Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sic Transit 2008

As I wrote last week on, this was a year in which the Empire won a victory in the Balkans, but lost just about everywhere else. And though I understand the argument for "the worse, the better" in theory, I certainly took no joy in watching everything that's good and decent, both in the Balkans and here in America, sink ever lower into the cesspit of politics and violence.

The economic meltdown isn't over. The Empire wants to escalate the Afghan war, and is preparing to go back to the Balkans, probably figuring it the most likely venue for a short, victorious butt-kicking that would improve morale at home and divert attention from widespread system failure. Provided it's a victory - which is by no means guaranteed.

I have no doubt that things will continue to get worse in 2009. Perhaps at some point it will get so bad that things will turn around and both the Imperialists and their local quislings will get their comeuppance. I have no illusions that this will be without painful consequences for everyone else trapped in this malignant matrix. Whether we want to snap out of it or not, however, entropy will have its own. There is only so much denial and wishful thinking can do, and we're long past the point of diminishing returns on both.

I won't wish you a happy 2009, as that would be a lie. The best I can do is wish we all live through it. And God help us.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Irrelevant Roots

As soon as I heard that Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich was indicted on corruption charges, I knew that the media would inevitably bring up his Serbian roots. I'm just surprised it took days, as opposed to hours, or minutes.

In this era of political correctness and mandatory "diversity," there are still groups (entire nations, really) one is allowed, supposed, or even required to hate. Serbs are one of those groups.

As M. Pejakovich of SerbBlog points out, did anyone make a fuss over ex-governor Ryan's Irish ancestry? Of course not.

Yet, the media just can't seem to get enough of rubbing everyone's nose in Rod Blagojevich's "ethnic roots" -- even going so far as to publish quotes from the Blagojevic family in Europe for their reaction to the cousin that they've never met, and quoting headlines from German and Soros owned newspapers from Eastern Europe.

Others went to his local boyhood church for reactions from parishioners. Rod Blagojevich is 52 years old and hasn't gone there in 30 years. What's this got to do with anything?

Although some people in Serbia may have felt a misplaced sense of national pride that one of "their own" made it to the Illinois governor's mansion, what the hack journalists and tabloids that harp on this neglect to mention is that Blagojevich renounced his heritage decades ago.

Perhaps he felt he had to; being a Serb, or even half-Serb, is a liability in American politics. Ohio Senator George Voinovich has also denied his Serbian roots (he actually claimed to be Slovenian at one time). Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.), who never hid her Serbian roots, was viciously attacked by a Republican candidate because she opposed the "independence" of the Albanian-occupied Kosovo. Steve Greenberg claimed that Bean favored "interests of radical foreign nations above the interests of freedom and democracy," a travesty of logic if ever there was one.

Yet for all this, somehow I don't think there was anything reluctant in Blagojevich's rejection of his Serbian heritage. Everything known about him indicates that he did it consciously, deliberately, in pursuit of power and money. He isn't the first man who did so, nor will he be the last, sadly. Which brings us to Pejakovich's second point:

Rod Blagojevich's "ethnicity" is American and his religion is "corrupt politician". That should have been plain for all to see when back in 1999, he supported the twisted and corrupt NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, using the same hateful anti-Serb rhetoric as the rest of his twisted fellow corrupt politicians.

The man not only abandoned his heritage, he betrayed it. To try and blame his Serbian roots for his American behavior is disingenuous, and perhaps even deliberately misleading.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Missing the Point, Again

It has been almost ten years since I started publishing commentary on-line, and it never ceases to amaze me that people seem to possess a remarkable capacity of completely missing the point of entire articles to zero in on one particular sentence or phrase and make a huge deal of it.

My piece on last week was inspired by a posting here, in which I challenged Pat Buchanan's interpretation of the 1914 Sarajevo assassination. In the column, titled "Triumph of Tragedy," I wrote:

In the Yugoslavian pot, the Serbian identity had melted away, while people who used to consider themselves Serbs (or Turks, Croats, or Bulgarians) became "Montenegrins" or "Macedonians" or "Bosnians." When all the consequences of Yugoslavia's creation are added up, it is easily a worse historical disaster for the Serbs than the Ottoman conquest.

This was obviously toned down from what I said in "Missing the Point":

Furthermore, in 1918 there was no such nation as "Bosnians," or Montenegrins, or Macedonians. People in what are today Bosnia, Montenegro and Macedonia considered themselves Serbs, Croats, Turks, even Bulgarians. It was Communist social engineering and propaganda that manufactured them into distinct "nations" - while destroying the Serbian sense of nationhood in general.

Now, I may have oversimplified things somewhat. Certainly there were at least some who considered themselves other things. However, even a cursory glance at contemporary sources would reveal that my claim here is factual.

The Montenegrin identity had been inseparable from Serbian until the end of the Great War, when some supporters of the Petrovic dynasty resented the merger with Serbia. Communists exploited this divide and worked for decades to create a "Montenegrin nation"; the pinnacle of this project is today's independent Montenegro, whose rulers are building a national identity on a foundation of Serbophobia.

Austria-Hungary attempted to create a "Bosniak" nation during its occupation mandate, without much success. Bosnian Muslims identified themselves as Turks, or - following the Great War - as Serbs or Croats with a distinct religion. It was Tito's Yugoslavia that incubated their nationhood, trying to use them as a counterbalance to Serbs and Croats. And a fine job that turned out to be, if the 100,000 dead and the smoldering ruins of Bosnia are anything to judge by.

Now as for Macedonia... Google "" and "Macedonia" and see how many hits you get for my columns on the subject, and what I wrote therein. At the time when damn near no one in the West objected to the KLA's butchering of that country, I wrote about the murder of Macedonia and the futile surrender of its leaders to Imperial demands. But I dare argue that only under Tito did the Macedonian national movement actually succeed in creating a nation, and all of a sudden I'm a villain?

Look, I'm routinely attacked by Albanians because I'm a Serb (it doesn't matter what I say, really - unless I endorse the KLA somehow; then I'm a poster child for what needs to be done). I get grief from Greeks, because I dare say "Macedonia" instead of FYROM or what have you (look, Alexander was a barbarian, OK? Just because he embraced the culture of Hellas and spread it around the known world doesn't make him any more Greek than my Orthodox faith makes me one).

And now I'm marked for malice by Macedonians for daring to point out that hey, today's Macedonia exists within the boundaries of the territory liberated from the Ottoman Empire by the Kingdom of Serbia. What about the areas controlled by Bulgaria and Greece? How come we never hear about them? Also, am I wrong in saying that most people in that area at that time considered themselves Serbs, Greeks, Bulgarians or even Turks, since the whole concept of the Macedonian nation was in its infancy? I doubt it. Find me some contemporary sources that argue otherwise and I'd be willing to change my mind.

While you're at it, can you give me a publication date for the first dictionary and grammar of the distinct Macedonian language? Also, please explain how come that many residents of northern Macedonia have distinctly Serbian names, except they've been "Macedonized"? And finally, that whole talk about modern Macedonians being descendants of Alexander's folk? About as plausible as the "bogomil Bosnians" or "Albanians as Illyrians" arguments. Spare me.

Bulgarians and Greeks spend decades denying that Macedonians even exist. As a result, they get to keep the territories gained in the Balkans Wars. Serbs go along with emancipating Macedonians as a nation, and they lose the territories, and get accused of being hostile to Macedonia and Macedonians! Not exactly an argument for tolerance or open-mindedness, is it?

I've told my Macedonian friends before, and I'll say it again: the real danger to your continued existence, let alone prosperity, isn't from the north. The Serbs have accepted Macedonia and Macedonians, and all the questions that I raise here are merely historical nitpicking. An attempt to teach my own people an important lesson, as the case may be. Meanwhile, Bulgarians are issuing dual citizenships, Greeks insist there is no such country, and Albanians are taking the land. And this Serb is one of the few people in the world pointing that out and disagreeing with it.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Down to One Question

One can write a dozen essays and argue oneself hoarse over the merits of market economy and still get the ignorant response typical of most people, that governments need to "regulate" the market else it "fails."

I can't count the number of such situations I've found myself in over the past decade or so, and I wish I had this pearl from William Norman Grigg (Pro Libertate), published today on LRC:

Obama is a reasonably bright fellow. Somebody he respects – assuming there is any great enough to command his attention and rebuke his errors – needs to ask him this question, and compel him to answer:

"If the key to prosperity is a centrally planned economy fueled by fiat currency, why isn’t Zimbabwe the wealthiest nation in history?"

Yes, indeed, why not?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Missing the Point

Pat Buchanan opens his analysis of the Mumbai attacks today by describing the 1914 Sarajevo assassination as "arguably the most successful act of revolutionary terror."

I don't disagree with Buchanan's main argument - that the goal of the Mumbai terrorists was to provoke a war between India and Pakistan - as much as his callous characterization of Princip, and putting him in the same category as the Mumbai attackers and the 9/11 jihadists.

Was Princip really a terrorist? Take just this common-sense definition of terrorism from Wikipedia:

Most common definitions of terrorism include only those acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a lone attack), and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants.

By these standards, the Sarajevo attack was terrorism only if we stretch the definition. Its purpose was to influence policy through violence, yes - Austria had been occupying Bosnia-Herzegovina against the will of most of its population for almost 40 years at that point, and had illegally annexed it in 1908. But fear didn't enter the picture. The group Princip belonged to ("Young Bosnia") wasn't firebombing schools or buses or marketplaces; they targeted the Austrian military, in the persons of its inspector-general, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and Bosnia's military governor, Oskar Potiorek, who rode in the car with him. The civilian death - Ferdinand's wife, Countess Sophie Chotek - was entirely accidental; Princip was aiming for Potiorek, but he was a lousy shot.

Murderer he may be, but Princip is not a terrorist.

Buchanan also errs by claiming that, by provoking the war that destroyed Austria-Hungary, the assassination "succeeded beyond the wildest dreams" of its plotters. But all evidence points to this being a completely unintended consequence.

First a little historical background here. Bosnia and Herzegovina were two provinces of the Ottoman Empire (with a majority Christian population) that were placed under Austro-Hungarian occupation at the 1878 Congress of Berlin. Contrary to the provisions of that Congress and against commonly accepted law of nations at the time, Austria annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908, and administered them directly as crown lands. Obviously, this was not well received by a large Serb population, which wanted to unite with the independent kingdom of Serbia to the east.

"Young Bosnia," the organization to which Gavrilo Princip belonged, was a revolutionary society dedicated to freeing Bosnia-Herzegovina from Austrian rule and the unification of South Slavs with Serbia into a common state (following the models of Germany and Italy from the latter part of the 19th century). One of their sponsors was the "Black Hand", also known as "Union or Death," a secret society of Serbian army officers first involved in assassinating the last Obrenović king in 1903. As is obvious from their name, they also wanted the unification of South Slavs.

Now, there's a clear difference between advocating national liberation and wishing to destroy the empire that's holding one's compatriots in thralldom. The Balkans Alliance (Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria and Greece) that successfully defeated the Ottoman Empire in 1912 did not seek to destroy the said empire - merely to liberate the lands and peoples in the Balkans they claimed as their own. Similarly, the Black Hand or Young Bosnia - and especially the Serbian government - never thought of destroying Austria-Hungary. They were certainly interested in liberating the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes who lived under its rule. Whether the Croats and Slovenes actually wanted to be liberated is another story.

Considering that Serbia has just emerged from two years of war, it is downright foolish to assume its government was eager to fight Austria. On the other hand, elements of Austrian establishment (such Conrad von Hoetzendorf) wanted a war with Serbia rather badly, and were prepared to seize upon any pretext. They found the death of Ferdinand, who had actually kept them in check, extremely useful.

Citing Buchanan again:

"While Serbia suffered per capita losses as great as any other nation, she ended the Great War as the lead nation in a Kingdom of the South Slavs embracing Slovenes, Croats, Bosnians, Albanians, Montenegrins, Macedonians, and Hungarians. The Habsburg Empire at which Princip had struck had vanished."

Serbia lost over half of its male population to the war. One might even argue its losses per capita were greater than any other participant in the war. And while it emerged as the dominant force in the new kingdom (soon renamed Yugoslavia) after the war, that was far from a triumph. Within just a few years, Croats began to resent being removed from the Habsburg orbit. This resentment resulted in a crippling political conflict within Yugoslavia, and led to the horrific genocide perpetrated by the pro-Nazi regime of Ante Pavelić between 1941 and 1945.

Furthermore, in 1918 there was no such nation as "Bosnians," or Montenegrins, or Macedonians. People in what are today Bosnia, Montenegro and Macedonia considered themselves Serbs, Croats, Turks, even Bulgarians. It was Communist social engineering and propaganda that manufactured them into distinct "nations" - while destroying the Serbian sense of nationhood in general. I've argued elsewhere that the creation of Yugoslavia was the greatest disaster that befell the Serbs in their history, worse even than the Ottoman conquest. I shan't elaborate on that here and now, but it needs to be noted for the sake of context.

So, the event that Mr. Buchanan claims was in the same category as the 9/11 or the Mumbai attacks wasn't actually terrorism; its consequences were unintended; and it did not profit its organizers anywhere near what is commonly believed. For what it's worth, I'd appreciate historians and commentators like Buchanan not to mislabel and misinterpret it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Choice That Actually Counts

It is now obvious the "change" we were promised will be a trip back to 1999. I don't see how even the most ardent mob of Obama-worshippers, the one likely to go after me with torches and pitchforks for even daring to question their secular saint, could argue otherwise if and when Hillary Clinton takes over Foggy Bottom from Condi Rice.

So, now we know the "change" we're actually going to see is a n application of lipstick on the imperial pig, rather than translating the whole bloated monster into some tasty chops and sausage. What are you planning to do about it?

I didn't know about when I first came to the U.S., back in 1996. I was a good little liberal-democrat leftist mainstream-media reader. Over the years, between them and, I've learned that being a patriotic American means opposing the Empire, not enabling it. Unlike some sites and magazines, has been a consistent critic of Empire itself, rather than Democrats or Republicans that took turns at its helm. It should be intuitively obvious even to the most casual observer that the Empire is a bipartisan effort, and that opposing it isn't a matter of criticizing William J. Clinton, George W. Bush or Barack H. Obama personally, but as men who were elected to be chief magistrates of a confederated republic yet crowned themselves Emperors of the known universe instead.

Needless to say, serving the Empire is much more profitable in material terms than opposing it. But while American citizens and residents have no choice in giving up a portion of their earnings to the Leviathan, they do have a choice when it comes to supporting With the failing Empire trying to bolster its image (but not mend its ways) by crowning Obama, it's clear that the fight to save the American Republic is nowhere near over.

If you are true American patriots, if you believe in your country as "well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all" but "champion and vindicator only of her own," a country that "goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy" but "will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example," then I urge you to contribute to today and thus make a real choice for actual change.

Full disclosure: While I am a columnist for, and they do pay me for it, this isn't about me. I would just as gladly write for free (and have in the past), because I believe in the ideas of liberty and justice.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Return to 1999

So, following the government-worshiping ritual last Tuesday, Barack Hussein Obama will become the 44th President (and not sure which Emperor in order, not that it matters) of the USA. Given the current state of the country, and its standing abroad, I'm not sure whether to say "'Grats" or "Sorry." Maybe both.

I viewed the prospect of either Obama or McCain gaining the presidency as distasteful, both as a libertarian and as a Serb. Neither is a friend of human freedom, so I won't belabor that point. Unlike most of his fellow Republicans, McCain has consistently supported Clinton's Balkans adventures during the 1990s, from Bosnia to Kosovo. One of his partners in those crimes was Joseph Biden, then Senator from Delaware, now VP-elect.

I could write an entire column about all the things Joseph Biden has said and done pertaining to the Balkans. In fact, I did write a column about him once. At the time, I asserted that Biden's belligerent ranting was less of a sign that "liberal" interventionism was making a comeback and more of a "last roar of an establishment whose time has passed, and while still capable of mischief it cannot fundamentally change the course of events." But lo and behold, that establishment seems to be back in power, and under the banner of "change" no less!

Let's see now. In addition to cheering the murderous terrorists of the KLA and their "independent state of Kosovo," Biden also called for a "Japanese-German style occupation" of Serbia. He is also said to have advocated that “all Serbs should be placed in Nazi-style concentration camps” back in 1999, during Senate debate on the NATO attack on then-Yugoslavia, and called the Serbs "...a bunch of illiterates, degenerates, baby killers, butchers and rapists" on CNN's Larry King Live.

Apparently, a Croatian friar has taken credit for guiding Biden to the "truth" about those wicked evil Serbs. Isn't that great, knowing that a foreign cleric can influence an American lawmaker so? Then again, his task wasn't hard. Being a Serbophobe - as opposed to, say, anti-Semite - has never been a career-killer in Washington. Quite the contrary.

Within the postmodern morality in which the American politics operates, there's absolutely nothing wrong with calling the Serbs "degenerates, baby killers, butchers and rapists," since they are an officially designated villain. The entire narrative of the American Empire rising to "liberate" the world from itself in the aftermath of the Cold War rests on the myth of Serbian Evil.

Biden could not get away with saying things like this about the Jews, or Americans of African origin, or Muslims. But Serbs are fair game. Everybody knows they are evil, right?

It seems that every possible group of people has some sort of agency in Washington, whether they have a grievance now or think they may have a grievance in the future and doesn't hurt to be prepared. The Serbs do not, even though they've been on the receiving end of American "benevolence" longer and harder than the Iraqis or the Afghans. This is why there is little or no response to Serbophobic drivel routinely spewed by politicians and lobbyists (and now the future Grand Vizier). This is why no one in the U.S. mainstream cared about Biden's comments, or how positively Hitlerian they sounded (not to mention having not even a passing acquaintance with the truth).

Now all we need is Dick Holbrooke back in the State Department, and as far as Washington is concerned, it will be 1999 all over again.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Failed God's Holiday

Today is Election Day in the United States, where subjects of the omnipotent imperial state get to indulge their self-delusion that their will, mystically transferred through the magic ballot box via a piece of paper (or a more modern digital device) gives a divine mandate to one of the candidates to become the absolute ruler of America and Emperor of the known world.

Of course, each election is the Most Important Election Ever, and each time the voting ritual is supposed to be of crucial importance for the fate of America and the world, and each time the people are told that if the "other guy" wins there will be an apocalypse, but if "our guy" is elected there would be heaven on Earth. And each time it's all a load of manure.

Emma Goldman was right; if elections could change anything, they'd be made illegal. What actually takes place today is a ritual of the dominant secular religion, wherein the masses give their overlords power by pretending to have a hand in choosing them. There is even a religious overtone to the campaign this year, as one of the candidates is painted almost as a Messiah coming to save America (and the world, let's not forget about the world - though it gets no say in the matter) from its present troubles.

If you are really looking to put a messiah into the White House, and you're a Christian, Muslim or a Jew, that makes you a blasphemer. Have fun with that. And that's the least of the problems I have with the self-anointed prophet of HopeChange. But I won't go into those now; this essay isn't about him - it's about the process in general.

Same goes for the other guy. If he's "conservative," there's nothing worth conserving. One's tempted to think the GOP frantically looked for anyone that wasn't Ron Paul. Now, Paul championed real change, and real conservative values - but he didn't want to be Emperor, and he wanted to cut off as much parasitic, bloodsucking scum from the government feed trough as possible. Good for the country, but bad for the political class; can't have that.

Don't delude yourselves. Whoever the high priests of democracy anoint Emperor today will keep breaking your leg and picking your pocket. He may just make it sound more pleasant. The strongest chains that bind a man are always in his own mind. It's a lesson governments all over have learned long ago.

As for me, even if I could vote today, I would not. Whatever happens in the coming months and years, don't blame me - I didn't encourage them.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Harping Has-Beens

What do Paddy Ashdown and Richard Holbrooke have in common? If you said "Serbophobia" that would be correct, though entirely too obvious. No, another thing they have in common is that Bosnia was the high point of their careers. Holbrooke had famously "negotiated" the peace agreement that ended the fighting in the 1992-1995 civil war (but not the war itself, which merely moved to the political sphere). Ashdown was the viceroy of Bosnia for three years, ruling the Balkans country like a personal fief.

After Bosnia, Holbrooke served for a while as the U.S. ambassador to the UN. He hoped to become Secretary of State in either the Gore or Kerry administration, but his hopes were foiled both times. He had gambled on Hillary Clinton, and lost. Though he still likes to pontificate in the U.S. press, Holbrooke is in effect a private citizen.

Ashdown was likewise spurned after his disastrous Bosnia reign. In what could be considered the ultimate humiliation for an aspiring colonial government, he was rejected out of hand by the Karzai regime as the proposed special envoy for Afghanistan. I'm not entirely sure what he's into these days, except that he's not involved with his former party, the Liberal Democrats. Since they got rid of Ashdown, they seem to be doing better than ever, by the way.

Now, Paddy has tried to raise a ruckus in the British media for several months now, claiming that the sky is falling in Bosnia and that the Empire needed to "do something" to stop the evil, genocidal Serbs hell-bent on destruction of that multi-ethnic paradise. After his first hysterical episode, back in July, Ian Banks demolished his argument and demonstrated that Ashdown was either clueless, or malicious. I'll say he's probably both.

Two days ago, Ashdown teamed up with Holbrooke, and once again they ranted, raved and railed against the evil Serbs threatening Bosnia, supposedly as proxies of the even eviler Russians, and "Europe" and the U.S. had to "do something" to stop it, or else. It's fact-free, Serbophobic, imperialistic rubbish, really, typical of those two.

Normally I would not give a flying rodent's posterior that two Serbophobic has-beens are polluting the press with their drivel. Most Balkans coverage is offal, really, and the latest Ashdown-Holbrooke oeuvre doesn't stand out in any way. However, their screed has resonated in the region and beyond; apparently, it was republished by the Muslim nationalist daily "Dnevni Avaz." At that point, it showed up on the radar of the local Reuters correspondent, so it made the wires. Somehow, in the process of quoting the opinions of two imperialist has-beens, they begin to sound like facts. Idiotic nonsense, such as the claim that Croats want a strong central government, or that Muslim leader Haris Silajdzic wants to "end ethnic division" (so that is how one spins "desires Muslim dominance" these days), was thus presented as self-evident truth.

The disturbing amount of attention and approval the Ashdown/Holbrooke philippic seems to have attracted suggests that the spirit of Empire is still alive and well in the West, even as the body of it is shrivels and dies from fatal financial disease. In truth, I would be a whole lot more alarmed if the Atlantic Empire and the EUSSR actually had the wherewithal to mess with Bosnia again, as they have done over the past twenty years or so. But it is no longer 1992, or 1995, or 2004. The Empire they helped create by lying through their teeth in and about Bosnia is finally collapsing under the weight other lies.

That isn't to say they can't try, if they come into positions of power once more. There's still a whole lot of potential for mischief in the Empire, and still entirely too many willing quislings in the Balkans who seem as oblivious to Empire's current condition as others were to the fate of the USSR in the early 1990s. Vigilance is definitely called for.

Still, I can't shake the impression that Dick and Paddy are just trying to bring back the good ol' days when they had their grubby little paws on the closest thing to absolute power any diplomat or politician had ever seen. I can certainly understand why they would want it back. But why should the rest of us give a damn?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Whose Order?

Commenting on a recent incident in Serbia, where several hooligans attacked a young lady at volleyball practice and broke her arms (!), a Serbian blogger called "Jane" doesn't buy the establishment explanation. It isn't the "traumas of the 1990s", she avers, but:

Could the problem be the current zeitgeist, recently adopted by just about everyone? The ethics promoted by the state and society today go something like this: Power is its own right. The only right is the right of the strong. The strong are always right - if they demand something, give it to them. Do not fight those stronger than you, no matter the cause or circumstance. Yesterday doesn't matter, tomorrow is far away, the only thing that matters is now. You want something, take it. Take it today.

How can we expect the youth of today to obey any sort of moral code, when the state itself rejects it altogether? Why should anyone want to submit to humiliation in a country that keeps being humiliated? Why not play by the state's rules? There are two players in that game: the strong, thuggish one that can take anything he wants with impunity; and the weak, pathetic, incompetent victim who accepts the beatings, approves of them, and continues to crave the companionship of the strong, no matter how hard the beatings get.

I could not agree more. When people see the state act this way, when they see the individuals who act this way become rich and powerful (even to the point of calling themselves "elite"), it is but a matter of time when the bulk of the people will start acting and thinking the same way. At some point, belief in the "law of the jungle" becomes necessary for survival. Because human nature demands some kind of order, some kind of rules, no matter how irrational.

Among other things, the demise of Yugoslavia was made possible by the collapse of the values that country was built on. Once upon a time, Tito was everything. But by the time Yugoslavia began to crumble, he'd been dead for a decade, and the promised Marxist utopia had failed to arrive. What came were the bills for debts previously incurred, higher by the day. Then came the demagogues, and with them a "new order" favoring those that did the taking and the killing.

The violence "Jane" was talking about isn't limited to Serbia. Croatian crime pages are filled with similar stories: beatings, murders, ambushes, suicides. Bosnia is no different, either. There once used to be a sort of honor among thieves (not much of one, for they were, after all, thieves), now even that is gone. Violence has become random, unthinking, animalistic. There is no order anymore. There are no rules. And the leading exponents of such behavior are the very people whose job description requires them to uphold the rules and protect order. Instead, they merrily destroy both - in order to eventually save the people from themselves, I guess, by establishing a new set of rules, a new order, better suited to their ends.

Or have they done so already?

Friday, October 10, 2008


In these dark times, just as I think the world can sink no further into depravity and decadence, something usually happens that proves me wrong.

Anyone who ever won the Nobel Peace Prize should feel revolted and disgusted that this year it was awarded to Martti Ahtisaari. Oh, supposedly the ex-president of Finland helped Namibia become independent, made peace in Aceh (hey, aren't they still fighting?) and mediated in Iraq (no comment), but we all know what really drove the awards committee: Ahtisaari's services to the Empire in first ensuring the NATO occupation of Kosovo in 1999, then engineering the "peace plan" that handed this Serbian province to Albanian terrorists in February this year.

The Nobel committee has made some questionable decisions in the past, but this is truly beyond the pale. What he did in Kosovo was not peacemaking, not in 1999 and certainly not in 2006-2008. He was a hatchet-man for NATO and the Atlantic Empire, a phony, a fraud. Even if he didn't receive kickbacks from the Albanian mafia (and those claims were never seriously investigated, but simply dismissed as "Serbian propaganda" - even though they originated from Germany and Finland!), he was still rotten to the core.

If this...thing can get the Nobel Peace Prize, then there is no such thing as peace, and the Nobel Prize is worthless.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Illyrian And Other Myths

Most Albanians today will tell you they are direct descendants of Illyrians, an ancient people that inhabited the Balkans in pre-Roman times. Rome conquered the peninsula early in the first century AD and it is universally assumed that the Illyrians became Romanized. As Goths, Alans, Huns, Magyars and Slavs passed through or settled in the Balkans in the two centuries following the fall of Rome, it was assumed the Illyrians vanished as a distinct population, merging into the overall gene pool of the Slavic settlers. Except, so it is claimed, in the rough country of today's Albania.

The Illyrian hypothesis was advanced by Franjo Rački (1828-1894). A Roman Catholic priest and politician, Rački "promoted the merging of Dalmatia with Croatia ruled by the ban, he wrote discussions about the Croatian nature of Srijem and Rijeka, but he spent most energy on analyzing the relationships between Croatia and Hungary, fighting against the Hungarian expansionism," says his Wikipedia entry.

(As a side note, few today question the "Croatness" of Dalmatia or Rijeka and Istria in general, but in the XIX century these were very much in dispute. Istria was claimed by Italy, as was a lot of Dalmatia, and the dialects spoken there even today sound nothing like the Slovenian-related speech of the region around Zagreb. For "Srijem", see Syrmia/Srem. The only time in history this area was a part of Croatia was 1941-1944.)

Rački also originated the "Bogomil hypothesis," claiming that the Christianity of medieval Bosnia was a heresy that originated in Bulgaria, and had nothing to do with Serbian Orthodoxy. Croat politicians have used this hypothesis to argue that the inhabitants of Bosnia are really apostate Catholics (and hence, Croats). Similarly, conventional wisdom among the Bosnian Muslims is that the "Bogomils" all converted to Islam and became the "Bosniaks" of today, while those who identify as Serbs and Croats are interlopers.

There's а gap in that theory one could drive a carrier battlegroup through: the Ottomans would have considered the so-called "Bogomils" just as Christian as the Orthodox and the Catholics. Therefore, as "people of the Book," they would have been permitted to keep their faith. There are other Christian churches in the East, once persecuted by the Byzantines, that survived under Islamic rule: e.g. Coptic, Maronite, Chaldaean. Yet there are no "Bogomils" in Bosnia. Zero, zip, zilch, nada, not a single one remaining. Bosnia must be the only Ottoman province in which a Christian church simply vanished like it never existed. Strange, is it not?

About a week or so ago, I read a short tidbit in a Bosnian newspaper about the shocking results of genetic research by a Swiss institute IGENEA, indicating that only 20% of Albanians has Illyrian DNA, while it was actually present in 40% or so of Bosnians!

As soon as I returned, I searched for any sign of independent confirmation. What I found suggests that the revelation came as a side effect of research done to settle the issue of Macedonians' (FYROM) genetic origin. Digging some more, I found the following post in the "Antic macedonians" thread of an IGENEA forum:

30% Illyrians
15% Phoenician
14% Hellene
18% Thracian
2% Viking
20% Slavs

30% Macedonian
10% Illyrian
15% Hellene
5% Phoenician
20% Germanic
5% Hun
15% Slavs

IGENEA spokeswoman Inma Pazos has made it clear several times that "our numbers in statistics are an average from more than 150 genetic studies published in Science, Nature or AJHG" and that they were not contacted by the journalist who wrote the story. She also appealed that politics should be kept out of the thread or it would be locked. Fat chance - 90% of the thread's content was in the form of "Hahaha, stupid [insert name of ethnic group here], you are wrong!", and that's putting it politely.

Also, this particular thread does not cite any figures about Bosnia at all - Pazos mentions only Bulgaria, Greece, Albania and Macedonia (FYROM). So I'm not sure where the whole "40% of Bosnians have Illyrian roots" came from. Also, the Illyrian percentage in Albania is listed as 30%, not 20% as cited in most articles.

I've thought for a while that it would be nice to do some genetic testing in the Balkans, on fairly large samples of the population, to put an end to a lot of baseless, politically driven speculation. Romantic nationalism was all the rage in the 19th century, with everyone trying to claim ancient origins. Sure, that was easy for the Germans, but all of a sudden people claimed they were Goths, Gauls, Illyrians...

In fact, the "Illyrian movement" was the name adopted by the Croatian activists of the early 1800s. But unlike these activists, who saw similarities between Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and even went so far as to argue that they shared a language, Rački's contemporary and fellow politician Ante Starčević advanced the idea of Croats as a distinct and superior volk in the late 1860s. This idea eventually triumphed; modern notions of Croatian identity are almost entirely in line with Starčević's work.

Would disproving Rački's theories right any of the numerous wrongs perpetrated by chauvinists who have subscribed to them? Unlikely. But it could at least prevent their further use as "historical" arguments, and that by itself is a step in the right direction. So, let's see some actual science at work - more DNA studies, more actual historiography and history - while the theories of Franjo Rački ought to be retired where they belong, alongside the Piltdown Man and the Ptolemaic theory.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Wild Frontier

The reason for my protracted absence is that I'm traveling, in places where reliable 'net connections are scarce.

Look for my return next week.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Dying Nations

Asia Times' columnist Spengler argues that championing the cause of Ukraine and Georgia is futile, for in less than 50 years Georgians and Ukrainians will be functionally extinct.

How now? Well, like many post-Communist societies, they aren't having babies. Spengler illustrates his point with UN statistics, showing a 40% or more population decrease projected for Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus.

Russia is facing a demographic challenge as well, but, Spengler notes, "[w]hether Russia survives or not, it still will be a power in 2050 when the Ukraine and Georgia will exist only as obscure PhD topics in linguistics."

He concludes:

I hope that Russia will become a liberal democracy resembling the United States and that it will dispense with men like Vladimir Putin in the future. For it to become a liberal democracy, however, first it must survive, and most Russians today believe that they must be led by hard men to survive. This is not only unpleasant, but tragic.

To influence Russia for the better would take subtlety, skill, as well as good faith; sadly, America has displayed none of these.

Subtlety? Skill? Good faith? An Empire needs not such things, right?

Friday, September 05, 2008

Discovering Jeff Huber

One thing I've been talking about a lot lately is that the Empire is all about perception management: it doesn't matter what happens in actuality, but how it's perceived by the media. If one believes this, then no wonder one can believe the Empire "creates" reality with its will, while the "reality-based community" merely studies perceptions. Talk about misunderstanding Plato...

But I'll spare you an essay about this - mostly because it's already been written by a gentleman (and former Navy officer) named Jeff Huber. I've only discovered him very recently, and only read a couple of articles, but what I have read made me want to read more. It's sharp, to the point, and funny in a very serious way.

How can you not like the guy who uses phrases like "wedding bombing policy" and metaphors like "irony clawing at its coffin lid"?

I look forward to reading more.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Strong and the Weak

In my column on today, I argue that:

It is difficult, perhaps even impossible, to communicate with someone so obsessed with managing the perceptions of reality that they've become incapable of recognizing reality altogether. In the Bizarro World of the Atlantic Empire, the bombing of Serbia was humanitarian, the invasion of Iraq was defensive, the occupation of Afghanistan was democratic, and the separation of Kosovo was legal – while the Russian intervention to neutralize the Georgian army and save the Ossetians from ethnic cleansing was "aggression" befitting Hitler or Stalin.

...[to Emperors current and potential] it doesn't actually matter what Russia does – whatever anyone but America (and its "allies") does is by definition evil.

One wonders if they quite understand this in Moscow. And what will happen once they do.

The best proof for my claim came from Daniel Fried, a high-ranking U.S. "diplomat" in charge of relations with Russia. Fried has fabricated reality before, in regard to Kosovo. Now he's at it again, telling today's Washington Post that "being angry and seeking revanchist victory" is a sign of a weak nation. Right, Russia is weak for slapping around an American client state that thought it could provoke it with impunity?

There's rich, there's utter nonsense, and then there's Daniel Fried.

Fried whitewashes a decade of abuse - pillaging of the country by American "transition" experts and domestic oligarchs; propping a corrupt Yeltsin regime; expanding NATO; sponsoring "democratic revolutions" in Georgia, Ukraine and Belarus (failed); even trying to organize a quisling opposition in Russia itself ("Other Russia") - as an effort to "encourage Russia's integration with the wider world." He says "This is a good thing. It was the right set of policies." Tens of millions of Russians beg to differ.

In the words of the WaPo reporter, "Fried said the administration is determined to prevent Russia from claiming a new sphere of influence in the Caucasus." Right, because Russia has no right to influence anywhere, especially not on its borders. But the U.S. can invade countries halfway across the world, because the U.S. "sphere of influence" is the world. Does he seriously think anyone outside the NATOsphere will buy this nonsense? Do his bosses?

This sort of drivel is proof positive that Washington simply doesn't get it. The U.S. didn't "win" the Cold War so much as the USSR lost it. In 1991, there was a golden opportunity to actually walk the walk, to show the world that "freedom" and "democracy" weren't just a guise for the latest round of power politics. Instead, people like Fried, Albright and Holbrooke got drunk on power and decided to rule the world. Their Bushean successors went a step further and declared it was their divine right to do so.

They may all still believe every lie they've told their nation (and themselves), but there are facts that no amount of wishful thinking can change. It isn't Russia that's in trouble, it's the United States.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Collision Course

So, Russia has decided to recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as expected. Also as expected, the Empire is screaming bloody murder, threatening to use its veto in the UN, calling it "unacceptable" and claiming it's illegal.

Except neither Washington, nor London, nor Moscow, nor the OSCE gave a damn six months ago, when they created the "Independent state of Kosova." Was that illegal? Damn right it was. Was it a direct violation of Serbia's sovereignty, explicitly guaranteed by the UN, the Helsinki Final Act and just about any other law? Sure was. And yet the self-proclaimed "international community" simply bypassed the UN, ignored Russian objections (and those of some 150-odd countries) and declared occupied Kosovo to be a "special case" and "unique." Because they thought they could.

More than anything, the reaction from the West over Georgia reveals the utter hypocrisy and complete moral bankruptcy of the self-appointed rulers of humanity. To them, there are no absolutes except their own will. Sovereignty, democracy, legitimacy, legality - they all mean whatever they declare them to mean, subject to revision at their whim. We thought the Communists were bad, but they at least recognized their limits. For the Empire, there are no limits. Until they run up against reality, anyway.

Just because they keep telling themselves and the rest of the world that there is no wall there won't make it hurt any less when they smash into it face-first.

But wait, what about the Russians? Aren't they hypocrites for supporting the integrity of Serbia, but dismembering Georgia, just because one country is their ally, and the other is a client of the U.S.?

Actually, Serbia isn't a Russian ally at all. It's got more formal ties with NATO and the EU than with Russia. And the quisling Serbian government is certainly more inclined to Brussels and Washington than to Moscow.

That aside, I don't think Russia's policy is hypocritical, no. Georgia never actually controlled Abkhazia and Ossetia (since declaring independence), and clearly violated the 1992 armistice it pledged to uphold, and which Russia was a guarantor of. If Georgian actions in Ossetia before the Russian counterstrike don't qualify as "severe violations of human rights," I don't know what does. And shall we note that Georgian authorities never really bothered to invoke international law in their efforts to seize those territories? They simply assumed that military conquest - with the full backing of the Empire - was law enough. Sort of like what the Empire did in Kosovo, actually.

Now, if Moscow tries to argue that its recognition of Abkhazia and Ossetia is legitimate because the Empire carved out Kosovo from Serbia, thus implicitly recognizing that act, then yes, I would consider it a cheap trick.

Keep in mind, though, that most Kosovo comparisons are coming from the West, and that Russians are generally staying clear of them. Russians aren't using Kosovo as an argument/excuse for intervening in Georgia; they are using it to point out that the West has no moral right to protest their intervention. That argument doesn't have much traction in the West not because it's false, but because the Empire doesn't recognize the notion of objective truth. If "we" did it, it must be right. If "they" do it, it's clearly evil. It's impossible to reason with that sort of "logic."

Then again, one doesn't have to. That wall is getting very close now, and the impact of face on hard surface seems imminent.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A view from Poland

Ignacy Nowopolski, editor of Polska Panorama, sent a comment the other day asking me to publish one of his essays here.

Now, as a general rule, I don't run "guest essays." I do post translations if I think they are relevant to the Anglophone audience, and I do on occasion quote other authors, sometimes extensively. But I publish things that reflect my own views and understanding of the world, and when I quote something it's either to criticize it ruthlessly or express my agreement.

I've read Mr. Nowopolski's piece, and it doesn't quite fit either category. But it is thought-provoking, and it comes from an interesting angle: He argues for a "Centroslavia" as a way to thwart both Russian, German/EU and American hegemony (not to mention safeguard the people of these countries from Islamic conquest).

Read it, and make up your own mind. Either way, I thank Mr. Nowopolski for reaching out. The internet is truly a wonderful thing.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

None of the Above

I haven't written a whole lot about the upcoming elections for the Emperor, partly because I believe their outcome won't matter a whole lot (I'll explain in a minute) and partly because the candidates don't inspire optimism.

What, say you? How can I doubt St. Barack of the Change? Easily. Does he have a foreign policy team full of rabid imperialists from the Clinton era? He does. Is his running mate an obnoxious Senator from Delaware in love with the sound of his own voice, who was also an enthusiastic supporter of Clinton the Emperor? Check. What "change" exactly are we talking about?

I don't particularly care about John "KLA" McCain either, given that he'll be the Nero to Bush the Lesser's Caligula.

So, what did I mean about the insignificance of the election?

Look, the Empire is failing. It should be intuitively obvious to even the most casual observer. The crumbling economy, the increasingly worthless currency based on nothing, the much-touted military bogged down in wars it cannot win, the "diplomacy" gone berserk, the sheer stupidity of public officials (examples are too many; just open your local paper and laugh)... what more evidence do you want? I just hope the loss of Empire doesn't translate into America's self-destruction, but that's up to Americans themselves. Me, not being one, am going to politely stand aside and let them sort it out. Kind of like what they should have done with hundreds of other disputes throughout the world, instead of intervening and making them worse.

History isn't over. There is no such thing as Pax Americana. There was a historical chance in 1991 to make the world a little bit better; instead, the imperialists wanted power. Well, they got power. And they lost it - as it usually happens. So sometime in January next year, either Mad Mac or Barry Change will find themselves in charge of a bankrupt country with a Potemkin military, facing a very angry and resentful rest of the world. Good luck there.

To those who still think their participation in a meaningless ritual this November will make a difference, I'll only say: the only real choice is "None of the Above." Which is why you aren't allowed to make it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Can you handle the truth?

Well, can you? Or are you happy to listen to the insipid drivel served to you by the mass media on government orders? If you want to believe that Saddam Hussein was involved with 9/11, that there were WMDs in Iraq, that there was a genocide in Kosovo, and that Russia was the aggressor in Georgia... why the hell are you here, reading this blog?

But if you are here, and you've been reading, you know that fighting the lies is a full-time job. I do it in my spare time, as much as I can. These guys do it 24/7/365.

Now sure, I write a column for the site. Been doing so for almost eight years now. I do it because I believe in truth, justice and liberty. If you do as well, vote with your wallet and help out today. It's the best choice you will make this year.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Whose Demise?

The Washington Post can always be counted on to provide all the necessary calories in a balanced Russophobe's diet; nothing coming from this paper concerning Russia (or Serbia, for that matter, which WaPo sees as "Russia Lite") should come as a surprise by now.

Life is full of surprises, though. Consider today's op-ed by one Eugene Rumer, "senior fellow at National Defense University's Institute for National Strategic Studies." It is a most curious essay. Rumer argues that the very signs of Russia's power and strength are in fact proof it's heading for a collapse!

Sure, the West needs Russia to "feed our oil addiction, to help us cut a deal with Iran and to go on buying our currency to keep its value from sliding further." He himself claims that "Moscow may have more billionaires than other European capitals," while its GDP has "increased from $200 billion in 1999 to $1.2 trillion in 2007. Moscow has more money from oil and gas exports than it knows what to do with." But then he turns around and says that none of this is relevant, because the Soviet Union looked powerful in 1979, and now it's no more.

"...who is to say that Russia's victory in Georgia will not lead to another disaster in a few years?" he asks.

Allow me. As Rumer himself points out, Russia has more money than ever. He doesn't say that it's got almost no government debt (unlike the U.S., which is choking on hundreds of trillions, and showing no sign of stopping). Russian economy is not only far different from its Soviet days, it's also more free than those of Europe or the U.S. (see John Laughland's income tax rate comparison for just one example). The life expectancy of Russians, bad as it is now, is already increasing as medical care ruined by Communism and Yeltsin-era pillaging improves. And while the demographic decline of the Russian nation is regrettable, is that really worse than the demographic trend in the West of displacement by Third World immigration?

So, let's leave Rumer's fantasies of a world in which "North Caucasus break[s] out of Moscow's grip" and "the Far East turn[s] into a Chinese colony" to hack writers of chauvinist technoporn where they rightfully belong. If Rumer thinks Russia is in trouble, what should he say about a country that is worse than broke, short of oil and gas, has already outsourced its industry, its only growth is government, and it can't defeat any enemies, even as it exponentially generates them around the globe?

Both he and WaPo ought to be concerned with America's hard landing. But projecting one's own fears and prejudice onto a manufactured enemy is much more fun. While it lasts.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Oh Please!

Carl Bildt, ex-viceroy of Bosnia and currently the Swedish FM, writes on his blog that the Georgian affair is "about principles fundamental to the peace and stability of all of Europe."

He also claims that the war was provoked by the Ossetians, that Russia is engaged in a "large-scale aggressive action" and that "no state has the right to unilaterally intervene military in another state with the pretext of protecting its citizens."

Let's start from that last one. Ever heard of the United States of America?

Moving along, then. One has to be either stupid or harbor malicious intent to call the Russian action "aggressive" when it was clearly a response to the Georgian attack on South Ossetia. Russia is a guarantor of the truce that froze the conflict in the early 1990s when Ossetia and Abkhazia seceded from Tbilisi; as such, it certainly had the right and one might even argue duty to intervene when the truce was violated by, say, the Georgian army invading Ossetia wholesale.

Of course, Tbilisi claims that Ossetians attacked first. Just like Poland. Why would the Ossetians provoke the war? They had de facto independence, Russian citizenship, and could wait the Georgians out pretty much indefinitely. One could argue that it would be in Russia's long-term interest to remove an American client regime from Tbilisi, but why now? And remember, it is Washington, and not Moscow, that's been going around the world installing puppet governments.

Even if he were right on any of his points - and he is not - Bildt was a participant in the dismemberment of Yugoslavia, the Bosnian protectorate, and the occupation of Kosovo. That means he's got no credibility to talk about principles or international law, or peace, or stability. None.

But his sort of "analysis" is the one you'll find common in the West: Evil Russia manipulates, provokes, attacks, threatens. Yeah, right.

It's called projection. Look it up.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Second Time As Farce

I planned to post a semi-humorous piece about the Olympics, given as how they started today. Even had the perfect setup for it, with this Reuters piece about three Brit athletes who posed in the buff to promote a beverage.

But the Emperor's Georgian proxies just had to start a war.

Reading the wire dispatches (like this one here, or here), I can't help but be transported back to August 1995.

After four years of buildup, with the overt involvement of Washington, the Croatian government launched a massive military operation against the Serb-populated areas that seceded from it in 1991. Attacked from all sides, outnumbered and outgunned, the Serbs were wiped out. The government in Belgrade, supposed to be the guarantor of the truce, stood by and did absolutely nothing. Many Serbians actually groused about "those damned refugees" ruining their summer vacations. Having thus "reintegrated" the territories it claimed, sans the population, Croatia has been celebrating the largest single act of ethnic cleansing in the Balkans as "Homeland Thanksgiving Day" ever since.

But what does any of this have to do with the homeland of Stalin? Maybe everything. The regime of Michael Saakashvili is an American client, much more so than Franjo Tudjman's ever was. Saakashvili himself spent a long time in the US, and was installed in power by a US-organized "Rose revolution" in 2003 (using the same template that was tested in 2000 in Serbia and later applied in Ukraine).

Here's the trouble: two regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, refuse to be ruled by Tbilisi. Their inhabitants are not ethnic Georgians. Russian troops have been stationed in both regions. Saakashvili's regime views this as "Russian aggression" - but of course, the Abkhaz and the Ossetians see the Russians as the only thing between them and the kind of "reintegration" that Croats imposed on the Krajina Serbs in 1995.

Saakashvili may think what worked for Franjo Tudjman in 1995 could work for him. After all, he serves the same master. Speculation by Reuters suggests that the regime in Tbilisi is hoping to "reintegrate" Abkhazia before the Russians respond. Except that Dmitry Medvedev is not Slobodan Milosevic, and Russia of 2008 is not Serbia of 1995.

Reuters now quotes Saakashvili begging for American help:

"This was a very blunt Russian aggression. ... We are right now suffering because we want to be free and we want to be a multiethnic democracy," Saakashvili said in the interview.

Saakashvili, whose country is pushing to join NATO, said the conflict "is not about Georgia anymore. It's about America, its values."

"I ... thought that America stands up for those freedom-loving nations and supports them. That's what America is all about. That's why we look with hope at every American," the U.S.-educated president said.

(emphasis added)


Thursday, August 07, 2008

"Just like in Bosnia"

Just the other day I quoted Brendan O'Neill about how the hysterical Imperial propaganda about Bosnia fueled the jihad. Today I present the following video as an exhibit.

Egyptian preacher Amr Khaled's argument is simple. There are 20-30 million Muslims in Europe, and they are having babies. Europeans are not. So Muslims will become a majority "within 20 years". In order to prevent this (natural and desirable, by implication) course of events, the evil, ignorant infidels of Europe are out to "provoke" the Muslims, so they could have a pretext for ethnically cleansing them.

" they had in Bosnia."

See the video:

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

More Myths from the NY Times

"Hero to Some, Butcher to Others" is how New York Times' Dan Bilefsky describes Gen. Ratko Mladic. Good versus evil, black-and-white, typical for coverage of Bosnia (and the Balkans in general).

Here is just an example of the banality of journalistic evil:

On May 2, 1992, one month after the Bosnian Republic‘s declaration of independence, Mr. Mladic’s forces blockaded Sarajevo. They shelled the city and destroyed its mosques.

More than 10,000 people died in Sarajevo during the siege, including about 1,500 children. Thousands of Serbs also died in the Bosnian conflict.

The numbers given here are about as reliable as the "250,000 dead" canard repeated for so many years. The mosque claim is patently false. The part about Serbs shelling Sarajevo leaves out the part where Muslims shot up the Serb parts of the city. Honestly, the biggest surprise for me is the admission that "thousands of Serbs also died" in the war. That's more than the mainstream media ever dared admit before. Even so, it's an afterthought, and presented in passive voice, as if no one actually killed (or beheaded, burned, impaled or mutilated) those Serbs.

Bilefsky's "understanding" of Yugoslavia's collapse is equally facile:

When Slobodan Milosevic played on Serbian grievances to win control of Yugoslavia in the late 1980s, he also appealed to army officers, indoctrinated to maintain the old Yugoslav federation, that they had to act to prevent its dissolution.

Uh, what? Milosevic did not "win control" of Yugoslavia, he became president of one of its republics. And since when is teaching army officers to defend their country "indoctrination"?! To Bilefsky, a 45-year-old country may be "old," but I bet he would not describe the United States as "old federation" in an article about the misnamed Civil War, now would he? And the U.S. was 74 or 85 years old at the time, depending on whether we count from 1776 or 1787 (when the Constitution was adopted). Finally, wasn't Yugoslavia, in fact, disintegrating? And wasn't the army's job to, you know, prevent that?

Here's another sample of Bilefsky's turgid prose:

" Yugoslavia began to disintegrate in 1991, Mr. Mladic was ready to do his part in the schemes devised by Mr. Milosevic in the name of protecting and assuring the dominance of the Serbs, the largest ethnic group."

What "schemes" are these, precisely? And what "dominance"? If being derided as "bourgeois oppressors", divided between four republics, having several new "nations" (like "Montenegrins") carved out of them and being the only component of the federation sub-partitioned with autonomous provinces (Vojvodina and Kosovo, the latter being under Albanian domination for decades) qualifies as "dominance", I'd hate to see what subjugation would look like.

But the reason I decided to even bother writing about this is that Bilefsky included a juicy quote about Mladic hating "the West, Albanian nationalism, and Muslims" from "Seki Radoncic, a leading Bosnian investigative journalist."

Now that's just laugh-out-loud funny. Go Google "Seki Radoncic." He wrote a screenplay for a 2006 movie, a book about Muslims in Montenegro, and another book or two about police in Montenegro. The propaganda outfit IWPR describes him as "investigative journalist from Montenegro currently living in Bosnia." Stipulating he is, in fact, an investigative journalist (as opposed to, say, a tabloid muckraker - and those are a dime a dozen over there), he's not "Bosnian" and all, and much less "leading."

The biggest media empire in Bosnia is owned by one Fahrudin Radoncic. He is also a Montenegrin Muslim - or, as the Bosnian Muslims call them derisively, Sandzaklija - who rose from obscurity as the propaganda chief for the Izetbegovic regime. What are the odds that Seki and Fahrudin are related, and that this is the secret of Seki's success?

Either way, that Bilefsky quotes Radoncic as a "leading Bosnian investigative journalist" suggests that he's being fed "information" by the other Radoncic. Thus the New York Times becomes an outlet for Radoncic's Avaz, a government-subsidized daily blending tabloid journalism with vitriolic propaganda. Not that this is by any means hard.

Maybe the NYT should re-hire Jayson Blair. That way we'd get testimonies from "Srebrenica genocide" survivors, leading experts on Balkans politics, and even secret supporters of Ratko Mladic, all without the author ever leaving his New York cubicle. Saves the expense of a plane ticket, and is just about as credible, or truthful.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Turning Point

Legendary Soviet dissident and exile, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, died on August 3 in Moscow. He was 89.

Solzhenitsyn is best known for his Nobel Prize-winning "Gulag Archipelago," a three-volume novel/testimony about the Soviet prison camps. He spent eight years in the camps, a decade in internal exile, and 20 years of exile in the West, 1974-1994.

I would like to quote a portion of an interview he gave to the German magazine Der Spiegel, in July 2007; asked about the difficulties in relations between the West and modern Russia, he replied:

"I can name many reasons, but the most interesting ones are psychological, i.e. the clash of illusory hopes against reality. This happened both in Russia and in West. 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. This was especially painful in the case of Ukraine, a country whose closeness to Russia is defined by literally millions of family ties among our peoples, relatives living on different sides of the national border. At one fell stroke, these families could be torn apart by a new dividing line, the border of a military bloc.

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.

At the same time the West was enjoying its victory after the exhausting Cold War, and observing the 15-year-long anarchy under Gorbachev and Yeltsin. In this context it was easy to get accustomed to the idea that Russia had become almost a Third World country and would remain so forever. When Russia started to regain some of its strength as an economy and as a state, the West’s reaction - perhaps a subconscious one, based on erstwhile fears - was panic. (emphasis added)

Another shock to the Russians came when the Yeltsin government fell for NATO's bluff in June 1999 and betrayed Belgrade. Russian generals bypassed the Kremlin to try and salvage the shameful "peace" (which NATO interpreted as surrender, and acted accordingly), but their gambit ultimately failed when Washington was able to prevent additional troops and material from being flown in.

But by subjugating Serbia, the Empire "lost" Russia. Just six months later, Yeltsin was out, and Vladimir Putin was in. A strange coincidence? Solzhenitsyn did not seem to think so. He knew both Russia and the West all too well. I tend to believe him.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Unholy Alliance

After some struggling and contemplation, I wrapped up last week's column for with the following passage:

There is something disturbing about how Karadzic's arrest is being cheered by slimy Eurocrats, Imperial interventionists and frenzied jihadists alike. Either he actually is a paragon of evil – which, assertions and allegations notwithstanding, there is little evidence for – or the three most destructive forces in the world today can agree on somebody (or a whole nation of somebodies, rather) they all love to hate.

Around that time, Mick Hume was writing for Spiked about how Western imperialists manufactured the myth of Bosnia (and Serbs as the "new Nazis") to give itself purpose and meaning.

It appears Brendan O'Neill, Hume's colleague at Spiked, had a similar thought to mine - and chose to put it together with Hume's thesis, producing a fascinating essay. "Bosnia, Hysteria Politics, and the Roots of International Terrorism" was published yesterday on, and is a great read.

Essentially, O'Neill points out that the Empire and the jihadists worked together during the Bosnian War, both seeking a new purpose in a changed world, and finding a shared enemy in the Serbs. Their relationship was almost symbiotic: mujahedeen would be Empire's proxies on the ground, fighting the war, while the Empire recruited fighters for the jihad by making outlandish propaganda claims about "genocide", "rape camps" and Muslim suffering.

Concludes O'Neill:

There is nothing so bitter as a conflict between former allies. We should remind ourselves that much of today's bloody moral posturing between Western interventionists and Islamic militants – which has caused so much destruction around the world – springs from the hysterical politics of "good and evil" that was created during the Bosnian war. No doubt Karadzic has a great deal to answer for. But the West/East, liberal/Mujahideen demonization of Karadzic and the Serbs, and through it the rehabilitation of both Western militarism and Islamic radicalism, has also done a great deal to destabilize international affairs and destroy entire communities.

Read the entire article. It will open your eyes. That is, if you don't have them wide shut already...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Officially, Radovan Karadzic was arrested on Monday, July 21. Except there are multiple reports indicating the arrest actually took place on Friday, July 18. Furthermore, Serbian police was specifically said not to have taken place in the arrest. So, who did actually arrest Karadzic? The Tadic government isn't telling.

Now, Serbian law doesn't recognize habeas corpus, but I'm pretty sure one's not supposed to be subject to arrest by someone other than police, or held for several days before being brought before a judge. But hey, he's a "war criminal," right? Who cares? Not like he's a mujahedin fighting to "stay home," or he'd get sympathy from the West...

Now, Serbian constitution does not allow for extradition of citizens - except to the Inquisition. Currently, Serbian authorities are refusing to extradite Miladin Kovacevic to the United States. Kovacevic is accused to severely beating another college student in a bar fight in upstate New York. So, illegal rendition of former presidents, generals and government officials to a self-appointed, illegitimate quasi-court is perfectly all right, but extraditing someone who almost killed someone else in a bar fight? Oh no, can't do that...

Wait, illegal rendition?!


See, to have a proper extradition, you have to at least have an extradition hearing. There are all these judicial procedures. Neither Slobodan Milosevic (who was arrested on completely different charges - and never prosecuted! - before being rendered to the Inquisition) nor Radovan Karadzic ever got a hearing in court. They were simply packed into a van, then into a helicopter, and shipped off to a foreign country, where their chances of getting a fair trial are less than zero.

(If you're arguing that the ICTY has actually acquitted people - like Ramush Haradinaj or Naser Oric, think again. Those people they could acquit without bringing their own existence into question. Acquitting a Serb leader? No way. Without the alleged Serb "joint criminal enterprise", the whole Tribunal is pointless.)

Under Serbian law, Karadzic also had the right to appeal his arrest. His lawyer said he had mailed the appeal on Friday. Somehow, the all-efficient (ha!) Serbian Postal Service said on Monday that no such appeal has been mailed. So, as thousands of people demonstrated in downtown Belgrade, under the truncheons of riot police, Karadzic was packed off into a police van and shipped out of the country.

Now, Imperial satrap Boris the False and his followers love to talk about the Tribunal as "Serbia's international obligation." They are always big on obligations, somehow forgetting their job isn't to fulfill foreigners' demands, but to protect Serbian interests. And that would include, one supposes, upholding the law, from the Constitution on down. Of course, as that would require actually defending Kosovo, giving people they arrest a fair hearing, or not sending riot police to beat up people they don't like, it's too much of a hassle. They'd rather democratically democratize democracy the entire democratic day.

What happened to Karadzic is merely a symptom of a sycophantic, collaborationist regime gone mad. There hasn't been law in Serbia for a very long time. Since 1944, some say (or rather, 1941). Even the "evil Milosevic" still paid lip service to law, however. That's more than his "democratic" successors have done since 2000, embracing rather the all-trumping "convenience." The true purpose of the law, however, was never to bind criminals (they disobey it by definition), but to constrain the government from abusing the innocent-until-proven-guilty. So much for that, then.

For the second time after the October 2000 coup, the government, the media, and the "non-governmental sector" are all under firm control of the same (foreign) interests. The first time was during the martial law in the spring of 2003. Now the boot is treading a bit more softly, but it is still the same boot. And it is still stomping on the human face, forever.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Combo #2, with extra cheese

While I'm pretty sure the BBC employs a political (correctness) commissar, it definitely does not employ fact-checkers. I know, I know, big surprise. But if they did, they would avoid such whoppers as:

"Mr Karadzic declared independence for Bosnian Serbs in 1991..."

Huh? The "Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina" (later renamed just Serb Republic, Republika Srpska) was established in January 1992, following an illegal decision by Muslim and Croat delegates to hold a referendum on "Bosnian" independence. Isn't it great how the BBC puts the cart before the horse?

Oh, but it gets better. Ever since Izetbegovic adopted the name "Bosniak" for people who were previously known as Muslims (in Izetbegovic's youth they were "Croats of Islamic faith," and in the days of his grandfather, "Turks"), foreign journalists have been thoroughly confused.

What's the difference between "Bosnian" and "Bosniak"? To them, none - they've used both terms interchangeably since the war. And hey, if the reporters can't tell the difference, and most of their audience can't tell Bosnia from Botswana, no wonder the ploy to establish Bosnia as the homeland of "Bosniaks" (with Serbs and Croats as vile interlopers) seems to have succeeded.

So what is one to think of this line, used by BBC to describe what Karadzic is wanted for:

He has been indicted for crimes against humanity and genocide over the massacre of up to 8,000 mainly-Muslim Bosniaks at Srebrenica in 1995. (emphasis added)

What in the name of Political Correctness is "mainly-Muslim"? Is that like "a little bit British" or maybe "somewhat-American"?

So, let's see... I'll have a Serbophobia Special, extra cheese. Ultra-size it, BBC, and don't worry about the facts. Not like your audience gives a damn.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Self-righteous phonies

Day three of the propaganda orgy following the arrest of Radovan Karadzic saw the publication of Roger Cohen's diatribe in the International Herald Tribune. It wasn't about Karadzic, or Bosnia, but mostly about Roger Cohen.

Look at this turgid prose: "sharp burst of Serbian violence that opened the war and 'cleansed' wide swathes of the country of non-Serbs, many processed through murderous concentration camps. Pits of bones form the bitter harvest of this genocidal Serbian season."

Oh Roger, not even the authors of the "concentration camp" hoax bother to repeat it any more. But no, there you go, ranting about "pits of bones" and "genocidal Serbian season."

He writes about the "stubbornness of love" he learned from an actor who lost his legs; of "fierceness of moral clarity" he learned from a "beautiful" Muslim woman who saw the world in black and white (with her, of course, as white); and the "quietness of courage" from a Muslim paraplegic who insisted he would always be morally better than the Serb who shot him. All these people exist to teach one Roger Cohen how to be an "advocacy journalist," eschewing objectivity for the sake of passionate reporting "from the heart" and being a "single dissenting voice."

Uh, excuse me? Roger Cohen was never a single, dissenting voice, but rather a part of a thundering chorus of career and aspiring journalists, scribblers, stringers, has-been and wannabe celebrities and various others who saw the tragedy of Bosnia as a way to wealth and fame.

So, what did Roger Cohen do to help Nermin Tulic after his injury? Did he perhaps organize a fundraiser to buy him a powered wheelchair? Or did he note how the Muslim authorities in Sarajevo almost kicked Tulic out on the street? No, because he doesn't really care about Nermin Tulic, unless he can use him to make a point.

How do I know about Tulic? Easy. He was my neighbor, barely a block away. I am from Sarajevo, born and raised. My family has lived in the city for generations. I was there during the war, too. Unlike Roger Cohen, I wasn't there as a tourist or adventurer. While he made fame for himself by peddling propaganda for the "Bosniak cause" I would starve and freeze and dodge bullets. And I would remember things.

I remember seeing Muslim artillery dug in around a playground - only to later hear of children who had played there getting killed after Serb guns returned fire. No one reported that.

I saw the Muslim authorities stealing 3/4 of people's food rations, and warehouses filled with aid from the world over that were set aside for black markets (controlled by the government) and the use of government officials, who dined on roasted lamb while the besieged citizens were starving. No one reported that.

I sat in meetings between Muslim officials and UN officers discussing utility repairs, and heard Muslims refuse to open water and gas valves to their own people as that would look bad on CNN. Roger Cohen didn't report that either. None of his colleagues ever did. And they knew damn well about all of this.

So forgive me if I have little respect for Roger Cohen and his colleagues, who dwell on their self-righteousness against "ethnic cleansing" and "genocide" but who really treat the people who suffered in the war as nothing more than props. They declare themselves the conscience of the world, and then manufacture a twisted reality in which murderers, thieves, terrorists and liars are idolized as "fathers of the nation" or "defenders of multicultural democracy." They talk about justice, but then provide alibis for mass murderers. They can't sleep when they think about Bosnia? Could it be that what's left of their conscience won't let them, because some part of them still knows the sheer wrongness of what they have done?

I don't know. But this kind of sanctimonious bullshit from Roger Cohen and other presstitutes who profited on our pain makes me sick. And sure I hope they all meet the kind of justice they proclaim to believe in.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Having to argue the obvious

The orgy of lies that started on Tuesday with the news of Radovan Karadzic's arrest shows no sign of winding down. In fact, it is getting worse, with every Tom, Dick and Harry who's ever made a deposit into the Bank of Collective Serbian Guilt elbowing into the limelight to get his two minutes of hate in.

So normal has it become to hate the Serbs that no one is asking the obvious questions one would expect in this situation: what's all that fuss really about, for example, or whatever happened to the presumption of innocence?

Fortunately, over at the Brussels Journal, two writers do precisely that.

Michael Huntsman takes to task "the likes of Lord Ashdown, Richard Holbrooke, David Miliband and a raft of others" who "all speak of Karadzic as if he had already been tried and convicted. The little matter of holding a trial concerns them not."

Though Karadzic's arrest is welcome, he claims, "not least because it brings the ending of the ICTY's mandate that much closer," it "surely is disgraceful that public figures should thus pronounce him guilty" before he's even been extradited. Huntsman concludes:

I have no idea if Mr. Karadzic is guilty or not. We shall only know that when he has had his trial and his appeals have been exhausted. Then we can say with precision what he did and to whom. That can only be achieved after the holding of a fair trial at which he is able to challenge through counsel the assertions of those who have already pronounced him guilty. Until then the likes of Lord Ashdown ought to keep their own counsel, he not the least because he may yet be a witness at Karadzic's trial. His impartiality and objectivity are now most certainly utterly compromised.

At first I was somewhat annoyed at what seemed to me naive idealism. Ashdown's impartiality and objectivity compromised? I've known this ever since his days as the Bosnian Viceroy. Trials by public opinion? Old news, even before the show trial of Slobodan Milosevic. And the notion that Karadzic will get anything even tangentially approaching a fair trial from a "court" that is specifically designed to preclude that possibility may sound laughable.

But then I realized that I may know all this, but the general public is probably quite oblivious. And that arguments such as Huntsman's need to be made, precisely because no one else seems to challenge the Inquisition or the likes of Ashdown, Holbrooke and others. Things like fairness and justice ought to be virtues - something that I sometimes forget when slogging through the swamp of lies, where there is no virtue, only power.

Another excellent contribution at TBJ is John Laughland's essay, "The Plight of the Bosnian Serbs." Again, it seems obvious - but everyone except Laughland (and Srdja Trifkovic, earlier in the week) has been too busy calling for Serb blood to even wonder. Laughland makes the argument the Serbs themselves have been too intimidated to make, one that years of demonization in the West have managed to prevent from being heard.

Laughland takes issue with the perception of the war - reinforced this week by thousands of reports, commentaries and essays - that the Serbs were the "aggressors" who committed genocide against innocent Muslim victims:

Even if one accepts that crimes against humanity were committed during the Balkan wars, it should be obvious that both these claims are absurd.

The Serbs were as much of an aggressor as Abraham Lincoln, he argues (note that I disagree here; Lincoln actually was an aggressor...). The accusation of aggression was deliberately made to condemnt the Bosnian Serb war effort as such, "(in terms of ius ad bellum) independently of any condemnation for the way the war was fought (ius in bello)." Laughland counters:

In fact, the Bosnian Serb war effort was no more or less legitimate than the Bosnian Muslim war effort. The Muslims wanted to secede from Yugoslavia (and were egged on to do this by the Americans and the Europeans) while the Bosnian Serbs wanted to stay in Yugoslavia. It was as simple as that.

He further illustrates that the Muslims "cheated" by deciding on an independence referendum in the absence of Serb legislators, and that Muslim behavior gave the Serbs "excellent grounds for believing that the Bosnian Muslim secession was quite simply a coup d’état":

In any case, once the Muslims had seized power in Sarajevo, the Bosnian Serbs sought not to conquer the whole republic but instead simply to fight for the secession of their territories from Muslim control. Of course atrocities were committed against civilians during this period, especially ethnic cleansing. But the same phenomenon is observed, I believe, and by definition, in every single war in which a new state is created... If the Muslims had the right unilaterally to secede from Yugoslavia, why should the Bosnian Serbs not have had the right unilaterally to secede from the new state of Bosnia-Herzegovina which had never before existed and a state, and to which the Bosnian Serbs had no loyalty whatever?

Laughland also takes issue with the charge of "genocide." But rather than focus on the number of those killed (Muslims claim 8,000, Serbs say much fewer), or the fact that Srebrenica was not a demilitarized "safe haven" but a base of operations for an entire division of the Bosnian Muslim army, he argues against it on principle:

What is clear is that the Srebrenica massacre cannot possibly be described as genocide. Even the most ardent pro-Muslim propagandists agree that the victims of the massacre there were all men. The Bosnian Serbs claim that they were combatants (although that is certainly not an excuse for killing them) but the point is that an army bent on genocide would precisely not have singled out men for execution but would have killed women too. The Srebrenica massacre may well have been a crime against humanity but it is impossible to see how it can be categorised as genocide.

Yet, he says, "there is a very clear political reason why" it has been. In his remarks following the capture of Karadzic, the current leader of Bosnian Muslims, Haris Silajdzic, argued that the whole Bosnian Serb Republic was based on genocide and aggression. Says Laughland:

The clear implication of what he was saying was this: if the very existence of the Bosnian Serb republic... is found, in a court of law, to have been had as its president a man, Karadzic, who is convicted of genocide in the process of creating it, then its status would be illegitimate and it should be abolished. The Muslims continue to claim control over the whole of the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, while the Serbs merely want the preservation of their considerable autonomy within it. (emphasis added)

And there you have it, in a nutshell. Serbs never denied the Muslims their right to a state - they did, however, deny the Muslims the "right" to dominate them by separating Bosnia from the rest of Yugoslavia and disenfranchising its Croat and Serb population. Muslims countered by accusing the Serbs of "aggression" and "genocide" - neither of which makes any sense, but both of which have been accepted as fact by the West.

Laughland will inevitably be condemned as a "Serb apologist" by the legions of actual Muslim apologists, men and women and creatures who have accumulated money, power and fame on the myth of Serbian aggression and genocide, persuading the gullible world that things that were patently untrue were the actual truth. That Laughland is one of the few in the West to even dare make the argument he made, or that no Serb leaders seems to have the courage to argue likewise, is a sad testament to the state of the world today, run by the peddlers of myths abut Bosnia.