Category Archives: Former Yugoslavia

Europe’s Pro-War Leftists: Selling “Humanitarian Intervention”

“I believe in two principles: never again war and never again Auschwitz.”[1]

These words could be heard at a convention of the Green Party of Germany in May 1999, during the NATO bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in which Germany participated. The speaker was the Green politician Joschka Fischer, Germany’s Foreign Minister at the time. His comment was meant to be a justification for the war against the Serbian people, the same people that already had to suffer under German imperialism in two World Wars.

In the 70s this same Mr. Fischer was a radical leftist activist and in the 80s he became one of the founders of Germany’s Green Party. The premise behind its creation was to give political and parliamentary representation to all the different environmentalist and anti-war groups. At that time, if anyone had spoken about the possibility that this same party would one day play an active role in a war of aggression against Yugoslavia at the end of the millennium, it would have been labeled as absurd. In fact, direct German involvement in any war used to be completely taboo and no one from the Left or from the Right would have even dared to consider such an option; the popular consensus was that after 1945, no war would be started out of Germany ever again.

This political transition in Germany, which has been mirrored across much of Western Europe, is important for understanding how it came to pass that many mainstream “leftists” became modern-day warmongers, sometimes to even greater extremes than their conservative counterparts.

It is their promotion of the self-contradictory concept of “humanitarian interventionism” (as carried out, for example against Yugoslavia in 1999 and Libya in 2011) that has come to make the approach of allegedly “progressive” policy-makers so subversive. Their moral authority is spun as being much more credible than the more blatant ranting of neo-conservative preachers of hate.

In Western Europe, most proponents of militarisation on the mainstream Left are associated with Green or Social Democratic parties. One of the first advocates of militarized “humanitarian intervention” was Daniel Cohn-Bendit, member of the Green Party of France. He was also one of the masterminds behind the abolition of European nation states in favour of a stronger European Union. During the Civil War in the former Yugoslav Republic of Bosnia, Cohn-Bendit demanded that the Serbs had to be bombed, and anyone who didn’t agree with that would carry the same burden of guilt as those who turned a blind eye to the Fascist mass murder in World War Two:

“Shame on us! We, the generation that held our parents’ generation in such contempt because of its political cowardice, now we watch on seemingly helpless, powerless and yet still holier-than-thou as the Bosnian Muslims are ethnically cleansed.”[2]

Indeed, the ploy of drawing parallels with Nazi crimes in order to demonise a rival who stands in the way of Western geostrategic interests was perfected during the Bosnian war. A case in point was the story of the so-called death camps in Bosnia: In August 1992, a British newspaper published a photograph of an emaciated man behind a fence, which was supposed to be proof of the existence of Nazi-style concentration camps run by Serbs. However, as German journalist Thomas Deichmann later found out, the man was standing outside the fence and therefore was not imprisoned behind barbed wire.[3] To be sure, detention camps existed on all sides and there is no doubt that conditions there were often horrific. The point, however, is that Western propagandists tried to whitewash the Croat and Muslim sides, portraying them wholly as victims, while at the same time presenting the Bosnian Serbs as barbarians and Nazis.

Using labels to demonize opponents or even whole populations is not a new concept when it comes to the mudslinging of propaganda wars. A de-politicised understanding of Fascism merely as a form of nationalism makes it possible for postmodern leftists to present wars of aggression as “humanitarian interventions” and therefore as “anti-fascism” in action. The more traditional leftist idea of anti-fascism would view fascism not only as a chauvinist/racist ideology, but would also consider its economic background and the alliance of high finance, the arms industry and political elites.

When the United Nations Security Council proposed Resolution 1973 on the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya in March 2011, which served as a pretence for attacking the country, Germany abstained from voting, along with Russia, China, India and Brazil. The German conservative-liberal coalition government was heavily criticised by Social Democratic and especially Green circles for not taking a stronger pro-war stance. Former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer attacked his successor Guido Westerwelle for not having supported the resolution of the warmongers, and added that Germany could now “forget about a constant seat in the U.N. Security Council.”[4]

Therefore it is not surprising that in the current conflict in Syria (which is significantly orchestrated and financed by the West, as were the civil wars in Yugoslavia and Libya), Western Europe’s Green politicians and other liberal leftists are the strongest proponents of a policy of escalation towards the Al Assad government. Claudia Roth, one of the two current German Green Party chairs, recently hosted a TV debate on Syria and shouted down any voice of reason pleading for negotiations with the Al Assad government.[5] One of them was writer and politician Jürgen Todenhöfer, who holds a balanced position on the conflict and recently travelled to Damascus for an interview with Al Assad, in order to let the Western world hear the “other side” as well.[6] The fact that anyone let Al Assad voice his opinion was already too much for Ms. Roth, who expressed her irritation with Mr. Todenhöfer’s trip to Syria in no uncertain terms.

At the same time, the first Western head of state to openly raise the possibility of attacking Syria was France’s newly elected “socialist” president François Hollande. In his statement he let the world know that he would “not rule out international military intervention in Syria”.[7]

Hollande’s election to the presidency expressed many people’s hope that Nicolas Sarkozy’s five years of reactionary, neoliberal and corrupt leadership would be replaced by a more humane way of governing. Unfortunately, when it comes to foreign policy, Hollande seems to carry on his predecessor’s neo-colonial agenda.[8]

In the cases of both Libya and Syria, Bernard-Henri Lévy, a French “nouveau” philosopher, professional self-promoter and frequent object of media mockery, called upon his government to intervene and prevent the “killing of innocent civilians”. [9] Of course his open call for war was sold as humanitarian grassroots activism. In an open letter to the French president, published (among others) by Huffington Post, Lévy used the massacre in Hula as a justification for intervention.[10] The fact that evidence indicates that the victims of this terrible crime were supporters of Al Assad’s government who were killed by insurgents[11] doesn’t matter to the black-and-white world of these virtuous philanthropic activists.

From “Auschwitz” in Bosnia and Kosovo to a “Syrian dictator” slaughtering women and children, the strategy of overcoming people’s resistance towards wars of aggression by appealing to their guilty conscience – the “don’t turn a blind eye” tactic – stays the same. And no one plays this game better than today’s “progressive” false samaritans.

Bearing all this in mind, we return to the example of Germany. To date, the country’s government has actively participated in spreading anti-Syrian propaganda, but has not expressed a pro-intervention enthusiasm comparable to the “progressive” pro-war disinformation campaign. Although not many positive things could be said about Chancellor Merkel’s neoliberal, U.S.-friendly government, Germany’s present administration at least does not seem to be inclined to risk a military adventure to the same extent as the Green/Social Democratic opposition, and continues to speak in favour of a “diplomatic solution”.[12] And while the current government’s track record proves they are far from innocent in matters of interventionism[13], things could get even worse during elections in 2013 if Germany’s government again forms a Social Democratic/Green coalition, as was the case from 1998 to 2005. After all, they managed to pull off a historic achievement by making war presentable again to the German public for the first time since 1945.

[8] During his presidency, Sarkozy was responsible for militarised intervention both in Cote d’Ivoire and Libya.

[13] All this, however, despite the fact that the German army and Federal Intelligence Service is providing military aid to the insurgents in Syria. See:http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/aug2012/syri-a21.shtml.

Published on:

Global Research, September 21, 2012

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Interview: “Stop Imperialism” with host Eric Draitser

Eric sits down with Benjamin Schett to discuss the growing debate over Switzerland’s neutrality and possible entry into the European Union. Benjamin explains the historical and contemporary value of Swiss neutrality as well as the Left’s ignorance on the subject. Benjamin and Eric also examine the current and future economic situation in Europe and the rise of SYRIZA. Additionally, Benjamin explains the propaganda and disinformation regarding the smashing of Yugoslavia and the parallels between that project and what we see being done to Syria.

Benjamin Schett is an independent journalist and researcher based in Switzerland. He is a frequent contributor to GlobalResearch.ca and other sites. Visit his blog at benjaminschett.wordpress.com

To listen to the interview, visit the Stop Imperialism website:
[Length 01:06:23m]

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Od Bosne do Sirije: Da li se istorija ponavlja?

Свако ко прати изблиза кризу која је настала у Сирији, приметиће да жеље за реформама, које долазе од већине сиријског народа нису повезане са наоружаним снагама које подржавају стране силе. Ове групе, многе од њих припадају Wahabi или Салафи терористима, представљају озбиљну претњу за суните, шиите, алавите, хришћане и друзе који живе у самосталној секуларној држави.

У ствари, извештаји наводе да у местима где су наоружани побуњеници успели да преузму контролу, све што раде своди се на то да изврше „етничко чишћење”. Међутим докле год они који су одговорни за то, раде у складу са интересима САД-НАТО, њихови наводни поступци остају непријављени и медијска пажња се стратешки преусмерава далеко од јавности. (Видети: SYRIA OPPOSITION TARGETS CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY: Christians Expelled from Homs by “Opposition” Al Qaeda Gunmen)

У ствари, многи Сиријци који траже промене се не противе председнику Assad-у, чак и верују у његову спремност да те промене изведе. За извршење таквих реформи међутим је потребно време, јер постоје одређене препреке да би оне биле спроведене. Заиста, после вишедеценијске власти Baath-партије, неке фракције у садашњем режиму имају већи интерес да остане „status quo”, него да њихове привилегије буду угрожене због драстичних промена до којих би дошло услед реформи.

Чак и постоји мирна опозиција у земљи која се залаже за промене кроз мирни дијалог са Владом, знајући да би нагле провокације могле да гурну земљу у хаос. У једном интервјуу „Syria Comment” из октобра 2011, писац Louaj Husein отворени и дугогодишњи противник сиријских власти упозорио је на даље ескалације:

„Ја верујем да су два разлога зашто се смањује број демонстраната. Један је у недавном насилном одговору власти а други је у повећању броја оружаних операција против власти које изводе наоружане групе као што је „Слободна сиријска армија”. Због тога очекујем више крвавих нереда у Сирији.

Међутим, брине ме, уколико не успемо да у кратком року нађемо домаће решење конфликта, бићемо сведоци различитих аспеката грађанског рата у блиској будућности.” (Видети: An interview with Syrian opposition activist Louay Hussein)

Главни западни медији су од одбацили ову процену и игнорисали ове основне чињенице. Пажња медија била је усмерена на протеране „опозиционе“ групе као што је „Сирисјки Национални Савет” (који се већ распао захваљујући доминантној улози “Муслиманске браће”), и „Слободној сиријској армији” коју тајно подржавају Западне земље. Уз то још један извор информација који је веома омиљен у медијима западних земаља, је мала организација смештена у Лондону, под именом „Сиријски посматрачи за људска права” чије се информације, иако никада не потврђене веома широко цитирају.

Све то веома упадљиво подсећа на догађаје који су довели до прошлогодишењег напада НАТО снага на Либију у којем је десетине хиљада Либијских грађана убијено. Али ту постоје две кључне разлике:

1. Овај пут Русија и Кина имају много одлучнију улогу. Оне су већ изразиле своје противљење акцијама које би могле да доведу до агресије на Сирију.

2. Тзв. Либијски „устаници“ су имали своју базу у Бенгазију, на истоку Либије одакле су НАТО снаге могле да се пробију и да изврше бомбардовање током пробијања до Триполија. У Сирији нема сличних услова.

Да ли би ово био разлог да сиријски побуњеници повећају насиље вршећи бомбашке и оружане нападе и тако изазову жесток одговор владиних снага, чиме би дестабилизовали земљу и истовремно повећали сукобе секти. А све у циљу да сукоби ескалирају до тачке, када Западне силе одлуче да могу „оправдају“ своју интервенцију?

Напори за мирно решење сукоба које улаже бивши генерални секретар УН Кофи Анан, имаће шансу само ако Западне силе и њихови Саудијски и Катарски савезници прекину једнострану подршку наоружаним побуњеницима против Assada.

Лекције из историје: Југославија

Историјски гледано, ова ситуација није јединствена и тражи од нас да размотримо како су се слични догађаји одиграли у прошлости посебно током грађанског рата у Југославији 1990-их година који су постали историјски преседан за напад западних сила на нашу земљу. Ови трагични сукоби посебно у Хрватској, Босни и на Косову, послужили су као полигон за дестабилизацију читавог региона, за манипулацију јавним мњењем, да се започне рат са циљем да се промени режим и да се изврши економска а делимично и територијална окупација.

(Видети: Michael Parenti’s incisive speech on the destruction of Yugoslavia: http://youtu.be/GEzOgpMWnVs)

С обзиром до које границе побуњеници у Сирији могу да рачунају на подршку споља, вреди нагласити неке паралеле са грађанским ратом у Босни (1992-1995). Треба размотирити следеће: током рата, вођа босанских Муслимана Алија Изетбеговић, тајно подржаван од стране западних сила, поставио је као циљ формирање независне Босне под муслиманском влашћу. Међутим, проблем је био што његова визија није представљала вољу већине босанског становништва: према попису из 1991 године, 44% популације се изјашњавало као Босанци /Муслимани а 32,5 % су били Срби и 17% су били Хрвати.

Док су се сви Срби из Босне (који су представљали један од три конститутивна народа у Босни), изјаснили да не желе да напусте југославенску федерацију, Хрвати су подржали референдум о независности Босне. Међутим свако ко је упознат са политичким амбицијама хрватског председника Фрање Туђмана и његових савезника међу босанским Хрватима, схватиће да Хрвати нису подржали референдум о независности Босне, да би остали да у њој живе, већ је то био први корак у спајању територије Босне са већинским хрватским становништвом, са „матицом“ Хрватском.

Гледајући ове чињенице и знајући да је у Хрватској избио грађански рат 1991. године, једини разуман начин да се спречи катастрофа било је могуће наћи кроз искрене преговоре свих страна. То и јесте био циљ најпопуларнијег босанског муслиманског политичара тог времена Фикрета Абдића, који је заступао пројугословенске идеје и који је добио највише гласова на изборима у БиХ 1990. године. Ипак, Алија Изетбеговић – кандидат фаворизован и подржан од стране америчких званичника, преузео је председавање Босном. (Узгред речено, то што је Алија Изетбеговић био у затвору јер је реметио ред у Југославији својим ставовима да: „Не може бити мира и коегзистенције између исламске вере и неисламских социјалних и политичких инситуција”, што је написао у тексту под називом „Исламска декларација” , није сметало онима у Вашингтону.)

У Марту 1992 године, се чинило да је мирно решење на дохват руке. Сва три Босанска лидера (Муслимански/Алија Изетбегоовић, Српски/Радован Караџић, и Хрватски/Мате Бобан), потписали су тзв. Лисабонски Споразум, којим је извршена подела власти по етничком принципу на свим нивоима и делегирање централне власти од стране свих етничких заједница. Међутим Изетбеговић је повукао свој потпис после само 10 дана, а након сусрета са УС амбасадором Вореном Цимерманом. Било је широко познато да су САД подстицале на тренутно признавање независности Босне у то време.

(Погледајте кратак снимак из „Yugoslavia – An Avoidable War”: http://youtu.be/-Iobb8xMFRc)

После неколико недеља је избио рат, и Запад је био за корак ближе свом циљу националне дестабилизације. Може ли се очекивати иста судбина за Сирију, ако се посматра паралелно учешће Запада у Сирији?

У Сирији као и у Босни напори за проналажење компромиса били би остварени ако би се притисак извршио на обе стране укључене у сукобе. Али уколико једна страна већ има пуну подршку Запада, какав је њихов мотив да успоставе компромис са Владом? У Сирији, устаници имају потпуну страну подршку од самог почетка и због тога аутоматски саботирају сваку могућност стварних преговора.

Даљим погоршавањем ситуације, главни медији агресивно подстичу на интервенцију у Сирији. Неколико изјава противника сиријске владе и неких западних медија, окривили су сиријску владу да је одговорна за бомбашке нападе од 17. и 18. марта у Дамаску и у Алепу (Латакија). Влада је одговорила да није имала разлога, нити је у интересу председника Al Assada да изазива бомбашке нападе у два највећа града у земљи у којима има подршку највећег дела становништва.

Ако се вратимо на босански пример, видећемо ко је имао историјску корист од оваквих догађаја. Дана 27. маја 1992 године, десио се масакр у Главном граду Босне и Херцергвине, Сарајеву, када је убијено много невиних људи који су чекали у реду за мало хлеба. Овај ужасан догађај је одмах и више пута емитован широм света. Само 4 дана касније, 31.маја 1992. године, УН су увеле сурове санкције СФРЈ. За западне доносиоце одлука, било је јасно да су Срби криви за овај ужасан злочин.

Многи стручњаци се нису сложили са тиме да су Срби кривци, ту посебно треба поменути генерал-мајора Lewis Mac Kenzie, који је у то време био командант УН трупа у Босни:

„Улице су биле блокиране непосредно пред инцидент. Када су се људи постројили у реду, појавили су се медији али су остали на дистанци. Догодио се напад и медији су били баш у том моменту и на месту догађаја. Највећи број убијених људи били су „питоми Срби”. (MASSACRE IN THE LINE FOR BREAD)

Слични догађаји су се десили и 1994. и 1995. (Видети пример „Yugoslavia-An AvoidableWar” u celini :
http://video.google.de/videoplay?docid=5860186121153047571)

Oво је имало за последицу НАТО бомбардовање Босанских Срба у периоду од 30. августа до 20. септембра 1995. године, што су Западњаци оправдавали „Хуманитарним разлозима за интервенцију”. Пратећи нападе у Дамаску и Алепу, да ли се спрема неко слично „оправдање“ и за Сирију?

Велика је иронија и лицемеран став који показује америчка власт, која позива на мир с једне стране а истовремено је највећи светски добављач оружја. Док Обамина администрација позива сиријске побуњенике да положе оружје, постоји велика разлика између званичних изјава и онога што се дешава на терену. У току је реализација уговора у вредности од више милијарди долара између САД и Саудијске Арабије ( која је главни снабдевач оружјем сиријских побуњеника), о продаји америчког модерног наоружања. (Видети: Judging Syria: Saudi Arabia’s double standards)

Ови двоструки стандарди су сигурно били примењени и у Босни где је ЦИА кријумчарила оружје иако је на снази званично био ембарго на трговину оружјем. (Видети: Wie der Dschihad nach Europa kam: Gotteskrieger und Geheimdienste auf dem Balkan [How Jihad Came to Europe: Holy Warriors and Secret Services in the Balkans] by Jürgen Elsässer, 2008). [Kaко је џихад дошао у Европу: свети ратници и тајне службе на Балкану] по Jürgen Elsässer, 2008)

Ништа није помогло то што су у оба случаја, и у Сирији и у Босни учествовали ратници Ал Каиде, из неколико арапских земаља. У Сирији они су интегрисали “опозицију”, која је у западним главним медијима проглашена жртвом владиних рација.

Ово не треба да нас изненађује. Они који раде под ознаком „Ал Каида” служе интересима Вашингтона. У Босни су ратници муџахедини обучавали босанску војску, и борили се против Срба и Хрвата, истовремено су Ал Каидине вође одобравали акције босанске муслиманске армије. (Видети: Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, ICTY: BiH Army Knew About Mujahedin Crimes)

Један од босанских муслимана, који је одбио да се бори против Срба, раније поменути Фикрет Абдић, обезбедио је сигурност тако што је склопио мировни споразум са српском страном формирајући “Аутономну покрајину Западна Босна” лоцирану око града Велика Кладуша. Британски политичар Дејвид Овен, описао га је као : “Искреног и поузданог за разлику од сарајевских Муслимана. Он је био присталица преговора и компромиса са Хрватима и Србима, да би се постигао договор, и био је једак према оним Муслиманима који су покушавали да тај споразум блокирају. (Видети : David Owen, “Balkan Odyssey“, 1995, S. 82)

У Августу 1995. године у заједничком нападу који су извели Изетбеговићева армија и хрватска армија, (обе су биле западни савезници) Абдићева мирна аутономна покрајина је пропала.

Често су у медијима сукоби представљени као сукоб “добрих момака против лоших момака”, миротвораца против терориста, сукоб нас против њих. Као што показује овај пример из Босне, читава прича се не може прецизно испричати коришћењем ових стереотипа; нису сви Муслимани били против Срба и сигурно нису сви Муслимани били за Изетбеговића као председника.

И у Сирији је јасно да нису сви они који траже демократске промене, непријатељи владе Аl Аssad-а. Међутим, задирање у ту “сиву зону” коју чини дихотомија добро / зло, доводи у питање “оправдавање” интервенције, а појачавање такве сумње, сасвим сигурно није у интересу главних медија ни интереса Запада коме они служе.

Једно је сигурно: народ на свим странама у сукобу у босанском грађанском рату је страховито пропатио. Али, као и у Сирији важно је утврдити ко има интерес у покретању социјалног хаоса и насиља.

Током читавог југословенског грађанског рата, сепаратистичке снаге су служиле интересима Запада, подржавајући њихов циљ да се дестабилизује и разори земља. Југославија је имала бесплатно школовање, и правичну расподелу прихода. Штитила је своју независност играјући водећу улогу у покрету несврстаних. Заузврат, овај став Југославије био је многим чланицама несврстаних земаља узор, у њиховом одобијању неолибералне диктатуре ММФ.

У погледу Балкана, српски народ је би окривљен од стране Запада због свог чврстог отпора дезинтеграцији Југославије. Србија је била највећа југословeнска република, српски народ је најбројнији, и веома је је пропатио током Другог светског рата. Током тог рата хрватске усташе су систематски уништавале српски народ у Хрватској и Босни. То је била огромна траума. Због тога је за Србе била неприхватљива идеја о животу у отцепљеним републикама Босни и Хрватској, под руководством екстремистичких снага. Реалну слику о улози Србије у југословенским ратовима дао је председник Слободан Милошевић у интервјуу датом током рата на Косову :

“Ми нисмо анђели. Али нисмо ни ђаволи каквим сте нас направили. Наша војска је веома дисциплинована. Паравојне нерегуларне јединице су друга прича. Лоше ствари се дешавају, као што су се дешавале на обе стране у Вијетнамском рату или у сваком рату у ствари. (Видети: Milosevic’s Interview with UPI and a letter to the ‘Independent’ from Jared Israel Letter to the Independent)

Узимајући у обзир све чињенице исто би се могло рећи и за сиријску војску и за друге групе које се боре на Аll Assad-овој страни. Али прихватање амбивалентне позиције у тренутним догађајима у Сирији, као што је тренд у западним либерално- левичарским круговима, значи помагати неоколонијални и империјалистички став западних сила и прихватати њихове псеудо–хуманитарна оправдавања. И то упркос чињеници да су они закували етничке и /или религиозне мржњу и сукобе и игнорисали гласове разума у Југославији исто као и у Сирији, према латинској сентенци: “Завади па владај” (divide et impera).

Напомена аутора: Према задњим извештајима сиријска влада је прихватила Кофи Ананов мировни план у 6 тачака. 1-ог Априла ће ” Сиријски пријатељи” да се сретну у Истамбулу, уједињујући западне силе и арапске земље у појачаној акцији против Владе председника Al-Assad-а. Време ће показати колико ће ова дешавања утицати на сиријску кризу, и потенцијалну ефикасност мировног плана, знајући колико играча је активно и учествује у овом послу.

Benjamin Schett: је независтан истраживач и студент Историје Југоисточне Европе на Универзитету у Бечу. Његова адреса је: schettb@gmail.com

превод текста са енглеског Љиљана Јовановић, за ФБР приредила Б. Диковић
Za Global Research priredila Jugoslava
 
Ljuštanović

Tekst na srpskom jeziku možete naći na СРБски ФБРепортер

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VIDEO: Syrian Opposition Studies Terror Tactics in Kosovo

Originally aired on Russia Today, May 4, 2012

The same horrors that were witnessed during the war in Kosovo are now apparently being prepared for the multi-confessional Syrian population by Islamist Syrian Liberation Army trained in Muslim Kosovo in the middle of Europe.

The Syrian Liberation Army group that actually formed the delegation to Kosovo has been fighting with the Syrian government for over a year now. This stand-off has claimed well over 9,000 lives, about half of them Syrian servicemen, law enforcers and officials.

Lately, the militants have been squeezed out of the Syrian cities and their positions along the Syrian-Turkish border. Being unable to turn the tide independently, the Syrian Liberation Army has been addressing to its foreign sponsors to start a military intervention into Syria to topple President Bashar Assad.

However, researcher and GlobalResearch.ca contributor Benjamin Schett told RT the Syrian rebels would not learn much in terms of military tactics from the KLA.

“The so-called Kosovo Liberation Army — this terrorist group — had in fact already been defeated by the Serbian army in 1998.”

Schett says that once Serbia agreed on a ceasefire, pulled back troops, and let in OSCE observers, the KLA used this situation to intensify their attacks so as to provoke a military reaction.

He continued that by presenting themselves as freedom fighters and victims to the Western media, the KLA secured a Western intervention in March 1999 after they staged a fake massacre in Račak.

Schett believes the Syrian rebels would go to Kosovo for knowledge in public relations techniques. He says despite their lack of military prowess, they were adept at making the Western public believe they were fighting for a justified cause amid reports they had committed a slew of war crimes and human rights abuses.

In 1998-1999 Kosovo separatists started an armed conflict with Belgrade to split the Kosovo region from Serbia. The war in the region was marked with mass atrocities and executions of the civilian population. Most of the Serbs that used to live in Kosovo became refugees.

In 2008, 10 years after the beginning of armed conflict with Serbia, Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed independence from Belgrade. Kosovo’s independence has been recognized by leading Western countries, most members of NATO and countries associated with the bloc.

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From Bosnia to Syria: Is History Repeating Itself?

Anyone closely following the ongoing crisis in Syria will notice that the desire for reforms is coming from a large part of the Syrian population which has no ties to the armed insurgency supported by foreign powers. These groups, many of them Wahhabi or Salafi terrorists, constitute a serious threat to the unity of Sunni, Shia, Alawite, Christian and Druze living together in a sovereign secular state.

In fact, reports suggest that in places where the armed insurgents have managed to gain control, the actions being carried are tantamount to “ethnic cleansing”. However, as long as those allegedly responsible are acting in a way which serves US-NATO interests, their various undertakings go unreported and media attention is strategically diverted.
(See: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29842)

In reality, many Syrians who are demanding reforms are not opposed to President Al Assad, and in fact believe in his commitment to implement change. Such reforms, however, require time to be carried out in the face of certain obstacles. Indeed, after decades of Baath rule, certain factions within the current regime have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo rather than having their privileges threatened by major changes brought about through reforms.

Moreover, there is also a peaceful opposition within the country that stands for change through dialogue with the government, knowing that sudden provocations could plunge the country into chaos. In an interview with “Syria Comment” from October 2011, writer Louay Hussein, an outspoken and longstanding opponent of the Syrian government, warned of further escalation:

“I believe there are two reasons why demonstrations will significantly diminish; first, the violent oppression by the authorities recently and second, the increase in the number of armed operations by groups opposed to the authorities such as ‘The Free Syrian Army’. This is why I expect more bloodshed in Syria. Moreover, I worry that if we fail to reach a homegrown settlement of the conflict very quickly, we will clearly witness different aspects of a civil war in the near future.”
(See: http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=12507&cp=all)

The mainstream media has dismissed this assessment and ignored these basic facts. Media attention has focussed on the exiled “opposition” group, the “Syrian National Council” (which is already breaking apart thanks to the domineering role of the Muslim Brotherhood) and the “Free Syrian Army”, supported covertly by the West. In addition, one of Western media’s favourite sources of information is the small, London-based organization called the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, whose claims, though unverified, have nevertheless been broadly quoted.

All this bears a striking resemblance to events leading up to last year’s NATO attacks on Libya, in which tens of thousands of Libyan civilians were killed. But there are two key differences:

1. This time Russia and China have been playing a more decisive role. They have expressed their opposition to actions which might lead to aggression against Syria.

2. The so-called Libyan “rebels” had some kind of a stronghold in the city of Benghazi in the East of the country, from where NATO could bomb their way into Tripoli. Comparable conditions do not prevail in Syria.

Might this be a reason for the Syrian insurgents to increase violence by carrying out bomb attacks and provoking shootings, in order to cause severe reactions from government troops and destabilize the country, and thereby reinforce sectarian conflicts? Namely, until the situation escalates to the point that Western powers feel they can “justify” the need for intervention?

The efforts for a peaceful solution made by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan would only stand a chance if Western countries and their Saudi and Qatari allies stopped their unilateral support for anti-Assad armed insurgency.

The Lessons of History: Yugoslavia

Historically, this situation is not unique and prompts us to consider how similar events have played out in the past, particularly during the civil war in Yugoslavia in the 1990s which set a historical precedent for armed Western intervention. These tragic conflicts, especially in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo, served as a playground for exercising the destabilization of an entire region, manipulating public opinion in order to start a war of aggression, and carrying out regime change and economic (and partly territorial) colonization. (See: Michael Parenti’s incisive speech on the destruction of Yugoslavia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEzOgpMWnVs)

Given the extent to which insurgents in Syria can count on full support from the outside, some parallels to the outbreak of the Bosnian civil war (1992 – 1995) are worth emphasizing. Consider the following: during the war, the leader of the Bosnian Muslims, Alija Izetbegovic, supported covertly by the West, set as a priority the creation of an independent Bosnian state under Muslim rule. However, he had to deal with the problem that his vision did not represent the will of Bosnia’s majority population: according to a 1991 census, 44% of the population considered themselves Muslim/Bosniak, 32.5% Serb and 17% Croat.

While quite accurately all of Bosnia’s Serb population (one of the three constitutional nations within the republic) did not wish to leave the Yugoslav federation, the Croat side did support the holding of a referendum on an independent Bosnia. However, anyone familiar with the political aspirations of Croatia’s then president Franjo Tudjman and his Bosnian Croat allies will understand that the Croatian side certainly did not favour Bosnia’s independence because they wanted to live in such a state; rather, breaking Bosnia apart from Yugoslavia was supposed to be the first step in amalgamating the Bosnian territories having a Croatian majority population within the Croatian “motherland”.

Facing these facts and knowing that civil war had already broken out in Croatia in 1991, the only reasonable way to prevent a catastrophe in Bosnia would have been through sincere negotiations on all sides. This, in fact, was the goal of the most popular Bosnian Muslim politician at the time, Fikret Abdic, who considered himself pro-Yugoslav and received the most votes in Bosnia’s 1990 elections. Nevertheless, Izetbegovic – the candidate favoured and supported by U.S. officials – seized the Bosnian presidency instead. (Incidentally, the fact that Izetbegovic had been in prison for having disturbed the order of the Yugoslav state by stating there could be “no peace or coexistence between the Islamic faith and non-Islamic social and political institutions” in a text called the “Islamic Declaration” did not seem to pose a problem to Washington.)

In March 1992, a peaceful solution for Bosnia finally seemed to be within reach. All three Bosnian leaders (Alija Izetbegovic/Muslim, Radovan Karadzic/Serb and Mate Boban/Croat) signed the so-called Lisbon Agreement, which proposed ethnic power-sharing on all administrative levels and the delegation of central government to local ethnic communities. However Izetbegovic withdrew his signature only ten days later, after having met with the U.S. ambassador to Yugoslavia, Warren Zimmermann. It has been widely confirmed that the U.S. was pushing for an immediate recognition of Bosnia at that time. (See short clip from “Yugoslavia – An Avoidable War”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Iobb8xMFRc)

A few weeks later, war broke out, and the West was one step closer to achieving its goal of nationwide destabilization. Could the same fate be in store for Syria given the parallel involvement of the West in Syria?

In Syria as in Bosnia, efforts to find a compromise would mean putting pressure on both sides to reach an agreement. But if one side already has full support from the West, what incentive is there in pursuing a compromise with the government? In Syria, the insurgents had foreign support from the outset, automatically sabotaging the possibility of real negotiations.

Further exacerbating the situation, the mainstream media has been aggressively building the case for intervention in Syria. Several statements made by Syrian government opponents and some Western media blame the Syrian government of being responsible for the bloody terrorist bomb attacks in Damascus and Aleppo that took place on the weekend of March 17 and 18. But they were stuck for an answer regarding why it would be in President Al Assad’s interest to cause an escalation in the two largest cities of the country where he is still enjoying the support of a majority of the population.

If we go back to the Bosnian example, we can see who has historically taken advantage of such events. On May 27, 1992, a massacre took place in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, killing many innocent people waiting in line to get some bread. The terrible event was immediately and repeatedly broadcast across the world. Just four days later, on May 31, harsh UN sanctions were imposed on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. For Western decision-makers, it was clear that the Serbs were responsible for the crime. Many experts disagreed with the finger-pointing, and reference should be made particularly to Major-General Lewis MacKenzie, then Commander of the Bosnia UN troops:

“The streets had been blocked off just before the incident. Once the crowd was let in and lined up, the media appeared but kept their distance. The attack took place, and the media were immediately on the scene. The majority of the people killed are alleged to be ‘tame Serbs’.” (http://www.srpska-mreza.com/Bosnia/Sarajevo/breadline.html)

Similar events took place in 1994 and 1995 (See for example “Yugoslavia – An Avoidable War”, in its entirety: http://video.google.de/videoplay?docid=5860186121153047571#)

This finally caused the NATO bombing campaign against Bosnian Serbs, carried out between August 30 and September 20, 1995, as justified by Western calls for “humanitarian intervention”. Following from the Damascus and Aleppo attacks, could a similar “justification” be around the corner for Syria?

A great irony, of course is the hypocritical stance taken by the U.S. government, which calls for peace on the one hand and is a leading global supplier of weapons on the other. While the Obama administration might have called on the Syrian rebels to lay down their arms, there is a vast difference between official statements and what is being carried out on the ground. Indeed, there is currently a multi-billion dollar deal underway between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia (a leading arms supplier for the Syrian rebels) for the sale of US advanced weapons. (See: http://rt.com/news/saudi-arabia-protests-piety-514/)

This double standard was certainly applied in Bosnia, where the CIA was secretly smuggling weapons into the area despite an arms embargo officially being in place. (See: “Wie der Dschihad nach Europa kam: Gotteskrieger und Geheimdienste auf dem Balkan” [“How Jihad Came to Europe: Holy Warriors and Secret Services in the Balkans“] by Jürgen Elsässer, 2008)

It is worth noting that in the cases of both Syria and Bosnia (among other examples), Al Qaeda-affiliated mercenaries from several Arab countries were involved. In Syria, they integrated the “opposition”, heralded by the Western mainstream media as the victims of the government crackdown.

This should come as no surprise. Those who operate under the “Al Qaeda” label are often serving the interests of Washington. In Bosnia, where Mujahideen fighters trained Bosnian soldiers and fought against Serbs and Croats, the Al Qaeda leadership had to approve military actions by the Bosnian Muslim Army. (See: Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, http://www.bim.ba/en/79/10/4113)

One of the Bosnian Muslims who refused to fight against the Serbs, the previously mentioned Fikret Abdic, created his own safe haven by making a peace agreement with the Serbian side and by forming the “Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia”, located in the area of Velika Kladusa. British diplomat David Owen described him as “forthright, confident and different from the Sarajevan Muslims. He was in favour of negotiating and compromising with Croats and Serbs to achieve a settlement, and scathing about those Muslims who wanted to block any such settlement.” (David Owen, “Balkan Odyssey“, 1995, S. 82)

In August 1995, under a joint attack carried out by Izetbegovic’s troops and the Croatian army (both Western allies), Abdic’s peaceful, autonomous province collapsed.

Often in the media, conflicts are portrayed with reference to “good guys versus bad guys”, peacekeepers versus terrorists, us versus them. As this example from Bosnia shows, the full story cannot be accurately conveyed using these stylized concepts; not all Muslims were automatically against the Serbs, and certainly not all were interested in having Izetbegovic as president.

And in Syria, it is clear that not all of those who are demanding democracy are enemies of the Al Assad government. However, delving into the “grey area” of the good/evil dichotomy puts into question the clear-cut “justification” for intervention, and casting such doubts is certainly not in the interest of the mainstream media and the Western interests they serve.

In order to avoid misunderstanding, the people on all sides suffered terribly in the Bosnian civil war. But as in Syria, it is important to establish who has an interest in triggering increased social chaos and violence.

Throughout the entire Yugoslav civil war, separatist forces served the Western agenda which consisted in destabilizing and destroying an entire country. Yugoslavia had free education, an equitable distribution of income. It preserved its independence by being a key player within the Non-aligned Movement. In turn, this historical stance by Yugoslavia served as an example for other countries of the Non-aligned Movement which refused to accept the neoliberal diktats of the IMF.

In the context of the Balkans, the Serbian people bore the brunt of the blame from the West, and were vilified largely because they firmly opposed the disintegration of Yugoslavia. Serbia was the largest Yugoslav nation and suffered heavily during World War Two, when the Croatian fascist Ustasa movement systematically slaughtered Croatia’s and Bosnia’s Serb population. It was largely this trauma that made the idea of living in the independent states of Croatia and Bosnia, both led by extremists, unbearable for most Serbs. A realistic image of Serbia’s role in the Yugoslav wars was given by then Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, in an interview made during the Kosovo war:

“We are not angels. Nor are we the devils you have made us out to be. Our regular forces are highly disciplined. The paramilitary irregular forces are a different story. Bad things happened, as they did with both sides during the Vietnam War, or any war for that matter.” (See: http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/jared/MiloInt.html)

All facts considered, the same could easily be said of the Syrian army and other groups fighting on Al Assad’s side. But maintaining an ambivalent position on current events in Syria, as is the trend among many mainstream liberal-leftist circles, means giving in to the neo-colonial and imperialist agenda of Western powers and their pseudo-humanitarian justification. And this despite the fact that they have actively stirred up ethnic and/or religious hatred and ignored reasonable voices, in Yugoslavia as well as in Syria, in order to follow the old Latin concept of “divide et impera“.

Author’s Note: According to the latest reports, Syria’s government has accepted Kofi Annan’s 6-point peace plan. On April 1, the “Friends of Syria” will be meeting in Istanbul, bringing together mostly Arab and Western countries favouring stronger action against President Bashar al-Assad’s government. Time will tell how these developments will impact the Syrian crisis and the potential effectiveness of the peace plan, knowing that so many outside players are acting in the background.

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Prisoners in their own Land: The Struggle and Resistance of Serbs in Kosovo

NATO’s war against Serbia is far from over. Even before Serbia’s government, a pro-Western puppet regime, could come to a conclusion about whether or not to join NATO, NATO troops were already present on Serbian soil, more precisely in its southern province of Kosovo.

After the NATO bombing of the then-existing Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999 and the agreement of Kumanovo, the installation of a UN Mission to Kosovo and the retreat of the Yugoslav army and Serbian police forces were agreed upon. In reality this has meant the expulsion of 250,000 Kosovo Serbs, Roma and other minorities by members of the NATO-hatched “Kosovo Liberation Army” (KLA) and other Albanian extremists, under the command of its so-called “protection force”. As a result, hundreds of civilians (many of them Albanians who opposed the KLA regime) were murdered, and in the remaining Serbian enclaves locals now lead a ghetto existence. Up to this point, only in the North of Kosovo has the Serbian population managed to lead a more or less self-determined lifestyle, thanks in no small part to the administrative border to the rest of Serbia. Nonetheless, they are increasingly isolated, impoverished and vulnerable, receiving little to no support from Serbia’s government.

After Kosovo unilaterally declared independence in 2008 under the leadership of alleged organ trader and recognized terrorist Hashim Thaci, the situation deteriorated further: in the manner of a Catch-22, NATO troops, known locally as “Kosovo Force” (KFOR), and the so-called “European Union Rule of Law Mission” (EULEX) were mandated to enforce the “sovereignty” of a territory which chose to separate against international laws, a process which also included the installation of Albanian customs officers along its Northern border in order to eradicate Serbian “parallel structures”.

In response, Serbian inhabitants constructed approximately 20 street barricades last July in the predominantly Serbian region of Northern Kosovo (consisting of the communities of Leposavić, Zvečan and Zubin Potok and the Northern section of Kosovska Mitrovica) in order to keep out EULEX and the “Kosovo government” frontiersmen. Clashes have already been provoked several times by KFOR soldiers who attempted to remove some of the barricades, employing the use of tear gas and truncheons against unarmed protesters.

Activists from Belgrade recently started to organise free bus trips into the Northern region of Kosovo in order to supply moral and material support to the Serbian population. The author was permitted to join one of these trips on the 26th of November, as one of approximately 200 participants. The group could be described as heterogeneous, ranging from members of Serbian youth organisations and humanitarian activists, to writers and private persons of all ages. Some of the people had roots in the different regions of the Province of Kosovo (now completely under Albanian/NATO control), such as a doctor whose father was killed by the KLA in 1999, and a young man living in Belgrade, who had to flee with his family from the provincial capital of Priština when he was still a child.

The administrative border of Kosovo can be passed without customs control and the Belgrade convoy arrived in Northern Mitrovica towards evening. Once there, inhabitants showed the visitors the first barricade, built with gravel and concrete, over the Ibar River that separates the Serbian North and the Albanian South of the town. Many graffiti with the label “1244” can be seen, which refers to the 1999 UN Resolution that explicitly excludes the possibility of an independent Kosovo. On the other side of the river silhouettes of pedestrians can be seen, locals who would probably never cross the few meters to the other side of town — a case which applies even more strictly in the reverse. It is not for nothing that in a nearby store, postcards with the engraving “bridge of disunion” can be purchased.

Barricade on the bridge dividing Northern and Southern Mitrovica

Northern Mitrovica is a place where civilians have become victims of assault again and again, the worst incident since 1999 being in March of 2004, when an Albanian mob killed 19 people and caused much destruction, both in the town as well as within the enclaves.

Barricade within the town of Mitrovica

While at the barricade, members of a Serbian writers’ association started to decorate the structure with hundreds of books that would later be donated to the local library. In a nearby tent tea was being served to the people to warm up during the night, while a gusle player performed for the crowd. (The gusle is a traditional South Slavic string instrument.)

Later several activists held speeches and a number of writers read their poetry. Volunteers were invited to donate blood for the local population. Several nearby coffee houses, as well as conversations with the bridge guards, made the night pass unexpectedly fast. The bridge guards are there to protect the people from assaults, and some have been doing their jobs already since the retreat of the Yugoslav Army in 1999. Protection has not been available from any other sources, the only exception being a group of French soldiers, who in the beginning at least tried to prevent attacks against civilians on some occasions. The German soldiers have a reputation locally that is considerably worse.

Early the next morning further excursions were organised, including visits to the localities of Rudar, Jagnjenica and Dudin Krs, where the most recent violent incidents took place a short time before the trip. Locals and soldiers are separated by barbed wire, and although the atmosphere seemed to be quiet, the previous happenings have shown that this can change rapidly.

Meters of barbed wire separate the people from NATO soldiers

With winter setting in, the question arises of what the future holds for the locals. After the 9th of December, when Serbia was denied status as an EU candidate, it can be expected that President Boris Tadić will try to strengthen pressure on the Kosovo Serbs to abandon their barricades. Tadić has his sights set on bringing Serbia closer to the European Union in order to gain the support of people who still think that Serbian membership might improve their living conditions, as the corporate media are saying.

In fact many people across all of Serbia, facing unemployment and privatisation, say that the current government is the worst and most unsocial one they have ever had. Certainly the Kosovo Serbs cannot count on the support of President Tadić’s pro-Western government, but they do have most of Serbia’s public support on their side, as demonstrated by the convoys being sent to the barricades.

More makeshift barricades block the roads within Kosovo

During the trip back to Mitrovica, a cemetary catches the visitor’s eye: the names on the tombstones are all Albanian, and in stark contrast to the centuries-old Serbian Orthodox monasteries and graves that have been decimated in recent years, this place is in good shape and there are no signs of vandalism. It is also not unusual to hear people speaking in Albanian in the Serbian-majority region of Northern Mitrovica, and in fact the whole city used to be ethnically mixed before the war.

Arguably, the lives of Albanians in what is now the Serbian-populated North seem to be more bearable than is the case for Serbs in the Albanian-dominated South: according to Serbian media there is one sole Serbian person left in Southern Mitrovica, an elderly retired woman who generally does not leave her house and receives her supply of daily goods through an Albanian colleague.

Another local ethnic group that has suffered significantly are the Roma. In June 1999, a short time after the NATO bombings, Albanian extremists burned down the “Romska Mahala” in Southern Mitrovica, which was one of the oldest Roma settlements in the Balkans. The UN administration settled them in a camp in the North, close to the famous Trepča mines. Tragically, because of lead poisoning, dozens of children became seriously ill.

The trip back to Belgrade was a time to reflect upon the experience as a whole. It is impossible to picture the population in the North of Kosovo ever accepting the reign of a force that is responsible for some of the most terrible crimes that could be imagined, from alleged organ trade and child prostitution to countless ethnically-motivated murders. Not to mention the NATO presence that dominates all of Kosovo.

The justified resistance of the Kosovo Serbs against a regime of globalised war, terror and poverty has to be treated as such and deserves support from across the globe. The name of Kosovska Mitrovica should stay in the memory of all engaged citizens, alongside names like Gaza, Caracas, Fallujah and the many other places where people stand up for a life of dignity.

People who are interested in getting more information on the issue or want to help or participate in a trip to the barricades are asked to contact Mr. John Bosnitch:  jbosnitch@gmail.com

Published on:

Global Research, December 12, 2011

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Solidaritätsfahrten nach Mitrovica: Serben im Kosovo fühlen sich von Regierung in Belgrad im Stich gelassen. Ein Gespräch mit Benjamin Schett

Interview: Rüdiger Göbel

Benjamin Schett studiert in Wien Osteuropäische Geschichte und beteiligt sich an Solidaritätsaktionen für die Serben im Kosovo

Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel hat am vergangenen Freitag mit Blick auf die Auseinandersetzungen im Kosovo konstatiert, Serbien sei nicht reif für EU-Beitrittsverhandlungen. Das Land werde den Anforderungen des Prozesses »nicht gerecht«. Sie sehe bei Serbien keinen Kandidatenstatus. Wie ist die Nachricht bei der serbischen Bevölkerung angekommen?

Diejenigen, die ihr Vertrauen in die Heilsamkeit eines EU-Beitritts bereits verloren haben oder ein solches noch nie hatten, dürften dies vor allem als einen weiteren Beweis dafür ansehen, daß von den NATO-Staaten nichts anderes als Erpressung zu erwarten ist – und dies nicht erst seit heute. Das geht so seit 20 Jahren. Jene, die nach wie vor auf einen EU-Beitritt hoffen, werden ihren Ohren nicht getraut haben: Seit dem Sturz des jugoslawischen Präsidenten Slobodan Milosevic vor elf Jahren hat Serbien dem Westen so ziemlich jeden Wunsch von den Lippen abgelesen, unter völliger Preisgabe seiner nationalen Souveränität. Von ungehemmter Privatisierung bis hin zur Auslieferung seiner Staatsbürger an ein »Tribunal«, welches von den NATO-Staaten finanziert wird, um derem Version der Ereignisse in den jugoslawischen Bürgerkriegen quasi rechtskräftig werden zu lassen. Doch all das reicht nicht aus: Obwohl nicht einmal alle EU-Staaten die »Republik Kosovo« anerkannt haben, wird dies von Serbien verlangt, um »Europa-tauglich« zu werden.

Daß die Kritik aus Deutschland kommt, macht die Sache nicht gerade besser: Von einem Land, das Serbien im 20. Jahrhundert dreimal angegriffen hat und eine Tradition der Zusammenarbeit mit Rechtsaußenkräften in Kroatien pflegt, will man sich ganz sicher nicht belehren lassen.

Von Belgrad aus starten Busse mit Unterstützern zu den protestierenden Serben im Norden des Kosovo, die sich der von Pristina 2008 proklamierten Sezession verweigern. Was ist das Ziel dieser Solidaritätsfahrten?

Die Kosovo-Serben fühlen sich von der prowestlichen Regierung im Stich gelassen. Premier Boris Tadic hat unlängst sogar die Beseitigung der Straßensperren gefordert. Es geht also nicht zuletzt um moralische Unterstützung und darum, auf die Belange der Menschen, die dort für ein Leben in Würde kämpfen, aufmerksam zu machen, in Serbien und weltweit. Außerdem werden humanitäre Güter – warme Kleidung, Öl, Mehl etc. – in die Region transportiert. Eine Gruppe serbischer Schriftsteller hat unlängst 3000 Bücher für die Bibliothek in Kosovska Mitrovica beigesteuert.

Sind weitere Fahrten geplant?

Ja. Reisebusse werden kostenlos zur Verfügung gestellt. Die Fahrt beginnt in Belgrad und endet in Kosovska Mitrovica, von wo aus diverse Barrikaden besucht werden. Die Teilnahme von Personen aus dem Ausland ist ausdrücklich erwünscht und würde helfen, die Aufmerksamkeit für das Thema über die Grenzen Serbiens hinaus auszudehnen. Wer sich dafür interessiert, kann sich an John Bosnitch (jbosnitch@gmail.com) wenden, der die Fahrten organisiert.

Wie sind die Lebensbedingungen der serbischen Bevölkerung im NATO-kontrollierten Kosovo?

Schlecht, so wie in den meisten Teilen Serbiens. Selbst in Belgrad hört man die Leute sagen, Tadics Regierung sei die unsozialste, die das Land je gehabt habe. In Kosovska Mitrovica gibt es nur unregelmäßig Strom. Verhungern muß keiner, aber viel mehr ist nicht drin. Hinzu kommt die permanente Anspannung. Man muß sich vor Augen halten, daß diese Menschen seit mehr als zwölf Jahren ständig, mal mehr mal weniger, politischer Gewalt ausgesetzt sind, und eine dramatische Verschlechterung der Lage jederzeit möglich ist.

In der vergangenen Woche wurde eine Delegation der kosovo-albanischen Regierung aus Pristina im Deutschen Bundestag empfangen, darunter Politiker, die Kriegsverbrechen begangen haben sollen bzw. Prozesse gegen Kriegsverbrecher blockieren, jW berichtete. Hat das in Serbien eine Rolle gespielt?

Die staatlichen und somit prowestlichen Medien halten sich natürlich zurück, den Unmut in der Bevölkerung noch zu vergrößern und berichten wenig über diese Vorgänge. Abgesehen davon glaube ich, daß solche Ereignisse die Menschen in Serbien zwar nach wie vor sehr aufregen, aber als überraschend kann man sie ja nicht mehr bezeichnen. Man denke nur daran, wie der mutmaßliche Organhändler und Terrorist ­Hashim Thaci von sämtlichen Politikern des Westens gehätschelt wurde und so vom Banditen zum Kosovo-»Premier« aufsteigen konnte.

Quelle: junge Welt, 08.12.2011
http://www.jungewelt.de/2011/12-08/052.php

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