22 Years Ago: NATO’s Illegal and Criminal Invasion of Yugoslavia

By Nebojsa Malic

Global Research, March 23, 2021

Global Research 26 March 2005

This article by renowned author Nobojsa Malic was first published on March 26, 2005

In the early hours of March 24, 1999, NATO began the bombing of what was then the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. For some reason, many in the targeted nation thought the name of the operation was “Merciful Angel .” In fact, the attack was code-named “Allied Force ” – a cold, uninspired and perfectly descriptive moniker. For, however much NATO spokesmen and the cheerleading press spun, lied, and fabricated to show otherwise (unfortunately, with altogether too much success), there was nothing noble in NATO’s aims. It attacked Yugoslavia for the same reason then-Emperor Bill Clinton enjoyed a quickie in the Oval Office: because it could.

Most of the criticism of the 1999 war has focused on its conduct (targeting practices, effects, “collateral damage”) and consequences. But though the conduct of the war by NATO was atrocious and the consequences have been dire and criminal , none of that changes the fact that by its very nature and from the very beginning, NATO’s attack was a war of aggression: illegal, immoral, and unjust; not “unsuccessful” or “mishandled,” but just plain wrong.

Illegal

There is absolutely no question that the NATO attack in March 1999 was illegal . Article 2, section 4 of the UN Charter clearly says:

“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

Some NATO members tried to offer justification. London claimed the war was “justified” as a means of preventing a “humanitarian catastrophe,” but offered no legal grounds for such a claim. Paris tried to create a tenuous link with UNSC resolutions 1199 and 1203 , which Belgrade was supposedly violating. However, NATO had deliberately bypassed the UN, rendering this argument moot.

Article 53 (Chapter VIII ) of the UN Charter clearly says that:

“The Security Council shall, where appropriate, utilize such regional arrangements or agencies for enforcement action under its authority. But no enforcement action shall be taken under regional arrangements or by regional agencies without the authorization of the Security Council.” (emphasis added)

Furthermore, Article 103 (Chapter XVI ) asserts its primacy over any other regional agreement, so NATO’s actions would have been illegal under the UN Charter even if the Alliance had an obligation to act in Kosovo. Even NATO’s own charter – the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949 – was violated by the act of war in March 1999:

“Article 1

“The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations. […]

“Article 7

“This Treaty does not affect, and shall not be interpreted as affecting in any way the rights and obligations under the Charter of the Parties which are members of the United Nations, or the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security.” (emphasis added)

The attack violated other laws and treaties as well: the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 (violating the territorial integrity of a signatory state) and the 1980 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (using coercion to compel a state to sign a treaty – i.e., the Rambouillet ultimatum ).

Yugoslavia had not attacked any NATO members, nor indeed threatened the security of any other country in the region; it was itself under an attack by a terrorist , irredentist organization. What NATO did on March 24, 1999 was an act of aggression, a crime against peace .

Illegitimate

Perfectly aware that the bombing was illegal, NATO leaders tried to create justifications for it after the fact. They quickly seized upon a mass exodus of Albanians from Kosovo, describing it as “ethnic cleansing” and even “genocide .” But as recent testimonies of Macedonian medical workers who took care of Albanian refugees suggest, the Western press was engaging in crude deceit , staging images of suffering refugees and peddling the most outrageous tall tales as unvarnished truth.

Stories abounded of mass murder, orchestrated expulsions, mass rapes, seizure of identity papers, even crematoria and mine shafts filled with dead bodies. Little or no evidence was offered – and not surprisingly, none found afterwards. The stories were part of a Big Lie , aimed to justify the intervention, concocted by professional propagandists, and delivered by the KLA-coached refugees. The KLA ran every camp in Macedonia and Albania, and there are credible allegations they organized the exodus in many instances. Albanians who did not play along were killed.

Eventually, the “genocide” and other atrocity stories were debunked as propaganda. But they had served their purpose, conjuring a justification for the war at the time. They had allowed NATO and its apologists to claim the war – though “perhaps” illegal – was a moral and legitimate affair. But there should be no doubt, it was neither .

Unjust

Even if one can somehow gloss over the illegal, illegitimate nature of the war and the lies it was based on, would the war still not be justified, if only because it led to the return of refugees? Well, which refugees? Certainly, many Kosovo Albanians – and quite a few from Albania, it appears – came back, only to proceed to cleanse it systematically of everyone else. Jews, Serbs, Roma, Turks, Ashkali, Gorani, no community was safe from KLA terror , not even the Albanians themselves. Those suspected of “collaborating” were brutally murdered, often with entire families.

According to the Catholic doctrine of “just war ,” a war of aggression cannot be just. Even if one somehow fudges the issue, “the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.”

The evil conjured by NATO’s and KLA’s propaganda machine was indeed grave. But it was not real. In contrast, what took place after the war – i.e., under the NATO/KLA occupation – is amply documented. At the beginning of NATO’s aggression, there were fewer dead, fewer refugees, less destruction, and more order than at any time since the beginning of the occupation. NATO has replaced a fabricated evil with a very real evil of its own.

Monument to Evil

What began six years ago may have been Albright’s War on Clinton’s watch, but both Albright and Clinton have been gone from office for what amounts to a political eternity.

For four years now, the occupation of Kosovo has continued with the blessing – implicit or otherwise – of Emperor Bush II, who launched his own illegal war in Iraq . Kosovo is not a partisan, but an imperial issue; that is why there has been virtually no debate on it since the first missiles were fired.

Albright and KLA leader Hashim Thaci, Rambouillet, 1998

Six years to the day since NATO aircraft began their onslaught, Kosovo is a chauvinistic, desolate hellhole.

Serbian lives, property, culture, and heritage been systematically destroyed , often right before the eyes of NATO “peacekeepers.” Through it all, Imperial officials, Albanian lobbyists, and various presstitutes have been working overtime to paint a canvas that would somehow cover up the true horror of occupation.

Their “liberated” Kosovo represents everything that is wrong about the world we live in.

It stands as a monument to the power of lies, the successful murder of law, and the triumph of might over justice. Such a monument must be torn down, or else the entire world may end up looking like Kosovo sometime down the line. If that’s what the people in “liberal Western democracies” are willing to see happen, then their civilization is well and truly gone

Before the Bidens ‘Did’ Ukraine, There Was Iraq – and Serbia

Before The Bidens “Did” Ukraine, There Was Iraq… And Serbia – Finanz.dk
Analyst, former U.S. diplomat and foreign policy adviser to the Senate GOP leadership

James George Jatras

October 16, 2020

The United States approaches the November 2020 election with growing apprehension, even dread.

Among the possibilities:

For those who have followed events outside the United States during the past few decades, much of this sounds familiar. We’ve seen it before – inflicted on other countries.

Now It’s Coming Home to the U.S.

As explained by Revolver News, what happens in America next to a great extent may be a form of blowback from a specific event: the U.S.-supported 2014 regime change operation in Ukraine:

‘A “Color Revolution” in this context refers to a specific type of coordinated attack that the United States government has been known to deploy against foreign regimes, particularly in Eastern Europe deemed to be “authoritarian” and hostile to American interests. Rather than using a direct military intervention to effect regime change as in Iraq, Color Revolutions attack a foreign regime by contesting its electoral legitimacy, organizing mass protests and acts of civil disobedience, and leveraging media contacts to ensure favorable coverage to their agenda in the Western press.

‘It would be disturbing enough to note a coordinated effort to use these exact same strategies and tactics domestically to undermine or overthrow President Trump. The ominous nature of what we see unfolding before us only truly hits home when one realizes that the people who specialize in these Color Revolution regime change operations overseas are, literally, the very same people attempting to overthrow Trump by using the very same playbook. Given that the most famous Color Revolution was the [2004] “Orange Revolution” in the Ukraine, and that Black Lives Matter is being used as a key component of the domestic Color Revolution against Trump, we can encapsulate our thesis at Revolver with the simple remark that “Black is the New Orange.”

This hardly should come as a surprise. The same government agencies and their corporate, NGO, and think tank cronies that are now weaponizing Black Lives Matter, Antifa, other Wokesters, and military putsch plotters here at home to remove Trump have turned regime change abroad into an art form. Ukraine was one of their signal successes, featuring a cast of characters later key to the failed “Ukrainegate” impeachment.

Another consequence of regime change: corruption. As the old saying goes, any idiot can turn an aquarium into fish soup, but no one has yet figured out how to reverse the process. Once a country gets broken it tends to stay broken, whether the “breaking” is accomplished by military means (Serbia 1999, Iraq 2003, Libya 2011) or by a color revolution from the streets (Serbia 2000, Georgia 2003, Ukraine 2004-2005 and again in 2014, Kyrgyzstan 2005, Lebanon 2005, Armenia 2018, plus many others of varying degrees of success, and failures in Iran, Russia, Venezuela, China (Hong Kong), and Belarus). With the target nation’s institutions in shambles, the dregs take over – in Libya, for example, even to the point of reintroducing trade in sub-Saharan African slaves, whose black lives evidently don’t matter to anyone at all.

Iraq: Crush, Corrupt, Cash In

Finally, once regime change occurs and corruption is rampant, another shoe drops: foreign vultures descend on the carcass, profiteers who in many cases are the very same people that helped to create the chaos on which they are cashing in. Invariably, these carpetbaggers are well-connected individuals in the aggressor states and organizations positioned on the inside track both for the carve-up of the target country’s resources and (the word “hypocrisy” doesn’t begin to describe it) for funds to implement “reform” and “reconstruction” of the devastated target.

The showcase of this scam, pursuant to Colin Powell’s reported “Pottery Barn Rule” (You break it, you own it) was the money ostensibly spent on rebuilding Iraq, despite assurances from the war’s advocates that it would pay for itself. With the formal costs conservatively set at over $60 billion to $138 billion out of a tab for the war of over two trillion dollars, the lion’s share of it went to U.S. and other vendors, including the notorious $1.4 billion no-bid contract to Halliburton subsidiary KBR, of which then-Vice President Dick Cheney, a major proponent of the war, had been a top executive. (“Rand Paul Says Dick Cheney Pushed for the Iraq War So Halliburton Would Profit.”)

In Ukraine, Biden’s Son Also Rises

The predatory cronyism vignette most pertinent to the Black/Orange regime change op now unfolding before us with the intent of installing Joe Biden in the Oval Office is that of his son, Hunter, and a Ukrainian energy company with a sketchy reputation, Burisma Holdings. (Right at the outset, even some of Hunter’s associates though the gig with Burisma was too “toxic” and broke off ties with him.) Though ignored or dismissed as fake news and a conspiracy theory by Democrats and legacy media (or do I repeat myself?), the facts are well enough known and fit the Iraq pattern to a T: then-Vice President Joe Biden pushed for regime change in Ukraine, which succeeded in February 2014 with the ouster of the constitutionally elected president, Viktor Yanukovych. In April 2014, Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, was brought onto Burisma’s board (along with a fellow named Devon Archer, later convicted of unrelated fraud) at an exorbitant level of compensation that made little sense in light of Hunter’s nonexistent expertise in the energy business – but which made plenty of sense given that his dad was not only Veep but the Obama administration’s point man on policy toward Ukraine, including foreign assistance money. [NOTE: It now has come out that in 2015 Hunter put his dad, the U.S. Vice President, in direct contact with Burisma, news the giant tech firms sought to suppress on social media.]

When a troublesome Ukrainian prosecutor named Viktor Shokin seemed to be taking too much interest in Burisma, Papa Joe came to the rescue, openly threatening the western-dependent politicians installed after Ukraine’s 2014 color revolution with withholding of a billion dollars in U.S. aid until Shokin, whom Joe unironically alleged to be “corrupt,” got the heave-ho. As Tucker Carlson nails it, Shokin’s ouster followed a direct request from Burisma’s Clinton-connected PR firm, Blue Star Strategies, to Hunter to lobby his dad to get Shokin off their back. Joe did just what was asked. He later bragged: “I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here [i.e., Kiev] in, I think it was about six hours.’ I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.”

But First There Was Serbia

Today many people remember Iraq, some have a clue about Ukraine. But Serbia, which preceded them, is off the radar screen of most Americans. To recap:

As a Senator in the 1990s, Joe Biden was one of the most militant advocates of U.S. military action against Serbs during the breakup of the Yugoslav federation, first in Croatia (1991-95), then in Bosnia (1992-95), and then in Serbia’s province of Kosovo (1998- 1999). (As has been said about others like Hillary Clinton and the late John McCain, Biden evidently has never met a war he didn’t like. Along with Hillary, in 2003 Biden helped to whip Senate Democrat votes for the Bush-Cheney Iraq war.) Channeling his inner John McCain, Biden continually called for the U.S. to bomb, bomb, bomb bomb the Serbs while (in a foreshadowing of the Obama-Biden administration’s support for jihad terrorists in Libya and Syria, which ultimately resulted in the appearance of ISIS) pushed successfully for sending weapons to the Islamist regime in Bosnia and then for the U.S. to arm the Islamo-narco-terrorist group known as the “Kosovo Liberation Army” (KLA).

Joe Biden was the primary sponsor of the March 1999 Kosovo war authorization for military action against Serbia and Montenegro, S. Con. Res. 21. (As a little remembered historical note, Biden’s resolution might be seen as the last nail in the coffin of Congress’s constitutional war power. While S. Con. Res 21 passed the Senate, it failed in the House on a 213-213 tie vote, with Republicans overwhelmingly voting Nay. It didn’t matter. Bill Clinton, reeling from the Lewinsky scandal, went ahead with the bombing campaign anyway.) The ensuing 78-day NATO air operation had little impact on Serbia’s military but devastated the country’s infrastructure and took hundreds of civilian lives. (Even now, more than 20 years later, Serbia suffers from elevated cancer levels attributed to depleted uranium munitions.) But for Jihad Joe even that wasn’t punishment enough for people he collectively demonized as “illiterate degenerates, baby killers, butchers, and rapists.” In May 1999, at the height of the NATO air assault, he called for the introduction of U.S. ground troops (“we should announce there’s going to be American casualties”) followed by “a Japanese-German style occupation.”

Eventually the bombing stopped in June 1999 when then-Serbian strongman Slobodan Milošević acceded to temporary international occupation of Kosovo on the condition that the province would remain part of Serbia, as codified in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244. It was a promise the U.S. and NATO, not to mention their European Union (EU) concubine, had no intention of keeping. Under the nose of the NATO occupation, ostensibly demobilized KLA thugs were given virtually free rein to terrorize the Serbian population, two-thirds of whom were driven out along with Jews and Roma, the rest sheltering in enclaves where they remain to this day. Orthodox Christian churches and monasteries, many of them centuries old, were particular targets for destruction and desecration. KLA commanders – who were also kingpins in the Kosovo Albanian mafia dealing in sex slaves, drugs, weapons, and even human organs – were handed local administration.

In 2007 Senator Biden praised the new order as a “victory for Muslim democracy” and “a much-needed example of a successful U.S.-Muslim partnership.” A year later, the Bush administration sought to complete the job by ramming through Kosovo’s independence in barefaced violation of UNSCR 1244 and despite strong Russian objections. But instead of resolving anything the result was a frozen conflict that persists today, with about half of the United Nations’ member states recognizing Kosovo and half not. Touting itself as the most pro-American “country” [sic] in the world, the Kosovo pseudo-state became a prime recruiting ground for ISIS.

But hey, business was good! Just as in Iraq, the politically well-connected, including former officials instrumental in the attack on Serbia and occupying Kosovo, flocked to the province fueled by lavish aid subsidies from the U.S. and the EU, which for a while made Kosovo one of the biggest per capita foreign assistance recipient “countries” in the world. One such vulture – sorry, entrepreneur – was former Secretary of State Madeleine we-think-a-half-million-dead-Iraqi-children-is-worth-it Albright, a prominent driver of the Clinton administration’s hostile policy on top of her personal Serb-hatred. Albright sought to cash in to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars on sale of the mobile telephone company PTK, originally a Yugoslav state-owned firm that was “privatized” (i.e., stolen) in 2005 as a joint stock company, but who later dropped her bid when it attracted unwanted publicity. Also in the hunt for Kosovo riches was former NATO Supreme Commander and operational chief of the Kosovo war General Wesley Clark, who reportedly cornered a major share of the occupied province’s coal resources under a sweetheart deal that seems to have vanished from public scrutiny since first reported in 2016.

At the moment there seems to be no smoking gun of a direct Biden family payout, à la Ukraine, but there is a possible trail via Hunter’s Burisma-buddy Devon Archer and Archer’s fellow-defendant John “Yanni” Galanis, who in turn is connected to top Kosovo Albanian politicians. In any case, the Biden clan seems to have paid a lot of attention to Kosovo for not having skin in the game. Joe’s late son and Delaware Attorney General, Beau, worked in Kosovo following the war to train local prosecutors as part of an OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) “rule of law” mission (admittedly a big task in a mafia-run pseudo-state), for which a road was named after him near the massive U.S. base Camp Bondsteel. With Hunter on hand for the naming ceremony, Joe Biden took the opportunity to express his “condolences” to Serbian families who lost loved ones in the NATO air assault – of which he was a primary advocate.

A ‘Shokin’ Demand  

Perhaps the best parallel between Biden’s handiwork in Ukraine and his interest in Kosovo also relates to getting rid of an inconvenient individual. But in this case, the person in question wasn’t a state official like Burisma prosecutor Viktor Shokin but a hierarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

In May 2009 Vice President Biden insisted on visiting one of Kosovo’s most venerable Serbian Orthodox Christian sites, the Visoki Dečani monastery. Ruling Bishop Artemije of the Eparchy of Raška and Prizren, which includes Kosovo and Metohija, refused to give his blessing for the visit, in effect telling Biden he was not welcome. Bishop Artemije long had been a bane of Biden and others advocating detachment of Kosovo from Serbia, starting with his first mission to Washington in 1997 as war clouds gathered. In 2004 Bishop Artemije sued the NATO powers in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg following their inaction to protect his flock during an anti-Serbian rampage by Muslim Albanian militants in March of that year. Then, in March 2006, as preparations were underway for a “final solution” to the Kosovo issue, Bishop Artemije launched an intensive multinational lobbying and public relations effort (in which Yours Truly was the lead professional) to try to derail the U.S. policy to which Biden had devoted so much attention. While the Bishop’s campaign was unsuccessful in reversing U.S. policy it was instrumental in delaying it for over a year – to howls of outrage from Biden’s associates in Washington. Thus, for Biden, the monastery visit snub by Bishop Artemije was adding insult to injury.

The end for Bishop Artemije came a few months later, at the beginning of 2010 at the time of two visits to Kosovo by U.S. Admiral Mark P. Fitzgerald, then Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa, and Commander, Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Naples, (who retired later that year, becoming, unsurprisingly, a consultant “with numerous defense and commercial maritime and aviation contractors”). At that time, an unconfirmed report indicated that a high NATO officer (whether Admiral Fitzgerald or someone else is not specified) stated in the course of one of his local meetings (this is verbatim or a close paraphrase): “What we need here is a more cooperative bishop.” (More details are available here. Since that posting last year the NATO command in Naples seems to have scrubbed the items about Fitzgerald’s 2010 visits from their site.)

Shortly afterwards, Biden’s troublesome priest was forcibly removed by police and exiled from his see, without ecclesiastical trial, by Church authorities in Belgrade under pressure from compliant Serbian politicians installed after the October 2000 color revolution, in turn pressured by NATO. The pretext? Transparently baseless charges of financial wrongdoing. In other words, bogus accusations of “corruption” – like against Ukraine’s Shokin.

One could almost hear Joe Biden chortle: “Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.”

But Look at the Bright Side…

Back to the incipient coup facing the United States, there should be no illusion that what’s at stake in the unfolding scenario for the removal of Donald Trump is not just his presidency but the survival of the historic American ethnos of which he is seen as an avatar by both his supporters and detractors. Remember, we’re dealing with predators and scavengers who are happy to burn the old, evil America down as long as they can achieve total power and continue to feather their cushy nests. Short of a blowout Trump victory by a margin too big to hijack, we’re headed for a dystopian state of affairs.

If they do manage to remove Trump, “by any means necessary,” and Joe Biden takes the helm, we can anticipate a bevy of globalist warmonger appointees that make Trump’s team look like disciples of Mahatma Gandhi. Among the names floated like Nicholas BurnsAntony BlinkenMichele FlournoyEvelyn Farkas, and Anne-Marie Slaughter, all were on board with Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, Syria … [NOTE: The Atlantic Council, known as NATO’s semi-official think tank in Washington and which will be instrumental in staffing a future Joe Biden administration, also has been the beneficiary of generous donations from Hunter Biden’s paymaster, Burisma.]

It’s a recipe for wars, regime changes, and color revolutions galore.

But to finish on a positive note, the potential future business opportunities will be endless!

Serbia SITREP: Kosovo – the endless game

Serbia SITREP: Kosovo – the endless game

September 07, 2020

by Zoran Petrov for The Saker Blog

UPDATE!

Although I tried to predict possible outcomes from White House meeting, the results were more then a surprise! What is obvious from 2 (or 3 days) summit is that stakes of the actual three party meeting were different from those involving Belgrade-Pristina.

Thanks to coming presidential elections in US, Serbia managed to get some concessions that were impossible before (see images from proposed document as well documents signed by Albanians). But there was a price to pay for!

Vucic had rough ride in America mainly because he managed successfully to blackmail US counterparts.

From what is public information, we know that “mutual recognition” was off the proposed agreement. Despite “heroic” battles it is now clear, that “mutual recognition” was just a smoke screen that poor Pristina took it for real! The whole event was for Trump and it served his election campaign. Question of recognition of Jerusalem by the first EU country (Serbia) is important achievement for his evangelist and Jewish voters. Maybe this summit was ignored by major media but it was followed by religious TV and radio shows. The same is for Hezbollah issue.

Vucic paid humiliating price for taking advantage of situation (now famous sitting in the small chair in front of Trump) and blackmailing for changes in an agreement by stopping short of excluding Russia as supplier of gas and China from supplying 5G equipment to Serbia!

Another small revenge was change in text in regard to Jerusalem, by US side that caught Vucic by surprise when Trump announced it on press conference.

What we don´t know is what was real discussion between two delegations, especially between Vucic and Pompeo? What we know for sure, thanks to Vucic lapsus, that there were discussion about who will control sky above Kosovo. After NATO occupation of Kosovo, NATO controlled airspace above Kosovo. That space is divided in upper layer (above 8700 meters) and lower one (up to 8700 meters). In 2014 NATO transferred the authority to control the upper layer to the Hungarian Flight Control. It seems that Serbia was trying to get that control from NATO but obviously talks are not concluded yet. It is of paramount importance to mention that Serbia will, based on this agreement get rail access to deep water port in Albania (Durres -Serbia unsuccessfully tried to purchase port in Bar, Montenegro some years ago). It seems that interesting times are coming!

White House Kosovo meeting: crossing the Atlantic, for this?

White House Kosovo meeting: crossing the Atlantic, for this?

by Eric Vögelin[1] for the Saker blog

The President of Serbia and Avdullah Hoti, the Prime Minister (perhaps it would be more correct to say “self-styled Prime Minister”) of NATO’s 1999 war booty, the occupied Serbian province of Kosovo were hosted for a conference at the White House on 3 and 4 September. The ostensible purpose of the meeting was to iron out their economic relations, as if anything were there to iron out given the devastated condition of both their economies. Putting aside the sensible question of why anybody at the White House would even care about this very local issue enough to devote the good part of two days to it, and bearing in mind that nothing in the Balkans is as it appears at first glance, the real agenda was, of course, quite a bit different. It had to do with putting finishing touches on legitimizing Kosovo as a separate state with international attributes, and economic concerns only served to camouflage that intention.

When the dust settled, the Serbian President had signed what must appear as one of the weirdest documents in the history of international relations. Before making any further editorial comments, here it is:

C:\Users\hp\Desktop\Serbia-Kosovo Agreement 2020 - 1.jpg
C:\Users\hp\Desktop\Serbia-Kosovo Agreement 2020 - 2.jpg

What is so bizarre about it? It is a scrap of paper adorned with the signature of a head of state, but without any heading or logo, or place where it was signed. To add insult to injury, the signatory is identified merely as “President.” President of what, the local Rotary Club or Hunters’ Association? Would a statesman who cares about the dignity of his office or the prestige of his country sign something like this? And what is this, anyway? Is it a diplomatic document or the signatory’s private notes, written out to himself? Interesting questions, worth pondering.

For a contrast, here is President Donald Trump’s letter to his Kosovo Albanian guest, Avdullah Hoti, commemorating the occasion:

C:\Users\hp\Desktop\Trump letter to Hothi.jpg

That looks a lot better and more dignified, doesn’t it?

For an economic agreement between two Balkan entities that few in the West have heard of, care about, or could locate on the map, reached with the involvement of President Trump and members of his staff, the strangely laid out document, it must be said, contains some even stranger provisions.

It says, among other things, that the parties will “diversify their energy supplies.” What does this Aesopian language mean? Are the parties unhappy with their current sources of energy and in need of assistance to secure new ones? Hardly. In light of (a) America’s bitter opposition to North Stream 2, and (b) Secretary of State Pompeo’s recent attempts to “diversify” Belarus’ energy supplies by pushing on it US products that would have to be brought from 10,000 miles away in order to block nearby Russian energy supplies, this phrase can mean only one thing. It is an order to Serbia to abandon any thought of relying on convenient and reasonably priced Russian energy supplies. It also puts an end to Serbia’s role in the Russian European energy distribution scheme, and potentially deprives it of its lucrative position as the South Stream distribution hub. What a great deal for Serbia!

Serbia further accepts to “prohibit the use of 5G equipment supplied by untrusted vendors.” Public health advocates would at this point say “Great, the trip to Washington was not in vain after all, because the scourge of 5G will no longer endanger the health of Serbia’s population, already being decimated by dire cancer generating radioactive consequences of the 1999 NATO bombing.” But the removal of this indisputably noxious Chinese equipment (and that is the whole point of this provision) will not end the scourge but will merely lead to “other mediation efforts in a timely fashion,” e.g. to the substitution of US manufactured deadly 5G networks for those of Huawei.

So the “economic normalization agreement with Kosovo” signed by the president of Serbia’s Hunter’s Association is actually a huge slap to both Russia and China, Serbia’s important geopolitical partners, and incidentally a shot in Serbia’s own foot as well.

Next, there is a provision which Ambassador Richard Grenell, who mediated the talks, might have inserted himself: “Both parties will work with the 69 countries that criminalize homosexuality to push for decriminalization.” What has that got to do with economic relations? And why stop there and not also mandate transgender toilets in Serbian grammar schools?

Serbia is also mandated to transfer its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In parallel fashion, “Kosovo” and Israel will establish diplomatic relations, i.e. Israel recognizes Kosovo. Another great deal for Serbia. By moving its embassy to Jerusalem, Serbia will reward Israel for recognizing the illegal separation of 15% of its territory containing some of its most significant cultural and spiritual sites. That would be analogous to Israel ceding Temple Mount and the Wailing wall to the Arabs and opening embassies in their capitals. And, slap number three, this time to the Arab and Muslim world, for reasons that are impossible to rationally fathom, Serbia obliges itself to “implement measures to restrict Hizballah´s operations and financial activities” on its territory. Whatever position one chooses to take toward “Hizballah” there is nothing for Serbia to restrict because that organization does not conduct any activities on Serbian territory, unless the reference is to “Kosovo” which happens to be a Hizballah stronghold. So why aren´t things called by their real name, and why does a person purporting to represent Serbia consent to being strong-armed into signing such a ludicrous provision, needlessly putting his country in a bad light and courting the contempt of hundreds of millions of Muslims throughout the world?

The next to last point of the Agreement is highly indicative of the political context of the entire affair. It says that in return for “Kosovo” not seeking membership in international organizations for a year, Serbia will “agree to a one-year moratorium on its de-recognition campaign, and will refrain from formally or informally requesting any nation or International Organization not to recognize Kosovo as an independent state.” The formulation is ambiguous but it is framed to support the interpretation that Serbia will refrain from obstructing the recognition of “Kosovo as an independent state” without any time limitations. The sentence is cleverly written by Anglo-Saxon lawyers, including tricky punctuation, to obfuscate that point, but the comma after the word “year” gives the game away. The clause that follows is grammatically separate from the language that precedes it. If President Trump was in a hurry and retyping the whole thing was not an option, any prudent signatory on Serbia’s behalf would have quickly inserted in his own hand after the word refrain the phrase “for the duration of one year,” thus clearly matching the period of “Kosovo’s” commitment to refrain. But as the matter stands, “Kosovo’s” duty to refrain will expire in one year, while Serbia’s obligation to do the same will continue indefinitely after that. Pacta sunt servanda.

Did Serbia’s representative at this meeting have a legal team to assist him? Probably not, because he presumes to be a lawyer himself.

What is the political implication of this provision? It is that the US and EU sponsored process of “Kosovo” legitimation as an “independent state” shall continue unabated, culminating in UN membership, with Serbia renouncing in advance the right to oppose it in any effective way. It is a demonically clever scheme. In the end, Serbia’s de iure recognition of “Kosovo” will become irrelevant because there will no longer be a need to seek its consent or opinion on the subject.

The thought that President Trump arranged this meeting because he needed a foreign policy win before the elections is grossly exaggerated. In his press briefing on 4 September, the same day these discussions were concluded, he did not even mention them or intimate that some spectacular accords which might influence his electoral chances were signed in the Oval Office. That is a clue to the significance he attributes to the visit of his Balkan guests.

For the outlaw “government of Kosovo,” however, this is an important phase in the relentless process of legitimation that is being conducted under the auspices of its US deep state sponsors, whether Trump personally is aware of what is going on or not. For Serbia, the trans-Atlantic trip definitely was not worth it. It was another broad strategic retreat and humiliation. It demonstrates the readiness of Serbia’s leadership to needlessly abase themselves and trade the country’s crown jewels for another lease on their political life, betting on the foreign support they now think they have secured by brown-nosing the global powers-that-be. They better think again, however, and analyse realistically the trajectory of their Montenegrin colleagues.

  1. I thank a reader of my previous article for correctly spelling my surname, with the umlaut. I had used the English transliteration in order not to confuse some readers. 

Two clicks to midnight

Two clicks to midnight

Two clicks to midnight[1]

by Ken Leslie for The Saker Blog

While I was absent from this esteemed blog focusing on other things, an extremely dangerous situation started to develop and I found myself reaching for the keyboard again. If some of my previous writings were a bit alarmist, the tone was motivated by a genuine angst before an unfeeling and unstoppable machine of conquest and destruction the likes of which the world had never seen. And angst it is—anybody with an ounce of common sense can see that the World is hurtling towards some kind of catastrophe. Whether this occurs in a year or five is less relevant. The point is that we are witnessing a process of rapid implosion of the current global system and are not able to see what will replace it. There is no compelling vision of the future—a universal vessel of hope that would transport us across the turbulent waters of fundamental change. This time I am not anxious but resigned. Resignation does not imply learned helplessness—unlike most people around me I am grateful for the ability to be aware of the danger and to articulate what I see as the truth without fear or self-censorship.

Oh, and if the post sounds like a rant, that’s because it is one.

Some academics (ideologues?) such as Steven Pinker have argued that things are much better than they were a 100 years ago—at least in terms of deaths caused by wars and other hard indicators of well-being. Although it pains me to say that Pinker could be correct, this essay is not about “progress” but about the approach of the ultimate regress—the unavoidable and ultimately catastrophic clash between the “West” and the “East”. A couple of months ago I was writing about the danger of NATO hordes closing in on Moscow from the Ukraine, Poland and the Baltics only to realize that unless a miracle happens, in a few months, Russia will be completely surrounded by enemies. The only exceptions—Norway at the extreme North and Azerbaijan at the extreme South are less relevant at the moment but as we have seen recently, these countries too are being subjected to accelerated weaponization—just yesterday, a Russian diplomat was detained in Norway and Azerbaijan is involved in a tense standoff with a (supposed) ally of Russia.

The fracturing and occupation of the post-Soviet space that began in 1991 is almost complete. More or less willingly, the former Warsaw pact and buffer states of Eastern Europe joined the criminal alliance that is NATO and over the last 30 years gradually prepared for the coming war against Russia. When did it all begin? The blueprint for the current mechanism was established by the Nazi Germany which narrowed the distance between itself and the Soviet Union over a few years. Moreover, the political mechanism behind the new Drang (the European Union) was designed in 1944 by Hitler’s economic experts (and put into practice by the founder of the CIA, William Donovan). It should be noted that on his way to the USSR, Hitler had to “pacify” a few countries including Poland, France, Yugoslavia and Greece. This time around, the whole West is united in its enmity towards Russia (economic links notwithstanding) and ALL European countries with the exception of Serbia and Byelorussia have placed themselves willingly in the anti-Russian camp. This is not to say that the majority of people in those countries hate Russia (in many they do) but that the governing cliques and military juntas inside various NATO satrapies are ready to contribute to the “joint effort to bring freedom and democracy” to the “benighted Rus”.

Of these two pariahs, the Serbs, despite their love of Russia are doomed by geography and by the privilege of being the only nation to have a piece of their country (Kosovo and Metohija) taken away, of being bombed by the combined forces of the West for 78 days and having a quarter of a million of their number cruelly expelled from their homeland in Srpska Krajina (currently occupied by Croatia). Exhausted and surrounded by enemies, the Serbs can do little to stop the clock ticking towards the Armageddon. This leaves Byelorussia, the only post-Soviet country that has not flirted with overt Russophobia and whose president showed many signs of real independence of mind vis-à-vis the West. Alexander Lukashenko’s personal bravery is not in question. In the midst of the NATO bombing in 1999, he visited Belgrade and declared himself openly pro-Serb. He signed the accession to the Union State between his country and Russia that same year.[2] He was somebody who wanted to preserve the positive legacy of the Soviet Union and his unwillingness to toe the EU line (pro-German “democracy” at home and anti-Russian posture abroad) earned him the sobriquet of the “last European dictator”.

But then, things started to go wrong, especially after the Nazi takeover of the Ukraine in 2014. Lukashenko might have started to feel isolated and between Western pressure and ossification of his quasi-socialist system (nothing wrong with it in principle), he began to turn against his only genuine ally—Russia. The reasons for this U turn are complex but at this moment also irrelevant. Whatever the cause of the cooling of the relations between Russia and Byelorussia, the consequences are dire and are fast becoming catastrophic. To understand the gravity of the situation, we should be able to see the “Gestalt”—the whole of the current geopolitical situation and its trends. That a global conflict between the West and the East is in the offing there is no doubt. Not only has Russia been targeted since the mid-1990s, but the total war on China and Iran declared by Trump and his Jesuitical agents provocateurs confirms absolutely that we are facing something unprecedented. I need to remind the reader that nothing like this was even remotely possible only 30 years ago. The brazenness and sheer bloodthirst of the new Operation Barbarossa with its global ambitions dwarfs any conquests known to history. What boggles the mind is how successful it has been.

No bromides about how strong Russia is, how well it’s coping (I repeat—coping) with the cruel sanctions by the West will suffice this time. No empty hope that somehow the miserable quisling statelets from the Balkans to the Baltics will experience a Zen-like enlightenment and disobey their Western masters. No false hope that the push towards Russia’s borders can somehow be reversed and no end in sight to the total war waged by the combined “West” (a dire temporary reconciliation of a resurgent Roman Catholicism, neutered Protestantism and newly respectable Zionism). From this point on, there is no going back. The distance between Moscow and the closest point in the Ukraine is 440 km (as crow flies). In the case of Byelorussia, it is 410 km. Although symbolic, this advance would be hugely important for the would-be conquerors as it is for Russia. Starting with Orsha in Byelorussia, the path to Moscow leads through Smolensk, Vyazma and Mozhaysk—towns that experienced so much suffering in WWII because they were on the road to Moscow. But what about the suffering of Byelorussia? It was probably the worst-suffering Soviet republic with an unknown number of people killed or sent of to Germany as slave labour and uncountable number of villages and towns destroyed.

None of this matters in the upside-down Western world view in which black is white and white is black. It is a world in which the close descendants of the worst war criminals in history are now the unofficial rulers of Europe together with their Gallic poodles and Anglo-Saxon frenemies, while the nation which bore the brunt of the cruellest genocide ever is being attacked by those same criminals again—as if two Vernichtungskriege in 30 years weren’t enough.

Many will point out that we are already at war and this would be true. The threat of a nuclear conflict has prompted Western strategists to think of alternative ways of destroying their opponents. We are talking about a broad-spectrum effort which includes political, economic, intelligence, cultural, psychological, religious and military components. By weaving these different strands into a single coordinated strategy, the West is hoping (and succeeding) in getting closer to Moscow every day without igniting a global nuclear war. This time however, it is different. Not only has the West crossed Russia’s geopolitical red lines, it has given notice that it will stop at nothing until Russia is defeated and destroyed. They are skilfully neutralising Russia’s nuclear deterrent by inflicting a thousand cuts from all sides without suffering any harm themselves. Two days ago, a Russian major general was killed by America’s proxies in Syria while delivering food to the people of Idlib. Today, Alexey Navalny is in a coma after an alleged poisoning attempt. The quickening is palpable but no event demonstrates the current danger better than the attempted colour revolution in Byelorussia which is unfolding as we speak.

The genius of the Western destruction-mongers lies not in their ingenuity and creativity but in their understanding of the lower reaches of human nature (in this respect they have no peer). They know how to exploit weaknesses such as greed, envy and ego and especially people’s susceptibility to vices. Moreover, these agents of darkness know that most people are frightened, helpless, largely ignorant and easily swayed and distracted. With this knowledge and an inexhaustible source of money, the West has settled on a winning scheme of “peaceful” conquest which has brought it all the way from the Atlantic coast to the gates of Moscow after 30 years of colour revolutions, coups and open war. I need to stress the importance and success of this “boiling frog” strategy.[3] There is nothing new or surprising in their latest move on Lukashenko—the same combination of underground CIA-funded networks from Poland, Ukraine and the Baltics and incompetent opposition which is transformed into a “plausible democratic alternative” overnight. Nazi-linked symbols, Russophobic vultures such as the buzzard-faced Bernard Henri-Levi circling above the scene, invented ancient roots… It’s all there.

But that is not why I’m writing. Throughout my years as a keen observer of the latest (and last) Drang, I have been fascinated by the patterns of behaviour (on a geopolitical level) which seem to come straight out of a history book to describe the period circa 1940. While the Western juggernaut hurtles through space, the decorum of “partnership” is maintained to the very last moment. Even though a few lonely voices are screaming that the war is inevitable and that Russia must neutralise any further advances by the new Nazis, most people are distracted by COVID, Joe Biden’s dementia and other nonsense. This could be cowardice but could also be wisdom in the face of an inevitable tragedy.

Even the tone of the Russian diplomacy is slowly changing—as it did in the autumn of 1940 following the cooling of German-Soviet relations. The ever measured and moderate Sergei Lavrov (like Vyacheslav Molotov before him) has started describing the international situation in more realistic terms using noticeably harsher language. Nevertheless, unless Russia does something very quickly, it will find itself completely surrounded and unable to defend itself as it did in 1941—hypersonic weapons notwithstanding.

However, the most fascinating aspect of this latest escalation is the fact that another colour revolution could be attempted at all and that Russia is still unable to assert itself in its neighbourhood, if only in order to save itself. “Unable” is perhaps too strong a word. What I mean is that unlike the West which is achieving its geopolitical goals without shedding blood and even without suffering any significant economic damage (no, Russian countersanctions have not crippled Germany or France), the Russians know that any attempts to stop and reverse the Western push will cost them dearly—primarily in terms of further isolation from all Western countries (already, Russian diplomats are being detained and expelled throughout the EU, as if in anticipation of the Byelorussian endgame). [4]The Western planners know that Russia can survive on its own but they also know that it can’t survive for long if deprived of the oxygen of international exchange—the feeling that it belongs to the family of European nations. No Eurasian ideology can ever replace the esteem in which Europe has been held by Russian intellectuals. While I see this pronounced inferiority complex as Russia’s curse, I have to acknowledge it in order to explain president Putin’s attempts to get various EU countries on his side.

It is not so much about economy but about Russia’s eternal yearning to prove itself worthy of “European standards” despite the fact that it was Europe that has been attacking Russia relentlessly and is guilty of crippling it possibly beyond healing. Hope springs eternal. And yet, president Putin must be aware of the dirty double-dealing game the EU is playing (I am giving the villain du jour a miss this time) by leaning on the United States to re-establish its hegemony over the Eurasian, African and Middle-Eastern space while lecturing Putin and Lukashenko on the merits of democracy. There is something deeply hypocritical—not to say Jesuitical—about EUs posture. It is doing everything in its power to isolate and weaken Russia while offering carrots such as Nord stream 2. This is much more pernicious than the open enmity of Trump and his crude supremacism because it offers the deeply unpleasant EU block an opportunity to play a good cop towards Russia at no cost to itself. Compared with the US’s Berserker-like attack on anything and everything, the EU appears “reasonable” and ready for a compromise by comparison—but this is only a dangerous illusion.

While the EU is wholeheartedly supporting the new Maidan (relying on the nazified pockets in the West of Byelorussia and the usual pro-Western suspects), it has the temerity to issue warnings to Putin not to “meddle” and to Lukashenko not to “oppress”. This coming from a president who has been perpetrating mass violence on the peaceful demonstrators in the centre of Paris for over a year. Even worse, Angela Merkel who is initiating a more muscular foreign policy under the guidance of expansionist hawks who are champing at the bit to replace her (Annegret whatever and Ursula I don’t care) dares lecture Russia on interfering in other countries’ affairs—after her illustrious predecessors. the CDU crypto-Nazis Kohl, Kinkel and Genscher destroyed Yugoslavia (only for Russian top partnyor Gerhardt Schröder to finish the job by sending German bombers, spies and military trainers to Serbia in 1999). And yet, all Russia can do is appeal meekly to the EU in the hope that the Ukrainian scenario will not recur. Promises of military help given to Lukashenko are almost worthless in the light of the cumulative EUs response—which would be nothing short of traumatic. The proof of this is the complete support by Germany for the Ukrainian regime notwithstanding its dirty role in overthrowing Yanukovich and undermining the Minsk accords.

So, what am I trying to say? The moment of reckoning has arrived. Despite the heroic battle by President Putin and his comrades to buy time and delay the inevitable, the time for procrastination and appeasement has passed. Russia must choose between a difficult but sustainable future and no future at all. The Western offensive has destroyed all buffers between Russia and its enemies and although this might not mean much militarily, it has a vast symbolic value.[5] If Byelorussia goes, Russia remains geopolitically isolated like never before. Furthermore, its enemies, far from collapsing as many have been predicting, are strong and more united than ever despite various internecine squabbles.[6] This is not to say that Russia is at the death’s door. On the contrary, it is precisely because it is so resilient and forward-looking that its enemies are compelled to ramp up the pressure.

Even if Lukashenko survives the current jeopardy, he will cease to be a relevant political factor in years to come. The weakening of his rule (however clumsy and obsolescent) can mean only one thing—the infiltration of the Byelorussian political life by various pro-Western agents of influence who will find it easy to corrupt and disrupt by dipping into NED’s and USAID’s seemingly inexhaustible coffers. The moment Russia intervenes in the affairs of Minsk in any detectable way, it will be subjected to a barrage of hatred, military threats and punitive measures that have not been seen before. President Putin has an unenviable choice—act sub rosa (like he has been doing in the Donbass) and watch Byelorussia slowly descend into an orgy of anti-Russian madness or intervene openly and risk alienating the EU further, at a time when the fate of the lifeline pipeline crucially depends on EUs goodwill and willingness to antagonise Trump (a perfect good cop, bad cop scenario played by the USA and EU).

All of this is clear to president Putin and his cabinet and I have no doubt that they are burning midnight oil trying to think of the best ways to counter the Western aggression. Yet, history still holds valuable lessons. Stung by what he saw as the betrayal by the British and the French, Joseph Stalin signed a non-aggression treaty with Hitler in order to delay the inevitable. The period of collaboration involved the USSR shipping oil to Germany, oil which would later power German tanks on the road to Stalingrad. Although he did buy enough time to execute some important war preparations, Stalin waited far too long. Months after having received reports of German reconnaissance planes overflying Byelorussia and Ukraine, Stalin refused to believe that Hitler would betray him and ascribed the “anti-German” panic to the agents of Winston Churchill. Yet, this time he was horribly wrong and his error cost the USSR millions of lives and billions in damage. None of the subsequent amazing victories of the Soviet arms would quite wash away the bitter taste of Stalin’s epic blunder of 1941.

The historical lesson I was alluding to is simple yet devilishly hard to implement because it is “two-tailed”. In other words, the possibility of a deadly miscalculation stretches equally in both temporal directions away from the point that represents a timely decision. In other words, given the huge stakes that are involved, making a correct decision is well-nigh impossible. And although the choice can be defended post-hoc, especially if it results in a victory, we can never know if a better decision could not have been made. Like Stalin, Putin is facing the Scylla and Charybdis of time, only I would argue that he is facing an even more difficult decision. For all its weaknesses, the Soviet Union was much larger than its successor state and possessed by far the largest armed forces in the world (to say nothing about the reserves of raw materials and workforce). The factor that probably decided its fate was a relative weakness of the fifth column inside the country and the ability of the security services to neutralise pro-German networks operating inside the country. President Putin has entered the twilight zone in which the smallest mistake can cost him everything. I don’t envy him but pray for his wisdom and Russia’s preparedness.

Of course, circumstances have changed dramatically and today’s warfare bears scant resemblance to the mass movement of army fronts across thousands of kilometres of chernozem and steppe. These days, the crude manoeuvring of armoured columns has been replaced by silent software attacks on a state’s currency system and infrastructure, covert takeovers and sabotage of its assets, denial of open and free intercourse with other countries, replacement of the indigenous values and goals by the foreign dogma and suborning of its institutions to will of the Empire. This new form of warfare requires sophistication and intercontinental co-ordination. Occasionally, we are made aware of the bloopers of the Western intelligence services and their silly attempts to blame Russia for all their ills, but make no mistake! The cumulative effect of their misdeeds has been a complete homogenisation of the European space along the Russophobic lines prescribed by the behind-the-scene bosses. Let me put it this way: If tomorrow the USA and the EU were to declare a war on Russia, do you believe that any of the Slav vassals would openly defy the clarion call? Again, let me give you a couple of examples from history.

When NATO bombed Serbia, not a single country refused to participate in this egregious war crime and the honour of defying the black criminal cabal of Brussels belongs to a few heroic soldiers from Greece, Spain and France. With Iraq it was different in that Germany and France did not feel sufficiently incentivised to participate in what they saw as a neocon-inspired Anglo-Saxon adventure (for which they have been lauded no end). To pre-empt the possibility of future betrayal by its vassals, the US has shifted to a new strategy which seeks to weaken Russia (or China) without having to mobilise military “coalitions of the willing”. The war is being fought in small, almost invisible increments which do not require absolute allegiance to the cause and payment in blood.

The new army consists of spies, computer and finance specialists, thinktank ideologues, NGO “activists”, “security experts” and other assorted ghouls whose victories are not measured in square kilometres of conquered territory or body counts but in fractions of a percent of damage caused to the currency, prestige or freedom of action of the enemy. This leaves a lot of space for “plausible deniability” and the maintenance of the “business as usual” posture while the deadly blows are administered below the waterline. It also bamboozles the ordinary people into thinking that the war could never happen. It can and it will.

Another consequence will be accelerated squeezing and neutralisation of the semi-impotent Serbia and the final Gleichschaltung of the Eastern wing of NATO in preparation for a more muscular phase of the war. This will involve transferring more troops and missiles to the East (but always under the retaliation threshold), closing down of Russia’s embassies and consulates in Europe while pretending to oppose the United States, closing down financing channels and media outlets, making life miserable for Russian citizens and businessmen abroad plus hundreds more nasty tricks. In many ways, the strategy of sustained pressure is more dangerous than open conflict because it sucks out hope from the people of the affected country—the hope that they will be treated as equals by the “cultured” West. A similar tactic has been used against China but China is in a much better economic position to withstand such pressures.

The fall of Lukashenko and “old Byelorussia” can mean only one thing—an intensified total war which Russia will have to face totally isolated. If Russia’s last real ally (yes, that’s what he is) can be removed with such ease, Russia cannot hope to attract and keep long-term allies and neutral partners. This is only partly Russia’s fault. The power aligned against it is unprecedented in history and I am praying that Russia will be able to overcome the forces of evil again.

One piece of good news though—the dissolute Jesuitical warmonger Bannon has been arrested for fraud—finally showing the Chinese the fruits of a “Christian” education.

Notes:

  1. The illustration has been borrowed from the irreplaceable Colonel Cassad (Boris Rozhin) whose blog most of us visit regularly. The link is: https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/6110832.html 
  2. Generally, I agree with the Saker that Byelorussia should not exist as an independent state. Nor should the Ukraine for that matter, apart from the Uniate appendage of Galicia. 
  3. From Wikipedia: “The boiling frog is a fable describing a frog being slowly boiled alive. The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. The story is often used as a metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to react to or be aware of sinister threats that arise gradually rather than suddenly.” 
  4. A recent episode has infuriated me no end. After helping Italy to stem the spread of COVID in a gesture of friendship and good will, the Russian air force has had to chase an Italian military aeroplane that was approaching the Russian Black Sea coast. Even if this was an attempt by the Americans to poison the relations between the two nations, it is inexcusable and leaves another stain of dishonour on the standard of the much abused battle standard of Italy. 
  5. Actually, it does mean a lot militarily because it allows for all kinds of fast aggressive moves for which Russia cannot find timely countermeasures. In today’s world of nanosecond processing, 10 km is a huge distance. 
  6. If you think that Brexit and Greek-Turkish tensions prove me wrong, remember that modern European history was a never-ending saga of bloody and destructive wars. 

Serbia SITREP: Kosovo – the endless game

Serbia SITREP: Kosovo – the endless game

August 15, 2020

by Mavro Orbini for The Saker Blog

Although expected, call for Belgrade-Pristina dialogue at White House on 2nd of September[1] is suddenly getting on importance after Trump administration masterpieced (unexpected) Israeli-UAE Peace Deal.[2] It seems that US diplomatic coupe is on the way just before US presidential elections. Trump sent letters in 2018 and 2019 to Belgrade and Pristina urging them to reach a “historic accord” for a “comprehensive peace” that would include as its central element “mutual recognition”! [3] What did change from the first cancelled meeting between US mediator Grenel with Serbian/Kosovo parties on 27/08 and one that is just scheduled? Based on Vučic complain that Grenel announced negotiation while he expected talks on economic normalization, it seems that Trump administration is quite serious in its attempt to solve this Balkan dispute for good!

Maybe that was information conveyed by Lavrov to Vučić during June meeting? Vučić was pretty grim during press conference later on. Visit of FM of Russia Lavrov to Belgrade in June might brought warning note to President Vučić as opposition media and politicians claimed (such public statement or warning would be quite undiplomatic from grandmaster of Russia´s diplomacy!). That warning note made it clear that “Kremlin would only support solutions to the Kosovo question acceptable to Belgrade and approved by the UN Security Council.”[4] That note was also directed toward EU and US that there are two inseparable locks for which EU, US and Vučić should find keys. Even if they come to some agreement, on the end of that process is UN Security Council that will ultimately decide on the future of possible agreement.

So where are we?

Over 20 years there were several proposals on the table and the process of negotiation has clearly two phases:

1. Period from 2000-2012 marked Pristina success on all fronts! Everything went smoothly – in 2008 Pristina declared independence from Serbia, in 2010 the International Court of Justice issued its opinion which found that Kosovo’s declaration of independence “did not violate international law”[5] and finally Serbia, with a gun at its head, signed with Pristina on April 2013 Brussels agreement that was an inch from full recognition of Kosovo as sovereign state! Serbia was, then, weak after 12 years of full economic destruction (forced but uncontrolled, wild privatization that first of all, completely destroyed the most important parts of its industry). At that point, it resembled situation of August in 1995 when ethnically cleansing of 250 000 native Serb by Croatia did not gathered more then few thousands protestors in Belgrade! In 2013 population of Serbia was demoralized, with low income, without any hope for better future. It was right moment to force Serbia to recognize independence of Kosovo without any fear of possible public backlash or violent riots against selling of “cradle of Serbia”! By some divine intervention it did not happen! That divine intervention was brought new hardline government in Pristina that wanted to further humiliate Serbia…

2. Period from 2013 to present day marked stalemate that did not work well for Pristina. Suddenly from dead end Serbia, bit by bit, opened up more and more space to try to save what is possible to save. More then dozen of countries, cleverly motivated by Serbia, withdrew their recognition of Kosovo as a state. Kosovo did not get any new recognition (at the moment, at most 92 countries recognize independence of Kosovo). Serbia managed to block several attempts of Kosovo for acceptance at UNESCO, Interpol, etc. Those were painful moments for politicians in Pristina that provoked many irrational decisions that did not serve them well. Most importantly, for the first time Serbia did manage to break monolith Pristina political elites into conflicting parties. It was cleverly done by rising issues that divided Pristina political parties. One of those issues was floating of idea for swap of territories. On Albanian side, eager for such solution was Hashim Thaci[6], president of “Kosovo” and Democratic Party of Kosovo, at the moment indicted for war crimes. That started intra Albanian infighting between Thaci and Ramush Haradinaj[7], then PM of “Kosovo”, president of Alliance for the future of Kosovo, also indicted war criminal that was released from Hague due to lack of witnesses against him (more then 20 of them killed by unidentified executioners). That turmoil was also evident between EU and US making rift in, until then, unified front against Serbia. Another rift between Albanian political parties on Kosovo just surfaced, few days ago, when parliament in Pristina rejected proposed legislation which was intended to enshrine in law support for the Kosovo Liberation Army’s wartime values[8]. For the first time we have civilian political parties having majority in voting over ex- KLA veteran political parties. It is fair to expect that these infightings will serve confronting EU and US interests so at the end of the day Serbia also might have some benefit from it?

What is on the table for negotiation?

SERBIA WILL NEVER RECOGNISE KOSOVO!

It is clear from election in 2000 of the first government of Serbia (after demise of Milosevic) that no prime minister or president of Serbia was willing to sign declaration of independence for Kosovo! Even the most West leaning ruling parties declined to do it. Especially from 2012 until today, ruling party SNS and its supportive media persistently fueled public opinion that there is no way to recognize independence Kosovo! Even that there will be referendum that will decide instead of politicians. No compromise on Kosovo issue is presented every day in many newspapers, TV and radio stations inclining toward ruling party! Today, public outcry would be much louder then in 2012 in case of independence of Kosovo!

SERBIA WILL RECOGNIZE KOSOVO!

It is clear that Serbia is ready to recognize Kosovo but not what is considered Kosovo today, not its territory, nor its independence! Serbia’s political elite knows that it was wrong to incorporate the whole territory of Kosovo (today when speaking of Kosovo it includes two regions Kosovo and Metohija for simplicity) into Serbia in 1912! Unlike Metohija, Kosovo had parts without single Serb and for many years Serbia did not enter its, these de facto, territories![9]

In the last 20 years there were several suggested models for resolution of this conflict:

1. Nebojša Čović , Serbian vice PM, proposed in 2001 that two entities, a Serbian and an Albanian, be established on Kosovo and Metohija. The Serbian entity would be under the protection of the Yugoslav Army and police, while the Albanian entity would have the highest grade of autonomy and stay under the protection of international powers.

2. In 2002, Serbian PM Zoran Đinđić stated that “Serbia has neither the mechanism nor the resources to reintegrate Kosovo into its legal system, or to create a form in which it will be under its sovereignty. The division of the province, therefore, is nothing else than an attempt to rescue what can still be saved.”[10]

3. It seems that in 2008 Slobodan Samardžić, Minister for Kosovo and Metohija, proposed partitioning Kosovo along ethnic lines, asking the UN to ensure that Belgrade can control key institutions and functions in areas where Serbs form a majority[11]. Existence of such proposal was strongly denied by then Serbian government.

4. In 2011 and in 2014, Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dačić proposed the partition of Kosovo as a solution to the Kosovo dispute.[12]

5. Hashim Thaci, president of “Kosovo” was eager for swap of territories with Serbia – taking south part of Serbia in exchange of northern Serbian enclave in Kosovo[13]

6. Special US envoy for Kosovo, Richard Grenel, dropped Molotov cocktail in June 2020 announcing plans “to create a “little mini-Shenzhen zone” between Kosovo-Serbia”![14] It was immediately dismissed by experts and international community, making laughing stock of illiterate Americano who actually meant mini Schengen!? Grenel never corrected himself and Vučić, in above mention reaction, that he ” expected talks on economic normalization not negotiation…” maybe confirms accuracy of Grenel statement?

Economic model of Shenzhen zone for Kosovo is the only viable option for this criminally infested region! Only rapid and from outside directed economic reconstruction gives hope for better future to young generations of local Albanians. Of course, it is difficult to see how part of political elite with background in drug and human organ trafficking could have any say in such process. For that reason it is of great importance recent distancing in Pristina parliament from KLA veterans and its past. It is time for clean start with new people!

But economic model must be followed by political one that will appease political aspirations of political elites of Pristina but also take in account political limitations of their political colleagues in Belgrade. Maybe this is where, otherwise unproductive, EU mandarins could come onboard with a modified

Cyprus model – despite joining the EU as a de facto divided island, the whole of Cyprus is EU territory. Turkish Cypriots who have, or are eligible for, EU travel documents are EU citizens. EU law is suspended in areas where the Cypriot government (Government of the Republic) does not exercise effective control. Cyprus has two official languages: Greek and Turkish; only Greek is an official EU language[15]

That offer on the table, as one of the (best) possible scenarios is an offer to Serbia for quick accession to EU together with Kosovo. Kosovo will have own state that will through Serbia be part of EU and their citizens will enjoy all privileges of other EU citizens. From black hole it will be place for booming economic development. Albanian side in Pristina was reminded who rules in Kosovo when US/Turkish solders invited and patrolled together with Serbian gendarmerie. Despite their protests, KFOR (mostly NATO) announced that such event was in accordance with UN 1244 resolution (that affirms Serbian sovereignty over Kosovo) and Kumanovo agreement with Serbian government (that Serbia has right to send up to 1000 soldiers to Kosovo)!!!

Of course, all experiences so far tells us that it is rational to expect irrational outcome and that we might go back to partition table of Kosovo! Serbian negotiation party will have eyes wide open on outcome of election in Montenegro on 30th of August! That outcome will be closely related with territories that Belgrade will demand. Bear in mind that Vučić, so far, although mentioned border correction, never said that Serbia wants (only) Serbian enclave in the North of Kosovo. Other eye and hand will embrace Republika Srpska without any doubt. Serbian public is prepared for such outcome as well. White house meeting has all potentials for great resolve but then again seeing faces of Lavrov and Vučić in June…

Mavro Orbini

  1. https://europeanwesternbalkans.com/2020/08/14/grenell-announces-meeting-between-kosovo-and-serbia-leaders-on-2-september/ 
  2. http://thesaker.is/israeli-uae-peace-deal-marks-tectonic-shift-in-middle-eastern-balance-of-power/ 
  3. https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/06/24/kosovo-serbia-summit-white-house-catastrophe-balkans-peace-process/ 
  4. https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-serbia-kosovo-lavrov-grenell/30679106.html 
  5. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-serbia-kosovo/kosovo-independence-declaration-deemed-legal-idUSTRE66L01720100722 
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hashim_Tha%C3%A7i 
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramush_Haradinaj 
  8. https://www.newsbreak.com/news/2040085412775/kosovo-mps-fail-to-pass-law-to-protect-klas-values 
  9. http://www.kosovo.net/sk/rastko-kosovo/istorija/sanu/map3.html 
  10. https://www.blic.rs/vesti/politika/moguca-podela-kim-u-dve-faze/fc68tv0 
  11. https://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/24/world/europe/24iht-kosovo.4.11380269.html 
  12. https://web.archive.org/web/20110516154348/http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=05&dd=15&nav_id=74342 
  13. https://exit.al/en/2020/06/09/kosovos-president-and-ambassador-lobbied-for-land-swap-deal-with-serbia-birn-reports/ 
  14. https://exit.al/en/2020/06/23/us-envoy-grenell-wants-special-economic-zone-between-kosovo-and-serbia/ 
  15. https://ec.europa.eu/cyprus/about-us/turkish-cypriots_en 

Why empty can makes the most noise? Or how visible is hidden deep in invisible?

Why empty can makes the most noise? Or how visible is hidden deep in invisible?

August 11, 2020

Note by the Saker: I want to express my deepest gratitude to Zoran for taking up my (always standing) invitation to express a point of view different than the one expressed by Johnny-on-the-spot in Serbia.  And, just in case, I want to remind everybody that I take NO personal position on this issue.  I hope that with Zoran’s column we can now have a discussion of substantive issues even if we vehemently disagree with each other.  Kind regards, The Saker

by Zoran Petrov for The Saker Blog

I was also one who has sent complaints to Saker on reporting from Belgrade and the one who refused his request to write something about situation in Serbia. There are many reasons for my refusal – one of them is that I am a biodynamic farmer and right now is high season for us in the fields. But Saker´s open letter did make change of my mind! Even if it means being accused as one of “tyrant’s trolls and bots”.

In younger days I was deputy editor in chief of small Yugoslav weekly in Australia and one of the first rules for every journalist was to avoid in their articles attributes like the one in reporting from Belgrade – “Serbian tyrant”, “psychopath” or having statements like “the board of medical charlatans”, “illegitimate, fraudulently elected deputies” without giving argumentation for such statements. Or better to say – without substance.

Instead manipulative “the people of Belgrade” good journalist would write (small or large) group of people, huge crowd, etc. and poetic expressions like “Serbia has now sunk to the darkest depths of the Middle Ages…”, “it is the descent of a proud country and noble nation into the malodorous septic tank…” would never be printed…

But what is happening in Serbia? Although everything seems quite obvious to Johnny-on-the-spot in Belgrade, questions must be raised about true influences and powers play in Serbia.

Good starting point could be series of lectures given by Rudolf Steiner in 1916 and firstly published as “Karma of Untruthfulness “in 1948. Steiner gave many lectures on nature of political events of his time. Quite interesting is his remark in 1918 that “Russian revolution was a social experiment that will last 70 years”! There are nice insights in his lectures into events that happened before WWI and background info on real causes that led to WWI.

Macintosh HD:Users:katarinapetrov:Downloads:200px-Mehmed_talaat_pasja.jpg

Steiner claimed that there was quite obvious clear intention of secret Anglo-Saxon brotherhoods to destroy 4 empires based on strong religious impulses – German, Austro-Hungarian, Russian and Ottoman empire!

Back in 1893, an elusive Englishman named Charles George Harrison delivered a series of six lectures to the Berean Society, a London based association of Christian esotericists. Harrison, described as a “mysterious and unknown figure,” was an English occultist and Anglican Christian. In his second lecture Harrison spoke of “the next great European war” and of how the “national character” of the Slavic peoples would “enable them to carry out experiments in Socialism, political and economical, which would present innumerable difficulties in Western Europe.”[1]

These brotherhoods took active roles after WWI, from forming new states to establishing new borders like the one between Serbia and new countries of Hungary and Romania (free masons even published a book about how demarcation line was settled among them for newly established Yugoslavia). What is less known is their role in Ottoman empire destruction – major figures in Young Turk movement were at least Freemasons. The role of Dönmeh[2] members is quite intrigant and hard to follow due to their secrecy. The fact is that direct responsibility for Armenian genocide does not lay on some, of those days religious fanatic Al Kaida, but on western educated and western leaning, young Turks like Talaat Pasha (one of 4 feared Pashas) that ruled during last days of Ottoman Empire. Talaat Pasha comes from Dönmeh environment in Salonika, 33rd Scottisch Rite Freemason, minister of interior, etc., masterminded genocide of Armenian people. Today whole Turkish nation is blamed for this genocide! “Good thing” was Young Turks decision to turn Aja Sofia into museum as today is “bad thing” by Erdogan to turn in back into mosque!

With these hints in mind maybe we could start to check what is happening in Serbia right now! Is Serbia better place now then 8 years ago? I remember when several Serbian governments unsuccessfully tried to sell 2 black holes of Serbian budget – Bor copper mine[3] and Smederevo Foundry[4]. Roughly 500 millions of euros went to cover wages and maintenance costs of these two unproductive companies. No one wanted to buy any of these companies even when the sale for 1 euro for each of them (There was short episode with US company that bought Smederevo Steel Mill for 1 euro but returned it back to Serbian state after they melted surplus of tanks and artillery pieces from Serbian army)! During Vucic rule he managed to bring Chinese companies that paid good money for these companies with commitment to make further investments into modernization as well in environmental protection. Serbian state is minority shareholder and more importantly it has 500 euros more in annual budget!

Long overdue modernization of Serbian army did take place (but we are not going into this topic) and it might have some connection with interesting events:

1. in 2018 Chinese president XI and Vucic discussed possible purchase of FK3 (frankensteined S-300 and Patriot missile defence system);

2. in 2019 and 2020 Serbian solders took training in Russia on S-400 missile defence system;

3. in 2020 Russia brought S-400 missile defense system to Serbia for a joint military exercise.

4. This month it became public information that Serbia actually bought FK – 3 from China[5]

How do we connect all these dots, are Russians and Chinese so stupid to play Vucic games, Western puppet? Why would Serbian soldiers spend nearly 2 years in Russia on training how to use S-400 when government already bought FK-3!?

Even more interesting events took part in the last 60 days! But Johnny-on-the-spot in Belgrade, somehow overlooked it. Instead, of all 2 million something Belgrade citizens, he focused his attention on handful (at most 1000) active protestors?!

Chain of events started with sudden visit of FM Lavrov to Belgrade on 18th of June. After meeting with Lavrov, grim Vucic warned of “difficult times ahead”[6] :

1. protests started by small group of people (because “fraudulent election”) eventually swelled on one day to maybe 6-7000 people. But after violence by some, number of protestors decreased rapidly in the matter of 48 hours! Interestingly, police arrested young men from Ukraine and Turkmenistan (with Israel passports), from Great Britain, etc. fully prepared for fight with police.

It is hard to believe that security services in Serbia were not aware of preparation for protests. It could be even that Lavrov brought those information? It is obvious to me that firecracker was prematurely ignited (aikido scenario) and gave Vucic nice pretext for negotiation in Brussels to show his counterparts that he is not at peace at home because Kosovo but also to get some more space for maneuver after uncomfortable complete majority in Serbian parliament!

2. US mediated Serbia/Kosovo negotiation was postponed as a blow to Trump[7]

3. Brussels mediated Serbia/Kosovo negotiation came “back on track”[8] whatever it means.

4. Serbia contacted US to buy 20 bombers[9] but if US refuses it, Serbia will find someone else where to buy it (Russia).

5. Serbian army entered Kosovo in joint border with NATO KFOR[10]. Press statement from KFOR confirmed event adding that everything was in accordance with UN resolution 1244 and Kumanovo Agreement (The Military Technical Agreement signed between the International Security Force (KFOR) and the Governments of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Serbia) !?!?[11]

And, yes, Corona did something to Serbian government that started frantically to invest hundreds of millions of euros in health system of Serbia that was devastated during last 30 years. Many new hospitals are going to be built as a matter of urgency, complete restructuring of microbiological labs in Serbia, state owned Torlak (in older days major vaccine provider for Asia and Afrika) was resurrected amid claims that it was sold. Veil of silence was lifted and we know now that Torlak still produces influenza vaccine among others. State of art new labs were bought or donated from China…

So many news in so few days! Chess game is in full swing and we need good and thoughtful reports from Belgrade!

It is important to remember – when Vucic came to power he was immediately accused of being Western pawn that should finalize Kosovo independence. He might be a Western man in Serbia but he did not give Kosovo independence yet!

Notes:

  1. https://www.newdawnmagazine.com/articles/brothers-of-the-shadows-overlords-of-chaos 
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%B6nmeh 
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zijin_Bor_Copper 
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesteel_Serbia 
  5. https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/08/03/world/europe/03reuters-serbia-arms-china.html 
  6. http://rs.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a611225/Belgrade-additionally-worries-about-Kosovo-after-Moscow-s-estimatesBelgrade-additionally-worries-abo.html 
  7. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/25/world/europe/serbia-kosovo-trump-hashim-thaci.html 
  8. https://www.rferl.org/a/leaders-of-kosovo-serbia-to-hold-talks-in-eu-effort-to-reboot-dialogue/30721718.html 
  9. https://www.voanews.com/europe/serbia-seeks-purchase-more-warplanes-strengthen-its-armed-forces-potentially-russia 
  10. https://exit.al/en/2020/08/09/serbian-army-entered-kosovo-in-joint-border-patrol-with-natos-kfor-mission/ 
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumanovo_Agreement 

In Serbia, la Résistance continues

In Serbia, la Résistance continues

August 08, 2020

by Saker’s Johnny-on-the-spot in Belgrade for The Saker Blog

Last Monday, August 3 – to paraphrase President Roosevelt – was a day that will live in Serbia’s parliamentary infamy. The fraudulently elected “parliament” was formally seated, but its inauguration was most inauspicious. On the plateau in front of the Parliament building indignant citizens greeted the arrival of the tyrant’s rubber stamp “parliamentarians” with angry shouts, eggs (hopefully as rotten as their targets), and tomatoes. Take a watch:

A journalist inside the building tried to strike up impromptu conversations with the new “legislators,” but few seemed self-confident enough to chat or even bold enough to identify themselves by name. One of them (Vučić’s former minister of culture Tasovac, at 00.36 seconds, with his signature bizarre hairstyle) tried to run away. If you speak Serbian, take another watch, but if you do not speak the language, no big deal. Just kick back and enjoy the obvious discomfort of these fraudsters, whose body language is a clear admission that they are where they do not belong:

Would anyone watching this disgraceful spectacle ever guess that the renewal of Serbia’s independent statehood in early 19th century was accompanied at every turn by vibrant parliamentary life? Tyranny and one-man rule are inherently incompatible with the Serbian ethos. Even during the first Serbian insurrection against Ottoman occupation in 1804 there was an advisory soviet (Правителствующій совѣт сербскій) to make sure that Karageorge, the leader of the rebellion, would not be making arbitrary decisions. Throughout the rest of the 19th century, Parliament or Скупштина, played a major role in political life, balancing the power of the prince and later the king. The golden age of Serbian parliamentarianism was the first decade of the 20th century when the Skupština, in terms of the quality of its proceedings and elite composition, which included the country’s most accomplished citizens and finest minds, was more than a match for its Western European models. Their successors today are colorless, insecure non-entities looking only for a sinecure and always ready to raise their hands approvingly at the command of their ruling party superiors.

And they will be expected to do just that soon, when the constitutional amendament to delete the preamble which asserts that Kosovo is an inalienable part of Serbia is put before them. They will be expected also to approve mass compulsory Covid-19 vaccionations with hastily improvised, untested and unsafe experimental preparations which the regime intends to use on a good part of the Serbian population as guinea pigs, in return for hefty bribes from crooked pharmaceutical manufacturers. And they will at some point undoubtedly raise their hands also when asked to publicly approve the currently secret arrangements whereby hordes of migrants deemed superflous by Germany, Austria, and other EU countries will be dumped on Serbia, to be permanently settled here.

Serbs are expressing their utter disgust at the regime’s rampaging madness with various degrees of public intensity, depending on where they happen to be. On August 8, free Serbs in the diaspora conducted protests against the Vučić regime in about a dozen world capitals and major cities. These are their plans and demands:

C:\Users\hp\Desktop\Anti Vucic protests\SRBI SVETA FACEBOOK ADRESE.png

The symbol of the diaspora protests are Rattling Keys, signifying the incarcerated condition of the Serbian people in their homeland under tyrannical rule. Here are some scenes from the protests far from the reach of Vučić’s lawless tontons macoutes:

Srbi u dijaspori, protesti, Švajcarska

“Phony elections, a phony parliament, soon a phony government, phony figures of Corona virus victims. We can no longer keep silent as democracy and freedom are being obliterated,” according to Lazar Karapandža, spokesman for the „Democracy 4 Serbia“ protests.

Their compatriots in Serbia, however, are less fortunate when it comes to freely expressing their views. The regime is installing face recognition cameras all over Belgrade, and probably in the interior as well. There is a price to be paid for non-conformist thinking and behaviour in today’s Serbia. A woman who attended the nightly protest in front of the Parliament building in Belgrade a few days ago was followed by two uniformed policemen when she boarded a bus to go home. They asked her for her ID, Ihre Papiere bitte, presumably in Serbian, and demanded she get off at the next stop so that they could issue her a 5000 dinar (about $50) fine, a small fortune in Vučić’s prosperous Serbia. When the lady, who has no criminal record, asked the police why they were doing that, they replied “because we saw you at the protest”. Take a watch at how police intimidation unfolded (00 to 3:14 minutes), in front of the Parliament of aspiring EU applicant Serbia:

But all told the lady got off relatively lightly. On Thursday, a 31-year-old man, whom the authorities identified only as P. G., was arrested in the provincial city of Užice over twenty days after committing the heinous offense for which charges against him are now being pressed. The corpus delicti was that together with other miscreants P. G. took part in an anti-regime demonstration, pictured below

http://srbin.info/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/u%C5%BEice.jpg

in front of the building housing the headquarters of the ruling party. During the disturbance – and get this gentle readers – the crowd pelted “with eggs, tomatoes, and paint” a huge poster of – need I explicitly disclose who? – and the banner of his Serbian Progressive Party.

The hapless P. G. was jailed for 48 hours, pending a court decision on whether detention should be extended for the next thirty days. Three young men who were also charged with defacing the tyrant’s image with paint and assorted vegetables were threatened by prosecutors with four-month prison terms for “unruly conduct.”

With such outstanding first hand reports, the unflattering assessment by the respected French weekly political magazine “Le Point,” that “the dream of the rule of law in the heart of the Balkans is increasingly fading,” is as unsurprising as it is easily verifiable.

Mincing no words in its blazing headline, “Aleksandar Vucic, le satrape des Balkans”, so transparently damning that it does not even require a translation, having made plain that Serbia is ruled by a lawless regime, “Le Point” points out the seeming paradox that “beyond Serbia’s borders no European country dares to criticize Vučić’s abuses. There is an explanation for such diplomatic leniency. The West believes that as a leader Vučić is capable of bringing lasting peace to the heart of Europe. But how?”

“By recognizing Kosovo,” the French weekly calmly answers its own rhetorical question.

The conclusion rings true, but it is hardly a compliment from the standpoint of most Serbs.

So Vučić’s game is largely up. His measure has been taken, and he has been found wanting. His pretenses are not believed, they are merely being tolerated, and for the sake of a larger objective set by globalist power centers whose marionette he is. Once he facilitates that objective, his tolerated abuses will be turned into a lengthy indictment, the usual grim fate of satraps. (For those interested in linguistic precision, “satrap” is defined as “a provincial governor in the ancient Persian empire” or alternatively “any subordinate or local ruler.” The French are known for carefully picking their words.) Vučić will then be toast, as dispensable as used toilet paper. But if he fails to facilitate it, he will also be toast, as he very well understands. Either way, he goes down in flames with his toadies.

If you are upset, bots and trolls, spare me the invective. Earn your daily sandwich for a change by haranguing “Le Point’s” editors instead. This is their email: abo@lepoint.fr .

Tell them how they’ve got it all wrong, won’t you? And do it in impeccable French.

Serbia sinks deeper into a sordid mockery of the rule of law

Serbia sinks deeper into a sordid mockery of the rule of law

August 03, 2020

by Saker’s Johnny-on-the-spot in Belgrade for The Saker Blog

Relentlessly, as if his life depended on it (as it well might) the Serbian tyrant Alexander Vučić is setting the stage for the final act of grand treason that he had obligated himself to commit in exchange for an appearance of power and an opportunity for graft and plunder. His regime is making final preparations for signing away the spiritual and cultural heartland of Serbia, Kosovo.

On Monday, August 3, at 10 am, Vučić’s fraudulently elected “parliament” is scheduled to assemble and hold its inaugural session. It is notable about its composition that regime vote-counters awarded Vučić’s SNS party 188 seats out of 250, while satellite parties SRS and SPAS got a total of 43. The balance of the seats went to ethnic minority groups with guaranteed representation in parliament. Not a single opposition party was allowed in.

Why is that important? For a very simple reason. The preamble of the Serbian Constitution states that Kosovo is an inalienable part of Serbia and the Serbian President, when taking office, explicitly pledges to keep it that way (Article 114). According to Article 203, for the Constitution to be amended and for the language in the preamble and Presidential oath referring to Kosovo to be done away with, two-thirds of parliamentary deputies must vote for it. No constitutional amendment, no Kosovo giveaway. Or, rather, Vučić can sign any piece of paper to that effect but his signature on it will be legally inconsequential.

Those who made him President and to whom he has made certain treasonous promises are aware of that, and so is he.

So now the big picture and the contours of Vučić’s scam are coming into focus.

Corona or no corona, since Kosovo pressure from his foreign sponsors was building up, Vučić had to do two things: (1) figure out a way to get a new parliament elected where he would have a controlling two-thirds majority to change the Constitution to suit his purposes, and (2) practice fraud of unprecedented scope in order to achieve that objective.

As we have pointed out in earlier Sit-Reps, the board of medical charlatans (Crisis staff, as they are known) who are mismanaging Serbia’s response to the corona crisis are corrupt political appointees ready to do the regime’s bidding. On cue from Vučić and his health minister Lončar (popularly known as “Dr. Death”, having apparently assumed the mantle of Dr Kavorkian in the US), the regime medical charlatans declared the corona pandemic over in Serbia at the end of May, clearing the way for the rigged elections on June 21. As soon as the elections were over and the ballots counted, many brought over in sacks by party activists from who knows where, again on cue the pandemic re-emerged, literally a day later, with a vengeance, and in magical

https://www.srbijadanas.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/dzak-glas-660x330.jpg

synchronization with Vučić’s further political agenda. On June 27 an important Kosovo meeting was scheduled to take place in Washington where Vučić and Kosovo KLA terrorist leader Thaci were expected to put finishing touches on a “comprehensive mutual recognition agreement” under US auspices. Thaci’s unanticipated indictment by the Kosovo tribunal at the Hague, the result of transcontinental intrigues between the US and the EU, an event wholly outside of Vučić’s foreknowledge or control, took the wind out of that meeting and another one was scheduled to take place in Brussels later in July.

Acting on what he knew at the time (masters do not always share all the details with their servants), and encouraged by the apparently compliant attitude of the population during the previous corona lockdown, Vučić decided to redramatize the medical situation. His objective was to cage the people safely again in a new lockdown, while he went off to fine tune the “comprehensive agreement” he was instructed to deliver, untroubled by concerns about the popular reaction. He went on nationwide television and announced a reintroduction of the lockdown. That miscalculation marks the beginning of the drastic deterioration in his current political fortunes. He tweaked the tiger’s tail one time too many.

Unexpectedly, the populace reacted massively, their revulsion at the regime and resolve not to be caged again by the psychopath overcoming their fear. The rest is, as they say, history and it was faithfully recorded and illustrated in our previous Sit-Reps.

As we pointed out, a determined group of several hundred “keepers of the flame” has been conducting a regular vigil in front of the Parliament building in Belgrade. Any spark would be sufficient for the citizenry to return in force. Many groups have announced that they are preparing a suitable “welcome” for Vučić’s bogus parliamentarians on Monday morning. How it pans out, we shall see. But it is highly unlikely that Monday’s contemptible gathering of regime political prostitutes will even remotely resemble a dignified and decorous event.

Vučić knows it and, ominously for him, his masters have grasped it as well. His usefulness is near expiration and soon even Upper Volta will be disinclined to entertain his asylum request.

Belgrade Parliament update: Because of hurricane Isaias, the Saker was not accessible in time to post our Sit-Rep before the event. On Monday morning Vučić’s illegitimate, fraudulently elected deputies were officially instated. Their sole legislative task in the near term will be to amend the Serbian Constitution to legalize the official recognition of Kosovo’s separation from Serbia and to allow Vučić to keep his bargain with the devil. It is a false parliament of traitors, convoked to serve the nefarious purposes of the blackmailed Serbian tyrant who is himself guilty of grand treason.

The people of Belgrade evidently are of that opinion because they turned out in front of the Parliament building early Monday morning to put the phony “deputies” on notice, as they were arriving one by one in luxurious government vehicles, that they are illegitimate and do not represent anyone. The protest was entirely peaceful, though at times quite noisy. The tyrant’s police arrested former deputies and protest leaders Srdjan Nogo and Zoran Radojićič on the way from their homes to the protest site. Police ambushes at key points throughout Belgrade harassed people they thought were on their way to join the protest and tried to intimidate them to stay away. That was just a day after 1,3 million people in Berlin and other German cities manifested their opposition to government policies completely unhindered by the police or any other authorities. Comically, but unsurprisingly for a paranoid dictatorship, in front of Parliament a woman was arrested after the police found an egg in her shopping bag, the police evidently fearing that she might try to use it as a weapon against regime targets.

Serbia has now sunk to the darkest depths of the Middle Ages. Needless to say, it is not a revival of the brilliant medieval period of the Nemanjić dynasty. It is the descent of a proud country and noble nation into the malodorous septic tank of Alexander Vučić’s insufferable tyranny.

Note to our gentle readers: Alert readers must have noticed that with each new Serbia Sit-Rep there is seemingly an exponential increase in “comments” by the tyrant’s trolls and bots. Serbian readers will not be surprised. They can easily identify and “cancel” them because they must deal with these obnoxious pests on Serbian websites all the time, whenever a critical word is uttered. As Serbian readers are well aware, the practitioners of this dishonourable profession of jamming other points of view in Serbia are known condescendingly as the “sandwich people.” In devastated and impoverished Serbia, they typically sell their souls for a sandwich, with perhaps a Coke thrown in, in return for spending hours patrolling the internet and trying to discredit and drown out voices that stray from the official line.

But this is a matter that needs to be clarified for the benefit of non-Serbian readers. They should know why, bizarrely, a squad of English-speaking sandwich people has apparently been assigned to monitor our reports from Belgrade. It is because Serbia has been plunged in total media darkness and all news are tightly controlled by the regime. With the exception of a few portals and internet television sites, operated by some very brave individuals, all the remaining media outlets are directed either by the regime or by the NATO/Soros cartel. The latter are mildly critical, not enough to endanger the system, but just enough to send signals to Vučić to let him know what is expected of him. They know the “elections” were fraudulent and Western embassies and chancelleries are perfectly aware of it as well, but they still need Vučić to complete the tasks for which they installed him. They are holding their heavy fire for later, when he will have become completely useless and the decision is made to replace him. The regime, however, is unaccustomed to criticism so it reacts regularly with paranoid fury to the slightest public exposure of its malfeasance, especially abroad. They dare not swing too hard against the media outlets of their sponsors, so they vent their fury on targets they think are safe. Hence the intense reactions of regime apologists who obviously are not Saker readers and do not share the values of this web portal. Their comments are garbage, but the fact that they are paying attention and are busy trying to repair their sandwich maker’s tarnished image is a tribute to the Saker, more than to your humble servant, this reporter.

Serbian tyrant’s nasty scheme to misrepresent protests

Serbian tyrant’s nasty scheme to misrepresent protests

July 25, 2020

by Saker’s Johnny-on-the-spot in Belgrade for The Saker Blog

Daily protests against tyrant Vučić continue unabated in front of Parliament in Belgrade and are nearing their twentieth consecutive day. The regime’s early hopes of dispersing them by using brutal police violence against the protesters have themselves been dispersed. Every evening several hundred citizens, “keepers of the flame” as they like to call themselves, gather on parliament plateau and hold their Agora. They disregard totally the authorities’ decrees, supposedly motivated by the public good and pandemic-related medical reasons, banning groups of more than ten individuals and requiring the keeping of “social distance”. Just as it did after the July 7 spontaneous protests that broke out following Vučić’s announcement of lockdown reintroduction, the regime again put its tail between its legs and backed down. It is clearly afraid of sparking another wave of outrage by enforcing its hastily improvised “public health” regulations, which in reality were intended to snuff out the protests.

But the real story is that the truth about the police violence on July 8 and 9 is finally emerging, as everything in Serbian ultimately does. Veteran journalist Danko Vasković has disclosed the details of the regime’s sleight-of-hand by which an initially peaceful gathering against the announced second lockdown was transformed by organized regime thugs into a violent confrontation, arranged to portray peaceful and law-abiding citizens as destructive terrorists:

In true agent provocateur fashion, regime thugs (we did not err by comparing them to Duvalierist tontons macoutes in Haiti) initiated the violence by pelting the police with stones and leading a charge to break into parliament. That gave Vučić’s police and gendarmerie the necessary pretext to attack the peaceful crowd and start breaking skulls and bones. The thugs then moved back behind police lines and joined the police in beating and arresting protesters.

Regime propaganda was quick to misrepresent the disorders as an attempted coup, a Serbian Maidan, depicting Vučić as an innocent victim of foreign inspired plots. Absurdly, regime script writers could not get their story straight so they simultaneously laid the blame on both Western intelligence and Russia. Rumors were spread that Srdja Popović, head of the notorious Otpor color revolution adjunct of Western intelligence services was redeployed from his cushy university job in Scotland to Belgrade, to plot against Vučić. There was no logical explanation of why border control officials would allow such a character to enter the country, or why the regime would tolerate Otpor (now renamed Canvas) to maintain offices and to operate freely in Serbia. At the same time, the regime’s schizophrenic spin doctors were ramping up anti-Russian propaganda, accusing Kremlin agents of stirring up the protests. It was a direct outburst of fury at Putin for making it crystal clear that Russia will block Kosovo change of status regardless of the position official Belgrade takes in the matter. Law professor Dejan Mirović explained why the increasingly cornered regime is bound to soon drop its pretense of being Russia-friendly and will most likely follow in the footsteps of Djukanović by shifting to a radically anti-Russian position.

So now the main contours of what happened in Serbia this month are becoming clear. The regime tried to use the corona pandemic as a cover for finally settling its obligations to Western sponsors who brought it to power and whose impatience at Vučić’s years-long delay in delivering Kosovo was becoming palpable. But Vučić and his bumbling, incompetent crew botch everything, and this was no exception. Briefly, the plan was to lock the nation up while preparations for fraudulent June 21 elections were being conducted. Shortly before the elections, the lockdown was lifted and Serbia was proclaimed safe from the pandemic. It is important to understand why it was crucial for Vučić to stage these elections and to arrange for a better than 2/3 victory. The preamble to Serbia’s constitution specifically states that Kosovo is an inalienable part of Serbia and that no agreement separating it from Serbia would ever be lawful. This provision, if left unchanged, would nullify Vučić’s signature. That huge obstacle to the act of treason Vučić is committed to enact could only be overcome by a constitutional amendment, which parliament must pass, and for which at least 2/3 of the deputies must vote. That resolves the mystery of the magically concocted overwhelming, better than 2/3 victory Vučić’s vote-counters gave their boss. But just as everything was set to give Kosovo betrayal a veneer of legality, Vučić foolishly shot himself in the foot.

His desire to make sure the Serbian people were safely locked up while finishing touches were being put on the Kosovo handover, in Washington on June 27 (spoiled by the Thaci indictment in the Hague) and in Brussels on July 16, is perfectly understandable from his point of view and requires no elaboration. Vučić’s manner of execution was, however, characteristically clumsy. A nation that had just emerged from two and a half months of onerous mass confinement was not prepared to meekly re-enter its cage. As if the brazenly fraudulent elections had not already struck a raw nerve, the gibberish of regime medical charlatans composing the pandemic Crisis Staff was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The same regime witch-doctors (parallels with Haiti just keep coming up, don’t they?) who claimed to have gotten the better of corona virus just in time to enable Vučić to hold the “elections”, days later were saying the opposite, that their voodoo hexes were useless after all and that corona was back in full force. Who can blame a weary, frustrated, manipulated, and destitute nation for exploding with loathing and fury?

The prognosis for the Fall in Serbia (no pun intended) is dismal. Economist Branko Dragaš has cogently argued that by September or October the treasury will be empty and that by then pensions and various other benefits will have to be frozen and/or greatly reduced. Since pensioners are a significant segment of Serbia’s aging population, that should in itself be enough to provoke large-scale social turmoil. But according to Dragaš what the regime has to look forward to is a double whammy. Because of the precipitous decline of the shaky economy due to the corona-associated lockdown and resulting economic dislocation, up to a million unemployed are expected to be roaming Serbia’s streets by the Fall. As Dragaš picturesquely puts it, this month the protesting Serbs were being hit in the head with police batons; in just a few months they will be hit just as hard, but in the pocketbook.

Meanwhile, the social foundations of the regime are beginning to crumble. The July 7 protests have pierced the fear barrier in Serbia. One by one individuals from all walks of life, policemenstudentsmedical professionals, and even former paid internet bots who have become disgusted with lying for the regime, are publicly dissociating themselves from the system and its institutions. But more importantly, entire professional groups are in rebellion. In response to the regime’s catastrophic mishandling of the pandemic, a week ago medical doctors started a petition exposing collapsing conditions in Serbia’s public health system and demanding that the corona Crisis Staff hacks be fired and replaced with competent professionals. Initially the petition had 350 signatures, but by now, just a few days later, it has swelled to almost 3,000. The doctors’ protest is particularly brave because they are government employees. They were soon supported by 400 scientists, 300 artists, and 80 lawyers. The avalanche is gathering momentum. Nobody wants to remain aboard Vučić’s sinking ship.

To continue with the metaphor, presently the Vučić tyranny resembles a ship struck by a torpedo, which is listing badly. It may have enough momentum to keep afloat for a while, but when it is flooded with enough water it will inevitably capsize and sink to the bottom. Before that happens, the Serbian people must seize at least one high value target aboard and make sure that after a proper trial exposing his malfeasance he does not end up unpunished, on the bottom of the ocean, but here, where he belongs:

Serbian tyrant caught in a pincer, the stage is set for his spectacular fall

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Serbian tyrant caught in a pincer, the stage is set for his spectacular fall

by Saker’s Johnny-on-the-spot for The Saker Blog

We spoke too soon, it turns out, about the Dr. Vladimir Mentus, the young Serbian sociologist, being released from prison and charges against him being dropped. At one point several days ago the appellate chamber did vacate the of the misdemeanour court judge’s decision sentencing Dr Mentus to thirty days for participation in the protests, specifically for “insulting” the police, and remanded the case to the lower court for reconsideration in line with its analysis. So is Dr Mentus now back home with his family? Not at all, the lower court has resentenced him to 30 days in prison, but on slightly altered grounds that he participated in acts of disorder which resulted in damage to public property. That is the way the travesty known as the “justice system” operates in Vučić’s “European Serbia.”

But unenviable as the position of Vučić’s political prisoner Vladimir Mentus may be, the tyrant Alexander Vučić is in a far worse jam. He is caught in a pincer between the demands of his Western sponsors to sign off on the recognition of Kosovo, and the swelling internal discontentment which delegitimizes him. At present, but for its disgraced president Serbia does not have any legally functioning institutions. The cabinet’s mandate ran out over a month ago. Since constitutionally the President’s role is ceremonial (although additional powers belonging to other branches of the government were unlawfully seized by the usurper) if a legally binding decision on Kosovo were to be taken, it could be done only by the prime minister and the cabinet, which are currently in a lame duck, caretaker capacity. As for Vučić’s fraudulently elected “parliament,” which needs to change the constitution for the separation of Kosovo to be legally possible, it has not been constituted yet and diehard protesters have vowed to make sure it never is and are demanding the annulment of the phony elections. Without parliament to approve it, the new government cannot be legally constituted nor can the act of treason Vučić has obligated himself to commit be performed with an appearance of constitutional regularity. So those who engineered Vučić’s installation eight years ago must deal with their puppet’s meltdown just as the task for which they installed him – recognition of the narco-state of Kosovo – is going into high gear and approaching its projected climax.

Dr Vladimir Mentus will very likely be out of the pokey in thirty days, but will Alexander Vučić by them still be around?

Ultimately, that decision will not be made by the usurper, or even by the leaderless and unorganized Serbian people, but by Western power centers and their intelligence services. They are now assessing Vučić’s overall usefulness in light of the bloody mess that his stupid and inept conduct has created. They must, of course, also calculate into their equations the impending crash of the Serbian economy, with projected one million unemployed roaming the streets. Not to be forgotten is another significant category of victims, the 1,700,000 pensioners facing a drastic reduction in their monthly allotments as government income shrinks and foreign loans, taken out under even the most usurious conditions, become increasingly difficult to arrange. Faced with the obligation of paying off billions of euros in soon to mature debts due to international creditors, with the hefty interest that those loans carry, and looking after his jobless subjects or the pensioners whom Vučić has already fleeced with impunity on numerous occasions, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out what the cornered tyrant will do. The result will be a renewed explosion of social unrest compared to which the recent turmoil will seem no more than a minor bump in the road. These are huge factors shaping the hard-nosed assessment of Vučić’s viability by whoever is assessing his usefulness, and the folks doing the assessment right now as I write this are nothing if not hard-nosed.

Sidebar: The persistent rumor that a desperate Vučić, anxious to ingratiate himself with his Western masters, is ready to appoint the chief NATO lobbyist in Serbia, head of the Russophobic  Soros NGO CEAS (Center for Euroatlantic Studies), Jelena Milić, to the post of foreign minister or some other high position in the new cabinet, gained credence today. The main regime rag, “Informer,” published Milić’s letter to Tania Fajon and several other EU officials who were rather mildly critical of police brutality in Serbia, telling them that everything is fine and warning them not to interfere in the regime’s internal affairs. The odious Milić is ingratiating herself with Vučić, who may have decided already to use her to try to ingratiate himself with his Western NATO masters. If the despised Milić is appointed to any government position, even cleaning lady in the foreign ministry, in the long run that will not be the factor that could save Vučić, but it will be a slap in the face for Russia and clear proof that it miscalculated completely when it bet, however grudgingly, on the Serbian tyrant.

To this dismal picture should be added ominous warning signals that the same people who invented Vučić and put him in place are now busy reinventing him in the form of a resurgent Western financed “civic opposition,” ready to jump in and take over, possibly in a palace coup, should Vučić try to weasel out of the treasonous commitments made to his foreign masters.

These characters are, to be sure, just as despised as Vučić. As we pointed out in earlier sit-reps, they were booed off the stage and physically chased away by protesting patriotic citizens when they tried to mingle with the crowds to profit from the photo-op and misrepresent themselves as popular tribunes. They are, however, being organized by Vučić’s masters, persistently and with considerable fanfare, as Serbia’s potential shadow government in waiting. After a suitably arranged “color revolution,” they would be ready and able to complete their predecessor’s job. If the usurper is on sleeping tablets, there are sound reasons for his distress.

To sum up, Vučić is the man that absolutely no one is happy with. The population loathes him for his disastrous and injurious policies and sees through all his lies. His Western backers have good cause to be upset and impatient, while harbouring serious doubts about his further utility. Their problem, as well as Vučić’s, is how to neutralize popular discontentment, which so far has not shown the concerted strength required to overthrow the rotten system, but has nevertheless proved seriously disruptive. Most concerning of all, its potential for further radicalization, especially if the unstable tyrant again overreacts and creates a catalyst for popular mobilization, presently is a “known unknown,” but still very much on the minds of all concerned.

Vučić’s ultimate fate will be unpleasant, but it will most likely be decided by his obviously dissatisfied foreign sponsors, not by anything he does. A new team eager to prove its loyalty and plunder the little that is left of Serbia is waiting in the wings and the condemned, lonely man in the presidential palace knows it.

If Vučić’s fate is not settled in Serbia (which for him would be the most unpleasant option), he will have to look for a corner of this earth where his pestilential presence would still be tolerated and where he and the remnants of his criminal entourage might have access to the fruits of their immense plunder. Since deposed and no longer useful puppets of the globalist system, after being discarded, with remarkable regularity become global fugitives, finding a safe haven will be an incredibly complicated challenge.

That is why with all his current travails, the young scholar Dr Vladimir Mentus is in far better shape than Serbia’s pathetic Ozymandias, the “great” bumbler and nincompoop, Alexander Vučić. The bright young man at least has a future, and the prison time he can simply chalk up to life experience. Who knows, it may even result in a brilliant sociological dissertation.

Day 4 in Belgrade – the unravelling of a popular revolt, or of the regime?

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SITREP: Day 4 in Belgrade – the unravelling of a popular revolt, or of the regime?

by Saker’s Johnny-on-the-spot in Belgrade for the Saker Blog

What started a few days ago as a vigorous grass-roots movement is slowly but surely being reconfigured (and not in the good sense) on the streets of Belgrade and other cities in Serbia.

Violent regime-infiltrated thugs and agents provocateurs are gradually gaining the upper hand around the parliament building in Belgrade, which is the focal point of the nation-wide protests. Their task is two-fold. Firstly, to provide a plausible rationale for the brutal response of regime’s police and gendarmerie. They pointedly taunt the police, throw flaming torches at them, and hurl bricks to cause as much damage as possible in order to elicit repression, and then move away. Secondly, their mission is to taint the overwhelmingly peaceful protesters by association. The few independent media outlets are doing a heroic job of keeping the public informed about the real situation. The director of one of them, srbin.infoDejan Zlatanović received anonymous death threats yesterday in retaliation for his persistently truthful reporting from the embattled streets of Belgrade. The mass media are almost entirely regime controlled and their mendacious spin is enough to make anyone puke. The thrust of it is to cast the tyrant and his cronies as defenceless victims of a coup attempt (it will be recalled that at a later stage in the Romanian game, colleague Ceausescu was spewing similar insults at his judges, calling them “putchists”). To drive the point home, upon returning from Paris, Vučić announced immediately that the protesters are to be treated as „terrorists“ and will be punished accordingly. The police have taken the cue from their leader and bones are breaking bones pitilessly.

The partly violent turn events have taken confirms once again that “leaderless” and “spontaneous” protest is a fiction that little children might believe in, but not many knowledgeable adults. What undoubtedly began as a spontaneous outburst will lead precisely nowhere unless it is given political direction and form, and clear demands comprehensible and acceptable to all are articulated. Otherwise, the energy will be dissipated and the ogre will remain a bit longer astride his shaky throne. The bane of the revolutionary situation that is emerging in Serbia is that virtually all figures in public life have been or are in bed with the system, in one form or another. The legendary “man on the street” no longer believes anyone, and in particular not those who have ever been linked to any of the abominable regimes that have ruled the country or the ghastly, utterly corrupt system that has sustained them. The so-called “opposition figures” who showed their faces at the protests were silenced and ejected, many physically, by the annoyed crowds. While the total discreditation of the venal political class may be seen abstractly as a good thing, actually the absence of anyone in public life with even minimal credibility to speak on behalf of the multitudes and to give their discontentment a cohesive purpose is resulting in disastrous consequences. It is hampering seriously the incipient insurrection and may even extend by default the tyrant’s lease on life.

Sidebar: Tonight there are some interesting new developments that strongly suggest that Vučić’s position is deteriorating. Employees of the government broadcasting service, the regime’s principal spin factory, are threatening to go on strike. That would be a serious blow to Vučić, although he does have more options in the form of several «private» broadcasters whose owners are allied to his regime. Doctors and nurses in hospitals are also threatening to walk off their jobs, which would cause great embarrassment to the regime, regardless of whether the pandemic is real or phony. Furthermore, there is a visible ramping up of anti-Russian propaganda, with elements of the regime claiming that Russia is behind the disorders and trying to provoke a coup (a spin reminiscent of the phony “Russian coup” in Montenegro a year or two ago), while other elements of the confused regime are blaming UK and Western agents for fomenting the disorders. The Israeli involvement is still a mystery, but it may not be on the official level at this point. Rather, the «dancing» Israelis caught in Belgrade (and quickly released, as is the custom in such situations) may simply have been hired chaos specialists, put in place by one of the interested foreign factions. Tonight there will be another huge rally in Belgrade, but we still do not have a full background picture. Spontaneous popular reaction is the largest component of it, but foreign elements are undoubtedly also making efforts to exploit the situation to their advantage.

The Serbian Savonarola, Orthodox monk Anthony, addressed the crowd in front of parliament to persuade them to expel regime provocateurs from their ranks and advised them soberly to overwhelm the regime by their resolve and numbers, not by pelting with stones the uniformed police, who are also Serbs:

The thought that comes to mind is that Western intelligence and Soros groups are trying to ramp up tension in order to put additional pressure on Vučić to sign off on Kosovo (there is supposed to be another meeting in Brussels on Sunday which he will be attending). But at this point they don’t want him gone, just sufficiently scared to do what is expected of him. Once he does it, of course, he will be eliminated and probably in the ensuing chaos Western intelligence agencies would try to manipulate the outcome by manoeuvring in another team of their loyal agents to replace him.

Meanwhile, Serbia’s tin-pot tyrant returned from his 15 minutes of fame in Paris, apparently missing totally the real reason why he was summoned there in the first place. The visit had its low and (in his mind) some high points. One low point was the welcome organized in his “honor” by Serbian students in France, who gathered in front of the Serbian embassy in Paris flaunting rather uncomplimentary placards such as “Tu es la Covid de Serbie,” translation hardly being required. But for an insecure Balkan ruler with Vučić’s colossal inferiority complex, there were some high points as well, masterfully arranged by his sophisticated French hosts pour épater les paysans. After returning, Vučić gushed to his Belgrade constituency that the cordial Macron took him to “apartments [within the Élysée Palace] other than his office, so that I was able to view the special private rooms reserved for French Presidents.” [Yes, and one hopes that Mme Macron had the good sense to chaperon this tour or it is anybody’s guess what level of cordiality the encounter may have attained out of her and the reporters’ sight.] “He [Macron] remembered the emotions he experienced in Belgrade,” Vučić recalled fondly. The star-struck Balkan parvenu then continued, “He showed me extraordinary hospitality.” Oh là là, but the poor thing apparently has no clue that he was brought to Paris not for a palace tour, but to receive his marching orders for Kosovo.

In sum, Serbian unrest will continue on Saturday, July 11, gathering place in front of parliament at 6 pm as usual, and we will see whether the politically untutored masses have learned any lessons from the previous few days. Will they begin keeping a healthy Covid-19 social distance from Vučić’s thugs and provocateurs, letting them slug it out, the more viciously the better, with Vučić’s equally contemptible policemen and gendarmes? Will they finally start writing their placards in Cyrillic, their Parisian student-colleagues justifiably deserving a pass for not doing so? And will some clever young Gavrilo Princip among them at last receive inspiration from on high to set forth concisely the reason for their sacrificial vigils in plain Serbian, for everybody’s benefit: “Alexander Vučić, you pestilence, begone!”

Mass protests shake the throne of Serbia’s insufferable tyrant

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Mass protests shake the throne of Serbia’s insufferable tyrant

July 10, 2020

by Saker’s Johnny-on-the-spot in Serbia for The Saker Blog

The regime of one of Europe’s last two tyrants (guess where the other one is, hint: also in the Balkans) has been convulsed by massive outbursts of popular discontent and disobedience during the last two days. For all his fabled manipulative skills, Alexander Vučić, the tyrant here in question, made the foolish miscalculation by taking himself and his ability to intimidate the populace he was eight years ago installed to rule by the machinations of Western intelligence services, just a bit too seriously.

The immediate trigger for the popular insurrection was the autocrat’s apparent impression that he could continue to play indefinitely and with impunity the nasty cat-and-mouse lockdown game begun after the arrival of the corona virus to Serbia several months ago. Corona resonated favourably with the mean streak deeply embedded in Vučić’s disturbed psyche, and it was quickly welcomed by him as one of those crises he just could not allow to go waste. Surrounding himself with a coterie of medical charlatans who correctly sensed their boss’ sadistic inclinations and were willing to lend them a superficially scientific veneer, disciplinarian Vučić eagerly embraced the most restrictive, Chinese model for dealing with the pandemic. Over a seemingly interminable two and half month period during the spring the populace were subjected to a brutal lockdown regimen which during some weekends, including Orthodox Easter, stretched to 96 hours of continuous house arrest. But when in June it was ordered from on high that “election” preparations disrupted by corona were to be resumed, the medical hacks dutifully announced that thanks to Vučić’s brilliant handling of the emergency, in Serbia corona was “vanquished.”

Parliamentary elections were then triumphantly staged on June 21 with Vučić’s party – unsurprisingly – sweeping 66% of the seats, and a few satellite political groups being awarded the rest. This touching expression of popular gratitude for a corona job well done, as it turned out, was strategically indispensable to enable Vučić, already neck-deep in secretive negotiations to sign off on NATO-occupied Kosovo’s formal separation from Serbia, to use fraudulently acquired total control over parliament to amend the constitution to “legally” do just that.

Believing his purpose to have been accomplished, the arrogant tyrant then foolishly overplayed his hand. The medical issues were of course unresolved by the brilliant Dr. Vučić and in fact continued to simmer under the surface (the real number of people affected by the contagion and who actually died from it were crudely falsified down) and Serbia’s hospital infrastructure was collapsing. On Monday therefore Vučić went on national TV to decree the only therapy he knows how to impose – brute force. He announced to a stunned nation, which had just emerged from two and a half months of house arrest and was left deeply humiliated by crudely falsified “elections,” that beginning on Friday he would reimpose lockdown and compel large sectors of the population, about a third in the initial stage, to submit to forced vaccination. Never mind that Dr Vučić had apparently overlooked the minor detail that even magnates most interested in cashing in on forced mass vaccination, like Bill Gates, were not claiming that presently one was actually at hand. But that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The mere thought of being forced back into their cages and, to boot, of being obliged to submit to the injection of unknown, untested, and possibly dangerous substances hastily improvised to make loads of money and get rid of useless mouths was enough to trigger a reaction even from the dispirited and docile population of Serbia.

On Wednesday this week huge crowds began to gather spontaneously in front of the Parliament building to express their boisterous disapproval of the tyrant’s plans. After an assault they even managed briefly to burst into the eerily empty parliament building, still unoccupied by Vučić’s yet-to-be sworn-in fraudulently elected deputies. At first, the police stood by and merely watched the unprecedented manifestation of popular disgust; once they regained their wits, received reinforcements, and were issued orders from above they pounced viciously on the protesters.

Stunned by his helots’ unpardonable act of lèse-majesté, a visibly rattled Vučić then went on to make his second foolish gaffe in as many days. He again appeared on nation-wide TV, to denounce the protesters as outlaws and fascists, but that was the least of the absurdities that he uttered in the live broadcast. He went on to ramble incoherently that the dissidents were not just “flat-earth” partisans, but even more outlandishly that they were infiltrated and directed by believers in a “square earth,” whatever that silly construct is supposed to mean in his mind. (One recalls with amusement the leader of a Caribbean nation pontificating several years ago on the subject of extra-terrestrials during his address to the UN General Assembly.) That was at 3 pm on Wednesday, as an incredulous Serbia watched its megalomaniacal and delusional President go off the deep end on live television, Ceausescu style.

Three hours later, around six in the evening, an even larger and angrier crowd of “square earthers” began to gather in front of Parliament. But Vučić’s tontons macoutes were also ready, reinforced by cohorts of provocateurs infiltrated in the crowd with the task of creating incidents that would furnish the rationale for the police and the gendarmerie to do a Belgrade replay of Tiananmen square. The tension on the streets was so thick it could be cut with a machete. Groups of regime hooligans were positioned in spots not far away from the parliament area, ready to assist the forces of “law and order” when instructed. As the crowd in Belgrade booed the tyrant and screamed indelicate insults inspired by his widely suspected intimate preferences, heartening news was being received of similar manifestations erupting in the streets of Novi Sad, Niš (where in a huge hint to Vučić the police and army units refused to beat up on peaceful citizens), and other Serbian cities. Broken heads and bones were everywhere.

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Sidebar: We report with sorrow that information was just received that the young man who was brutally gang beaten in Belgrade by Vučić’s Serbian police last night, as shown in the video, has passed away. The authorities are trying to hush up his death and have not released his name or any official admission of the circumstances in which he was murdered. We do not have any details, other than that by the time the ambulance brought him to the hospital he was dead. Also, information was just received that last night the police used military grade poison gases rather than regular tear gas to disperse the crowds. People exposed to these combat weapons whose use on civilians is prohibited by international conventions were losing consciousness and collapsing to the ground. The use of these illegal substances by the authorities was witnessed by French doctors who will document it. Tonight at six o’clock in the evening protesters will be assembling again in front of the parliament building.

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Eventually, of course, the thousands of students, retired people, housewives, and citizens from all walks of life retired for the evening. But as Scarlet O’Hara memorably put it, “Tomorrow is another day.”

What is now in store for Vučić? On Thursday he nonchalantly flew to Paris (colleague Ceausescu had flown to Teheran just shortly before his day of judgment) to discuss Kosovo arrangements with Macron. On Sunday he is scheduled to meet with one of the Kosovo secessionist leaders in Brussels, presumably to put finishing touches on the recognition agreement. Whatever the further course of civic opposition to the regime (civic revulsion would perhaps be a better term), it is clear that during the last two days Vučić was politically wounded, and irreparably. In the eyes of his NATO sponsors he was whacked where it hurts the most. He has been delegitimized as Serbia’s spokesman and will henceforth be perceived as being without authority to sign off on an agreement amputating 15% of the country’s territory and renouncing its cultural and spiritual heartland, whatever titles he might still officially claim to have.

The commotion in the streets of Serbia has hugely complicated the successful completion of his one remaining task – signing off on Kosovo – after which (mission accomplished) he will become a useless burden and be thrown under the bus by his Western sponsors before the Serbian people even come to arrest him. They have tolerated his moral turpitude and unbridled tyranny for the sole purpose of achieving that objective. They needed a seemingly strong Serbian leader with an appearance of popular support to perform the dastardly deed so they could then say pacta sunt servanda and make it binding on his successors. But now, the entire operation looks far less certain and even if Vučić signs off as instructed, legally and politically (never mind morally, that is of no concern whatsoever to any of the actors) the value of his signature will be greatly diminished.

Vučić is cornered. If he keeps the commitment he made to his Western sponsors to formally accept the rape of Kosovo in the name of the Serbian state, the disturbances of the last few days will be a mere garden party compared to what he would then have to face. If he continues to delay the promised act of treason and reneges on the Faustian bargain he made in return for power and plunder, he will face the outrage of his foreign handlers. There is no need to elaborate. He knows exactly what that means. One feels sorry for the man, almost.

The Saker interviews Stephen Karganovic

The Saker

The Saker interviews Stephen Karganovic

June 30, 2019

The Saker: Please introduce yourself and your past and present political activities.

Karganovic: My name is Stephen Karganovic. My background is Serbian, Russian, and Polish. On my father’s side I have been able to trace family roots to the town of Khmelita, Smolensk district. In the first half of the 19th century Yuri Karganovich held the by then probably obsolete office of стольник (stolnik) in the regional town of Iskorosten. Perhaps because of my ethnically ecumenical background, I prefer to identify myself simply as an Orthodox Christian. I am a law school graduate, also with a degree in philosophy. I have never engaged in political activities as such. What interests me are issues with a moral dimension, and if they also happen to impinge upon politics, so be it.

The Saker: You are one of the best “Srebrenica specialists” out there. So, could you please in your own words describe, step by step, what actually took place in Srebrenica from the moment the Bosnian-Muslims raided the Serbian villages around Srebrenica to the moment the grand “genocide” strategic psy-op was launched.

Karganovic: I became interested in what happened in Srebrenica in July of 1995, during the Bosnian war, when in 2001 at the Hague I became involved in the defense of a Bosnian Serb officer accused of war crimes before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. I was in America, of course, while the war was going on and knew nothing of Srebrenica at that time. Neither did I have any axe to grind in the controversies that sparked that conflict. I was raised and educated in the United States, had a very vague concept of my ethnic background(s), and neither I nor my family had suffered any detriment at the hands of the other contending parties, so I had no motive to favor one side or disfavor another. As we sifted through the evidence in order to construct a defense, I noticed that the prosecution’s case consisted of broad allegations and was bereft of specific facts to support the grave charges laid against the defendant, which included genocide, an accusation that takes much highly technical evidence to prove. As I witnessed firsthand the unconventional legal procedures of the Hague Tribunal, which is a polite way of saying its complete alienation from the traditions of civilized jurisprudence, I became shocked. There did not seem to be much substance to the charge sheets. The remark once made by a hubristic US judge that “we can convict a ham sandwich,” which sounded flippant to me when I read it many years ago, ultimately received its full embodiment in the operation of the Hague Tribunal, and I had a ring-side seat to watch that professionally unedifying show.

I went on to work in several other defense teams at the Hague in cases that were not related to Srebrenica. But to make the long story short, I quickly realized that Srebrenica was the mainstay of the Hague Tribunal, or ICTY, and that officially confirming the “genocide” and “8,000 men and boys” version of the narrative was its principal mission. I was bothered to see defendants convicted to decades-long imprisonment on the most heinous of charges and flimsiest proof, and a nation tarred with the most serious crime under international law, based on improvised and fabricated “evidence” that would not stand up in any non-political domestic court. So, I began to pay special attention to Srebrenica and to use the resources available to me at the Hague Tribunal to collect all the data I could lay my hands on about what happened there.

In 2008 at the Hague, under the laws of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, I founded a non-government organization “Srebrenica Historical Project,” dedicated to a contextual, multi-disciplinary study of this issue. Our goal is to get to the bottom of what happened, and how and why. Our colleagues, whose research articles you can read on our website, are of diverse ethnic backgrounds and professional profiles. Almost none are Serbian. They have in common a critical approach and a desire to factually deconstruct what the late Prof. Edward Herman aptly called “the greatest triumph of propaganda at the close of the twentieth century.” He was referring to Srebrenica, of course.

Instead of my presenting a possibly subjective account of what happened in Srebrenica, I recommend visiting our website. Our many authors give, I think, persuasive and factual answers to most Srebrenica questions.

The Saker: What has the impact of Srebrenica been on the Serbian people and the Serbian state? Who has benefited most from this?

Karganovic: Srebrenica’s impact has been to bewilder the Serbian people, who are under the firm impression that they are victims, not perpetrators, of genocide. After bewilderment came indignant rejection of the Srebrenica smear. Western governments and the Soros organization have invested huge sums in Serbia into propping up a bevy of phony “NGOs” with the principal task of indoctrinating the public in the Srebrenica genocide guilt complex. Their efforts have been a dismal failure, notwithstanding the country’s demoralized state and the covert support of Serbia’s quisling governments. The goal, of course, is to further morally break down and emasculate the Serbian nation, to lay on them a paralyzing guilt trip and to render them submissive and obedient, apologizing and atoning forever for acts of moral turpitude that, unlike the Germans, they did not commit. So far, that particular “use of Srebrenica,” as Diana Johnstone would put it, has been a resounding flop.

But another, and very lethal, use of Srebrenica has been a huge success. The Srebrenica narrative is the foundation stone and chief rationale of the “right to protect” (R2P) doctrine of cynical, predatory imperialist interventions that have destroyed and devastated a dozen mostly Muslim countries and claimed several million innocent Muslim lives. R2P’s phony rationale is the supposed failure in July of 1995 of Western countries and NATO to act robustly to prevent the “Srebrenica genocide.” Srebrenica as a metaphor for unbridled imperialist aggression has indeed been a slaughterhouse for Muslims, but not in Bosnia in 1995.

The Saker: Can you outline what is currently happening in Serbia? We hear of a possible conflict with the US-backed Kosovo Albanians, of a possible EU and/or NATO membership? What is really taking place?

Karganovic: In response to your question about what is happening in Serbia (I am in America right now) I will quote from an email that I received today from a friend who teaches at a university abroad but is currently on holiday in Serbia: “There are heavy rains and floods here – Belgrade has been flooded twice – with torrents sweeping away cars as if they were mere toys. There is general chaos in the entire country, and everything is falling apart. But the gang in charge are celebrating themselves as saints and saviors, and there seems to be nothing of greater importance to Serbs than to put on the shackles of the European Union!”

That is admittedly a pessimistic assessment, but I believe it to be close to the truth. Slavic nations generally are not politically sophisticated and can easily be fooled and manipulated by savvy conmen. The Ukraine is a notorious example. Serbs are not far behind; they have the political acumen of seven-year-olds. I read somewhere that young Germans nowadays watch Hitler’s histrionics and wonder how their parents and grandparents could have been so simpleminded as to put their faith in that buffoon and accept his leadership. Future generations of Serbs will undoubtedly be reviewing the performance of the loathsome character who is running their country into the ground today and will wonder how their parents and grandparents could possibly have tolerated his obnoxious misrule.

As for the news of conflict with US-backed Albanians in Kosovo, on the part of the quisling regime there is neither the will nor the means to enter into such a confrontation. The regime was installed in order arrange for Serbia’s legal renunciation of Kosovo and its capos are well aware that reneging on that commitment will have for them most unpleasant consequences. As for actually opposing anything, Serbia no longer has an army worthy of the name, hence no means with which to effectively assert or defend its interests. It is at the mercy of foreign imperialists and their bought and blackmailed local agents. NATO membership seems definitely on the horizon because incorporation in today’s Axis is an essential component of the planned Ostfront war, as much today as it was in 1941.

The Saker: What about Montenegro? Has the Empire been successful in breaking off Montenegro from Serbia and is what is happening nowadays with Montenegro similar to what the Empire did in the Ukraine? I hear that an “independent Montenegrin Orthodox Church” is being prepared, is that true? How toxic/important is this development (assuming it is true)?

Karganovic: The only reason that Montenegro is not labeled “Europe’s last dictatorship,” but Byelorussia is, is that unlike Lukashenko its blackmailed dictator Djukanovic is a servile Western lapdog. With many criminal indictments in Italy waiting to be activated against him at the slightest hint of disobedience, for drug, cigarette, and human trafficking, he has no choice but to be one.

The similarities between the “nation-building” procedures in the Ukraine and Montenegro are striking. What this refers to is the artificial insemination of the target population with a phony, completely fabricated identity entirely at odds with their genuine history and culture, all to their detriment and in the service of their geopolitical manipulators’ and enemies’ agenda. We already know the Ukrainian story and need not repeat it here. The Montenegrin story is precisely analogous. Since subservient local chieftains receive memos telling them what they are expected to do, one may safely assume that in one of those memos delivered to Djukanovic he was instructed to initiate the setting up of a non-Serbian Montenegrin identity in order to fragment and undermine Serbian ethnic and cultural space even further. He obeyed.

The result today are regime-sponsored and condoned anti-Serbian excesses that closely compete with those of the Ukrainian looneys and often boggle the imagination. A recent example is an Instagram message by a certain Mirna Nikcevic, a counselor at the Montenegrin embassy in Ankara, where she wrote contemptuously of the crowd of Montenegrin Serbs that gathered around the cathedral of Christ the Savior in Podgorica to protest the regime’s plan to take over the temples of the canonical Orthodox church and hand them over to a schismatic pseudo church it had set up, that she would “cram the assembled cattle [meaning Montenegrins asserting their Serbian heritage – S. K.] into the church and set it on fire.” That most undiplomatic remark was mildly reproved by Djukanovic’s foreign ministry, but it accurately reflects the dementia of his partisans.

An “independent” Montenegrin church, as a fitting complement to the country’s statehood and alleged ethnic specificity, was in fact created a few years ago in a way that even the Ukrainian lunatics, who serve as the model for Djukanovic and his crew, would have difficulty topping. This “church” founded by atheists (which is what former Communist youth leader Djukanovic admittedly is) was set up as an NGO and registered as such in a Montenegrin police station. Recognizing the autocephaly of the Ukrainian pseudo-church was a piece of cake for the corrupt ecumenical patriarch in Constantinople compared to his forthcoming task of legitimizing the Montenegrin sect. He will have to figure out how to do it when he gets the memo from NATO that this is the next thing that is expected of him. (It is true that the ecumenical Patriarch informed Djukanovic a few days ago that Montenegro never had an autocephalous church and never will have one. But the fickleness of the Patriarchate is legendary. With a little pressure here, and some financial inducement there, the latter having worked miracles in the Ukrainian affair, a canonical rationale for a flip flop can surely be found.) Toxic is one word for the phenomenon of using Orthodox church institutions for the self-destruction of Orthodoxy. Ominous is another word for it and, as sheikh Imran Hosein would say, it is a reliable sign of akhir al-zamaan.

The Saker: Who won the Yugoslav civil war, if anybody? Here forget about Slovenia – please focus on Croatia and Bosnia.

Karganovic: The war was won, in a manner of speaking, by the globalist power centers which engineered the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia. They got what they wanted, feeble and dependent statelets run by their hired hands instead of a unified country with weight in world affairs, which at home did not even perform badly. The losers were all the citizens of the former Yugoslavia without exception, not only those who perished in senseless mayhem instigated by foreign agents and executed by domestic fools, but also the miserable survivors who must now live in the resulting neo-liberal hellholes.

The Saker: Are there any Serbs left in the former UN Protected Areas in what is Croatia nowadays and, if yes, how do they live?

Karganovic: Yes, there is a very small number of Serbs left in present-day Croatia, their share in the total population hovering around the 3% mark, drastically down from a quarter of the population before the slaughter in the Nazi-satellite “Independent State of Croatia” during World War II. They are mostly elderly, waiting to die hopefully natural deaths, if permitted by their Croatian fellow citizens.

The Saker: Are there any Serbs left in the Muslim-controlled areas of Bosnia today?

Karganovic: Yes, they are a whopping and largely disenfranchised 5% of the population of that section of the country. For purposes of comparison, in the capital of Sarajevo, where before the outbreak of the hostilities in 1992 there were about 150,000 Serbs, there are now only a few thousand left.

The Saker: How much autonomy does the Republika Srpska have today? Focus on this: are the Serbs in Bosnia safe or at they at risk?

Karganovic: The Republika Srpska, which is the Serb-run entity within Bosnia and Hercegovina under the Dayton Agreement signed to end the war in 1995, is continually struggling to preserve the autonomy guaranteed to it under international law. Above the local authorities, there is a “High Representative” of the “international community” who is really the official in charge in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He has arrogated to himself vast arbitrary powers to interpret laws, set up institutions, and dismiss democratically elected officials he deems unsuitable. It is a replication of the British colonial system. The Srebrenica genocide matter is being used as a pretext to dispute Republika Srpska’s legal and moral right to exist. No one is entirely safe in present-day Bosnia and Hercegovina.

The Saker: How do you see the future of Kosovo in general and of the Serbian minority in Kosovo specifically?

Karganovic: Until the results of NATO aggression in 1999 are annulled Kosovo will have no future, except as a narco and human organ trafficking pseudo state. Albanians are fleeing en masse the utterly incompetent and corrupt terror regime that was installed by NATO occupiers twenty years ago. The land is saturated with the depleted uranium munitions left over from the three-month NATO bombing campaign and is scarcely fit for human habitation. If you go to Kosovo, I would recommend you make your visit brief and bring your own canned food, avoiding contaminated local ingredients. Babies and animals are being born with hideous defects. Few people are aware of this, but Kosovo was targeted with the highest concentration of depleted uranium and other toxic substances during NATO’s 1999 “liberation war.” Being the majority of the population, Albanians are now paying a heavy price for NATO’s generous favors. Meanwhile, since Kosovo is a pot of gold in terms of its mineral and other resources, the chief liberators Wesley Clark and Madeleine Albright have made a financial killing by awarding themselves juicy business opportunities, while the “philanthropist” George Soros has his eye set on the enormously valuable Trepča mining complex. International corporations will get their choice pickings. Meanwhile, Albanians are dying of cancer and desperately moving out. There is a small remnant of Serbs still living in Kosovo which is spiritually and culturally their Holy Land. The future of that scene of ghastly crimes against humanity is in God’s hands.

The Saker: How many Serbs were displaced in total by the war and where do they reside nowadays?

Karganovic: Estimates are not reliable, but about a quarter of a million are thought to have been displaced from Croatia and as many from Kosovo. A further unknown number sought in Serbia safety from the war in Bosnia. We cannot be sure of the numbers, but we do have striking pictures which portray an exodus of biblical proportions.

The Saker: Are the Serbian refugees from Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo a major factor in Serbian politics? If yes, how, if not, why?

Karganovic: They are not a factor at all. They are not allowed to interfere with the policies pursued by the Western-installed Serbian political elite.

The Saker: Do you think that the US and/or NATO have the stomach to use force against Serbia if the Serbs move to protect the Serbian minority in Kosovo?

Karganovic: It is a moot question because the hypothetical situation envisaged by the question is unlikely to occur.

The Saker: What happened to Bishop Artemie and why did the Serbian Orthodox Church yield to the Empire’s pressure and took away his diocese of Kosovo? How is he now and how can the readers find out more about him?

Karganovic: In essence, the American ambassador in Belgrade told the Serbian Patriarch that Bishop Artemie was an obstacle to “normalization” in Kosovo and that it was highly desirable for him to be removed. Within four days, Bishop Artemie was dismissed on trumped-up financial malfeasance charges which after a decade have not been proved in a court of law. His ouster seems to have been a blessing in disguise. He is now leading a thriving “diocese in exile,” where he is joined by most of his Kosovo clergy and monastics. Catacomb parishes, as he aptly calls them, of the exiled diocese are springing up all over Serbia and countries with a Serbian diaspora. The diocese that was contemptuously cast away by the servile, ecumenist leadership of the Serbian Church has now become its salt, providing much needed spiritual nourishment to Orthodox believers. It is living proof of God’s ability to confound the adversary’s most carefully laid plans and to transform them for the good.

The Saker: What should Russia do to help Serbia? What is, in your opinion, the “solution” to the Serbian drama in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo?

Karganovic: That is an overtly political question and as I said, I don’t do politics. I will just say that what Russia can and should do is to never abandon Serbia. That will at the same time be the solution to the drama that you mention. But none of that will be purely the work of human hands.

 

Afghanistan, the Forgotten Proxy War. The Role of Osama bin Laden and Zbigniew Brzezinski

Part II

Global Research, May 08, 2019

Read Part I from the link below.

Afghanistan, the Forgotten Proxy War

By Janelle Velina, April 30, 2019

Below is the second half and conclusion of “Afghanistan, the Forgotten Proxy War”. While the previous sections examined the economic roots of imperialism, as well as the historical context of the Cold War within which to situate the Mujahideen, the following explores the anatomy of proxy warfare and media disinformation campaigns which were at the heart of destabilizing Afghanistan. These were also a large part of why there was little to no opposition to the Mujahideen from the Western ‘left’, whose continued dysfunctionality cannot be talked about without discussing Zbigniew Brzezinski. We also take a look at what led to the Soviet Union’s demise and how that significantly affected the former Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and many other parts of the world. The United States has been at war in Afghanistan for four decades now, and it will reach its 40th year on July 3, 2019. 

The original “moderate rebel”

One of the key players in the anti-Soviet, U.S.-led regime change project against Afghanistan was Osama bin Laden, a Saudi-born millionaire who came from a wealthy, powerful family that owns a Saudi construction company and has had close ties to the Saudi royal family. Before becoming known as America’s “boogeyman”, Osama bin Laden was put in charge of fundraising for the Mujahideen insurgents, creating numerous charities and foundations in the process and working in coordination with Saudi intelligence (who acted as liaisons between the fighters and the CIA). Journalist Robert Fisk even gave bin Laden a glowing review, calling him a “peace warrior” and a philanthropist in a 1993 report for the Independent. Bin Laden also provided recruitment for the Mujahideen and is believed to have also received security training from the CIA. And in 1989, the same year that Soviet troops withdrew, he founded the terrorist organization Al Qaeda with a number of fighters he had recruited to the Mujahideen. Although the PDPA had already been overthrown, and the Soviet Union was dissolved, he still maintained his relationship with the CIA and NATO, working with them from the mid-to-late 1990s to provide support for the secessionist Bosnian paramilitaries and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in the destruction and dismantling of Yugoslavia.

The United States would eventually turn Bin Laden into a scapegoat after the 2001 terrorist attacks, while still maintaining ties to his family and providing arms, training, and funding to Al Qaeda and its affiliates (rebranded as “moderate rebels” by the Western media) in its more recent regime change project against Syria, which started in 2011. The Mujahideen not only gave birth to Al Qaeda, but it would set a precedent for the United States’ regime-change operations in later years against the anti-imperialist governments of Libya and Syria.

Reagan entertains Mujahideen fighters in the White House.

With the end to the cycle of World Wars (for the time being, at least), it has become increasingly common for the United States to use local paramilitaries, terrorist groups, and/or the armed forces of comprador regimes to fight against nations targeted by U.S. capital interests. Why the use of proxy forces? They are, as Whitney Webb describes, “a politically safe tool for projecting the U.S.’ geopolitical will abroad.”
Using proxy warfare as a kind of power projection tool is, first and foremost, cost-effective, since paid local mercenaries or terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda will bear the burden of combat and casualties rather than American troops in places like Libya and Syria. For example, it costs much less to pay local paramilitaries, gangs, crime syndicates, terrorist groups, and other reactionary forces to perform the same military operations as U.S. troops. Additionally, with the advent of nuclear weapons it became much more perilous for global superpowers to come into direct combat with one another — if the Soviet Union and the United States had done so, there existed the threat of “mutually assured destruction”, the strong possibility of instantaneous and catastrophic damage to the populations and the economic and living standards of both sides, something neither side was willing to risk, even if it was U.S. imperialism’s ultimate goal to destroy the Soviet Union.
And so, the U.S. was willing to use any other means necessary to weaken the Soviet Union and safeguard its profits, which included eliminating the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan even if it had neither the intent nor the means of launching a military offensive on American soil. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union had the means of producing a considerably large supply of modern weapons, including nuclear deterrents, to counter the credible threat posed by the United States. To strike the Soviet Union with nuclear missiles would have been a great challenge for the United States, since it would have resulted in overwhelming retaliation by the Soviet Union. To maneuver this problem, to assure the destruction of the Soviet Union while protecting the U.S. from similar destruction, the CIA relied on more unconventional methods not previously thought of as being part of traditional warfare, such as funding proxy forces while wielding economic and cultural influence over the American domestic sphere and the international scene.

Furthermore, proxy warfare enables control of public opinion, thus allowing the U.S. government to escape public scrutiny and questions about legal authorization for war. With opposition from the general public essentially under control, consent for U.S.-led wars does not need to be obtained, especially when the U.S. military is running them from “behind the scenes” and its involvement looks less obvious. Indeed, the protests against the war on Vietnam in the United States and other Western countries saw mass turnouts.

And while the U.S.-led aggression in Vietnam did involve proxy warfare to a lesser degree, it was still mostly fought with American “boots-on-the-ground”, much like the 2001 renewed U.S.-led aggression against Afghanistan and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In contrast, the U.S. assault on Afghanistan that began in 1979 saw little to no protest. The Mujahideen even garnered support from large portions of the Western left who joined the chorus of voices in the Western mainstream media in demonizing the PDPA — a relentless imperialist propaganda campaign that would be repeated in later years during the U.S. wars on Libya and Syria, with the difference being that social media had not yet gained prominence at the time of the initial assault on Afghanistan. This leads to the next question: why recruit some of the most reactionary social forces abroad, many of whom represent complete backwardness?

In Afghanistan, such forces proved useful in the mission to topple the modernizing government of the PDPA, especially when their anti-modernity aspirations intersected with U.S. foreign policy; these ultra-conservative forces continue to be deployed by the United States today. In fact, the long war on Afghanistan shares many striking similarities with the long war on Syria, with the common theme of U.S. imperialism collaborating with violent Sunni extremists to topple the secular, nationalist and anti-imperialist governments of these two former ‘Soviet bloc’ countries. And much like the PDPA, the current and long-time government of the Ba’ath Arab Socialist Party in Syria has made many strides towards achieving national liberation and economic development, which have included: taking land from aristocratic families (a majority of whom were Sunni Muslims while Shia Muslims, but especially Alawites, traditionally belonged to the lower classes and were treated as second class citizens in pre-Ba’athist Syria) and redistributing and nationalizing it, making use of Syria’s oil and gas reserves to modernize the country and benefit its population, and upholding women’s rights as an important part of the Ba’athist pillars.

Some of these aristocratic landlords, just like their Afghan counterparts, would react violently and join the Muslim Brotherhood who, with CIA-backing, carried out acts of terrorism and other atrocities in Hama as they made a failed attempt to topple the government of Hafez al Assad in 1982.

The connection between the two is further solidified by the fact that it was the Mujahideen from which Al Qaeda emerged; both are inspired by Wahhabist ideology, and one of their chief financiers is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (as well as Israel, a regional imperial power and a key ally of the United States). In either case, these Wahhabi-inspired forces were vehemently opposed to modernization and development, and would much rather keep large sections of the population impoverished, as they sought to replace the PDPA and the Ba’athists with Sunni fundamentalist, anti-Shia, theological autocracies — Saudi-style regimes, in other words.

These reactionary forces are useful tools in the CIA’s anti-communist projects and destabilization campaigns against independent nationalist governments, considering that the groups’ anti-modernity stance is a motivating factor in their efforts to sabotage economic development, which is conducive to ensuring a favourable climate for U.S. capital interests. It also helps that these groups already saw the nationalist governments of the PDPA and the Syrian Ba’ath party as their ‘archenemy’, and would thus fight them to the death and resort to acts of terrorism against the respective civilian populations.

Zbigniew Brzezinski stated in a 1998 interview with Le Nouvel Observateur in response to the following question:

Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

[Brzezinski]: 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?

Once again, he makes it clear that the religious extremism of the Mujahideen fighters was not an issue for Washington because the real political value lay in eliminating the PDPA and putting an end to Soviet influence in the Greater Middle East, which would give the U.S. the opportunity to easily access and steal the country’s wealth. And in order to justify the U.S. imperialist intervention in Afghanistan, as well as to obscure the true nature of the Mujahideen fighters, the intervention needed to be accompanied by a rigorous mass media campaign. The Reagan administration — knowing full well that American mainstream media has international influence — continued the war that the Carter administration started and saw it as an opportunity to “step up” its domestic propaganda war, considering that the American general public was still largely critical of the Vietnam War at the time.

As part of the aggressive imperialist propaganda campaign, anyone who dared to publicly criticize the Mujahideen was subjected to character assassination and was pejoratively labelled a “Stalinist” or a “Soviet apologist”, which are akin to labels such as “Russian agent” or “Assadist” being used as insults today against those who speak out against the U.S.-backed terrorism in Syria. There were also careful rebranding strategies made specifically for Osama bin Laden and the Mujahideen mercenaries, who were hailed as “revolutionary freedom fighters” and given a romantic, exoticized “holy warrior” makeover in Western media; hence the title of this section. The Mujahideen mercenaries were even given a dedication title card at the end of the Hollywood movie Rambo III which read, “This film is dedicated to the brave Mujahideen fighters of Afghanistan”; the film itself added to the constructed romantic image as it portrayed the Mujahideen fighters as heroes, while the Soviet Union and the PDPA were portrayed as the cartoonish villains. The Rambo film franchise is well known for its depiction of the Vietnamese as “savages” and as the aggressors in the U.S. war on Vietnam, which is a blatant reversal of the truth.

The Hollywood blockbuster franchise would be used to make the Mujahideen more palatable to Western audiences, as this unabashed, blatantly anti-Soviet propaganda for U.S. imperialism attracted millions of viewers with one of the largest movie marketing campaigns of the time. Although formulaic, the films are easily consumable because they appeal to emotion and, as Michael Parenti states in Dirty Truths, “The entertainment industry does not merely give the people what they want: it is busy shaping those wants,” (p. 111). Rambo III may not have been critically acclaimed, but it was still the second most commercially successful film in the Rambo series, grossing a total of $189,015,611 at the box office. Producing war propaganda films is nothing new and has been a long staple of the Hollywood industry, which serves capitalist and imperialist interests. But, since the blockbuster movie is one of the most widely available and distributed forms of media, repackaging the Mujahideen into a popular film franchise was easily one of the best ways (albeit cynical) to justify the war, maintaining the American constructed narrative and reinforcing the demonization campaign against Soviet Russia and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. Now, outside of the cinema, CBS News went as far as to air fake battle footage meant to help perpetuate the myth that the Mujahideen mercenaries were “freedom fighters”; American journalists Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, although decidedly biased against the Soviet Union and its allies, documented this ruse in which the news channel participated. In terms of proxy warfare, these were just some of the ways used to distract from the fact that it was a U.S.-led war.

The dedication title card as it originally appeared at the end of the film Rambo III.

In Afghanistan, proxy forces provided a convenient cover because they drew attention away from the fact that U.S. imperialism was the root cause of the conflict. The insurgents also helped to demonize the targets of U.S. foreign policy, the PDPA and the Soviet Union, all the while doing the majority of the physical combat in place of the American military. In general, drawing attention away from the fact that it has been the United States “pulling the strings” all along, using proxy forces helps Washington to maintain plausible deniability in regard to its relationship with such groups. If any one of these insurgents becomes a liability, as what had happened with the Taliban, they can just as easily be disposed of and replaced by more competent patsies, while U.S. foreign policy goes unquestioned. Criminal gangs and paramilitary forces are thus ideal and convenient tools for U.S. foreign policy. With the rule of warlords and the instability (namely damage to infrastructure, de-industrialization, and societal collapse) that followed after the toppling of the PDPA, Afghanistan’s standard of living dropped rapidly, leading to forced mass migrations and making the country all the more vulnerable to a more direct U.S. military intervention — which eventually did happen in 2001.

Zbigniew Brzezinski: godfather of colour revolutions and proxy wars, architect of the Mujahideen

The late Brzezinski was a key figure in U.S. foreign policy and a highly influential figure in the Council on Foreign Relations. Although the Polish-American diplomat and political scientist was no longer the National Security Advisor under Ronald Reagan’s presidency, he still continued to play a prominent role in enforcing U.S. foreign policy goals in upholding Washington’s global monopoly. The liberal Cold War ideologue’s signature strategy consisted of using the CIA to destabilize and force regime-change onto countries whose governments actively resisted against Washington. Such is the legacy of Brzezinski, whose strategy of funding the most reactionary anti-government forces to foment chaos and instability while promoting them as “freedom fighters” is now a longstanding staple of U.S. imperialism.

How were the aggressive propaganda campaigns which promoted the Mujahideen mercenaries as “freedom fighters” able to garner support for the aggression against the former Democratic Republic of Afghanistan from so many on the Western left who had previously opposed the war on Vietnam? It was the through the CIA’s use of ‘soft-power’ schemes, because leftist opinion also needed to be controlled and manipulated in the process of carrying out U.S. foreign and public policy. Brzezinski mastered the art of targeting intelligentsia and impressionable young people in order to make them supportive of U.S. foreign policy, misleading a significant number of people into supporting U.S.-led wars.

The CIA invested money into programs that used university campus, anti-Soviet “radical leftist activists” and academics (as well as artists and writers) to help spread imperialist propaganda dressed up in vaguely “leftist”-sounding language and given a more “hip”, “humanitarian”, “social justice”, “free thinker” appeal. Western, but especially American, academia has since continued to teach the post-modernist “oppression theory” or “privilege theory” to students, which is anti-Marxist and anti-scientific at its core. More importantly, this post-modernist infiltration was meant to distract from class struggle, to help divert any form of solidarity away from anti-imperialist struggles, and to foster virulent animosity towards the Soviet Union among students and anyone with ‘leftist’ leanings. Hence the phenomenon of identity politics that continues to plague the Western left today, whose strength was effectively neutered by the 1970s. Not only that, but as Gowans mentions in his book, Patriots, Traitors and Empires: The Story of Korea’s Struggle for Freedom:

“U.S. universities recruit talented individuals from abroad, instill in them the U.S. imperialist ideology and values, and equip them with academic credentials which conduce to their landing important political positions at home. In this way, U.S. imperial goals indirectly structure the political decision-making of other countries.” (pp. 52-53)

And so we have agencies and think-tanks such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) which has scholarly appeal and actively interferes in elections abroad — namely, in countries that are targets of U.S. foreign policy. Founded in 1983 by Reagan and directed by the CIA, the agency also assists in mobilizing coups and paid “dissidents” in U.S.-led regime change projects, such as the 2002 failed attempt against Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, as well as helping to create aggressive media campaigns that demonize targeted nations. Another instance of this “soft power” tactic of mobilizing U.S.-backed “dissidents” in targeted nations are the number of Sunni Islamic fundamentalist madrassas (schools) sponsored by the CIA and set up by Wahhabi missionaries from Saudi Arabia in Afghanistan — which started to appear in increasing numbers during the 1980s, reaching over 39,000 during the decade. Afghanistan’s public education institutions were largely secular prior to the fall of Kabul in 1992; these madrassas were the direct, ideological and intellectual antitheses to the existing institutions of education. The madrassas acted as centres for cult-like brainwashing and were essentially CIA covert psychological operations (psy-ops) intended to inspire divisiveness and demobilize younger generations of Afghans in the face of imperial onslaught so that they would not unite with the wider PDPA-led nationalist resistance to imperialism.

The NED’s founding members were comprised of Cold War ideologues which included Brzezinski himself, as well as Trotskyists who provided an endless supply of slurs against the Soviet Union. It was chiefly under this agency, and with direction provided by Brzezinski, that America produced artists, “activists”, academics, and writers who presented themselves as “radical leftists” and slandered the Soviet Union and countries that were aligned with it — which was all part of the process of toppling them and subjugating them to U.S. free market fundamentalism. With Brzezinski having mastered the art of encouraging postmodernism and identity politics among the Western left in order to weaken it, the United States not only had military and economic might on its side but also highly sophisticated ideological instruments to help give it the upper hand in propaganda wars.

These “soft power” schemes are highly effective in masking the brutality of U.S. imperialism, as well as concealing the exploitation of impoverished nations. Marketing the Mujahideen mercenaries as “peace warriors” while demonizing the PDPA and referring to the Soviet assistance as an “invasion” or “aggression” marked the beginning of the regular use of “humanitarian” pretexts for imperialist interventions. The Cold War era onslaught against Afghanistan can thus be seen as the template for the NATO-led regime change projects against Yugoslavia, Libya, and Syria, which not only involved the use of U.S.-backed proxy forces but also “humanitarian” pretexts being presented in the aggressive propaganda campaigns against the targeted countries. It was not until 2002, however, that then-American UN representative Samantha Powers, as well as several U.S.-allied representatives, would push the United Nations to officially adopt the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) doctrine into the Charter — which was in direct contradiction to the law that recognizes the violation of a nation’s sovereignty as a crime. The R2P doctrine was born out of the illegal 78-day NATO air-bombing of Yugoslavia from March 24 to June 10, 1999. And although plans to dismantle Yugoslavia go as far back as 1984, it was not until much of the 1990s that NATO would begin openly intervening — with more naked aggression — starting with the funding and support for secessionist paramilitary forces in Bosnia between 1994-1995. It then sealed the 1999 destruction of Yugoslavia with with the balkanization of the Serbian province of Kosovo. In addition to the use of terrorist and paramilitary groups as proxy forces which received CIA-training and funding, another key feature of this “humanitarian” intervention was the ongoing demonization campaigns against the Serbs, who were at the centre of a vicious Western media propaganda war. Some of the most egregious parts of these demonization campaigns — which were tantamount to slander and libel — were the claims that the Serbs were “committing genocide” against ethnic Albanians. The NATO bombing campaign was illegal since it was given no UN Security Council approval or support.

Once again, Brzezinski was not the National Security Advisor during the U.S.-led campaign against Yugoslavia. However, he still continued to wield influence as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a private organization and Wall Street think tank. The Council on Foreign Relations is intertwined with highly influential NGOs who are essentially propaganda mouthpieces for U.S. foreign policy, such as Human Rights Watch, which has fabricated stories of atrocities allegedly committed by countries targeted by U.S. imperialism. Clearly, unmitigated U.S. imperial aggression did not end with the destruction of the former Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, nor with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The post-Cold War years were a continuation of U.S. imperialism’s scramble for more spheres of influence and global domination; it was also a scramble for what was left of the former ‘Soviet bloc’ and Warsaw Pact. The dismantling of Yugoslavia was, figuratively speaking, the ‘final nail in the coffin’ of whatever ‘Soviet influence’ was left in Eastern Europe.

The demise of the Soviet Union and the “Afghan trap” question

Image on the right: Left to right: former Afghan President Babrak Karmal, and former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Karmal took office at around the same time (December 1979) the PDPA requested that Moscow intervene to assist the besieged Afghanistan.

The sabotage and subsequent dissolution of the Soviet Union meant that only one global hegemon remained, and that was the United States. Up until 1989, the Soviet Union had been the barrier that was keeping the United States from launching a more robust military intervention in Afghanistan, as well as in Central and West Asia. While pulling out did not immediately cause the defeat of Kabul as the PDPA government forces continued to struggle for another three years, Mikhail Gorbachev’s decision to withdraw Soviet troops arguably had a detrimental impact on Afghanistan for many years to come. Although there was no Soviet military assistance in the last three years of Najibullah’s presidency, Afghanistan continued to receive aid from the USSR, and some Soviet military advisers (however limited in their capacity) still remained; despite the extreme difficulties, and combined with the nation’s still-relatively high morale, this did at least help to keep the government from being overthrown immediately. This defied U.S. expectations as the CIA and the George H.W. Bush administration had believed that the government of Najibullah would fall as soon as Soviet troops were withdrawn. But what really hurt the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan’s army was when the Soviet Union was dismantled in 1991; almost as soon as the dissolution happened and Boris Yeltsin (with U.S. backing) took over as Russia’s president, the aid stopped coming and the government forces became unable to hold out for much longer. The U.S. aggression was left unchecked, and to this day Afghanistan has not seen geopolitical stability and has since been a largely impoverished ‘failed state’, serving as a training ground for terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda. It continues to be an anarchic battleground between rival warlords which include the ousted Taliban and the U.S. puppet government that replaced them.

But, as was already mentioned above, the “Afghan trap” did not, in and of itself, cause the dismantling of the Soviet Union. In that same interview with Le Nouvel Observateur, Brzezinski had this to say in response to the question about setting the “trap”:

Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?

[Brzezinski]: It isn’t quite that. We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.

Likewise with Cuba and Syria, the USSR had a well-established alliance with the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, one of mutual aid and partnership. Answering Kabul’s explicit request for assistance was a deliberate and conscious choice made by Moscow, and it just so happened that the majority of Afghans welcomed it. For any errors that Leonid Brezhnev, the General Secretary at the time, may have made (which do deserve a fair amount of criticism, but are not the focus of this article), the 1979 decision to intervene on behalf of Afghanistan against U.S. imperialism was not one of them. It is true that both the Soviet and the U.S. interventions were military interventions, but the key difference is that the U.S. was backing reactionary forces for the purposes of establishing colonial domination and was in clear violation of Afghan sovereignty. Consider, too, that Afghanistan had only deposed of its king in 1973, just six years before the conflict began. The country may have moved quickly to industrialize and modernize, but it wasn’t much time to fully develop its military defenses by 1979.

Image below: Mikhail Gorbachev accepts the Nobel Peace Prize from George H.W. Bush on October 15, 1990. Many Russians saw this gesture as a betrayal, while the West celebrated it, because he was being awarded for his capitulation to U.S. imperialism in foreign and economic policy.

Other than that, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the Soviet Union imploded due to an accumulating number of factors: namely, the gradual steps that U.S. foreign policy had taken over the years to cripple the Soviet economy, especially after the deaths of Brezhnev and Yuri Andropov. How Gorbachev responded during the U.S.-led onslaught against Afghanistan certainly helped to exacerbate the conditions that led to the dissolution. After the deaths of Brezhnev and Andropov, the Soviet Union’s economy became disorganized and was being liberalized during much of the 1980s. Not only that, but the Reagan administration escalated the arms race, which intensified after they had scrapped the ‘detente’ that was previously made in the mid-1970s. Even prior to Reagan’s hardline, bombastic rhetoric and escalation against the USSR, the Soviet Union was already beginning to show signs of strain from the arms race during the late-1970s. However, in spite of the economic strains, during the height of the war the organized joint operations between the Soviet army and the Afghan army saw a significant amount of success in pushing back against the Mujahideen with many of the jihadist leaders either being killed or fleeing to Pakistan. Therefore, it is erroneous to say that intervening in Afghanistan on behalf of the Afghan people “did the Soviet Union in.”

In a misguided and ultimately failed attempt to spur economic growth rates, Gorbachev moved to end the Cold War by withdrawing military support from allies and pledging cooperation with the United States who promised “peace”. When he embraced Neoliberalism and allowed for the USSR to be opened to the U.S.-dominated world capitalist economy, the Soviet economy imploded and the effects were felt by its allies. It was a capitulation to U.S. imperialism, in other words; and it led to disastrous results not only in Afghanistan, but in several other countries as well. These include: the destruction of Yugoslavia, both wars on Iraq, and the 2011 NATO invasion of Libya. Also, Warsaw Pact members in Eastern Europe were no longer able to effectively fight back against U.S.-backed colour revolutions; some of them would eventually be absorbed as NATO members, such as Czechoslovakia which was dissolved and divided into two states: the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Without Soviet Russia to keep it in check, the United States was able to launch an unrestrained series of aggressions for nearly two decades. Because of his decision to withdraw from the arms race altogether, in a vain attempt to transform the Soviet Union into a social democracy akin to those of the Nordic countries, Gorbachev had deprived the Russian army of combat effectiveness by making significant cuts to its defense budget, which is partly why they were forced to evacuate. Not only that, but these diplomatic and military concessions with the United States gave them no benefit in return, hence the economic crisis in Russia during the Yeltsin years. Suffice to say, the Gorbachev-Yeltsin years are not remembered fondly in Russia and many regard Gorbachev as a traitor and Western agent who helped to bring the Soviet Union to its collapse. In more recent years, efforts are being made to assess the actions taken by Gorbachev with regards to Afghanistan; this includes going against and revising the resolution put forth by him which suggested that the USSR intervention was “shameful”.

In short, Afghanistan did not cause the Soviet Union’s demise even if it required large military spending. More accurately: it was Gorbachev’s impulsive decision to quickly discard the planned economy in favour of a market economy in order to appease the United States, who made the false promise that NATO would not expand eastward. If there was a real “trap”, it was this and Gorbachev played right into the hands of U.S. imperialism; and so, the Soviet Union received its devastating blow from the United States in the end — not from a small, minor nation such as Afghanistan which continues to suffer the most from the effects of these past events. For many years, but especially since the end of WWII, the United States made ceaseless efforts to undermine the USSR, adding stress upon stress onto its economy, in addition to the psychological warfare waged through the anti-Soviet propaganda and military threats against it and its allies. Despite any advances made in the past, the Soviet Union’s economy was still not as large as that of the United States. And so, in order to keep pace with NATO, the Soviet Union did not have much of a choice but to spend a large percentage of its GDP on its military and on helping to defend its allies, which included national liberation movements in the Third World, because of the very real and significant threat that U.S. imperialism posed. If it had not spent any money militarily, its demise would most likely have happened much sooner. But eventually, these mounting efforts by U.S. imperialism created a circumstance where its leadership under Gorbachev made a lapse in judgment, reacting impulsively and carelessly rather than acting with resilience in spite of the onslaught.

It should also be taken into account that WWII had a profound impact on Soviet leadership — from Joseph Stalin to Gorbachev — because even though the Red Army was victorious in defeating the Nazis, the widespread destruction had still placed the Soviet economy under an incredible amount of stress and it needed time to recover. Meanwhile, the convenient geographical location of the United States kept it from suffering the same casualties and infrastructural damage seen across Europe and Asia as a result of the Second World War, which enabled its economy to recover much faster and gave it enough time to eventually develop the U.S. Dollar as the international currency and assert dominance over the world economy. Plus, the U.S. had accumulated two-thirds of the world’s gold reserves by 1944 to help back the Dollar; and even if it lost a large amount of the gold, it would still be able to maintain Dollar supremacy by developing the fiat system to back the currency. Because of the destruction seen during WWII, it is understandable that the Soviet Union wanted to avoid another world war, which is why it also made several attempts at achieving some kind of diplomacy with the United States (before Gorbachev outright capitulated). At the same time, it also understood that maintaining its military defenses was important because of the threat of a nuclear war from the United States, which would be much more catastrophic than the Nazis’ military assaults against the Soviet Union since Hitler did not have a nuclear arsenal. This was part of a feat that U.S. imperialism was able to accomplish that ultimately overshadowed British, French, German, and Japanese imperialism, which Brzezinski reveals in his book, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives: an unparalleled military establishment that, by far, had the most effective global reach which allowed the U.S. to “project forces over long distances”, helping it to assert its global domination and impose its “political will”. And what makes the American Empire distinct from the Japanese Empire, British Empire, and other European empires is that one of the bases for its ideology is the socially constructed international hierarchy of nations, and not races as was the case with the other aforementioned empires. This constructed international hierarchy of nations is more effective because it means not only greater expansionism, but also the greater ability to exercise global primacy and supremacy. More specific to Central Asia and the Middle East, the Wahhabist and Salafist groups propped up by the CIA were always intended to nurture sectarianism and discord in order to counter a mass, broad-based united front of nations against imperialism — an example of divide-and-conquer, which is an age-old tradition of empire, except this time with Neoliberal characteristics.

Therefore, the Mujahideen against Afghanistan should not be thought of simply as “the Afghan trap”, but rather as the U.S. subjugation and plundering of West and Central Asia and an important milestone (albeit a cynical one) in shaping its foreign policy with regards to the region for many years to come. If one thing has remained a constant in U.S. foreign policy towards West and Central Asia, it is its strategic partnership with the oil autocracy of Saudi Arabia, which acts as the United States’ steward in safeguarding the profits of American petroleum corporations and actively assists Western powers in crushing secular Arab and Central Asian nationalist resistance against imperialism. The Saudi monarchy would again be called on by the U.S. government in 2011 in Syria to assist in the repeated formula of funding and arming so-called “moderate rebels” in the efforts to destabilize the country. Once again, the ultimate goal in this more recent imperial venture is to contain Russia.

Cold War 2.0? American Supremacy marches on

The present-day anti-Russia hysteria is reminiscent of the anti-Soviet propaganda of the Cold War era; while anti-communism is not the central theme today, one thing remains the same: the fact that the U.S. Empire is (once again) facing a formidable challenge to its position in the world. After the Yeltsin years were over, and under Vladimir Putin, Russia’s economy eventually recovered and moved towards a more dirigiste economy; and on top of that, it moved away from the NATO fold, which triggered the old antagonistic relationship with the United States. Russia has also decided to follow the global trend of taking the step towards reducing reliance on the U.S. dollar, which is no doubt a source of annoyance to the U.S. capitalist class. It seems that a third world war in the near future is becoming more likely as the U.S. inches closer to a direct military confrontation against Russia and, more recently, China. History does appear to be repeating itself. When the government of Bashar al Assad called on Moscow for assistance in fighting against the NATO-backed terrorists, it certainly was reminiscent of when the PDPA had done the same many years before. Thus far, the Syrian Arab Republic has continued to withstand the destabilization efforts carried out by the Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist groups and Kurdish militias at the behest of the United States, and has not collapsed as Libya, Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan did.

But what often gets overlooked is the repeated Brzezinskist formula of funding highly reactionary forces and promoting them as “revolutionaries” to Western audiences in order to fight governments that defy the global dictatorship of the United States and refuse to allow the West to exploit their natural resources and labour power. As Karl Marx once said, “Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past.” Such a phenomenon is no accident or a mere mistake. The geopolitical instability that followed after the overthrow of the PDPA ensures that no sound, united, and formidable opposition against U.S. imperialism will emerge for an indefinite number of years; and it seems that Libya, where the Brzezinskist-style of regime change also saw success and which is now a hotbed for the slave trade, is on the same path as Afghanistan. This is all a part of what Lenin calls moribund capitalism when he discussed the economic essence of imperialism; and by that, he meant that imperialism carries the contradictions of capitalism to the extreme limit. American global monopoly had grown out of U.S. foreign policy, and it should go without saying that the American Empire cannot tolerate losing its Dollar Supremacy, especially when the global rate of profit is falling. And if too many nations reject U.S. efforts to infiltrate their markets and force foreign finance capital exports onto their economies in order to gain a monopoly over the resources, as well as to exploit the labour of their working people, it would surely spell a sharp decline in American Dollar hegemony. The fact that the United States was willing to go as far as to back mercenaries to attack the former Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and fight the Soviet Union, as well as to spend billions of dollars on a highly elaborate but effective propaganda campaign, shows a sign of desperation of the American Empire in maintaining its global hegemony.

Since the end of World War II the United States has been, and is by and large still, the overwhelming world-dominating power. It is true that the American Empire is in decline, in light of increasing trends towards “de-Dollarization,” as well as the rise of China and Russia which pose as challenges to U.S. interests. Naturally, Washington will desperately try to cling on to its number one position in the world by accelerating the growth of its global monopolies — whether it is through placing wholly unnecessary tariffs against competitors such as China, or threatening to completely cut Venezuelan and Iranian oil out of the global market — even if it means an increasing drive towards World War III. The current global economic order which Washington elites have been instrumental in shaping over the past several decades reflects the interests of the global capitalist class to such an extent that the working class is threatened with yet another world war despite the unimaginable carnage witnessed during the first two.

When we look back at these historical events to help make sense of the present, we see how powerful mass media can be and how it is used as a tool of U.S. foreign policy to manipulate and control public opinion. Foreign policy is about the economic relationships between countries. Key to understanding how U.S. imperialism functions is in its foreign policy and how it carries it out — which adds up to plundering from relatively small or poorer nations more than a share of wealth and resources that can be normally produced in common commercial exchanges, forcing them to be indebted; and if any of them resist, then they will almost certainly be subjected to military threats.

With the great wealth that allowed it to build a military that can “project forces over long distances,” the United States is in a unique position in history, to say the least. However, as we have seen above, the now four decade-long war on Afghanistan was not only fought on a military front considering the psy-ops and the propaganda involved. If anything, the Soviet Union lost on the propaganda front in the end.

From Afghanistan we learn not only of the origins of Al Qaeda, to which the boom in the opioid-addiction epidemic has ties, or why today we have the phenomenon of an anti-Russia Western “left” that parrots imperialist propaganda and seems very eager to see that piece of Cold War history repeat itself in Syria. We also learn that we cannot de-link the events of the 2001 direct U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan and what followed from those of 1979; Afghanistan’s colonial-feudal past, its break from that with the 1978 Saur Revolution, and the U.S.-led Mujahideen are all as much of a part of its history (and the Greater Middle East, by extension) as the events of 2001. It cannot be stressed enough that it is those historical conditions, particularly as they relate to U.S. foreign policy, that helped to shape the ongoing conflict today.

Obviously, we cannot undo the past. It is not in the interests of the working class anywhere, in the Global South or in the Global North, to see a third world war happen, as such a war would have catastrophic consequences for everyone — in fact, it could potentially destroy all of humanity. Building a new and revitalized anti-war movement in the imperialist nations is a given, but it also requires a more sophisticated understanding of U.S. foreign policy. Without historical context, Western mass media will continue to go unchallenged, weaning audiences on a steady diet of “moderate rebels” propaganda and effectively silencing the victims of imperialism. It is necessary to unite workers across the whole world according to their shared interests in order to effectively fight and defeat imperialism and to establish a just, egalitarian, and sustainable world under socialism. Teaching the working class everywhere the real history of such conflicts as the one in Afghanistan is an important part of developing the revolutionary consciousness necessary to build a strong global revolutionary movement against imperialism.

*

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Originally published by LLCO.org on March 30, 2019. For the full-length article and bibliography, click here.

Janelle Velina is a Toronto-based political analyst, writer, and an editor and frequent contributor for New-Power.org and LLCO.org. She also has a blog at geopoliticaloutlook.blogspot.com.

All images in this article are from the author; featured image: Brzezinski visits Osama bin Laden and other Mujahideen fighters during training.

Balkan Report: Pauvre Serbie, Pauvres Serbes

Source

March 10, 2019

Balkan Report: Pauvre Serbie, Pauvres Serbes

by Stephen Karganovic for The Saker Blog

In World War I, there was a popular refrain in France and the West generally expressing sympathetic support for their gallant Serbian allies, who were standing up to combined enemy armies on the Salonica front: Pauvres Serbes…That refrain still very much resonates but is no longer exclusively confined to the moral sphere, as it largely was a hundred years ago. Today, it epitomizes the dismal overall condition of the broken Serbian nation (on that subject, more in a later dispatch). For accuracy and clarification it should undoubtedly be amended, or expanded if you will, to read Pauvre Serbie, as well.

Following three serious bloodlettings in the course of a century (World War I, with up to a third of the population missing on Armistice day in 1918, World War II, with three quarters of a million slaughtered in the genocide committed by the Nazi satellite Croatia in 1941 – 1945, and a minimum of 100,000 of the best, brightest, and most able Serbs executed and exiled on ideological grounds by the Tito regime after it was installed in 1945) present-day Serbia is the ravaged land of an exhausted, dispirited, and dispossessed people. Its ambitions are low and its defenses are down.

Serbia today is ruled by a Uganda-style madman and his coterie of venal incompetents. This sorry bunch is manifestly unfit to govern any country (African or European, or even just Balkan for that matter).

Serbia’s current regime was conceived, by all accounts, as a clever stratagem of Western intelligence services in the early years of this century. It was an attempt to politically profit from the leadership vacuum in the rabidly nationalist Radical Party, whose leader had been safely locked away at the Hague, battling trumped-up (no pun intended) war crimes charges. His two main deputies in Belgrade were correctly diagnosed as ripe for recruitment. The “main prize” (to borrow a famous meme from the Ukrainian crisis) in that particular game of thrones was formal recognition by Serbia of the NATO-sponsored “independence” of Serbia’s resource-laden province of Kosovo, with some subsequent collateral benefits such as Serbia’s humiliating incorporation into NATO, for instance.

One of the two turncoats was even lionized as Serbia’s potential De Gaulle, perhaps with the prospect of a drastically devalued Nobel Peace prize dangled before him, and just for the trifle of signing off on the Kosovo land grab, unilaterally declared under Western auspices in 2008.

The false analogy was missed by all the interested parties. For whatever reasons that concern the French alone, De Gaulle did stop the colonial war in Algeria, giving up a territory that had no link whatsoever to historical France and coming under French rule relatively recently in 1830 when in a fit of anger its tactless bey slapped a French diplomat. Kosovo, on the other hand, is the historical and cultural heartland of the Serbian nation and its Orthodox church. There is no comparison. Renouncing Kosovo would not be the meritorious act of a Serbian De Gaulle, but conjures up more precisely the treachery of Mexican president Santa Ana, when he signed the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

A small but by no means insignificant detail that was inexplicably missed by all the geniuses involved.

Hence, as Robert Burns pointed out, even the best-laid schemes of mice and men tend to sometimes go awry or be seriously delayed at any rate. So far, that exactly has been the case with the legalization of the Kosovo robbery, with its booty of mouth-watering riches. After many fumbling attempts, the Serbian regime has so far failed to come up with the correct formula to hand over Kosovo while protecting its back from the fury of the country’s public, all the while dangerously eroding the patience of the foreign sponsors who installed it and expect a return for their investment. They are still turning a blind eye to the regime’s mischief, but precisely on condition that the Kosovo issue is settled forthwith to their greedy satisfaction. (Note might be taken of the fact that all the major and still influential actors of the 1999 aggression on Yugoslavia, which resulted in NATO’s occupation of Kosovo, such as Madeleine Albright and General Wesley Clark have helped themselves to generous pieces of the Kosovo pie and are, naturally, eager to secure their ill-gotten acquisitions.)

ENTREFILET: Serbian “opposition leaders” were caught on Candid Camera in early February taking orders from US Embassy officials at the Belgrade Hilton. That strongly suggests that weekly Saturday street protests in Belgrade and towns across Serbia are foreign embassy coordinated and that “opposition” leaders are lying when they claim to be advocating for the interests of citizens. They are acting on behalf of their foreign bosses and paymasters and their task is to produce internal destabilization designed to serve foreign interests.

Serbian “opposition” taking orders at the Belgrade Hilton:

“Opposition protest leader,” actor Sergej Trifunovic, in his latest role: pow-wow with Embassy officers at the Belgrade Hilton

In a pathetic attempt to test the waters, the regime’s capo di tutti capi may have inadvertently let the cat out of the bag in a recent interview with an Italian journalist when he averred that “Serbia might legally renounce Kosovo, but only if it receives something in return.” In the wake of the popular uproar that ensued, the regime put pressure on the news agencies that quoted from the interview to drop the embarrassing phrase and explained the gaffe as a “mistranslation.” (It never occurred to anyone to ask to listen to the recording in order to easily verify that convenient claim.)

There is not the slightest doubt, however, that the Kosovo noose is rapidly tightening. Matthew Palmer, State Department official in charge of disciplining Balkan chieftains, has just made it crystal clear on March 8 that the signing of a comprehensive treaty of mutual recognition with the NATO-run narco outfit of Kosovo “is the essence” of what Serbia is expected to do, and that was not a mistranslation. There is not much wiggle room left for Serbia’s Santa Ana.

To drive the point home, Serbia’s Guaidos-in-waiting are staging weekly demonstrations (peaceful for the moment) to demand a variety of abstract-sounding democratic concessions from the regime. Significantly, demonstration organizers make no mention of the Kosovo issue, which is uppermost in the hearts and minds of most Serbs. Not to be overlooked, Belgrade just happens to be the location of the headquarters of Otpor, the Western-intelligence funded outfit famous for its leading role in organizing protests which toppled Slobodan Milosevic. Otpor is now renamed Canvas. Canvas is renting out its experience and services to their paymasters around the world, wherever a “color revolution” is deemed needed. By a huge coincidence, no doubt, Canvas was recently detected as having trained Juan Guaido personally in Belgrade as far back as 2005 and boasts of its role in Venezuela on its internet site. Add to that London Freedom House’s ominous “assessments” of the Serbian situation (e.g. “Serbia’s status declined from Free to Partly Free due to deterioration in the conduct of elections, continued attempts by the government and allied media outlets to undermine the independent journalists through legal harassment and smear campaigns, and […] de facto accumulation of executive powers that conflict with constitutional role”), and all the elements are in place for insomnia at the presidential palace.

Not to be outdone, just days ago, after visiting the imperial metropolis for “consultations,” one of the potential Serbian Guaidos, former foreign minister Vuk Jeremic, accused the regime of having already secretly committed itself to capitulate on Kosovo within weeks, hinting that this information was disclosed to him at the highest levels (never mind that Jeremic’s hypothetical regime would continue where the present regime left off). Another Guaido hopeful, Dragan Djilas, was off to Skopje to pay respects to NATO-installed local puppet and presumably his future model Zoran Zaev, gushing excitedly that being received by a statesman of such caliber was an unforgettable “honor.” With Freedom House greasing the skids for “partly fee” Serbia’s enlistment in the next axis or troika of evil, Canvas close at hand to pull off the street job, eager candidates ready to declare themselves “interim president” on Belgrade’s main square, and rumors of a “Balkan spring” in the air, for the beleaguered Belgrade officials a quick Google search for countries without an extradition treaty with Serbia would not be an entirely foolish waste of time.

The War of 08.08.08 and Ten Years of Struggle for Russian Sovereignty

The War of 08.08.08 and Ten Years of Struggle for Russian Sovereignty

August 09, 2018

By Aleksandr Rodgers
Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard
cross posted with http://www.stalkerzone.org/aleksandr-rodgers-the-war-of-08-08-08-and-ten-years-of-struggle-for-russian-sovereignty/
source: https://jpgazeta.ru/aleksandr-rodzhers-voyna-08-08-08-i-desyat-let-borbyi-za-suverenitet-rossii/

In reality, those processes that we now observe didn’t arrive “suddenly”, but developed (and were being prepared) over a long period of time.

And although on August 8th, 2018, it is ten years since 08.08.08, we will start the conversation with other events.

Because officially it is a completely different date, namely February 10th, 2007 – the Munich speech of Putin, that can be considered as the official beginning of events that followed. Where he, for the first time, described for the entire planet:

  • the injustice of the existing global system;
  • the fact that China already overtakes the US, and BRIC overtakes the EU;
  • the inevitability of the end of the unipolar world;
  • the need to put an end to the arbitrariness of the US, which leans on brute force;
  • his disagreement with injustice.

If to look at the video, it is possible to see that many in the hall smiled and thought that Putin jokes (how can it be possible to protest against American hegemony – it’s unheard of!). But he wasn’t joking.

It is clear that this speech of Putin was not spontaneous, and it was preceded by big preparation (removing semibankirschina from power, cancellation of the Production Sharing Agreement, reforming the army, and so on). But most laypeople think in the category “if I don’t see something, then it does not exist”.

That’s why the events on August 8th, 2008 were a surprise for them.

On August 8th the American puppet Mikheil Saakashvili, who came to power in Georgia as a result of an illegal coup (called by propagandists as the “Rose Revolution”), ordered his troops – armed and trained according to NATO standards (and on American money) – to perform a punitive operation against the inhabitants of South Ossetia, having started to massively shell the capital of the republic – Tskhinvali.

In the city there were Russian peacekeepers, which had a UN mandate, and such aggression, according to the plan of the American owners of Saakashvili, had to show Russia “its place”. But something went astray.

According to the plan (approved, among other things, by the former Minister of Defence of Georgia Irakli Okruashvili), the Georgian army had to firstly carry out the large-scale bombing of Tskhinvali and the surrounding villages by means of long-range artillery and MLRS, and then, after defeating the not numerous Ossetian army (in total about 3,000 people), to start ethnic cleaning.

In order to implement this plan the US developed a large-scale program of training the Georgian army – its main focus was on “anti-insurgent actions”.

In particular, the British “Financial Times” newspaper openly wrote that 80 Georgian special forces members were trained by American instructors by the order of the Pentagon according to a program that was tested in Croatia in 1995 within the framework of the operation of the Croatian armed forces for the capture of Serbian Krajina. The FT noted that this operation was one of the worst episodes of ethnic cleaning in the history of the Yugoslavian war (since Vietnam the Americans have had a wide experience of war against a peaceful and unarmed population, much like their current Banderist lackeys).

During Saakashvili’s reign, Georgia increased its military budget by 30-fold (at the same time, ordinary Georgians outside the capital survived on $30-40 a month, which is below the norms of the UN for absolute poverty). If in 2003 military expenses of the state budget of Georgia were $30 million (0.7% of GDP), then in 2007 it was already $940 million (8% of GDP). For comparison, now in NATO the standard is 2%, and even this is too much for the majority of member countries, which thus don’t implement it).

In 2008 the military expenses of Georgia totalled $990 million, which exceeded a quarter of the entire state budget of this poor country! All of this, of course, was done contrary to the interests of ordinary Georgians and at their expense.

At the same time, Georgia received some weapons from Ukraine by bypassing standard procedures. It happened at the personal order of Viktor Yushchenko – one more American puppet (who also came to power as a result of a “soft” coup d’etat inspired by the US).

But all of this preparation didn’t help.

It should be noted that the Ossetian conflict was preceded by the illegal recognition of the independence of Kosovo. On February 17th, 2008 the independence of Kosovo was declared, and on the next day it was recognised by a number of the countries – first of all, the US.

The recognition of the independence of Kosovo caused an extremely negative reaction in the leadership of Russia, President Putin at the summit of the CIS countries on February 22rd said:

“The Kosovo precedent is a horrifying precedent. <…> Those who do it don’t foresee the results of what they do. Finally, this is a double-edged sword, and the second edge will one day hit them on the head”.

Since the end of July, 2008 the Georgian army starts to shell the settlements of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Since August 1st the Prime Minister of South Ossetia Yury Morozov starts the partial evacuation of the residents of Tskhinvali.

On August 7th the Georgian army tried to occupy Prisi heights around Tskhinvali, but this attack was repelled. On the same day the American ambassador in Georgia John Tefft reported to Washington that the troops of Georgia, including units with MLRS “Grad”, move in the direction of South Ossetia.

In the afternoon of August 7th, 2008 the secretary of the Security Council of South Ossetia Anatoly Barankevich stated:

“The activity of Georgian troops is observed along the entire border with South Ossetia. All of this says that Georgia starts large-scale aggression against our republic“.

At 2 o’clock in the morning on August 8th, 2008 the Georgian army, hoping that Russia won’t react to aggression during the Olympic Games, started an offensive.

On the morning of August 8th the commander of Georgian “peacekeepers” Mamuka Kurashvili called the actions of Georgia in South Ossetia “an operation on restoring constitutional order in the Tskhinvali region”. Later, in October, 2008, during enquiries into the August events in the Georgian parliament, Kurashvili stated that his words were impulsive and weren’t authorised by the top political leadership of Georgia (they always start trembling when the time comes to answer).

Later, Saakashvili tried to lie by saying that the war started after “the offensive of Russian troops from the territory of Ukraine”. By this he implied the departure of ships of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation from Sevastopol, which took place several days before the beginning of the Georgian offensive (in general, they regularly depart ports for raids, and there is never any aggression).

Also, Saakashvili lied by saying that “the president of Ukraine Yushchenko tried to stop by his decree the Black Sea Fleet, but Russia ignored it”. In reality, Yushchenko’s decree appeared only on August 13th, i.e., 5 days after the beginning of the war, and already after the President of Russia Medvedev officially announced the termination of the military operation aimed at coercive peacemaking.

Having gobbled up his tie, overdosed on cocaine, changed his pants after fleeing from the“invisible Russian jets”, and again overdosed on cocaine, Saakashvili raved that:

  • “the Georgian army forced Russian generals to flee from the battlefield for the first time since World War II” (I am not joking, he spurted this out in all seriousness);
  • “95% of the efficient part of the Armed Forces of Russia fought against Georgia”;
  • “the 58th Russian army was actually burned by the 4th Georgian brigade”;
  • “when the 58th army was defeated, Russia used ground and air forces. They fired more than half their ‘Iskander’ ammo”;
  • and so on.

In general, Saakashvili is a worthy colleague of the alcoholic Poroshenko in terms of killing brains via substance abuse, as well as in terms of “destroying Russian armies in words”.

Everybody laughed, but only at the words of the little fool Saakashvili.

Because as a result of Georgian aggression (which, by the way, had the code name “Clear Field”, which openly hints at the intention to carry out the genocide of Ossetians and Abkhazians), which started at 00:15 Moscow time on August 8th with the “Grad” shelling of Tskhinvali, 15 Russian peacekeepers died (and about 40 were wounded), and about 1600 peaceful citizens of South Ossetia were killed (and almost as much wounded). The “Human Rights Watch” human rights organisation confirmed the fact of the destruction of the Russian peacekeeping posts in Tskhinvali and Khetagurovo.

At 00:30 Moscow time the commander of the operations of the armed forces of Georgia General Mamuka Kurashvili announced on the air of the “Rustavi-2” TV channel that, in connection with the refusal of the Ossetian side to hold talks on the stabilisation of the situation in the conflict zone, the Georgian side “made the decision to restore constitutional order in the conflict zone”, which completely disproves the latest Georgian insinuations – that Ossetians and/or Russians attacked first.

At 10:00 on August 8th the Georgian state Minister for Reintegration Temur Yakobashvili called on Russia to “act as a real peacekeeper” and stated that “Georgia controls almost all the settlements of South Ossetia, except Tskhinvali and Dzhava”.

On the morning of August 8th Russian aircraft started bombing military facilities on the territory of Georgia: the military base in Gori; the airfields of Vaziani and Marneuli, where Su-25 and L-39 planes, as well as a radar station 40 kilometers from Tbilisi were based.

At 14:30 Moscow time, the first unit of the Russian army – the 1st battalion of the 135th regiment – passed through the Roki tunnel.

At about 17:00 the Foreign Minister of Georgia Eka Tkeshelashvili called on foreign countries to put pressure on the Russian government in order to stop “direct military aggression” on the territory of Georgia. The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in reply reminded that on the morning of August 8th Georgia called on Russia to act as a peacekeeper. “So that’s what we are doing,” said Lavrov.

On the morning of August 9th the 76th Guards Air Assault Division based in Pskov was transferred to the area of military operations. Russian ships entered the territorial waters of Georgia and started fighting the patrol.

On August 10th the ships of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation sank two Georgian combat kayaks.

On August 11th the “proud Georgians” fled.

By the way, even when the Georgian army carried out a cunning strategic manoeuvre under the name “chaotic escape”, the grant-eating Georgian media continued to report that:

  • “as a result of fighting in the Tskhinvali region the Russian 58th army lost 1789 soldiers, 105 tanks, 81 fighting vehicles, 45 armoured troop-carriers, 10 ‘Grad’ units, and 5 ‘Smerch’ units”;

or

  • “in Georgia there are so many corpses of Russian soldiers that they aren’t transported back to Russia” (compare to the fake information about the losses of Russians in Donbass and in Syria – the similarity of propaganda methods is obvious).

In reality everything is on the contrary: it is the Georgian armed forces that didn’t take any action to recover the corpses of their perished soldiers from Tskhinvali region, and some of the perished Georgian military personnel were buried in mass graves without being identified (compare to the cauldrons in Donbass and several thousand anonymous graves of UAF soldiers).

But all of this is just details. The main thing is that on 08.08.08 Russia showed to the whole world (not only Georgia) that:

  • it won’t allow genocide to be carried out on its borders;
  • it won’t allow its soldiers to be killed with impunity any more;
  • it is ready to pursue an independent policy (both internal and external);
  • the Russian army isn’t in ruins at all and not as destroyed as the West thought, but completely on the contrary – it is capable of destroying in literally several days a NATO army armed with American weapons and trained by American military advisers;
  • Russians can’t be pushed around; it is only possible to reach an agreement with Russians.

The first milestone is the Munich speech of Putin.

The second milestone is the defeat of the Georgian army under the howling and hysterics of the West.

The third milestone is the failure of the Bolotnaya Square attempt at a white ribbon coup.

The fourth milestone is the return of Crimea.

The fifth milestone is the uprising in Donbass.

The sixth milestone is the essential strengthening of the presence of the state in the economy of Russia, especially in strategic spheres.

The seventh milestone is the crushing of Anglo-Saxon proxies (ISIS, al-Nusra, and other puppet terrorists) in Syria.

The eighth milestone is transferring the vector of activity further away from its borders – to Africa (in addition to the Central African Republic, at least four other African countries).

The ninth milestone is the dumping of American debt papers (treasuries).

And there are many other smaller and not so noticeable steps, like: the emergence of new types of weapons; accession to various international organisations, contracts and associations (trade and economic, as well as security contours), as well as the involvement in these organisations of new countries; import substitution; the introduction of the “foreign agent” status; the creation of its own payment system; and many other things.

And all of this is on the way to the restoration of the sovereignty and greatness of Russia.

But at first there was Munich and 08.08.08.

The Essential Saker II
The Essential Saker II: Civilizational Choices and Geopolitics / The Russian challenge to the hegemony of the AngloZionist Empire
The Essential Saker
The Essential Saker: from the trenches of the emerging multipolar world
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