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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: mark502inf; Destro; PiP PiP Cherrio; Putnik_1915; kimosabe31; F-117A
DER SPIEGEL (Hamburg)

July 30, 2001

MACEDONIA: THE DOUBLE GAME OF THE AMERICANS

by Renate Flottau, Olaf Ihlau, Susanne Koelbl and Alexander Szandar

There is growing irritation among the Europeans over Washington's dubious actions in the Balkans: As godfather of the UCK it shares responsibility for the worsening conflict between Albanians and Macedonian Slavs. [3 paragraphs omitted in translation]

Europe looks at its southeastern back yard with dismay. Once again the fuse of an ethnic explosion is smoldering. After the decade of the Yugoslav succession wars that cost the lives of almost 300,000 people, another bloodbath in the Balkans looms with the open civil war between two ethnic groups that could plunge the entire region into chaos. [3 paragraphs omitted in translation]

So as not to appear as the clear villain, before the new round of talks began the UCK cleared its forward positions at Tetovo and withdrew to mountain posts, from which it can easily strike again. But the separatist Albanians will do the same if they do not obtain by the political route what they are actually striving for: First certified equality as an ethnic group through a constitutional amendment, then the de facto division of Macedonia, and finally a greater Albanian fatherland.

There are reasons behind the outcry of Skopje's head of government Ljubco Georgievski, himself a dedicated Slav nationalist, over the West's alleged partisanship. In this sad spectacle over Macedonia's future the UCK is the main villain and the Americans play the shady part.

The UCK fighters were once schooled by American and British trainers in Albanian camps for use against Milosevic's soldiers in Kosovo. No one knows the main actors, the UCK's commando structure and its financiers and arms suppliers as well as the CIA, which keeps the Albanian secret service close to its side as a subsidiary.

When in February UCK irregulars from Kosovo instigated skirmishes in the West Macedonian border region, initially the KFOR peacekeeping troops idly observed. At that time Prime Minister Georgievski accused Washington, but also Berlin, of having withheld key information on planned terrorist actions. The US government knew of at least 300 rebels, he said.

To confidants German defense minister Rudolf Scharping complained that the "international community," meaning first of all the Americans, had "not acted consistently" and thus "shared responsibility" for the current crisis.

In fact, German soldiers in Macedonia are already standing between the fronts. Last week they hastily evacuated a depot in Tetovo when the barracks was caught in a cross-fire between UCK marksmen and the Macedonian army.

The great oversight of the Alliance is that, under Washington's influence, after the air war against the Serbs it treated the UCK independence fighters as allies. Top Bundeswehr soldiers internally complain of the constant camaraderie since 1999.

The Kosovo example: It should not have happened that after the KFOR troops marched in the UCK made thousands of guns, pistols and mortars disappear. German soldiers who acted firmly against UCK members who were carrying weapons despite the ban were reined in by their superiors. 'That is not in compliance with the NATO policy' was their commanders' implicit message.

The earlier UCK supreme commander Hashim Thaci, a protege of then-US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, put a few thousand of his fighters in the so-called Kosovo Defense Corps (KPC for short), a sort of technical relief organization officially intended to help in repairing destroyed houses.

German KFOR commander Klaus Reinhardt warned in vain of new activities by the underground UCK; the Americans kept flirting with it. Reinhardt later complained that politicians, diplomats and the NATO supreme commander for Europe, Wesley Clark, regularly brushed aside warning cries from the KFOR headquarters in Pristina.

As early as the start of December 1999, when the NATO peacekeeping force had not yet been in the country for half a year, KFOR reconnaissance patrols in the Presovo valley noticed suspicious young Kosovars. The area belongs to the so-called Ground Safety Zone (GSZ), a demilitarized buffer zone between the Serbian heartland and Kosovo.

The Americans monitored the main traffic arteries so loosely that the area quickly became a trading center for arms runners, drug dealers and traffickers in young women, controlled by the UCK and mafia. A "Presovo, Medvedja and Bujanovac Liberation Army" (UCPMB) quickly occupied villages, drove out Serb residents and called for annexation to Kosovo.

KFOR leader Reinhardt called in vain on US officers to act vigorously against illegal border crossers. NATO supreme commander Clark always merely answered the warnings about the firebrands in the Presovo valley with questions about the old enemy: "And where do the Serbs stand?"

When Serbian security forces moved into the Presovo valley last March with NATO's consent, many UCK members went over the land border to Macedonia or back to Kosovo. Scharping suspiciously asked NATO colleagues how UCK members were being prevented at checkpoints in the American Kosovo sector from giving up their weapons but "two kilometers further are taking up new weapons and continuing on to Macedonia?" The news tickers gave the answer: Freshly armed UCK members were again proclaiming "liberated zones" in Macedonia.

While NATO had long been making plans for the intervention, including disarming the UCK rebels, in late June US special units evacuated 400 UCK fighters from the guerilla stronghold of Aracinovo surrounded by Macedonian troops, right in front of the gates to Skopje. Not only UCK fighters found refuge in armored personnel carriers and buses with KFOR markings, but also 17 American civilians. They were declared to be "observers" but instead of dissuading the UCK members from playing with fire they served them as trainers.

Moreover, thanks to US assistance the UCK's command center was set up in Aracinovo, with direct satellite phone connection to the Pentagon. "We have confiscated weapons," a police representative said with annoyance in Skopje, "whose serial numbers clearly indicate NATO resources." Also videocassettes of Macedonian military positions that in his opinion had been filmed from KFOR helicopters and made available to the UCK by the Americans.

A questionable maneuver: In NATO the USA urges the allies to intervene in Macedonia while at the same time the Americans are training the UCK, and the Macedonian army also receives help from Washington as well.

Once again the Germans and the other allies are irritated at the dual strategy of NATO supremacy. Reports "of American ex-officers as trainers with the Macedonian UCK," notes Green Bundestag deputy Winfried Nachtwei, "once again raise doubts about US policy in the region." And CDU deputy Willy Wimmer speculates that the USA is supporting a "greater Albania well-disposed toward it" in the Balkans, obviously for strategic reasons.

The suspicion is well-founded. The Berlin government knows from secret service reports that in Macedonia the same court clique being pampered by the USA is stoking the fires of war: Since May the head of the purportedly civilian Kosovo defense force, Agim Ceku, has been assembling UCK reservists to prepare them in Albanian training camps for the new war. The military supreme command of the Macedonian UCK is under former Ceku deputy Ramush Haradinaj.

The person procuring the money is a man who already enjoyed the Americans' trust at the talks in Rambouillet as a negotiator next to Thaci: Xhavit Haliti was already collecting donations for the UCK before the Kosovo war; in recent weeks, the secret services report, he has collected another 43 million marks from Albanians in Germany and Switzerland.

The trio of Haliti, Thaci and Haradinaj has not by any means funded their Kalashnikov policy from donations alone: "The unrest in Macedonia and the related instability in the region," a secret service file states, are "the absolute precondition for their criminal business" -- meaning illicit dealings in drugs, weapons and young women.

Fed by such facts, the Europeans' pressure on the USA is clearly beginning to show an impact. In late June President George W. Bush prohibited 21 UCK leaders from traveling to the USA and barred US citizens from money transactions with the extremists. Top people of the Kosovo Defense Corps were also on the Bush list; only later were they fired.

Meanwhile, the pathetic praise expressed by Bush for the American border patrols in a drop-by visit last week in Kosovo struck Scharping and his military people as scornful. As Bush said in all seriousness in his appearance in the fortress-like Camp Bondsteel, they prevented "weapons from falling into rebel hands," which is why there is now "hope for peace" in Macedonia. But Bush also warned the UCK to keep quiet in neighboring Macedonia: "The Kosovars should concentrate on Kosovo."

Now the Berlin government is wondering: Is Bush doing an about-face, or is he once again just lulling the suspicious NATO partners? After all, at the end of the day they are the ones to pick up the pieces of the questionable US policy in Macedonia.

The Americans themselves do not want to send any combat troops to Macedonia to disarm the UCK. They feel troops of the European NATO allies should be the only ones doing the risky dirty work.

But no one knows better than the Americans what the UCK irregulars are up to. The US force in the Balkans has low-flying satellites and its own mobile communication system that enables encrypted telephone calls. Obviously thus far neither the West European secret services nor the Russian spy service has technically succeeded in penetrating and listening in on this "low-flying satellite-based system."

The UCK, however, can use the Americans' exclusive communication network with a radio circuit of its own. As a result, Washington's professional eavesdroppers are always perfectly well informed when the Albanian irregulars plan to attack and where they plan to withdraw.

51 posted on 05/26/2003 10:46:06 PM PDT by DestroyEraseImprove
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To: F-117A
The Powell Doctine pertains to strategy, not the tactics used to execute that strategy. Overwhelming force in that context refers to the totality of the combat power brought to bear against a particular adversary. And combat power is a function of many things, first of which is the leadership & training of the forces involved.

The problem with the Macedonian tactics was that their inability to maneuver or conduct semi-independent ops with small units in order to close with and fix or destroy the extremists caused them to essentially stand-off at a distance and blast away at both known and suspected enemy locations. The Albanians figured that out in a hurry, would fire a few shots & then quickly move away to watch the Macedonian over-reaction (along with the reporters and TV cameras). In the glare of the Information Age, the relatively indiscriminate use of firepower by the Macedonians brought them not victory, but more recruits for the Albanians, widespread international condemnation and resultant pressure to negotiate.

I suspect that General Powell would strongly disagree with your characterization of Macedonian tactics as emblematic of the Powell Doctrine. Think Operation JUST CAUSE in Panama as an example of the Powell Doctrine executed while Powell was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. And in regard to Gulf War II, it was a masterpiece of movement, not firepower. Most Iraqi forces were rendered irrelevant by the tempo of US ops & speed of the advance.
52 posted on 05/27/2003 8:37:58 AM PDT by mark502inf
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To: Hoplite
I would direct your attention to the results, which, while not perfect, are a damn sight better than what the morons in charge of the extremes of each of the warring parties were hoping for.

Appeasement doesn't work, Hoplite. Never has. And yes, appeasement is exactly what we did. We rewarded a bunch of thugs by giving them their little fiefdom(s) from which they export heroin, run child-prostitution rings, and amass further power so they could cause more trouble down the line.

There's no reason at all we needed to dictate to Ukraine or anyone else whom they could or couldn't sell weapons to, particularly when they were selling them to a democratic government that was legitimately putting down an insurrection.

53 posted on 05/27/2003 11:11:32 AM PDT by inquest
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To: tet68
Anti war.com isn't known for its credibility... Or for it's literary ability

Interesting sweeping generalization. Care to mention specific examples of unreliable sources on Antiwar.com? While you are at it, perhaps you can also mention which articles are poorly written?

Last time I checked, Antiwar.com reports from a variety of sources, both biased and neutral, but certainly more diverse than most of our network media, like FauxNews, the choice propaganda news channel of the illiterati.

Antiwar.com commentaries are not neutral, but most of them are superbly written and documented, and far, far from anything close to despicably poor prose of sweeping generalizations that personify some characters on this forum.

54 posted on 05/27/2003 6:45:08 PM PDT by kosta50
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To: inquest
The KLA and ANA do not exercise control over all Albanians - yours is a false premise, and your conclusions suffer from it.
55 posted on 05/28/2003 1:53:26 PM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Hoplite
You seem to know a thing or two about false premises, since you just employed a rather glaring one. I never said these groups exercised control over all Albanians. I said they control their respective turfs, the way Mafia bosses controlled their respective sections of Chicago in the 1920's. Except I don't think in this case any "untouchables" are going to be coming along any time soon.
56 posted on 05/29/2003 8:27:56 AM PDT by inquest
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To: inquest
We rewarded a bunch of thugs by giving them their little fiefdom(s) from which they export heroin, run child-prostitution rings, and amass further power so they could cause more trouble down the line.

Reread your statement - you are either saying that we gave the KLA/ANA control, or that the Albanians are all thugs.

Which is it?

Doesn't really matter, though, does it. Both are wrong.

57 posted on 05/29/2003 12:34:12 PM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Hoplite
Doesn't really matter, indeed, how you want to spin my words around. #53 and #56 speak for themselves, and are correct, your distortions notwithstanding.
58 posted on 05/29/2003 12:39:55 PM PDT by inquest
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To: inquest
So the LDK is merely window dressing then.

Nice - if reality doesn't suit your worldview, simply ignore it.

59 posted on 05/29/2003 12:49:22 PM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Hoplite
It really strains your belief to contemplate that a criminal gang can have a political front-group? I've considered you accusable of many things, but gullibility hasn't been one of them until now.
60 posted on 05/29/2003 1:09:35 PM PDT by inquest
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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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To: joan
Well, of course he was a "hardline nationalist." Found plenty of remarks of that nature during my search of the oh-so-objective news reports. So I guess he was guilty of a thought crime.
81 posted on 06/02/2003 11:47:50 AM PDT by inquest
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To: inquest
Well, you were the one who brought it up, so what's that say about you?

I merely explained to you the reason why Serbian troops wouldn't be allowed back into Kosovo, whereupon you countered with your Harlem example, which is specious, given the difference between the motivation and methods of the two forces involved.

So I dunno - what does that say about me?

You may consider the reason the Serbs won't be back in Kosovo any time soon no more than a confusion of hot air, but government by the consent of the governed will be enforced in this case, given the previous government's criminal treatment of it's subject citizens.

Moving on, let's consider the following two statements:

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.

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.

Given your vast knowledge of the subject, you must know the relevant dates of both Croatian and Bosnian recognition, and the approximate starting point of the ethnic slaughter in both countries.

In short, you are either attempting to rewriting history or demonstrate an egregious ignorance of the subject matter - both Vukovar and the cleansing of non-Serb villages in Bosnia predate the recognition of those countries by months. So just how did our and the European's recognition exacerbate the situation? Other than definitively scuttling the Serb attempt to create Greater Serbia and giving a generation of web based disinformation artists grist for their mills, the effects of recognition shall have to be demonstrated to have worsened the situation.

Are you up to it? I doubt it, but what the hell, you may surprise me yet.

you'd do well

What I'd do well to do, Inquest, is to more fully recognize the limitations of those I am conversing with. If you cannot figure out how our actions in Croatia and Bosnia, where we paid mere lip service to our values and ideals, relate to our actions in Macedonia, where we intervened to stop ethnic violence from tearing the country apart, then who am I to attempt to elucidate the matter to you more than once?

Was the kind of fearmongering you describe going on anywhere but on the Albanian side?

Have you seen examples of fearmongering on the Albanian side? I'm curious - please provide examples that match what was being presented on RealityMacedonia.org

Look up Ljuboten and Boskovski - I'll expect to hear your recycling of someone else's rationalization forthwith.

82 posted on 06/02/2003 5:25:46 PM PDT by Hoplite
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To: joan
Actually Joan, I didn't see that particular news item until this morning, when I browsed throgh the relevant section of RFERL.org.

Ljube is just one of those idiots I can count on in a squeeze to prove a point, so I keep him in mind.

83 posted on 06/02/2003 5:28:48 PM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Hoplite
You may consider the reason the Serbs won't be back in Kosovo any time soon no more than a confusion of hot air, but government by the consent of the governed will be enforced in this case, given the previous government's criminal treatment of it's subject citizens.

Yup, hot air all around. Your prating on about "government by consent of the governed" fully justifies my Harlem example. If "government by consent of the governed" means one thing in Kosovo, it means the exact same thing everywhere else. Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, you're basically arguing for an unlimited right to secession all throughout the world, even in cases where there's a normal, democratically run parent government.

So just how did our and the European's recognition exacerbate the situation? Other than definitively scuttling the Serb attempt to create Greater Serbia and giving a generation of web based disinformation artists grist for their mills, the effects of recognition shall have to be demonstrated to have worsened the situation.

Interesting. It "definitively scuttled" their attempts, huh? Well gee, you'd think the war would have just ended at that point, seeing as how the Serbs would have just known the game was up. Oh wait, I was the one rewriting history...

In any case, we granted recognition to Bosnia and Croatia in April 1992. And the EU recognized Croatia in December '91 (which no doubt encouraged Bosnia to go that route 3 months later). I'll let you be the judge of how bad things were before & after that point. Here, have a memory refresher.

I'm curious - please provide examples that match what was being presented on RealityMacedonia.org

You call that fearmongering? If there were any exaggerations in that story (which I doubt), they were designed to play to an American audience, not a Macedonian one. The latter already knew how disreputable the KLA/NLA/ANA were, even without Osama. Fearmongering, to me, means demonizing an ethnic group (for example, your hot air about Serbia up at the top of the post), not calling to account those who've appointed themselves to act on their behalf. If someone tried to make the case that Louis Farrakhan was aligned with al-Qaeda (which is not too fanciful, given his warm relationship with Middle Eastern despots), would you consider it "fearmongering" against blacks?

Look up Ljuboten and Boskovski - I'll expect to hear your recycling of someone else's rationalization forthwith.

Well, let's see: 1. We have the OSCE refusing to corroborate HRW's account. HRW chalks this up to "intimidation" by the Macedonian government, which of course is ridiculous; the worst that could happen to them is that they'd just be kicked out of the country, which would only make Skopje look bad, not the OSCE. (And even at that, have they kicked the brave, intrepid HRW out of the country? Didn't think so.)

2. We have a whole bunch of sensational interviews with Ljuboten locals (in Skopje!) who claimed to have been severly beaten, but no mention by HRW of wounds on the bodies of these interviewees. Just an oversight, I'm sure. (Couldn't have been fearmongering or anything)

3. We have a guerrilla army in Macedonia that shamelessly hides among civilian populations, so in such a situation, things aren't always going to look neat and clean. If the Macedonian army is going to go into a place looking for terrorists, are the locals going to welcome them in with open arms and turn over the people they're looking for, or are they going to riot and provoke retaliatory measures? HRW doesn't appear to ask themselves these questions, which of course would leave the reader with the impression that Boskoski and his colleagues are just a bunch of lying Slavs. Oh, and the fact that HRW calls them "ultranationalists" doesn't contribute much to their objectivity either.

84 posted on 06/02/2003 9:05:07 PM PDT by inquest
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To: Hoplite
Ljube is just one of those idiots I can count on in a squeeze to prove a point, so I keep him in mind.

While it's nice to know I had you in a squeeze, you've hardly proven any points by bringing him up. You might have some credibility if the U.S. government cited abuses by the Macedonian government as justification for intervening in their affairs, but when you look at their statements, it's all "peace process" and "timetables" and "talks" and "ceasefires". As if that somehow justifies our meddlesomeness.

85 posted on 06/02/2003 9:09:31 PM PDT by inquest
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To: Hoplite; inquest
Given your vast knowledge of the subject, you must know the relevant dates of both Croatian and Bosnian recognition, and the approximate starting point of the ethnic slaughter in both countries.

Let's see, Croatia was recognized in 92, and Gospic was in 91.

86 posted on 06/03/2003 11:16:09 PM PDT by bob808
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To: inquest
Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, you're basically arguing for an unlimited right to secession all throughout the world, even in cases where there's a normal, democratically run parent government.

No.

Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, you do not understand events in the Balkans, much less my position in relation to them.

Can you tell me whether there is an insurrection in Harlem? I'm intrigued by your clinging to that point - did I miss the revolution, or are you merely going overboard with a hypothetical here?

87 posted on 06/05/2003 11:58:56 AM PDT by Hoplite
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To: bob808
How unlike to to bolster my position, yet how like you to not comprehend the issue being discussed.
88 posted on 06/05/2003 11:59:34 AM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Hoplite
Oh, so if there was an insurrection in Harlem, we would be morally enjoined from going in and putting it down!

Keep at it, Hoplite. Maybe you can find some interesting fossils in that hole you're digging yourself into.

89 posted on 06/05/2003 12:04:56 PM PDT by inquest
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To: Hoplite
Pssst - Gospic was an instance of Croats massacring Serbs, not the other way around. Kinda makes you wonder what made the EU think Croatia was such a fine upstanding candidate for recognition.

Found anything down there yet?

90 posted on 06/05/2003 12:09:51 PM PDT by inquest
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To: inquest
Ahem...

There is no insurrection in Harlem, because we don't treat our residents like Milosevic treated his minorities.

That supports my side of the argument, not yours.

Get it?

91 posted on 06/05/2003 3:19:32 PM PDT by Hoplite
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To: inquest
Pssst - Gospic was in October, and the Serbian ethnic cleansing of Croat Kijevo was in August and both predate recognition.

Still, if you're going to hew to the Nationalist Serbian line, none of this will matter.

92 posted on 06/05/2003 3:42:06 PM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Hoplite
There is no insurrection in Harlem, because we don't treat our residents like Milosevic treated his minorities.

And once again, Milosevic and his party are out of the equation. You seem determined to keep going round and round in circles with this, in the apparent hope that no one will notice that you can't give us a coherent reason why the Serbs are unfit to govern their own country.

Pssst - Gospic was in October, and the Serbian ethnic cleansing of Croat Kijevo was in August and both predate recognition.

Yeah, and? It still makes it pretty laughable that you think Gospic supports your position.

93 posted on 06/05/2003 6:01:34 PM PDT by inquest
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To: inquest
Milosevic is out of the equation, but it wasn't Milosevic who was doing the dirty work in Kosovo on the ground, was it? Ergo, it will be some time before the Kosovar Albanians are ready to countenance Serbs in uniforms in their midst.

It's a coherent reason, and it was given earlier in this thread. If you don't agree with it, fine - deal with the world and your cognitive dissonance as best you can.

Speaking of not understanding things, the fact that Croats and Serbs were killing each other with great abandon prior to Croatia's being recognized, coupled with the cease-fire put in place after recognition, doesn't support your position that recognition made things worse in Croatia - both parties were hell bent upon achieving their aims through force, the Croats turned out to want it more than the Serbs, and something tells me that the outcome of the various Balkan wars, which ended worse for the Serbs than others, chap your hide and are driving this discussion more than anything else.

94 posted on 06/06/2003 10:40:30 AM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Hoplite
Milosevic is out of the equation, but it wasn't Milosevic who was doing the dirty work in Kosovo on the ground, was it? Ergo, it will be some time before the Kosovar Albanians are ready to countenance Serbs in uniforms in their midst.

It's a coherent reason

No, it's not a reason at all for the question I asked, namely, why the Serbs aren't competent to decide themselves what would be the best approach to take. If you don't want to read what I'm saying, then don't lecture me about cognitive dissonance.

Speaking of not understanding things, the fact that Croats and Serbs were killing each other with great abandon prior to Croatia's being recognized, coupled with the cease-fire put in place after recognition, doesn't support your position that recognition made things worse in Croatia

You're honestly going to tell me that things were worse before recognition than after?

something tells me that the outcome of the various Balkan wars, which ended worse for the Serbs than others, chap your hide and are driving this discussion more than anything else.

Typical paranoid raving. Anyone who disagrees with you must be a Serb ultranationalist, which by the looks of things would amount to about 75% of the people on FR. Do you really believe your own idiotic strawmen? Pretty sad if you do.

95 posted on 06/06/2003 11:11:30 AM PDT by inquest
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To: inquest
The Serbs can decide what's best for the Serbs, and the Kosovar Albanians will decide what's best for the Kosovar Albanians - deal with it.

You're honestly going to tell me that things were worse before recognition than after?

Go ahead - pick a category - economic damage, deaths, refugees, or all war related issues and we'll take it from there. Let's quantify this and put an end to this nonsense.

Anyone who disagrees with you must be a Serb ultranationalist

No, I run into a fair share of simpletons as well.

Research the Croatia recognition question - I'll look forward to going over the data with you. = )

96 posted on 06/06/2003 2:03:07 PM PDT by Hoplite
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To: Hoplite; inquest
Ergo, it will be some time before the Kosovar Albanians are ready to countenance Serbs in uniforms in their midst.

What do you think about the timeframe 1941 to 1991 in regard to the Krajina Serbs? I mean, were the Krajina Serbs ready to countenance the Ustashas in uniform in their midst in 1991? I don't think they were.

97 posted on 06/06/2003 2:42:24 PM PDT by DestroyEraseImprove
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To: Hoplite
The Serbs can decide what's best for the Serbs, and the Kosovar Albanians will decide what's best for the Kosovar Albanians - deal with it.

But the latest in a string of incoherent non-answers. Don't worry, I'll deal.

Go ahead - pick a category - economic damage, deaths, refugees, or all war related issues and we'll take it from there. Let's quantify this and put an end to this nonsense.

Now Hoplite, I realize that giving direct answers to questions isn't your strong suit, but I thought this one was pretty easy even for you. So why not give it the old college try?

And in any case, I provided you with a timeline earlier which you conveniently ignored.

No, I run into a fair share of simpletons as well.

If you define "simpleton" as someone who can follow simple logic and answer simple questions, I can see why you might feel so alone around here.

98 posted on 06/06/2003 4:33:23 PM PDT by inquest
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To: DestroyEraseImprove
What 1991 Ustashi?
99 posted on 06/06/2003 6:29:41 PM PDT by yonorono
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To: yonorono
What 1991 Ustashi?

Tudmans ZNG.

The Supreme State Council had been founded, while President Tudjman had made the decision on April 9, that the MUP police units become armed ZNG forces in 1991.

100 posted on 06/07/2003 1:07:58 AM PDT by DestroyEraseImprove
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