Sunday, April 03, 2005

Les Depeches d'Avignon [from Notes 4 Yugoslavia]

[These Avignon dépêches are from The Year of Voting Dangerously, 2000, Bore v Gush, Milosevic amends the Yugoslav constitution to create the first popular vote for the presidency only to have the USAID and NED and a bunch of Soros' sore-asses kick-down immoderately for a much more democratic riot-voire-civil war-process that brought one of the most boring lawyers in the boring fucking history of boring lawyers, Vojslav Kostunica, (now PM of the aptly named Federation of S/M) to the top job--kind of a dress rehearsal for the Florida follies and the assumption of Geo 'Waste 'em All and let Jerusalem Slim sort 'em out' as global executioner-in-chief. Lots of other fun stuff getting replayed four years later: joint UN/NATO Humanitarian interventions à la Rwanda and Bosnia/Kosovo in Sudan--we're talking here a tits-out, fully armed with helicopters, anti-personnel mines, mobile-mounted recoil-less cannons, 107mm Katyoucha multiple rocket launchers, 60 & 120mm mortars, remotely piloted vehicles, night-vision devices and long-range special forces kinda Humanitarian interventions to protect sick, starving and homeless Darfuring desert refugees from 'armed Arabs riding around on camels' (or Luckies or Pall Malls, who knows with the current state of ciggie smugglying wars!)--you know, gotta take care of the refugee camp problems the way the Israelis do it (see above ref to 'Waste 'em all . . . and try to avoid cathcing most of your casualties from friendly fire, à la Jenin). So kick back and remember the way we were the last time they asked us to chug endless quantities of their rasty shit so's we'd endorse their notion of real democracy being the choice between 'fuck you' and 'fuck you, too'. --mc


(6 July 2000 - Avignon)

Looks like it's time to get those Colorado kids turning their guns yet again on the Infidels—or their favorite teachers, whoever's in range:

God Motto Urged in Colo. Schools
DENVER (AP) -- In a meeting that began with a prayer, the Colorado
Board of Education voted today to urge public schools to post the motto
"In God we trust" on their walls. With a 5-1 vote, the board passed a
non-binding resolution to encourage "the appropriate display in schools and
other public buildings of the national motto." "How long can we remain a
free nation if our youth don't have civic virtue?" asked board chairman
Clair Orr, who initiated the resolution. Supporters see such postings as
an opportunity to give children a moral compass. Opponents say they
are a veiled attempt to introduce religion and prayer in public schools.

The next war—for some time now inevitable—in Yugoslavia looks like it's going to be over Montenegro. The West has been pouring tons of money into the last remaining republic of Yugoslavia to buy secession and to get everybody on board the neo-liberal gravy train.

"Globalized education and health care for all—if you're not
already too sick and too stupid to realize what a lousy corn-
holing you're getting, don't worry, McWorld of McMisery will get
you there before you can say, 'More K-Y, pah-leeeease'."
(from: cirque minime manifesto, Rock Out With Your Cock Out!—
John Crutcher)

So after megatons of explosives and an endless flow of ignorant propaganda, what more can the West do to turn Milosevic into a god for his people?

Milosevic Rule Extension Approved
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) -- In a move designed to perpetuate
his hold on power, Yugoslavia's parliament approved constitutional
changes today that will let President Slobodan Milosevic seek reelection
when his term expires next year. The parliament also passed changes
in how its upper house is elected, a move likely to downgrade the position
of Montenegro, Serbia's smaller, pro-Western partner. Montenegro's
reformist leadership has already taken several steps toward independence
from Yugoslavia, and soon after the vote, a Montenegrin leader indicated
that the amendments could quicken the pace.

Looks like the motto of all serBo-positifs is going to continue to be 'In Slobo We Trust.'


(7 July 2000 - Avignon)

As you may already know, I'm at the Avignon Festival, trying to stay out of the way of painted thespians and mongoloid marching bands. I'm also trying to figure out how best to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Avignon Agreement which threw the considerable weight of the above mentioned French cultural forces into the support for the Bosnian Muslim government with its arrayed Islamic snipers and death squads on loan-out deals from other road-shows further to the north and east.

So I came across this piece in my new favorite journal, Balkans Infos. For those of you who still give even a small shit about just who's who in the Balkan wars, this might amuse and inform. Dig it:

During the Bosnian war there was a taboo subject for all Western partisans
of the Bosnian Muslims: First was the efforts by the Bosnian government to
raise support from Islamic fundamentalist countries; and second was the presence
of mudjahadin, foreign Muslim soldiers, within the ranks of Alija Izetbegovic's
army. Though much of this foreign involvement has been disclosed since Dayton,
there still is some interesting material being hidden away.
After the arrest in Turkey last Fall of Mehrez Amdouni, a 30 year-old Tunisian
traveling on a Bosnian passport he obtained for services rendered to the Muslim state
where, direct from duty in Afghanistan, he saw combat from 1993. The Sarajevo
newspapers 'Dani' and 'Slobodna Bosna' (24, 25 Sept. 1995) furnish some details
on the Balkan hitch of this Islamic soldier of fortune, considered a close collaborator
with Osama Bin Laden, whom you probably know all too well.
'Dani' makes an especially astonishing revelation: It seems Bin Laden himself was
issued a Bosnian passport for his considerable support to the Bosnian government.
Now, the paper specifies that the passport was issued by the Bosnian embassy in
Vienna, which during the war was a veritable clearing house for all manner of aid
(military, financial, humanitarian) to the Izetbegovic government.
According to 'Dani', the arrest of Amdouni, who was on Interpol's hot-list behind
charges by the Italian police of terrorist activity in Bologna, created quite a panic at
the Foreign Ministry in Sarajevo. All traces of Bin Laden's Bosnian passport have
been erased, and the officials close to the affair plead that the 1993 Bin Laden was
not anything like the 1999 version.
'Dani' also points out that the shredding frenzy brought on by the Bin Laden
passport doggle served another more spectacular purpose: To cover the diversion
of funds meant for humanitarian needs in Bosnia to the Muslim Diaspora of the
Winter 1994-95. This is currently being investigated by the Commission Against
Corruption directed by American Robert Frowick.
(from an article by Kosta Christitch in Balkans Infos no. 38, Nov. 1999)

But rather than give you this kind of dope, the Western media bend over backwards to re-crop photos, fast-crank videos, rename characters in movies (à la Michael Winterbottom in Welcome to Sarajevo, where he changes Slavic names and an Orthodox wedding to reflect Muslim and Croatian victimization), and re-caption images, or in other ways misconstrue them, to the end of angelizing the Bosno- and Albano-Muslims and demonizing the Serbs.

As for the Croats, the media seem content to give them a complete pass to steal just as much as they possibly can while ignoring the repatriation in grand style of unrehabilitated Nazi collaborators, those who'd escaped to North and South America to avoid Tito's righteous payback, and the beatification of their quisling, murderous archbishop.

Why go to all this trouble? So the West can see to blowing the shit out of the whole country—to loud and morally shrill Western cheers—then put together a nice little investment daisy-chain to get the place re-carpeted in McDonald’s and Auchans.

But what's really spectacular is how the moral posturing of a broken-down old French hoofer (I'm talking about Ariane Mnouchkine here, and her above-mentioned Avignon Agreement of 1995) led directly to last year's 78-day NATO terror bombing of Yugoslavia. Is there a red AIDS ribbon big enough to cover the putrid heart of this kind of Théâtre engagé, this kind of cant and self-importance and historical ignorance? I can’t think of any way to do justice, theatrically, to this recent example of the French high art of collaboration; and the Avignon Festival just chooses to pretend this disagreeable agreement never existed.

Could someone pass the Vichy water?


(10 July 2000 - Avignon)

For those few of you who are still interested in what's going on in the way of humanitarian assistance to the oppressed Albanian Kosovars, here's one from the pages of Balkan Infos no.38 of Nov '99:

A General Industrial Pillaging (KOSOVO)

There is not only an 'ethnic cleansing' of all non-Albanians, with incumbent
robberies and murders and destruction of religious buildings, along with a general
nationalist rage to suppress everything even remotely suggestive of Serbia; there is
also a willful suppression of all traces of any cultural or historical Serbian presence.
It is to this end that the Albanian nationalists have burned or shredded more than
a million books written in the Serb language, books which include the works of local
writers as well as translations of foreign authors like Baudelaire, Shakespeare, Homer
and Goethe.

To this one should add the general industrial pillaging: In Gnjilane, the textile factory
and the tobacco processing plant were dismantled and their equipment was taken to

In Pristina and other localities, all the Simpo furniture stores were emptied, their
merchandise loaded into trucks and hauled off to Tirana (Albania's capital).

The same fate befell the agricultural complexes, Dubrava of Istok and Jugo-Mladost of
Gnjilane, and the beef growers of Dobrev, near Pristina.

In Pec, the vandals carried off to Albania all the modern fixtures of the Brewery, bought
three years ago in Germany (for 6 million DM) and Switzerland (for 1.2 million Swiss

From the wine regions of Metohija, places like Mala Krusa and Orahovac, the Albanians
dragged off 8,000 wagons of wine as well as a complete fruit juice processing plant.

In Prizren, they emptied the canning company, Progress.

The list of known thefts is too long to elaborate here—and still it is not complete.
It shows, in any case, that the UN 'Peacekeepers' have not as yet assured either order
or security in Kosovo and that the region is not only being handed over to local
gangsterism, but is also being opened to pirates from Albania and Macedonia who
ferociously rip-off all they can with complete impunity—something that does not
seem to trouble the Western authorities in the least.

Of course, the reconstruction of Kosovo has become pretty much an All-Frenc show. But this crime scene is being maintained by soldiers from all the NATO countries, including about 5,000 Americans who live in a maximum-security Disneyland complete with hot and cold running Big Macs.

So at this time of considering the relative merits of the two presidential hopefuls, one might ask just who would be tougher on crime in Kosovo. Of course the answers would be something like,

'Uh, now that would be where exactly?' (Bush) and,

'It has never been in our game plan to mine the harbors of Kosovo.'

But, hey, I'm 4,000 miles away from the US of A! (Though only an hour's flight from all that plague of slow-and-not-so-slow-death those guys dropped on Yugoslavia!).


(15 July 2000 - Avignon)

Srebrenica 5 years after.

Here's how history is written these days. From the end of an article in the Trib (13-7-2000), from the NYT service, by Carlotta Gall in Srebrenica:


. . . Thousands of men disappeared during those few days.
Hundreds were separated from their wives and children in front
of the Dutch troops at the compound and were hauled off and
executed. Thousands more tried to escape through the wooded
hills to avoid the Serbian military and make the long trek to
Bosnian-controlled territory. Only a few made it; the vast
majority were killed on the way or captured and then shot in
mass executions.
Those buried in mass graves in the area were moved and
reburied in some cases. Many of the men who died in the hills
have never been found.
War crimes investigators have found and exhumed more
than 4,000 bodies from sites in the area but have been able
to identify only 80, according to Kathryne Bomberger of the
International Commission on Missing Persons. The slow process
of identification means that hundreds or even thousands of
relatives are still waiting for news about their loved ones.
"This day is shameful for the international community,"
said (one of the survivors of Srebrenica). "Why did they let
them kill us? They were innocent people, all of them who died.
And it's shameful that five years later we cannot find their
bodies," she said, her voice sharp, her eyes brimming with tears.

One must take note that Srebrenica has become more than the subject of sentimental keening by the historically illiterate and artistically unimaginative; it is the model for 'ethnic cleansing' unto 'genocide' used to mold public sentiment against what's left of Yugoslavia; the model for the war against Serbia in Kosovo; and the basis for many of the indictments by the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague—most prominently, those against Karadzic and Mladic, and, subsequently, against Milosevic for Kosovo.

If the public consciousness had not been so intoxicated over these last five years by the depiction of Muslims (Bosnian and Albanian) as the sole victims of the civil wars in Yugoslavia, this kind of journalism would be laughed off the editor's desk. Other than the melodramatic performances of the endless parade of hand-wringing Muslim women in tear-stained babushkas,
these stories have no substance and carry no pertinent information.

How is it possible for reasonable people to accept as historical fact the execution of 7,000 Muslims (or 4,000, or even the 1,000 Izetbegovic claimed seven months after the so-called massacre at Srebrenica) taking place in a world under constant and ubiquitous media surveillance, by digital-satellite-infrared-laser-guided cameras, without a single photo or video image or other tangible and verifiable trace of this heinous crime? No matter how evil an enemy might be, it is beyond even the drunken imaginings of Hollywood horror writers to script the execution of several thousand innocents, then their burial in mass graves, then their exhumation and transfer for reburial to different mass graves, and with all this leaving only 80 cadavers to be identified. George Romero (Night of the Living Dead) might well have had the Serbs just eat their victims. And, given the extent of media brainwashing, this might now play quite plausibly to news audiences in the West.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has compiled a list of the disappeared—with a pitiful little display of bits and pieces of clothing supposed to belong to the missing. But the media have failed to point out that most of the names on UNHCR list also appeared on voting lists for Srebrenica in 1996; on tombs of those who died before the war in Bosnia began; and in obits from bloody incidents around Srebrenica in 1997. Seems Gogol still has some readers.

More significantly, the media overlooked the history of Srebrenica immediately leading up to the Serb take-over: Srebrenica first 'fell' in 1993, when French General Morillon arrived to impose a UN Security Council demilitarization order and to establish a 'safe haven' there. But because of the brutal business (read: criminal) activities of some local bosses (read: gangsters), it became necessary for the Izetbegovic government to dispatch Naser Oric and the Second Corps of the Bosnian Muslim army to Srebrenica with written orders to 'pin down' and 'harass' the Yugoslav (Bosno-Serb) army of General Mladic. This harassment, in the form of almost constant artillery fire on Serb positions, as well as death squad raids against local civilians, went on from 1993 until July 1995 when Oric and his men fled for Tuzla, in Muslim territory, and, three days later, General Mladic's forces took the city. More than a thousand local (presumably non-Muslim, though who can be sure?) civilians, men, women and children, were confirmed to have died at the hands of Oric and the Bosnian army; their bodies were recovered and identified. Yet they were never eulogized by the media, nor has Oric's name ever turned up in a war crimes indictment.

So why, after five years, does the history of Srebrenica continue to be tortured into such bloody fucking lies? There are more reasons than can fit onto my hard disk—all of them worthy of a villain from Dostoevsky or Dickens. Suffice to say, the criminals who have come to dominate the affairs of this region, and—since crime was the first business to really go global—the whole world, find their greatest resistance coming from independent, popular socialist governments, with their economic and philosophical grounding still in Marx, Engles, Lenin and Stalin. To paraphrase some great dead white guy: The Business of America is Anti-Communism.

Not a very popular notion, I know; but, then, look again at what's popular: Apologetics for the Western cult of theft and murder.


(21 July 2000 - Avignon)

You know, the road to Global Democracy (read: U.S. hegemony) is neither smooth nor straight nor always downhill. Oil wars, banana wars, cheese and truffles wars, who's got the biggest Big Mac wars, all fought with special intelligence from Echelon (which, as it turns out, is not all about industrial espionage: It's really an anti-missile defense tracking system, generously furnished for your protection by the gentle folks who also protected you from Belgrade, Baghdad and Bolsheviks everywhere): Wars, on every scale, are the price free people pay to insure that other un-free people don't get free-er'n the free people who are paying for these wars in the first place.

I know it's confusing. But if it were any clearer, none of us would sit still for it.

So now we have the ciggie wars. And, as if in a dress rehearsal for the next heroic NATO intervention, the ground pounding is again in the Balkans—in Montenegro this time. Oh, sure, the lawyers are soiling their briefs in Brussels and London and New York and Washington; but the product is being transshipped by those hard-working small businessmen on both sides of the Adriatic.

First, this flash came across the wire yesterday: As if U.S. tobacco weren't already up to its lying eyes in wheezing litigants:

Europe Plans To Sue U.S. Tobacco
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- The European Union said today it
will sue several American tobacco companies for lost tax revenue,
claiming it has evidence the companies are involved in smuggling
cigarettes into the 15-nation EU. The smuggling operation has cost
the EU and its member countries billions in lost revenue and is the
single biggest fraud on the EU's budget, said Luc Veron, a spokesman
for the European Commission, the EU's executive body.

Then I came across the following little vignette—like a treatment for a Miami Vice episode—in the Nov 99 Balkans Infos. It's from Zeljko Ivanovic, writing in Balkan Crisis Report #83 of 12 Oct 1999, but it is taken from a report of the IWPR (Institute for War and Peace Reporting) which describes itself, interestingly enough, as 'an independent, non-profit organization, based in London, which supports regional media and the transition to democracy'. The IWPR publishes reports on the crisis in the Balkans 'with the assistance of the USAID, the European Commission, the Swedish Agency for International Development and Cooperation, the MacArthur Foundation, the organization Press Now, and the Carnegie Foundation. [It takes a heap of financing to guarantee non-profit independence!] The IWPR supports, by and large, the secessionist forces in the ex-Yugoslavia and is aligned with the government of Montenegro; all of which gives even greater impact to the following:

Every night around seven, the powerful 56 foot speed-boats
leave the Montenegrin port of Bar. The Italians have nicknamed them
the 'Bionde' (The Blondes). They are jam-packed with cigarettes—
most often they're from Philip Morris and Rothman—and headed
for a drop at the nearest point on the other side of the Adriatic,
in the Italian region of Puglia. Under cover of darkness the speed
boats make the crossing in three hours and land somewhere between
Bari and Brindisi. There, as has become the custom, groups of young
men meet them and quickly unload their cargo, valued at 450,000 DM.
Each young man receives 100 DM for his evening's efforts. Reloaded
into trucks, the cases of cigarettes are escorted by a half dozen
armored jeeps along narrow roads in two directions. One load goes
South and is handed off to the Sacra Corona, the most powerful mafia
organization in Puglia; the other load goes to the Comorra, the most
powerful mafia in Naples.
About 700 containers make this trip from Montenegro to Italy
each year. Each container holds 960 packs of cigarettes, and the
Montenegrin government picks up 45 DM per pack, or about 2 million DM
(about $900,000) each month.
According to sources in Italy, this 'transit activity', as the
local authorities euphemistically refer to it, represents as much
as 60% of the GNP of Montenegro. And Italy each year loses
several billion Lire in unpaid taxes.
This illegal traffic has been going on since May 1992 and is
well known to the Montenegrins. Not only that, but most of them think
the international community is fully aware of it since a special team
of investigators was sent to Montenegro by the European Union two
years ago to look into the smuggling of cigarettes. They assume that
the West is content to close its eyes to this smuggling because it
generates additional revenues for Montenegro which is thought to
be a very positive thing. Montenegrin politicians generally prefer
to avoid the subject of smuggling and their connections with the
Italian mafias. When pressed on the issue, they point out that
this trafficking has gone on for decades, beginning with Croatia,
and that if Montenegro tried to stop it, some other Balkan country
would just pick it up.
While the problem may not be new, it is receiving unprecedented
attention in Italy. The Italian government has begun an investigation
into the smuggling operations; the Montenegrin foreign minister, Branko
Perovic, has been implicated; and the Italian media have dedicated a
good deal of time and given considerable status to this question.
. . . In the wake of this scandal, many Italian politicians have
demanded a halt be put to humanitarian aid to Montenegro until
that government ends its participation in the smuggling, and have
called for the arrest of those Italian citizens who control the traffic
on their side of the Adriatic.
In the mean time, the whole business has been turned to the
propaganda advantage of Belgrade, where Serbian and Montenegrin
newspapers reprint stories from the Italian press on a daily basis.
The Montenegrin authorities counter by decrying yet another
coup attempt by Belgrade and Rome, and denounce this conspiracy
hatched by President Milosevic and Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto
Dini. Miodrag Vukovic, an assistant to (Montenegrin) President
Djukanovic, sees the proof for this conspiracy in the fact that Dini's
wife, Donatella, is a shareholder in Serbia Telecom, 49% of which was
sold in 1997 to a group of Italian and Greek investors for 800 million DM.
If the Italian police tighten their grip on this smuggling operation
both in Italy and in Montenegro, the government in Podgorica will have
to find other (legal?) means to assure this revenue. And if Montenegro
really wants to be a part of Western Europe and become a democracy,
it won't be able to complain.

Now, just to put the above into a little tighter context vis-a-vis the American taxpayer's footing the bill for maintaining the domination of the Balkans by the Transnationals, here's the testimony of Richard Gelbard (Remember him? The State Dept. guy who used to think the KLA were a bunch of terrorists, until he realized so were most of his colleagues?) before the U.S. Senate a propos of ‘the prospects for Democracy in Yugoslavia’:

I began meeting Djukanovic regularly a year and a half ago;
even before he became President of Montenegro. I was with him at
his inauguration, when we thought a strong international presence,
a public presence, could stop Milosevic from trying a coup d'etat
there. In the last few months the U.S. has furnished $20 million
in budgetary aid, this is at a time when no other country was willing
to pitch in, and we are ready to do more. . . . While Montenegro may
be too small to change things in Serbia, it could serve as a guide to the
Serbian opposition*."

*This would, of course, be the 'independent, Democratic Serbian
opposition' that can't seem to find its ass with both hands and a
DoD manual. [ed.]

All of this to point out that what the U.S. and its allies in NATO are guaranteeing in this latest occupied territory is neither independence nor democracy: What is being enforce with military terror is the iron grip of the World Credit Monopoly with its criminal financial organizations, freed by the concept of 'globalization' (see P. Bourdieu in Le Monde Diplomatique for June 2000 on the expedient meaning of this term) from any obligations to national or international laws, for the uninhibited transfer of value up its pyramidal structure.


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