron the part of the intellectuals. George Orwell wrote that nationalists, who are practically the whole intellectual class of a country, not only do not disapprove of the crimes of their own state, but have the remarkable capacity not even to see them. That is correct. We talk a lot about the crimes of others. When it comes to our own crimes, we are nationalists in the Orwellian sense.

SPIEGEL: Was there not, and is there not -- in the United States and worldwide -- loud protest against the Iraq war?

Chomsky: The protest against the war in Iraq is far higher than against the war in Vietnam. When there were 4,000 American deaths in Vietnam and 150,000 troops deployed, nobody cared. When Kennedy invaded Vietnam in 1962, there was just a yawn.

SPIEGEL: To conclude, perhaps you can offer a conciliatory word about the state of the nation?

Chomsky: The American society has become more civilized, largely as a result of the activism of the 1960s. Our society, and also Europe's, became freer, more open, more democratic, and for many quite scary. This generation was condemned for that. But it had an effect.

SPIEGEL: Professor Chomsky, we thank you for this interview.

Interview conducted by Gabor Steingart


© SPIEGEL ONLINE 2008
All Rights Reserved
Reproduction only allowed with the permission of SPIEGELnet GmbH

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

S. Ossetia, Abkhazia and New Political Reality

September 01, 2008 3:00 AM
By Ivan Simic - Belgrade PalestineChronicle.com

On August 25, 2008 the Federal Assembly of Russia unanimously voted to urge President Medvedev to recognise Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states. On the following day, President Medvedev agreed, and signed a decree in which Russia officially recognized the two entities.

Georgia has rejected Russia's move. Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia, Giga Bokeria said: "This is an unconcealed annexation of these territories, which are a part of Georgia."

On August 26, 2008 Russian President Medvedev has instructed the foreign ministry to open talks with Abkhazia and South Ossetia on establishing diplomatic relations with Russia.
President Medvedev issued a statement saying: "This was not an easy choice to make, but it is the sole chance of saving people's lives" and calling on other countries to follow suit. In a televised address, he echoed the language of genocide used by Western leaders to describe Serbian attacks on Kosovo Albanians in 1999. Medvedev described Georgia in much the same way as Western leaders had once described Serbia.

Later, on August 26, a spokesman for the Palestinian group Hamas welcomed the diplomatic recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. He said that there were similarities between the situations of the Abkhazian and South Ossetian people, and the Palestinian people. The spokesman said: "We, Palestinians, also struggle to attain recognition for our rights, the main of which is the right to be an independent state. We hope that the decision of Moscow becomes the beginning of recognition of peoples which combat for freedom and justice."

On August 28, Vasily Dolgolyov, the Belarusian Ambassador to Russia said that Belarus would in the next day or two recognise the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The Russia's move was also supported by the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, with China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan issuing a joint statement vouching support for Russia's "active role" in resolving the conflict.

So far, no other recognized state has recognized them; however there have been intensive international disapprovals.

The unilateral recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia by Russia was met by much disapproval from some members of the international community and other members of the United Nations, the NATO, the OSCE, and the European Council.

The United States President George W. Bush condemned the actions taken by the Russian authorities and called on them to reconsider their irresponsible decision. President Bush also said, "the two areas are within the internationally recognized borders of Georgia, and they must remain so."

The UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband accused Russian President Dmitry Medvedev of "inflaming" the crisis. He also called on Russia to stand by International Law as the basis for resolving this crisis and stated that he will assemble the "widest possible coalition against Russian aggression."

Eastern European capitals lined up in support of Georgia, with the Czech Republic in a statement calling Russia's action an attack on the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia.

The European Union leaders have condemned Russia's decision to recognise the Georgian breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, while Georgian rebels compared the move to the creation of Republic of Kosovo earlier this year.

The EU has tried to avoid parallels between Georgia separatism and the newly-created state of Kosovo in the past, saying Kosovo is "unique" despite the fact that 20 out of 27 EU states recognised its unilateral declaration of independence in February without an EU mandate.
Authorities in Abkhazia were happy to make the link, saying: "We use the same arguments as those used by the West with regard to Kosovo: All other possible means were exhausted. There was no possible way to reconcile with Georgia. This is purely a continuation of the Kosovo precedent. Of course some Western leaders will say that there is no link between Kosovo and Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but what can they say without contradicting themselves about what they said regarding Kosovo?"

The Ambassador of Russia to the NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, replied to accusations that Russia's recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is "irreversible", but called upon the NATO countries to withdraw and review their recognitions of independent Kosovo and subsequently act on the premise that this is the new political reality. He assures, moreover that any NATO attack on Russia-supported regions would mean "a declaration of war on Russia".

In relation to the current event in Georgia, in Moldavia, Moldovan rebels called for independence of the breakaway territory of Transnistria.

Currently, 15 EU states are confronted with secessionism, including Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Belgium, Cyprus, Romania, Slovakia, and the UK, among others.

Question is: who is next?

Ivan Simic lives in Belgrade, Serbia. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com

Kosovo independence splits EU on Geogia

September 2, 2008 SERBIANNA

Diplomatic sorces say that EU countries that have recognized Kosovo came under ferocious criticism by the EU states that have not recognized Kosovo during the summit of EU heads of state in Brussels.

EU countries that have not recognized Kosovo are Spain, Portugal, Slovakia, Romania, Greece and Cyprus.

Serbian state agency Tanjug, citing diplomatic sources, says that these countries blamed Kosovo recognition for crisis in Georgia and the Russian recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
The source says that Fance, which chairs the EU presidency, wanted to avoid any linkage between Kosovo and Georgia but the states that oppose Kosovo recognition insisted that Kosovo recognition has destabilized the security of the international order.

Romanian President Trajan Basesku said in Brussels that Romania remains consistent with its position not to recognize the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo.

Basesku confirmed that Romania had been given a document by Russia where Moscow explains why it has recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

At the summitt, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that Kosovo could not be a precedent for South Ossetia and Abkhazia because its a unique case. Negotiations on Kosovo status have already been held with no results says Sarkozy.

Sarkozy said that Eu has to be consistent because just as Russia condemned recognition of Kosovo so must Europe condemn Russia.

However, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said that his country protects the territorial integrity of Georgia just as much as it protects the territorial integrity of Serbia over Kosovo.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Serbia: Kosovo Fuelled Georgia Conflict

21 August 2008 Belgrade--US and western support for Kosovo’s secession from Serbia has helped fuel tensions in Georgia's separatist province of South Ossetia, Belgrade’s Foreign Minister insists.

Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic was quoted by Belgrade daily Vecernje Novosti on Thursday as saying the recognition of Kosovo's independence on February 17 by the United States and its NATO allies has "destabilised" other parts of the world."We have pointed out to the international community from the very start that the unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo could present a dangerous precedent," Vuk Jeremic was quoted as saying. "Unfortunately, this has proven to be true much sooner than anyone expected." Jeremic was not immediately available for comment, but his spokeswoman confirmed the authenticity of the newspaper interview.Serbia lost control over Kosovo in 1999 after it launched a military campaign there against Kosovo's ethnic Albanian separatists.

Then-President Slobodan Milosevic was forced to pull out of Kosovo after Serbia was bombed by NATO for 78 days in retaliation for its brutality against civilians in Kosovo.Serbia's new, pro-Western leadership that came after Milosevic was ousted in 2000 has refrained from using force in Kosovo but has refused to give up its claim on the territory. Earlier this month, Jeremic sought support in the United Nations for Serbia's request that the Netherlands-based International Court of Justice rule on the legality of Kosovo's declaration of independence. Read more: http://balkaninsight.com/en/main/news/12366/If approved at the upcoming UN General Assembly session, the Serbian request would present an important diplomatic victory for Belgrade, although the court's ruling would be nonbinding.

Serbia has refused to acknowledge the secession of predominantly ethnic Albanian region. Russia has supported Serbia while the United States and its EU allies have stood by Kosovo.In Georgia, fighting broke out on August 7 when Georgia moved to take control of its separatist South Ossetia region. This triggered a massive intervention by Russia, which recaptured South Ossetia and then moved deep into other parts of Georgia.Georgia’s move may have been prompted by the likelihood that South Ossetia and Abkhazia were preparing to follow Kosovo's example and declare independence, while Russia says it is unfair of the West to back one people’s independence and deny it to another.

Read more: http://balkaninsight.com/en/main/analysis/12332/Jeremic said Serbia condemns the use of force in Georgia, and urged countries to find a "peaceful way through the United Nations, with respect to international agreements and international law.

Copyright BalkanInsight.com 2008

Saturday, July 5, 2008

What comes around, goes around

04 July 2008 Pristina


Kosovo’s Prime Minister said on Thursday that attempts by Kosovo Serbs to set up parallel institutions are "in vain" and "illegal."

“The creation of parallel structures and other non-institutional bodies is destined to be a failed, useless, illegitimate, unacceptable and illusionist policy,’’ Hashim Thaci said.

“We urge Belgrade to play a positive role for peace and stability in the region and refrain from any attempts to provoke negative actions in Kosovo,’’ he added.

Last weekend, Kosovo Serbs inaugurated their own parliament in the ethnically-divided town of Mitrovica with a declaration that Kosovo is a part of Serbia, defying criticism from the United Nations and ethnic Albanian leaders that the assembly is illegal.

The assembly is created based on the results of local elections held by Serbia in Kosovo, which Pristina and the UN also said were illegal. The assembly has no executive authority but reflects a deepening ethnic partition of Kosovo since its Albanian majority declared independence from Serbia in February, backed by the West but opposed by Belgrade and its ally Russia.

The United States condemned the creation of the assembly while Russia said it was a logical revolt against the declaration of independence.

Earlier this week, Kosovo’s President Fatmir Sejdiu condemned the formation of the assembly saying that local Serbs are being manipulated by Belgrade. For more, read:
http://balkaninsight.com/en/main/news/11419

Speaking on Thursday, Thaci also reacted against local governance in the Serb-dominated municipality of Strpce in southern Kosovo, where a new mayor took his post based on the results of the May 11 polls.

“I emphasise again, everything related to this issue is illegal, irresponsible and non-functional,’’ said Thaci.

BalkanInsight.com 2008

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The War Street Journal Invents Kosovo

July 3, 2008
Being Walter Duranty
The War Street Journal Invents Kosovo

Lies about Kosovo are nothing new. For almost two decades now, there's hardly been any truth in reports that have reached the Western public concerning this southern province of Serbia now posing as an independent state. The 1988 constitutional reforms designed to rein in Albanian separatism were presented as "stripping Kosovo of autonomy." The 1989 speech by Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic at a commemoration of a historic battle against Ottoman invaders was routinely claimed to have been a call for hatred, nationalism, or violence – but never actually quoted. And with good reason – because it was nothing of the sort.

Lies ramped up in 1998, as the terrorist gang calling itself the "Kosovo Liberation Army" (KLA) emerged, targeting police officers, postal workers and fellow Albanians who would not "contribute" to the cause. Media in the West claimed the KLA were "freedom fighters" from Serbian "repression." In reality, they were fighting for an independent Kosovo ruled by Albanians, and eventually an "ethnic Albania" encompassing Albania proper, and parts of Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Greece.

Events from 1998-99 ought to be familiar to the readers of this column: the Rambouillet "peace plan," the Racak "massacre," and finally the "humanitarian bombing" of Serbia that went on for 78 days. Lies piled up sky-high: hundreds of thousands of Albanians supposedly shot, or raped, or burned in ovens, or thrown down mine shafts… Each and every one was later revealed as complete and utter fabrication, only to be shrugged off by their authors, who would go on to make new claims shortly thereafter.

The "peace" that came in June 1999 was nothing of the sort; hundreds of thousands of Kosovo's Serbs, Roma, Turks, and other communities fled for their lives as the triumphant KLA took over under NATO's aegis. Thousands of homes put to the torch, ancient churches and monasteries dynamited, entire families massacred, everyone else's property looted – these grisly facts of "liberation" were dismissed in the West as "revenge attacks." Revenge for what?

Paradise Imagined

The Wall Street Journal's opinion pages can be considered the norm when it came to the Western media coverage of Kosovo. Serbs were always and ever evil, wrong and deserving of everything that happened to them. Albanians were virtuous victims who deserved "freedom" and statehood, laws and logic be damned. Never mind that it was WSJ's Daniel Pearl who criticized the propaganda about "genocide" in Kosovo and debunked the Trepca Mine myth. The cognitive dissonance between the news and opinion in the "War Street Journal" has been a fact for quite some time.

It is not surprising, therefore, that WSJ's travel writer Stan Sesser chose to follow the editorial page's tack, rather than the Pearl's. Sesser's June 27 article, titled "Europe's Unlikely Charmer," is about as facetious as Kosovo stories get, and par for the course at WSJ.

Only someone who knows nothing about the region could ever describe Kosovo as a "paradise," affordable or not. Yet that is how Sesser begins his story.

Sure, the streets may be filthy and the towns squalid, but everything is just hunky-dory in the "newest nation on Earth." He leaves out the fact that Kosovo's recent declaration of independence is hotly disputed by Serbia and another 150-odd nations, choosing instead to say that Kosovo "is currently recognized by more than 40 countries, including the U.S. and most European Union members." Well, hey, if Washington and Brussels say something is OK, that's surely so!

Sesser says he never once felt threatened – once he was identified as an American, anyway. Had he been identified as a Serb, or a Slav of any kind, Sesser would have been fortunate to escape the fate of Valentin Krumov. This Bulgarian UN employee was shot in broad daylight on a Pristina street for giving the time to an Albanian bystander in "what sounded like Serbian."

Failing Both Language and History

According to Sesser, the war "took 12,000 lives" and "destroyed Kosovo's economy." He doesn't say where he got the number from; most of his colleagues have been using the equally imaginary 10,000. Yet even counting the KLA casualties, the documented numbers so far are below 5,000.

Then there's an issue of language. Sesser was assigned an Albanian guide for his visit to the monasteries (which he mislabels "Greek Orthodox"). But he calls the Patriarchy "Peja" – which is a corrupted form of Albanian "Peje," itself a corruption of the Serbian name for the ancient city, Pec (Peć, meaning “stove” or “oven”). But the confusion becomes complete when he tries to make a bad wordplay on the name of the province's capital.

In Serbian, the administrative capital of Kosovo is Pristina (Priština). The Albanian name for the city is Prishtine. Both have a very emphatic "sh" sound. Yet Sesser makes a terrible pun about how the city is anything but "pristine."

Nor is Sesser's history any better than his linguistics. Apparently, Pristina was named after an "ancient king of the Ilyrians [sic], the ancestors of Kosovo's ethnic Albanians." However in Adrian Room's Placenames of the World (McFarland, 2003), Pristina is derived from "prisht," the Serbian word for boil (see page. 292). There was no Illyrian "king Pustule."

Albanians may believe that they are descended from the Illyrians, who inhabited the Balkans in pre-Roman times, but that doesn't mean this is actually true, or supported by evidence. The "Illyrian theory" was first postulated by Austrian court historians in the late 1800s, and it has been challenged since.

So That is What 'Coexistence' Means…

At one point, Sesser admires the medieval city of Prizren. He quotes one Naim Shahini, who "spent a day volunteering his labor to help renovate an old Prizren mosque" as saying that for 500 years, "Greek [sic] Orthodox and Catholics lived with Muslims without any problem."

Those five centuries, mind you, were the era of the Ottoman Empire, in which Christians (and Jews) were allowed to live, but as dhimmi – the disenfranchised infidels, who had to defer to Muslims in every respect, pay taxes and give up their children to become Janissaries. In Muslims' eyes (be they Albanian or Bosnian), it was those pesky infidels demanding freedom from the sultan that created "problems."

Sesser does not mention the fact that Albanian mobs sacked and torched the Bishop's residence and the Church of St. George in Prizren during the March 2004 pogrom. Some "coexistence," that.

This isn't just an omission, either. Sesser chooses to illustrate Kosovo reality by lamenting the fact that Albanians living in the northern, Serb part of Mitrovica need NATO escort to go to school or work. How ironic, given that needing an armed escort to go anywhere is precisely one salient characteristic of Serb life in occupied Kosovo. And note how there are Albanians living in north Mitrovica. The number of Serbs in the south part is precisely zero.

But tourists should not worry, says Sesser, because NATO is there:

"To forestall ethnic conflicts, 17,000 NATO troops, supplemented by thousands of police under U.N. auspices, are everywhere, paying special attention to the historic mosques, churches and monasteries that are among the country's treasures."

What else to call this but extremely facetious? Those troops (back when there were 40,000 of them, even) and police have done nothing to prevent a mass ethnic cleansing of Serbs in 1999, or any of the thousands of attacks on Serb lives and property since, including the 2004 pogrom. Over 150 churches and monasteries have been destroyed in the presence of these troops. Never happened, at least according to Sesser. Not in his affordable paradise of coexistence…

No Excuse

Perhaps it is being unfair to Stan Sesser to single him out for scrutiny, when hundreds of his colleagues have misrepresented Kosovo for years. He could be simply an ignorant travel writer, not knowing much about history, politics or language, focusing on hotels and their amenities and simply repeating the information he was fed by Albanian handlers and editors in New York. But when is a lie tolerable? When are omissions of truth "OK"? When is ignorance an excuse, for a reporter?

The right answer should always be "never," else all journalists end up resembling Walter Duranty. Unfortunately, that's now how things work when it comes to Kosovo.

Nebojsa Malic
antiwar.com

Friday, June 27, 2008

GERMANY DEMANDS (ILLEGAL) KOSOVO INDEPENDENCE

Report by the German Journalists of www.german-foreign-policy.com
Of 13 February 2007, translated by Edward Spalton


INTRODUCTION BY RODNEY ATKINSON Ever since the end of the Second World War the German State has sought the break up of Yugoslavia, just as it has promoted the reversal of many other conditions of the 1918 and 1945 post war settlements. Throughout the 1980s the German secret services were active within Yugoslavia in particular through its war time fascist and genocidal allies, the Croats. It equally funded and armed its Albanian Muslim allies - the Kosovo Liberation Army which murdered and ethnically cleansed so many Serbs that the former now form the vast majority of the population of Kosovo which was historically a Serb province and under International law still is. Kosovo and Metohija is today still a haven for terrorist activity and massive cultural and ethnic cleansing of Christians (and gypsies and Jews) by Kosovo Albanians - under the eyes of UN and now EU forces. All this is the result of the most illegal war in modern history (see on this website: www.freenations.freeuk.com/news-2007-01-19.html)

Berlin's policy of forcing the split of the Serbian state of Kosovo from Serbia is causing fear of other secessionary movements throughout Europe. If Kosovo becomes an independent State after the successful violent campaign of the Albanian Muslim KLA other ethnic groups will claim a similar right to "self determination". Particularly affected would be Spain, France Greece and Britain. The Basques especially claim sovereignty both in Spain and parts of France.

So basic is the historical religious and ethnic foundation of Kosovo as a Serb province that its secession would be like Britain losing Kent (with Canterbury) to France. There is a far better case for the secession of Bavaria from Germany - but of course Germany only promotes regional and ethnic secession in other European countries, not at home!

BELGRADE/PRISTINA/TIRANA/BERLIN (own report) Serbia should relinquish its southern province of Kosovo and place itself under the patronage of its former enemies. That is the gist of the offer which the German presidency made to the Belgrade government last Monday. As a reward for the renunciation of Kosovo, negotiations would be opened with the EU for an association agreement. The territorial self-amputation, which Berlin expects in the name of the EU, would break the Serbian constitution and create a dangerous precedent of forced secession of territories by appeals to “self determination” from violent minorities.

Organisations connected with German foreign policy have pushed these sorts of theories for years, aiming at the dismemberment of neighbouring countries. The offer by the German presidency followed demonstrations by violent Kosovo separatists which claimed two lives last week end. The disorders were promoted by a terrorist organisation which demands an end to the need for Kosovo to achieve standards in human rights and already has a branch office in Germany. Its ringleaders were among the co-conspirators of the former German foreign minister Klaus Kinkel in the preparations for the Yugoslav/Kosovo war of 1999. They cooperated with the underground Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) which was supported and sustained by Germany. Those ringleaders form the government in Pristina today. The ensuing violence is a consequence of the change of power enforced by Germany which gave suspected war criminals and crooks the decisive influence in Kosovo.

As announced following an EU foreign ministers’ conference which took place last Monday under German chairmanship, the former aggressors are offering Belgrade a resumption of talks on a so-called treaty of association. It is a condition that the Serbian government should fulfil all demands of the UN tribunal in the Hague and extradite former high ranking officers of its armed forces to the victors. Additionally Serbia should accede to the plan for Kosovo’s secession, drafted by the former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari on behalf of the UN and break its own constitution by renouncing claim to its southern province of Kosovo. To avoid the appearance of a complete capitulation by Belgrade, the planned secession is called “partial independence” although the founding of Kosovo as a state is decked out with all the insignia and trappings of a sovereign state. The “association agreement”, which requires further discussions with Belgrade, will bind Serbia irrevocably to the EU and distance Belgrade from its former ally, Russia, which continues to refuse its agreement to Kosovo’s secession (1).

Occasion and Cause

The offer by the EU foreign ministers had already been made public in the run-up to the conference and provoked Kosovan terrorists who stirred up a storm of protest against the cosmetic restrictions on their anticipated “self determination”. They want to establish their new EU state without controls from Brussels and to keep open the possibility of further frontier encroachments against bordering states, including Greece. Coordinated demonstrations, which took place on the eve of the foreign ministers conference and claimed two lives, were designed to make an impression. The protests were planned by an organisation called “ Vetevendosje” (Self determination) which has campaigned for several years for the union of Kosovo with Albania and for the annexation of parts of Macedonia, Montenegro and Greece.

The Kosovo uprisings of March 2004 (in which 18 people were killed and numerous Orthodox churches and monasteries were destroyed) served as a model for the recent disturbances – with some success. According to critics, the planning of that episode was advised beforehand to German secret service and military authorities. The riots were not prevented by the occupying troops and this provided Berlin’s foreign policy with the occasion to press for early secession of the south Serbian province. (2)

Introduced Everywhere
Experts evaluate the Vetevendosje organisation as terrorist. It demands the immediate ending of the negotiations on secession and the unconditional founding of the state of Kosovo. A long term observer (3) reports that its main slogans are “Smite the Serbs” and “Freedom, no Standards”. “Standards” in this case mean, amongst other things demanded by the UN, the protection of minorities from murderous pogroms. Vetevendosje works within circles of the veterans of unification “Balli Kombetar”, an earlier terror organisation of Greater Albanian nationalism which collaborated with Nazi Germany in the early Forties. The leader of Vetevendosje, Albin Kurti, has good contacts in Germany which he uses to secure his influential position in the Kosovo secession movement. During the preparations for the war in Yugoslavia, as a representative of the underground Kosovo Liberation Army(UCK) , he was introduced everywhere “in the whole western world as a charismatic student leader” – so reports a government adviser of the time (4) . Among Kurti’s contacts is the former foreign minister, Klaus Kinkel.

Advances

Kurti’s German contacts could flourish in the orbit of the long term support which the German intelligence community offered to the Kosovo Liberation Army. As a result “advances in the Albanian area” had already begun by the end of the Eighties. According to the intelligence expert Erich Schmdt-Eenboom, the then German foreign minister Hans Dietrich Genscher initiated these contacts. (5) The aim was to use the break up of the Warsaw Pact states to establish a presence quickly on the borders of Yugoslavia. Alongside weapon supplies, Tirana received espionage equipment from 1991 – just at the time that the Albanian secret service started to build up the newly founded Kosovo Liberation Army. Some of the German supplies were later found in Kosovo. According to press reports, the German Secret Service (BND Bundesnachrichtendienst) went over to arming the Kosovo Liberation Army directly in 1996, just as it was starting its first large campaign with bomb attacks on five Serbian refugee camps. The secret service connections continue openly to this day. A year ago the Belgrade press reported that both the BND and German Inland Secret Service had begun training espionage and state protection organisations (6)

The Whole Spectrum

The close political connections with Berlin which are enjoyed by the ruling clans in Pristina are built on the secret service contacts established in the pre-war and wartime periods. Former KLA pupils of German foreign policy have provided two of the four previous “prime ministers” of Kosovo. Agim Ceku, who was KLA Chief of Staff responsible for ground operations within the framework of the NATO attack, has led the Kosovo government since last year. He stands accused of serious war crimes and, as a result of Western pressure, has been twice released from investigative custody without coming before a court. Ramush Haradinaj, Ceku’s predecessor but one in office, converted the KLA into the paramilitary “Kosovo Protection Corps” after the war. Two years ago the BND reported on Haradinaj using its intimate knowledge of Kosovo “ The clan structure in the Decani area around Ramush Haradinaj is concerned with the whole spectrum of criminal, political and military activities which considerably affect the security conditions in all Kosovo. The group has about 100 members and is active in drug and weapon smuggling and in illegal trade in goods subject to customs duties. Additionally it controls organs of local government.” (7)

Despised

The prospect of building a state on such a power basis at Berlin’s insistence provoked the former Kosovo Ombudsman, Marek Antoni Nowicki, to sharp criticism. Nowicki reported last year “Kosovo society is dominated by a fine-meshed network of great Albanian families, which rule the area as clans. In this part of the world, cooperation with the police and justice departments is never valued and is, in fact, despised” (8) He reported after a thorough-going analysis of the security and justice systems, as well as corruption, organised crime and discrimination against minorities that the human rights situation in the protectorate “remains continually below minimum international standards” (9). As the final procedures for the splitting off of Kosovo became evident, Nowicki was removed from his post. His successor has not been known to make any critical remarks.

Stolen Kosovo (Ukradene Kosovo)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

American Voice Radio to Feature "Kosovo is Serbia" Group

Vojin Joksimovich will host a radio program, May 16, on American Voice Radio (AVR), 3-5 pm. AVR is a satellite radio station that also broadcasts on the internet: theamericanvoice.com.

In addition to Dr. Joksimovich, a nuclear engineer and author of more than 50 articles and several books on the US foreign policy in the Balkans, the program will feature Fr. Bratso Krsic, priest of St. George Serbian Orthodox Church; Bill Dorich, author of numerous books on Balkan subjects, including the 1992 book, Kosovo; Miro Copic, San Diego businessman and entrepreneur; and Jennifer Milanovich, sales executive and organizer of the San Diego Kosovo is Serbia group.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Franklin's Choice -- History in the Making

May 8, 2008
by Nebojsa Malic


"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.


Passing the Blame
Even the "reformers" are aware that their promises of prosperity have worn thin. They have long since stopped promising hope – except in the most abstract sense – and turned to fear. If Serbia votes for the "nationalists" both they and their Imperial masters despise and demonize, it will "return to the 1990s" of blockade, isolation, and even bombing (they imply, and sometimes flat-out say). How odd, then, that the majority of those "liberals" and "democrats" and "reformers" have roots in the old Communist regime…


Confronted with the devastating reality of their rule, the "reformers" try to shift the blame on Slobodan Milosevic. But Milosevic has been dead since 2005, and he was arrested and extradited in 2001. His supporters have been marginalized since the October 2000 coup. And seven years is ample time to at least start repairing the damage done during Milosevic's rule. How come that hasn't happened?


Well, they say again, Vojislav Kostunica has been prime minister since 2004, after the "true believers" were ousted in the polls (ah, that pesky democracy!). Everything was just peachy while Zoran Djindjic was in power, and even after he got killed and the self-proclaimed Jacobins declared martial law… Except that nothing was going well even in Djindjic's time, and the very same people – "expert economists" from G17 Plus – were in charge of Serbia's economy since October 2000 regardless of who was prime minister or president.


In worshipping the Empire, the "reformers" went as far as to design the symbols of government after those found in Washington. Yet so different is the America many Serbs once knew and loved that Vojislav Kostunica, who once translated the Federalist Papers, is now being labeled a "hardline nationalist," while corrupt neo-Bolshevik Ceda Jovanovic is praised as a "pro-Western reformer."


Patriots and Reformers
If Kostunica is to be blamed for something, it is that his presence and involvement lent credibility to DOS and the quisling apparatus that emerged from it. In the end, it was not law, or reforms, or the economy that shattered the false peace between Kostunica and President Tadic and his henchmen, but the latter's insouciant reaction to the secession of occupied Kosovo. On Feb. 17, all the cards were on the table, and all the masks came off.


Now the battle lines have been drawn. On one side stand the "Patriots" – Kostunica, the Radical Party, and the Socialists, all committed to preserving Serbia's sovereignty and rights. On the other are the "Reformers" –Tadic's Democrats and G17 Plus, leading a motley coalition of separatists, ethnic minorities, neo-Jacobins and "non-governmental" activists amply financed by involuntary "donations" of American taxpayers.


The "Reformers" constantly invoke the Radicals as a specter of Milosevic's return. Yes, it is true that at one point in time the Radicals were allied with Milosevic (after years of being his bitter enemies). The same is true of Vuk Draskovic. The difference? Draskovic has recently been reanimated from his political grave to join the Democrats, as they desperately seek any allies that might give them a fighting chance.


The Devil's Own Bargain
In just about every respect, Serbia is in rotten shape. Its economy has never recovered from the 1990s blockade and bombing, followed by the destructive "transition" overseen by the G17. Its airwaves and newsprint are dominated by foreign corporations, foundations, and even governments. Even the people's cultural identity is endangered, as the very language and alphabet – not to mention the religion or traditions – are targets of a propaganda onslaught by the "reformers."


The so-called democrats, liberals, and reformers who seek the continuation of their seven-year dominance argue thus: everything that's wrong is the fault of Milosevic, or the nationalists, or the traditionalists. Both the EU and the U.S. wish Serbia nothing but the best, and everything they've done – from the blockades to the bombing – has been for the Serbs' own good. Only the ungrateful, the primitive, and the stupid cannot see that. All the Serbs need to do is give up their identity, faith, honor, and dignity. Is that really so much?


Echoes of the Past
It is not the first time such a choice has been presented. Consider this:
"Being in the situation we are in, having no choice, we must admit that we have lost a great deal of our sovereignty due to the careless and fatal policies of the previous government, and that we must obey the decisions of foreign powers. The best we can do for Serbia is to look the truth in the eye. We cannot afford further defiance, which would lead the country and the people into oblivion. We must obey international law and join the family of nations that surround us, a family of which we are a natural part."


These are not the words of today's "democratic reformers" in Empire's service, much as they resemble them. It is rather an excerpt from a speech by fascist politician Dimitrije Ljotic, given in April 1941 (after Nazi Germany destroyed the old Kingdom of Yugoslavia), urging the Serbs to submit to the inevitability of Nazi domination and integrate into the European "family of nations."


Ljotic's message fell on deaf ears. The Serbs revolted, either through the Royalist resistance or favoring the Soviet-backed Communists. The Communists eventually won, bringing their own inevitabilities.


May 11
Before Iraq, before Afghanistan, the American Empire showed its true colors by intervening in the Balkans. From stoking the fires of separatism to blockades and bombing, those who claimed to uphold international law have been its foremost violators. It is hard to expect anything different from those who make a desert and call it peace.


It is anybody's guess whether the American people will ever wake up to the monstrosity that's been created at their expense. Perhaps not, until the realities of economics, physics, and entropy catch up with the Empire. But Serbia has a chance, maybe one last chance, to refuse to be a part of the nightmarish world of transnational tyranny masquerading as peace, democracy, and freedom. Its people have a choice between liberty – with all the hardships it entails – and an illusion of safety in the suffocating bosom of the Empire. They should weigh the choice well, for it will be with them forever.

Find this article at: http://www.antiwar.com/malic/?articleid=12804

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Church opposition to Kosovo independence

Friday, 25th April 2008. 7:16pm
By: George Conger.


The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church has denounced the cession of Kosovo as unjust and a violation of Serbia’s cultural, social and political integrity.

“In these times of Easter joy and the divine mercy for all, the Serbian Orthodox Church especially dwells on human injustice and violence of the power-wielders over Kosovo and Metohija, over Serbia, and the entire Serb nation,” His Holiness Patriarch Paul of Belgrade said in his Easter Pastoral. Released on April 19, the pastoral letter will be read in Serbian Churches on April 27 --- Easter Sunday in the Orthodox Church calendar.

Paul’s call for justice for Serbian Kosovars resonates across the Serbian political spectrum with pro-Western, Slavophile and the former Communist parties rejecting Kosovo’s Feb 18 unilateral declaration of independence. However, the nation’s political leaders are divided over how to respond to the crisis.

Elected president on Feb 3, Tadic’s coalition government led by his Democratic Party (DS) collapsed on March 8, in the wake of mass demonstrations in Belgrade over Kosovo. Tadic lost the confidence of his coalition partner, Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica's Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) forcing new elections set for May 11.

The pro-Western Tadic has argued that Serbia’s future lies in closer ties to the EU, while Kostunica's democrats have demanded the return of Kosovo before Serbia joins the EU. The opposition radicals --- the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) led by ultra-nationalist Tomislav Nikolic and the Socialist Party of Serbia formerly led by the late Slobodan Milosevic --- have called for closer ties with Moscow, rejecting the EU.

All of the leading Serbian political parties have rejected Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence --- which has been endorsed by the EU and the US, but rejected by Russia and China. However, Tadic has argued that adopting anti-Western policies are shortsighted, as it would cut off EU aid for Serbia, and prevent Serbia from having a say in the future of an independent Kosovo.

Tadic’s democrats and the radicals are polling even in the run-up to the General Elections, prompting most analysts to argued that Kostunica’s democrats will hold the balance of power in any coalition government.

While remaining above the political fray, Patriarch Paul’s Easter message underscores the Serbian rejectionist line. "Kosovo is an integral part of the life of every Christian Orthodox Serb," the pastoral letter said.

The "creators of this historic injustice [Kosovo independence] have inflicted on the Serb people a pain and suffering that, in spite of everything, points the way to the unique message of the suffering and salvation on Calvary,” Paul said.

Church urges Serbs to take Kosovo vow in Orthodox Easter message


Sunday, April 27, 2008

BELGRADE, Serbia: The Serbian Orthodox Church urged its followers in an Easter message on Sunday to take a vow to defend Kosovo.

The head of the church, Patriarch Pavle, and other top dignitaries said in the message that "Kosovo is part of every Orthodox Christian Serb's life."

"We are urging all, from scientists and politicians to the youngest and most modest sons and daughters of our nation, to deserve and preserve Kosovo with our work and honorable living," the message said.

Kosovo was the ancient seat of the Serbian church and the Serbian medieval state. But the region is now dominated by ethnic Albanians who declared independence from Serbia in February.

Kosovo statehood has won recognition from the United States and its European Union allies. Serbia and its traditional Orthodox Christian ally, Russia, have rejected the move as illegal under international law.

The Serbian church said in its message that Western support for Kosovo amounted to "human injustice and violence by the world powermongers against our Kosovo, Serbia and the entire Serbian nation."

"Creators of this historic injustice wanted to hurt us in the worst possible way, and inflict unspeakable pain and sorrow," the church said.

"But if we take that vow (to defend Kosovo), no one can take Kosovo away from us," the message added.

Serbia lost control over Kosovo is 1999, after NATO launched an air war to force Belgrade to halt a brutal crackdown against Kosovo Albanian separatists.

Serbian leaders have refused to let go of Kosovo, vowing to one day take the territory back.

Widespread anger over Kosovo's secession has also led to a rise in nationalism ahead of key parliamentary elections in May, which may see the return to power of allies of late strongman Slobodan Milosevic.

Underscoring the importance of Kosovo in Serbia, pro-Western President Boris Tadic traveled to the 14th century Decani monastery in western Kosovo on Saturday to attend an Easter service there.

The official Tanjug news agency quoted Tadic as saying there that "we have an obligation in the years to come to remain dedicated to this place, our Kosovo and our Serbia."

Serbs and other Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter several weeks after observances by other Christian denominations.



Monday, April 7, 2008

Americans Outraged at Absolut Ad!


To all the Americans outraged by this ad.

Now you know, how we, the people of A Serbia must feel, after your government helped separating the Kosovo province out of Serbia

Posted by: vanja | April 06, 2008 at 04:01 PM




Mexico reconquers California?
Absolut drinks to that!
The latest advertising

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic In Kosovo Trip

03 April 2008 Mitrovica _ Serbia’s best tennis player, Novak Djokovic, was greeted by thousands of Kosovo Serb fans when he visited Mitrovica.

“All my tennis victories I devote to you people. My family is also from Kosovo,” Djokovic said.

Djokovic, who is seeded third in the global men’s tennis rankings, visited his admirers at a tennis court some two kilometers north in Zvecan, where his father was born, and where Djokovic has been declared an honorary citizen.

This is not the first time Djokovic has expressed patriotic sentiment over Kosovo.

He addressed a huge rally in Belgrade on February 21 via a video link where he expressed his defiance to ‘Kosovo’s unilateral act of independence.’

The rally was followed by riots and looting in the Serbian capital, that saw the United States Embassy, along with several others, partially torched and shops in the city centre looted.

Dozens of Serbian actors, singers, sportsman, and other public persons have already addressed Kosovo Serbs in the northern half of the divided town of Mitrovica.

Some stars have courted controversy.

Serbian swimmer, Milorad Cavic was suspended from the European Championships when he appeared in a ceremony to collect his gold medal wearing a ‘Kosovo Is Serbia’ t-shirt. Sports stars are barred from making political statements during events.

Kosovo Serbs in north Mitrovica have held protests on a near-daily basis since the declaration of independence from Serbia by Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian leaders on February 17.

Copyright BalkanInsight.com 2008

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

New focus on the western Balkans

Joint article by Dr. Dimitrij Rupel, President of the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia, and Mr Bernard Kouchner (April 2nd, 2008)


Last Saturday at Brdo, Slovenia, the 27 EU foreign ministers sent a clear message of reaffirmation of the EU perspective for the Western Balkans - a message much needed in the aftermath of the Kosovo independence, in advance of Bucharest NATO summit this week and ahead of parliamentary elections in Serbia in May.

Notable was the presence at Brdo of both Serbian Foreign Minister Jeremic as well as Kosovo PM Thaci. The EU acknowledged in February that the decision to recognize Kosovo is left to individual Member States, but this does not change the common commitment Kosovo should take part into the regional co-operation and benefit from the EU perspective for the region, of which it is a part.

We are revealing no secret by saying that Serbia was at the centre of attention at Brdo. As one of our colleagues said on Saturday, we all want for Serbia the same that Slovenia - once Serbia’s fellow republic in former Yugoslavia, now presiding the EU - had achieved. The Stabilization and Association Agreement with Serbia was initialled last November and now waits to be signed. Undoubtedly, Serbia needs to meet its international and moral obligations in order to join the EU family. We understand that Serbia on the eve of elections is uncertain about its future and lukewarm about Europe. It is therefore the conviction of both the current and the future EU Presidencies that partners need to find innovative ways to give Serbia’s pro-European forces this much needed boost, while not compromising on values on which the EU is based. As Kosovo, Serbia is in many respects a unique case too. For this reason as proposed in Brdo, we want to show the willingness of the EU towards the people Serbia and put forward the proposal of trying to get a free of charge visa regime towards Serbia.

We will, however, insist firmly that Serbia respect previously made commitments and refrain from any inflammatory rhetoric or activities which might endanger the security situation in the region. We fully respect the feelings of our Serbian friends, but good regional co-operation is one of the conditions for the EU aspiring countries and this goes as well for Serbia. And EULEX and EUSR missions to Kosovo are a sign of the EU commitment for Kosovo. One cannot at the same time aspire to join EU while refuse talking to its missions that are there for the sake of Kosovo Serbs in the first place. Above all, Serbia should not let the Kosovo issue to determine its relationship with the EU.

One measure that could win hearts and minds of people in the Balkans is to continue working on the visa-liberalisation plans for all countries of the region by completing soon the so- called roadmaps, setting down realistic and concrete conditions which, if and when met, would open way to visa-free travel. We should not discount the frustrating paradox of the fact that the countries of former Yugoslavia already had the experience of visa-free travel before 1990.

While our eyes have recently been - for very obvious reasons - focused on Serbia and Kosovo, we should not forget about the rest of the region. The progress made recently by Montenegro and Albania should be recognised. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, the signing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement is within reach, provided that police reform is implemented - in the next couple of days, the parliament of BiH will have another opportunity to make bold and courageous moves on this matter.

Finally, our special attention goes to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. We have been encouraged by some progress made in the last couple of days on the name issue and we sincerely hope that mutually acceptable solutions will be followed allowing Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to join Nato. This is the future of the country and its people, and has the real potential to make grow country stronger and the region more stable.

from France diplomatie

NATO Marches Eastward

We're on a dangerous collision course with Russia, no matter who wins the White House

April 2, 2008
by Justin Raimondo


The relentless march of NATO, decades after the implosion of the Soviet Union and the death knell of the Leninist project, is surely an object lesson in the real motivations and character of "democratic" imperialism, here and in Europe. The Communist enemy may be long gone, but NATO soldiers ever onward, and ever eastward. Suddenly we're back in the heyday of the Cold War: once again we hear the War Party's clarion call – "The Russians are coming!"

What they really mean to say however – as the video clip above makes visibly and audibly clear – is that the Americans are coming, along with the Brits, actively seeking to delegitimize and destabilize the government still dominated by Vladimir Putin. A new campaign for "regime change" is in the making, this time aimed at Moscow.

When the neoconservatives launched their campaign to exclude Russia from the G-8 summit, in retaliation for their arming of Syria and refusal to get on board the Iraq war-wagon, Russo-American relations took a steep dive. Vice President Dick Cheney was quick to join the refrain, accusing the Russians of using oil as a "weapon" against Ukraine in what is presumably a new cold war. Bush, who had previously gazed into Putin's eyes and found a fellow spirit, is now championing NATO membership for Ukraine and – incredibly – Georgia.

The Europeans are having none of it, with France and Germany opposed outright and several of the smaller NATO members "skeptical," as news accounts put it. That doesn't really matter to the Bushies, however, who are doing this for domestic political reasons, as a show of support to McCain and the McCainiacs.

The links between the McCain campaign and the campaign for NATO expansion, and Russophobic circles in general, are extensive. Randy Scheunemann , McCain's top foreign policy adviser, is a key figure in the NATO expansion campaign: he has been a top lobbyist for British Petroleum, several major defense contractors, and various Baltic and Central European governments. He worked with Bruce Jackson, a former vice president in charge of planning for Lockheed-Martin and Pentagon official, on the U.S. Committee for NATO. Scheunemann has been an American adviser to the Georgian government and a registered lobbyist for Macedonia, Romania, and Latvia, as well as a corporate lobbyist for BP America and Lockheed-Martin. To top it off, Scheunemann was a founding member of the Project for a New American Century and a co-founder and director of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq. He is, in short, the embodiment of all the pressure groups and special interests who profit, materially and ideologically, from the renewal of the Cold War.

The old drama has been revived, let there be no doubt. That is the meaning of the U.S.-funded and stage-managed "color revolutions" from Kiev to Kyrgyzstan, epitomized by that whole mysterious business with the alleged poisoning of Victor Yushchenko – an affair that resembled the hokiest sort of Cold War propaganda.

Even more bizarre is the case of Alexander Litvinenko, the ex-KGB spy who supposedly "knew too much" – so much that his former bosses bumped him off by poisoning him with a rare radioactive isotope, a substance that just happens to play a key role in making triggers for nuclear devices. Was it a KGB assassination, or, perhaps, something along the lines of what Sibel Edmonds is describing – an underground network of nuclear smugglers? In any case, it's like something out of a novel by John le Carré, or, perhaps, one of his substandard imitators.

In spite of these histrionics, however, the regnant anti-Russian hysteria – induced and maintained by these sensational stunts, which give every indication of being carefully staged – doesn't have much popular resonance, particularly in the front-line trenches of Cold War II. Ukrainian voters have since turned sour on the "Orange Revolutionaries," on account of their wrecking the country economically and their warmongering Russophobia, especially the radical wing led by the fiery Yulia Timoshenko, the "gas princess," whose ultra-nationalist tirades against Russia are the key to her limited electoral appeal. Support for Ukrainian NATO membership may be popular in Washington, D.C., but it is distinctly unpopular in Ukraine, where only 30 percent are in favor.

In Ukraine, many people can barely feed their families. Why should they care if the Ukrainian air force, such as it is, is being upgraded to meet NATO standards? The real constituency for this is in Washington, where lobbyists for arms contractors – Scheunemann's old buddies at Lockheed-Martin, for one – are delirious with joy at the prospect of more NATO members, all of which will have to be outfitted with and trained to use sophisticated new weapons systems. Guess who rakes in billions in profits, at taxpayers' expense?

Ideological ambidexterity is the key operating principle inside the Washington Beltway, where policymaking is all about corporate socialism for the rich – Lockheed-Martin and Bear Stearns – and social Darwinism when it comes time to foreclose on some poor schmuck's mobile home.

There is also an ideological motivation, congruent with the corporate interest in NATO expansion, and that is the neoconservative insistence on continental hegemony. In practice, this means the maintenance of American military supremacy in Europe as well as the Middle East. An important addendum to this is the extension of American military influence in the Caucasus, and, as usual, McCain has been in the vanguard of this trend. The candidate has been a big booster of Georgia, although he's had no comment on the recent government crackdown on the opposition, the obviously phony elections, and the spectacle of Georgian cops beating peaceful protesters in the streets of the capital city.

McCain once traveled to the disputed region of Abkhazia, whose pro-Russian inhabitants seek independence from Tbilisi and close relations with Moscow, where he declared the Russians must not be allowed to possess one square inch of "sovereign" Georgian territory. As president, he'd have us involved in every territorial dispute along the periphery of the former Soviet Union, from the snowy fields of Latvia to the steppes of Central Asia.

Unlike Bush, who keeps up the insulting pretense that the U.S. is intent on building a missile shield in Poland and the Czech republic to counter an alleged "threat" emanating from Iran, President McCain would make no secret of the real target of this "defensive" weapon – which, for the first time, makes a first strike on the Russians militarily feasible. McCain, the "Atlanticist," is unleashing the most feverish phraseology, describing Russia as "revanchist" and even accusing Moscow of launching cyber-attacks on Latvia – without, of course, any supporting evidence. Perhaps, as president, he would launch a preemptive cyber-strike at the Russians, applying the Bushian-neocon military doctrine to the Internet – and maybe not just there…

As for the other aspirants up for admission into this archaic Cold War conclave – Croatia, Macedonia, and Albania – NATO's secretary-general is cautiously optimistic that at least two out of three will be welcomed into the fold at the Bucharest summit. Macedonia may not make it because of a dispute that gives a hint as to why the word balkanize means to split up into a multitude of irreconcilable camps. The admission of Croatia and Albania, the allies of NATO during the Euro-American war of aggression against the former Yugoslavia, is a reward for their fealty, as well as alms for the American arms industry. It is also insurance that if Kosovo blows up again, the Croatians can repeat their performance in the Krajina, where they slaughtered nearly 2,000 Serbs, burned down 73 percent of Serbian homes, and forced thousands more to flee.

The really bad news is that U.S.-Russian relations are likely to undergo a radical decline no matter which presidential candidate takes the White House. What this means is that McCain's malevolent vision of a "revanchist Russia," backsliding into authoritarianism and a threat to its neighbors, may well become a self-fulfilling prophecy in the not-too-distant future. In our search for endless enemies, the worst, it seems, are our own creation.

Exposed: how Kosovo Serbs were butchered for organs

Russia Today
April 1, 2008


For Video:
http://www.russiatoday.ru/news/news/22913/video

A former Chief Prosecutor at the International Court
of Justice in the Hague has given details of suspected
atrocities by ethnic Albanians in Kosovo in 1999.

Carla Del Ponte's book 'The Hunt: Me and War crimes'
claims that before killing Serbs and members of other
ethnic communities, Kosovo Albanians removed their
organs to sell for transplants.

According to Del Ponte, a one-time prosecutor at the
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former
Yugoslavia, the kidnapped Serbs were given a medical
test. Those who passed were treated well, fed and
looked after until they were brought under the
surgeon’s knife.

From several concentration camps in Kosovo, they were
then transferred to cities in the north of Albania.

Their body parts were later flown to Europe.

General Mamir Stayanovich was head of the intelligence
service of the Serbian army during the war.

He has no doubt that the claims in Del Ponte’s book
will sooner or later be proven. The places she
mentions as hidden operation rooms are in exactly the
same location as the camps Albanians used for training
soldiers.

“In these hospitals they decided amongst themsemselves
what each commander of the KLA would have after
victory. They decided who would make his money from
drug dealing, who from weapons, and who from selling
body parts. Hashim Thaci, the prime minister, was
among them,” General Stayanovich claims.

There are more than 2,000 names on the list of missing
Serbs. Sima Spasich is the leader of an organisation
trying to discover their fate. He showed the pictures
of body parts he filmed in 2003.

“Right after the war, when we understood that too many
people had disappeared, I went to the K-For commanders
and asked them where were the people, and they just
shrugged their shoulders. Only after they saw Serbian
people demonstrating and were afraid of their anger,
they took me to some place,” Spasich said.

“I cannot explain what I saw there. It was a small
mountain of pieces of bodies and the first thing I saw
was a baby who’d been taken from his mother’s stomach,
lying there. It was impossible to look. It was a
massive grave they’d dug before. Today I know in this
massive grave were 26 Serb bodies - also there was my
brother Milosh,” Spasich added.

Families who once had a small glimmer of hope of
finding their loved ones are now planning to sue Del
Ponte. They claim she withheld this information for
years - and in that way helped the criminals with
their crime.

U.S. blunders by recognizing Kosovo independence

March 31, 2008

The United States' decision to recognize the independence of Kosovo is the most recent in a series of mistakes regarding the breakaway Serbian province. America has been making ill-fated decisions in the Balkans for at least a decade and a half. What separates this bungling of Kosovo from its prior decisions is that the recognition of Kosovo's independence will have deleterious effects on international law and cause consequences in the region and beyond.

The main problem is that Kosovo's independence undermines a system of international law that America helped create and from which it benefits greatly. The United Nations Charter enshrines the inviolability of state sovereignty. In recognizing Kosovo without a UN Security Council resolution, the United States and its European allies have weakened two of the fundamental principles of international law: that states are free to determine their internal composition and that their territorial integrity must be respected.

To make matters worse, the United States and the European Union have adopted a wildly expansive interpretation of Security Council Resolution 1244, which placed Kosovo under UN administration and provided for Kosovo's autonomy within Serbia. Under this interpretation, administrative authority is being transferred from the UN-sanctioned mission in Kosovo to an EU mission that has no legal mandate in the province and whose prospects for success rely on Serb participation, which is far from guaranteed. Already, ethnic divisions are hardening into a de facto partition of the territory between Albanian and Serb-controlled areas.

Another problem caused by Kosovo's independence is the precedent it sets for ethnic enclaves within other sovereign states. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's claim that "Kosovo cannot be seen as a precedent for any other situation in the world today" misses the point. It is doubtful that separatists from Xingjian to Catalonia will accept the niceties of Rice's argument that Kosovo is exceptional due to its political and legal history. It is much more likely that these separatists will view the conflict for the precedent that it is: the carving off of a sovereign state's territory in favor of an ethnic and religious minority threatening violence -- a model to be replicated elsewhere.

Russia has been particularly outspoken against Kosovo's independence because of its concern that its restive Caucasian provinces will follow the Kosovo precedent. The United States currently requires Russian cooperation on two issues of great strategic importance to America: counterproliferation efforts against Iran and the implementation of new missile defense systems in Central Europe. Irritating Russia and spending useful political capital on a tiny, economically stagnant, breakaway region will only make Russian cooperation less likely -- even on issues that concern its security.

Finally, Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence has only reinflamed the divisions and enmities of the 1990s -- not a time that any of us should want to revisit in the Balkans. The declaration of Kosovo's independence has emboldened Albanians in Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia in their calls for the creation of "greater Albania."

There is also the possibility that the largely Serbian north of Kosovo will decide to secede and ask its Serbian kinsmen to protect it. Will America defend Kosovo's sovereignty after having destroyed Serbia's?

The decision to recognize Kosovo's independence was foolish. In doing so, the United States and its European allies have undermined international law and opened the door to separatist movements worldwide to follow suit. Relations with Russia are being strained at a time when America needs Russia's cooperation. Most disturbing of all, the Balkan tinderbox could be reignited at any point. No amount of wishful thinking by our foreign policy leadership will fix the damage that's been done.

JAMES PALMER, 26, grew up in Royal Oak, attended Dondero High School, has a degree in political science from Denison University in Ohio, and is a student in the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. He can be reached by e-mail at james.palmer@tufts.edu.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Further disintegration of Serbia bad

March 31, 2008
SERBIANNA

In search of a coherent explanation behind recent Western decision to recognize Serbian separatist province of Kosovo, a little known letter by a German Bundestag member Willy Wimmer has surfaced as a prophetic diplomatic document that shed's light on events taking shape in the Balkans now.

Writing in 2000 to the then German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, Wimmer's letter warns that during a meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia, that was jointly organized by the American State Department and the American Enterprise Institute, the participants of which a large number were prime ministers, declared that the union of Serbia and Montenegro called Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was outside of the legal framework of the Helsinki Final Act referring to the inviolability of state borders and that Serbia, as its successor will have to be dismembered.

Wimmers letter to German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder"The war against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was waged in order to rectify General Eisenhower’s erroneous decision during World War II. Therefore, for strategic reasons, American troops must be stationed there, in order to compensate for the missed opportunity from 1945," notes Wimmer in his fourth point to Schröder.

In the letter, Wimmer also noted that the 78-day bombing of Serbia in 1999 was to overcome the legal obstacle of NATOs New Strategic Concept of April 1999 which stipulates that the alliance cannot participate in military missions outside its member countries.
"Serbia (probably for the purposes of securing an unhindered US military presence) must be permanently excluded from European development," concluded Wimmer in his eighth point of the letter to Schröder.

European Union's foreign ministers on Saturday agreed to help the pro-European camp in Serbia led by Serbia's President Tadic in order to pave the way for its integration and that signing a Stabilization and Association Agreement which is a trade and aid pact and a visa-free agreement would help the pro-European forces at the May 11 elections in Serbia.

Serbia's Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said that May 11 election in Serbia are crucial in determining the future coarse of the country.

"The result (of the elections) will produce radical consequences for the future development of Serbia and the Western Balkans," Jeremic said, adding that "no one's choice will be unaffected by the issue of Kosovo."

In light of Wimmer's letter, to many in Serbia such hopeful pronouncements by the EU appear as a deception.

In a recent interview, Kosovo Serb Bishop Artemije alluded to Wimmer's document citing his eighth point as the foregone conclusion to any of Serbia's efforts to join the EU.

"It is rather impossible that our President [Tadic], besides so many of his advisers, not to be privy on a letter that Willy Wimmer wrote," said Artemije. "One has to be honest to his people and say it bluntly that... there is no European perspective" for Serbia.

In an interview for a Serbian daily Vecernje Novosti, Willy Wimmer noted over the weekend that it is up to the EU to create preconditions for Serbia's membership into EU and NATO.
"Preconditions must be made by EU. I underline this sentence," says Wimmer. "Precisely over this I have the most reservations. Mission EULEX for Kosovo clearly indicates that EU in its actions is no longer on the clear legal basis."

Wimmer also says that the reason for American military presence in Kosovo has more to do with controlling land routs from the Black Sea into Europe then over local issues.

"NATO summit in Bucharest will show whether Russia will be pushed out of Europe in the future as well," says Wimmer and assesses that "It is hard to conclude what will be of Serbia in the near future... The worst out of the already difficult position is for Serbia to internally disintegrate."

Kosovo is the soul of Serbia (song)

Kosovo is the soul of Serbia
Hallowed ground, most Serbian
Kosovo is Faith, Hope
Land of martyrdom for the cross
Kosovo is most Serbian
Face of the Lord
There where the soul remained
There too is our destiny
There where the heart was
Where the Lord's will was done
All that is there, all is Serbia
All is Serbia

REFRAIN:
One most beautiful field
Adorned with peonies
One most sacred field
Has ascended to heaven
One faith safeguarded
Bathed in blood
When reality replaces the dream
Only an icon remains
And when Eternity counts the days
Above Serbia the sun shines
Kosovo is always Serbia
Always Serbia


Kosovo je duša Srbije
Sveto polje naj Srpski je
Kosovo je Vera, Nada
Mesto gde se za krst strada
Kosovo je naj Srpski je
Lice Božije
Tamo gde je duša ostala
Tamo je I naša sudbina
Tamo gde je srce bilo
Gde se Božije do godilo
Tamo sto je, sve je Srbija

Jedno polje prelepo
Božur rom se kitilo
Jedno polje presveto
U nebo se propelo
Jednu veru ćuvao
U krvi se kupalo
Kad se java razdeli od sna
I ostane samo ikona
I kad većnost broji dane
Nad Srbijom sunce grane
Kosovo je uvek Srbija
Uvek Srbija

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsN0lA-I2_g