Archive | Kosovo

U.S. Is Pushing for a New Provocation Against Serbia over the Kosovo Issue

By Paul Antonopoulos

Belgrade and Pristina have resumed dialogue in Brussels, but the recent delivery of American-made armored vehicles to Kosovo could make the talks difficult and signifies Washington is once again attempting to destabilize the Balkans. Serbia and Kosovo returned to the negotiating table on July 16 after a long hiatus; however the hopes of Josep Borrell, head of European diplomacy, to allow a constructive dialogue could now be in jeopardy. Washington’s delivery of Humvee armored vehicles to Pristina is a clear message to Belgrade that the U.S. will continue recognizing Kosovo’s independence. Washington purposefully sent the armored vehicles knowing it will create tensions in negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina.

The U.S. is putting pressure on Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić to recognize Kosovo’s independence. However, this is in detriment to international law and UN Security Council resolution 1244, which is still valid and specifies that Kosovo is a Serbian province despite Washington’s recognition of its illegal independence. Although the delivery of Humvee armored vehicles makes little impact on the military capabilities of Kosovo, it is a symbolic gesture by the Americans to show they still have significant influence over Kosovo. Hashim Thaçi, the President of Kosovo and alleged war criminal, has always said that Washington should be an important player in negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo.

Kosovo is recognized as an independent state by the majority of Western countries, with the exception of five EU members who still refuse to recognize its independence: Spain, Romania, Greece, Cyprus and Slovakia. Russia and China, permanent members of the UN Security Council, have not recognized this either and are de facto preventing Kosovo from joining the United Nations.Kosovo’s Legitimacy Receives Massive Blow After Another Withdrawal of Recognition

There is clear proof that tensions are still high between Belgrade and Pristine, especially after Vučić attacked with virulence Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Avdullah Hoti, after the last round of negotiations:

“Is it nice to sit at the other end of the table facing Hoti and listen to his gibberish, saying that they are the only victims and that we are the only bad guys? No.”

The fact that Kosovo recently received a new shipment of armored vehicles from the U.S. will not help normalize relations between the two parties, but this is not surprising considering the Albanians are key to Washington’s policy in controlling the Balkans. Therefore, Belgrade likely recognizes that it cannot trust Washington to bring a resolution to the Kosovo issue, especially since Serbia maintains strong relations with Moscow that it is not willing to sacrifice.

The special relationship between Belgrade and Moscow is viewed negatively by both Brussels and NATO. They would rather bring Serbia under its influence. This is further complicated by the fact that Beijing has an ever-increasing strong presence in Serbia and is investing a lot in the country. Beijing always supports the preservation of Serbia’s territorial integrity, especially regarding Kosovo, which could mean that the Balkan country might be a future flash point between the growing rivalry between China and the U.S.

In 2012, Belgrade highlighted that officials during the presidency of Bill Clinton, who were in charge at the time of the brutal NATO bombing campaign against Serbia in 1999, returned to Kosovo to invest – particularly General Wesley Clark and former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. Today Kosovo is a hub for drug trafficking, human trafficking and organ harvesting, something that Brussels and Washington are happy to turn a blind eye to.

Albanians are trying to unite in a Greater Albania that would serve the interests of U.S. foreign policy. The arming of Kosovo could be a consequence of this vision, especially since American arms deliveries to Kosovo contradict international law and could trigger a new armed conflict. This may be the hidden goal of the U.S. It is possible that Germany is also pushing in this direction, especially since Berlin was a key player in the dismemberment of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The recognition of Kosovo’s independence opens the door to further destabilization, violence and potentially even a new Balkan war. With the U.S. delivering Humvee’s to Kosovo, it has signified that it has no interest in finding a lasting resolution between the rebel province and Serbia.

Posted in USA, Kosovo, Serbia, YugoslaviaComments Off on U.S. Is Pushing for a New Provocation Against Serbia over the Kosovo Issue

Сriminal Roots of Kosovo Further Exposed by Thaçi’s Indictment in The Hague

By Paul Antonopoulos

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić was due to meet Kosovo leader Hashim Thaçi on Saturday at the White House. This was at the behest of US envoy for Kosovo-Serbia negotiations, Richard Grenell, after his much-publicized success in organizing the meeting. However, his success was short lived after Thaçi became indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity on June 24 by the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office.

The US meeting has been put on hold until further notice, but as Vučić revealed, the EU will take over discussions between Belgrade and Pristina at a later date. It appears that France and Germany specifically will spearhead these meeting with the French Embassy in Kosovo saying on Thursday that “France and Germany expect Dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia to resume soon. Together with Chancellor Merkel, President Macron remains ready to host a Summit in Paris.” German Ambassador to Kosovo Christian Heldt tweeted:

“Our governments stand ready to be helpful with [a] proposed meeting in July.”

Due to prosecutors in The Hague indicting Thaçi’s alleged war crimes during the 1998-99 Kosovo war, Kosovo’s new prime minister, Avdullah Hoti, said he could not travel to Washington to conduct talks with Serbia.

“Thank you, Prime Minister Hoti. We understand your decision and we look forward to rescheduling the meeting soon,” Grenell wrote on Twitter.

US President Donald Trump was hoping for a foreign policy victory just before the upcoming elections, but rather, the Kosovo experiment created by Bill Clinton in the 1990’s is beginning to crack. Thaçi in 1993 became a prominent member of the “Kosovo Liberation Army” (KLA) and became responsible for the finances and armaments of the terrorist organization. The KLA financed its activities by turning Kosovo into a drug smuggling hub to distribute heroin and cocaine throughout Europe.Can Serbia Trust Washington’s Assurances in Upcoming Meeting with Kosovo?

A 2008 report by German intelligence service BND accuses Thaçi of having deep involvement in organized crime, saying that

“The key players (including Thaçi) are intimately involved in inter-linkages between politics, business, and organised crime structures in Kosovo,” and that Thaçi is leading a “criminal network operating throughout Kosovo.”

The charges laid against him by the prosecutor’s office in The Hague include murder, enforced disappearance of persons, persecution, and torture. He has also been accused of organ harvesting and drug trafficking by other reports and institutions. Although he has not been found guilty, it is well established that the KLA engaged in such activities, putting a mockery to the Albanian and Serbian Caucuses of US Congress suggestion in 2014 that Thaçi be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, the Geneva School of Diplomacy giving him a Doctor Honoris Causa degree as a Doctor of International Relations, and the Montenegrin town of Ulcinj giving him the title of Honorary Citizen of Ulcinj.

Before the scheduled meeting, Vučić said that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov informed him about worrying information concerning various Western plans and ideas regarding the solution to the Kosovo crisis. Vučić pointed out that he exchanged opinions with Lavrov on a number of issues but that the key topic was the relationship between the two countries and Russia’s support for the integrity of Serbia and the situation in Kosovo.

“We received certain assessments from the Russian Federation […] which worried me. They concern various plans and ideas regarding the solution to the Kosovo crisis. I do not want to deceive anyone and hide from the public: obviously we are facing a difficult period, in which we will face great pressure to realize some plans that we did not officially or unofficially get, but based on the assessments of our Russian friends, it seems that we will have to be very careful in following every idea that is presented to us,” Vučić said at the press conference after their meeting.

Thanking Russia for supporting Serbia in the United Nations and in all international forums, Vučić said that it had been agreed that Serbia would consult with Russia on an almost daily basis, emphasizing that one thing was clear:

“If at any time and in any place a solution is reached, any solution requires the consent of Russia. We do not want everyone else to be consulted without anyone asking Russia anything.”

He added that Russia supported the dialogue under the auspices of the EU, while Serbia is ready to listen to all other political actors and their ideas. He emphasized that Serbia will be able to protect its vital national interests, regardless of the price it will have to pay.

It begs the question whether the Trump administration now has the willingness to come up with a solution for Kosovo, especially as it is evident that the Albanians are connected with the Democrats in the U.S. and the criminal roots of Kosovo’s independence are being further exposed. The indictment against Thaçi is a major embarrassment for Washington as they have been the main backers of the illegal separation of Kosovo from Serbia. If Thaçi’s allegations are proven true by The Hague, it would mean Washington would have always known about the criminal activities of the KLA and the ongoing criminality in Kosovo’s government, but chose to ignore them to carve out a pro-US state from a pro-Russia Serbia.

Posted in USA, C.I.A, Kosovo, SerbiaComments Off on Сriminal Roots of Kosovo Further Exposed by Thaçi’s Indictment in The Hague

The Prosecution of Washington’s Kosovo Clients for War Crimes

By Ted Galen Carpenter

The United States and its NATO allies launched a military intervention in 1999 that helped the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) win its secessionist campaign against Serbia.U.S. officials justified that intervention on the grounds that Serbian security forces were committing pervasive war crimes against the Kosovar insurgents. American supporters of the KLA also asserted that the secessionists were staunch Western‐​style democrats mounting a noble resistance against Slobodan Milosevic’s corrupt, brutal regime, and that America had a moral obligation to support them. Speaking at a pro‐​Kosovo march in Washington D. C., Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) stated that the “United States of America and the Kosovo Liberation Army stand for the same human values and principles.… Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values.”

There was abundant evidence at the time that KLA leaders did not embody such values. Shortly after Kosovo became independent, KLA‐​supported mobs destroyed Serbian religious sites and waged a campaign of ethnic cleansing that expelled thousands of Serbs, as well as Roma and other minorities. Years later, evidence of utterly barbaric behavior during and after the war emerged. In 2010, an investigative report for the Council of Europe confirmed long‐​standing rumors that the KLA was involved in the trafficking of human organs, including killing Serb prisoners of war to harvest their kidneys and other organs. The lead investigator and author of the report was Swiss Senator Dick Marty, a highly respected champion of human rights.One of the suspects specifically named was Kosovo prime minister (currently president) Hashim Thaci. Yet U.S. leaders in the Bush, Obama, and Trump administration continued to back the KLA alumni who dominated Kosovo’s politics. The flow of foreign aid money from Washington continued unabated.

It now will—or at least should—be very difficult for Washington to persist in that policy.On June 24, Thaci and nine other former separatist military leaders were indicted on a range of crimes against humanity and war crimes charges by an international prosecutor probing their actions against ethnic Serbs and others during and after Kosovo’s 1998–99 war for independence against Serbia. The prosecutor for the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, a court based in The Hague, said Thaci and the nine others “are criminally responsible for nearly 100 murders” involving hundreds of Serb and Roma victims, as well as Kosovo Albanian political opponents. At the time of his indictment, Thaci was about to depart on one of his many trips to Washington to consult with U.S. officials on Balkan affairs.

This case is yet another shameful episode in which U.S. leaders have embraced thuggish geopolitical clients and portrayed them as committed democrats. At times, the United States has even gone to war on behalf of such odious clients.Washington’s support for Ahmed Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress played a major role in America’s decision to wage the ill‐​advised military crusade in that country. More recently, Obama administration officials and many of their allies in the media have portrayed Islamic jihadists in Syria as freedom fighters seeking to overthrow Bashar al-Assad’s regime, and, therefore, are worthy of U.S. backing.

Such chronic misrepresentations should not only cause U.S. leaders acute embarrassment, there needs to be a fundamental reexamination of America’s foreign policy to prevent such fiascos in the future. A good place to start is with a repudiation of the leaders Washington helped bring to power in Kosovo.

Posted in USA, C.I.A, Human Rights, KosovoComments Off on The Prosecution of Washington’s Kosovo Clients for War Crimes

21 Years Ago, NATO’s War on Yugoslavia: Kosovo “Freedom Fighters” Financed by Organized Crime

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Twenty-one years ago, June 10 1999, marks the end of NATO’s  aerial bombardment of Yugoslavia (March 24, 1999- June 10, 1999). The bombings which lasted for almost three months, were followed by the military invasion (under a bogus UN mandate) and illegal occupation of  the province of Kosovo.

21 years later on April 24, 2020, the leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) Hashim Thaci who subsequently became “Prime Minister” and “President” of Kosovo was indicted for crimes against humanity.

The Kosovo Specialist Prosecutor’s Office At The Hague filed an indictment against Hashim Thaci on April 24, 2020 ” for a range of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, enforced disappearance of persons, persecution, and torture.”  

According to prosecutor Jack Smith, Thaci and his close allies “put their personal interests ahead of the victims of their crimes, the rule of law, and all people of Kosovo”. 

Nonsense: It took them 21 years years to acknowledge the crimes committed by the KLA. Those crimes were ordered by US-NATO. Hacim Thaci was and remains a US-NATO proxy. The KLA was supported by the CIA and Germany’s BND (Bundes Nachrichten Dienst).

Thaci was an the Interpol list. The KLA was also supported by Al Qaeda.

Balkan Insight 

From the very outset those crimes against the people of Serbia and Kosovo were committed on behalf of the Atlantic Alliance. NATO’s war on Yugoslavia was based on the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P), their alleged “humanitarian” mandate was “to come to the rescue” of people of Kosovo.

The KLA had extensive links to organized crime involved in drug trafficking. In the wake of the 1999 war, 21 years ago, a Mafia State was installed in Kosovo. The bombing of Yugoslavia ceased on June 10th.

That same month of June, The US established in Kosovo its US military base Camp Bondsteel which constitutes “the largest and the most expensive foreign military base built by the US in Europe, since the Vietnam War”.

And then all of sudden 21 years later, the Hague Prosecutor says that Hashim Thaci is  a “war criminal”. His links to NATO are not mentioned.

In 1999, while the bombings of Yugoslavia were ongoing, some of America’s “Left” including  Znet were supportive of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), pointing to their so-called Marxist-Leninist roots:

At present, the only armed force capable of defending the Kosovar Albanian villages that remain is the Kosova Liberation Army (KLA). Despite political shortcomings born of the state of lawlessness into which the 90% Albanian majority has been thrown over the last 10 years, since Milosevic abolished Kosova’s autonomy, the KLA last year managed to organise an army of up to 40,000 fighters.    …

For example, Stephen Shalom, in an article on ZNet states: “I am sympathetic to the argument that says that if people want to fight for their rights, if they are not asking others to do it for them, then they ought to be provided with the weapons to help them succeed. Such an argument seemed to me persuasive with respect to Bosnia.”

In that same article, I was personally accused of having “discredited the KLA”:

“Michel Chossudovsky, a professor of economics at the University of Ottawa, has set out the most meticulous frame-up in a piece entitled “Freedom Fighters Financed by Organised Crime”, which has been doing the internet circuit. Full of half-truths, assumptions and innuendoes about the KLA’s alleged use of drug money, Chossudovsky’s article seeks to discredit the KLA as a genuine liberation movement representing the aspirations of the oppressed Albanian majority. …

Listen to the report of Democracy Now on the KLA links to the Drug Trade (June 2, 1999)

These so-called “half truths and innuendos” were the object of my article written in April 1999 at the height of the NATO bombings. entitled : Kosovo “Freedom Fighters” Financed by Organized Crime,  April 1999

A word in relation to the Indictment of Hashim Thaci. He was “a paid killer” acting on behalf of his sponsors.

The KLA was relentlessly supported by NATO and the US military.

The following article was written and published in April 1999.

Michel Chossudovsky, July 8, 2020

***

Kosovo “Freedom Fighters” Financed by Organized Crime

Michel Chossudovsky

April 15, 1999

Heralded by the global media as a humanitarian peace-keeping mission, NATO’s ruthless bombing of Belgrade and Pristina goes far beyond the breach of international law. While Slobodan Milosevic is demonised, portrayed as a remorseless dictator, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) is upheld as a self-respecting nationalist movement struggling for the rights of ethnic Albanians. The truth of the matter is that the KLA is sustained by organised crime with the tacit approval of the United States and its allies.

Following a pattern set during the War in Bosnia, public opinion has been carefully misled. The multibillion dollar Balkans narcotics trade has played a crucial role in “financing the conflict” in Kosovo in accordance with Western economic, strategic and military objectives. Amply documented by European police files, acknowledged by numerous studies, the links of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) to criminal syndicates in Albania, Turkey and the European Union have been known to Western governments and intelligence agencies since the mid-1990s.

“…The financing of the Kosovo guerilla war poses critical questions and it sorely test claims of an “ethical” foreign policy. Should the West back a guerilla army that appears to partly financed by organised crime.” 1

While KLA leaders were shaking hands with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright at Rambouillet, Europol (the European Police Organization based in the Hague) was “preparing a report for European interior and justice ministers on a connection between the KLA and Albanian drug gangs.”2 In the meantime, the rebel army has been skilfully heralded by the global media (in the months preceding the NATO bombings) as broadly representative of the interests of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.

With KLA leader Hashim Thaci (a 29 year “freedom fighter”) appointed as chief negotiator at Rambouillet, the KLA has become the de facto helmsman of the peace process on behalf of the ethnic Albanian majority and this despite its links to the drug trade. The West was relying on its KLA puppets to rubber-stamp an agreement which would have transformed Kosovo into an occupied territory under Western Administration.

Ironically Robert Gelbard, America’s special envoy to Bosnia, had described the KLA last year as “terrorists”. Christopher Hill, America’s chief negotiator and architect of the Rambouillet agreement “has also been a strong critic of the KLA for its alleged dealings in drugs.”3 Moreover, barely a few two months before Rambouillet, the US State Department had acknowledged (based on reports from the US Observer Mission) the role of the KLA in terrorising and uprooting ethnic Albanians:

“…the KLA harass or kidnap anyone who comes to the police, … KLA representatives had threatened to kill villagers and burn their homes if they did not join the KLA [a process which has continued since the NATO bombings]… [T]he KLA harassment has reached such intensity that residents of six villages in the Stimlje region are “ready to flee.” 4

While backing a “freedom movement” with links to the drug trade, the West seems also intent in bypassing the civilian Kosovo Democratic League and its leader Ibrahim Rugova who has called for an end to the bombings and expressed his desire to negotiate a peaceful settlement with the Yugoslav authorities.5 It is worth recalling that a few days before his March 31st Press Conference, Rugova had been reported by the KLA (alongside three other leaders including Fehmi Agani) to have been killed by the Serbs.Kosovo’s “Mafia State” and Camp Bondsteel: Towards a Permanent US Military Presence in Southeast Europe

Covert Financing of “Freedom Fighters”

Remember Oliver North and the Contras? The pattern in Kosovo is similar to other CIA covert operations in Central America, Haiti and Afghanistan where “freedom fighters” were financed through the laundering of drug money. Since the onslaught of the Cold War, Western intelligence agencies have developed a complex relationship to the illegal narcotics trade. In case after case, drug money laundered in the international banking system has financed covert operations.

According to author Alfred McCoy, the pattern of covert financing was established in the Indochina war. In the 1960s, the Meo army in Laos was funded by the narcotics trade as part of Washington’s military strategy against the combined forces of the neutralist government of Prince Souvanna Phouma and the Pathet Lao.6

The pattern of drug politics set in Indochina has since been replicated in Central America and the Caribbean. “The rising curve of cocaine imports to the US”, wrote journalist John Dinges “followed almost exactly the flow of US arms and military advisers to Central America”.7

The military in Guatemala and Haiti, to which the CIA provided covert support, were known to be involved in the trade of narcotics into Southern Florida. And as revealed in the Iran-Contra and Bank of Commerce and Credit International (BCCI) scandals, there was strong evidence that covert operations were funded through the laundering of drug money. “Dirty money” recycled through the banking system–often through an anonymous shell company– became “covert money,” used to finance various rebel groups and guerilla movements including the Nicaraguan Contras and the Afghan Mujahadeen. According to a 1991 Time Magazine report:

“Because the US wanted to supply the mujehadeen rebels in Afghanistan with stinger missiles and other military hardware it needed the full cooperation of Pakistan. By the mid-1980s, the CIA operation in Islamabad was one of the largest US intelligence stations in the World. `If BCCI is such an embarrassment to the US that forthright investigations are not being pursued it has a lot to do with the blind eye the US turned to the heroin trafficking in Pakistan’, said a US intelligence officer.”8

America and Germany join Hands

Since the early 1990s, Bonn and Washington have joined hands in establishing their respective spheres of influence in the Balkans. Their intelligence agencies have also collaborated. According to intelligence analyst John Whitley, covert support to the Kosovo rebel army was established as a joint endeavour between the CIA and Germany’s Bundes Nachrichten Dienst (BND) (which previously played a key role in installing a right wing nationalist government under Franjo Tudjman in Croatia).9 The task to create and finance the KLA was initially given to Germany: “They used German uniforms, East German weapons and were financed, in part, with drug money”.10 According to Whitley, the CIA was, subsequently instrumental in training and equipping the KLA in Albania.11

The covert activities of Germany’s BND were consistent with Bonn’s intent to expand its “Lebensraum” into the Balkans. Prior to the onset of the civil war in Bosnia, Germany and its Foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher had actively supported secession; it had “forced the pace of international diplomacy” and pressured its Western allies to recognize Slovenia and Croatia. According to the Geopolitical Drug Watch, both Germany and the US favoured (although not officially) the formation of a “Greater Albania” encompassing Albania, Kosovo and parts of Macedonia.12 According to Sean Gervasi, Germany was seeking a free hand among its allies “to pursue economic dominance in the whole of Mitteleuropa.”13

Islamic Fundamentalism in Support of the KLA

Bonn and Washington’s “hidden agenda” consisted in triggering nationalist liberation movements in Bosnia and Kosovo with the ultimate purpose of destabilising Yugoslavia. The latter objective was also carried out “by turning a blind eye” to the influx of mercenaries and financial support from Islamic fundamentalist organisations.14

Mercenaries financed by Saudi Arabia and Koweit had been fighting in Bosnia.15 And the Bosnian pattern was replicated in Kosovo: Mujahadeen mercenaries from various Islamic countries are reported to be fighting alongside the KLA in Kosovo. German, Turkish and Afghan instructors were reported to be training the KLA in guerilla and diversion tactics.16

According to a Deutsche Press-Agentur report, financial support from Islamic countries to the KLA had been channelled through the former Albanian chief of the National Information Service (NIS), Bashkim Gazidede.17 “Gazidede, reportedly a devout Moslem who fled Albania in March of last year [1997], is presently [1998] being investigated for his contacts with Islamic terrorist organizations.”18

The supply route for arming KLA “freedom fighters” are the rugged mountainous borders of Albania with Kosovo and Macedonia. Albania is also a key point of transit of the Balkans drug route which supplies Western Europe with grade four heroin. 75% of the heroin entering Western Europe is from Turkey. And a large part of drug shipments originating in Turkey transits through the Balkans. According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), “it is estimated that 4-6 metric tons of heroin leave each month from Turkey having [through the Balkans] as destination Western Europe.”19 A recent intelligence report by Germany’s Federal Criminal Agency suggests that: “Ethnic Albanians are now the most prominent group in the distribution of heroin in Western consumer countries.”20

The Laundering of Dirty Money

In order to thrive, the criminal syndicates involved in the Balkans narcotics trade need friends in high places. Smuggling rings with alleged links to the Turkish State are said to control the trafficking of heroin through the Balkans “cooperating closely with other groups with which they have political or religious ties” including criminal groups in Albanian and Kosovo.21 In this new global financial environment, powerful undercover political lobbies connected to organized crime cultivate links to prominent political figures and officials of the military and intelligence establishment.

The narcotics trade nonetheless uses respectable banks to launder large amounts of dirty money. While comfortably removed from the smuggling operations per se, powerful banking interests in Turkey but mainly those in financial centres in Western Europe discretely collect fat commissions in a multibillion dollar money laundering operation. These interests have high stakes in ensuring a safe passage of drug shipments into Western European markets.

The Albanian Connection

Arms smuggling from Albania into Kosovo and Macedonia started at the beginning of 1992, when the Democratic Party came to power, headed by President Sali Berisha. An expansive underground economy and cross border trade had unfolded. A triangular trade in oil, arms and narcotics had developed largely as a result of the embargo imposed by the international community on Serbia and Montenegro and the blockade enforced by Greece against Macedonia.

Industry and agriculture in Kosovo were spearheaded into bankruptcy following the IMF’s lethal “economic medicine” imposed on Belgrade in 1990. The embargo was imposed on Yugoslavia. Ethnic Albanians and Serbs were driven into abysmal poverty. Economic collapse created an environment which fostered the progress of illicit trade. In Kosovo, the rate of unemployment increased to a staggering 70 percent (according to Western sources).

Poverty and economic collapse served to exacerbate simmering ethnic tensions. Thousands of unemployed youths “barely out of their Teens” from an impoverished population, were drafted into the ranks of the KLA…22

In neighbouring Albania, the free market reforms adopted since 1992 had created conditions which favoured the criminalisation of State institutions. Drug money was also laundered in the Albanian pyramids (ponzi schemes) which mushroomed during the government of former President Sali Berisha (1992-1997).23 These shady investment funds were an integral part of the economic reforms inflicted by Western creditors on Albania.

Drug barons in Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia (with links to the Italian mafia) had become the new economic elites, often associated with Western business interests. In turn the financial proceeds of the trade in drugs and arms were recycled towards other illicit activities (and vice versa) including a vast prostitution racket between Albania and Italy. Albanian criminal groups operating in Milan, “have become so powerful running prostitution rackets that they have even taken over the Calabrians in strength and influence.”24

The application of “strong economic medicine” under the guidance of the Washington based Bretton Woods institutions had contributed to wrecking Albania’s banking system and precipitating the collapse of the Albanian economy. The resulting chaos enabled American and European transnationals to carefully position themselves. Several Western oil companies including Occidental, Shell and British Petroleum had their eyes rivetted on Albania’s abundant and unexplored oil-deposits. Western investors were also gawking Albania’s extensive reserves of chrome, copper, gold, nickel and platinum… The Adenauer Foundation had been lobbying in the background on behalf of German mining interests. 25

Berisha’s Minister of Defence Safet Zoulali (alleged to have been involved in the illegal oil and narcotics trade) was the architect of the agreement with Germany’s Preussag (handing over control over Albania’s chrome mines) against the competing bid of the US led consortium of Macalloy Inc. in association with Rio Tinto Zimbabwe (RTZ).26

Large amounts of narco-dollars had also been recycled into the privatisation programmes leading to the acquisition of State assets by the mafias. In Albania, the privatisation programme had led virtually overnight to the development of a property owning class firmly committed to the “free market”. In Northern Albania, this class was associated with the Guegue “families” linked to the Democratic Party.

Controlled by the Democratic Party under the presidency of Sali Berisha (1992-97), Albania’s largest financial “pyramid” VEFA Holdings had been set up by the Guegue “families” of Northern Albania with the support of Western banking interests. VEFA was under investigation in Italy in 1997 for its ties to the Mafia which allegedly used VEFA to launder large amounts of dirty money.27

According to one press report (based on intelligence sources), senior members of the Albanian government during the Presidency of Sali Berisha including cabinet members and members of the secret police SHIK were alleged to be involved in drugs trafficking and illegal arms trading into Kosovo:

(…) The allegations are very serious. Drugs, arms, contraband cigarettes all are believed to have been handled by a company run openly by Albania’s ruling Democratic Party, Shqiponja (…). In the course of 1996 Defence Minister, Safet Zhulali [was alleged] to had used his office to facilitate the transport of arms, oil and contraband cigarettes. (…) Drugs barons from Kosovo (…) operate in Albania with impunity, and much of the transportation of heroin and other drugs across Albania, from Macedonia and Greece en route to Italy, is believed to be organised by Shik, the state security police (…). Intelligence agents are convinced the chain of command in the rackets goes all the way to the top and have had no hesitation in naming ministers in their reports.28

The trade in narcotics and weapons was allowed to prosper despite the presence since 1993 of a large contingent of American troops at the Albanian-Macedonian border with a mandate to enforce the embargo. The West had turned a blind eye. The revenues from oil and narcotics were used to finance the purchase of arms (often in terms of direct barter): “Deliveries of oil to Macedonia (skirting the Greek embargo [in 1993-4] can be used to cover heroin, as do deliveries of kalachnikov rifles to Albanian `brothers’ in Kosovo”.29

The Northern tribal clans or “fares” had also developed links with Italy’s crime syndicates.30 In turn, the latter played a key role in smuggling arms across the Adriatic into the Albanian ports of Dures and Valona. At the outset in 1992, the weapons channelled into Kosovo were largely small arms including Kalashnikov AK-47 rifles, RPK and PPK machine-guns, 12.7 calibre heavy machine-guns, etc.

The proceeds of the narcotics trade has enabled the KLA to rapidly develop a force of some 30,000 men. More recently, the KLA has acquired more sophisticated weaponry including anti-aircraft and antiarmor rockets. According to Belgrade, some of the funds have come directly from the CIA “funnelled through a so-called “Government of Kosovo” based in Geneva, Switzerland. Its Washington office employs the public-relations firm of Ruder Finn–notorious for its slanders of the Belgrade government”.31

The KLA has also acquired electronic surveillance equipment which enables it to receive NATO satellite information concerning the movement of the Yugoslav Army. The KLA training camp in Albania is said to “concentrate on heavy weapons training – rocket propelled grenades, medium caliber cannons, tanks and transporter use, as well as on communications, and command and control”. (According to Yugoslav government sources.32

These extensive deliveries of weapons to the Kosovo rebel army were consistent with Western geopolitical objectives. Not surprisingly, there has been a “deafening silence” of the international media regarding the Kosovo arms-drugs trade. In the words of a 1994 Report of the Geopolitical Drug Watch:

“the trafficking [of drugs and arms] is basically being judged on its geostrategic implications (…) In Kosovo, drugs and weapons trafficking is fuelling geopolitical hopes and fears”…33

The fate of Kosovo had already been carefully laid out prior to the signing of the 1995 Dayton agreement. NATO had entered an unwholesome “marriage of convenience” with the mafia. “Freedom fighters” were put in place, the narcotics trade enabled Washington and Bonn to “finance the Kosovo conflict” with the ultimate objective of destabilising the Belgrade government and fully recolonising the Balkans. The destruction of an entire country is the outcome. Western governments which participated in the NATO operation bear a heavy burden of responsibility in the deaths of civilians, the impoverishment of both the ethnic Albanian and Serbian populations and the plight of those who were brutally uprooted from towns and villages in Kosovo as a result of the bombings.

NOTES

1. Roger Boyes and Eske Wright, Drugs Money Linked to the Kosovo Rebels The Times, London, Monday, March 24, 1999.

2. Ibid.

3. Philip Smucker and Tim Butcher, “Shifting stance over KLA has betrayed’ Albanians”, Daily Telegraph, London, 6 April 1999

4. KDOM Daily Report, released by the Bureau of European and Canadian Affairs, Office of South Central European Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC, December 21, 1998; Compiled by EUR/SCE (202-647-4850) from daily reports of the U.S. element of the Kosovo Diplomatic Observer Mission, December 21, 1998.

5. “Rugova, sous protection serbe appelle a l’arret des raides”, Le Devoir, Montreal, 1 April 1999.

6. See Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia Harper and Row, New York, 1972.

7. See John Dinges, Our Man in Panama, The Shrewd Rise and Brutal Fall of Manuel Noriega, Times Books, New York, 1991.

8. “The Dirtiest Bank of All,” Time, July 29, 1991, p. 22.

9. Truth in Media, Phoenix, 2 April, 1999; see also Michel Collon, Poker Menteur, editions EPO, Brussels, 1997.

10. Quoted in Truth in Media, Phoenix, 2 April, 1999).

11. Ibid.

12. Geopolitical Drug Watch, No 32, June 1994, p. 4

13. Sean Gervasi, “Germany, US and the Yugoslav Crisis”, Covert Action Quarterly, No. 43, Winter 1992-93).

14. See Daily Telegraph, 29 December 1993.

15. For further details see Michel Collon, Poker Menteur, editions EPO, Brussels, 1997, p. 288.

16. Truth in Media, Kosovo in Crisis, Phoenix, 2 April 1999.

17. Deutsche Presse-Agentur, March 13, 1998.

18. Ibid.

19. Daily News, Ankara, 5 March 1997.

20. Quoted in Boyes and Wright, op cit.

21. ANA, Athens, 28 January 1997, see also Turkish Daily News, 29 January 1997.

22. Brian Murphy, KLA Volunteers Lack Experience, The Associated Press, 5 April 1999.

23. See Geopolitical Drug Watch, No. 35, 1994, p. 3, see also Barry James, In Balkans, Arms for Drugs, The International Herald Tribune Paris, June 6, 1994.

24. The Guardian, 25 March 1997.

25. For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, La crisi albanese, Edizioni Gruppo Abele, Torino, 1998.

26. Ibid.

27. Andrew Gumbel, The Gangster Regime We Fund, The Independent, February 14, 1997, p. 15.

28. Ibid.

29. Geopolitical Drug Watch, No. 35, 1994, p. 3.

30. Geopolitical Drug Watch, No 66, p. 4.

31. Quoted in Workers’ World, May 7, 1998.

32. See Government of Yugoslavia at http://www.gov.yu/terrorism/terroristcamps.html.

33. Geopolitical Drug Watch, No 32, June 1994, p. 4.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2020

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Posted in USA, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, YugoslaviaComments Off on 21 Years Ago, NATO’s War on Yugoslavia: Kosovo “Freedom Fighters” Financed by Organized Crime

Can Serbia Trust Washington’s Assurances in Upcoming Meeting with Kosovo?

By: Paul Antonopoulos

It came as a shock to everyone when it was announced yesterday that discussions and negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo will take place at the White House in Washington on June 27. This came as a surprise as it was widely believed that President Donald Trump had no interest in the Kosovo issue and was satisfied to allow the Europeans to mediate it.

Richard Grenell, the U.S. president’s special envoy for Kosovo, believes there is a possibility to reach at least an agreement on economic cooperation. He said on Twitter that he “received the commitment from” both governments to attend the June 27 Washington talks and to “temporarily pause the derecognition campaign and the seeking of international memberships.”

Richard Grenell@RichardGrenell

If either side is unsatisfied with the June 27 discussions then they will go back to the status quo after they leave Washington.
As we have consistently said, we must first make progress on growing the economies. This is the focus. I look forward to these discussions. (2/2) https://twitter.com/RichardGrenell/status/1272566059657117697 …Richard Grenell@RichardGrenellGreat news! I have received the commitment from the governments of Kosovo and Serbia to temporarily pause the derecognition campaign and the seeking of international memberships in order to meet in Washington, DC at the White House on June 27 for Dialogue discussions. (1/2)2,9535:28 PM – Jun 15, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy1,268 people are talking about this

Although Kosovo illegally broke off from Serbia in February 2008 and received recognition from a majority of countries around the world, Belgrade has pursued a successful diplomatic push to have states derecognize Kosovo, with the most recent being the West African country of Sierra Leone on March 2 of this year. To date, 15 countries have withdrawn their recognition of an independent Kosovo, making the split between international recognition and non-recognition at about 50% each. Belgrade’s campaigning has also hindered Kosovo’s efforts for membership in international organizations like Interpol and UNESCO.

With a temporary truce in place, Washington is hoping to establish trade relations between Serbia and Kosovo, with Grenell saying “if either side is unsatisfied with the June 27 discussions then they will go back to the status quo after they leave Washington. As we have consistently said, we must first make progress on growing the economies.”

If we look at what Grenell has already said publicly, it appears that he is confident that an agreement can be reached regarding open economic cooperation between Belgrade and Pristina. Such an agreement would help create some momentum before the next round of negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina on finalizing the status of Kosovo.

With the U.S. inundated with domestic issues, like the out of control coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, foreign policy issues, with the exception of perhaps China, will not play a major role in the upcoming presidential election, giving Trump more freedom to pursue certain issues. This is in addition to a mainstream media that are oriented against Trump and will not emphasize any of his successes in the foreign policy field.

This announced meeting comes as only a few days ago Trump said that he would no longer engage in experiments to create new states that are not capable of surviving on their own, such as Kosovo. It is for this reason that we can interpret Grenell’s statement that things will return to the status quo if parties are not satisfied with the results of the upcoming talks as a demonstration of Trump’s loose support for Kosovo’s Albanians as Washington will not put demands against Serbia. This statement is a result of the growing frustration that the White House, the State Department, and even Grenell himself has because of the unstable political situation in Pristina.

Albanian influence in Washington is losing ground, with only minimal support in Congress, especially in the House of Commons, where one of their key allies, Eliot Engel, is also the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. He tried to impose the views of previous administrations through testimonies, writing letters and public appearances, criticizing the Trump administration’s policy regarding negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina. However, he has been mostly ignored by the president.

There has been no progress in the negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina in finalizing Kosovo’s status and the U.S. has virtually no trust in Kosovo leader Hashim Thaçi and the entire political elite in Pristina. However, Grenell would not have organized a meeting in the White House if he was not confident that some kind of economic agreement could be reached between the Serbs and Kosovo Albanians.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić emphasized yesterday that Serbia will certainly not agree to the recognition of Kosovo’s independence while in Washington. Similar statements also came from Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić, who is wary of Pristina’s consent to suspend the campaign for admission to international institutions.

“The problem is, however, that we do not trust the Albanians in Pristina, because they have always lied and made unilateral moves,” Dačić said.

He added that if what Grenell announced on Twitter was true, Belgrade expects Pristina to immediately withdraw the requests for membership that it submitted to international organizations.

It is likely that for Trump it is unimportant whether Serbia continues its campaign to have countries withdraw recognition of an independent Kosovo, but for the Albanians it would be critical as Belgrade has been highly successful. It is for this reason that Kosovo’s biggest opposition party, Vetëvendosje, accused Thaçi of going against Kosovo’s interests by suspending the membership process to join international organizations, especially at a time when more and more countries are withdrawing their recognition of an independent Kosovo.

Even though Vučić has suspicions about the sincerity of Kosovo’s halt on joining international organizations, demonstrating that Serbia does not trust Washington’s assurances, Belgrade is fully prepared to continue its successful campaign of derecognition in the event of Pristina withdrawing on their word.

Posted in USA, Kosovo, SerbiaComments Off on Can Serbia Trust Washington’s Assurances in Upcoming Meeting with Kosovo?

EU Demands Serbia to Help Kosovo During Coronavirus Crisis

By Paul Antonopoulos

Global Research,

The Working Group for the Chapter 35 of the Serbian National Convention on the European Union (EU) has called for the authorities in Serbia and Kosovo to create a cooperation to reduce the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We witness the coronavirus pandemic (COVID19) representing a great danger everywhere in the world and the health systems increasingly burdened with the number of infected patients. The pandemic has shown that the spread of the disease goes beyond borders, national and ethnic origin or religion of the affected, and can only be combatted through joint action, cooperation and solidarity. Cooperation is necessary primarily for the sake of humanity and responsibility for human lives in these difficult times,” the press release reads.

In times of crisis, the EU proclaims that Kosovo is in fact Serbia’s responsibility. This unprincipled nature of the EU is solely guided by the interests of its major members and aims to palm off the medical responsibility of the illegal breakaway province of Kosovo back to Serbia. The EU did nothing to suppress Albanian separatism. In fact, the EU supports the illegality of Kosovo’s independence by deploying over 1,000 police officers under the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo mandate and all member states with the exception of Greece, Cyprus, Romania and Slovakia, recognizing Kosovo’s independence.

The EU Task Force on Chapter 35 calls for communication channels between medical staff in Serbia and Kosovo to be open as it would allow the exchange of information on the pandemic to be crossed over on a daily basis. This could also perhaps even contribute significantly to the reconciliation of the two entities. Even though Serbia is under EU pressure to help Kosovo, Belgrade should not give in to any concessions offered by Brussels on the Kosovo issue. The promise of EU membership will certainly be mentioned.

The EU is trying to force Serbia to expend their resources to send aid to Kosovo without expecting any acts of good will from the Albanian side. This is a policy that requires Serbia to treat Kosovo as its own territory while the EU still attempts to make Belgrade accept that Kosovo is an independent state. AKosovo Wants to Establish its Own Armed Forces. Kosovo is a De Facto “NATO Protectorate”

similar appeal was sent to Serbia from the EU at the time of the migrant crisis when the EU also isolated itself of the problems in Kosovo and asked Belgrade to cooperate with Pristina in controlling migrant flows and make records of illegal immigrants traveling via Kosovo in 2015 and 2016.

While Serbia is expected to help Kosovo, despite the EU’s insistence that it is independent, Serbia is not able to assist the Republika Srpska in Bosnia. As part of Bosnia’s independence deal, two entities were formed, the Serbian-majority Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Hezegovina, where the majority of Muslims and Croatians in Bosnia live. Sarajevo’s political leaders are vetoing the decision of the Republika Srpska National Assembly to introduce a state of emergency in its territory to stop the spread of the coronavirus. For political reasons, Muslim Bosnians are stopping life-saving security measures, which are supported by the international community, and while Serbia is expected to help Kosovo, it cannot help the Republika Srpska.

Bosnia blocked the Republika Srpska so that the borders between the two entities could not be closed as the Serbian entity wanted to do. However, if we look internationally to places like Australia, states in the same country have closed their own borders to those who do not live in a particular state. According to the laws of Bosnia, Republika Srpska cannot close their border without approval from Sarajevo.

Therefore, Sarajevo’s moves are about antagonism and political contradiction at a time when coronavirus can engulf both entities of the country. The Bosnian Muslims have no argument for denying measures to protect people from coronavirus and are using this situation to stir up ethnic tensions rather than seeing this as a medical issue. As already showed earlier, it is not a contradiction to close the borders of the entities as many states and regions around the world have closed their borders despite being the same country.

The Republika Srpska are trying to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously and its National Assembly even voted in a majority to declare a state of emergency. Even EU High Representative to Bosnia, Valentin Incko, welcomed the decision and the commitment of Republika Srpska President Željka Cvijanović to use extraordinary powers in the interest of public health. Incko also pointed out that stopping the spread of the coronavirus and saving the lives of citizens must be priorities for all Bosnian authorities. However, his recommendations did not go into the realm of pressuring Bosnian authorities, and so long as the borders remain open, the people of Republika Srpska remain susceptible to higher rates of infection.

While Serbia is expected to assist Kosovo on the behalf of the EU, despite not being an EU member and the EU insisting on Kosovo’s independence, Belgrade also cannot assist Republika Srpska without being accused of interfering in Bosnian affairs. It is little wonder then that Belgrade has lost interest in appeasing Brussels and no longer responds to promises of EU membership, and rather it continues to build its relations with traditional ally Russia as well as emerging superpower China.

Posted in Europe, Kosovo, SerbiaComments Off on EU Demands Serbia to Help Kosovo During Coronavirus Crisis

Balkan ‘Genocides’ Are Not to be Questioned

By Stephen Karganovic

Genocide accusations are, it would seem, the latest fashion spreading out of the Balkans. On December 5, a former minister in the “government” of NATO occupied and administered Kosovo, Ivan Todosijević, who happens to be an otherwise occupation friendly and cooperative ethnic Serb, was sentenced to a two-year prison term. The court found him guilty of making what it considered the outrageous claim that the so-called genocidal “Račak massacre,” which in 1999 triggered NATO aggression against Yugoslavia, was an imposture. Since the trial began just two days before, by Balkan standards the swiftly reached verdict was remarkably expeditious, suggesting the importance which the NATO imposed and sustained authorities, as well as their foreign backers, attach to the dubious Račak narrative.

To arrive at such a harsh judgment, the Kosovo court must surely have dug up startling new evidence about what actually happened in Račak that even ICTY failed to produce. In 1999, ICTY amended its initial indictments of Serbian military and political leaders to include the slaughter of Albanian civilians in Račak. The incident was said to be a cold-blooded, genocidal murder of forty-five helpless Albanian peasants, executed by a unit of the Yugoslav army after it had besieged and captured their village. All well and good, while the NATO attack was in progress and public support needed to be drummed up by publicizing shocking atrocity stories. Later however, when things had calmed down and prosecutors would have been obliged to present some semblance of credible evidence to support their claim, the Račak episode was quietly dropped by ICTY, due to lack of evidence to support the accusation.

The reason Račak is so important to the construction of the mythological narrative in which recent Kosovo history under NATO occupation is enveloped is precisely because it served as a conveniently arranged “humanitarian catastrophe” to justify unleashing the military campaign against Yugoslavia that had already been decided on before that.

The principal actor in that operation was a certain William Walker, officially billed as a “US diplomat,” at the time head of the Kosovo Verification Mission. His dramatic arrival in Račak and public asseveration that he was shocked by the horror of the crime scene he found there set the propaganda stage for what was to follow. Ironically, Walker had plenty of experience earlier in his career arranging genuine massacres of El Salvadorean peasants during their rebellion against the pro-Western, neo-colonial regime that had been imposed in that country.

However, he was quite sloppy and turned a dismal failure when it came to staging the phony massacre in Račak. Since the alleged victims were members of the KLA terrorist outfit killed in a legitimate police operation, they quickly had to be refurbished for public display, while covering up as much tell-tale forensic information as possible. In the process, some mix-ups occurred that gave the game away. In the gully where the victims’ bodies were laid out to be photographed by the foreign media, there curiously was no evidence of blood around the corpses (watch 00:25 – 00:41 seconds). The suspicion that the bodies were hastily dressed up in a different set of civilian clothes not their own, to mask the fact that they were soldiers, was also corroborated by the fact that holes in the victims’ clothing generally did not correspond to the entry wounds of the bullets that killed them.Judiciary as Continuation of Warfare: How the West Uses Srebrenica to Implement Thought-crime Legislation

But none of these details apparently bothered the Kosovo court when it issued its stern judgment against Todosijević for “incitement to ethnic, racial, and religious hate, disorder and intolerance,” just for pointing out some of these incongruities.

Both the court’s procedural swiftness and the categorical nature of its conclusions are understandable in light of the importance of Račak in the historical mythology earlier referred to. The ultimate objective was not to just sentence some poor chap for a thought crime, but something much larger than that. Račak is symbolically the corner-stone of the Kosovo Albanians’ own emerging “genocide” narrative. Never mind that this vacuous charge, raised during the NATO assault on Yugoslavia in 1999, was discarded shortly after peace was restored. It has recently been boldly reinstated, thus successfully questioning Račak would further undermine whatever scant credibility the protected narrative may have.

As the perennial source and model – at least in recent times – of the Balkan “genocide” epidemic, Srebrenica predictably could not long remain outside this picture. Professor Raphael Lemkin may be turning in his grave, but the Bosnia-Herzegovina High Representative Valentin Inzko seems determined not to be outdone by Kosovo Albanians. Just as in Pristina the hapless Todosijević was being court martialed for his incautious remark, in Sarajevo this month Inzko solemnly announced that he would at long last use his mythical “Bonn Powers” to impose a Srebrenica genocide denial law in that unlucky country. The reason such a measure was not enacted long ago was a quirk in the Dayton Agreement requiring consensus on vital interest issues and the Serb entity Republika Srpska’s adamant refusal to be a willing party in the suppression of scholarly research and public discussion of the dubious grounds for the “Srebrenica genocide” accusation leveled against it.

Interestingly, the “Bonn Powers” to override and impose laws and procedures in Bosnia, which Inzko invoked in order to circumvent the legal deadlock which prevents the passage of genocide denial legislation, are just as spurious as the “Srebrenica genocide” itself. The self-serving charade was utterly demolished by Dr. John Laughland several years ago. Such powers are not mentioned anywhere in the Dayton Agreement which ended the war in Bosnia and set up the current constitutional arrangements in that country. Nevertheless, these puzzling powers, whose origins remain unexplained on the website of the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia, were successfully invoked several times in the past by Inzko’s predecessors to punish and dismiss elected officials who refused to toe the line prescribed by NATO powers, greatly raising tensions and often causing havoc in the country’s political system.

The claim of genocide in July of 1995 in Srebrenica is just as vacuous as the assertion of “Bonn Powers” which may soon be used in Bosnia to prohibit questioning it. The Srebrenica narrative would have collapsed long ago but for the respectability conferred upon it by its corrupt enabler, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), whose dishonorable role in perpetuating the fraud has been conclusively unmasked by a team of international scholars. Oddly for a “genocide,” in Srebrenica there is no evidence whatsoever of dolus specialis, or prior intent to annihilate a group protected under the Genocide Convention (also here). As for the physical evidence, even the heavily manipulated ICTY autopsy reports support a finding of just under 2,000 deaths in Srebrenica, far short of 8,000, as officially claimed. But even those deaths were from a variety of causes, execution accounting for several hundred of the aggregate total.

And as if that were not enough to make Prof. Lemkin’s stomach churn, in 2012 ICTY formally ruled that in the Bosnian village of Zepa another, hitherto unnoticed “genocide” had occurred and that the grand total of just three victims (mayor, military commander, and local religious leader) was quite sufficient to prove it. The feature which, in the Chamber’s preposterous opinion, raised the matter to the coveted status of genocide was that the three individuals were key leaders without whom the local community would collapse and become unsustainable. Unsustainability equals extinction, and extinction equals – genocide. (See also Tolimir Judgment Summary, p. 7.) In a scathing dissenting opinion, Judge Prisca Nyambe, a member of the trial panel, protested vigorously against this absurdity, but to no avail.

With childlike simplicity, most Balkan contenders seemingly would love to be “genocided” by their local enemies provided, however, that they survived to tell the tale to the tabloid media. It is a pity that there appear to be no adults in the room to restrain their exuberance.

Posted in Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, YugoslaviaComments Off on Balkan ‘Genocides’ Are Not to be Questioned

NATO’s Continuing Enlargement Aims at Further Weakening of Russian Influence in the Balkans

By Paul Antonopoulos

Global Research,

Of the 29 NATO member states, 22 have already ratified the accession protocol of North Macedonia into the anti-Russian alliance. The ratification process will likely be completed before the end of NATO’s summit taking place in London this week, which will make North Macedonia the newest country in military alliance.

This now appears even more likely since U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave his endorsement, saying on Twitter:

“Pleased to announce the United States deposited its ratification of North Macedonia’s NATO Accession Protocol. One step closer to welcoming North Macedonia as NATO’s 30th Ally!”

This will make North Macedonia the fourth country out of the six successor states of Yugoslavia to become a NATO member, following Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro. With Bosnia effectively a NATO satellite, this leaves Serbia as the bulwark of anti-NATO and pro-Russia sentiment in the region, especially as the other fellow Balkan countries, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania, are also NATO members.

The confusing Macedonia question was a key priority for Russia’s Balkan policy – North Macedonia is an overwhelmingly Orthodox and Slavic country that had the potential to become another pro-Russia state in the Balkans, alongside neighboring Serbia. However, North Macedonia since its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 pursued a pro-Western policy and joined the NATO program Partnership for Peace as early as 1995 and became a European Union candidate a decade later.

This had not discouraged Russian efforts to push North Macedonia out of the NATO sphere of influence. The governments in Athens and Skopje have competed over the name Macedonia since North Macedonia became independent from Yugoslavia, as Greece’s northern region is also confusingly called Macedonia. Effectively, as North Macedonia was continuously vetoed by Greece from joining NATO and the EU because of the name dispute, Russian efforts to radicalize Macedonian identity was encouraged. The strategy to radicalize Macedonian identity to be more anti-Western and pro-Russian was an effort to avoid a situation like the Prespa Agreement that brought a finalization to the Macedonian name dispute in 2018, opening the way for North Macedonia to join NATO and the EU, without a Greek veto.Is the ‘Greater Albania’ Project Aimed Against Russia in the Balkans?

The Prespa Agreement, named after a lake that traverses the borders of Greece, North Macedonia and Albania, defined exactly what was meant by “Macedonia” and “Macedonian.” For Greece, according to the agreement, these terms denote an area and people of Greece’s northern region, who continue the legacy of the Ancient Macedonian Hellenic civilization, history and culture, as well as the legacy of Alexander the Great. In reference to North Macedonia, these terms denote the modern territory of North Macedonia, Slavic language and Slavic people with their own history and culture unrelated to the Ancient Macedonians. The agreement also stipulates the removal of North Macedonian irredentist efforts against Greek territory and to align them with UNESCO and Council of Europe’s standards.

The radicalization of an independent Macedonian identity was in the hope that North Macedonians would reject the name change, despite the scholarly and historical consensus that the Ancient Macedonians were Greek. This hoped North Macedonian denunciation of the West was on the basis that resolving the name dispute goes against North Macedonian nationalist doctrine as any name change must support the historical reality that the Ancient Macedonians were Hellenes. This was a bad calculation that encouraged the North Macedonians to concentrate their efforts and resources on historical revisionism on not only Hellenic legacy, but also Bulgarian and Serbian, as  historical figures like King Samuel of Bulgaria, Ilyo Voyvoda, Aleksandar Turundzhev, Yane Sandanski, Hristo Batandzhiev and many others are claimed by both North Macedonia and Bulgaria, and the unrecognized and schismatic Macedonian Orthodox Church separated in an ugly divorce from the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1967.

This historical revisionism meant ignoring serious ambitions for a Greater Albania that expands into the western territories of North Macedonia. Ignoring efforts for Albanian expansionism, something that has been partially achieved with the Albanian control of Kosovo, has undermined North Macedonian security and opened the gates for it to become a major puppet of NATO to preserve their territorial integrity. As argued in a previous article, because the overwhelming majority of Albanians want a Greater Albania, it is unlikely to be achieved with Washington’s backing in Greece, Montenegro and North Macedonia as they do not pose a threat to U.S. hegemony in the Balkans, but rather serve it, by resisting Russian influence in the region.

As long as Skopje remains loyal to globalist agendas, the U.S. will not back Albanian expansionism in the country. However, the U.S. can certainly use the Albanian minority as a destabilizing force, as seen with Kosovo’s illegal declaration of independence and the 2001 Albanian uprising in North Macedonia. In addition to Washington having the option to use the Albanians as a destabilizing factor, the Albanians themselves may formant instability without U.S. backing as 53% of the approximately 500,000 Albanians in North Macedonia believe in a Greater Albania.

With Russian influencers failing to invigorate anti-NATO sentiment in North Macedonia, there comes the reality that the Balkan country, confident after the finalization of the name dispute, can now march into the hands of its new NATO puppet masters. It is for this reason that a senior Russian Foreign Ministry official said that:

“Russia’s position regarding the expansion of NATO is well known: it is a destructive process that undermines confidence and stability in Europe, leads to increased antagonism.”

According to the official, it is not a military threat that North Macedonia would pose to Russia but a set of risks to European security that “must be guaranteed by totally different methods, instead of involving this [Balkan] country in military planning of the Alliance and in an anti-Russian policy.”

Posted in USA, Europe, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, NATO, Russia, Serbia, YugoslaviaComments Off on NATO’s Continuing Enlargement Aims at Further Weakening of Russian Influence in the Balkans

The Baltic states are horrified of losing the Russian transit

by Ruslan Ostashko

The Balts with their typical sluggish thinking have started figuring out the consequences of losing the Russian transit. The horror of the realization forced the head of Latvia’s State Railway Administration to announce that the situation is close to critical.

In September, when I posted a video on the Russian policy of removal of the last transit from the Tribaltic Desolates, the independent russophobes were still putting up a brave front.

Only a short time has passed, and the sprat democracies started screeching in horror about what was going on and what will the consequences be for lovers of “eurointegration”.

“The volumes of cargo are low enough already and decreased by 12.5% during nine months in comparison to last year. The IV quarter is much worse. It is especially bad with coal, which was our savior. Now, coal turnover volumes are so low that they are worse than even the most pessimistic predictions we made half a year ago” – the director of Latvia’s State Railway Administration Juris Iesalnieks complained.

Suddenly the svidomiye Latvians understood that if you bully the Russians for many years by doing the Nazi salute and screaming “compensation for occupation” it can end badly. Except they understood it only when the process became irreversible.

Now the nezalezhniki (independents) can only lament the perfidy of the cursed moskals.

“Latvia confirms that the Russian government made an agreement with enterprises occupied in the transit business that specified the timetable for the removal of their cargo from the Baltic ports”. “This time the government of Russia took the matter very seriously. We are already seeing it now. As soon as this fall” – Iesalnieks noted.

Translated from the politically correct language the whining of the Latvian official means that the Russian government stopped feeding the russophobes. And the latter quickly felt the disappearance of food. And they felt if with many parts of their independent economic organism at the same time.

“Due to the fall in the turnover of goods the Latvian Railways company received a directive from the Ministry for Transport to reconsider expenses. Possible layoffs are being considered. The project for electrification of Latvian railways is up in the air. European Union funds had assigned €318 million for it but Riga must find another €100 million to realize it. And if the transit turnover is falling, there is no point in electrification”.

Woosh – it turns out that the economic plans of the proud Latvian republic were only based on retaining the cursed occupation transit. But these plans cannot be realized without it, even with significant European subventions.

’The government supports this project on the condition that it will not impact the state budget and government obligations. If Latvian Railways has to go to the government asking for subsidies, they will not receive support’ – the Minister for Transport Tālis Linkaits warns

Isn’t it lovely? Only for the first half of 2019 Latvian ports have lost 12.4% of goods turnover. For individual indicators – anthracite transit for example – the losses are even higher. The offloading of Russian coal of this category fell a whole 20%.

Svidomyie, didn’t you want independence from the cursed moskals? Well, there it is, you’re welcome.

“Russian ports in the Baltics demonstrate steady growth. The highest growth rates are in the port of Vysotsk. For the first 10 months of 2019 the cargo turnover here increased 15%. This was due to oil-products, the appearance of the terminal for production and shipment of liquefied natural gas. The cargo turnover of the very large Ust-Luga port increased 10%. The highest rate of growth concerns shipping of mineral fertilizers, ferrous metals and containers. The turnover in Primorsk, which specializes on oil and oil-products, increased 6%. The port of Saint Petersburg added 2%”.

Our only Baltic port where shipping has decreased is Vyborg. Although I believe the situation there can be corrected. Other ports are rapidly broadening their infrastructure.

“In Ust-Luga a complex for storage and transshipping of mineral fertilizers is being built. The plan is that by the middle of 2020 there will be new facilities capable of processing 5 million tons of goods per year. By 2022 transshipping will increase to 12 million tons per year. In Ust-Luga there are also plans to create artificial agricultural lands, which will allow to transfer up to 7 million tons of grain and 2 million tons of food cargo.

In Primorsk by 2022 a huge universal transshipping complex will be put into operation. Its throughput capacity will reach 70 million tons per year, which will be 20% of the total goods turnover of Russian ports in the Baltic Sea. The main types of cargo that will be processed in the port – coal, mineral fertilizers, containers, metal products and grain. Additionally, a depot logistical center will be built on a territory of over 50 hectares”.

I think is not necessary to ruminate over how this will lead to an even worse drying up of the Baltic states transit. Consequently, this will lead to multiple problems in the economy of the independent Tribaltic Desolates.

Speaking of independence. Only recently the entire Russian liberal crowd screeched in unison about secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. The chief editor of Echo of Moscow got so worked up about it pacing to and fro in the Yeltsin Center that he fell off the stage.

He alleged that cursed Stalin occupied the independent Baltic states. Although, for some reason the liberals keep silent about another agreement according to which Russia in fact bought the Balts outright.

“Why is no one condemning the pact of Peter I and Charles XII according to which we bought all these chukhontsy (prej. ‘man of Finno-Ugric origin’) from Sweden? It’s just as horrible: two tyrants decided the fate of the free Baltic peoples. If only they had decided that, in fact one of them simply sold several nations to another for cash”.

“We should present a bill to the chukhontsy. Converted to euros and with added percentage. It will be fair. Because they keep adding something up for us among themselves…”

“Sweden got rid of them and filled its treasury handsomely, while we bought ourselves some hemorrhoids out of the kindness of our hearts”.

The age of the kindness of the Russian soul towards the Balts has come to an end, and now Moscow is consistently getting rid of the ‘svidomyi sprat’ hemorrhoid. Using surgery. And the Latvians have the insolence of whining instead of rejoicing for the advent of ultimate independence.

Look here, svidomyie, you should present your grievances to the Swedes now, they are the ones who sold you to the cursed moskals. At the same time, you can take the opportunity to sue the Teutonic Order in the European Court of Human Rights, since its knights oppressed your ancestors. In case you didn’t know, this order still officially exists.

Let it and the Swedes replace the disappearing Russian transit, so that there can be a complete and final “eurointegration”, without a trace of ‘cursed moskals.’

Posted in Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, YugoslaviaComments Off on The Baltic states are horrified of losing the Russian transit

‘NATO bombing of Yugoslavia paved way for 1 million civilian casualties worldwide’

RT

Carried out under a false pretext and in disregard of the UN, the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 paved the way for similar US-led operations in Iraq, Libya and elsewhere and over a million were killed, an analyst has told RT.

NATO’s attack 20 years ago, which was launched “without declaring war and without any permission from the UN Security Council, was a transformative act which has changed the world ever since,” Marko Gasic, commenter on international affairs, said.

“This formula… that you don’t need UN Security Council authorization was then implemented at the expense of Iraq and Libya and elsewhere. So far, the decision to bomb Yugoslavia has led to over a million casualties worldwide; and rising.”

Back in 1999, the US and its allies launched airstrikes in what was then Yugoslavia, after blaming Belgrade for “excessive and disproportionate use of force” in a conflict with an ethnic Albanian insurgency in Kosovo.

NATO warplanes carried out 900 sorties during the brutal 78-day bombing campaign, which officially claimed at least 758 civilian lives. But Serbian sources insist the actual death toll was twice as high.

NATO had used depleted uranium in its air strikes on Yugoslavia. Despite the studies showing that children born there after the bombing are prone to cancer, “very little” has been or is being done to hold the bloc accountable, Gasic said.

The Yugoslav authorities tried suing NATO, but its “response was to create a ‘Color Revolution’ (in 2000) there and bring its own puppets to power… who abandoned the lawsuit.”

“The world community really needs to take NATO to task. And If Serbia is too weak to do it, we need other countries to take an interest. If they don’t defend Serbia – it’ll be their borders next that NATO will be coming for,” the analyst warned.

Related

America’s Benevolent Bombing of Serbia In “Book Review”

‘Up to 15 tons of depleted uranium used in 1999 Serbia bombing’ – lead lawyer in suit against NATO In “Environmentalism”

How Madeleine Albright Got the War the U.S. Wanted In “Timeless or most popular”

Posted in USA, Europe, C.I.A, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Kosovo, Macedonia, NATO, Serbia, Turkey, UK, YugoslaviaComments Off on ‘NATO bombing of Yugoslavia paved way for 1 million civilian casualties worldwide’

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