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Wolfowitz in Skopje What Next for Macedonia?
antiwar.com ^ | May 20, 2003 | Christopher Deliso

Posted on 05/20/2003 8:51:59 AM PDT by Destro

Wolfowitz in Skopje – What Next for Macedonia?

by Christopher Deliso

May 20, 2003

A total eclipse of the full moon on Friday morning, street warfare between Macedonians and Albanians in Tetovo on Friday night – could these portentous events have had anything to do with the next day's visit from US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz?

Über-hawk Wolfowitz touched down briefly in Skopje on the third leg of his Balkan tour. At his first stop (Sarajevo) Wolfowitz oversaw the signing of a treaty guaranteeing that Bosnia will never extradite an American soldier to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes. At the second stop, Kosovo's Camp Bondsteel, Wolfowitz inspected the troops at this all but forgotten imperial outpost.

Wolfowitz's trip to Macedonia was decidedly low-key, and lasted only a few hours. Officially, he came for the photo op and speech praising the Iraq-bound Macedonian conscripts. However, the fact that he also met in private with former NLA boss Ali Ahmeti, President Boris Trajkovski, and later with Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski and Defense Minister Vlade Buchkovski seems to indicate that Rumsfeld's right-hand man came to talk business.

Operation Evade Journalists

However, it is slightly unclear as to what that business was. Wolfowitz's entourage, which included US Ambassador Laurence Butler and the proverbial men in dark suits and sunglasses talking on mobile phones, were escorted briskly in and out of government buildings all morning, leaving little chance for interrogation. Although Wolfowitz answered two or three mundane questions in a mundane way when meeting with Trajkovski, no real explanation for his visit was given. And the US Embassy on Saturday claimed to have no one available who could speak on the matter.

Saturday's final photo op for Wolfowitz was the Macedonian Army's Ilinden barracks, a sprawling encampment situated on a high wooded bluff overlooking Skopje. Here Wolfowitz gave a short speech to the 39 Iraq-bound Macedonian soldiers. Among them are members of the Wolves (special forces), as well as army medics.

Flanked by officials, Wolfowitz stood opposite the neatly-arrayed Macedonian troops and thanked them for playing their part in the "liberation" of the Iraqi people from "…one of the worst dictators of modern history." He also alluded to the US-imposed Ohrid Agreement when praising the Macedonians for "settling issues by talking instead of by fighting." He then proceeded down the row, cordially shaking hands with each of the conscripts. Much snapping and flashing ensued from the thicket of cameras adjacent.

photo by Cvetin Cilimanov for Antiwar.com

(Excerpt) Read more at antiwar.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: albania; balkans; campaignfinance; macedonia; paulwolfowitz
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To: inquest
So the LDK is a front group for organized crime?

Learn something new here every day.

Ever get the feeling that you're performing the posting equivalent of writing checks that you know will bounce?

Feel free to back up your assertion - at some point you have to be accountable for your statements, inquest, and this is as good a place as any for you to start.

Let's see how much intellectual capital you really have in your account.

61 posted on 05/29/2003 1:26:06 PM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Hoplite
All I know is that the KLA (or whatever they're calling themselves these days) are having effective run of Kosovo to do pretty much what they want. If the LDK isn't a front group, they might as well be. At least then they could get a piece of the action instead of sitting idly (and I do mean idly) by and watching someone else have all the fun.

And if you know my checks will bounce, you know where to send the notice to.

62 posted on 05/29/2003 1:35:19 PM PDT by inquest
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To: inquest
What you know is wrong, and when confronted with a demand to prove your statements you retreat away from them.

Pretty much par for the course on these threads, unfortunately.

63 posted on 05/29/2003 1:40:04 PM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Hoplite
Still waiting for that check to bounce.

In any case, it is a matter of fact that Albanian organized crime has gotten out of control in Kosovo, and it's begun to spill over into other parts of Europe. If you don't want to believe that, you don't have to. It's not like that would come as a big shock to anyone.

64 posted on 05/29/2003 2:18:25 PM PDT by inquest
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To: inquest
Albanian organized crime is a serious issue, but it is neither new nor as endemic as depicted here on FR.

If you're going to worry about organized crime, there are many more syndicates out there who's influence is far more baneful and more fully entrenched in the apparatus of power where they operate.

65 posted on 05/29/2003 4:24:11 PM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Hoplite
If you're going to worry about organized crime, there are many more syndicates out there who's influence is far more baneful and more fully entrenched in the apparatus of power where they operate.

Trying to change the focus of the conversation, I see? What does this have to do with the fact that we went out of our way to protect and reward a bunch of Mafia types who should have been allowed their natural fate?

66 posted on 05/29/2003 4:58:48 PM PDT by inquest
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To: inquest
We went out of our way because there was a larger syndicate next door in Belgrade which had already caused havoc in two other wars, and we weren't about to allow 1.6 million ethnic Albanians to be booted out of their homes and cause further problems in Albania and Macedonia, with the prospect of Greece and Turkey being brought into the fray.

The Albanian mafia are small fry compared to the problematic symbiosis between criminal organizations and state under Milosevic, ergo, he got hammered like he had been asking to get hammered since 1991.

It's pretty simple once you get past the ethnic labels and start viewing the situation in terms of who the biggest problem was.

You are capable of such a simple task, aren't you?

67 posted on 05/29/2003 5:45:49 PM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Hoplite
Well, the Big Bad Slobo has been out of business for a couple of years now. Serbia has now reformed, at least by the looks of things in the papers. So why aren't we letting them back in control of their territory? And why especially have we tied the hands of Macedonia? (Hint: The answers to these questions might require getting past certain ethnic labels)
68 posted on 05/30/2003 7:42:03 AM PDT by inquest
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To: inquest
Slobo was decomissioned in 2000, but his legacy has only recently been dismantled, and his legacy in places like Kosovo will require at least a generation to overcome - once the locals figure out that merit based government works better than one based on ethnicity, things will normalize and meaningful Pristina-Belgrade talks will occur.

Allowing Serbian troops back into Kosovo without the acquiescence of the locals is simply a non-starter, however, and while the EU can provide the stick to keep Kosovo a seperate entity in the region, it is up to Belgrade to provide the carrots to bring it back into the fold.

Given what's going on in Montenegro, what do you think the chances of that happening are?

As to Macedonia, the Nationalist politicians lost in their bid to radicalize their populations past the point of reconciliation with another pointless Balkan war. Cry me a river - neither the Macedonian Army nor the ANA were capable of winning a war in Macedonia.

69 posted on 05/30/2003 7:55:58 AM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Hoplite
once the locals figure out that merit based government works better than one based on ethnicity, things will normalize and meaningful Pristina-Belgrade talks will occur.

Yet we deliberately created a statelet based on ethnicity. Go figure.

Allowing Serbian troops back into Kosovo without the acquiescence of the locals is simply a non-starter

Of course! After all, they're Serbians. Or should we apply this standard all over the world? Governments shouldn't be allowed to send their forces to places within their own territory where the locals might be uncomfortable having them there? I guess we can start with Harlem.

As to Macedonia, the Nationalist politicians lost in their bid to radicalize their populations past the point of reconciliation with another pointless Balkan war.

Pointless to you, maybe. Your country wasn't being ravaged by a pointless rebellion. They had a right to put it down. We did not have the right to order them not to.

Cry me a river - neither the Macedonian Army nor the ANA were capable of winning a war in Macedonia.

So we had to tie Macedonia's hands even further? Maybe it's true that there would have had to have been some stalemate anyway. Why shift the balance of that stalemate in favor of the ANA?

70 posted on 05/30/2003 8:23:40 AM PDT by inquest
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To: inquest
Yet we deliberately created a statelet based on ethnicity.

We did? Where?

Consider this, Inquest - when our police start using brutality on ethnic minorities, we reign them in, unlike the regimes you are attempting to so neatly rehabilitate here. Ergo, your Harlem example is moot, isn't it?

If you think Croatia '91 was a good things, then fine, you are entitled to your opinion.

Just don't cry to anybody but yourself when Croatia '95 happens.

Why is that relevant? Because we didn't act to stop the ethnic rivalries in Croatia from so totally submerging the center of the road position like we did in Macedonia.

Lesson learned and applied.

71 posted on 05/30/2003 4:14:30 PM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Hoplite
We did? Where?

You can play that game if you want. I won't.

Consider this, Inquest - when our police start using brutality on ethnic minorities, we reign them in, unlike the regimes you are attempting to so neatly rehabilitate here. Ergo, your Harlem example is moot, isn't it?

Not at all. The fact that there's been police brutality in Harlem in the past doesn't mean the residents now have veto power over whether they're allowed back in again.

Why is that relevant? Because we didn't act to stop the ethnic rivalries in Croatia from so totally submerging the center of the road position like we did in Macedonia.

Actually, a big part of the reason why things went so bad in Bosnia and Croatia is that we acted to inflame their ethnic rivalries by prematurely and irresponsibly recognizing their independence. Your response with regard to Macedonia is just more of your same old same old: Slavs can't be trusted to run their own country, even in cases where there was no evidence of deliberate brutality on the part of their duly and freely elected government.

72 posted on 05/31/2003 6:16:08 AM PDT by inquest
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To: Hoplite; inquest
From the early 90's, ask the Chicago PD why they were ordered to release 5 Albanians caught redhanded with stolen jewelry and the tools they used to steal the multimillion dollars in jewelry. Now, get this, that was not confiscated either- within 24 hrs, those same Albanians fled the USA for their motherland- Tirane. There was plenty of "influence" with the aforementioned.
73 posted on 05/31/2003 4:59:58 PM PDT by PiP PiP Cherrio (Kosovo is Secure! -- www.pedalinpeace.org)
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To: inquest; Hoplite
Inquest, it's always a pleasure to see the way you scatter Hoplite's BS. Kinda like when you shine a light on a bunch of cockroaches.
74 posted on 06/01/2003 12:44:53 AM PDT by bob808
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To: bob808; inquest
I'd say Hoplite runs (like a robot he is) as being chased by a little ole puppy. He can not face anyone who has first hand information...


Truth chases after Hoplite-- lite bright man.

75 posted on 06/01/2003 10:19:52 AM PDT by PiP PiP Cherrio (Kosovo is Secure! -- www.pedalinpeace.org)
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To: inquest; Hoplite
inquest, fail not to inform mr hoplite of the time when the USA was supplying the RSK with military arms in the early stages of the conflict between the Croats and the VRSK. The area location is 30-40 miles north of Petrinje, RSK where that transpired. Duplicity from all sides made this war comical. It was one big circle jerk of a war.
76 posted on 06/01/2003 10:34:05 AM PDT by PiP PiP Cherrio (Kosovo is Secure! -- www.pedalinpeace.org)
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To: inquest
It's not a game, Inquest - it gets back to our earlier discussion on this thread where you were acting as if certain things were realities when in fact they aren't.

We've come full circle on that, so, in accordance with your wishes let's just skip playing that game again.

The treatment of police brutality in the United States and in Milosevic's Serbia are two entirely different matters, and attempting to equate one with the other simply gets back to your issue with reality, Inquest - you make sweeping generalizations and analogies which don't hold up under close scrutiny - take for example your claim that we inflamed the ethnic rivalries in Croatia and Bosnia: Did we take over the local TV stations and put them on their 24 hour a day fearmongering programming schedules in the months leading up to open warfare in both states? Did our recognition of those states precede the ethnic slaughter in them?

No on both accounts. Again, an attempt to blame outsiders for internal Yugoslav idiocy bites the dust.

Quite simply, Inquest, you're pretty much wrong in everything you're saying on this thread, and that's no mean accomplishment.

As to Macedonia, I suggest you acquaint yourself with the activities of one Ljube Boskovski - he'll be the one giving the lie to your last statement.

77 posted on 06/01/2003 1:35:46 PM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Hoplite
I'm sure you have heard of George Soros- the Hungarian-American who gave, how many millions? Not only did he give $$$ to DOS to oppose Slobo, but he was involved in the grand scheme of things.

Of course, you are quite insipid in your retorts when doused with Reality Information, ehh? Looky that, Mr Gresham backs down on my facts upon my trip to YU...and the winner is?...........Serbia, you must look at it long-term. History proves that Serbs are victorious, but then again. It depends on your definition of history which is opinionated, not factual.

78 posted on 06/01/2003 3:00:24 PM PDT by PiP PiP Cherrio (Kosovo is Secure! -- www.pedalinpeace.org)
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To: Hoplite
The treatment of police brutality in the United States and in Milosevic's Serbia are two entirely different matters, and attempting to equate one with the other simply gets back to your issue with reality, Inquest

Well, you were the one who brought it up, so what's that say about you?

In any case, you still haven't explained, in concrete terms, why the Serbs aren't fit to rule their own country, given that Slobo's out of power, and his party along with him, and that Serbia is, by all indications in the press, being responsibly governed. All you've given me is a bunch of vague hot air on that subject.

Did we take over the local TV stations and put them on their 24 hour a day fearmongering programming schedules in the months leading up to open warfare in both states? Did our recognition of those states precede the ethnic slaughter in them?

You say I have a problem with reality. It seems much more accurate to say that you have a problem with reading. Example: Did I say that nothing bad happened over there before we granted recognition? I believe I said that recognition - both by us and by Western European governments - made matters considerably worse than they otherwise would have been. It certainly didn't help any.

Regarding your first question, you'd do well to remember that when you make a specific point, you should have some way of tying it in to your larger point. Namely, how does this relate to the "lesson learned and applied" in Macedonia? Was the kind of fearmongering you describe going on anywhere but on the Albanian side?

As to Macedonia, I suggest you acquaint yourself with the activities of one Ljube Boskovski - he'll be the one giving the lie to your last statement.

Just finished doing a Google search on him. Nothing that gives me any idea what you're talking about. Which is kind of bizarre given that he apparently forms the whole justification of our telling the Macedonians how to run their country.

79 posted on 06/02/2003 9:00:17 AM PDT by inquest
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To: inquest
Just finished doing a Google search on him. Nothing that gives me any idea what you're talking about.

I know why Hoplite brings up Boskovski. Hoplite keeps up with the latest official reports on the Balkans, and Boskovski has just been added to the US Black list (while Ali Ahmeti, who had previously been on it, was removed). Ali Ahmeti is a terrorist, according to Macedonians and I believe he was one that Macedonia was pressured by the US and EU to amnesty: Amnestied Terrorist Ali Ahmeti Deleted From US Black List; Former Minister of Interior Affairs Ljube Boshkovski Added to US Black List

This is the relevant referal from the US State Department's last Thursday Press Briefing:

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2003/21062.htm :

MR. BOUCHER: There are some who were added. Do we have a description of the ones who were added?

QUESTION: New bad guys?

MR. BOUCHER: Oh, yeah. There was at least one gentleman who was added, Mr. Boskovski, because he undermined stability in Macedonia.

80 posted on 06/02/2003 11:29:24 AM PDT by joan
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