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Grandmaster of Russia and America

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June 22, 2015

Vladimir Putin, America’s Reluctant Foe

Monday, 22.06.2015 18:16

By Lev Alburt, Grandmaster

Chess player for Russia and for America

Editorial Explanation:

Lev Alburt will celebrate his 70th birthday in August. His life was divided in two: the first half passed in the Soviet Union, the second is going on in the USA. In his first homeland, the Odessian GM achieved many successes: he was 3-time Ukrainian Champion, a winner and a prize-winner of numerous international competitions, a repeated participant of the USSR Championship finals which were by then strongest tournaments in the world. In 1979, Alburt, as the saying went, "chose freedom", deciding not to come back from abroad. He has settled down in New York city and has been living there from then on.

As Alburt moved to the USA, he became one of the top American Grandmasters, winning the U.S. Championship three times and representing this country many times at the Olympiads. He is still into chess, being not only a successful coach but also a prolific writer. He is the author of many chess books on various topics, which are being sold in prestigious American and European book shops and could occupy nearly a bookshelf if taken together.

Apart from that, Albert has devoted a lot of his time to fighting Soviet communism. He spent his first-earned US money on a trip to Washington D.C. for the Sakharov Hearings. Whenever he got a chance, he provided his chess colleagues coming to the West with anti-Soviet literature. He participated in different rallies and forums, knew Bukowski and Amalrik, was in correspondence with Solzhenitsyn. He was also a member of organizations that made no secret of their intentions to change the Soviet regime.

Dramatic acceleration of events in his former country the USSR, resulting in its collapse, was quite unexpected for Alburt as well as for many others. These days, 25 years after that sharp turn of history, Lev Alburt is still interested in the world political situation. The fate of his former country still worries him, as well as, of course, the fate of his new homeland. We are presenting the Grand Master’s point of view on the matters still very important to him.

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By: Lev Alburt

American elites are united in their disdain for Russia and their hatred for Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. Such unanimity is highly unusual; for instance, when President Carter imposed on the USSR the grain embargo, that action was sharply criticized from both left and right.

Putin equals KGB? His choices suggest otherwise.

Putin equals KGB; (Boris) Yeltsin equals Soviet Nomenclatura; (Andrei) Sakharov equals Stalin’s H-Bomb. All three statements are true; but, being incomplete, all three are also highly misleading.

In early 1990, Putin entered the service of soon-to-be Leningrad Mayor Anatoly Sobchak, swiftly rising to become Sobchak’s First Deputy. What makes Putin’s, and Sobchak’s, choices so significant was Sobchak’s well-deserved reputation as an outspoken anti-communist.

Both Sobchak and Putin firmly opposed the August 19-21 1991 Back-to-Communism Coup, throwing their full support behind Boris Yeltsin. On August 20, Putin demonstratively resigned from the KGB Reserves. Putin’s defiant actions could have cost him dearly, especially as KGB head Kriuchkov was the key leader of the Coup.

In 1996 Sobchak lost the mayoralty to his former aide, Vladimir Yakovlev. Putin, for whom loyalty to friends is a sacred virtue, was outraged. Rejecting Yakovlev’s offer to stay, Putin preferred to leave Leningrad; in a few months’ he’d gotten a middle-level job in the Yeltsin administration. When Sobchak was indicted a year later, Putin smuggled his fallen friend out of the country.

(Commemorating in the spring of 2015 the Armenian genocide, Putin used that forbidden word, genocide – knowing full well this would anger the Turks, with whom Putin had just signed a number of important agreements. Putin did what he thought was right, even at the price.)

As President, Putin brought some normalcy and hope to the embittered, long-suffering nation. He continued to promote the free-market economy, eventually even introducing the 13% flat income tax. State revenues grew and the economy boomed (high oil prices were a big help, of course).

Russo-American Drama: The spurned love and the persistent suitor

Despite all-pervasive communist propaganda, the people of Russia/USSR have always liked the West and considered themselves an integral part of the West. America, they loved. After all, Russians and Americans are much alike in character, geography, and history, Manifest Destiny being a mirror of Russia’s own drive toward the Pacific. Americans, too, loved Russian literature, chess, ballet; summits, joint ventures (like Apollo-Soyuz), people-to-people TV-bridges, scientific exchanges. With communism gone, Russians expected Russo-American friendship to blossom. Alas, most Americans forgot Russia as soon as the nuclear threat was no more. For those on the left, there was also a sense of betrayal: a flight to Moscow was no longer a trip into the future.

To please America, Yeltsin’s government quickly abandoned USSR’s most unsavory clients. Russia even gave the Americans a map of the electronic bugs in the US’s Moscow Embassy. In return there was little thanks and even less reciprocity. Symbolic was the case of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment of 1975, which tied US-Soviet trade to the level of Jewish emigration from the USSR. By 1992, emigration from Russia was absolutely free but Jackson-Vanik remained on the books well into the younger Bush’s presidency.

Russians of all stripes had been shocked by the rapid dismemberment of Yugoslavia, applauded, even facilitated, by "The West"; by America’s treatment of Serbs , Russia’s (and America’s) truest allies in both World Wars. Not surprisingly, by 2000 the majority of Russians viewed America unfavorably.

Putin was determined to reverse this trend. He believed in a Russo-American commonality of interests, and he personally liked George W. Bush.

Putin was the first to call Bush on September 11, and he offered what America needed: The Northern Alliance to help the US to defeat the Taliban and capture Bin Laden; transit for US and US-allied forces over Russian territory; Russian bases in Central Asia; intelligence; supplies; indeed everything America might need to fight terrorism. All of this and more Putin delivered, ignoring grumbling among his military and intelligence chiefs.

On a personal level, Putin was willing to stand by his friend George – even when this was contrary to Russia’s interest. Putin – and Russian elites – loved the ABM treaty, mostly for its nostalgic symbolism of US-Soviet parity. When George W. Bush decided to withdraw America from ABM in order to facilitate the Strategic Defense, most Democratic Senators and even a couple of "arms-control" Republicans opposed it. With Russia’s help they hoped to stop Bush.

I remember a TV pundit, openly supportive of the ABM treaty, asking Putin a softball question – if the USA abrogates the treaty, Russia will, of course, strongly react: build more offensive weaponry, undertake some asymmetric actions, all leading to a new wave of the Arms Race. Not so, replied Putin. While we prefer to keep the treaty, America’s withdrawal from it isn’t a threat to Russia’s security – America is our friend. No arms race, no counter-actions. Not surprisingly, the opposition to Bush melted away. Thanks to friend Vlad, Bush got his SDI.

Putin didn’t look for a quid pro quo – rather for understanding, friendship, long-term partnership, all based on a commonality of interests. For Bush, however Russia was, and was supposed to remain, a reliable sidekick, a pupil to be taught how to behave. And on a personal level, can you imagine Bush saying, condescendingly, something about seeing a soul – referring to Tony Blair or to Saudi Prince Bandar?

New Cold War may be costlier and more dangerous than the First

Ten years ago a Russian diplomat told me "In our government, there is only one man who still believes that Russo-American partnership is possible, and worth aiming for. Because that man is Vladimir Putin the rest of us follow. But if Putin would ever lose his interest in America, our policies would change overnight."

Putin’s patience with US anti-Russian policies – NATO expansion toward the East, despite all assurance that this would never happen; America’s support for every country, every politician able to portray itself as an enemy and would-be victim of Russia – began to run thin. No more double standards, he said.

In 2008, the US sold, on credit, some weaponry to Georgia, then at loggerheads with Russia. A few months later, Russia sold weapons to Venezuela, for about the same sum (under a billion dollars). The US government, surprised, protested. Russia’s reply: if you can give weapons to Georgia – give, because you would never get a penny back — why can’t we sell weapons for hard cash?

Today, US-Russia relations are in a very dangerous zone. In his latest State of the Union address, President Obama named only one state as an American enemy: Russia. The second enemy was a non-state entity, ISIL. (In an earlier speech there was a third major culprit, the Ebola virus). Obama credited the US-led embargo with Russia’s "political isolation" and "economy in shatters," and promised more. Unfortunately, this is purely wishful thinking. Russia’s economy is much better than the USSR’s ever was. And within a week of the State of the Union, Putin was signing agreements in Turkey and Egypt, and his Defense Minister in India. Even in Latin America Russia has more friends than the USA. If further driven by American hostility, Russia, at some point, will reciprocate in kind, supporting American enemies all over the world, an old Soviet practice.

So far, Putin resists the temptation, and the urging – of his aides, and of the vast majority of the population – to go tit-for-tat. America should try to diffuse tensions and to reach an understanding with Russia before the current hatreds become fixed and institutionalized as it was during Cold War I.

President Lincoln, “The way to destroy your enemy, is to make him your friend.”

Written by Mika

31. avgusta 2015. at 07:51

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Mass Migration: What Is Driving the Balkan Exodus?

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Mass Migration: What Is Driving the Balkan Exodus?

By Susanne Koelbl, Katrin Kuntz and Walter Mayr

Armend Nimani/ DER SPIEGEL

More than a third of all asylum-seekers arriving in Germany come from Albania, Kosovo and Serbia. Young, poor and disillusioned with their home countries, they are searching for a better future. But almost none of them will be allowed to stay.

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When Visar Krasniqi reached Berlin and saw the famous image on Bernauer Strasse — the one of the soldier jumping over barbed wire into the West — he knew he had arrived. He had entered a different world, one that he wanted to become a part of. What he didn’t yet know was that his dream would come to an end 11 months later, on Oct. 5, 2015. By then, he has to leave, as stipulated in the temporary residence permit he received.

Krasniqi is not a war refugee, nor was he persecuted back home. In fact, he has nothing to fear in his native Kosovo. He says that he ran away from something he considers to be even worse than rockets and Kalashnikovs: hopelessness. Before he left, he promised his sick mother in Pristina that he would become an architect, and he promised his fiancée that they would have a good life together. "I’m a nobody where I come from, but I want to be somebody."

But it is difficult to be somebody in Kosovo, unless you have influence or are part of the mafia, which is often the same thing. Taken together, the wealth of all parliamentarians in Kosovo is such that each of them could be a millionaire. But Krasniqi works seven days a week as a bartender, and earns just €200 ($220) a month.

But a lack of prospects is not a recognized reason for asylum, which is why Krasniqi’s application was initially denied. The 30,000 Kosovars who have applied for asylum in Germany since the beginning of the year are in similar positions. And the Kosovars are not the only ones. This year, the country has seen the arrival of 5,514 Macedonians, 11,642 Serbians, 29,353 Albanians and 2,425 Montenegrins. Of the 196,000 people who had filed an initial application for asylum in Germany by the end of July, 42 percent are from the former Yugoslavia, a region now known as the Western Balkans.

The exodus shows the wounds of the Balkan wars have not yet healed. Slovenia and Croatia are now members of the European Union, but Kosovo, which split from Serbia and became prematurely independent in 2008, carves out a pariah existence. Serbia is heavily burdened with the unresolved Kosovo question. The political system in Bosnia-Hercegovina is on the brink of collapse, 20 years after the end of the war there. And Macedonia, long the post-Yugoslavia model nation, has spent two decades in the waiting rooms of the EU and NATO, thanks to Greek pressure in response to a dispute over the country’s name. The consequences are many: a lack of investment, failing social welfare systems, corruption, organized crime, high unemployment, poverty, frustration and rage.

Losing Confidence

A survey by Germany’s Friedrich Ebert Foundation found that close to two-thirds of 14-to-29-year-olds want to leave Albania, as do more than half of those in the same age group from Kosovo and Macedonia. They have lost all confidence in their young democracies, and they dream of a better life.

They apply for asylum in Europe because that is the only way to obtain a residence permit. But almost all applications are ultimately denied. In 2014, 0.2 percent of Serbians were recognized, 1.1 percent of Kosovars and 2.2 percent of Albanians. One of the topics of discussion at the next asylum summit in Berlin on Sept. 9 will be whether Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo should be added to the list of "safe countries of origin" along with Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia-Hercegovina. The hope is that changing the rules will encourage fewer people to migrate to Germany from the Balkans.

DER SPIEGEL

Map: Where the asylum seekers come from.

And there are, indeed, hardly any reasons to grant asylum to migrants from the Balkans. Even human rights organizations have few objections ton classifying these countries as "safe," with the exceptions that apply to minorities like the Sinti and Roma, as well as homosexuals. But is this a way to stop the hopeless from coming? What are people like Visar Krasniqi running away from? And what is political security worth to someone who is poor?

The search for answers takes us to Albania and Kosovo, the two poorest Balkan countries and the sources of the largest number of asylum seekers in recent months. And to Serbia, which has been classified as a "safe country of origin" for the last year.

Kosovo: A Country Like a Cage

Vučitrn is a small city north of Pristina that holds a sad record: Almost a tenth of its of 70,000 people have left for — or have already returned from — Germany. The city’s largest employer, a galvanization plant, shut down last year and the exodus began soon thereafter. Some residents sold their houses or jewelry to pay for the trip; all went into debt. Suddenly no one wanted to stay in Vučitrn anymore.

The migrants took buses to Subotica on the Serbian-Hungarian border. Then a trafficker took groups of 60 to 70 people at a time on an eight-hour trek through the forest into Hungary, circumventing the border post. "It felt like all of Kosovo was there," says Teuta Kelmende, 30, an attractive woman with high cheekbones and blue eyes. Wiping away a tear, she describes how she pulled her daughter along with her in the coldness of February. She scrolls through photos on her smartphone: of the hotel in Serbia, the train ride to Austria, the family sitting on a bus in the southwestern German state of Baden-Württemberg, bound for a migrant reception camp.

Kelmende and her husband live in the house of her husband’s parents in a village near Vučitrn. They own one cow. She dreams of learning to become a hairdresser and he dreams of making more than the €15 a day he takes in driving an illegal taxi. In January, they heard the news on television that Germany was seeking foreign workers and accepting refugees. They borrowed €3,000 from relatives and left.

Their dream ended a few weeks ago, and Kelmende and her husband, like so many others, are back in Vučitrn. On this day, she is sitting in the social welfare office. An international aid organization is looking for an assistant, and Kelmende is hoping to get the job. She is wearing lipstick and a chiffon blouse for the interview.

"We deceived ourselves," says Kelmende, referring to their trip to Germany.

But perhaps that is unsurprising in this small country with a population of only 1.8 million, where one in four people lives on less than €1.20 a day. Two-thirds of Kosovars are less than 30 years old, and 70 percent of them are unemployed. Many families could hardly survive without the €600 million that is annually sent back to family members by the Kosovar diaspora. The payments represent half of the country’s gross domestic product.

Bloated Administration

Those who are not part of the system in Kosovo hardly stand a chance to rise out of poverty, despite the fact that Kosovo receives more foreign aid per capita than any other country. The EU pays €250 million alone for the EULEX police and justice mission, which has failed to develop constitutional institutions and in fighting corruption.

The same group of corrupt politicians occupies all top government positions. This has led to the development of a bloated administrative apparatus of about 100,000 employees. The jobs typically go to relatives and supporters of those holding political positions. Public property is treated like private property: Recently, for example, the country’s electricity plant was sold at a deep discount to a relative of the Turkish president. Profits are funneled into dark channels and court proceedings drag on forever, with 500,000 cases still awaiting processing.

The country has never investigated what happened to 13,000 people who died in the war, and former officers of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) are now in positions of power. It was only at the beginning of August that parliament approved the establishment of a special tribunal to investigate war crimes.

Kosovars have been liberated from their Serbian oppression since the war ended 16 years ago, and yet they still live in a cage. Kosovo is the only country in the Balkans whose citizens are denied access to Europe and require a visa for the EU. Kosovo is not a member of the United Nations nor is it recognized by all EU countries. It is not even permitted to compete in the football World Cup.

Such was the situation in Vučitrn, and no one was particularly interested whether the news about Germany seeking foreign workers was actually true. No one investigated rumors that traffickers might have put out the information to create false hopes.

This, at any rate, is what the mayor of Vučitrn claims. Bajram Mulaku, 66, a former mathematics professor, is a white-haired giant of a man with a piercing gaze. Sitting at a large conference table in the town hall, he says that drivers, traffickers and hotel owners must have earned more than €10 million from the exodus out of Kosovo. The government in Pristina likewise blames an international trafficking network for the wave of refugees, and police have already arrested 54 suspects.

‘We Have a Life’

In spring, Mulaku called upon his citizens to stay home. He spoke of opportunities, of subsidies for potato farmers and of beekeeping. People merely had to be willing to work hard, he said. But no one wanted to hear that. The number of people leaving the city and the number of traffickers kept increasing, and prices declined by the day. In the end, traffickers were charging only €200 to take people to Hungary. Now everyone wanted to try his luck, if only to see Europe once. More than 100,000 Kosovars have left the country in the last 12 months, including 48,000 in the first three months of this year alone. Most went to Germany and France. Only 13,000 have thus far returned.

Perhaps the government is not entirely opposed to the mass exodus, because the typical migrant is 20 to 34, has no training, is unemployed and earns no more than €450 a month. Kosovo also has the highest birth rate in Europe, and 40,000 people come of age every year, creating even more pressure on the labor market.

Visar Krasniqi doesn’t want to go back. He is sitting in Café Oase on Alexanderplatz in Berlin, exhaling smoke from a hookah. He shows us his mobile phone, with an endless list of numbers of Kosovars in Berlin, Germany and all of Europe. They talk on the phone and play soccer, but most of all they compete with one another over which of them will stay in Germany the longest. And when they are short of funds, they cheer each other up by saying: "We are poor, but we have a life."

In Sweden migrants are deported after only four days, says Krasniqi, but the Finns are more liberal. In fact, he wants to go to Finland after Oct. 5, the date when his stay in Germany will come to an end.

Albania: Caught Up in the Maelstrom of Emigration

Mali Tafaj is standing in a field, threshing rye, five kilometers from the border with Kosovo. He gathers the dried sheaves, jerks the ears up to the cloudless sky and then slams them against a wooden block to detach the grains. Gathering, jerking and slamming the grain onto the wooden block — this is the rhythm of Tafaj’s days. He has been working in the field since 8 a.m., alongside his sister Baid, his father Bayran and his mother Nadira. They are producing feed for their three cows. The threshing will take eight hours. But there isn’t much else to do in Novosej, anyway.

Novosej is a small hamlet in northeastern Albania, with huts made of fieldstone and unpaved streets. Chickens scratch around in the dirt, old men ride by on their donkeys and children tend the sheep. Many years ago, the village had a population of more than 2,000, but now there are only 300 people left. "They are all in Germany," says Tafaj.

A slender 23-year-old man and a fan of AC Milan, he wipes the sweat from his brow. When he enrolled at the university, he listed his top choices of the subjects he wanted to study: 1. Finance, 2. Journalism, 3. Forestry. The government chose forestry for him. Now Tafaj knows the Latin names of all types of local trees, but he doesn’t have a job. Albania has a 30 percent unemployment rate.

There are about three million Albanians still living in the country, and about the same number as have already left the country. Albania is ninth in the World Bank’s ranking of the ratio of a country’s emigrants to its population. In first seven months of this year, 29,353 Albanians applied for asylum in Germany, including 7,500 in July alone. Only about 8,000 applications were filed during all of last year. After Syrians and Kosovars, Albanians have become the third-largest group of asylum seekers in Germany.

The most recent wave of emigration began with a rumor, say the villagers. The rumor, which came from Kosovo, just over a nearby hill, at the beginning of the year, was that the border to Serbia was open and that Germany was looking for workers.

Waiting for a Miracle

Dozens of Tafaj’s friends and relatives left the village and drove across the border to Prizren, where they paid €200 to board a bus to Germany. Since the visa requirement was lifted in 2010, Albanians are now permitted to spend three months a year as tourists in the Schengen area. Upon arrival in Germany, they applied for asylum, and now they receive €143 a month in support and are waiting for work. Or a miracle.

Albania is a country of constant transformation: from a communist regime to unrest bordering on civil war to a parliamentary democracy. Albania became a candidate for EU accession a year ago, but it is also a country where human trafficking and organized crime are rampant.

Some 72 bombs tied to criminal, private or political feuds have exploded there since 2014. Entire families are trapped in their homes because of threats of blood revenge. Albania is in 110th place in the Transparency International corruption ranking.

Albania is also the poorest of the 37 European countries for which Eurostat collects statistics. After 1990, agricultural cooperatives were closed and the country’s industry was in shambles. About half of all scientists and academics left the country and roughly one in two Albanians still work in agriculture today. Annual per capita GDP is €3,486, one-eighth of the EU average. The average hourly wage is a little over €2.

But no one is persecuted for criticizing the government. There is no war, the Sinti and the Roma are not hunted down, and even gays and lesbians are tolerated. If Albania is soon classified as a "safe country of origin," it will become easier to deport its citizens. But would that solve the problem?

In the afternoon, we are invited into the home of Mali Tafaj and his family. They live in a simple stone hut, with the parents sharing a room with the little brother, and Tafaj sleeping next to his sister. At night, they talk a lot about emigrating. His sister Badi says: "As a woman, I have to stay. But I want my brother to leave soon."

‘For My Parents’ Sake’

The Tafajs have an annual income of €3,500. They earn 20 cents from a kilogram of potatoes and €2.50 from a kilogram of veal. "It troubles us that we cannot offer the children a future," says the mother. On the day before, Tafaj spoke with a few emigrants who live in London and are home on vacation. They are well dressed and have brought money from England. Transfers from abroad make up one-tenth of the country’s GDP. "I will have to support my parents when they get old," says Tafaj. "But how?"

In a video posted by the German police that he saw on Facebook, a voice says that there are no prospects for asylum in Germany. Tafaj would actually like to stay in Albania. "But I will probably go," he says. "For my parents’ sake."

What would Edi Rama say to a young man like Tafaj?

"I know that Germany is tempting," says Rama. "The €11 a day. The temporary work permit. The ability to save a little money in those three months. All of that is worthwhile for many people." Rama is a tall, jovial man who was once an art professor and used to be the mayor of the Albanian capital city of Tirana. He is now the country’s prime minister. His office in Tirana, which doubles as his studio, is a three-hour drive from Tafaj’s village. There are wax crayons on the tables. Rama wants to be the one to bring Albania into the EU.

For decades, the country’s economy was based on a construction boom and transfers from emigrants. Now it has been diversified to include a textile industry, mining, telecommunications, energy and tourism. "But palpable results take a long time," says Rama. The reform process has come to a standstill. Tens of thousands protested when the government raised taxes on cigarettes and gasoline, and announced plans to introduce a higher income tax. People are leaving Albania because change is taking too long for their taste. To prevent more and more people from emigrating, the prime minister is urging the EU to classify his country as "safe" as quickly as possible. He knows that EU accession negotiations will not begin as long as large numbers of Albanians continue to seek asylum in countries to the north.

Rama also has a dream, one that he discussed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel when she visited Tirana in July. He wants Germany to enter into cooperative programs with Albanian trade schools. The schools would deliberately prepare Albanians for the kind of work that no one in Germany wants to do. He calls the idea "a game changer," and adds: "Fifty trade schools, and in three years everything here would be different."

Serbia: Escaping the Winter

Most Balkans immigrants originate from Albania and Kosovo, but one in five is from Serbia or Macedonia, two countries that have been considered "safe countries of origin" since 2014. Despite this, the number of asylum applications for Serbian citizens has increased by 45 percent compared to the first seven months of 2014. Only 0.1 percent of Serbians have so far been permitted to stay in 2015. So why do they keep coming?

During the first three months of this year, 91 percent of the Serbian asylum-seekers in Germany were Roma, despite the fact that there is less discrimination against Roma in Serbia than in Hungary, the Czech Republic or Slovakia. What drives them is need. "We also want to get a piece of German prosperity — that’s why many are going," says Vitomir Mihajlovic, who is sitting in his office with a view of Belgrade’s St. Mark’s Church. He’s president of the Roma National Council, which, he says represents 600,000 Roma.

He says all the talk in Europe of "asylum cheats" is misleading and what his people are actually looking for is "economic asylum. That means that we aren’t fleeing for political reasons, but that we are nonetheless threatened." Mihajlovic says that 80 percent of Serbian Roma haven’t even completed primary school and that discrimination creates a vicious cycle of suffering. The marginalization of the people who live in Mahala, a Roma settlement, starts as soon as school for most, and it doesn’t take long for a sense of resignation to set in.

Conditions are at their worst during the cold winter months. To prevent people here from heading for Western Europe, Mihajlovic suggests that Germans send wood for heating, food and toiletries and undertake other short-term measures. The clock is already ticking, he warns. "Things will pick up again in September. Then the next wave will begin making its way north."

Eight People in 12 Square Meters

Halkilk Hasani is among those planning to make that journey soon. The 42-year-old spent nine years working for the garbage collection company, but he’s been out of work for a long time now. He lives together with his wife and six children in a 12 square meter (130 square foot) space in Makis 1, an impoverished container settlement at the edge of Belgrade that is surrounded by trash, stray dogs and children who play on the bare earth. At least he lives here for the time being. The city wants to evict the family because they left for Germany in 2011 and, by doing so, forfeited their right to live here.

Their 2011 trip took them by bus from Belgrade to Essen, where they applied for asylum. Around a year later, officials rejected their applications, but they stayed anyway, for another 15 months. "It was like living in America," says Hasani. "We got an allowance of €900 a month as well as food and toiletries." But then, they were cut off. The police showed up one morning at 3 a.m. and drove them to the airport. They were flown back home on an Adria Airways flight from Frankfurt on Feb. 25, 2014. Hasani dug out his ID, which the German federal police stamped with the word "deported". It didn’t scare him. "I was told that it is only valid for two years," he explains. He will be permitted to enter Germany again in February and he says his family plans to go again.

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has some advice for the Germans. "Send our people home again and, more importantly, don’t give them any money." There’s nothing Vucic could use less right now than trouble with the Germans. The EU lifted the visa requirement for Serbians traveling into the Schengen area in 2009 and it would be a major setback for the prime minister and his policies of opening Serbia, which include cautious overtures to Kosovo and painful economic reforms.

But it’s not just Serbian Roma who are heading to Germany. Belgrade has become a transit hub for tens of thousands of Syrians, Afghans and Iranians who are flowing into northern Europe via Turkey and Greece. The EU, their dream destination, is located just 200 kilometers from the Serbian capital and around 2,500 refugees arrive in Serbia every day. Andso many refugees are arriving in neighboring Macedonia that the government declared a state of emergency last Friday.

To send a message, Serbia’s prime minister appeared on Aug. 19 in the park behind Belgrade’s central station, where thousands of refugees gather prior to the last stage in the trip to Hungary. Just one day earlier, the refugees had been camped out here between mountains of trash, shreds of clothing and excrement. On the morning of the 19th, though, in expectation of the visit, the city’s sanitation department cleaned up the park up so that Vucic, surrounded by cameras, could extend his "hospitality and cordiality" to the refugees. Most of those present, though, didn’t even know who was speaking, so the prime minister patted a boy on the head and disappeared again.

On Thursday, the Western Balkan Conference is set to begin. Ironically, the meeting will be held inside Vienna’s Hofburg Palace, the heart of the former Habsburg Empire. The countries touching the empire’s former external borders still haven’t found lasting peace even 100 years after it unraveled. For this year’s conference, organizers have come up with something special. In the stadium where the football team Wiener Austria usually plays, heads of current EU member states are to match up against the team "FC Future EU."

That team includes Serbian Prime Minister Vucic, Kosovo Foreign Minister Hashim Thaci and Prime Minister Rama of Albania, men who wouldn’t even have shaken hands not too long ago. It would be a good opportunity for these men to bury old hostilities. And to try to find a way to stop the exodus.

Written by Mika

26. avgusta 2015. at 17:55

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Serbia and Kosovo sign ‘landmark’ deal

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euobserver.com

Serbia and Kosovo sign ‘landmark’ deal

Eric Maurice

Serbia and Kosovo reached agreement Tuesday (25 August) on key issues for better relations between the two countries, and between Albanian and Serbian people in Kosovo.

The deal, brokered in Brussels by EU chief diplomat Federica Mogherini, establishes strong local powers for Kosovo areas with a Serbian majority.

Kosovo also took a step towards recognition by Serbia of Kosovo’s own international phone code.

"Today’s outcome represents landmark achievements in the normalisation process”, Mogherini said, adding that it’ll "enable the two sides to advance on their European path".

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. But Serbia, together with five EU member states and 29 other countries, still don’t recognise Kosovo.

Municipalities

Among Tuesday’s accords, the Serbian and Kosovo prime ministers, Aleksandar Vucic and Isa Mustafa, agreed to establish an association of Serb-majority municipalities in Kosovo.

Under the plan, 10 municipalities with a Serbian majority will have their own assembly with an elected president, and with their own flag, but will be subject to Kosovo law.

The new association will be responsible for issues including economic development, education, health care, and urban or rural planning. It’ll also be able to "enter into co-operation arrangements with other associations of municipalities" in Kosovo and abroad.

It’ll be financed by contributions from local people, local tax revenues, and transfers from Kosovo central authorities.

Serbia also has "the right to finance it, without taxes and duties", Vucic told Serbian radio.


The deal is "good for Serb people in Kosovo", he said, adding that there are "no longer any obstacles" for Serbia’s EU membership application.

The establishment of the association was part of an older deal, signed in 2013 by Serbia and Kosovo to normalise relations.

It’s designed to ease tensions between Kosovo’s Albanian majority and Serbian minority in a region still scarred by 1990’s civil wars and ethnic cleansing.

Mitrovica

Tuesday’s agreement also establishes rules for the use of a bridge in the divided town of Mitrovica, north Kosovo.

"As long as there are defined periods on the bridge to move the barricades and in other ways allow freedom of movement to people, we are giving up on the idea of uniting Mitrovica”, said Kosovo foreign affairs minister and former PM Hashim Thaci.

Other areas of Tuesday’s agreement include energy supply and telecommunications, with the symbolic decision to allow Kosovo to have its own phone code.

With this move, Thaci said, "Serbia in a way recognised Kosovo as an independent state”.

Written by Mika

26. avgusta 2015. at 09:28

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Kissinger: Breaking Russia has become Objective of U.S.

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Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has hit out at American and European Ukraine policy, saying it ignores Russia’s relationship with its neighbor, and has called for cooperation between the White House and the Kremlin on the issue.

“Breaking Russia has become an objective [for US officials] the long-range purpose should be to integrate it,” the 92-year-old told The National Interest in a lengthy interview for the policy magazine’s anniversary that touched on most of the world’s most pertinent international issues.“If we treat Russia seriously as a great power, we need at an early stage to determine whether their concerns can be reconciled with our necessities.”

The diplomat, who is most famous for serving in the Nixon administration, and controversially being awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize, for negotiating the Vietnam ceasefire, accused the West of failing to recognize the historical context in which the fallout occurred between Moscow and Kiev.

“The relationship between Ukraine and Russia will always have a special character in the Russian mind. It can never be limited to a relationship of two traditional sovereign states, not from the Russian point of view, maybe not even from Ukraine’s. So, what happens in Ukraine cannot be put into a simple formula of applying principles that worked in Western Europe.”

Kissinger lays the blame for sparking the conflict at the door of the EU, which proposed a trade deal in 2013, without considering how it would alienate Moscow, and divide the Ukrainian people.

“The first mistake was the inadvertent conduct of the European Union. They did not understand the implications of some of their own conditions. Ukrainian domestic politics made it look impossible for [former Ukrainian president Viktor] Yanukovych to accept the EU terms and be reelected or for Russia to view them as purely economic,” said Kissinger.

Once Yanukovich rejected the deal in November 2013, the EU “panicked”, Russia became“overconfident,” the US remained “passive” as “each side acted sort of rationally based on its misconception of the other” and “no significant political discussions.”

For Kissinger, the wheels of the stand-off between Moscow and the West were already set in motion during the subsequent Maidan street protests – heartily endorsed by the West – which demanded the toppling of the pro-Russian Yanukovich, an aim that was eventually achieved.

“While Ukraine slid into the Maidan uprising right in the middle of what Putin had spent ten years building as a recognition of Russia’s status. No doubt in Moscow this looked as if the West was exploiting what had been conceived as a Russian festival to move Ukraine out of the Russian orbit.”

With the armed conflict in Ukraine still showing no signs of resolution, Kissinger repeated his previous proposal for Ukraine to become a buffer, or mediator state between Russia and the West.

“We should explore the possibilities of a status of nonmilitary grouping on the territory between Russia and the existing frontiers of NATO,” he told The National Interest. “The West hesitates to take on the economic recovery of Greece; it’s surely not going to take on Ukraine as a unilateral project. So one should at least examine the possibility of some cooperation between the West and Russia in a militarily nonaligned Ukraine.”

While Kissinger insists that he believes that Ukraine’s territorial integrity, including Crimea, which joined Russia last year, should have remained unaffected, he called for the West to stop backing Kiev at all costs, even as the victims of the conflict pile up.

“The Ukraine crisis is turning into a tragedy because it is confusing the long-range interests of global order with the immediate need of restoring Ukrainian identity,” summed up the veteran diplomat.

Written by Mika

22. avgusta 2015. at 17:59

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Why is EU struggling with migrants and asylum?

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bbc.com

Why is EU struggling with migrants and asylum? – BBC News

By Laurence Peter BBC News

Italy has brought thousands of rescued migrants to Sicily

Some 2,000 migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean this year, amid a surge in overcrowded boats heading for the coasts of Greece and Italy.

The flow of desperate migrants from Syria and North Africa hoping to reach Europe is already much higher than in the same period in 2014.

Germany, which receives by far the most asylum applications in the EU, is expecting 800,000 refugees to arrive this year.

How big is the migration challenge affecting Europe now?

The number of migrants reaching Europe by boat has risen dramatically this year, compared with the same period in 2014. The number arriving in Greece, in particular, has soared.

The EU’s border agency said that almost 50,000 migrants had arrived on the Greek islands in July alone, most of them Syrians.

The number of migrants reaching Greece by sea had reached 158,000 by mid-August, according to the UN, overtaking the 90,000 who arrived in Italy by sea.

The majority heading for Greece via the eastern Mediterranean route take the relatively short voyage from the Turkish mainland to the islands of Kos, Chios, Lesvos and Samos.

Fifty thousand people arrived on the shores of the Greek islands in July

The voyage from Libya to Italy is longer and more hazardous.

Migrant deaths at sea this year passed 2,000 in August, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported. And of those, 1,930 died trying to reach Italy.

A shipwreck off Italy’s Lampedusa island on 19 April took an estimated 800 lives.

So, more migrants – Syrians especially – are trying to reach Greece now, instead of risking the Libya route.

Since the beginning of the year some 340,000 migrants have been detected at Europe’s external borders, Frontex says.

That compares with 123,500 in the same period last year.

One of the biggest surges happened on 6-7 June, when nearly 6,000 people were plucked from the sea and taken to southern Italy, in a major international operation.

Survivors often report violence and abuse by people traffickers. Many migrants pay thousands of dollars each to the traffickers, and robbery of migrants is also common.

Record numbers have been arriving on Kos and Lesvos, packed on to flimsy rubber dinghies or small wooden boats, putting a huge strain on local resources.

Mainland Greece remains a major transit point – many migrants travel up through the Balkans, hoping to reach northern Europe.

Another pressure point is Hungary. In July alone, 34,000 migrants were detected trying to cross from Serbia into Hungary.

Faced with that influx, Hungary has urged its EU partners not to send back migrants who have travelled on from Hungary. And it plans to fence off the whole border with Serbia.

Where do they come from?

The largest migrant group by nationality in 2015 is Syrians – followed by Afghans. Then come migrants from Eritrea, Nigeria and Somalia.

The vicious civil war in Syria has triggered a huge exodus. Afghans, Eritreans and other nationalities are also fleeing poverty and human rights abuses.

In Italy new migrants from Eritrea form the biggest group, followed by those from Nigeria.

But in Greece migrants from Syria are the biggest group, then Afghans, the IOM says.

Last year, some 219,000 refugees and other migrants crossed the Mediterranean, and at least 3,500 lives were lost, the UNHCR reports. In 2013 the total reaching Europe via the Mediterranean was much lower – about 60,000.

Back in 2011 the big challenge was thousands of Tunisians arriving on Lampedusa. Far fewer Tunisians are making the voyage now, but Lampedusa remains a migrant bottleneck.

Data from Frontex records detections of illegal entries – it does not include the many migrants who manage to get in undetected.

What is the EU doing about it?

In November 2014 Italy ended its search-and-rescue mission, called Mare Nostrum. It was replaced by a cheaper and more limited EU operation called Triton, focused on patrolling within 30 nautical miles of the Italian coast.

Aid organisations say the scaling down of the rescue effort has put more migrants’ lives at risk.

After much argument EU leaders agreed to triple funding for Triton, to some €120m (£86m) – taking it back to the spending levels of Italy’s Mare Nostrum.

In April EU leaders pledged to beef up maritime patrols in the Mediterranean, disrupt people trafficking networks and capture and destroy boats before migrants board them.

However, any military action would have to conform with international law. The chaos in war-torn Libya remains a huge problem.

Championing the rights of poor migrants is difficult as the economic climate is still gloomy, many Europeans are unemployed and wary of foreign workers, and EU countries are divided over how to share the refugee burden.

Why is Libya such a problem in the current crisis?

Fighting continues to rage between militias in Libya

Two rival governments are battling for control of Libya, and so-called Islamic State militants have entered the country too.

The chaos has given people traffickers freedom to exploit migrants, with inadequate intervention from the authorities.

The EU and UN hope that a political agreement can be brokered to bring some stability to Libya, but so far there are few signs of progress.

There is great reluctance to send in any European military force.

What has caused migrant numbers to rise?

The wars raging in Syria and Iraq are clearly big drivers of migration to Europe. Syria’s Middle Eastern neighbours have taken in some three million refugees, while millions more are displaced inside Syria.

But many migrants also continue to make hazardous journeys from the Horn of Africa, often treated brutally by people traffickers and enduring desert heat and unrest in Libya, the main point of departure.

War has ravaged Somalia and Italian officials believe many of the migrants are genuine asylum seekers, fleeing persecution. In the case of Eritrea, it appears many are young men fleeing compulsory military service, which has been likened to slavery. Eritrea is blighted by political repression, human rights groups say.

Many Afghans continue to flee poverty and persecution in their country, as attacks by Taliban insurgents and criminal gangs remain widespread.

Are EU countries sharing the burden?

Rosarno, southern Italy: One of many migrant camps set up to handle the emergency

For years the EU has been struggling to harmonise asylum policy. That is difficult with 28 member states, each with their own police force and judiciary.

More detailed joint rules have been brought in with the Common European Asylum System – but rules are one thing, putting them into practice EU-wide is another challenge.

The Dublin Regulation is a core principle for handling asylum claims in the EU. It says responsibility for examining the claim lies primarily with the member state which played the greatest part in the applicant’s entry or residence in the EU. Often that is the first EU country that the migrant reached – but not always, as in many cases migrants want to be reunited with family members, for example in the UK or the Netherlands.

There are tensions in the EU over the Dublin Regulation – Greece complained that it was inundated with applications, as so many migrants arrived in Greece first. Finland and Germany are among several countries that have stopped sending migrants back to Greece.

EU governments argued over a proposal to spread the burden of housing migrants, under a quota system. Eventually they agreed to take 32,500 asylum seekers from Syria and Eritrea over the next two years – that is, genuine refugees. But the original target was 40,000.

Another 20,000 refugees currently in UNHCR camps would also be transferred to the EU, but the details have not been decided.

What about EU migrants?

It is important to remember that huge numbers of EU citizens move from one EU country to another freely. They are also described as "migrants", but they are fully protected by EU law, unless they are fugitive criminals. Their status is quite different from that of non-EU migrants. In some EU countries, including the UK, they have become an issue because of pressure on social services and competition for jobs.

Most EU countries are in the Schengen zone, which has made it much easier to cross borders without having to show a passport or other papers.

How do migrants get asylum status in the EU?

They have to satisfy the authorities that they are fleeing persecution and would face harm or even death if sent back to their country of origin.

The ban on mass "push-backs" – also known as "non-refoulement" – is an EU principle. In some cases it has not been respected, however. Greece, overburdened with asylum seekers, has been accused of refusing to let in some groups of migrants.

Under EU rules, an asylum seeker has the right to food, first aid and shelter in a reception centre. They should get an individual assessment of their needs. They may be granted asylum by the authorities at "first instance". If unsuccessful they can appeal against the decision in court, and may win.

Asylum seekers are supposed to be granted the right to a job within nine months of arrival.

The number of asylum claims in the EU rose to 626,065 in 2014, up from 435,190 in 2013, the European Commission reports. The 2014 figure is the highest since a peak in 1992, though back then the EU had fewer member states.

In 2014 the number of applicants from Syria more than doubled compared with 2013, reaching 123,000. That was 20% of the total, and far above the next biggest group – Afghans, who accounted for 7%.

Migrants from Kosovo were in third place, just above Eritreans. Poor, marginalised Roma account for many of the migrants from Kosovo.

In 2014 asylum was granted to 163,000 people in first instance decisions – that is, nearly 45% of such decisions. Germany granted the most – 41,000 – followed by Sweden (31,000) and Italy (21,000).

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-24583286

Written by Mika

22. avgusta 2015. at 09:22

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Да ли је случај браће Битићи обавештајно-субверзи вна операција?

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fsksrb.ru

Горан Јевтовић – Да ли је случај браће Битићи обавештајно-субверзивна операција? | Фонд Стратешке Културе

Горан ЈЕВТОВИЋ

У мору сваковрсних и свакодневних националних пораза и понижења, случај убијених америчких држављана шиптарског порекла, браће Битићи, припадника Атлантске бригаде ОВК у агресији НАТО на СР Југославију, последњих месеци[1] се поново актуелизује али на један нови, несвакидашњи и скоро бизаран начин.

Председник Владе Републике Србије, Александар Вучић, улаже значајну енергију и нескривену снисходљивост, како би се, не само лично додворио америчким менторима, већ да би нас недвосмислено, глорификујући овај проблем, приказао као варваре. И то се појачава управо пред планирану посету САД за јесен ове године.

На страну чак и то што се у овом случају, који му амерички званичници намећу у виду безскрупулозних притиска, као и у неким политички врло исплативим правосудним предметима, противуставно меша у истрагу тужилачких и судских органа, док у оним случајевима који му могу штетити, као рецимо – случај хеликоптер или крађа у државној лутрији, редовно наглашава тзв. независност наведене гране власти.

Јер, како другачије објаснити чињеницу да у својим, крајње неукусним и драматичним наступима пред новинарима, упорно потенцира бруталност којом су ликвидирана „невина“ браћа Битићи и томе даје посебан, емотивни тон, изражавајући велику жалост, а да ниједном у таквим приликама није нагласио да су се именовани, као припадници непријатељског оружаног састава, борили противу Срба и за отцепљење Космета од Србије. Ваљда свесни да у тој борби могу и настрадати.

И оно што посебно иритира, – ни једном, али дословно ни једном, није поменуо несразмерно бројније српске жртве и ужасне последице злочиначке агресије НАТО и оружане побуне косметских Шиптара коју је предводила терористичка ОВК, као пешадија евроатлантске војне машинерије. Управо су једној од тих формација, која је обучена и опремљена на америчкој територији (уз знање и логистику тамошњих власти, наравно) припадала наведена браћа.

То је она основна и најважнија димензија овог случаја око које ниједан Србин, па макар он био и председник Владе (е, докле смо догурали!), не би смео да се двоуми ни у једној прилици. А поготову не када иступа у јавности у име државе.

Наравно да осуђујем сулуду ликвидацију браће Битићи као крајње нехумани чин, који не само да није својствен српском, православном бићу, већ нам је нанео несагледиву штету и додатно обојио црним бојама негативну слику, која је о Србима стварана последње две ипо деценије од стране запада.

Међутим, тема текста је она друга и рекао бих, много важнија (а вероватно и пресудна) димензија овог озбиљног проблема.

А то је – коме је могло почетком јула 1999.године, када је одбрамбени рат већ био завршен, да падне напамет да се наведена браћа ликвидирају? Шта би тим убиствима службени Београд добио, ако је познато да смо чак и оне заробљене америчке војнике пустили на слободу и то у време док је трајала бестијална агресија, као и да смо након завршетка рата имали у српским затворима скоро две хиљаде починиоца најтежих кривичних дела из редова ОВК? Зашто се нисмо одлучили за неразумне ликвидације још, рецимо, пар стотина, макар оних најокорелијих терориста и доказаних злочинаца? Који су то политички или неки други поени били у оптицају и од евентуалне користи народу и држави? И шта би се убиством тројице браће Битићи заиста добило и постигло?

Уколико је посреди била лична освета појединаца, односно поступање у афекту, у тренуцима тзв. помрачења свести, до сада би се тако нешто сигурно открило. Уколико се случај подведе под мржњу и хир полицајаца отгрнутих контроли, логично је питање зашто браћа нису ликвидирана одмах по лишавању слободе у шумама крај Мердара, тамо где би се истина скоро сигурно сакрила? Зашто нису убијени у затвору, па, рецимо, случај приказан као самоубиство или убиство у међусобном обрачуну затвореника?

Зашто би било организовано и коме у корист, театрално и врло сложено извођење из прокупачког Окружог затвора у присуству бројних сведока, и одвођење чак у базу ПЈП МУП-а у Петровом селу. На пар стотина киломотера удаљености, у тренутку када је остало свега три дана до званичног пуштања на слободу, о чему је већ била сачињена депеша Управе граничне полиције МУП-а, која је сторнирана?

Ово су обавезна питања и дилеме које изискују одоговор не само кроз званичну истрагу и судски процес, већ и у јавности, с обзиром да је одавно наметнута теза како је у најмању руку државни врх тадашње СРЈ и Србије (пре свих, подразумева се, Слободан Милошевић и ништа мање министар Влајко Стоиљковић), наложио тако нешто високим руководиоцима МУП-а, а ови (тако испада) без речи и одбијања, дочекали и реализовали. Али, на крајње примитиван начин, веома провидно, неуобичајено наивно, аматерски и неодмерено. Уз пратећу бруталност која, просто, боде очи.

У судском процесу[2] који је вођен од 2006. до краја 2008.године, од свега наведеног скоро да ништа није утврђено, нити је случај доведен до краја. Додао бих – уколико се занемари елементарна истражна логика и уколико се унапред аболирају они који су могли бити стварни наредбодавци и организатори убиства – до истине се никада неће ни доћи.

И, убеђен сам, да то и јесте главни циљ – Србију стално притискати, каљати, случај набијати на нос и држати је на нивоу злочиначке државне творевине.

Онако како је то урађено са случајевима Овчара, Маркале, Сребреница, Рачак, Ђаковица (лешеви у Батајници, Петровом селу, Перућцу, на Дунаву) и на другим лакацијама, због којих, као што јасно видимо, неоправдано и ригорозно испаштамо.

У обавештајно-субверзивној терминологији за такве операције је, према вокабулару западних служби, пре свих америчких, резервисан термин „лажна застава“. Операције које се изводе најчешће преко једне или више тајних, специјалних акција, односно, тзв. „црних“ или „џокер“ операција. У овом случају са тзв. одложеним дејством.

Који је пресудан моменат у случају Битићи и, заправо, где се стало?

До генерала полиције Властимира Ђорђевића, начелника Ресора јавне безбедности МУП-а Р. Србије у време када се одиграо наведни догађај и хашког осуђеника у процесу тзв. Косовској шесторки. Или у најмању руку до Ђорђевићевих најближих сарадника (заменика, шефа кабинета и других лица) за које је на судском процесу недвосмислено утврђено да су адреса са које је издата наредба о извођењу из затвора, а затим и пребацивању ухапшених Битићија на локацију на којој ће скончати живот.

Поставља се свих ових година основно питање – због чега би се Рођа (популарни надимак генерала Ђорђевића под којим је био надалеко познат) са тако високе позиције или по чијем налогу некога изнад њега по функцији, потпуно неочекивано заинтересовао а затим и лично ангажовао око тројице сасвим обичних илегалних прелазника државне границе, па макар то били и припадници ОВК са америчким пасошима?

Можда се одговор крије, звучи невероватно али је тако, у једном интересантном дијалогу, који је јануара ове године вођен на телевизији „Хепи“, у култној емисији „Ћирилица“, између домаћина – уредника и водитеља Миломира Марића и госта – хашког оптуженика, професора др. Војислава Шешеља, председника СРС.

У делу емисије који траје нешто више од минут ипо, предлажем да се одгледа видео клип на линку: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHS7nFfU5tA

У времену од 1:13:05 до 1:14:58, разговор се одвијао се на следећи начин:

М.М. (Марић) – Да ли ви сада после дванаест година у Хагу знате више шта се дешавало на овим просторима, него пре него што сте упознали кључне актере те ратне драме…

В.Ш. (Шешељ) – Знам много више. Прочитао сам огромну литературу. Прочитао сам…

М.М. – А да ли су вам људи нешто рекли што је изменило ваше погледе на те догађаје?

В.Ш. – У поверењу су ми много тога рекли. Понешто од тога могу и да вам кажем, ал’ да не наводим ко ми је то рекао. Например, ово могу и да вам кажем имена. Небојша Павковић и Владимир Лазаревић. Јер, када сам их питао – ако то изнесем у јавност, да ли се слажете да поменем ваша имена, рекли су – можеш. Обојица.

М.М. – Шта су рекли?

В.Ш. – Да је један полицијски генерал у току бомбардовања, инкогнито путовао из Београда у Будимпешту. И рекли су и његово име. И, да из тога произилази она акција превожења лешева са Косова и Метохије у унутрашњост Србије, да би ти лешеви једног дана били нађени у Србији.

М.М. – Да би компромитовали Србију.

В.Ш. – Да би се компромитовао режим у Србији, посебно Милошевић.

М.М. – А и тај генерал, знам на кога мислите, није најбоље прошао у Хагу, и он је добио драконску казну.

В.Ш. – Јесте. То је тачно. И ко зна шта га још чека.

М.М. – И тај генерал је пресудно утицао на победу петог октобра.

В.Ш. – Јесте, ал’ за новац. За новац. За велику суму новца.

Да ли је господин Шешељ измислио ову причу у којој не именује генерала Ђорђевића, али је јасно да се о њему ради уколико је општепознато (дакле, није никаква тајна), да је и на суђењу у Хагу и у осталим процесима он, тај, који је у главној улози свих ових проблема?

Потпуно сам уверен – не. Изнео је оно што је чуо од врло компетнетних личности, војних генерала, легендарних команданата, који су сву своју озбиљност и одговорност демонстрирали како у отпору НАТО-у, тако и у Хагу. То могу да гарантујем. Нити би се Шешељ играо овако опасним темама и својеврсном оптужбом да у то није потпуно сигуран, а још мање би то учинили Лазаревић и Павковић. И сам сам сведок тих сазнања, као њихов блиски сарадник, до којих се дошло, наравно, оперативо, неколико година након чувеног петог октобра.

И, сада, потребно је повезати „два и два“ како би се добио прави резултат, односно дошло до врло вероватне истине.

Уколико је неко на тако важној функцији (наравно још увек хипотетички) био спреман да за новац (или из неког другог озбиљног, рецимо, компромитујећег разлога) уради следеће:

(1) у време жестоке агресије, у пролеће 1999. године, путује у Будимпешту и тамо се састане са неким из америчког „кризног тима“ који је предводио Ричард Холбрук, где се налазио и будући амбасадор Вилијем Монтгомери, као и више обавештајаца ЦИА и специјалиста бројних других служби,

(2) затим, да на основу напред наведеног договора изведе конспиративну (и потпуно сулуду) операцију пребацивања више стотина лешева Шиптара са Космета дубоко на територију ужег дела Србије, у време оштрих сукоба, поготову у амбијенту прецизниих удара из ваздуха и гађања са дистанце,

(3) да у најважнијим тренуцима пред и у току петооктобарског преврата обезбеди да снаге полиције и јавне безбедности у најширем смислу, којима је оперативно командовао, буду пасивне и не извршавају задатке из стриктне надлежности, када је дошло до изразитог нарушавања јавног реда и мира и угрожавања људи, материјалних добара, објеката од посебног значаја и посебно до уништавања гласачког материјала,

због чега би онда, након свега, био проблем да се организује ликвидација тројице браће Битићи, као „допуна садржаја“ (врло атрактиван случај сам по себи, зато што се ради о америчким држављанима), који је плански, пажљиво и унапред припреман за озбиљну компромитацију и врло тешке оптужбе на рачун Милошевићевог режима и Србије у целини?

Да је све, највероватније, било кординирано, потврђује управо активност тадашњег Тужилаштва Хашког трибунала, када је, сетимо се, главна тужитељка, Луиз Арбур, баш негде у то време, док је оружана агресија НАТО у пуној снази, подигла оптужницу противу највиших функционера СРЈ и Србије „због угрожавања мира, због удруженог злочиначког подухвата противу косовских Албанаца и хуманитарне катастрофе цивила“. Или тако некако.

Да не буде забуне и да се овај текст не протумачи као клевета, бар што се тиче суђења у Хагу и случаја који се односио на пребацивање стотина лешева са КиМ и укопавања на локацијама у ужем делу Србије – заштићени сведок тужилаштва, блиски сарадник оптуженог под ознаком „К-87“, потврдио је наведену операцију током рата и детаљно описао ток исте, а одбрана Ђорђевића, као и он лично, није оспорила званичан исказ, напротив, копља су се ломила само око тога да ли је или није тако нешто наредио министар унутрашњих послова, Влајко Стоиљковић.[3]

Према томе, када ће случај браће Битићи бити коначно решен и права истина угледати светло дана?

Онда када неком од пензионисаних (или још увек активних) оперативаца америчке ЦИА, који су обитавали у Будимпешти те ’99.године, проради савест и буде одлучио да победи страх и спере љагу са свог имена. Убеђен сам да је то једини начин.

Или, када се буде појавио неки нови Сноуден са ексклузивним материјалом.

Да ли је већина овога што је наведено у тексту познато српском премијеру Александру Вучићу (као и Тужилаштву за ратне злочине, подразумева се), макар у виду аброва? Наравно.

Чак и да заборавимо да је ратне ’99-те био министар за информисање у Влади Србије. Те сходно томе стварно био на извору информација. Како тада, тако и након тога и посебно у овом времену. Иначе, познат у јавности управо као човек који је пословично врло обавештен о свим могућим заверама. А и даље је тзв. кординатор свих служби у овој земљи.

Ако се све наведено узме у обзир, пажљиво анализира и логички повеже, биће кристално јасно откуда оволико правдање (не само његово, већ свих владара Србије након петог октобра) америчкој администрацији и непрестана тзв. истрага. Онога што се, сигуран сам, не може истражити на овако устаљени начин.

То је, једноставно, задатак. Као што је пракса код свих марионетских режима. У противном, који би био смисао тајних операција, које наши „пријатељи“ изводе широм света. И непрестано. Операције које се по правилу никако или тешко и са великим закашњењем откривају.

Или се варам?

*

Генерала Властимира Ђорђевића блиско сам упознао 1998.године на простору Метохије. У бројним приликама сам по службеној дужности, био присутан и сарађивао са њим лично и његовим потчињенима у време сузбијања тероризма а затим и оружане побуне. Командовао је снагама МУП-а и врло коректно се односио према командном кадру 3. Армије и Приштинског корпуса и генерално према Војсци Југославије на простору Космета.

Те године, једном речју, био је изватредан. Енергичан, поткован знањима и огромним искуством неопходним за функцију коју је обављао, храбар (не ретко и преко мере), одговоран, толерантан, разуман, проницљив. Неко ко одлично зна како решавати тако озбиљне проблеме и несвакидашње супозиције.

Током агресије 1999.године нисам га ниједном срео. Тачније, није се појављивао у Метохији колико ми је познато.

Шта се (и да ли се) догодило са њим, заиста је тешко разумети. Али, из оног рационалног угла. Из оног „другог“, коцкице је могуће сложити. Уколико укључимо вијуге намењене за решавање оваквих ситуација које по дефиницији носе огромну тежину.

УПУТНИЦЕ:

[1] http://www.nspm.rs/hronika/majkl-kirbi-voleo-bih-da-se-slucaj-ubistva-brace-bitici-sto-pre-resi.html

[2] http://www.vreme.co.rs/cms/view.php?id=870761

[3] http://www.sense-agency.com/tribunal_(mksj)/kako-se-general-djordjevic-quotresio-bedequot.25.html?cat_id=1&news_id=8094

Written by Mika

21. avgusta 2015. at 10:51

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UNSC Genocide Vote Designed to Justify NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia

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UNSC Genocide Vote Designed to Justify NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia

© AFP 2015/ STRINGER

World

16:11 12.07.2015(updated 16:34 12.07.2015) Get short URL

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This week saw the failure of the UK-backed UNSC draft resolution calling to declare the 20-year-old mass murder of thousands of Muslims near the town of Srebrenica as genocide committed by the Serbian army; and while some Western countries strongly criticize the failure, a Russian expert explains what actually might be behind the proposed document.

Saturday, July 11, marked the 20th anniversary of the tragic events in the Muslim-majority town of the mainly Serb eastern part of Bosnia.

Back in 1995 thousands of Muslims, mainly men and boys, were murdered in and around the town of Srebrenica after it was occupied by the Bosnian Serb militia under the command of Gen. Ratko Mladic. The former general is now on trial for genocide in the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, along with the former President of the Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina Radovan Karadžić.

© AP Photo/ Amel Emric

A Bosnian girl prays next to a coffin containing the remains of her relative perished in the Srebrenica massacre, during a funeral ceremony for the 136 victims at the Potocari memorial complex near Srebrenica, 150 kilometers (94 miles) northeast of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Saturday, July 11, 2015

The massacre in Srebrenica has previously been classified as an act of genocide by the UN International Court of Justice and ICTY, now the draft resolution pushed for the same classification, claiming that a failure to adopt it will hinder reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

However, one of Russia’s most well-known scholars and an expert in the Balkans, Elena Guskova, who was there on the ground during the years of the Bosnian war, believes that despite the enormity of the crime, there are insufficient grounds to consider the killings an act of genocide.

“We can’t talk about genocide here,” she told Rossiya 1 TV show “Vesti on Saturday”. “What is genocide by definition? It is the elimination of a particular nation on the territory of another country. It is a systematic, deliberate killing. There was nothing of the kind on the territory of Srebrenica. Those were military actions.”

© Screenshot / vesti.ru

One of Russia’s most well-known scholars and an expert in the Balkans, Elena Guskova

She also debated the actual number of those killed, saying that now it stands at 8,000, but it is absolutely unclear where this figure comes from and it has fluctuated all the time, dropping down to 5,000 and then rising up to 25,000.

“This does not reflect the truth in any way,” she said. “This massacre has already become a myth, which can’t be either reviewed or otherwise disputed.”

On Wednesday, when Russia vetoed the draft resolution, Russian envoy to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin was very clear in Moscow’s position on the document.

© Screenshort / vesti.ru

Russian envoy to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin

“The project submitted by the delegation of the United Kingdom has turned nonconstructive, confrontational and politically motivated. It contained considerable imbalances which puts the blame for what happened entirely on one nation. An approach, which singles out just one war crime, out of all the military offences committed, is absolutely lawless and illegal and can lead to the deepening of already painful breakup within Bosnian society,” he said.

Elena Guskova provided her explanation of what might actually lie behind such an insistence to lay the blame on one nation.

© AFP 2015/ ODD ANDERSEN

Forensic experts from the International war crimes tribunal in the Hague works on a pile of partly decomposed bodies, 24 July 1996 found in a mass grave in the village of Pilica some 300 km northeast of Sarajevo. The victims in the human sculpture is said to be some of the 7000 men missing after Serbs overran the Moslem enclave of Srebrenica in July 1995

“If the UK’s resolution was voted for in the UN Security Council, the consequences would have been rather catastrophic for the Serbians and all the Orthodox Slavs in the Balkans. Having blamed only one nation for the genocide during the clashes between several nations back in 1990’s, one could further raise a question of blaming the Serbs for everything that was going in the Balkans back then, for all the wars and all the victims.”

“And, as a result, NATO actions in the Balkans back in 1999 could have been justified. NATO launched its 78-day bombing of Yugoslavia without the resolution of the UN Security Council, and with the resolution on Srebrenica they would have had an excuse: if they are guilty we could have bombed them.”

Vitaly Churkin wants to leave it to historians to analyze the turn of events that led to the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.

© AP Photo/ Amel Emric

Gravestones are seen at sunrise at a memorial complex near Srebrenica, 150 kilometers (94 miles) northeast of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Saturday, July 11, 2015

“Let the historians analyze the peripetia and the genesis of the conflict, including the role of different countries and unions, who made the hasty decisions, in the emergence of the mere conflict in Yugoslavia. Let the scholars help the secretariat of the UN and the international community to understand where our organization was too weak to act.”

Guskova however gave her vision of the conflict.

“The Serbian army decided to enter Srebrenica to stop the forays of the Muslim army, which concentrated in the UN zone, in the security zone,” she said.

On May 6, 1993 a UN Security Council resolution declared the town a demilitarized zone and several hundred Dutch peacekeeping forces were stationed near it to allegedly protect the enclave.

© AFP 2015/ Martijn Beekman

People wait under a banner showing portraits of victims during the Srebrenica Peace March (Mars Mira), in The Hague on July 11, 2015, in remembrance of the victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre

“There should have been no army at all,” she added. ”And when this zone was declared, then the Muslim army under the factual protection of UN and its Blue Helmets, regularly undertook forays killing, destroying and torturing the Serbian population. Before 1995, up to 4,500 Serbs were killed. And to prevent the murdering of the Serbian population, the Serbian army decided to enter Srebrenica. And it did it very quietly.”

“The Serbian army marched through 43 Muslim settlements without destroying a single house and without killing a single person. And when they entered Srebrenica, they formed a column out of the Muslim officers and allowed them to leave Srebrenica for the town of Tuzla. And then there was shooting on the way and there were victims. But how it all happened remains unclear to this very day.”

Vitaly Churkin also stressed that UN Security Council very conveniently chooses an occasion when to convene and when to submit a resolution, leaving out some extremely major events.

“Recently there was the 40th anniversary of the end of Vietnam War. Why haven’t you convened the meeting of the UNSC then [on April 30]? Why haven’t you prepared the draft resolution where you could condemn the carpet bombings of Hanoi or the use of napalm or the mass killing of 500 unarmed civilians in the village of My Lai by Lieutenant William Calley, among others, who was generously paroled by the US president?” he questioned.

“Recently there was the 10th anniversary of the illegal invasion of Iraq by the US and the UK [March 19,], which resulted in the death of millions of civilians and the cruelest ongoing crisis in the country. Why haven’t either the US or the UK suggested adopting the UNSC resolution which would have called things by their proper names?”

These questions just hang in the air.

Meanwhile, Churkin was the only delegate to call for a minute of silence to be observed in mourning for those who died in Srebrenica 20 years ago.

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/world/20150712/1024525133.html#ixzz3iibShbaD

Written by Mika

13. avgusta 2015. at 13:49

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