31 August 2006

Raskovic-Ivic To Represent Kosovo-Metohija at UN on September 11

Diplomatic initiative for clarifying Ahtisaari's statement
Belgrade, Aug 31, 2006 - Head of the Coordinating Centre for Kosovo-Metohija Sanda Raskovic-Ivic said today that Serbian authorities will request that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan clarifies the statement made by his envoy for Kosovo status Marti Ahtisaari that "the Serbs are guilty as a nation."
Raskovic-Ivic said at a press conference that with this statement, Ahtisaari placed the Serbian people outside the law. She added that Belgrade will insist on an explanation because that statement additionally complicates negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina on Kosovo-Metohija and that Serbia is ready to accept Ahtisaari's apology.The head of the Coordinating Centre said that a diplomatic initiative on clarifying Ahtisaari's statement was taken by the cabinets of the Serbian president and prime minister, as well as the Foreign Ministry. She said that the Serbian government today sent to the Serbian parliament a request to hold an extraordinary session on Kosovo-Metohija, which will most probably take place after the negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina in Vienna on September 7 and 8, on decentralisation and protection of the Serbian orthodox religious and cultural heritage in the province. Raskovic-Ivic announced that at that session Serbian government representatives will address Serbian parliament members. She also confirmed that the UN Security Council will hold a session in New York on September 11 dedicated to the situation in Kosovo-Metohija at which she will present Serbia's positions on Kosovo-Metohija. At today's session, the Serbian government adopted the National Investment Plan for Kosovo-Metohija, for which it has set aside €30.8 million from the budget. She said that these funds are intended for Kosovo's economic development, for road infrastructure in the province, housing construction and education, stressing that these funds are very important for the survival of Serbian people in Kosovo-Metohija and for the process of decentralisation.

30 August 2006

Vuk Draskovic On Western Emphasis On Collective Guilt

Drašković calls for historical research
Vuk Drašković (FoNet)
Serbia should ask the international community for an expert analysis of historical responsibility in Kosovo. This is what Serbian Foreign Affairs Minister Vuk Drašković told daily Večernje Novosti. He said that Serbia should call for an investigation into who is responsible for the situation in Kosovo historically, starting from the beginning of Serbian-Albanian relations in the region. He said that Serbia would come out the victor in such an investigation. “The questions of responsibility and of collective guilt, which has not existed since the clan system of communities, are two separate things. What Ahtisaari said in Priština has made it necessary for Serbia to ask the UN Secretary General, Contact Group and international community to call for an investigation of the heritage of Kosovo, and with that, the responsibility of the inheritance, and the responsibility of all, from the beginning, without skipping over history and not having history proclaimed as only the period that Slobodan Milošević was in power.” Drašković said. Drašković said that while there is no doubt that Serbia is to blame, to some extent, he said thatit has already been punished through bombing and international sanctions. He said that the Serbian Kosovo status negotiation team did not discuss Kosovo Coordination Centre President Sanda Rašković-Ivić’s proposal to call for Ahtisaari to be excluded from the further process of Kosovo status discussions. Asked whether he thinks that it is possible for the international community to use this theory of blame and responsibility in order to justify an imposed solution of Kosovo independence, Drašković said that he is afraid that this is possible. According to him, the Foreign Affairs Ministry is working on a diplomatic offensive every day in response to Ahtisaari’s comments, but that these facts, proposals and suggestions are not being released to the Serbian public.
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Wednesday, 30 August 2006

Jua Hiang Responds For Martti Ahtisaari

Ahtisaari spokesperson replies to criticisms
30 August 2006 09:37 -> 12:34 Source: B92, Večernje novosti
BELGRADE -- Hua Jiang has responded to Belgrade’s reactions regarding the recent remarks of Martti Ahtisaari.Over the last week, Belgrade officials, led by Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica, have been denouncing the UN Special Envoy’s statement that the Serbian people are to blame for the Kosovo crisis, because of their historical legacy and the actions of the Milošević regime.Political leaders in Serbia are mulling over an initiative to have Ahtisaari replaced as the UN’s Special Envoy for the Kosovo status discussions because of what Belgrade calls, Ahtisaari’s strong prejudices which he holds against the Serbian people. Ahtisaari’s chief spokesperson, Hua Jiang, responded to the accusations today. “The remarks in question were mis-presented and taken out of context: the Special Envoy never referred to “the collective guilt” of the Serbia nation. He noted, in response to a remark by a member of the Serbian Delegation on the August 8 that every nation had its own burden to bear and had to live and deal with its past.” Jiang said. “The remarks were subsequently made public with mis-presentation. The Special Envoy, during his visit to Priština, repeated and elaborated the remarks by saying that while today’s democratic leadership in Serbia cannot be held accountable for the policies and actions of the Milošević regime, leaders in Belgrade must come to terms with its legacy and have important responsibilities in this respect.” she said. Jiang said that Ahtisaari said that the historic legacy cannot be simply ignored but must be taken into account in the search of the resolution of the status question. “The Special Envoy has always held the view that the status process is about creating conditions for all communities, including the Serb community, to live a decent life in Kosovo. To that end, the Special Envoy will continue to concentrate on the substance of the negotiations instead of engaging in polemics.” Jiang said. Drašković calls for historical research

Serbia Wants An Explanation-Kofi Annan Stands Behind Antisaari

Serbian negotiating team’s letter to Ahtisaari

Belgrade, August 30, 2006 – The Serbian government has published the letter forwarded by the Serbian negotiating team for talks on the future status of Kosovo-Metohija to UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy Marti Ahtisaari sent on August 10 2006.
The Serbian government’s website presents the letter in full.

“Dear Mr. Ahtisaari,

The Serbian negotiating team wishes to express to you their deep dissatisfaction and bitterness over the conversation between you and members of the Serbian delegation, which took place on August 8 2006.On that occasion you received members of our delegation in your capacity as UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for talks on the future status of Kosovo- Metohija, and told them that Serbs are guilty as a nation. All members of the Serbian delegation who were present during that conversation have confirmed this.The Serbian negotiating team categorically rejects such an assertion, because it has no factual basis, and is at the same time completely unacceptable from a moral point of view. However, such an assertion also raises serious questions regarding your impartiality concerning the ongoing negotiations on the future status of Kosovo-Metohija.The Serbian negotiating team demands an urgent explanation from you concerning your position in view of the assertion made by you to members of the Serbian delegation in Vienna on August 8 2006. In our opinion, such an explanation is necessary in the interest of continuing the negotiations and the successful conclusion of the negotiating process.”On behalf of the Serbian negotiating team,Leon KojenSlobodan Samardzic

BELGRADE, PRIŠTINA -- The Serbian Government will call for a parliamentary meeting to be held regarding Kosovo.
The Belgrade negotiation team will present a report on the progress of the Kosovo status discussions, said the Government’s Media Office Director Srđan Đurić.It is still not completely certain whether Belgrade will launch an initiative to have the UN’s Special Envoy for the Kosovo status discussions Martti Ahtisaari replaced because of his recent comment that the Serbian people are to blame for the Kosovo crisis. Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica said that the Government and the entire negotiation delegation will systematically lead diplomatic actions towards making sure that all relevant international officials know that Ahtisaari, as the Prime Minister said, holds strong prejudices against the Serbian people. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s spokesperson Brandon Varma said that Annan will continue to support Ahtisaari and that he will continue to lead the status talks, adding that his statement was taken out of context. Ahtisaari’s media spokesperson Remi Durlo confirmed this. Serbian decentralisation work group official Ranđel Nojkić said that the Chief of the US Office in Priština, Tina Kaidanow, held a meting with party leaders of the Kosovo parliament and commission presidents. “At the meeting, probably under the influence of Ahtisaari’s statement, a lot of far-reaching statements were heard. Sabit Hamiti, member of the Kosovo Parliament’s presidency and official of the Democratic Association of Kosovo, said that the Albanian team does not have the mandate to discuss Kosovo’s status, because the status has already been defined, and that it can only discuss technical questions. Teuta Sariči, ORA party member, said that the US administration has asked for support in the propaganda fight for highlighting the goals of the Albanian side. We reacted strongly to these statements and asked that the international community to prevent further statements of this nature, because such comments could encourage a new spiral of violence.” Nojkić said. “It is interesting that officials of non-Albanian communities and officials of parties that have non-Albanians within them showed distrust and disapproval towards the Albanian team. Distrust in the council led by Veton Suroi was also shown and it was asked that he be replaced as chief of the council because he is not helping the matter, rather causing more damage to the interests of the minority communities.” Nojkić said.

29 August 2006

Why China's Support Makes News

29 August 2006

The Permanent members of the UN Security Council are United States, France, Britain, China and Russia. Although there are 10 additional rotating members, half who are due to give up their membership at the end of the year to make room for new members to serve the two year post, out of the entire membership, only the five permanent members have veto power. One of these members can veto the passage of a resolution deliberated and voted on by the entire Security Council. At this writing it seems that both Russia and China are opposed to an imposed solution to the Kosovo situation.
Sovereignty and territorial integrity as basis of international order
Belgrade, Aug 28, 2006 – Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica met today with Chinese State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan, who confirmed China’s support to consistent respect of principles of countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity, which is, according to him, the basis of international order in the world.
UN resolutions must be respected, he said and noted that conditions for equal position of all living in Kosovo-Metohija must be provided. Jiaxuan also noted that solution to the status of Serbia’s southern province must be found through a dialogue. Jiaxuan pointed out the necessity of direct talks between Belgrade and Pristina, repeating China’s position that talks must not be time restricted. Kostunica thanked Jiaxuan for China’s consistent position about the Kosovo-Metohija status issue, which should be addressed in accordance with standards of international law and based on compromise, with no imposed solutions. The two officials agreed that cooperation between Serbia and China is developing and should further develop in the forthcoming period.

Church Saids UN Envoys are Bias

Church say UN envoys for Kosovo biased against Serbs
August 28, 2006 1:57 PM
BELGRADE, Serbia-The Serbian Orthodox Church on Monday accused the United Nations' top two envoys for Kosovo of siding with Kosovo's ethnic Albanians in negotiations over the province's future status.
The church, which wields considerable influence among Serbs, sharply criticized Joachim Ruecker, Kosovo's U.N. administrator, and Martti Ahtisaari, the U.N.'s chief envoy, saying they "have openly declared their pro-Albanian stances."
They "have joined a media campaign for (Kosovo) Albanian interests and wishes. Their recent statements have triggered surprise, worry and bitterness among the Serbian people," it said in a statement.
Later Monday, the Serbian government also accused Ahtisaari of bias, and said it is "taking diplomatic and other steps to resolve the situation over his statements, without jeopardizing the negotiation process." It did not elaborate.
The statements are the latest in a series of recent Serb criticism of U.N. officials, particularly veteran diplomat Ahtisaari, for comments he made on the legacy of the Milosevic regime.
"While today's democratic regime in Belgrade cannot be held responsible for the policies and actions of the Milosevic regime, leaders in Belgrade must come to terms with its legacy and have important responsibilities in this sense," Ahtisaari said last week.
"The historic legacy cannot simply be ignored, but must be taken into account in a search for a solution of the status question," he said in comments that enraged many Serbs.
U.N. officials in Kosovo refused Monday to respond to the allegations. "We do not comment on comments," said Remi Dourlot, a spokesman for Ahtisaari's office.
Gyorgy Kakuk, the spokesman for the U.N.'s mission in Kosovo, also refused to comment.
The U.N.-brokered negotiations on Kosovo's future status began earlier this year, with international mediators hoping to complete the process by the end of the year.
Ruecker, a German diplomat, was recently quoted saying he thought Kosovo would one day be an independent state.
Kosovo's ethnic Albanians, who are predominantly Muslim, want independence for the province while its Serbs, who are mostly Christian Orthodox, insist that the region, which they consider the cradle of their statehood and religion, remain part of Serbia.
The U.N. has administered Kosovo and NATO has guarded it since a 1999 NATO air war to halt the Serb crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists, leaving Serbia with no authority over the region.
Kosovo's future status remains the last outstanding issue from the violent breakup of former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Kostunica States Importance of Clarification

Ahtisaari’s statement must be explained precisely
Belgrade, Aug 29, 2006 – Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica said that it is of utmost importance to precisely and literally explain to the Serbian and international public the statement of UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Kosovo Marti Ahtisaari that he told the Serbian negotiating team in Vienna on August 8.
Kostunica told FoNet news agency that it is not difficult to remember Ahtisaari’s statement as it is more than clear and ideologically recognisable in its brutality. I shall quote Ahtisaari, “the Serbs as nation are to blame”. When you hear this statement, all stories and vagueness about some sort of narrower or wider context are unreasonable. The Serbian people has seen through the only context of this qualification, said the Serbian Prime Minister. He also said that the Serbian government and the whole negotiating team will take systematic and daily action so that all important international factors are presented with Ahtisaari’s grave prejudices about the Serbian people. "During the talks in Vienna on July 24, we did not hear a single argument in favour of Kosovo’s independence. This deadlock has yielded the first and so far only argument which Ahtisaari made public", said Kostunica. Kostunica also pointed out that in the upcoming period it will have to be clarified what Ahtisaari meant by saying that Serbs as a nation are guilty and that this statement is the foundation for Kosovo independence.According to Kostunica, it would be too hasty to say whether Serbia will or will not demand Ahtisaari's recall. "We will wait and see what Ahtisaari will do, as well as what results our diplomatic action will yield", said Kostunica.

28 August 2006

Martti Ahtisaari Mum On Serbia Inquiery Into His Fitness As Moderator-Insists That Progress Is Being Made

Progress made, talks continue, says Ahtisaari
August 28, 2006

ZVECAN - The U.N. special envoy for the status of Kosovo, Martti Ahtisaari, said in Zvecan on Aug. 24 that certain progress has been made at his meetings with the Albanian negotiating delegation in Pristina, but that decentralization talks needed to continue.
"Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed," Ahtisaari said after a meeting with heads of Serb municipalities in northern Kosovo.
He said Pristina had not agreed with everything he had proposed, but added that progress was slowly being made because the process was continuing. He also said the next meeting between the Belgrade and Pristina delegations in Vienna on this topic would probably be held in the first week of September.
After a visit to northern Kosovo, he had more talks in Pristina with members of the Kosovo negotiating team about decentralization and the protection of the rights of ethnic communities. Addressing reporters afterward, Ahtisaari reiterated that status negotiations were a process that would not end after this meeting.
According to unofficial information, the meeting, which lasted three hours, ended in failure and a new one was scheduled for Aug. 25.
After the meeting with Ahtisaari, Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu told reporters that the Kosovo side was sticking to its proposal for five plus one new majority Serb municipalities, as well as the extending of jurisdiction but only in some of them.
Previously in Zvecan, Ahtisaari announced that, when he goes public with the results of his visit to Kosovo at the Aug. 25 news conference, he would not be able to disclose the details of what has been agreed, but that the time would come at the end of this process when it will be said "where we truly stand."
In his words, good government anywhere in the world envisages the transfer of more authority from central to local authorities, but added that this process must not "water down the unique structure of that place."
Ahtisaari said he visited northern Kosovo in order to inform the chiefs of the Serb municipalities of Leposavic, Zubin Potok and Zvecan about the talks on decentralization, the protection of religious and cultural heritage and the protection of ethnic communities' rights. He also met with the KFOR commander, who informed him about the security situation.
The Finnish diplomat said a distinction should be made between the two types of talks those on the status and those on practical issues, whose solution did not depend on the actual status.
"On the status issue the parties' opinions are very well known and they have not moved from them," Ahtisaari said, adding that progress was slowly being made

Patriarch Alexy II Officially Supports Serbia

25 August 2006, 21:24
Alexy II hopes the Serbian people will not lose their native land in settlement of Kosovo issue (updated)
Moscow, August 25, Interfax - Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and all Russia has expressed hope that the Kosovo issue will be settled justly.’We hope that justice will triumph, that the Serbian people will not be divided further and Serbia will not lose its native sacred land,’ the patriarch said conferring on Friday the Order of St. Sergius of Radonezh upon Nenad Popovic, chairman the Serbian commission of the development of Kosovo and Metohija.The primate of the Russian Church described Kosovo and Metohija as a ‘much-suffering region’, noting, ‘We keep pointing out that no attention is given to the destruction of Orthodox monuments taking place there’. He stressed that for the Serbs to lose Kosovo means ‘to lose their holy places and their history’. The patriarch expressed hope that the negotiations in Vienna would take into account Russia’s position on the Kosovo problem that Kosovo should be granted a broad autonomy within Serbia. Popovic stated in his turn that the socio-economic problems of Kosovo could be settled only if the region was given a broad autonomy within Serbia. ‘Making Kosovo an artificial island is a bad example. It is an experiment with unpredictable consequences for the crisis regions in Europe and Asia’, he said.

27 August 2006

Serbian Negotiating Team Meets 28th-Ahtisaari Unavoidable Agenda Item

Negotiation team to meet tomorrow
27 August 2006 16:36 Source: B92
BELGRADE -- The Serbian team for Kosovo status negotiations will meet tomorrow in Belgrade.The meeting will be attended by Serbian President Boris Tadić, Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica, Foreign Affairs Minister Vuk Drašković and the other members of the team.President of the Co-ordination Centre for Kosovo and Metohija Sanda Rašković-Ivić told B92 that one of the issues on the agenda of the meeting will be the incidents in Kosovo, but not just the latest one in Kosovska Mitrovica, but also all the others that have happened since negotiations began. Rašković-Ivić added that the meeting would also address the issue of decentralisation in Kosovo, the economy and the cultural heritage of the province.
Sandra Rašković-Ivić"However, an important topic of discussion will by all means be UN special envoy Marti Ahtisaari and his recent behaviour, not because we wanted him on our agenda, but rather because he asserted himself as an unavoidable topic. What he said deserves a serious analysis. Can he adequately perform his duty with the kind of attitude he has been displaying in public”, Rašković-Ivić explained. She added that it was up to the delegates to decide by majority vote whether the Serbian team would demand a reconsideration of Ahtisaari’s legitimacy as the chief international mediator in the Kosovo negotiations after his statement that Serbs were guilty as a nation. “The word mediator denominates a person who stands in the middle. Mr Ahtisaari has not been a middle-man for a long time and he has proven this with his last public statement. Naturally, this is a matter for discussion. Our final conclusion will be the opinion that prevails among the majority of citizens.” The President of the Coordination Centre for Kosovo and Metohija said the latest incident in Mitrovica was a terrorist act of low intensity. “If you have three incidents in one week at a time when the negotiations are culminating and entering a conclusive phase, we can freely speak of low intensity terrorism, but we can also say this is a message”, Rašković-Ivić concluded.
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Mitrovica Victims in Stable Condition, Raskovic-Ivic Condemns Attacks; Faults Influence of Ahtisaari's Comments

Nine persons wounded in bomb attack in Mitrovica in stable condition
http://www.rts.co.yu/Radio Television Serbia, BelgradeSunday, August 27, 2006 13:54
Nine people were injured in a hand grenade explosion on Saturday at about 7:00 p.m. in the garden patio of the Dolce Vita cafe in Kosovska Mitrovica near the Ibar River bridge, among them one UNMIK policeman. According to our reporter on the scene the wounded are in stable condition. Six people have been detained for treatment in the Department of Surgery of Kosovska Mitrovica Hospital, two have been released, and the international policeman has been transferred to a KFOR military hospital at the request of UNMIK.
The injured are Sasa Gvozdic, Jelena Mirkovic, Bojan Bojovic, Pavle Zdravkovic, Kemal Vranes, Katarina Devdic, Jovan Kragovic and Batric Vulikic. At the time of the attack there were about 20 people in the Dolce Vita cafe.
This morning the situation is calm although Mitrovica residents are visibly disturbed by last night's incident. This morning there are no Kosovo Police Service or KFOR reinforcements on the bridge separating the northern and southern parts of Kosovska Mitrovica. The citizens of northern Mitrovica have organized themselves and as of last night have guards in position to protect them from unwanted and aggressive guests representing a threat to their lives.
According to eyewitness testimony, the hand grenade was lobbed at the cafe by a young man who crossed the bridge from the southern, Albanian inhabited part of town. The Kosovo Police Service has advised that the attacker has arrested but did not reveal his identity. News agencies report that he is 16 year-old ethnic Albanian Adem Dibrani, who was arrested upon returning to the southern part of town only after a strong reaction from gathered Serbs.

Serbs demand bridge closing during Kosovo status negotiations
http://www.rts.co.yu/Radio Television Serbia, BelgradeSunday, August 27, 2006 14:50
Representatives of the Serb National Council of Northern Kosovo have demanded that international authorities in the province close the bridge over the Ibar River, which separates the town into Serb and Albanian parts, until negotiations on the status are concluded, and called on citizens to remain calm and not to panic "which is obviously what someone wants".
Speaking at a SNC press conference, Belgrade negotiating team member Marko Jaksic stated that the most recent tossing of a grenade at a cafe in the northern part of Mitrovica and the wounding of nine people is the consequence of statements by Kosovo status envoy Martti Ahtisaari and newly appointed UNMIK chief Joachim Ruecker that the Serbs as a people are guilty and that Kosovo independence is on the horizon.
"By their irresponsible behavior and cover up of crimes UNMIK and KFOR are encouraging Albanians to commit them. In just six months over 70 attacks on Serbs have been recorded which are, for the most part, classified as public disturbances and criminal acts," said Jaksic.
Nebojsa Jovic, the president of the SNC of North Kosovo, has demanded that UNMIK, KFOR and the Kosovo police explain "why the name of last night's attacker was not publicized when it is general knowledge that he is (ethnic
Albanian) Agron Dibrani", claiming that "all the members of his family are known terrorists."
Jovic explained that the closing of the bridge on the Ibar River has been requested in order to ensure the safety of Serbs in the northern part of Mitrovica.
Coordinating Center: Grenade tossed immediately following Ahtisaari's statement on Serb guilt
The Serbian Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija sharply condemned the bomb attack in Kosovska Mitrovica and accused the international community of being responsible "at least as much as the Albanian terrorists" for "Albanian crimes against Serbs".
"In the last few days Albanian terrorists in Kosovo and Metohija have been encouraged by statements by senior representatives of the United Nations and they have intensified their murderous actions directed against Serbs," said the Coordinating Center in a written statement.
The Coordinating Center that "only circumstance" prevented great casualties "from a bomb calmly carried across the Ibar River bridge by a terrorist and, despite the Kosovo Police Service, UNMIK and KFOR, tossed at a nearby cafe".
The Coordinating Center's communiqué notes that the grenade was tossed "immediately following Ahtisaari's statement regarding Serb guilt". "The international community is at least as responsible for Albanian crimes against Serbs, which are assuming an ever greater and worrisome scale, as the Albanian terrorists," said the Coordinating Center.
"It has not stopped, arrested or sentenced them in the past, and now Ahtisaari is further encouraging them," concluded the communiqué.
President Tadic most sharply condemns the bomb attack
http://www.rts.co.yu/Radio Television Serbia, BelgradeSunday, August 27, 2006 14:50
Serbian president Boris Tadic most sharply condemned the grenade attack in the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica in which several innocent people were hurt, advised the Serbian president's press service.
Tadic spoke with Oliver Ivanovic and the head of the district of Kosovska Mitrovica Momir Kasalovic about the situation in the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica, and they advised him regarding the medical condition of the injured.
The Serbian president also spoke by telephone by acting UNMIK chief Steven Schook about the situation after the bomb attack in the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica.
According to sources in the president's cabinet, Schook "offered every assurance that KFOR and UNMIK would undertake all necessary security measures" and he told Tadic he will be receiving "regular reports regarding the newly created situation".
The Serbian president believes the grenade attack to be an act of terrorism and is demanding that the international community react most energetically and punish the perpetrators.

26 August 2006

Update on Mitrovica Grenade Bombing

KiM Info Newsletter 27-08-06
Grenade lobbed at Serb cafe in Kosovska Mitrovica
Grenade attack in Kosovska Mitrovica, attacker arrested, three persons wounded
KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, August 26, 2006 (Beta) - Three people have been lightly wounded in a grenade explosion that occurred at about 7:00 p.m. on the garden patio of the Dolce Vita cafe in the northern (Serbian) part of Kosovska Mitrovica, near the Ibar River bridge.
According to eyewitness accounts, the attacker walked up and lobbed the grenade right into the entrance of the cafe, injuring three people and shattering the glass in the entrance.
The attacker on the Dolce Vita cafe in the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica is (ethnic Albanian) Adem Dibrani (age 16) from the southern (Albanian) part of the divided city. According to unofficial sources, he has been arrested by the police.
In the grenade attack, which occurred at about 7:00 p.m. (Serb) Nenad Devencic and his wife, who is a foreign citizen and eight months pregnant, were injured.
Also injured was a Scotsman employed by the international mission in Kosovo and Metohija.
At the time of the attack Oliver Ivanovic, one of Kosovo Serb political Leaders (Serbian List for Kosovo and Metohija SLKM), was also in the garden patio.
"This is a catastrophe. I am extremely concerned. The man just calmly walked up and lobbed a grenade. He could have done the same thing at a time when there are a lot of young people here," said Ivanovic. He added that he was also worried by the poor response by the Kosovo Police Service and KFOR.
UNMIK police have blocked the entrance to the cafe and are presently conducting an investigation.
Several hundred Serb citizens have gathered near the cafe and are heading toward the bridge separating northern and southern Kosovska Mitrovica. The bridge has been blocked by KFOR and the police.
Mitrovica has been an ethnically divided city. The southern part of the city is ethnic Albanian while in the northern part beside Serbs a few thousands of non-Serb minorities also live.
Attackers of Vuk Danilovic in Decani have still not been arrested
KIM Info ServiceDecani, August 26, 2006
The perpetrators who physically attacked (Serb) teacher Vuk Danilovic on August 21 in Decani still have not been found because none of the several hundred people present in the main square at the time of the incident is prepared to cooperate with police and identify them, advised sources close to the Kosovo Police Service. Danilovic, who is temporarily living as a displaced person in Berane (Montenegro), was visiting Decani with five Serb children as part of an OSCE "multiethnic camp" program.
The attack was condemned recently in the media by Decani mayor Nazmi Selmanaj and the municipal Committee for the Protection of Human Rights. However, despite these words of condemnation Albanian language daily "Epoka e Re" published a controversial communiqué by the so-called "KLA War Veterans Association" saying that "Danilovic is a war criminal" and that "future reactions will be more harsh because the people do not want to be provoked by the bringing of criminals on the bloody soil of Kosovo". The Association is already known for its extremist positions with respect to Serbs, UNMIK and KFOR. The Kosovo Police Service seriously suspects that the perpetrators of this incidents are, in fact, members of the Association.
The evening of the attack Decani mayor Nazmi Selmanaj personally spoke with Danilovic by phone and inquired about his health. According to Mr. Selmanaj's statement, everyone is aware that Danilovic has always been a peaceful and respected citizen who never did anything to provoke the anger of others.

Belgrade Demands Explanation Ahtisaari's Response

Serbian government's negotiating team demands Ahtisaari's explanation
Belgrade, Aug 25, 2006 – Coordinators of the Serbian government's negotiating team on Kosovo future status Leon Kojen and Slobodan Samardzic stated today that on August 10 they had sent a letter to UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari demanding that he explains his statement from August 8 in Vienna. On that day, Ahtisaari said that "Serbs as a people are responsible", however, the Serbian team's demand has been as yet unanswered.
Leon Kojen and Slobodan Samardzic
Photo: FoNetAt a press conference, Kojen and Samardzic presented the letter which reads as follows:"The Serbian government's negotiating team wishes to express their deepest discontent and resentment at the contents of the conversation that took place between you and the Serbian delegation on August 8.On that occasion, as UN Special Envoy for the future status of Kosovo-Metohija, you received our delegation and told them that Serbs as a people are responsible for what had happened. All members of the Serbian delegation present at the time have confirmed that they clearly heard you utter these words. The Serbian government's negotiating team categorically rejects such a statement as it is completely unfounded and therefore utterly unacceptable from a moral point of view. The statement triggers other serious issues regarding your impartiality in the negotiating process on Kosovo future status.The Serbian government's negotiating team urgently demands that you explain your viewpoint regarding the statement you gave in the presence of the Serbian delegation. In our opinion, such an explanation is necessary if the negotiation process is to be successfully carried out and completed".Kojen stressed that it is necessary to clarify whether Ahtisaari actually believes in what he said, because if he does, there arises the question of his suitability to perform the function of a Special Envoy. If Ahtisaari dismisses the statement as untrue and if it is, in some way or another, simply a misunderstanding, we expect it to be clarified within a day or two, said Kojen. The Serbian negotiating team is still waiting for Ahtisaari's response, he added and said that a great deal of time has elapsed and there has still been no answer from Ahtisaari, which is why the domestic and international public must be acquainted with the matter.Kojen said that Ahtisaari's statement about collective responsibility of the Serbian people, printed in a news article, would not be surprising on its own, however, "the freedom of speech is one thing, and political talks on Kosovo future another matter".Ahtisaari is an envoy of the Secretary General of the organisation that established the Hague Tribunal, whose formation was motivated by a desire to individualise guilt and avoid collective guilt, said Kojen.He added that after the Serbian team sent the letter, they received a reply from Ahtisaari's office on August 11 from a minor official in which it was said that the Special Envoy would not be in Vienna until August 21 and would send a reply immediately upon his return.Samardzic said that the Serbian team has been patiently waiting for the reply ever since."We will remain within the negotiating process, but we are going to insist that the matter be clarified", said Samardzic adding that further steps will be discussed at the team's next session scheduled for Monday.According to Samardzic, the Belgrade team will decide on further actions in line with reactions to this statement in the domestic and international public, as well as with the reaction of Ahtisaari's team, the Contact Group and international diplomacy.Samardzic also said that the Serbian negotiating team expects that the United Nations Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the future status process for Kosovo (UNOSEK) will notify them directly about the negotiations that the Special Envoy held in Pristina in the past several days. The team also expects to be briefed on what the ethnic-Albanian side has been offered as well as how it responded.

Albanian Argument Lacks Historical Integrity

26 August 2006

Historical Integrity is losing ground as the Albanians continue to act as aggressors in making their demands of independence. By legitimizing this with calls for an imposed solution, they resort to unlawful legal precedent to realise their ambitions. How can one understand Historical Integrity as it applies to the situation in Kosovo Metohia?

Currently the Albanians are making the argument that they must have independence because of Slobodan Milosevic and the crimes against humanity that were allegedly perpetrated against the Albanians by the Serbs. What is always left out of this discourse of justification is the fact that Serbians have been living as de facto and de jure second class citizens unable to freely obtain jobs, to get health care, to have access to education, and were inhibited in many areas from practicing their faith.
The international community always speaks of Albanian revenge against the Serbs. They selectively forget that the Serb uprising that proceeded acts of Albanian revenge was due to the Albanians active and current policy of forced displacement, as well as cultural, economic, social oppression of the indigenous Serbian population. The Albanian Muslims always seem to forget that their existence in the region is the result of an hostile invading force, and they continue to act within the vein of that legacy.
So while crimes committed by the regime of Milosevic allegedly occurred, the crimes seen in legitimate context is not a just argument for approving the separation of Kosovo-Metohija from Serbia. Thus, the comment I wish to make is based on the idea that a crime committed does not commute to other members when the original perpetrator ceases to exist. The new Serbia government operates under different ideas and values. They are, while being birthed of the circumstances of their past, a different entity. The crimes that were committed before they came into being died with the--unfortunately misguided--Slobodan Milosevic, and the regime that he represented-which also ceased to exist. If the Albanians want to insist on such an argument, then the Serbs have many centuries and documented reports of decades of recent atrocities to point to that were committed against their peoples by an aggressive invading force--The Ottoman Empire and the current Albanian Extremists. The Albanian Muslims are the result of forced conversions and are the remnants of that horrible era. They still enjoy plenty of support from successor states of the Ottoman Empire, allegedly, Iran and Syria.

Therefore insisting that the daughter pay for the crimes of the mother is a bad argument because it lacks historical integrity. The Albanians use it because it is emotive and subjected to quick accessible sound bites. They are using it to mis represent the true historical situation.They use it because the West wants to believe it as it legitimizes their unlawful presence in the region. Ahtisaari and Rueker, by their recent comments (see below) have exposed themselves as types of eparchs for Western interest who want to see an independent Kosovo-Metohija. In other words the truth is this: the International Community is willfully blinded because of their devotion to their idol laissez-faire capitalism, and their dedication to the liberalism of unrestrained greed. In my opinion, UNMIK's presence in the area is a cover of 21st American led western colonialism. Many people in America, whether they lean to the right or the left in political ideology say the situation over there is very complicated. If they would just open their eyes they would see that it's not complicated at all. It's just Greed having its day in the International Kangaroo Courts of the United Nations and their Tribunal the ICTY. Proving once again the malleability of international lawwhen it impedes the ever evolving mandate of humanistically driven capitalist values.

The United States at one time had standards of integrity which it publically stood by. Will the citizens of this country be able to help it re discover its ideological roots enshrined in the Constitution? Although we are suffering now due to economic infractions, we will suffer even more if we refuse to honour the sovereignty of lawful nation-states and interfere with their right to worship and conduct their affairs as law abiding members of the international community.

Mitrosevic Cafe attended by Serbs Bombed by 16 year old

Bomb explosion in Kosovska Mitrovica
26 August 2006 20:02 -> 22:30 Source: Beta
KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- Nine people were injured when a bomb exploded in Kosovska Mitrovica around 19:00 tonight.Beta agency named Adem Dibrani (16) from the southern end of the ethnically divided town as the perpetrator of the incident.Beta agency reports that the perpetrator has been put under arrest and the Kosovo Police Service has confirmed that a person suspected of throwing the explosive device at the café Dolce Vita is in custody, but declined to reveal his identity or ethnic background. Deputy Director of the Medical Centre in Kosovska Mitrovica Milan Ivanović told B92 that nine people with injuries from the blast were hospitalised tonight. He added that two people were discharged immediately after receiving first aid. “Seven people have been kept for further treatment. The injuries were inflicted by shrapnel and one of the injured is an international policeman from Great Britain. The other six are civilians, two of them young women. One Dutch child-bearing woman was also hurt”, Ivanović said. Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica stated that “both the Albanian terrorists and representatives of the international community were equally to blame for tonight’s bomb attack on innocent Serbian citizens in Kosovska Mitrovica because since their daily actions were encouraging these kinds of incidents”. “Albanian separatists were quick to react to Ahtisaari’s statement that Serbs were guilty as a nation by tossing a bomb at innocent Serbian citizens in Kosovska Mitrovica”, said Koštunica’s communiqué to Beta news agency. “Although Ahtisaari has been entrusted with a mandate to ensure negotiations that will lead to a compromise, a historically just solution based on international legal norms, the UN special envoy seems to be acting in complete contrast to such a goal”, the Prime Minister added. The leader of the Serbian List for Kosovo and Metohija Oliver Ivanović was sitting in the cafe Dolce Vita when the bomb exploded. “This is horrible. I’m very upset. A man calmly approached the café and just threw the bomb. Anyone could have done it and the incident happened when a lot of young people were around”, Ivanović told B92. Ivanović added he was concerned about the feeble reaction by Kosovo Police Service and KFOR. UNMIK forces blocked access to the café and are currently investigating the scene. Several hundred citizens gathered in discontent and started off towards the bridge that was currently under a blockade. Jakšić: The attacker should stand trial before a Serbian courtMember of the Belgrade team for negotiations Marko Jakšić told Beta agency he would demand that the person who threw the bomb at the café in Kosovska Mitrovica tonight be handed over to Serbian police and should stand trial before a Serbian court. “We will also demand the bridge over the Ibar River that divides the two communities in Kosovska Mitrovica be closed down until the status of Kosovo and Metohija is resolved. As of tonight, self-organised citizens will keep watch at the bridge”, Jakšić announced. He added that the bomb attack in Kosovska Mitrovica demonstrated that the crime wave against Serbs has not come to an end. “This is more proof of the policy of double standards lead by the international community. Words do not mean anything anymore and we now demand that the international community finally start doing its job and protect those who are in danger, in this specific case the Serb community in Kosovo”, Jakšić said.

Belgrade's Response to Ahtisaari and Rueker's Remarks

Ahtisaari does not adhere to mandate given to him by UN secretary-general
Belgrade, Aug 26, 2006 - The coordinators of the state negotiating team for talks on future status of Kosovo-Metohija, Slobodan Samardzic and Leon Kojen, said that the latest statement given by UN Special Envoy Marti Ahtisaari makes the already complicated negotiations on the province's future status even more difficult and warned him that in that way he assumes the role of arbitre which on no account belongs to him.
Leon Kojen and Slobodan Samardzic
As an individual and public person, Ahtisaari has the right to think what he wants, but as a special envoy of the UN secretary-general for the future status of Kosovo-Metohija, he has the obligation to adhere to standard norms of international conduct, reads the statement of the coordinators of the state negotiating team. The statements goes on to say that his persistent imputation of historical guilt to the Serbian people and the state is incompatible both with these norms and with the mandate he was given by the UN secretary-general. With his latest action, Ahtisaari has brought into question the minimum of trust which every international negotiator and mediator has to enjoy and thus has made the already difficult talks on the future status of Kosovo even more difficult and uncertain. Now he is the only one responsible for that and his groundless ambition to play the role of arbitre which on no account belongs to him, coordinators Samardzic and Kojen said. They warn that Ahtisaari forgets that precisely the United Nations, as the founder of a number of international courts, have always been the holder of the idea that responsibility for all crimes, even for the gravest ones, is always individual, never collective. No one who acts on behalf and under the aegis of the United Nations has the right to violate that organisation's basic principle. Therefore, it runs contrary to every standards of logic and politics to punish a state and a nation by taking into account its quasi collective culpability when resolving the issue such as the future status of Kosovo-Metohija, Samardzic and Kojen believe. Responding in Pristina to Serbia's request to clarify his earlier statement that Serbs " as a nation are guilty " for the situation in Kosovo-Metohija, Ahtisaari said that "every nation has a burden to pay for."
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Statements of UNMIK chief inappropriate
Belgrade, Aug 26, 2006 - Commenting on yesterday's statements made by UNMIK head Joachim Ruecker with which he indirectly announced that Kosovo-Metohija will be given independence and blamed Belgrade for the bad position of Serbs in Kosovo, Director of the Serbian government's Office of Media Relations Srdjan Djuric said that the United Nations did not authorise Joachim Ruecker to predict the final status of Kosovo-Metohija.
Djuric pointed out that Ruecker forgets what his duties are and that he is not authorised to give away something that does not belong to him, i.e. that he cannot give 15% of Serbia's territory to ethnic Albanian separatists. It would be of utmost importance if Ruecker started doing his job at the beginning of his term in office and made efforts to bring to justice those who have committed hundreds of unpunished crimes against Serbs in the province.

24 August 2006

Vuk Draskovic Response To Greater Albania

Serbian FM reacts to Albanian official's statement
August 24, 2006

BELGRADE - Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic reacted Tuesday to a statement by political advisor to the Albanian prime minister Koca Danaj that the PM has addressed a direct message to Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro that these countries, in their present borders, are not natural creations and that all Albanians now living in five states would be united within a "natural Albania" by 2013.
This statement reflects Albania's official strategy, Draskovic emphasized. It is logical that such a message should be conveyed through the PM's advisor. In case of a strong reaction in the region, Europe and the US, the statement would be qualified as Danaj's personal view. This is, however, not true, as the same view was expressed a few months ago by Albanian foreign minister too, Draskovic said. This is also an indirect message to Greece that it is not a natural creation either, he added.
Serbian Foreign Ministry does not want to doubt that Tirana will make its official stance clear timely and sincerely, Draskovic said. Draskovic said he would like to ask the Contact Group for Kosovo, the European Union, the US, NATO the UN Security Council and the UN Envoy for Kosovo status talks Martti Ahtisaari whether it is finally clear that destroying Serbia's territorial integrity by granting independence to Kosovo would directly lead to a Balkan drama of dangerous and unpredictable scope. Balkan stability can be secured above all by protecting existing state borders in the region, Draskovic said. What officials in Tirana do not, or do not wish to understand is that Albania would be the ultimate victim of the unreasonable and dangerous project of Kosovo independence, Draskovic said.

Bosnia Serbs Told To Take It or Leave It.


Sarajevo, 24 August (AKI) - Bosnian Muslim leader Sulejman Tihic has told local Serbs to stop talking about a possible referendum on independence, because Bosnia was indivisible and those who don’t like it should leave the country. Tihic, who currently chairs Bosnia’s three-man rotating state presidency, has been an outspoken advocate of Muslim demands for the abolition of Bosnia’s Serb entity, Republika Srpska (RS). Local Serbs for their part have threatened to hold a referendum on independence. The quarrel prompted the high representative of the international community in Bosnia, Christian Schwarz Schilling, to intervene last week demanding that politicians on both sides should stop “inflammatory rhetoric” ahead of the 1 October general election, adding that calls for abolition of RS and threats of a referendum were equally damaging. But Tihic said in a written statement on Wednesday, indirectly addressed to foreign minister Mladen Ivanic and RS Prime Minister Milorad Dodik, to "stop entertaining the public and deceiving RS citizens that a referendum on secession was possible". According to the Dayton peace accord, that ended Bosnian civil war in 1995, the country was divided into two entities, a Muslim-Croat federation and RS, with all state attributes, including their own parliament, government, army and police.But the international community, which safeguards peace in Bosnia, has been stripping entities of state prerogatives in an effort to strengthen central government. Bosnian Serbs, the second biggest ethnic group, have resisted changes, fearing domination by majority Muslims.Tihic said that RS secession was legally impossible, because there were no such provisions in the constitution. In the ongoing bickering, which is seen as part of campaign for 1 October parliamentary elections, Tihic said that partitioning of Bosnia was “particularly impossible now, when balance of forces has changed in Bosnia and in the region”. “Those who don’t like it, who are still dreaming of a failed project of Greater Serbia, or some Serbian state in Bosnia, can go somewhere else, but they can’t take with them an inch of Bosnian territory,” said Tihic. Instead of heeding Schwarz-Schilling's appeal for calm, political analysts say such bickering is likely to increase, with politicians on both sides appealing to nationalistic passions prior to the October elections.
Aug-24-06 13:10

Greater Albania in 2013?

This was posted on the Serbianna.com website, a very informative site. It underscores the role an independent Kosovo would have in the Balkans.


Tirana, 22 August (AKI) - Albanians living in the Balkan region should unite and be integrated into a "natural Albania" by 2013, a senior Albanian official said on Tuesday. Neighbouring Macedonia, with a 25 percent Albanian population, is likely to be partitioned first, if its authorities fail to honour the five-year-old Ohrid peace agreement - which gave Albanians more autonomy and increased their political representation - Koco Danaj, political adviser to Albania's prime minister, Sali Berisha, told Pristina-based Albanian language daily Epoka e Re.“In politics it’s easier to face the painful truth, than the painful lies,” said Danaj. “Therefore, I emphasise again that disrespect of the Ohrid agreement would mean partitioning of Macedonia,” he added. Danaj said the greatest threat to the Ohrid agreement - which in 2001 ended ethnic Albanian rebellion in Macedonia - to power of the nationalist VMRO-DPMNE, the Macedonian political party that won the 5 July general election. VMRO-DPMNE leader, Nikola Gruevski is expected this week to form a coalition government with the Democratic Party of Albanians, triggering protests from the biggest ethnic Albanian party, the Democratic Union for Integration, which also wants to participate in the government. With Serbia’s southern Kosovo province seeming to be moving towards independence, Danaj said that ethnic Albanians in Macedonia and Montenegro should also have the right to choose with whom to live. Instead of having Albanians participate in those countries' governments, it would be more natural that they had one government in the Albanian capital, Tirana, Danaj said.After Montenegro, with population of 620,000, voted for independence and separation from Serbia at a referendum on 21 May, 500,000 ethnic Albanians in Macedonia should have the same right, Danaj said. Neither Serbia, nor Macedonia and Montenegro were "natural creations," Danaj pointed out. Giving apparent credence to the fears of Serb and other Slav politicians in the Balkan countries that the creation of a Greater Albania is the main threat to the region, Danaj said all Albanians will be united “in natural Albania” by 2013.
Aug-22-06 18:05


Attack In Decani

August 23, 2006
KiM Info Newsletter 23-08-06
Serb man beaten up in downtown Decani

KIM Info ServiceDecani, August 22, 2006A Serb man named Vuko Danilovic (age 55), who was taking part in a "multiethnic camp" program with a group of five Serb children, was beaten up yesterday in downtown Decani. The "multiethnic camp" which began on August 21 brought together 30 Serb, Albanian and Roma children and was organized for the purpose of enhancing cooperation among communities on the territory of the municipality of Decani. Danilovic, a teacher in Decani before the war, came with a group of Serb children from Berane (Montenegro), where most Serb refugees from the Decani area have been living for the past seven years."In the morning we visited the municipal building where we were very courteously received by the mayor, Nazmi Selmanaj. After that we went to the main town square, where we bought ice cream for the children. A number of people approached me to say hello and shake hands because I had quite a few Albanian friends before the war. Everything seemed peaceful and ordinary; there were quite a few people in the streets. Suddenly, a young man approached me and, while swearing at me, began to hit me with his fists in the head and the stomach. As I attempted to defend myself another young Albanian approached and likewise began to beat me. I fell to the ground from the force of the blows. By the time my colleagues from the group ran to my aid the attackers had disappeared. After receiving medical attention I filed a report with the (Kosovo Police Service)," said Vuko Danilovic, who visited Visoki Decani Monastery this afternoon with the children from the "multiethnic camp".Because of the shock they experienced the Serb members of the "multiethnic camp" left for Montenegro this evening, where Danilovic will undergo a thorough physical since he has a bad headache and does not hear anything with his right ear.The incident in downtown Decani demonstrates that necessary conditions for free movement of the Serb population in this part of Metohija still do not exist..

23 August 2006

Russian Government Official Says That Independent Kosovo Sets Dangerous Precedent

Republics Have The Right To Secede, But Not Provinces
23 August 2006
this story is based on an UPI article:http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/view.php?StoryID=20060823-014041-4105r

In an interview with Izvestia, a Moscow newspaper, Grigory Karasin, Deputy Foreign Minister of Russian said that independence for Kosovo would create a precedent in international law that could further complicate the dialogue that is occurring between disputed regions in other parts of the world. He mentioned such regions as Russia, the formerYugoslavia and Czechoslovakia as being particularly vulnerable.

Independence for Kosovo would define the question of whether provinces have the same rights as republics to break away from an established nation-state. As cultural and economic concerns are leading determinants in a question of this magnitude, instability in the affected regions would be the most likely outcome. In Kosovo, because of historical conflicts between the Orthodox Christians and the Albanians in the area, genocide against the Christians will be the most likely event to occur if such a scenario gained legitimacy in international law.
According to the UPI lead, Karasin said that Kosovo's status as an autonomy which is part of a federation is different than that of a republic that is part of federation. In other words Kosovo is to Serbia as New York is to the United States; it does not compare with ancient Macedonia's status--under Phillip II to the Hellenic Federation--and according to some obervers-mainly Serbians and their sympathisers it never has.

Particularly in the last 60 years Albanians have forcibly displaced the Serbian population in Kosovo-Metohija and have thereby artificially increased their presence in the area. They are now using their population numbers along with other criteria to justify their desire for independence. Some entities in the international community led by the United States and Britain want to give Kosovo-Metohija this independence. The debate seems to be a key sticking point amongst the Contact Group which consists of Britain, France, Russia, United States, Italy and Germany. The Contact Group are acting as mediators and observers as Belgrade continues negotiating with Pristina. Russia consistently states that independence for Kosovo is not a good precedent for international law. In January of this year President Putin statements were mis-construed when he said that if Kosovo is given such status, why not give independence to S.Ossetia, the province of Georgia. He re-iterated in a later interview that international law should abide by its universally applicable standards and not make up standards in one region while enforcing them in another. His views were reacted to by other Balkan state officials including Transdneister breakaway state of Moldova, S.Ossetia and Abkhaz, breakaway states of Georgia and Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan) breakaway province of Armenia. Putin in that 31st of January address said that there is no reason not to grant independence to these states if Kosovo is given independence by the international community. He also mentioned Turkey's recognition of N. Cyprus as a case in point. The Russian federation has been acting as a peace keeper in the region of S.Ossetia and Abkhaz. Russia is a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Membership in the CIS consists of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Krygystan, Russia, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.

News Story
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
UN Envoy Visits Kosovo To Push Rights Deal For Besieged Serbs
PRISTINA, Serbia (AP)--The U.N. special envoy for talks on Kosovo's future status was visiting the province Tuesday in an effort to push through a deal on giving minority Serb communities more rights, a spokesman said.
Martti Ahtisaari planned to spend three days in the U.N.-run province to meet with U.N. mediators and ethnic Albanian and Serb leaders on issues still to resolve in the negotiations on whether Kosovo should remain within Serbia or become independent, U.N. spokesman Remi Dourlot said.
"If there are still issues pending that could not be solved at the technical level, he will try to obtain progress at the political level," Dourlot said.
U.N. mediators have been trying to narrow differences between the two sides over how Kosovo should be run in the future. Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority insists on independence, but the Serb minority and Belgrade both want Serbia to retain some control over the province.
Mediators are hoping that, by resolving lesser issues first, it will be easier to reach a final agreement on status.
On Tuesday, Ahtisaari planned to meet with U.N. officials and experts from his team on details of proposals for reforming Kosovo's local government and protecting minority rights. Specifically, they will address the question of how much say Serb-run municipalities in Kosovo would have in education, healthcare, police and justice, as well as how much co-operation they should have with Serbia.
Ahtisaari will meet Wednesday with the province's President Fatmir Sejdiu, Prime Minister Agim Ceku and other ethnic-Albanian representatives, and on Thursday with Serb leaders in northern Kosovo before returning to Vienna on Friday.
The unresolved issues have been discussed already between the ethnic Albanian and Serbian delegations in U.N.-mediated talks held in Vienna, Austria, but no agreements have been reached.
Earlier this month, Kosovo Serbs boycotted a round of talks on minority rights, saying they wouldn't accept being treated as a minority group, as they considered themselves citizens of Serbia, where they are in the majority.
Within Kosovo, however, ethnic Albanians make up some 90% of the 2 million population, while most Serbs live in small, isolated enclaves scattered around the province. Tens of thousands of Serbs fled during the 1999 NATO-led air war to end Serb troops' crackdown on ethnic Albanians seeking independence.
Kosovo since then has been administered by the U.N., though it officially remains part of Serbia.
August 22, 2006 07:54 ET (11:54 GMT

22 August 2006

Serbia want Kosovo's Municipalities To Have Links To Belgrade

Serbia insists on strenghtening competence of municipalities with Serb majority population

Belgrade, Aug 21, 2006 – Coordinator of the Serbian negotiating team for talks on Kosovo political status and advisor to the Serbian Prime Minister Slobodan Samardzic said that Belgrade insists on strengthening the competence of future and current municipalities with a Serb majority population in Kosovo.
Slobodan Samardzic
In a statement to the Tanjug news agency, Samardzic said that Belgrade's proposal is complex since it begins with this issue and added that if the talks yield good results in this respect, the number of new municipalities can be determined afterwards.Prior to the arrival of UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari to Pristina tomorrow, Samardzic said that the number of new municipalities, together with the existing ones where Serbs are a majority, will make no sense on its own, unless the competence of municipalities increases.The media in Pristina broadcasting in Albanian announced that Ahtisaari's team had sent a proposal for decentralisation to the Pristina team last week, which limits the right of central institutions to suspend the decisions made by municipal assemblies.Ahtisaari's proposal does not specify the number of municipalities with a Serb majority population which are to be formed but the possibility of increasing their number is left open.During the talks in Vienna, Belgrade has so far insisted that the competence of these municipalities be broadened in the health, education, judicial and police sectors, that they be enabled to have direct links with Serbia and that 12 new municipalities be formed. Pristina, on the other hand, offered five new municipalities and the expansion of an existing one, the municipality of Novo Brdo.

21 August 2006

Raskovic-Ivic Comments Were Taken Out of Context

Kosovo: What status will it have?
August 21, 2006

The discussion of possible Kosovo status scenarios has been given a new impulse by the recent BBC report that during a recent interview the head of Serbia’s Coordinating Center for Kosovo-Metohija Sanda Raskovic-Ivic pointed out that Serbia’s position on the issue remains the same: Serbia is ready to provide Kosovo with a substantial autonomy. At the same time, Raskovic-Ivic said that should both sides, Serbians and Albanians, admit that they cannot co-exist and should the international community recognize this fact, some scenario of Kosovo division might be a solution for both sides.
This was her personal opinion, but, once reported by BBC three days later, it got into the world press editorials. In fact, we all know that the basic Kosovo status principles formulated by the Contract Group clearly say that there must be no Kosovo division. Then how should we take the words of Raskjovic-Ivic?
The BBC report has been severely criticized by Serbian officials. The head of the PR Department of the Coordinating Center for Kosovo-Metohija Jivanov says that the words of Raskovic-Ivic have been picked up from the general context of her big interview about the life conditions of Serbs in Kosovo, about the crimes committed there and about the recent talks between Serbian and Kosovo Albanian delegations. (By the way, the interview was given 10 days ago but has not been published to date). As a result, says Jivanov, it now looks as if she said that Serbia has renounced its position on substantial autonomy for Kosovo, which is not so.
The spokesman of the ruling Serbian Democratic Party Mladenovic says that the words of Raskovic-Ivic have been misinterpreted. In fact, in her interview she mentioned two types of autonomy: Kosovo within Serbia and Serbs within Kosovo. Raskovic-Ivic said that substantial autonomy for Kosovo within Serbia is the best and the only solution – a compromise that can give results for the future co-existence of Serbs and Albanians in the territory of Kosovo-Metohija. Mladenovic believes that Raskovic-Ivic would be the last to renounce this position.
A day after the interview of Raskovic-Ivic, Serbian Interior Minister Dragan Jocic said that Serbia will not allow Kosovo’s secession.
We would like to note that the idea of Kosovo division is not new. It was mentioned by both the killed Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic and, even earlier, by the first President of Yugoslavia Dobrica Cosic. They meant annexing the northern part of Kosovo to Serbia (15% of its territory) and establishing border along the river Ibar. Now, says Glas Javnosti daily, there might be another compromise scenario: not dividing Kosovo formally, but forming a Serbian autonomy and several Serbian enclaves in its territory — almost like Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is not divided formally but, in fact, is divided ethnically.
In Serbia Raskovic-Ivic’s words have received mostly negative response. The Forum for Security and Democracy believes that the territorial division of Kosovo is dangerous, first of all, for Serbia: “The Kosovo division ideas are good for the Albanian extremists. In fact, this would destabilize the situation in the whole region, especially, in the southern part of Central Serbia, as, if held, the division talks would involve this region too in the Kosovo settlement package.”
However, Serbian mass media report local observers to say that there is a reserve scenario – an alternative to the unreal “wide autonomy within Serbia.”
The Kosovo Serbs also object to the Kosovo division scenario. The leading Serbian deputy candidate in Kosovo Ivanovic says that this is a deeply erroneous concept. It does not reflect the position of the whole Serbian delegation and can be just a personal viewpoint. He calls a catastrophe the idea to present Kosovo division as a compromise between Albanians and Serbs. The head of the Deputy Group of the Serbian ticket Nojkic says that the division idea is applicable for the northern – mostly Serbian — part of Kosovo, but cannot resolve the whole Kosovo problem. Janic from the Forum on Ethnic Relations says that such a scenario would be a real misfortune for the Serbs, 2/3 of whom live southward of the possible demarcation line, and would make possible one more ethnic cleansing. The Executive Committee of the Serbian National Veca of Kosovo says that it strongly objects to any division of the region as this is contrary to the Serbian national and state interests.
Albanian politicians are quite categorical on the matter: the idea of Kosovo division is unacceptable. Kosovo will accept only its independence with right protection guarantees for minorities.
The West, judging from its last actions to enhance the presence of international security forces in Northern Kosovo, is also against division. At the same time, some Western political experts have appeared with quite noteworthy views. British publicist Tim Judah believes that Kosovo division is not realistic, but still notes that some diplomatic circles are considering the idea of dividing Kosovo along the river Ibar or giving its northern part some special status. He says that the statements of Raskovic-Ivic were a kind of “ballon d’essai” – they just want to see the public reaction. US professor Charles Kupchan says that Kosovo will not be divided as the international community would hardly like to open Pandora’s box in the south of Serbia. Now that there is no way for bringing the positions of Serbia and Kosovo Albanians any closer, the international community has just one way left: to impose its own solution — something that may well be good for the Serbian authorities, for whom the voluntary recognition of Kosovo’s independence would be a political suicide.
What status should Kosovo have? Today, this is one of the most difficult questions for the international community. Much may become clear after the September 2006 meeting of the UN Security Council. Keeping this in mind, the Serbian Foreign Ministry, while welcoming the UN SC’s recent resolution on the Middle East crisis, says that it hopes that they will be consistent in their attitude towards the Kosovo status and will not support the bellicose demands of the extremists.

Martti Ahtisaari, UN Envoy Presents New Plan to Pristini

Pristina, 21 August (AKI) - Chief United Nations negotiator for Kosovo, Martti Ahtisaari, will arrive in the capital of breakaway Kosovo province, Pristina, on Tuesday for a four-day visit. During his stay he will present a new plan for municipal decentralisation that aims to break the deadlock over this key issue, spokesman for Ahtisaari's office (UNOSEC), Remi Dourlot, told local media on Monday. Ahtisaari is expected to hold talks with its president, Fatmir Seidiu, prime minister, Agim Ceku, and local Serb leaders. Dourlot said that UNOSEC experts have already arrived in Pristina and are discussing with ethnic Albanian officials Ahtisaari’s latest proposals on decentralisation, municipal boundaries, their powers and their financing, although he did not reveal details of the blueprint. Seven rounds of UN-brokered talks in the Austrian capital, Vienna have failed to produce any real agreement between ethnic Albanian and Serb negotiating teams on a model for decentralisation - seen as critical to gaining Serb acceptance of greater autonomy for Kosovo, a key precondition for the return of refugees, and the safety of remaining Serbs in the province. The main sticking-point has been the number of new municipalities - Serbs insist on 12 while ethnic Albanians want just five. The two sides also disagreed over the extent of municipal powers and the degree of autonomy from central government that these should have. Serbian leaders in Belgrade and Kosovo's minority Serbs demand the right to run their own police, judiciary, education and health systems, maintaining special ties to Belgrade, whereas ethnic Albanians want to have a final say on the appointment of municipal officials.Most ethnic Albanians, who form a 1.7 million majority in the province, against a tiny minority of 100,000 remaining Serbs - want independence for Kosovo. This is opposed by Kosovan Serbs and by Belgrade - who favour some form of wide autonomy for the province. Observers are predicting that Kosovo's future status will be determined by the end of the year. If the two sides fail to reach an agreement, the international community has hinted it might impose a solution, possibly granting Kosovo independence.

Serbia Offers To Buy Back Unlawfully Seized Church Property

Proposal regarding return of church property in Kosovo remains unchanged
Belgrade, Aug 21, 2006 – The Serbian Negotiating Team for talks on Kosovo future status said in a statement that the proposal they had stated at the Vienna talks on July 18 regarding the return of the property that the Serbian Orthodox Church used to own in Kosovo, did not undergo any changes.
News headlines saying that the team had sent a demand to the provisional Kosovo parliament, especially a demand that the parliament pass lex specialis on the return of property only to the Serbian Orthodox Church, are completely unfounded and occurred as a result of a misunderstanding. The statement adds that in his address on July 24 in Vienna, Serbian President Boris Tadic presented the proposal in a concise way."As for the return of property to the Serbian Orthodox Church, our delegation put forward a precise compromise formula on July 18, which if adopted, could help to solve this issue. Provisional institutions would accept the principle of the return of church property and make a pledge to return a portion of church property which is now used as public property and is situated within the protected zones around monasteries and other monuments. The property would be returned if in the envisioned course of several months the Bill on restitution is passed in Kosovo-Metohija. Other church property now used as public property and situated within the agreed protected zones, would be immediately bought by the Serbian Orthodox Church at the market price", said Tadic.
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18 August 2006

Book Review: Justice or Revenge for Mladic?

Ratko Mladic: Tragic Hero. Translated, Edited, and Supplemented by Milo Yelesiyevich. New York. Unwritten History, Inc., 2006. 730 pp. Buy the book here -->
Is the indictment by the Hague Tribunal of Ratko Mladic on war crimes charges based on “justice” or “vindictive triumph”, revenge and retribution? Is he indicted because he prevented NATO expansion and US penetration into Southeastern Europe? Is his greatest crime opposition to the US and NATO and the EU?
One person’s war criminal is another person’s hero. On June 30, 2006, the ICTY convicted the senior Bosnian Muslim military commander of Srebrenica of committing war crimes against Bosnian Serb civilians because forces under his control tortured and murdered unarmed Bosnian Serb civilians in Srebrenica. Oric was a convicted war criminal. But he was regarded as a “hero” by Bosnian Muslims as reported by AKI, “Convicted War Criminal Returns to Hero’s Welcome”. Moreover, he was regarded as a hero in the US and the Western media. The US and Western media reported with satisfaction his arrival in Bosnia to cheering Bosnian Muslim crowds. Why and how is a convicted war criminal a hero? His forces beheaded and slit the throats of Bosnian Serb civilians and POWs. Oric himself led the attack on Kravica where his forces burned down Serbian houses and destroyed the Serbian Orthodox Church. Oric never took any Bosnian Serb POWs. He ordered that all Bosnian Serb POWs be executed. He burned down at least 50 Bosnian Serb villages in eastern Bosnia around Srebrenica. Is he a “hero”? How is this to be explained?
Croatian General Ante Gotovina has been indicted for the mass murder of over 150 Krajina Serb civilians during the Croatian takeover of UN protected zones in Krajina. Over 200,000 Krajina Serbs were ethnically cleansed from the Krajina in a US-planned operation in 1995. Yet the BBC reported that Gotovina is a hero in the West. In the BBC article, “Croatian fugitive general seized”, BBC, December 8, 2005, the reported noted that: “Many Croats consider Gen. Gotovina to be a hero.” How can a mass murderer be a “hero”? Is one person’s war criminal another person’s hero? Are Naser Oric and Ante Gotovina war criminals or heroes? Who decides? Based on what legal principles? Does it matter if the accused is a proxy and ally of the US and NATO and the EU? Does it matter if he advances US geopolitical, economic, and military interests in Eastern Europe?
Ratko Mladic reassures Bosnian Muslim civilians from Srebrenica that they will not be harmed.
What about Ratko Mladic? Is he a war criminal or a hero?
Ratko Mladic, Tragic Hero, edited by Milo Yelesiyevich, is a collection of essays, news articles, analyses, and interviews, which rebuts the US propaganda on Ratko Mladic and the Bosnian civil war. In the introduction, Yelesiyevich wrote that the book “attempts to redress the obfuscations, omissions and outright lies the American people have been subjected to.” Yelesiyevich argued that Mladic is a “tragic hero”: Mladic is “a virtuous individual who is catapulted into a series of intolerable yet unavoidable situations in which he must make difficult moral decisions that ultimately bring misfortune upon himself by means of his own tragic flaw.” He has “an excess of virtue” which resulted in hubris. The tragedy is “not brought about by villainy but by an error in judgment.” The misperceptions were also created by the US and Western media and governments. Mladic is quoted: “The West understands that the human mind has a limited capacity, and that they can shape it as if it were well-kneaded dough.” Mladic noted how Western PR firms, the corporate media, and organizations “which accept money for their services”, were “fabricating loathsome lies” and “demonizing us”.
The book is made up of three sections. The first section presents a condensed biography and an analysis of Mladic’s military career and record during the Bosnian civil war of 1992-1995 by Ljubodrag Stojadinovic, “Ratko Mladic: Hero or War Criminal?” Stojadinovic concluded that Mladic was neither a hero nor a war criminal but somewhere in between. Instead of confronting the intellectual and moral issues involved directly, Stojadinovic displays journalistic detachment and coyly shirks the issues and sits on the fence. He does quote Mladic, however, as refusing “to be tried by those whom he himself would put on trial.” This implies that “justice” is based on might makes right. Is “justice” merely about winners and losers? Do the victors try the losers for “war crimes”? Why aren’t the victors ever tried for war crimes? Why are the political and military leaders of the losing and weak powers always tried for war crimes but never the winning powers? Why are proxies and allies never prosecuted for war crimes? Is it just “victor’s justice”?
The second section examines the historical background to the Bosnian conflict with analyses of the World War II period.
Bosnian Muslim civilian refugees after the fall of Srebrenica, July, 1995.
This background has been carefully and systematically censored and covered-up in the US and the West. The chapter "Bosniacs, Nazi Muslims, Mujahideen, and Bin Laden" explored the origins of Bosnian Muslim ultra-nationalism during World War II when Bosnian Muslims formed two Nazi SS Divisions, Handzar and Kama, which were created by Heinrich Himmler and Haj Amin el-Husseini, the Palestinian Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. The connection of Alija Izetbegovic to radical Islam and Muslim ultra-nationalism is examined with an analysis of The Islamic Declaration, a book long suppressed and censored in the US and the West. The role of the Afghan-Arab mujahedeen, Ossama bin Laden, and Al-Qaeda in the Bosnian civil war is examined. The US empowered Al-Qaeda in Bosnia by supporting the mujahedeen and Iranian “volunteers” and relief and “assistance” to the Bosnian Muslim forces. The US even allowed “secular” Alija Izetbegovic to visit Tehran in 1993, at the height of the civil war. Iran also openly sent shipments of arms and weapons routinely to the Bosnian Muslim forces via Zagreb. At that time, Iran was the main supplier and ally of the Bosnian Muslim regime, which the mainstream US media erroneously claimed was “pluralist” and multi-ethnic, and Western-oriented. Two prominent Western journalists, Renate Flottau and Eve-Ann Prentice, even stated that they saw Ossama bin Laden in Sarajevo in 1994, at an official meeting with Alija Izetbegovic. Misguided US advocacy journalism and unprecedented propaganda that relied on the Holocaust and “genocide” paradigms empowered radical Islam, US propaganda portrayed the Bosnian Muslim faction as “victims” and the Jews of the 1990s, facing genocide. Such reckless and mindless propaganda only strengthened Ossama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda and radical Islam. It gave radical Islam moral and legal empowerment.
The chapter "Ustashi, Murderer Monks, and the Modern Croatian State" analyzed the Ustasha Movement and its role in Croatian nationalism. The Ustasha Nazi puppet state, the NDH, was created by Adolf Hitler and Ante Pavelic. The NDH embarked on a systematic campaign to exterminate the Serbian, Jewish, and Roma populations of Croatia and Bosnia. The involvement of the Roman Catholic clergy in the genocide and in the administration of the Jasenovac death camp was discussed.
The chapter "Srebrenica, the Phantom Massacre," analyzed the lack of conclusive evidence to to warrant the conclusion that a “massacre” occurred. Srebrenica is largely a US propaganda construct used to justify U.S. support for the Bosnian Muslim faction during the civil war. This analysis offers critical and opposing perspectives on Srebrenica and presents evidence that disproves the US propaganda allegations.
There is a section consisting of interviews that Ratko Mladic gave to the press.
The last section examines the Hague Tribunal and the indictment brought against Mladic.
The one-sided and biased nature of the ICTY has made it controversial. Is it imposing “justice” or revenge and punishment on those who opposed the “international community”? Controversial Swiss-born prosecutor Carla Del Ponte has been referred to as “the new Gestapo”, “La Puttana” or “the whore”, “the personification of stubbornness”, and “the unguided missile”. Del Ponte has demonstrated an obsession and an idee fixe in going after Serbian “war criminals” almost exclusively. She showed all the zeal and determination of German police chiefs Heinrich Himmler and Heinrich Muller and FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover. According to the BBC News profile, “She takes perverse pride in such labels---she says they show she is doing her job.” The BBC notes that the “petite, chain smoking war crimes prosecutor, who is famous for her ruthless pursuit of goals”, has a “vigorous approach” to the pursuit of justice. She gained notoriety in the 1980s by exposing the “pizza connection”, the link in the Italian drug trade to Swiss banks.
Chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte
Del Ponte was appointed ICTY prosecutor on September 15, 1999 after the US/NATO bombardment and occupation of Yugoslavia, primarily to rationalize and justify the illegal US/NATO aggression and war crimes committed against Yugoslavia. She was, in essence, appointed by the US and NATO, to give ex post facto legitimacy to their illegal war against Yugoslavia, a war organized to help Albanian separatists and secessionists achieve a Greater Albania. The US State department absurdly and paradoxically itself labeled the KLA a “terrorist” organization. Del Ponte was appointed to prosecute the Balkans case and the Rwanda case. She was dismissed from the Rwanda case because there was “insufficient attention” shown. African countries accused her of “insufficient progress” on Rwanda.
Why this lack of commitment to Rwanda? Why doesn’t Del Ponte show concern for a real genocide committed in Rwanada? Is this because there is very little to gain for herself and her paymasters?
During the Rwandan genocide, US President Bill Clinton was more concerned about adulterous dalliances and affairs than he was with preventing a real genocide in Rwanda. Clinton and the US “humanitarian interventionists” totally dismissed the Rwanda genocide. Clinton was more concerned with Monica Lewinsky. This is the moral calculus of humanitarian interventionism. It is not surprising that Del Ponte would show “insufficient attention” to the Rwandan genocide. This is what her paymasters have pursued all along. Del Ponte administers “justice” in whatever manner her paymasters dictate.
Is “justice” in the guise of “victor’s justice” or “vindictive triumph” counterproductive to ensuring enduring peace and stability in the Balkans? By not granting amnesty to all combatants following the Dayton Peace Accords, “the international community” only perpetuates ethnic and religious enmity and prolongs the divisiveness and division in the region.
Ratko Mladic: Tragic Hero, edited, introduced, translated, and published by Milo Yelesiyevich, rebuts the US propaganda allegations regarding the role of Ratko Mladic in the Bosnian Civil War, 1992-1995. The book allows an unbiased and neutral reader to make up his or her mind for themselves. Mladic has already been found guilty and convicted in the US and corporate globalist media as a "war criminal". He is guilty until proven innocent. And there is no intention to prove him innocent. Guilt is thus assumed and presupposed.
The corporate media can induce us to think however its paymasters want us to think. We were told that Iraqi troops had killed Kuwaiti babies in the infamous Iraqi Incubator Hoax of Gulf War I. This was later shown to be a blatant deception orchestrated by the US media with collusion by the US government. We were told there were concentration camps in Bosnia. This was exposed as a deception concocted by US PR firms and in collusion with the US government and media. We were told that there were “mass rapes” in Bosnia against Bosnian Muslim women. This was proven to be a propaganda hoax. We were told thee was a “genocide” in Kosovo. It was later shown to be a separatist war of secession by Albanian terrorists supported by the US government, NATO, the EU, and the globalist, corporate media. We were told by our media that there were Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. There were none. We were told by our media that Al-Qaeda had links to Saddam Hussein. There were no links. We were told Hussein sought to buy uranium from Africa. This was not true. In order to foment war in Yugoslavia in 1999, we were told that there was a "genocide" in Kosovo. This was not true. In fact, Kosovo was a separatist terrorist conflict meant to create a Muslim statelet of Kosova as part of Greater Albania. These events show a pattern of deception and brainwashing that should trouble and perplex all Americans. We should question a media and a government that brainwashes and deceives its own citizens. These are not harmless and meaningless lies and deceptions? They were the lies and untruths meant to foment war and to incite racial, religious, and ethnic conflict. They were the lies that kill. They were the lies that fomented war. We need to ask why? We live in a democracy. We need to hold people and governments accountable. We need answers. Where are the Weapons of Mass Destruction? Where are the “concentration camps”, “rape camps”, “rape motels”, in Bosnia? Where is the other side to the Bosnian conflict?
This book gives the other side to the Bosnian civil war. The book presents the historical context to the conflict. During World War II, Adolf Hitler made Bosnia a part of a Greater Croatia which was ruled by Croatian Roman Catholic and Bosnian Muslim leaders. This Nazi/fascist Ustasha regime, made up of Croats and Bosnian Muslims, embarked upon a systematic and planned campaign of genocide against Serbs, Jews, and Roma. Hundreds of thousands of Serbs were murdered in Bosnia and Croatia. Roman Catholic priests Alojzije Stepinac of Zagreb and Ivan Saric of Sarajevo endorsed and sanctioned the Ustasha genocide of Serbs, Jews, and Roma. There is Vatican complicity in this genocide committed against Serbs and Jews. The Vatican under Pope Pius XII had legates to the Nazi Croat puppet state and knew what was happening but did nothing to prevent the genocide, indeed, encouraging it.
Del Ponte attendind a Bosnian Muslim prayer.
In Bosnia, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem came to Sarajevo in 1943 to form the Bosnian Muslim Nazi SS Division Handzar or Handschar, made up of Bosnian Muslims. This Bosnian Muslim Nazi SS Division was deployed in eastern Bosnia against mostly Serbian guerrillas and resistance groups. Bosnian Muslim political leaders had written a famous Memorandum in 1942 to Adolf Hitler requesting that he make Muslim Bosnia a part of the Nazi New Order. The Bosnian Muslims would form two Nazi SS Divisions, Handzar and Kama. The Bosnian Muslims played a role in the Final Solution, the Holocaust. All of this factual background is censored and suppressed in our free and open societies and by our free media.
This is the context for the Bosnian civil war and for Ratko Mladic, whose father was killed in 1945 fighting Nazi Croat and Bosnian Muslim forces during the Holocaust. This event cast a shadow on Mladic's view of Bosnia and Croatia. Mladic’s father was a Communist Partisan. Mladic himself grew up under the Communist/socialist slogan “brotherhood and unity” of the Josip Broz Tito regime and regarded himself as a “Yugoslav”, not a Serb. He rose rapidly in the ranks of the Yugoslav military. He was first stationed in Skopje in Macedonia in 1965. When Yugoslavia began disintegrating along ethnic and religious lines after the revival of rival nationalisms in 1990, Mladic had to choose sides in an ethnic conflict. He did not want a repeat of World War II. He did not want to witness again the genocide and mass murder of the Serbian population. This is an important fact in showing what motivated Mladic. It shows that Mladic came from an anti-nationalist background.
The book dispels many of the US propaganda constructs. The Bosnian Muslims had a well-armed military division stationed in Srebrenica. The Bosnian Muslim commander of Srebrenica, Naser Oric, was convicted of war crimes in 2006. Oric burned down Serbian Orthodox churches, murdered Serbian civilians and POWs, and burned down at least 50 Serbian villages. His forces would castrate and cut the throats of Serbian POWs and civilians and mutilate the bodies, usually by decapitating the corpse or by circumcising the victim. Oric told the UN commander Philippe Morillon that he never took any Serbian prisoners, but executed all Serbian POWs he could find. Oric was never tried for these blatant and egregious war crimes.
This created the background to Srebrenica. Srebrenica was a military defeat and disaster for the Bosnian Muslim faction. It was a military loss. All those killed were well-armed Bosnian Muslim military forces. When is killing armed soldiers in a war considered "genocide"?
The US has created an absurd notion of war. When we or our proxies kill, we do so in legitimate self-defense and are perfectly justified in doing so. When those who oppose us kill, they are committing genocide and illegal war crimes. This is an absurdity. War itself is always organized murder. There is no such thing as a good war. The real responsibility for the Yugoslav conflicts rests on those outside powers that fomented the war, such as US ambassador Warren Zimmermann, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and Pope John Paul II. They rejected diplomacy and negotiations and opted for ultimatums and diktats that they knew would result in civil war. They bear ultimate responsibility for the civil wars in the former Yugoslavia. But paradoxically, they will not have to account for their actions. Instead, scapegoats and straw men will be found. This book exposes the absurd US propaganda claims. Moreover, there is no proof for any of the allegations made about Srebrenica. There is only propaganda. And this book does an excellent job in disproving the US-manufactured propaganda.
This book also shows that war crimes were committed against Bosnian Serb civilians, in Pofalici, in Celebici, and in the towns and villages around Srebrenica. Ossama bin Laden made an official visit to Sarajevo in 1994, meeting with Alija Izetbegovic in his office. Al-Qaeda forces were actively fighting as members of the Bosnian Muslim Army under ultra-nationalist radical Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic. Al-Qaeda even formed a special unit in the Bosnian Muslim Army known as the El Mujahedeen Unit. Iran was the major backer and supplier of the Bosnian Muslim forces. Izetbegovic visited Tehran in 1993 on an official diplomatic mission at the height of the Bosnian civil war. The Ossama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, and Iranian connection to the Alija Izetbegovic regime has been very carefully covered-up. This is done in a very subtle way. None of this factual material has been presented in the US media. It has been censored and suppressed. Why?
This book allows you to make up your own mind based on all the facts and not from handouts from the US State Department. This book allows you to cut through the brainwashing and “infowar” technology and propaganda and to decide for yourself. What harm can that do? Why is the US propaganda machine so alarmed by an opposing view? What is there to be so afraid of? Show us both sides to the issue. Let us decide. That is real democracy and freedom.
This encyclopedic collection allows differing and opposing viewpoints and analyses. Dissent and debate are crucial in a democracy. Lock-step uniformity, conformity, and mindless subservience are anathema in a true democracy. US President Thomas Jefferson noted that a well-informed public is essential in a democracy:
“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be... [I]f we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed.”
Jefferson noted how images and perceptions can be disseminated to manipulate and to deceive: “Those who don't read the newspapers are better off than those who do insofar as those who know nothing are better off than those whose heads are filled with half-truths and lies.” One must be wary of a corporate media that seeks to “persuade” by infowar technology and advocacy journalism. Jefferson was able to see the danger even in his time.
Knowledge and information are essential for Jefferson. In a democracy, one has to be informed: “I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; not enlightened enough to exercise their control with wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion. Enlighten the people generally and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.”
US Democratic Presidential candidate and NATO commander Lt. General Wesley Clark pictured in the center with Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic on the left in Bosnia, August 27, 1994. Clark is wearing a "nationalist" Bosnian Serbian cap while Mladic is wearing a US Army cap. UN commander Sir Michael Rose is on far right.
What was Ratko Mladic’s real crime? Why is he a “villain” and not a “hero” in the New World Order? Is it because he opposed the imposition of the New World Order from Washington and Bonn? Is that his real “crime”? His biggest “crime” was standing up to Germany and the US and the EU and NATO. He prevented NATO expansion and US penetration into the Balkans, Southeastern Europe. Opposition and dissent are always unacceptable when power is the sole criterion of right. In a might makes right scenario, the greatest danger and the greatest threat is opposition, any opposition, any dissent. Dissent is, frankly, unacceptable. Why? Dissent implies freedom. Dissent implies individuality and choice. You can choose to disagree. It is this freedom to choose and to decide that is perceived as a threat. As Thomas Jefferson noted, the decision a person makes can be altered and manipulated through infowar techniques, public relations, a corporate globalist media, and biased news sources. Ignorance and democracy are incompatible. Ignorance and freedom are incompatible. That is why this book is needed to allow a different perspective, a different set of facts. It allows you to analyze all the different sides to an issue and to decide for yourself.
Is there a distinction between “justice” and “the law”? As Thomas Jefferson noted, “law is often but the tyrant's will” In US history itself, the law was used to institutionalize slavery, segregation, and the racist policy of “separate but equal” in the schools and in public places, Law can be used to institutionalize and to justify injustice. The Dred Scott case of 1857 is an important example of how “the law” differs from “justice”. US Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney held that blacks were “beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” Blacks were legally regarded as not citizens of the U.S. and legally subhuman, not accorded the rights that “all men” enjoyed under the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. Blacks were not human beings, but property. “Justice” and the “law” do not always coincide.
Ratko Mladic. Is he a “hero” or “villain”? Decide for yourself. As David Binder noted, this collection allows the reader to decide by examining the full picture, not merely half the picture. Is it justice or is it just the law imposed by NATO and the US? Is it justice or the imposition of “the tyrant’s will”, the will of the US, NATO, and the EU? This book allows the reader to determine whether the Ratko Mladic case is about “justice” or about triumphal vengeance, about going after and destroying those who would dare to oppose the New World Order. It offers another perspective, a perspective meticulously censored and suppressed in the US and Western mainstream. Moreover, the book is essentially antiwar because it shows how wars are manipulated and exploited and fomented by self-interested outside powers and interests. They maliciously foment war and incite hatred and encourage killing, then sit back and judge and impose their “justice”.
This book is highly recommended. It encourages critical and independent thought, not mindless, lock-step conformity and obeisance.
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Carl Savich is a historian who teaches history at the college level. His articles have appeared on numerous websites and newspapers.Carl SAvich Archive -->
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