Issue No. 231 - July 20, 2001

          By Stojan Obradovic

2. Bosnia and Herzegovina: HUNT IS CLOSING IN
         By Radenko Udovicic

         An Interview with Noam Chomsky
         By Darko Cekerovski

4. Special addition: NEW AT TOL

     By Stojan Obradovic
     Monday night Croatian parliament decided, with great majority,
to support the wide coalition government led by the head of the
Socialdemocrat Party (SDP) Ivica Racan, thus acknowledging its
decision to cooperate with the Hague Tribunal and extradite two
Croatian generals - Ante Gotovina and Rahim Ademi who were
indicted for war crimes committed during the past war in the
    First indictments for war crimes addressed to Croatia have
caused a big political crisis because not only did the
nationalistic opposition stand up against it, but also main
Racan's coalition partner, head of the Croatian Social-Liberal
Party Drazen Budisa who demanded rejection of Hague demands.
However, Budisa's attitude caused bigger split in his party than
in government so that as an outcome Budisa, left alone by his
party colleagues, resigned from his presidential position in the
party and prime minister Racan got much larger support in the
parliament than expected.
    But despite Croatian government coming out of the crisis
stronger than before and evading early elections, deep, even
dangerous divisions in Croatian politics remain and the processes
of destabilization haven't passed. It proved really immature to
ask the government any other decision than cooperation with The
Hague Court. However, cooperation with The Hague and extradition
of generals will put Croatia into many more difficult tests.
    Explaining why the government didn't have any choice, Racan
confirmed that any other decision would have led into sanctions
and isolation, adding that the international community had
already warned the government. He repeated that this extradition
meant a crucial challenge to Croatia - whether it would integrate
into Europe or whether it would be pushed into Balkan dark and mud
because of a silent majority and aggressive minority. He openly
told associations of war veterans, organized by extremist parts of
opposition political parties that have been threatening with the
eruption of chaos, if the extradition occurred that their
demonstrations could be start of disaster and that Croatian
political reputation could hardly survive it. The only way to
evade this disaster scenario is to accept indictments and demands
of the ICTY and then try to challenge them in the court and defend
Croatian national interests.
    And the fight in court will be difficult because the issue is
not only possible individual war crimes committed by the generals
but because accused are also many elements of Croatian policy
during the Homeland War.
    Briefing Croatian parliament with letter of criticism he
addressed to the main Hague prosecutor Carla del Ponte upon
receiving indictments, Prime Minister Ivica Racan had to admit
that in some parts of indictments the character of Homeland War
was brought into question meaning that a shadow of crime was at
least partly cast on that war.
    Although he rejected insinuations that Croatia was charged
with aggression, genocide or ethnic cleansing, his admitting that
he opposed elements charging accused generals of "planning,
inciting and in other ways committing crimes of persecution,
deportation under force and evacuations of Serbian people from
Croatia, partly during the liberating military operation Storm"
clearly shows that not only generals but also Croatian policy will
have to testify in Hague about many unpleasant and difficult facts
of their last war with the unknown outcome.
    Racan added to these key elements of the indictments the usual
talk that Croatian Serbs had moved out according to their plan
immediately after the beginning of the Storm according to orders of
their leaders although asked to stay, that the chain of crime in
the region had been started by Milosevic and his people, that
cooperation with the ICTY will defend Homeland War and establish
the truth, etc. However, it is clear that the truth will be much
more complicated than the one average Croatian citizens got used
    Although legitimacy of the military operation Storm in 1995
which finally broke the Serbian rebellion after five years is not
an issue even for ICTY, that operation has become unpleasant
witness that goal of Croatian policy wasn't just the liberation
of Croatian territory. Hundreds of murdered civilians, mostly old
people that didn't join mass Serbian exile (150,000 - 200,000
people) after the end of the military operation will be hard to
explain in terms of uncontrolled outbursts and revenge of
frustrated individuals who had themselves experienced war
tragedies and inerasable traumas. Extent and characteristics of
the crimes that happened after Storm have only one name for many
- ethnic cleansing, and that is not possible without support of
the politics.
    And the ICTY is following that lead, and it is still uncertain
where it will come to. Therefore, it is not just an issue of
defense of the national pride and generals who have been claimed
to defend their homeland. Anti-Hague hysteria in Croatia is partly
result of fear and panic of what else can Hague investigation
uncover, including live and active officials.
    And the investigation is now only dealing with Croatia. What
will happen when it tackles Croatian military actions in Bosnia?
That's why it seems realistic to suppose that indicted generals
are not, as many in Croatia wish, end of the Hague investigation
into dirty part of war in Croatia but more like the beginning.

                          * * *

Bosnia and Herzegovina: HUNT IS CLOSING IN
     By Radenko Udovicic
    Actions undertaken by Serbian authorities in order to
extradite Slobodan Milosevic to the Hague Tribunal have caused a
huge pressure on the government in the Serb Republic to give up
first indicted for war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Radovan Karadzic
and general Ratko Mladic. However, there are several elements which
render this extradition very complicated. First, Milosevic was
arrested earlier and delivered to the Hague from his jail cell in
Belgrade, while Karadzic and Mladic have been hiding from public
for years. And, as much as it may seem incredible, there are few
who know where they are really hiding. It is supposed that their
secret hideouts are somewhere in the mountains of eastern Bosnia
and that they are contacted only by some of their closest
associates, and most of them haven't been in any government for
    Some information claim that Ratko Mladic was sighted in
Belgrade several times, but that has been explicitly turned down
as untrue by Serbian authorities so that the news always had a
kind of speculation in it. On the other hand, nobody has seen
Karadzic anywhere, at least publicly. But, what is certain is that
he is surrounded by his bodyguards armed to teeth, and many of
them are seasoned war veterans. Of course, their job is mostly
based on money, not patriotism. According to the last information
given by the intelligence of the international military forces in
Bosnia (SFOR), Karadzic's security numbers 80 people, 20 are
constantly with him, while remaining 60 are circulated. One
shouldn't wonder why SFOR, nevertheless constant demands from
the Hague Tribunal to arrest them, never implemented the arrest
because there would probably be many causalities in the fighting
with the paramilitary forces.
    However, several days ago some Montenegrin media published the
information claiming that SAS elite soldiers from Great Britain
tried to arrest Radovan Karadzic in his hideout somewhere near the
border between Bosnia and Montenegro. According to newspapers
"Dan", the action failed with 10 British soldiers killed in
action. This information was immediately rejected by the SFOR HQs
in Sarajevo, which called it only a try to raise newspapers'
circulation. However, only a day later, London-based Observer
confirmed , citing well-informed military sources in London, that
there had been an arrest attempt on indicted war criminal
Karadzic, but that the action was called off because two British
soldiers were wounded. The only difference between the two
articles is the number of causalities. However, main SFOR
headquarters remained stubborn in their denial of knowledge about
the arrest attempt.
    Although one shouldn't rule out that SFOR special forces
really tried to arrest Karadzic, much more probable is that there
is an ongoing campaign to prepare people in Bosnia for such
action. There are many Serbs in the Serb Republic who still think
of Karadzic as war leader who successfully opposed Moslems and
Croats. Karadzic was gifted with eloquence and charisma which
helped him to persuade the majority of Serbs in the righteousness
of his nationalistic policy. That's why his arrest could cause
huge displeasure among people, especially in the eastern part of
the country where he is probably hiding, with many followers there
still loyal to him. But, after extradition of Slobodan Milosevic,
there have been some significant preparations for Karadzic's
extradition. That's why spreading story about Karadzic's
extradition to Hague and alleged actions of the international
forces creates feeling among people that his extradition is an
inevitable process.
    But, together with possibility of the international military
kidnapping of indicted war criminals, even politicians in Serb
Republic, under great pressure from both Belgrade and the
international community, are considering ways to find and
extradite the accused. For more than three years the highest
institutions of the Serb Republic do not negate the ICTY. However,
cooperation with the court has mostly been passive and consisted
of tolerance of political authorities but also army and police
during arrests of individual Serbs indicted for war crimes. There
have been about ten such arrests, all carried out with limited
force and without any casualties on SFOR side. However, except for
Momcilo Krajisnik, a close associate of Karadzic and post-war
member of Bosnian presidency, all arrested so far are only small
fish. That's why the pressure on government of Serb Republic
quintupled, especially after Milosevic's extradition, to do
everything in its power to help arrest Mladic and Karadzic. The
main ICTY prosecutor Carla del Ponte even said that she would
appreciate if authorities tried to find out their hideouts, because
then they could be arrested with joint action of SFOR and the
    Serb Republic prime minister Mladen Ivanic has recently
launched a bill in order to regulate cooperation of Serb Republic
and Hague Tribunal, as well as the most sensitive issue -
extradition. Similar to Yugoslavia, Serb Republic cannot extradite
its citizens to foreign courts, such as the ICTY. Ivanic's intention
is to pass the bill and then try to do something on the arrests,
either alone or in cooperation with the international community.
Estimates say that there are 25 more people accused of war crimes
hiding in the territory of the Serb Republic, excluding Karadzic and
Mladic. However, many think that Ivanic's bill and draft of Law on
cooperation with the International Tribunal means just buying time.
The bill has only been sent to the Serb Republic parliament and one
can expect that this institution, where majority is enjoyed by the
former Karadzic's party SDS; will drag on for months before adopting
it. Mladen Ivanic has already said that government will not act on
its own, like it was done in Belgrade, before parliament passed the
bill. However, he added that such turn of events would probably lead
to the crisis of the government which will be completely blocked among
the international community because of the lack of will to cooperate
with the Hague. The main Tribunal prosecutor, del Ponte said to this
that local legislation cannot condition cooperation with the Hague and
that every country (although Serb Republic technically isn't one) has
to fulfill its obligations towards this international institution.
    But, nevertheless, one might say that there are more and more
people in the Serb Republic who fell that indicted war criminals
must be brought to trial. There is an increasing public opinion
that collective guilt can only be removed from the Serbian people
with the individualization of the crime and arrests of those
responsible for it. Such feelings were manifested during Bosniak
memorial of the tragedy of the town of Srebrenica, considered to
be the gravest crime in Europe after WWII. In the town of Potocari
near Srebrenica, a cornerstone for memorial center for murdered
Bosniaks in Srebrenica was placed on July 11. On that day in
1995 Serbian forces captured the town and then killed almost
10,000 people while 30,000 were removed from their homes. Remains
of the murdered, that haven't been all found so far, will be
collectively buried in the memorial center.
    Several thousand people attended the ceremony. They were
mostly surviving folks from Srebrenica. The cornerstone was
discovered by five women who had lost their husbands and three
sons each in the tragedy. Ceremony passed without politicians'
speeches and in mostly religious atmosphere. Religious leader Reis
Mustafa Ceric said before the Moslem prayer that until one people
gathered force to face its crimes, it would have to carry the
burden of collective guilt.
    But, differently from past years, this time the understanding
for Bosniak commemoration of the crime came from the Serb Republic.
Srebrenica mayor Desnica Radivojevic who was in Sarajevo for
commemoration said that «executors must be punished, it is our
debt towards the victims and condition for peaceful coexistence».
Manifestation was dignified and completely peaceful. However, a
certain tolerance of the government towards memorials of the
crime is encouraging, but is not enough. Events two months ago
when incited mob in Banja Luka and Trebinje prevented
reconstruction of the mosques has shown that extremist forces are
still strong and that they can draw upon many young and violent
people. That is why it is important to eliminate the leaders of
that evil from the Serb Republic. It would deal a blow to the
current nationalist because they would become aware that their
idols aren't untouchable.
      In overview of political sentiment in Serb Republic;
parties of prime minister Ivanic, former prime minister Milorad
Dodik and the party of Biljana Plavsic, former president of Serb
Republic who voluntarily turned into Hague, are in favor  of
extradition of Karadzic and Mladic. However, those parties have
only 48 per cent in the SR parliament. Of course, parliament
majority isn't crucial because the international community has
exceptional authorities in Bosnia and is able to support certain
political forces even if they formed only a small minority. On the
other hand, this percentage should be viewed as encouragement,
because only a couple of months ago no party was ready to publicly
say it was in favor of extradition of Karadzic and Mladic to the
Hague. It is obvious that circumstances are changing throughout
south-eastern Europe. It is therefore  logical to expect that
sentiment to send indicted war criminals to Holland will grow. It
is also influenced by the fact that the Tribunal also charged two
Croatian generals with war crimes which was very welcomed in Serb
Republic where many Serbs who fled from Croatia live. In a
poll by Serbian television, one could hear pleasure of exiled
Serbs who claimed that generals Gotovina and Ademi ordered, even
committed the crimes of murder and forceful removal of Serbs from
Krajina. When asked do also Serbian accused war criminals need to
be sent to Hague, positive responses were given.
      It is clear that the hunt around the two indicted criminals
is closing in. What is the most important is that Serbian people
in Bosnia are increasingly convinced that appearance of Karadzic
and Mladic is something that cannot be evaded. Perhaps arrest will
not be made by Serbian police as was in the case of Milosevic, but
Serbian authorities will probably support possible action of the
international community. In reality, hunt for Karadzic and Mladic
began to close in on October 5 last year when Milosevic was
removed from his office.

                          *  *  *

     An Interview with Noam Chomsky
     By Darko Cekerovski
    Noam Chomsky is one of the leading world intellectuals.
Professor of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology in USA, Chomsky is a harsh critic of
American world policy, but also of many political illusions of the
so-called "free world".
    While many think that without influence and involvement of
American policy (and military force) no world crisis can be
solved, Chomsky makes many critical remarks on the way so-called
international politics headed by USA try to solve problems. He
gave this interview having in mind current situation in Macedonia.
    Q. Mr. Chomsky, the international community claimed that KLA
is demilitarized. The war has moved to Macedonia while Kosovo was
under the international protection, and KFOR is not protecting the
border between Macedonia and Yugoslavia from Kosovo side. The
buffer zone in south Serbia, a few days ago was the main haven of
the Albanian extremists in the region they used for continuous
attacks on Serbian targets and in the north of Macedonia. Who is
responsible of that?
    A. To begin with, we should recognize that the term "the
international community" belongs to the domain of propaganda, not
fact.  The NATO powers modestly describe themselves as "the
international community"; those who do not follow the US lead with
sufficient enthusiasm are excluded from "the international
community," including NATO members who show reluctance.  The NATO
bombing of Serbia was, therefore, conducted in the name of "the
international community," even though most of the world opposed
it, in many cases quite strongly. "The so-called `right' of
humanitarian intervention" was sharply condemned, with this case
in mind, in the Declaration of the South Summit in April 2000; the
signatories are governments accounting for 80% of the world's
population.  The Declaration also strongly condemned the forms of
"globalization" imposed by Western power.  Accordingly, the
Declaration, a very important statement of heads of state, was
effectively barred from the US media (to my knowledge, E e was the
same).  On Western "humanitarian intervention" and the economic
programs imposed by Western power, the signatories are not part of
"the international community."
    The same is true generally, and the historical antecedents are
obvious enough.  A century ago, the Concert of Europe,
representing the self-designated "civilized countries,"
constituted "the international community." It is unnecessary to
comment on their form of "civilization" and its effects on others.
The world has changed since, but not in these respects.
    Turning to your question, "the international community" in the
case at hand is, in effect, the United States, along with its
British ally (in many respects a client state).  Their attitude
towards the KLA has varied depending on their immediate purposes.
Through most of 1998, the US bitterly condemned the KLA as a
"terrorist" organization.  By early 1999, the US was coming to
regard the KLA as a useful ally for the planned bombing of Serbia,
and they shifted from dangerous terrorists to courageous freedom
fighters.  After the bombing ended, the KLA had outlived its
usefulness and there were some (limited) moves to disarm it.  As
Serbia moved into the US orbit, US relations with the KLA cooled
further, and by now it is losing its aura and its NLA offshoot are
"armed thugs" and criminals, returning to their 1998 status.
    NATO diplomats now inform us that "the Albanians betrayed our
trust" and have been "a big disappointment." In translation, they
did not subordinate themselves to NATO plans as hoped.  NATO has
therefore cooperated with Serbia to expel them from southern
regions, and is strongly opposed to their actions in Macedonia,
which is regarded as a suitably reliable US client.
    The basic point was made clearly by Daniel Serwer, Balkans
analyst at the US Institute for Peace in Washington (readers of
Orwell will be properly warned by the name of the Institute).  He
observed that the KLA-NLA believe that in Macedonia they are doing
what they did in Kosovo, but "it is completely different.  In
Kosovo, the United States came to see the KLA as its ground
force," fighting a US enemy.  In Macedonia, "where we support the
government, the guerrillas are a pain in the neck." NATO Secretary
General Lord Robertson was an enthusiastic supporter of the
bombing of Serbia and of the KLA freedom fighters in early 1999,
though his own judgment was that until then they were responsible
for most of the atrocities in Kosovo, and Western documentation
makes it quite clear that nothing substantial changed afterwards
in that respect.  Now Robertson condemns them bitterly and informs
the world that "NATO will not collude in the slicing up of
[Macedonia] on ethnic lines that would blueprint for disaster." In
contrast, it colluded with the slicing up of  Serbia on ethnic
lines, including the post-bombing ethnic cleansing of
non-Albanians (Serbs, Roma, and others).
    The criterion is simple: does the country, or organization,
accept US goals: for the Balkans?  That is, does it accept
integration into the Western-dominated international economy on
the proper neoliberal terms: allowing foreign investors to take
over the economy, offering cheap labor and resources, and so on?
If so, it will be defended against "armed thugs"; if not, it will
be bombed with the aid of "freedom fighters." In both cases,
Western humanitarians will solemnly explain that their leaders are
acting out of profound dedication to "principles and values," thus
fulfilling the historic task of respectable intellectuals.
"History" is presented with a different cast, but remember who are
its custodians.
    I believe that KFOR is committed to preventing Albanian
operations from Kosovo, but not at the risk of casualties.
    Q. Does the eruption of fighting in Macedonia underscore the
bankruptcy of Washington policy?
    A. It reveals the partial failure of policy, but not its
"bankruptcy." The task undertaken by the self-designated
"international community" is not an easy one.  Macedonia must
remain subordinated to the Western-dominated international order,
now joined by Serbia.  Kosovo must receive some kind of autonomy
but not be permitted self-determination, because of the spill-over
effects.  For the same reason, pressures for a "greater Albania"
must be halted.  Albania and Kosovo must also become well-behaved
clients.  Bosnia must be preserved, and if nationalist governments
are elected by the three parties, the choice of voters will have
to be overridden by the Western proconsuls.  The US must retain
predominant influence, but the unpleasant work must be assigned as
much as possible to Europeans (raising conflicts between the US
and Germany, also France, which have somewhat different
intentions).  These are not easy goals to attain, but failure to
achieve them completely cannot properly be called "bankruptcy."
    Q. Does the Bush administration have consistent politics of
the Balkans and what are the differences between the views of
general Colin Powell and Mr. Donald Rumsfeld?
    A. The Bush administration is working out its tactics
pragmatically, as its predecessors did.  The overarching goals
have not changed, as far as we know.  The tactics are somewhat
different.  I would be cautious about looking for internal
conflicts.  Doubtless there are some, but they take many forms,
and part of the appearance of conflict is a public relations
exercise -- what in American slang is called the "good cop, bad
cop" routine in police interrogations.  We should be careful not
to succumb to the temptations of "Kreminology" -- seeking to draw
deep conclusions from inspection of who is standing next to Stalin
in a Kremlin photograph, and so on.
    Q. Professionals from USA (MPRI), or more specifically, a
group of retired military veterans and officers, have consulted
Macedonia that it is not necessary to purchase weapons, to have
military garrisons in the western part of the country where
Albanian majority lives. Those same people have trained the
Macedonian forces, and have done so in Croatia, Chechnya, Bosnia
and Kosovo. This is a professional private agency, but wherever it
has shown up, there is a crisis. Who are the people that the State
Department stays behind?
    A. I do not know the details in this specific case, but in
general MPRI is pretty much an agency of the US government, and I
would be surprised if this case is an exception.  If they were to
act in conflict with US goals, they would be quickly forced out.
The fact that they have trained forces of all kinds simply
reflects Washington's shifting tactical choices.  After all, the
CIA trained Osama Ben Laden and a whole array of Islamic
fundamentalists in Afghanistan.  Now Washington regards the
beneficiaries of its aid and training as the world's most
dangerous terrorists.  It is known as "the law of unintended
    Q. The political leaders of the Albanians in Macedonia claim
that the war in Macedonia has not been imported from Kosovo and
that it is waged by ethnic Albanians from Macedonia, who fight for
their rights. The prime minister wants to declare state of war,
for which the majority of the political parties and European
diplomats claim that would lead to disastrous civil war. On the
other hand, there are quotidian battles in which extremists are
killed as well as members of the Macedonian security forces. The
West calls for political dialogue, but supports Macedonia's
decision that there would not be any negotiations with the
terrorists. Where is the end of this?
    A. That is never predictable.  It depends on the choices made
by the various actors, including the Western overseers, but in
this case, primarily the regional ones.
    Q. The Albanian mafia is perhaps the most organized one in the
world with the most brutal rules of the game. Selling weapons,
trafficking people and drugs, as well as the donations (forceful
or voluntary) from the Albanians abroad have contributed to the
financial convenience of the extremists. Why the European
governments and US don't take more strict measures to prevent
these criminal activities and refuse to put the finger on them?
    A. This is quite conventional practice.  It has nothing
particular to do with the Balkans.  Take Manuel Noriega in Panama,
for example.  For years he was a murderous killer and
narcotrafficker  and was strongly supported by the US, including
the Secretary of State George Shultz, considered the "moderate"
of the Reagan administration, who flew to Panama to praise
Washington's favorite gangster as a model of democracy after he
had "won" an utterly fraudulent election..  The reason was that
he was supporting the US attack against Nicaragua and other US
violence and repression in the region.  By the mid-1980s he was
becoming disobedient, and shortly after the US invaded Panama,
he was kidnapped, and sent to prison in the US.  Self-righteous
commentary succeeded in overlooking the fact that the crimes
for which he was sentenced were mostly committed when he was
on the CIA payroll. Or consider a far worse criminal, Saddam
Hussein.  As long as he was serving Western interests he was a
friend ally.  The US and Britain (among others) provided him
with extensive aid, including dual-use technology that could be
converted to development of weapons of mass destruction.  True,
he was gassing tens of thousands of Kurds, torturing dissidents,
and compiling one of the worst human rights records in the world.
But that was of little interest.  In August 1990 he made a
mistake: he disobeyed (or perhaps misunderstood) orders, and
instantly became "the Beast of Baghdad," a new Hitler.  British
and US leaders and intellectuals passionately proclaim that he
must be destroyed because of his awesome crimes -- namely the
ones he was committing with US-British support, a fact that
fades silently into the mist.
    If Albania makes some serious misstep that shifts it from
client to enemy, then the crimes will become a major threat to
the world order, and the perpetrators will have to be harshly
punished by the bearers of enlightenment.  Until then, they
are a minor annoyance.
    Q. Do you think that the reason for the NATO action in
Yugoslavia was to rescue the Kosovo Albanians from oppression?
    A. That was, of course, the major theme of the impressive
chorus of self-adulation that accompanied NATO's resort to force.
But from that we learn nothing.  In the technical sense, the flood
of rhetoric conveys no information, because it is entirely
predictable; virtually every resort to force is accompanied by
similar rhetoric, even though it may not reach these impressive
heights.  That was true of Hitler, Stalin, Saddam Hussein, and
other estimable figures.  In all cases, to assess the intent a
sensible person will disregard the predictable rhetoric and
investigate the facts.
    A good place to begin is with the official reasons, reiterated
until today: (1) to stop ethnic cleansing, (2) to preserve
stability, (3) to ensure the credibility of NATO.
    We can dismiss (1): rich documentation has been provided by
the State Department, the OSCE, the British government, and other
Western sources in an effort to justify the bombing.  It reveals
that the ethnic cleansing and other crimes were overwhelmingly a
consequence of the bombing, not a cause -- furthermore, an
anticipated consequence.  The Milosevic indictment, which closely
mirrors the US-British intelligence on which it is based, refers
almost entirely to events after March 24, 1999.
    To further reinforce the conclusion that human rights concerns
were, as usual, of marginal relevance at best, we can ask what the
same powers were doing elsewhere at exactly the same time: the
same criterion we would employ to determine whether Saddam Hussein
is acting from humanitarian concern.   We quickly discover that at
the very same time, the US was providing the decisive military and
diplomatic support for massive ethnic cleansing and other
atrocities, far exceeding anything attributed to Milosevic in
Kosovo,  not on the borders of NATO, but within NATO, in
southeastern Turkey.  The facts are not contested (except by
extreme apologists) but are largely suppressed in the West; in the
US, almost entirely.  Nor is that the only case.  From early 1999,
Indonesian crimes in East Timor went well beyond anything
attributed to Milosevic in Kosovo before the NATO bombing, and
were comparable to what happened under NATO bombs; the US
and UK continued the support that had been decisive helping
Indonesia carry out near-genocidal massacres for 25 years, possibly
the worst relative to population since the Holocaust.  All of that too
is suppressed almost completely in the US, largely elsewhere in
the West as well.  And there are other similar cases.  It takes an
incredible act of faith to believe that the US and UK were
suddenly motivated by humanitarian concerns in the single case of
Kosovo -- a radical departure from their conventional practice
which, just by accident, provided them with the means to rid
themselves of the one regime that had not yet accommodated to
their demands.  It was a regime of major criminals, no doubt, but
that has never been a problem, as the examples already mentioned
illustrate, and they are the merest sample.
    The other two reasons are quite persuasive, however, if we
translate from Newspeak to ordinary language.  The "credibility of
NATO" means the credibility of the US, not Belgium. "Credibility"
means the ability to command: "do what I say, or else."
"Stability" means acceptance of the rules laid down by those who
maintain "credibility."
    So, look at the facts and draw your own conclusions.
    Q. In your book Deterring Democracy, you document the way
Washington makes democratic experiments throughout the world,
focusing on economic and trade issues. What kind of experiment
is being made in the Balkans?
    A. The "democratic experiments" are of a very special kind.
The leading scholarly study of the "democratic experiments" of the
past several decades, written with an insider's perspective by a
participant in Reagan's "democracy enhancement" programs (Thomas
Carothers), points out that the US adopted  "prodemocracy policies
as a means of relieving pressure for more radical change, but
inevitably sought only limited, top-down forms of democratic
change that did not risk upsetting the traditional structures of
power with which the United States has long been allied." That's
quite accurate, and effectively answers the question.  Carothers
was referring to Washington's traditional "backyard," Latin
America.  The US is a global power, and the same principles apply
elsewhere, including the Balkans.
    Q. Since America still hasn't established the grounds of its
politics, could the confusion in Europe and in the Balkans
    A. It surely could.
    Q. Who actually stands behind the American politics in the US:
the president, the Pentagon, the lobby groups of the rich and
privileged, the financial corporations or someone else?
    A. Policies are formulated and implemented by the Executive
branch, with varying degrees of congressional involvement.  It is
hardly controversial that "politics is the shadow cast on society
by big business," as America's leading 20th century social
philosopher, John Dewey, formulated the near-truism long ago.
Within "big business" there are a number of constituencies,
sometimes in conflict.  And external influences also exist.  But
the standard truisms identify the major factors.  It would be
rather astonishing if it were otherwise, and other countries are
hardly different.
    Q. Why Macedonia, who has been supported and encouraged by
West as successful multiethnic story, now is on the edge of the
    A. Partly for internal reasons, which you know much better
than I do.  Partly because the complex plans of the US and its
allies have not been fully implemented, as briefly mentioned
    Q. It seems that the things happening here don't have much
logic, and the feeling of impotence, incapacity and no overall
policy or strategy raise the opinion that what is going on is the
result of some hidden, conspirative US agenda. Different analysis
says that US doesn't want economically and military stronger Europe,
that Washington wants to control the instability of the region, or
that they are interested about big money from (according to some
intelligence information) the drugs, since the biggest
narco-cartel in Europe is in Kosovo. What kind of interests has
Washington have and does US control the situation?
    A. It is true that the US and Europe have somewhat conflicting
objectives.  The rest is largely fantasy, in my opinion.  I do not
see that there is any lack of logic.  The plans seem fairly
straightforward and consistent with global planning, but  not easy
to implement.
    Q. In an interview of yours you said that any disturbance in
the Balkans does threaten the interests of rich and powerful
people, and this is the essence of what makes it a crisis. Would
you explain that?
    A. Genocide in Rwanda has horrifying effects in neighboring
countries, such as Congo.  But it has little effect on the rich
and powerful of the West.  Disturbance in the Balkans impinges
directly on their interests and concerns, as it has for centuries.
I don't understand what there is to explain.
    Q. Do you think that US has placed itself above the rule of
the international law and international institutions?
    A. Of course.  Furthermore it has been perfectly explicit for
a long time, and was clear enough before that.  The basic position
of the US with regard to the international law was explained
forthrightly by the respected senior statesman Dean Acheson 40
years ago: the "propriety" of a US response to a "challenge to the
power, position and prestige of the United States is not a legal
issue," he informed the American Society of International Law. The
particular case he had in mind was the illegal US blockade of
Cuba, but the point is quite general, and it is amply confirmed in
the internal record of planning and in actual practice.  To
mention only one of the most egregious cases, when the
International Court of Justice ordered the US to terminate its
"unlawful use of force" against Nicaragua and pay substantial
reparations, the US responded by instantly expanding the attack
while distinguished intellectuals, the elite press, and
specialists in the international law condemned the Court for
having discredited itself by criticizing Washington's crimes.  The
record is rich and unambiguous.  Other states act in similar ways,
when they can.  Given its enormous power, the US can do so with far
greater impunity.
    If Western elites wish to succumb to illusions about these
matters, they are free to do so without harm to their interests.
The weak, the victims, would be well-advised to be more realistic.
The reality is that the world is governed by the rule of force.
The rule of law is useful, as Acheson explained, to "gild our
positions" with an ethical cloak, when appropriate: typically in
justifying an attack against some selected enemy.  For one of many
clear illustrations, simply look at the record of international
war crimes trials, from Nuremberg to the present.  Who stands
before the bar of justice?  Who is immune?  Does it correlate with
crimes?  With power and support by power?  To all but the most
dedicated apologists for power, the answers seem clear enough.
    Q. Do you agree with the theory that the reasons for local
conflicts are only at local level or they are result of the
interests of the big powerful countries?
    A. There is no single answer.  It depends on the case.
Typically there is a mixture of reasons.
    Q. Macedonians think that if UN peacekeeping forces stayed
here, the Albanian extremists would not be able to attack the
country. Since Skopje recognized Taiwan, UN forces were pulled
back from the country? How was one of the most successful missions
of UN forced out of Macedonia, and was there some hidden agenda?
    A. I don't see any reason to believe in a "hidden agenda," and
do not think that recognition of Taiwan could have affected the
role of UN forces in Macedonia (apart from China's role, which is
marginal when the West chooses to ignore it).  The forces that
were there were not empowered by the West to defend the country.
The US in particular, NATO in general, would prefer to see the
Albanian insurrection defeated, but is unwilling to incur
casualties.  Bombing from a safe distance is fine, but not ground
engagements that might be costly.
    Q. When you speak of the credibility of NATO, you say that it
is not about the credibility of Denmark or France, but of the
United States. If that is correct, why would Denmark and France
allow that?
    A. Partly because they have no choice.  Partly because
subordination to US power is in the interest of domestic elites.
There are conflicts.  France in particular attempts to go a
separate way sometimes.  But the role of the US as the global
enforcer in the interests of the international economic and
political powers is generally accepted, in fact welcomed, by the
NATO countries.
    Q. Professor Chomsky, you said that if the Nuremberg laws had
been applied, every post-war American president would have been
hanged. What particular actions of theirs do you have in mind?
    A. I've reviewed specific examples elsewhere, for each
President.  There is no space to repeat here.
    Q. The American anti-missile shield is supposed to protect USA
from the potential enemies. You say that it is an absolutely
insane explanation of the Washington establishment. How can such
an opinion be advocated by the world's most powerful country?
    A. It can be advocated because it is entirely rational --
assuming, that is, that one agrees to value hegemony over
survival.  But that is a fairly consistent feature of the arms
race, with many historical analogues.  The reasons are outlined
very clearly in high level documents, for example, "Vision for
2020" of the US Space Command (under Clinton).  The Space Command
points out that the general program of militarization of space, of
which missile defense is a small component, is a natural extension
of the traditional role of navies in earlier years: to protect
investments and commercial interests worldwide.  Strategic
analysts announce approvingly that "missile defense isn't really
meant to protect America.  It's a tool for global dominance," a
way to ensure global "hegemony" (Lawrence Kaplan, Andrew
Bacevich). True, it increases the likelihood of destruction, which
is not small.  But that is a secondary consideration.
    Q. Is returning of Russia with Putin in the Balkans possible,
using the situation in Macedonia and region, which for US, for
now, is difficult to control?
    A. I doubt very much that the US would tolerate this, or that
Russia has the power, in the foreseeable future, to counter US
    Q. In the Balkans, the hatred is stronger than the bullet. Now
in Macedonia the trust between the Macedonians and the Albanians
is on the edge. How can we restore the lost trust if the situation
comes back to normal?
    A. That, again, is something that you know
far more about than I.

                                *  *  *
Special addition: NEW AT TOL                            July 16,2001

    --- WEEK IN REVIEW ---
    'An Honest Apology'
    Polish President Kwasniewski apologizes for the 1941 massacre
    Jedwabne's Jewish residents.
    by Wojtek Kosc
    Police Brutality?
    The Slovak government is under fire after a Romani man dies
while in police custody.
    by Barbora Tancerova
    Mopping Up
    Russian military leaders may re-evaluate troop tactics in
    by Robert Earley
    Facing the Truth
    Families of men killed after Bosnian Serbs captured Srebrenica
mark the sixth anniversary of the massacre, while Serbia's state
television broadcasts a revealing documentary on the event.
    by Mirna Solic
    A Fight for the Right to Party
    The organizers of the Pepsi Island festival sign a deal to ban
homosexual events at the party, but back down amid a hail of
    by Laszlo Szocs
    Moldovan President Mixes Family Planning Bill
    Simeon II Named Bulgarian Prime Minister
    Commission Formed To Improve Armenian-Turkish Relations
    Seven Opposition Parties Form Electoral Bloc in Ukraine
    Religious Education Sparks Controversy in Yugoslavia
    .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
    - - - TOL MESSAGE - - -
    Be sure to visit our new mediakit. We reach thousands of
people with this newsletter every week. Your future business
partners, customers and readers are probably among them. No one
reaches the region like TOL - visit our mediakit for more
information:, or e-mail us at
    .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
    --- OUR TAKE: Apologies Partially Accepted ---
    Though recent official apologies cannot change the past, that
they are being made at all indicates some progress.
    .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
    --- ANALYSIS ---
    On the Brink of Peace
    The draft agreement put forward by Western envoys for
resolving the conflict in Macedonia calls for the strengthening of
local democracy in multi-ethnic areas.
    by Vlado Jovanovski
    From TOL's newly launched Balkan Reconstruction Report
    A Veteran Returns to the Top
    Lithuania's former president makes a comeback in the wake of a
political crisis.
    by Giedrius Blagnys
    Privatization Headaches Armenia grapples with selling off its
energy concerns. A TOL partner post with Eurasianet
    by Haroutiun Khachatrian
    .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
    --- IN FOCUS: Central Europe Faces Its Demons ---
    Victims and Oppressors
    Polish self-awareness hasn't been the same since the Jedwabne
massacre came to light.
    Feature by Tomasz Krzyanowski
    Revenge on Trial
    The court proceedings against a Pole charged with murdering
Germans after World War II has opened another painful chapter in
Polish history.
    Feature by Wojtek Kosc
    Small Town Genocide
    The book behind the controversy, Jan T. Gross' Neighbors, has
received as much attention as the events it claims to describe.
    Book Review by Andrea Mrozek
    Taking the Bad With the Good
    The rise of a new political anti-Semitism in Hungary has
weakened the country's ability to acknowledge responsibility for
its wartime actions.
    Opinion by Rebekah Klein-Pejsova
    Bridging the Gap
    Poles and Germans have come a long way toward reconciliation
over the past decade.
    Feature by Natalia Hojny
    .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
    --- COLUMNS ---
    The Deep End: Sleepy Drivers Get a Wake-Up Call
    Quirky news from around the region.
    by TOL staff
    Media Notes: Freedom of Expression vs. the First Amendment
    In the post-communist world, complaints about violations of
press freedoms are not always what they seem.
    by Alexei Pankin
    .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
    --- Focus on Yugoslavia: Stealing the Show ---
    Good Diplomacy
    Serbian delegation talks the talk at the World Economic
Forum's European
    Summit in Salzburg.
    by Victor Gomez
    Show Us the Money, Quickly
    Goran Pitic, Serbian international economic relations
minister, tells TOL that donors understand the urgency this time
around and that the cash will reach its proper destination.
    by Jeremy Druker
    Playing With Time
    Finance Minister Bozidar Djelic talks to TOL about
cold-calling CEOs, avoiding aid traps, and confronting the past.
    by Victor Gomez
    .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
    -- ANNUAL REPORT ---
    Armenia 2000: Pessimistic Stability
    While the country succeeded in maintaining order following the
shocking 1999 parliamentary attack, other signs were less
    by Hovann Simonian
    .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
    - - - TOL PARTNERS - - -
    - The Network of Independent Journalists of Central and
Eastern Europe (NIJ), a weekly service run by the Croatian-based
STINA press agency. To subscribe to STINA's NIJ weekly service,
giving you timely news of events in the region, send an e-mail to:
    - Internews Russia ( is a Russian
non-profit organization which has been working since 1992 to
provide support to independent Russian television broadcasters and
the Russian television industry as a whole.
    .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
    --- OUR TAKE: Apologies Partially Accepted ---
    Though recent official apologies cannot change the past, that
they are being made at all indicates some progress.
    In the realm of the official apology, not all declarations are
created equal. Despite that, two recent statements of regret--one
in Poland and one in Chechnya--have shown that the world may be
changing with regard to human rights abuses and war crimes.
    In Poland on July 10, President Alexander Kwasniewski issued
a strongly worded formal apology for a massacre of Jews that
occurred sixty years ago in the eastern town of Jedwabne. The
controversy over what actually happened in Jedwabne--where as many
as 1,600 Polish Jews may have been killed not by German Nazis but
by their fellow townspeople on July 10, 1941--and Jan Tomasz Gross
in book, Neighbors, which claims to tell the story of the town, has
rarely left the front page in Poland in the year since the book
was published.
    Kwasniewski's apology at the Jedwabne memorial ceremony
brought the heated debate to a climax: "We know beyond any doubt
that Poles were among the persecutors and murderers. We must not
have any doubt that here, in Jedwabne, the citizens of the
Republic of Poland were killed by other citizens of the Republic.
People did it to people, neighbors to neighbors," he told the
assembled crowd.
    Polls have shown an even split between those Poles who
disagreed with the president's decision to apologize and those who
felt it an appropriate gesture. Jedwabne residents in particular
have felt unfairly singled out by the attention the book has
garnered, and some locals--including Jedwabne's parish
priest--boycotted the memorial ceremony in protest. And though
Israeli Ambassador to Poland Szewach Weiss in his statement at the
memorial praised Kwasneiwski and the "righteous and open-hearted"
Poles who helped his family and so many others during World War
II, not everyone from the Jewish community was satisfied with the
ceremony. The main criticism--that the new Jedwabne memorial
assigns no blame to perpetrators of the massacre--has been
tempered somewhat by the general acknowledgement that the facts
about that terrible day are not yet fully known, and although an
investigation is underway, the truth may never be clear.
    While in Poland the president was acknowledging the sins of
the past, in Chechnya, Russian officials were forced to admit
wrongdoing in the breakaway republic. Russian Lt. Gen. Vladimir
Moltenskoi on July 12 admitted that troops there have committed
"widespread crimes". Moltenskoi, the top Russian military official
in Chechnya, acknowledged the Russian military's responsibility
for human rights abuses during security sweeps--zachistiki--conducted
in early July in the Chechen villages of Assinovskaya, Sernovodsk,
and Kurchaloi, and told officers that the search had been undertaken
in a lawless fashion, laying waste to the place and then pretending
[ignorance] about the incident, ITAR-TASS reported. Zachistiki have
become commonplace in the breakaway republic, but in the three
villages in question, the ferocity of the actions broke through the
Chechnya coverage fatigue and onto the world stage.
    The military chief's unprecedented admission--combined with
the threat of four local pro-Moscow administrators to resign over
the sweeps and pressure from the Council of Europe--prompted
Viktor Kazantsev, the Kremlin envoy to the region, to issue an
apology for the abuses and to ask for forgiveness.
    Once that apology had been issued, however, the backtracking
began from on high. Russian Interior Ministry Boris Gryzlov, while
promising a full investigation and punishment for those involved,
called the sweeps "tough but necessary," the Christian Science
Monitor reported on 13 July. The Kremlin's Chechnya spokesperson,
Sergei Yastrzhembsky, played down the allegations of abuse,
questioning only the efficacy of the actions and recommending a
move toward "pinpoint operations" to target individual rebel
leaders. By the evening of 12 July, even Moltenskoi had changed
his tune, saying on state-owned RTR television, "Everything was
planned correctly and carried out properly. Some violations were
    As for Russian President Vladimir Putin, his official
silence--though Chechnya's representative to the Duma, Aslanbek
Aslakhanov, told Interfax on 13 July that the president had spoken
to him about the incidents--on the human rights abuse allegations
in Chechnya spoke nearly as loudly as his recent statement to a
group of international lawyers. On 9 July, the president told the
group that he opposes the restoration of the death penalty for
Russia and promised to maintain the country's current moratorium
against it. Then, in a wholly unexpected follow-up, Putin said
that "the Chechens should not rejoice, as they are not going to be
taken alive," reported.
    The president may find it difficult to continue with that
attitude. In 1941, war crimes and atrocities were easier to cover
up, and the wide canopy of national sovereignty provided a strong
defense. That Kwasniewski was willing to issue an apology on the
basis of history not fully revealed shows the movement that has
been made in accepting responsibility--even for events long past.
Today, with suspects from two continents and even a former head of
state indicted for war crimes and awaiting trial in an
international courtroom, the pressure is on. Given the changing
standards, Russia may be wise to examine their actions in the
current Chechnya conflict to avoid later apologies--or worse.
    .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
    -- Transitions Online - Intelligent Eastern Europe
    Copyright: Transitions Online 2001
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