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‘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

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‘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, Yugoslavia0 Comments

Twenty Years Since NATO Massacred 16 Employees of Serbian State Television

NOVANEWS
By Grey Carter | Big ‘N’ Mighty Nose

Today marks 16 years since US-led NATO coalition struck Serbian state television  – Radio and Television of Serbia (RTS), murdering 16 of its employees.  There was 16 employees and staff who were brutally massacred one night. Someone somewhere decided that those people had to die. Nineteen more were wounded.

In mid-April, NATO Air Commander, David Wilby, announced that NATO was sick of the Serb ‘propaganda’ televised to every household and warned that unless Serb Television broadcast three hours of US programming in the daytime and another three hours in the evening, the TV station would be blown-up. Even pro-war TV reporters phrased the announcement as an outlandish question. The idea didn’t go over. When Belgrade offered to accept the six hours in exchange for six minutes of Yugoslav news on Western networks, NATO backtracked, saying it had only meant it would bomb transmitters also used for military communications. NATO also explicitly assured the International Federation of Journalists it would not target media workers.5 Even so, against the wishes of other NATO leaders, General Wesley Clark gave orders to bomb.

NATO attack on Serbian Radio-television which took 16 lives.

In the early morning hours of April 23, as RTS was airing a taped American interview with President Milosevic and former Pentagon official turned KHOU-TV defence analysts, Ron Hatchett, there was a thunderous explosion as cruise missiles slammed into the building causing a mile-high cloud of dust.

What had been the four-story headquarters of Serbian TV was turned into a 15-foot pile of cement, plastic, iron, and the dead and wounded. Among the dead were two men hanging upside-down from the wreckage. A young woman technician was burned alive in the make-up room.

A young man could only be extracted from the tons of wreckage by amputating both of his legs. He died.

Thirteen other technicians and secretaries working the night shift were killed in their studios and taping rooms, or died in the hospital. At dawn, a group of several hundred Yugoslav citizens stood silently bearing witness in front of the smouldering wreckage, at a loss for words.

Six hours later the U.K. Secretary of State for International Development, Clare Short, said RTS was a “legitimate target” a “propaganda machine” and “causing untold suffering to the people of Kosovo”. In England Tony Blair said the attack was “entirely justified,” ( Serb TV station was a legitimate target, Guardian, 24 April 1999 issue),  and went on to assert that television is part of the apparatus which keeps a political leader in power, so camera operators, make-up ladies and janitors are therefore legitimate targets.

NATO  terrorist attack on Radio-television of Serbia, April 1999.

RTS broadcasts had included a patriotic programme, showing Yugoslav soldiers defending their country, President Milosevic meeting Russian envoys and the Kosovo Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova, and others.

For artistic expression, they showed computer animations of the NATO cross logo turning into a swastika, and Madeleine Albright growing Dracula teeth in front of a burning building.

But the station also broadcast to the world dramatic images of destruction caused by the NATO bombing and gave credible estimates of civilian casualties. RTS scooped the world press when it disclosed that a NATO aircraft had killed scores of Albanian refugees in a bombing attack.

After RTS broadcast the scenes of the civilian carnage, NATO flip-flopped through the next 24-hour news cycle. NATO’s first response was: “We didn’t do it, the Serbs did it.” That changed to “we did bomb the column, but the Serbs killed the refugees.” Again lies.  

Finally, NATO accepted fault and apologized. Still, NATO’s glib cockney spokesman, Jamie Sheapushed the edges of Orwellian doublespeak when he declared that the pilot had “dropped his bombs (on the Albanian column) in good faith.”

Later, NATO played an audio-tape supposedly of the pilot in question. But it turned out that the recorded pilot was involved in a completely different operation. The real tape was withheld.

Contrary to Pentagon reports, NATO programming could be seen on 21st UHF channel throughout the northern Serbia and Belgrade area. Other radio and TV stations which had carried some NATO broadcasts were housed in the Business Centre USCE, which NATO destroyed on April 22.

The content of RTS broadcasts also was more complicated than NATO has asserted.

It’s important to stress that RTS was a center of cultural identity for the Serb nation. With the destruction of RTS headquarters, thousands of tapes and films have now been crushed to rubble, videos that once helped tell the Serbs and their children who they are — and provide some small comfort in their difficult lives.

On April 23, 1999, with permission of World leaders, Jelica Munitlak (28) make-up artist, Ksenija Bankovic (28) video mixer, Darko Stiomenovski (26) Technician in exchange, Nebojsa Stojanovic (27) and Branislav Jovanovic (50) TV technicians, Dragorad Dragojevic (27)Dejan Markovic (39) and Milan Joksimovic (47) security guards, Dragan Tasic (31) electricianAleksandar Deletic (31) cameraman, Slavisa Stevanovic (32) and Ivan Stukalo (34) technicians, Sinisa Medic (32) Programme designer, Milan Jankovic (59) technician, Tomislav Mitrovic (61)Programme Director and Slobodan Jontic (54) technician have been killed,  at 2:06 a.m.

Memory eternal.

source:

http://serbiasos.blogspot.com/2013/04/bombing-of-rts-freedom-of-expression.html

http://inserbia.info/today/2014/04/anniversary-of-nato-bombing-of-the-radio-television-of-serbia/

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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…!



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Commission Finds NATO Bombs Continue to Kill Serbs 19 Years After 1999 Strikes

NOVANEWS

Image result for Yugoslavia WAR CARTOON

NATO carried out a 78-day campaign of airstrikes against Yugoslavia in 1999 after accusing Belgrade of committing war crimes in Kosovo. The strikes left up to 5,700 civilians dead, and contaminated part of southern Serbia with radiation from the depleted uranium rounds used by the alliance.

The Serbian government-designated Commission Investigating the Effects of NATO’s 1999 Bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has provided Sputnik with important information about some of its preliminary findings.

Speaking to Sputnik Serbian, commission head Dr. Darko Laketic explained that in the course of visits to cities, towns and municipalities affected by the NATO bombings, the commission has been able to establish what appears to be evidence of a link between the depleted uranium rounds dropped in these areas and a rise in cancer incidence.

According to the physician, in the city of Vranje, southern Serbia, out of 40 people who came into direct contact with soil contaminated by depleted uranium, ten have died, with “the majority of the deaths caused by malignant neoplasms.”

“Many people who have been to the affected areas suffer from the symptoms of erythema and ulcerous eruptions of an unknown etiology on their skin,” Dr. Laketic added.

Commission members have already visited Vranje, Pancevo and Novi Sad, and plan to visit Kragujevac, with all of these areas facing heavy NATO bombing in 1999. “These are our priority regions. We are collecting medical and statistical data from medical institutions in these areas and interviewing people who have come into contact with contaminated soil,” Laketic explained.

The doctor noted that in the village of Borovac, another area struck by NATO bombs, three residents, or one percent of the village’s total population, are suffering from malignant brain damage.

Dr. Laketic noted that an increase in oncological diseases has also been observed in Pcinjski District, and said that this was particularly significant, since the area’s population is younger than the Serbian average.

The commission is now working on the creation of a large, systematized database.

“We are investigating the effects of toxic substances. Our task is to establish the causal links between [NATO’s] actions and illnesses. Having established them, we will receive weighty arguments for organized efforts in the detection, prevention and treatment of cancer at its early stages in those regions where it is necessary,” the doctor said.

According to Dr. Laketic, in addition to depleted uranium, other toxic substances released during NATO’s bombardment, such as chlorine, benzene, and polychlorinated biphenyls are also proven to cause illness, including malignant neoplasms which can lay dormant for five, ten or even twenty years after a person first comes in contact with them.

Established in June, the commission hopes to complete its first preliminary report by 2020. Dr. Laketic will report on the status of his team’s investigation in the Serbian National Assembly in December.

According to openly available data, in the late 1990s, the average Serbian death rate from oncological illnesses hovered between 9,000 and 12,000 people per year. By 2014, however, the figure doubled to 22,000, with the number of newly diagnosed cancer patients reaching 40,000.

Some medical doctors and scientists have attributed the jump in cancer rates to NATO’s use of depleted uranium rounds during its bombing, and have pointed to the rise in leukemia and lymphoma, cancer types affecting tissue most sensitive to ionizing radiation. Other experts have maintained that there yet to be conclusive proof of a relationship between cancer rates and the depleted uranium rounds, since cancers have been growing across Serbia, while depleted uranium rounds were dropped primarily in southern Serbia. According to World Cancer Research Fund statistics, Serbia is 18th in the world in total incidence of cancers, with 307.9 cases per 100,000 residents reported in 2018.



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Resolving the “Serbian Question” – A 19th-Century Project

NOVANEWS
Part II

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Read Part I here.

Ethnolinguistic Serbdom

Serbia’s Prince Miloš’s schemes to solve the „Serbian Question“ were based exclusively on the historical (state) rights of the Serbs. However, during his reign, a new and cardinal dimension on an understanding of Serbian national identity and, therefore, the idea of the creation of the national state of the Serbs was introduced into Serbian political thought by Vuk Stefanović Karadžić (1787–1864) who framed the concept of a linguistic Serbdom.

In his brief essay “Срби сви и свуда” (“Serbs All and Everywhere”),[1] V. S. Karadžić established the linguistic criteria for determining Serbian national self-identity and reformulation of the whole concept of nation and nationality.[2] Namely, up to 1836, the Serbs were self-identified mainly as the Balkan community of Orthodox Christianity that both used the Cyrillic alphabet and maintained a national legend of the Kosovo tragedy of the defeat of the Serbs by the Ottomans in 1389 and heroic legends about it.[3]  Nevertheless, this traditional and conservative confession-based approach to the national identity of the Serbs (and other South Slavs) did not satisfy the Serbian intelligentsia which was heavily influenced in the time of Karadžić by the 19th-century German (linguistic) definition of the self-national identity (i.e., all German-speaking populations belong to the German nation).[4]

The nation-state building process in South-Eastern Europe is based on the development of nationalism as the phenomenon of the last two centuries. Nationalism itself is “associated with the spread of national ideologies leading in due course to the creation of sovereign nation-states”.[5] A fact is that the early 19th-century nationalism in South-East Europe was directly inspired by Western European ideas of Enlightenment which were based on secularization, historicism, and the spoken language by the folk. With regard to the Serbs, the ideas of the Enlightenment were primarily accepted and advocated by the Austrian urban Serbian settlers and secular intelligentsia who were in constant ideological conflict with the Serbian Orthodox Church. Therefore, it is surprising but true, that the early 19th-century Serbian nationalism was in essence secularist in a form which resulted from the confluence of a rapid decline of the Ottoman central power in Istanbul and new ideas of Western European Enlightenment, particularly those of German Romanticism.

Ethnic map of Socialist Yugoslavia according to 1981 census.

Ethnic map of Socialist Yugoslavia according to 1981 census.

S. Karadžić was inspired to apply the German language-based approach to the issue of what constituted the Serbian identity.[6] At the time of a rising Croatian linguistic and political nationalism, framed by Austria’s sponsored “Illyrian Movement,” he declared the Štokavian dialect (claimed by the Croatian “Illyrians” as one of three dialects of the Croatian national language) as the cardinal indicator of Serbian national identity, and identified all the South Slavs who spoke this dialect as ethnolinguistic Serbs. In accordance with the German model of the time, he did not consider religious affiliation in creating his national identity model, although he recognized that the ethnolinguistic Serbs belonged to three different confessional denominations. Therefore, he considered all the Bosnians and the Herzegovinians to be ethnolinguistic Serbs for the very reason that all of them spoke the Štokavian, but he distinguished three (confessional) groups of the inhabitants of Bosnia-Herzegovina, taking religion into consideration: the Serbs of the “Greek-creed” (the Eastern Orthodox), “Roman-creed” (the Roman Catholic) and “Turkish-creed” (the Islamic).[7] It should be noted that the former Serbo-Croatian language was officially divided by the Yugoslav linguists and philologists into three dialects according to the form of the interrogative pronoun what: Kajkavian (what = kaj), Čakavian (what = ča), and Štokavian (what = što).[8] At the time of V. S. Karadžić’s writing, the Kajkavian dialect was spoken in the northwestern parts of Croatia proper, the Čakavian in the northern coast area and the islands of the eastern Adriatic shore and the Štokavian within the area from the Austrian Military Border in the northwest to Mt. Shara in the southeast. The Štokavian dialect is (officially) divided into three sub-dialects according to the pronunciation of the original Slavic vowel represented by the letter jat.[9]

Disputes on the “Serbs All and Everywhere”

There is considerable controversy among the South Slavic philologists, linguists and historians regarding exactly how V. S. Karadžić treated the Štokavian-speaking Roman Catholic South Slavs (present-day Croats). This question became one of the most disputed topics with respect to V. S. Karadžić’s philological work and the apple of discord between the Serbian and Croatian researchers. Nevertheless, it is not precisely clear whether he evidently viewed them as Croats, or as Serbs. It appears, however, that V. S. Karadžić considered them in essence as the ethnolinguistic Serbs since they spoke the Štokavian dialect regardless of their own national (self)identity at that time. For him, all the Roman Catholic-creed Štokavians would eventually have to call themselves “Serbs”; and if they did not want to do so, they would end up without a national name. In other words, V. S. Karadžić was treating the Štokavian-speaking Roman Catholics in fact as Roman Catholic ethnolinguistic Serbs.[10] This conclusion was suggested also by the American historian from Dubrovnik Ivo Banac who notes that: “As early as 1814, for example, [Karadžić] held that one of the Štokavian subdialects was characteristic of ‘Roman Catholic Serbs’”[11] Nevertheless, many Croatian authors are of the opinion that V. S. Karadžić “tries to negate the existence of any significant number of Croats, distorting historic and linguistic factors to prove his arguments. At this time, the Croats, along with the Bulgarians, were seen as the biggest obstacle to Serbian dominance in the Balkans”.[12] However, for V. S. Karadžić a small number of the real ethnolinguistic Croats (the Čakavians) or of those who at that time clearly identified themselves as Croats (the Čakavians and the Kajkavians) was a reality. His point of view was moreover supported by the majority of the Slavic philologists at the end of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century[13] who did not see in V. S. Karadžić’s opinion any kind of policy of Serbian expansionism at the Balkans. However, contrary to the Croatian allegations regarding V. S. Karadžić’s “imperialistic ideology of Serbian territorial expansionism”, any claim that at that time a significant number of the South Slavic Roman Catholic Štokavians were, in fact, the ethnolinguistic Croats is in support of Croatian assimilation policy (Croatization) of the Roman Catholic Štokavians which was begun at the time of V. S. Karadžić by the Croatian “Illyrian Movement”. The movement in the name of a Yugoslav unity appropriated the Serbian literal language standardized by Vuk Stefanović Karadžić (only for the Serbs) as a Croat literal language based exactly on the Štokavian dialect spoken at that time by no significant number of those who declared themselves as Croats but spoken by all of those who declared themselves as the Serbs and by those who had only a regional identity (Slavonian, Dalmatian, Dubrovnik, Bosnian…). Therefore, from the time of the Croatian “Illyrian Movement” to the present the Croats are, in fact, using the Serbian national language as their own literal one.[14] However, as a direct consequence of such Croatian linguistic policy, the Roman Catholic Štokavians of the time of V. S. Karadžić are today completely Croatized.

As a matter of fact, V. S. Karadžić was unable to fix precisely the southeastern ethnоlinguistic borders of the Serbian nation within the framework of his linguistic model of national identity, as he did not know how many Serbs (i.e., the Štokavian speakers) lived in Albania and Macedonia because of the lack of any relevant statistics and other documentation. For instance, in 1834, he was informed by some merchants about the existence of around 300 “Serbian” villages in Western Macedonia. However, he had serious doubts about the accuracy of this information when he heard that the people from these villages spoke the “Slavic language”, since this could have meant either the Bulgarian or Serbian.[15] He acknowledged, nevertheless, the existence of transitional zones between the Štokavian dialect and the Bulgarian language in Western Bulgaria (Torlak and Zagorje regions) but he excluded most of Macedonia and Albania from his Štokavian-speaking zone.[16] Finally, he was only able to conclude that the Štokavian dialect was definitely spoken in the area between the Timok River and Mt. Šara.

It is of crucial importance to emphasize that V. S. Karadžić’s ideas on South Slavic identities were not original but in fact based on the theory developed by the leading 19th-century Slavonic philologists Dositej Obradović, Pavel Josef Šafařik, Jan Kollár, Josef Dobrovský, Jernej Kopitar and Franc Miklošič, who claimed that the genuine Slovene dialect was the Kajkavian, the native Croatian dialect was the Čakavian (and to a certain extent the Kajkavian) and that the true Serbian dialect was the Štokavian.[17]In other words, a Croat claimed Karadžić’s ethnolinguistic “imperialism” prompted by the desire to create a Greater Serbia was nothing else than an internationally recognized reality of the South Slavic ethnolinguistic division by the leading Slavic philologists of the time and who were of different ethnonational backgrounds.

Nevertheless, Karadžić’s concept of a language-based Serbian nationhood had a significant impact on 19th and 20th-century scholars, both the Serbs and the others:

  1. It gave a strong impetus to the revision of the traditional picture of the Serbian ethnolinguistic territories in the Balkans.
  2. As a result of V. S. Karadžić’s theory, the claim that there was a large Serbian population in Western Bulgaria and most of Macedonia and Albania was finally abandoned.
  3. The literary and cultural legacy of Dubrovnik was asserted to be exclusively Serbian.[18]

Ethnolinguistic Statehood

A Romanticist-based idea of Serbian national statehood reached its final stage when Ilija Garašanin (1812–1874) drafted a plan for consolidation of all ethnolinguistic Serbian territories within a single national state. His unfinished Начертаније (Outline) became one of the most significant and influential works in the history of South Slavic political thought, greatly influencing the development of Serbia’s national program and foreign policy in the 19th and 20th centuries. Written in 1844 as a top-secret document submitted only to Serbia’s Prince Aleksandar Karađorđević I (1842–1858), it became, however, known in the Austro-Hungarian diplomatic circles in 1888, and a wider audience became familiar with the text in 1906 when a Belgrade-based journal published it.[19]

Different interpretations of I. Garašanin’s ultimate idea of statehood are primarily inspired by two cardinal problems in dealing with the reconstruction of the text of Outline:

  1. The original is not preserved, and the text can be reconstructed only from several copies.[20]
  2. Garašanin (the “Balkan Bismarck”)[21] did not succeed in completing the original text of Outlinethat was delivered to the Prince Aleksandar.
Ilija_Garašanin
Ilija Garašanin

Similar to the case of V. S. Karadžić’s linguistic model of Serbian national identity, to a large extent, Garašanin’s project of the creation of a united national state of the Serbs was also very much inspired by foreigners. More precisely, by three works written in 1843 and 1844 and translated into Serbian: Савети (The Advice) by the Polish Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski (1770–1861), a leader of the Polish émigrés in Paris; Фрагмент из српске историје (A Fragment from the History of Serbia) by the Englishman David Urkwart, and План (The Plan) by the Czech Francisco Zach. Nevertheless, these authors championed the idea of creating a united South Slavic state under the leadership of Serbia, intended as a barrier to Russian and Austrian political influence in the Balkans. This united South Slavic state was to be placed under French and British protection.[22] However, I. Garašanin did not accept the plan to unite Serbia with all South Slavic territories of the Austrian Empire (populated by Serbs, Croats and Slovenes) into a single, federal state as he advocated the creation of a single centralized national state only of the ethnolinguistic Serbs whose boundaries would embrace a complete Serbian national entity.[23]

There are three crucial reasons why I. Garašanin designed a united Serbian national state instead of a South Slavic one:

  1. He favored the idea of an ethnically uniform state, as advocated by the German Romanticists.[24]
  2. He believed that a multinational South Slavic state would easily disintegrate as a result of the frequent struggles between the different nations.
  3. He believed that only an ethnically uniform state organization could be inherently stable.[25]

Garašanin designed his plans in an expectation that both the Ottoman Empire and the Austrian Empire, as multinational and imperialistic states, would be dismantled in the immediate future due to their internal instability. In his view, in the event of the Austrian and the Ottoman dismemberment the principal duty of Serbia had to be to place all ethnolinguistic Serbs, especially those who had been living in undisputable Serbian historical lands, into a single national state organization. The core of a united Serb national state was to be the Principality of Serbia, which had at that time the status of an autonomous tributary within the Ottoman Empire.

Garašanin designed two stages to rally all Serbs into a united national state. This timetable corresponds to I. Garašanin’s prediction that the Ottoman Empire would collapse first, followed by the Habsburg Monarchy:

  1. In the first stage, Serbia would annex all the Serbian ethnographic territories within the Ottoman Empire: i.e., Bosnia-Herzegovina, part of West Bulgaria, Montenegro, Sanjak (Raška), part of North Albania and, finally, Kosovo-Metochia.
  2. The lands of the Austrian Empire that were inhabited by the ethnolinguistic Serbs — the Military Border, Slavonia, Srem, Bačka, Banat, and Dalmatia — would be subject to the same action in the second phase of Serbian national unification.[26]

Disputes on the “Outline”

In South Slavic and international historiography, there is a two-camp dispute about the principles on which I. Garašanin based his idea of Serbian statehood:

  1. The first group claims that at the time I. Garašanin was writing the Outline the Serbian Minister of Internal Affairs, sought to create a Serbian national state solely on the principle of historical state rights. They argue that I. Garašanin took as a model the glorious Serbian medieval empire, which lasted from 1346 to 1371, and hence that he did not consider the territories settled by the Serbs in the Austrian Empire as they had not been included in the Serbian mediaeval empire, but focused only on those within the Ottoman Empire because they composed the Serbian mediaeval state. In their view, I. Garašanin always referred to the Serbian Empire of Stefan Dušan (1331–1355, proclaimed emperor in 1346), the borders of which reached the Drina River on the west, the Sava and Danube Rivers on the north, the Chalkidiki Peninsula on the east, and the Albanian seacoast and the Gulf of Corinth on the south. Therefore, the territories of the Austrian Military Border, Slavonia, Srem, Bačka, Banat, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, which were not included in the medieval Serbian Empire, were not treated by him as the lands to which Serbia had historic (state) rights.[27]
  2. The second group argues that I. Garašanin advocated the creation of a national state on the basis of both Serbian ethnic and historical (state) rights. This view is based on the last chapter of the Outline, in which I. Garašanin urged the dissemination of Serbian nationalist propaganda in the territories settled by the Serbs in the Austrian Empire and West Bulgaria. Hence, according to this second group, I. Garašanin clearly regarded these territories as a part of a united Serbian national state by calling for the ethnic rights of the Serbs.[28]

Nevertheless, in order to settle this problem, I took into consideration primarily the whole text of the Outline. It is clear that I. Garašanin did not call for Macedonia to be included into the united national state of the Serbs. Instead of Macedonia, he favored the annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In fact, to champion Serbia’s territorial expansion toward the southern portion of the Balkan Peninsula, I. Garašanin turned his eyes toward the western part of the Balkan Peninsula because his ultimate aim was to unite all Serbs but not to unite all South Slavs. It meant that the Principality of Serbia needed to be expanded to include the western Balkan territories, where the ethnolinguistic Serbs were settled, but not the southern ones, where the language-based Serbs either had already disappeared or were a minority.

Garašanin could not have supported the policy of the southward expansion of the medieval Serbian state (at the expense of the Byzantine Empire),[29] because he advocated the German Romanticist principle of establishing a single national state organization based on the common language as the crucial marker of national identity. If I. Garašanin’s project of a united Serbian national state organization is compared to V. S. Karadžić’s picture of the ethnographic dispersion of the Serbs, it is clear that both of them were speaking about exactly the same Balkan territories. Therefore, the fundamental principle behind I. Garašanin’s project of a united national state of all Serbs was, in fact, V. S. Karadžić’s linguistic model of Serbian national identity. Finally, as for V. S. Karadžić, a main political motif for I. Garašanin’s Outline was to prevent Croatian territorial claims and national expansion in the lands settled by the Roman Catholic and Muslim Štokavian speakers who at that time usually had the only regional identity or already felt as ethnic Serbs.

It should be stressed that I. Garašanin adopted V. S. Karadžić’s language-based concept of nation and hence identified the Serbs with the Štokavian-speaking South Slavic population. I. Garašanin excluded Macedonia from his concept of the language-based Serbian statehood because he had adopted V. S. Karadžić’s view that there were no Štokavian speakers in most parts of Macedonia and Albania. However, he had also adopted V. S. Karadžić’s claim that the entire population of Bosnia-Herzegovina belonged to the language-based Serbian nationality, and hence he included Bosnia-Herzegovina within the language-based Serbian national state organization. Moreover, he understood V. S. Karadžić’s transitional zones in West Bulgaria to be territories inhabited mostly by the Štokavian speakers. According to the same principle, the territories of the Austrian Military Border, Dalmatia, Slavonia, Bačka, Srem, and Banat would also be included in Garašanin’s language-based national state of the Serbs.

The idea that I. Garašanin supported only the historical rights of the Serbs in the creation of the Serbian united national state should be finally rejected by historians. The cases of Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina provide the strongest evidence in support of this conclusion. The territory of Macedonia was a political center during Stefan Dušan’s Serbian Empire. The largest Macedonian city, Skopje, was selected as the capital of the Serbian Empire, and it was where king Stefan Dušan was crowned as the emperor and had his imperial court. Yet this historical Serbian land did not find its way into the state projected by I. Garašanin. In contrast, Bosnia-Herzegovina, a province that had never been part of the Serbian medieval state, was incorporated into I. Garašanin’s united national state of all Serbs.

With respect to the Roman Catholic Štokavian speakers, I. Garašanin also followed V. S. Karadžić’s model of the ethnolinguistic Serbdom and therefore incorporated into the Serbian language-based national state all West Balkan territories settled by the Štokavian-speaking Roman Catholics. However, I. Garašanin did not include into a future Serbian national state the territories inhabited by both Čakavian and Kajkavian speakers as they were not considered Serbs. This is the real reason why Slovenia, Istria, a majority of East Adriatic Islands and present-day North-West Croatia (i.e., territories around Zagreb) were not mentioned in the Outline as the parts of his state project.

Garašanin’s language-based statehood was designed as an empire under the Serbian ruling dynasty. For him, the geographical position of the country, the natural and military resources and, above all, a single ethnic origin and language shared by its citizens, guaranteed a long existence of the state.[30] He favored a centralized inner state organization similar to that of the Principality of Serbia, but he did not have in mind a federation or confederation[31] as his state was to be composed of only one ethnolinguistic nation – the Serbs.

Conclusions

The issue of national self-determination, the idea and goals of nationhood, and the methods and means for the attainment of such goals, were foremost in the thinking of 19th-century Serbian intellectuals and politicians. Vuk Stefanović Karadžić’s linguistic model of the Serbian national identification and Ilija Garašanin’s model of the Serbian national-state unification were the most important of all of the 19th-century Serb projects to solve the “Serb Question”. Both were essentially based on the ideological constructs intended to unite all Serbs (within the Ottoman Empire and the Austrian Empire) and to create a single national state of the Serbs as the answer to the rising Croatian nationalism and territorial claims with respect to the Balkans formulated by Austria-sponsored “Illyrian Movement” which had as its ultimate national-political goal the establishment of a Greater Croatia in the Austrian Empire including all territories settled by the Štokavian speakers west of the Drina River.[32]

The language-based model of a unified Serbian national state after the Serbian liberation from the Ottoman Empire and the Austrian Empire, combined to some extent with the principle of historical state rights, is the keystone of I. Garašаnins’s arguments.

Both, V. S. Karadžić’s new model of language-based Serbian nationhood, drafted in his article “Serbs All and Everywhere”, and I. Garašanin’s new model of language-based Serbian statehood, drafted in Outline, are of extraordinary importance in the history of the political thought of the South Slavs. However, the real meaning of both models is differently explained by Serbian and Croatian linguists, philologists and historians: i.e., a majority of the former understand these models as a good way to politically and culturally unify the Serbian nation, while, conversely the majority of the latter saw in these models the ideological foundations for Serbia’s territorial expansion and political domination in the Balkan Peninsula.

Shortly, the main conclusions are that V. S. Karadžić’s understanding of language in the conception of the Serbian linguistic nationalism was primarily of an ethnic nature and that I. Garašanin drafted a project of a united Serbian national state by implementing a linguistic model of Serbian national identification exactly as developed by V. S. Karadžić.Finally, in my opinion, both models were primarily designed as the instruments with which to counter Croatian nationalistic propaganda and territorial claims developed by the “Illyrian Movement” in the 1830s.

*

This article was originally published on Oriental Review.

Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirović is Founder & Editor of POLICRATICUS-Electronic Magazine On Global Politics (www.global-politics.eu). Contact: sotirovic@global-politics.eu. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Notes

[1]  From the essay’s title, one can understand that the author claimed that the Serbs were living everywhere in the world and that all world nations were of Serbian origin. However, V. S. Karadžić’s essay is only about all of those who were Serbs as defined by his new linguistic identity criteria regardless of where they were living and to which confessional denomination they adhered. This politically motivated “misunderstanding” usually originates on the Croat side as an example of the (Orthodox) Serb genocide ideology and policy against the (Roman Catholic) Croats. See, for instance: Ante Beljo et al., eds., Greater Serbia from Ideology to Aggression (Zagreb: Croatian Information Centre, 1992), 17−22. This typical Croat propaganda book was published during the time of the bloody destruction of Yugoslavia in order to show that “Serbia’s aggression” towards Croatia was rooted on the 19th and 20th century imperialistic ideology of Serb intellectuals.

[2] Вук Стефановић Караџић, „Срби сви и свуда“, Koвчежић за историју, језик и обичаје Срба сва три закона, (1, Беч, 1849), 1−27; Judah, The Serbs, 55, 61−62. On national identity see: David McCrone, Frank Bechhofer, Understanding National Identity(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).

[3] On the myth and reality of the Kosovo Battle and Kosovo legend, see: Ратко Пековић (уредник), Косовска битка: Мит, легенда и стварност (Београд: Литера, 1987).

[4] For details on the German Romanticism, see: Oskar Walzel, German Romanticism(Literary Licensing, LLC, 2013).

[5] Mark Biondich, The Balkans: Revolution, War, and Political Violence Since 1878(New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 13.

[6] Милосављевић, Срби и њихов језик, 22−25.

[7] Караџић, „Срби сви и свуда,“ (1849), 6−7. Similar opinion had, for instance, and a leading Balkan geographer and ethnographer of the time Jovan Cvijić at the beginning of the 20th century [Јован Цвијић, Oснове за географију и геологију Makeдоније и Старе Србије (Београд: СКА, 1906); Јован Цвијић, Метанастазичка кретања, њихови узроци и последице (Београд: СКА, 1922), 202−33].

[8] Dalibor Brozović, Pavle Ivić, Jezik srpskohrvatski/hrvatskosrpskihrvatski ili srpski(Zagreb: Jugoslavenski leksikografski zavod „Miroslav Krleža“, 1988); Robert D. Greenberg, Language and Identity in the Balkans(Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 16−23.

[9] Vladimir Dedijer, History of Yugoslavia (New York: Mc Graw-Hill Book Co., 1975), 103; Barbara Jelavich, History of the Balkans: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), 304−08.

[10] Вук Стефановић Караџић, Писменица сербского иезика, по говору простога народа (Беч: Штампарија Јована Шнирера, 1814), 105; Караџић, „Срби сви и свуда“, 6; Милосављевић, Срби и њихов језик, 128.

[11] Ivo Banac, The National Question in Yugoslavia: Origins, History, Politics(Ithaca−London: Cornell University Press, 1984), 80.

[12] Beljo et al, Greater Serbia from Ideology to Aggression, 17−18.

[13] On this issue, see more in: Милосављевић, Срби и њихов језик.

[14] Лазо М. Костић, Крађа српског језика (Баден, 1964); Предраг Пипер, Увод у славистику 1 (Београд: Завод за уџбенике и наставна средства, 1998), 116−127; Петар Милосављевић, Српски филолошки програм(Београд: Требник, 2000), 9.

[15] Караџић, „Срби сви и свуда“, 1; Владимир Стојанчевић, “Једна неиспуњена жеља Вукова”, Ковчежић за историју Срба сва три закона (12, Београд), 74−77; Милосављевић, Срби и њихов језик, 125.

[16] Вукова преписка, IV (Београд, 1909), 648.

[17] See more in: Милосављевић, Срби и њихов језик.

[18] For instance: Ђорђе Николајевић, Српски споменици (Београд: Летопис Матице српске, 1840); Ђорђе Николајевић, „Епархија православна у Далмацији“, Српско-далматински магазин (15, Задар, 1850); Цвијић, Oснове за географију и геологију Makeдоније и Старе Србије, 43−44; Grégoire Gravier, Les frontiershistoriques de laSerbie (Paris: Armand Colin, 1919); Цвијић, Метанастазичка кретања, њихови узроци и последице, 202−233; Никола Радојчић, “Географско знање о Србији почетком XIX века”, Географско друштво (Београд, 1927); Лујо Бакотић, Срби у Далмацији од пада Млетачке Републике до уједињења(Београд: Геца Кон А. Д.: 1938), 64−81, 110−121.

[19] John R. Lampe, Yugoslavia as History. Twice There Was a Country (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 52.

[20] Радош Љушић, Књига о Начертанију: Национални и државни програм Кнежевине Србије (1844)(Београд: БИГЗ, 1993).

[21] Дејвид Мекензи, Илија Гарашанин: Државник и дипломата (Београд: Просвета, 1987), 15.

[22]  Ljiljana Aleksić, „Šta je dovelo do stvaranja ’Načertanija’“, Historijski pregled, (2, Zagreb, 1954), 68−71.

[23] “The Načertanije itself uses the language of romantic nationalism to propose a Serbian state…” Lampe, Yugoslavia as History, 52.

[24] Ibid.

[25] The history of all multiethnic Yugoslav states from 1918 to 1991 clearly proved the rightness of I. Garašanin’s point of view.

[26] As in the case of Karadžić’s model of ethnolinguistic identification of the Serbs, I. Garašanin’s project of creation of a united Serbian ethnonational state was inspired by Croatian imperialistic ideas of the Croatian ethnonational identity and creation of a united Greater Croatia within the borders of the Austrian Empire. Both V. S. Karadžić and I. Garašanin well understood that the “Illyrian Movement” was, in fact, the Austrian sponsored political movement for creation of a Greater Croatia in the Austrian Empire mostly at the expense of the Serbs. According to the Austrian/Croatian idea promulgated by the “Illyrian Movement”, all Roman Catholic South Slavs had to be named as the ethnolinguistic Croats and as such included into the Austrian Empire. The Croats hoped to create within the Austrian Empire a separate administrative province of a Greater Croatia with Bosnia-Herzegovina.

[27] For instance: Љушић, Књига о Начертанију, 94−100, 153; Dušan Bilandžić, Hrvatska moderna povjest(Zagreb: Golden marketing, 1999), 29−30.

[28] For example: Banac, The National Question in Yugoslavia, 83−84: Damir Agičić, Tajna politika Srbije u XIX stoljeću (Zagreb: AGM−Zavod za hrvatsku povijest Filozofskog fakulteta Sveučilišta u Zagrebu: 1994), 25−26.

[29] The Serbian Empire was definitely broken apart in 1371 by the Ottoman victory in the Battle of Marica (September) and by the death of the Emperor Stefan Uroš in the same year (December). See more in: Јованка Калић, Срби у позном Средњем веку(Београд: Службени лист СРЈ, 2001).

[30] Љушић, Књига о Начертанију, 76−87.

[31] Charles Jelavich, “Garashanins Natchertanie und das gross-serbische Problem”, Südostforschungen (XXVII, 1968), 131−147.

[32] For more details on this issue, see: Vladislav B. Sotirović, The Croatian National (“Illyrian”) Revival Movement and the Serbs: From 1830 to 1847 (Saarbrücken: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, 2015).



Posted in SerbiaComments Off on Resolving the “Serbian Question” – A 19th-Century Project

23 Years Ago the US Backed a Brutal Croatian Ethnic Cleansing of Serbs

 Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

If there was a nation that could safely conclude from its own historical experience that “Crime Pays”, than it must be the newest EU member, Croatia. In the modern history this tiny Catholic nation committed one of the most horrific genocides in WWII over Serbian Orthodox Christian population residing in Croatia and Bosnia, murdering at least one million people; and recently in 1995, Croatia conducted (under US supervision) the biggest and permanent ethnic cleansing “military operation” against its (again) Serbian population, expelling over 200,000 of them in just three days (the real number of ethnically cleansed Serbs from Croatia during the wars in 90ies, is at least twice larger)- unofficially becoming the most ethnic cleanse European state.

If you believe, that Croats “en masse”, would be ashamed of such reputation, then you are dead wrong. Actually most of them are very proud, and for the last 23 years they are celebrating it very loudly, and doing everything in their power to prevent (after being pressured by the international community) the return of hundreds of thousands of Serbs to their ancient land, and to avoid returning of their stolen property, mostly (real estates, farm lands, etc.).

“We could not prevent the slaughter of the Serbs by the Croatians, including elderly people and children…” – UNPROFOR French Lieutenant-General Jean Cot

Elderly Krajina’ resident murdered in his home by Croatian soldiers. His guilt- He was a Serb…

WHEN WESTERN “DEMOCRACIES” ORCHESTRATE ETHNIC CLEANSINGS

Of course, if would be unreasonable, for this evident and well documented war crimes, and crimes against humanity, to blame only Croats. If their hands are soaked in the blood, of innocent Serbian civilians, up to their arms, then the hands of their Western sponsors (namely USA and Germany) are soaked in the blood at least up to their elbows. Simply Croats would never get away with “such perfect crime”, if they were not backed, in every possible way, by their American and German sponsors.

This week will mark 22 years, since on August 4th 1995, Croatia lunched so called military-police operation, named Storm, against Serb’ held and controlled Krajina region. Croats backed by US military-logistic & air support, CIA intelligence drone reconnaissance, and open political support from Washington, completed their “operation” in just three days. On August 7th they declared “victory”.

Their “victory resulted”: in a complete ethnic cleansing of Krajina region, and a murder of at least 2,000 Serbs; vast majority of them were defenseless civilians. Official sources claim that: 1,192 Serbian civilians were killed or missing, and around 200,000 thousands (entire Krajina population) were expelled from their ancient land. Their property was destroyed, looted and stolen, by the Croatian “soldiers” (who performed this “operation” under direct Washington’ supervision, while UNPROFOR peacekeepers assigned for the protection of UN designated “Krajina Safe Zone” just stood by, doing almost nothing to prevent the slaughter).

Croatian “soldiers” in “liberated Krajina”…

IMPERATIVE WAS TO ESTABLISH US MILITARY PRESENCE IN YUGOSLAVIA

To understand this US complicity, and its direct military involvement, in such horrendous atrocity against one ethnic group, in one, of many, civil wars, which erupted, when former Socialist Yugoslavia “fell apart”, again with covert or overt Western support, we have to look here at the wider picture-

When the Clinton’ government, together with their major European allies, decided in 90ies, that the best American interest in the Balkans will be to back armed rebellion of the separatist administrative regions in Western Yugoslavia, and openly support the breakup of, internationally recognized, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, while it was still the UN member, they consciously opened the Pandora box.

They openly sided politically & militarily with Slovenian and Croatian Catholics from the Western Yugoslavian Republics, and with Islamic fundamentalists from Bosnia, in their civil and religious wars against Orthodox Christian Serbs living outside, then administrative Republic of Serbia (and later in 1999, US & NATO started another illegal war against Serbia, on behalf of Islamic Albanian separatists from  Kosovo, ultimately  “stealing” this Southern Serbian province).

Croatian and Bosnian Serbs, who simply wanted to remain in their Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and not to be “taken away” by Catholic and Islamic separatists, and not to be stripped of their constitutional rights, under existing Yugoslavian laws, naturally rebelled against such illegal and violent Yugoslavian outcome, and they subsequently declared own autonomy within the Yugoslavian separatist’ regions.

And then all hell broke loose…

The historical roots of such American approach, could be found in the Western (mainly British and American) support of “Anti-Stalin” communist leader of post-WWII Yugoslavia Marshal Josip Broz Tito (who was Croat himself), who provided Western leaders with assurances that he will, not only keep Yugoslavia outside the Soviet bloc, but he would align militarily his country with NATO alliance as well; and later in Reagan’ presidential directive NSDD133, from 1984, which outlined US strategic interest to expand its military presence to Yugoslavia.

Croatian and US military leadership celebrating “joint operation”- the biggest ethnic cleansing in Europe since WWII…

THEY ARE KILLING “LITTLE RUSSIANS” TOO, AREN’T THEY…?

The “only” obstacle to this US (read NATO) expansionist policy in the former Yugoslavia, was Serbian (majority) population, which was, due to its traditional friendship with Russia, considered as “problematic” and had to be decimated, “broken into pieces”, and Republic of Serbia to be disabled  as an independent state, during so called “spontaneous” civil wars in 90s.

I am not trying here to state that in the Western society exist some unexplained hatred against Serbs (in same time, there is a lots of prejudice, and media & Hollywood bias, picturing Serbs primarily as “bad guys”), actually I believe that people and their politicians in the West could not care less about Serbs (Serbians), and most of them have no clue where to find Serbia on the geographic map. But in same time, as we can observe these days in the West, particularly in United States, there is a lot of unfounded and unreasonable hatred for the Russians…

…And if we are familiar with the popular saying among Western diplomats, that “Serbs are Little Russians”, then is not difficult to put two and two together, and understand their desire to “disable” any Russian-friendly nation in the region.

As long as you are a Serb, regardless of your age, for Croats and their US sponsors, you are a “fair game”…

CROATIAN WAR CRIMES AGAINST SERBS WERE SO EVIDENT, AND ON SUCH LARGE SCALE, THAT WESTERN CONTROLLED ICTY HAD NO CHOICE, BUT TO SENTENCE CROATIAN LEADERSHIP…

 Western controlled ICTY (International Crime Tribunal for Yugoslavia) reluctantly brought charges for war crimes and ethnic cleansing, against (war time) ultra-nationalistic Croatian leadership and group of its generals. But in the wake of overwhelming evidence and international outcry, they had little choice.

In 2001 ICTY brought charges for war crimes against Croatian president general Franjo Tudjman (who will be remembered for publically saying “that he was very proud that his wife was neither Jew or Serb”), Croatian defence minister Gojko Susak (prior to war- open Neo-Nazi ideologist), and two other former (renegade) Yugoslav Army generals, (promoted into supreme commanders of Croatian army) Janko Bobetko and Zvonimir Cermenko. Their indictment was actually travesty of justice, because at the time they were charged, all of them (with exception of General Janko Bobetko), were already dead (by natural cause). General Bobetko died one year after indictment, before he could be delivered to ICTY.

The decision to launch Operation Storm is not controversial; what is controversial, however, is ‘the successful effort’ of some Croatian officials headed by President Franjo Tudjman to ‘exploit the circumstances’ and implement the plan to drive Serbs out of Krajina.”—ICTY prosecutor Alain Tieger

When the indictment of Croatian generals Ante Gotovina, Ivan Cermak and Mladen Markac, for their war crimes and ethnic cleansing of Croatian Serbs in Krajina, during “operation” Storm in 1995, was announced in 2008- Serbs who survived US sponsored pogrom and ethnic cleansing, were naively hoping that at last some justice will be served.

Even, with such unprecedented obstruction of ICTY by Croatian government, Catholic Church and wider Croatian society, who concealed and destroyed many war documents, facilitated escape and concealment of indicted Croatian war criminals, and intimidated not only victims and witnesses, but ICTY leadership as well- the trial of those three Croatian generals came to conclusion in 2011, and after the overwhelming evidence (the evidence, Croats were not able to conceal or destroy), Gotovina was sentenced to 24 years, Markac to 18 years, while Cermak was acquitted.

Serbian victims hoped that at the end at least some justice was served- but they were wrong again. There is a Serbian saying: “A crow doesn’t pick out another crow’s eyes.”-

In 2012, ICTY appeal chamber overturned the decision of lower chamber, and unconditionally acquitted Croatian war criminals Gotovina and Markac for all crimes. Entire Croatia and its diaspora erupted in joy and massive celebration.

Their historical experience that Crime Pays have been proven yet again…

Serbian children getting starved to death and slaughtered by knife in a first-ever death camp for children and infants established by Croats in Jastrebarsko, Sisak, Stara Gradiska, Independent State of Croatia in WW2

Even, after the ICTY had proved (from the audio and written transcript of Croatian war leadership meeting in July 1995) – that there was very credible evidence of existence of a joint criminal enterprise, with intent to forcibly remove ethnic Serbs from Croatia, and that civilian areas in Krajina, including the subsequent civilian refugee columns, were indiscriminately shelled by Croatian artillery, and bombed & machine gunned by Croatian air-force – that did not prevent the real ICTY masters to pervert the course of justice.

One would wander who and what was behind such obvious and embarrassing justice travesty, demonstrated in this example. What had forced American controllers of ICTY to change their mind, and influence the tribunal to free of any charges, these obvious and heavy documented, war criminals?

Just remember that at that time, US government offered $5 million reward for the capture of war criminal Ante Gotovina, making him the ICTY most wanted man. He was at that time sheltered by Croatian government, and through the notorious Vatican’ “Rat Channels”, that were used at the end of WWII to facilitate the escape of Nazis, he was hidden (among the other Croatian war criminals) in a Catholic monastery, to be smuggled to Tenerife, where he was eventually captured by the Spanish police, in 2005.

 

Serbian civilians fleeing US/CRO joint operation “Storm” were bombed, machine-gunned, and ran by Croatian tanks, mercilessly- thousands of innocent people just perished…

INTERNATIONAL “POST-MORTEM” RESPONSE…

It is worth to mention accusations and reactions, to such perversion of justice by ICTY, from some highest international bodies and public persons, at that time-

US Security Council, on August 10th 1995 issued “post-mortem” (when ethnic cleansing of Serbs was already completed) resolution #1009, demanding from Croatia to halt military operation, and condemning targeting of UN peacekeepers (during the operation Storm, Croats had killed three UN soldiers) – but UNSC failed to request a withdrawal of the Croatian forces, and de-facto accepted new “ethnically cleanse” reality!?

The only UN official, who was fully aware of the horrific aspect of this US sponsored “operation”, and who was trying to prevent further Croatian atrocities against Serbian population, was, at that time, the Head of UN mission in Yugoslavia, Thorvald Stoltenberg, who urged UN Secretary Yasushi Akashi to request NATO strikes against Croatian army, to prevent further atrocities against civilians.

Of course, that  never happened, especially if we know that Croatian operation Storm, was directly supervised by the retired US generals  (via Pentagon military contractor MPRI), while US Air Force conducted air raids against Serbian Air Defense systems in Krajina, and CIA officers operated surveillance drones, which provided intelligence for advancing Croatian troops, from two Croatian bases in Adriatic.

Even, EU negotiator Carl Bildt, and US ambassador in Croatia Peter Galbraith, publically condemned Croatian atrocities in Krajina- but they too stayed short of requesting some concrete and punitive measures.

It is important that these [Serb] civilians start moving and then the army will follow them, and when the columns start moving, they will have a psychological effect on each other. That means we provide them with an exit, while on the other hand we feign (pretend) to guarantee civilian human rights and the like…”—Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, during War Council meeting in July 1995

The only ones from UN troops who tried to prevent Croatian atrocities, and in couple occasions fought bravely against bloody-thirsty Croatian soldiers, where Canadian peacekeepers from “Patricia Company”, but they too, where upon return to Canada, silenced and their experience never got real media traction. Their testimony simply did not fit with the Western agenda, that Serbs are the only bad guys…

THE REAL ATROCIOUS OUTCOME OF THE BIGGEST ETHNIC CLEANSING IN POST-WWII EUROPE IS MUCH HIGHER, THEN THE OFFICIAL FIGURES STATE…

While ICTY prosecutors accepted the fact that some 200,000 Serbs were ethnically cleansed in just couple of days from Krajina region, they “lowered” the number of murdered Serbian civilians to 324. Serbian sources on the ground documented 1,192 dead or missing civilians, while Croatian Helsinki Committee documented 677 killed.

Human Rights Watch documented at least 5,000 Serbian homes razed to the ground by Croatian forces, and HRW accused Croats for summary executions of elderly and disabled Serbs, who stayed behind due to inability or unwillingness to leave their homes. We can only imagine if the entire defenseless  Serbian civilian population stayed behind, and faced bloody-thirsty Croatian soldiers- in that case we would be talking here about a full scale genocide, not “just” the ethnic cleansing!?

To better understand what kind of “Croatian justice” were facing defenseless Serbian civilians, who decided not to leave their homes during operation Storm, here is one excerpt from Wikipedia, describing one of many of Croatian “post-Storm” atrocities against innocent civilians-

“The Varivode massacre was a mass killing that occurred on 28 September 1995 in the village of VarivodeCroatiaduring the Croatian War of Independence. According to United Nations officials, soldiers of the Croatian Army(HV) and Croatian police killed nine Croatian Serbvillagers, all of whom were between the ages of 60 and 85.[4] After the war, six former Croatian soldiers were tried for committing crimes in the village, but were all eventually released due to lack of evidence… On the night of 28 September 1995, Croatian soldiers entered the village of Varivode and killed nine elderly Serb villagers. The civilians that were killed were Jovan Berić, Marko Berić, Milka Berić, Radivoje Berić, Marija Berić, Dušan Dukić, Jovo Berić, Špiro Berić and Mirko Pokrajac. After the executions occurred, the bodies were buried in a cemetery near the village without the knowledge of the families of the victims.[4]… After the massacre, Croatian authorities denied reports of widespread atrocities targeting Serbs and said that they were propaganda. Later, the government blamed the atrocities on uncontrollable elements within the Croatian Army and Croatian police.[25] Christiane Amanpour‘s report from October 1995 said that the “United Nations believes 12 Serb civilians were massacred.”[25] In the first one hundred days following Operation Storm, at least 150 Serb civilians were summarily executed, and many hundreds disappeared as part of a widespread campaign of revenge against Croatia’s Serb minority.[26] The bodies of the killed Serbs were never exhumed, autopsies were never performed and much of the evidence that could have been used against the perpetrators of the crime was discarded.[27] Despite this, six Croatian soldiers were tried for committing crimes in the village. The soldiers were Ivan Jakovljević, Peri Perković, Neđeljko Mijić, Zlatko Ladović, Ivica Petrić and Nikola Rašić. However, in 2002 they were all released due to the lack of evidence against them.[27]… In July 2012, the Supreme Court of Croatia ruled that the Republic of Croatia was responsible for the deaths of the nine Serb villagers who were killed in Varivode. The Supreme Court declared, “two months after the conclusion of Operation Storm, an act of terrorism was committed against the Serb inhabitants of Varivode for the purpose of causing fear, hopelessness and to spread feelings of personal insecurity among the citizens.”[35] –  Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varivode_massacre

By 2012, Croatian government received 6,390 reports about committed war crimes against Serbian civilians, during and after operation Storm, but did little or nothing to bring the perpetrators to justice.

To make things worse and more humiliating for surviving Krajina Serbs, Croatian government is still refusing to return (or reimburse) 140,000 Serbian homes, stolen from ethnic Serbs. 795 Serbs, presumed dead, are still missing, 1,604 bodies were retrieved- according to NGO “Veritas”.

Croats were attacking Krajina using the strategy of “Scorched Earth”, with unconditional US support…

DID THE CROATS SUCCESSFULLY BLACKMAIL U.S. GOVERNMENT INTO SUBMISSION, FORCING THEM TO OVERTURN THE INITIAL ICTY RULING!?

Defense ministers celebrating the joint outcome of the biggest ethnic cleansing in Europe since WWII- Left: US William Perry, Right: CRO Gojkos Susak…

The initial ICTY ruling in 2011, which sentenced Croatian generals Gotovina and Markac to long term imprisonment, was expected, and very well supported by the “conclusive evidence”. Even, according to many international experts, this sentencing was not enough tough, and did not cover the full scale of war crimes and atrocities, committed by Croatian political and military leadership, during and in the aftermath of operation Storm. Still, many Serbian victims were satisfied that they finally achieved at least some justice…

…So, when in November 2012 ICTY appeal chamber ruled that Croatian generals are innocent of all charges and free to go, the news came to many as a complete shock, and reaffirmed them in a belief that ICTY tribunal is just another NATO war tool, in their efforts to punish and humiliate, not only the Serbian government, but the numerous Serbian victims of civil wars in 90ies, whose executors were never (and probably never will be) brought to justice.

The ruling was very controversial, not only because it ignored all the hard evidence, including the forensics and the testimony of the international observers, but because the formal excuse for the liberating judgment was – that in the prosecutor documents were missing the Croatian artillery log books, that according to the Appeal chamber, were the only document that would prove the Croatian intent to drive Serbian population from Krajina. The same books were previously repeatedly requested by the ICTY prosecutors, and Croatia did not even deny its existence, but simply refused to cooperate with ICTY and hand them over. Finally, when in 2008 Croatia was warned by European leaders that non-cooperation with ICTY might affect the prospect of its EU membership – somebody from the Croatian leadership simply destroyed these books, and they informed Hague tribunal that Artillery logs no longer exist. Even such provocative and blunt obstruction of the international justice by the Croatian government, did not result in any repercussions for them, and practically they were forgiven for their deeds. Crime pays – doesn’t it?

Anyway, ICTY tribunal had plenty of other evidence, proving the intentional destruction of Serbian civilian infrastructure was very well documented by the international observers, and in April 2011 ICTY had no choice but to sentence general Gotovina to 24 years, and general Markac to 18 years.

Another fact that indicates that Appeal chamber’ ruling was the political one, and result of some external interference was its split decision – the chamber ruled by the majority decision 3 – 2, implying that there were serious doubts and disagreements, by at least two of the Appeal chamber judges.

“American concern is that if General Gotovina is arrested he may carry out a threat to disclose previously unknown extent of US covert involvement in the Krajina offensive…” – London Times, June 14th, 2003.

Gotovina was arrested, but only shortly, until Croatian blackmail convinced their US masters, to pull strings in ICTY, and free him unconditionally…

CROATIAN OFFICIALS PROVIDED A PLENTY OF EVIDENCE THAT U.S. GOVERNMENT WAS INVOLVED IN “STORM” MILITARILY, AND HAD A FULL CONTROL OVER WAR (CRIMES) ACTIVITIES THAT TOOK PLACE ON THE GROUND

As soon the ICTY indictments against Croatian leaders were announced in 2001, the Croatian government, NGOs, public, and very well organized and connected diaspora, displayed anger and disagreement, promising that they will do everything in their power to obstruct ICTY investigations and prevent trials against their “national heroes”. When in 2011, the first instance judgment by ICTY was issued and Croatian generals were sentenced to long term imprisonment, the Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor and President Ivo Josipovic publicly expressed their shock and rejection of the ruling, promising to help to overturn the judgment, on appeal!?

And they started their campaign – of obstruction of justice, of abetting the accused war criminals, of the intimidation, and finally, of the blackmail, of ICTY and US officials –

 On July 4th, 2002, NGO associated with Croatian government “Croatian World Congress- CWC” filed complaint with ICTY citing what proofs, about US direct involvement in ethnic cleansing of Krajina, they have:

US officials aided General Gotovina and the Croatian army in operation Storm by violating UN arms embargo and allowing Croatia to obtain weapons… US officials established a CIA base inside General Gotovina’ military base, which provided the US officials with real-time video footage of events transpiring on the ground during Operation Storm (and thus imputing to them knowledge of events on the ground), but also from which they could provide such intelligence data to General Gotovina to assist him in conducting Operation Storm. If General Gotovina carried out pre-planed campaign to deport 150,000 to 200,000 Croatian Serbian civilians, the CIA base was not only used to provide knowledge to US officials of such plan and course of conduct on the part of General Gotovina, but was also used to assist General Gotovina in achieving the goals of his alleged planThe US official gave the green light for the Operation and provided diplomatic and political support for it. The US officials at all times had the ability to halt the military operations. Accordingly, the US officials named in the complaint should be indicted for having aided and abetted General Gotovina.

Ethnic cleansing in Krajina was the joint US/CRO criminal enterprise… History will be the judge…

If you read carefully through this CWC statement (threat), they are not even trying to deny Gotovina’ war crimes, they are just implying bluntly, that if their lovely General was sentenced, they would gladly provide ICTY with the evidence of Croatian-American “Joint criminal enterprise to forcibly remove the Serb population from Croatia…”, as it states the ICTY indictment from 2001, of course omitting the US participation (which was the very secret deal, at least until Croatian officials started “mouthing” their “American friends”).

Croatian complaint to ICTY specifically named the highest US officials, alleging that they, along General Gotovina, committed too war crimes against Serbian population:

“On behalf of the Croatian World Congress, a non-governmental organization that is a member of the United Nations with advisory status, you are hereby notified pursuant to Article 18(1) of the Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia of the existence of information concerning serious violations of international humanitarian law (hereinafter “IHL”), namely that officials of the United States of America, including but not limited to William Jefferson ClintonAnthony LakeSamuel BergerRichard Holbrooke,  Peter Galbraith and/or George J. Tenet (hereinafter collectively referred to as “U.S. officials”), aided and abetted Croatian General Ante Gotovina, who was indicted by your office on 8 June 2001.”

War Criminals at work together- Croatian general Kresimir Cosic and US supreme commander general Wesley Clark…

We are not going here to present detailed evidence of US crimes, committed during the operation Storm. Of course, the Croatian war crimes on the ground were very brutal, systematic and savage, they did “the physical work”, but from the evidence provided by numerous Croatian officials and their organizations, it is very obvious, that operation Storm would never happen, or if happened never would be successful, without US military support and direct supervision, or without US approval.

Just to give you “a taste” what kind of American support Croats were enjoying during their atrocious operation against innocent Serbian civilians, will present you with some documented facts:

The Green Light for the operation came a couple days prior the assault- President Clinton passed the order directly to US military attaché in Zagreb Colonel Richard Herrick; Herrick passed order to Croatian head of military intelligence Markica Rebic (the others involved directly were defense minister Gojko Susak, Miro Tudjman and Miro Medimurac, heads of Secret Service and Intelligence Service). US masters were so pleased with Rebic’ service, that they rewarded him with Meritorious Service Medal, delivered to him by Ambassador Galbraith in 1996. The other people from USG involved in this joint criminal enterprise with Croats, in addition to Clinton, were Anthony Lake and William Perry. US masters imposed the time limit on operation Storm- it had to be completed in 5 days.

Long before the Storm, in 1992 USG with Croatian approval established CIA reconnaissance base on island of Brac, from where CIA operators were flying unmanned aircraft spying on Serbian positions in Krajina, Bosnia and part of Serbia itself. USG requested that this cooperation to be held a top secret, so outsiders don’t find that US is taking sides in the Balkans’ civil wars. But it did not stay for too long the top secret. On January 1st, 1994, Croatian state security apprehended a spy on the base perimeter. They delivered him right away to General Gotovina, to find out it was their German ally, precisely it was German military attaché Hans Schwan.

This incident alerted USG, which wanted to conceal any covert activities on behalf of CG, so they promptly removed CIA base to new secret location, in Sepurina, near city of Zadar. This new location was covered by three security layers, to ensure the full secrecy. From new base CIA started immediately collecting photographic and video evidence of Serbian activities in Krajina and Bosnia, and passing them to Croats, and to Pentagon. There was 24 hours, 6 member intelligence crew, present on site- consisting of three CIA and three Croatian military officers.

Croatian military base Sepurine, near Zadar, from which CIA operated drones, aiding operation Storm, and providing live video feed of “military activities” on the ground to Pentagon…

“STORM” WASN’T THE FIRST ETHNIC CLEANSING, UNDERTAKEN BY CROATIA AND US, AS A JOINT CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE:

It is interesting that disgruntled (by ICTY indictment) Croatian Officials and Croatian World Congress body, in their complaint to ICTY, are providing the evidence about USG intelligence and logistical support for another Croatian genocidal operation, named Flash, that took place in Western Slavonia, between May 1st and 3rd, 1995, which resulted in another complete ethnic cleansing of Serbian population- prior to the operation this area was populated by 29,000 Serbs, after Flash, only 1,500 remained.

The number of killed civilians is unknown because Croats prevented UNPROFOR troops from accessing the area, until they did “the sanitation” (read: removing the evidence of their crimes, because entire Serbian refugee columns were massacred and overran by Croatian tanks).  Estimates of killed civilians rage between one hundred to couple thousands. Another example of “the successful US-CRO joint criminal enterprise” ?

The interesting details, revealed here by Croatian sources, is-  that US military attaché Herrick was attached to the Croatian mobile military command, during the genocidal operation Flash, supervising it directly- and the head of CIA branch in Zagreb Marc Kelton was directly coordinating expulsion of Slavonia’ Serbs, with Croatian president Tudjman son Miro.

In the eve of the attack on Krajina, on August 4th 1995, between midnight and 4 a.m. Croatian forces were ordered to turn off all telecommunication devices, to unable US air force to electronically disable all Serbian communications.

The outcome of Joint US/CRO “justice”…

According to NATO spokesman Jim Mitchell in Aviano, Italy, two US military planes EA-6B Prowlers were dispatched to Krajina air space. USAF planes, on the top of jamming Serbian telecommunications, destroyed the airport Udbine, and Radar and Serbian Air Defense near Knin, in order to prevent any Serbian air support or defence, against invading Croatian forces.

Here, US military attaché Herrick was replaced by the Colonel John Sadler, who was embedded with Gotovina command unit, directly supervising operation Storm. Pentagon was also directly monitoring the operation via live video feed.

Shortly after the biggest joint (US/CRO) ethnic cleansing in Europe was completed, US head of DIA General Colonel Patrick Hughes visited Croatia to coordinate further military actions against Serbs in Bosnia and if necessary in Republic of Serbia…

Crime pays, doesn’t



Posted in Croatia, SerbiaComments Off on 23 Years Ago the US Backed a Brutal Croatian Ethnic Cleansing of Serbs

Globalism’s First Victim. NATO’s War on Yugoslavia

NOVANEWS

David Orchard led the anti-war campaign across Canada relentlessly mobilizing support against NATO’s war on Yugoslavia.

March 24, 2018 commemorates the 19th anniversary of  NATO’s war on Yugoslavia.

This article was originally published by Toronto’s National Post on June 23, 1999.

David Orchard (image left)

In March [1999], the most powerful military force in history attacked tiny Yugoslavia (one fifth the size of Saskatchewan) and after seventy-nine days of flagrantly illegal bombing forced an occupation of Kosovo. Admitting its intention was to break Yugoslavia’s spirit, NATO targeted civilian structures, dropping over 23,000 bombs (500 Canadian) and cruise missiles in a campaign of terror bombing, dNATO’s War on Yugoslaviaescribed recently by Alexander Solzhenitsyn as follows: “I don’t see any difference in the behaviour of NATO and of Hitler. NATO wants to erect its own order in the world and it needs Yugoslavia simply as an example: We’ll punish Yugoslavia and the whole rest of the planet will tremble.”

The idea that NATO attacked Yugoslavia to solve a humanitarian crisis is about as credible as Germany’s claim in 1939 that it was invading Poland to prevent “Polish atrocities.” The United Nations Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported the first registered refugees out of Kosovo on March 27th — three days after the bombing began. Civilian casualties after twenty-one days of bombing exceeded all casualties on both sides in Kosovo in the three months before the war.

In an all out effort to convince public opinion that Yugoslavia deserved the onslaught, Western politicians and media are churning out endless accusations of Serb atrocities, while the proven and infinitely greater atrocities of NATO — launching an aggressive war, using internationally outlawed cluster bombs and firing depleted uranium ammunition into Yugoslavia — are buried.

Why did NATO attack Yugoslavia and why are Serbs — Canada’s staunch allies in both World Wars, with 1.5 million dead resisting Hitler’s Nazis and Italian Fascism — being demonized?

Most 19th century wars were over trade. When the U.S. invaded Canada in 1812, Andrew Jackson declared, “We are going to… vindicate our right to a free trade, and open markets… and to carry the Republican standard to the Heights of Abraham.” In 1839, Britain demanded China accept its opium and attacked when China said no. When Thailand refused British trading demands in 1849, Britain “found its presumption unbounded” and decided “a better disposed King [be] placed on the throne… and through him, we might, beyond doubt, gain all we desire.”

In 1999, NATO said it was attacking Yugoslavia to force it to sign the Rambouillet “peace agreement” (even though the Vienna Convention states that any treaty obtained by force or the threat of force is void).

Significantly, Rambouillet stipulated:

“The economy of Kosovo shall function in accordance with free market principles” and “There shall be no impediments to the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital to and from Kosovo.”

During the war, Bill Clinton elaborated:

“If we’re going to have a strong economic relationship that includes our ability to sell around the world Europe has got to be the key; that’s what this Kosovo thing is all about… It’s globalism versus tribalism.”

“Tribalism” was the word used by 19th century free trade liberals to describe nationalism. And this war was all about threatening any nation which might have ideas of independence.

Yugoslavia had a domestically controlled economy, a strong publicly owned sector, a good (and free) health care system and its own defence industry. It had many employee owned factories — its population was resisting wholesale privatization. It produced its own pharmaceuticals, aircraft and Yugo automobile. It refused to allow U.S. military bases on its soil. According to the speaker of the Russian Duma:

“Yugoslavia annoys NATO because it conducts an independent policy, does not want to join NATO and has an attractive geographic position.”

Ottawa, cutting medicare, agricultural research, social housing and shelters for battered women, spent tens of millions to bomb Yugoslavia and is spending millions more occupying Kosovo, while abandoning its own sovereignty to U.S. demands, from magazines to fish, wheat and lumber. It is expropriating part of British Columbia for the U.S. military and considering the U.S. dollar as North America’s currency. Now, the Liberals have thrown our reputation as a peace keeper into the trash can, along with the rule of international law, by smashing a small country to pieces at the behest of Washington.

In a March 28 New York Times article, Thomas Friedman wrote:

“For globalization to work, America can’t be afraid to act like the almighty superpower that it is… The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.”

As NATO troops entered Kosovo, the same newspaper announced Kosovo’s new currency will be the U.S. dollar or German mark, currencies of the two countries most responsible for Yugoslavia’s break-up. And after months of being told that Slobodan Milosevic was the problem, we heard Washington Balkans expert, Daniel Serwer, explain:

“It’s not a single person that’s at issue, there’s a regime in place in Belgrade that is incompatible with the kind of economy that the World Bank… has to insist on…”

The Canadian government professes great interest in human rights. Globalization undermines both democracy and national sovereignty, the only guarantors of human rights. Unfortunately for Messrs. Clinton, Chretien et al, that message was not lost on millions around the world watching NATO bombs pulverize Yugoslavia.



Posted in Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia, YugoslaviaComments Off on Globalism’s First Victim. NATO’s War on Yugoslavia

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 Death of Milosevic and NATO’s Responsibility. Was He Assassinated?

NOVANEWS
  

On March 11, 2006, President Slobodan Milosevic died in a NATO prison. No one has been held accountable for his death. In the 12 years since the end of his lonely struggle to defend himself and his country against the false charges invented by the NATO powers, the only country to demand a public inquiry into the circumstances of his death came from Russia when Foreign Minister, Serge Lavrov, stated that Russia did not accept the Hague tribunal’s denial of responsibility and demanded that an impartial and international investigation be conducted. Instead, The NATO tribunal made its own investigation, known as the Parker Report, and as expected, exonerated itself from all blame.

But his death cannot lie unexamined, the many questions unanswered, those responsible unpunished. The world cannot continue to accept the substitution of war and brutality for peace and diplomacy. It cannot continue to tolerate governments that have contempt for peace, for humanity, the sovereignty of nations, the self-determination of peoples, and the rule of law.

The death of Slobodan Milosevic was clearly the only way out of the dilemma the NATO powers had put themselves in by charging him before the Hague tribunal. The propaganda against him was of an unprecedented scale. The trial was played in the press as one of the world’s great dramas, as world theatre in which an evil man would be made to answer for his crimes. But of course, there had been no crimes, except those of the NATO alliance, and the attempt to fabricate a case against him collapsed into farce.

The trial was necessary from NATO’s point of view in order to justify the aggression against Yugoslavia and the putsch by the DOS forces in Belgrade supported by NATO, by which democracy in Yugoslavia was finally destroyed and Serbia reduced to a NATO protectorate under a Quisling regime. His illegal arrest, by NATO forces in Belgrade, his illegal detention in Belgrade Central Prison, his illegal rendition to the former Gestapo prison at Scheveningen, near The Hague, and the show trial that followed, were all part of the drama played out for the world public, and it could only have one of two endings, the conviction, or the death, of President Milosevic.

Since the conviction of President Milosevic was clearly not possible after all the evidence was heard, his death became the only way out for the NATO powers. His acquittal would have brought down the entire structure of the propaganda framework of the NATO war machine and the western interests that use it as their armed fist.

NATO clearly did not expect President Milosevic to defend himself, nor with such courage and determination. The media coverage of the beginning of the trial was constant and front page. It was promised that it would be the trial of the century. Yet soon after it began the media coverage stopped and the trial was buried in the back pages. Things had gone terribly wrong for Nato right at the start. The key to the problem is the following statement of President Milosevic made to the judges of the Tribunal during the trial:

“This is a political trial. What is at issue here is not at all whether I committed a crime. What is at issue is that certain intentions are ascribed to me from which consequences are later derived that are beyond the expertise of any conceivable lawyer. The point here is that the truth about the events in the former Yugoslavia has to be told here. It is that which is at issue, not the procedural questions, because I’m not sitting here because I was accused of a specific crime. I’m sitting here because I am accused of conducting a policy against the interests of this or another party.”

The prosecution, that is the United States and its allies, had not expected a real defence of any kind. This is clear from the inept indictments, confused charges, and the complete failure to bring any evidence that could withstand even basic scrutiny. The prosecution case fell apart as soon as it began. But once started, it had to continue. Nato was locked into a box of its own making. If they dropped the charges, or if he was acquitted, the political and geostrategic ramifications were enormous. Nato would have to explain the real reasons for the aggression against Yugoslavia. Its leaders themselves would face war crimes charges. The loss of prestige cannot be calculated. President Milosevic would once again be a popular political figure in the Balkans. The only way out for NATO was to end the trial but without releasing Milosevic or admitting the truth about the war. This logic required his death in prison and the abandonment of the trial.

The Parker Report contains facts indicating that, at a minimum, the Nato Tribunal engaged in conduct that was criminal regarding his treatment and that conduct resulted in his death. The Tribunal was told time and again that he was gravely ill with heart problems that needed proper investigation, treatment and complete rest before engaging in a trial. However, the Tribunal continually ignored the advice of the doctors and pushed him to keep going with the trial, knowing full well that the stress of the trial would certainly kill him.

The Tribunal refused prescribed medical treatment in Russia seemingly for political reasons and once again put the Tribunal’s interests, whatever they are, ahead of Milosevic’s health. In other words they deliberately withheld necessary medical treatment that could have lead to his death. This is a form of homicide and is manslaughter in the common law jurisdictions.

However, there are several unexplained facts contained in the Parker Report that need further investigation before ruling out poison or drugs designed to harm his health: the presence of the drugs rifampicin and droperidol in his system being the two key ones. No proper investigation was conducted as to how these drugs could have been introduced into his body. No consideration was given to their effect. Their presence combined with the unexplained long delay in getting his body to a medical facility for tests raises serious questions that need to be answered but which until today remain unanswered.

The Parker Report, despite its illogical conclusions, exonerating the Nato tribunal from blame, provides the basis for a call for a public inquiry into the death of President Milosevic. This is reinforced by the fact that the Commandant of the UN prison where President Milosevic was held, a Mr. McFadden, was, according to documents exposed by Wikileaks, supplying information to the US authorities about Milosevic throughout his detention and trial, and is further reinforced by the fact that Milosevic wrote a letter to the Russian Embassy a few days before his death stating that he believed he was being poisoned. Unfortunately he died before the letter could be delivered in time for a response.

All these facts taken together demand that a public international inquiry be held into the entirety of the circumstances of the death of President Milosevic, not only for his sake and the sake of his widow Mira Markovic and his son, but for the sake of all of us who face the constant aggressive actions and propaganda of the NATO powers. Justice requires it. International peace and security demand it.



Posted in NATO, SerbiaComments Off on The Death of Milosevic and NATO’s Responsibility. Was He Assassinated?

The Hague Tribunal: Only the Serbs are Prosecuted, KLA and Croatian War Crimes Ignored

Long live the European court, the most humane court in the world! 

That is why seven times as many Croat and more than ten times as many (Kosovar) Albanian war crimes suspects, in percentage terms relative to Serbs, were acquitted by the Hague Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, with Radovan Karadzic being just its latest victim. (Source via this recent infographic from Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda).

No matter that well before Srebrenica you had Sisak, where 595 Serb civilians of which 120 were women were disappeared by Croatian paramilitaries in 1991-1992. Everyone has heard of Srebrenica; almost nobody has heard heard of Sisak. The largest ethnic cleansing action of the entire war occurred in the wake of Operation Storm, when 200,000 Serbs were removed from the territories of Serbian Krajina to create the homogenous Croatia we have today. Croatia’s wartime leader Tudjman died peacefully and was buried with full honors and with no protests from the West.

hague-double-standards

It’s hard to think of an ethnic group, barring the Jews and possibly the Armenians, that has had a more traumatic 20th century. 25% of Serbians died in World War I. Another 25% died again in WW2 at the hands of the Nazis’ rabid hounds, the Ustaše. They were then incorporated into a federal state headed by an ethnic Croat whose internal divisions stranded many Serbs outside of Serbia’s borders. When in the wake of Yugoslavia’s collapse those stranded Serbs took up arms to defend themselves against revived nationalisms in Croatia and Bosnia – and ultimately, in their own country, against the metastasized Molenbeek that was Kosovo – they were steadily pushed back to their bombed out heartlands, unable to mount a sustained resistance against the Clinton clique’s sponsorship of the Croats and the Kosovars, cowardly betrayals from the Yeltsin regime in Russia, and the vaccilating Milosevic himself, always seeking to make deals with the “Western partners” (he only wised up to the fact that you can never trust the West by the time he was on the dock).

To round it all off, it was Serbia that had to send all its wartime leaders and generals off to the absolutely fair and impartial judgments of the Hague Tribunal – so fair and impartial that three times as many Serbs received prison sentences than all the other combatant parties combined – to be sacrificed on the altar of promised Euro-Atlantic integration.

A promise that now rings as almost completely hollow, the only result since then being the accession of Croatia to the EU, while Serbia has continued falling apart with the loss of Montenegro. And as of today, it is increasingly clear that the only additional peoples the EU is interested in integrating – or trying to, anyway – are young male Muslim refugees.

But not all hope is yet lost.

Perhaps Karadzic will eventually be seen not as the last knight of a dying order, but as one of the first heralds of a new dawn. It was NATO’s attack on Serbia more than anything else that lifted Russia from its blind-drunk 1990s pro-Western stupor, and it has become more and more active at countering further Western designs on its territories – in Crimea and Novorossiya, and in the sovereign state of Syria. The pushback against the globalist cabal will continue and this time Serbia will no longer be alone should it rejoin the struggle.

It is not beyond the realm of possibility that Karadzic, despite his advanced age, will live long enough to see the wrongs done unto his people this past century avenged and to set foot one last time on a liberated Serbia.



Posted in Croatia, SerbiaComments Off on The Hague Tribunal: Only the Serbs are Prosecuted, KLA and Croatian War Crimes Ignored

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