Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Kosova: For an independent bi-national federation

Kosova: For an independent bi-national federation

Questions of legality, recognition and partition versus proletarian solidarity

By Michael Karadjis

Introduction to 2008 article in 2010:

The following article was written in early 2008, shortly after Kosova declared independence. Over two years later, the deadlock the article describes remains almost unchanged. The article explains that Kosova consists of parts of two nations – the Serb and Albanian nations – inextricably linked due to geography, but deeply divided due to a history of oppression and the rise of national chauvinism and its reflection among the oppressed. This makes Kosova similar to Cyprus, where parts of two nations – the Greek and Turkish nations – are also linked but deeply divided. In both cases, full ethnic partition along an international border is impossible. The article therefore proposes a plan for Kosova similar to the UN Annan Plan which was proposed for Cyprus (but as yet rejected) – that plan calls for a bi-zonal, bi-communal Cyprus federation consisting of a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot entity, rather than mere “autonomy” for the Turks. Such a plan is much better suited to Kosova’s realities than the current Ahtisaari Plan, despite the vast autonomy it offers the Kosovar Serbs. I am putting it up now because I consider it to be just as timely as it was then.
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Since Kosova declared independence on February 17, it has been recognised by around 30 countries, though every country in the 57-member Islamic Conference Organisation also signed a statement welcoming the event. Another 20-30 have declared they will not recognise, while most are “waiting and watching” the situation, wanting more information, waiting for more concrete steps by Kosova regarding implementation of the minority rights’ provisions of the Ahtisaari Plan, or otherwise in no hurry.

With Russia and China and most non-permanent members of the UN Security Council opposed, there is no UN recognition, meaning that officially the UNSC Resolution 1244, adopted in June 1999 at the end of NATO’s devastating war on Serbia, which calls Kosova part of Serbia, remains the officially “legal” situation.

Meanwhile, both imperialist blocs with a presence in Kosova, NATO and the incoming EU supervisory bodies, consist of countries which are deeply divided on the issue, and thus have no consensus on how to act. Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Rumania and Slovakia, members of both organisations, are leaders of the anti-recognition camp, even if the most powerful countries in the two blocs have recognised the new state.

As such, NATO has announced that its mandate remains the same, that is, under Resolution 1244, which recognises Serbian sovereignty, with a role to maintain “a safe and secure environment” for “all peoples,” but that it “is not a police force or a lead political body in Kosovo.”

The EU police and justice mission (EULEX), however, and the proposed EU-appointed International Civilian Representative (ICR, to replace the high representative of the outgoing UN authority UNMIK), are on shakier ground. The original mission of EULEX was to supervise the implementation of the Ahtisaari Plan, particularly the aspects concerned with the high degree of minority rights.

The aim was to reassure Kosovar Serbs and other minorities that such legislation would be implemented and institutions built as the Albanian-led Kosova government declared independence, as it had long announced that it would do unilaterally if no UN resolution could be agreed on.

While there was sharp disagreement within the EU over recognition, there was unanimity in supporting the mission. This is because although the Ahtisaari Plan calls for recognition of an imperialist “supervised independence” for Kosova, those EU countries rejecting any independence nevertheless support the plan’s provisions for minorities, support the “supervision.” Therefore, there is consensus in the EU for EULEX only to implement the internal provisions of the plan, not to aid “independence.”

However, as EULEX, unlike NATO, has no mandate under 1244, as Serbia demanded a new UN resolution if it was to be accepted. Serbia’s aim was for such a resolution to reaffirm Serbian sovereignty. Otherwise it would oppose EULEX’s entry. However, if such a resolution had been passed by the UNSC, the Kosova government would have blocked EULEX entry, as they see it as a concession they are making to minorities and not something they need so much themselves. Thus, if no independence, no EULEX - which also worked vice versa, hence the late decision by a number of major EU countries, particularly Germany, to accept recognition as the price to be in a position to control it.

This means the EULEX mission has arrived “illegally” according to international law, and has no mandate. And this is even more the case given that many of the EU states represented in EULEX have now recognised Kosovar independence, in violation of 1244.

But what should socialists and supporters of the oppressed say about these “legal” issues which make it “illegal” for an oppressed people such as the Kosovars, long trapped by force within borders they did not consent to, to declare their independence? Even more, how does this play out when major imperialist powers, which have their troops and missions in Kosova, are not only recognising this “illegal” independence but also “supervising” it and rendering it, in fact, much less than independence?

One side of this is that socialists certainly do support the right of oppressed nations, such as the Kosovar Albanians, to self-determination, including independence. There can be little substance to a “legality” that prevents independence for a people who have struggled for it for many decades just because one or two members of the elite 5-member Security Council club – in this case Russia – blocks it in the same way that the US blocks recognition of Palestine’s 1988 unilateral declaration of independence.

After Bangladesh’s war of independence from Pakistan in 1974, and the intervention of the Indian army to promote its independence, China also vetoed Security Council recognition for 3 years, making Bangladesh “illegal.”

We certainly object to the imperialist troops and “supervision” that are greatly limiting Kosovar independence, but our attitude is to call for these imperialist forces to withdraw, which would allow Kosovars to achieve full self-determination.

At the same time, we need to understand that nearly all the “conditions” set by the EU and Ahtisaari for “independence,” which are to be “supervised,” are concerned with the rights of the minorities, especially Serbs, and more generally with nullifying any “Albanian” content to an officially multi-ethnic state, even though Albanians constitute 90 percent of the population.

This includes autonomy and links to Belgrade for Serb-majority regions, protective areas around Serb Orthodox monasteries, dual citizenship for Serbs, a large degree of representation for Serbs and minorities at all levels of government and state, including significant veto powers, the enforcing of a new flag with no Albanian colours or symbols, an independence declaration vetted by the imperialists to make sure there was no mention of the Albanian people, and banning of union with Albania, while the major role of imperialist troops and police is protection of Serb and minority communities and cultural monuments.

While opposing the restrictions on independence, it is difficult to argue that these actual policies are not good in a country where the massive crimes against the Albanian people by the previous Serbian occupation led to pogroms against Serbs by vengeful or chauvinist Albanians once the Serbian army had been driven out. The smashing of basic working class solidarity between the two peoples is a factor that cannot be ignored.

Nevertheless, despite the very high level of minority rights and protection under supervised independence, most Kosovar Serbs remain opposed and fearful of any independence, precisely because of these realities on the ground. Since the Serb oppressor regime was expelled, Albanians have run the state, Serbs effectively turned into an oppressed minority, whatever the legal standing. But then their opposition to the democratic right of the majority of Kosovars to exercise self-determination further deepens the inter-ethnic hostility. This plays into the hands of Belgrade, which aims to maintain Kosova as its “sovereign” land in some form, but their interests are not necessarily identical.

What is happening on the ground therefore is the consolidation of a partition of Kosova. This partition – mostly across the north – was first established when NATO troops arrived in June 1999 and aided Serb militia dividing the northern city of Mitrovica across the Ibar river, maintaining the entire north of this natural border up to the Serbia border as a Serb zone – some15 percent of Kosova – a zone that just happens to have the richest resources of Kosova.

Moreover, while we reject the argument that “international law” has any moral authority over oppressed peoples changing oppressive “legal” borders, the reality in this case is that recognition of Kosova by some but not by others, or by the Security Council, has entrenched and given a legal character to this partition.

That is because the Serbian state is still effectively in control of north Kosova – indeed has been since 1999 – so while its “legal” arguments have no practical effect in the south, they form the reality in the north. Serbian legal control over the north is consistent with UN resolution 1244. And at present, the UN authority (UNMIK) which has ruled Kosova since 1999 on the basis of alleged Serbian sovereignty remains in place.

Thus, forced to comment on Serbia’s opposition to EULEX, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon had to publicly deny EULEX mission chief Peter Feith's claim that the transfer of jurisdiction from UNMIK to EULEX has begun, and stressed that UNMIK will continue in Kosovo until UN Security Council decides otherwise.

Recognising this reality, and the mass Serb boycott of the incoming EU “supervisory” institutions, EULEX on February 24 packed up and left northern Kosova. In contrast, Serbs in the north said they welcomed the continuing presence of UNMIK and NATO.

As such, the new international border is the Ibar River. Moreover, this has extended, more tenuously, to the smaller Serb minority enclaves in the Albanian-dominated south. Throughout the whole country, almost all Serb police officers have either quit, or refused to turn up for work for the Kosova Police Service (KPS), where they form 10 percent of officers – one of the more successful multi-ethnic institutions. The Serbian Orthodox church announced it had severed all contact with Kosova authorities and EULEX. Meanwhile, Kosovo Albanians employed by UNMIK's civilian institutions are also leaving the northern Kosova, Albanian police have withdrawn from the north and even Albanian inmates from a northern jail have been withdrawn.

Of course quitting the KPS in the south could be shooting themselves in the foot, as Serb communities in the south are more vulnerable to Albanian hostility and having their own police is to their advantage. However, Serb police leaders say that while they will no longer work for the KPS now that it is part of an independent state, they will continue working if they can report directly to UNMIK. Negotiations are now underway, but this signals a further legal basis for partition extending beyond the north.

EU officials acknowledge the risk of a split between a Serb "UNMIK-land" north of the Ibar from which the EU is barred and a “EULEX-land” Albanian Kosovo elsewhere. This is the substance of the latest proposal put by Serbia’s Kosovo Minister, Slobodan Samardzic, to the UN, for the “functional separation” of Serb and Albanian communities, with the Serb community still under the Serbian government. UNMIK deputy head, US diplomat Larry Rossin, stated this “could be the basis for talks between Belgrade and UNMIK.”

NATO officials say Serbia’s attempt to force a partition presents a difficult challenge. “Our mandate is to ensure a safe and secure environment and to assure the freedom of movement throughout all of Kosovo,” said James Appathurai, a NATO spokesman. “But NATO is not a police force or the lead political body in Kosovo, so let’s not ask of NATO what it cannot do.” Many senior European Union officials also admit privately that there is little the European Union could do to prevent partition. Thus the provocation by UNMIK police on March 17 – when they raided the courthouse in northern Mitrovica to end its occupation by Serbian legal workers demanding a separate court system, provoking a Serb backlash – appears a test of the waters that badly backfired.

To partition or not to partition has been a long term debate among imperialist powers. One of the first US ideologists to advocate Kosovar independence, Charles Kupchan in a Foreign Affairs article in 2005, in fact advocated it in combination with partition – a position he has now restated. Britain’s former Balkan envoy Lord Owen, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, British general Mike Jackson – the first head of NATO in occupied Kosova - Britain’s Daily Telegraph, the Dutch government and many others have advocated partition as the answer. The French Le Figaro recently called for a new international conference to “finally determine” borders throughout the Balkans based on ethnic criteria. From one point of view, partition is the ideal solution: only by officially dividing peoples whose cohabitation can only lead to conflict, they reason, can a new stability be founded in the region. One theory even claims the rapid imperialist recognition of “illegal” independence was meant to lead to deadlock, in order to make partition the only solution.

But of course this internal partition already exists. What the current majority in the imperialist camp believe is that if this translates into open partition along an international border, this will be more destabilizing than Kosova independence in itself – which they always opposed because they believe there may be a “precedent effect” of encouraging other oppressed peoples to declare independence – as it would even more clearly pose the ethnic principle as a basis for border changes. At least if it can be declared “multi-ethnic,” this precedent effect could be dampened

More concretely, if the north remains part of Serbia, this may encourage the Albanian-dominated south to join Albania, which would then have a destructive flow-on effect in Macedonia, where a quarter of the population are Albanian. This could lead to a blow-out of the ‘Macedonian question’ and threaten the cohesion of NATO’s “southern flank.” Blocking a ‘greater Albania’ has long been considered a central priority in imperialist strategy. Therefore the western powers want an officially united, multi-ethnic Kosova, as enshrined in the Ahtisaari Plan, which they believe will be the least destabilizing alternative.

Both the secession of the north to Serbia proper and the right of the rest to join Albania and create an ethnic Albanian state can be viewed as the right of both communities to self-determination, blocked by imperialist ‘stability’ concerns. And both should have the right to do this, and not be blocked by imperialism, if they so desire.

However, it is arguably the worst outcome for the Kosovar Serbs: the simple fact is that only 40 percent of Kosovar Serbs live in their already very secure northern stronghold, so its secession would abandon the majority of Serbs who live in smaller and more vulnerable enclaves surrounded by the Albanian majority throughout the south. All the famous Serbian Orthodox monasteries are also in the south. An international border at the Ibar will effectively leave these Serbs a much smaller minority in a fully Albanian Kosova, with what is now their major centre cut out. At least some kind of Serb-Albanian partnership to run an independent state still therefore appears the best overall outcome, if it were possible.

Thus the partitionist push by a section of the northern Serbs and elements of the Belgrade regime may be in Serbian interests – getting rid of the hostile, fast-breeding Albanian majority while keeping hold of the vast resources of the north – but represents the opposite of the interests of most Kosovar Serbs.

Thus many Serb leaders from outside the north are highly critical of partition at the Ibar precisely because it would leave them out. This view is continually expressed for example by Rada Trajkovic, the president of the executive council of the Serbian National Council in Kosovo. Likewise, head of the Serbian List for Kosovo, Oliver Ivanovic, denounced on March 25 “jingoism” in the north, where it is easy to be jingoistic and “score cheap points, but the price will be high for the Serbs in the central part of Kosovo, because, in the event of a partition, they don’t see themselves staying in Kosovo at all." He accused Samardžić of trying to gain cheap points in Kosovo for his election campaign.
Trajkovic also stresses that it is in the interests of Serb communities to accept EULEX. She therefore proposes the legal problem be fudged by UNMIK remaining and for Serbs to have contact with EULEX via UNMIK. Thus while she opposes full partition, this proposal still fits into a growing internal legal partition. In fact, Trajkovic called for a “soft” partition of Kosova “according to the Cyprus model,” that is the Annan Plan for Cyprus reunification based on a Greek Cypriot entity and a Turkish Cypriot entity forming a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation. In similar vein, Ivanovic, while rejecting partition and calling on Serb police not to quit the KPS, claimed the Serb regions of Kosovo will in the coming period have a status "similar to that of the Republic of Srpska in Bosnia,” and this “will last not for months, but for years.”
In pointing to something beyond the autonomy and very significant rights guaranteed to Serbs in the Ahtisaari package in an otherwise united Kosova, but something less than outright international partition at the Ibar, these Kosovar Serbs are not only offering a way out of the current constitutional deadlock, but are also offering a solution that accords with the reality of this society very deeply divided between two nations, that was never multi-ethnic even in better times.

While many Serb leaders have stated that they prefer supervised independence - with the vast rights and autonomy within Kosova in the Ahtisaari Plan, guaranteed by the imperialist “supervisory” bodies and troops - to full partition, nevertheless this vast autonomy cannot satisfy them. The reality of Kosova – unlike Bosnia before it was violently ripped apart by Serbian and Croatian chauvinism and EU ethnic partition plans – is that it was never in any sense a multi-ethnic society, but a straight out Serbian colony.

This means the divisions between the two peoples – who also unlike in Bosnia do not speak the same language – are long term and deep. There has never been intermarriage for example. What this also means is that once the Serbian colonial regime was driven out, Albanians now run the state and Serbs are effectively an oppressed minority. This is not in a legal sense, where Serbs – even before the Ahtisaari Plan – have vast official rights and representation. However, the reality on the ground, with proletarian solidarity having long been smashed to pieces, is that whatever the formalities, the overwhelming majority will rule, and minorities will tend to pick up the crumbs.

What we have therefore in Kosova – like in Cyprus – is parts of two nations that have no common consciousness as “Kosovars.” A Cyprus-style plan thus represents this reality better than the Ahtisaari Plan, but also better than open partition. The advantage for the scattered Serbs in the south compared to full partition is that northern Mitrovica, by remaining in Kosova, would continue to form their educational, health, cultural and partly political centre, a centre with a Serb university and major hospital. It is much easier to incorporate scattered enclaves into the same Serb entity if it is part of a Kosova federation than if it was in a separate country.

However, there are also advantages for Kosovar Albanians. Now, in order to attempt to incorporate the Serbs and prevent Kosova becoming part of an Albanian state, the new EU-run state is enforcing an official multi-ethnicity that denies Albanians genuine self-determination. This is not only because of the international presence and supervision of this plan. It is also because this goes well beyond the rights, representation and autonomy for Serbs, to denying the Albanian majority any official recognition as the key people in the state, after a century of struggle and thousands of martyrs. After tens of thousands waved the Albanian red and black eagle flag, representing their actual ethnic consciousness and the rights they had under Tito, it is difficult to not see the new blue and white flag as a gross imperialist imposition, along with the fact that the Albanian people are mentioned nowhere in the independence declaration, and most likely will not be mentioned in the constitution.

By contrast, a bi-national federation will not only allow both Albanians and Serbs to run their own affairs, but also to represent themselves with whatever symbols from their history and culture that they choose. It has the further advantage to the Albanians that the rationale for denying them full independence – that their treatment of the Serb minority requires the imperialist “supervisory” bodies to ensure protection of minority rights and official multi-ethnicity – would have much less credence if Serbs run their own entity.

In fact they could argue against having any “supervision” of their independence – Kosova has only accepted “supervision” on the basis that otherwise the imperialist states would not support their independence. But if such a set-up brought the Serb community on board, there would be less need to accede to these demands, as it would be more difficult to accuse it of “unilateralism.” At this stage, the declaration of independence, even with all the provisions for minorities, is essentially a statement by the Albanian majority community rather than the whole society.

This is why a solution based more on the Cyprus Annan Plan than either the Ahtisaari Plan or open partition appears the most realistic alternative.

There is also the possibility that Serbia itself may see this as enough of a “compromise” to accept Kosovar independence as such a federated state, enabling a UN Security Council resolution to pass. There is of course no guarantee of this, but certainly the pressure within Serbian society from both Kosovar Serbs and anti-chauvinist Serbs in Serbia proper would gain momentum at the expense of the far right which now dominates and stirs up chauvinist poison as a matter of political survival on the backs of real lives in Kosova.

It is also just possible that imperialist states have such a solution as a ‘Plan B’ tucked away somewhere. The current logjam has led to a section of the imperialist leadership now essentially espousing this solution, probably a card long there which no-one wanted to play too early. Swedish Foreign minister, Carl Bildt, while “ruling out Kosovo's partition along ethnic lines,” said “the division was a fact and would require a large degree of self-government for the Serbs.” His meetings with the local Serbs "testified that the partition was present in their lives: "these are two societies, two communities. We have tried for many years of the UN presence to overcome this, but with no significant success."

At one point Belgrade and Priština will have to return to the negotiation table, “but it will not change the status of Kosovo,” meaning the internal arrangement will need to change to better accommodate the Serbs, whose situation “is worrying, but little is said about it. It should be reiterated that they are also Serbian citizens, since they have the right to dual citizenship.” Italian foreign minister Massimo D’Alema has now joined in, declaring “I hope that they (Belgrade and Pristina) will soon pick up the dialogue that was interrupted. Kosovo has not achieved full independence, lives under an international protectorate and it doesn’t seem probable to me that it will become a UN member state before an agreement with Serbia has been reached.”

He also said UNMIK will have to stay in Kosovo indefinitely to act as a buffer between nations that recognize Kosova and those that do not – the vast majority. Many states not (or not yet) recognising, have good reason. For our socialist friends in power in Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia, the fear that the formal "violation of international law" by imperialist powers might act as a precedent for them to use dissatisfaction in their borders to intervene and set up a bogus state is something they are right to consider.

While we should give an unofficial, and cautious, socialist ‘welcome’ to the only partial fruition of the Kosovar people’s legitimate aspirations for self-determination – our message of solidarity with these aspirations – the question of recognition by states is more complex. The Australian government recognised Kosova; we did not campaign for them to do so, though obviously neither do we campaign against. This stance derives especially from the continuing imperialist presence and control limiting these aspirations, but also given that the real partition on the ground is likely to lead to further changes that may unlock the deadlock.

As a statement by Greek socialists maintains, “a real just solution for Kosovo comes through the restoration of multinational co-existence.” This should not be seen as a condition for independence; on the contrary, independence is a necessary step towards this goal, but an insufficient one. But there can be no real independence without the restoration of shattered working class solidarity between the two communities. Whatever the maneuvers of imperialist powers and nationalists on both sides, if a pragmatic end result accords with what is best in the circumstances for approaching this goal, then it should be welcomed.

33 comments:

Asteri said...

What an out of place analysis. I have never understood why Socialists feel in necessary to keep on defending this failed, fascist, gangster state. Or this ludicrous believe that the western establishment loves Serbia, and that the media is full of Serb propaganda, nonsense.

Asteri said...

My last post was a bit extreme wasn't it, my point still stands that I dont think anyone can call thems selfs socialist and support Kosovo independence.

Michael Karadjis said...

I’ll just get rid of the silly statements in your first post first. There is nothing in this article you have commented on that talks about the attitude of the western media to Serbia etc, so that comment really is “out of place” to quote you.

As for your claim that Kosovo/a is a “failed, fascist, gangster” state, I don’t know why you didn’t add “Mafiosi, drug-running, people-smuggling, organ-harvesting, Islamist, wahabbiite, bin-ladenite” you name it. Isn’t it revolting the way some purported leftists talk in exactly the same way about Kosova as the imperialist media does regarding other states that they don’t like. I’m glad you said it was a “bit extreme”, because otherwise I would have attached some pretty obvious labels to your definition and your denunciation of an entire people in this manner.

So to get to the important point. Why cannot anyone who calls themselves a socialist support self-determination, ie independence, for Kosovo/a? You just state it, you don’t explain why. It is pretty hard to have a discussion if you do not give your reasons.

I will reverse the question. How can anyone who calls themselves a socialist not support the same right of self-determination for the Kosovar people, who suffered decades of uninvited brutal oppression, as we always support for oppressed people elsewhere? Answer me that and we can have a discussion.

Since you say nothing it is hard for me to anticipate. But I’ll make a couple of suggestions. Possibly you mean how can we support such a government as the present one in Kosova, for x reasons that you may want to give me. If that is your problem, fine, I do not support the government, I am a socialist, so I don’t support capitalist governments in Kosova, Serbia, Croatia, Ireland, Bangladesh etc, but that doesn’t stop me supporting the right of these peoples to independence and to choose their own governments, whatever I might think of those governments.

Alternatively you might be referring to the fact that Kosova is not really independent because it has an EU-appointed “king”, it has an EU police and justice mission which have oversight over the police and justice departments of the Kosova government, there are still NATO troops, there is an imposed flag (which must not have any resemblance to Albanian colours), there are various other impositions (eg it cannot join Albania if it chooses). Yes, but that is why my article(s) oppose imperialist-imposed “supervised independence.” But removing all that imperialist “supervision” will not make Kosova a Serbian satrap again, it will make it really independent, as I support. So will you then support it? Then we agree.

But I suspect you mean the opposite – that Kosova should be returned (by whom?) to Serbian rule, under which the Kosovar Albanian population suffered brutal oppression, apartheid and then near-annihilation. OK, but if that is your opinion, maybe you could offer some suggestions on how you plan to make that come about against the resistance of 99.99% of the Kosovar Albanians, who are 90% of the Kosovar population.

Finally, you might simply be saying that since the Albanians declared their own independence following oppression, then why can’t the Serb minority within Kosova break away and rejoin Serbia since they have also been oppressed by the Kosova regime? And although the Kosova constitution contains some of the world’s highest levels of minority rights and representation, the reality on the ground is often quite different, and in any case the Kosovar Serbs do not accept it as theirs?

Fine, but if that is your beef, then maybe you ought to read my article again, since that is exactly what it is about, offering a win-win solution to this problem. So perhaps if you commented on the ideas in the actual article we might get somewhere.

Thank you for your comments.

Asteri said...

I was in a pretty bad mood when I made my first comment, and admit it was extreme and made in haste, I read something somewhere ells and mistakenly blamed you, so I apologise.

“Mafiosi, drug-running, people-smuggling, organ-harvesting" that.s a better description than I made. I don’t like the spiteful use of "Kosova" do we call Albania Shqiparisa, Croatia Hvratska or Greece Ellada? no. In English its known a Kosovo, “Kosova” is used to de-legitimise the Serbian claim to the land.

You refer to Kosovo before 1999 and being under Serb colonialism or Apartheid, this just wrong, it is a legal part of Serbia’s recognised sovereign territory, and they certainly did not try to annihilate the population. You seem to be insinuating that there is an aspect of the left that are brainwashed supporters of Milosevic and against Kosovo for that reason. As someone who is a socialist, I am under no dilutions about Serbian crimes so I don’t need to have my intelligence insulted by the idea that I take a default anti-US position to what is said to be a noble action.

As someone who speaks Serbo-Croat and has been to Kosovo I am pretty aware of what goes on their, and KLA Mafioso crimes are well documented and supported by evidence. I give you credit for being opposed to Western Imperialism but there many naive assumptions about forming Federal systems and worker solidarity here. The least worst solution for Kosovo is partition and population transfer, the Serbs are entitled to self-determination as much as the Albanians, and know has the right to make them citizens of another country.

The Serbs also put forward a very reasonable autonomy plan which the UCK rejected with the backing of their US master.

Michael Karadjis said...

First part of reply (blogger only allows a certain length):

Thanks for your reply, we are now clearly on much more solid ground for having a discussion.
Except where you write “Mafiosi, drug-running, people-smuggling, organ-harvesting" that’s a better description than I made.” Of course it is the same problem. This is not an issue that drug-running etc exist in Kosovo. It also exists in Serbia and in the US, for example. And right throughout the world there are countless cases where such activities have either the toleration or the direct involvement of parts of the ruling circles. There is nothing special about Kosovo on this, and so the insinuation is merely a way of delegitimising this state without using proper arguments to do so.
As for “organ harvesting” of course I put that in to test the reaction. If there is evidence it will come out. So far there is zilch. Therefore the accusation that some crazed section of the KLA harvested organs of Serb (and other) captives reminds me of the NATO propaganda in 1999 about Serbian troops using Albanians for “blood banks.”
That of course does not alter the fact that some KLA units clearly captured Serbs and led them away to be killed. There are 300-400 missing Serbs. That is a crime. Likewise, there are four times as many missing Albanians, led away and killed by the Serbian army and paramilitaries. Given the 1000+ bodies of Albanian men, women and children already dug up in Serbia itself, in refrigerator trucks and police compounds etc, we have a good idea where the rest probably ended up. Both sets of crimes need to be solved before the people can move on.
You don’t like “the spiteful use of "Kosova" do we call Albania Shqiparisa, Croatia Hvratska or Greece Ellada? no. In English its known a Kosovo, “Kosova” is used to de-legitimise the Serbian claim to the land.”
I have no extraordinary attachment, so here I will use your term Kosovo. I generally use Kosova to express support for the right of people to self-identify. When “New Hebrides” gained independence it changed its name to Vanuatu. Likewise Eire. Likewise Zimbabwe from “Rhodesia” etc. My background is Greek, by the way, and that does not stop me calling the state to the north of Greece ‘Macedonia’, not the hackneyed name ‘Fyrom’. You don’t agree so I won’t make it an issue in our discussion. Personally I prefer Kosovo/a, but it is obviously a pain to write every time.

Michael Karadjis said...

Part 2: “You refer to Kosovo before 1999 and being under Serb colonialism or Apartheid, this just wrong, it is a legal part of Serbia’s recognised sovereign territory, and they certainly did not try to annihilate the population.”
Asteri, Kurdistan is also a legal part of Turkey’s territory – more indisputably “legal” for what it’s worth than Kosovo was Serbian territory – yet that does not alter the fact of brutal oppression, massive ethnic cleansing etc. Sorry but it is not exactly unusual for “legally” sovereign oppressors to be oppressive. The situation of 1989-99 certainly was oppressive and certainly was apartheid, and what’s more it was absolutely *illegal* as it was a violation of Yugoslavia’s federal constitution by the counterrevolutionary Milosevic/Serbian nationalist forces that was the first step to destroying Yugoslavia. Actually Kosovo’s 1974-89 status of high level autonomy was very close to republican status and arguably it did have the right to independence in 1992 along with the others; if not, then at least upgraded to an equal member of the new “Yugoslavia” established in 1992 along with Serbia and Montenegro, certainly not a continuation of its post-1989 illegal status.
As for attempted annihilation, I was referring to the period following the onset of NATO’s own terror in March 1999, and NATO itself must hold deep responsibility for this, BUT that cannot take the responsibility of those who actually carried out this attempted annihilation. Sorry but expelling 850,000 Albanians from their country in a few weeks does not count as a way of defending your cities hundreds of miles to the north from cruise missiles.
“You seem to be insinuating that there is an aspect of the left that are brainwashed supporters of Milosevic and against Kosovo for that reason. As someone who is a socialist, I am under no dilutions about Serbian crimes so I don’t need to have my intelligence insulted by the idea that I take a default anti-US position to what is said to be a noble action.”
I’m happy to read this asteri, and it helps make the discussion worthwhile. Problem is, why do so many then get confused on only this issue? We also oppose the far more massive, far more destructive and murderous imperialist invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, yet hardly anyone on the left jumps in to give back-handed political support to Saddam Hussein, and none to the Taliban. Frankly, I would say both actually fought imperialism, for what its worth, unlike Milosevic/Seselj/Karadzic. I’m not saying you give such political support, but many do, and it is part of the reason for my site. And many of the more extreme criticisms of the Kosovar and especially Bosnian states do derive from the desire to give such back-handed support.

“I give you credit for being opposed to Western Imperialism but there many naive assumptions about forming Federal systems and worker solidarity here. The least worst solution for Kosovo is partition and population transfer, the Serbs are entitled to self-determination as much as the Albanians, and noone has the right to make them citizens of another country.”
OK, but at least here you refer to the article and offer an alternative. Asteri my article is based on exactly the same premise as yours, ie, that “the Serbs are entitled to self-determination as much as the Albanians, and noone has the right to make them citizens of another country.” That is why I am suggesting that compared to the mere high level autonomy offered to Serbs in the Atisaari Plan/Kosovo constitution, an upgrade to constituent equality between the two nations that make up Kosovo, ie a bi-national federation based on the Annan Plan for Cyprus model, would be the best alternative.

Michael Karadjis said...

Part 3: So you disagree. But your alternative – partition and population transfer – is not in my opinion any “least-worst” solution, but far worse than what I am suggesting here. Serbs make up approximately 10% of Kosovo’s population (and that is if most refugees return). In a partition how much land would they be entitled to? 10% Perhaps 15% to be generous? Where would the lines by drawn? The obvious line is the Ibar river across the north, which has already been partitioned since June 1999. I realize this would be good for Serbian capital, because it would get this economically valuable region. But why is it good for Kosovo Serbs? Those above the Ibar already fully run their own statelet as part of Serbia and are not in any way vulnerable to Albanian attack (if anything it is the small Albanian minority there that is vulnerable). However, this is only 40% of K Serbs. The other 60% live south of the Ibar surrounded by Albanians. Do you propose to “transfer them” out to the north? And if not, do you propose that the partition includes these small islands of Serb territory in Serbia in the partition? In which case they would be surrounded by Albanian Kosovo? In fact, given that such partition would also allow the Albanian part of Kosovo to join Albania, it may mean that Gracanica etc would be islands surrounded by Albania.
My solution allows people to stay where they are, and also means that northern Mitrovica can continue to form the political, cultural, educational etc centre for the rest of the K Serbs living south of the Ibar, as they would be in the same country but in their own sovereign unit. A partition along the Ibar would, by contrast, remove northern Mitrovica from being in the same country as Gracanica and the other enclaves in the south.
Perhaps my proposal is “naive” as you say. Sometimes we need to propose what is good and right for the peoples involved. I am only a person writing an article. It will not happen unless the two peoples take it up. Most likely, reactionary bourgeois nationalism will win on both sides.

Asteri said...

The history of Kosovo goes something like this, Kosovo was ruled by the Romans, Byzantines, and Bulgarians before it became part of Serbia in about 1090 (North Kosovo had been part of Serbia from the 7th century). Many revisionist historians in the west try to treat Kosovo as an independent entity, but this is total lies, Kosovo has no history of independence. After its conquest in 1389, it had no status as a entity within the Ottoman Empire until 1877, when it was separated from the Skopje Pashaluk. When the Balkans were liberated from the Turks in 1913, it was made part of Serbia as the Serb/Albanian were pretty much equal (there are ethnic maps that prove this). In 1941 it was annexed by axis occupied Albania, thousands of Serbs were murdered and expelled by the Albanian authorities. When Yugoslavia regained it, these expelled people were not allowed to return in the interests of preventing ethnic tensions with the Albanian settler population. From then on the Serb population declined from 23% in 1948 to 7% in 2008.

Kosovo’s status in Yugoslavia is a tricky one, the autonomy was granted at different levels in, 1946, 1968, 1974. It had almost the same rights as a republic but had no flag or state emblem and there was nothing about it being a Albanian province in the constitution. In 1990 the constitution demoted it to the 1968 status. There is no real reason that Kosovo should have been granted independence in 1992, no one has really argued this convincingly, all they have special pleading and a demand that this be treated by a totally different standard.

www.worldleadersindex.eu/Europe/Serbia.html

As for partition, certainly no one should be forced to leave were they are, but North Kosovo should remain in Serbia while the Serbs in the South could move to Pec as that’s the most important historic sight in the province.

Its interesting that now Thaci is claiming he is all in favour of multi-ethnic cooperation and extending the hand of friendship to Serbia, if that’s so then why insist on independence? Also he apparently fought for a multi-ethnic Kosovo, to liberate the Serbs from themselves, that was nice of him, shame the Serbs aren’t convinced by that overture.

I am also quite amused by the humbug and indignation coming from Pristina, over the Serbs setting up “illegal” and “illegitimate” parallel structures in the north, after they did exactly the same thing for 20 years. Best of all, Kosovo’s territorial integrity can not be violated, apparently, ironic isn’t it.

Asteri said...

Λοξοτομώ πιστεύω νομίζετε ότι το σχέδιο Ανάν θα ήταν μια καλή ιδέα, ήταν εντελώς απαράδεκτη και οι Έλληνες είχαν πολύ δίκιο για να απορρίψει αυτό. Ήταν βασικά μια παράδοση για έναν αυτοκρατορικό στρατό, και μια νίκη για την εθνική κάθαρση, τα βόρεια δεν ήταν ισότιμη και δεν είχε κανένα δικαίωμα να υπάρχουν τι τόσο πάντα.

Michael Karadjis said...

Thanks for your latest comments. I'll give it a rest today and respond in a day or two. Needless to say I consider aspects of your hsitory incorrect, particulalry the modern history in relation to ethnic composition etc.

But just for now, I'll not this discovery of yet another mass grave of 250 Albanians inside Serbia proper, to where these victims were transported and dumped in 1999. Congrats to the Serbian investigation for uncovering this, but let's remember after the first 1000 or more bodies were found dumped in parts of Serbia in 2001, the then government called off the search. What have they been doing for 9 years? Here is the B92 report:
http://www.b92.net/eng/news/crimes-article.php?yyyy=2010&mm=05&dd=10&nav_id=67031

Clearly no mystery why the K Albanians aren't going back to Belgrade's control (a good reason, amoing so many others, why not just Thaci as you suggest, but the entire K Albanian population unanimously, "insisted" on independence.

Srebrenica Genocide said...

Dear Mihalis,

You've completely missed the latest Srebrenica developments. On Thursday, 10 June 2010, three (3) Serbs have been found guilty for the Srebrenica Genocide. Two of them were sentenced to life imprisonment. More info @ http://www.icty.org/sid/10415

Cheers !

Michael Karadjis said...

Dear Daniel, I haven't missed the latest Srebrenica developments, and I am very grateful to you and your excellent blog for all your information, as always! Simply put, I'm not much of a blogger! Don't have time for it. This site is a blooger site, but in fact is simply my way of having a free, easy to set-up for the IT-impaired, website, where I can put articles I have written over the eyars, so they have urls.

Occasionally I will ahve a new article on a current issue, but don't count on it.

For the record I'm glad these two genocidists got done and got life inside, but it won't be complete until they get Mladic, and "Republika Srpska", the product of genocide, is either dismantled or at least cut down to size. Given the ICG recognises at least Srebrenica as genocide (it was too ggutless to recognise that about the rest of Bosnia), then a good start would be the secession of Srebrenica from "RS" to join the Bosnian Federation.

Daniel said...

Pure genius:

http://qlipoth.blogspot.com/2010/10/michael-parenti-on-conspiracy-theory.html

✈ █ █ ☠✡

Michael Karadjis said...

Just on the last comment, OK, I let it through, though I have little sympathy for conspiracy theories about 9/11. I let it through because this is a democratic forum. And Parenti does make some good points about the fact that the ruling class engages in its own conspiracy theories, such as "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq etc etc, and so many others. I will add, however, that, given this is a site concerned with the Balkans, I ought to make a comment or two about Parenti regarding the Balkans. Parenti is the grandest of all conspiracy theorists on the Balkans (though, come to think of it, with competition from Johnstone, Herman, Chossudovsky, Chris Black, Jared Israel and countless other cranks and crackpots, that is probably an extravagant claim). His silly book called "To Kill a Nation" is not only a grand conspiracy theory; it is fact-free to boot. Parenti simply doesn't care much about facts. I was once planning to review and critique this book, but the simple quantity of factual errors per page convinced me it was going to be an exercise that would involve far too much time, for the limited audience who would take him seriously on this issue. And when you look at his "references" - oh surprise: Chossudovsky, Johnstone, cranks from the bizarre "Living Marxism" cult etc etc. It's all "here we go round the mulberry bush" with "facts" that are only "facts" because one of his co-thinkers wrote it.

Elvis Wong said...

Nevertheless, despite the very high level of minority rights and protection under supervised independence, most Kosovar Serbs remain opposed and fearful of any independence,

The minorities themselves don't seem to share this high estimation you make of the respect for their rights, but what possible expertise do they bring to the matter?

Much has been written about this "very high level" of minority rights in "Kosova". Examples:

Nowhere in Europe is there such segregation as Kosovo.
Thousands of people are still displaced and in camps.
Nowhere else are there so many ‘ethnically pure’ towns and
villages scattered across such a small province. Nowhere is
there such a level of fear for so many minorities that they
will be harassed simply for who they are. And perhaps
nowhere else in Europe is at such a high risk of ethnic
cleansing occurring in the near future – or even a risk of
genocide.

This is not a description of Kosovo in 1998 or in
2003. It is a description of Kosovo today. For the Serbs
and ‘other minorities’ – the Roma, Bosniaks (Slavic Muslims),
Croats, Turks and Albanians of Kosovo – who suffer
from expulsion from their homes, discrimination and
restrictions on speaking their own language, the pattern of
violence they have endured for so long may be about to be
entrenched as law in the new Kosovo, as the future status
talks continue behind closed doors in Vienna.


Clive Baldwin, human rights lawyer, reporting for the Minority Rights Group

http://www.minorityrights.org/download.php?id=158

An institutionalised crime against the Roma people is taking place in eastern Europe. A forthcoming report from Human Rights Watch documents an ongoing scandal at Mitrovica, in northern Kosovo, which began 10 years ago in the wake of the looting and burning to the ground of the entire settlement known as the Roma Mahalla.

This was once a vibrant home to some 8,000 people, most of them Muslims. But the inhabitants fled, fearing attacks by ethnic Albanians who saw the Roma as "collaborators" with the Serbs, with whom they share a language. Some 6,500 of these Mitrovica Roma have never returned - indeed, only about a tenth of a prewar population of 200,000 Kosovan Roma remain. The Nato-led Kosovo Force did not intervene at the time in the blighting of the Mahalla, but the UN High Commissioner for Refugees was quick to help the newly homeless, organising food and, over some months, places to live until their settlement could be restored.


Isabel Fonseca in The Observer

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jun/21/kosovo-lead-mitrovica-poison

This is the story of the greatest pogrom against the Rom people since the Second World War. A pogrom which is taking place here in Europe, but far from the media spotlight.


Collateral Lives : The Exile of the Kosovo Roma

http://www.kelebekler.com/reska/reska-gb.htm

Today, almost five years since the "humanitarian bombing" and the establishment of a UN protectorate, Kosovo is one of the most dangerous places in the world for Roma. Very few Roma have remained; estimates range from 22,000-25,000. Before the US/NATO intervention in Kosovo there were more than 150,000 Roma in the region....


Kosovo Roma Today : Voice of Roma

http://www.voiceofroma.com/activism/k_rom_tdy.shtml

How sad that the Kosovo Serbs, hopelessly deluded by "nationalism" and doubtless stirred into baseless hysteria by the likes of Chossudovsky, Johnstone, Black et al, don't realize what a showcase of minority rights "Kosova" really is.

But at least the Mihalis Blog has swept away the fog of disinformation and brought us the reassuring reality of the situation there in this most erudite of posts, illustrating once again what the blogger states to be his "principal motivation", namely "opposition to oppression wherever it exists."

Chapeau!

Michael Karadjis said...

Elvis, I don’t understand why you bother to present dishonest discussion on a site which does not have a huge audience, when the usual point of such methods is to impress in front of a wider audience on some political e-list.
You quote me thus: “Nevertheless, despite the very high level of minority rights and protection under supervised independence, most Kosovar Serbs remain opposed and fearful of any independence …”, and then you note that “the minorities themselves don't seem to share this high estimation you make of the respect for their rights” and ask cynically “but what possible expertise do they bring to the matter?”, followed by numerous examples of oppression and dispossession of Kosovar Serbs and Roma.
You then cynically conclude “How sad that the Kosovo Serbs, hopelessly deluded by "nationalism" … don't realize what a showcase of minority rights "Kosova" really is … But at least the Mihalis Blog has swept away the fog of disinformation” and other such nonsense.
Instead, why not read my article? Let me put your “quote” of me inside the surrounding sentences I wrote:
“While opposing the restrictions on independence, it is difficult to argue that these actual policies (ie, aimed at protecting minorities) are not good in a country where the massive crimes against the Albanian people by the previous Serbian occupation *led to pogroms against Serbs by vengeful or chauvinist Albanians* once the Serbian army had been driven out … Nevertheless, despite the very high level of minority rights and protection under supervised independence, most Kosovar Serbs remain opposed and fearful of any independence, precisely because of *these realities on the ground* (ie, the pogroms etc). Since the Serb oppressor regime was expelled, Albanians have run the state, *Serbs effectively turned into an oppressed minority, whatever the legal standing.*”
And further down I wrote:
“What this also means is that once the Serbian colonial regime was driven out, Albanians now run the state and Serbs are effectively an oppressed minority. This is not in a legal sense, where Serbs – even before the Ahtisaari Plan – have vast official rights and representation. However, the reality on the ground, with proletarian solidarity having long been smashed to pieces, is that whatever the formalities, the overwhelming majority will rule, and minorities will tend to pick up the crumbs.”
It is clear that my reference to the “high level of minority rights and protection under supervised independence” refers to the *official* legal situation, eg, as I listed in the article:
“autonomy and links to Belgrade for Serb-majority regions, protective areas around Serb Orthodox monasteries, dual citizenship for Serbs, a large degree of representation for Serbs and minorities at all levels of government and state, including significant veto powers, the enforcing of a new flag with no Albanian colours or symbols, an independence declaration vetted by the imperialists to make sure there was no mention of the Albanian people, and banning of union with Albania, while the major role of imperialist troops and police is protection of Serb and minority communities and cultural monuments”
… but I then say the reality on the ground is utterly different to this – indeed that is the point of my whole article, and proposal, if you bother to read it – that in reality “vengeful and chauvinist Albanians” commit “pogroms” against minorities, and Serbs have been transformed from the oppressor into the “oppressed nation” in Kosovo, but you go on to exactly demonstrate this while trying to “show me up.” Why do you bother?
There are certain points I would disagree with in your quotes regarding the plight of minorities in Kosovo, but perhaps will leave it to another comment. In the main, I have no disagreement, which is why I propose an equal federation of two peoples, along the lines of the Annan Plan for Cyprus (maybe google that). So why not cut the crap and discuss the issue?

Elvis Wong said...

Well Mr. Mihalis, I don't know where you derived the idea that the logical contradictions within your articles are the readers' responsibility, but I submit to you that they're your own. You see, it was you who wrote that the "supervised independence" [sic] carries with it a "very high level of minority rights", and the effect of the "surrounding" prose you added in response to me was simply to show that you blame the minorities for their plight, that's all.

The Serbian delegation to Rambouillet proposed a "very high level of minority rights" for the national minorities of Serbia, but I never read you vaunting the merits of these proposals. I never read a Mihalis phrase to the effect of "despite the very high level of minority rights proposed by the Serbian delegation..."

And that's pretty rich that you now see the virtues of a "binational federation", you who saw no virtues apparently in the multinational federation that was the SFRY, nor the multinational federation that was the FRY, you who supported the shattering of these multinational federations into their most minimal monoethnic statelets, in close concert with the 2 "imperialist blocs" of whom you affect to be critical in your post. That's rich, that is. So in response to the ethnic conflicts in Bosnia and Serbia, your response was to plump for monoethnic statelets led by blood and soil fascists, but when such conflict manifests in "Kosova", you're for multiethnic federation!

You weren't for a "trinational federation" of cantons in Bosnia, were you? That's why you supported the unrepentent SS veteran who pulled the plug on it in his quest for a unitary state controlled by his ethnic faction, a minority of the population. And you weren't for a "binational federation" in Croatia with a parliament for the Krajina Serbs. But in "Kosova" the prescription is clear: it's a "binational federation"! For a "binational federation" comrades! Because it's simply getting too embarrassing for you to defend the authors of the pogroms, mayhaps?

Why isn't the blog more widely read?

Michael Karadjis said...

Reply Part I:

My reply will be in several posts, due to word limitations on blogger.

Wow, you really have no idea. Some is just a reading problem, to be sure, but the rest is (a) a bunch of assumptions, and (b) a serious lack of a historical clue.

To reply to your last point first, “Why isn't the blog more widely read?” Because I have other things to do these days, so I don’t push it, and it’s not a “blog” in the conventional sense, I don’t continually update it as I don’t have time for such extravagances, I just have my site in blog form because that is a free and easy-for-the-tech-challenged way of having a site, so my occasional articles can have urls for when I need one.

E: “it was you who wrote that the "supervised independence" [sic] carries with it a "very high level of minority rights"”

M: Yes, the *official* documents of the “supervised independence” (eg, the Ahtisaari Plan, the Kosovo Constitution) contain a “very high level of minority rights,” like those I outlined. Do you disagree? If so, why? It is simply a fact. HOWEVER, my point was precisely that these formalities were in conflict with “the realities on the ground,” which I characterized as “oppression” etc. THEREFORE, I said that this set-up, despite its superficial appearance, was clearly insufficient for the Serb minority. Instead, I said that an equal federation (or confederation if you like) between a Serb federal unit and an Albanian federal unit was the best solution in the circumstances (what is your preferred solution, by the way?).

Incidentally, I don’t know why you put (sic) after “supervised independence” as if you were challenging me. After all, I agree that “supervised independence” is an oxymoron, which is why I am for the end of the imperialist “supervision” and for total independence for Kosovo/a. Are you?

E: “and the effect of the "surrounding" prose you added in response to me was simply to show that you blame the minorities for their plight, that's all.”

M: This is very clear evidence of your serious reading impairment. Really, why bother writing crap rather than having a discussion?

Michael Karadjis said...

Reply Part II:

E: “The Serbian delegation to Rambouillet proposed a "very high level of minority rights" for the national minorities of Serbia, but I never read you vaunting the merits of these proposals. I never read a Mihalis phrase to the effect of "despite the very high level of minority rights proposed by the Serbian delegation..."”

M: That is actually a better comparison than you even realize, since you just put it there as a “challenge.”

Yes, it is true that after having ripped up the Yugoslav constitution in 1988-90, by among other things suppressing Kosovo’s Tito-era high level autonomy, and then subjecting the Kosovar Albanians to a brutal regime of repression, apartheid and essentially non-person land for the next decade, rejecting even mild educational reforms to better serve the disenfranchised Albanian majority in early 1998, let alone the return of any degree of autonomy, let alone the return of the constitutional autonomy that had been suppressed, and then reacting to first signs of inevitable armed insurgency in early 1998 by burning and destroying entire villages and going on a vicious ethnic cleansing campaign, that under the impending imperialist threat the Milosevic regime suddenly accepted the very mild form of autonomy that had been put forward by US envoy Hill in late 1998 (for several months the KLA rejected this sell-out “offer” as “not even worth discussing”).

It was not such a high level of minority rights that was offered as you think, least of all for the Albanian majority; the autonomous status offered was far inferior to the constitutional status of 1974-1989, that Kosovo was entitled to return to. I can certainly give details if you like. It certainly gave the Albanians well below the official status which the Ahtisaari Plan currently gives the Kosovar Serbs. These are just objective facts that I can elaborate on if you like.

But regardless of its limitations, let’s have it your way for argument sake; and in any case I accept that what was offered was a lot better than what the Albanians had had under Milosevic up till then. So, just as the official documents of “supervised independence” look like a very high level of minority rights on paper, but in fact conflict with the oppressive reality on the ground, so likewise, the Albanians had every reason to believe, based on everything they had experienced in the last decade (and, since we are talking of realities on the ground, even many previous decades), that whatever level of rights Belgrade was suddenly offering on paper, the realities on the ground would be vastly different, indeed would probably continue to be characterized by mass murder to an extent, and therefore they determined, quite rightly, that only complete independence would guarantee them a respite from brutal oppression.
At least, that is what they (the KLA part of the Albanian delegation, backed by the Albanian population in its entirety), initially determined, until the Thaci clique turned the tables on their principled position and caved into Rambouillet “autonomy” at the end of the second round of negotiations, as demanded by US imperialism, and thus the split of the Demaci-wing from the KLA.

So in summary, yes I agree that both the Serbs under Ahtisaari, and the Albanians under Rambouillet, had every reason the reject the fine looking formalities of these documents due to the realities on the ground.

Michael Karadjis said...

Reply Part III:

E: “And that's pretty rich that you now see the virtues of a "binational federation", you who saw no virtues apparently in the multinational federation that was the SFRY,”

M: Why not check your facts before polluting another site, you clueless clod? I saw plenty of virtues in the multinational federation that was the SFRY (whatever its limitations or problems in reality), but the Serbian nationalists never did, from the day it was set up, indeed from the day the Yugoslav Communists first offered it in the 1930s. Thus when the bourgeois anti-Titoist, Serbian nationalist forces raised their head in the Academy in 1986 they declared the entire post-WWII set-up a disaster for “the Serb nation”. Thus when the wing of the Serbian YLC led by Milosevic adapted to this rubbish anti-communist, Chetnik ideology, it began the process of destroying the SFRY. Among the first things it did to destroy the federation was precisely to suppress Kosova. That was end of the SFRY. But there was much, much more between 1988 and 1991 when war began, but I think you aware of all this, but like to pretend you are not.

E: “nor the multinational federation that was the FRY,”

M: The FRY, set up in 1992, was nothing of the sort. It was only a federation between Serbia and Montenegro, both essentially the same nation, while the third main nation existing as a subject in the FRY, the Kosovar Albanians, remained under brutal oppression, apartheid and disenfranchisement, as a mere ordinary province of Serbia. Meanwhile, this “federation” fought wars to try to attach other bits of other republics to it as long as they were Serbs. Very multinational and very federated indeed. Under this “federation,” dozens of villages of Muslims in Sanzak, inside Serbia itself, were destroyed, without us even talking about the genocide in Bosnia that your mates committed.

Incidentally, if the regime really wanted the FRY to be a multi-national federation (as if!), there was in fact an interesting option that may have caused a lot less future suffering to Serb and Albanian alike. It could have actually instituted exactly what I am proposing here for within Kosovo: it could have made Kosovo the third republic alongside Serbia and Montenegro inside the “FRY.” In fact this is exactly what Adem Demaci – who later led the KLA between mid-1998 and March 1999 – had been proposing for years, a concept he called ‘Balkania’. Then the “FRY” might actually have become the FRY. But this was never on the cards for Milosevic and the Serbian nationalist junta. I wonder why?

E: “you who supported the shattering of these multinational federations into their most minimal monoethnic statelets, in close concert with the 2 "imperialist blocs" of whom you affect to be critical in your post.”

M: I have no idea what you are talking about here. I was certainly opposed to the drive by Belgrade and pale to establish a mono-ethnic Greater Serbia on the corpse of multi-ethnic Yugoslavia.

Michael Karadjis said...

Reply Part IV:

E: “So in response to the ethnic conflicts in Bosnia and Serbia, your response was to plump for monoethnic statelets led by blood and soil fascists, but when such conflict manifests in "Kosova", you're for multiethnic federation! You weren't for a "trinational federation" of cantons in Bosnia, were you?”

M: You have no idea what you are talking about. Bosnia was precisely the multi-ethnic republic, the heart of the SFRY, an SFRY in miniature. It was constitutionally a republic of the Serb, Croat and Bosniak peoples. Representatives of all three nations took part in the government, and in every organ of state. In fact the criminal, chauvinist blood and soil Serb Democratic Party, led by Chetnik extremist Karadzic, was precisely part of the very government of the very state which it then embarked on destroying after the day it voluntarily quit that government in April 1992. They were then replaced within that Bosnian government by other Serbs, from more left-wing, anti-chauvinist parties, including the former Bosnian CP. Bosnia was led by a presidency consisting of 2 Serbs, 2 Croats, 2 Bosniaks and a Yugoslav. The Bosnian military was led by three generals, one Serb, one Croat and one Bosniak. The politically progressive ethnic Serb general, Divjak, led the defense of multi-ethnic Sarajevo for the whole 3.5 years against the criminal siege conducted by reactionary chauvinist Serbs led by Karadzic and his fascistic SDS.

It was the Serb and allied Croat chauvinist militias who were precisely the blood and soil fascists trying to carve ethnic “Serb” and “Croat” republics out of a multi-ethnic land where no such natural dividing lines existed, as the populations throughout much of the country were so completely interspersed. The only way to create these reactionary minimal mono-ethnic statelets that you support was via massive ethnic cleansing and genocide, mostly against the Muslim (Bosniak) and mixed populations.

It is funny that you accuse me of not being in favour of a tri-national federation in Bosnia when the nature of the state was already essentially federal, a state of three equal peoples. However, you are correct if you mean I did not support a territorial division into three ethic-based republics within Bosnia, for very good reason: as noted, there were no dividing lines, the populations were interspersed, and indeed a large part of the population were actually mixed themselves, so where would they go? Thus in the situation of a highly progressive republic like Bosnia, it would have been a highly *regressive* move to carve borders to create the kind of “tri-national federation” you mean; and for that ethniuc cleansing was necessary.

That of course has no relation to Kosovo at any time (it was never even remotely multi-ethnic in the Bosnian sense, the populations were always deeply divided, being a straight out Serbian colony), and even less so after 1999 and the effects of the double ethnic cleansings.

But never mind Elvis, all the imperialist states were right with you on that, and from early 1992 until Dayton in 1995 they pushed one or another version of apartheid ethnic partition as their preferred road to “peace” (indeed the first one, the Carrington-Cultheiro Plan) even before war had started. Thus they were all completely opposed to the multi-ethnic nature of the Bosnian state, and enforced a criminal arms embargo against the victim to force it to dissolve itself and accept the Serbo-Croatian plan and recognize the gains of ethnic cleansing, as you advocate. When the US finally intervened in late 1995 it was precisely to freeze the partition lines at 50/50 in a bi-national federation (the Croat canton had to be wiped out, but the Serb republic got half the country despite being only 30 percent of the population in the US plan). So you should be quite happy about the imperialist intervention to destroy Bosnia on behalf of your blood and soil Serbian fascist mates.

Michael Karadjis said...

Reply Part V:
E: “That's why you supported the unrepentent SS veteran who pulled the plug on it in his quest for a unitary state controlled by his ethnic faction, a minority of the population.”

M: First, what a disgusting slander against Izetbegovic, the Bosnian president. There is no truth in your stupid slander.

Second, your reference here is precisely to the EU-imperialist Carrington-Cultheiro plan I noted above. Namely, the EU officially put forward the plan for territorial ethnic partition of multi-ethnic Bosnia into three minimalist mono-ethnic cantons that had actually been drawn up by the Bosnian Serb and Bosnian Croat blood and soil fascists, backed by Milosevic and Tudjman. Funny how bullshit “anti-imperialists” do not object to imperialists drawing up a plan to ethnically dismember a country. At the time of this criminal proposal, some 25 percent of the municipalities in the whole land-mass of Bosnia had no absolute ethnic majority at all, and in many others the majority was very tenuous (for example 54% Serbs in “Serb” Banja Luka), and also some 25% of the population were ethnically mixed themselves. Naturally Izetbegovioc rejected this blood and soil fascist and imperialist plan to dismember his country. The plan itself was an encouragement to ethnic cleansing, before the cleansing even took place.

Finally, your assertion that he rejected territorial ethnic partition in favour of “a unitary state controlled by his ethnic faction”, you made up, and has no truth to it.

E: “And you weren't for a "binational federation" in Croatia with a parliament for the Krajina Serbs.”

M: That is a very interesting proposition. I was certainly in favour of wide autonomy for the Krajina Serbs, with their own parliament, within and independent Croatia. Actually, check the plan put forward by Tudjman himself in August 1991; and check the Z4 Plan put forward by the imperialists and accepted by Milosevic and Tudjman, but amazingly rejected by the power-drunk, suicidal Chetnik leadership of the “Republika Srpska Krajina.” In the same way I was also in favour of wide autonomy for the Muslims (Bosniaks) in Sanzak, the Albanians in Presevo, and the Hungarians in Vojvodina, within an independent Serbia. Both the Sanzak Muslims and Presevo Albanians voted for such autonomy in 1991-1992 (I assume a knowledgeable person like you knows that), but these referendums were ignored by the chauvinist regime in Belgrade, the same regime which had suppressed Vojvodina’s constitutional autonomy in 1988-89 (and of course had suppressed Kosovo, a higher order issue).

So, if you believe that Croatia should have been turned into a bi-national federation of Serbs and Croats, rather than just high level autonomy, then do you also believe that Serbia should have been turned into a quadri-national federation of Serbs, Albanians, Bosniaks and Hungarians? For the record, I do not. But in your case I suggest you will only be able to answer with loads of hypocrisy and double standards.

So what then is the difference between countries like Serbia, Croatia, Albania, Greece, Turkey etc on the one hand, and Kosovo, Cyprus and Bosnia, or Switzerland or Belgium, on the other? Most bourgeois “nation-states,” while not mono-ethnic, they have been built, historically, around one major ethnicity. However, there are some regions which due to a mixture of geographic, historic, cultural or other factors have ended up being a national unit, while composed of parts of a number of nations. The problem with partitioning them between neighbouring states (eg, Cyprus between Greece and Turkey, Kosovo between Serbia and Albania, Bosnia between Serbia and Croatia) is that the populations are dispersed (and in Bosnia there is a third nation), so they kind of have to get on in the one space. Therefore, in these cases, a federative structure of some sort (possibly but not necessarily territorial), with a formal political “equality” between the constituent nations, is the desirable solution

Elvis Wong said...

oh, what splenetic efforts on the part of the great thinker Mihalis. But you see, posterity shows that you and your stupid sect supported the very fascists who came to power - thanks to Nato firepower - in "Kosova" in 1999, and that after all your very public assurances about their good faith intentions toward all the other "ethnies" in "Kosova" they ended up carrying out highly successful pogroms with Nato playing essentially the metaphorical equivalent to the guy who keeps the get-away car warmed up. And so all this ex post facto concern about the plight of minorities in "Kosova" reads as a pathetic exercise in self-justification.

There's nothing "slanderous" about pointing out that Izetbegovic was a recruiter for the Waffen SS during WWII. He admitted as much in his trial. Perhaps you think his explicit religious intolerance in his published writings was a "slander".

I love the extolling of "multi-ethnic" Bosnia as an "SFRY in miniature". Why, that would make you one of the posturing frauds described by Solzhenitsyn in his "March of the Hypocrites". To wit:

"Yugoslavia, with its seven estranged peoples, was told to fall
apart as soon as possible. But Bosnia, with its three estranged
peoples and vivid memories of Hitlerite Croatians slaughtering up to a
million Serbs, had to remain united at all costs -- the particular
insistence of the United States Government. Who can explain the
disparity of such an approach?


Which is where all the blather and sophistry of Mihalis comes in, to "explain the disparity of such an approach."

Elvis Wong said...

And then Magister Mihalis trots out the "multi-ethnic" presidency of "independent" Bosnia to attest its PC bona fides. But this multi-ethnic presidency was a feature of the Bosnia *within* Yugoslavia, and not the Bosnia whose exit from Yugoslavia you cheered on. Following "independence" the presidency ceased to rotate as was constitutionally required, and Izetbegovic clinged to power via constitutional breach and massive electoral fraud. And the Serb population, who are indigenous to Bosnia and were its largest national group until the 1960's, rejected overwhelmingly Bosnia's departure from Yugoslavia. (so why was it that that the Yugo in miniature was so much more worthy than the Yugo in full size? you never did explain that...)

And the Serbs, who were the first group to experience massacre in Bosnia in 1992, formed their own state and army because Izetbegovic, in addition to breaching their rights under the Bosnian and Yugoslav contitutions, wasn't guaranteeing their physical security either. (because they weren't of the correct religion)

Elvis Wong said...

and we learn from Magister Mihalis that the EC-brokered Cutilheiro plan, which was initially accepted by *all parties* in Bosnia as well as by Milosevic and Tudjman and would have avoided war there, was somehow a "blood and soil fascist" solution. Evidently the cantonal system which has served Switzerland well for centuries becomes "fascist" when applied to Bosnia. Remember kids at home, the borders of Yugoslavia are all up for grabs, but those of Bosnia are sacrosanct. But Bosnia is still a "Yugoslavia in Miniature." This is tricky, so be sure to take notes...

Well, it certainly takes some kahones for this geopolitical prodigy to discern "Western" and "imperialist" backing for the very Bosnian Serbs against whom Nato flew over 4000 bombing sorties, precisely to bring them to the table for Dayton. (and Dayton did not establish "cantons". Perhaps you should look up what "canton" means, before calling others "illiterate.") And then there's the "imperialist" backing for Milosevic's Yugoslavia, which was subject to draconian sanctions for "failing" to withdraw its troops from Bosnia when it had withdrawn all of them before the internationally imposed deadline, while the Croatia army continued to occupy and fight in Bosnia with no "imperialist" sanctions on Croatia whatsoever. And then there was the fraudulent "arms embargo" on Bosnia which the US violated in favour of the Izetbegovic régime and which it encouraged and aided its allies in violating, as revealed extensively in many journals though not GreenLeft Weekly, for some reason.

Elvis Wong said...

oh, and then there's the great poster-child commander who defended the Sarajevo population against the "Serb siege" (nb the racist undertones that Bosnia isn't the Serbs' land too; the Serbs appear to be committing, to borrow a term from Henry Kissinger apropos of Vietnam, "internal aggression"). Of course we're spared any mention of the idea that Serbs (in Sarajevo and *many other places*) experienced siege as well, just as we're spared the analysis of knowledgeable analysts, such as Maj-Gen. Lewis McKenzie, who believe that the Bosnia Serb forces could have capture *all* of Sarajevo *had that been their objective*.

We learn little tho of this other commander in the army of "multi-ethnic" Bosnia, whose exploits are summarized here:

Throughout the war period, 1992—1995, Serbian villages around Srebrenica were subjected to widespread and systematic attacks by Moslem military forces concentrated within the Srebrenica enclave. The fate of Srebrenica Serbs is but a microcosm of their wartime fate in Bosnia/Hercegovina as a whole. Serb inhabitants in the villages surrounding Srebrenica were murdered in the hundreds, abused, expelled, and kidnapped for ransom and exchange. Most of the villages were torched after the personal property of their Serbian inhabitants had been pillaged. The attacks were indiscriminate and they targeted Serbs as such, without any attempt being made to determine the victims’ personal position vis-à-vis the ongoing conflict in Bosnia/Hercegovina or the level of threat to Muslim armed forces they might have represented. It is important to note that the Muslim civilian and military authorities conducting these operations out of Srebrenica did not operate independently, but were linked in the political and military chain of command to the Alija Izetbegovic regime in Sarajevo. That “government” publicly claimed to be “multi-ethnic” and “multi-cultural,” and many in the West were misled by intense propaganda to accept its claims at face value. But all the while that regime’s Srebrenica representatives were conducting a ruthless three-year pogrom in complete disregard of the fact that their targeted victims were peaceful peasants, indistinguishable from their Moslem neighbors except by the fact that they were Serb and Christian. This is probably a unique case where an internationally recognized “government” used its military instruments to conduct a carnage of inhabitants that, when addressing the international community, it duplicitously claimed as its own citizens.

http://www.srebrenica-project.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=6&Itemid=7

Elvis Wong said...

oh, and then there's one of the the poster-child commanders of "multi-ethnic" Bosnia's armed forces, fighting the "Serb siege of Sarajevo". (Nb the racist undertone that Bosnia isn't the Serbs' land too. Actually it's been mostly Serbs' land for going on a millenium. Evidently Bosnian Serbs are committing - to borrow a term from Henry Kissinger apropos of Vietnam - "internal aggression.")

No mention of the fact that Serbs in Sarajevo and *many other places* experienced "siege" conditions as well, nor any mention of numerous analysts, such as Maj-Gen Lewis McKenzie, who pointed out that the Bosnian Serb forces could have captured *all* of Sarajevo *had that been their objective*.

We learn nothing of another loyal military servant of "multi-ethnic", "independent" Bosnia, who while functioning directly in Pres. Izetbegovic's chain of command, conducted a ruthless 3-year pogrom against Serb peasants whose only crime was that they didn't share the religion of their Muslim neighbours, killing over 1000 of them and putting 1000's more to flight.

And while Magister Mihalis likes to snipe from the weeds of his useless internet backwater at the Johnstones and the Chossudovskys for their "errors", he never seems to revisit any of his own, such as his bogus claim of 250,000 Muslim deaths in the Bosnia war. (He'd said 200k initially after war's end, then hiked it by 50k 2 yrs after the war. Evidently there was another 50k killed after Dayton which the "imperialist press" never told us about.) This claim has as its sole source William Jefferson Clinton, and even a highly parti pris fatality census conducted under the aegis of the Bosnian government and the ICTY couldn't produce half that figure of fatalities for *all the nationalities combined*. He's never offered us a Serb death count, because why would the number killed by the Aussie Trotzis' favourite nazis even matter? Remember, this is about opposing "all forms of oppression, wherever it exists". Bien entendu.

Michael Karadjis said...

I will reply to your last few posts loaded with BS in my time. But before I do, let me just give you another chance, fair person that I am. You write:

"There's nothing "slanderous" about pointing out that Izetbegovic was a recruiter for the Waffen SS during WWII."

Now I realise you would have got this as a secondary "source" either from Yossef Bodansky's site (Bodanski being an ultra-rightist Muslim-eater who headed something like the Republican Task Force for Anti-Terrorism (can't be bothered looking up its actual name) in the Bush Administration; or from Buchaninite Malic; or from professional liar Neil Clarke.

So could you provide me with ANY actual authoritative source for your disgusting slander?

I await your reply on this point; that ball is in your court.

Elvis Wong said...

the source is the transcript of the proceedings of Izetbegovic's *trial* after the war, you self-important slug. Speaking of reading impairments...

It has nothing to do with Bodansky nor Malic, though as it happens Malic's reporting and commentary on Yugoslavia stands up far better to factual scrutiny than yours does. He doesn't lie about who started the war, he doesn't lie about the number killed, and he doesn't dress up Izetbegovic's neo-Handzar kleptocracy as a "multi-ethnic" democracy, he doesn't lie egregiously about which forces the "imperialist blocs" actually supported, he doesn't re-write WWII to inverse the roles of victims and perps. More than one can say for you.

Elvis Wong said...

behold the great visionaries of "multi-ethnic" "democratic" Bosnia, and their nimble statecraft, tragically foiled at every turn by the "imperialists", why, just as Mihalis has always maintained!:

Letter to the Economist, 9-15 December, 1995

Sir, in your article on Bosnia, November 25th, you say that in February 1992, before the war had started, Lord Carrington and I 'drafted a constitution that would have turned the country into a confederation of Swiss-style cantons. The Muslims refused to accept what they considered to be disintegration of Bosnia.' Not quite.

After several rounds of talks, our 'principles for future constitutional arrangements for Bosnia and Herzegovina' were agreed by the three parties, Muslim, Serb, and Croat, in Sarajevo on March 18th, as the basis for future negotiations. These continued, maps and all, until the summer when the Muslims reneged on the agreement. Had they not done so, the Bosnian question might have been settled earlier with less loss of mainly Muslim life and land. To be fair, President Izetbegovic and his aides were encouraged to scupper that deal and to fight for a unitary Bosnian state by well-meaning outsiders who thought they knew better.

Jose Cutileiro, Secretary-General, Western European Union, Brussels


[er, euh, primary source?...]

Michael Karadjis said...

Ah ... yes, so, are you going to provide a quote from the transcript, which I assume you have read seeing as you sound like such a knowledgeable fellow, you slanderous piece of filth?

Just one ot two pointers. Izetbegovic's trial after WWII was for his post-WWII activities, peaceful political opposition to the new regime, and had nothing to do with his wartime (or even alleged wartime) activities. He was given 3 years in prison for these activities, which I think would be somewhat brief if he had been tried for recruiting for the Waffen SS. Second, the Young Muslims, which he was a member of during the war, was initially tolerated under Tito's regime for a while, hardly what would have happened with a Nazi organisation. Third, when the Nazis entered Yugoslavia in 1941, Izetbegovic was 15 years old.

But I guess you know all these things.

Elvis Wong said...

well, as it just so happens, you shitslug (response to provocation), the late historian and jurist Milan Bulajic did access the trial transcripts and confided information on their contents to NYT journalist David Binder. The prosecution alleged he recruited for the Handzars, which Izetbegovic did not deny and tried to justify on the basis of his youth, and btw the Handzar Division of the Waffen SS was not formed in 1941 but much later in the war, cretin.

In Binder's NYT obit on Mr. Multiculturalism, we read:

During World War II, when Bosnia became part of the puppet-Nazi state of the Croatian Ustashe, Mr. Izetbegovic joined the Young Muslims, a group torn between siding with the German-sponsored Handzar divisions organized by the German SS or with the Yugoslav Communist partisans led by Josip Broz Tito. Mr. Izetbegovic supported the Handzars.

Historian Gordana Kostic recounts:

Comme les Frères musulmans d'Egypte, Adj Hamine El-Husseini prône la guerre sainte contre les Juifs, présentée comme étant « le combat sacré sur le chemin de Dieu » (2). Aussi, Alija Izetbegovic met-il en place des bureaux (appelés Ersatzkommando der Waffen-SS) pour faire enrôler les milices musulmanes jusqu'alors soumises à l'Etat indépendant de Croatie d'Ante Pavelic. Ce qui ne va pas sans créer quelques frictions avec les Ustaci. Les miliciens de Nasid Topci, les Cadres verts du major Muhammad Hadziefendic ainsi que de nombreux éléments de la Légion islamique d'Huska Miljkovic en Bosnie orientale (3), comptent parmi les premiers volontaires pour la division Handschar. La haine antichrétienne et antijuive d'Alija Izetbegovic et de ces Jeunes musulmans n'a rien à envier à l'antisémitisme de l'extrême-droite croate. C'est lui qui organise la réception officielle à Sarajevo lors de la visite d'inspection d'Himmler à la division Handschar en avril 1944. Pourtant, Izetbegovic ne s'engagea jamais sous l'uniforme des Waffen-SS, préférant laisser le don du sang à d'autres.

Chassez le naturel...


http://orlovi-forum.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-6808.html

yesss, chassez le naturel. And even people who shot off their mouths about how baseless the SS connection was, like the warmonger Kamm and the revisionist slug Hoare, started some fancy backpedalling when Bulajic and Binder, people of credentials, came up with the information. At least they try to cover their asses. You're too stupid to.

With comradely greetings.

Michael Karadjis said...

I’ll try not to let this Izetbegovic issue make me forget the other junk-mails you sent, which I will try to reply to over the next week or so, but first it is useful to try to clarify the issue of use of disgusting slander as a “method” of argumentation, which the pro-chetnik left, right and ultra-right has excelled at.

“as it just so happens, you shitslug (response to provocation),” funny, I thought my harsh language was an appropriate response to your calling me a “slug” in your previous message, but I guess only some people are allowed to do that. Never mind, I think we’re both tough enough characters to handle it.

“the late historian and jurist Milan Bulajic did access the trial transcripts and confided information on their contents to NYT journalist David Binder. The prosecution alleged he recruited for the Handzars, which Izetbegovic did not deny and tried to justify on the basis of his youth,” and then you even go and quote Binder making the same baseless assertions.

So this is your “evidence,” is it? That rabid Chetniko-phile Binder from the NYT CLAIMS that another rabid Serbo-phile Bulajic told him he had seen the transcripts. So even though we haven’t seen the transcripts, and we haven’t even seen Bulajic’s alleged letter, and even though we know the rabid hatred of anything non-Serb of both characters, nevertheless this third-hand hearsay should, in your opinion, constitute a reliable source to make a despicable slander against someone who was a teenager during the war, that he was a key recruiter for the Waffen SS, even though you know well there is not a shred of documentary evidence for this anywhere, whether in German archives, Yugoslav archives or elsewhere, and even though Tito allowed his organization some freedom initially after the war, before he was charged with post-war activities, and not recruiting for the SS!

And you think I shouldn’t call you a slanderous piece of shit for this? And indeed not only for the allegation, but for using this stupid allegation to allege that this has remained Izetbegovic’s politics up to his old age, to the time of his leadership of Bosnia, even though all his political activities contradict this, especially his actual leadership of a multi-ethnic state.

As if some crap article by someone called Gordana Kostic, which merely repeats this third-hand slander with no evidence, constitutes further evidence! Interestingly, she does quote primary sources, such as the correspondence of the Grand Mufti, yet this is for the Mufti’s views; seems she can’t find anything in the Mufti’s correspondence about Izetbegovic despite her bullshit assertion that he was the Mufti’s chief contact among the Bosnian Muslims.

Which raises another issue. The role of the Grand Mufti himself is indisputable. And this has always been a key piece of Ziono-fascist propaganda against the Palestinians and their struggle. Here the historic connection between Zionism and Serbian nationalism, symbolized by the love affair between Sharon and Milosevic, which both rely on ancient or medievalist myths to justify their claims, which both use WWII victimology to justify their post-war genocides against other peoples, come together again – using the roles, or alleged roles, of representatives of Palestinians and Bosnian Muslims during WWII to denigrate the justice of the later struggles.

As for Kamm and Hoare trying to “cover their arses,” all I found when I checked was that Kamm reported that Hoare didn’t completely rule out the possibility but as it stands the only “evidence” presented is “third hand hearsay.” Now regardless of your, or my, disagreements with these guys over various issues, you would have to agree that that is a correct description of what you have presented, no?

How about coming up with REAL evidence or else doing "some fancy backpedalling" with your tail between your legs?