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Vucic Discloses Content of Bilateral Agreement on Kosovo Signed at White House

Moving the Serbian embassy to Jerusalem was a loan origination fee?

Sputnik – 04.09.2020

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic revealed on Friday the content of an agreement on the self-proclaimed republic of Kosovo, signed with the United States at the White House.

Vucic stressed that the Serbian leadership and the Kosovars signed separate bilateral agreements with the United States and listed his country’s points.

“We signed today a bilateral agreement with the United States, this is not a trilateral agreement, which is very important. This is a bilateral agreement because the third party is not recognized in this agreement as a subject of international law”, Vucic said, as broadcast by national TV.

According to the president, the agreement is primarily focused on the economy and contains 16 clauses. Self-proclaimed Kosovo also signed a bilateral agreement with the United States.

“The Americans will be watching together with us the project to build a highway to Pristina, which will be important for Serbs living in Kosovo and Metohija”, the president said.

He added that the parties agreed on the construction of a railway to connect the Serbian regions of Kosovo and Pristina with Belgrade via the Merdare checkpoint.

“It [the agreement] also talks about how various financial corporations and the Export-Import Bank of the United States will finance these and other projects”, Vucic stressed.

According to the Serbian leader, representatives of Pristina persistently opposed the Balkan Mini Schengen Zone (cross-border trade and economic initiative).

Vucic also drew attention to the section of the agreement according to which the parties agreed together with the US Department of Energy and other government agencies on the division of energy resources of Gazivoda Lake in Kosovo.

This, according to the president, is about the energy produced by the hydroelectric power station and the water of the accumulation lake, which will be divided between Belgrade and Pristina.

Among the other points of the agreement is the mutual recognition of diplomas and professional certificates, launch of 5G networks from reliable suppliers, ensuring airport security controls for a future visa-free regime with the United States, protecting and supporting religious freedoms, which should ensure greater security for the clergy and facilities of the Serbian Orthodox Church. It also provides for a one-year moratorium on recognition of Kosovo independence from third countries, as well as on Serbian lobbying for the withdrawal of this recognition.

The Serbian delegation headed by Vucic is currently in Washington, where it held talks with Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti. Earlier on Friday, the two Balkan states signed a deal to normalize economic ties in the presence of US President Donald Trump.

September 4, 2020 Posted by | Economics | , , | Leave a comment

US concerned about Serbia’s intention to buy Chinese weapons

By Paul Antonopoulos | August 12, 2020

Belgrade’s announcement that it may purchase the Chinese FK-3 anti-aircraft missile system was enough for the U.S. to express concern about Serbia’s future, not only with Europe, but with the entire world.

The U.S. Embassy in Belgrade said that “procuring military and defense equipment is a sovereign decision. However, governments should understand the short- and long-term risks and costs involved in doing business with Chinese companies. Procurement choices should reflect Serbia’s stated policy goal of greater European integration. Alternative vendors which are not beholden to authoritarian regimes offer equipment that is both capable of meeting Serbia’s defense need and comparable in quality and cost.”

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić hit back, saying “Whenever we decide to buy something, somebody has something against it,” and emphasized that the FK-3 system was not on the U.S. sanctions list against China.

The U.S. Embassy’s statement gives the impression that Washington has a deep concern about Serbia’s future strategic interests and alliances, so much so that it warned Belgrade on its path towards the European Union even though the U.S. has no influence over Brussels in this regard. Of course Washington has no concern for Serbia’s interests after it sustained crippling sanctions on the Balkan country, recognizes Kosovo as an independent state, ensured that the Republika Srpska is attached to Bosnia and Herzegovina without option to reunite with Serbia, and led a deadly bombing campaign that destroyed Serbian infrastructure and killed thousands of civilians in 1999.

Washington is afraid of cheaper and better-quality weapons that Serbia can procure from both China and Russia. The Americans are also frustrated that Serbia has not become a state dependent on U.S. patronage despite decades of aggression and pressure. Effectively, Washington is continuing a campaign to limit Serbia’s independent and strategic interests. It is recalled that Washington threatened Belgrade with sanctions and indirect threats when Serbia purchased the Russian Pantsir missile system and trained with the S-400 missile defense system.

A NATO official who spoke on condition of anonymity, according to Defense News, said that “defense procurement is a national decision. Serbia has the right to freely choose its political and security arrangements. NATO and Serbia are close partners and we are committed to strengthening our partnership with Serbia, while fully respecting its policy of neutrality.”

Although both NATO and the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade emphasized that they respect Serbia’s sovereign decision, Washington does not truly respect Serbia’s policy of neutrality, which is why it makes continuous threats of sanctions and indirect warnings that Belgrade is becoming too close to Moscow and Beijing. Serbian political scientist Aleksandar Pavić argues that Washington expects Serbia to buy weapons from countries that have recognized Kosovo’s independence, and that this is Belgrade’s fault as they have purchased weapons from France, and even expressed the possibility of buying some American bombers, despite both countries recognizing Kosovo’s independence.

Although Serbia is attempting to maintain a policy of neutrality, so much so that it even considers buying weapons from the U.S., the reality is that such a policy is impossible. The best Belgrade can hope for is to enact a policy of balancing the Great Powers by strengthening relations with those who support Serbia’s sovereignty and independence, and maintaining friendly posture but distance with those who still support an independent Kosovo. By Serbia buying French military equipment, despite its recognition of an independent Kosovo, and entertaining the idea of buying American bombers, Belgrade is sending mixed messages to its international partners that it can overlook the Kosovo issue. By maintaining such a policy, Belgrade is giving Washington enough leeway to comment and attempt to push Serbia away from China and Russia. Having a stronger policy against those who recognize Kosovo’s independence will give Belgrade a much clearer foreign policy and will force Washington to approach Serbia differently.

None-the-less, by discouraging Belgrade from the idea of ​​buying Chinese weapons, Serbia will likely continue to buy Chinese weapons, and with even stronger intensity. Although Serbia will always prioritize its relations with China and Russia over those who weakened it and recognized Kosovo’s independence, Belgrade should now show this more strongly by ending its policy of neutrality as the West is not neutral towards Serbia.

As the Balkans is heating up again as a place of conflict, Serbia cannot be neutral as much as it attempts to do so. This does not mean that it should have openly hostile relations with the U.S. and other Western States, but because Serbia refuses to sever its deep relations with China and Russia, Serbian interests will always be sidelined when it comes to Western ambitions in the Balkans. Under these conditions, Belgrade should take a stronger position and be unafraid to highlight that their interests do not align with those that the West has for the Balkans.

Paul Antonopoulos is an independent geopolitical analyst.

August 12, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

U.S. is pushing for a new provocation against Serbia over the Kosovo issue

By Paul Antonopoulos | July 29, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paul Antonopoulos is an independent geopolitical analyst.

July 29, 2020 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment

The Empire Bombed Serbia to Seize Kosovo in 1999

Tales of the American Empire | July 2, 2020

The American Empire faced downsizing in the 1990s after the Warsaw Pact disbanded and Soviets troops withdrew home. American politicians demanded a reduction in military spending and the closure of most military bases in Europe. The solution was to start a war in Europe. Serbia (which was called Yugoslavia before 2006) openly resisted demands to open its economy to western banks and corporations and refused to join the European Union. As a result, Serbia was demonized and targeted for destruction. An ongoing rebellion by some Albanian immigrants in Serbia’s province of Kosovo was chosen as a NATO cause. The American CIA began shipping arms to the Islamic Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and transported hundreds of al Qaeda mercenaries to Kosovo to attack Serbs. This was politically awkward since the KLA was on the U.S. State Department’s list of terrorist groups. Serbian soldiers were dispatched to their southernmost province to repel these Islamic invaders. This increased the level of violence and Serbia was blamed.

____________________________

“Let Slobbo speak for himself”; (no evidence of serious Serb atrocities); John Laughland; The Spectator ; 2003; http://www.antiwar.com/spectator/spec…

“We Bombed the Wrong Side” in Kosovo; Major General Lewis MacKenzie; The National Post (Canada), Apr. 6, 2004; http://www.ece.ubc.ca/~leonardo/pub/m…

“Destruction of Yugoslavia was an operation planned by the CIA”; Klagemauer TV: Feb. 28, 2016; https://www.kla.tv/7811

“NATO’s Bombing of Yugoslavia Was Textbook State Terrorism”; Marko Marjanovic; Ant-Empire; March 24, 2019; https://www.anti-empire.com/natos-bom…

“Why Does Camp Bondsteel Still Exist”; Carlton Meyer; G2mil; 2011; https://www.g2mil.com/bondsteel.htm

“Kosovo’s president, Hashim Thaci, indicted on war crimes charges ahead of planned White House meeting”‘; Michael Birnbaum; Washington Post ; June 24, 2020; https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/…

“Kosovo Indictment Proves Bill Clinton’s Serbian War Atrocities”; Jim Bovard; Libertarian Institute; June 25, 2020; https://libertarianinstitute.org/arti…

July 3, 2020 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

EU Demands Serbia to Help Kosovo During Coronavirus But Restricts Assistance for Bosnian Serbs

By Paul Antonopoulos | April 2, 2020

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

“We witness the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) representing a great danger everywhere in the world and the health systems increasingly burdened with the number of infected patients. The pandemic has shown that the spread of the disease goes beyond borders, national and ethnic origin or religion of the affected, and can only be combatted through joint action, cooperation and solidarity. Cooperation is necessary primarily for the sake of humanity and responsibility for human lives in these difficult times,” the press release reads.

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

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

The EU is trying to force Serbia to expend their resources to send aid to Kosovo without expecting any acts of good will from the Albanian side. This is a policy that requires Serbia to treat Kosovo as its own territory while the EU still attempts to make Belgrade accept that Kosovo is an independent state. A similar appeal was sent to Serbia from the EU at the time of the migrant crisis when the EU also isolated itself from the problems in Kosovo and asked Belgrade to cooperate with Pristina in controlling migrant flows and make records of illegal immigrants traveling via Kosovo in 2015 and 2016.

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

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

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

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

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

Paul Antonopoulos is a Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies.

April 2, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

On This Day 21 Years Ago: NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia in Numbers

Sputnik – March 24, 2020

21 years ago today, on March 24, 1999, NATO began a massive bombing campaign of Yugoslavia, bombarding the country with thousands of cruise missiles and bombs in what would become the largest military assault in Europe since the Second World War.

  • NATO’s campaign of air and missile strikes against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which consisted of Serbia and Montenegro, lasted 78 days, ending on June 10, 1999.
  • During the campaign, dubbed ‘Operation Noble Anvil’ by NATO, alliance warplanes carried out some 2,300 sorties against 995 facilities, firing nearly 420,000 missiles, bombs and other projectiles with a total mass of about 22,000 metric tonnes.
  • The campaign included multiple violations of the laws of war, including the use of cluster bombs (37,000 of them), and depleted uranium projectiles, which led to major spike in oncological diseases, including juvenile cancer rates, after the war. According to Serbian doctors, the most widespread consequences of the use of such weapons have been thyroid disorders, cancers and foetus mutations. In 2017, Serbian scientist Ljubisa Rakic calculated that the amount of DU dropped on Yugoslavia was equivalent to about 170 Hiroshima bombs.
  • According to Serbian estimates, the strikes on Yugoslavia left as many as 5,700 people dead, with 12,500 injured.
  • NATO casualties included a US AH-64 Apache, an F-16C fighter, an AV-8B Harrier and an F-117A Nighthawk stealth bomber (the first and so far only case of a stealth fighter jet being destroyed in combat). On the Yugoslav side, military and police casualties included 631 troops and 325 policemen dead, with more than 50 missing. Due to the effective use of maskirovka or ‘military deception’ doctrine, The Yugoslav army was able to limit losses of military hardware (93 tanks lost out of an estimated 600), and other armoured vehicles, artillery and anti-aircraft systems.
  • The bombing is estimated to have caused as much as $100 billion in damage, destroying or damaging some 25,000 residential buildings, 470 km of roads, and 595 km of railway infrastructure. 14 airports, 19 hospitals, 20 health centers, 69 schools, 18 kindergartens, 176 cultural monuments and 38 bridges were destroyed. The bombing included a targeted raid on Radio Television of Serbia, which claimed 16 lives, and the accidental bombing of the Chinese Embassy, which killed 3 Chinese nationals. All told, Serbian officials estimate that over a third of NATO’s targets were civilian.
  • NATO’s official justification for the strikes was its desire to protect Kosovar Albanians from ethnic cleansing and “a humanitarian catastrophe.” Before the war began, Albanian separatists allied to radical Islamist forces clashed with Serbian army and police forces in Kosovo, attacking authorities and attempting to drive ethnic Serbs out of the region. After the bombing campaign was completed and NATO troops entered the breakaway Serbian region in June of 1999, the separatists continued their campaign of violence against Serbs, in spite of NATO commitments to disarm the Kosovar militants.
  • In 2008, the province unilaterally declared independence from Serbia. This forced over 200,000 ethnic Serbs to leave their homes. Belgrade, Russia, and many other countries have refused to recognize the breakaway republic. NATO troops, meanwhile, have remained in the province since 1999, establishing Camp Bondsteel, the second-largest US military base in Europe.

Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo

© Photo : public domain Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo
  • In 2015, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg expressed his “sincere regret” over the deaths and suffering of Serbian civilians. However, three years later at an event in Belgrade, the NATO chief emphasized that the bombing was not aimed against ordinary Serbs, but actually meant “to protect civilians and stop the Milosevic regime.” According to Stoltenberg, Serbs should “look to the future” and continue to shore up the “excellent relationship” between Belgrade and the bloc.

March 24, 2020 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 2 Comments

Is the ‘Greater Albania’ Project Aimed Against Russia in the Balkans?

Preševo Valley, Serbia.
By Paul Antonopoulos | October 28, 2019

A project for Greater Albania – conspiracy or legitimate? According to a 2010 Gallup Balkan Monitor report, 83% of Albanians in Albania supported the idea of a Greater Albania, with 81% and 53% of Albanians in Kosovo and North Macedonia respectively supporting such an ambition.

The ultimate goal? To have Kosovo and the Preševo Valley in Serbia, southern Montenegro, Epirus in Greece and western North Macedonia into a single Greater Albanian state. Although this may not be official policy of the Albanian Republic, it is ingrained into the Albanian mythos. The very idea of a Greater Albania has roots in the 1913 Treaty of London that left roughly 40% of the Albanian population outside the newly established Albanian country. This has been something that the U.S. could weaponize against Russian influence in the Balkans.

Despite the heroics of Albanian national figure and anti-Ottoman guerrilla leader Gjergj Kastrioti, more commonly known as Skënderbej, the Albanians became loyal Ottoman subjects and were used as colonists in more restive and disloyal areas of the empire, especially those inhabited by the Serbs, Bulgarians and Greeks. They often became a majority over the initial inhabitants, like what happened in Kosovo and western North Macedonia.

Although the idea of a Greater Albania may seem like an exaggerated conspiracy, to the Serbian people this is anything but. The Serbian mythos finds itself in the 1389 Battle of Kosovo, where despite their courage, Serbian Prince Lazar Hrebeljanović was martyred and his forces routed by the Ottoman invaders. Although the Serbs achieved sovereignty over Kosovo with the downfall of the Ottoman Empire, the region had already become an Albanian majority on Ottoman orders to weaken Serbian identity to the region.

Kosovo became an autonomous region of Serbia after the establishment of socialist Yugoslavia in the aftermath of World War Two and retained its Albanian-majority. The 1990’s proved this was always a weak point of Serbia. With the U.S. sponsoring the violent destruction of Yugoslavia in the early 1990’s, the status of Kosovo was left unresolved, culminating in the terrorist-led war against the Yugoslav state (in which Serbia was the successor of) in 1999.

The terrorist ethnic-Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), with the backing of NATO and the Albanian Republic, defeated Yugoslav forces. The United Nations and NATO assumed control of the territory, which eventually declared independence in 2008. Since then the region has become a heroin ‘smugglers paradise,’ and a hub for human trafficking, organ harvesting and arms trafficking.

It is for this reason that in an interview on Saturday, the former Serbian Chief of General Staff, General Ljubisa Dikovic, discussed the project for a Greater Albania. Dikovic believes that the area of ​​the Balkan Peninsula cannot be peaceful because of unresolved issues like Kosovo.

“There can easily be big problems if things get out of hand. I hope that there will be enough wisdom and intelligence and that everyone will do what we do, in terms of strengthening security, cooperation and trust. I am free to say that we are in the lead because I do not see on other sides showing desire to build peace. After all, the issue of ‘Greater Albania’ is a matter of the highest security risk. We can ask why this is happening now with Albania and [North] Macedonia? It might be waiting to create a ‘Greater Albania’,” Dikovic said.

His comments come as the economic situation in Kosovo continues to deteriorate and becomes even more reliant upon foreign aid and donations from the unilateral behaving U.S., their former Ottoman masters in Turkey that had gifted lands to them hundreds of years earlier, and Germany who effectively rules the European Union.

The former military man’s comments also come as Serbia leads Exercise “Slovenian Shield 2019” with Russia. Although some Slavic tribes broke off and headed south into the Balkans sometime at around 600AD, they maintained their Slavic kinship with the Russians and shared Christian Orthodox faith, ensuring Serbia has always had a pro-Russia view. Albanian expansionism has therefore become a natural ally of the U.S. to limit Russian influence in the Balkans.

However, this begs the question then why strong efforts for Albanian independence in Greece, Montenegro and North Macedonia has been weak in comparison to those in Serbia. Greece has been a long-time loyal NATO member, with the exception of the disintegration of Yugoslavia, and therefore does not pose a threat to U.S. hegemony in the Balkans, protecting Greece from destabilization efforts via Albanian expansionism. Although Montenegro and North Macedonia also share Slavic kinship with the Serbs and Russians, as well as the Orthodox faith, they have proven to have Globalist ambitions, wanting to join NATO and the EU.

Serbia remains the only anti-EU/NATO state in the Balkans that is overwhelmingly pro-Russia. It is for this reason that Dikovic wants to renew compulsory military service, stating: “One should not gamble and think that there will be no conflict and risk. It is not only up to us, but we must have an answer to everything.”

Although the overwhelming majority of Albanians want a Greater Albania, it is unlikely to be achieved with Washington’s backing in Greece, Montenegro and North Macedonia as they do not pose a threat to U.S. hegemony in the Balkans, but rather serve it, while not encouraging Russian influence in the region. As Serbia is a pro-Russian island in a hostile region, it will continue to be targeted by Albanian expansionism with U.S. backing. Will this drive for expansionism violently spill over into the Preševo Valley? That remains to be seen.

Paul Antonopoulos is a Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies.

October 28, 2019 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 2 Comments

America’s Benevolent Bombing of Serbia

By James Bovard | FFF | August 16, 2019

Twenty years ago, President Bill Clinton commenced bombing Serbia in the name of human rights, justice, and ethnic tolerance. Approximately 1,500 Serb civilians were killed by NATO bombing in one of the biggest sham morality plays of the modern era. As British professor Philip Hammond recently noted, the 78-day bombing campaign “was not a purely military operation: NATO also destroyed what it called ‘dual-use’ targets, such as factories, city bridges, and even the main television building in downtown Belgrade, in an attempt to terrorise the country into surrender.”

Clinton’s unprovoked attack on Serbia, intended to help ethnic Albanians seize control of Kosovo, set a precedent for “humanitarian” warring that was invoked by supporters of George W. Bush’s unprovoked attack on Iraq, Barack Obama’s bombing of Libya, and Donald Trump’s bombing of Syria.

Clinton remains a hero in Kosovo, and there is an 11-foot statue of him standing in the capitol, Pristina, on Bill Clinton Boulevard. A commentator in the United Kingdom’s Guardian newspaper noted that the statue showed Clinton “with a left hand raised, a typical gesture of a leader greeting the masses. In his right hand he is holding documents engraved with the date when NATO started the bombardment of Serbia, 24 March 1999.” It would have been a more accurate representation if Clinton was shown standing on the corpses of the women, children, and others killed in the U.S. bombing campaign.

Bombing Serbia was a family affair in the Clinton White House. Hillary Clinton revealed to an interviewer in the summer of 1999, “I urged him to bomb. You cannot let this go on at the end of a century that has seen the major holocaust of our time. What do we have NATO for if not to defend our way of life?” A biography of Hillary Clinton, written by Gail Sheehy and published in late 1999, stated that Mrs. Clinton had refused to talk to the president for eight months after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. She resumed talking to her husband only when she phoned him and urged him in the strongest terms to begin bombing Serbia; the president began bombing within 24 hours. Alexander Cockburn observed in the Los Angeles Times,

It’s scarcely surprising that Hillary would have urged President Clinton to drop cluster bombs on the Serbs to defend “our way of life.” The first lady is a social engineer. She believes in therapeutic policing and the duty of the state to impose such policing. War is more social engineering, “fixitry” via high explosive, social therapy via cruise missile…. As a tough therapeutic cop, she does not shy away from the most abrupt expression of the therapy: the death penalty.

I followed the war closely from the start, but selling articles to editors bashing the bombing was as easy as pitching paeans to Scientology. Instead of breaking into newsprint, my venting occurred instead in my journal:

April 7, 1999: Much of the media and most of the American public are evaluating Clinton’s Serbian policy based on the pictures of the bomb damage — rather than by asking whether there is any coherent purpose or justification for bombing. The ultimate triumph of photo opportunities…. What a travesty and national disgrace for this country.

April 17: My bottom line on the Kosovo conflict: I hate holy wars. And this is a holy war for American good deeds — or for America’s saintly self-image? Sen. John McCain said the war is necessary to “uphold American values.” Make me barf! Just another … Hitler-of-the-month attack.

May 13: This damn Serbian war … is a symbol of all that is wrong with the righteous approach to the world … and to problems within this nation.

The KLA

The Kosovo Liberation Army’s savage nature was well known before the Clinton administration formally christened them “freedom fighters” in 1999. The previous year, the State Department condemned “terrorist action by the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army.” The KLA was heavily involved in drug trafficking and had close to ties to Osama bin Laden. Arming the KLA helped Clinton portray himself as a crusader against injustice and shift public attention after his impeachment trial. Clinton was aided by many congressmen eager to portray U.S. bombing as an engine of righteousness. Sen. Joe Lieberman whooped that the United States and the KLA “stand for the same values and principles. Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values.”

In early June 1999, the Washington Post reported that “some presidential aides and friends are describing [bombing] Kosovo in Churchillian tones, as Clinton’s ‘finest hour.’” Clinton administration officials justified killing civilians because, it alleged the Serbs were committing genocide in Kosovo. After the bombing ended, no evidence of genocide was found, but Clinton and Britain’s Tony Blair continued boasting as if their war had stopped a new Hitler in his tracks.

In a speech to American troops in a Thanksgiving 1999 visit, Clinton declared that the Kosovar children “love the United States … because we gave them their freedom back.” Perhaps Clinton saw freedom as nothing more than being tyrannized by people of the same ethnicity. As the Serbs were driven out of Kosovo, Kosovar Albanians became increasingly oppressed by the KLA, which ignored its commitment to disarm. The Los Angeles Times reported on November 20, 1999,

As a postwar power struggle heats up in Kosovo Albanian politics, extremists are trying to silence moderate leaders with a terror campaign of kidnappings, beatings, bombings, and at least one killing. The intensified attacks against members of the moderate Democratic League of Kosovo, or LDK, have raised concerns that radical ethnic Albanians are turning against their own out of fear of losing power in a democratic Kosovo.

American and NATO forces stood by as the KLA resumed its ethnic cleansing, slaughtering Serbian civilians, bombing Serbian churches, and oppressing non-Muslims. Almost a quarter million Serbs, Gypsies, Jews, and other minorities fled Kosovo after Clinton promised to protect them. In March 2000 renewed fighting broke out when the KLA launched attacks into Serbia, trying to seize territory that it claimed historically belonged to ethnic Albanians. UN Human Rights Envoy Jiri Dienstbier reported that “the [NATO] bombing hasn’t solved any problems. It only multiplied the existing problems and created new ones. The Yugoslav economy was destroyed. Kosovo is destroyed. There are hundreds of thousands of people unemployed now.”

U.S. complicity in atrocities

Prior to the NATO bombing, American citizens had no responsibility for atrocities committed by either Serbs or ethnic Albanians. However, after American planes bombed much of Serbia into rubble to drive the Serbian military out of Kosovo, Clinton effectively made the United States responsible for the safety of the remaining Serbs in Kosovo. That was equivalent to forcibly disarming a group of people, and then standing by, whistling and looking at the ground, while they are slaughtered. Since the United States promised to bring peace to Kosovo, Clinton bears some responsibility for every burnt church, every murdered Serbian grandmother, every new refugee column streaming north out of Kosovo. Despite those problems, Clinton bragged at a December 8, 1999, press conference that he was “very, very proud” of what the United States had done in Kosovo.

I had a chapter on the Serbian bombing campaign titled “Moralizing with Cluster Bombs” in Feeling Your Pain: The Explosion and Abuse of Government Power in the Clinton–Gore Years (St. Martin’s Press, 2000), which sufficed to spur at least one or two reviewers to attack the book. Norman Provizer, the director of the Golda Meir Center for Political Leadership, scoffed in the Denver Rocky Mountain News, “Bovard chastises Clinton for an illegal, undeclared war in Kosovo without ever bothering to mention that, during the entire run of American history, there have been but four official declarations of war by Congress.”

As the chaotic situation in post-war Kosovo became stark, it was easier to work in jibes against the debacle. In an October 2002 USA Today article (“Moral High Ground Not Won on Battlefield“) bashing the Bush administration’s push for war against Iraq, I pointed out, “A desire to spread freedom does not automatically confer a license to kill…. Operation Allied Force in 1999 bombed Belgrade, Yugoslavia, into submission purportedly to liberate Kosovo. Though Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic raised the white flag, ethnic cleansing continued — with the minority Serbs being slaughtered and their churches burned to the ground in the same way the Serbs previously oppressed the ethnic Albanians.”

In a 2011 review for The American Conservative, I scoffed, “After NATO planes killed hundreds if not thousands of Serb and ethnic Albanian civilians, Bill Clinton could pirouette as a savior. Once the bombing ended, many of the Serbs remaining in Kosovo were slaughtered and their churches burned to the ground. NATO’s ‘peace’ produced a quarter million Serbian, Jewish, and Gypsy refugees.”

In 2014, a European Union task force confirmed that the ruthless cabal that Clinton empowered by bombing Serbia committed atrocities that included murdering persons to extract and sell their kidneys, livers, and other body parts. Clint Williamson, the chief prosecutor of a special European Union task force, declared in 2014 that senior members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) had engaged in “unlawful killings, abductions, enforced disappearances, illegal detentions in camps in Kosovo and Albania, sexual violence, forced displacements of individuals from their homes and communities, and desecration and destruction of churches and other religious sites.”

The New York Times reported that the trials of Kosovo body snatchers may be stymied by cover-ups and stonewalling: “Past investigations of reports of organ trafficking in Kosovo have been undermined by witnesses’ fears of testifying in a small country where clan ties run deep and former members of the KLA are still feted as heroes. Former leaders of the KLA occupy high posts in the government.” American politicians almost entirely ignored the scandal. Vice President Joe Biden hailed former KLA leader and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci in 2010 as “the George Washington of Kosovo.” A few months later, a Council of Europe investigative report tagged Thaci as an accomplice to the body-trafficking operation.

Clinton’s war on Serbia opened a Pandora’s box from which the world still suffers. Because politicians and pundits portrayed that war as a moral triumph, it was easier for subsequent presidents to portray U.S. bombing as the self-evident triumph of good over evil. Honest assessments of wrongful killings remain few and far between in media coverage.

August 17, 2019 Posted by | Book Review, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 2 Comments

The Stench of Color Revolution in Serbia

By Tim KIRBY | Strategic Culture Foundation | 08.03.2019

At any given moment there are mass protests happening somewhere for some reason. Whether the protestors have a legitimate call to arms is a very delicate question. However for the Mainstream Media things are much more black and white and this narrative is a critical component of each and every Color Revolution.

Over the last few months a protest movement has sparked up in Serbia and we are going to take a look at this via the mainstream media coverage of it. The actual motivations behind it (although proving motivation beyond a reasonable doubt is impossible) do not matter so much as what the media declares them to be. The Mainstream Media creates a narrative about the movement in order to either motivate us to sympathize with those in the streets (thus legitimizing them) or to be repulsed and afraid of them (thus blocking any chance of legitimacy). Ignoring the obvious and hoping it goes away is a common third option.

You will see this dynamic in action if we take a look at the BBC’s breakdown of the protests

“Thousands of demonstrators in Serbia have rallied for the fifth week against President Aleksandar Vucic.

Protesters say the president has seized control of the media and launched attacks on the opposition and journalists.

An attack on opposition politician Borko Stefanovic by unknown assailants in November triggered the marches.

Opposition umbrella group Alliance for Serbia (SZS) says they were supporters of Mr Vucic – a claim authorities deny.”

At a quick glance this may seem very neutral but the first words of the article make a very bold hint to the subconscious of the reader. First off, the BBC makes it clear that the protestors are just normal Serbian citizens, when in fact all protests are organized and the more successful ones are organized by professional activists. Thousands of normal people on their own don’t just drop their lives for two months to walk around with signs in the hope of making some abstract changes. Even if the masses agree with the protestors there is no way to prove this.

The next form of manipulation is that the BBC and no other media outlet offers any other motives for the attack on Stefanovic other than “protestors say Vucic’s guys did it”, which essentially tells the reader that Vucic is guilty. There is no alternative and if anyone who supports you does a crime then you are guilty even if you have millions of supporters from all walks of life and levels of sanity.

Next if we take a look at Euronews’s situation breakdown then we can see that there is more Color Revolution language….

What are their (the protestors’) demands?

They demand more media freedom and more coverage of opposition groups by the public broadcaster as well as an end to attacks on journalists and opposition figures.”

This is something that sounds nice and reasonable at first, but is actually impossible to implement because it is not a concrete demand. No matter what a government does the opposition could always claim that it is not enough.

For example, if the government in Country X banned Product Y and the population was organized to march to change the law then the government could legalize Product Y and the protestors would get what they want and go home. As long as the government did not look weak during this reversal on position this would pose no threat to causing a Color Revolution. That is why concrete demands are horrible if you want a regime change.

So how can make “media freedom” into a concrete demand? How many “opposition” members are needed in Serbia’s media and in what capacity would be “freedom”? I am sure Serbia has a few Neo-Nazis, Satanists and NAMBLA members in the hills somewhere, do they need access to the media too, they are opposition groups after all, right?

Euronews continues their breakdown…

“Vucic, who has served as president of Serbia since May 2017, became known for his nationalist stance following the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1992.”

In EU-speak being called a nationalist basically means you are a hardcore Hitlerian Nazi. (Deutsche Welle called him “Ultranationalistic”, meaning he is definitely an Ultra Nazi) Furthermore this text is placed a few lines above a picture of Vucic standing next to Vladimir Putin. This drives home the portrayal of him as the bad guy aligned with the Evil Putin. This photo is of some relevance as the protests did spark up around the time of a visit by the Russian President, but then again if you do a Google search for pictures of Vucic you can see him shaking hands with Xi, Trump and Merkel who all hold very different ideological views. They could have shown him in this article with the Angel I, the Queen of EU, but they chose the KGB dark Tsar instead on purpose.

Deutsche Welle early in the article mentioned above lays out the protestors supposed motivations in a very clear Color Revolution tone.

“… what they called a climate of “political violence” created by Vucic and his Serbian Progressive Party”

One would think that journalists, when hearing an accusation of a “climate of violence” would try to present the evidence regarding said violence but DW just sort of lets it fly to the readers that there is some kind of conditions for brutality somewhere, that are somehow consciously caused by one man – The President of Serbia. Violence is very easy to measure, an abstract climate of violence is not and therefore it is good Color Revolution rhetoric – you can accuse the enemy of widespread violence even if there is no actual violence.

DW continues their “journalism” by writing…

“A group of opposition leaders last week drafted an “agreement with the citizens” listing their next steps, including not to take part in an election until the conditions for a free and fair vote are met.”

If the people on Vucic’s side who are also activists made an “agreement with the citizens” would that also bear some sort of legitimacy? DW makes no effort to question by what authority the protestors assume they represent the masses of the nation. Every Mainstream Media outlet writes that there are “thousands” of protestors, yet thousands of people in any country that is not a tiny island are a small percent of the population at best.

So what we can see is that across the board the European Mainstream Media is saying.

  • Some violence happened somehow so Vucic is responsible 100% (Regime Change Warranted)
  • There is a climate of violence and Vucic is responsible 100% (Regime Change Warranted)
  • The protestors are large in number (“thousands” of them!) and represent the average Serbian disgusted with Vucic (Regime Change Warranted)
  • Vucic is some kind of ultra-mega Nazi because he is not ashamed of being Serbian and talked to Putin (Regime Change Warranted)
  • The protestors’ impossibly vague demands must be met even though doing so is impossible, “muh rights”. (Regime Change Warranted)

March 8, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 2 Comments

AfD MP calls for an end to sanctions against Russia

Centre for Geopolitical Studies | November 10, 2018

Interview conducted by Dragana Trifkovic, Director of the Centre for Geopolitcal Studies with the MP of the German House of Representatives (Bundestag), Mr. Petr Bystron

Dear Mr. Bystron, recently we have met at the International Conference on the Development of Parliamentarism in Moscow recently. In front of representatives of Parliaments from all around the world, international experts and journalists you held a well-received speech, calling for an end to sanctions against Russia. Why?

I demanded an end to sanctions because they have not achieved anything except harming German business. There’s no point to maintaining these useless sanctions any longer.

The Russian-German relations are very complex. On the political agenda, they are burdened with the sanctions which the EU countries imposed to Russia, but on the other hand, Germany and Russia cooperate on a strategic project such as North Stream 2. How do you see the prospect of developing further relations between your country and Russia, and also how the United States relations towards the possibility of greater convergence between Germany and Russia?

Of course German companies are still trying to do business with Russia. The sanctions mainly hurt the meat and fruit exporters, as well as the machine tool industry. Exports dropped as much as 60% in the early days of sanctions in these sectors. Naturally, German businesses want to maintain their traditionally good contacts to Russia. North Stream 2 is just one example of this. But it’s no secret there is a lot of pressure from the United States to stop this project. There was a bipartisan initiative in the U.S. Senate in March supported by 39 Senators, urging the government to do everything it can it stop the pipeline. President Trump has come out against North Stream 2 as well.

I don’t think Germany should let itself be blackmailed by anyone, and should be free to get its energy supplies from wherever is best. Even during the Cold War, Russia was a reliable supplier of energy, and there’s no reason to think that will change.

At the Moscow conference, we discussed about the perspective of Eurointegration of Balkan countries that are not yet members of the EU. You represent the view that the EU has no perspective and that EU candidate countries do not have much to hope for. What are in your opinion the biggest problems in the EU, and are they solvable? What kind of future can expect the EU, and can the EU be reformed and become a functional community?

There are two problems here: First of all, the EU is in no state to accept new members right now, with all its problems. The EU is in a deep crisis and is fighting for its survival. The main example is Brexit, of course: The first nations are leaving the sinking ship. If the EU doesn’t undergo far-reaching and fundamental reform, it is doomed to failure. The Euro currency system is not sustainable in its present form.

These problems have been exacerbated by the migration crisis, which was caused by Angela Merkel’s completely unnecessary and undemocratic opening of the borders in 2015. In a precarious situation like this, it is completely irresponsible to think about expanding the EU even further, especially with candidates who are not able to meet the most basic standards for joining the Union.

We already saw what problems it causes to accept members who don’t meet the criteria or even cheated to get in, as in the case of Greece. The EU now faces huge problems with Greece, Romania and Bulgaria for this reason. These are countries which shouldn’t have been accepted to the EU in the first place. Accepting the West Balkan countries in these circumstances would be tantamount to suicide.

If there is any country from this region which would qualify for membership, both economically and culturally, it is Serbia. Countries like Albania and Macedonia have huge problems in regard to corruption and economic development. And then there’s the problem with Kosovo, which is not recognized as a country by several European nations, Russia or China, for example. That’s a very unstable situation.

The EU wants very much to expand their influence in the Balkans. However, given the current state of the EU, it’s not even advisable for Serbia to want to join the EU, when countries like the UK, Italy and Eastern Europe are moving away from the broken monstrosity in Brussels. Serbia should be glad it is not in the EU, and stand up squarely for its own national interests.

You are particularly interested in the problem of Kosovo and Metohija. The territory of the southern Serbian province since 1999 and the end of the NATO aggression on Yugoslavia is under occupation. The Western powers want to resolve the problem of Kosovo and Metohija outside the framework of international law and UN Security Council Resolution 1244. Negotiations on resolving this issue are underway in Brussels, although Serbia is not a member of the EU and this community has no basis to deal with this problem. How and where, in your opinion, should the issue of Kosovo and Metohija be solved?

Kosovo is a powder keg with no solution in sight. It will remain a problem for many years. I’m convinced the current situation can not be maintained. This territory was part of Serbia for centuries, and I am very sure it will belong to Serbia again in the long run. The EU protectorate in Kosovo will be short-lived.

How well in the German public do you know the facts about what is happening in Kosovo and Metohija and how the so-called democracy in this territory works? Are there known facts about violence against Serbs in the presence of international forces UMNIK, KFOR and EULEX? How well do you know the results of these international missions?

The problem began with the way the EU treated the UCK. We should not be supporting a terrorist organization aiming to break up a country. A group like this would be immediately outlawed if it were trying to break up Germany, for example, and they would all be locked up. In the case of Yugoslavia, the EU and Germany for some reason supported this terrorist group, which was a tragic mistake. We are very concerned about the current situation, the human rights violations and the ethnic cleansing of Serbs in Kosovo.

An entity like Kosovo – which I refuse to call a country – based on injustice and terror, is not viable in the long term, which is evidenced by the continued need for KFOR peacekeeping forces to keep this creation alive.

Recently has been an a discussion in the German Bundestag about the continuation of the mission of German soldiers in Kosovo. At KFOR, there are currently about 400 German soldiers in Kosovo. The Bundestag supported German soldiers remain in Kosovo, thanks to the votes of the ruling CDU / CSU and SPD and the Greens and Liberals (FDP). Alternative for Germany voted against it. How do you assess the mission of the German army in Kosovo and why did you vote against continuation of mission in Kosovo?

This is one of the paradoxes of German politics: That the first German combat mission since WW II was ordered by the formerly pacifist Green Party and their Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer under the Socialist Gerhard Schröder, and they continue to support the KFOR mission. The AfD does not believe in sending German troops to the Balkans, especially not to prop up an artificial entity like Kosovo.

The US supports the formation of the Kosovo Army, although this is contrary to Resolution 1244. German instructors train Albanians to become part of the official army. How is it possible to prevent the taking of illegal actions and violations of the international law by the Western countries?

This is a difficult question and will be a difficult process. But in countries like Germany and the USA, governments and policies can change, thank God. So Serbia needs to be very patient, continue to stand up for itself over the long haul, and reach out to allies and supporters who will see it the same way.

Have you personally, or a delegation from your party Alternative for Germany, visited Kosovo and Metohija? Is there an opportunity for you to do so in the coming period and to make sure of the state of democracy on the spot as well as to evaluate the results of the work of international missions, as well as the the German Bundeswehr?

That’s a good idea. We should definitely visit Serbia and Kosovo with an AfD delegation, to find out more about the situation on the ground. We have already been to Syria, for example, where the situation is completely different from the way it is portrayed in the Western mainstream media, so I’m sure visiting Kosovo would be very interesting.


Petr Bystron is the Speaker of the Alternative for Germany party (AfD)on the Foreign Policy Committee of the German Bundestag.He came to Germany in 1988 as a political refugee and joined the Euro-critical AfD in 2013. He was chair of the AfD for the State of Bavaria 2015-2018. Under his leadership the party reached the best tally of all states in West Germany in the federal elections 2017.

In 2018, he pushed to grant imprisoned British Islam critic Tommy Robinson political asylum in Germany, and filed criminal charges against migrant NGOs engaged in people-smuggling in the Mediterranean. He is a leading political publicist who has won several prizes for his writing and edited a book for University of Geneva with Polish Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Wałęsa. He is currently one of the 10 most popular German politicians on social media.

November 11, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , , , | Leave a comment

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

Sputnik – 09.11.2018

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.

November 9, 2018 Posted by | Environmentalism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

“Good” Bombing: NATO Op Against Yugoslavia Was a War Crime – Lawyer

By Ekaterina Blinova – Sputnik – 10.10.2018

Jens Stoltenberg’s claim that NATO “protected” Yugoslavia from the government of Slobodan Milosevic is nothing but propaganda, Christopher C. Black, a Toronto-based international criminal lawyer told Sputnik, stressing that NATO had no legal reason to attack Yugoslavia and de facto committed a war crime against the sovereign nation.

“The NATO attack on Yugoslavia has nothing whatsoever to do with protecting anyone since the claims made by NATO against the government of Yugoslavia were false and were just a pretext for their aggression,” says Christopher C. Black, a Toronto-based international criminal lawyer with 20 years of experience in war crimes and international relations.

Black’s comment comes in response to a statement made by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg who told Serbia’s RTS: “We are aware in NATO that many people in Serbia still have bad memories about the bombing, the airstrikes in 1999. I stress that we did this to protect civilians and stop the Milosevic regime,” the NATO chief said.

“NATO countries had no legal right to bomb anyone for any reason as that is a violation of international law, the UN Charter, Nuremberg Principles etc.,” the scholar underscored. “Their attack was aggression and therefore a war crime and they committed war crimes during the attack.”

The NATO military campaign against sovereign Yugoslavia codenamed Operation Allied Force kicked off amid the Kosovo war (February, 1998 — June, 1999) between the country’s government forces and Albanian separatists. The alliance’s 78-day air raids resulted in 5,700 civilian deaths, infrastructural damages and contamination of the part of the region with depleted uranium.

Rambouillet Diktat: The Trigger for War

“The real reason NATO attacked is set out in the Rambouillet diktat presented by [then Secretary of State] Madeleine Albright to [then President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan] Milosevic in early 1999 that Yugoslavia must surrender its sovereignty and allow its total occupation by NATO forces and give up its socialist system for a free enterprise one,” Black said. “If Yugoslavia refused NATO promised to attack. The Yugoslav government had to refuse such a diktat and so NATO attacked.”

Rambouillet Accords envisaged the creation of a de facto independent entity in Kosovo which violated Yugoslavia’s independence and sovereignty.While the refusal to accept the unacceptable accord was used by the alliance as a trigger for the attack, there were several reasons behind NATO’s invasion, the lawyer explained.

“NATO wanted to establish a base in the Balkans against Russia, to take over mineral resources at the Trepca Mine complex in Kosovo and to destroy the last socialist state in Europe,” the legal practitioner said. “To justify their aggression they concocted the same types of lies against the government as they are now doing against Russia.”

Almost two decades after the NATO bombing, the Trepca mining and metallurgical complex in Kosovo still remains a bone of contention between Pristina and Belgrade. The complex is split between ethnic lines, however, in October 2016 the parliament of the self-proclaimed state of Kosovo voted to take control over the complex despite Serbia’s protests.

When commemorating the enterprise’s 90th anniversary in December 2017 — Europe’s largest lead-zinc and silver ore mine — Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic stressed that Belgrade would continue to fight for it, dubbing the complex “a part of family and national heritage, a part of tradition,” as quoted by Serbian news outlet RTV B92.

NATO’s Expansion in the Balkans

Besides claiming that NATO bombed Yugoslavia to “protect it,” Stoltenberg drew attention to the “close partnership” between NATO and Serbia. Although he noted that the alliance respected Belgrade’s neutrality, the question arises whether that the North Atlantic military bloc is seeking to absorb Serbia in the long run, after admitting Montenegro and signaling readiness to let Macedonia join.

Commenting on the issue, the lawyer recalled that “the Yugoslav and Serbian government was overthrown in 2000 in a putsch organized by NATO forces and their fascist agents in the group called OTPOR and the DOS organizations which were NATO assets.”

He said that “the president [was] arrested on false charges and the government [was] taken over by the Quislings of the DOS group.” According to Black, these groups are still powerful in Serbia. They do not represent aspirations of the Serbian people, he stressed.

Manipulating the Judgments

Black, who has long criticized the imprisonment of Slobodan Milosevic at the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague, stressed that the tribunal “manipulated the judgments to put out different stories as it suits them.”

“As I said above the NATO claims were pure propaganda. It was NATO that used force and massive force to destroy a nation that resisted its diktats,” the lawyer highlighted, calling the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) “a NATO tribunal under UN guise.”

“The point is that the charges against Milosevic were bogus, he proved it in his trial,” Black said.

The former Yugoslav president died in his prison cell on March 11, 2006 while on trial for war crimes at the ICTY. Although it was officially stated that Milosevic died from a heart attack the lawyer does not rule out that the ex-Yugoslav leader could have been killed, since “they did not want to release him and could not convict him.”

October 10, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment