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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.

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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?

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BARR: No collusion by any Americans

Trump never used his powers to interfere with Mueller, and thus had no “corrupt intent” in the matter.

Alex Christoforou

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Attorney General Barr found no one in the Trump campaign colluded with “Russia” to meddle in the 2016 US election.

A devastating blow to Democrats and their mainstream media stenographers.

Trump reacted immediately…

Via RT…

With the full report on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into claims President Donald Trump colluded with Russia about to be released, Attorney General William Barr is giving a press conference about its findings.

Barr maintains the allegation that the Russian government made efforts to interfere in the election through the Internet Research Agency, an alleged Kremlin-control “troll farm”, as well as “hacking efforts” by the Russian intelligence agency GRU.

The bottom line, Barr says, is that Mueller has found Russia tried to interfere in the election, but “no American” helped it.

Barr explained the White House’s interaction with the Mueller report, whether Trump used executive privilege to block any of its contents from release, as well as on how the Justice Department chose which bits of the 400-page paper to redact.

On the matter of obstruction of justice, Barr said he and his deputy Rod Rosenstein have reviewed Mueller’s evidence and “legal theories”, and found that there is no evidence to show Trump tried to disrupt the investigation.

He said Trump never used his powers to interfere with Mueller, and thus had no “corrupt intent” in the matter.

Most of the redactions in the report were made to protect ongoing investigations and personal information of “peripheral third parties”.

Barr said that no-one outside the Justice Department took part in the redacting process or saw the unredacted version, except for the intelligence community, which was given access to parts of it to protect sources.

Trump did not ask to make any changes to Mueller’s report, Barr said.

Trump’s personal counsel was given access to the redacted report before its release.

A number of Trump-affiliated people, as well as Russian nationals, have been indicted, charged or put on trial by Mueller over the course of the past two years, but none for election-related conspiracy. Still, Democrats in Congress as well as numerous establishment media personalities have been insisting that Barr, a Trump pick for AG office, is somehow “spinning” its findings in order to protect and exonerate Trump, and are calling to see the full report as soon as possible.

They have equally condemned Barr’s decision to hold a news conference before the report is release, claiming he is trying to shape the public perception in Trump’s favor.

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Moscow’s Strategy: To Win Everywhere, Every Time

The main feature of Moscow’s approach is to find areas of common interest with its interlocutor and to favor the creation of trade or knowledge exchange.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Important events have occurred in the Middle East and North Africa in recent weeks that underline how the overall political reconfiguration of the region is in full swing. The Shia axis continues its diplomatic relations and, following Rouhani’s meeting in Baghdad, it was the turn of Adil Abdul-Mahdi to be received in Tehran by the highest government and religious authorities. Among the many statements released, two in particular reveal the high level of cooperation between the two countries, as well as demonstrating how the Shia axis is in full bloom, carrying significant prospects for the region. Abdul-Mahdi also reiterated that Iraq will not allow itself to be used as a platform from which to attack Iran: “Iraqi soil will not be allowed to be used by foreign troops to launch any attacks against Iran. The plan is to export electricity and gas for other countries in the region.”

Considering that these two countries were mortal enemies during Saddam Hussein’s time, their rapprochement is quite a (geo)political miracle, owing much of its success to Russia’s involvement in the region. The 4+1 coalition (Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria plus Hezbollah) and the anti-terrorism center in Baghdad came about as a result of Russia’s desire to coordinate all the allied parties in a single front. Russia’s military support of Syria, Iraq and Hezbollah (together with China’s economic support) has allowed Iran to begin to transform the region such that the Shia axis can effectively counteract the destabilizing chaos unleashed by the trio of the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

One of the gaps to be filled in the Shia axis lies in Lebanon, which has long experienced an internal conflict between the many religious and political currents in the country. The decision by Washington to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel pushed the Lebanese president, Michel Aoun, to make an important symbolic visit to Moscow to meet with President Putin.

Once again, the destabilizing efforts of the Saudis, Israelis and Americans are having the unintended effect of strengthening the Shia axis. It seems that this trio fails to understood how such acts as murdering Khashoggi, using civilian planes to hide behind in order to conduct bombing runs in Syria, recognizing the occupied territories like the Golan Heights – how these produce the opposite effects to the ones desired.

The supply of S-300 systems to Syria after the downing of the Russian reconnaissance plane took place as a result of Tel Aviv failing to think ahead and anticipate how Russia may respond.

What is surprising in Moscow’s actions is the versatility of its diplomacy, from the deployment of the S-300s in Syria, or the bombers in Iran, to the prompt meetings with Netanyahu in Moscow and Mohammad bin Salman at the G20. The ability of the Russian Federation to mediate and be present in almost every conflict on the globe restores to the country the international stature that is indispensable in counterbalancing the belligerence of the United States.

The main feature of Moscow’s approach is to find areas of common interest with its interlocutor and to favor the creation of trade or knowledge exchange. Another military and economic example can be found in a third axis; not the Shia or Saudi-Israeli-US one but the Turkish-Qatari one. In Syria, Erdogan started from positions that were exactly opposite to those of Putin and Assad. But with decisive military action and skilled diplomacy, the creation of the Astana format between Iran, Turkey and Russia made Turkey and Qatar publicly take the defense of Islamist takfiris and criminals in Idlib. Qatar for its part has a two-way connection with Turkey, but it is also in open conflict with the Saudi-Israeli axis, with the prospect of abandoning OPEC within a few weeks. This situation has allowed Moscow to open a series of negotiations with Doha on the topic of LNG, with these two players controlling most of the LNG on the planet. It is evident that also the Turkish-Qatari axis is strongly conditioned by Moscow and by the potential military agreements between Turkey and Russia (sale of S-400) and economic and energy agreements between Moscow and Doha.

America’s actions in the region risks combining the Qatari-Turkish front with the Shia axis, again thanks to Moscow’s skilful diplomatic work. The recent sale of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia, together with the withdrawal from the JCPOA (the Iranian nuclear agreement), has created concern and bewilderment in the region and among Washington’s allies. The act of recognizing the occupied Golan Heights as belonging to Israel has brought together the Arab world as few events have done in recent times. Added to this, Trump’s open complaints about OPEC’s high pricing of oil has forced Riyadh to start wondering out aloud whether to start selling oil in a currency other than the dollar. This rumination was quickly denied, but it had already been aired. Such a decision would have grave implications for the petrodollar and most of the financial and economic power of the United States.

If the Shia axis, with Russian protection, is strengthened throughout the Middle East, the Saudi-Israel-American triad loses momentum and falls apart, as seen in Libya, with Haftar now one step closer in unifying the country thanks to the support of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, France and Russia, with Fayez al-Sarraj now abandoned by the Italians and Americans awaiting his final defeat.

While the globe continues its multipolar transformation, the delicate balancing role played by Russia in the Middle East and North Africa is emphasized. The Venezuelan foreign minister’s recent visit to Syria shows how the front opposed to US imperialist bullying is not confined to the Middle East, with countries in direct or indirect conflict with Washington gathering together under the same protective Sino-Russian umbrella.

Trump’s “America First” policy, coupled with the conviction of American exceptionalism, is driving international relations towards two poles rather than multipolar ones, pushing China, Russia and all other countries opposed to the US to unite in order to collectively resist US diktats.

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Nigel Farage stuns political elite, as Brexit Party and UKIP surge in polls (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 144.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party’s stunning rise in the latest UK polls, which show Tory support splintering and collapsing to new lows. Theresa May’s Brexit debacle has all but destroyed the Conservative party, which is now seeing voters turn to UKIP and The Brexit Party.

Corbyn’s Labour Party is not finding much favor from UK voters either, as anger over how Britain’s two main parties conspired to sell out the country to EU globalists, is now being voiced in various polling data ahead of EU Parliament elections.

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Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk:


The Guardian reports Tories Hit by New Defections and Slump in Opinion Polls as Party Divide Widens.

The bitter fallout from Brexit is threatening to break the Tory party apart, as a Europhile former cabinet minister Stephen Dorrell on Sunday announces he is defecting to the independent MPs’ group Change UK, and a new opinion poll shows Conservative support plummeting to a five-year low as anti-EU parties surge.

The latest defections come as a new Opinium poll for the Observer shows a dramatic fall in Tory support in the past two weeks and a surge for anti-EU parties. The Conservatives have fallen by six percentage points to 29% compared to a fortnight ago. It is their worst position since December 2014. Labour is up one point on 36% while Ukip is up two points on 11%.

Even more alarmingly for the Tories, their prospects for the European elections appear dire. Only 17% of those certain to vote said they would choose the Conservatives in the European poll, while 29% would back Labour, and 25% either Ukip (13%) or Nigel Farage’s new Brexit party (12%).

YouGov Poll

A more recent YouGov Poll looks even worse for the Tories

In the YouGov poll, UKIP and BREX total 29%.

Polls Volatile

Eurointellingence has these thoughts on the polls.

We have noted before that classic opinion polls at a time like this are next to useless. But we found an interesting constituency-level poll, by Electoral Calculus, showing for the first time that Labour would get enough constituency MPs to form a minority government with the support of the SNP. This is a shift from previous such exercises, which predicted a continuation of the status quo with the Tories still in command.

This latest poll, too, is subject to our observation of massively intruding volatility. It says that some of the Tory’s most prominent MPs would be at risk, including Amber Rudd and Iain Duncan-Smith. And we agree with the bottom-line analysis of John Curtice, the pollster, who said the abrupt fall in support for Tories is due entirely to their failure to have delivered Brexit on time.

The Tories are facing two electoral tests in May – local elections on May 2 and European elections on May 23. Early polls are show Nigel Farage’s new Brexit party shooting up, taking votes away from the Tories. If European elections were held, we would expect the Brexit party to come ahead of the Tories. Labour is rock-solid in the polls, but Labour unity is at risk as the pro-referendum supporters want Jeremy Corbyn to put the second referendum on the party’s manifesto.

Tory Labour Talks

The Tory/Labour talks on a compromise have stalled, but are set to continue next week with three working groups: on security, on environmental protection, and on workers’ rights. A separate meeting is scheduled between Philip Hammond and John McDonnell, the chancellor and shadow chancellor. The big outstanding issue is the customs union. Theresa May has not yet moved on this one. We noted David Liddington, the effective deputy prime minister, saying that the minimum outcome of the talks would be an agreed and binding decision-making procedure to flush out all options but one in a series of parliamentary votes.

May’s task is to get at least half of her party on board for a compromise. What makes a deal attractive to the Tories is that May would resign soon afterwards, giving enough time for the Tory conference in October to select a successor before possible elections in early 2020.

This relative alignment of interests is why we would not rule out a deal – either on an agreed joint future relationship, or at least on a method to deliver an outcome.

Customs Union

A customs union, depending on how it is structured, would likely be worse than remaining. The UK would have to abide by all the EU rules and regulations without having any say.

Effectively, it will not be delivering Brexit.

Perhaps May’s deal has a resurrection.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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