Archive for the ‘Serbia’ Category

Cry for help.

With the recent plans of the Serbian government to accept Albanian customs officers on the line between Kosovo and the rest of Serbia, Kosovo Serbs have realized that they are doomed and will have to either leave their ancestral lands or accept daily terrorism of the human organs-trading Thaci and his government. Both their own government and EU/US “human rights” organizations have abandoned them. Even sympathetic governments in Romania and Slovakia won’t do anything that could make US and Germany angry. The only help if any can come from Russia.

Precedents

Russia has in the past granted Russian citizenship to ethnic Russians living in the former soviet republics to increase its influence in those republics and defend its interests. For example in Crimea, it used this strategy to convince Ukrainians that they should not try to evict Russian fleet from Crimea’s deep see ports. In South Ossetia, Russia qualified Georgian attack as an attack against its own citizens and a reason to intervene.

Impact on Europe

The impact on Europe could potentially be very significant. The question is what Russia would do if its (Serbian) citizens came under attack as they inevitably will. Compared to its “Near Abroad”, Kosovo and Serbia are surrounded by countries that follow US orders and therefore a direct military help is implausible.

It seems that Russian government itself is unsure what granting Russian citizenship would mean for it and therefore is “studying the applications” according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Opportunity for Russia

While Russia will not get involved militarily, it could use the Kosovo Serb citizenships to increase its diplomatic and humanitarian involvement and prevent US and EU from consolidating their gains in Balkans and Serbia. It could essentially freeze the conflict and get a lever on those in EU that for the lack of other challeges feel like medling in Russia’s periphery.

Threat to pro-US/EU Serbian elites

Serbian citizens have grudgingly accepted that they lost the war and Kosovo and they cannot do anything about it and largely stopped supporting pro-Kosovo parties. If Russia stops Serb loses in Kosovo, Serbs may think that Kosovo (or at last the northern part of it) is not necessarily lost and elect pro-Kosovo parties like Kostunica’s DS. Those parties could be more forceful in defending Kosovo Serbs and make Germany and US positions in Kosovo painful. The standoff could also impact other countries in the region.

Russia could build it position awaiting a possible EU and US economic (and maybe also political) breakdown.

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Turkish public prosecutor requested a 171-year prison sentence for Turkish doctor Yusuf Sonmez, accused of involvement in human organ trafficking in Kosovo.

“The improvised Medicus clinic in Priština is also mentioned in Council of Europe Rapporteur Dick Marty’s report on trade in organs of kidnapped and imprisoned civilians in Kosovo during the war 12 years ago, which qualified Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci as the first link in the criminal chain.
EULEX formed a special team to handle the investigation based on the Marty report.”
But the head of the investigation is an American who was in charge of “justice” in Kosovo when it was happenning.

“Protected Witness” Killed in Germany

An Albanian wanted to tell what he knew about KLA crimes during the “just war” but suprise, surprise, he did not live long enough. That Germany armed and trained KLA and his testimony would not be “helpful” to the government must be considered as well as a fact that witnessess against KLA “freedom fighters” have been killed before and perpetrators were not found either.

Very convenient. And how shocking!

In Libya, Sirte, NATO is pulverizing the city as much as it can to “protect civilians”. Still not enough and “rebels” cannot win. But civilians are starving. NATO and rebels are really winning hearts of Sirte people on the road to democracy. But is not democracy when people do not want to be occupied by foreign tribes?

In Serbia, NATO and EU occupational force (called sometimes NATO and sometimes EULEX) is shooting with live amunition at unarmed demonstrators that are throwing rocks in self defense against buldozers. They sure could not shoot at people in EU or US but Serbs are certainly not human and so it is OK. Otherwise, why wouldn’t they meekly accept what the Sultan (or is Obama Cesar?) decides for them?

Former UN Regional Representative in Kosovo, American diplomat Gerard Gallucci has said that the EULEX operations are illegal.

He also added that the northern Kosovo issue could not be solved with military actions.

“The first myth that apparently still needs busting: that there is a military/police solution to the northerners refusal to accept rule by Priština,” he explained.

“In March 2008 this failed and it has failed again. Not even placing a large occupying force on every road and town center can compel people to give up institutions they view as their own and to accept those they find illegitimate. NATO never had the stomach for this but let itself be used by the U.S. to back up Thaci’s politically motivated effort to steal the north. KFOR’s support for Priština’s trade embargo was, and remains, illegal under its UNSCR 1244 mandate. And it has not worked; there remains no solution to the north through use of force,” Gallucci pointed out.

The former UN officials said that the next myth was that criminals were forcing the northern Kosovo Serbs to refuse the benefits of being ruled by the majority-Albanian government in Priština.

“The Serbs have been holding weddings, classes and parties on the barricades. They have been peaceful but insistent. They blocked the northern Gates while building a new boundary along the Ibar River on main roads crossing the line to the majority-Albanian south. But the “hoodlum” myth remains dangerous as even now Thaci is using it to justify his call to impose a Kosovo court in north Mitrovica. Hopefully, KFOR and EULEX will not rise to this provocation,” he noted.

“The next busted myth is that EULEX is acting legally in seeking to impose Kosovo customs in the north. It claims that treating Kosovo as one customs zone and the agreement on customs stamps agreed to early this month means it can support establishment of Kosovo customs in the north and collection of fees to be sent to Priština,” Gallucci continues.

“Some argue that EULEX’s mandate includes helping develop the Kosovo state. But the UN passed EULEX responsibility for rule of law in November 2008 with the condition it be status neutral. Whatever customs regime might be established, it would have to meet that condition. Imposing Kosovo customs and officials and collecting funds for Priština clearly would not,” the U.S. diplomat underscored.

“And any agreement on customs stamps between Belgrade and Priština does not ipso facto allow EULEX to apply it where Belgrade and the local Serbs refuse to accept it,” he added.

According to Gallucci, the final myth is that the Quint and Priština’s “effort to seize the north is legal as it enforces a Kosovo state and constitution that the ICJ found legal and that Serbian ‘parallel’ institutions are illegal under UNSCR 1244”.

“The ICJ never said that the Kosovo declaration of independence or state were ‘legal.’ It said that there was nothing in international law on the subject and noted that the Priština UDI was made outside the ambit of UNMIK. The ICJ did reaffirm the continued legality of UNMIK. One could argue that Kosovo independence and institutions are a fact – they are – but not that they were found legal by the ICJ. Under international law, UNMIK remains the official administrative authority for Kosovo. Any other institutions are therefore parallel to it. But in the north, the local institutions fly under the UN flag, south of the Ibar River they don’t. Some are therefore more ‘parallel’ than others,” the former UN official pointed out.

He believes that the situation in northern Kosovo “may have stabilized, at a point not quite back to July 25 but substantially much the same.”

“It can be said that the Quint/Thaci effort to change the situation on the ground in the north by bringing the Serbs to accept rule from Priština has failed. While the local Serbs have certainly been affected by the moves by KFOR and EULEX to isolate them from Serbia proper and impose Kosovo customs at the northern Gates, their resistance in the form of peaceful protest and barricades has stalled the Quint effort to make them accept the Kosovo state,” Gallucci explained.

“EULEX has not backed away from its plan to impose Kosovo customs at the northern crossings. But as the locals have blocked these, there is nothing for customs officials to do. The Serbs appear able to find ways to cross the boundary quicker than KFOR can close them. KFOR may be tiring of chasing down trucks and providing helicopter service for Gate workers. The new, perhaps more sensible, KFOR commander reportedly is urging a political approach to resolving the current crisis rather than looking for military solutions,” the former UN official concluded.

Now that the international community backed by US decided that Operation Storm was a war crime and awarded Croatian generals who led it long prison terms due to their “command responsibility”, let’s see what happens with MPRI trial in Chicago. As a reminder, MPRI organized and planned Operation Storm as a hired hand of Croatian government.

Quote below:
“On April 15 the Hague Tribunal sentenced Gotovina to 24 and Markač to 18 years in prison for war crimes during the Operation Storm and participation in the joint criminal enterprise aimed at forcibly and permanently expelling the Serbs from the Republic of Serb Krajina.”

As mentioned in another post, MPRI, a US outfit staffed by retired US generals, were in charge of the whole operation as “advisors” and carry as much responsibility.

Quote:
“A private U.S. defense contractor “trained and equipped the Croatian military for Operation Storm and designed the Operation Storm battle plan,” which killed or displaced more than 200,000 Serbs in 1995, in the largest European land offensive since World War II, the Genocide Victims of Krajina say in Chicago Federal Court. They demand billions of dollars in damages from MPRI, founded by U.S. military officers who were “downsized” at the end of the Cold War, and L-3 Communications, which bought MPRI for $40 million in 2000.”

But don’t hold your breath on seeing them punished. After all, they are Americans in service of the government (which used them as a cover when there was a UN embargo on such help) and they could spill a lot of uncomfortable truth.

Serbs Given Go-Ahead by U.S. Court to Sue Defense Contractors over Genocide

Wednesday, August 18, 2010Last Update: 10:28 AM PT
U.S. Mercenaries Accused of Abetting Genocide
By ROBERT KAHN
(CN) – A private U.S. defense contractor “trained and equipped the Croatian military for Operation Storm and designed the Operation Storm battle plan,” which killed or displaced more than 200,000 Serbs in 1995, in the largest European land offensive since World War II, the Genocide Victims of Krajina say in Chicago Federal Court. They demand billions of dollars in damages from MPRI, founded by U.S. military officers who were “downsized” at the end of the Cold War, and L-3 Communications, which bought MPRI for $40 million in 2000.
“This is a class action brought by ethnic Serbs who resided in the Krajina region of Croatia up to August 1995 and who then became victims of the Croatian military assault known as Operation Storm – an aggressive, systematic military attack and bombardment on a demilitarized civilian population that had been placed under the protection of the United Nations,” the 40-page complaint begins.
“Operation Storm was designed to kill or forcibly expel the ethnic Serbian residents of the Krajina region from Croatian territory, just because they were a minority religio-ethnic group. Defendant MPRI, a private military contractor subsequently acquired by Defendant L-3 Communications Inc., trained and equipped the Croatian military for Operation Storm and designed the Operation Storm battle plan. Operation Storm became the largest land offensive in Europe since World War II and resulted in the murder and inhumane treatment of thousands of ethnic Serbs, the forced displacement of approximately 200,000 ethnic Serbs from their ancestral homes in Croatian territory, and the pillaging and destruction of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Serbian-owned property. The victims of Operation Storm and their heirs and next of kin herein claim that Defendants were complicit in genocide.”
Two named plaintiffs, Milena Jovic and Zivka Mijic, describe what they suffered in the offensive.
Jovic says that as she and her husband and children fled the bombardment of Knin, on Aug. 4, 1995, “they saw dozens of bodies scattered throughout the streets and roads leading out of Knin and houses and buildings burning as a result of shelling with incendiary explosives. … While driving through the Lika area in the Krajina region, the Jovic’s refugee column was shelled by artillery, and bombed and strafed by Croatian military aircraft. People were wounded and dying all around them.”
They escaped to Serbia, where they still live.
Mijic, who suffered the same attack, say she and her family was a neighbor “decapitated when struck by an artillery projectile … and many other attacks by Croatian forces resulting in refugees being wounded and killed in their exodus from the Krajina.”
They lived in a refugee camp in Kosovo, and were granted residency in the United States in July 2000.
They claim, for the class, the MPRI and L3 knew, or should have known, when they sought work as mercenaries in the former Yugoslavia, of the atrocities and war crimes that Croatians had committed against Serbs in World War II concentration camps, and in widely reported statements from Croatian officials, including its president, in the 1980s, as the violence in the former Yugoslavia intensified.
The United Nations in 1991 set up four protected areas – two of them in Krajina – to protect Croatian civilians from the Serbs. “The concern thus evidenced by the Security Council for the Serbian inhabitants of Krajina is objective proof of the imminence of hostilities coming from Croatia. This fact was known or reasonably should have been known to MPRI,” according to the complaint.
“By October 1994, the accelerating campaign in Croatia to kill or oust all the Serbs in that country had focused intently upon the 200,000 Serbs living in the Krajina region. There was pressure on the Croatian Army to get rid of these people. But the Army could not figure out any way to do so. Objectively speaking it was virtually impossible to move or kill 200,000 people,” the complaint states.
The class claims that MPRI got a multimillion-dollar contract from Croatia in or about October 1994. Among MPRI’s duties were to “procure through its contacts heavy
military equipment including artillery batteries and import it into Croatia; [and] arrange for Croatia to receive real-time coded and pictorial information from US reconnaissance satellites over Krajina in order for the data to be used for accuracy targeting in artillery batteries,” the complaint states.
“It was evident that MPRI’s acts, especially including equipping and training military forces, would run counter to UN Security Council Resolution 713. But because MPRI is not a state, it is not legally bound by U.N. resolutions. Thus MPRI could do things that the United States could not do, such as importing weapons into Croatia. …
“There can be no doubt that MPRI knew exactly what Croatia would do with the training and armaments that MPRI was going to provide. During the contract negotiations between MPRI and Croatia in October 1994, Minister Susak specifically told the MPRI representatives: ‘I want to drive the Serbs out of my country.'”
The complaint then describes in detail the planning and execution of Operation Storm, which the victims say was named after the U.S.’ Operation Desert Storm operations against Iraq.
The complaint cites an indictment from the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia at The Hague: “In the course of Operation Storm and the continuing related operations and/or actions, Croatian forces inflicted inhumane acts on Serb civilians and persons taking no part in hostilities, including persons placed hors de combat, causing not only mental abuse, humiliation and anguish (including threats to kill such persons or their families), but also severe physical injury, by shooting, beating, kicking and burning people, including extensive shelling of civilian areas and an aerial attack on fleeing civilians. Family members were often forced to watch while other family members were beaten and abused. Inhumane acts and cruel treatment were especially inflicted on the most vulnerable victims, including elderly women and civilians in hospitals.
“Whether MPRI personnel took part in the genocide is not known and is not alleged here. But what is known definitively is that MPRI provided the means that enabled the genocide to occur. And the well-known history of the Jasenovac massacres should have put MPRI personnel on notice that employing Air-Land Battle Doctrine on a peaceful civilian population would most likely have as its aftermath the murderous ‘mopping up’ operations of the Croatian army as described in the indictment quoted in the preceding two paragraphs.
“During and immediately after Operation Storm, land mines were placed in the areas that had had high-density demographics. The result is that displaced Serbians are afraid to go back to their old neighborhoods that are land-mined. The 1995 genocide is not over. The Statute of Limitations has not yet begun to run due to the presence of the deadly land mines.”
The class seeks damages for complicity in genocide: Damages at $25,000 per capita for 200,000 victims of genocide amount to a total of $5 billion. The equivalent amount in today’s dollars, figured at 15 years at 5 percent interest compounded annually, is $10.4 billion.”
The class’s lead attorney is Anthony D’Amato, with the Northwestern University Law School. Robert Pavich, John Ostojic, and Kevin Rogers, all of Chicago, signed on as co-counsel.

UN says, we f-up in Ivory Coast by supporting the rebels: “The top U.N. human rights official expressed concern on Wednesday over acts of violence allegedly carried out by members of Ivory Coast’s new army, including reports of summary executions, rape and torture.”
There is no need for “alleging” – there are significant French forces on the ground that can confirm it if they just wanted to.

Another member of the U.N. commission, Suliman Baldo, said concern about “one-sided victory justice” was well-founded. “Those who are under investigation currently, either by the military prosecutor or by the civilian prosecutor, are all from the former officials of the government of Laurent Gbagbo,” Baldo told a news conference.

They are just following US example after wars in Balkans (Bosnia and Serbia / Kosovo) by enforcing victor’s justice. Why should it be different in Ivory Coast?

As a reminder, UN troops actively helped these nice “rebels” to defeat the Ivory Coast government of Gbagbo.

Good job, UN. You can be proud of your achievements.

Serbian government took Ratko Mladic per his request to the grave of his daughter for a couple of minutes. The daughter that the media say committed a suicide and he says was assasinated.
Sounds like Tadic (smartly) wants to earn some points with the Serbian voters.