A Good Day for NATO


Rear of nursing home in Surdulica.   Photo: Gregory Elich.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) proclaims its “commitment to maintaining international peace and security.” Mainstream media rarely, if ever, look beyond Western self-justifications and bland assurances of moral superiority, and little thought is given to what NATO’s wars of aggression might look like to those on the receiving end.  Read More »

The Fall of Yugoslavia: the West’s First ‘Color Revolution’


For years, the dismantling of Yugoslavia was no more than a half-completed job in the eyes of Western leaders. The United States and Western European nations lavished financial, diplomatic, political and military support on secession-minded forces until only two republics remained in the federation. To the annoyance of Western leaders, Serbia and Montenegro stubbornly clung to the Yugoslav ideal and a predominantly socialist-oriented economy. Although the 1999 NATO war succeeded in carving another piece off Yugoslavia, the province of Kosovo, the government remained intact.Read More »

Exposing Kosovo’s Mafia State


A two-year investigation has lifted the lid from the long-suppressed story of the Kosovo leadership’s organized criminal activities. The inquiry, led by human rights investigator Dick Marty, was conducted at the behest of the Council of Europe and focused specifically on the illegal trafficking in human organs.

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Devastating Free Market Reforms Imposed on Serbia


Nine years ago, neoliberal political forces took power in Serbia, promising a radical transformation of the economy. Today, deep into that transformation, Serbia is foundering from its effects, exacerbated by the worldwide economic downturn. Industrial production has fallen 15 percent compared to the average of last year, while unemployment remains high.[1]

A delegation from the IMF is now in Belgrade, negotiating over Serbia’s 2010 national budget and how best to deal with the economic crisis. The two sides are not far apart, in that both parties envision more of the usual neoliberal prescriptions as the way out of an economic crisis brought about in large part by those very same measures. Read More »

How the Nobel Peace Prize was Won


The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari has been widely hailed in the West, where there has been an outpouring of praise for the man and his efforts. Widely seen as a tireless promoter of peace and reconciliation, Ahtisaari has a lesser known sign.

Although his record is long, Ahtisaari’s role in the diplomatic end to NATO’s 1999 war against Yugoslavia is regarded as the key point in his selection. In praising the man, Nobel committee secretary Geir Lundestad noted, “There is no alternative to an independent Kosovo.” This baldly political statement indicates why Ahtisaari’s selection is proving so popular among Western leaders, and it is Kosovo that shows just whose interests Ahtisaari has served. Read More »

Prison Camp Lora and the Trial of the Lora 8


Sometimes beauty can be a mask for horror. The ancient and lovely city of Split, located in Croatia along the Adriatic coast, possesses such bountiful charm that it is difficult to imagine the unspeakable crimes that took place there. Nor would one ever guess that the town was the site of a momentous trial, given the cloak of invisibility provided by the Western press. In that trial, eight former guards of the Lora prison camp were charged with murder and torture. Lora has much to say to us about the nature of human rights issues in the West. That some crimes draw obsessive attention while others evoke complete disinterest ought to be a matter for reflection. Certainly it cannot be argued that attention to Lora was undeserved, for the case was remarkable from every standpoint and the camp ranks among history’s most disturbing examples of inhumanity. The trial itself was no less striking, where a few brave souls found extraordinary reserves of courage and spoke out, knowing that by doing so they risked death. Yet for all of its drama, Lora remains a cipher in the West.Read More »