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US seeks to cement military foothold in Balkans.

by vladimir Sun May 17th, 2009 at 05:42:20 AM EST

... or is it an attempt to further destabilise Europe?

The US is apparently unhappy with the slow « progress » that the EU high representative has been making in bringing this international protectorate into NATO. In an effort to cement the US military presence in the region, on February 13 of this year, the US Congress voted in favour of scrapping the Dayton Agreements which brought peace to the region - and pushing in favour of a new political structure which would de facto abolish The Serb Republic and hand power to the Bosnian Muslims.

Is this indeed just a step intended to protect Americas military gains or does it have some other purpose? Could it be a response... punishing Serbia for its acceptance of the South Stream project? Or could it be designed to foment instability and new military conflict on the European Continent?

Whatever the answer, it seems clear that the European Union is being sidelined by the United States which is intent on running its own show in the Balkans... to the detriment of European interests.

Here's the text approved by the US Congress.

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A Statistical Analysis of the ICTY's bias.

by vladimir Sun Mar 15th, 2009 at 03:45:32 PM EST

This diary follows up on an inconclusive discussion between JakeS and me regarding proof (or lack thereof) that the ICTY is a biased court. Here, I offer the results of a statistical analysis of the available data - mainly on war crimes in ex-Yugoslavia.

In order to complete a statistically significant test, I started out by collecting specific data on the 3 separate conflicts in ex Yugoslavia: 1. the Bosnian conflict, 2. the Croatian conflict and 3. the Kosovo conflict. I went to the ICTY list of indicted individuals and separated according to the specific conflict where they stand accused of war crimes. For 7 Serbs (like Slobodan Milosevic) and others (mostly members of the FRY government or army and navy) who were not accused of a specific war crime in Bosnia or Croatia, I associated their indictment with events in Kosovo.

This approach allowed me to isolate each war as an independent event, thereby eliminating the need to estimate which army killed which civilians.

Here are the results of this analysis:

These figure were then compared to the number of civilian casualties during each of these 3 wars. I limited the casualties to civilians because this is a priori what constitutes a war crime. Most of the civilian casualty figures were obtained from Wikipedia - which itself uses the ICTY, the Red Cross and for the Serbian civilian casualty figures in Kosovo, an EU funded project run out of Belgrade. You can easily find these estimates on Wikipedia. Here are the figures:

In addition to a comparison of Serb versus non Serb accused by the ICTY, it is also pertinent to assess how the ICTY's treatment of Serbs (and others for that matter) compares to other tribunals established to prosecute war criminals - namely the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the Nuremberg Trials. Here is the data that I found (on numerous sites for Nuremberg and the official ICTR site for Rwanda):

The total casualty figure for Rwanda is 800 000. I subtracted 100 000 for military casualties and used the result for the analysis. For Nuremberg, I used a ballpark figure of 10 million civilian casualties, although the true number is probably much higher. Whether the figures used for civilian dead during WWII should be higher or lower is up to debate, but given the ratio of indicted and sentenced to civilian dead, another figure would have only a nominal impact on statistical significance test.

Below is a table which offers a synthesis of the findings - per war and per ethnic group - all wars included (ex-Yugoslav wars, Rwanda and WWII).

Ind : Cas = Ratio of Indicted to Casualties
Snt : Cas = Ratio of Sentenced to Casualties

By comparing the ratio of the Serb mean of Indicted versus enemy civilian casualties to the other group (Bosnians, Albanians, Tutsis, Germans and Croats) we see that we have 5,13 more Serbs convicted per enemy civilian casualty than the other groups. A `t test' analysis of the figures gives us a result of 2,89 for 6 degrees of freedom. This is equivalent to a 97,5% rate of certainty that the bias real (ie. that it's not just a statistical fluke). NB. For all those who want the original Excel analysis, I'll be more than happy to mail it to you.

Below is a table which offers a synthesis of the findings - per war and per ethnic group - limited to the ex-Yugoslav wars.

This analysis shows that 3,18 more Serbs are convicted per enemy civilian casualty than Bosnian Muslims, Albanians and Croats. This `t test' gives a result of 2,28 with 4 degrees of freedom - or a certainty rate in the range of 95%.

A final comment on the casualty figures used for the war in Bosnia. Croats and Bosnian Muslims were lumped together (due to limited ICTY data) which puts my null hypothesis at a disadvantage in that the retained assumption (albeit forced and false) is that all Croat and Bosnian Muslim civilians were killed by Serbs - whereas in fact, there is ample evidence of ethnic cleansing and atrocities committed between Croats and Muslims (namely around Mostar).

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And now that the West has Karadzic

by vladimir Wed Jul 23rd, 2008 at 06:21:11 PM EST

The "world's most wanted war criminal"
The "butcher of the Balkans"
... is now in the hands of Serb police and will soon be transferred to face justice in The Hague.

A couple of weeks after Ramush Haradinaj was acquitted for his saintly activities in Kosovo... not long after Nasir Oric was released for his philanthropic activities around Srebrenica... at last we have a REAL WAR CRIMINAL in our hands.

Although there is no doubt that atrocities were committed - indeed by all sides - this dragging of Serbia, its political leadership, its people through stale mud, systematically and without repeal over the past 15 years is, in my opinion, a systematized effort to show the world what happens when a nation refuses to kneel before Empire's boot.

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It's time for chicken in Ukraine

by vladimir Tue Apr 22nd, 2008 at 04:33:37 PM EST

Russian Information Agency (http://en.rian.ru/) just released a statement made by Alexei Ostrovsky, the head of the State Duma committee on CIS affairs:

"Russia could claim Crimea if Ukraine joins NATO - MP
A senior member of the Russian lower house of parliament said on Wednesday that Russia could claim the Crimea if Ukraine was admitted to NATO."

This is the beginning of Ukraine's disintegration process. After the Crimea, it's likely that Eastern Ukraine will follow suit. In my opinion, this is precisely the outcome that US and European hawks are hoping for. A fratricidal war between Russia and the Ukrainians would weaken both and likely make it much more difficult for Russia to throw its diplomatic weight in other areas of the globe.

Real power is the ability to preserve peace in your own territory.

Diary rescue by Migeru

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Why Washington Plays 'Tibet Roulette' With China

by vladimir Fri Apr 18th, 2008 at 04:57:57 PM EST

By F. William Engdahl

Washington has obviously decided on an ultra-high risk geopolitical game with Beijing's by fanning the flames of violence in Tibet just at this sensitive time in their relations and on the run-up to the Beijing Olympics. It's part of an escalating strategy of destabilization of China which has been initiated by the Bush Administration over the past months. It also includes the attempt to ignite an anti-China Saffron Revolution in the neighboring Myanmar region, bringing US-led NATO troops into Darfur where China's oil companies are developing potentially huge oil reserves. It includes counter moves across mineral-rich Africa. And it includes strenuous efforts to turn India into a major new US forward base on the Asian sub-continent to be deployed against China, though evidence to date suggests the Indian government is being very cautious not to upset Chinese relations.  
The current Tibet operation apparently got the green light in October last year when George Bush agreed to meet the Dalai Lama for the first time publicly in Washington. The President of the United States is not unaware of the high stakes of such an insult to Beijing. Bush deepened the affront to America's largest trading partner, China, by agreeing to attend as the US Congress awarded the Dalai Lama the Congressional Gold Medal.  

Full-article dump edited for copyright reasons by afew

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Towards Ukrainian separatism ?

by vladimir Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 07:19:07 AM EST

Ukrainian Party of Regions to protect citizens in the face of political purges

The Ukrainian Party of Regions will again be trying to protect and defend citizens in the face of political purges which began with the formation of the orange coalition government. The Party of Regions, led by ex-prime minister Viktor Yanukovich, said Thursday that highly qualified men and women who were doing their best for Ukraine were the first to be found redundant. The Party of Regions finds political persecution inadmissible. More than 18,000 employees of the executive branch of power were fired by orange President Yushchenko and orange prime minister Timoshenko about two years ago.

Is this the beginning of a process to separate East Ukraine from West Ukraine?

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US policy in the Balkans: recipes for violence

by vladimir Fri Dec 14th, 2007 at 05:21:16 AM EST

US policy in the Balkans: recipes for violence

There are theories circulating that US policy in the Balkans is benign and stability seeking. Those that promote these theories point to repeated US failures to facilitate peace in the region as blunders and errors for which they hold individual American diplomats accountable. The Vance-Owen plan, which was a real opportunity to reestablish the foundations of peace in the Balkans in January 1993, was scuttled by the US's James Baker. That led to a ruthless period of violence. The Rambouillet agreement was also scuttled, this time by the US's Madeleine Albright. That led to more violence. The current position expressed by Condoleeeza Rice will probably also lead to violence. What may help this final round of negotiations to succeed is the fact that today, contrary to 1993 and 1999, the American military is extremely overstretched and Russia is feeling significantly stronger. Nevertheless, it seems that whenever the US is involved in a peace plan in the Balkans, the result is not peace but war. The question of whether this is diplomatic blunder or orchestrated strategy is an important and controversial one that should have far reaching implications on EU-US relations.

The theory put forth often by international experts is that US administrations seem to unintentionally (albeit systematically) mismanage international diplomacy, which then leads to accidental chaos. Simply put, this is unfathomable. If the United States government, with its nuclear arsenal and awesome military armada which annually spends $600 billion, or the equivalent of 50%-60% of the world's total spending on arms, can "unintentionally mismanage" international relations to the point of causing war then we all have grave cause for concern. If this is true, given their dismal track record, American Diplomats should be denied a space around future tables reserved for negotiating sensitive conflicts that can degenerate into violence.

The other theory, which would seem more plausible, is that there is no smoke without a fire; US administrations are well oiled war machines with countless advisors, analysts and strategists receiving updated assessments from armies of informers throughout the world - including the Balkans. Baker and his colleague Warren Zimmerman must have known that by torpedoing the Vance-Owen plan Bosnia would slide into war. Madeleine Albright also knew that by including a clause demanding that Serbia allow NATO free reign within Serbia proper, the deal would become unpalatable to the Serbs and war would be inevitable. To make things worse, this clause was included following the Serb delegation's acceptance of an initial agreement tabled by the Americans, which would have granted Albanians in Kosovo self rule, guaranteed by an international military presence. Blunder or intent? In both instances, the evidence would support that war was the US regime's precise intent in the Balkans. And war was indeed the result.

What, one would ask, does the US have to gain from violence in the Balkans? One of the answers is that the wars allowed the US to divide local ethnic groups in order to establish two military bases on ex Yugoslav territory; a modern, fully equipped air base in Tuzla, and another major army base in Kosovo - Bondsteel. It is highly likely that these military base would not be there today had the Vance Owen plan been implemented. Yet these bases form an integral part of a broader network of new military logistics and readiness centers throughout central and Eastern Europe.

The justifications for intervention in the Balkans offered by the NATO protagonists are numerous, but certainly not linked to the humanitarian or philosophical considerations that are oh so often produced, such as ethnic cleansing, punishing aggression or rewarding democracy. These considerations have rarely and possibly never been drivers of American foreign policy anywhere in the world - whether in Saudi Arabia, Turkey or with South America's dictatorships. Likewise, Srebrenica, Gorazde and Racak are not the defining cornerstones of American policy in the Balkans, although they are atrocious realities of this war - as they could have been of any other war. The atrocities, real in many cases, serve the purpose of selling US foreign policy to the public and justifying the US regime's torpedoing of every viable peace plan which was or is on the table. This was the case with the Lisbon Agreement which was sunk because "the Serb aggressor should not be compensated". It was also the case in Rambouillet. Both resulted in a campaign of "bombing for peace" which should be understood in the context of a grander US plan in the region.

The geopolitical motivation behind the US regime's quest for war in the Balkans is a subject that deserves a long discussion, but the major reason which was certainly on top of the Pentagon's priorities when it was advising Baker-Albright-Clinton and today Rice, was avoiding a return of Russian economic, political and eventually military influence in South-East Europe. This is still a key component driving US policy in South-East Europe as it is with Greece, where deep concern with the current military and energy deals that Athens signed with Russia are proliferating among the American intelligence community.

The same geopolitical motivations were behind the Pentagon's efforts to separate Montenegro from Serbia. Here, the values of democracy and the rule of law were disregarded as the US administration provided financial and political support to Milo Djukanovic who is little more than a corrupt street thug wanted by Interpol. The geo-strategic objective was clear: by separating, then integrating Montenegro into Euro-Atlantic structures, the risk of resurgent Russia establishing naval bases in the Adriatic would all but disappear. The construction of NATO military infrastructure on ex Yugoslav soil to guarantee that Russians are kept at bay is truly impressive. The sheer size of the built bases speaks volumes of the US's geo-strategic intent to subdue the region and keep it by force for an undetermined period of time.

Another reckless policy that the Pentagon has been promoting in South-East Europe with its efforts to support Albanian separatists in Kosovo is to do away with the concept that national boundaries are inviolable. It seeks to set a new precedent which could plunge Europe - from Spain to the Caucuses into chaos, by opening the door to demands emanating from all ethnic, linguistic or cultural minorities to establish their own nation states. Whether this could spell the beginning of slow disintegration of the European Union, from the Basques, to the Catalans, to the Flemish, Scots, Welsh and who knows which other ethnic group tomorrow, remains to be seen. But it is clear that the temptation will be significant for minorities throughout Europe to seek greater self-rule.

To understand the motivations behind such Machiavellism, one need only look at the post WWII period during which the United States, relatively unscathed by the fighting, was left as the sole industrial and financial powerhouse on earth. Today, a destabilized, divided and bickering Europe would offer less attractive perspectives for investments and would serve to, inter alia, reinforce the US's positive net inflow of wealth. This would effectively reduce the threat of the Euro becoming the major international reserve currency at the expense of an already weakening dollar.

Those who say that the Clinton-Baker-Albright (and now Rice...) teams have benign, stability seeking policies in Europe are apologists of the US regime's military efforts to subdue and dominate the Balkans at whatever the human cost. By propagating these beliefs, they offer comfort to the hawks that, whether on left or right, have nothing worthy to offer the world but violence.

What is necessary is forceful condemnation of the US regime's multiple incursions to foment war in the Balkans, and its latest attempts to arm twist the international community into accepting Kosovo's independence without the UN Security Council's agreement. Not doing so is siding with the very same interest groups who are responsible for progressively eroding individual liberties within the United States. Human rights, freedom of expression or the freedom to live in peace shouldn't be the exclusive rights of American citizens. The deplorable demise of the US opposition is a result of the same forces which are at work in the Balkans. With the Democrats also trumpeting that "might is right" in the international arena, one can only question what their commitment will be to reversing the dramatic erosion of individual freedoms at home. Probably none. which leads us to the next question: where will the Pentagon stop?

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Breakdown of the American multi-party system - a slip towards dictatorship?

by vladimir Tue Dec 11th, 2007 at 11:19:35 AM EST

I urge you to read Hillary Clinton's international political agenda in a paper published in Foreign Affairs. (Security and Opportunity for the Twenty-first Century. Foreign Affairs, November/December, 2007). The article is fairly critical of a number of aspects of the current administration.
Change in US foreign politics? Forget it. The criticism directed at the current Administration by Hillary shows that there are no fundamental changes in Washington's global policy to be expected in the foreseeable future.
If elected, Hillary intends to continue with efforts to subdue Iraq. Her criticisms of Bush for the US military's involvement in Iraq should not be taken seriously. Bush also criticized Bill Clinton for the Yugoslav wars while he was a presidential contender. This is a game played often by the US Republicans and Democrats. In case Hillary makes it to the White House in 2008, she intends to complete the process of partitioning Iraq into three minor pseudo-independent states. Hillary's plans for Iraq and the withdrawal of the US troops from the country are immediately offset by the statement that «...we will have to replenish American power by getting out of Iraq, rebuilding our military, and developing a much broader arsenal of tools in the fight against terrorism». Same reasoning as that of Bush. We should expect to see « surgical strikes » against Al-Qaeda (a truly universal pretext) and some other terrorist groups, whose names are not hard to invent no matter what country is being dealt with. US military bases will remain in the Iraqi Kurdistan even after their withdrawal from the southern and central parts of Iraq. Bush is already creating the infrastructure for maintaining US troops in Kurdistan on a long-term basis.
Minor differences exist between Hillary's and Bush's approaches to building up the US military might. For example, she says: «... I will work to expand and modernize the military ... the Bush Administration has undermined this goal by focusing obsessively on expensive and unproven missile defense technology... ».
Seeking international consensus is not considered by Hillary. The plan is to pursue total and overwhelming US military and technological superiority. According to Hillary, Bush's major failure is that he hasn't done a sufficiently good job of this. Democratic controlled Congress recently allocated an extra $100 mln to create a space shuttle with a strike capability, which can hit targets from space orbit at distances over 16,500 km.
Hillary also pledges to raise the efficiency of the US intelligence community, to turn it into «a clandestine service that is out on the street, not sitting behind desks». Obviously, this refers to a focus on the operations abroad. Reagarding Iran, the policy is the same as that of the current Administration.
Regarding Russia, Hillary's opinion is that Moscow should support Washington's policy - stressing that this is of Russia's interest too.

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Balkan politics and EU values

by vladimir Tue Dec 11th, 2007 at 06:49:07 AM EST

There are a number of reasons why leaders of the European Union are now supporting a small Muslim community to the detriment of an established Christian, European nation:

  1. It's difficult paddling upstream when your predecessors have gone halfway downstream
  2. If you nevertheless want to go back upstream, you need a motor - and in this case the motor is made in the USA
  3. Last, but not least, Serb values are at odds with the EU's - as you correctly point out - and this is the theme I'd like to develop a bit below.

Post-Modern European Culture (let's call it PMEC) is based on the weakening of the central nation state, devolution of political, economic and cultural power to regions and the strengthening of the trans-national administration based in Brussels. Avoiding future wars, thought to be an ugly byproduct of multicultural competition in a limited geographic space, was to be made possible by reducing and eventually eliminating all aspects of national cultural heritage which could be eliminated. Take a look at Euro money - none of the monuments printed on it are for real - all imaginary. No mention of Christianity - even in the European Constitution. The new God is business. The new temple is the shopping mall and all else is perceived as a threat to stability. According to the new PMEC values, the European citizen is a consumer first and foremost - before being a Muslims, an atheist, a Catholic, a gay, a Frenchman or a Flamand. Anti discrimination is among the main preoccupations of Brussels. These values are supposed to create the foundation for a Universal European Super-state that transcends national and religious boundaries. Europe is built to espouse Muslim Turkey to the South and Orthodox Bulgaria to the East. Europe's values are Universal.

In come the Serbs (damn them!) caught up not only in their 19th century infatuation with the ideals of the nation states but still unable to escape from the Battle of Kosovo against the Ottomans in 1389!!! Defiant and rebellious, they take up arms to fight for their ideal of a nation state, enshrining their cultural heritage above realpolitik. They burn mosques and their Muslim occupiers who threaten their physical existence in order to create culturally homogenous entities and preserve their "primitive" values. 100 years ago, their appeals would have been understood and supported in most of Europe's capitals. Today, it's not surprising that leaders of PMEC saw this as a danger and felt obliged to brand the Serbs as "barbaric" and "behind their time".

But at closer look, Bosnian Muslims, Croats and Albanians are also promoting the ideals of the nation state with a single dominant culture. After all, are these values really so primitive? Look at what's happening with the Basques, with the Flemish and the Wallons, with the Scots, the Welsh, the Frisians.

Europe can and will become irrelevant if it doesn't do more to promote its unique Judeo-Christian heritage, its languages, its national culture, ... And if it succeeds in whitewashing all of us into armies of consumer, it risks demise either by a nationalistic backlash or by today's Muslim minority which is the fastest growing segment of the European population. Most Muslims living in Europe haven't abandoned their cultural and religious values - and this will come to the foreground as soon as their communities are numerically and financially strong enough.

If Europe is to thrive, its value system needs to grow beyond the confines of commerce. It needs to revive and celebrate its cultural heritage.

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EU close to full unity on Kosovo: REUTERS

by vladimir Mon Dec 10th, 2007 at 07:36:41 AM EST

REUTERS

This is a perfect example of our free, democratic and unbiased media in the "West".

Not even unity... they're talking about FULL UNITY - when the following countries are opposed to a UDI : Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia.

It gets better, read this:

Leaders of the 27-nation bloc are expected to declare at a summit on Friday that negotiations have been exhausted and that the future of both Serbia and Kosovo lies in the European Union, diplomats said."

Now, how would the French feel if US Congress declared that "negotiations have been exhausted and the future of France is within the United States".

Or, how would the EU react if Russia proclaimed "negotiations have been exhausted and the future of Georgia and Abkhazia is within the Russian Federation."

And it continues:

Western diplomats say Russia has to recognize it is virtually isolated. "The question for the Russians is have they changed their position? They've had the further negotiating effort they wanted and there was no agreement," one senior Western envoy said.

Of course there was no agreement. Camp Bond Steel (aka Kosovo) never wanted an agreement.

If there is no Russian change, then the idea is to change the status of Kosovo on the basis of existing (Security Council) resolutions," the envoy said. That would effectively take the issue away from the United Nations.

The conclusion is the best. It says: if the law doesn't allow it, then we'll do it anyway and say it's within the law. Let's shut the League of Nations and prepare for chaos.

Now who could possibly profit from chaos in Europe? In the world?

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