Thursday, July 26, 2007


When Boris Yeltsin died in April, I almost wrote about it. Instead, I figured I couldn't do a better job than Justin Raimondo and decided differently. But in the draft I had put together was a thesis that at the time seemed far-fetched: that the 1999 NATO attack on Yugoslavia was what a straw that broke the camel's back, and soured Russia on the rising American Empire. I now regret not publishing that, because it has just been corroborated - and by none other than the most famed Soviet dissident!

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, in an interview to Germany's Der Spiegel, says this:

When I returned to Russia in 1994, the Western world and its states were practically being worshipped. Admittedly, this was caused not so much by real knowledge or a conscious choice, but by the natural disgust with the Bolshevik regime and its anti-Western propaganda. This mood started changing with the cruel NATO bombings of Serbia. It's fair to say that all layers of Russian society were deeply and indelibly shocked by those bombings. The situation then became worse when NATO started to spread its influence and draw the ex-Soviet republics into its structure. [...] So, the perception of the West as mostly a "knight of democracy" has been replaced with the disappointed belief that pragmatism, often cynical and selfish, lies at the core of Western policies. For many Russians it was a grave disillusion, a crushing of ideals.

When Austria-Hungary threatened war with Serbia in 1914, Russia backed Belgrade. Not because it could handle a war at that point, or because such a course of action was in its best interest - arguably, neither was the case - but because in 1908 it had stood aside and allowed Vienna to annex Bosnia-Herzegovina in clear violation of the 1878 treaty that was supposed to create peace in the Balkans.

For modern Russia, 1999 was another 1908. They don't want another 1914. But the American Empire is acting like Austria-Hungary, even to the point of having an Austrian-born, Serbophobic U.S. ambassador in Belgrade...

Of course, the analogy only goes so far; even so, the Empire ought to realize that Moscow is really serious this time. As is Belgrade, custom-made polls notwithstanding. It is now clear that the 1999 war "lost Russia." Somehow, the worshipful embrace of Albanian peasants seems a bad bargain in comparison.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Having witnessed the humiliating defeat of his proposal for an Albanian-dominated "Kosova" as a ward of the EU, former president of Finland and ICG board member Martti Ahtisaari told the Finnish Radio he would no longer be involved with Empire's land-grab from Serbia. He could contribute in an "advisory role," he told the media hopefully, but noted no one's asked him to do so.

The battle for Kosovo is far from over. Albanian separatists are still determined to have their way, and their allies - the governments in London, Paris and Washington - are just as determined to paint their 1999 war of aggression as a triumph of democratic peace. Turns out Serbia and Russia are just as determined not to let them, even though the Empire has constantly underestimated both. Maybe that's why it lost the staring contest at the UN.

Any which way things develop from here, the Finn is done. Finished. Now he just has to hope the Albanians won't ask for their money back, the same way they've been "asking" for land...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Questions You're Not Supposed to Ask

Readers often ask me about books that would help them get a better understanding of Balkans events, or libertarian thought. I eagerly direct them to writings about the latter, but sadly don't have much to recommend regarding the former. Today, however, I'm happy to do both.

Thomas E. Woods, a brilliant historian who has previously penned The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History and Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy, has a new book out: 33 Questions About American History You're Not Supposed to Ask.

I haven't read it yet, though I have ordered a copy. So, why do I recommend it? Because reviewer Kevin Gutzman wrote today on that "the two chapters on American intervention in the former Yugoslavia are among the book’s finest."

I haven't the slightest doubt that Professor Woods has put together a fine piece of myth-busting work here. I can't wait to read it!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Definite Article

For eight years now, I have been publishing commentaries about the Balkans on-line. In that course of time, I have received innumerable requests from readers for one written volume that would help them understand what took place in that corner of the world and why they should care (or not). Such a volume does not exist.

However, something very close to it has just been published. On July 4th, most fittingly, online magazine American Thinker published Julia Gorin's superb dissertation on the "Balkans Quagmire" in the minds of Western observers.

Rich in analysis, primary and secondary sources, unimpeachable logic and sincerity, this is one article anyone even remotely interested in the Balkans should read. Needs to read. If, some day, a collection of essays on the Balkans crisis of the past two decades is published, I hope that some of my works make it in there. But I know that this essay of Julia's will.

Read it. Go.

What are you waiting for?

Monday, July 02, 2007


I ran across an interesting interview in todays' online edition of Belgrade's Glas Javnosti. Professor Svetozar Livada, author of a book on ethnic cleansing in Croatia, dares raise a taboo topic:

Croatia had 1,107 towns with Serb majority, and I systematically compared the situation from the 1991 census with that of 2001. From this I established that in the majority of towns with Serb majority the infrastructure has been completely destroyed. Not only have people been expelled, their property was destroyed as well... I've noted the destruction of the entire infrastructure: emergency rooms, art houses, warehouses, power stations, cemeteries... Ethnic cleansing in Croatia encompassed people, property and even real estate registries.

I went further, statistically analyzing the two hundred-plus cities in Croatia, and established that some 124,000 Serbs were expelled from places where there was no fighting, and that the same destruction was applied to their property. There isn't a single village where someone hasn't been killed or disappeared. In larger cities there were concentration camps, euphemistically called "collection centers," and in many cases people died there.

Statistics show that 10,000 people were expelled from their homes in Split, and 18,500 from Zagreb. At the Zagreb fairgrounds, there was a concentration camp at "Pavillion 22." Everyone pretty much knew what went on there. Some 200 people disappeared. Still, the largest number of people were killed in Sisak.

Any mention of Balkans wars in the Western media includes numbers: 250,000 (the false, grossly inflated number of war deaths in Bosnia); 8000 (the purported number of Muslims slain in Srebrenica in 1995); 10,000 (the number of Albanians allegedly killed by Serb forces, "estimated" by NATO sources). There's one number that's never mentioned: 380,032.

The 2001 census listed 380,032 fewer Serbs in Croatia than in 1991. As Dr. Livada's research shows, that number was brought about by actions "with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such."