Archive | October 9th, 2016

Montenegro Wants to Leave the Balkan Autistic World

Adelina Marini

The first hearing of a Montenegro Prime Minister in the European Parliament foreign affairs committee transpired with applause and tears. Applauses for the pro-European affiliation of Milo Đukanović, who otherwise has controversial past, as well as present. The tears were for the Montenegro rapporteur in the European Parliament Charles Tannock (ECR, Great Britain), who announced that due to the Brexit he resigns from his rapporteur duties. Several things were noticeable during the hour-long debate with Mr Đukanović. The first one is that it was set up for a very early time of day and was very short, considering the need of a more in-depth talk with a leader from such a region. At 8 am CET the room was half-empty, which disturbed both the Montenegro PM, in whose country the working day starts very early, as well as the committee’s boss Elmar Brok (EPP, Germany). Later, however, the room got fuller.

The second issue was that support for Đukanović was unanimous, mainly due to geopolitical reasons. Milo Đukanović supports the pro-European orientation of the country, he joined the European position towards Russia (by levying sanctions), secured NATO’s invitation for membership of Montenegro in this organisation as well, and keeps good neighbourly relations with countries in the region. Despite the number of issues that Montenegro has, the small Balkan state is viewed as the one most advanced in the accession process. MEPs of the EP’s foreign affair committee did not attempt to hide their hopes that Milo Đukanović will head the next government as well, for this would guarantee the country’s European orientation, despite Đukanović being seen by many in his country as a mild dictator. It is more important to the EU at this stage that he is pro-European, than him having democracy deficits.

A very strong impression was left by the fact that Milo Đukanović had a very clear and straightforward reply to every question asked. This is extremely rare for a leader in general, let alone one coming from the Balkans. The early hour, as well as the hurry to end the discussion in a timely manner, for MEPs seemed far more thrilled by the upcoming meeting with the Dalai Lama at 9 am, left the impression that Montenegro and enlargement in general are no big deal for MEPs. Judging by the conversation, however, this is not quite so.

Enlargement is important for Europe’s stability as well

Most MEPs demonstrated the EP’s full support for enlargement. Cristian Dan Preda (EPP, Romania), rapporteur on Bosnia and Herzegovina, was outraged by the fact that enlargement was not mentioned even once in this year’s address on the state of the European Union by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. “From this Parliament you have strong support for the enlargement process – from my group but also from the big majority here”, said Ulrike Lunacek (Greens/EFA, Austria). “It is true that yesterday [September 14] Mr Juncker didn’t mention specifically the enlargement process but it’s also true that in this excellent speech he didn’t mention some key issues such as the relationship between the EU and Russia, EU and Turkey. So, I’m convinced that enlargement of the EU remains our priority in the first round”, assured Slovenian MEP Ivo Vajgl (ALDE).

Sandra Kalniete (EPP, Latvia) expressed her regret that the Thessalonнki process is developing too slow and is also delaying the enlargement process. “I believe that the migrant crisis will help Europeans understand we cannot afford the destabilisation of the Western Balkans, she said. Milo Đukanović replied straight forward, saying he expected more from Brussels. He is hoping for more encouraging messages, not just declarations about open doors. “To us there is a sign of equality between stability in the Western Balkans and their integration. We believe that this is a question of true importance for the Western Balkans, and thus for the stability of Europe”, added the Prime Minister.

He admitted that a year ago the situation with the Western Balkans’ European perspective was never better, but now it is clear that sources of instability in the Balkans were never eradicated. The only answer Milo Đukanović sees is integration. When asked by Lithuanian MEP Petras Auštrevičius (ALDE) what is the public opinion and support for joining “a club of western countries, of civilised countries based on the rule of law”, Milo Đukanović stated that support is currently varying around 50%. In his opinion, there still exists an active minority in the Balkans that wishes to keep the Balkans in the previous muddle and aimlessness. “These two concepts are still in a vicious clash. Our goal is winning the elections and building on the succession of European policy”, he said.

Montenegro and Russia

Questions aimed at the Montenegro PM had mainly geopolitical focus. He was praised on several occasions for the fact that Montenegro levied sanctions on Russia, but was also questioned about Russia’s influence in the region. Cristian Dan Preda noted that joining the European position towards Russia is not ubiquitous in the Balkans, obviously hinting about Serbia. Johannes Cornelis van Baalen (ALDE, The Netherlands) asked straightforwardly what the relationship with Russia is, keeping in mind that at the moment Moscow very much dislikes the fact that Montenegro is so close to the West and NATO. “Did they try to pressure you or your countrymen?”, was his question. Ulrike Lunacek on the other hand wanted to know if after the October 16th elections in Montenegro one could count that the next government of Montenegro will have the same strong support for the country’s Euro-Atlantic orientation.

Milo Đukanović assured that there is no need for Montenegro to have a referendum about its NATO membership and explained that such a request “is not an authentic initiative of opposition representatives. You are well aware of who is currently adamantly advocating for organising a referendum with the hope that this will be a reason for postponing Montenegro’s NATO membership or sidetracking Montenegro from this path”, said Đukanović and offered an extremely serious and profound revelation about Russia-Montenegro relations:

“I would like to remind you that Montenegro has had close relations with Russia throughout history and we recently marked an anniversary of the centuries-long diplomatic relations between our states. This, however, does nothing to lessen our concentration on what is our main goal. Our goal is, through a change in the system of values, adopting a new system of values, to create preconditions for the full integration of Montenegro within the European and Euro-Atlantic civilisation. This certainly does not mean we wish to burn bridges with our traditional allies and we will not do so, unless they request it, exactly because of these circumstances. This also does not mean that we are doing this aiming to harm anyone. We do this because of our own interest. […] You have done well in registering that this is obviously disliked.”

“We believe that we need to put an end to the long history of the practise of the Balkans living their own, somewhat autistic life, disrespecting the fundamental moves and achievements of the current European civilisation. Do you need any stronger proof than this, excluding Slovenia and Croatia, which are EU member states? When we look at the Western Balkans today, Montenegro is a leading economy. Do you know what it means to be a leading economy in the Western Balkans? Still below 6000 euro GDP per capita in a situation when the Europe average is 28 500. What does that tell you? It tells about not decades, but I am afraid centuries-long lagging of the Balkans behind the achievements of modern European civilisation. So, to us it is imperative that we hop on the last train of Euro-Atlantic integration processes”, continued the Prime Minister of Montenegro.

Milo Đukanović stressed several times on how important the Berlin process is for Western Balkans European integration. He assured that the Brexit did not change one bit the country’s views that the EU is the right future for it. “Western Balkans’ Europe-isation has a far greater political importance for the EU than perceived, having in mind Brussels’ preoccupation with other matters”, he said.

Geopolitical questions prevailed, leaving no time for discussing the most serious problem in Montenegro – the rule of law, corruption, and media freedom. Being aware that this is a central subject in European Commission progress reports, Mr Đukanović did stress as early as in his opening statement on what has already been accomplished in Montenegro, assuring that all EC and EP recommendations are being taken under very serious consideration by the government of Montenegro. He stated that it is extremely important that by the end of the year new chapters are opened, but it is even more important that some chapters are closed. “This would be a symbolic gesture for the negotiation process and its outcome. This would be an important signal that the doors of the EU are open and progress along this path is possible”, was the message of the Prime Minister of Montenegro.

Tears for Charles Tannock

The EP rapporteur on Montenegro Charles Tannock made a moving resignation from his position, which upset the committee’s boss Elmar Brok. “I have been a standing rapporteur for 7 years. I think I have been probably the longest standing rapporteur for an accession country now in the Western Balkans in this parliament. We, of course, have always welcomed the good story of Montenegro in terms of economic progress. Your huge progress in the rule of law and fighting crime and corruption. You are clearly en route to EU accession. But, sadly, I have to say as your standing rapporteur after 7 years, and this is a personal statement I’m now making, following the deeply regrettable Brexit vote, which I campaigned strongly against, I feel it inappropriate to carry on beyond the next November report which will be my last as I believe article 50 will be triggered by my country early next year”, said the MEP.

Beyond the Brexit part, however, his speech was rather controversial, for it extended some uncritical praise for the Montenegro PM. “You are an outstanding Prime Minister and a regional leader in the Western Balkans, a true veteran and obviously one of the founding fathers of Montenegro after its successful 10 years of independence”, he said.

Milo Đukanović is the longest-serving leader in the Balkans. He was Prime Minister during the bloody wars, which accompanied the disintegration of former Yugoslavia (1991-1998). From 1998 to 2002 he served as president, after which he again became Prime Minister (2003-2006, 2008-2010, 2012-present). He was a close ally of Slobodan Milošević until 1996. He is the leader of the Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro (DPS), which is the ancestor of the Montenegro branch of the Yugoslav Communist Party.

Translated by Stanimir Stoev 

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Ignore Syria the Movie: And Please Read Vanessa Beeley on Syria & the ‘White Helmets’…



I was trying to actually take a short break from posting for a while; but the sheer level of BS being spewed as international powers desperately seek a renewed premise for military intervention in Syria is just stomach turning.

The BS propaganda game is accelerating more every day. On TV, on the radio, in newspapers, we see coverage of the crisis in Aleppo; now accompanied by dire commentary warning that Aleppo is going to be destroyed by the end of the year – and oh, we must do something!

At least they’re now admitting it is only the eastern part of Aleppo and not the whole city. But I heard hours of radio in recent days going on and on about how Aleppo is going to be leveled to dust by the regime before the end of the year, while presenters and commentators talked about our “moral responsibility” to “do something” and about how we had to act “urgently” and “before it’s too late”. Despite a British parliamentary committee just weeks ago publishing a damning report on David Cameron’s mad rush to intervene in Libya in 2011, none of these people seem to remember any of that.

So instead, the multi-pronged propaganda push towards war and intervention is being accelerated on all fronts: the constant propaganda about Aleppo and its victims (with little or no mention of the foreign-backed terror groups that have made their home there), renewed moves in the UN against Russia and the Syrian government for alleged ‘War Crimes’, spurious statements from politicians that ‘had we intervened in 2013, none of this would be happening’, etc, and all of this on the heels of a US attack on Syrian government soldiers (for the sake of ISIS fighters) that the media has completely forgotten about.

Absolutely central to all of this is the ‘heroic, noble, humanitarian’ organisation known as the ‘White Helmets’, whose lionisation across all Western media is serving to re-frame the Syria situation in a way that can re-justify the foreign intervention and forced regime-change: because all the previous narratives, going back to 2011, have already failed to achieve the desired result and have been largely exposed as false.

The terrorist-aligned group called the White Helmets has also already been exposed and debunked; but you wouldn’t know it from mainstream media, which continues to portray the organisation as heroic, selfless humanitarians braving the dangers of war-torn Syria for nothing other than a burning desire to help civilians.

No one has done more to expose the true nature of the White Helmets than independent journalist and peace activist Vanessa Beeley.

Vanessa Beeley, in these comprehensive pieces of investigative journalism (see here and here: the kind of journalism the mainstream newspapers and media no longer engages in) from over a year ago, laid out the origins of the White Helmets, its architects and directors, its sources of funding, and the nature of its operations. I shared these links here before, but it is very much worth doing so again.

‘The success of the White Helmet and NGO complex propaganda is dependent upon the skewing of our moral compass by using the media and government institutions that are proven experts at “nudging” public opinion towards any particular policy,’ she wrote. ‘If we really want to support Syria in this battle against such a complex array of interventionist forces, we must locate that compass and allow it to point us squarely towards the truth…’

Beeley has continued to expose the White Helmets, along with the rest of the staged propaganda campaign around Aleppo and Syria. Speaking to RT‘s ‘Cross Talk’ programme in recent days, she continues to provide the real picture of the White Helmets and the nature of their activities.

She explains, ‘They are in fact multi-million funded, conservatively speaking, 100 million dollars from the US, 23 million via USAID; from the UK around now 65 million – it was originally 19.7 million pounds and Boris Johnson announced a further 32 million. France is supplying equipment. Denmark, Germany, Holland and even Japan through the international agency in Japan.’

She continues, ‘There is massive video and photographic testimonial evidence from inside Syria to give evidence that they are running a terrorist support group. They provide medical care for the terrorists, they funnel equipment in from Turkey into the terrorist areas… They’ve been filmed participating and facilitating an execution of a civilian in Aleppo. They post celebratory videos to their social media pages of the execution of civilian Arab soldiers. From the testimony from the real Syria Civil Defense across Syria they have also been involved in the taking over of the real Syria Civil Defense units, the stealing of their equipment and the eventual massacres and kidnapping of real Syria Civil Defense crews.’

Aside from countless newspaper pieces and now films glorifying the White Helmets and using their stage-managed productions to sell the world on the evils of the Syrian state and the desperate plight of civilians in Aleppo and elsewhere, the ultimate expression of this farcical campaign was the White Helmets being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Not only did they campaign on their own behalf for the prize to be awarded to them – unheard of in Nobel Prize etiquette – but the media has been heavily campaigning for them too. Here are a few examples.

The Guardian – a paper I used to have a great deal of respect for – outright campaigned for the prize to be awarded to the White Helmets; running an article, literally, with the headline ‘The Guardian View on the Nobel Peace Prize: Give It To the White Helmets’.

The Telegraph went even further, going with ‘The Nobel Peace Prize must go to the White Helmets – or else’.

The Boston Globe went with ‘Dear Nobel Committee: The White Helmets are Syria’s heroes’.

And so on and so forth; further proof, if any were needed, that real journalism is increasingly rare and, when it comes to Syria, virtually non-existent.

All of this goes hand-in-hand with the Netflix documentary film celebrating the White Helmets; sold as “the story of real-life heroes and impossible hope”. The propaganda film’s tagline is ‘To save one life is to save all of humanity’; which may or may not be a clever attempt to evoke the tagline from Spielberg’s film about the Holocaust, Schindler’s List.

But that would be appropriate, as this has clearly become ‘Syria: The Movie’, with Hollywood style staging, effects and marketing.

Thankfully the White Helmets didn’t receive the Nobel Peace Prize, but it’s still offensive beyond measure that they were even nominated. And what it illustrates is the extent now to which virtually every institution or body of Western politics, from governments and NGO’s to the UN and even the Nobel Committee, has been severely compromised by covert and underhanded agendas and appears to be fully on-board for the destruction of Syria as a nation and society and the forced regime-change end-game and forced partition.

The propaganda value of the White Helmets being awarded the prize – and actually even being nominated – is immense, however, and imparts an extraordinary level of, not just perceived legitimacy, but virtual canonization to the group: they have practically acquired sainthood, as far as Western media is concerned.

The idea of the White Helmets – a group that demonstrably operates hand-in-hand with Al-Qaeda in Syria – being up for the Nobel Peace Prize may seem obscene beyond belief: but actually, from the moment we were championing Al-Qaeda battalions as ‘pro democracy freedom fighters’ in Libya in 2011 and forcing a regime-change on their behalf, it was only a matter of time before this theater of the absurd escalated to prestigious international awards.

If Osama bin Laden had stayed alive just a few years longer, he could’ve been up for the Nobel Prize – it’s a pity he didn’t last long enough.

It is by now well established that the White Helmets are intimately tied to the US-sponsored regime-change program and are integrated more or less inseparably with Al-Nusra (Al-Qaeda) and the so-called ‘Free Syrian Army’ (Muslim Brotherhood).

Beeley and others have exposed numerous instances of the White Helmets’ faked images, videos and social media posts, staged scenes, and moreover the group’s involvement with Saudi-backed terror groups and other militias, including ISIS. Their existence seems to be for the primary purpose of maintaining or escalating demonisation of the Syrian state and providing a renewed pretext for foreign intervention. And they do, for that matter, have a social media operation and savvy on a par with that of ISIS/Daesh.



The organisation is funded handsomely from Western institutions (initially in the UK), not for the purposes of humanitarian work but for the purposes of both propaganda and of establishing what Vanessa Beeley calls ‘a parallel government in-waiting’. ‘These donors include, the British Government, known US regime change facilitators USAID, and the US and NATO-backed ‘Syrian National Council’,’ she wrote, ‘a parallel government in-waiting which the west claims represents the Syrian opposition.’

The British Foreign Office has been the largest source of the group’s vast funding, paving the way for the White Helmets to be sold as humanitarians and first responders: despite the fact that the organisation only ever seems to work in jihadist-held areas and has a very selective view of what constitutes ‘civilians’ or ‘casualties’ in Syria: and, in addition to that, despite the fact that – as Beeley explains – the White Helmets have been trying to pose as the real, actual Syrian Civil Defense units, established in Syria for decades (even to the extent of hacking into the real Syrian Civil Defense website and redirecting web users to their own page, as Beeley explains to RT).

Photos and video clips of known White Helmet members, in their identifiable uniforms, have been exposed on numerous occasions, showing them celebrating with Al-Nusra fighters and in some cases also carrying weapons.

The widely shared images below show White Helmets’ suspected involvement in the execution of a young civilian (by Al-Nusra/Al-Qaeda) in Northern Aleppo (source).


But the multi-faceted genius of their existence means that when Syrian regime or Russian airstrikes hit or target locations where the ‘White Helmets’ are (which is, without exception, wherever Al-Nusra or related jihadist groups are operating), the US State Department and the Western media can report it as Syrian/Russian attacks on ‘humanitarian workers’ and first responders.

There’s nothing new in that strategy: it’s simply a 2.0 of the previous strategy of calling armed rebels and jihadists ‘freedom fighters’ in both Libya and Syria so that Gaddafi’s forces and Assad’s forces, respectively, couldn’t attack them without being portrayed as tyrants. Now we’re simply upgrading to ’emergency services’ and ‘humanitarians’ to make it read as even more deplorable. This strategic use of language is very effective: the majority of people form their impressions primarily on keywords and headlines.


Concerning the central British involvement in creating and funding the organisation, it has never been entirely clear to me whether politicians or MPs who advocate for the White Helmets or for no fly zones or military intervention are deliberately or knowingly in on the game or whether they’re simply very misinformed people.

When I say ‘misinformed’, I mean deliberately misinformed by agencies or sources they are conditioned to trust: while, no doubt, some political figures and officials – especially in Washington – are wholly in on and furthering the covert agenda and some may play ball for career purposes, others (particularly lower level MPs) may simply be guided by bad information and not have the time or the wherewithal to venture too far from their own job descriptions to verify what they’re told or to investigate independently. So they end up just regurgitating misinformation and servicing the agenda, possibly not even aware they’re doing it.

Whether the late Jo Cox was one of these or not is difficult to ascertain: as she seems to have been earnest and sincere in most other aspects of her work, but also seemed to passionately advocate for the White Helmets. But I have belatedly come to acknowledge the possibility that the far-right nutjob who brutally murdered one of the rising stars of British politics in June may have been guided by Deep State actors for the sake of both a propaganda boost and massive funding boost for the White Helmets and the Syria regime-change agenda.


Any real journalism concerning the White Helmets – as also applies to the entire Syria situation – isn’t available in mainstream media or newspapers.

‘The White Helmets were established in March 2013, in Istanbul, Turkey, and is headed by James Le Mesurier, a British “security” specialist and ‘ex’ British military intelligence officer with an impressive track record in some of the most dubious NATO intervention theatres…’, Vanessa Beeley wrote on her blog in 2015, in an article titled ‘White Helmets: War By Way of Deception’. ‘Le Mesurier is a product of Britain’s elite Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, and has also been placed in a series of high-profile pasts at the United Nations, European Union, and U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office.’

She continued, ‘The origins of The White Helmet’s initial $300k seed funding is a little hazy, reports are contradictory but subsequent information leads us to conclude that the UK, US and Syrian opposition [Syrian National Council] are connected. Logistical support has been provided by given by Turkish elite natural disaster response team, AKUT… A further $13 million was poured into the White Helmet coffers during 2013 and this is where it gets interesting. Early reports suggest that these “donations” came from the US, UK and SNC with the previously explored connections to George Soros in the US.’

In a follow-up article titled ‘White Helmets: If It Looks Like an Executioner’, she concluded; ‘The NGO ‘soft power complex’ is now one of the most destructive global forces. It is employed as an interface between civilians of a target nation, with government, economic or military structures of the colonialist force intent on harnessing any given nation’s resources or undermining its geopolitical influence. The Democratization process, or the path to regime change is facilitated by these undercover government or corporate proxy employees who, once embedded into a society, set about producing the propaganda that will justify intervention, either economically, politically or militarily…’

In this article from June, she also warns of the likelihood that the White Helmets operation, if successful, will likely be a template for further geopolitical deceptions beyond Syria. ‘If this latest mechanised ‘NGO’ blueprint is successful then we could see it being re-deployed as key to future neo-colonialist projects. The White Helmets are a direct intra-venus line into the terrorist enclaves within Syria, acting as a conduit for information, equipment and medical support to maintain the US NATO forces…’

All of this is of course immensely important, because the White Helmets are now the main propaganda tool that international anti-Syria plotters are clinging to in order to salvage the Military Intervention Card and finally accomplish regime-change after several years now of failure.

And this is all going to be played out in amplified terms between now and the end of the year, as there is now desperation to stop the Syrian state from fully reclaiming Aleppo, ending the war and restoring all of Syria as a sovereign, independent nation.


Read Vanessa Beeley’s articles: ‘The White Helmets: War By Way of Deception, Part I‘, ‘The White Helmets: War By Way of Deception, Part II‘


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