Saturday, November 25, 2006

Why Does the Left Attack Bush on Iraq But Not Clinton on Serbia?

MEDIA LENS: Kosovo and Iraq -
Same Bombs, Different Lies

2004-04-01 | The truth about the invasion of Iraq was perhaps best summed up by Ray McGovern, one of the CIA's most senior analysts:

“It was 95 per cent charade. And they all knew it: Bush, Blair, Howard.” (Quoted John Pilger, 'Universal justice is not a dream', ZNet, March 23, 2004)

One might think that exposés of this kind would lead the media to take a fresh look at some of the US-UK governments' earlier claims justifying war. Consider, for example, the 78-day NATO assault on Serbia from March 24 until June 10, 1999, said to have been launched to protect the Albanian population of Kosovo.

Blair's Battle Between Good and Evil

What is so striking about the US-UK government case for war against Serbia is the familiarity of much of the propaganda. In a key pre-war speech on March 18 last year, Blair said of Iraq:

“Looking back over 12 years, we have been victims of our own desire to placate the implacable... to hope that there was some genuine intent to do good in a regime whose mind is in fact evil. ” ('Tony Blair's speech', The Guardian, March 18, 2003)

In similar vein, Blair described the war with Serbia as “a battle between good and evil; between civilisation and barbarity; between democracy and dictatorship”. (Quoted, Degraded Capability, The Media and the Kosovo Crisis, edited by Philip Hammond and Edward S. Herman, Pluto Press, 2000, p.123)

Blair also referred last year to the lessons of “history”:

“We can look back and say: there's the time; that was the moment; for example, when Czechoslovakia was swallowed up by the Nazis - that's when we should have acted.

“But it wasn't clear at the time. In fact at the time, many people thought such a fear fanciful. Worse, put forward in bad faith by warmongers. ” (Ibid)

Four years earlier, in March 1999, British defence Secretary, George Robertson, insisted that intervention in Kosovo was vital to stop “a regime which is bent on genocide.” A year later, Robertson also conjured up the ghost of Nazism to justify NATO's action:

“We were faced with a situation where there was this killing going on, this cleansing going on - the kind of ethnic cleansing we thought had disappeared after the second world war. You were seeing people there coming in trains, the cattle trains, with refugees once again. ” (ITV, Jonathan Dimbleby programme, June 11, 2000)

President Clinton referred to “deliberate, systematic efforts at... genocide” in Kosovo. (Quoted, John Pilger, introduction, Phillip Knightley, First Casualty, Prion Books, 2000, p.xii)

In a speech in Illinois in April 1999, Blair alluded to Kosovo:

"The principle of non-interference must be qualified in important respects - war crimes and acts of genocide can never be an internal matter." (Blair, The Guardian, March 15, 2000)

This rhetoric depicting "genocide", even a kind of Holocaust, in Kosovo certainly merits comparison with the claim that British bases in Cyprus were under threat from Iraqi WMD that could be launched within 45 minutes of an order being given.

So how did the keen and critical intellects of the 'free press' - backed up by vast research and investigative resources - respond? Did they scrutinise and challenge these extraordinary claims as they so patently failed to do with regard to the Iraqi WMD 'threat'?

We Can Do 1389 - The Media Get in Line

Reviewing UK media performance, British historian Mark Curtis writes of the Kosovo war:

"The liberal press - notably the Guardian and Independent - backed the war to the hilt (while questioning the tactics used to wage it) and lent critical weight to the government's arguments." In so doing, the media "revealed how willingly deceived it is by government rhetoric on its moral motives." (Curtis, Web of Deceit, Vintage, 2003, pp.134-5)

Thus, Jonathan Freedland wrote in the Guardian: "the prize is not turf or treasure but the frustration of a plan to empty a land of its people". It was "a noble goal". (Freedland, 'No way to spin a war', The Guardian, April 21, 1999)

A Guardian editorial described the war as nothing less than "a test for our generation". (March 26, 1999)

The attack was intended to stop "something approaching genocide", Timothy Garton Ash insisted. (Garton Ash, 'Imagine no America', The Guardian, September 19, 2002)

The Mirror referred to "Echoes of the Holocaust." (Quoted, Pilger, op., cit, p.144)

The Sun urged us to "Clobba Slobba".

The New Statesman's John Lloyd wrote that the war showed "the most powerful states are willing to fight for human rights". (July 5, 1999)

As British bombs rained on Serbia, a breathless Andrew Marr wrote articles in the Observer entitled:

'Brave, bold, visionary. Whatever became of Blair the ultra-cautious cynic?' (April 4, 1999)

'Hail to the chief. Sorry, Bill, but this time we're talking about Tony.' (May 16, 1999)

Marr declared himself in awe of Blair's "moral courage", adding: "I am constantly impressed, but also mildly alarmed, by his utter lack of cynicism."

A subsequent BBC documentary on the alleged Serbian genocide, 'Exposed' (BBC2, January 27, 2002), was billed as a programme marking Holocaust Memorial Day, no less.

Thomas Friedman wrote in the New York Times:

"Like it or not, we are at war with the Serbian nation (the Serbs certainly think so), and the stakes have to be very clear: Every week you ravage Kosovo is another decade we will set your country back by pulverising you. You want 1950? We can do 1950. You want 1389? We can do 1389 too." (Friedman, The New York Times, April 23, 1999)

A Nexis database search showed that in the two years 1998-1999 the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek and Time used the term "genocide" 220 times to describe the actions of Serbia in Kosovo. In the ten years 1990-1999 the same media used the same word just 33 times to describe the actions of Indonesia in East Timor. Following Indonesia's invasion in December 1975, some 200,000 East Timorese, or one-third of the population, are estimated to have been killed in one of history's premier bloodbaths. The contrast is even more astonishing when we consider the number of people actually killed in Kosovo.

Pure Invention - The Kosovo "Genocide"

So how real was the Serbian genocide in Kosovo compared, say, to the threat of Iraqi WMD? And did this alleged mass abuse of human rights justify the 78 days of NATO bombing that claimed 500 Yugoslav civilian lives, causing an estimated $100 billion in damage, striking hospitals, schools, major industrial plants, hotels, libraries, housing estates, theatres, museums, farms, mosques, trains, tractors, bridges and power stations?

In February 1999, one month before the start of NATO bombing, a report released by the German Foreign Office noted that "the often feared humanitarian catastrophe threatening the Albanian population has been averted". In the larger cities "public life has since returned to relative normality." (Quoted, Mark Curtis, op., cit, p.136)

Another German report, exactly one month before the bombing, refers to the CIA-backed Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) seeking independence for Kosovo from Serbia:

"Events since February and March 1998 do not evidence a persecution program based on Albanian ethnicity. The measures taken by the [Serbian] armed forces are in the first instance directed towards combating the KLA and its supposed adherents and supporters." (Ibid, p.136)

Following the war, NATO sources reported that 2,000 people had been killed in Kosovo on all sides in the year prior to bombing. George Robertson testified before the House of Commons that until mid-January 1999, "the Kosovo Liberation Army was responsible for more deaths in Kosovo than the Serbian authorities had been". (Quoted, Noam Chomsky, Hegemony or Survival, Routledge, 2003, p.56)

This is supported by Nicholas Wheeler of the University of Wales who estimates that Serbs killed 500 Albanians before the NATO bombing, implying that 1,500 had been killed by the KLA. The KLA had openly declared that their strategy was to provoke Serbian forces into retaliatory action that would generate Western public support for NATO intervention.

Far from averting a humanitarian crisis, it is clear that NATO bombing caused a massive escalation of killings and expulsions. The flood of refugees from Kosovo, for example, began immediately after NATO launched its attack. Prior to the bombing, and for the following two days, the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported no data on refugees. On March 27, three days into the bombing, UNHCR reported that 4,000 had fled Kosovo to the neighbouring countries of Albania and Macedonia. By April 5, the New York Times reported "more than 350,000 have left Kosovo since March 24".

A study by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) records "a pattern of expulsions and the vast increase in lootings, killings, rape, kidnappings and pillage once the NATO air war began on March 24" and that "the most visible change in the events was after

A House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee investigating the war concluded:

"It is likely that the NATO bombing did cause a change in the character of the assault upon the Kosovo Albanians. What had been an anti-insurgency campaign - albeit a brutal and counter-productive one - became a mass, organised campaign to kill Kosovo Albanians or drive them from the country." (Ibid, pp.137-8)

The media response was to exactly reverse cause and effect suggesting that bombing was justified as a way of halting the flood of refugees it had in fact created. Philip Hammond of South Bank University comments: "the refugee crisis became NATO's strongest propaganda weapon, though logically it should have been viewed as a damning indictment of the bombing. The hundreds of thousands of Serbs who fled the bombing were therefore determinedly ignored by British journalists". (Hammond and Herman, op., cit, p.127)

Robert Hayden of the University of Pittsburgh reported that the casualties among Serb civilians in the first three weeks of the war were higher than all of the casualties on both sides in Kosovo in the three months that led up to the war. And yet, Hayden points out, "those three months were supposed to be a humanitarian catastrophe". (Quoted, Noam Chomsky, The New Military Humanism, Pluto Press, 1999, p.20)

Hammond indicates the awesome scale of the truth buried by the media:

"We may never know the true number of people killed. But it seems reasonable to conclude that while people died in clashes between the KLA and Yugoslav forces... the picture painted by Nato - of a systematic campaign of Nazi-style genocide carried out by Serbs - was pure invention." (Hammond and Herman, op., cit, p.129)

In other words, the US-UK assault on Serbia, like the assault on Iraq, was made possible by audacious government manipulation of a public denied access to the truth by an incompetent and structurally corrupt media. Journalists, indeed, were so utterly fooled by government propaganda that they proudly proclaimed their role in supporting the "humanitarian intervention".

Responding to Alastair Campbell's accusation of press cynicism over the Kosovo intervention (another familiar theme from the 2003 Iraq war), Channel Four correspondent Alex Thomson wrote:

"If you want to know why the public supported the war, thank a journalist, not the present government's propagandist-in-chief." (Quoted, Charles Glass, 'Hacks versus flacks', Z Magazine, August 1, 1999)

The Guardian's Maggie O'Kane wrote:

"But Campbell should acknowledge that it was the press reporting of the Bosnian war and the Kosovar refugee crisis that gave his boss the public support and sympathy he needed to fight the good fight against Milosevic." (Ibid)

John Simpson of the BBC joined the fray:

"Why did British, American, German, and French public opinion stay rock-solid for the bombing, in spite of Nato's mistakes? Because they knew the war was right. Who gave them the information? The media." (Ibid)

So much for 'neutral and 'objective' reporting. As a result, Blair is now able to use the lie of Kosovo to justify more recent killing. In a speech earlier this month, Blair said of the Iraq war:

"The real point is that those who disagree with the war, disagree fundamentally with the judgement that led to war. What is more, their alternative judgement is both entirely rational and arguable. Kosovo, with ethnic cleansing of ethnic Albanians, was not a hard decision for most people; nor was Afghanistan after the shock of September 11; nor was Sierra Leone." ('Tony Blair's speech', The Guardian, March 5, 2004)

Kosovo was "not a hard decision for most people" because awkward facts pointing to something other than a "battle between good and evil" were kept well out of sight.

Postscript - A Silver Lining

We are eager to avoid the impression that the alliance of state violence and media servility always results in tragedy, death and disaster - sometimes there are happy endings.

While covering the Kosovo crisis, CNN's leading foreign correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, married James Rubin, chief public relations official of the US State Department. Amanpour had announced that her future husband's war was for "the first time... a war fought for human rights". And, after all, "only a fraction of 1 percent of the bombs went astray". (Quoted, Hammond and Herman, op., cit, p.113)

The BBC's defence correspondent, Mark Laity, may not have found love during his coverage of NATO's slaughter, but he did subsequently accept the post of press secretary to the NATO Secretary General, George Robertson, who had also moved on from his position as British Defence Secretary.


The goal of Media Lens is to promote rationality, compassion and respect for others. In writing letters to journalists, we strongly urge readers to maintain a polite, non-aggressive and non-abusive tone.

Write to the editors of the Guardian and the Independent. Ask them why, in light of the many exposés of Bush-Blair mendacity over the Iraq war, they have not taken a fresh look at the government's case for war against Serbia in 1999.

Blair and Clinton, after all, claimed that Serbia was literally responsible for "genocide" in Kosovo - even subsequent NATO reports revealed that no more than 2,000 people were killed on all sides in Kosovo in the year prior to NATO bombing. Is it not clear that Blair in fact perpetrated an Iraq-style deception on the British public in 1999? NATO launched its first air strikes". (Curtis, op., cit, p.137, our emphasis)

Write to Alan Rusbridger, Guardian editor:


Write to Simon Kelner, editor of the Independent:


Write to Roger Alton, editor of the Observer:


Write to Richard Sambrook, BBC director of news:


Write to George Entwistle, editor of BBC's Newsnight programme:


Write to Jonathan Munro, head of ITN newsgathering:


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MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Very Black Hole, Indeed

While his friend photographs him with his camera phone for posterity, a Kosovo Albanian urinates on what remains of the grounds of one of the many Serbian churches that were completely destroyed or severely damaged during the pogrom of March 2004 when Kosovo Albanians went on yet another rampage to eliminate symbols of Serbian culture from Kosovo and Metohia.

November 14, 2006

The Black Hole of Europe
Kosovo interventionists cover up their crimes
by Christopher Deliso

In a recent article in Canada's Globe & Mail, former Canadian Ambassador to Yugoslavia James Bissett invokes the famous words of Otto von Bismarck, who once said, "If there is ever another war in Europe, it will come out of some damned silly thing in the Balkans."

As it turned out, the "Iron Chancellor" was right. He was specifically vindicated by the onset of World War I, sparked by the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a Bosnian Serb in 1914. Of course, then as now tensions had been brewing and the spark itself was only the necessary formality; Serbia's successes in the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 deeply concerned imperial Austria, eager to shore up its own pretensions of Balkan dominance. Now, the tensions building up are different: on the "traditional" front, the U.S.-Russian competition for power; on the front of asymmetrical war, the pan-Islamist movement's quest for dominance in the Balkans versus local and Western interests. But essentially, Bismarck's Balkan admonition has continued to echo down the ages, even though war itself has changed and will no doubt manifest differently this time around.

Indeed, in the current "war on terror" and great-power rivalry over control of multinational energy and telecommunications networks, the war is being expressed in decentralized, often territorially distant ways. For example, when Russia defended Serbia's right to sovereignty over Kosovo in the Balkans, U.S. client state Georgia audaciously arrested Russian diplomats, declaring them spies, a move that enraged the Kremlin and raised the political temperature considerably. Matching the West's increased agitation for Kosovo status resolution, a Russian-backed independence referendum in Georgia's breakaway province of South Ossetia passed on Sunday with 99 percent in favor. On the other side of things, Balkan organized-crime syndicates with ties to al-Qaeda are popping up in relation to planned terrorist attacks as far afield as Norway.

For former ambassador Bissett, the "damned silly thing" going on now in the Balkans is "the seeming determination of Western policy makers to grant the Serbian province of Kosovo its independence." Mr. Bissett would not object, I believe, if we expanded the remit of said "damned and silly things" to cover Western intervention in general in the Balkans since 1990, too. For that whole process has done much more harm than good, enabling and propelling violent ethnic rivalries and building up dangerous mafia groups, appointing war criminals to high political office, and, of course, indulging in various forms of financial corruption and neglect that has helped to leave whole swathes of rural Muslim populations in the UN protectorates of Kosovo and Bosnia funded only by Saudi Arabia and its virulently anti-Western Wahhabi movement.

Interventionist Agitators Demand: Free Kosovo!

However, with the likes of the ICG leading the chorus in calling for Kosovo independence, these more sordid realities are being suppressed. They are simply not convenient for the powers-that-be. Confirming its historic role as nothing more than an Albanian lobbying front, the ICG recently bemoaned the delaying of Kosovo's final status until after Serbian parliamentary elections in January thus: "[I]nstead of finally closing the question of western Balkan borders with an orderly Kosovo settlement, delay would open a new destabilizing chapter." The adjective here gives away the patronizing, quasi-fascistic mindset of the interventionists: the process of ripping apart a country and creating one anew is deemed "orderly" if carried out by the empire. Balkan peons should simply fall into line and behave like good children, while the adults from the West tell them how to make their beds. The phrase "orderly settlement," implying an independent Kosovo supposedly securing a rosy future for the Balkans, is reminiscent of that other old ICG descriptor of the former Serbia-Montenegro union as chronically "dysfunctional." Yet this was hardly more dysfunctional than, say, the UN's disastrous administration in Kosovo.

The dubious wordplay continues: "[T]he longer the Kosovo Albanians are forced to wait," cries the ICG, "the greater the chance they will discredit themselves with unilateral independence moves or riots." Note that "discredited" is rather genteel, compared to the alternatives. After all, they could have said "commit atrocities," "resume ethnic cleansing of Serbs," etc. Most often, the word is used in the context of describing something like, say, a mad scientist's obscure invention or a nonsensical historical claim. In other words, the worst consequence of being "discredited" is to wind up ignored or forgotten, which is exactly what the ICG hopes the world media will do with any future "unilateral independence moves or riots" from "discredited" Albanians.

The Word on the Street: Criminal Neglect

Aside from all the politicized arguments for why Kosovo should be independent, and whose bread would be buttered in so doing, let me just take a moment to relay a message from American and other international soldiers and police who are actually employed in the province. The story they have to tell is somewhat different from the one the lobbyists would have you believe. Indeed, you don't need a National Intelligence Estimate to prove that the Kosovo intervention has made the Balkans demonstrably less safe. It just takes common sense and some looking around.

On my most recent excursion to Kosovo, I spent some time, as always, recording the testimony of various international police and military officials associated with the UN's Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and NATO's Kosovo Force (KFOR), both of which are tasked with keeping the peace in Kosovo. Despite the formidable range of weaponry, surveillance equipment, money, and other resources available to them, these officials say, the UN has essentially given up the fight against terrorism. "It's just like it was in Bosnia," said one American soldier who had previously served in that other wonderful example of Western peacekeeping. "We got tired of it, gradually withdraw our forces, and the 'bad guys' didn't have to do anything but outlast us."

According to the soldier, the U.S. Army at Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo has now even "farmed out" its intelligence-gathering operations to a Romanian KFOR unit serving under it. Another international police source seconded this, decrying that "the Americans are not even collecting their own intelligence! No wonder they don't know what is going on!" Neither source meant anything personal about the Romanians, but in general it must be said that if you are that world power trying to oversee the security and final status of a province you are occupying, usually it is better to collect your own information than to leave it up to your minions.

Blending bitterness and acquired Balkan black humor, my interlocutors all pointed out that the UN, the U.S., the Europeans, and everyone else were busily trying to wash their hands of the mess in Kosovo, get on with the final status (independence for the Albanians), and get out. None of this was a surprise, of course; it has been the same old story ever since the UN set up shop in 1999. But hearing about the efforts that the UNMIK regime has taken to avoid the glaring truth – that Kosovo is little more than a playground for powerful mafiosi, infested with unemployed paramilitaries and disgruntled, "born-again" Islamists – was especially revealing.

Indeed, as one disenchanted UNMIK official put it, "These high UN staffers don't want to endanger their next international posting by taking on the criminals and terrorists, and above all they can't admit that the mission has been a huge failure and created a new base for Islamic terrorists. The outside world is not told of what they are bringing on here."

Indeed, as we speak, Saudi mosques continue to go up, funded by a bottomless pit of oil riches, while the Kosovo Albanian civil administration is being selectively stocked with officials whose allegiances to the Islamic world may outweigh their allegiances to Kosovo. The present reality reflects the words of Albanian scholar Isa Blumi, who warned four years ago that the influx of Saudi charities and schools was creating a new "generation of young men and women whose loyalties are not with Kosovo and [who] sustain a volatile intolerance to anyone who contradicts their training." While such people are still well in the minority, the West's "donor fatigue" and increasing desire to disengage is practically guaranteeing that the poor and needy province will come more and more under the economic control of radical Islamic interests. And one should not forget that on several occasions representatives of Islamic states have affirmed their support in terms of lobbying internationally for Kosovo independence for the Albanians. In return, we may ask, for… what?

Turbulent Events of October 2006: Not Exactly an Encouraging Sign

While the signs of future trouble are all there, let's take a minute to examine the things going on right now in Kosovo – that is, the things that the busy interventionists don't want you to hear about. Of course, if you ask any top official in or involved with Kosovo to speak on the record about security issues, the answers are inevitably the same. They can be boiled down to the following: despite some isolated incidents, the security situation in Kosovo is stable, and it is heading toward a happy future as a thriving, multi-ethnic country.

However, the official UNMIK police log of October's security incidents leaked to me recently attests otherwise. To summarize, the police report chronicles over 70 incidents that occurred during the month throughout Kosovo, ranging from public demonstrations and intimidation to beatings, bombings, and murders. Very few of these events made it into media reports. They indicate not only continuing attacks on Serbs and their Christian heritage in Kosovo, but also more internecine violence between Albanians.

For example, on Oct. 6 at 11:45 p.m. in Prizren, "a K-Albanian male killed a fellow K-Albanian male with a pistol shot for unknown reasons. During the investigation, the perpetrator was arrested but no weapon was found." A day later, at 3:40 p.m. in Lipljan, "a K-Albanian youngster shot with an AK-47 rifle at a fellow K-Albanian youngster for unknown reasons. The victim was hospitalized with head injury and remained in stable condition. During the investigation, a bullet hole on the wall and the weapon were found at the spot. The culprit was questioned in presence of his parents and the rifle with 49 rounds of ammunition was confiscated." At 2 a.m. on Oct. 1 near Suva Reka, "an explosion of unknown origin occurred in a K-Albanian house under construction. No injuries but considerable damages were reported. Two K-Albanian males were later arrested as suspects … the explosion was caused by an equivalent of 5-6 kilos of explosives [similar to an anti-tank mine]." Six days later, the same man found another "8 kilos of explosives with a fuse" in his house, the report added.

Along with a great many ethnic provocations against Serbs, threats, break-ins of apartments rented to internationals, and the ominous testimony to the apparently renewed "Albanian National Army" terrorist group spray-painted everywhere, the month of October saw explosions recorded on four occasions, confiscations of weapons seven times, 13 armed attacks, and three murders. Some were carried out against "outsiders," such as the hapless Chinese shop owner in Pristina, robbed at 1 a.m. on Oct. 9 of "€500 in cash and 3 cell phones. The victim resisted the perpetrators [4 armed and masked males] and was stabbed." A day earlier, an Albanian businessman was shot at 8:30 p.m., some 4 km east-northeast of Klina, after surviving three previous assassination attempts. According to the police report, "the incident has created a strong feeling of insecurity amongst both K-Albanians and the K-Serbian returnee community."

October also saw continued attacks on Serbian Orthodox Church facilities as well, a clear extension of the "religious cleansing" that has gone on since 1999, as Albanians have vandalized, damaged, or destroyed over 150 churches, some dating back to the 14th century. On Oct. 7 in Pristina, "children found a hand grenade in the premises of an Orthodox church." Luckily authorities were able to dispose of it safely. In three separate attacks on churches on Oct. 30 in Stimlje, Kacanik, and Djakovica, "unknown persons" tried to set one church on fire, broke into another, and stole the protective fence from the third.

The question of whether Albanian militants, whose acronym and political demands were prolifically sprayed around Kosovo in October, could mount a serious threat to stability was revealed on Oct. 1 when police discovered, in the central Kosovo mountains of Malisevo, "68 anti-tank and 97 anti-personnel mines, as well as 20 hand grenades and 1,500 rounds of small arms ammunition … 400 kg of explosives were found in the same area." This is hardly the only contraband arms depot in Kosovo. According to one of my police sources, whole warehouses of rockets can be found in southwestern Kosovo, for example.

On Oct. 6 in Pristina at 9:15 p.m., the police logs attest, "a K-Albanian male public prosecutor reported that 2 unknown allegedly armed males introduced themselves as members of the 'National Liberation Army for Presevo, Medvede & Bujanovac' [UCPMB, active in the Southern Serbian Municipalities in 1999-2001] and threatened to kill him if he wouldn't release a K-Albanian male from the Detention center."

Lockstep Silence

When confronted with this record, UN officials said, as expected… nothing. This was not surprising, as past experience has revealed. On May 12, 2006, the UN's Head of Civil Administration, Patricia Waring, sent out an internal e-mail ordering the destruction of a list of recent violent attacks compiled from official sources – some 32 in only 11 days. "Please make sure that the table you presented this morning is destroyed," wrote Waring to the unnamed recipient. "I do not want it circulated at all. Its lack of integrity in assumptions, not backed up by fact, is potentially damaging."

What was more damaging, perhaps, was Waring's reply to my requests for clarifications: "I requested staff to destroy material which was not based on appropriate police reports – merely assumptions and gossip, most gathered at third hand," she wrote on June 22. (I see nothing particularly villainous about reprinting this reply here, as Waring after all proudly copied the e-mail to UNMIK bigwigs at the time, such as Police Commissar Kai Vittrup and then-head honcho Soren Jessen-Petersen.) Yet after this bout of bluster, the civil administrator apparently did not have the self-confidence to answer my further request for elucidation regarding precisely which of these 32 incidents based on official sources were "merely assumptions and gossip." It's because there weren't any. They were all clearly marked by source. No surprise that Waring failed to reply to my recent questions on the security situation in Kosovo today.

Nobody except local journalists ever tries to hold these UN officials accountable for their failures, ignorance, and corruption. To their credit, local Kosovo Albanian reporters produce some good work, but who on the outside ever listens to them?

It is ironic that a Western world allegedly so anxious to listen to the opinions of the people it came to liberate only listens to what it wants to hear. If one wants to speak about Serb oppression or the perceived wonders of spontaneous self-determination, there is an audience in the international press – less so when you want to expose UN corruption and crimes, or what the catastrophic UN rule has meant for safety, security, and the war on terror in Kosovo. These are things that local journalists, Serbs, Albanians, and others, have written extensively about. However, no one on the outside ever hears about them. This is because the UN is taking great pains to cover up the fact that it is, and has always been, a part of the problem – not the solution. Instead, the whole story of Kosovo is boiled down to a simplistic and bogus tale of Serbs vs. Albanians, eternally divided by sheer ethnic hatred. Outside forces, such as the UN or Islamic states, are never part of this pithy narrative.

What the outside world does not realize is that the rule of these favored UN bureaucrats is creating a Kosovo in which not even they, let alone the rest of us, will be allowed free passage in a future of corrupt police, xenophobic nationalist villages, and Islamist-dominated "no-go areas." A great part of the UN's declared success in making Kosovo a more peaceful place is that, for over a year, they have simply stopped patrolling in the dangerous places. Fewer patrols also means fewer reports to burn later.

And don't imagine that when the UN is gone and Kosovo is independent that anything will remain in terms of paperwork. Fortunately, there are literally thousands of good UN human sources, who are only going to get riper with time as fear of crackdown from their former employer recedes. Yet their stories are verbal; future historians are going to have a hell of a time getting anything good on paper. Ironically, today's powers-that-be are directly prolonging the same Balkan impulses toward the anecdotal, the apocryphal, and rule of insinuation and rumor that they lament as being to blame for the historical misunderstandings by Balkan nationalists of the most recent to the most remote past. The foreigners have become more Balkan than us. Perhaps there is a shred of truth to the legends of a curse on all who enter these lands?

In any case, what is clear is that the powers-that-be will continue to destroy or suppress everything that paints their occupation in a negative light. This is why it is so important, whether you are a journalist or not, to get your questions in now. Challenge these people while they still at least hypothetically are supposed to be accountable for something. They have gotten away with a free ride for far too long; unlike in a real country, none of them were ever elected to the positions they have held and profited from. Nevertheless, they are the ones scolding Kosovo about its need to be democratic and obey the rule of law.

Unless more people try to call them on it, the Kosovo that is already physically the black hole of Europe will become historically a black hole as well – a perfect crime perpetrated by a phantom administration of individuals coming and going on temporary contracts, parasitically taking what they need from the system and moving on, and doing away with all the records afterwards. Such could not happen in a real country, though Kosovo is apparently about to become one.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sad, Ashamed and Scared for Montenegro

Agim Ceku, known war criminal (see here), who, as an officer in the Croatian Army and with the assistance of the United States, committed the biggest ethnic cleansing in the recent Balkan wars -- the expulsion and brutal murders of hundreds of thousands of Serbs from the Krajina where Serbs had lived for hundreds of years -- has been received in an official visit by Milo Djukanovic.

Montenegrins can protest all they want about how they will always have a special relationship with Serbia, but Montenegro's official actions contradict such words. Words are easy and words are cheap. How about actually standing up for your demonized brotherland, Serbia? Instead, our beloved Crna Gora invites one of the most notorious anti-Serbian war criminals to come by, for what? Tea, perhaps? And a nice chat about how Kosovo will become independent and how it will then be only a matter of time before the Albanians in Montenegro start agitating to attach Kosovo and Montenegro to Albania?

Montenegro was always one of my favorite places in the world, but we've all heard how the beautiful Montenegrin coast has recently been sold to Russian investors and to Hollywood types. Is everything for sale there now, including every shred of the new country's integrity? Djukanovic's pockets must be bulging after Ceku's visit. I wonder that he is able to walk with that kind of money weighing his pockets down. Does he have lackeys to walk with him and help him hold up his trousers?

This bodes very ill for the future of all non-Albanians in the Balkans.

Kosovo premier Agim Ceku visits Montenegro for first time

The Associated Press
November 3, 2006

Kosovo's ethnic Albanian prime minister, visiting Montenegro, said Friday his U.N.-run province will soon follow in Montenegro's steps by becoming independent from Serbia.

U.N.-mediated talks about the future status of Kosovo are under way. The ethnic Albanian majority insist on independence.

Kosovo's Agim Ceku, a former rebel commander, was on his first official visit to Montenegro since the Balkan republic gained independence in June.

"I expect quick resolution of Kosovo's status and its independence," Ceku said after his talks with Montenegro's outgoing Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic.

Since NATO's 1999 air war halted Serbia's crackdown on Kosovo's independence seeking ethnic Albanians, the province has been run by a U.N. mission and NATO peacekeepers.

Kosovo's ethnic Albanian population of 2 million demands full independence from Serbia, while Belgrade and Kosovo's Serb minority insist the province remain within Serbian boundaries.

"We want to build Kosovo as a democratic, modern, multiethnic state with international guarantees for its minorities," Ceku said.

Djukanovic, the Montenegrin leader most credited with bringing independence to his nation of 600,000, said "whatever Kosovo's future status will be, we want to develop good relations with our neighbors."

Montenegro's pro-Serbian opposition has criticized Ceku's visit, and the Serbian National Party held a protest outside the parliament in Podgorica, the Montenegrin capital.

"Ceku's visit is a stab in the back to all Serbs in the Balkans," party leader Andrija Mandic told the gathering of a few dozen protesters. "Ceku's arms are bloodied up to his shoulders."

Another Serb leader, Goran Danilovic, said Ceku was "not welcome in Montenegro" because of what Danilovic called his "murderous past" as a Kosovo rebel commander during the 1998-99 war in the province when the separatist ethnic Albanian guerrillas fought Serb troops.

Ceku denied committing crimes during the Kosovo Albanian rebellion.

"I never committed, saw or ordered any crime," Ceku said. "I was a professional soldier and I am proud of my past."

Koštunica warns Montenegrin government

5 November 2006 | 13:02 -> 14:54 | Source: FoNet, Beta
PRIŠTINA -- Serbian PM has warned Podgorica that the UN Charter obligates it to honor Serbia’s sovereignty.

“In her entire history Montenegro was never Serbia’s enemy. And since it came into existence, Serbia has never done any wrong to Montenegro”, Koštunica was quoted as saying.

In his opinion, Podgorica’s regard of Kosovo as Montenegro’s neighbor damages Serbia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity “in a most direct way”.

“This position was made known in a meeting with Agim Ceku, whom Serbia charges with war crimes against Serbs and not only in Kosovo”, Vojislav Koštunica said in reaction to the recent Kosovo prime minister’s visit to Montenegro.

Who neighbors whom?

Earlier, Kosovo government reacted to the previous Serbian government’s criticism of Agim Ceku’s visit to Montenegro.

Kosovo government spokeswoman Ulpiana Lama told today’s Koha Ditore that Serbia had no right to interfere with the neighboring countries’ policies toward Kosovo, as well as that the government in Priština will refrain from interfering in the relations between Serbia and Montenegro.

Lama said Serbia’s position regarding the policies of Kosovo’s neighbors must change.

“Serbia must change its policies and accept the new reality in the Balkans, as other states have done”, the Kosovo government spokeswoman concluded.

“Montenegrin history’s most shameful act”

Serb Radical Party (SRS) secretary general Aleksandar Vučić said Montenegrin prime minister Milo Đukanović’s decision to talk to Kosovo prime minister Agim Ceku was “the most shameful act in the history of Montenegro”.

“Đukanović did this for a huge sum of money, given to him by Albanian lobbyists and his Western mentors”, the media reports Vučić has said.

He also said the Montenegrin prime minister “was instructed to harm Serbia, by saying that the independent Montenegro will cooperate with Kosovo, and that there’s something wrong with Serbia”.

LDP: Meeting no threat to Serbia

Liberal Democrats’ leader Čedomir Jovanović condemned nationalistic outbursts directed from Serbia’s top institutions at Montenegro in the wake of Agim Ceku’s visit.

He added the meeting between the two prime ministers represented no threat to Serbia.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

It's the Eleventh Hour for Getting Our Heads Out of the Sand

The Islamic population bomb

The role of demographics in relation to the Islamic-Western relationsTraditionally- or at least in the past 5 centuries- the West enjoyed an unparalleled superiority in technological, economic and military sphere versus the East. Nowadays the Western and in particular European power is facing a dramatic decline due to an old but very effective weapon, their own population decline and the population explosion by the Muslim states. In the previous decades since the end of WWII a tremendous demographic expansion of the Islamic population worldwide has occurred and the trends are for continuation well into the 21st century. By Ioannis Michaletos

The Balkans in the 90’s, were the first areas in Europe where the population explosion of Muslims resulted in a virtual takeover in areas such as central Bosnia and Kosovo. Even Montenegro, a traditional Eastern Orthodox nation, has a sizeable Muslim minority that will eventually became a majority within the coming decades should the upward projection trends prevail.

Demographics are a sensitive issue in discussion of worldwide events such as regional conflicts or terrorism. The politically correct modus that dominates the Western political system combined with an absence of historical research, has laid the foundations of ignorance on how macro-historical population alterations can and do change history and remake a civilization and the way of life.

In our age the Muslim world has at its disposal the ultimate weapon to remake the European future. The weapon is not nuclear nor chemical, but simply the population bomb, or as one might state it as the “P-Bomb”!

Islam: The unparallel growth

For centuries the Islamic world was suffering from a weakness in replacing its human resources. The territory traditionally inhabited by Muslims was an area inflicted by various invasions (Mongols, Crusaders, internal conflicts), as well as covered with large segments of non-arable land and desert. Therefore the population growth was weakened by environmental and human factors, resulting into a more or less stable demographic outlook.

In the era of the great Arabic expansion-8th-12th Century A.C- Islam was the religion and way of life for around 40-50 million peopleThat was not more than 10% of world’s then population.

In order to support their continuous invasion plans towards Europe and India, Muslims assimilated foreign elements in their communities like Christians and Jews, and such assimilation was done by proselytism, often forced and sometimes not, to convert them into Islam. Most of these faith-turnarounds were committed by the use of brute force, mass kidnappings of mostly young aged Christians, slavery and alike.

Later as a result of the Turkish Ottoman occupation of the Balkans in the 15th century AD expansion of the Islam penetrated well into the European territory, as far as Southern Hungary.

The decaying nature of the Ottoman Empire that viewed industry with dismay, resulted in the 19th century national rebirth of nations such as Serbs, Greek, Bulgars and a subsequent expulsion of many Islamic communities in South Eastern Europe that were stettled there by force in the first place.

At that time, West was viewed victorious: British and French colonialism stretched across most of North Africa and the Middle East and the triumph of the West was self-evident.

The encounter of the Western capitalistic states with the underdeveloped Muslim world in the early 20th century was beneficial for the Muslims as introduction of new agricultural methods, sanitation and industrial production, resulted in the dramatic uplifting of the way of life for millions of Muslims that began to reverse the demographic trends that up to then were characterized by high death rate. A French historian, Fernard Braudel, was the lone voice in 1957 that alerted Europe of the ticking Muslim population bomb. Braudel predicted that the then 75 million Muslims of the Middle East will reach 110 million by the early 21st century, a very low predicition of today's actual of 300 million.

Incredible predictions and possible outcomes

An average woman in the Muslim world is the mother of more than 4 children on average, well more than twice than the European level. This sums up into an annual population increase in the Middle East of around 2%.

In the midst of the Europe's victorious 19th century the population growth rate was no more then 1.5%. One has to remember that such lower European growth did enabled the colonization of most of the America and Australia and the creation of quasi European states such as USA, Australia, Canada that actually dominate the world scene today.

In 1960 the percentage of Muslims worldwide was around 13% while in 2001 it reached just above 20%. If the trends continue -- all thing equal -- in 2050 around 35% of world’s population will be Muslim, by far the largest percentage in Islam’s history.

Another element associated directly with the population growth is the high percentage of young people in Muslim countries that cannot be absorbed into the job markets and have great difficulties in upward social mobility. In combination with the autarchic regimes that govern quite a few Muslim states; a breeding ground for rebellion, terrorism and civil unrest has been unraveled. As the reach in the world shrinks due to improved telecommunications and transport, so do the social ramifications of the Middle East become globally widespread.

In the recent European history the state of Bosnia illustrates the dynamics of demographics in internal politics. In 1948 the Muslim population of that Yugoslav republic was less than 30%. In 1991 when Yugoslavia disintegrated Muslims comprised 44% and became the religious denominators of that new state. In Kosovo, today's Muslim Albanian population in the early 50’s was around 60% and 40 years later reached an overwhelming 90%. Both of these regions became theters of conflict involving Muslims against Christians.

Of course population growth is not the only explanatory factor of a series of regional conflicts, but is an important element when one wants to predict future peripheral shifts of power that may eventually lead to wars and uprisings.

Europe - Middle East demography

If it is to examine European and Middle Eastern states and their historical demographic projection, interesting notes could be taken, that reveal wider trends and imbalance of power.

In the 50’s the population of Greece was 7 million people, while the one of Turkey was 21 million, a 1:3 analogy. Nowadays Greece encompasses 11.1 million citizens and Turkey 70 million. Therefore the analogy is 1:7 and that may explain to an extent the roots of the current Greek-Turkish rivalry and brinkmanship.

Continuing in the early 70’s the Magreb states of Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt had population of 70 million. In the same period the Mediterranean European states, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece, were populated in total by 160 million people. Today the numbers are 150 million for North Africa and 180 million for Southern Europe.

The trajectory for the year 2050 will be 250 million for North Africa and just 150 million for Southern Europe. In essence a population gap in Mediterranean Europe will be in stark contrast with an incredible increase in states just a few nautical miles from their shores.

The European Union already has drafted plans for a pan-European coast Guard force, in order to control the inevitable mass immigration from South to the North. Future will tell if that will be an effective measure.

Already, sizable Muslim minorities inhabit European metropolis such as Berlin, Paris and London. In France 75 of the populous cities have Muslims and around 4% in Germany and UK.

The American campaign War on terror coupled with terrorist attacks in Europe over the past few years, has increased European suspicion in their Muslim neighbors and at the same time it has increased the assertiveness of the Muslim communities that view themselves as persecuted and discriminated against. As Islam precludes assimilating into a new society and teaches that the new society should be assimilated into Islam, coupled with widespread proselytism that has already begun in certain states, the population gap between two communities should further increase the size of Muslim presence in Europe.

Historically, population shifts are a recurring phenomenon and Europe was already witnessed the Barbarian Invasions from the North in the late centuries of the Roman Empire. Later on the infamous Vikings populated areas in the European periphery leaving their marks up to date. From the Eastern territory nations such as the Hungarians, Huns, Tatars and Mongols had populated parts of Eastern Europe and played a significant role in the shaping Europe’s civilization. All of these new nations, however, exhibited cultural tendency to assimilate with one another and accept cultural ways of their neighbors, something not happening with the Muslims.

The Yugoslav conflicts over the past 15 years have revealed the first appearance of militant Muslim posture in a European territory, not previously seen since the Balkan wars of 1912-13. Meanwhile, the illegal immigration of Muslims from North Africa, Middle East and the Hindu Subcontinent into Europe has sharply increased, finding itself safe havens of communication, logistic and transport support in places like Pristina, Sarajevo and Tetovo.

These cities are that green corridor that is now controlled by the Western peacekeeping forces, but many project they will not be there for ever. US has already announced a total withdrawal from Bosnia.

Political correctness is handicapping Europe to use of logic in dealing with the emerging death of its Greco-Roman European civilization - and the outcome quite reasonably would be for Europe to view developments with awe and distress not willing to comprehend the simple facts of life that withour rebirth there is only death.

Friday, November 03, 2006

But...will he ever get his brain in Gere...? Don't hold your breath.

Gere-ing Up for Nazi Propaganda

By Julia Gorin

Up against Richard Gere and Nicole Kidman, the historical record doesn’t stand a chance. Gere is in Bosnia and Kidman just visited Kosovo. Beating a dead horse, the former is entering the familiar genre of anti-Serb films (Behind Enemy Lines, The Peacemaker) — and UN Goodwill Ambassador (and, coincidentally, Peacemaker star) Kidman is listening to more unverifiable yarns from Kosovo’s Serb-loathing Albanian Muslims (without, of course, visiting those who are actually under siege in the province — the handful of remaining Serbs who can’t step outside their miniscule NATO-guarded perimeters without getting killed by Albanians).

How can we fight the jihad when Kidman and Gere are being used to enable it? Just when the Aussie gave us some hope in so prominently signing her name to an anti-terror ad in the L.A. Times — going against the grain and calling terrorism against Israelis by its name — we’re still at Square One when it comes to terrorism against Serbs.

Of course, if our own government is helping the jihad secure its Balkan base, what does one want from two actors?

Read the rest of this superb article
  • here
  • Wednesday, November 01, 2006

    Hollywood Still Salivating Over the Clintons

    From Leah Garchik's column in today's San Francisco Chronicle:

    I hear that Thursday's New York birthday party for Hillary Clinton was followed by a slew of fetes celebrating Bill Clinton's 60th, which actually was in August. Michael J. Fox, introduced at an event at the Beacon Theater in Manhattan, received a standing ovation. Mick Jagger said, "Ladies and gentleman, we're honored to have the president of the United States here ... and look, she's brought her husband along.'' Hillary-ite Susie Buell says Sheryl Crow, Carly Simon and Mary Steenburgen were dancing in the aisles.

    Ha, ha, ha -- how very amusing. I know, I know -- there are plenty more fools like these in Hollywood, and more's the pity. They will receive a prominent place in my Roll of Entertainment Idiots.

    Once upon a time, Hollywood was no different than the rest of America, with a smattering of people of all kinds. How come NOW it's overpopulated by simpering, simple-minded fools, genuflecting to those liars, the Clintons? Every dynasty is only as powerful as its weakest members and Hollywood is groaning under the weight of pseudo-intellectuals dribbling saliva at the mear chance of getting close to Bill and Hillary, but without any real knowledge about anything. What a sick world.

    Thursday, October 26, 2006

    Gracanica Monastery, Symbol of Kosovo


    and now...