Friday, December 31, 2010

A Year of Revelations

It's become an annual tradition to reserve the last article in December for a look back at the year that has passed. At least as far as the former Yugoslav lands are concerned, 2010 has not been a year of great upheavals - but it has been a year of revelations.

Many suspicions about the Empire have been confirmed by diplomatic dispatches published by Wikileaks. Those cables also confirmed many more suspicions - and introduced new ones - about the quisling regime in Belgrade. And of course, the mid-December Marty report to PACE exposed the mafia hellhole of Boss Snake, also known as the "Independent State of Kosovo" (ISK).

It is both entertaining and ghastly to watch as legions of Imperial and EU busybodies try to scrub off the stench of being "friends" with butchers. With even the Belgrade quislings helping, I would not be surprised if nothing much came of the entire affair. Being the Empire means never having to say you're sorry. Until it is far too late to do any good, anyway.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. In 2010, the world has gained a lot of knowledge about the way Imperial "reality" really works. And it's not pretty. The question now is what, if anything, will be done with that knowledge. That's where 2011 comes in.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Shared Values

Russia Today has posted the clip from my live appearance on Wednesday morning, discussing the Council of Europe report about the organ-harvesting mafia in occupied Kosovo calling itself the government. Basically, Swiss rapporteur Dick Marty confirms the allegations first made by Carla Del Ponte (former Grand Inquisitor for Empire's faux war crimes court) two years ago. Worse yet, his report confirms that the Empire knew damn well what was going on, and who exactly they were dealing with - but chose to ignore that, in pursuit of crushing Serbia.

What has Serbia done to deserve such undying enmity, to the point of using a vicious gang of terrorist, gun-running, drug-dealing slavers and organ harvesters to occupy its ancient heartland and destroy all traces of Serb habitation therein? Nothing at all - save for existing.

Such imperial luminaries as Strobe Talbott openly admitted years ago that the 1999 Kosovo War was not about the Serbs, or the Albanians, but about Russia. Yes, the Empire is still fighting the Cold War, even as it chases the end of history.

One is know by the company one keeps. Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, John McCain, John Kerry, Joseph Lieberman, Eliot Engel, Tom Lantos, Mitch McConnell, James Rubin, Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice, Richard Holbrooke - those are just some of the names of people who have praised Hashim Thaci and the KLA over the past decade.

Lieberman actually said that "United States of America and the Kosovo Liberation Army stand for the same human values and principles ... Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values." (The Washington Post, April 28, 1999) He never retracted that statement.

So, according to this Senator and onetime vice-presidential candidate, the values of the US government are identical to those of an organized crime syndicate dealing Afghan heroin throughout Europe, trafficking in weapons and sex slaves, and chopping people up for body parts to be sold on the black market.

Good to know.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sic Transit Holbrooke

It is an ancient Roman custom to speak no ill of the dead. Not being Roman, I don't feel bound by it. I shall speak truthfully instead.

Richard Holbrooke - who died yesterday, at age 69, of a ruptured aorta - was somewhat of a symbol of this age: a diplomat who took pride in his absence of tact. His job was to "lie for his country" - and did he ever! But he also enjoyed killing, cheating and stealing. This is the man who urged his superiors to "give us bombs for peace" (NATO intervention in Bosnia in 1995); who admitted in his own memoirs that he tried to swindle the president of Serbia during the Bosnia peace talks; and who took up investment banking when on sabbaticals from diplomacy (Credit Suisse, Lehman Brothers). Ironically, it was the latter that got him in the only spot of trouble in his career, when he had to settle charges of ethical violations before becoming Empire's ambassador to the UN.

Yes, he ended the Bosnian War - on America's terms, and only after Washington sabotaged every attempt to end it any other way. He then spent years on trying to undermine and destroy the very treaty he helped broker.

In 1998, he famously sat down with the KLA - shadowy militants his colleague Robert Gelbard had labeled a "terrorist organization". The photo of the shoeless Holbrooke sitting on the floor next to the bearded (and booted) KLA terrorist went around the world.

Later he told TIME magazine that he had been "furious". If he was, it never showed. He went to Belgrade as the Emperor's envoy again, and tried to repeat his 1995 performance. He bought the KLA three months to prepare for the coming NATO attack and set up the Racak "massacre," a pretext for it. But when the time came to try and bully Serbia into accepting the so-called Rambouillet Agreement, it was Holbrooke's boss, Madeleine Albright, who took over the limelight.

Holbrooke hitched his diplomatic career horse to John Kerry's wagon in 2004 and Hillary Clinton's in 2008. As a result, he never became the Secretary of State. He would eventually become Emperor Obama's special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Before that, he would pontificate once a month from the pages of the Washington Post, a newspaper that's never seen a Russian or a Serb it did not love to hate - unless the said Russian or Serb did Empire's bidding without a second thought; then he merely could not be trusted.

In one such column, in July 2008, gloating over the arrest of former Bosnian Serb president Radovan Karadzic, (in a piece called "The Face of Evil" no less), Holbrooke put forth at least four verifiable lies:
- that the war "had already taken the lives of nearly 300,000 people";
- that his colleagues, Bob Frasure, Joe Kruzel and Nelson Drew traveled through "sniper-filled, Serbian-controlled territory" when their vehicle slid off the road into a mine-filled ravine;
- that his meeting with Karadzic in Belgrade "resulted in the lifting of the siege of Sarajevo," and
- that Serbian PM Zoran Djindjic was assassinated in 2003 "as a direct result of his courage in arresting Milosevic and sending him to The Hague in 2001."

When I challenged those lies, I called Holbrooke a "sanctimonious, uncouth, arrogant, corrupt slimebucket," and I stand by that assessment. Yet I've always had a measure of respect for him due to one thing, and one thing only. He was arrogant enough to eschew hiding what he thought and felt. This is why his 1998 memoir, "To End A War," is an invaluable source in understanding his mind, and the motives of Imperial diplomacy.

By way of example, he quoted a note Robert Frasure had slipped to him during a meeting in Zagreb:

Dick: We "hired" these guys to be our junkyard dogs because we were desperate. We need to try to "control" them. But it is no time to get squeamish about things.

Sure enough, Holbrooke was not squeamish at all. If it took the establishment of a fundamentalist Islamic regime, a Nazi revival and the expulsion of half a million people to re-establish American hegemony in Europe and in the Balkans, so be it. Arrogance of power, or power of arrogance? He lived long enough to see that hegemony begin to crumble, though.

As someone who helped bring the American Empire into being, Richard Charles Albert Holbrooke was a perfect embodiment of the vices it extolled as virtues. Ultimately, his brand of bullying "diplomacy" did America and Americans no favors. Oderint dum metuant didn't work even for Caligula. It absolutely debased the country that claimed to stand for values and principles, then went around the world violating them. Holbrooke either never realized this, or refused to let it stop him.

May God, whom he had forsaken to serve the earthly power instead, have mercy on his soul.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Angelina's Bosnian Adventure

Angelina Jolie is being hoisted with her own petard. Having decided to make her directorial debut a love story set in the Bosnian War, she is now being besieged by professional war victims, who want input on the script, money, or both. Just yesterday, one of these "victim associations" petitioned the UN to revoke Jolie's status as "Goodwill Ambassador", since the plot of the film is causing them "mental suffering."

How now? Rumors of the film's plot have been circulating for months, and the most persistent is that it involves a love affair between a Muslim inmate in a Serb "concentration camp" and her Serb guard. Eventually, it is said, the Serb kills the Muslim and surrenders to peacekeepers as a war criminal. However, one version of the story is that this is a "rape camp", and that the love affair is between a victim and her rapist - something Jolie and her crew have vehemently denied. It is important to note that these are all rumors - neither the professional victims nor the government officials who banned Jolie from filming in the country (the film is being shot in Hungary instead) have actually read the script. I don't think it would have made a difference, though.

I am reasonably sure that Jolie is motivated by her own bleeding-heart feelings towards the "women victims of war," and therefore cannot understand how they ended up being her worst enemy. This is because she is ignorant of what actually happened in Bosnia, and doesn't know a damned thing about the people living there.

There's a whole sub-genre in modern cinematography that has been termed "Chetnixploitation" (from "Chetniks" - a Serbian word for guerrillas, used as an insult by Muslims and Croats). It relies on prejudices and stereotypes created by the Communist propaganda since 1945, then distilled and recycled in the 1990s wars, to portray the Serbs as drunken, bearded, bloodthirsty butchers of innocents. (For some examples, look at the blog linked above and an essay I wrote back in 2002.) Any film made about the Balkans wars is expected to fit into the genre - and if it doesn't, expect professional victims to complain about it.

Jolie's film does fit, however. Her cast and crew have repeatedly said it would be a story of Serbs abusing Muslims. Back in July, a Serbian media magnate made public that he refused to work with Jolie on the project, because it was "disgusting" and "Serb-bashing." So why are the Muslims targeting Jolie, then?

One of the reasons is money. What the "Association of women victims" is doing is pure extortion. Ironically, it is Jolie's own bleeding-heart humanitarianism that is preventing her from doing what is expected under the circumstances: pay them off so they shut up. She sympathizes with the "victims" so much, the idea they would be extorting her is inconceivable.

There could also be a fear that Jolie's highlighting of the Bosnian rapes may actually draw unwanted attention to the allegation - never documented or substantiated in any way - that the Serbs engaged in systematic mass rape of Muslim women, as a weapon of war. This propaganda concoction has been widely accepted, and any attempt to question its veracity or even ask for elementary evidence would run into condemnations of "defending rape" and "violence towards women." The very last thing professional war profiteers want is for someone to actually look into the factual background of their sacred cow.

Last, but probably most important, is the mentality of the people Jolie is dealing with. As many other foreigners have discovered over the past two decades, it isn't enough to support the Muslims (or Croats, or Albanians) 99.9% of the time. Oh no, even that .01 percent of criticism of anything they've done is enough to disqualify one as a "Greater Serbian propagandist" and "apologist for aggression and genocide." Only total, unconditional submission to their vision of the truth - a difficult thing to do, seeing as how that changes with circumstances, mind you - is tolerated. Even then, don't expect any gratitude for doing so.

I don't imagine Jolie had any idea trying to make a pro-Muslim movie would end up being so frustrating. She's not alone. In his memoirs, Richard Holbrooke recounted this scene from the final days of the Dayton talks:

"Chris Hill, normally highly supportive of the Bosnians, exploded in momentary anger and frustration. ‘These people are impossible to help,’ he said. It was a telling statement from a man who had devoted years of his life to the search for ways to help create a Bosnian state."
Now, I doubt Jolie would have canceled her project if someone had got in touch with her and explained all this. This kind of behavior is so utterly irrational, it beggars belief - until one is forced to actually contend with it. But I wonder if she would have scrapped her plans had someone told her that in 2004, the Sarajevo-born Serbian director Emir Kusturica filmed "Life is a Miracle," a love story between a Serb soldier and his Muslim captive. Kusturica's film wasn't a politically correct piece of Chetnixploitation, so few in the West have heard of it. Yet even a passing acquaintance with it would have saved Jolie a lot of trouble.