I honestly don’t think there is ANYTHING that you do not know. You are a wealth of knowledge on all things Balkan. Thank you.
Thanks, Ravna, but there is LOTS I don't know about the Balkans. But if I ever did find out what I don't know, they'd probably have to kill me -- so what the heck? I'd rather live!
1. John McCain has been chair of the International Republican Institute since 1992. The IRI is an NGO set up by the National Endowment for Democracy and paid for primarily by our tax dollars. It's stated mission is international "democracy building" and it's primary expertise since its inception had been in South America.
2. There is another identical organization for Democrats called the International Democratic Institute, and it's current chair is Madeline Albright.
3. John McCain received substantial financial support ($millions) from the Albanian American Civic League for his various political campaigns since the late 1990's, an organization that seeks to create a Greater ethnic Albania and Kosovo, as a part of that.
4. John McCain championed the 1999 NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia over Kosovo, and was one of the only Republicans to do so. McCain even introduced a bill into the Senate that would have put US boots on the ground in Kosovo, had it passed.
5. William Walker spent his entire "diplomatic career" in South America, when he is linked to everything from setting up military coups to the outright murder of several Jesuit priests, but the OSCE decides that Walker is "the best guy" to go to Kosovo where he had never set foot until he arrived for "the mission".
6. After Milosevic is removed, the prime contenders for the Serbian presidency are Kostunica and Djindjic. Kostunica, a non-communist who translated the Federal Papers into Serbian during the communist years at great risk to himself, is is labeled "a (evil) nationalist" by the press, in favor of Djindjic. Djindjic gets assasinated and the son of a communist, Boris Tadic (an IRI grad) emerges as a darling of the West. Even the IRI website brags that:
IRI provided assistance to the Tadic campaign at virtually every stage of the process, from training for DS headquarters and regional coordinators in campaign planning and direct voter contact, to polling and message development, and regular consultations with the campaign team and Tadic himself. Tadics campaign strategy and message were directly in line with IRIs recommendations, and campaign plans formulated by DS regional coordinators at IRIs campaign seminars formed the basis of the DS campaigns regional campaign plans. The results of the election were widely thought to hinge on voter turnout, with lower turnout benefiting the Radical party. IRI, with NDI and Freedom House, co-sponsored the Center for Free Elections and Democracy (CeSID) to carry out a targeted Get-Out-the-Vote program aimed at motivating democratically-oriented voters."
Please tell me how much of anything was left to chance here? Not much that I can see!