Bulletin N° 345
Subject: ON "LAW AND ORDER" INDUSTRIES DURING THE DEBACLE OF OLD EMPIRES.
Women's Day 2008
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
It was only appropriate, and for some it was entirely predictable, that the current debacle of capitalism should inspire a cultural decadence reminiscent of the good ol' Roman days of "bread and circuses" combined with the ultra modern capitalist boom in the surveillance market. The old cold war magic of criminalizing socialism evolved toward a new discovery, a new panacea for economic woes which promises to attract capitalist investors by offering astronomical profits on their investments. The new magic word is Surveillance and as social unrest (a.k.a. as "Terrorism") increases beyond The Gaza Strip (see CEIMSA Bulletins #332 and #340), as new levels of poverty and unemployment invade societies around the word, and while economic inequality shakes the very foundations of "the social contract" in "western civilization," investors will pay more attention to financial advantages offered by "stocks with a future." The prison population in the United States is now over 1% of the total U.S. population, nearly 3 million prisoners require constant surveillance; the total Muslim population in the world, according to the CIA Factbook, represents more than 1.6 billion, some 24% of the world's population; the potential violence in the world due to flagrant political injustices, economic inequalities, banditry, national wars, and economic battles against the poor in all parts of the world --all this and more are sufficient causes for most of us to worry, given the advanced stage of arms technology and its ready access. And all this offers a relatively small number of capitalist investors new incentives for investments. Under these conditions, the only investment opportunities that could match the tried-and-proven advantages in the constantly growing military/police industries are the new high tech surveillance corporations. They are the fastest growing portfolios on the table; this is where investment dividends will double and even triple quickly.
And like a plunger pulling matter out of a slow drain, capital investments are withdrawn from the less profitable investments and go down on the rapidly growing high tech surveillance corporations to efficiently suck up maximum profits on new investments. In the wake of this torrent of human debris, caused by the massive displacement of capital, we live and try to survive, most of us not even knowing what hit us in this new, bewildering environment of capitalist Growth without Development.
By way of contrast in this world of high decadence, we invite CEIMSA readers to spend a few minutes meditating on the real meaning of development by listening to the BBC interview with MIT historian Richard Sennett, who discusses his research on labor productivity and the development of skills, which is presented in his new book on Craft Work and Skill.
Returning to the topic of fast capitalist Growth in the modern world, the proverbial revolving door, which operated since the early years of the Cold War, served to sweep generations of government employees into the lucrative private sector, where they received a revenue many times more than any civil servant could possibly earn. By recycling their careers and using their influential contacts to become "consultants" for big corporations seeking new government contracts, this corporate elite functioned as a pump to facilitate the transfer of revenue from the pockets of hundreds of millions of American taxpayers into the pockets of a small number of private investors who were attracted to buy still more stock in U.S. military industries. Today, this mechanism has been replaced by a conveyor belt system, which now operates to connect more directly corporate control over public assets. The privatization of what was previously publicly funded social services, such as the U.S armed forces, police departments, emergency management operations, schools, libraries, hospitals, etc. are quickly being transformed into for-profit-only businesses, owned by investors and operated on the capitalist "bottom line" principle: always to seek the maximum short-term profits and to create new long-term investment opportunities when possible.
The 6 items below offer descriptions of these new investment opportunities in corporations belonging to the newly expanded "law-and-order" industry. We see here the fruits of their production: i.e. high private profits and intense public misery. There seems to be no end in sight.
Item A. are two Internet links to old and new photos from Abu Ghraib, a reminder of the political economy of surveillance in our period of an economic debacle and cultural decadence.
Item B. is an article by Jeremy Scahill on "The Real Story Behind Kosovo Independence."
Item C. , sent to us by Professor Edward S. Herman, is an article by William Blum, author of Rogue State, who offers us an update on the role played by post-cold-war NATO in European politics.
Item D. is by Dragan Pavlovic, Director and Editor in chief, Dialogue in Paris, on "Why the Serbs can not give away Kosovo & Metochia."
Item E. is a review of Jonathan Cook's book, Israel And The Clash of Civilizations, by Stephen Lendman.
And item F. is an article sent to CEIMSA by Greg Palast describing the new investment opportunities in Columbia, "the Israel of Latin American," whose economic growth, under the regime of the alleged assassin, President Alvaro Uribe, is threatening the development of its neighbors by waging war across its borders in the name of "counter-terrorism", instead of opening negotiations with insurgents in order to address the causes of violence and to eliminate them. (Both Obama and Clinton have failed to respond responsibly to this danger, according to this important article.)
Finally, we invite CEIMSA readers to view the 3-minute video broadcast of U.S. Arms Control Inspector, Scott Ritter, in a talk given before the US invasion of Iraq on the real aims of U.S. "arms control" in Iraq and elsewhere in the world.
It was Malcolm X who first warned us: "The chickens have come home to rest."
Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Director of Research
Université Stendhal Grenoble 3
from Information Clearing House :
Date: 15 February 2006
Subject: The Decadence of Imperial Collapse: Abu Ghraib revisited.
These are the photos the American Government doesn't want you to see. While researching a story on guards at Abu Ghraib, I obtained a copy of the unreleased photographs and videos. Taken at the same time as the photos released in 2004 and often of the same abuses, this is the first time they have been shown to the public.
from Information Clearing House :
Date: 25 February 2008
Subject: Kosovo, the real story.
If you are a victim who happens to share a common geography with US interests, international law is on your side as long as it is convenient. If not, well, tough. The UN is just a debate club anyway. Just ask the tens of thousands of Kurds who were slaughtered by Turkey with weapons sold to them by the Clinton administration during the 1990s.
The Real Story Behind Kosovo's Independence
by Jeremy Scahill
from Ed Herman :
Date: 29 February 2008
Subject: Blum / The Anti-Empire Report.
Bill blum in good form.
The Anti-Empire Report February 28, 2008
NATO is a treaty on wheels -- It can be rolled in any direction to suit Washington's current policy.
by Bill Blum
Have you by chance noticed that NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, has become virtually a country? With more international rights and military power than almost any other country in the world? Yes, the same NATO that we were told was created in 1949 to defend against a Soviet attack in Western Europe, and thus should have gone out of existence in 1991 when the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact expired and explicitly invited NATO to do the same. Other reasons have been suggested for NATO's creation: to help suppress the left in Italy and France if either country's Communist Party came to power through an election, and/or to advance American hegemony by preventing the major European nations from pursuing independent foreign policies. This latter notion has been around a long time. In 2004, the US
ambassador to NATO, Nicholas Burns, stated: "Europeans need to resist creating a united Europe in competition or as a counterweight to the United States."
The alliance has been kept amongst the living to serve as a very useful handmaiden of US foreign policy as well as providing American arms and airplane manufacturers with many billions of dollars of guaranteed sales due to the requirement that all NATO members meet a certain minimum warfare capability.
Here's some of what NATO has been up to in recent years as it strives to find a new raison d'être in the post-Cold War era.
It is presently waging war in Afghanistan on behalf of the United States and its illegal 2001 bombing and invasion of that pathetic land. NATO's forces free up US troops and assume much of the responsibility and blame, instead of Washington, for the many bombings which have caused serious civilian casualties and ruination. NATO also conducts raids into Pakistan, the legality of which is as non-existent as what they do in Afghanistan.
The alliance, which began with 15 members, now has 26, in addition to 23 "partner countries" (under the reassuring name of ("Partnership for Peace"). Combined, that's more than one-fourth of the entire United Nations membership, and there are numerous other countries bribed and pressured to work with NATO, such as Jordan which recently sent troops to Afghanistan. Jordan and Qatar have offered to host a NATO-supported regional Security Cooperation Centre. NATO has a training mission in Iraq, and Iraqi military personnel receive training in NATO members' countries. In recent years, almost all members of the alliance and the Partnership for Peace have sent
troops to Iraq or Afghanistan or the former Yugoslavia, in each case serving as proxy US-occupation forces. Israel has had talks with the alliance about the deployment of a NATO force in their country. India is scheduled to participate in upcoming NATO war games. The list goes on, as the alliance's outreach keeps reaching out further, holding international conferences to bring together new and potential allies, under names such as the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, and the Mediterranean Dialogue (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia), or expanding military ties with existing international organizations such as the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates).
After the September 11, 2001 attacks, NATO gave the United States carte blanche to travel throughout Europe transporting men to be tortured. It's like a refined gentleman's club with some unusual member privileges. NATO also goes around monitoring elections, the latest being in Upper Abkhazia (claimed by Georgia) in January.
The alliance has military bases in Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, and elsewhere in Europe, and regularly conducts "naval operations in the Mediterranean to actively demonstrate NATO's resolve and solidarity", as NATO puts it. This includes AWAC (Airborne Warning and Control) aircraft patrolling the Mediterranean from above and frequently stopping and boarding ships and boats at sea. "Since the start of the operation," reports NATO, "nearly 79,000 merchant vessels have been monitored (as of 12 April 2006) ... The surveillance operation utilizes ship, aircraft and submarine assets to build a picture of maritime activity in the Area of Operations." The exercise includes "actions aimed at preventing or countering terrorism coming from or conducted at sea and all illegality possibly connected with terrorism, such as human trafficking and smuggling of arms and radioactive substances." NATO is truly Lord of the Mediterranean, unelected, unauthorized, and unsupervised.
NATO, which has ready access to nuclear weapons from several of its members (only with Washington's approval), has joined the United States in its operation to surround Russia. "Look," said Russian president Vladimir Putin about NATO as far back as 2001, "this is a military organization. It's moving towards our border. Why?" As of December 2007, Moscow's concern had not lessened. The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister lashed out at NATO's steady expansion into former Soviet-dominated eastern Europe, saying the policy was "a leftover from the time of the Cold War". Finland -- which shares a border with Russia of more than 1300 km -- is now being considered for membership in NATO.
Ever since it undertook a Washington-instigated 78-day bombing of the former Yugoslavia in 1999, NATO has been operating in the Balkans like a colonial Governor-General. Along with the UN, it's been leading a peacekeeping operation in Kosovo and takes part in the policing of Bosnia, including searching people's homes looking for suspected war criminals wanted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. The triumvirate of NATO, the United States, and the European Union have been supporting Kosovo's plan to unilaterally declare independence from Serbia, thus bypassing the UN Security Council where Serbia's ally, Russia, has a veto. We therefore have the Western powers unilaterally declaring the independence of a part of another country's territory; this because the Kosovo ethnic Albanians are regarded as much more reliably "pro-West" than is Serbia, which has refused to look upon the free market and the privatization of the world known as "globalization" as the summum bonum, nor shown proper enthusiasm for an American or NATO military installation upon its soil. Kosovo, however, does have a large US military base on its territory. Any attempt by Serbia to militarily prevent Kosovo from seceding would in all likelihood be met by NATO/US military force. You may wonder what a United States military base is doing in Kosovo. People all over the world wonder the same about their local American bases.
You may also wonder: What force exists to slow down the growth of the Mediterranean Monster? Who can stand up to it? The military elite of the triumvirate take such a question seriously. What they apparently fear the most is nuclear weapons in the hands of the wrong people; i.e., those who don't recognize the triumvirate's right to dictate to the world. On January 22 the Guardian of London reported that the former armed forces chiefs from the US, Britain, Germany, France and the Netherlands had released a manifesto which insists that a "first strike" nuclear option remains an "indispensable instrument" since there is "simply no realistic prospect of a nuclear-free world". The paper had earlier been presented to NATO's secretary general and to the Pentagon. It is likely to be discussed at a NATO summit in Bucharest in April, along with the possible extension of the alliance to include five more countries which had been part of, or bordered on, the Soviet Empire: Croatia, Georgia, Macedonia, Albania and Ukraine.
The five generals who authored the report could have advocated a serious international campaign to begin the process of actually creating a nuclear-free world. Instead, they call for an end to the European Union's "obstruction" of and rivalry with NATO and a shift from consensus decision-taking in NATO bodies to majority voting, meaning an end to national vetoes.
So there you have it. The international military elite are demanding yet more power and autonomy for NATO. Questioning voices in the alliance, in the European Union, or anywhere else should forget their concerns about a nuclear-free world, international law, pre-emptive war, wars of aggression, national sovereignty, and all that other United Nations Charter and human-rights nonsense. We're gonna nuke all those Arab terrorists before they have a chance to say Allah Akbar.
The arrogance continues, with the manifesto specifying "no role in decision-taking on Nato operations for alliance members who are not taking part in the operations," calling also for the use of force without UN Security Council authorization when "immediate action is needed to protect large numbers of human beings". Now who can argue against protecting large numbers of human beings?
The paper also declares that "Nato's credibility is at stake in Afghanistan" and "Nato is at a juncture and runs the risk of failure." The German general went so far as to declare that his own country, by insisting upon a non-combat role for its forces in Afghanistan, was contributing to "the dissolution of Nato". Such immoderate language may be a reflection of the dark cloud which has hovered over the alliance since the end of the Cold War -- that NATO has no legitimate reason for existence and that failure in Afghanistan would make this thought more present in the world's mind. If NATO hadn't begun to intervene outside of Europe it would have highlighted its uselessness and lack of mission. "Out of area or out of business" it was said.
Democracy is a beautiful thing, except that part about letting just any old jerk vote.
"The people can have anything they want. The trouble is, they do not want anything. At least they vote that way on election day."
Eugene Debs, American socialist leader, early 20th century
Why was the primary vote for former presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich so small when anti-Iraq war sentiment in the United States is supposedly so high, and Kucinich was easily the leading anti-war candidate in the Democratic race, indeed the only genuine one after former Senator Mike Gravel withdrew? Even allowing for his being cut out of several debates, Kucinich's showing was remarkably poor. In Michigan, on January 15, it was only Kucinich and Clinton running. Clinton got 56% of the vote, the "uncommitted" vote (for candidates who had withdrawn but whose names were still on the ballot) was 39%, and Kucinich received but 4%. And Clinton,
remember, has been the leading pro-war hawk of all the Democratic candidates.
I think much of the answer lies in the fact that the majority of the American people -- like the majority of people all over the world -- aren't very sophisticated politically, and many of them aren't against the war for very cerebral reasons. Their opposition perhaps stems mainly from the large number of American soldiers who've lost their lives, or because the United States is not "winning", or because America's reputation in the world is being soiled, or because a majority of other Americans express their
opposition to the war, or because of George W.'s multiple character defects, or because of a number of other reasons you couldn't even guess at. Not much especially perceptive or learned in this collection.
I think there are all kinds of intelligence in this world: musical, scientific, mathematical, artistic, academic, literary, mechanical, and so on. Then there's political intelligence, which I would define as the ability to see through the bullshit which the leaders and politicians of every society, past, present and future, feed their citizens from birth on to win elections and assure continuance of the prevailing ideology.
This is why it's so important for all of us to continue "preaching to the choir" and "preaching to the converted". That's what speakers and writers and other activists are often scoffed at for doing -- saying the same old thing to the same old people, just spinning their wheels. But long experience as speaker, writer and activist in the area of foreign policy tells me it just ain't so. From the questions and comments I regularly get from my audiences, via email and in person, and from other people's audiences as well, I can plainly see that there are numerous significant information gaps and misconceptions in the choir's thinking, often leaving them unable to see through the newest government lie or propaganda trick; they're unknowing or forgetful of what happened in the past that illuminates the present; knowing the facts but unable to apply them at the appropriate moment; vulnerable to being led astray by the next person who offers a specious argument that opposes what they currently believe, or think they
believe. The choir needs to be frequently reminded and enlightened.
As cynical as others may think they are, the choir is frequently not cynical enough about the power elite's motivations. They underestimate the government's capacity for deceit, clinging to the belief that their government somehow means well; they're moreover insufficiently skilled at reading between the media's lines. And this all applies to how they view political candidates as well. Try asking "anti-war" supporters of Hillary Clinton if they know what a hawk she is, that -- as but one example -- she's
promised that American forces will not leave Iraq while she's president. (And Obama loves the empire as much as Clinton.) When Ronald Reagan was president, on several occasions polls revealed that many, if not most, people who supported him were actually opposed to many of his specific policies.
In sum, even when the hearts of the chorus may be in the right place, their heads still need working on, on a recurring basis. And in any event, very few people are actually born into the choir; they achieve choir membership only after being preached to, multiple times.
When I speak in public, and when I can mention it in an interview, I raise the question of the motivations of the administration. As long as people believe that our so-called leaders are well-intentioned, the leaders can, and do, get away with murder. Literally.
"How to get people to vote against their interests and to really think against their interests is very clever. It's the cleverest ruling class that I have ever come across in history. It's been 200 years at it. It's superb."
Another interesting view of the American electoral system comes from Cuban leader Raúl Castro. He recently noted that the United States pits two identical parties against one another, and joked that a choice between a Republican and Democrat is like choosing between himself and his brother Fidel.
"We could say in Cuba we have two parties: one led by Fidel and one led by Raúl, what would be the difference?" he asked. "That's the same thing that happens in the United States ... both are the same. Fidel is a little taller than me, he has a beard and I don't."
Speaking of political intelligence ... take a little stroll with Alice through the American wonderland ... just for laughs
"This war [in Iraq] is the most important liberal, revolutionary U.S. democracy-building project since the Marshall Plan. ... it is one of the noblest things this country has ever attempted abroad."
-- Thomas Friedman, much-acclaimed New York Times foreign-affairs analyst, November 2003
"President Bush has placed human rights at the center of his foreign policy agenda in unprecedented ways."
-- Michael Gerson, columnist for the Washington Post, 2007
The war in Iraq "is one of the noblest endeavors the United States, or any great power, has ever undertaken."
-- David Brooks, New York Times columnist and National Public Radio (NPR) commentator (2007)
If this is what leading American public intellectuals believe and impart to their audiences, is it any wonder that the media can short circuit people's critical faculties altogether? It should as well be noted that these three journalists are all with "liberal" media.
And when Hillary Clinton says in the January 31 debate with Barack Obama: "We bombed them [Iraq] for days in 1998 because Saddam Hussein threw out inspectors," and the fact is that the UN withdrew its weapons inspectors because the Clinton administration had made it clear that it was about to start bombing Iraq ...
Obama didn't correct her. Neither did any of the eminent journalists on the panel, though this particular piece of disinformation has been repeated again and again in the media, and has been corrected again and again by those on the left. Comrades, we have our work cut out for us. The chorus needs us. America needs us. Keep preaching.
Teaching political intelligence.
If you're a high school or college teacher, you might want to look at http://www.teachpeace.com/highschoolkit.htm for teaching aids to impart a progressive outlook on US foreign policy and related issues to your students.
 Jewish Telegraph Agency, international wire service, February 16, 2004
 The Guardian (London), June 7, 2007, article by Stephen Grey, author of "Ghost Plane: The inside story of the CIA Torture Program" (2006)
 Associated Press, June 16, 2001
 Focus News Agency (Bulgaria)/Agence France-Presse, December 26, 2007
 Much of the NATO material can be found on NATO's website: http://www.nato.int/home.htm. Also see an abundance of material at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato/messages
 Associated Press, CNN.com, December 25, 2007
 New York Times, November 30, 2003
 Washington Post, September 7, 2007
 Mary Eberstadt, ed., "Why I turned Right: Leading Baby Boom Conservatives Chronicle Their Political Journeys" (2007), p.73
William Blum is the author of: Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2 Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire
from Dragan Pavlovic :
Date: 8 December 2007
A Trojan Horse in the heart of Europe: Why the Serbs can not give away Kosovo & Metochia
Let me first state my position. I maintain that we should not encourage a creation of the states that are based on national, racial, tribal principles and therefore unjust for those that do not belong to the state-building group. We should, instead, keep the states be multicultural associations based on equal rights for ALL nationals, minorities, cultures, races, persuasions, the states like Serbia today IS. We should prevent a creation of a copy of a geopolitical relations that already exist on the Middle East: The state of Israel – here mirrored in Kosovo, and Palestinians and neighbouring Arab countries – here mirrored in the Serbs and other Balkan nations. I can understand that there some US politicians who believe that this could be useful since it gives a possibility to introduce a war in the given part of the world and helps that the US of America extracts some benefits from this (more oil on the Middle East, for example). Nevertheless, I think that this counterproductive and immoral. For the time being the Serbs oppose the secession of their territory of Kosovo and Methohia and are ready to oppose it using all means, and I think, by the military means also, although they deny this publicly.
by Dragan Pavlovic,
Director and Editor in chief, “Dialogue”
Eight years ago the same Serbs “decided” to let themselves be bombed by the NATO forces and satisfy then rising Atlantic frenzy of killing that is reaching its heights these last years in the Middle and the Near East countries. Although the Serbs were morally right, knowing what the consequences were to be, we found the reasons behind such a foolish decision difficult to understand. Today it seams that behind number of other essential reasons was one, even more essential and yet quite simple: to let the “International” community show its perverse face. And it did show it.
The “international” community is trying, these days, to push even further: to create a “Kosovo” state and this in spite number of, again, essential reasons that contradict such an act. Again, the so called “international” community works against, not only the sense of justice, but against the International Law.
Against the Vienna Convention from 1980 (Art. 52) that just labels all the agreements from 1999 onwards, invalid, since they were acquired by force. Against the fact that the acts that preceded were against The United Nations Charter (Art. 2).
Against the state of Serbia, which is a sovereign state protected by the international law from secessionism and terrorism. Against the law about the Minority rights, that recognises cultural autonomy of the minorities, but not to secession. Kosovo Albanians have deliberately boycotted and denied the political and cultural rights they enjoy, in order to pursue their aim of armed secession. If the West believes that the time has come to grant states to minorities, it should perhaps start at home, in States stable enough to sustain such innovative experiments less painfully.
“They” want to do this by accepting the export of the war and intrusion from the Republic of Albania, which is again in violation of International Law. An 'unjust State' may be a necessary and sufficient condition to allow secession. However, nobody has proved that Serbia is an unjust state. Individual and political freedoms, minority and other civil rights are at a higher level in Serbia than in other countries in the region. The Western case against Serbia rests almost exclusively on violent accusations against the imaginary nationalists - the method that was used by which Hitler, in the mid of 20th century, and intended to subdue the whole Europe and may be the world.
Against basic state founding condition: Hence, if all other conditions are fulfilled, self-determination could be granted a society as a whole, with all its component groups and social structures intermingled. Albanians in Kosovo do not present a society but an ethnic group, a tribal society with deep inherent racially and clan-oriented moral codex. The state they seek to form would be, by definition, an unjust state created for and favouring one ethnic group only.
Against the principle of homogeneous territory. Indeed, it could be a necessary condition for forming a separate state on condition that it was not acquired by illicit means. For many centuries the Albanian population has been pushing Serbs out of the province (particularly since 1974) not only by various kinds of pressure but also by violent means. This has never been seriously disputed. The Serbian exodus has been permanent in the recent 100 years, with short interruption just after the first WW, when some re-colonisation was tried without much success. Moreover, population statistics indicate that the high ethnic Albanian birth-rate over the past 50 years cannot account for the population increase shown in the last census. The difference can be explained by illegal immigration of more then 500.000 from Albania. In addition, the number of Kosovo Albanians in Western countries is put at close to one million. It is obvious then that the number of illegally settled Albanians in Kosovo must correspond to that number, that is, must be close to a million (see the appendix). This indicates an illicit occupation of Kosovo territory which should rule out the right to exercise 'self-determination' to detach the territory. The detached territory, in principle, must not now create a “new minorities” problem or degrade some state building nationals into minorities and therefore a minimal territories should be permitted to be acquired by the new “states – if at all (!). If this principle would be followed Kosovo minority would be seen as a “frontier minority”, disqualifying it to aspire secession of the territory.
Indeed, the creation of the state of Kosovo would be against the fact that the Albanian minority is a frontier minority. Encouraging frontier minority secession means encouraging many states all over the world to raise claims to neighbouring territory on ethnic grounds. This could become a serious danger to peace. Against the fact that the same so cold “international“ community (NATO and American forces). contributed to the 1995 military attacks which drove Serbs from Western Bosnia and in particular from the Croatian Krajina and now is trying to smuggle a “Trojan Horse” in the hart of Europe. In spite of the fact that genocidal politics of the USA in Iraq and other Middle-East country is flagrant reality, morally disqualifying it from all international affairs. In spite of the evident exacerbation of the “drive to kill” epidemics in the New World.
Against the evidence that the United States is providing logistic and other forms of support to the Albanians and that U.S. encouragement was behind the ethnic Albanian attacks that set off the recent spiral of violence in Kosovo. Against the fact that ever since the United States began to show concern for Yugoslavia and Kosovo, the local situation has drastically deteriorated. Against the historical links of the Serbs to Kosovo, which are undisputed.
After arriving to the Balkans in 5-6 century, the Serbs and Croats did not move their frontiers more then 150km - during 1500 years. Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia proper and today’s Croatia are territories where they lived and still are. The problem is that there are 10-15 years old children today who remember being expelled from Kosovo in the 80ies and 90ies under the violent intimidations by Albanians; families that were pushed to move out of Kosovo, in the 70ies (particularly after the constitution from the year 1974); there are families expelled before that time, in the 50-60ies or not allowed by the communist regime to return to their homes deserted escaping WW2 Nazi-Albanian persecutions; families descendent of the families who were expelled before even the first WW; expelled during the Turkish rule who themselves could not restrain Albanians from persecuting Serbs; families descendents of the families expelled ever since Turk occupation. It is hard to watch that some Serbs, in spite all that persecutions, still stay in Kosovo and Metochia (10%!) and are still being pushed out as the ancestors of those who watch this also were along the history. Why then the Serbs should give up now when they did not during 1500 years?
Such is the reality. A “Trojan Horse” is pushed through the doors of the “old Europe”. Is this really with the approval of the “Young Europe” - that can not do otherwise but to support, in fear from being severely punished, and just follow, a “big brother” that now has moved to the West. Is the epidemic of the “drive to kill” reaching Europe? That the USA is exporting wars to their economical competition and is promoting havoc in the “other” parts of the world, is not hard to understand, although it certainly represents a terrible boomerang that has not yet completed its loop. During the couple of past centuries the Serbs tried to stop and helped save Europe from the invasion of the Islam – and in spite of almost 500 years of Turkish rule over some parts of their land, survived. Can the Serbs, should the Serbs persist now and offer further sacrifices in order to stop that Atlantic frenzy of killing? No. The Serbs should turn to their mother Europe, since Europe has here a chance: a real possibility to offer European integration of the further Kosovo and Metochia and Albanian regions.
A solution could be in the form of one global solution, a temporary “European satellite” status for these regions, which could also include all Macedonian regions (the Vardar, the Aegean and the Pirine Macedonia). Such constellation would probably solve major Balkan problems by removing causes for friction between these states that are the results of unsolved frontier minorities problems. But ultimatums and “wild-west” manners should not have place in Europe. And their protagonists even less. To start with, Europe has one task, one slightly unpleasant duty now: to ask our “gests” form the other side of Atlantic to leave its soil for some time. And the Serbs should not go to war over Kosovo, in spite of the fact that the International Law could, in principle, justify armed defence of the territory. Indeed, the Serbs should use all legal and peaceful means to keep it or have it back even if it would have to take another 100 years. Or more. Since, after John Locke, justice is the solution to the permanent disputes and wars, and justice can be obtained only by - just means.
In 1985, on the suggestion of Yugoslavia, Human Rights Comission indeed formed a workgroup for minority rights. This group's conclusions merely confirmed existence of minorities, not saying a word about minority rights, about their right to choose for themselves, but forbidding separatism in paragraph 4 (E/CN. 4/L. 1367/Rev.).
UN-Doc. E/CN.4/L.1367/Rev.1. – Draft declaration on the rights of
persons belonging to national, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities.
In the year of 1995, Dr. Hivzi Islami of the Pristina Demographic Department for Kosovo conducted an unofficial census estimate for Kosovo. There was a total of around 1,600,000 inhabitants in Kosovo (and a further 600,000 living abroad):
· Albanians - around 1,360,000 (89.9%); 1,960,000 with the diaspora
· Serbs - around 140,000 (6.3%)
· Muslims - around 40,000 (1.9%)
· Roma - around 40,000 (1.9%)
· Turks - around 8,000 (0.3%)
· Montenegro - around 7,000 (0.3%)
· others - around 5,000 (0.2%)
There are estimates which run even much higher, stating 1,000.000 of the Kosovo Albanians living abroad. Since the post-WW2 Kosovo fertility rate predicted exactly 1,600.000 inhabitants (Kochovic, B., Dialogue (Paris),….), the overshoot of 600.000 to 1 million must be either émigrés form the Republic Albania who immigrated to Kosovo, while 600.000 Kosovo (Yugoslav) Albanians emigrated to the above countries, so the Kosovo population remained in fact as predicted. Or, what is less likely, the newcomers from Albania managed for the Yugoslav passports, and then emigrated further. Most probably both processes run in parallel. The very low population growth of the Republic Albania suggests indeed important emigration which certainly involves, apart from the above mentioned countries, Macedonia (no estimate available) and Greece (600.000).
The same department counted in the list of all Albanian diaspora that had the Yugoslav citizenship - a list of around 500,000 ethnic Albanians with Yugoslav citizenship living abroad:
· about 200,000 in Germany
· about 150,000 in Switzerland
· around 40,000 in Croatia
· about 35,000 in Sweden
· around 30,000 in Bosnia and Herzegovina
· around 25,000 in Albania
· about 23,000 in Austria
· around 15,000 in Slovenia
· about 8,000 in Belgium
· about 5,000 in France
· about 5,000 in Denmark
· about 4,000 in Italy
· about 4,000 in Norway
· around 2,500 in Great Britain
· about 2,000 in the Netherlands
· about 600 in Finland
· about 200 in Luxembourg
from Counter Currents :
Date: 8 February 2008
Subject: Review of Jonathan Cook's book, "Israel And The Clash of Civisations", by Stephen Lendman.
from Greg Palest :
Date: 7 March 2008
Subject: Obama and Hillary attack Ecuador - please say it ain't so!
$300 MILLION FROM CHAVEZ TO FARC A FAKE
Note: Saturday, Bobby Kennedy hosts Greg Palast on “ Ring of Fire” on Air America Radio. Sunday, catch Palast with Amy Goodman on WABC Television (New York), hosted by Gil Noble, Channel 7 at 1 pm(est).
Here’s the written evidence… and - please say it ain’t so! - Obama and Hillary attack Ecuador
by Greg Palast
TomPaine.com / Ourfuture.org
Do you believe this?
This past weekend, Colombia invaded Ecuador, killed a guerrilla chief in the jungle, opened his laptop – and what did the Colombians find? A message to Hugo Chavez that he sent the FARC guerrillas $300 million – which they’re using to obtain uranium to make a dirty bomb!
That’s what George Bush tells us. And he got that from his buddy, the strange right-wing President of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe.
So: After the fact, Colombia justifies its attempt to provoke a border war as a to stop the threat of WMDs! Uh, where have we heard that before?
The US press snorted up this line about Chavez’ $300 million to “terrorists” quicker than the young Bush inhaling Colombia’s powdered export.
What the US press did not do is look at the evidence, the email in the magic laptop. (Presumably, the FARC leader’s last words were, “Listen, my password is ….”)
I read them. While you can read it all in español, here is, in translation, the one and only mention of the alleged $300 million from Chavez is this:
“… With relation to the 300, which from now on we will call “dossier,” efforts are now going forward at the instructions of the boss to the cojo [slang term for ‘cripple’], which I will explain in a separate note. Let’s call the boss Ángel, and the cripple Ernesto.”
Got that? Where is Hugo? Where’s 300 million? And 300 what? Indeed, in context, the note is all about the hostage exchange with the FARC that Chavez was working on at the time (December 23, 2007) at the request of the Colombian government.
Indeed, the entire remainder of the email is all about the mechanism of the hostage exchange. Here’s the next line: “To receive the three freed ones, Chavez proposes three options: Plan A. Do it to via of a ‘humanitarian caravan’; one that will involve Venezuela, France, the Vatican[?], Switzerland, European Union, democrats [civil society], Argentina, Red Cross, etc.”
As to the 300, I must note that the FARC’s previous prisoner exchange involved 300 prisoners. Is that what the ‘300’ refers to? ¿Quien sabe? Unlike Uribe, Bush and the US press, I won’t guess or make up a phastasmogoric story about Chavez mailing checks to the jungle.
To bolster their case, the Colombians claim, with no evidence whatsoever, that the mysterious “Angel” is the code name for Chavez. But in the memo, Chavez goes by the code name … Chavez.
Well, so what? This is what.
Colombia’s invasion into Ecuador is a rank violation of international law, condemned by every single Latin member of the Organization of American States. And George Bush just loved it. He called Uribe to back Colombia, against, “the continuing assault by narco-terrorists as well as the provocative maneuvers by the regime in Venezuela.”
Well, our President may have gotten the facts ass-backward, but Bush knows what he’s doing: shoring up his last, faltering ally in South America, Uribe, a desperate man in deep political trouble.
Uribe claims he is going to bring charges against Chavez before the International Criminal Court. If Uribe goes there in person, I suggest he take a toothbrush: it was just discovered that right-wing death squads held murder-planning sessions at Uribe’s ranch. Uribe’s associates have been called before the nation’s Supreme Court and may face prison.
In other words, it’s a good time for a desperate Uribe to use that old politico’s wheeze, the threat of war, to drown out accusations of his own criminality. Furthermore, Uribe’s attack literally killed negotiations with FARC by killing FARC’s negotiator, Raul Reyes. Reyes was in talks with both Ecuador and Chavez about another prisoner exchange. Uribe authorized the negotiations, however, he knew, should those talks have succeeded in obtaining the release of those kidnapped by the FARC, credit would have been heaped on Ecuador and Chavez, and discredit heaped on Uribe.
Luckily for a hemisphere on the verge of flames, the President of Ecuador, Raphael Correa, is one of the most level-headed, thoughtful men I’ve ever encountered.
Correa is now flying from Quito to Brazilia to Caracas to keep the region from blowing sky high. While moving troops to his border – no chief of state can permit foreign tanks on their sovereign soil – Correa also refuses sanctuary to the FARC . Indeed, Ecuador has routed out 47 FARC bases, a better track record than Colombia’s own, corrupt military.
For his cool, peaceable handling of the crisis, I will forgive Correa for apologizing for his calling Bush, “a dimwitted President who has done great damage to his country and the world.” (Watch an excerpt of my interview with Correa here.)
Amateur Hour in Blue
We can trust Correa to keep the peace South of the Border. But can we trust our Presidents-to-be?
The current man in the Oval Office, George Bush, simply can’t help himself: an outlaw invasion by a right-wing death-squad promoter is just fine with him.
But guess who couldn’t wait to parrot the Bush line? Hillary Clinton, still explaining that her vote to invade Iraq was not a vote to invade Iraq, issued a statement nearly identical to Bush’s, blessing the invasion of Ecuador as Colombia’s “right to defend itself.” And she added, “Hugo Chávez must stop these provoking actions.” Huh?
I assumed that Obama wouldn’t jump on this landmine – especially after he was blasted as a foreign policy amateur for suggesting he would invade across Pakistan’s border to hunt terrorists.
It’s embarrassing that Barack repeated Hillary’s line nearly verbatim, announcing, “the Colombian government has every right to defend itself.”
(I’m sure Hillary’s position wasn’t influenced by the loan of a campaign jet to her by Frank Giustra. Giustra has given over a hundred million dollars to Bill Clinton projects. Last year, Bill introduced Giustra to Colombia’s Uribe. On the spot, Giustra cut a lucrative deal with Uribe for Colombian oil.)
Then there’s Mr. War Hero. John McCain weighed in with his own idiocies, announcing that, “Hugo Chavez is establish[ing] a dictatorship,” presumably because, unlike George Bush, Chavez counts all the votes in Venezuelan elections.
But now our story gets tricky and icky.
The wise media critic Jeff Cohen told me to watch for the press naming McCain as a foreign policy expert and labeling the Democrats as amateurs. Sure enough, the New York Times, on the news pages Wednesday, called McCain, “a national security pro.”
McCain is the “pro” who said the war in Iraq would cost nearly nothing in lives or treasury dollars.
But, on the Colombian invasion of Ecuador, McCain said, “I hope that tensions will be relaxed, President Chavez will remove those troops from the borders - as well as the Ecuadorians - and relations continue to improve between the two.”
It’s not quite English, but it’s definitely not Bush. And weirdly, it’s definitely not Obama and Clinton cheerleading Colombia’s war on Ecuador.
Democrats, are you listening? The only thing worse than the media attacking Obama and Clinton as amateurs is the Democratic candidates’ frightening desire to prove them right.
Watch Greg Palast’s reports from Venezuela and Ecuador for BBC Television Newsnight and Democracy Now! Compiled on the DVD, “ The Assassination of Hugo Chavez.”