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<nettime> Busy Balkan's digest [4x]
Ivo Skoric on Wed, 4 Jul 2007 09:23:07 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Busy Balkan's digest [4x]


Table of Contents:

   Srebrenica                                                                      
     "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} balkansnet.org>                                               

   Feral Tribune                                                                   
     "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} balkansnet.org>                                               

   Khamenei-Milosevic connection                                                   
     "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} balkansnet.org>                                               

   Lesson by Thompson                                                              
     "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} balkansnet.org>                                               



------------------------------

Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2007 23:30:01 -0400
From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} balkansnet.org>
Subject: Srebrenica

A lot of people asked me about my thoughts on Carla's List, 
documentary about the work of ICTY chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte,
recently shown in New York at the International Human Rights Watch 
Film Festival, that I wrote about for Croatian portal h-alter.org, so 
I am releasing this summary in English:

Summary would be that I think that Carla's List was released 
prematurely, so it looks unfinished, just as her job does. We learn 
that she has good communication with Croatia's prime minister, who 
gave her his private mobile number, and who speaks Italian fluently 
like her. We also learn that Serbia's prime minister is giving her a
runaround for 3 years so far. And we learn that she believed that
Americans had a deal with Karadzic, until she met Condolezza and 
started believing that there was not enough hard evidence to support 
that theory. 

Her relationship with Croatia is comic - with heaps of papers, 
Croatian kafkaesque bureaucracy swamps her staff with, trying to hide
Gotovina's whereabouts, but her relationship with Serbia is tragic - 
she can't persuade Serbs to surrended Mladic, and she doesn't even 
know whether Karadzic is still alive, yet she promised them to the 
women of Srebrenica and Zepa so prominently featured in her 
documentary. Montenegro's Djukanovic sold her the story of Karadzic 
being hidden by monks in monastery Ostrog, place looking like it came 
straight from the Lord of the Rings set: this would perhaps help 
tourism there this summer, but of course have no impact on 
international justice. 

If she waited with the release of the film, she could edit it towards 
the end of her unfulfilled mandate to make her look less of a 
failure. But the film is out, and there is no help. Women of Podrinje 
already put her on the pillar of shame. They were not as interested 
in arrest of Karadzic and Mladic, as they were in the war damages 
they could collect if International Court of Justice convicted Serbia 
of doing genocide in Srebrenica. But that did not happen because ICJ 
had incomplete evidence, and it had incomplete evidence, because the 
damaging evidence was, and still is sealed by ICTY in a case against 
Milosevic, as requested by the Serbian legal team. 

Now, Milosevic is dead, so no justice there will be served ever. And 
the evidence to convict him is sealed, preventing justice be 
delievered at the ICJ. Victims of Srebrenica are just repeatedly 
betrayed by international community for 15 years. The fact that 
Karadzic and Mladic are still at large is not an exception: it is the 
rule. And now EU's Oli Rehn is re-opening talks with Serbia without 
Kostunica's full co-operation with ICTY - Serbia surrendered Tolimir 
and the other guy, but no Mladic or Karadzic. This is double standard 
- - as pointed by HRW - because Croatia did not get talks re-opening 
from Javier Solana, until Carla OK-ed it, which brought Gotovina to 
The Hague. 

But ICTY as an institution is silent after Rehn's decision. Not only 
that, but Carla in the press conference, after the UN report, said 
that she would oppose Kosovo independence until Serbia's full co-
operation! Was that a threat? To whom? Kostunica doesn't want Kosovo 
independence: his Constitution forbids it.This sounds like an 
incentive for him never to co-operate, then. Bosnians are 
disappointed and letargic. 

There was a young man with punk haircut in the first row that asked 
whether there was an iniciative in Bosnia to hunt and apprehend war 
criminals, as it was in Israel to hunt Nazis: no, nothing like that. 
But, David Rohde (who report for NY Times mostly from Afghanistan 
these days) told me there is among Arabs and Afghans: they are pissed 
at West for Srebrenica, and kill Americans for it, while Serbian war 
criminals are still at large, which simply sucks.

For Kostunica there are so many carrots, and not a single stick. It 
is like threatening my misbehaving toddler that he will have to eat 
candy, after he is done with ice-cream, if he doesn't let me know 
where did he hide my car keys.

Meanwhile, while we may share theories about on whom did DelPonte 
want to exert pressure by this documentary, there is a real crisis 
brewing in Bosnia, prompted by the ICJ judgement, and certainly 
helped by ICTY inability to prosecute Mladic and Karadzic: Srebrenica
massacres survivors threaten another exodus, this time they will
voluntarily ethnically cleanse themselves out of Srebrenica for the 
12th anniversary, and set camp in Sarajevo until they get justice 
they seek.

The reasoning behind their leaders and their mayor (in March 2007 
Srebrenica city council voted to secede  - Serb councilpersons were 
of course boycotting the session) is that if the ICJ judgement 
declared that they were victims of genocide by Republika
Srpska, they cannot be forced to live in Republika Srpska, and Dayton
agreement placed Srebrenica in Republika Srpska. At the time of 
Dayton agreement, Srebrenica was "free" of Bosnian Muslims, but some 
returned after ten years of prodding by the international community 
and OHR.

Now they want to leave, if Srebrenica is not granted special district
status, placing it in the jurisdiction of BH-Federation entity, and 
taking it administratively out of Republika Srpska entity. Their 
request caused storm in Bosnian political life. Leading Bosnian 
political party - SDA - which represent Bosnian Muslims, wants to 
define Srebrenica as the special district in an amendement to Bosnian 
constitution, a move that is vehemently opposed by leaders of 
Republika Srpska and their representatives in Bosnian parliament, to 
the point where they are threatening to walk out of the session and 
boycott proceedings if the discussion of such an amendement is ever 
opened.

The developments seriously endanger passage of Bosnian constitution 
(one of the primary goals of international community before retiring 
OHR) promissing a very hot summer in Sarajevo this year.

While it was actually between David Tolbert and Serge Brammertz to 
become the next ICTY chief prosecutor, David is American, Serge is 
Belgian and Serge was appointed by Kofi Annan to head the
inquiry in the killing of Rafik Hariri, so he may be in Lebanon for 
some time, which could extend DelPonte's mandate, which is what she 
may want, so she doesn't retire feeling as a loser. Kostunica again 
(for the third year in the row) promised here Mladic by the end of 
the year.

On July 12 the international community will have to weigh in on what 
is more imoortant: honoring Dayton Accords or rewarding victims of 
genocide. Both Srebrenica/Zepa and Gorazde were requested by 
Izetbegovic/Silajdzic, but they could get only one, because there was 
a need to satisfy the basic 51:49 scheme of Dayton, i.e. 49% of 
Bosnia was awarded to Republika Srpska, and PowerScene software 3d 
rendering of Bosnia was used to make a precise division. Milosevic 
opposed both exceptions, but Holbrooke played the software and 
assured him that Gorazde corridor would not change the 51:49 scheme, 
so Milosevic took a shot of scotch and signed on the agreement, which 
left Srebrenica/Zepa in Republika Srpska. It was a compromise, 
necessary at the time. 

Giving Srebrenica special status now, post facto, will change the 
basic 51:49 premise of the Dayton agreement, and therefore, while not 
impossible, will require a bit more than just a simple vote in 
Srebrenica's town council.  Of course, this is what Serbs wanted - 
for Muslims to leave. If 1200 Bosnian Muslims march from Srebrenica 
to Sarajevo on July 12, they would say: good riddance. But it is 
going to be a huge embarassment for OHR and international community 
Another collateral damage of the atrocious ICJ judgement is the civil 
lawsuit 6000 victims of Srebrenica brought on June 4, 2007 against 
Dutch government and Dutchbat soldiers, for failing to protect them 
in the UN Safe Haven 1995. If they could not get money from Serbia, 
they plan on getting them from the Dutch....

ivo



------------------------------

Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2007 23:30:01 -0400
From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} balkansnet.org>
Subject: Feral Tribune

http://feral.mediaturtle.com/look/weekly1/article.tpl?IdLanguage=7&IdP
ublication=1&NrArticle=16132&NrIssue=1134&NrSection=1

After two weeks of hiatus, and yammering about back taxes and mental
anguish penalties, Feral Tribune is back on the newstands. 
Appropriately, it carries a picture of Jesus on the front page with 
the title: Happy Resurrection.

Croatian president Mesic, and prime minister Sanader, both came 
forward with messages of support. Remembering what HDZ politicians 
had to say about Feral under Tudjman, old man must be rolling in his
grave, hearing Sanader saying how Feral greatly contributed to 
democratic development of Croatia.

But what really got Feral back on their feet is cold cash. They were
bailed out by the largest and most aggressive Croatian news 
publishing house Europa Press Holding (EPH), which had been in the 
talks about taking Feral over for quite some time already. I actually 
thought the take-over was long done, and was quite surprised hearing 
about Feral's recent financial troubles.

No, the take-over was not complete. But now it will be on July 9, and
Feral will continue publishing as the EPH publication. EPH claims 
that Feral will be given its usual editorial lattitude in coverage of 
events. I don't see what is in the deal for EPH yet, since Feral is 
not profitable. It is sure a trophy for Nino Pavic (EPH's  Rupert 
Murdoch).

This quick rescue mission should not obscure the problems that 
brought Feral to this situation, which in my view deserve seerious 
consideration: 
1) 22% VAT assessed also to a small private magazine with almost no 
ads: printed matter should either be VAT-free, or a smaller VAT 
should be assessed, and State owned publications should not
be given preferential treatment as they are now; 
2) The practice in which public persons can sue and collect money not 
only for "libel", which concerns publishing of untruthful 
information, and is illegal elsewhere in EU and US, but also for 
"mental anguish" from journalists who write truthful information 
about them - which is how Feral was really brought down - should be 
required by EU to be abolished by Croatia.

I understand that a lot of those nouveau riche war profiteering folks
really feel like victims, injured, and in pain, and that they can't 
take a joke, that they are very sensitive to truth: they basically 
don't want to hear it - but the law should not protect them; the law 
should protect the truth.

ivo




------------------------------

Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2007 10:17:08 -0400
From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} balkansnet.org>
Subject: Khamenei-Milosevic connection

Khamenei said: "Muslims rose in Bosnia."
http://www.khamenei.de/news/news1995/feb1995.htm

While pouring money and mujahedeedn in Bosnia, he was never openly
against Serbia, saying that NATO bombing of YU was wrong, because it
put Albanian Muslims at risk (not to mention that it hurt a lucrative
business partner - Milosevic).
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D06E0DA1E39F935A35757C
0A96F958260&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fPeople%2fK%2fKhamenei
%2c%20Ali

Iran was/is armimg both Kosovo Albanian KLA and Serbs in the fight
that still divides the SEE/CEE and the rest of Europe. Does Iran
ferment a war in Europe? It had maintained excellent relations with
Yugoslav Military (despite its killing of muslims in Bosnia) all the
time, and it has a working agreement with Kostunica since 2006.
http://crossfirewar.com/index.php?p=1928

The irony of course is that Yugoslavia had armed both Iraq and Iran 
in
their 8-year war. It was hard to resist all that oil-money.
http://www.nti.org/e_research/profiles/Iran/Missile/1788_1802.html

Actually, I came up to do this little research, after, this weekend,
while browsing through the old articles, that I wrote for newspapers
in Yugoslavia/Croatia in the late 1980-s, I stumbled upon the article
I wrote for Omladinska Iskra in 1989 about Khamenei's visit to
Belgrade. I was surprised. I completely forgot about that.

But in 1989, as he came to power after Khomeini's death, and shortly
after he condemned Salman Rushdie to death by fatwah for Satanic
Verses, he came to visit Yugoslavia - of all places!!! And while the
rest of Europe was condemning and shunning him, Belgrade warmly
welcomed him. WHY?

We knew that Yugoslav military industrial complex was merrily sending
small arms to both Iraqis and Iranians, and that the rest of the
'civilized world' was doing so, enjoying to see weakening of those 
two
oil-producing countries. But US was trying to hide that with a
complicated scheme (revealed in Iran-Contra scandal). Why was
Yugoslavia so open about it?

My article was angry, since I was an outspoken critic of Yugoslav
military industrial complex, and the country organized and based on
war profiteering. I was also outraged with the person of Khamenei,
given the recent fatwah against Rushdie, and have used language (that
I might disown today) of the 'clash of civilizations' theory, 
invoking
Thermopilae, etc. I wrote that Milosevic might want Iranian laws in
Yugoslavia, given that he could merely imprison journalists, while
Khamenei could get them killed.

It is important to note that political leadership of Slovenia 
publicly opposed that visit, while the political leadership of other
Yugoslav republics acquiesced to Milosevic's Serbia hospitality
extended to the new Iranian leader. Maybe little gestures, like this
one, signaled to EU, that Slovenian political leaders thought more
like them, which later paved the way for Slovenian quick entry in the
EU.

In hindsight, now I know why Khamenei was there. He was there to
return the favor. For eight years Yugoslavia profited from helping
Iranians and Iraqis slaughter each other. He came to help Yugoslavs 
do
the same to each other. And that Serb megalomaniac, that later died 
at
The Hague, seemed to have become the victim of his own manipulations.

ivo
- ------- End of forwarded message -------------------------------------
- ---------------------------
Ivo Skoric
105 Robbins Street
Rutland VT 05701
802.775.7257
ivo {AT} balkansnet.org
balkansnet.org




------------------------------

Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2007 21:39:42 -0400
From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo {AT} balkansnet.org>
Subject: Lesson by Thompson

http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/07/01/europe/croatia.php

Croatian folk-rock performer Marko Perkovic Thompson made a career, 
not to mention tons of money, exploring the nastiest deep instincts 
of youth that grew up in war. But I don't think that he should be 
banned. It would just make matters worse, perhaps.

It is a problem when majority of youth starts worshiping nazi 
symbols, salutes and paraphernalia. Croatia should pass laws, similar 
to German laws, outlawing nazi paraphernalia, to stop this madness, 
before it takes too many heads.

And educators should teach history that shows Croatian WW II nazi 
collaborators in the right light, instead of making them romanticized 
heroes, just because they happened to have fought Serbs.

ivo---------------------------------------------------------
Ivo Skoric
105 Robbins Street
Rutland VT 05701
802.775.7257
ivo {AT} balkansnet.org
balkansnet.org





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