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Mass grave of history: Vatican’s WWII identity crisis

The controversy over the canonization of Pope Pius XII concerns whether he spoke out enough against the slaughter of Jews during World War II. But that question is a red herring when trying to grasp the big picture of the Vatican’s role during the war.

The real question is whether the Vatican supported the world order, or at least aspects of it, that the Third Reich promised to bring, a world order in which dead Jews were collateral damage – which Pius indeed regretted. The answer can be found in a region of Europe that is generally ignored despite being the nexus of world wars: the Balkans.

The Catholic Church was looking for a bulwark against expanding, ruthless, church-destroying communism, but in doing so it supported a Croatian movement called Ustasha, which rose to become the genocidal regime of Nazi satellite Croatia.

American historian Jared Israel points to a February 17, 1941 New York Times article which reported that the archbishop of Zagreb (Croatia’s capital), Alojzije (Aloysius) Stepinac, was holding conferences in Vatican City “seeking the freedom of Catholic priests detained in [pre-Nazi] Croatia in connection with the circulation of… ‘Free Croatia!’ pamphlets, attributed to Ante Pavelic.” Pavelic, who once criticized Hitler for originally being too soft on the Jews, was the founder of the fascist Ustashas, who were engaging in terrorism all over Europe to “liberate” Croatia from Yugoslavia. He famously said, “A good Ustasha is one who can use a knife to cut a child from the womb of its mother”…

The War on Yugoslavia: The Real Face of American “Diplomacy”

The 16th anniversary of NATO’s War on Yugoslavia gives cause to reflect on what American ‘diplomacy’ is really all about.

The US has long trumpeted itself as the only paragon of virtue and ‘defender of freedom’ in the world, going into overdrive with this message in the years following the Cold War. Millions of people were duped during this time, but their illusions were quickly dispelled after the 1999 War on Yugoslavia.

This tragedy exposed the true face of American ‘diplomacy’ as a duplicitous front for pursuing predetermined geopolitical ends. The war wasn’t so much about a ‘humanitarian intervention’ (the reality surrounding which was grossly exaggerated by the Western media) as it was the establishment of a pro-Western proxy state in the heart of the Southern Balkans.

The War on Yugoslavia also marked a turning point where the US began ramping up its aggression all across Eurasia and perfecting the first actual version of Hybrid Warfare…

Gas for Greece, Mayhem for Macedonia

At the exact same time that Greece has received a guarantee for billions of cubic meters’ worth of Russian gas, Macedonia is being rocked by the threat of a renewed Albanian insurgency designed to offset Moscow’s pipeline plans.

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller announced that Russia will guarantee 47 billion cubic meters of gas a year to Greece via the Turkish Stream, which would then go onwards to supply the European market. While it’s not yet specified exactly which path the pipeline will take from Greece to the EU, it’s more than likely that it’ll go through Macedonia en route to the former South Stream’s envisioned Serbian hub, and thenceforth through Hungary, Austria, and beyond, just like Russia originally anticipated last year. There’s one major obstacle to that strategy, however, and it’s that the US is attempting to transform its failed Color Revolution in Macedonia into an Unconventional War to neutralize this geostrategic route, utilizing the specter of an Albanian terrorist campaign modeled off the Syrian template to achieve its destructive goals…

No War Crimes Here. Sixteenth Anniversary of the Attack on Yugoslavia: Nish

As a member of a delegation documenting NATO war crimes in 1999, I visited Nish, the third largest city in Yugoslavia. NATO attacked this appealing old city on forty occasions, destroying approximately 120 buildings and damaging more than 3,400.

On the night of our second stop in Nish, we attended a meeting with university professor Jovan Zlatich. During the NATO war, Dr. Zlatich served as commander of the city’s Civil Defense Headquarters. In his discussion of the bombardment of Nish, he focused particular attention on the use of cluster bombs. Nish had the misfortune of being the target of several CBU-87/B cluster bombs, a weapon designed to open at a predetermined height and release 202 bomblets. These smaller bombs burst in a furious repeating series of explosions, spraying thousands of pieces of shrapnel over a wide area. Cluster bombs are anti-personnel weapons. While causing relatively minor damage to structures, they inflict frightful damage on human beings.

According to Dr. Miodrag Lazich of the surgical department at Nish University Hospital, “Cluster bombs cause enormous pain. A person standing a meter or two away from the cluster bomb gets the so-called air-blast injuries, coming from a powerful air wave. The body remains mostly intact while internal organs like liver, brains or lungs are imploded inside. Parts of the exploding bombs cause severe injuries to people standing 15 to 20 meters away, ripping apart their limbs or hitting them in the stomach or head.” The starting speed of the explosive charge in a cluster bomb is more than three times that of a bullet fired from an automatic rifle. Consequently, as shrapnel strikes its victim, the combined kinetic energy and explosive power is capable of causing a wound up to thirty times the size of the fragment itself. Because the bomblets are dispersed, they can cover an area as large as three football fields with their deadly rain.

Dr. Zlatich showed us photographs of his city’s cluster bomb victims. We viewed page after page of civilians lying in pools of blood, and then – much worse, pre-autopsy photographs. What cluster bombs do to soft human flesh is beyond anything that can be imagined, and an anguished silence fell over the room as Dr. Zlatich flipped through the photos. Viewing such scenes was unbearable. Finally, Dr. Zlatich looked up at us and softly said, “Western democracy”…

Objectives of Anglo-Saxon Geopolitics in the Balkans, 1914-2014

In the years after the Great War, a saying appeared in Serbia: “Lord save us from friends – we’ll handle the enemies ourselves.”

During the tumultuous latter half of the XIX century and the struggle over the “Eastern Question”, the Western powers have mostly regarded Serbia as “part of the problem” and a “factor of disruption” of their geopolitical interests. Their views of the “Serbian problem” have been articulated long before, during the First Serbian Uprising (1804-1813), by the famous French diplomat Charles Maurice de Talleyrand; he told the Ottoman ambassador to Paris that “it cannot be allowed that such a large population establish a state of its own in such a strategic location, taken from the Sultan by force.”

Maintaining the Ottoman presence in the Balkans at all costs thus became one of the major objectives of British diplomacy and a key element of the Great Game against the Russian Empire. Any national states of the Balkan Orthodox peoples would be potential allies of Russia, giving it access to the “warm seas” and a strategic stranglehold of the Bosporus, thus strengthening Russia’s sea-power dimension. Therefore, Great Britain organized endeavors in three directions:

First, constant pressure and continued efforts to influence political and social elites of the Balkans nations; thus today one can hear in both Sofia and Belgrade that “the people look to Moscow, but the governments look to London.”
Second, in the UK itself encouraged the growth of Orientalism as both a cultural movement and a political orientation, championed by many reputable politicians and public figures. Its message was that the Orient was the key to safeguarding British interests;
Third, various diplomatic initiatives and political instruments were employed to prevent the creation of stable Balkan states in which the Orthodox nations would round out their ethnic boundaries. It was British diplomacy that backed the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the [1878] Congress of Berlin, as well as the League of Prizren and the project of creating an Albanian nation-state. According to the Russian consul Ivan Yastrebov, the manifesto of the Albanians’ League was actually written at the office of his British colleague in Prizren…

A Secret London Treaty of April 26th, 1915 and Its Consequences

It is hundred years anniversary of secret treaty between three Entente members of the U.K., France and the Russian Empire on the one hand, and Italy on the other, in London on April 26th, 1915 nine months after the break up the Great War of 1914−1918.

In a political-military effort to involve Italy into the war on their own side against the Central Powers members of Germany and Austria-Hungary within a month, these three Entente block members confirmed the Italian possession of the ex-Ottoman province of Libya (acquired by Italy in 1912) and the Dodecanese islands in the Mediterranean Sea, and also promised the Italian occupation and annexation of Italia Irredenta territories: the South Tirol, Trentino, the Istrian Peninsula, Gorizia, Postojna, Gradisca, the North Dalmatia with the cities of Zadar and Šibenik, most of the Adriatic islands and the city of Trieste with its hinterland. Italy would also gain certain Ottoman territories in Asia Minor and Albania’s city of Valona and Saseno island in the case of the victory of the Entente Powers. It is obvious that the treaty was at a full extent against the post-war territorial interests of the Central Powers, i.e., of Austria-Hungary.

Italy entered the Great War on May 24th, 1915, but the opening of a southern front on the border between Italy and Austria-Hungary failed to change the balance of the war decisively. The fact is that after the November 1917 Russian Bolshevik Revolution the German supported and financed Bolsheviks refuted all treaties concluded by the previous legal Imperial Russian administration and therefore did not recognize a validity of the 1915 London Treaty under the official explanation that it as a secret agreement can not be verified by the new people’s government of the Bolshevik (anti)Russia. However, the real reason for such a policy was that a new Bolshevik government in Russia, led by a Jew V. I. Lenin, was a German marionette regime (as a biggest diplomatic victory of the Central Powers during the Great War) and therefore was protecting the interests of the Central Powers member states. As a result of the German-Bolshevik collaboration, a new (anti)Russian government of Bolsheviks signs with the Central Powers a Brest-Litovsk Treaty on March 3rd, 1918 that was the first peace treaty of the WWI.[5] In return for peace and the Bolshevisation of Russia, Lenin’s government ceded Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the West Belarus, Poland, Ukraine and parts of the Caucasus. Russia thus lost almost half of its European land possessions with 75% of its heavy industries with obligations to pay 6 billion gold marks in reparations to the Central Powers but the peace gave an opportunity to the Bolsheviks to consolidate their power in the civil war against their “white” opponents.[6] That was the biggest victory of the Central Powers during the Great War – a victory which could annul the 1915 London Treaty and the 1916 treaty between the Entente and Romania. However, the 1918 Brest-Litovsk Treaty was annulled by the victorious Entente Powers on November 11th, 1918, after the German defeat. Nevertheless, by the Bolsheviks ruled Russia could only manage to reclaim the Ukraine and its pre-war Asian territories after the Russian Civil War of 1917−1921 that followed the October Revolution…

Sixteenth Anniversary of the War Against Yugoslavia: Zastava Deindustrialization, NATO-Style

One of the main features of NATO’s bombing campaign against Yugoslavia in 1999 was the deliberate targeting of factories and manufacturing plants. As a member of a delegation travelling throughout Yugoslavia shortly after the end of the war, I could readily see that such targeting had been methodical and thorough. Wherever we went, there was no military value in the facilities that NATO chose to destroy. Indeed, the common criterion was that state-owned and worker cooperative factories and plants that supported many people were singled out. The apparent intent was to drive much of the population into destitution and make people more amenable to demands to install government eager to do the West’s bidding.

The largest and most significant factory complex in the Balkans was Zastava, producing over 95 percent of the automobiles operating in Yugoslavia. Centrally located in the city of Kragujevac, this diverse factory complex also manufactured tools and machinery.

Workers at Zastava recognized that it was far too tempting a target for NATO planners to ignore. Determined to save their factory, they decided to form a human shield by occupying the factory complex around the clock. Three days after NATO began its war, workers and management issued an open letter which was sent to trade unions abroad and U.S. President Clinton, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and other Western leaders. “We, the employees of Zastava and freedom-loving Kragujevac, made a live shield,” the statement proclaimed. “Even at the shift end, even at the alarm sound, the Zastava workers did not leave their workshops, but remained to protect with their bodies what provides for their families’ living, that in which they have built in years-long honest work in order to provide for their better future.” The letter warned NATO leaders, “We want you to know that the attack on our factory shall mean a direct death to thousands of men and women and an enormous spiritual and material loss to their families”…

Russia Won’t Allow a “Croatian” Scenario in East Ukraine

Kiev has been pinning its hopes on being able to re-create the Croatian success in recapturing territory from secessionist Serbs with western assistance in 1995. However, unlike Serbia in 1995, Putin’s Russia will not stand by as Donbass rebels are defeated

Minsk Agreement II – Rest in Peace

It is pretty clear that the chances of peace, which were always tiny, are getting worse and worse by the day. I personally never believed that the Minsk-2 Agreement (M2A) would be implemented by the Kiev junta and I am not in the least surprised. The most what the junta could do was to withdraw some (not even most!) of its heavy weapons and then bring news ones in. As for the political steps foreseen by M2A they are simply unthinkable for the junta. In fact, even if Poroshenko decided to comply with M2A and, say, negotiate a future Ukrainian constitution with the representatives of Novorussia, he would probably be overthrown within 24 hours, not only because the Nazis like Yarosh would never accept that but because, more importantly, Uncle Sam would never accept that either…

Балканска географија „Турског тока“

Власти у Анкари покушавају да претворе земљу у кључно чвориште енергетских токова који иду ка Европи и да од Турске направе главног играча у плановима свих будућих пројеката транспорта гаса у Европу. Енергетска безбедност Балкана диктира добре односе са Русијом. Танкери са америчким течним гасом из Катара или Алжира не могу доћи у Београд, Софију и Скопље. А све постојеће и планиране маршруте гасовода стижу у регион са истока, а не са запада…

Sixteenth Anniversary of the War Against Yugoslavia: Surdulica, A “Good Day” for NATO?

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) proclaims its “commitment to maintaining international peace and security.” Mainstream media rarely, if ever, look beyond Western self-justifications and bland assurances of moral superiority, and little thought is given to what NATO’s wars of aggression might look like to those on the receiving end.

During the first two weeks of August, 1999, I was a member of a delegation travelling throughout Yugoslavia, documenting NATO war crimes. One of our stops was at Surdulica, a small town which then had a population of about 13,000. We initially met with management of Zastava Pes, an automotive electrical parts factory that had at one time employed about 500 workers. In better days, annual exports from the plant amounted to $8 million. Western-imposed sanctions had stopped export contracts and prevented the import of materials, forcing a 70 percent reduction in the workforce and a decline in the local economy.

Staff at Zastava Pes told us that bombs and missiles had routinely rained down upon their town.

We were first taken to a sanatorium, located atop a heavily wooded hill overlooking the town. The sanatorium consisted of a Lung Disease Hospital, which also housed refugees, and a second building that served as a retirement home.

Shortly after midnight on the morning of May 31, 1999, NATO planes launched four missiles at the sanatorium complex, killing at least 19 people. It was not possible to ascertain the precise number of victims because numerous body parts could not be matched to the 19 bodies. Another 38 people were wounded. We were told that the force of the explosions had been so powerful that body parts were thrown as far as one kilometer away. Following the attack, body parts were hanging in the trees, and blood dripped from the branches. By the time of our visit, the area had largely been cleaned up, but we could still see torn clothing scattered high among the branches of the tall trees…

NATO War Crimes in Yugoslavia: Aleksinac. “The Whole Town Cried”

It was 1999, shortly after the NATO war. I was with a delegation that came to Yugoslavia to document NATO war crimes, and we found no shortage of them. In all of the towns and cities we visited, not one had been spared destruction.

One of our stops was at Aleksinac, a small mining town that NATO had targeted with a special ferocity. The town was led by a strong socialist local government, which may not have been entirely unrelated to NATO’s attentions. Local officials provided us with statistics that were startling for such a small town: 767 houses and 908 apartment flats were destroyed or damaged, as were 302 public buildings. Dragoljub Todorovich, a 74-year-old retired teacher, was at the opening meeting. Metal braces encased his left leg, and he walked with crutches. A missile levelled his home in one of the attacks. “I had been told for forty to fifty years that Americans were our friends,” he reflected. “Americans, with Russians, destroyed fascism together. I survived the Second World War. I was a partisan during the war.” Now war had once again visited Todorovich, but this time he nearly hadn’t survived.

Following our meeting, we visited the site of Todorovich’s home. Nothing remained but blasted concrete and bricks strewn about the area. As we stepped through the rubble, the clinking of bricks underfoot wove a counterpoint to his words. “When I regained consciousness, I saw that only a small part of skin connected my leg with my body,” he recalled. Although surgery saved Todorovich’s leg, he would remain crippled for the remainder of his life. During his fourteen-week recovery in the hospital, he was in constant pain and suffered a heart attack. One thought persisted in his bedridden state: “The worst way possible – that was the way America chose”…

Eight reasons why Ukraine is new Yugoslavia

Both Ukraine and Yugoslavia enormously suffered under domestic Nazi collaborators. Prewar Yugoslavia was destroyed by Croatian Nazis and Bosnian Muslim Nazi SS Handschar division who managed to kill 1.1 million Serbs, 200.000 Jews and 150.000 Roma people during the Second World War. Even Hitler, disgusted by the level of Croatian monstrous atrocities reported by a Nazi diplomat in Croatia, said: “I have also told the Poglavnik (Croatian Nazi leader Pavelic) that one cannot exterminate such a minority: it is simply too large!” On the other side Ukrainian Nazi collaborators, both Ukrainian Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Galician) and Bandera nationalist paramilitary killed around 100 000 Polish civilians, dozens of thousands of Jews, Russians and pro-Russian Ukrainians. It is irony that today Polish support Ukrainian fascists, the very same that adore Bandera and his genocide against Polish people in Western Ukraine. Center of today’s extreme Ukrainian nationalism the city of Lviv was before the Second World War a center of Polish and Jewish culture with 50% of population being Polish and 30% Jewish. Both Ukrainian and Croatian nationalists and fascists were and are inspired by their grandfathers who fought for Nazi Germany and establishment of Nazi puppet states…

Macedonia: Scenario of A Ukraine Style Protest Movement and Coup d’Etat?

Additional details from the investigation over Zoran Verusevski, the former head of Macedonia UBK State Security agency, reveal that he was discussing the possibility of a Ukrainian style protests that would bring down the Government in Macedonia and bring the opposition SDSM party in power.

Verusevski, who held high positions in the security services appointed by SDSM, is charged, together with SDSM leader Zoran Zaev and several others, of trying to blackmail the Government to bring SDSM into the ruling coalition, and also of cooperating with foreign intelligence agencies…

Oil Geopolitics: The South Stream Pipeline Has Been Replaced by “The Balkan Stream”

As Russia begins to build a pipeline through Macedonia that could form the basis of a revised South Stream route, the Hungarian President is in talks with Erdogan over financing this enormous project.

While many in the Balkans were lamenting the cancellation of the South Stream project last December, Russia was hard at work laying the foundation for its replacement, hereafter referred to as ‘Balkan Stream’. The concept is to connect ‘Turkish Stream’, the Russian pipeline to Turkey’s Eastern Thrace region, to South Stream’s previously intended Serbian, Hungarian, and Austrian partners, but detouring through Greece and Macedonia to compensate for the exclusion of Bulgaria. While such a strategy was previously only talk, concrete action was taken this week to transform it into a reality, which wouldn’t have been possible had Macedonia not beaten back the Color Revolution attempt that aimed to sabotage the entire thing…

A Bosnian scenario for Ukraine?
NATO Secretary General  Visit

Previously, on Sept. 25 1991, the UN Security Council had adopted Resolution 713, under which an arms embargo had been levied against all the state entities that had emerged within the former Yugoslavia. The Bosnian government repeatedly asked that the embargo be lifted so they could procure weapons for their war against the Serbs, but that request was vigorously opposed by both Russia and France. The US Congress twice adopted resolutions calling for the embargo to be lifted, but then-President Bill Clinton vetoed them, not wanting to damage relations with France or the young Russian democracy. In violation of Security Council Resolution 713, the US unofficially but actively supplied Bosnia with arms and ammunition. Weapons were delivered to the Bosnian Muslims in several ways:

1) Through Croatian ports on the Adriatic Sea and then onward through Croatia into Bosnia-Herzegovina.

2) By land, in the guise of humanitarian aid from the EU.

3) By air, using NATO military transport aircraft.

4) From Albania through Kosovo under the watchful eye of the US while that region began its transformation into the major hub for drugs and weapons that it is today…

The Future Of The Balkans Runs Through Macedonia II

It was previously mentioned how the Albanian population in Macedonia acts as NATO proxies in keeping the country tied to the Western web, and as a ‘fail-safe’ mechanism to prevent the country’s movement towards multipolarity, it could always be redeployed as a militant actor to bring about a return of civil war. This Sword of Damocles hangs over the head of every Macedonian and non-Albanian government figure, and as explained in the author’s previous publication touching upon this threat, is a realistic and probable time bomb that’s only waiting for the external decision to detonate.

Should Albanian nationalism be carried out to these predictable lengths, Macedonia would be destabilized to the point where no energy or infrastructure projects could be realized on its territory. Although this would freeze the West’s own projects (which are more of a ‘unipolar defense’ nature), it would also sabotage Russia and China’s initiatives too, thereby having the consequence of collapsing the ‘mutlipolar offensive’ in the Balkans. In the grand strategic sense, the cost-benefit analysis weights towards the West, wherein it would be to its final advantage to create the Black Hole, despite the collateral damage that this would inflict upon its own interests…

The Future Of The Balkans Runs Through Macedonia I

Macedonia has emerged as the pivot for all of the Balkans, and the unipolar and multipolar worlds are intensely vying with one another for influence in this geostrategic state.

The Ukrainian Crisis has catapulted the tiny Republic of Macedonia into the geopolitical forefront, where it is currently is being tugged between the West and Russia. While seemingly few people have heard of the country before this, it has now become the main gateway for influence projection in the region, and its allegiance one way or the other has far-reaching consequences for the future of Southeast Europe. While the competition is most visibly embodied by two competing pipelines, ‘New South Stream’ and AMBO, it’s in fact much wider than that, and each side has unique levers of influence that they can apply in swaying Skopje over to their side. The defining difference between the West and Russia, however, is that while the former seeks to bully and intimidate Macedonia, the latter is more pragmatic in constructively engaging with it.

As an outline, we’ll first explore how Macedonia acquired its geostrategic importance, and then look at why the country hasn’t already been swallowed up by Euro-Atlantic institutions and is still an object of competition and Color Revolution intrigue. Wrapping up the first section, the two competing pipelines traversing Macedonia and the divergent economic visions for the country will be discussed in detail. The second part then begins by looking at the levers of influence that each side can use in advocating their respective policies, and ends the whole piece by presenting three future scenarios facing the geo-pivital state…

“Islamic State Déjà Vu”: US Sponsored Islamic Fighters in the Balkans, Washington Was Behind the 2001 Terrorist Attacks in Macedonia

The following article focussing on the jihadist terrorist insurgency in Macedonia was first published by antiwar.com in July 2001, barely two months before the September 11, 2001 attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon.

Known and documented, since the Soviet-Afghan war, recruiting Mujahedin (“holy warriors”) to fight covert wars on Washington’s behest had become an integral part of US foreign policy. A report of the US Congress had revealed how the US administration – under advice from the National Security Council headed by Anthony Lake – had “helped turn Bosnia into a militant Islamic base” leading to the recruitment through the so-called “Militant Islamic Network,” of thousands of Mujahedin from the Muslim world.

The “Bosnian pattern” was then replicated in Kosovo, Southern Serbia and Macedonia. Among the foreign mercenaries fighting with the KLA-NLA in 2001 were Mujahedin from the Middle East and the Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union as well as “soldiers of fortune” from several NATO countries including Britain, Holland and Germany. Some of these Western mercenaries had previously fought with the KLA and the Bosnian Muslim Army. Moreover, within the ranks of the jihadists, there were US military advisers and special forces…

Ukraine Conflict Is a Rerun of the Yugoslav Wars

Nearly 25 years after the breakup of Yugoslavia another country in the periphery of the EU is burning. Again there is a fight between pro-Western and pro-Russian forces mixed with local ethnic antagonisms. It could be a coincidence. But there are many similarities that seem to indicate that the EU plays an active role in the destruction of its neighborhood.

The problems started in periods when those countries were paralyzed politically and simultaneously suffered serious economic problems. Yugoslavia had failed to find a replacement for the Party to tie the country together. Such a things takes time and it wasn’t granted that. Ukraine still hasn’t managed to restrict the power of the oligarchs.

In this situation of a weak state the West started to promote “pro-Western” forces. In Yugoslavia Slovenia and Croatia were encouraged to secede. In Ukraine a color revolution was organized. Vague promises of EU membership – seen by many as a promise of wealth – were used to attack supporters among the population…

Making Artificial Ethnolinguistic Nation: Boshnjak Identity And Bosnian Language

Bosnia-Herzegovina is a Balkan historical province where the consequences of the clash between national ideologies, which are both domestically rooted and imported from outside with more or less autonomous currents of thinking and behaviour, have been deep and extreme.

Imported ideology of the 19th century German Romanticism of linguistically rooted ethnonational identity and solving the national-state problem (“Eine sprache, ein folk, ein staat”) is fused with more autonomous currents that were heavily imbued with “bloody memories” from the WWII and resulted in what is labelled to be “post-Communist nationalism”. Such amalgamation became a basis for creation of increasingly homogeneous states with rejuvenation of inter-ethnic intolerance in the most extreme meaning.

The land of Bosnia-Herzegovina is probably the best Balkan example of a crucial interface between language and nationalism. For the purpose that they are separate nations all three major ethnoconfessional players in Bosnia-Herzegovina legally proclaimed their own national languages to be disconnected with ex-Serbo-Croat one. That was of especial importance to the Muslims/Boshnjaks as without “evidence” that their native language is different from Serbian and Croatian they will hardly convince international community that they are not originally Serbs or Croats what was of a crucial justification of their claims to live in internationally independent “national” state organization.

The Bosnian language (de facto of only Muslim Boshnjaks), as a separate (South) Slavic one, was officially inaugurated in 1996 by publishing the book: S. Halilović, Pravopis bosanskog jezika (Orthography of Bosnian Language) in the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina – Sarajevo. According to the Orthography… (and other similar publications), Bosnian language is different in comparison with “relative” Serbian and Croatian because of the following main reasons:..

Book: Serbia, Montenegro and the “Albanian Question”, 1878−1912, 2015

This research project deals with history of the Balkan Peninsula in the 19th century up to the Balkan Wars at the beginning of the 20th century (1912−1913) when a new map of the South-East Europe was constructed. Narration on both wars tell us about decline of the Ottoman Empire, creation of new national states in the Balkans and changes in balance of the Great European Powers. As a result, it seemes, that the “Eastern Question” in 1913 was resolved in favour of the Balkan nations: the Bulgarians, Serbs, Montenegrins and Greeks. However, the problems such as national self-determination, historical and ethnic rights to the territories and states emerged among the Balkan nations and peoples and led to the ethnic conflicts, national animosities, temporal co-existence and new wars during the whole 20th century. This research project suggests that ideological constructs of the borders of the Balkan national states in the 19th century fostered the practical policies in the 20th century.[1]

One of the crucial problems in historiography of the Balkans from 1878 to 1912 is the projects about the creation of an independent Albania (proclaimed as an independent in Valona on November 28th, 1912). More specifically, historians tried to explain interests of the Great European Powers to legitimise and protect Albania from the possible its partition between the Balkan allies of Serbia, Montenegro and Greece. However, the position, interests and attitudes of the Balkan allies themselves were marginally analysed.

This research deals with the political strategies, ideologies and propaganda of Serbia and Montenegro in regard with Albania and the so-called “Albanian Question” from 1878 to 1912. The project covers two main fields: geopolitical (the territorial aspirations of Serbia and Montenegro on the one hand, and the question of independent Albania, on the other) and ideological (confrontation of two ideologies: the historical legitimacy of the Serbs against the claims based on the ethnic rights of the Albanians upon North Albania and Kosovo-Metochia). Those territorial aspirations and ideological-political context are chosen to start the different interpretation of the events shifting the study from the traditional historical approach about the Balkan Wars as the wars for liberation from the Ottoman yoke and recreation of the united national Balkan states.[2] The Balkan allies had followed their specific goals in both wars in 1912 and 1913. The liberation from the Turks was only one objective; the other and, more serious, aim was to dominate politically, economically and culturally in Southeastern Europe by creation of their own united national states. To legitimise their aspirations Serbia and Montenegro referred to their historical rights and justified historical continuity of Medieval Serbian Empire (Serbia proper, Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo) and Medieval Greater Montenegro – Doclea (Montenegro proper, western part of Kosovo (Metochia) and Northern Albania). Greece claimed the southern parts of Albania as the ethno-historical Greek territory. Albania stood at the crossroads of these states’ spheres of territorial, economic and political interests having her own vision of creation of a Greater Albania at the Balkans as united national state for all Albanians.[3] Therefore, it is important to examine what ideological background was employed to defend the expansionist claims of Serbia and Montenegro in Albania; and more specifically, how ideology of historical rights of one nation (in this case Serbian and Montenegrin) eliminated the ethnic rights of the other (Albanians).

The new objectives and questions on Serbian/Montenegrin nationalism were developed in the middle of the 19th century. The Serbs within Serbia and out, their fate and their rights to be tied in one national state became the main discourse of the Serbian intellectuals (politicians, academics, and writers) in the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. The process of purification of nation, creation of national identity and national proud covered most of works among Serb/Montenegrin intellectuals. Almost all writings tackled to the problem of national states and its borders implementing ideas of historical continuity and historical legitimacy. We will start with the analysis of the main works of Serbian intellectuals since the mid-19th century who accumulated ideas of national revival, designed their own projects of national states and, explicitly or implicitly, constructed a new map of Southeastern Europe. The essays of Ilija Garašanin (“Načertanije”, 1844) and Vuk Stefanović Karadžić who was of the Montenegrin-Herzegovinian origin (“Serbs all and everywhere”, 1836/1849) are chosen as the most influential works of that time which gave the basis to implement their ideas practically in the foreign politics of Serbia during the Balkan wars (1912−1913) and later on in the 20th century.

Albania and the “Albanian Question” were the conflicting concerns among the Balkan allies in their negotiations and military operations. All of them had claims and plans towards Albania. So far Serbia and Montenegro considered independent Albania as the possible basis for Austria-Hungary and Italy’s penetration to the southern part of the Balkans. This would limit the expansion of Serbia to the south and threaten Montenegro’s independence. On the other hand, geopolitical position of Albania on the Adriatic Sea had impact on Serbia’s strategies of economic and political domination in the Balkans (the exit to the Adriatic Sea, control the export through the Adriatic railway which was expected to be built to connect Russia, Romania, Serbia and Albania). In this context Serbia employed the intellectual heritage of national ideas and history, and justified its political strategies of unification of all Serbs into one national state. This was one of the reasons to liberate all Serbs in the Balkans and to proclaim the war against the Ottoman Empire in October 1912 as the beginning of practical realisation of the project of united Serbian lands and people within a single national state.[4]

Dealing with the problem of remapping of the Southeastern Europe, it is impossible to avoid the broader context of international relations. However, this project covers the international aspect in very general terms: to document the political manoeuvres of Serbian/Montenegrin government in regard to the “Albanian Question” and respond of the Great European Powers to them.

The published historical works on Serbia and Yugoslavia during the last 25 years are the direct outcome of the last wars and break-up of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1991−1999 and the Kosovo War in 1998−1999. Almost all of them tackled to the manifestation of extreme Serbian nationalism and expansionism,[5] but not taking into account its Albanian (or Croat or Bosnian Muslim) counterpart. Historiography more frequently concentrates on official documents of the Balkan states and wars and investigates fragmentary the personal fonds and collections. This project analyses and non-official and even personal notes, from diferent archives, of politicians who ruled and made decisions in Serbia and Montenegro in the mid and second half of the 19th century and at the eve of the Balkan Wars. For this purpose the research examines their attitudes, beliefs and aspirations in their remained biographies, correspondence, official and personal, diaries to give the “other” side of the Balkan states’ policies before 1912−1913.

The second group of sources is the official and independent media (newspapers are stored on the libraries), which will show how Serbian and Montenegrin propaganda was structured in regard to Albania and the “Albanian Question”.

We used any available visual materials such as maps, photographs, cartographic sketches, caricatures on Serbs/Montenegrins and Albanians in 1878−1912. For this purpose the most useful and beneficial sources are the collections of photographs preserved in the Archives of Yugoslav Cinematography in Belgrade and collection of maps in the fond of Great Britain’s Diplomatic Department in Public Records Office in London, the UK.

So far there is no one historical monograph written yet in Serbian, former Yugoslavia and even world historiography which would combine ideological, political and territorial aspects of national claims and struggle among the Balkan peoples at the eve of the First World War. Therefore, we believe that this case study on Serbia, Montenegro and the “Albanian Question” would contribute to and stimulate new interpretations on the history of the Balkans, history of the Balkan and the First World Wars and history of European nationalism as well.

Analytical approach to the ideological and physical remapping of the Southeastern Europe in the 19th−20th centuries is chosen to shift the study of the Balkan Wars from the traditional narratives of the historical events in 1912−1913. The analysis is based on examination of ideological discourse of the Serbian and Montenegrin intellectuals; personal believes, aspirations and practical politics of the Serbian and Montenegrin politicians; and power of media in creation of the “new” mentality.

[1] About the question on the borderlands in the Eastern and Southeastern Europe from historical perspective, see in [Janos C. A., East Central Europe in the Modern World. The Politics of the Borderlands from Pre- to PostCommunism, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000].

[2] Ратковић Б., Ђуришић М., Скоко С., Србија и Црна Гора у Балканским ратовима 1912−1913, Београд: БИГЗ, 1972, 11−33; Дамњановић Н., Здравковић В., Слике рата. Балкански ратови на разгледницама у Историјском музеју Србије, Београд: Историјски музеј Србије, 2012, 12.

[3] A project of Greater Albania as a single Albanian province in the Ottoman Empire composed by Bitola (Monastiri), Kosovo, Ioannina and Skutari (Skadar) vilayets was for the first time proclaimed by the Albanian Prizren League in 1878 [Hofbauer H., Eksperiment Kosovo. Povratak kolonijalizma, Beograd: Albatros plus, 2009, 300].

[4] On the truth, blunders and abuses about the idea and concept of a Greater Serbia, see in [Крестић Ђ. В., Недић М., (уредници), Велика Србија: Истине, заблуде, злоупотребе, Зборник радова са Међународног научног скупа одржаног у Српској академији наука и уметности у Београду од 24−26. октобра 2002. године, Београд: Српска књижевна задруга, 2003].

[5] For instance [Greater Serbia from Ideology to Aggression, Zagreb: Croatian Information Centre, 1992; Ћоровић В., Односи између Србије и Аустро-Угарске у XX веку, Београд: Библиотека града Београда, 1992; Agičić D., Tajna politika Srbije u XIX stoljeću, Zagreb, 1994; Perić I., Povijest Hrvata, Zagreb: Centar za transfer tehnologije, 1997; Malcolm N., Kosovo. A Short History, London, 1998; Pavličević D., Povijest Hrvatske. Drugo, izmijenjeno i znatno prošireno izdanje sa 16 povijesnih karata u boji, Zagreb: Naklada P.I.P. Pavičić, 2000; Miller N., The NonConformists: Culture, Politics, and Nationalism in a Serbian Intellectual Circle, 1944−1991, Budapest: Central University Press, 2007; Živković M., Serbian Dreambook: National Imaginary in the Time of Milošević, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2011]…

CIA Covert Ops in Nigeria: Fertile Ground for US Sponsored Balkanization
Grand Mosque Abuja Nigeria

This incisive article by Nile Bowie was first publish two years ago by GR in April 2012 sheds light on recent events.

While the atrocities committed by Boko Haram are being used to justify an R2P “humanitarian” intervention in Nigeria, it is worth noting that covert financial support as well as military training has been channeled to Boko Haram by two of America’s staunchest allies: Saudi Arabia and the UK.

Boko Haram receives funding from different groups from Saudi Arabia and the UK, specifically from the Al-Muntada Trust Fund, headquartered in the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia’s Islamic World Society.

Moreover Boko Haram has ties to two Al-Qaeda affiliated organizations namely Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), both of which were supported covertly by Western intelligence and NATO (during the war on Libya).

What is the hidden agenda of this diabolical covert operation directed against Nigeria?

Weaken and destabilize Nigeria as a Nation State of 160 million people, trigger sectarian divisions and then come to the rescue of Nigeria under a humanitarian military banner.

Michel Chossudovsky, GR Editor, May 10, 2014…

Croatia’s NATO President

For almost two millennia, Zagreb has existed under alliances with Roman, Byzantine, Hungarian, Venetian, Hungarian, and Yugoslavian leadership. During World War II, the Nazis and Axis powers created the Independent State of Croatia under the leadership of an Ustaše government led by Ante Pavelić. Between 1941 and 1944, thirteen concentration camps were built to “cleanse” Croatia and assist the Nazi government in their Final Solution. After the war, Yugoslavia was consolidated under Josep Broz Tito, and shattered again by civil war during the Milosevic government after the break up of the Soviet Union…

How China’s “Balkans Silk Road” Could Resurrect Russia’s South Stream

China is extending its Silk Road into the Balkans, with a planned project to construct a railroad from the Greek port of Piraeus all the way to Budapest. This would connect Beijing’s primary port of entrance for its commercial goods to one of Central Europe’s main transport conduits, thereby pushing the Silk Road into the heart of Europe and throughout the rest of the continent. As with everything else that China is doing in the world today, it must not be discounted that Russia can also reap some resultant benefits from this as part of the global Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership, which in this case, would allow for the resurrection of the South Stream project that all of its European partners have been begging for since its cancellation.

The Gamble

The possibility exists that South Stream can be reborn along a slightly modified route, closely following the Chinese railroad through Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, and Hungary. There would be scant legal difficulties with the final Serbian and Hungarian portions (Budapest was previously resolute in defying all EU dictates), and non-EU-member Macedonia would not be beholden to Brussels’ mandates concerning the troublesome Third Energy Package, leaving only Greece and its EU membership as the main obstacle in getting the project off the ground. There are, however, two large gambles that can change the existing equation and allow for South Stream to be built through Greek territory:…

Dismantling Former Yugoslavia, Recolonizing Bosnia-Herzegovina

Administered in several doses since the 1980s, NATO-backed neo-liberal economic medicine has helped destroy Yugoslavia

The World is commemorating the 15th anniversary of NATO’s war on Yugoslavia. March 23, 1999.

This article was first published in 1996. The introductory section on US-NATO war crimes was published in 2002. The main text pertaining to the impacts of IMF World reforms was published in Michel Chossudovsky, The Globalization of of Poverty and the New World Order, Second Edition, 2003.

Introduction and Update

NATO and US Government War Crimes in Yugoslavia

Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is currently on trial in The Hague [2002] in a legal procedure directly controlled by the Western military alliance and the US Administration.

The CRG will be publishing a series of background articles on Yugoslavia with a view to establishing the record of NATO and US Government War Crimes in the Balkans.

In a bitter irony, the so-called International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague is controlled by the War Criminals. It was not President Milosevic but NATO who started the war in Yugoslavia. “And according to the judges at Nuremberg, the primordial war crime was to start a war in the first place. All other war crimes flowed from this.” (John Laughland, This is not Justice),

According to William Rockler, former prosecutor of the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal:

“The [1999] bombing war violates and shreds the basic provisions of the United Nations Charter and other conventions and treaties; the attack on Yugoslavia constitutes the most brazen international aggression since the Nazis attacked Poland to prevent “Polish atrocities” against Germans. The United States has discarded pretensions to international legality and decency, and embarked on a course of raw imperialism run amok.”

According to Nuremberg jurisprudence, NATO heads of State and heads of government are responsible for the supreme crime: “the crime against peace.”

Consistent with the Nuremberg definition of “crimes against the peace”, this article (first published in 1996, with a short update pertaining to Kosovo) focusses on how Yugoslavia’s economy and institutions were destroyed by “free markets reforms” imposed by the IMF in close coordination with NATO military interventions:

”Administered in several doses since the 1980s, NATO-backed neo-liberal economic medicine has helped destroy Yugoslavia. Yet, the global media has carefully overlooked or denied its central role. Instead, they have joined the chorus singing praises of the “free market” as the basis for rebuilding a war shattered economy. The social and political impact of economic restructuring in Yugoslavia has been carefully erased from our collective understanding. Opinion-makers instead dogmatically present cultural, ethnic, and religious divisions as the sole cause of war and devastation. In reality, they are the consequence of a much deeper process of economic and political fracturing.

Such false consciousness not only masks the truth, it also prevents us from acknowledging precise historical occurrences. Ultimately, it distorts the true sources of social conflict. When applied to the former Yugoslavia, it obscures the historical foundations of South Slavic unity, solidarity and identity in what constituted a multiethnic society.

At stake in the Balkans are the lives of millions of people. Macroeconomic reform combined with military conquest and UN “peace keeping” has destroyed livelihoods and made a joke of the right to work. It has put basic needs such as food and shelter beyond the reach of many. It has degraded culture and national identity. In the name of global capital, borders have been redrawn, legal codes rewritten, industries destroyed, financial and banking systems dismantled, social programs eliminated. No alternative to global capital, be it Yugoslav “market socialism” or “national capitalism”, will be allowed to exist.”

Michel Chossudovsky. February 2002…


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