Friday, June 28, 2013

A Covenant, Not a Defeat

It is an accepted fact today that the Serbs lost the Battle of Kosovo in 1389. From folk poetry to smarmy pundits, everyone knows and agrees that the Turks and their vassals annihilated the army of Prince Lazar and conquered Serbia. Likewise, everyone knows and accepts that ever since, that Vidovdan, the date of the battle - June 28 (June 15 in the Julian calendar) - has been cursed, a day of tragedy for the Serbs.

Well, as with so many other things, everyone who "knows" this is wrong.

Battle of Kosovo
Just the other day, one of Serbia's quisling triumvirate quipped that this would be the "first victorious Vidovdan ever" - referring to the anticipated treat from Brussels in return for Serbia's ongoing debasement. Not surprisingly, there was no treat; just another promise of one, as usual. But how depraved, how divorced from one's own history and culture, must one be to make such a preposterous claim?

Would Serbia's enemies have repeatedly chosen Vidovdan for their symbolic acts of insult or injury, had this been a day of defeat? It was the date on which the Obrenović prince signed a secret treaty subjugating Serbia to Austria in 1881, and on which Archduke Franz Ferdinand visited the Serb-majority province of Bosnia, occupied in 1878 and annexed in 1908.

On that date in 1948, the Soviet Union chose to break off relations with Tito's Yugoslavia - which, ironically, was about as anti-Serb as a country could get. It was also the date on which Franjo Tuđman's regime in Croatia disenfranchised that republic's Serbs, in 1990, firmly embracing the path of Pavelić. And it was the date, that the quisling regime of Zoran Đinđić in Belgrade picked in 2001 for its illegal rendition of Slobodan Milošević to the Hague Inquisition.

The purpose, every time, was to break the Serbs' spirit. Yet were they successful? Ask Austria-Hungary, or the Soviet Union. Croatia did fulfill Pavelić's dream, but doesn't seem any happier for it. And Milošević never broke, even if many of his countrymen did.

Part of the reason for the confusion about Vidovdan is the myth - or rather, the epic poetry that served as the oral history of the Serbs during the dark ages of Turkish "vibrant cultural enrichment" (1459-1804). Historians ought to know better than to take epic poetry at face value. Take, for example, the songs of Prince Marko - son of King Vukašin - who after the death of his father in 1371 became a Turkish vassal. He certainly wasn't a "fearless and powerful protector of the weak, who fought against injustice and confronted the Turks", yet he is remembered as such in Serb and even Bulgar folklore.

So when the bards sing of "Tsar Lazar" choosing the Kingdom of Heaven and setting out to die, they aren't being literal about it. This is the story of Christ, played out by the princes of Serbdom. There is even a Judas, in the figure of Vuk Branković (though history suggests this analogy isn't entirely fair). That the slandered captain Obilić proves his worth by slaying the Turkish sultan is a particular Serbian twist. Nonetheless, it is very important that the poem concludes: "all was holy, all was honorable, and fitting in the eyes of God."

However difficult this may be for a modern secular humanist to understand, Lazar did not forsake his family, people and land for some insane dream of personal glory. Quite the opposite. He went to battle against a mighty Turkish host secure in the knowledge that whatever happens, win or lose, his sacrifice would seal a covenant between the Serbs and God, and thus preserve his people forever. And so it did.

No one can contest the fact that Kosovo was the first and last time a Turkish sultan was killed in battle. Or that it took another 70 years for the Turks to finally conquer the last of Serbia. Or that the Serbs continued to resist, revolt and raid the Turkish-held lands from borderlands claimed by Venice, Hungary and Austria, even as their ancient heartlands were depopulated, despoiled and delivered to Turks, their clients, or converts. Or that the Serbian Uprising of 1804 began a century of struggle that would eventually see all Balkans Christians freed, and the Turks almost driven out of Europe.  None of this would have happened without the gallantry of Lazar and his knights on that day in 1389.

Those who look upon that battle as a defeat are missing the point. They are seduced by the promise of "all the kingdoms of this world, and the glory of them" (Matthew, 4:8) - a promise Lazar rejected. Mindful of their covenant, most Serbs continue to reject that false promise even today. For though it comes from the mouths of Imperial ambassadors and commissars from Brussels, its source is still the same.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

When I heard of the death of Marc Rich the other day, I shrugged it off. Just another Clinton crony, time catches up to us all, etc. But as Steve Sailer notes, Rich was one of the key players in the great Rape of Russia in the 1990s.

Between "business partners" like Rich and "reformers" like Jeffrey Sachs, the former Soviet Union was flayed to the bone, with billions in profits accruing to Western banks and in the hands of hand-picked oligarchs like Boris Berezovsky. In the mainstream Western press, this was (wrongly) referred to as "free market." Perhaps this explains why Americans can't recognize socialism even as it's punching them in the face.

Then came 1999, and NATO's bombing of then-Yugoslavia. It was a wake-up call for Russians: they realized they were being had, changed leadership, and purged the Yeltsin kleptocracy from power.

But just as few in early 1991 could have imagined the USSR disappearing, even fewer in 1999 envisioned a resurgent Russia and the crumbling American Imperium.

Perhaps there is a lesson here. Something about things not staying a certain way forever, especially if they are built on lies and deceit. I doubt the Riches and Clintons and Yeltsins of the world would pay it any heed - but the rest of us might.

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Game of Robes

Sometime last week, a letter by a Danish judge at the "International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia" (ICTY, aka the Hague Inquisition) was leaked to the media. In the letter, Frederik Harhoff complained about heavy-handed American influence at the Tribunal, and went on to suggest that American and Israeli (?!) officials were trying to influence certain trials so as to protect themselves from future prosecution.

That the ICTY has been little more than a tool of the Empire has been obvious for years. Harhoff's letter and wikileaked cables only confirm it. The Inquisition indicts, tries and convicts - or releases - only those the Empire has fingered. Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic were charged with war crimes when Washington wanted them cut out of the peace talks in 1995. Slobodan Milosevic was charged at the point when NATO's air war had stalled and needed a legitimacy boost. Proceedings against Vojislav Seselj have dragged on for a decade now, on spurious charges of "hate speech", because removing him from Serbian politics served the needs of Empire's puppet government.

And while the trials of any and all Serb officials sought to criminalize the Serbs' existence (let alone the cause and conduct of the war), the trial of Croatian generals released on appeal was a farce. Admittedly, not a very competent one - the Tribunal could have tried to legitimize both itself and the Croatian narrative of the war without playing fast and loose with the doctrine of "joint criminal enterprise" - but one gets the impression the ICTY is a sinecure for second-rate jurists in the same way the "peace missions" in Bosnia and occupied Kosovo have provided jobs for otherwise unemployable Eurocrats and Washington backbenchers. (Exceptions such as Prisca Nyambe of Zambia only prove the rule.)

Not surprisingly, it was Harhoff's conspiracy theory about the U.S. and Israel that attracted the most media attention. Few actually dare question the Imperial narrative of the Yugoslav Wars that the ICTY has helped establish. According to the Danish jurist, the acquittals of Croatian generals and Serbian security chiefs were supposed to weaken the doctrine of command responsibility, because it could land U.S. and Israeli leaders in hot water somewhere down the line.

Erm, no.

The conviction and release of the Croatian generals was a simple ICTY farce, one seen before in the case of Naser Oric and later Ramush Haradinaj. The indictment and conviction are supposed to create the impression the ICTY is a real, impartial, legitimate court of law - which is then followed by a release on appeal. Of actual law and justice, there is nary a trace.

Furthermore, as a fellow blogger pointed out, the ICTY has a habit of prosecuting only the alleged crimes against the designated victim groups. Hence, Serbs and (Bosnian) Croats get the (ICTY-written) book thrown at them for killing (Bosnian) Muslims, the few KLA are punished only for killing fellow Albanians, while no one ever gets punished for killing Serbs.

As for the recently acquitted Serbs, both Gen. Perisic and security chief Stanisic (and presumably his underling, Simatovic) actually worked for the CIA. Perisic had been an asset since 1997, and was caught red-handed in 2002; during his trial, Stanisic had confessed to working with the CIA since 1992. And since at this point Washington is convinced that Serbia has been conquered and irreversibly broken, releasing used-up assets instead of throwing them under the proverbial bus was probably judged to serve imperial purposes better.

What has any of this to do with American or Israeli officials covering their behinds? Nothing. Precisely. Neither the ICTY, nor its more permanent successor, the ICC, have any jurisdiction over Americans - the Empire has made sure it remains above the law, even as it uses it as a truncheon to break any resistance to its designs. The Imperial establishment not only doesn't fear prosecution, the thought of ever being taken to account for their deeds - abroad or at home - hardly ever crosses their minds. I've said as much in an interview for RT's Truth Seeker, airing tonight.

Israel similarly refused to submit to ICC jurisdiction - and moreover, has zero interaction with the ICTY.  So why did Harhoff mention it at all? Perhaps, as one Russian commentator noted (link in Serbian), because Harhoff's "leak" was a deliberate ploy in an internal Inquisition conflict: though in the past the leadership of the Tribunal rotated between America and the EU, the Empire now seeks to re-appoint Theodor Meron (American and Jewish) out of turn, in order to retain control. If this is true, it explains Harhoff's seemingly baffling conspiracy theory: dragging Israel into the mix is aimed at discrediting Meron personally. Sounds like something Littlefinger would do.
Aren't you glad that the Hague Inquisition is such an altruistic, professional, law-abiding and justice-seeking institution, completely devoid of the taint of politics?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Stella Jatras, RIP

Stella Jatras reposed in the Lord on Saturday, June 15.

For the past two decades, even as many Serbs stayed silent in the face of a bigoted campaign of lies and libel - or worse, joined in the persecution of their own, hoping to gain favor with the persecutors - Stella and her family took a courageous stand for truth and justice, never wavering, never losing faith.

Stella was quite literally a daughter of Sparta - and her father's name was Leonidas, no less. As Julia Gorin noted, she was Sparta, truly worthy of that heroic heritage. Axia!

Knowing her was a honor and privilege. With her passing, Serbs and Greeks lose a great advocate on Earth, but gain one in Heaven.

May the Lord give her peace, and her memory be eternal.

Friday, June 14, 2013

There They Go Again

Just two days ago, Leon Hadar wondered if Samantha Power's appointment to the UN meant war in Syria.

Sure enough, the Emperor announced today that the Empire would intervene in Syria, because the government had (allegedly) used chemical weapons against the rebels, thus crossing Washington's arbitrary "red line."

This presumably has nothing to do with the Assad government winning the war, or Obama being taunted by Bill Clinton. Or the IRS and NSA scandals. Nothing to see here, move along. Right?

According to the mainstream media, Washington is considering "arming the rebels" and establishing a "no-fly zone." Except there has already been a massive gunrunning effort, via Croatia and Jordan, earlier this year.

Furthermore, after Libya, the odds of the "no-fly zone" back door to intervention getting through the UN are zero. Can the Empire bypass the UN, the way it did 14 years ago, when it occupied Kosovo? The Washington establishment, trapped in perpetual 1999, may think so; but Syria has learned the lessons of Serbia (even if Serbia hasn't), and Russia - which has a naval presence in Syria and friendly relations with Damascus - is extremely unlikely to stand idly by.

Then there is the question of who exactly would intervene, and where from. The Empire's bases in Iraq are on the wrong side of a massive desert, and at the tail end of a vulnerable supply line. Turkey is a bit preoccupied with internal problems at the moment; its military is yet untried in open battle with a conventional enemy, while its top brass have been purged over the past decade for opposing Islamization.

That leaves what, Israel? Invading Syria on behalf of a jihadist insurgency? Really?

Washington is reusing the Balkans playbook again: atrocity porn, inflated death tolls, smuggling weapons, no-fly zones... expect claims of mass rape and genocide to follow soon. Not because those might actually be happening, but because they are needed to bolster the narrative of the Imperial White Knight riding to the rescue of "Syrian people" (i.e. the jihadist rebel clients of Washington).

Will Syria be the place where this outlandish narrative will run into the reality wall? We'll find out soon enough.