Saturday, October 07, 2017

The "patient zero" of Color Revolutions

While it should be obvious why the "Yellow October" of 2000 matters to the Serbs and Serbia, the oft-unanswered question is, why should it matter to anyone else?

In my most recent op-edge on RT.com, I strive to explain just that:

"Wherever they go, these agents of chaos infect the target country’s politics, manipulating genuine local activists into becoming the agents of their people’s demise. While they preach democracy, their dirty tricks are effectively destroying its credibility in the long term. That’s fine with them, however; the objective is not democracy but obedience. Besides, they won’t stick around to see the consequences - there is always the next revolution to plan and execute."
It's not just that having done it once, the Empire proceeded to do it again elsewhere (and whether it succeeded or failed, made the lives of those involved miserable to some degree or another), but that it used these Janissaries to spread its virus far and wide - and calling them Serbs all along, thus adding insult to injury.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Remembering the Storm

(The original version of this article appeared on Antiwar.com in 2005).

Croatian Nazi salutes, caps and shirts at concerts of "patriotic" singer Marko Perković-Thompson celebrating Croatia's 1995 destruction of Serbs (via tatrenutek.si) 
In the early morning hours of August 4, 1995, on the heels of an incessant artillery and air bombardment, some 200,000 Croatian troops moved in to “liberate” Krajina - a stretch of mountains inhabited by Serbs who had rejected Croatia’s secession from Yugoslavia four years prior. Overrunning the token UN observation posts, the US-trained Croatian army quickly overwhelmed localized Serb resistance. President Franjo Tudjman declared August 5, the day Croat troops entered the Serb capital of Knin, a national holiday: “Homeland Thanksgiving Day.” By August 7, the “Republic of Serb Krajina” was no longer in existence.

Frustrated Dreams

The area of Krajina was for several centuries the borderland between the Hapsburg and Ottoman empires, a buffer zone that protected the inner Hapsburg lands from Turkish raids. It was populated largely by Orthodox Serbs, who had fled Ottoman persecution, and who became frontiersmen for the Hapsburgs in exchange for land and liberty. By the 19th century, the Ottoman Turks were in retreat; the new danger to the Hapsburg Empire was Slavic nationalism. Vienna turned on its frontiersmen, encouraging conflict between the Orthodox Serbs and the Catholic Croats, who became its staunchest supporters. Vienna’s Serbophobia eventually led Austria-Hungary into a fatal conflict that destroyed much of European civilization.

It also nurtured the hatred that would explode in 1941 as the vicious Ustasha genocide. These homegrown Croatian Nazis, led by Ante Pavelić, set out to destroy the “race of slaves” (as the founder of Croatianism Ante Starčević put it) with ruthless abandon, but ran out of time. Still, by 1945 they had killed anywhere between half a million and 750,000 Serbs.

With the end of communism in 1990, Franjo Tuđman and his Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) brought a revival of Pavelić’s symbols and vocabulary. Some of the top supporters of the HDZ were Ustasha émigrés. Tuđman himself expressed relief that his wife was “neither Serb nor Jewish.” His constitutional reform redefined the republic as a nation-state of Croats, with Serbs as an ethnic minority. When Tuđman’s government declared independence from the Yugoslav federation in 1991, most Serbs saw 1941 all over again. This, not some imaginary “aggression” from Serbia, was the root of their “rebellion,” and the genesis of the Krajina Republic. After several months of bitter fighting, marked by massacres, ambushes, and the most vitriolic propaganda, the UN brokered an armistice. The so-called Vance Plan envisioned four “protected areas” with a Serb majority, whose eventual status would be resolved through negotiations.

Over the next three years, Tudjman’s government feverishly prepared for war, training its troops on the battlefields of Bosnia and staging quick, limited offensives at the strategic edges of UN-protected areas (most infamous being the Medak Pocket attack in 1993). Although enjoying political, diplomatic, and even military support from Vienna and Berlin since 1991, it was only when it got Washington’s support that Zagreb was ready – and able – to strike. “Retired” American officers, working for government contractor MPRI, claimed to teach Croat officers “democracy” and “human rights.” The events of May and August 1995 would demonstrate MPRI’s definitions of both.

Junkyard Dogs

"Dick: We ‘hired’ these guys to be our junkyard dogs because we were desperate. We need to try to ‘control’ them. But it is no time to get squeamish about things."
– To End a War,
by Richard Holbrooke, Chapter 6

US envoy to the Balkans Richard Holbrooke thus described the note slipped to him by Ambassador Robert Frasure during a meeting with Croatian officials in 1995. Holbrooke’s own account of how the US officially condemned Croatian attacks even as he was meeting with Tudjman and telling him which cities to take, suggests he was hardly “squeamish” about using Croats to fight what he – and hundreds of advocacy journalists, lobbyists, and policymakers – had termed “Serb aggression.”

On May 1, 1995, Croatian troops tested both their readiness and the UN’s will by staging a lightning strike at an exposed Serb enclave of Western Slavonia. The operation was code-named Bljesak – “flash,” or perhaps more appropriately, “Blitz.” The clear violation of the armistice went unpunished. The stage was set for Oluja.

According to Serb documentation, the three-day offensive in August 1995 resulted in the expulsion of 220,000 people. Some 1,943 people have been listed as missing/presumed dead, including 1199 civilians, 523 women, and 12 children. The death toll would have been greater had the Serbs not fled en masse before the advancing Croat tanks; all who stayed behind were killed. The Croats, and their American sponsors, were definitely not squeamish.

Ten years later, Krajina is still a wasteland, with “scattered ghost villages strewn with shell-scarred houses overgrown with ivy and tall grass” (Reuters). Only a tenth of some 400,000 Serbs who lived in Croatia before it seceded have returned, only to face bureaucratic abuse and frequent physical violence. Tuđman made Pavelić’s dream to rid Croatia of Serbs a reality. It seems everything is in the choice of allies.

Unpleasant Comparisons


After obliterating Krajina, the conquering Croatian army moved into western Bosnia, aiding the Izetbegovic government to crush a dissident faction led by Fikret Abdic and assisting in the major Muslim offensive that “coincided” with NATO’s massive bombing of Bosnian Serbs. But after the Dayton Agreement was signed and peace imposed on Bosnia, Empire’s junkyard dogs discovered the supply of Milk Bones had run out. They had served their purpose.

Croatia and Albania joined NATO in 2009, ten years after the Alliance launched its first illegal war against what was left of Yugoslavia. Zagreb was admitted to the European Union in 2013 - a year after General Ante Gotovina and several others accused by the Hague Inquisition of war crimes during Oluja were acquitted on appeal in yet another show trial.

Some of the truth about atrocities against the Serbs is slowly coming to light, but interestingly enough, only after the prominent personalities accused have fallen out of political grace. The Zagreb leadership snaps back at any hint that Oluja might have been anything but just, right, and noble. In 2005, when Serbian president Boris Tadić called it an “organized crime,” Croatia's President Stipe Mesić replied it could hardly compare to Serb crimes such as Srebrenica.

But by all means, let’s compare! In both cases, a UN “safe area” was targeted by the attack. In Srebrenica, the UN at least tried to protect Muslim civilians; in Krajina, it did no such thing. Serbs evacuated Muslim noncombatants from Srebrenica; Serbs who did not flee Krajina were killed. Yet Srebrenica is somehow “genocide,” while Oluja is a victory worth a national holiday!

Another reason the Empire prefers to keep Oluja out of sight and out of mind is the push to establish an independent, Albanian-dominated Kosovo. If Croatia’s conquest of Krajina was legitimate, because Krajina’s existence violated its sacrosanct administrative borders, then why did Serbia not have the right to uphold its borders when it came to Kosovo? If obliterating the Serb population did not disqualify Croatia from keeping Krajina and Slavonia, how can the exodus of less than half of Kosovo’s Albanians disqualify Serbia from keeping Kosovo? If the Serbs, a constituent Yugoslav nation, did not have the right to ethnic self-determination in Krajina and Bosnia, how can the Kosovo Albanians (an ethnic minority) have one?

The “Abramowitz Doctrine”

This apparent paradox was “explained” by Morton Abramowitz, the eminence grise of U.S. foreign policy, in a 2003 interview: “there is no entirely rational answer … you seek perfect reasoning, which does not correspond to reality on the ground.” Logic does not apply to the Empire, because it creates its own reality; where have we heard that before?

The “reality” Abramowitz and his like-minded policymakers have sought to establish by force has been one in which, whatever the circumstances, Serbs are in the wrong. Apologists for the Empire dismiss this observable, verifiable fact as a “conspiracy theory” and claim the Serbs have a “victim complex” – even as their entire Balkans “reality” rests on the claim that everyone else has been victimized by the Serbs.

What “perfect reasoning” is involved in recognizing the simple fact that the centuries-old Serb community in Krajina is practically extinct, and that the Serb community in Kosovo – from which most of their ancestors came – is facing the same prospect?

Where the Nazis failed, the American Empire has succeeded. Is that really something to be thankful for?

(Nota bene, August 2017: Croatia and Albania remain the axis of Empire's dominion over the Balkans today. But the Empire itself is losing its grip on the fake "reality" it created with force and lies, and the East remembers.)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Forbidden history: WW2 documentary series now complete

I have just found out that the final parts of the documentary series "Kingdom of Yugoslavia in WW2" - which I've mentioned here before - have been finalized and posted, completing the 18-episode project.

According to executive producer Miloslav Samardžić, the trailer for episodes 13-18 has been posted on Vimeo, where the entire 18-episode run is up for purchase or rent. 

It took the Kragujevac-based Pogledi and the society of former Royal Yugoslav Army soldiers in the UK nearly four years to crowdfund and produce the series, which shows the previously untold story of the war in Yugoslavia. 

The first twelve episodes were offered to the Serbian Radio Television (RTS), which was supposed to reply by the end of May but has yet to do so, Samardžić said.

He says the series shows a much-needed alternate perspective to the movies glorifying the Communist Partisans, which are currently being shown on RTS in re-runs.

"Our story isn't made up," Samardžić said, adding that buying or renting the series on Vimeo will support the producers' new project, a 90-minute documentary "General Draža Mihailović."

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Remembering Vidovdan

Today is St. Vitus Day (Vidovdan), the anniversary of the 1389 Battle of Kosovo and the 1914 Sarajevo tyrannicide, among other things.

Personally, I think more people ought to heed the object lesson that is Austria-Hungary, which used the events of Sarajevo as a pretext for the long-desired war to conquer and crush Serbia - only to self-destruct four years later.

Gavrilo Princip sends his regards.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Comey "Nothingburger"

From my latest, at RT.com:
To observers of goings-on in Washington over the past year or so, Thursday’s train wreck had every hallmark of a very familiar scenario, in which the media and the Democrats loudly herald something to be the certain downfall of one Donald J. Trump, only to suffer the same fate as Charlie Brown over and over again, as Lucy snatches that football away.

Meanwhile, President Trump is left to savor the big juicy nothingburger, cooked way past well-done and served with a ketchupy mess. Just the way he likes it.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Sic transit Zbig

Zbigniew Brzezinski died last night.

Romans used to speak no ill of the dead. Not being Roman, and having lost my country in part due to Brzezinski's delusions of Empire, I'll speak my mind instead.

I once called him the "Sith Lord of the Democratic foreign policy cult," with Mad Madeleine Albright his dark apprentice. I stand by those words.
The Polish-born Brzezinski was precisely what the Founding Fathers warned against. He worked his entire life to bend his new country to the service of his old, and harness its power to the carriage of his personal affections and animosities.

In the course of this pursuit, he urged President Carter to back a jihad in Afghanistan - not after the Soviet Union sent in the troops, but months before - indeed, hoping to provoke a "Soviet Vietnam." He admitted this in the 1998 interview with the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur.

Asked if he regretted anything, Brzezinski said no:

"Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire."

Asked if he regrets giving "arms and advice to future terrorists," Brzezinski was likewise nonplussed.

"What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?"

What did any of it have to do with the United States of America, though?

John Quincy Adams, a founder's son, a diplomat, and the sixth president in his own right, famously said his country "goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own."

What, then, should we make of someone who came to America and used it to unleash head-chopping barbarians - whether Al-Qaeda, ISIS, or any "moderate" flavor in between, from Bosnia to Borneo - on the world, in pursuit of Old Continent grudges and interests?

Not only did Zbigniew Brzezinski do evil - and made America do evil too - he argued it was doing good instead.

May God have mercy on his soul.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

'Drive them out': Trump sends message to Muslims on terrorism

I am far from the only one to make the observation that the mainstream media in the US are in throes of the Trump Derangement Syndrome - a mutation, if you will, of the Putin Derangement Syndrome diagnosed a decade back - and treating everything the 45th POTUS does with alarm and contempt irrespective of what it is, simply because he is the one doing it.

Thus the headlines about his trip to Saudi Arabia are filled with nitpicking about one particular phrase he didn't say, the multi-billion weapons deal with a country the media suddenly discovered was waging a war on Yemen (having not given a damn about said war before January 20, 2017), and obsessing about his daughter and son-in-law yet again.
Therefore I was surprised to see The Hill post a full transcript of Trump's speech, and even more surprised to read what was in it:

America is a sovereign nation and our first priority is always the safety and security of our citizens. We are not here to lecture—we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship. Instead, we are here to offer partnership—based on shared interests and values—to pursue a better future for us all.

[...]

Young Muslim boys and girls should be able to grow up free from fear, safe from violence, and innocent of hatred. And young Muslim men and women should have the chance to build a new era of prosperity for themselves and their peoples.

With God’s help, this summit will mark the beginning of the end for those who practice terror and spread its vile creed. At the same time, we pray this special gathering may someday be remembered as the beginning of peace in the Middle East—and maybe, even all over the world.

But this future can only be achieved through defeating terrorism and the ideology that drives it.

[...]

There can be no coexistence with this violence. There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it.

Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person, and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith.

Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death.

[...]

This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations.

This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it.

This is a battle between Good and Evil.

[...]

But the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them. The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their countries, and for their children.

It is a choice between two futures—and it is a choice America CANNOT make for you.

A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists. Drive. Them. Out.

DRIVE THEM OUT of your places of worship.

DRIVE THEM OUT of your communities.

DRIVE THEM OUT of your holy land, and

DRIVE THEM OUT OF THIS EARTH.

[...]

Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will deliver you no glory – piety to evil will bring you no dignity. If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and YOUR SOUL WILL BE CONDEMNED.

[...]

Starving terrorists of their territory, their funding, and the false allure of their craven ideology, will be the basis for defeating them.

So much for him being 'Islamophobic' or 'bowing down' to terrorism.

And while he accused Iran of being the ultimate sponsor of terrorism - disingenuous in the least, because it's Iran and Hezbollah doing a lion's share of fighting against ISIS, which the previous US government tacitly endorsed as a way to "regime change" in Syria - that makes it doubly hard for the Gulf Arabs to disregard his message, seeing as how they've been harping about "Iranian aggression" for years.

And if they do shrug off his offer (which I suspect they will), that just makes it clear which side they are on. After decades of pretending the problem didn't exist, finally, some clarity.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Kosovo: An Evil Little War Turns 18

March 24, 1999 ought to be a date that will live in infamy. On that day, NATO launched an unprovoked war of naked aggression, violating its own charter and international law, while claiming to be on a "humanitarian" mission.

For 78 days, the outnumbered and outgunned Yugoslavia (which would later be split into Serbia and Montenegro) resisted, turning back ground attacks from Albania, capturing a trio of US soldiers, and even shooting down a F-117 "stealth" bomber. In the end, abandoned by all and threatened with carpet bombing, the government in Belgrade accepted a compromise armistice - which NATO immediately tore up, letting the Albanian separatists terrorize the occupied Serbian province of Kosovo.



Thousands died in the war, and tens of thousands have died since from cancers caused by depleted uranium dust. Most non-Albanians were ethnically cleansed from Kosovo, and the province turned over to warlords and organized crime. In 2008, the province illegally declared independence, which is not yet recognized by the UN.

Thanks to the shameless propaganda and spin, the Kosovo War is considered by most American politicians to be a great success and even a shining example of virtue in the "liberal world order" the US is upholding through its military might. Only one candidate in the 2016 election dared disagree with that conventional wisdom even a little - and though he ended up getting elected, hasn't signaled any willingness to break with the inertia of US policy, either.

Serbia has since served as the test bed for the first "color revolution," and turned into a failed state ruled by a succession of servile slugs, each worse than the one before. The Atlantic Empire continued to enable Albanian aggression, in hopes of rekindling its romance with dar-al-Islam even as it bombed and invaded Iraq, Libya and Syria and fomented revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere that claimed even more Muslim lives.

That war, however, served as a wake-up call for Russia, which had until then lionized the West even as it was being robbed blind and buried alive. Within six months of NATO's land grab, Vladimir Putin was at the helm in the Kremlin. The rest, as they say, is history.

It is tempting to declare the saga of Kosovo over, 18 years after the war and as the quisling regime in Belgrade is busily recognizing the Albanian land grab. But the Atlantic Empire wouldn't be the first to write the Serbs off and declare them conquered and beaten, only to see them rise again...

Monday, January 30, 2017

Five facts about Kosovo the #fakenews media is lying to you about

1. Kosovo is not ancient Albanian land. 

Its very name comes from the Serbian word "kos," meaning blackbird. Its Albanian name, "Kosova," means nothing whatsoever.

Kosovo was the heartland of medieval Serbian state and the site of the 1389 battle in which both the Serbian prince and the Ottoman sultan died, checking the Turkish expansion into the Balkans for almost 70 years. Ethnic Albanians were settled there by the Ottomans over the intervening centuries, and became a majority due to pogroms and persecution of Serbs - which began under Ottoman rule but continued under Austro-Hungarian occupation in WWI and German/Italian occupation in WWII.

Kosovo was never a political entity of any kind until 1945, when the Communist regime that reconstructed Yugoslavia after Axis occupation (with which Albanians overwhelmingly collaborated) created the "Autonomous Region of Kosovo & Metohija" - the latter being a Greek word describing church lands.

The Communists also forbid any Serbs expelled in WW2 to return to Kosovo, cementing its ethnic Albanian majority, which further grew through an influx of illegal immigrants from Enver Hoxha's Albania and the ethnic cleansing of non-Albanians since the NATO occupation began in 1999.

Aftermath of the March 2004 pogrom: burned-out Serbian church with "UCK" (KLA) graffitti
2. Operation Allied Force, the 1999 NATO bombing campaign, was not a legitimate humanitarian intervention approved by the UN.

It was a war of aggression, in violation of both the NATO and the UN charter. Contrary to what the mainstream Narrative says today, NATO's justification for the war was not Serbian "human rights violations" against the Albanians. No, the bombing began as a way to force Serbia to accept the ultimatum issued at the French chateau of Rambouillet, in which NATO demanded a 3-year occupation of the province and a NATO-organized referendum that would give the ethnic Albanians independence.

It was at Rambouillet that the US negotiated on behalf of the "Kosovo Liberation Army," a separatist group it had previously acknowledged as terrorists. As part of its terrorist campaign to separate Kosovo from Serbia, the KLA has engaged in murder, assassination, extortion, torture, and trafficking in drugs, guns, sex slaves and even human organs.

KLA commander Ramush Haradinaj was greeted as a hero after a NATO-backed war crimes court acquitted him of torturing Serb captives. Haradinaj was provisionally released, and witnesses against him were intimidated and killed.
3. Serbia did not kill 10,000 ethnic Albanian civilians during the 1999 war.

That figure is an estimate based on assertions by NATO, entirely unsupported by any facts whatsoever - same as the "up to 100,000 men" speculated by NATO propagandists during the war itself. Western media continue to repeat it the same way they repeated the claim of 300,000 dead in Bosnia, which was later revised down to under 100,000.

4. There was no Serbian plan to deport a million ethnic Albanians.

The so-called "Operation Horseshoe" was concocted by German and Bulgarian intelligence to provide justification for the illegal and illegitimate NATO war (see #2 above), to the point where they used the Croatian word for horseshoe. While there was a mass exodus of Albanians towards Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro (odd, since it was part of Yugoslavia same as Serbia), some evidence suggests that may have been orchestrated by NATO and the KLA.



5. Kosovo's "independence" is neither legal nor legitimate. 

UN Resolution 1244, which authorized a NATO-led peacekeeping mission after the June 1999 armistice, reaffirmed Kosovo's status as a part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Legally, it remained a province of Serbia, whose integrity was sacrosanct on the same grounds as Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia (and later Montenegro) were recognized in their Communist-drawn borders when the proto-European Union and the US decided to declare Yugoslavia nonexistent in 1992.

In February 2008, the provisional administration of Kosovo set up under the UN viceroy and NATO occupation, declared independence - based on a plan rejected by the UN Security Council, the final arbiter of Resolution 1244.

The International Court of Justice later tortured logic and language to rule that international law didn't say anything about random people making such declarations - but these were not random people. Their very legitimacy rested on the UN mandate, which their declaration violated.

President Barack Obama lied in March 2014 that there was internationally recognized and supervised referendum on the issue; there wasn't. No mainstream media outlet ever called him on it, though.

Monday, January 09, 2017

No, THIS is what meddling in elections looks like

What began as isolated cases of Putin Derangement Syndrome years ago morphed into full-blown hysteria in 2016, when the Clinton campaign and its media enablers latched onto the accusations of "Russian hacking" to explain the humiliating disclosure of their plots and operations via internal emails from the DNC and John Podesta's private Gmail account.

On Friday, January 6, the Director of National Intelligence published a "report" basically asserting the Clintonites were right, and that Putin Himself ordered "interference" in US elections through, um... RT? The lion's share of this amateurish collection of "we assess" and "we believe" was devoted to RT, inexplicably relying on a primer produced in 2012 (so, there goes the argument the current conflict is due to 2014 "Russian aggression" in Ukraine...). The report, however, does say that "Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries"  - meaning that the Clintonites lied when they said the purloined emails were being tampered with.

My assessment is that talk of "Russian hacking" is a desperate ploy to argue that Trump's victory was somehow the fault of malicious external forces, rather than Clintonite detachment from reality, logic and the American people. To borrow the Bard's description: A tale told by snarky idiots, full of sound and fury, but signifying nothing.

Now if you want to hear a story of how a country's democracy was actually meddled with... stay awhile and listen.