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Jewish lawmaker from Macedonia removed amid hostile anti-Semitic environment

North Macedonian Labor and Social Policy Minister Rasela Mizrahi speaking at a conference in December 2019. (Facebook/Rasela Mizrahi)

North Macedonian Labor and Social Policy Minister Rasela Mizrahi speaks at a conference, December 2019. (Facebook/Rasela Mizrahi)

(JTA) — A Jewish lawmaker from Macedonia was removed as Labor and Welfare minister amid a hostile anti-Semitic environment present since she assumed office in early January.

The ruling party, the left-leaning Social Democratic Union of Macedonia, said Rasela Mizrahi was fired for not calling the country by its new name, North Macedonia, instead using the Republic of Macedonia.

Mizrahi, a member of the center-right VMRO-DPMNE party, was voted out of office on Saturday in a 62-26 vote. Her party and the Social Democratic Union are in a power-sharing agreement as part of a caretaker government appointed last month. Early parliamentary elections are scheduled for April.

“I am a proud Jewish woman from Macedonia,” Mizrahi said during the debate last week to remove her from office, the English-language Macdedonian news website Republika reported. The report said that Mizrahi faced “an unending torrent of anti-Semitic abuse from the left during her term in office.”

“Even before I walked into my office, as the first Jewish person in the history of Macedonia to be appointed to the government, I was the target of reckless anti-Semitic attacks. Instead of criticizing my work, I was attacked for my religion and nationality and labeled with a yellow star,” Mizrahi also said. Most of her family, prominent in Macedonia for centuries, were killed in the Holocaust.

The Social Democrats cited a news conference in which Mizrahi spoke in front of a banner with the name Republic of Macedonia as the reason to remove her from office, saying that Greece demanded the action. The banner had been left there by her predecessor.

The name of the country, North Macedonia, became official in February 2019, part of a deal to assuage Greece, which has a province named Macedonia, and had been holding up the country’s membership requests to NATO and the European Union over the name disagreement.

Mizrahi reportedly had said that she used the country’s old name deliberately to correct an injustice, The Associated Press reported.

Posted in MacedoniaComments Off on Jewish lawmaker from Macedonia removed amid hostile anti-Semitic environment

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’

The Extent of NATO’s Destruction in Yugoslavia

16 years ago the “collective defense organisation” launched an illegal war against Yugoslavia

16 years ago, without a UN Security Resolution, NATO started an illegal attack on Yugoslavia. Today commemorative ceremonies will take place all over the country. Tanjug presents the figures that show the massive destruction of the country and loss of life.

<figcaption>Mission accomplished: Country destroyed, people killed</figcaption>
Mission accomplished: Country destroyed, people killed

On the 24th of March in 1999, without a Security Council Resolution, NATO started the military attack on Yugoslavia [Serbia and Montenegro].

Yugoslavia, allegedly responsible for the ‘humanitarian catastrophy’ in Kosovo and Metohija, was attacked after the so-called Rambouillet negotiations about the future status of Kosovo failed. The Rambouillet agreement foresaw the deployment of NATO forces on the territory of Yugoslavia. The Yugoslav party didn’t want NATO forces on its territory and suggested UN troops should be deployed instead, to oversee the implementation of the Rambouillet agreement, which was also confirmed by the Yugoslavian parliament.

Unsatisfied, NATO unleashed a massive military onslaught on the small country and its people, which led to massive destruction and loss of lives. General Wesley Clark, who led the campaign, admitted in his book ‘Modern Warfare’ that the planning and preparations for the war were already underway in summer 1998 and finalized in August 1998. Which actually implies that Rambouillet never really had a chance of succeeding.

Today “Tanjug” listed some figures that were released by the Serbian Government, that show the devastating results and the destruction of the country by the NATO led attack:

  • Over 2.500 people killed, of which more than 1.500 civilians
  • 12.500 people wounded
  • One third of electricity and energy capacity of the country destroyed
  • Total cost of destruction over 100bn dollars

There isn’t a city in Serbia that wasn’t targeted by NATO. The extent of structural damage was:

  • 25.000 houses and flats
  • 470km of roads
  • 595km of railway tracks
  • 14 airports
  • 39 hospitals and medical centers
  • 69 schools
  • 19 kinder gardens
  • 176 cultural objects
  • 82 bridges

NATO’s massive military attack on the small country involved:

  • 1.150 Airplanes
  • 2.300 attacks [sorties] by airplanes
  • 1.300 Cruise Middles launched
  • 37.000 [prohibited] cluster bombs
  • Some 22.000 tons of bombs and other ammunition
  • Ammunition with depleted uranium

After diplomatic efforts, the bombing and the aggression stopped with the signing of the Military Technical Agreement of Kumanovo [Macedonia] on the 9th of June, which foresaw the withdrawal of the Yugoslav Army from Kosovo within three days.

On that day that the UN Security Council adopted the resolution, 1244 and some 37 000 soldiers as part of the KFOR [NATO led Kosovo peace keeping force] were sent to Kosovo, with a mandate to secure peace and stability and enable the return of refugees, until a broad autonomy status has been negotiated for Kosovo.

With the support of US, NATO and the majority of EU States Kosovo declared its independence in 2008…!

The same countries that vociferously oppose the self-determination of Crimea or other parts of Ukraine…!



Posted in Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, YugoslaviaComments Off on The Extent of NATO’s Destruction in Yugoslavia

NATO Suffers Embarrassing Defeat in Macedonia, Running Roughshod Over People Power Is Next

Macedonia can’t join NATO under its constitutional name so NATO wants it to rename itself. In a country where 25 percent are ethnic Albanians (who don’t care about the name Macedonia in the first place) just some 35 percent signaled agreement with the scheme, yet with Western encouragement the local left-wing government is signaling it will plow ahead with a new name

  • With western backing the Macedonians Quislings stooped so low that their referendum question was: “Are you in favour of European Union and NATO membership by accepting the agreement between the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Greece?”

Although the September 30, 2018 name-change referendum in Macedonia, which was supposed to set that ex-Yugoslav federal republic on a path to (certain) NATO and (blithely promised but much less certain) EU membership, failed miserably, with only 36.91% of the voters turning out, well short of the 50% + 1 necessary for it to be valid – one would never know it from the reactions of its Western proponents and impatient beneficiaries. Indeed, a new term may be needed to adequately describe the reactions of the key pillars representing the reliquiae reliquiarum of the Western-led post-Cold War unipolar moment. Fake news simply doesn’t do them justice. Fake reality anyone?

The US State Department was firmly in denial, releasing the following statement“The United States welcomes the results of the Republic of Macedonia’s September 30 referendum, in which citizens expressed their support for NATO and European Union (EU) membership by accepting the Prespa Agreement between Macedonia and Greece. The United States strongly supports the Agreement’s full implementation, which will allow Macedonia to take its rightful place in NATO and the EU, contributing to regional stability, security, and prosperity. As Macedonia’s parliament now begins deliberation on constitutional changes, we urge leaders to rise above partisan politics and seize this historic opportunity to secure a brighter future for the country as a full participant in Western institutions.”

EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn wasn’t to be outdone in his contempt for the 63% of the Macedonian “deplorables” who stayed home in order to voice their disagreement with renouncing their perceived national identity and country name (it was to become “Northern Macedonia”) in exchange for the double joy of a) becoming NATO’s cannon-fodder in its increasingly hazardous game of chicken with Russia and b) the EU’s newest debt-serfs: “Referendum in Macedonia: I congratulate those citizens who voted in today’s consultative referendum and made use of their democratic freedoms. With the very significant “yes” vote, there is broad support to the #Prespa Agreement + to the country’s #Euroatlantic path. I now expect all political leaders to respect this decision and take it forward with utmost responsibility and unity across party lines, in the interest of the country.” He was seconded the following day, in a joint statement, by Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the EU Commission.

Understandably, as the most direct public stakeholder, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was particularly (hyper)active. As the disappointing results began to roll in, Stoltenberg went into immediate damage control, tweeting“I welcome the yes vote in Macedonia referendum. I urge all political leaders & parties to engage constructively & responsibly to seize this historic opportunity. #NATO’s door is open, but all national procedures have to be completed.” He reinforced his delusional missive the next day, releasing a similar statement co-signed by EU President Donald Tusk. And the day after, during a news conference, Stoltenberg even offered lightning-quick NATO accession to the unwilling Macedonians – January 2019, to be exact – if they would just be so kind as to urgently implement the very agreement that they had just so emphatically rejected. When NATO says it promotes democratic values – it means it!

But that wasn’t the end of the “democracy mongering” surrounding what may well prove to be NATO’s, the EU’s and the rest of the end-of-history West’s Balkan Waterloo. For example, the EU Parliament’s Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, although “regretting that the turnout was less than 50%,” nevertheless hailed the referendum’s results and “call(ed) on the opposition to respect the expressed will of the majority [sic] of voters.” The Group’s leader, Udo Bullmann, while also maintaining that, somehow, a voter turnout of under 37% still represented a “majority,” additionally used the occasion to chastise Macedonia’s President for having the nerve to call for a boycott of the referendum (he committed the crimethink of referring to it as “historical suicide” during his UN General Assembly address), as well as to decry – what else? – “reports about Russian interference in the electoral process.” It goes without saying that Bullmann offered absolutely zero proof for his assertion. On the other hand, according to numerous media reports, as September 30 approached, while no high Russian official was to be seen anywhere in the vicinity, a veritable procession of Western political bigwigs made the pilgrimage to Skopje in order to reveal to the natives their “true” best interests: Sebastian Kurz“Mad Dog” Mattis, the indefatigable StoltenbergFederica MogheriniJohannes HahnAngela Merkel. No meddling there, obviously…

Speaking of Angela Merkel, she also joined her fellow Western democrats’ show of unanimous disdain for the Macedonian voters’ majority opinion, urging the country to “push ahead” with the implementation of the majority-rejected accord, citing voters’ “overwhelming support” [sic], and arguing through the mouth of her spokesman that the required 50% + 1 turnout was actually “very high,” as voter registers purportedly included many people who had long since left the country.

Coincidentally (?), the same argument was used by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, who opined that the “yes” votes cast in the referendum do, in fact, “represent the majority despite the low turnout because Macedonia does not have the 1.8 million voters entered into its electoral rolls but just 1.2 million since 300,000 people have left the country since the voter lists were last updated 20 years ago.” The fallacy of his reality-challenged claim is easily exposed if we just take a glance at the results of Macedonia’s last parliamentary elections (December 2016), in which voter turnout was just under 1.2 million (1,191,832 to be exact) or, officially, 66.79%. If we were to believe Kotzias and Merkel (who lodged no objections at the time), that would have meant that the turnout for the 2016 elections had been 99% – a figure that would make any totalitarian dictator blush with envy. On the other hand, since those elections did produce the “desired result,” enabling the current heavily pro-NATO/EU government led by Zoran Zaev to be formed, that automatically made them “valid” in the eyes of the high priests of democracy in Brussels, Berlin, London and Washington.

Needless to say, Zaev joined his Western patrons’ charade, hailing the referendum as a “democratic success,” and announcing that he would seek the Macedonian Parliament’s support to amend the constitution and get the agreement with Greece ratified (according to the so-called Prespa Agreement, the Macedonian Parliament must adopt the necessary constitutional amendments by the end of 2018) so that the Greek Parliament can do the same, which would seal the deal. However, Zaev and his Albanian political partners are currently well short of the necessary two-thirds majority (reportedly, they can count on 71 deputies, or 9 short of the needed 80), and will have to call early elections if they don’t soon succeed in securing it.

Yet, let it not go unsaid that Zaev was singing a rather different tune prior to the referendum, assuring that “citizens will make the decision,” and that Parliament would vote on the necessary constitutional changes only if the referendum is successful. But that was then, when confidence was still high that the usual combination of Western pressure, money and overwhelming domination of the media spectrum would get the job done. And then reality struck on September 30…

Still, amidst all the faux cheer and public displays of confidence of the pro-NATO/EU crowd, a palpable sense of unease hangs in the air. As a Deutsche Welle opinion piece put it, the “low voter turnout for Macedonia’s referendum is a bad starting point for the country’s future development.” And, according to DW in Serbian, a Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung commentary warned that “politicians who otherwise ceaselessly talk of democracy as a ‘special value’ should not call on the parliament in Skopje to accept the voting results.” In other words, Macedonia’s people (read – a large majority of the majority Slavic population) have “voted with their feet” and rejected the agreement, and no new parliamentary election, no matter the results, can change that unpleasant-but-immutable fact. That alone will delegitimize any Western-led effort to “manufacture consent” by ramming the agreement through the present or future Parliament – although, as we know, NATO doesn’t put too much stock in referenda anyway, while the EU is not averse to making citizens vote as many times as needed to obtain the “right” result.

But the West has lost more than just legitimacy in Macedonia – it has damaged its reputation, perhaps irretrievably. In the words of former presidential advisor Cvetin Chilimanov, “The West has humiliated us… Macedonians have rejected this media, psychological, political and propaganda aggression against the people, and that’s the tragedy of these days, that a large percentage of a people that had been genuinely oriented towards the West has changed its mind and stopped looking at the West as something democratic, something progressive and successful… That is the reason for the boycott. Pressure was applied against Macedonia, a country that had always been open to ties with the West, but which did not want to make this disgusting compromise and humiliate itself before the neighboring countries, before Western countries. We did not understand why that humiliation was needed so that we might become a member of Europe. What’s worst, perhaps that is now the thinking of a silent majority of the people, that they won’t forget this insult and this attack on Macedonia.”



Posted in Macedonia, NATOComments Off on NATO Suffers Embarrassing Defeat in Macedonia, Running Roughshod Over People Power Is Next

North Macedonia Referendum: No Shortage of Foreign Meddling but a Major Shortage of Voters

NOVANEWS

While the naming referendum is often minimized as yet another Balkan spat over trivial matters, what should be clear is that many of the world’s powers, such as the United States, the European Union, NATO, and Russia consider this matter far from inconsequential.



Posted in MacedoniaComments Off on North Macedonia Referendum: No Shortage of Foreign Meddling but a Major Shortage of Voters

Calm Down, Turkey Is Not Going to Invade the Balkans

President Erdogan’s regular addresses to the Muslim and Turkish people of the Balkans are a soft power tactic that isn’t any functionally different from the transnational outreach attempts that other forces engage in elsewhere across the world and on different ideological-identity pretexts.

The Alt-Media Community has once again been thrown into hysteria after one of President Erdogan’s latest speeches where he addressed his fellow Muslim co-confessionalists and ethnic Turkish kin in the Balkans on the eve of what ended up being his country’s monumental military victory in the northwestern Syrian town of Afrin. His words were reported on widely in the press and ominously framed in such a way as to imply that a similar operation might be commenced in Southeastern Europe one of these days as well, though nothing could be further from the case. The Balkan people are psychologically scarred by the centuries of Turkish occupation and have a reason to fear Ankara’s aggression against them, but their historical experiences over the previous centuries might be blinding them to how much the world has changed since then.

The World Order

One of the mainstays of post-World War I International Relations, and especially the world order after the conclusion of the Second World War and the Cold War, has been the inviolability of national borders, and it was the Axis’ aggressive undermining of this core tenet of stability that eventually led to the largest bloodletting in history. This is why the global community is so sensitive to anything that could be interpreted as hinting at this goal, and it’s also why the only time that it’s “accepted” is if it pertains to secessionist movements or internationally recognized legal unions of sovereign states. Saddam Hussein’s invasion, occupation, and subsequent annexation of Kuwait was too reminiscent of Hitler for global comfort, while countless double standards have been applied in the cases of Kosovo, the former Georgian Republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and Crimea’s reunification with Russia.

The point being made is that the forceful absorption of one country’s territory into another’s by means of the incorporating state’s conventional military is universally frowned upon and technically illegal under international law, though the latter doesn’t matter much so long as there’s no real political will among the UNSC to collectively enforce this statute against the offending country. Turkey is obviously well aware of this reality and therefore has no intention of waging a massive war against a coalition of Balkan countries like it did a century ago, after which it would probably have to ethnically cleanse the native Christian non-Turkish population from any prospectively conquered regions prior to their annexation by what could then be described as the “Neo-Ottoman Empire”. It doesn’t make sense for Turkey to go through all of this “trouble” in the Balkans if it’s not even interested in doing this through the comparatively easier scenario that just presented itself in northwestern Syrian region of Afrin.

Making Sense Out Of The Syrian Scenario

Turkish armed forces preparing for their Operation Olive Branch in the SDF-controlled Afrin district

The Turkish Armed Forces assisted their FSA proxies in capturing this Kurdish-controlled city, but Ankara has been adamant that it has no desire whatsoever to annex it to Turkey. The government’s statement that it won’t return Afrin to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) shouldn’t have been surprising because Ankara has always endeavored to carve out a sphere of influence in northern Syria, but this in and of itself doesn’t equate to an “annexation” like its critics have alleged. If Turkey wanted to, though, it could certainly experiment with this scenario prior to perfecting it for use in the Balkans, but it’s clearly abstaining from doing so for reasons that are understandable. No country wants to be bothered by securing newly acquired territory and suppressing a population that doesn’t want to join the neighboring state, nor does that government want to be financially responsibility for their affairs either.

In this day and age, it’s much more effective to leverage soft power and indirect means of influence in exerting one’s sway abroad than to do so directly through military means. This explains why Turkey is resorting to proxy measures for securing northern Syria after driving out the Kurdish terrorists. As it relates to the Balkans and President Erdogan’s regular addresses to its Muslim and Turkish minorities, all that he’s doing is virtue signaling in a way that’s appealing to them and doing his utmost to maximize his country’s soft power. At the end of the day, it needs to be objectively acknowledged that those demographics are in the Balkans as a legacy of the centuries-long Ottoman occupation, and that Turkey rightly recognizes them as key instruments of influence inside of their host countries. Just like the Russian population in the post-Soviet republics, the Muslim-Turkish one shouldn’t be automatically equated with being “fifth columnist”.

Fear Mongering About “Fifth Columnists”

To elaborate a bit more, the post-war division of territory after any given conflict isn’t always “perfect”, especially in the sense of carving out “pure” nation-states, and many countries have “inherited” various ethno-religious and regional minorities through this means. Sometimes an entity embraces its identity diversity like the Russian Empire did (which served as a springboard for geographic expansion further afield at the time) whereas others like post-coup Ukraine have nothing but contempt for its non-titular peoples. The end of World War I saw population exchanges between Greece and Turkey, but not between Turkey and the other Balkan states, which is why some of the remaining Muslims and Turks didn’t leave the new countries that they ended up finding themselves in after this conflict. To be fair, ethnic Germans in Czechoslovakia and ethnic Belarussians & Ukrainians in the interwar Second Polish Republic were also in a similar position, et al.

It’s just as natural for a Turkish leader to address the minority groups in the Balkans who identify more closely with his country (whether right or wrong) as it is for a Russian leader to do the same in the countries of the Near Abroad. Transcending ethnicity, many religious leaders throughout the world do the same thing when speaking to their co-confessionals, whether they’re Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, or Hindus, for example. Not only that, but ideology is also used in soft power outreaches too, such as when communists and capitalists tried to spread their message during the Old Cold War or when proponents of unipolarity and multipolarity attempt to do the same in the New Cold War. Furthermore, the internet has made it much easier to practice soft power than ever before, thereby “decentralizing” it away from its prior state monopoly and enabling a variety of non-state actors to experiment with it.

Debunking The Double Standards

One can argue about whether this is a “good” or “bad” development, but it’s nevertheless indisputable that soft power has become a defining characteristic of the contemporary world order. Every actor engages in this for their own reasons, and in the Turkish case, it may very well be because its government feels like the internationally recognized borders are morally illegitimate because they were imposed after military defeats and enforced by foreign powers. This same argument can be modified in explaining why some Russians feel similarly about how the post-Soviet borders separated them from their ethno-religious kin in the Near Abroad, and the historical extreme of this attitude be seen in Bolivia agitating for the return of its maritime border through what is nowadays northern Chile and Mexican ultra-nationalists claiming that the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo should be scrapped.

The only way that any of this can be changed is through legal means or forceful ones, both of which are difficult to pull off for their own reasons. Exceptions exist, but as the saying goes, “the exception proves the rule”, and that’s why Pandora’s Box has yet to be fully opened in the sense of countries waging Hobbesian “wars of consolidation” against each other. Depending on the historical benchmark that one sets, the case can generally be made that some portion or another of most countries’ territory was previously under the control of another entity, and it’s precisely because of the impossibility of setting a single standard for how far back any territorial revisionism should go that no responsible actor seriously wants to entertain this possibility. That’s not to say that there aren’t any forces who have this goal in mind, but just that it’s not as simple as drawing a line on a map, moving in one’s military and administrative representatives, and seamlessly incorporating the new territory.

Turkey has no desire to try this against the Balkan countries that are mostly comprised of civilizationally dissimilar (i.e. Christian non-Turkish) populations if it won’t even take a shot at doing so against the neighboring Mideast ones where its military forces are already active and which have Muslim Turkish minorities living in the border region. This “inconvenient fact” debunks the “alternative reality” (alt-reality) that some Alt-Media pundits and outlets have been fear mongering about, one which is more influenced by the “populist” “Turkophobia” of their intended Turkish-neighboring audiences (Armenians, Greeks, etc.) and fellow sympathizers abroad than any objective facts or logical thought. The legacy of Turkish rule hangs heavy over the minds of all non-Muslim and non-Turkish Balkan people, which is why it’s very easy for them to be manipulated into thinking that the “Sultan” is just a split-second away from deciding to invade their countries once again and force their people to submit to Islam.

Concluding Thoughts

It’s not the fault of the regional audience for reacting to these scare tactics because the blame lays squarely in the lap of those who invented this narrative for their own purposes,  be it in rallying the targeted population for whatever their reason may be and/or in smearing Turkey as an “aggressive, Hitler-like, Islamo-fascist state”. The topic of territorial revisionism – especially in regards to post-war borders – is an ultra-sensitive one that must be approached with the utmost caution and objectivity, since the subjective judgments of “right/moral” and “wrong/immoral” don’t necessarily apply in a Neo-Realist world where power and interests trump values and ethics. Holding the position that Mexico is entitled to all of the territory that it lost to the US after only a few decades of independence but not feeling the same about the land that Turkey forfeited after centuries of occupation is a red flag that someone is exercising double standards in order to advance an agenda, for example.

In the same vein, supporting secular forces and principles in non-secular countries such as Saudi Arabia or Iran yet condemning Turkey’s soft power outreaches to its ethno-religious supporters abroad is another sign of hypocrisy because it denies Ankara the same right to do what others are in different contexts. The bottom line is that the exercise of soft power is here to stay and that its influence is only growing, and while there are cases where its practice might portend future problems (e.g. NGOs “spreading democracy” inside of China or Wahhabis proselytizing in Europe), there are also others where the actual “threat” is largely imaginary but manipulatively triggered by third-party forces taking advantage of recent history (e.g. fear mongering about President Erdogan’s outreaches to Muslims by invoking the Ottoman occupation of the Balkans, and doing the same with Russians and Russian media in the Near Abroad by obsessing over the Soviet experience).

Turkey isn’t going to invade the Balkans just like Russia won’t invade the Baltics even though both Great Powers have legitimate soft power reasons for interacting with their targeted audiences there, but most of Alt-Media and Mainstream Media respectively are relying on hyped-up threats of an “impending invasion” to advance their own interests, with the common casualty being the objective truth in both infowar instances.



Posted in Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, YugoslaviaComments Off on Calm Down, Turkey Is Not Going to Invade the Balkans

The History of Yugoslavia: Srebrenica and the Ratko Mladić Verdict

NOVANEWS

Featured image: Ratko Mladić (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

While Zimbabwe was changing under various inexorable forces of power, the more sterile surrounds of The Hague and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia offered the scene for a conviction.

The “Serb Warlord” or the “Butcher of Bosnia”, as he has been termed in various circles, had finally received a verdict few were doubting. One of the doubters was, naturally, the man himself, Ratko Mladić, who accused the judicial officers of incurable mendacity.

Of the 11 charges levelled at Ratko Mladić, he was acquitted of one – genocide in Bosnian municipalities outside Srebrenica. Others covered genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity which took place while he was Chief Commander of the Army of Republika Srpska between 1992 and 1995 in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Judicial deliberations are rarely the stuff of fine history. Verdicts are, by their very nature, judgmental, giving false finality and coherence to muddy narratives. In the Balkans, muddy narratives have met and parted; others have been forged in the blood of memories constructed and confected.

Bodies have been heaped over these generational accounts – the wars, the murders, the ecstatic patriotism and genocidal enthusiasm, and in time, the descendants pursue the task, less of living for the future than inhabiting the unchanging past.

The politicians have been attempting to make do with the verdict. The Serbian president, Aleksandar Vučić, is mindful that anything less than solemn acceptance of the ruling is bound to be met with stares of disbelief throughout Europe. This is hardly the view within the Bosnian Serb entity of Republika Srpska.

“I would like to call on everyone [in the region] to start looking into the future and not to drown in the tears of the past… we need to look to the future… so we finally have a stable country.”

Stability, that cherished dream, an ambition long frustrated in the region, and ever precarious.

Bosnia itself is a divided creature barely on political life support. Rather than promoting reconciliation, one of the proclaimed aims of the ICTY’s judgments, the opposite is true. Ed Vuilliamy, who spent much time covering instances of camp brutality and atrocity during the Yugoslav wars insists that Mladić may have lost his case, but won, at least in a part of Bosnia.

His consternation is the customary one that insists that Serbia and Serbian policies should have been brought to the fore as culprit and villain, rather than atomised through individual verdicts. Again, such are the limits of law and its false didactic worth.

Accordingly,

“for all the back-slapping by human rights organisations and lawyers, there is a dark cloud under which the majority of those who survived Mladić’s hurricane of violence etch out their lives, and that shrouds the memory of those killed, or are still ‘missing’.”[1]

Niđara Ahmetašević enlarges that black cloud, accusing Europeans, notably in the west, for hypocrisy and willful blindness.

“By not reacting on time to stop mass crimes being committed, Western leaders sent a message to everybody in the world that it is OK to kill other people, and to promote dangerous, ultranationalist ideas.”[2]

With little surprise, survivors of the conflict find little in terms of satisfactory proportion. Sead Numanović of the Sarajevo daily, Dnevni Avaz, felt “some kind of emptiness.” Ajša Umirović went so far as to see such a verdict as futile.

“Even if he lives 1,000 times and is sentenced 1,000 times to life in prison, justice would still not be served.”[3] That’s what losing 42 relatives to massacre does.

As with all matters to do with trauma, memory lingers as poisoned, selective and singular. It banishes other accounts and plights, becoming self-referential, a sort of infirmary consciousness. These sufferings and tendencies are not confined to the Bosnian Muslims.

When Yugoslavia fractured in the spirit of hypernationalism, it split the groups making up the entity. Jungle retributions, territorial seizures, expulsions, took place as a matter of historical account keeping. Elephantine memories were triggered and enacted upon.

Mladić insisted on purging the old remnants of the Ottoman Empire, a historic mission he dedicated himself to with conspicuous enthusiasm. He was fortunate to be quick off the mark in the aftermath of the independence referendum held by Muslims and Croats. Others, given the same opportunity, would have exploited it, given the men and material put at his disposal.

That the main fighting, slaughter and ethnic cleansing took place in Bosnia on, it is important to note, all sides, is a point judgments of law can only imperfectly consider. What rendered the killings in Srebrenica so fundamental was the scale and avid dedication of the butchers – some 8,000 Muslim men and boys dispatched – and the question of abandonment by the international community.

Mladić himself furnished a sense of how the law remains, in some instances, the least capable of resolving what are, essentially, social and political problems that linger with vicious obstinacy. “I am here,” he told a pre-trial hearing in 2011, “defending my country and people, not Ratko Mladić.” He is far from the only one to persist holding this view, nor will he be the last.

The History of Yugoslavia: Srebrenica and the Ratko Mladić Verdict

 

Posted in Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, SerbiaComments Off on The History of Yugoslavia: Srebrenica and the Ratko Mladić Verdict

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