Friday, September 29, 2006

27 years for....?

Momcilo Krajisnik, former Speaker of the Bosnian parliament and that of the Bosnian Serbs, was sentenced yesterday by the Hague Inquisition to 27 years in prison (for a man his age, that's a de facto life sentence).

According to Andy Wilcoxson of, the Inquisition could not find a direct link between Krajisnik and any of the crimes committed (allegedly or demonstrably) by the Bosnian Serbs in the course of the war. So they convicted him of supposedly belonging to a "joint criminal enterprise" to establish a "Greater Serbia" - a fictitious, quasi-legal category developed for the Inquisition by an American lawyer in order to justify blanket indictments of Serb political and military leaders.

As an example of the Inquisition's deliberate duplicity, Wilcoxson cites that "proof" of Krajisnik's alleged participation in a Serb criminal conspiracy was a statement he made in March 1992 that supposedly set off a Serb "expulsion programme." Wilcoxson demonstrates the statement directly referred to the Cutilheiro peace plan (the one Alija Izetbegovic's illegitimate government rejected). To the best of my knowledge, no one at the Inquisition has ever bothered to present evidence that a "Serb expulsion programme" was more than a figment of the prosecutors' imagination; its existence was treated as an established fact.

Naser Oric, who boasted of his atrocities and even filmed them, got two years for "failing to stop human rights abuses" or some such nonsense. Krajisnik gets 27 years for alleged participation (based on deliberately misinterpreted evidence) in a fictitious conspiracy.

Let's call this what it is: "Walking while Serb."

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ahtisaari: Patron of the SS?

I've long considered Martti Ahtisaari of Finland a Serbophobe simply because he was an agent of the Empire in 1999 and subsequently a Board member of the International Crisis Group. His statement that Serbs bore collective guilt for what (allegedly) happened in 1999 - and, by obvious implication, that Albanians bore no guilt whatsoever, collective or individual, for what has happened since - did not surprise me much.

According to Carl Savich of, however, there's another reason Ahtisaari is a Serbophobe: during his presidency, the Finnish government wanted to sponsor a monument to Nazis! Savich writes that Ahtisaari's government wanted to bankroll a monument to the Finnish Waffen-SS volunteers, some 1400 members of the Waffen-SS division "Wiking." (This is in addition to the Finnish troops who fought against the Soviet Union between 1940 and 1945, as allies of Nazi Germany.)

Retired NY Times reporter David Binder wrote that Ahtisaari was one of the Finns displaced by the Soviet invasion of Karelia during the 1940 Winter War. So, it stands to reason he would have anti-Soviet (and anti-Russian, by extension) sentiments. A lot of the early 1990s Serbophobic propaganda played on leftover Cold War stereotypes, endeavoring to portray the Serbs as "Communists" and "Russians lite." Ahtisaari would have absorbed this propaganda when he was involved in the early EU efforts to mediate the conflict between Yugoslav republics - efforts that failed miserably when Germany strong-armed the rest of EU countries into recognizing the unilateral secession of Slovenia and Croatia.

So, Ahtisaari has a family history of being displaced by Russians; his country was allied with Hitler in WW2; he sponsored a monument to the Waffen-SS during his presidency, and he was in position to acquire anti-Serb bias as a diplomat involved in Yugoslav affairs in the early 1990s. I'm no psychologist, but I can see how all that would predispose him towards, say, Kosovo Albanians - who were actually allied with Hitler themselves, but claimed they were victims of "Serb Nazis," and came up with horror stories accusing the Serbian authorities of Hitleresque crimes. Although these stories have never been substantiated, they served as the propaganda justification for NATO's invasion, so anyone involved in that enterprise cannot afford to disavow them. And Ahtisaari was very much involved.

But the issue here isn't whether Ahtisaari is biased. That's been obvious even without these background details that have recently emerged. The issue is what to do about him? Would his inclination towards the Waffen-SS be enough of a political tarnish to have him removed? Or are charges of sympathy for the Nazis taken seriously only when their target is an enemy of the Empire, not its agent?

(Edited on September 18 for clarity)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Koco Danaj and Internet Weasels

Who is Koco Danaj?

According to Italian news agency AKI, relying presumably on Pristina daily Epoka e Re, Danaj is a "political adviser to Albania's prime minister, Sali Berisha."

Days after I described Danaj thusly in my column, started getting angry emails from Albanians. Koco Danaj, they all claimed, is no adviser to Berisha, but a marginal political figure; I manufactured falsehoods, and should retract his qualification at once; even Danaj himself wrote eventually - albeit in Albanian, so I could not understand a word of what he was trying to say.

So, who is Koco Danaj? I don't know - and honestly, I don't much care. Neither the Albanian government, which denied ties to Danaj, nor my numerous Albanian detractors to, have at any one point taken exception to the content of Danaj's comments to Epoka e Re: namely, the need for a "natural Albania" in the Balkans. It's these comments, rather than Mr. Danaj's identity, that interested me in the first place. Given that no one made a point of disagreeing with him, he may as well be a political adviser to Mr. Berisha, or the KLA "government" of "Kosova" for that matter.

One of my favorite bloggers often resorts to seeding his writings with "weasel traps" - details deliberately askew, so that the typical internet critic (who enjoys taking potshots at people but flees an actual debate like the devil from a cross) would latch onto them instead of challenging the actual points of the argument.

I wish I were clever enough to do this, but apparently, I don't need to; as the story of Koco Danaj goes to show, my critics are good at making their own weasel traps and springing them without any help on my part.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Voice in the Wilderness

I'm several days late with this, but I just saw a video of Keith Olbermann's newscast last Wednesday night. Finally, someone had the intestinal fortitude to stand up - in the mainstream media, no less! - and call His Exalted Imperial Majesty's government, and Herr Reichsmarschall, on the years of arrogant lies they've peddled for the sake of their power and others' death.

I won't quote Olbermann. His speech - for a speech it was - is much too good to be robbed of tone, timbre and context. A transcript is here.

In his supreme arrogance, Herr Reichsmarschall dared actually say that America faced a new kind of fascism. He was right, though not in the sense he wanted to be. And he was wrong as well; for the fascism - or, rather, national-socialism - that America faces today is not new. It is the same old kind, reawakened from the dustbins of history by people who are just as engrossed by the concept of Will to Power as a mustachioed Austrian painter seventy-odd years ago.

Nations who allow themselves to forget their history, principles and identity are liable to fall prey to false prophets and phoney ideologies. As anyone who has seen Der Untergang should have realized, the evil of totalitarianism was not peculiar to the Germans, just as Communism was not peculiar to the Russians. They suffered nonetheless. The arrogant imperialism of Herr Rumsfeld and His Most Elevated Majesty God-Emperor George W is not peculiar to the Americans; but it is up to the Americans to recognize it for what it is, and make a choice: follow the course of Empire, or oppose it.

Both choices have consequences. Accepting the Empire will be far more dangerous and dire. Keith Olbermann dared oppose it, where so many have stood idly by. It will be tragic if his voice remains alone in the wilderness.