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New Europe...LQD

by melo Tue Feb 19th, 2008 at 02:06:25 PM EST


(Image: "Orthodox Church," cc-licensed photo from Flickr by decafinata.)

Here are some excerpts from two articles from Counterpunch and one from boing-boing that i will excerpt, as they all three come from angles i don't see in the M$M, and there are many bloggers here who have a lot of knowledge to cross-check with.

Andrej Grubacic and Ziga Vodovnik in CounterPunch

European leaders woke up to an unpleasant surprise the other day, a leak of an internal document of Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MZZ). This document, published in the Slovenian daily Dnevnik and the Serbian daily Politika, reveals content of a meeting between representatives of MZZ and representatives of the US State Department and National Security Agency (NSA),that took place on 24 December 2007 in Washington D.C.

more below...

The document that in recent days circulated also on the Internet reveals, inter alia, that the:

  • The US suggests that the session of Kosovo's parliament, when they would declare independence of the province, should be held on a Sunday, so the Russian Federation would not be able to call an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council;

  • The US proposes the EU ignore any complaints and proposals from Serbia and the Russian Federation; the US estimates that the independence of Kosovo will not gain full support of the EU (only 15 of 27 countries), therefore the support of Slovenia as the Presiding country over the EU is crucial;

  • The US plans to avoid giving public statements about the future status of Kosovo in the coming days, but will be among the first to officially recognize Kosovo's independence;

  • The US estimates that it is of utmost importance to convince as many states as possible to officially recognize an independent Kosovo in the first few days after the declaration of its independence, and for this reason, the US is intensively lobbying Japan, Turkey, and the Arab states, who have already shown willingness to support Kosovo without hesitation;

  • The US is currently helping the Kosovo Albanians draft their new constitution;

Now, this document itself is, for understandable reasons, a serious international scandal. The reactions from the mainstream press and EU officials are unanimous in calling it a "spectacular blunder". It clarifies, to the point of truism, the intended role of the New Europe in American imperial design. It provides us with irrefutable evidence of American meddling in the affairs of the European Union. More importantly, it discloses the true nature of US politics of humanitarian intervention (which we propose calling humanitarian imperialism).

From the second link: George Szamuely in CounterPunch

To be sure, the status quo is unsustainable. But this status quo is one entirely of NATO's making. Eager to demonstrate that it had relevance even though the Cold War had long ended, NATO pulverized Yugoslavia with cluster bombs, depleted uranium and cruise missiles for 11 weeks, in the name of its newly proclaimed mission of humanitarian intervention. As the adoring media told and, in subsequent years, retold the story, the United States and its supposedly supine European allies were knights in shining armor, selflessly killing and destroying in order to rescue the oppressed Kosovo Albanians from the bloodthirsty Serbs. NATO forces marched into Kosovo, stood by passively as more than 250,000 Serbs fled or were driven out of the province and then cowered in the safety of their barracks in March 2004 as the Kosovo Albanians went on a bloody anti-Serb rampage.

Meanwhile, making use of the engineering skills of Halliburton subsidiary, Brown & Root Services Corp., the United States built a giant military base, Camp Bondsteel, covering some 955 acres or 360,000 square meters. The camp also includes a prison. According to Alvaro Gil Robles, Human Rights Commissioner for the Council of Europe, who visited the prison in 2005,

"What I saw there, the prisoners' situation, was one which you would absolutely recognize from the photographs of Guantanamo.

and here's another take, from the third link: Jasmina Tesanovic in BoingBoing

It's starting again: the language of war is the daily bread in Serbia. The sirens of nationalism are turned on again, as if nothing had changed in the eight years after Milosevic was toppled.

Or as if nothing had changed since the year 1389 and the mythic battle of Kosovo: a myth is a myth, a dictator who uses the language of myths is squandering people s minds as well as their lives.

Today, 17 February. at 15 hours Kosovo province unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia. It been ten years now since I wrote my "Diary of a Political Idiot," a book that started with riots in Kosovo. Although I've tried to stop writing that book, I have never been allowed to. The Balkan disorder became the model of world disorder.

I can hear the voice of my dead mother, who passed away in 1999 after the NATO bombings, with her last words: "take care of Kosovo." She didn't mention her granddaughter, my daughter, whom she loved more than herself or me. She instead scolded me, the traitor, severely: Kosovo is not yours and you cannot give it away. You and your similar traitors don't have pants on their asses and you are giving Kosovo, our heritage, away.


May it be a beginning of new era; may our children never have another war with their neighbors just because they speak a different language and have a different sign on their graves. The Balkans have always been a multiethnic territory. No matter who wins the battle, nobody will be able to win a war.

- - - - - - - - - -

Jasmina Tešanović is an author, filmmaker, and wandering thinker who shares her thoughts with BoingBoing from time to time.

Unpacking all the riddles and challenges, problems and possible solutions of Kosova, is reminiscent of unlocking a Rubik's cube.

Sheer coincidence he's also from that part of the world, surely, heh.

Here's wishing us luck!

(Encouragement courtesy of Dodo)

I think it's clear the Albanians and the Americans and their allies want to avoid a war here, otherwise they could have done this ealrier and ensured a Nikolic victory two weeks ago, which would have complicated matters a lot more than they already are.

The Americans currently running the foreign policy show do not have a good track record of reading such situations.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Feb 19th, 2008 at 02:16:14 PM EST
I suppose being clueless as to the real issues is an impediment to a good policy, even if you desired the good policy to begin with.

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson
by NearlyNormal on Tue Feb 19th, 2008 at 03:41:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it's clear the Albanians and the Americans and their allies want to avoid a war here..

'Course the US-etc doesn't want a major war - i.e. an  all-out great-powers conflict with nuclear Russia, they're perfectly happy to limit hostilities to the neo-Cold War they've been campaigning/pressuring/provoking for every whichaway, as that's sufficient to 1) keep the "western" defence-contracting establishment duly fattened and 2) keep US bases firmly implanted in Europe for the next few decades.

But as usual, the "West" certainly doesn't seem to have many qualms about starting off yet-another cute lil' "proxy war" at whatsoever cost to "insignificant others": US-Estonian-French troops have just forcibly fenced the Kosovan Serbs inside the neo-statelet after their (Gazan-type?) border-break with bulldozers and explosives.

"Ignoring moralities is always undesirable, but doing so systematically is really worrisome." Mohammed Khatami

by eternalcityblues (parvati_roma aaaat libero.it) on Wed Feb 20th, 2008 at 07:12:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This being the so-maniest notch of "soft" American intervention, I've become suspicious for the ploys behind it. It's too easy to think that Washington, having locked into imperial mode for the past 70-80 years, aims for Machiavellian strategies wherever and whenever it can to thwart inner harmony of the European Union or Russia or harmony between the two. But I do think it. Call me simple.

One wonders: what if we could just rid the whole antagonism thing between Europe and Russia and really get an axis going. Perhaps there already is an axis and I just don't know about it because it's easier to be afraid of Ruskies and no one tells me anything anyway.

Rambling. Signing off.

Good thing you made it a diary melo.

by Nomad (Bjinse) on Tue Feb 19th, 2008 at 04:59:14 PM EST
i feel like that about russia and the eu too, nomad.

we had a window of opportunity after the fall of communism, and blew it royally, add bush's obsolete recycled recent cold war style posturings and the lack of any success in nation-building anywhere else nato is involved, and now we have a situation....

after centuries of pomp and circumstance covering up injustice while piously pretending to sound virtuous, putin inc. come off as pragmatic and tersely refreshing, though i'm glad he's not running europe!

i trust him more than i would any repug to keep a cool head.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Feb 19th, 2008 at 06:55:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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