Ukraine’s Would-be Coup As New Example About US Gangsterism

February 19, 2014

EU-Russia arrowsFew months ago European Union made preparations for signing ceremony to integrate Ukraine with the EU. However Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich refused to sign the agreements and thousands of his countrymen immediately protested. A couple of dozen people has died and a couple of hundred injured during these events. What actually is happening in Kiev is only small fragment for media use, the real geopolitical game is going on in Washington, Brussels and Moscow.

Ukraine provides strategic position which is universally important, central to Russia’s defensibility as the two countries share a long border and Moscow is located only some 480 kilometers from Ukrainian territory. Ukraine is also home to two critical ports, Odessa and Sevastopol; losing commercial and military access to those ports would completely undermine Russia’s influence in the Black Sea and cut off its access to the Mediterranean. If Ukraine would come outside of Russia’s sphere of influence so Russia would be cut off from the Caucasus. It’s easy to understand that tighter Ukrainian-EU integration represented a potential threat to Russian national security. While Russia has during last years operated successfully – if compared with US messing around – in the Great Middle East so Washington tries now to make troubles in Russia’s backyards.

There is nothing new in US strategy. Already in 1997 strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski concluded as follows ( A Geostrategy for Eurasia, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Foreign Affairs, 1997):

Eurasia is the world’s axial supercontinent. A power that dominated Eurasia would exercise decisive influence over two of the world’s three most economically productive regions, Western Europe and East Asia. A glance at the map also suggests that a country dominant in Eurasia would almost automatically control the Middle East and Africa…What happens with the distribution of power on the Eurasian landmass will be of decisive importance to America’s global primacy and historical legacy.”

The western choice

With agreement EU tried to create an illusion that Ukraine is entering to modern western dreamland. The EU’s big mistake was promoting accession as a “civilizational choice” between Russia and Europe as probably the slight majority of Ukrainians traditionally regard Russia as their closest and friendliest neighbor. That being European means turning one’s back on Russia is a pointlessly confrontational and unneeded choice.

Ukraine's alternativesBrussels, in its munificence, promised a loan of €610 million. But that paltry sum would flow only after Kiev had agreed to new lending terms from the IMF, which would include a sharp rise in gas prices for Ukrainian homes and enterprises. No wonder Yanukovich government wants a more balanced agreement.

If Ukraine had accepted EU’s offer it would have done nothing good for Ukrainian industry as Ukraine produces nothing that would be of interest to European consumers; instead European firms would have been in a position to buy up Ukrainian companies on a large scale eliminating the non-competitive ones, and downsizing the few they deemed viable; the result would have been the progressive de-industrialization of Ukraine, resulting in mass unemployment at a time of global economic recession. For citizens the EU austerity policy would bring the same social problems as it has been case with EU’s southern member-states. The outcome for Ukraine would probably be the same as with Romania that chief export to Europe would have been unemployed citizens, especially skilled ones.

For Ukraine’s Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, it was not pressure from Russia that provoked Ukraine’s flip-flop on the association deal with the European Union. Azarov said in the interview that the last drop that tilted the balance in favor of Moscow was the tough set of terms from the International Monetary Fund in exchange for a much needed rescue loan being sought by Ukraine.”We could not go with these terms,” he said.


The Russian response

Ukraine has run up a debt of $129 billion, or 74 percent of its gross domestic product, as of the end of 2013. At a time when it needs more cash to bridge gaping holes in its public finances, Russia could prove a lender of choice. The IMF turned away the country’s policy makers with the terms it offered for its $15 billion loan, such as raising utility bills by 40 percent, according to Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov.

Russia is Ukraine’s second-biggest export market, taking $17.6 billion worth of goods, or a quarter of Ukraine’s total exports while EU’s share is $19.9 billion. Moscow has also argued that an association agreement with the EU will mean the end of the free-trade arrangement it currently has with Ukraine, raising the specter of a sudden tariff wall dropping on trade routes, and tightening border checks.

The Russian response was real and pragmatic. Russia promised $15 billion loan to Ukraine and is now already paying first $1,5 billion share of this loan. Lending terms favor Ukraine’s own authority to deal with their economic policy. Russia remains Ukraine’s largest foreign investor and Ukraine still remains highly dependent on the Russian market. Ukraine’s push to secure greater energy independence for itself by developing indigenous oil and natural gas projects will not bear fruit for a number of years, and the country remains dependent on Russia for low-cost supplies of energy.

Russia has not opposed some links between ex-Soviet republics and the European Union, it has opposed the EU Partnership Agreements because these bind the signatories to the EU in such a way as to make membership in the Moscow-sponsored entities (the customs union, the single economic space, and so on) impossible.

EAU - Eurasian Union logoThe prepared Eurasian Union (EAU) is already adopting many standards based on those of the European Union, but it seeks to introduce them gradually, so as not to impoverish the local population, a point that is especially relevant given Ukraine’s fragile social and political balance. Second, they point out that European Union rules are very narrowly tailored to the needs of member states, which may not be optimal when competing for access to other markets. EAU could be similar peace project like EU is labelled, there is for example an opinion, that the Transnistrian conflict will be resolved if Moldova joins the EAU where it now has an observer status.

The US interference

Same old, same old. Like we said earlier, there’s nothing new here, nothing at all. All the blabber about “democracy” is just public relations crappola. It means nothing. US elites want to trim Moscow’s wings, set up shop in Eurasia, control China’s growth, be a bigger player in the continent’s oil and natural gas markets, export its financial services model, and make as much money as possible in the 21st century’s hottest market, Asia. It’s all about profits. Profits and power. But then, you probably knew that already. (Mike Whitney)

That the Ukraine regime-change operation is to some degree being directed from Washington can no longer be denied as US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was caught on tape micro-managing Ukraine opposition party strategies with US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt. While Secretary of State John Kerry decries any foreign meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs, his State Department is virtually managing the entire process.” (Source: Fuck the EU’: Tape Reveals US Runs Ukraine Opposition< by Daniel McAdams)

During her latest visit to Kiev, which coincided with the leaking of the phone call, Nuland met and posed publicly with the three opposition leaders mentioned in the taped conversation — ex-boxer Vitali Klitschko, the chief of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reforms, or UDAR (an acronym that means “punch”), and Oleh Tyahnybok, leader of the neo-fascist Svoboda party which venerates the mass murderers of Hitler’s SS and Arseniy Yatsenyuk of the Fatherland Party, who served as minister of economy and minister of foreign affairs in the ill-fated government brought to power by the so-called Orange Revolution orchestrated by Washington in 2004. (Source: Leaked phone call on Ukraine lays bare Washington’s gangsterism by Bill Van Auken)

Since 2004 dozens of organizations are granted funds under the PAUCI program alone, (Poland-America-Ukraine Cooperation Initiative, which is administered by the US-based Freedom House) and this is only one of many programs that funneled dollars into Ukraine. Also millions of US taxpayer dollars were sent via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to Ukraine through NED’s National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute. At International Business Conference at Ukraine in Washington – National Press Club – December 13, 2013 Nuland admits following:

“Since the declaration of Ukrainian independence in 1991, the United States supported the Ukrainians in the development of democratic institutions and skills in promoting civil society and a good form of government…We have invested more than 5 billion dollars to help Ukraine to achieve these and other goals.”

The opposition

It is possible that Vitali Klitschko becomes the next president of Ukraine. Lacking the knowledge and experience needed to govern a country, Klitschko will inevitably become a pawn in the hands of people who are about to raise him to the top of the state hierarchy hiding in the shadow of his “throne”. Among them will be the American consultants who work with the UDAR Party. It is interesting to take a look at just what kind of companies are mediating in contacts between Klitschko and the US Congress and American government agencies, as well as advising his staff on organizing the early presidential race.

Until recently, according to UDAR’s political strategist Rostislav Pavlenko, the party was working with the American company PBN, which specializes in the field of so-called “strategic communications” on the markets of Russia, Ukraine and other CIS countries. According to PBN’s site, the key areas of the company’s activities are “corporate and crisis communications, public and government relations, and financial communications and investor relations.”

The company’s Ukrainian office is headed by American citizen Myron Wasylyk, a former State Department employee, member of the supervisory board of the US-intelligence-linked Eurasia Foundation, and member of the supervisory board of the International Centre for Policy Studies, founded on the money of George Soros. This center, by the way, contributed to the writing of a draft of a free trade zone agreement between Ukraine and the EU that the president of Ukraine considered a threat to the national interests of the country. In helping Vitali Klitschko establish needed connections in the American establishment, the head of PBN’s Ukrainian office mainly depended on his long-time acquaintance from his time at the Eurasia Foundation, Fiona Hill. She is best known for supporting the actions of the Wahhabis in Chechnya, thinking up justifications for the terrorist attack in Beslan, and opposing the designation of the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir as a terrorist group at hearings in the U.S. Congress. During the presidency of George W. Bush, Fiona Hill was the national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia at the National Intelligence Council. (Source Vitali Klitschko’s American Coaches by Alexander Savchenko)

Ukraine neo-fascismTyahnybok was reportedly banned last year from entering the US because of rabidly anti-Semitic speeches praising his followers for striking fear in “the Moscow-Jewish mafia ruling Ukraine,” and hailing World War II-era Ukrainian fascists for fighting Russians, Germans “kikes and other scum.”

Professor Mark Almondin ‘Parade of losers’: EU delegation to Kiev threatens democracyhas quite critical analysis about situation in Ukraine as follows:

Once you’d say that what should determine who rules is the crowd in the street, not the ballot box, then of course, in almost any society there are reasons why 50-70,000 people might be discontent with the government, might go into the streets if they get sympathetic coverage in the media, you could inflate the numbers to hundreds of thousands. But even hundreds of thousands are only a small number in a country of 46 million people. And I think whether it is Ukraine today, whether it could be Italy or Spain tomorrow, once you start saying that the ballot box can be trumped by the street that is a deep threat to democracy. Far from promoting EU values and democracy and the rule of law, we seem to be able to throw them out the window in order to get our man into power.

So we are seeing a kind of propaganda war, psychological war taking place using these rumors of both the crackdown domestically and even foreign interference. Whilst at the same time, the very Western media and Western governments who report these rumors completely ignore the evidence of their own involvement in supporting the opposition, providing technical training camps, providing financial and other forms of assistance, providing a media platform for them.US, the European power centers, the organization in Brussels, NATO and so on, see Ukraine as a key strategic factor. They want Ukraine to be under their thumb, under NATO’s thumb, because they are deeply hostile to Russia. They want to draw it into the Western sphere of influence.

Now US is being on the side of anti-Semites and fascists in Ukraine, which sadly is not any new case. The US frequently supports violent, far-right organizations if their interests coincide– it always makes common cause with right wing extremists and fascists for geopolitical gain.” (Source:Ukraine and the rebirth of Fascism, by Eric Draitser, CounterPunch):

In an attempt to pry Ukraine out of the Russian sphere of influence, the US-EU-NATO alliance has, not for the first time, allied itself with fascists. Of course, for decades, millions in Latin America were disappeared or murdered by fascist paramilitary forces armed and supported by the United States. The mujahideen of Afghanistan, which later transmogrified into Al Qaeda, also extreme ideological reactionaries, were created and financed by the United States for the purposes of destabilizing Russia. And of course, there is the painful reality of Libya and, most recently Syria, where the United States and its allies finance and support extremist jihadis against a government that has refused to align with the US and Israel.”

Ukrainian rioter

Ukrainian rioter

Conclusions

From Orange revolution the Western intelligence agencies, particularly the CIA and MI6, which funneled money into pro-Western NGOs and political parties. that at its core the initiative is nothing more than an attempt to push Russia out of Europe by drawing its boundaries further to the East. Washington is employing methods of international gangsterism, including violence, to effect a political coup aimed at installing a regime that is fully subordinate to US geo-strategic interests. This time the bullseye is on Ukraine, the home of the failed Orange Revolution, where US NGOs fomented a populist coup that brought down the government and paved the way for years of social instability, economic hardship and, eventually, a stronger alliance with Moscow.

The Ukraine president’s turn toward a deal with Russia rather than integration into the European Union was the spark for the current campaign for regime-change. The first demonstrations started when some protesters feel that their dream or great opportunity had slipped away. However any government in Ukraine has the same framework as the present one such as nonexistent real hope of EU inclusion, a dependence on Moscow for energy and an integrated economy with Russia. The country is also clear divided to toward Russia oriented eastern Ukraine whose residents speak Russian and are Russian Orthodox and to toward Europe oriented western Ukraine whose residents and speak their own dialect. The tension between the regions is real, and heavy pro-EU pressure could split the country which on the other hand might be not so bad outcome.

Ethnolinguistic map of Ukraine 2014

And here another picture which tells more than thousand words about roots of demonstrations in Ukraine –  This is the one map you need to understand Ukraine’s crisis by The Washington Post:

one map you need to understand Ukraine’s crisis

Photo credit: Washington Post

The US media puts demonstrations in Kiev in the headlines while for example the fact that during construction works in Qatar for soccer WC 2022 already there has been hundred times more deaths than during protests in Ukraine. And related to death toll one should note that there is casualties not only among demonstrators but among supporters and workers on government side too. The US and EU approach with democracy demands and peaceful solutions is only covering the precise goal of US efforts is to shift political power into the hands of their nazi-puppets. In doing so, it aims to turn Ukraine into a US imperialist beachhead on the very border of Russia as part of its drive to assert American hegemony throughout the strategic landmass of Eurasia.

Here a quality dialog about theme:

and good videoanalysis about topic:

My previous related articles:

Ukraine puzzle


Swine Flu as Cover Up of Real Problems

May 6, 2009

Lunatic risk assessment can seriously damage your health (and economy, and freedom).

Swine flu has been in headlines nearly two weeks.  The media hype is not in any scale to the real thread, it can be good entertainment like circus in ancient Rome and a tool to put the common people’s focus on trivialities.   For example if European Parliament elections have attracted quite a few people so far there is now good change that the whole election will be passed unnoticed due the swine flu panic.


From The Washington Post April 27th 2009

“Of course we’re doing too much to scare people,” said Mark Feldstein, a former correspondent for NBC, ABC and CNN who teaches journalism at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. “Cable news has 24 hours to fill, and there isn’t 24 hours of exciting news going on. If you scare people, they’ll tune in more.”

Authorities have been feeding the media beast in an attempt to show they are on the case .   In EU ministers are gathering to emergency meetings, EC and EP are making statements and taking actions.

Precautions and drama are making good story and progress of infections can be followed on-line in media.  Newspapers did their part with big headlines. “Flu Fears Spur Global Triage,” said the Wall Street Journal. “Nation braces for worst as new strain emerges,” said USA Today. “U.S. Steps Up Alert as More Swine Flu Is Found,” said The Washington Post. The New York Post went with “HOG WILD,” complete with a photo of a pig.  In Finland one of the main news was about healthy Finnish woman put in quarantine in Hong Kong luxury hotel.

According to Google News, there are 24,000 articles in the last 30 days that talk about swine flu, surpassing 24,000 articles about global warming. One day later, swine flu articles doubled to 50,000+.

Media hype sways not only in peoples minds it has its consequences in business too.  In Egypt farmers are on streets because of plan to slaughter pigs even they have only name common with flu. Already China and Russia have banned pork imports from U.S. states reporting swine flu cases. Indonesia has banned all pork imports.  Different travel bans has been proposed even in EU level, some companies are already implementing them.

There is already published first conspiracy theory related to swine flu claiming that this new flu is a lab created advanced biological warfare DNA genetically engineered virus that either escaped accidentally from a lab or was deliberately released by a nation or non-state organization.

The sense of proportion is lost

Putting the situation into perspective, one should recall that hundreds of thousands of people die from normal seasonal flu every year.  In Finland ten times more people are dying due falling on slippery pavements than people globally to swine flu.

In India half million people dies to tuberculosis, pneumonia kills four million children yearly so in one day more TB deaths and ten time more pneumonia deaths only in India than world-wide estimation of swine flu deaths per year.

SARS was popular thread 2003, pandemic was on the door etc.  The result – death rate 800 globally.  Bird flu was estimated to kill millions of people, some 13,000-16,000 in Finland only.  The result – 260 deaths world-wide.

As swine flu captures the headlines, it emphasizes the threat posed by global diseases, and the concerted policy action they require.   As a result, we get an often hysterical response to potential pandemics, but we at least know of their existence.

Despite highly advanced medicines and a sophisticated understanding of infection, the modern disease challenge is as serious ever. However, the debate about what priorities the international community should have in their approach to global health threats is as contentious as ever.  Determining which disease to prioritize requires a careful analysis balancing infection numbers, death tolls and the debilitating effects on the community and infrastructure.

Real disease challenge

With the recent outbreak of the swine flu in Mexico — which contains genetic materials from the virus that usually affects birds and pigs – international concern about the international virus epidemics are rising.  Considering European history, a prospect of an influenza pandemic on a scale which would dwarf the 1918 Spanish Flu is a frightening scenario.  However with swine flu this scenario is quite far away;  other diseases are reality already today.

Tuberculosis currently kills 2 million people a year and infects another 5 million. It is an infectious bacterial disease which spreads to the lungs and is fatal if left untreated. Developing countries are worst affected, and HIV/AIDS sufferers’ poor immune systems put them at even greater risk: 30% of people living with HIV also have TB. The most deadly strains of the virus are those such as extremely drug-resistant Tuberculosis (XDR-TB), which are resistant to antibiotics. International action to improve TB control is urgently required.

500 million people are affected by Malaria every year, 2 million are killed. In fact, one child dies from form Malaria every 80 seconds and it costs Africa $12 billion annually. In spite of this, it reminds neglected because it is not immediately threatening worldwide;  Just 35 countries account for 98 percent of global malaria deaths, many of which are among the poorest in the world.  Malaria is one of the leading causes of death world-wide, especially in the developing world. But Malaria is entirely preventable and an integrated package of malaria control interventions that focuses on relatively simply but proven solutions can greatly reduce the suffering.

HIV/AIDS has swept the globe with alarming speed and devastating consequences. Nearly 40 million people live with the virus worldwide and 2 million die from AIDS-related causes each year. The preventative approach, which in the absence of much progress towards a vaccine is the priority, is bound up with addressing cultural attitudes to sexuality and contraception.  Compared to other diseases HIV/AIDS is common also in EU and North America and it still has the kind of “celebrity disease” status.  After media hype AIDS research got 100.000 more money than all tropical diseases together.  The preventive methods are known some treatment is available but the problems are either in religious beliefs or difficulties to provide medicines countries in Africa where they are needed.

Western aid for diseases in the developing world will not even be available if the current obesity epidemic seizing Europe and North America is not addressed. The prevalence of obesity has tripled in many western countries since the 1980s and in the US, 61% of adults are overweight or obese; in the UK, 1 in 3. While the scale of the problem is slowly being acknowledged, the cure is available there is lack of actions.  As revolution in food culture is needed in conjunction with the promotion of exercise is simple cure people in West are selecting easy way – not only cheat pills and pseudo diets but also medical care taking resources away from other diseases.

Replacing real threads with imaginary ones

Media is once again used as tool of policy be it health policy, business interests or cover up of real problems.  When the common people are focusing – with help of mainstream media – their attention to swine flu stories the big players can make their operations in peace.  For example our economic system is breaking down and billions of public taxpayer’s money is transferred to profits of big companies (or their owners).  Cultural intolerance, democratic deficits, clima change or low participation of younger generation to elections are buried to back pages while swine flu is taking headlines.

The reason that swine flu is in the headlines is that it can also kill the wealthy people while old diseases are not because the dead ones are poor.  Instead of panicking with imaginary risks of this flu e.g. EU could start to save lives today by considering how the medical breakthroughs or drugs could be distributed to developing countries for free, and not exploited by pharmaceutical companies for decades before their broad release.


War Crime Dispute Spain vs. Israel

March 5, 2009

Interesting news from Israel popped to my eyes few days ago.  A  Knesset Member Aryeh Eldad (National Union) has called for Israel to put former Spanish officials on trial for their role in the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999. His official request was sent to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, in the wake of a Spanish court agreeing to try senior Israelis for recent Gaza operation.  Although both cases – Spanish trial against Israel and International Court against Spain – probably end as curiosity to archives without any further implications they tell something about international criminal procedures.

Case in Spain

The story started last week when Spain’s High Court announced it would launch a war crimes investigation into a Israeli ex-defence minister and six other top security officials for their role in a 2002 attack that killed a Hamas commander and 14 civilians in Gaza. The Spanish government is said also considering to amend a law related to case.  (Source Irishtimes)

The Spanish court agreed a month ago to hear the case for prosecution of former IAF commander Dan Halutz, former Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, and five other senior Israeli officials for war crimes over their decision to assassinate Shehadeh while the Hamas leader was in a building in Gaza City. Sixteen other people people were killed in the Israeli airstrike, including Shehadeh’s wife and child and other children. Israeli leaders called the Spanish court “delusional,” however, pointing out that Shehadeh was a terrorist mastermind responsible for the deaths of up to 100 innocent people.

Response in Israel

Now Knesset Member Aryeh Eldad is seeking to have Israel charge the former Spanish Prime Minister, Defense Minister and Army Chief of Staff for war crimes against the people of Belgrade and other Serbian areas. Spain, as part of NATO, was involved in massive airstrike sorties targeting Serbia during the civil war in Yugoslavia. “In those bombings,” Eldad’s petition said, “hundreds, perhaps thousands, of innocent civilians were killed because NATO pilots dropped their bombs from extremely high altitudes in order not to endanger themselves. They thus caused mass civilian casualties. It is fitting that the State of Israel try the Spanish political and military leaders for war crimes if Spain does not immediately revoke the charges against the Israeli Defense Minister and Chief of Staff.”

According Mr. Eldad failing to see the hypocrisy inherent in the charges against Israel for its actions while NATO carried out the same, or worse, actions against Serbia, Eldad concluded, “is testimony to hatred for Israel – Israel the people and Israel the state equally – and the State of Israel must fight back against this wave of anti-Semitism.” (Source Arutz Sheva)

Bombings and after

Serbia has tried to put Nato already to International Court for war crimes during bombing 1999.  And of course without success since big or important enough players don’t give a s…t about Hague and like U.S have already sealed an impunity with bilateral agreements in mission regions.More about these Nato’s war crimes here and here.

Some justice has anyway took place while afterwards Spain has defended international law in UN and EU by not recognizing Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence while U.S. and majority of EU member-states precipitately acted opposite throwing international law to garbage based illusion about Kosovo as unique case (which hallucination endured reality only few months).

Hypocritical EU?

EU can show strength while pottering with trivialities be it question human rights or money consumption in micro projects. If EU would like to act in line with its high-flown ideals it should stand straight-backed behind international court principles so that no country could be immune its rulings.  And if some countries like U.S. look themselves to be above international law appropriate measures – such as sanctions – should be taken against it.   And this probably is total utopia.


Two other aspects about war crimes I recently published:


When decisions needed „Puppetparliament“is bystander

February 25, 2009

This post was first published in TH!NK ABOUT IT site 25th February 2009.

Parliament is a venerable name of democratic institution, one could even suppose that its members are doing some worthy job and decisions there. However a couple of examples from last week again showed where the real power is.

The meeting in the German capital on Sunday, Feb. 22, was designed to forge a common EU response to the global financial crisis ahead of a G20 summit in London on April 2. The talks, called by Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, were attended by the leaders of France, Britain, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic, the holder of the rotating EU presidency.

The core

When it’s a question about issue with great importance EU’s inner core is ready to make decisions – the rest of member-states can only follow. According Sweden’s Carl Bildt “six to eight” EU countries had complained about being left out of the decision-making loop. “I must admit I’m extremely worried about the EU’s institutional chaos,” Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb said on Monday after regular talks in Brussels with his EU counterparts. “Never in the EU’s history has there been a period like this with so many cliques.”

The 2nd circle

If the inner circle decided about response to the financial crisis the second circle – EU’s 27 FMs – was also working with significant topic. On 28 January, the European Commission proposed to reallocate five billion euro of unspent EU money, mostly to support clean coal projects, offshore wind farms and the deployment of broadband Internet connections in rural areas. However the blocks foreign ministers failed to agree on this European Commission proposal. The reason was unequal distribution of projects. Probably new deal will be made with more equal base and forgetting the common needs and quality planning of projects.

The levels

Forgetting EU’s organogram as illusion and speaking reality one can easily find different decision making practices in EU depending about importance of issue. Most important core group is cooperation between France and Germany sometimes adding UK to group. Feb. 22 meeting was example about ad hock planning body while FMs meeting Feb 23 represents the regular decision making.

Commission of course has great de facto power not only on implementation level but also designing proposals handled in EUs inner cores; the same can be said about bureaucrats in national ministries who are designing policies decided EU meetings at summit/ministry levels.

There is amazing similarity in decision making between EU and ex-Soviet Union. USSR had also some “democratic” institutions like parliament and government, but the real power was in party machine and its “politburo”.

EP?

So where is this leaving European Parliament? It may handle some energy bulb level issues but honestly the whole institution seems to be unnecessary creation only to keep some democratic illusion on show. As EU citizens are not so stupid to keep his institution more than a puppet theatre they show their attitude by low turnout percentage.

EP is practical place to locate some second class politicians for retirement or out to not make any mess in national policy. They also can show good places to get fresh mussels while voters are visiting in EP as their quests. Designing EU policy happens anyway somewhere else.

More my views in my Archives:Blog!


Kosovo March/February 17th: Pogrom with Prize

February 17, 2009

It is nearly five years since the outburst of ethnic Albanian violence in Kosovo on March 17, 2004, when 19 people killed and 954 wounded and when 35 Orthodox holy sites were ruined in two days. This pogrom got its prize a year ago on February 17th when Kosovo Albanians unilaterally – but orchestrated by western powers – declared independence of this province.  The events showed way to all separatist movements on the globe that violence is accepted method to attain political goal.  They also uncovered the EU’s nonexistent skills with crisis management and designing anything else than already dead road maps for conflict resolution.

Those two dates are well remembered in all ethnic groups in Serbia and its separatist province, although from different perspectives. Also international community, especially EU should remember them as they have lost their perspective in West Balkans long time ago.

March 17th 2004  

Almost 4,000 Serbs were expelled from their homes, six town and nine villages were ethnically cleansed, 935 houses belonging to Serbs and 10 public institutions (schools, health centres, post offices…) were ruined or torched in addition to 35 Orthodox churches (total 150 since bombings 1999) . March 17th violence was sequel to the ethnic Albanian terror and war in Kosovo as a result more than 200.000 refugees or better say internally displaced persons (IDPs) from province.

March 17th showed the total failure of international community in Kosovo. Fabricated, biased or optimistic reports were singing the praises of conflict management and progress, intelligence – lacking touch with local community – didn’t know anything about planned terror. The response of peacekeepers and police was also delayed. The commanders were unreachable, drunk or had hangover due the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations after buckets of Irish whiskey and Guinness.

March 17th finalized IDP problem

After 72 days illegal bombing campaign 1999 international community started wide housing program for refugees and IDPs and with Albanians it was a success while Kosovo accommodated nearly half million more Albanians than before bombing (don’t ask from where those extras came).  Serbs instead were afraid to move back – like it was situation also with refugees from Croatia – so today Serbia is suffering one of the biggest (326,853 refugees and IDPs) refugee/IDP problems in the whole Europe (More in my article “Refugees and IDPs in Western Balkans” )

According to statistics from the UNHCR there are about 206,000 IDPs from Kosovo living in Serbia. This fact has mostly ignored in western mainstream media. Their attitude is understandable since this media from the very beginning had fixed their one-sided picture about good and bad guys so Serbs somehow deserved their fate. The outcome is that Serb Refugees and IDPs from Kosovo are one of the forgotten and forsaken victim groups in the former Yugoslavia.

After pogrom 2004 new housing program was planned but it is questionable if more people from non-Albanian ethnic groups moved in or out because lack of security. March 17th guaranteed that Serbs are not considering to come back to their earlier homes and those who still live in enclave ghettos are planning to move anytime.


Dream of “European” standards and forgetting them

After reverse ethnic cleansing during Summer 1999 UN started to administer its protectorate. Autumn 2002 UN started to plan and later launched a “standards before status” –policy, 8 milestones to achieve before starting status talks. The first independent review about these “European” standards came public October 2005 in Karl Eide’s report to UN .  Latest then it was clear that Kosovo will not reach European standards in foreseeable future. However growing frustration among Kosovo Albanians made international community to fear that March 17th pogrom could repeat again so status talks started regardless of standards.

On the behalf of UN Martti Ahtisaari – unofficial lackey of U.S.State Department and Nato – held ten rounds of pseudo talks with Pristina and Belgrade during 2006.  Ahtisaari published his biased report which soon found itself in garbage bin and UN started new negotiation round. This time facilitators were better balanced in sc. Troika including representatives of U.S., Russia and EU. This time real alternatives for future status were on table such as Åland and Hong Kong models, partition, confederation, new autonomy model.  Albanian side did not see necessary to negotiate anything because U.S. had already promised independence for them so also this round lead to stalemate. (More about negotiation events here)

February 17th 2008

In December 2007 NATO and EU started to implement coordinated declaration of Kosovo’s independence. Its elements were e.g. following:

  • the US and the EU would take leading roles in “coordinating and managing” Kosovo’s process towards independence
  • a “creative interpretation” of UN SC Resolution 1244 would allow for NATO to stay in Kosovo “no matter its status” and for the EU to send its ESDP mission without Security Council authorization
  • Pristina would be asked to “coordinate” their moves and not proclaim unilateral independence without prior signals from Washington and Brussels
  • Serbia would be sent a “sweetener” in the form of a promise of accelerated candidate status in exchange for “constructive disagreement”.

The EU would build a “unified” position by creating a framework which would allow for Kosovo’s independence, but decisions on recognition would be subject to national decisions, procedures and frameworks, meaning that EU members would not be obliged to recognize it.

This scenario was implemented and February 17th 2008 Kosovo declared its independence regardless international law and UN.  The first recognitions came from Afghanistan,  U.S. and other its lackeys followed.

Everything didn’t go like planned in Washington and its Brussels allies.  Bribing of Serbs wasn’t successful;  Russia with other rising BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries had their say in UN, recognitions stopped.

When Albanian majority declared Independence Feb. 2008 the idea was to transfer international administration from UN to EU.  However the only internationally accepted UN Security Council resolution 1244 – which says that Kosovo is part of Serbia – stayed valid. So that about independence which in mistake has accepted through some 50 countries.

The UN General Assembly was backing Serbia’s draft to request an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) about the legality of the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo.  October 8th UNGA, by a recorded vote of 77 in favour to 6 against (Albania, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 74 abstentions, adopted a resolution drafted by Serbia and now the case is in Haague.

Today the actual situation on the ground is big mess without any clear exit strategy.  EU is administrating in Kosovo under UN umbrella.  Albanian dominated southern part is continuing its life under EU supervision while Serb dominated northern part will formally continue to be an UN protectorate de facto integrated to Serbia.  However a wider framework is international law and UNSC resolution 1244 are valid before new resolution will replace the existing one.

International situation escalated immediately by Kosovo’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence – some 5.000 ethnic groups had waited this signal that with violence one can achieve political goals despite international law.  Kosovo was already good excuse for separatist movements during last Summer and Autumn in Caucasia and South America.

From frozen conflict to frozen independence

After agreement with Serbia EU’s rule of law mission (EULEX) finally started end of 2008 after half an year delay.  This filling of power vacuum came in right moment before Kosovo would slide to next “failed or captured state”.  Probably also local population in Kosovo has noticed during short independence experiment that for state more is needed than only flag and anthem.

In an interesting interview of John Bolton in Interfax  , former US Undersecretary of State and Ambassador to the United Nations made e.g. following remarks:

  • US recognition of severed Kosovo province was a serious mistake, leading to an escalation of tensions, instead of calming down the situation in the Balkans.
  • “support to the independence of Kosovo is an atavism that might have made sense 15 years ago, but makes no sense today.”
  • “consensus boils down to the fact that nobody knows where Kosovo is”

Normally I have doubts with thoughts of U.S. neocons but this time Mr. Bolton hit the nail on the head – I can only agree.

Conclusions

It’s easy to blame the today’s situation in Kosovo on U.S foreign policy.  After implementing its failed attempt to please Muslim countries, after increasing the profits of its military-industry-complex and after creating one of its biggest military complex in Europe U.S. is covering its track record and leaving the whole mess to its lapdogs in EU. As a result of EU’s short-sighted post-conflict management policy they must again throw away few billions of EU taxpayer money to keep flag in international protectorate and safe haven of drug cartels – in artificial unsustainable creature with no realistic visions nor exit strategy.

March 17th 2004 in Kosovo is an example for international community general and for EU missions especial about fatal failure of crisis management when they are short of right situation analysis, when practice is contrary to their ideals and when interests of local stakeholders and internationals differ. The outcome of EU’s nearly nine years efforts for capacity building to create economically sustainable multiethnic society with democratic values could be joke – unfortunately this never-ending story continued February 17th 2008 and is still continuing to unforeseeable future and it is not fiction.


Kosovo March/February 17th: Pogrom with Prize

February 17, 2009

It is nearly five years since the outburst of ethnic Albanian violence in Kosovo on March 17, 2004, when 19 people killed and 954 wounded and when 35 Orthodox holy sites were ruined in two days. This pogrom got its prize a year ago on February 17th when Kosovo Albanians unilaterally – but orchestrated by western powers – declared independence of this province.  The events showed way to all separatist movements on the globe that violence is accepted method to attain political goal.  They also uncovered the EU’s nonexistent skills with crisis management and designing anything else than already dead road maps for conflict resolution.

Those two dates are well remembered in all ethnic groups in Serbia and its separatist province, although from different perspectives. Also international community, especially EU should remember them as they have lost their perspective in West Balkans long time ago.

March 17th 2004  

Almost 4,000 Serbs were expelled from their homes, six town and nine villages were ethnically cleansed, 935 houses belonging to Serbs and 10 public institutions (schools, health centres, post offices…) were ruined or torched in addition to 35 Orthodox churches (total 150 since bombings 1999) . March 17th violence was sequel to the ethnic Albanian terror and war in Kosovo as a result more than 200.000 refugees or better say internally displaced persons (IDPs) from province.

March 17th showed the total failure of international community in Kosovo. Fabricated, biased or optimistic reports were singing the praises of conflict management and progress, intelligence – lacking touch with local community – didn’t know anything about planned terror. The response of peacekeepers and police was also delayed. The commanders were unreachable, drunk or had hangover due the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations after buckets of Irish whiskey and Guinness.

March 17th finalized IDP problem

After 72 days illegal bombing campaign 1999 international community started wide housing program for refugees and IDPs and with Albanians it was a success while Kosovo accommodated nearly half million more Albanians than before bombing (don’t ask from where those extras came).  Serbs instead were afraid to move back – like it was situation also with refugees from Croatia – so today Serbia is suffering one of the biggest (326,853 refugees and IDPs) refugee/IDP problems in the whole Europe (More in my article “Refugees and IDPs in Western Balkans” )

According to statistics from the UNHCR there are about 206,000 IDPs from Kosovo living in Serbia. This fact has mostly ignored in western mainstream media. Their attitude is understandable since this media from the very beginning had fixed their one-sided picture about good and bad guys so Serbs somehow deserved their fate. The outcome is that Serb Refugees and IDPs from Kosovo are one of the forgotten and forsaken victim groups in the former Yugoslavia.

After pogrom 2004 new housing program was planned but it is questionable if more people from non-Albanian ethnic groups moved in or out because lack of security. March 17th guaranteed that Serbs are not considering to come back to their earlier homes and those who still live in enclave ghettos are planning to move anytime.


Dream of “European” standards and forgetting them

After reverse ethnic cleansing during Summer 1999 UN started to administer its protectorate. Autumn 2002 UN started to plan and later launched a “standards before status” –policy, 8 milestones to achieve before starting status talks. The first independent review about these “European” standards came public October 2005 in Karl Eide’s report to UN .  Latest then it was clear that Kosovo will not reach European standards in foreseeable future. However growing frustration among Kosovo Albanians made international community to fear that March 17th pogrom could repeat again so status talks started regardless of standards.

On the behalf of UN Martti Ahtisaari – unofficial lackey of U.S.State Department and Nato – held ten rounds of pseudo talks with Pristina and Belgrade during 2006.  Ahtisaari published his biased report which soon found itself in garbage bin and UN started new negotiation round. This time facilitators were better balanced in sc. Troika including representatives of U.S., Russia and EU. This time real alternatives for future status were on table such as Åland and Hong Kong models, partition, confederation, new autonomy model.  Albanian side did not see necessary to negotiate anything because U.S. had already promised independence for them so also this round lead to stalemate. (More about negotiation events here)

February 17th 2008

In December 2007 NATO and EU started to implement coordinated declaration of Kosovo’s independence. Its elements were e.g. following:

  • the US and the EU would take leading roles in “coordinating and managing” Kosovo’s process towards independence
  • a “creative interpretation” of UN SC Resolution 1244 would allow for NATO to stay in Kosovo “no matter its status” and for the EU to send its ESDP mission without Security Council authorization
  • Pristina would be asked to “coordinate” their moves and not proclaim unilateral independence without prior signals from Washington and Brussels
  • Serbia would be sent a “sweetener” in the form of a promise of accelerated candidate status in exchange for “constructive disagreement”.

The EU would build a “unified” position by creating a framework which would allow for Kosovo’s independence, but decisions on recognition would be subject to national decisions, procedures and frameworks, meaning that EU members would not be obliged to recognize it.

This scenario was implemented and February 17th 2008 Kosovo declared its independence regardless international law and UN.  The first recognitions came from Afghanistan,  U.S. and other its lackeys followed.

Everything didn’t go like planned in Washington and its Brussels allies.  Bribing of Serbs wasn’t successful;  Russia with other rising BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries had their say in UN, recognitions stopped.

When Albanian majority declared Independence Feb. 2008 the idea was to transfer international administration from UN to EU.  However the only internationally accepted UN Security Council resolution 1244 – which says that Kosovo is part of Serbia – stayed valid. So that about independence which in mistake has accepted through some 50 countries.

The UN General Assembly was backing Serbia’s draft to request an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) about the legality of the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo.  October 8th UNGA, by a recorded vote of 77 in favour to 6 against (Albania, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 74 abstentions, adopted a resolution drafted by Serbia and now the case is in Haague.

Today the actual situation on the ground is big mess without any clear exit strategy.  EU is administrating in Kosovo under UN umbrella.  Albanian dominated southern part is continuing its life under EU supervision while Serb dominated northern part will formally continue to be an UN protectorate de facto integrated to Serbia.  However a wider framework is international law and UNSC resolution 1244 are valid before new resolution will replace the existing one.

International situation escalated immediately by Kosovo’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence – some 5.000 ethnic groups had waited this signal that with violence one can achieve political goals despite international law.  Kosovo was already good excuse for separatist movements during last Summer and Autumn in Caucasia and South America.

From frozen conflict to frozen independence

After agreement with Serbia EU’s rule of law mission (EULEX) finally started end of 2008 after half an year delay.  This filling of power vacuum came in right moment before Kosovo would slide to next “failed or captured state”.  Probably also local population in Kosovo has noticed during short independence experiment that for state more is needed than only flag and anthem.

In an interesting interview of John Bolton in Interfax  , former US Undersecretary of State and Ambassador to the United Nations made e.g. following remarks:

  • US recognition of severed Kosovo province was a serious mistake, leading to an escalation of tensions, instead of calming down the situation in the Balkans.
  • “support to the independence of Kosovo is an atavism that might have made sense 15 years ago, but makes no sense today.”
  • “consensus boils down to the fact that nobody knows where Kosovo is”

Normally I have doubts with thoughts of U.S. neocons but this time Mr. Bolton hit the nail on the head – I can only agree.

Conclusions

It’s easy to blame the today’s situation in Kosovo on U.S foreign policy.  After implementing its failed attempt to please Muslim countries, after increasing the profits of its military-industry-complex and after creating one of its biggest military complex in Europe U.S. is covering its track record and leaving the whole mess to its lapdogs in EU. As a result of EU’s short-sighted post-conflict management policy they must again throw away few billions of EU taxpayer money to keep flag in international protectorate and safe haven of drug cartels – in artificial unsustainable creature with no realistic visions nor exit strategy.

March 17th 2004 in Kosovo is an example for international community general and for EU missions especial about fatal failure of crisis management when they are short of right situation analysis, when practice is contrary to their ideals and when interests of local stakeholders and internationals differ. The outcome of EU’s nearly nine years efforts for capacity building to create economically sustainable multiethnic society with democratic values could be joke – unfortunately this never-ending story continued February 17th 2008 and is still continuing to unforeseeable future and it is not fiction.

More over Kosovo case in my +30 articles here!


Kosovo March/February 17th: Pogrom with Prize

February 17, 2009

It is nearly five years since the outburst of ethnic Albanian violence in Kosovo on March 17, 2004, when 19 people killed and 954 wounded and when 35 Orthodox holy sites were ruined in two days. This pogrom got its prize a year ago on February 17th when Kosovo Albanians unilaterally – but orchestrated by western powers – declared independence of this province.  The events showed way to all separatist movements on the globe that violence is accepted method to attain political goal.  They also uncovered the EU’s nonexistent skills with crisis management and designing anything else than already dead road maps for conflict resolution.

Those two dates are well remembered in all ethnic groups in Serbia and its separatist province, although from different perspectives. Also international community, especially EU should remember them as they have lost their perspective in West Balkans long time ago.

March 17th 2004  

Almost 4,000 Serbs were expelled from their homes, six town and nine villages were ethnically cleansed, 935 houses belonging to Serbs and 10 public institutions (schools, health centres, post offices…) were ruined or torched in addition to 35 Orthodox churches (total 150 since bombings 1999) . March 17th violence was sequel to the ethnic Albanian terror and war in Kosovo as a result more than 200.000 refugees or better say internally displaced persons (IDPs) from province.

March 17th showed the total failure of international community in Kosovo. Fabricated, biased or optimistic reports were singing the praises of conflict management and progress, intelligence – lacking touch with local community – didn’t know anything about planned terror. The response of peacekeepers and police was also delayed. The commanders were unreachable, drunk or had hangover due the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations after buckets of Irish whiskey and Guinness.

March 17th finalized IDP problem

After 72 days illegal bombing campaign 1999 international community started wide housing program for refugees and IDPs and with Albanians it was a success while Kosovo accommodated nearly half million more Albanians than before bombing (don’t ask from where those extras came).  Serbs instead were afraid to move back – like it was situation also with refugees from Croatia – so today Serbia is suffering one of the biggest (326,853 refugees and IDPs) refugee/IDP problems in the whole Europe (More in my article “Refugees and IDPs in Western Balkans” )

According to statistics from the UNHCR there are about 206,000 IDPs from Kosovo living in Serbia. This fact has mostly ignored in western mainstream media. Their attitude is understandable since this media from the very beginning had fixed their one-sided picture about good and bad guys so Serbs somehow deserved their fate. The outcome is that Serb Refugees and IDPs from Kosovo are one of the forgotten and forsaken victim groups in the former Yugoslavia.

After pogrom 2004 new housing program was planned but it is questionable if more people from non-Albanian ethnic groups moved in or out because lack of security. March 17th guaranteed that Serbs are not considering to come back to their earlier homes and those who still live in enclave ghettos are planning to move anytime.


Dream of “European” standards and forgetting them

After reverse ethnic cleansing during Summer 1999 UN started to administer its protectorate. Autumn 2002 UN started to plan and later launched a “standards before status” –policy, 8 milestones to achieve before starting status talks. The first independent review about these “European” standards came public October 2005 in Karl Eide’s report to UN .  Latest then it was clear that Kosovo will not reach European standards in foreseeable future. However growing frustration among Kosovo Albanians made international community to fear that March 17th pogrom could repeat again so status talks started regardless of standards.

On the behalf of UN Martti Ahtisaari – unofficial lackey of U.S.State Department and Nato – held ten rounds of pseudo talks with Pristina and Belgrade during 2006.  Ahtisaari published his biased report which soon found itself in garbage bin and UN started new negotiation round. This time facilitators were better balanced in sc. Troika including representatives of U.S., Russia and EU. This time real alternatives for future status were on table such as Åland and Hong Kong models, partition, confederation, new autonomy model.  Albanian side did not see necessary to negotiate anything because U.S. had already promised independence for them so also this round lead to stalemate. (More about negotiation events here)

February 17th 2008

In December 2007 NATO and EU started to implement coordinated declaration of Kosovo’s independence. Its elements were e.g. following:

  • the US and the EU would take leading roles in “coordinating and managing” Kosovo’s process towards independence
  • a “creative interpretation” of UN SC Resolution 1244 would allow for NATO to stay in Kosovo “no matter its status” and for the EU to send its ESDP mission without Security Council authorization
  • Pristina would be asked to “coordinate” their moves and not proclaim unilateral independence without prior signals from Washington and Brussels
  • Serbia would be sent a “sweetener” in the form of a promise of accelerated candidate status in exchange for “constructive disagreement”.

The EU would build a “unified” position by creating a framework which would allow for Kosovo’s independence, but decisions on recognition would be subject to national decisions, procedures and frameworks, meaning that EU members would not be obliged to recognize it.

This scenario was implemented and February 17th 2008 Kosovo declared its independence regardless international law and UN.  The first recognitions came from Afghanistan,  U.S. and other its lackeys followed.

Everything didn’t go like planned in Washington and its Brussels allies.  Bribing of Serbs wasn’t successful;  Russia with other rising BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries had their say in UN, recognitions stopped.

When Albanian majority declared Independence Feb. 2008 the idea was to transfer international administration from UN to EU.  However the only internationally accepted UN Security Council resolution 1244 – which says that Kosovo is part of Serbia – stayed valid. So that about independence which in mistake has accepted through some 50 countries.

The UN General Assembly was backing Serbia’s draft to request an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) about the legality of the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo.  October 8th UNGA, by a recorded vote of 77 in favour to 6 against (Albania, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 74 abstentions, adopted a resolution drafted by Serbia and now the case is in Haague.

Today the actual situation on the ground is big mess without any clear exit strategy.  EU is administrating in Kosovo under UN umbrella.  Albanian dominated southern part is continuing its life under EU supervision while Serb dominated northern part will formally continue to be an UN protectorate de facto integrated to Serbia.  However a wider framework is international law and UNSC resolution 1244 are valid before new resolution will replace the existing one.

International situation escalated immediately by Kosovo’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence – some 5.000 ethnic groups had waited this signal that with violence one can achieve political goals despite international law.  Kosovo was already good excuse for separatist movements during last Summer and Autumn in Caucasia and South America.

From frozen conflict to frozen independence

After agreement with Serbia EU’s rule of law mission (EULEX) finally started end of 2008 after half an year delay.  This filling of power vacuum came in right moment before Kosovo would slide to next “failed or captured state”.  Probably also local population in Kosovo has noticed during short independence experiment that for state more is needed than only flag and anthem.

In an interesting interview of John Bolton in Interfax  , former US Undersecretary of State and Ambassador to the United Nations made e.g. following remarks:

  • US recognition of severed Kosovo province was a serious mistake, leading to an escalation of tensions, instead of calming down the situation in the Balkans.
  • “support to the independence of Kosovo is an atavism that might have made sense 15 years ago, but makes no sense today.”
  • “consensus boils down to the fact that nobody knows where Kosovo is”

Normally I have doubts with thoughts of U.S. neocons but this time Mr. Bolton hit the nail on the head – I can only agree.

Conclusions

It’s easy to blame the today’s situation in Kosovo on U.S foreign policy.  After implementing its failed attempt to please Muslim countries, after increasing the profits of its military-industry-complex and after creating one of its biggest military complex in Europe U.S. is covering its track record and leaving the whole mess to its lapdogs in EU. As a result of EU’s short-sighted post-conflict management policy they must again throw away few billions of EU taxpayer money to keep flag in international protectorate and safe haven of drug cartels – in artificial unsustainable creature with no realistic visions nor exit strategy.

March 17th 2004 in Kosovo is an example for international community general and for EU missions especial about fatal failure of crisis management when they are short of right situation analysis, when practice is contrary to their ideals and when interests of local stakeholders and internationals differ. The outcome of EU’s nearly nine years efforts for capacity building to create economically sustainable multiethnic society with democratic values could be joke – unfortunately this never-ending story continued February 17th 2008 and is still continuing to unforeseeable future and it is not fiction.


Kosovo March/February 17th: Pogrom with Prize

February 17, 2009

It is nearly five years since the outburst of ethnic Albanian violence in Kosovo on March 17, 2004, when 19 people killed and 954 wounded and when 35 Orthodox holy sites were ruined in two days. This pogrom got its prize a year ago on February 17th when Kosovo Albanians unilaterally – but orchestrated by western powers – declared independence of this province.  The events showed way to all separatist movements on the globe that violence is accepted method to attain political goal.  They also uncovered the EU’s nonexistent skills with crisis management and designing anything else than already dead road maps for conflict resolution.

Those two dates are well remembered in all ethnic groups in Serbia and its separatist province, although from different perspectives. Also international community, especially EU should remember them as they have lost their perspective in West Balkans long time ago.

March 17th 2004  

Almost 4,000 Serbs were expelled from their homes, six town and nine villages were ethnically cleansed, 935 houses belonging to Serbs and 10 public institutions (schools, health centres, post offices…) were ruined or torched in addition to 35 Orthodox churches (total 150 since bombings 1999) . March 17th violence was sequel to the ethnic Albanian terror and war in Kosovo as a result more than 200.000 refugees or better say internally displaced persons (IDPs) from province.

March 17th showed the total failure of international community in Kosovo. Fabricated, biased or optimistic reports were singing the praises of conflict management and progress, intelligence – lacking touch with local community – didn’t know anything about planned terror. The response of peacekeepers and police was also delayed. The commanders were unreachable, drunk or had hangover due the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations after buckets of Irish whiskey and Guinness.

March 17th finalized IDP problem

After 72 days illegal bombing campaign 1999 international community started wide housing program for refugees and IDPs and with Albanians it was a success while Kosovo accommodated nearly half million more Albanians than before bombing (don’t ask from where those extras came).  Serbs instead were afraid to move back – like it was situation also with refugees from Croatia – so today Serbia is suffering one of the biggest (326,853 refugees and IDPs) refugee/IDP problems in the whole Europe (More in my article “Refugees and IDPs in Western Balkans” )

According to statistics from the UNHCR there are about 206,000 IDPs from Kosovo living in Serbia. This fact has mostly ignored in western mainstream media. Their attitude is understandable since this media from the very beginning had fixed their one-sided picture about good and bad guys so Serbs somehow deserved their fate. The outcome is that Serb Refugees and IDPs from Kosovo are one of the forgotten and forsaken victim groups in the former Yugoslavia.

After pogrom 2004 new housing program was planned but it is questionable if more people from non-Albanian ethnic groups moved in or out because lack of security. March 17th guaranteed that Serbs are not considering to come back to their earlier homes and those who still live in enclave ghettos are planning to move anytime.


Dream of “European” standards and forgetting them

After reverse ethnic cleansing during Summer 1999 UN started to administer its protectorate. Autumn 2002 UN started to plan and later launched a “standards before status” –policy, 8 milestones to achieve before starting status talks. The first independent review about these “European” standards came public October 2005 in Karl Eide’s report to UN .  Latest then it was clear that Kosovo will not reach European standards in foreseeable future. However growing frustration among Kosovo Albanians made international community to fear that March 17th pogrom could repeat again so status talks started regardless of standards.

On the behalf of UN Martti Ahtisaari – unofficial lackey of U.S.State Department and Nato – held ten rounds of pseudo talks with Pristina and Belgrade during 2006.  Ahtisaari published his biased report which soon found itself in garbage bin and UN started new negotiation round. This time facilitators were better balanced in sc. Troika including representatives of U.S., Russia and EU. This time real alternatives for future status were on table such as Åland and Hong Kong models, partition, confederation, new autonomy model.  Albanian side did not see necessary to negotiate anything because U.S. had already promised independence for them so also this round lead to stalemate. (More about negotiation events here)

February 17th 2008

In December 2007 NATO and EU started to implement coordinated declaration of Kosovo’s independence. Its elements were e.g. following:

  • the US and the EU would take leading roles in “coordinating and managing” Kosovo’s process towards independence
  • a “creative interpretation” of UN SC Resolution 1244 would allow for NATO to stay in Kosovo “no matter its status” and for the EU to send its ESDP mission without Security Council authorization
  • Pristina would be asked to “coordinate” their moves and not proclaim unilateral independence without prior signals from Washington and Brussels
  • Serbia would be sent a “sweetener” in the form of a promise of accelerated candidate status in exchange for “constructive disagreement”.

The EU would build a “unified” position by creating a framework which would allow for Kosovo’s independence, but decisions on recognition would be subject to national decisions, procedures and frameworks, meaning that EU members would not be obliged to recognize it.

This scenario was implemented and February 17th 2008 Kosovo declared its independence regardless international law and UN.  The first recognitions came from Afghanistan,  U.S. and other its lackeys followed.

Everything didn’t go like planned in Washington and its Brussels allies.  Bribing of Serbs wasn’t successful;  Russia with other rising BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries had their say in UN, recognitions stopped.

When Albanian majority declared Independence Feb. 2008 the idea was to transfer international administration from UN to EU.  However the only internationally accepted UN Security Council resolution 1244 – which says that Kosovo is part of Serbia – stayed valid. So that about independence which in mistake has accepted through some 50 countries.

The UN General Assembly was backing Serbia’s draft to request an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) about the legality of the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo.  October 8th UNGA, by a recorded vote of 77 in favour to 6 against (Albania, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 74 abstentions, adopted a resolution drafted by Serbia and now the case is in Haague.

Today the actual situation on the ground is big mess without any clear exit strategy.  EU is administrating in Kosovo under UN umbrella.  Albanian dominated southern part is continuing its life under EU supervision while Serb dominated northern part will formally continue to be an UN protectorate de facto integrated to Serbia.  However a wider framework is international law and UNSC resolution 1244 are valid before new resolution will replace the existing one.

International situation escalated immediately by Kosovo’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence – some 5.000 ethnic groups had waited this signal that with violence one can achieve political goals despite international law.  Kosovo was already good excuse for separatist movements during last Summer and Autumn in Caucasia and South America.

From frozen conflict to frozen independence

After agreement with Serbia EU’s rule of law mission (EULEX) finally started end of 2008 after half an year delay.  This filling of power vacuum came in right moment before Kosovo would slide to next “failed or captured state”.  Probably also local population in Kosovo has noticed during short independence experiment that for state more is needed than only flag and anthem.

In an interesting interview of John Bolton in Interfax  , former US Undersecretary of State and Ambassador to the United Nations made e.g. following remarks:

  • US recognition of severed Kosovo province was a serious mistake, leading to an escalation of tensions, instead of calming down the situation in the Balkans.
  • “support to the independence of Kosovo is an atavism that might have made sense 15 years ago, but makes no sense today.”
  • “consensus boils down to the fact that nobody knows where Kosovo is”

Normally I have doubts with thoughts of U.S. neocons but this time Mr. Bolton hit the nail on the head – I can only agree.

Conclusions

It’s easy to blame the today’s situation in Kosovo on U.S foreign policy.  After implementing its failed attempt to please Muslim countries, after increasing the profits of its military-industry-complex and after creating one of its biggest military complex in Europe U.S. is covering its track record and leaving the whole mess to its lapdogs in EU. As a result of EU’s short-sighted post-conflict management policy they must again throw away few billions of EU taxpayer money to keep flag in international protectorate and safe haven of drug cartels – in artificial unsustainable creature with no realistic visions nor exit strategy.

March 17th 2004 in Kosovo is an example for international community general and for EU missions especial about fatal failure of crisis management when they are short of right situation analysis, when practice is contrary to their ideals and when interests of local stakeholders and internationals differ. The outcome of EU’s nearly nine years efforts for capacity building to create economically sustainable multiethnic society with democratic values could be joke – unfortunately this never-ending story continued February 17th 2008 and is still continuing to unforeseeable future and it is not fiction.

More over Kosovo case in my +30 articles here!


Kosovo March/February 17th: Pogrom with Prize

February 17, 2009

It is nearly five years since the outburst of ethnic Albanian violence in Kosovo on March 17, 2004, when 19 people killed and 954 wounded and when 35 Orthodox holy sites were ruined in two days. This pogrom got its prize a year ago on February 17th when Kosovo Albanians unilaterally – but orchestrated by western powers – declared independence of this province.  The events showed way to all separatist movements on the globe that violence is accepted method to attain political goal.  They also uncovered the EU’s nonexistent skills with crisis management and designing anything else than already dead road maps for conflict resolution.

Those two dates are well remembered in all ethnic groups in Serbia and its separatist province, although from different perspectives. Also international community, especially EU should remember them as they have lost their perspective in West Balkans long time ago.

March 17th 2004  

Almost 4,000 Serbs were expelled from their homes, six town and nine villages were ethnically cleansed, 935 houses belonging to Serbs and 10 public institutions (schools, health centres, post offices…) were ruined or torched in addition to 35 Orthodox churches (total 150 since bombings 1999) . March 17th violence was sequel to the ethnic Albanian terror and war in Kosovo as a result more than 200.000 refugees or better say internally displaced persons (IDPs) from province.

March 17th showed the total failure of international community in Kosovo. Fabricated, biased or optimistic reports were singing the praises of conflict management and progress, intelligence – lacking touch with local community – didn’t know anything about planned terror. The response of peacekeepers and police was also delayed. The commanders were unreachable, drunk or had hangover due the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations after buckets of Irish whiskey and Guinness.

March 17th finalized IDP problem

After 72 days illegal bombing campaign 1999 international community started wide housing program for refugees and IDPs and with Albanians it was a success while Kosovo accommodated nearly half million more Albanians than before bombing (don’t ask from where those extras came).  Serbs instead were afraid to move back – like it was situation also with refugees from Croatia – so today Serbia is suffering one of the biggest (326,853 refugees and IDPs) refugee/IDP problems in the whole Europe (More in my article “Refugees and IDPs in Western Balkans” )

According to statistics from the UNHCR there are about 206,000 IDPs from Kosovo living in Serbia. This fact has mostly ignored in western mainstream media. Their attitude is understandable since this media from the very beginning had fixed their one-sided picture about good and bad guys so Serbs somehow deserved their fate. The outcome is that Serb Refugees and IDPs from Kosovo are one of the forgotten and forsaken victim groups in the former Yugoslavia.

After pogrom 2004 new housing program was planned but it is questionable if more people from non-Albanian ethnic groups moved in or out because lack of security. March 17th guaranteed that Serbs are not considering to come back to their earlier homes and those who still live in enclave ghettos are planning to move anytime.


Dream of “European” standards and forgetting them

After reverse ethnic cleansing during Summer 1999 UN started to administer its protectorate. Autumn 2002 UN started to plan and later launched a “standards before status” –policy, 8 milestones to achieve before starting status talks. The first independent review about these “European” standards came public October 2005 in Karl Eide’s report to UN .  Latest then it was clear that Kosovo will not reach European standards in foreseeable future. However growing frustration among Kosovo Albanians made international community to fear that March 17th pogrom could repeat again so status talks started regardless of standards.

On the behalf of UN Martti Ahtisaari – unofficial lackey of U.S.State Department and Nato – held ten rounds of pseudo talks with Pristina and Belgrade during 2006.  Ahtisaari published his biased report which soon found itself in garbage bin and UN started new negotiation round. This time facilitators were better balanced in sc. Troika including representatives of U.S., Russia and EU. This time real alternatives for future status were on table such as Åland and Hong Kong models, partition, confederation, new autonomy model.  Albanian side did not see necessary to negotiate anything because U.S. had already promised independence for them so also this round lead to stalemate. (More about negotiation events here)

February 17th 2008

In December 2007 NATO and EU started to implement coordinated declaration of Kosovo’s independence. Its elements were e.g. following:

  • the US and the EU would take leading roles in “coordinating and managing” Kosovo’s process towards independence
  • a “creative interpretation” of UN SC Resolution 1244 would allow for NATO to stay in Kosovo “no matter its status” and for the EU to send its ESDP mission without Security Council authorization
  • Pristina would be asked to “coordinate” their moves and not proclaim unilateral independence without prior signals from Washington and Brussels
  • Serbia would be sent a “sweetener” in the form of a promise of accelerated candidate status in exchange for “constructive disagreement”.

The EU would build a “unified” position by creating a framework which would allow for Kosovo’s independence, but decisions on recognition would be subject to national decisions, procedures and frameworks, meaning that EU members would not be obliged to recognize it.

This scenario was implemented and February 17th 2008 Kosovo declared its independence regardless international law and UN.  The first recognitions came from Afghanistan,  U.S. and other its lackeys followed.

Everything didn’t go like planned in Washington and its Brussels allies.  Bribing of Serbs wasn’t successful;  Russia with other rising BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries had their say in UN, recognitions stopped.

When Albanian majority declared Independence Feb. 2008 the idea was to transfer international administration from UN to EU.  However the only internationally accepted UN Security Council resolution 1244 – which says that Kosovo is part of Serbia – stayed valid. So that about independence which in mistake has accepted through some 50 countries.

The UN General Assembly was backing Serbia’s draft to request an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) about the legality of the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo.  October 8th UNGA, by a recorded vote of 77 in favour to 6 against (Albania, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 74 abstentions, adopted a resolution drafted by Serbia and now the case is in Haague.

Today the actual situation on the ground is big mess without any clear exit strategy.  EU is administrating in Kosovo under UN umbrella.  Albanian dominated southern part is continuing its life under EU supervision while Serb dominated northern part will formally continue to be an UN protectorate de facto integrated to Serbia.  However a wider framework is international law and UNSC resolution 1244 are valid before new resolution will replace the existing one.

International situation escalated immediately by Kosovo’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence – some 5.000 ethnic groups had waited this signal that with violence one can achieve political goals despite international law.  Kosovo was already good excuse for separatist movements during last Summer and Autumn in Caucasia and South America.

From frozen conflict to frozen independence

After agreement with Serbia EU’s rule of law mission (EULEX) finally started end of 2008 after half an year delay.  This filling of power vacuum came in right moment before Kosovo would slide to next “failed or captured state”.  Probably also local population in Kosovo has noticed during short independence experiment that for state more is needed than only flag and anthem.

In an interesting interview of John Bolton in Interfax  , former US Undersecretary of State and Ambassador to the United Nations made e.g. following remarks:

  • US recognition of severed Kosovo province was a serious mistake, leading to an escalation of tensions, instead of calming down the situation in the Balkans.
  • “support to the independence of Kosovo is an atavism that might have made sense 15 years ago, but makes no sense today.”
  • “consensus boils down to the fact that nobody knows where Kosovo is”

Normally I have doubts with thoughts of U.S. neocons but this time Mr. Bolton hit the nail on the head – I can only agree.

Conclusions

It’s easy to blame the today’s situation in Kosovo on U.S foreign policy.  After implementing its failed attempt to please Muslim countries, after increasing the profits of its military-industry-complex and after creating one of its biggest military complex in Europe U.S. is covering its track record and leaving the whole mess to its lapdogs in EU. As a result of EU’s short-sighted post-conflict management policy they must again throw away few billions of EU taxpayer money to keep flag in international protectorate and safe haven of drug cartels – in artificial unsustainable creature with no realistic visions nor exit strategy.

March 17th 2004 in Kosovo is an example for international community general and for EU missions especial about fatal failure of crisis management when they are short of right situation analysis, when practice is contrary to their ideals and when interests of local stakeholders and internationals differ. The outcome of EU’s nearly nine years efforts for capacity building to create economically sustainable multiethnic society with democratic values could be joke – unfortunately this never-ending story continued February 17th 2008 and is still continuing to unforeseeable future and it is not fiction.


Kosovo March/February 17th: Pogrom with Prize

February 17, 2009

It is nearly five years since the outburst of ethnic Albanian violence in Kosovo on March 17, 2004, when 19 people killed and 954 wounded and when 35 Orthodox holy sites were ruined in two days. This pogrom got its prize a year ago on February 17th when Kosovo Albanians unilaterally – but orchestrated by western powers – declared independence of this province.  The events showed way to all separatist movements on the globe that violence is accepted method to attain political goal.  They also uncovered the EU’s nonexistent skills with crisis management and designing anything else than already dead road maps for conflict resolution.

Those two dates are well remembered in all ethnic groups in Serbia and its separatist province, although from different perspectives. Also international community, especially EU should remember them as they have lost their perspective in West Balkans long time ago.

March 17th 2004  

Almost 4,000 Serbs were expelled from their homes, six town and nine villages were ethnically cleansed, 935 houses belonging to Serbs and 10 public institutions (schools, health centres, post offices…) were ruined or torched in addition to 35 Orthodox churches (total 150 since bombings 1999) . March 17th violence was sequel to the ethnic Albanian terror and war in Kosovo as a result more than 200.000 refugees or better say internally displaced persons (IDPs) from province.

March 17th showed the total failure of international community in Kosovo. Fabricated, biased or optimistic reports were singing the praises of conflict management and progress, intelligence – lacking touch with local community – didn’t know anything about planned terror. The response of peacekeepers and police was also delayed. The commanders were unreachable, drunk or had hangover due the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations after buckets of Irish whiskey and Guinness.

March 17th finalized IDP problem

After 72 days illegal bombing campaign 1999 international community started wide housing program for refugees and IDPs and with Albanians it was a success while Kosovo accommodated nearly half million more Albanians than before bombing (don’t ask from where those extras came).  Serbs instead were afraid to move back – like it was situation also with refugees from Croatia – so today Serbia is suffering one of the biggest (326,853 refugees and IDPs) refugee/IDP problems in the whole Europe (More in my article “Refugees and IDPs in Western Balkans” )

According to statistics from the UNHCR there are about 206,000 IDPs from Kosovo living in Serbia. This fact has mostly ignored in western mainstream media. Their attitude is understandable since this media from the very beginning had fixed their one-sided picture about good and bad guys so Serbs somehow deserved their fate. The outcome is that Serb Refugees and IDPs from Kosovo are one of the forgotten and forsaken victim groups in the former Yugoslavia.

After pogrom 2004 new housing program was planned but it is questionable if more people from non-Albanian ethnic groups moved in or out because lack of security. March 17th guaranteed that Serbs are not considering to come back to their earlier homes and those who still live in enclave ghettos are planning to move anytime.


Dream of “European” standards and forgetting them

After reverse ethnic cleansing during Summer 1999 UN started to administer its protectorate. Autumn 2002 UN started to plan and later launched a “standards before status” –policy, 8 milestones to achieve before starting status talks. The first independent review about these “European” standards came public October 2005 in Karl Eide’s report to UN .  Latest then it was clear that Kosovo will not reach European standards in foreseeable future. However growing frustration among Kosovo Albanians made international community to fear that March 17th pogrom could repeat again so status talks started regardless of standards.

On the behalf of UN Martti Ahtisaari – unofficial lackey of U.S.State Department and Nato – held ten rounds of pseudo talks with Pristina and Belgrade during 2006.  Ahtisaari published his biased report which soon found itself in garbage bin and UN started new negotiation round. This time facilitators were better balanced in sc. Troika including representatives of U.S., Russia and EU. This time real alternatives for future status were on table such as Åland and Hong Kong models, partition, confederation, new autonomy model.  Albanian side did not see necessary to negotiate anything because U.S. had already promised independence for them so also this round lead to stalemate. (More about negotiation events here)

February 17th 2008

In December 2007 NATO and EU started to implement coordinated declaration of Kosovo’s independence. Its elements were e.g. following:

  • the US and the EU would take leading roles in “coordinating and managing” Kosovo’s process towards independence
  • a “creative interpretation” of UN SC Resolution 1244 would allow for NATO to stay in Kosovo “no matter its status” and for the EU to send its ESDP mission without Security Council authorization
  • Pristina would be asked to “coordinate” their moves and not proclaim unilateral independence without prior signals from Washington and Brussels
  • Serbia would be sent a “sweetener” in the form of a promise of accelerated candidate status in exchange for “constructive disagreement”.

The EU would build a “unified” position by creating a framework which would allow for Kosovo’s independence, but decisions on recognition would be subject to national decisions, procedures and frameworks, meaning that EU members would not be obliged to recognize it.

This scenario was implemented and February 17th 2008 Kosovo declared its independence regardless international law and UN.  The first recognitions came from Afghanistan,  U.S. and other its lackeys followed.

Everything didn’t go like planned in Washington and its Brussels allies.  Bribing of Serbs wasn’t successful;  Russia with other rising BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries had their say in UN, recognitions stopped.

When Albanian majority declared Independence Feb. 2008 the idea was to transfer international administration from UN to EU.  However the only internationally accepted UN Security Council resolution 1244 – which says that Kosovo is part of Serbia – stayed valid. So that about independence which in mistake has accepted through some 50 countries.

The UN General Assembly was backing Serbia’s draft to request an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) about the legality of the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo.  October 8th UNGA, by a recorded vote of 77 in favour to 6 against (Albania, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 74 abstentions, adopted a resolution drafted by Serbia and now the case is in Haague.

Today the actual situation on the ground is big mess without any clear exit strategy.  EU is administrating in Kosovo under UN umbrella.  Albanian dominated southern part is continuing its life under EU supervision while Serb dominated northern part will formally continue to be an UN protectorate de facto integrated to Serbia.  However a wider framework is international law and UNSC resolution 1244 are valid before new resolution will replace the existing one.

International situation escalated immediately by Kosovo’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence – some 5.000 ethnic groups had waited this signal that with violence one can achieve political goals despite international law.  Kosovo was already good excuse for separatist movements during last Summer and Autumn in Caucasia and South America.

From frozen conflict to frozen independence

After agreement with Serbia EU’s rule of law mission (EULEX) finally started end of 2008 after half an year delay.  This filling of power vacuum came in right moment before Kosovo would slide to next “failed or captured state”.  Probably also local population in Kosovo has noticed during short independence experiment that for state more is needed than only flag and anthem.

In an interesting interview of John Bolton in Interfax  , former US Undersecretary of State and Ambassador to the United Nations made e.g. following remarks:

  • US recognition of severed Kosovo province was a serious mistake, leading to an escalation of tensions, instead of calming down the situation in the Balkans.
  • “support to the independence of Kosovo is an atavism that might have made sense 15 years ago, but makes no sense today.”
  • “consensus boils down to the fact that nobody knows where Kosovo is”

Normally I have doubts with thoughts of U.S. neocons but this time Mr. Bolton hit the nail on the head – I can only agree.

Conclusions

It’s easy to blame the today’s situation in Kosovo on U.S foreign policy.  After implementing its failed attempt to please Muslim countries, after increasing the profits of its military-industry-complex and after creating one of its biggest military complex in Europe U.S. is covering its track record and leaving the whole mess to its lapdogs in EU. As a result of EU’s short-sighted post-conflict management policy they must again throw away few billions of EU taxpayer money to keep flag in international protectorate and safe haven of drug cartels – in artificial unsustainable creature with no realistic visions nor exit strategy.

March 17th 2004 in Kosovo is an example for international community general and for EU missions especial about fatal failure of crisis management when they are short of right situation analysis, when practice is contrary to their ideals and when interests of local stakeholders and internationals differ. The outcome of EU’s nearly nine years efforts for capacity building to create economically sustainable multiethnic society with democratic values could be joke – unfortunately this never-ending story continued February 17th 2008 and is still continuing to unforeseeable future and it is not fiction.

More over Kosovo case in my +30 articles here!