Tag Archive | "Yugoslavia"

NATO’s 1999 “Humanitarian Bombing” of Yugoslavia, Month Two


March 2018  marks the 19th anniversary of  NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia

This article by David Orchard who relentlessly led Canada’s antiwar movement against NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia was published as a widely distributed leaflet and on the Internet on April 26, 1999.


For over a month Canada has been bombing Yugoslavia. Without a parliamentary resolution, without a declaration of war and without a shred of legality Canadian war planes are attacking the nation that stood at the forefront of the fight against both Hitler’s Nazis and Mussolini’s fascists during World War II.

The Nuremberg trial ruled that “to initiate a war of aggression… is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime.” Yet this is precisely what Canada and its NATO allies have done.

The Canadian government said it was bombing to force the Yugoslavian government to sign the Rambouillet “agreement” — an ultimatum which provided for NATO’s occupation of Yugoslavia. Yet article 52 of the 1980 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, to which Canada is a signatory, states that any treaty procured by force or the threat of force, is null and void. The bombardment of Yugoslavia is a flagrant violation of the UN charter, which prohibits the use of force against a sovereign state which has not committed aggression on another state; of NATO’s own charter and of international law on a number of other fronts. NATO is dropping internationally outlawed cluster bombs and using missiles hardened with depleted uranium which vapourize upon impact releasing deadly radioactive fall-out which will, as in Iraq where similar weapons were used, leave a legacy of agony in Yugoslavia for decades to come.

Canada’s government said it was bombing to prevent a humanitarian crisis, genocide and “ethnic cleansing.” The unvarnished truth is that the bombing has increased the humanitarian crisis a thousandfold and knowledgeable observers have repeatedly stated that what was going on in Kosovo before the bombing began cannot be called genocide. In a recent article, “The fatal flaws underlying NATO’s intervention in Yugoslavia,” Lt. General Satish Nambiar, former commander of the United Nations forces in Yugoslavia, writes that he “did not witness any genocide beyond killings and massacres on all sides that are typical of such conflict conditions.”

He points out that over 800,000 Serbs were driven out of Croatia and the Muslim-Croat Federation without a word of complaint from the west. Canadian Roland Keith, a former field office director of the Kosovo Verification Mission, recently returned, reported that “the clear majority” of the violence he saw in Kosovo was instigated by the Kosovo Liberation Army, and that “there was no ethnic cleansing going on that I witnessed and certainly no genocide.” The total deaths on all sides in Kosovo prior to the bombing was 2000. Yet now, in one of the defining moments of our century, NATO has launched a massive around-the-clock air bombardment on behalf of a shadowy, armed Kosovo secessionist movement seeking to break up what remains of Yugoslavia.

For Canada to be bombing in favour of the breakup of a sister multi-ethnic state defies comprehension. In Iraq, our government said it was bombing to maintain the territorial integrity of Kuwait. Here, it is openly bombing to dismember a country, a founding member of both the UN and the Non-Aligned Movement and Canada’s staunch ally in both world wars.

The lesson NATO is teaching the world is that from now on the only sovereign nations are those capable of defending themselves with nuclear weapons. All others apparently can be bombed and now also, it appears, blockaded — another flagrantly unlawful act by NATO.

Who exactly has ordered Canada into war? Do unelected generals at NATO now determine Canada’s foreign policy, including decisions of war and peace? It is clear our Parliament does not. In a crowning abdication of responsibility, Mr. Chrétien has declared that whatever the NATO “team” decides about a ground war, Canada will go along.

Our government, through Mr. Axworthy, tells us this is a “humanitarian bombing mission.” In fact, it is a campaign of terror. Over 4000 bombing sorties, plus hundreds of cruise missiles, have struck Yugoslavia, a country one-fifth the size of Saskatchewan. Over one hundred schools and churches, including monasteries dating back to the 12th century, have been hit; as well as power stations, chemical plants (releasing toxic clouds over Belgrade and polluting the Danube), water and sewage facilities, factories, including the Yugo car plant, trains, train stations and apartment buildings; the result is untold suffering, a human and environmental catastrophe. NATO doesn’t like Yugoslavian media coverage of the damage on the ground, so it bombed the television station in Belgrade incinerating twelve young journalists, burying another eighteen, perhaps more, alive under tons of rubble.

This is not a war. It is the slaughter of a tiny, virtually defenceless nation by a vigilante gang-up of western powers. “Massive bombing,” in General Nambiar’s words, “intended to terrorize Serbia into submission.”

President Clinton told his shocked nation after the Colorado school killings that we must teach our youth to solve conflicts with words, not weapons. And who will teach NATO’s adults this lesson now that the rule of law has been thrown onto the ash heap of history?


This article was published as a widely distributed leaflet and on the Internet on April 26, 1999.

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The Day a #Yugoslavia Hashtag Saved the World


3423123123There’s a message and a hashtag on Twitter these days that should become the biggest meme ever. If only Yugoslavia and our world could be put back together again with a damages trial against NATO, that would be poetic justice. Unfortunately, I doubt social media will turn on its ear over a court case being built against the perpetrators of forgotten war crimes from the Bill Clinton presidency – But I can dream.

Back in February of 2016 I wrote a story about Yugoslavia and an alternative future we’d be experiencing had my country and its European puppet states destroyed that key nation. The storyline was widely cited and controversial to an extent, owing to the opinions of those from the newly established countries where Yugoslavia once stood. That report was about the loss to the peoples of those nations when a potential world power was vanished by outside forces. It said very little for the deep humanitarian scars though. When Bill Clinton authorized the destruction of the cement that held together the middle of Europe, he created a never-ending nightmare that needs to be felt. Now an international legal team has set out to get justice over NATO’s use of depleted uranium munitions, and the cancer related death and illness rising across that region since 1999.

According to these lawyers, as much as 15 tons of depleted uranium ammunition from various weapons systems deployed by NATO was used, and especially in Serbia. According to the RT report on the case, Srdjan Aleksic, is a Serbian lawyer who leads the legal team formed by the Serbian Royal Academy of Scientists and Artists, that includes lawyers from the EU, Russia, China and India. They contend that more than 30,000 people have fallen sick from exposure to the munitions in this year alone. I’ll address the munitions issue in a moment, but right here I’d like to strike the same chord I did in my earlier report on Yugoslavia by quoting award winning author of 23 books, Dr. Michael Parenti, who’s an American political scientist, political economist, and historian:

“The dismemberment and mutilation of Yugoslavia was part of a concerted policy initiated by the United States and the other Western powers in 1989. Yugoslavia was the one country in Eastern Europe that would not voluntarily overthrow what remained of its socialist system and install a free-market economic order. In fact, Yugoslavs were proud of their postwar economic development and of their independence from both the Warsaw Pact and NATO.”

My father was the Attorney General of the US state of Georgia for a time, and a constitutional lawyer, and advisor to both LBJ and Nixon. I know he would make use of this assertion by Parenti in order to establish “intent”, or in courtroom rhetoric he might say; “It goes toward establishing the intent to commit a crime, your honor”. If there were a jury present, the use of the term “mutilation” would be repeatedly drummed in, in order that the real judges might discern damages. But I digress, this is a civil liability matter amplified by a criminal act.

Wikipedia’s entry about the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia contains a photograph from an exhibit where there are three depleted uranium ordinance are on public display. There’s also a map showing the sites in Kosovo and western Serbia where these munitions were used. But that’s Wikipedia, and nobody uses Wikipedia as a viable source. So, this Le Monde diplomatique piece by Robert James Parsons is a better starting point for my report. His detailed assessment includes the allegation that investigators searching evidence of depleted uranium ordinance in Kosovo were impeded by NATO operators during their searches. For the reader, in March and April of 2001, UNEP and the World Health Organisation (WHO) published reports on the use of DU in the region based largely on investigators work on the ground, and work which was tightly supervised by NATO troops. The short version for this new legal team perhaps, is that NATO could easily have diverted investigators away from the worst areas of DU use, and probably did. Parsons’ various reports strike deep into the heart of the Serbia-Yugoslavia war crimes. Depleted uranium ordinance use in the Balkans and especially in Afghanistan are a legal time bomb about to explode. Hundreds of thousands of people may have turned themselves into internally radiated toxic waste carriers because of inhaling the dust from these munitions. I won’t go deep into Parsons’ research, but I was struck by his mentioning a US munitions factory that may have been the source of the weapons used in Yugoslavia:

“In a French TV documentary on Canal+ in January 2001 (7), a team of researchers presented the results of an investigation into a gaseous diffusion — recycling — plant in Paducah, Kentucky, US. According to the lawyer for 100,000 plaintiffs, who are past and present plant employees, they were contaminated because of flagrant non-compliance with basic safety standards; the entire plant is irrevocably contaminated, as is everything it produces. The documentary claimed that the DU in the missiles that were dropped on Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq is likely to be a product of this plant.”

The work of Parsons and other experts points to the United States of America using Iraq and other crisis areas for testing horrible weapons. The ramifications are staggering, if I am honest here. As an American and a veteran, having my belief system rebooted is not a comfortable exercise. Following the course the aforementioned researchers did, I’m led to a disturbing possibility, that the United States may have used depleted uranium not just for 30 mm and 120 mm armor and bunker piercing munitions like anti-tank rounds, but in smart bombs and missiles as well. Another independent investigator named Dai Williams pointed to the faulty UNEP report on DU use in the Balkans, and “a new generation of hard target versions of guided weapons (bombs and missiles) proposed in 1997 e.g. GBU-24, GBU-37, GBU-32, AGM-86D, AGM-65G, AGM-154C and latest versions of the BGM-109 Tomahawk.” Taken at face value, the purpose or mission of these weapons demands the capability supplied from using depleted uranium. Or in other words, the Pentagon needed depleted uranium to kill inside hardened bunkers etc. With reference to something called the “Hard or Deeply Buried Defeat Capability Program”, these reports are “at least” cause for an investigation – or a court case.

The question that arises is clear, sharp, and may lead to a damnable conclusion. “Does our government conceal from us the use of horrendous and outlawed weapons of destruction?” Given the Snowden revelations, the WikiLeaks Clinton and Podesta files, the WikiLeaks CIA leaks, and the mess in the world today…

The secrecy and the strange circumstances surrounding depleted uranium ordinance use in the Balkans, Iraq, and in Afghanistan point to cover up. The circumstances surrounding the initial UNEP and the World Health Organisation (WHO) point to a potential cover up. According to the investigators mentioned above, the Pentagon and NATO may well have carried out a “cleanup operation” in the former Yugoslavia before UNEP was even allowed in. The fact so few DU rounds were ever recovered there validates this thesis. Thousands of rounds fired at map locations absolutely traceable, and only a few DU munitions recovered? It may well be that the “lack of evidence” is really the evidence here. Turning to the medical side, every indication is that the people of these areas were affected. I’ll quote from a communication of Dai Williams from 2001:

“The population of Iraq appear to have had the highest DU exposure to date but they have also had the longest time for carcinogenic and mutagenic effects to appear.  Significant quantities of hard target guided weapons were used in the Balkans, including the regions policed by Italian and Spanish troops several of whom have died from Leukaemia.  With warheads ranging from 1000 lbs to 2 tons large quantities may have been used in Afghanistan – possibly comparable with the tonnage’s used in Iraq.  Medical evidence is bound to emerge whatever attempts the US and UK governments make to conceal the truth about these weapons.  If so the UN may need to revisit its recent resolution to ignore the DU issue in Iraq.”

Several studies from the mid-2000s showed increased levels of uranium contamination in human and environmental samples since the use of uranium weapons by US and UK forces in combat zones since 1991. Most disturbing in my research was this report from New Weapons Org that contained the following:

“… urine samples from civilians living near bombed targets in Afghanistan (UMRC 2002) showed very high levels of apparently natural uranium contamination – from 15 to 80x normal compared to the UK population (80 to 400 ng/litre compared to normal of 5 ng/litre). These observations led to the scenario that US weapons manufacturers may be using uranium alloys based on almost natural uranium feedstock instead of recycled depleted uranium.”

To sum up, I’ve alluded to a degree of “intent” being established in this current case on the use of illegal weapons in Serbia. It’s no stretch to advance the case further by showing the massive liability involved in irradiating Europe’s citizens with ordinance used in an illegal regime change at the continent’s center. Tens of thousands of people suffering health effects, no telling how many already dead, and the “motive” for covering up in such a case is immeasurable. So, if truth and equal justice is the goal of all western democracies, this new case needs to happen. And it needs to happen in full view of the people of our world. It’s time for a meme that may never come.


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Fear of a Major Shift in Geopolitics Reigns in the Balkans Following Trump’s Win

Adelina Marini

Media in the countries of the former Yugoslavia continue to analyse the results of the presidential elections in the USA with opinions continuing to vary. In Croatia, the accent is on the expectations for a change in the political map of Europe, while in Serbia predominate analyses that are trying to calm down the hopes that Serbs have with the coming of Donald Trump to power. Within all this are entwined the presidential elections in Bulgaria. Today’s press also brings back the fear of a new migrant wave along the Western Balkans route.

“As if Trump was not enough” is the headline of a material in the Croatian Jutarnji list, which believes that the political map of Europe is changing not just because of the election of Trump, but also because of the results of elections in Bulgaria and Moldova. “Last week the Kremlin met with great joy Donald Trump’s victory in the American elections. […] This, however, is not the only cause for the smile on Vladimir Putin’s face this week. On Sunday, there were elections held in Moldova – the poorest state in Europe – and Bulgaria – the poorest EU member. Citizens of both countries elected their presidents and in both cases they elected candidates, who are closer to the Kremlin, than to Brussels”, reports the newspaper.

Jutarnji also reminds that last week there was a vote of non-confidence against the government of Estonian PM Taavi Rõivas. The next day power was assumed by a party, which is presumed to be politically closer to the Kremlin. The new government did state, however, that nothing will change in the foreign and defence policy of Estonia. “Bulgaria once again turns to Mother Russia” is the headline of a lengthy material spread on two pages in today’s edition of the other most-circulated newspaper in Croatia, Vecernji list. “The poorest state in the Union, because of corruption, has turned its back to its pro-European oriented government. The new president wants to put an end to sanctions against Russia”, reads the opening of the material.

“Bulgaria, which entered the EU in 2007 together with Romania, so that the two countries could be extracted from the Russian shield and turn to the West, has recently turned back towards Russia, judging by the results of the presidential elections, which were won by Rumen Radev, a general and a former commander of Bulgarian Air Forces”, writes Silvana Perica. “The top of the Bulgarian government is being left by a colourful prime minister – former bodyguard to the Bulgarian tsar Simeon, athlete, but at the same time Bulgarian and American newspapers have printed abundant allegations of his connections to organised crime, and  also there were recordings leaked of his conversations with the boss of customs control, in which the PM makes him stop an investigation”. Vecernji reminds that Boyko Borissov was removed from power three years ago because of the rise in electricity prices, but came back 20 months later. It also reminds that over the last 23 years the country was left by 3 million Bulgarians.

The most-circulated daily newspaper in Montenegro – Vijesti – publishes a commentary by the Deutsche Welle Bulgarian journalist Aleksandar Andreev. “Bulgaria is heading towards instability” is the headline of the material, which is placed in the most-read section with commentaries and analyses of the newspaper. “New instability at the border between Turkey and Europe, which is shaking in crises – this will be the result of the election victory of former general Rumen Radev at the presidential elections in Bulgaria. And not because Radev is pro-Russia oriented, but because over the next months the country will practically be left with no government. The far larger problem is the fact that Radev is inexperienced and nationalist oriented, as well as the fact that so far he has been totally politically helpless and colourless”, reports Andreev.

He believes that the general’s statements about who does Crimea belong to and the need for removing sanctions against Russia are politically naive and could be fully explained with his lack of political experience. “People who know him believe that the general, who has studied in the USA and has worked for NATO, who speaks English, German, and Russian fluently, has no intention of re-orienting Bulgaria’s foreign policy course and move it farther from the EU and NATO”, assures the analyst. Keeping in mind the geopolitical clashes in Montenegro, caused by Russia’s resistance to the accession of the small Balkan republic to NATO and the EU, it is easy to explain the interest in Montenegro towards any geopolitical change in its closest neighbourhood.

In Serbia, focus is entirely on Donald Trump and more specifically a return is noticed towards reason and realism. In a commentary for the Danas, Ivan Radak explains “Why not Trump”. “The people of Serbia are once again on the wrong side and proud of it”, writes the author. “While the rational world (how else to name those, who stand against totally unmeasured words and the behaviour of the future president of the USA) called out against him, a large portion of people here were actually against Hillary Clinton and her husband’s contribution to the bombing of Serbia”. Ivan Radak is more concerned about what Donald Trump did not say. “I get worried when someone wins an election with fast and big decisions (100 billion euro in investments over 10 years, better life in two, maximum three years). In this sense, Donald Trump was not that different from the ones we have here”, he writes and reminds that deregulation is what brought about the crisis.

In Politika, Doctor Zoran Milivojević also warns to be careful with hope. His focus, however, is on Kosovo and the hopes of Serbs that Trump coming to power will bring the return of Kosovo. There is no way this could happen, explains the retired diplomat. “The recognition of Kosovo’s independence by the USA and their main Western allies is a part of a wider geostrategic concept, which is part of the geopolitical interests of the Western alliance, headed by the USA, which would be difficult to alter without serious harm to this alliance. So such expectations by the Serbs are not real”, writes the analyst.

In Croatia, fears are coming back from a renewal of the migrant wave. Vecernji list reports in an editorial that the full feebleness of the EU can be seen mirrored in the swamp at Tovarnik. The newspaper reports on yesterday’s incident, where a group of migrants (mainly from Afghanistan and Pakistan) attempted to break through the Serbian blockade and enter Croatia. The attempt was unsuccessful, but the newspaper comments that the unpleasant sight of exhausted and freezing people, running away from war, carrying children in hands, bring back the memory of last year. At the moment, we are not even talking about a new migrant wave, but this is just so far. It is not clear when will Ankara implement its threats to end its agreement with the EU.

When this does happen, it will cause a new humanitarian catastrophe of unseen proportions. “Brussels, however, has not recovered from the Brexit yet, neither has it recovered from the coming to power of Donald Trump. Member states have no common strategy and are once more left to their own devices. The full feebleness of the EU is now seen mirrored at the Croatian-Serbian border”, reports the newspaper.

The largest changes in the battle against corruption in the last 15 years are expected in Serbia. Blic reports that a bundle of judiciary acts are expected to be presented to the Skupština today. Expectations are that the new changes will form a new body for battle against corruption within the Ministry of Internal Affairs. There will be special divisions opened in the high prosecution offices and courts, which are to handle corruption cases. The prosecution will have four such centres, which will deal with corruption. They will be based in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Niš, and Kragujevac. Courts will also have four centres. These will be the most serious changes in the last 15 years, comments Blic.

Translated by Stanimir Stoev

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