Connect with us

Latest

News

Staff Picks

Donald Trump and the Yugoslav Wars

Whilst Donald Trump denies giving the interview to a Serb journalist in which he supposedly apologised for US action towards Serbia, had he done so he would only have given an apology that is deserved and overdue.

Published

on

1,669 Views

Donald Trump alleged gave an email interview, via his campaign staff, to a Serbian magazine called Nedeljnik. In the interview Trump is alleged to have apologised on behalf of the United States for Bill Clinton’s illegal bombing of the then Yugoslavia.

However, the Trump campaign has claimed the interview is a forgery and Nedeljnik have pulled the piece.

In spite of this, Vladimir Rajcic, the actor who claims to have sent the questions and received the answers from the Trump campaign maintains the interview is legitimate and he’ll soon prove so. It remains to be seen.

The Western mainstream media responded with predictable idiocy. They misrepresented the true nature of the civil wars in Yugoslavia in the 1990s and more importantly neglected to mention why the wars happened. Here are the key facts.

In  1974,  in response to the increased demands of non-Serb nationalities of Yugoslavia, Yugoslav leader Marshal Tito proclaimed a New Constitution which gave further autonomy to the six main federal republics as well as virtually analogous status to two autonomous provinces within the Serb Republic—Kosovo and Vojvodina. 

This went some way to quell the nationalist agitations of Bosnian Muslims, Croats, Slovenians, Montenegrins,  Macedonians and ethnic Albanians—but this came at the expense of disproportionately disenfranchising the Serb population of Yugoslavia. 

In Yugoslavia as a whole, Serbs were the ethnic plurality.  Apart from the Serb Republic, within the Yugoslavian Federation Serbs lived in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Macedonia.  However because of the republic based voting system enshrined in the 1974 Constitution, substantial Serb minorities in all republics except Serbia effectively had their votes made redundant due to the block votes of other ethnic groups that comprised the majorities of individual republics. 

Compounding this issue was that in spite of their status as provinces within Serbia, Kosovo and Vojvodina had an autonomous voting position within Yugoslavia that was rather similar to the positions of the official republics. 

So whilst minorities in Serbia were given autonomous provinces which thus amplified their political grievances before Yugoslavia as a whole, very substantial Serb minorities  in places like Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia were afforded no such autonomous status. 

Thus Serbia had to concede part of its political territory and likewise its Federal influence to ethnic minorities within Serbia, but no other republic was required to concede political territory or influence to the Serb minorities within their borders. 

After Tito died in 1980 semi-latent nationalist agitations arose again—but this time it was the Serbs who were agitating as it was they who felt that the 1974 Constitution had enshrined an anti-Serbian bias into Yugoslav politics for the sake of keeping minorities in the Federation. 

Serb grievances came to the fore in Yugoslav politics in the year 1986 when the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts published a Memorandum.  The Memorandum accused the provincialism of the 1974 constitution of disproportionately weakening the political influence of Serbs within the Federation. 

Keen not to fan the flames of any nationalist insurrection which would put at risk the fragile integrity of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic, the Serb republic’s leader, publicly denounced the Memorandum.  So did Radovan Karadzic.  However formal denunciation by Serb Communist officials did little to palliate Serb fears.

By the middle-late 1980s things became even more ominous as Kosovo became the epicentre of a new political tug-of-war. 

Not content with being an autonomous province within Serbia, the Albanians of Kosovo began agitating with ever more vigour for full republican status.  Coming at a time of growing Serb alienation from Yugoslavia this caused Serb frustration over Kosovo to grow tenfold.  Kosovo being after all the place where Serbia traces its historic origin, it was a gross anomaly for many Serbs that it was not a fully integrated part of Serbia. 

At around this time impromptu Albanian militias in Kosovo began a concerted terror campaign against the Serbs of Kosovo—this over ten years before the NATO war on behalf of the Albanians of Kosovo. 

It was becoming clear that by 1990 that the forces most likely to break up Yugoslavia because of entrenched discrimination were not Slovenians, Croats or Bosnian Muslims but Serbs.  It was the Serbs who were suffering from diminished voice in the affairs of Yugoslavia and who had to face apparent antipathy from other nationalities together with sectarian attacks on Serb civilians.

For a surprisingly long time, Milosevic maintained a rather anti-climactic silence in the face of Serb protests.  Milosevic did at long last move to attempt to ameliorate the Serb grievances as proffered in the 86 Memorandum by putting the leadership of Kosovo, Vojvodina and Montenegro under the direct control of the Serbian leadership. 

This re-organisation in Kosovo led to mass riots and a general strike by ethnic Albanians.  Violence against the Serb minority in Kosovo forced many to flee the province.  It did not help that Croatia and Slovenia supported the anti-Yugoslav and anti-Serb riots in Kosovo. 

By 1990 things had passed the point of no-return.  In attempting to correct the inequities against Serbs inherent in the 1974 Constitution Milosevic was forced to make a Hobson’s Choice.  He could maintain the anti-nationalist Communist line, which in reality buttressed inequities against Serbs within the Federation, or he could promise to do what he eventually did, which was try to defend the safety and security of Serbs within Yugoslavia even if this meant alienating other minority groups throughout Yugoslavia, who were at this time gaining encouragement both from the crumbling of the USSR (Yugoslavia’s friend) and from the rise of a united Germany (in the case of the pro-German Slovenes and Croats) and of international Islamism (in the case of Bosnian Muslims and Albanians). 

In 1974 Tito had been forced to concede Serb rights to minorities in order to save Yugoslavia. 

In 1990 Milosevic was forced to correct the anti-Serb nature of the 1974 Constitution in order to preserve Yugoslavia. 

The methods were different but the aim of both Tito and Milosevic was the same—to preserve the integrity of Yugoslavia.

It was a difficult choice for Milosevic—for he was a man that thought twice before doing what he did—unlike the NATO allies who didn’t even bother to think at all before putting a blood soaked nail in Yugoslavia’s grave.

The fact the word ‘Balkanise’ has entered the English language is testament to the fact that the West’s intervention in the Yugoslav civil wars destroyed a once peaceful and prosperous state, tearing it into a handful of shaky pieces of an ethno-political jigsaw puzzle.

The wars have left a still largely unrecognised Republika Srpska at loggerheads with an impoverished Bosnia-Herzegovina, whose only great achievements since the 1990s has been the building of Wahhabi mosques, funded by Saudi Arabia.

As for Croatia, many beautiful coastal countries have a tourism industry,.   In Croatia it is the other way around. Far-right elements in government and systematic corruption are troubling indeed.

Macedonia has recently seen protests as tensions run rife with a sizeable Albanian minority.

Kosovo, which even some European countries do not recognise as a sate, is best recognised as a mafia state which still has a significant population of totally disenfranchised Serbs who NATO abandoned after the 1999 bombing campaign.

Many in Montenegro regret splitting from their more prosperous neighbour Serbia in a hastily prepared 2006 referendum.

Meanwhile, although Serbia is still tentatively an EU applicant, more and more Serbs see their destination economically and geopolitically with Russia for more reasons than one.

Non-Yugoslav Albania meanwhile has become a NATO member but it remains one of the poorest countries in Europe. So much for expecting wealth as a reward for coming out of ‘splendid isolation’!

Although it is likely that the Trump interview is a fabrication, what’s more important is that Trump could have plausibly said the words ascribed to him.

Whilst the words Donald Trump and ‘humility’ rarely find themselves in the same sentence, Trump’s acknowledgement that the Washington establishment have got it so wrong for so long, is indeed tantamount to an expression of regret, stopping just short of sorrow.

In the mid 1990s, when Bill Clinton began meddling in Bosnia, the then UK Foreign Secretary Sir Douglas Hurd warned John Major not to follow his American counterpart, stating that doing so would ‘only level the killing field’.

Whilst Hurd may be best remembered as the man who voted for the Maastricht Treaty without having read it, cautioning Britain against a Yugoslav military adventure was his finest moment.

Voices of reason like Hurd are largely absent in post-Blair Britain. Perhaps they won’t be in post-Obama America?

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of

Latest

10 percent of American F-22 fighter jets damaged by Hurricane Michael

Part of the reason the F-22’s were left in the path of the storm is that they were broken and too expensive to fix or fly.

Seraphim Hanisch

Published

on

Note to the wise: When a hurricane comes, move your planes out of the way. Especially your really expensive F-22 fighter planes. After all, those babies are $339 mil apiece. Got the message?

Apparently the US Air Force didn’t get this message. Or, did they find themselves unable to follow the message?

CLICK HERE to Support The Duran >>

The Washington Times reported Tuesday that between 17 and 20 of these top-of-the-line fighter jets were damaged, some beyond the point of repair, when Hurricane Michael slammed ashore on Mexico Beach, Florida, not far from the Tyndall Air Force Base in the same state. The Times reports that more than a dozen of the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets were damaged after being left in the path of the extremely fierce storm:

President Trump’s tour Monday of devastation wrought by Hurricane Michael took him close to Florida’s Tyndall Air Force Base, where more than a dozen F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets were damaged after being left in the path of the powerful storm.

The pricey fighter jets — some possibly damaged beyond repair — were caught in the widespread destruction that took at least 18 lives, flattened homes, downed trees and buckled roads from Florida to Virginia.

The decision to leave roughly $7.5 billion in aircraft in the path of a hurricane raised eyebrows, including among defense analysts who say the Pentagon’s entire high-tech strategy continues to make its fighter jets vulnerable to weather and other mishaps when they are grounded for repairs.

“This becomes sort of a self-defeating cycle where we have $400 million aircraft that can’t fly precisely because they are $400 million aircraft,” said Dan Grazier, a defense fellow at Project on Government Oversight. “If we were buying simpler aircraft then it would be a whole lot easier for the base commander to get these aircraft up and in working order, at least more of them.”

This is quite a statement. The F-22 is held to be the tip of the American air defense sword. A superb airplane (when it works), it can do things no other plane in the world can do. It boasts a radar profile the size of a marble, making it virtually undetectable by enemy radars. It is highly maneuverable with thrust-vectoring built into its engines.

However, to see a report like this is simply stunning. After all, one would expect that the best military equipment ought to be the most reliable as well. 

It appears that Hurricane Michael figuratively and physically blew the lid off any efforts to conceal a problem with these planes, and indeed with the hyper-technological basis for the US air fighting forcesThe Times continues:

Reports on the number of aircraft damaged ranged from 17 to 22 or about 10 percent of the Air Force’s F-22 fleet of 187.

The Air Force stopped buying F-22s, considered the world’s most advanced fighter jets, in 2012. The aircraft is being replaced by the F-35, another high-tech but slightly less-expensive aircraft.

Later in the tour, at an emergency command center in Georgia, Mr. Trump said the damage to the F-22s couldn’t be avoided because the aircraft were grounded and the storm moved quickly.

“We’re going to have a full report. There was some damage, not nearly as bad as we first heard,” he said when asked about the F-22s, which cost about $339 million each.

“I’m always concerned about cost. I don’t like it,” Mr. Trump said.

Still, the president remains a fan of the high-tech fighter jet.

“The F-22 is one of my all-time favorites. It is the most beautiful fighter jet in the world. One of the best,” he said.

The Air Force managed to fly 33 of the F-22s to safety, but maintenance and repair issues kept 22 of the notoriously finicky aircraft on the ground when the powerful storm hit the base.

About 49 percent of the F-22s are out of action at any given time, according to an Air Force report this year.

This is a stunning statistic. This means that of the 187 planes in existence, 90 of them are not working. At their cost, that means that over thirty billion dollars worth of military equipment is sitting around, broken, just in airplanes alone.

As a point of comparison, the entire Russian military budget for 2017 was $61 billion, with that budget producing hypersonic missiles, superb fighter aircraft and tanks. Russian fighter planes are known for being able to take harsh landing and take-off conditions that would cripple the most modern American flying machines.

It would seem that Hurricane Michael exposed a serious problem with the state of readiness of American armed forces. Thankfully that problem did not arise in combat, but it is no less serious.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Saudi Arabia trying to squirm free of Khashoggi murder (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 2.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a quick look at Saudi Arabia’s possible admission to killing journalist Jamal Khashoggi…accidentally, while they were torturing the man inside the consulate in Istanbul.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Via Zerohedge

Even before the publication of last night’s Saudi trial balloon hinting that the kingdom would soon acknowledge that the extrajudicial killing of Jamal Khashoggi – the insider-turned dissident journalist who walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week and never walked back out – was the result of a “botched” kidnapping attempt carried out by “rogue killers” (despite reports that the US intelligence community knew that Khashoggi was being “targeted”), two realities had become increasingly clear. One: That the Saudis would avoid responsibility for the killing by pinning it on some unfortunate underling, and two: that there would be few, if any, lasting diplomatic repercussions.

And as more media organizations confirmed reports about Saudi’s plans to spin Khashoggi’s murder as a botched interrogation (we can only imagine what was said in that room to justify the use of such extreme violence), CNN calculated the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Saudi King Salman in Riyadh for approximately 15 minutes early Tuesday, following his 12-hour-plus flight to the kingdom.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s meeting with King Salman of Saudi Arabia lasted no more than 15 minutes, CNN estimates based on the time the top US diplomat’s motorcade arrived at the royal court and departed.

The motorcade arrived at the royal court at 11:42 a.m. (4:42 a.m. ET) and left 26 minutes later. There is a fair distance to walk from where the motorcade dropped Pompeo off to where he met the king.

While Trump said on Monday that Pompeo would travel to Turkey “if necessary”, the Saudi’s decision to “come clean” about Khashoggi’s death pretty much rendered Pompeo’s fact-finding mission unnecessary.More important are developments in Turkey, where the joint Saudi-Turkish “investigation” is turning its attention toward the home of the Saudi consul, where a black diplomatic van that departed the Saudi consulate just under two hours after Khashoggi entered was captured on camera disappearing into a garage. Some speculate that this is where the killers finished disposing of Khashoggi’s body. This comes after a “nine-hour” search of the Saudi consulate building that, according to leaks published in Al-Jazeera, turned up “evidence of tampering” by the Saudis. On Tuesday, Turkey’s foreign minister clarified that Saudi had yet to admit its role in Khashoggi’s disappearance and probable death.

Turkish investigators will carry out a search of the Saudi Consul General’s residence on Tuesday as the probe into the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi continues, according to a Turkish diplomatic source.

CCTV footage released to the media from the day the Washington Post writer vanished show movement of vehicles from the consulate building to the Consul General’s residence nearby.

As speculation mounts that the incident could unseat the increasingly authoritarian Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (who has already marginalized or incapacitated nearly every threat to his rule), it’s looking more likely that neither the US nor the rest of the Western world will do much to punish the world’s most important oil exporter, which can “weaponize” the oil market seemingly on a whim.

Any punishment for this flagrant violation of human rights will need to come, therefore, from the private sector, which, according to Bloomberg, could sabotage MbS’s grand Vision 2030 plan, which aims to remake the Saudi economy via a flood of foreign direct investment:

The economic strategy of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, known as MBS, is to make investment the main engine of economic growth instead of government spending, but the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi could frustrate these ambitions. Foreign direct investment, a key part of the plan to reinvent Saudi Arabia’s economy, declined sharply in 2017 and is unlikely to return to previous levels, leaving the government’s target for 2020 beyond reach, according to analysis by Bloomberg Economics. Increased policy uncertainty and, after the Khashoggi incident, the risk of reputational damage to foreign companies working in Saudi Arabia won’t help.

 

 

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Defeat in Bavaria delivers knockout punch to Merkel’s tenure as Chancellor (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 136.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

The stunning CSU defeat in Bavaria means that the coalition partner in Angela Merkel’s government has lost an absolute majority in their worst election results in Bavaria since 1950.

In a preview analysis before the election, Deutsche Welle noted that a CSU collapse could lead to Seehofer’s resignation from Merkel’s government, and conceivably Söder’s exit from the Bavarian state premiership, which would remove two of the chancellor’s most outspoken critics from power, and give her room to govern in the calmer, crisis-free manner she is accustomed to.

On the other hand, a heavy loss and big resignations in the CSU might well push a desperate party in a more volatile, abrasive direction at the national level. That would further antagonize the SPD, the center-left junior partners in Merkel’s coalition, themselves desperate for a new direction and already impatient with Seehofer’s destabilizing antics, and precipitate a break-up of the age-old CDU/CSU alliance, and therefore a break-up of Merkel’s grand coalition. In short: Anything could happen after Sunday, up to and including Merkel’s fall.

The Financial Times reports that the campaign was dominated by the divisive issue of immigration, in a sign of how the shockwaves from Merkel’s disastrous decision to let in more than a million refugees in 2015-16 are continuing to reverberate through German politics and to reshape the party landscape.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the stunning Bavarian election defeat of the CSU party, and the message voters sent to Angela Merkel, the last of the Obama ‘rat pack’ neo-liberal, globalist leaders whose tenure as German Chancellor appears to be coming to an end.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Follow The Duran Audio Podcast on Soundcloud.

Via Zerohedge

Voters in Germany’s economically dominant southern state of Bavaria delivered a stunning rebuke to the ruling Christian Social Union, in an election that delivered another crushing blow for the parties in Angela Merkel’s grand coalition in Berlin.

With all eyes on Sunday’s Bavaria election, moments ago the first exit polls showed a historic collapse for the ruling CSU party, which has ruled Bavaria continuously since 1957, and which saw its share of the vote collapse from 47.7% in the 2013 election to just 35.5%, losing its absolute majority and suffering its worst result since 1950, as voters defected in their droves to the Greens and the far-right Alternative for Germany.

German newspaper Welt called the election “the most painful election defeat of the past 50 years for the CSU”. As predicted in the polls, the CSU experienced a “historic debacle” in the Bavarian state elections, according to Welt. The CSU was followed by the Greens which soared in the election, more than doubling to 18.5% from 8.6% in 2013, the Free Voters also rose to 11% from 9.0%, in 2013.

Meanwhile, the nationalist AfD are expecting to enter Bavaria’s parliament for the first time ever with 11% of the vote, and as such are setting up for their post-election party. Party leader Alice Weidel already is having the first beer in the small community of Mamming in Lower Bavaria.

Establishment party, left-of-center SPD also saw its support collapse from 20.6% in 2013 to just 10% today.

The full initial results from an ARD exit poll are as follows (via Zerohedge):

  • CSU: 35.5 %
  • Grüne: 18.5 %
  • FW: 11.5 %
  • AfD: 11.0 %
  • SPD: 10.0 %
  • FDP: 5.0 %
  • Linke: 3.5 %
  • Sonstige: 5.0 %

The breakdown by gender did not show any marked variations when it comes to CSU support, although more women voted for the Greens, while far more men supported the AfD:

There was a greater variation by educational level, with highly educated voters tending more towards the green GRÜNE (G/EFA) and liberal FDP (ALDE) then the average, while low/middle educated voters tended more towards CSU (EPP) and AfD (EFDD).

This was the worst result for the CSU since 1950.

Zerohedge further reports that alarmed by the rise of the anti-immigration, populist AfD, the CSU tried to outflank them by talking tough on immigration and picking fights with Ms Merkel over asylum policy.

But the strategy appeared to have backfired spectacularly by alienating tens of thousands of moderate CSU voters and driving them into the arms of the Greens.

Meanwhile, as support the CSU and SPD collapsed, the result confirmed the Greens’ status as the rising force in German politics. Running on a platform of open borders, liberal social values and the fight against climate change the party saw its support surge to 18.5%, from 8.4% in 2013. Meanwhile the AfD won 11%, and for the first time entered the Bavarian regional assembly.

“This is an earthquake for Bavaria,” said Jürgen Falter, a political scientist at the University of Mainz.

The CSU had governed the state with an absolute majority for most of the last 60 years. “It was Bavaria and Bavaria was the CSU. That is now no longer the case.”

The latest collapse of Germany’s establishment parties highlights the shaky ground the grand coalition in Berlin is now resting on as all three parties in the alliance, Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, the CSU and the SPD, are haemorrhaging support. Some are now questioning whether the coalition, already frayed by personal rivalries and near constant bickering over policy, can survive a full term in office.

“This outcome throws ever more doubt on the future of the grand coalition,” said Heinrich Oberreuter, head of the Passau Journalism Institute and an expert on the CSU. “Based on current polls, if an election were held now, the CDU, CSU and SPD would not even command a majority in the Bundestag.”

The CSU will now be be forced to form a coalition government — a humiliating outcome for a party that has run Bavaria single-handedly for 49 of the last 54 years. Its preference is probably for a three-party coalition with the Free Voters, a small party that is mainly focused on local politics. It could also team up with the Greens, though it would be highly reluctant to do so: the two parties are deeply divided over immigration, transport and environmental policy.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement

Advertisement

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

The Duran Newsletter

Trending