I’ve written before about the Serbophobic power-players who, we end up finding out, have also had it in for Israel. I’ve touched on these people before — and they include Christianne Amanpour, James Baker, and UN Human Rights Council investigator Richard Goldstone, to name just a few.
One name that hasn’t come up in a while is UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari, who was the architect of the 2007 Kosovo final-status plan that included a clause allowing independence, the ensurance of which was reportedly reinforced with a bribe by an Albanian billionaire.
In looking over old emails, I stumbled upon an intriguing one that I neglected in July 2007, from a reader named Lowell. The relevant part reads:
…Years ago, I drove down from Wolfsburg, Germany in my brand-new factory purchased Volkswagen 1302 Super Beetle, to what was then Yugoslavia — now Slovenia, Croatia, Kosovo - several hundred miles in the hinterland and along the coast, camping on rocks, driving on perilous roads. What a primitive set-up — everywhere — while Western Europe boomed. Talk about a powder-keg waiting to blow. So nothing you say, as much as I like reading it, surprises me.
Now, here’s the real reason I’m writing. It has to do with your piece, “Not that we needed it, but here’s more Confirmation that UN Envoy Ahtisaari was bribed for Kosovo Independence“.
Of course, I would like to think the best of this man, this international public servant, but I wonder.
First of all, I knew Martti Ahtisaari when I taught history at the United Nations International School (21 years), because his son, Markko, was in my class. His wife was a gracious woman interested in all that I taught as she herself was a history teacher. When they both learned that I would be in Finland the coming summer, they invited me to stay at their country home east of Helsinki. There they showed me around Lohja, where Runeberg, the composer and lyricist of the Finnish national anthem was born and lived. But, this was in 1982, a month after Israel had entered Lebanon, and when I happened to touch upon the subject, there was an immediate and uncomfortable silence. (Several weeks earlier, at a farewell party for the outgoing Finnish Consul General in New York, two of whose children I also taught and had known for several years, the same subject — Israel in Lebanon — had come up with quite a different point of view — one completely in support of the Israeli action after years of an unbearable situation along Israel’s northern border — terrorist and rocket attacks without let-up.)
Some years after Ahtisaari was back in Finland, I happened to meet his son, Markko, at Columbia University, where I was doing graduate work. We sat in a coffee shop and spoke about things in general. The issue of Iraq (it was late 1990 - early 1991, when the US had sent armies to Saudi Arabia, poised to take back Kuwait) came up, as did Israel, and the same deafening silence greeted me as had eight years earlier outside Lohja Church.
When Israel launched Operation Defensive Shield in Jenin in Passover 2002, the blood libels and massacre rumors began flying. Kofi Annan, Terje Roed Larsen, the novelist Saramago, and every other Jew-bating, Israel-bashing vulture smelled blood and ran there.
The UN planned to hold a commission of inquiry — guess who was slated to head the investigation. Yep! Martti Ahtisaari. Well, I for one knew what the outcome of that would have been, so I fired off letters to newspapers and to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
If there is any such concept as guilt by association, then surely Ahtisaari’s work at International Crisis Group should pretty much raise eyebrows. Anti-Israel as they are, for one thing, one of their talking heads is a certain Robert Malley who has written revisionist history concerning the failed Clinton-Barak-Arafat Camp David meeting of 2000, where Arafat was promised the best deal he could ever hope for — including the division of Jerusalem — previously a serious red line — and walked away. Malley denies this and puts the responsibility of failure on Israel — even though after Clinton left office [he] confirmed that Arafat’s intransigence had killed the deal. And need one say any more about International Crisis Group when we know that it “was established by the financier George Soros.” (Ever wonder why, when a person is filthy rich and not Jewish or anti-Israel, they are called “financiers”, but if they are Jewish and pro-Israel, they are called “tycoons”, “oligarchs”, and “czars”? Imagine Bill Gates being called an “oligarch”!
And, as you write, “…. Ahtisaari obviously wasn’t an impartial person for this position.”
Looks like I’m not getting invited back to Lohja anytime soon.
In a subsequent email, Lowell — part of whose Master’s-level studies included doing a comparison of the Final Solution as carried out in Slovakia and Romania (though he almost chose Croatia over Slovakia) — added about his time teaching at the UN school:
Little seemed to fire up passions as much as the mention of the word “Israel”. There was plenty of hostility to go around, as well as antisemitism, but I tried fighting it as much as I could ever mindful of the fact that there were some parents in the “Middle Eastern Mafia” as well as the “South Asia Mafia” who held important positions at the UN and on the school board and could not be happy campers when I stepped into untested waters.
Since we’re on the subject, I might as well include a detail I had previously overlooked when writing about yet another Serbo/Judeo-phobe: UN Human Rights Council Richard Goldstone, author of last year’s notorious “Goldstone Report” accusing Israel of crimes in Gaza. I’ve mentioned before that he indicted a fictional Serbian “war criminal,” but what I didn’t know was the following, from a letter written by retired Air Force Colonel George Jatras:
…In investigating the reports by the Bosnian Commission on War Crimes and Ministry of the Interior of Bosnia-Herzegovina (EEC), of between 40,000 [and] 60,000 raped women, [France’s Special Envoy Jerome Bony] further reports: “First of all it observed that the mandate of the commission is restricted to Muslim victims. The Serbian women were excluded right away from the inquiry.” When Serbian medical examiner Dr. Stankovic tried to present over 10,000 files, which include[d] reported rape of Serbian women, to The Hague, the War Crimes Tribunal and Judge Goldstone would not receive them. Also completely ignored were cases of male homosexual rape against Serbian men. Serbian men had broom handles and the fists of their perpetrators shoved into their anus[es] which did enormous damage to internal organs. Thousands of Serbian men have been so brutally circumcised (an anathema to the Serbian religion), that they will be sexually dysfunctional for the remainder of their lives. These sexual crimes have been substantiated and documented by Dr. Toholj, Professor of Gynecology at Belgrade Unversity…
I’ll close by mentioning some overlooked details about one of the previously mentioned Judeo/Serbo-phobes, James Baker — not coincidentally “the smartest guy I know,” according to the even more intensely Serb-loathing John McCain during the 2008 presidential campaign.
To recap Baker’s Jewish problem, one emailer summed it up thus:
[John] McLame…has chosen as his Middle East negotiator that real friend of Israel and protector of its security (pardon my sarcasm), James “Fuck the Jews” Baker. The same Jim Baker who used to fly into Israel with a scowl on his face - in contrast to the beaming smiles he always gave his Syrian and Saudi buddies. The same Jim Baker who promoted to the Palestinians the leadership of Arafat, until the monster blatantly committed a terrorist act; the same Jim Baker who whitewashed Syria’s blatant role of the air massacre of Americans over Lockerbie, Scotland — an act which America never responded to, that surely sparked the interest of one Osama Bin Laden. Baker — and Bush I…also gave Syria the green light to massacre the Christian resistance in Lebanon. And Baker, who after Israel — led by the feckless Shamir — obeyed his plea for restraint and took 39 SCUD strikes in that first Gulf War, promptly “rewarded” Israel by screwing her with pressure and denial of Loan Guarantees afterwards.
OK, well we know Baker’s Jewish problem. But people are less familiar with his Serb problem, which I only touched on in the past. According to a July 1992 issue of the now defunct British magazine Living Marxism, “American secretary of state James Baker has denounced the Serbs in Bosnia as ‘completely outside the bounds of civilised bahaviour,’” and in May 1992 he “called upon ‘the civilised world’ to impose political and economic sanctions against Serbia. And if those sanctions eventually failed to have the desired effect, ‘it would be my view to take a look at questions involving military matters.’”
All that was nicer than the things said about the Serbs by other U.S. policymakers, what with the sitting vice president having advised that all Serbs be put into “Nazi-style concentration camps” — as if they hadn’t been, practically, in WWII. And of course U.S. ambassador Richard Holbrooke has called them “murderous assholes,” and that’s just what comes to mind off-hand. A letter in the Washington Times from November 30, 1998 by Stella Jatras — wife of the above-referenced colonel — offered more on Baker in this regard:
“Count James Baker in when you tally Bosnia’s friends”
In response to the article by James Morrison (”A night for Bosnia,” Nov. 23), I would like to make the following comments.
Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic thanked “Bosnia’s strongest supporters in the early 1990s.” However, one very prominent name that was missing and who should have gotten top billing in creating the nation of “Bosnia,” (where one had never previously existed) was former Secretary of State James Baker.
In his book, “The Politics of Diplomacy: Revolution, War and Peace, 1989-1992,” Mr. Baker significantly wrote, “After the meeting, I had Larry Eagleburger take Silajdzic to see the EC troika political directors (who happened to be visiting the Department) and asked [Undersecretary] Margaret Tutwiler to talk to the [former] foreign minister about the importance of using Western mass media to build support in Europe and North America for the Bosnian cause. I also had her talk to her contacts at the four television networks, The Washington Post, and the New York Times to try to get more attention focused on the story.”
In other words, President George Bush, Mr. Baker, Mr. Eagleburger, et al, never intended to be impartial in the Bosnian civil war and were willing, if necessary, to present a distorted, anti-Serbian bias to the American people and a favorable image of the Bosnian Muslims regardless of their shadowy part in the war. This, then, was to be our foreign policy. […]
In his “Thoughts on United States Policy towards Yugoslavia” in the The South Slav Journal of the Autumn-Winter 1995 issue, former NY Times reporter David Binder wrote the following:
…The international impulse came from the early recognition of the secessions of Slovenia and Croatia demanded by Germany and forced upon Germany’s European Community partners by Bonn’s blackmail. All at once Washington, which had sensibly opposed this recognition initiative, found itself out of step with its key European allies on a sensitive issue. This was perceived as a dangerous dysfunction in America’s key Atlantic relationships. With the Bosnian cauldron already bubbling, the Yugoslav conflict suddenly became a priority for Secretary of State Baker.
Few have noted that in 1992, Baker literally created the supposedly independent and supposedly sovereign Bosnia and Hercegovina with its Muslim president, Alija Izetbegovic, thereby provoking Europe’s first protracted war since 1945. He did so with the blessing of President Bush and with considerable input from Larry Eagleburger and Warren Zimmermann - past and contemporary ambassadors to Belgrade. Their design was both complex and devious, but they were so convinced of its efficacy that they supported Izetbegovic in his rejection of the European Community’s Lisbon plan for dividing Bosnia and Hercegovina in a federative scheme.
To get back in step with Germany and the other European powers, the United States would simultaneously recognize Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia and Hercegovina. Macedonia was also to be in this package, but with elections looming, President Bush bowed to the powerful Greek lobby’s objections and deferred that. Not wishing to step out in front on any Yugoslav issue, the Bush Administration strong-armed the Europeans to make the first move, according recognition to the Sarajevo government on 6 April, while the United States followed 24 hours later with simultaneous recognition of the governments of Sarajevo, Ljubljana [Slovenia] and Zagreb [Croatia]. At the time, Eagleburger and Zimmermann argued that international recognition of the Izetbegovic regime, along with United Nations membership, would automatically shield it from Serb predations. Both subsequently acknowledged that they had been disastrously mistaken. But, of course, it was too late.
The Bush Administration had been on record since 1991 as hostile to the Serbs in general and Slobodan Milosevic in particular. That, too, was principally the work of Zimmermann and Eagleburger. Their bias was also evident in the fact that they did nothing to embrace or support any of Milosevic’s Serbian opponents.
It seems like when he’s talking to a Muslim audience, he has high praise for Muslims and Islam – just like Bill Clinton does. And when he’s not talking to Muslim audiences he has praise for the “original” religion — “the real thing” — Judaism. (Whose state Clinton said he would personally “fight and die for.”) Meanwhile, the Buddhist leader sought to “reach out” to Muslims and “improve Islam’s image” well before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the same intention as official administration policy. Here is the latest on the monk and the Muslims:
‘Dr Dalai Lama’ defends Islam
By: Vatsala Shrangi, Nov. 24
The Tibetan spiritual guru was conferred an honorary doctorate at Jamia.
Addressing the students and faculty members of Jamia Millia Islamia at the occasion of its Annual Convocation on Tuesday, His Holiness The Dalai Lama stood up in defence of Islam, terming it as one of the most important religions on the planet.
The University apart from handing over degrees and gold medals to the students, conferred the degree of Doctor of Letters to His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama.
“I would try my luck with broken English only. Please excuse me if I mistakenly use some wrong words. I hope to convey my message even if it has to be wrong English,” said The Dalai Lama.
Islam is the religion of the heart and needs to be protected. We should not generalise Islam as something fearful just due to a handful of miscreants. Jehad is not a medium of attack. There is a need to break this false notion as Jehad actually means to conquer the evil within individuals…” he said.
This of course was not the only time the aging spiritual leader suffered a brain fart about Islam. Another time, in 2006, columnist Don Feder couldn’t contain himself and wrote the following:
Oh, Those Mischievous Muslims! — The Dalai Lama likens Islamic terrorists to ADD-riddled schoolkids
October 31, 2006 | Don Feder
I should seriously write a book called, The Idiots Guide To Not Thinking Seriously About Islam.
It’s hard to find a subject where mushy thinking is more in vogue – where political correctness conquers reality more thoroughly. People actually are afraid to think seriously on the subject, because the logical conclusions are too frightening for many to contemplate.
And so, there’s no place where comfortable clichés are more readily deployed.
Probably the most glaring illustration of inanity here were recent comments by his Holiness, the Dalai Lama.
On leaving a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, the leader of Tibetan Buddhists told reporters that we can’t hold all Muslims responsible for the misdeeds of a few.
The Lama: “Nowadays, I often express that due to a few mischievous Muslims’ acts we should not consider all Muslims as something bad. That is very unfair.”
Expanding on this dazzling analysis, the Dalai Lama continued: “A few mischievous people you can find from all religions – among Muslims and Christians and Jews and Buddhists. To generalize is not correct.”
O.K., now I know this will get me scratched from the invite list for Richard Gere’s New Year’s Eve party, but I just gotta ask: When was the last time a bald guy in a saffron robe threatened to kill someone he believed had insulted the Buddha?
While we’re at it, when was the last time a gang of Talmudic scholars tried to blow up anything? Did the Vatican put out a fatwah on “DaVinci Code” author Dan Brown? The last holy war committed in the name of Christianity was over 800 years ago. If Hindus behead hostages, I’ve somehow managed to miss it.
“A few mischievous Muslims” makes kidnapping, torture, beheadings, bomb plots, mass murder and death threats sound like schoolboy pranks. It’s September 11, 2001, and some high-spirited Muslim merrymakers just crashed two planes into the World Trade Center, slaughtering 3,000 innocents. What a lark!
To return to the Dalai Lama’s daft observation, while it is undoubtedly true that most Muslims don’t want to jihad us – there are enough who do. In a 2005 survey by The Daily Telegraph, one quarter of British Muslims said they had at least some sympathy with their coreligionists who murdered 52 random Brits in the July commuter bombings. One-quarter of a million is more than “a few.”
Should we “consider all Muslims as something bad”? Of course not. Should we consider Islam as something bad? That’s an entirely different question – one which politicians, Lamas and the mainstream media studiously avoid – when they’re not babbling about the “religion of peace.”
And if Islam itself is “something bad” – if a faith embraced by 1.3 billion people contains within it the seeds of the evil we see all around us (requiring only the right conditions to germinate) – what does that say for the future of a world where Islam is the fastest growing religion?
Some of us live on comfortable estates in India, writing books about inner-peace and harmony, while contemplating the sound of one hand clapping. Others of us live in the real world.
A few months earlier, in April 2006, we got this:
Dalai Lama urges reaching out to ‘compassionate faith’ of Islam
SAN FRANCISCO - The Dalai Lama urged religious leaders over the weekend to reach out to Muslims, saying Islam is a compassionate faith that has been unfairly maligned because of a few extremists.
“Nowadays to some people the Muslim tradition appears more militant,” the 70-year-old exiled monk said at a conference aimed at bringing Muslims and Buddhists together.
“I feel that’s totally wrong. Muslims, like any other traditions – same message, same practice. That is a practice of compassion,” he said.
Event organizers say the Dalai Lama interrupted his schedule to fly to San Francisco and meet Islamic scholars and leaders from other faiths to discuss reducing violence and extremism.
The Dalai Lama told the audience that many people see and hear news of suicide bombings in predominantly Muslim countries but don’t hear about how Muslims often work with the poor.
(Note: Even Bill Maher figured this one out years ago, saying something like, “No, it doesn’t work that way. You can’t blow people up one day and then build schools and hospitals for people the next day and think that this cancels out the other.” Further, one might add that by and large the poor that Muslims — like all other religions — work with are the Muslim poor, unlike other religions which don’t discriminate. The main point being that Muslims support Muslims, no one else. It’s like saying, “Yeah, they blow up non-Muslims, but look at how they take care of Muslims.”)
He said all human beings are prone to violence if they lose control of their emotions and not to judge an entire faith based on a few people. “A few mischievous people are always there,” he said.
The Dalai Lama also told conference attendees that religious traditions must work harder to live together in peace, citing religious violence in Northern Ireland, Pakistan and Iraq.
Hamza Yusuf, founder of the Zaytuna Institute, a Hayward-based center for Islamic study, said the…Dalai Lama’s participation in the event could warm Americans to Islam, since many Americans have mixed feelings about the faith but are receptive to Buddhism. […]
So this guy spelled it out that the Dalai Lama serves as a useful idiot.
Really, the Lama should try taking his own advice from his long-running Microsoft ad: Think Different.
Meanwhile, this was from another item about the same conference:
Dalai Lama seeks to improve Islam’s image
The Dalai Lama, a powerful icon for peace worldwide, will gather with influential American Muslim leaders in San Francisco today to help refashion Islam’s image in the United States.
Concerned that Muslims are unfairly demonized in American popular consciousness, the world-renowned Buddhist leader hopes to help show Islam in what he sees as its truest form, one of peace.
“The enemy is not out there,'’ said Tenzin Dhonden, the Dalai Lama’s emissary for peace. “The enemy is within you. … How we see religion is in our mind. But religion itself is the truth: peace and harmony.”
Now check out the name of this shit:
Speakers at today’s invitation-only event at the Mark Hopkins Hotel, “Gathering of Hearts Illuminating Compassion,” say violent images of Islam are sensationalized by a selective news media[…]
Indeed, less than a week after 9/11, His Holiness questioned the need for the war on terror, advocating dialogue with terrorists:
War on terror: Dalai Lama warns (May 21, 2002)
THE Dalai Lama has questioned whether the war on terrorism was the best response to the September 11 attacks by Osama bin Laden.
Less than a week after the terrorist jetliner bombings, Tibet’s spiritual and political leader suggested diplomats meet those responsible to discuss the frustrations that led to the attacks.
A month later, after addressing the European Parliament, the Nobel laureate again called for a non-violent approach.
But at a press conference in Melbourne today, the Dalai Lama admitted that talking to the al-Qaeda leader would probably achieve little.
He could not suggest a short-term solution to the terrorist threat, but he warned the war on terrorism could backfire.
“The difficulty with violence is (that) once you commit it, it’s unpredictable,” he said.
“At the beginning you may have certain intentions or certain aims but once you’ve committed violence then there’s always a danger (it will get) out of control.”
The Dalai Lama said war could create a cycle of violence and counter-violence that did little to solve the original problem.
He said World War II and the Korean War could be considered justified because one protected western democracy and the other protected South Korea’s prosperity and freedom.
“But then Vietnam War, originally, (had the) same aim, the same motivation, but it completely failed,” he said.
“(With) the Afghanistan scene, it seems as if the majority of local people seem to welcome the new situation, so you may have some justification.
“But then these are very temporary sort of measures.”
The Dalai Lama said the long-term solution to the terrorist threat was to concentrate on basic human values rather than force.
He said the historical practice of the stronger nations with the most weapons having the biggest say was out-of-date.
Instead, the world’s citizens had a shared responsibility to interact with and understand their neighbours.
“That’s the best way,” he said.
“That reduces their (the terrorists’) suspicions, their feeling of distance.”
The Dalai Lama said such a long-term solution would reduce “serious terrorist acts”, although completely eliminating terrorism was impossible. […]
Last year the Dalai Lama lapsed into lucidity for a moment, contradicting his earlier take on terrorism:
“Non-violence can’t tackle terror: Dalai” (Jan. 18, 2009)
NEW DELHI: The Dalai Lama, a lifelong champion of non-violence on Saturday candidly stated that terrorism cannot be tackled by applying the principle of ahimsa because the minds of terrorists are closed.
“It is difficult to deal with terrorism through non-violence,” the Tibetan spiritual leader said delivering the Madhavrao Scindia Memorial Lecture here.
He also termed terrorism as the worst kind of violence which is not carried by a few mad people but by those who are very brilliant and educated.
“They (terrorists) are very brilliant and educated…but a strong ill feeling is bred in them. Their minds are closed,” the Dalai Lama said. […].
But now, it seems, we’re back to square one. Alas, there are more than a few holes in His Holey-ness’s thinking. Maybe it’s time to retire from thinking.
If Americans had any interest in what the future of jurisprudence — and justice — looks like, they would tune in to the Hague’s International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, where Orwell’s world has been a reality for the past 17 years. The ICTY is the body that was set up to try cases whose supposed weightiness was compared to “Nuremberg II.” But so ignored by the public and media alike have the proceedings been, that no one even notices the perversion of jurisprudence and evisceration of justice that have been taking place there.
In a follow-up to the witness intimidation and other prosecutorial misconduct that the Hague itself has been compelled to investigate — that is, to give its best impression of investigating — we have a few updates, including a recent item from Andy Wilcoxson exposing perhaps one of the more blatant corruptions of the Hague.
Balkans: Prosecutors try to stop intimidation probe
The Hague, 21 Oct. (AKI) - The prosecutors of the United Nations war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on Wednesday appealed a court decision to launch an investigation into claims that they pressured, intimidated and tried to bribe witnesses.
Several prosecution witnesses in the trial of Serbian nationalist leader Vojislav Seselj, accused of crimes against Muslims and Croats during the 1991-1995 war that followed the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia, told the court they were pressured, intimidated and even offered bribes.
The presiding judge in Seselj’s trial, Jean Claude Antonetti has ordered the tribunal Secretariat to name “amicus curiae”, whose identity will remain confidential, to investigate the claims.
In their appeal, the prosecutors said on Wednesday that the court paid unnecessary attention to “false and unbelievable accusations of people, many of who are closely connected to the political party of the indictee”.
Seselj, the leader of the nationalist Serbian Radical Party (SRS), has been charged with crimes allegedly committed by paramilitaries recruited by SRS, but he himself never carried arms.
Seselj voluntarily surrendered to the tribunal in February 2003 and denied the charges. He claims he was tried for “verbal offence” because the prosecutors had no other arguments in the case.
The prosecutors asked the appeals panel to annul the decision to carry out an investigation, saying witnesses’ claims were “unbelievable and contradictory”.
So here’s just a sampling of the kinds of shenanigans the prosecutors would like dismissed — and no wonder. It of course applies to a different trial — the shocking experiences of a witness in the Karadzic case — and that’s what underscores just how pervasive the Hague’s crimes are:
Karadzic Trial Witness Alleges Extreme Prosecutorial Misconduct (Oct. 18)
Written by: Andy Wilcoxson
Hearing Date: June 30, 2010
On June 30th…the testimony of former Bosnian-Serb justice minister Momcilo Mandic began…Mandic began by telling the court that he would rather testify as a witness for the Chamber, than a witness for the Prosecution.
Mandic explained that the Prosecutor “threatened me, the associates of Mr. Tieger, they told me that if I didn’t come in to testify, I would be incarcerated.”
Mandic was also persecuted by the NATO puppet regime in Belgrade. He said, “In 2003 I was suspected of aiding and abetting and hiding Dr. Karadzic. I spent five months because of that in a solitary confinement cell in Belgrade, and none of my family members could visit me. And The Hague investigators came to see me. The Prosecutor’s investigator, that is, were allowed to come and see me.”
He said, “I was told that if I failed to co-operate and failed to tell them where Dr. Karadzic was, that I would be an accused before this Court and that I would be accused and found guilty by a Serbian Court.”
Mandic told the Tribunal that “My two sons were held in custody. And John Ruttel, one of the [OTP-Office of the Prosecutor] investigators, said to my son that he would be released if I were to come to Sarajevo.”
After the Serbian police released him, Mandic said, “I was kidnapped, as a citizen of Montenegro, and transferred in the space of two hours to a prison in Sarajevo, without any extradition proceedings or anything else. And in the prison there and in the Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the evening hours I was taken out and was interrogated by the operatives and investigators of The Hague Tribunal, or, rather, the OTP. He said, “they asked me, once again, about Dr. Karadzic.”
Mandic said, “I wasn’t able to assist the OTP by telling them anything, because from 1996 I have had nothing to do with Dr. Karadzic. I wasn’t in contact with him at all. I tried to present my arguments and to explain this to them, but they just didn’t want to listen.”
He told the court that “The [Hague] investigators told me that I would be taken to court in Bosnia-Herzegovina and that the prosecutor of the BH Court would raise an indictment against me, and that I would be sentenced to a prison term of eight years. When I said that they had no grounds for filing a lawsuit against me, they said that they would find grounds and that that wasn’t important.”
Sure enough, Mandic told the Tribunal that “everything those operatives told me would happen did happen. I was prosecuted because of the commercial bank in Srpsko Sarajevo, which is owned by me, that I provided credits and loans to firms and companies which assisted Dr. Karadzic. And I was found guilty and given a prison term of eight years. I served five years.”
He was ultimately released from prison when Karadzic was captured and it was obvious that Mandic hadn’t been harboring him. Mandic said, “It was established that I was found guilty of a crime that didn’t exist and that it was all bureaucracy and false testimony on the part of false witnesses. And as an American citizen who had immunity, this person [who perjured herself with her testimony against Mandic] went to Dallas, Texas, and she even took some money from my bank. [The woman in question is named Toby Robinson, who in 2006 was appointed by the UN High Representative in Bosnia to liquidate Mandic’s bank. Interestingly, notes Wilcoxson, she got the job after her predecessor was beaten up and resigned.]
“I was helpless, faced with a situation of that kind. And Dr. Karadzic has been in a Scheveningen prison for two or three years. I had no contact with him whatsoever, but I remain somebody who was prosecuted and found guilty and held in prison for seven or eight years, and my family suffered. And now, as such, I am supposed to come here and be here as a Prosecution witness, whereas the Prosecution thought that I was harboring him and assisting him. I think that that is not commensurate with man’s dignity, and I would like to request that the Trial Chamber allow me to be a Court witness.”
The most damning thing for the Karadzic trial is the fact that after the witness had said these things; the Presiding judge absolutely did not care.
Judge Kwon reacted to Mandic’s statement saying, “Mr. Mandic, you raised several issues, but I will address only those which relate to the Tribunal’s business; i.e., your testimony.” And then he asked the defense and the prosecution “what position they take in relation to allow the witness to give evidence as a Chamber witness.”
Judge Kwon did not care in the least that the witness had been blackmailed and falsely imprisoned because of the Prosecutor, or that his family was subjected [to] false arrest and persecution. All the judge cared about was whether the witness should testify as a Chamber witness or a Prosecution witness – ultimately Mandic was allowed to testify as a Chamber witness, but who cares?
When prosecutorial misconduct of this magnitude is alleged, it at least deserves an investigation. The trial should stop, it should be ascertained what happened to the witness, what role the Office of the Prosecutor played, and whether any other witnesses are being subjected to the same kind of mistreatment.
The fact that the presiding judge deliberately ignored these allegations calls the fairness of the entire trial into question. If the prosecutor is resorting to blackmail and false imprisonment in order to get what he wants, then the entire trial process can’t be trusted and the verdict is without any legitimacy.
The Prosecutor’s behavior is scandalous, and the Presiding Judge’s decision to turn a blind eye to it proves beyond any shadow of doubt that the judicial process has been corrupted and the trial is rigged.
…A complete transcript of this hearing is available at: http://ictytranscripts.dyndns.org/trials/karadzic/100630ED.htm and http://www.icty.org/x/cases/karadzic/trans/en/100630ED.htm
As Wilcoxson subsequently pointed out:
The prosecutors kidnapped him, falsely imprisoned him, and threatened his family — but the judges in the trial DO NOT CARE. The people putting Karadzic on trial are thugs and criminals. If Karadzic were the one sending people out to kidnap and threaten witnesses and their families you can bet it would be front-page news — but since the Prosecutor did it the media and the judges ignore it like it doesn’t matter – at a minimum it affects the credibility of the prosecution’s case and the fairness of the trial.
In a relevant article by Benjamin Schett in September for the Canada-based Global Research site, we go back to the Seselj trial — the one in which the Court has taken the uncharacteristic step of ordering an investigation into the pervasive prosecutorial misconduct — but again, only in the Seselj case.
The Criminalization of Justice at The Hague (Sept. 7)
…The fact that the ad hoc tribunal of The Hague deems it necessary to take this case into consideration in one way or another is in itself remarkable. After all, the tribunal’s manner of conduct cannot be called impartial: the methods The Hague employs to reach their desired convictions range from the denial of the right to self defence, to silencing the microphone when the accused speaks out on facts that are embarrassing to the prosecution or, as already mentioned, the intimidation of witnesses. Such occurrences happened often enough during the Milosevic trial, as when the former head of the Serbian secret service, Radomir Markovic, testified as a witness of the prosecution that he had been pressured in Belgrade to wrongly accuse Milosevic of having ordered war crimes. For this he was offered a new identity abroad, but after these revelations, Markovic was sent back to Serbia where he is still serving a prison sentence.
Another way to make the witnesses tell the most fantastic stories are the so-called “plead guilty” lawsuits: someone who is accused of having committed war crimes himself and who has testified already can be convicted in a summary procedure without the prosecution having to investigate and to prove the confession. The only important thing is that the right persons are being charged. The most well known example is the case of the Bosnian Croat Drazen Erdemovic, who pleaded guilty in 1996 to having served in the army of the Bosnian Serbs and having participated at the so-called “Srebrenica massacre” in July 1995.
In 2000 Erdemovic was set free and was offered a new identity. Since then he has served the prosecution as a protected witness in several trials. Even the charge of having committed “genocide” in Srebrenica against the former Bosnian Serbian president Radovan Karadzic and his army chief General Ratko Mladic is based on Mr. Erdemovic’s confessions. The German-speaking journalist Germinal Civikov has written a book that deals with all the contradictory statements Erdemovic has given, and all the obvious lies he is telling.
The German-language online magazine “Schattenblick” has published an article on the tribunal’s dealings with the Bosnian Serb officer Momir Nikolic, who was pressured to incriminate himself and others with regard to alleged crimes that are supposed to have taken place in Srebrenica. In exchange for this the prosecution offered to take back the charge of “genocide” against the officer and “only” blame him for having committed “crimes against humanity”. But they did not succeed:
“Nikolic, who was sentenced to 27 years, said in another case against one of his officer colleagues that he had been lying throughout. His lies were exposed by the American attorney Micheal Karnavas. He testified not to have ordered the alleged mass execution he had been blamed for and that he was not even at the place where the crime is supposed to have taken place. The attorney of the other accused officer demonstrated how Nikolic had confirmed that he had to “give something” to the prosecuting counsel, something he “did not have” for reducing his prison punishment to 20 years. Thus the model-witness for the “Srebrenica massacre” was “burned” judicially as well as politically.”
Seselj had already mentioned the use of “false witnesses” in his testimony at the Milosevic trial in September 2005. Momir Nikolic also plays a role in his testimony, in the context of the trial against another officer, Miroslav Deronjic:
“I was an eyewitness in the prison of The Hague Tribunal as to how Miroslav Deronjic was broken down by The Hague Tribunal, how they blackmailed him and the process of breaking him down. I was on good terms with him to begin with. He told me how he was arrested, how he was beaten, how they put him in a barrel of water and so on and so forth…it took months to break him down. And they didn’t succeed in breaking him down until Momir Nikolic, in his testimony before the Prosecution, said that Deronjic was present at a conversation where an execution was agreed. Well, then Deronjic broke down completely and agreed to testify on any subject whatsoever and against anybody whatsoever. He agreed to falsely testify against Karadzic.”
Another important key witness of the prosecution who probably had been pressured was the former President of the Krajina Serbs, Milan Babic. He testified against Milosevic, blaming him of being responsible for war crimes. Seselj doubted his credibility as a witness:
“For example, Milan Babic, during his testimony mentioned my name on several occasions in a completely false context. And I’m conscious of it being a false context.”
Babic will not be able to be questioned any more: he died in his cell in The Hague in March 2006, officially because of suicide, one week prior to Milosevic’s death under suspicious circumstances.
This and other examples are the subject of a new book written by a Swiss researcher with Serbian roots, Alexander Dorin , who…is researching facts, legends and the methods of justice in The Hague concerning the happenings in Srebrenica. But Ms Del Ponte is also facing dissatisfaction from unexpected circles, the ones she is claiming to fight for: the organisation “Mothers of Srebrenica”, founded by Bosnian Muslim women whose sons died in the war, blame Del Ponte for having destroyed their personal belongings that were supposed to help determine the causes of their sons’ deaths:
“Members of the Women of Srebrenica NGO are gathering signatures to file a lawsuit against former Hague prosecutor Carla Del Ponte. […]Our memories have been murdered as well and Carla Del Ponte must be held responsible,” the organization said. Current Chief Hague Prosecutor Serge Brammertz confirmed in May of last year that some 1,000 pieces of evidence recovered from mass graves in and around Srebrenica were destroyed. Brammertz said this was regular procedure, implemented as the evidence could not be archived.”
The justification of the destruction of “IDs, photographs and pieces of clothing” (B92) with the lack of sufficient storage space to archive them appears strange indeed, if one considers that we are talking about an incident that politicians and the mainstream media claim to be the “worst massacre in Europe since World War Two”. And in the ongoing trial against Radovan Karadzic, the politician[’s] planned conviction for his alleged responsibility for “genocide” is supposed [to] be justified with the Srebrenica case. The question should be allowed (without any intention to downplay the suffering of the Mothers of Srebrenica) if the destroyed documents maybe did not fully sustain the official version of the happenings in Srebrenica. After all, there was extensive fighting in the region, especially when soldiers of the Bosnian Muslim army were trying to break through the Serbian lines and reach the Muslim-controlled town of Tuzla. Dorin speaks of 2000 soldiers who died during the fighting and are now being counted as “massacre victims”. Or, if soldiers were actually murdered, this alone is not conclusive evidence for a crime that was ordered from above, as the prosecutors of the tribunal pretend to know.
David Owen, the British politician who was the former negotiator from the European community for Yugoslavia, testified in at the Milosevic trial and spoke of a phone call he received in April 1993 from the former Serbian president, who was then already worried about the situation in the region:
“I rarely heard Milosevic so exasperated and also so worried. He feared that if the Bosnian Serb troops entered Srebrenica, there would be a bloodbath because of the tremendous bad blood that existed between the two armies.”
Many other writers are nowadays contributing to the debunking of the official version of what happened in Srebrenica…The media’s prejudgment of Serbia, with the use of the term “genocide” when referring to Srebrenica as its climax, has enabled the tribunal to act in ways that serve neither the finding of truth nor the reconciliation between the Yugoslav peoples. The construction of “evidence” with the use of dishonest methods is intended only to justify in retrospect the western politics towards the Serbs as an “inevitable reaction” to their “savage and ruthless” behaviour.
So The Hague is using a strategy of creating “evidence” that [works backwards from a pre-determined conclusion and] puts the blame solely on the Serbian policymakers who were in power during the war, holding them personally responsible for the planning and execution of all the atrocities that took place in the civil war. A conflict that actually was fuelled from the outside is being presented to the western public as a “joint criminal enterprise” for the creation of an ethnically cleansed “Greater Serbia”.
It can be assumed that the tribunal will find a way to whitewash itself from the accusations. But the fact that the prosecutors will for the first time be forced to explain some of their strange conduct before a broader public restores an inkling of hope that the mainstream version of what happened with Yugoslavia will not be the one that people will learn in the future.
In a paper by Stefan Karganovich, president of Dutch NGO “Srebrenica Historical Project,” Karganovich deconstructs the way the ICTY put together the “evidence” to fulfill a charge of “genocide” at Srebrenica. While the paper is not all that long (four pages), it’s too detailed to go into here; however, Karganovich’s introduction summary underscores the overall implications of allowing the Hague to get away with what it’s gotten away with so far:
How the Hague Tribunal fabricates its evidence
There are at least three important reasons why Srebrenica must be made the subject of relentless critical deconstruction until we are fully satisfied that we have arrived at the truth.
1. Legal. The integrity of the international legal system will be seriously compromised if the results reached by political instruments such as ICTY are allowed to stand unchallenged. Acquiescence in its shoddy practices will lower standards generally and it will set a dangerous precedent, emitting the message that international legal institutions are a farce and that they may be instrumentalized with impunity by whoever happens at the moment to exert hegemonistic influence in the world. If the institution former President Milošević, in his idiosyncratic but in this case unintentionally perfect English, called “the false tribunal” is allowed the benefit of its pretenses, the future of international jurisprudence will not be brilliant. Properly constituted international legal organs, which do operate with due regard for the established principles of international jurisprudence, will be tainted by association.
2. Historical. When corrupt politics and journalism are reinforced by corrupt jurisprudence, the result — for a period of time at least — is a phony historical record. That phony historical record then serves as the backdrop for phony analyses and tedious moralizing about the policy errors that made a horror like Srebrenica possible. There is, of course, not an iota of honesty or sincere self-criticism in that theatrical nonsense. The real purpose of the hypocritical self-flagellation is to create a quasi-moralistic rationale for pre-emptive and proactive strikes anywhere on earth. This phony rationale allows aggressors to claim that these acts, which are in complete disregard of the norms of international law, are in fact justified because they were undertaken out of a deep commitment to the humanitarian imperative that another “Srebrenica” should never be allowed to occur again…More locally, however, it has another use, as an instrument of political blackmail and moral pressure on a small and brave nation whose refusal to be cooperative upset the timetable of present-day hegemons, just as the reckless defiance of their parents 70 years ago seriously interfered with the plans of the would-be hegemon of that epoch. Srebrenica is the principal moral and political instrument now used to control Serbia’s spineless political elite and to beat the Serbian people systematically into submission. The creation and imposition of a phony historical record of the relevant events is sine qua non for the success of that project.
That is the reason why the high priests of the Srebrenica cult keep such a sharp eye out [for] the slightest stirring of critical thinking, anywhere, about their false construction. They react invariably with the threat that “any attempt at revision of historical facts” concerning Srebrenica is strictly forbidden. One of the mechanisms they use to shore up their dogma is the fabrication of “facts” to suit their propaganda needs. [Karganovich illustrates this in his analysis, available upon request.]
3. Moral. But of all the cynical abuses of Srebrenica, by far the most outrageous is the moral. It has been used to tar an entire nation with the most repugnant crime that can be committed. A mighty machinery of propaganda, politics, and jurisprudence has been activated for the sole purpose of creating a shameless bluff and then validating it through the interacting political and quasi-legal institutions of a ruthless and predatory world order. The presumed beneficiaries of this moral charade, Bosnian Moslems, are in fact nothing of the sort. Just as the residents of the enclave of Srebrenica were abandoned and betrayed in 1995 by their leadership in Sarajevo in a callous endgame transaction, so Bosnian Moslems as a group were manipulated on the global chessboard by their solicitous Western “protectors” most of them without having a clue about it. The result was incitement to mutual carnage across Bosnia, with particular ferocity in the area of Srebrenica, deeply poisoning relations between neighbors and setting the stage for long term regional instability which, conveniently, can now be managed only through the intervention of foreign arbitrators. Srebrenica is a multipurpose fabrication.
(EXPLANATION: “Deeply poisoning relations between neighbors” is a reference to the fact that the three warring parties — Muslim, Serb and Croat — had signed the Lisbon peace agreement in1992, but that it was U.S. mediators who told the Bosnian president that we’d have his back if he wanted more than he was getting and would remove his signature, which he did. If the bit about turning neighbors against each other sounds like a sugarcoating of what Bosnia was before we came along, it’s not. Yes, hostile feelings were always brimming among the ethnicities, but they kept a lid on it and in terms of the day-to-day interactions among people, a neighbor’s ethnicity was not at the forefront of people’s minds: their children played and studied together, there was intermarriage, and today in and around Srebrenica — even after all that’s happened — on Ramadan the Muslims bring their food over to Serbian neighbors’ houses and vice versa on Orthodox Christmas. That’s how it’s always been, and we just couldn’t let it stand.)
In sum, the pernicious myth manufactured by the creators of Srebrenica has generated dangerous precedents of phony jurisprudence, phony history, and a phony international “morality.”
Jurists know that a court’s primary task is to determine the facts in a particular case. Reliably established facts are the point of departure for further legal analysis. Without a reliable factual matrix, the further conclusions a court may have reached are inherently problematic and disputable…
In contrast to regular and non-political tribunals in national jurisdictions, the Hague Tribunal (ICTY) does not confine itself to the simple determination of facts, carried out in the conventional and generally accepted way…[O]ften it simply manufactures “facts” to serve its needs. In this manner it plugs holes in its indictments and judgments (and often these holes are numerous and gaping) and it produces an apparent basis for conclusions that were drawn in advance.
One Hague observer in a 2008 Dutch documentary titled “The Milosevic Case: [Glimpses] at a Trial,” explains the confounding process of navigating the ICTY’s methods and machinations:
We are faced with so many lies at the Hague — important lies, and completely unnecessary lies. When you open some statement about 20 pages, for example, and when you find lies in every single sentence, then you have a very difficult job. Because you have to fight with so small a lies [sic]. But only one of those lies is very important, only one. You have to find that one which is very important.
A year ago we got an early foreshadowing, thanks again to Andy Wilcoxson, that “international justice” at the Hague was going to continue as it has been (naturally to roaring applause by media and public alike):
Railroading Radovan Karadzic
If the Tribunal imposes a lawyer on Radovan Karadzic against his will [and it did], it will be because they don’t want him to present a defense that would rebut the accusations against him and the Serbian people. It will be because they’ve already written the verdict convicting him and they don’t want him screwing it up by presenting evidence to the contrary or exposing the fallacy of their reasoning. They want a defense lawyer who will play along while they railroad the defendant — welcome to “international justice” in the new world order.
Yet another Albanian journalist in ‘free’ Kosovo discovers what life under Albanians is all about:
Kosovo news agency abandons reporter to her fate
Nov 22nd, 2010 | By Bikya Masr Staff
LONDON: Condemnation was strong against the crackdown on a Kosovo journalist after she raised sensitive issues in her reporting on two members of the ruling government.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemned the threats and treatment that Sebahate Shala of the KosovaPress agency has received since raising a sensitive issue about two members of the ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) at a news conference that Andy Sparkes, the deputy head of the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), gave on November 12.
Shala asked Sparkes if it was normal that two PDK members who are being investigated by EULEX on suspicion of corruption and murder should be running in next December’s parliamentary elections, clearly contravening European democratic standards. Sparkes acknowledged that it was not “good for Kosovo’s image.”
“Ever since my intervention at the news conference and the publication of my article, I have been getting a lot of very humiliating, threatening and offensive SMS messages from PDK supporters,” Shala said in her written statement, which Reporters Without Borders received.
“I am being very clearly warned about what I may write.”
The article that Shala wrote after the news conference was quickly posted on the KosovaPress website but was suddenly removed a few hours later. Shala said the news agency’s management valuated her questions at the news conference were “unprofessional,” “stupid” and “had nothing to do with the election campaign.” She added there was no alternative for her but to leave such a working environment.
“The KosovaPress management’s reaction is incomprehensible and unworthy of a profession in which solidarity should be the rule,” RSF said in a press statement.
“Shala’s questions were both justified and very clearly a matter of public interest. Her treatment by the agency was totally unwarranted and clearly motivated by non-journalistic considerations. We urge the KosovaPress management to immediately return her in the agency and to support its journalists when they are threatened in this way.”
This case raises serious concerns about the freedom that state and privately-owned media journalists will be allowed in their coverage of the campaign for the December elections. The PDK leadership and Prime Minister Hashim Thaci’s acting government must publicly express their support for Shala and disown the threats. An investigation must also be opened with the aim of identifying those responsible for the SMS messages and ensuring they are severely punished.
Reporters Without Borders urges all of the many international bodies that have a presence in Pristina to express their support for Shala and to convey their concern to the Kosovar authorities. European Union special envoy Pieter Cornelis Feith cannot allow journalists to be threatened and sanctioned for covering EULEX’s activities in a professional manner and for doing investigative reporting that is extremely necessary in the newly declared country.
“We fully support Shala, who has been very strangely punished for professional conduct that constitutes the very basis of journalism and needs, more than ever, to be welcomed in Kosovo,” Reporters Without Borders added. “We urge the Kosovar media to show their support for her by raising the issues she highlighted as often as possible with the Kosovar and international authorities.”
Related, from a September press release by South East Europe Media Organisation: New Bomb Attack on Home of Radio Journalist in Kosovo
Vienna, 30 September 2010 - The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South East and Central Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI) strongly condemns the second bomb attack at the house of Caslav Milisavljevic, editor-in-chief of Radio Kosovska Mitrovica, in the Kosovo municipality of Zvecan.
According to information received by SEEMO, during the early morning hours of 27 September 2010, an explosive device was thrown in the courtyard of Milisavljevic’s house. During this attack, the car of Milisavljevic’s son, which was parked in front of the house, was completely burned. Fortunately, family members in the house at the time remained unhurt. The attack has been reported to the police but the alleged perpetrators remain at large.
This is not the first time Milisavljevic’s house has come under attack. In the early morning of 20 July 2010 his house was attacked, causing damage to three cars which were parked in the street. The alleged perpetrators of this attack are still unknown.
“SEEMO strongly condemns the bomb attack on Milisavljevic and is very alarmed that within a short time frame such an attack occurred again. SEEMO urges the local authorities to do everything in their power to step up their investigation into the two bomb attacks, to provide police protection to Milisavljevic and his family, and to prevent such incidents from happening in the future”, SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic said.
Recall this blog and see the same thing happening in the West Bank:
Israel: UNESCO West Bank decision ‘absurd’
By IAN DEITCH, AP, October 29, 2010; 12:10
JERUSALEM — A decision by the U.N. body in charge of preserving historical sites to define West Bank shrines sacred to both Jews and Muslims as Palestinian is “absurd,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday.
One of the sites, in the city of Hebron, has been a flashpoint for decades. Jews call it the Cave of the Patriarchs, where the Bible says the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were buried along with three of their wives.
Muslims call it the al-Ibrahimi mosque, reflecting the fact that Abraham is considered the father of both Judaism and Islam.
Netanyahu issued a statement condemning the UNESCO decision which was made last week. “The attempt to detach the people of Israel from its heritage is absurd,” the statement said. “If the places where the fathers and mothers of the Jewish nation are buried, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Leah and Rachel some 4,000 years ago are not part of the Jewish heritage then what is?”
Hebron is a West Bank flashpoint because it is the only place where Jews live among Palestinians. About 500 Israeli settlers, some of them extremists, live in enclaves near the disputed holy site, guarded by Israeli soldiers who control part of the city of about 170,000 Palestinians.
Earlier this year Israel registered the Hebron shrine as well as a tomb near Jerusalem, believed to be the burial site of the Matriarch Rachel, as national heritage sites.
Both shrines are located in the West Bank, territory the Palestinians want as part of their future state. Palestinians view the additions of the shrines to Israel’s heritage list as a land grab.
“It is regrettable that the organization established to promote historical heritage sites worldwide is trying for political reasons to detach the ties between the Jewish people and their heritage,” Netanyahu’s statement said.
“The state of Israel in contrast to its neighbors will continue to preserve freedom of religion at these sites and preserve them for future generations,” he said.
Here I must point out one way that, for now, Islam serves the interests of the New World Order and one-worldism that the elites are trying to establish. As I’ve written before, Muslims come in to an area and make the indigenous population forget it was ever there; they strip places of their histories and declare them and everything created there, theirs. It’s a mass identity theft, and this is precisely what the one-worlders seek to achieve, since it will mean fewer objections to their designs. This is why you always see the internationals in cohoots with Muslims when it comes to stripping, for example, Israel or Serbia of its history. Further, the New World Order is about creating maleable, controllable populations, and we’re already becoming more docile thanks to Muslims — changing the way we talk and even think and ceding our free-speech voluntarily and preemptively so as not to have the ‘bigot’ finger pointed at us. So in addition to helping the NWO with taking away your history and identity, Islam is useful for the one-worlders by making you not want to speak out; anything that can make the populace feel cowed and subdued means less resistance to other machinations that are in store.
We see a similar phenomenon playing out in the fight over the Serbian Orthodox Church. In his defense of the illegitimately deposed bishop of Serbia, who was too stubborn about Kosovo for the powers seeking to give it away, Jim Jatras wrote an open later reading in part:
…[T]he uncanonical and invalid attempt to discredit and remove Vladika Artemije – which any simpleton can see has, literally, nothing to do with allegations of supposed misconduct and everything to do with trying to eliminate a pillar of the Orthodox Church and the Serbian nation – continues unabated and indeed is intensifying…[T]his attempt is politically motivated and includes collaborators both inside and outside the Church…[I]ts aim is further to demoralize the Serbian Orthodox Church as the last bastion of the national spirit uncorrupted by the ill wind blowing from Washington and Brussels and to remove the most important impediment to the West’s contemplated “final solution” to Kosovo and Metohija.
It’s worth noting, as Theodoros Karakostas — founder of the Byzantine Cultural Project — did in his March 2008 letter to the Amercan Embassy in Athens, that Serbian churches and monasteries which survived centuries of occupation by the Ottomans, occupation by the Nazis, and decades of Communist rule did not survive under occupation by NATO and the UN. And their demise took place at the hands of the two scourges working together as usual: Islam and the internationals.
All this could go some way to explain the relentless pushing of multi-culturalism by the forces of “democracy” that the West spreads. Multi-culturalism, which is beyond tolerance, helps national identity perish. Without borders or identities, one can more easily create a hodgepodge of rootless, decontextualized humanoids that are ripe for subjugation.
Given that everything described here is essentially the Soros vision for the world, consider the fact that he was brought up in a Jewish household where the official language was Esperanto.
The “max” in Newsmax, if pronounced backwards, is “scam.” So the above is pronounced “News-scam.” This time it’s because the cover story of the November issue — “The Truth about Islam in America” — is handled in a way that would make the mainstream media proud.
Because it’s almost indistinguishable. In addition to being an overall puff piece, there is a flattering timeline titled “Important Events in Muslim-American History” (printed in an Indiana Jones-type font), which goes through all the contributions by Muslims in America. When it gets to the contribution on September 11, 2001, instead of an active sentence such as “Muslim hijackers fly airplanes into the Pentagon and World Trade Center, killing 3,000 people,” we get: “The 9/11 terror attacks fuel a wave of anti-Muslim sentiment across America that continues today.”
So the victims in that sentence are Muslims. And the main point about that day is that it triggered anti-Muslim sentiment. Then we get to 2002 and it reads, “The FBI reports that hate crimes against Muslims have risen 1,600 percent since 2000.”
What that statistic doesn’t tell you is that the increase amounted to a total of 481 crimes in 2001, nationwide. Which is less than one-sixth of the number of people killed by Muslims in just one day, in just three locales. It also doesn’t tell you that by the following year the number was down to 155 — compared to 931 hate crimes against Jews, who in contrast did not kill 3,000 people.
One other odd thing about the timeline is that the issuance of the postage stamp honoring the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr was placed before the 9/11 event. Even though the decision to issue the stamp had been made well in advance of the holiday, the holiday itself actually came after the month of September, so the stamp would have only been available starting in November. I suppose that putting these two events in correct succession would have seemed just too blatantly perverse a reality. Meanwhile, missing was the related fact that the public only learned about the stamp when Muslims had the naglost* to complain that it was missing from a poster advertising holiday stamps, causing the post office to reissue the poster, with apologies. All two months after 9/11.
(*The Russian word “naglost” is like ‘gall,’ only stronger: it means taking a dump on someone’s front doorstep, then ringing the bell to ask for toilet paper.)
One additional touch the magazine had was a sidebar titled “Muslims in America: Middle class, Educated, Professional.” It was about how well integrated Muslims are in American society and how well they do, with a snapshot of Muslim Girl magazine in the middle.
I guess Newxam sees that the future is Islam, and is securing its place in the 7th Century so as not to get left behind in the 21st.
Former U.S. ambassador and unofficial CIA operative William Walker leading select reporters stomping through the supposed crime scene in the hoax that started a war.
This just in:
William Walker supports idea of greater Albania (Nov. 12)
William Walker, the former head of the Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), stated that he supports the idea of unification of Kosovo and Albania and creation of greater Albania.
In an interview for the Tirana-based TV station Top Channel, Walker stated that the citizens of Kosovo and Albania have good reasons to believe that they will have a common future.
Walker is currently on a visit to Kosovo-Metohija where he will offer support to the Self-determination movement of Albin Kurti, which promotes the idea of greater Albania, at the forthcoming elections.
The List for Natural Albania promoted the idea of unification of Kosovo, Albania and all ethnic Albanians who live in the neighboring countries at a recently held rally in Tirana.
Former U.S. diplomat Walker was awarded a high-rank decoration of Kosovo and honorary citizenship in Albania.
(Two corroborating reports appear here and here, with the former adding that the architect of “Natural Albania” — Koco Danaj –suggests that Macedonia be federalized and then parts grafted onto Greater Albania.)
But back to Walker. What we have here is a former U.S. ambassador, and head of the notorious 1999 Kosovo Verification Mission as well as architect of the staged atrocity in the village of Racak that was the spark used to bomb Serbia — finally saying publicly that not only does he support a Greater Albania, but that Albanians have reason to believe that they “share a common future.”
William Walker is an insider. He knows what the elite decision-makers are up to. This is all but an official confirmation that the U.S. does indeed plan to support the full Albanian agenda to continue redrawing Balkan borders.
It should certainly be interesting — including for the majority of the human race that still doesn’t know that Racak was a hoax — that the man who screamed “atrocity!” to the cameras and gave the anticipated green light for our bombing Yugoslavia (again)…is now openly admitting that he supports the wider Albanian designs that have been explicitly outlawed by the international community.
Another fact that should be interesting, including to the novices who do the Balkans reporting for mainstream news outlets, is that Walker is traveling to Kosovo to support a party called Self-Determination, which news reports for years have referred to as a “radical” and “fringe” group that is not representative of Kosovo Albanians in general — led by “extremist” Albin Kurti. (Self-Determination was the group responsible for overturning or otherwise damaging 28 EU Mission vehicles last year when the body signed a protocol on policing cooperation with Serbian authorities to combat cross-border crime. In Nov. 2006, Self-Determination stormed the UNMIK complex in Pristina, and when Kurti was arrested last June for the violent Feb. 2007 demonstrations against the UN, rioting ensued.)
So the dreaded and, for some reason, unexpected scourge of what Albanian “extremists” were up to in 2000-2001 — eliciting alarm and disapproval from any number of international officials and military generals — is now the approved reality, and no one’s supposed be shocked at all.
It’s little wonder that the KLA leaders with whom former Greek foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos met in 1999 were so calm, as described in the UK Telegraph in May, 2001:
[T]hey made it clear to him that they had claims on Greece as well as Macedonia. He told reporters later that he was “amazed with what great politeness and calm they told me” about their demands.
Now, we already knew that Walker, like other honorary KLA members (Engel, McCain, Dole, Clinton, Clark, Bush, Albright), has a street named for him in Kosovo. As dastardly as his actions have been up to this point to achieve such a lofty low, his open support of the Greater Albania that Albanians were told to put out of their heads by the West even as it bombed the Serbs on their behalf — is taking things a step further.
On the point of Walker’s friendship with the KLA, Nebojsa Malic informs me that Walker had joined with a KLA ‘honor guard’ escorting the bodies of the Bytyqi brothers back to New York. These were the three Albanian-American brothers who joined the KLA in 1999 as part of the 90-strong “Atlantic Brigade” — the U.S.-approved cadre of American Albanians who flew back to Kosovo to fight. (Walker wrote about escorting the bodies in a preface to a book glorifying the Atlantic Brigade.) Apparently,they were just supposed to kill some Serbs and come back safely, but the brothers were killed after “straying” — as the NY Daily News termed it — into southern Serbia, where coincidentally the KLA was starting its next war. In addition, “When NATO said disarm, these three brothers insisted on hiding [their weapons],” 20-year-old Brigade veteran Isa Kodra told The News in 1999.
K0dra was the much celebrated and interviewed teen fighter whose Serb-killing enthusiasm had impressed Bob Dole enough to take him out to dinner. In a 1999 Salon interview with Kodra and two other New York-based KLA mercenaries, we get this tidbit:
At the end of a two hour interview, the gentle-mannered Haxhi warms up and gets out a photo album of his regiment. Sitting on his bed, he shows off his comrades, pointing out a dapper-looking friend hanging out the back of a truck filled with grinning, uniformed KLA soldiers. He mentions that the friend is now in a NATO jail for killing three Serb civilians after the NATO occupation of Kosovo, as casually as if the offence were a jaywalking charge. Florin chimes in about the “dirty gypsies” who helped Serbians loot Albanian homes. “Serbs have bad blood,” Haxhi comments, which is why he’ll never let his own kids sit in a classroom with Serbian children. [ “Florin” is Florin Krasniqi, gunrunner and KLA fundraiser and recruiter, whose previous purpose at Haxhi’s home — and others’ — had been to make “collections” for the KLA.]
Overheard by an OSCE observer whom Nebojsa Malic later talked to, at the airport during the Bytyqi escort Walker was praising the KLA and their agenda. “So,” continues Malic, “not only did Walker help stage the ‘Racak massacre’ in 1999, he actually jumped into bed with the KLA shortly thereafter.”
Meanwhile, Malic offers some notes on the “marginal” (but not anymore!) figure of Koco Danaj and his “Natural Albania” project:
The whole “Ethnic Albania” movement is a hydra with many heads, but it does appear one public face of it is this Koco Danaj fellow. The cover of Danaj’s pamphlet has 2013 as the year Greater Albania becomes reality. I wrote about him back in 2006. Ironically, at the time, Albanians began writing angry letters calling me a liar [and claiming] Danaj was a marginal figure. Interestingly enough, they never actually disagreed with what he was advocating. And now it turns out Danaj isn’t marginal at all. But hey, as the ICG and such upstanding figures as Joe DioGuardi would surely [say,] this “Natural Albania” talk is all Tanjug and Serbonationalist aggressor propaganda, right?
Indeed, when the international community wasn’t telling the Albanians to put Greater Albania/Natural Albania/Ethnic Albania out of their heads, it was telling us that the whole Greater Albania “myth” was nothing more than a stale Serbian-propaganda concoction. So what we have is just another Serbian “myth” playing out before our eyes.
In August 2006 Danaj provoked a strong reaction from Serbian foreign minister Vuk Draskovic, when he told Kosovo newspaper Epoka e Re that Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro were “unnatural creations” in their current borders and “that all Albanians living in the region should unite to form a ‘natural Albania’ by 2013,” as the AKI news service reported.
When he made the comments, Danaj was prime minister Sali Berisha’s political adviser, and so Draskovic understood that this was a direct message being sent by Berisha, recalling that Albanian foreign minister Besnik Mustafaj had made a similar statement some months earlier.
Danaj’s platform of Natural Albania, which in addition to Kosovo also claims Macedonia and Montenegro, came up in an article a few months ago titled “Secret Spy Wars on Serbia,” which stressed that big moves were underway toward the creation of Natural Albania. It also identified several foreign intelligence agencies operating in Serbia, with the CIA, Germany’s BND and Austria’s HNA operating over the past decade in Kosovo in support of the Albanian secessionists. Perhaps the most shocking allegation by the Serbian investigative journalist writing the article, Marko Lopusina, was this:
In Montenegro, the Prime Minister was warned by these networks that Islamic extremists would be unleashed on that small little state if he refused to recognize Kosovo. [A] similar message was sent to Macedonia which itself is target for dismemberment by the Albanian separatists.
This isn’t the sort of thing that’s easily corroborated, but if it has been our M.O. to use Muslim terrorists against rival powers, there’s no reason to think we wouldn’t threaten recalcitrant states with more of the same. For that matter — and more to the overall point here — if the U.S. and German governments helped establish the KLA in the first place, and created the “Independent State of Kosova” by fiat, there is no reason to think the ‘great powers’ would stop short of creating a “Natural Albania,” especially if Albanians are considered faithful allies that can do no wrong even every time they do wrong. “Remember,” cautions Malic, “the modus operandi here is gradual escalation.”
And that’s exactly what we’re witnessing. Just as the Lopusina article advised, moves are underway toward the actualization of Greater Albania. The Kosovo grab — which “Serbian propaganda” warned us was part of a larger plan — was the relatively slow, most complicated and long-term leg of it, but now things should move faster, as this August 12, 2007 editorial in the newspaper Albania said they would post-independence:
…Only the ingenuousness — and the sincerity — of a cool-headed diplomat [Martti Ahtisaari] from a cold country working on cold diplomatic dossiers may jump to the conclusion that Kosova will not join Albania following the establishment of its status.
…There is no reason to doubt that, shortly after the establishment of “independent” status, or a status that does not rule out independence, a Greater Albania will be formed in the Balkans. Attentive analysts and specialists in Balkan affairs consider this a reality that will happen soon.
…Throughout their history, [the Albanian people] have learned how to ignore the phrases of the great powers a thousand times a day…That is how the Albanians read Ahtisaari’s phrase banning Kosova’s unification with Albania or Macedonia. They know that the West soon tires of the problems of their area….Deep down, the Albanians do not think that a long time will pass between the recognition of Kosova’s status and its joining Albania. Not only ordinary Albanians who spend much of their time talking nationalist politics, but also their senior politicians want that…Just take up the letters of greetings they sent to Ahtisaari on 3 February , and you will clearly see what senior Albanian politicians — both in the government and in the opposition — really think. They greet the Ahtisaari package “with rejoicing” and add that “this is a victory for the Albanians wherever they happen to be.” Do you not see the hidden idea rearing its head?!
The same year, a time when the international community was still emphasizing that there would be no shifting of borders — and Kosovo independence hadn’t even been declared — not only did the Albanian prime and foreign ministers tell the visiting Slovak president that Kosovo would be part of Albania, but Kosovo rulers were already planning a Greater Albania referendum:
Member of PDK Presidency, Nait Hasani said that after declaring independence, a referendum to join Albania is a distinct possibility because citizens of Kosovo and Albania are one nation.
“First there should be supervised independence as proposed by Ahtisaari. But it is known that Kosovo and Albania citizens are one nation who want to live in one state,” Hasani is quoted [by “Koha Ditore”] as having told a Polish paper. […]
Similarly, upon Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence in February 2008 (as well as days before it), we saw headlines such as “Kosovo Spurs More Greater Albania Dreams” ; another from the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Martin Sletzinger, titled “Greater Albanian Can’t be Stopped” ; as well as an AP piece titled “After Kosovo independence, is a Greater Albania the next logical step?” — but that one attempted to disprove the case, so as to allay any concerns over an independent Kosovo. Today, of course, it reads like farce:
…While the notion has been frequently aired in recent years, there is little public enthusiasm for it — either in Albania itself, in newly independent Kosovo, or in Albanian dominated areas of neighboring countries.
Kosovars will also be hesitant to rock regional diplomacy further by pushing for a grander vision for ethnic Albanians. It was tricky enough for Kosovo to declare [independence] over the vehement objections of Serbia and its key ally Russia. Banding together into a Greater Albania would provoke an even stronger response, not only from Serbia but from other Balkan neighbors.
The United States and EU heavyweights like France, Germany, and Britain would also be likely to oppose any abrupt move toward Albanian unification. And Kosovars know that their new — and barely financially viable — country depends on the goodwill of Western states.
Sabit Bunjaku, a 48-year-old economist in Pristina who used to support the idea of a Greater Albania, said he now thinks the idea should be laid to rest. «Our demands are being fulfilled, so why ask for more?» he said.
Because that is what Albanians do. The article ends as farcically as it begins:
For its part, impoverished Albania has set its sights firmly on eventually joining the European Union and NATO — with all the financial benefits that could bring — and most politicians seem unwilling to jeopardize that…there appears to be little appetite in Pristina — or in Tetovo — to risk more armed conflict or to potentially destabilize a newly independent Kosovo.
This week a Gallup poll showed that “62 per cent of respondents in Albania, 81 per cent in Kosovo and 51.9 per cent of respondents in Macedonia supported the formation of a Greater Albania.”
And so here we are, with this month witnessing “[Presevo] Valley Albanians attend ‘Greater Albania’ gathering (in Tirana)” and “Plans for ‘Greater Albania’ by 2015, South Serbia Leader Says“:
Plans are being drawn up for all Albanians in the Balkans to live in a “greater Albanian state” by 2015, Orhan Rexhepi, an ethnic Albanian official from south Serbia, told Balkan Insight.
“We [Albanians from south Serbia] are preparing to realise the idea of a greater Albania to be formed by 2013 or 2015 at the latest,” Rexhepi, the vice president of the Presevo assembly, said on Tuesday.
Talks on such a project were held over the weekend in Tirana, where the List for Natural Albania was presented for the first time. Rexhepi attended the meeting along with the mayor of Presevo, Ragmi Mustafa, and the leader of the Movement of Democratic Progress, Jonuz Musliu.
“I was in Tirana over the weekend to support the project and announce that my party [Albanian National Movement] will become part of the List [For Natural Albania] and take part in the next elections in Presevo,” Rexhepi said.
The List for Natural Albania includes the groups and individuals who support the idea of a “natural”, or “greater” Albania of one state for all ethnic Albanians in the Balkans, which would include parts of the territories of Macedonia, Montenegro, Greece, and Serbia.
According to the project, Albanians in these countries would hold a referendum to plead for the establishment of the state.
Tomo Zoric, spokesperson for the Serbian prosecutor’s office, said that his office would check what ethnic Albanian leaders who hold official positions said at the meeting in Tirana.
“If we detect that there were elements of their speeches which violated the law, the prosecutor’s office will initiate proceedings,” Zoric told Balkan Insight.
In an unofficial referendum held in 1992, a majority of ethnic Albanians in the Presevo Valley expressed their desire to join Kosovo.
It all makes this February 2001 appeal to the Albanian community by the EU’s then external affairs commissioner, Chris Patten, rather laughable:
[Patten] urged Albanians to isolate the militants. He added: “It is time for every Kosovar leader, every Kosovar, to make a stand, time to abandon silent indifference, time to make clear that you will not tolerate this violence, time to stand up against it and outlaw its perpetrators. Most people across the region are sick and tired of conflict and war.”
Here were the other relevant parts from that February 2001 UK Telegraph report, which show just how far we’ve come — or regressed (emphasis mine):
The worry is that Kfor’s “soft” policing techniques are allowing militants to use Kosovo as a base to destabilise neighbouring areas with Albanian minorities - Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro - with the aim of creating a “Greater Albania” or at least a “Greater Kosovo”.
After months of ever more serious clashes in the Presevo Valley in Serbia, Kfor was alarmed this week when armed Albanians crossed into Macedonia, the Balkan state that provides Nato with its main supply route.
The Macedonian government has reinforced its troops on the Kosovo border after ethnic Albanian rebels killed a Macedonian commando on Wednesday. The trouble is also beginning to generate refugees. The United Nations said 95 ethnic Albanian women and children had fled to Kosovo from northern Macedonia.
In Kosovo, 10 Serbs were killed and 43 injured last week when a Kfor-escorted convoy transporting Serbs returning from a visit to relatives in southern Serbia was bombed. At the same time, fighting has increased in southern Serbia. Four people have been killed in recent clashes between Albanian militants and Serb police in the Presevo Valley.
British troops have led the way in trying to contain the Albanian militants. Royal Marines have in recent weeks been deployed to patrol the snow-clad mountains to stop militants from slipping through dense forests into Serbia. They have also seized shipments of arms bound for the Presevo Valley.
But with no obvious “exit strategy”, the greatest fear of the peacekeepers is being sucked into a direct conflict with Albanian gunmen…
Well we certainly figured out how to avoid that, didn’t we: just help the Albanians get what they want and they won’t have to start shooting at you just yet. Put more simply: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em — and call it “U.S. foreign policy.”
So much for Kosovo being the “final chapter” in the breakup of the Former Yugolsavia,” as one reporter after another has referred to it since the Albanian unilateral declaration. (A particularly devious version of that notion came from British foreign secretary William Hague in September: “Hague said the map of the Balkans…was now complete and would not be re-opened, meaning Kosovo’s fate was settled and there could be no Serbian secession in Bosnia.”)
Which brings us back to the poisonous William Walker. Just to review: He is in Kosovo right now, advising the apparently-no-longer-radical party called Self-Determination. And look who else is joining Self-Determination:
Kosovo’s Rulers Trade Charges with Ex-Gun Runner
When David Phillips, a US-based expert on Albanian issues, released his report, Realizing Kosova’s Independence in May, he little knew that only six months later he would be dragged into a bitter war of words, involving accusations of bribery and treachery.
In his report, Phillips, a former senior advisor at the State Department’s Bureau for European Affairs, quoted an anonymous source claiming that SHIK, the supposedly defunct intelligence arm of the ruling Democratic League of Kosovo, PDK, was receiving “$200 million a year via bribery, extortion, racketeering, and protection services”.
Phillips’ report has since been published by the prestigious National Committee on American Foreign Policy.
Florin Krasniqi, a former gunrunner and fundraiser for the Kosovo Liberation Army, who was then living in New York, has been widely fingered as the source of the information. Krasniqi is reported to have raised $30 million to arm and supply KLA fighters during the war. [And of course he was a good friend of the Republicans’ recently exposed New York candidate for U.S. Senate, Joe DioGuardi.]
Following publication of the report, the PDK, led by Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, which emerged from the KLA, attacked the report and its author.
Last Friday, it stepped up the row after Krasniqi announced his decision to join Vetevendosje [ “Self-determination”], a radical nationalist group that campaigns against the international presence in Kosovo and which has decided to run in December’s general elections.
Krasniqi followed up his arrival in domestic politics with a series of blistering attacks on senior members of the PDK.
In an official press release, the PDK claimed that Krasniqi gave Phillips $500,000 to write his report, bribery accusations that the author has branded as “absurd and false”.
The PDK condemned Krasniqi as “a pseudo-patriot”, questioned his war record in helping the KLA, and accused him of having committed crimes in Kosovo and the US. “The PDK will take legal measures in pursuing the truth,” the party’s press release stated.
“As a governing party, not wanting to influence the acceleration or orientation of investigations, the PDK has requested an investigation into all charges, with EULEX [the EU rule-of-law mission] in charge.”
A EULEX spokesperson told Balkan Insight that it had not received any requests for information and urged anyone with evidence of crimes to contact Kosovo Police or a prosecutor first.
Responding to the accusations, Krasniqi said he would sue the PDK for defamation and he alleged that SHIK was behind the allegations.
Krasniqi told Balkan Insight that the PDK’s accusations were ridiculous. “They’re just fake tales made up by people who don’t deserve to be heads of public institutions,” he said.
“The PDK, together with SHIK, should take responsibility for the situation they’ve created in Kosovo, the high level of poverty, and so they need to be sent to prison,” he said.
Phillips was “a great friend of Albanians”, he added. Phillips told Balkan Insight that he “would not dignify the PDK’s absurd and false allegations with a detailed response”.
Of course, one can’t really be “a great friend of Albanians.” Remember who has the most disagreements with Albanians and kills the most of them: Albanians. (This Phillips character, meanwhile, is a CFR member who has been hating Serbs professionally for years. He’s finally witnessing the ultimate fruits of his labor of Albanian-love. Happens to everyone sooner or later, as Malic explained this Balkans dynamic.)
And so now I slightly fear for the life of the good-looking, affable Serb-killer Florin Krasniqi, especially now that he’s back in Kosovo, where it’s easier to get rid of people. Indeed, as I watched the Dutch documentary about him in 2005, I couldn’t help but wonder whether this fellow — compelled to action by the death of his cop-killing cousin in Kosovo — quite realized just how dangerous a game he was playing, and what kinds of people the KLA, including his cousin, were. I wondered how long before he’d end up dead himself, like so many of Thaci’s perceived rivals. (I’ve often wondered the same about Walker, Clark, Holbrooke, Engel and every other American policy-maker who puts on a broad smile at the sight of Albanians.)
Back then, Krasniqi could afford to not fully understand what he was getting involved in, because he was on their side. In a conflict with a single designated enemy: Serbs.
But increasingly now there is no “their side” — and he’s making himself a thorn in the side of one of the sides.
What will happen when this State Department darling, Florin Krasniqi, who until now has had protection from the law even as he was shown on camera smuggling American guns, becomes a problem for our masters in Kosovo? Will we finally have to do something about Florin Krasniqi — or let Thaci’s people or the EU Mission do it? Keep in mind that when Ramush Haradinaj became too much of a nuicance for Thaci, he found himself shipped back to the Hague last summer.
Not that this has precluded Haradinaj’s participation in politics, as Radio Free Europe noted last week: EU Mission Unhappy That Alleged Suspects Running In Kosovo Elections
Of course, the most delicious aspect of the Krasniqi vs. Thaci report by Balkan Insight is that the rivalries between these former KLA terrorists and current “leaders” may finally expose their mutual crimes. We’ve got Thaci accusing Krasniqi of committing crimes both in Kosovo and the U.S. (no kidding!), while Krasniqi apparently knows that the gangsters he backed are unfit for public office and belong in prison. So once again, I place my hope for the truth about Kosovo coming out in the hands of Albanians, who alone hold the magic power to convince Americans of anything concerning Kosovo.
Further to the last paragraph, there was an additional sign of Albanian implosion this month when another Thaci rival burst into a TV studio where he was supposed to have a debate — brandishing a gun. Former KLA himself, Gani Geci — leader of the “Dardania” party — had given testimony that led to the arrest last year of an assassin working for “prime minister” Thaci.
More on this issue from Nikolas Gvosdev. (His bio reads: “Nikolas K. Gvosdev is the former editor of the National Interest, and a frequent foreign policy commentator in both the print and broadcast media. He is currently on the faculty of the U.S. Naval War College. The views expressed are his own and do not reflect those of the Navy or the U.S. government. His weekly WPR column, The Realist Prism, appears every Friday.”)
“While the United States has insisted for years that the Kosovo case was sui generis — a unique situation that set no precedent for resolving frozen conflicts anywhere else in the world — the Palestinian leadership appears to be ignoring that memo.”
The Realist Prism: The Kosovo Gambit for Palestine? (Oct. 22)
Are the Palestinians preparing their own version of the “Kosovo gambit” through a unilateral declaration of independence in the event that U.S.-sponsored peace talks falter?
While the United States has insisted for years that the Kosovo case was sui generis — a unique situation that set no precedent for resolving frozen conflicts anywhere else in the world — the Palestinian leadership appears to be ignoring that memo. Mustafa Barghouti, secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative, last week bluntly stated that it is time to “declare the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, including East Jerusalem, and to demand that the world community recognize it and its borders — as it did in the case of Kosovo.” According to Barghouti, such a unilateral declaration would allow countries to demonstrate support for an independent Palestine and to assist in the establishment of state institutions, again citing Kosovo’s declaration of independence and its recognition by the international community as a model to be replicated.
First, international attitudes toward statehood and recognition have shifted away from a strict Westphalian interpretation, in which a potential state must be in full control of its territory in order to receive recognition…The break-up of Yugoslavia, and especially the secession of Slovenia and Croatia in 1991 and the proclamation of Bosnia in 1992…delinked the recognition of state sovereignty from the need to demonstrate a priori control of territory. So the fact that a Palestinian government, should it proclaim that the West Bank and Gaza are part and parcel of a Palestinian state, does not in fact control every square mile of that territory is not automatically a barrier to recognition.
Second, the Palestinians in 1988 [when the Algiers Declaration proclaimed a Palestinian state] and the Kosovars in 1990 did not have any of the institutions of a state. The PLO was an exile movement and had no formal governing presence in any part of the territories it claimed as part of its state. The Kosovars had an underground, “parallel” government, but day-to-day control was still exercised by Yugoslavia. After the 1999 NATO intervention, however, Kosovo acquired, at least in the territories south of the Ibar river, a functioning governmental apparatus, so that when it declared independence again in 2008, it had the institutions of a state. Likewise, the Palestinian Authority functions today as a quasi-state authority, with ministers, agencies and security forces. So it would be more likely to gain acceptance as an independent government.
Third, the recent ruling of the International Court of Justice on the Kosovo case essentially declared that an aspiring state does not have to seek “permission” to declare its independence. It simply does so, leaving other states to decide whether or not to recognize it. Kosovo today enjoys recognition from some 70 nations, giving it a certain “critical mass.” As a result, any future talks with Serbia will be aimed not at getting Kosovo to give up its independence, but rather at determining the conditions and arrangements under which Belgrade will accept an independent government in Pristina. The question the Palestinians must ask themselves as they make their calculations is how many of the states that recognized the symbolic Algiers Declaration in 1988 will recognize a second Palestinian declaration today.
Some of them are unlikely to. For instance, India today enjoys much closer relations with Israel and has increased concerns about the status of Kashmir, which is the main reason New Delhi has declined to recognize Kosovo. But others, especially those that have since also recognized Kosovo, might re-affirm their previous recognition of “Palestine” as envisioned by the Algiers Declaration, with Turkey being a leading candidate in this group. And if “Palestine” were to gain recognition from dozens of states, it could possibly change the dynamics of the peace process itself.
A critical test will be whether or not Jordan and Saudi Arabia decide to embrace a Palestinian declaration of independence. If Riyadh and Amman believe that the United States cannot guarantee a peace process that delivers a two-state solution, will they decide that this attempt to create a new set of “facts on the ground” represents a more effective alternative? More importantly, would they and other states that recognized Palestine attempt to strengthen the new state’s ability to exercise authority over what it claimed to be its territory? The argument here would be that recognition of an independent Palestine could occur even without final agreement on borders, refugees and the status of Jerusalem — and that Israel would not be able to use the threat of a veto on Palestinian statehood as a way to extract concessions in peace talks.
The United States, of course, would maintain that no Palestinian state can come into existence without a definitive settlement with Israel. Would Europe, however, automatically agree with Washington’s position? French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner’s recent statement in the Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam raises doubts. Kouchner argued that the optimal solution is still for Palestinians and Israelis to reach an agreement, but refused to rule out the option of the United Nations Security Council intervening to authorize the proclamation of a Palestinian state. “The international community cannot be satisfied with a prolonged deadlock,” Kouchner explained. “I therefore believe that one cannot rule out in principle the Security Council option.” His statement reflects similar positions taken by European governments prior to Kosovo’s declaration in 2008.
All of this leads Israeli commentator Aluf Benn to conclude that Israel may be at a “turning point”: No longer negotiating from a position of strength in bilateral talks with the Palestinians, Israel might instead be forced to orchestrate “a diplomatic holding action” if the move to proclaim a Palestinian state gathers steam. Of course, the United States could easily veto any U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing the Palestinians to proclaim independence. But that could complicate U.S. efforts to forge coalitions to confront Iran, to stabilize Iraq and to facilitate an exit from Afghanistan, among other things.
This would also be a test of the resilience of American leadership in “post-American” conditions. How many — and which — countries would need to recognize Palestine in order to outweigh continued U.S. support for Israel? One less-than-pleasant scenario that Benn outlines is an end game where “Europe, China and India turn their backs on Israel and erode the last remnants of its legitimacy.”…Washington’s ability to guide and channel the peace process may be coming to an end.
The spectre of the Kosovo precedent being used against Israel was raised again a week later, when Jerusalem Post editor David Horovitz picked up on Gvosdev’s piece:
Editor’s Notes: Unilateralism is no mirage By DAVID HOROVITZ (10/29/2010)
Netanyahu’s right: Palestinians won’t achieve peace with Israel by unilaterally declaring establishment of “Palestine.” But they’re not talking about peace. They’re talking about statehood.
The months go by, and while Israel keeps its head buried in the sand, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s declared summer 2011 deadline for Palestinian statehood draws nearer.
Photogenically picking olives with Fayyad on Tuesday, the UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry offered his stamp of approval for the purportedly soon-to-be-established “Palestine.”
“All international players are now in agreement that the Palestinians are ready for statehood at any point in the near future,” Serry said to Fayyad. “We are in the home stretch of your agenda to reach that point by August next year, and you have our full support.”
A day earlier, the PA President Mahmoud Abbas had spoken about the possibility of seeking statehood unilaterally, via what he termed a “resort to the United Nations.”
Other PA officials have frequently invoked this option of late, bemoaning Israel’s ostensible torpedoing of peace hopes and looking to the international community for unilateral recognition.
A couple of weeks ago, the French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner made plain that even some countries that consider themselves to be firm friends of Israel might not prove deaf to Palestinian efforts toward unilateral recognition, saying that France “cannot rule out in principle the Security Council option” if the negotiating process is beset by “prolonged deadlock.”
And officials within the US administration, while indicating to their Israeli counterparts that the US would veto any effort by the Palestinians to seek binding UN Security Council backing for the unilaterally declared establishment of “Palestine” within the pre-1967 lines, have also been stressing the limits of their veto power. Look at the case of Kosovo, for instance, they suggest. This is a “nation” that has not been recognized by the Security Council, where permanent member Russia is implacably opposed, but whose “statehood” – declared by its parliament in February 2008 and recognized by some 70 countries, including the US – is nonetheless something of a fait accompli.
I’m going to stop Mr. Horovitz right there for a moment, to draw attention to the significance of this paragraph: Here we have U.S. officials saying to their Israeli counterparts: “LOOK AT THE CASE OF KOSOVO, FOR INSTANCE.” Excuse me? I thought we weren’t supposed to look at Kosovo as an example of anything. And the ones telling us not to look were U.S. officials. What they’re warning the Israeli side about wasn’t supposed to be possible to happen, because no one was supposed to look at Kosovo. So what do they mean “Look at Kosovo”? THAT CAN’T BE A PRECEDENT FOR ANYTHING! They said so!
The Kosovo “precedent” is certainly not lost on the Palestinians. Earlier this month, Palestinian politician Mustafa Barghouti urged that an independent Palestine be declared now “on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, including east Jerusalem” and that the world community be pressed to “recognize it and its borders, as it did in the case of Kosovo.”
Serene in the face of such ostensible pressures, the Israeli government continues to insist that there is no credible, viable path to statehood for the Palestinians via the unilateral route.
Opening Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declared that “We expect the Palestinians to honor their commitment to hold direct negotiations. I think any attempt to bypass them by appealing to international bodies is unrealistic…”
But is it?
THE KOSOVO “precedent” is plainly quite different from the Palestinian context. (Indeed, Israelis who have spent time in Kosovo say that people there often compare their emergence to that of Israel.) [Of course they do. They’re not going to make the more apt comparison to the terrorist Palestinians — are they — if they want Jewish support.] But there are numerous critical parallels and themes that Israel would be extremely foolish to ignore.
“Independent” Kosovo was born out of the fragmentation two decades ago of Yugoslavia, and what proved to be the impossibility of peacefully resolving the conflicting demands of one of the former Yugoslavia’s six constituent republics, Serbia, with those of the Albanian majority in what had been the autonomous area of Kosovo. The unilateral declaration of statehood followed years of violence, international intervention, the designation by the Security Council in 1999 of Kosovo as a UN protectorate, and the terminal failure of a succession of efforts to foster substantive negotiations between Kosovo’s Albanian leadership and Belgrade. [Not a failure; a sabotage, as has been extensively documented.]
A fragmenting federation, war, NATO involvement on the ground and the absence of anything remotely close to an agreed framework for resolving the crisis – in all these aspects Kosovo differs utterly from the Palestinian-Israeli conflict arena. Just to be on the safe side, furthermore, the US made explicit, when recognizing Kosovo, that this process represented no legal precedent whatsoever.
(Of course, this time the EU can say the same about the Palestinian process, to dissuade statehood-seekers throughout Europe and the rest of the globe from following suit. And on and on it’ll go.)
Where the potent similarities begin, however, is that in Kosovo, as with the Palestinians, the international community was galvanized by a group that sought independence from another party whose rule it did not accept; and where that group was impatient and felt that it had sufficient strength to advance its cause.
Kosovo’s road to independence featured an earlier declaration of a separate republic, in 1992, which went nowhere because, as Nikolas Gvosdev pointed out in an article in World Politics Review a few days ago, it had “no formal governing presence in any part of the territories it claimed as its state” and no real institutions of state. But by 2008, Kosovo did have “a functional governmental apparatus” in at least part of the territory it claimed, and it has subsequently gained a “certain critical mass” of international recognition.
“As a result,” Gvosdev notes with what ought to be dramatic resonance for Israeli ears, “any future talks with Serbia will be aimed not at getting Kosovo to give up its independence, but rather at determining the conditions and arrangements under which Belgrade will accept an independent government in Pristina.”
Try re-reading that sentence with certain substitutions after a unilateral assertion of Palestinian statehood: Any future talks with Israel will be aimed not at getting Palestine to give up its independence, but rather at determining the conditions and arrangements under which Jerusalem will accept an independent government in east Jerusalem.
The echoes from Kosovo of that shift to international acceptance over the past couple of decades drastically undermine official Israel’s insistently sanguine response to the Palestinians’ unilateralist threats. Fayyad’s entire state-building exercise has been designed to demonstrate, Kosovo-style, the attainment of a “formal governing presence” in at least part of the territories being claimed and the establishment of “a functional governmental apparatus.”
And much of the international community has long-since been won over. So Israel’s blithe, dismissive reminder that the Palestinians have little to show from their last attempt at the unilateralist route – the 1988 declaration of statehood that won recognition from some 90 nations – is simply outdated. We are not in 1988 anymore.
In conversation with some in Israeli officialdom this week, I ventured the suggestion that the resort to unilateralism, at the very least, would surely ratchet up the pressure on Israel. The international community is less sympathetic to Israel, and more impressed by the Palestinian leadership’s credentials and ostensible capacity to maintain stability, than it was when Yasser Arafat tried the unilateral declaration route 22 years ago, I noted. And so, if “Palestine” is being stymied because of the failure to negotiate core issues like agreed borders with Israel, then a Palestinian unilateralist effort would surely provoke intensified calls on Israel to negotiate those borders, and other core issues, in a spirit of greater compromise.
The frustrated response was that Israel is ready to negotiate. In rather anguished terms, it was noted that the Palestinians claim they need other solutions because the talks are going nowhere, but that the talks are only going nowhere because the Palestinians are refusing to negotiate.
Note: This is a direct parallel to the Kosovo situation, which Mr. Horovitz above noted as a distinction. Because he is unaware that the Serbian side was always ready to negotiate and came with lists of various compromises for a negotiated solution — while the Albanian delegation looked at their watches, knowing America had their back for nothing less than independence as the result of any “negotiations,” as the U.S. stated before every round of “negotiations.”
…Many in the Israeli diplomatic hierarchy, moreover, understand that the world has changed in the past couple of decades – and specifically that the US no longer calls the shots globally in the way that it once could. American economic dominance, American military dominance and American diplomatic dominance have receded. There are more global power centers. The US itself, recognizing these changes, works more readily with international forums.
For Israel, for whom the alliance with the US remains paramount, these shifts have nonetheless required a shift in diplomacy, a diversified investment of effort and energy.
In terms of the conflict with the Palestinians, these shifts have also required a gradual internalization that the Middle East peace Quartet – that constellation of would-be mediators comprising the US, UN, EU and Russia – potentially carries real weight, and is no longer just a diplomatic construct designed to give the international community a superficial sense of involvement, while only the US really matters.
This changing climate again renders some of the public Israeli comments on unilateralism – the blasé dismissal of a unilateral Palestine as a “mirage” and a “pipe dream” – unconscionably complacent. And Netanyahu’s own assertion on Sunday that attempts at unilateralism “will not give any impetus to a genuine diplomatic process” completely misses the point.
Note: Partly accounting for America’s diminished international status is its machinations and gangsterism on behalf of a narco-terrorist mafia spawn in Europe. Europeans understand the potty America made there even if Americans don’t. And now, the U.S. has used up all of its political capital in creating the Kosovo precedent for Israel, leaving American influence too weak to help Israel counteract it.
…OTHER ISRAELI arguments against unilateralism also seem unlikely to give the Palestinians much pause. It is suggested that a unilateral declaration of statehood, though endorsed by long sympathetic nations, might be strongly resented by other, fairer-minded countries that oppose the abandonment of the diplomatic process. But one wonders how many such nations there might turn out to be, and how grave a concern that would be for the Palestinians, given the international hostility to Israel right now, and Israel’s perceived responsibility for the failure of the direct talks to date.
(More parallels: Recall the international hostility to Serbia and the blame consistently placed on Serbian shoulders for any lack of progress or movement.)
…It is argued that a resort to unilateralism would breach the Oslo Accords and that various signatories and witnesses to these and other interim agreements, including the US, EU, Egypt and Jordan, might resent the breach and withhold recognition. They might. They might not. A concern for the Palestinians? Possibly. But enough to deter them? Unlikely.
(An additional parallel: Everything the international community has done since signing UN Resolution 1244, has breached UN Res. 1244. Aside from the Czech Republic, Romania — and a few dazed UN bureaucrats at this meeting — balking about it once in a while — no one cares. In fact, if an international official dares try to even invoke 1244, an Albanian newspaper will warn him that this is a “provocation,” and KLA “veterans” will threaten war. )
…And, finally, it is noted that a unilateral declaration of statehood – with many of “Palestine’s” key parameters and fundamental aspects still unresolved – is no substitute for the benefits of finding a binding, detailed, stable agreement with an enemy turned full peace partner. As Netanyahu said on Sunday, “peace will only be achieved through direct negotiations.”
That argument, of course, is undeniable…if your goal is peace. The thing is, however, that the Palestinians are talking about something else. About statehood. About a process that would give international weight to their demands no matter what the immediate practical implications, and no matter how many problems – all the core issues, plus the question of the fate of Gaza – remain unresolved. International support for statehood, without the necessity to come to terms with Israel, to legitimize Israel. […]
And that, of course, is what the issue was for Kosovo: not “peace” with Serbia and never “reconciliation,” seeing as how the terrorism never stopped. Nor do the Albanians running the show view Serbia proper as legitimate in its borders today, given that they’re also going after southern Serbia’s Presevo Valley, Medvedja and Bujanovac, for which a KLA-affiliated army is active (UCPMB). Albanians, together with Bosnian Muslims, are also in the midst of securing the Wahhabi-infiltrated Sandzak/Sanjak region that runs from Montenegro to southern Serbia and is a critical element of Islam’s “Green Corridor” into Europe.