Saturday, January 30, 2010

Truth from Israel

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Chetnik collaboration with NDH

During the first four to five months, until breakup between partisans and chetniks in Serbia, almost all chetnik and Serb nationalistic groups in Eastern, Central and North-West parts of Bosnia, which where in German zone of control participated in July uprising 1941 and cooperated with Partisans.

After breakup, chetnik forces and population which supported them found themselves in the rift between Ustasha and German forces on the one side and Partisans on the other. Efforts of Major Dangić in the early 1942 to find modus vivendi with Germans in Eastern Bosnia have failed, and local leaders had to find new solution to there problems. Chetnik groups which fundamentally didn't agree with NDH authorities at any point but in partisans they saw common enemy and that was the reason which removed all obstacles for collaboration which followed between NDH authorities and many chetnik detachments.

From January 1942 all NDH forces inside zones of operations came under German command and from October 1942 entire Bosnian territory between Sava river and demarcation line become Operative Zone under German rule, those agreements represented indirect way of chetnik collaboration with Germans.

First formal agreement between NDH and Bosnian Chetniks was signed on May 28th, 1942 in village Lipac, single document which covered Ozren and Trebava chetnik detachments, and covered part of Eastern Bosnia near river Bosna and railway Sarajevo-Brod. On July 9th, amendment in form of a statement was added by which agreement regulation also cover relations of two Chetnik detachments with German and Italian forces in NDH.

It seems, but NDH government doesn't state them, that two similar agreement have been signed earlier first with Uroš Drenović, commander of Chetnik detachment "Petar Kočić" in Varcar Vakuf (Mrkonjić Grad) in county office on 27th April 1942, on NDH part agreement was signed by county Marko Jundić, Home Defense Major Ervin Rataj and acting ustasha logornik K. Urumović.

Second with Lazo Tešanović. After May 28th, during next three weeks three more agreements have been signed for areas of Central and North-West parts of Bosnia. Two of them with Radoslav Radić, commander of chetnik detachment "Borje". First was signed in Banja Luka June 9th and covered Western area and second on June 14th in Prnjavor and covered Eastern area. Third agreement was signed with Borivoj Kerović, commander of Majevica chetnik detachment on June 15th in village Lopare. In 1943 another agreement was signed with chetnik commander Radivoj Kosorić in village Kovanje, Eastern Bosnia on January 16th. Biggest agreement was the one signed on May 28th, 1942. By that agreement commanders of Ozren and Trebava chetnik detachments recognized sovereignty of NDH and as her citizens expressed there loyalty to state and poglavnik, both chetnik detachments had from that day forward to cease all hostilities against military and civilian authorities of NDH. NDH authorities where to restore regular administration in chetnik areas, and chetnik detachments promised help in normalization of situation. As long as state of emergency exist, chetnik leader where to govern in there areas, under supervision of NDH authorities. Main provision (Article 5) states:

As long as there is a danger of armed partisans gangs, chetnik formations will voluntary cooperate with Croatian armed forces in fighting's and destruction of partisans and in these operations will be under the command of Croatian armed forces. In these operation chetnik commander will command there detachment.
Chetnik formations can involve themselves in operations against partisans at there own initiative, but they must report this to Croat military commanders in advance.

Chetnik detachments will be supplied with need ammunition by NDH military authorities. Chetniks wounded in anti-partisan operations will receive care in NDH military hospitals, and widows and orphans of chetnik soldiers killed in combat against partisans will receive direct financial aid from the state equal to one being received by widows and orphans of NDH soldiers. If possible, NDH authorities will secure release and return to there homes persons taken to concentration camps, but only at special recommendation of chetnik commanders (to avoid any partisans or there supporters). Until these persons return, financial aid will be given to there families, if need. All refuges will be able to return to there homes and, if need, will receive state aid comparable to one being given to other citizens of NDH. Serbs will be allowed trade as any other citizen.

As a sort of recapitulation of agreements with Bosnian chetniks, Poglavnik HQ (poglavnikov glavni stan) sent on July 30th 1942 to Ministry of Social care report with signature of Field-Marshall Kvaternik, in which sums up provisions of these agreements in twenty clauses which in general outlines respond to provisions stated above. Copies of the report where to be sent to committee for social care at municipality courts which decided about financial aid to families of those Home Defence soldiers which had rights to it and which also decided about paying those chetniks families which had rights to it by these agreements.

Germans where for these agreements because of several reasons. First, agreements where directed against partisans which since summer of 1941 become main German problem in Yugoslavia, even in areas of Bosnia under German control; second addition of chetniks into fight against partisans reduced number of German soldiers tied to these areas; and finally these agreements helped to pacific Bosnian, North-East and North-West areas, in which Germany had important economical interests - iron ore, wood, heavy chemicals, steel and important railway lines - report of General Lüters, commander of German Army in NDH, from November 18th 1942, points out both military and economical effects of agreements between NDH authorities and chetniks. On July 15th 1942 General Glaise even suggested to General Ivan Brozović in Banja Luka to form central office in Zagreb for implementation and supervision of the agreements. Nothing become of that suggestion because at that moment such office would represent difficulties for Ustashi regime, but as it will show later one central office was put in charge for those agreements. There is no doubt that agreement included majority of chetnik forces in Bosnia east of demarcation line, because Glaise report from November 16th 1942 to Wermacht commander for South-East Europe shows that around 10,000 bosnian chetniks has agreement with NDH authorities on the principle 'live and let others live'. Map which was made by General Staff of Croatian Home Defence, dated on January 17th 1943, divides chetniks on NDH territory into three groups: Italian chetniks, concentrated around Otočac in Lika, area of Knin in Northern Dalmatia and in Eastern Herzegovina; collaborationist chetniks in Central Bosnia and in parts of East Bosnia around river Bosna; and rebel chetniks holding minor parts in North-East Bosnia and area East of Sarajevo (map can be found at Military History Institute in Belgrade).


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Genes, genes made of stone

NEW YORK Here is what we knew about Marko Perkovic before he performed two concerts in Manhattan this weekend:

He's a popular Croatian rock star, accused for years of stoking fascist sentiments among fans in his homeland. Some of these fans show up at concerts wearing T-shirts and symbols that celebrate the Ustase regime, which collaborated with the Nazis during World War II and operated two concentration camps. We know, too, that the Simon Wiesenthal Center denounced Perkovic, who was slated to appear here in a hall attached to a Catholic church, leading to this memorable headline in the New York Daily News: "Jewish Groups Protest Show of Nazi Band at Church Hall."

So what do we know now that the concerts went ahead, as planned?

The man digs British heavy metal, circa 1975.

And he looks good in black.

"Nazi band"? Nuh-uh. Perkovic, 42, did not "sieg heil" nor did he rant against the Serbs, Jews or any other group, according to the many Croatians who were happy to interpret during the show. (Perkovic does not speak English.) Instead, in the community center of the Croatian Church of Sts. Cyril & Methodius in Midtown, he sang a lot of fervently nationalistic, mid-tempo rock songs, most of which sounded like Iron Maiden doing Eastern European folk. And he harped again and again on his favorite themes: love of God, family and Croatia. Especially Croatia, which in his music sounds like a place abused for centuries and still under siege.

"To battle, to battle for your people," he sang at one point -- that's a translation, of course -- and the words briefly turned into a chant for the room of 600 fans. Combat imagery is part of the brand that is Perkovic, a former soldier who fought against Serbian troops in the war that raged between 1991 and 1995 and who sings under the stage name Thompson, which he took from his submachine gun.

But somehow, the show Saturday night felt more like a family get-together than a flag-waving rally. Most of the attendees were in their 30s and 40s -- a younger crowd showed up on Friday night -- and everyone seemed to know one another.

"He's singing about how beautiful Croatia is," said Mary Ann Lakoseljac, who came with her sister and parents. Like a lot of people, she sounded a little offended by the fuss about Perkovic. "Seriously, they don't even call the Germans 'Nazis' anymore. But you hear that about Croatians all the time."

Now, it's quite possible, of course, that Perkovic delivered a bile-free act tailored for this city. You know -- ixnay on the Ascism-fay, or something like that. Certainly, he knew he was under scrutiny. In the lead up to the show, the Wiesenthal Center publicly asked Cardinal Edward Egan to block the event from happening in a church-affiliated venue. "I urge you to take the lead on this issue and to reaffirm the church's commitment against anti-Semitism, intolerance and violence," wrote Mark Weitzman of the center's Task Force Against Hate and Terrorism.

That did it. On Friday, the night of the first show, the controversy had drawn a handful of camera crews from local TV stations, as well as about 10 protesters, who were ushered by cops to the opposite side of the street, where they began chanting slogans like "Nazis out of New York, Nazis out, Nazis out!" You could sense the media and the protesters trying to turn this into a newsworthy spectacle, but it never quite jelled. There weren't quite enough protesters, for one thing, and none of them really had particularly compelling evidence that Perkovic is a Nazi.

"We actually got a call from the Village Voice about this," said Greg Pason, who helped organize the outing. "We got this white supremacist club in Bergen County shut down recently, and so the Voice called us and asked if we were doing anything about the show. We didn't know anything about it till all the papers started covering."

His beef with Perkovic: "We think this is an ultranationalist show and exactly the sort of thing that people should stand up against."

The protesters' chanting, naturally, infuriated the fans who had to wait in line and get jeered at for a good 20 minutes. A few of them offered an obscene gesture or two. Just one -- an immense 20ish guy who would not give his name -- turned up wearing an objectionable shirt, one that had a small "U" on it, under a photo of a former Croatian general who now stands accused of war crimes.

The "U" stands for Ustase.

"You know, this is all overboard, it's all a big hype," he said, with two news cameras filming him. "This guy's no different than Billy Joel or Bruce Springsteen. This is about pride. Nothing but pride."

Uh-huh. What's the U stand for?

"I don't know," he said, adding, "We're done."

But he was the exception. Most fans were eager to offer a lesson in a history that stretches back centuries and involves antipathies that seem fantastically complicated and deep-seated. The danger of a Perkovic show, it turns out, is not that there will be hate speech. It's that there will be lectures.

"Croatia is a very peaceful place," said Kathy Jurac. "We've been occupied by the Turks, by the Austrians, by the Hungarians, by the Italians, and we have for years. That's why our independence means so much to us. And that's why it hurts Thompson that generals he fought with are in jail, accused of atrocities."

For the organizers of the show, all the negative attention put them in a defensive crouch.

"No media are allowed in the show," said promoter George Corluka. "It's not my decision. It's up to the church." Perkovic, he added, was devastated by the terrible hubbub that preceded him in the United States and would not speak to any members of the print media in this country because no one would treat him fairly.

This reporter purchased tickets on on Saturday afternoon.

"Okay, you're the only media in here," Corluka said, a few songs into the concert. "We'll see if you're fair. We'll see."

The attempted journalist blockade might have raised the expectations bar a little high. No offense, Mr. Corluka, but musically Perkovic and his band are kind of mundane; they sound, at moments, like the Gipsy Kings doing "Dust in the Wind." The charm of songs like "Geni Kameni" is perhaps in the lyrics -- and they don't translate all that well:

Genes, genes made of stone

A fire burns within me

Genes, genes made of stone

That's the way we are born

Take it or leave it.

This, of course, sounds different to Croatian ears. There, Perkovic is considered not just an entertainer but a political phenomenon, says Srdjan Dvornik, executive director of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, who spoke yesterday as he was heading home to Zagreb.

"After the war with the Serbs, there was never a real confronting with the past," he said. "Nobody ever admitted that Croatia, as part of a defensive war, committed acts of ethnic cleansing. So the myth of the Croatians as collective victims is still alive. But now it's just left to people like Thompson to express that myth publicly."

By David Segal

Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 5, 2007

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Kosovo Serbs, Balkan Palestinians by Wall Street Journal

Remember Kosovo? "Madeleine's war," Slobodan Milosevic's ethnic cleansers, a million displaced Albanians and NATO's 78 days of bombing? So much history in the eight summers since has pushed this dusty Balkan plot off the map. But a relic of 1990s geopolitics is back in the headlines.

Caught between a pushy Kremlin, weak-kneed Europe and otherwise-occupied Washington, the Kosovars are being denied their happy ending. Unless the U.S. forcefully steps in to usher this province of two million to independence without any messy compromises, Southeast Europe could fall off track again, with nasty repercussions for everyone.

[Another Kosovo Crisis]

The Kosovo matter should've been closed by now. In the spring, U.N. mediator Martti Ahtisaari proposed internationally "supervised" independence -- the fervent desire of over nine in 10 Kosovars -- and protections for the remaining 100,000 or so Serbs. A year plus of diplomatic efforts went for naught when Russia last month threatened to veto the plan at the Security Council. The Europeans fast got Washington to sign off on 120 days of further talks. This empty concession punted the problem into autumn, encouraging Moscow and its Slavic mini-me cousins in Serbia to dig their heels in.

The U.S. and its allies have put billions in aid, political capital and boots on the ground to bring the former Yugoslav states to the doorstep of the West's elite clubs. Now comes the hitch. When NATO agreed to put its status in limbo at the end of the 1999 war and sent in a U.N. government, no one could know that a future President Vladimir Putin would turn Kosovo into a proxy for his larger fight with the West, along with missile defense and Iran.

Well-laid plans are in jeopardy. "Further progress depends on status. And if we don't get the status issue resolved now," says the U.N. administrator in Kosovo, Joachim Rücker, "there is actually a fair chance that the achievements we've made will start to unravel." Kosovo's Albanian leaders, who have popular legitimacy but limited powers, are sitting tight. This patience may not hold long. Fresh elections are due in November, coinciding with the end of the latest negotiation period. Pressure is on them to declare independence unilaterally.

Among the consequences could be that barely dormant ethnic nationalisms flare up. Kosovo's Serbs may try to cut away the northern sliver of the province, while Albanians feel emboldened to press anew for a "Greater Albania" uniting in a single state a nation currently scattered among four. Violence is a good bet. If it sounds like a recipe for another Cyprus, a 33-year-old frozen conflict to the south, then Moscow envoys have mooted the island as their model for Kosovo's future. The Balkans would then be harder to digest for the West. Which, naturally, suits Russia fine.

A different Europe might unite in response to the Kremlin's provocation. This one is splintering, as in the early 1990s also over the Balkans. Britain wants to push ahead on independence, while the Germans fear antagonizing Moscow. In between, the French claimed the diplomatic lead and pushed the three-month delay. Bernard Kouchner, the French foreign minister and the U.N.'s first "governor" of Kosovo after the 1999 war, stunned his hosts during a recent visit here by pointedly refusing to rule out a partition of Kosovo. Maps showing what an ethnically divided province might look like have been passed around for years. The Kouchner omission made people wonder how far the EU is willing to go to get a Security Council resolution in order to cover up its own divisions -- divisions that President Putin ably exploits.

Kosovo's Albanian leaders claim to put their faith in America. Prime Minister Agim Ceku tells me that Washington shares his commitment to eventual independence ("Serbs in Kosovo, yes," says Mr. Ceku, "Kosovo in Serbia, never") and no partition of the province. "From my point of view," he says, "nothing has been left to negotiate." But this former military man, who fought for Croatia against the Serbs and then returned home to lead the Kosovo Liberation Army in 1999, isn't naïve enough to think the final decisions have been made. Or that his little province has great control over the outcome.

"Russian resistance blocked the process," Mr. Ceku says. "They're just using Kosovo to prove they are a superpower again." Partition is so sensitive that, at first, Mr. Ceku refuses to talk about it. Pressed, he says, "If we start redrawing borders in the Balkans, the big question is where do we stop? . . . The Europeans have to be more careful."

Kosovo's Albanians aren't the only community held hostage to big power politics. Over the Iber River, around 50,000 Serbs live in their own limbo. In the seven years since I last visited the divided city of Mitrovica, little has changed. Over a bridge from the Albanian quarter, the Serbian dinar is used instead of the euro and all the cars have Serbian license plates. Belgrade insists these Kosovars boycott government institutions in Pristina, and calls all the shots in the U.N. negotiations, with little input from ethnic kin in Kosovo itself.

Kosovo Serbs are the Palestinians of the Balkans -- useful pawns who could soon, if Western will flags, get their own Gaza strip. Oliver Ivanovic, a community leader who right after the war organized special teams to guard the main bridge linking the town, says no Serb can accept independence for Kosovo. But tensions are less visible. What happened to the bridge watchers? "No need anymore." He acknowledges that the promised devolution is a good deal for the Serbs. "We oppose the Ahtisaari plan, but we're not going to say it would be worse. If it is implemented, it would be better than it is now," he says.

Any move to split off the region north of the Iber would be costly for the Kosovo Serbs, too. Just over half the Serbs live in the Albanian-majority regions. Without the Ahtisaari protections, another exodus to refugee camps in Serbia would be likely -- not an image that anyone, save perhaps for Moscow, should welcome.

Such an ending would be uglier still were Albanian separatists in Macedonia and Serb separatists in Bosnia -- two of the most uneasy multi-ethnic constructs in the Balkans -- encouraged to follow Kosovo's lead. Far better, says analyst Dukaghin Gorani in Pristina, to bury "Greater Albania" and other nationalist dreams for good and anchor the southern Balkans in the EU. "Boring Occidental politics" would then take the place of "the old joy of Balkan politics of ethnic cleansings and murders."

International shuttle diplomacy between Belgrade and Pristina planned for the coming weeks is pointless. Absent a sudden regime change in Moscow, America and Europe ought to see the writing on the wall and plan for an orderly, unilateral Kosovar declaration. Giving up hope of a U.N. blessing for independence, Mr. Ceku wants to set a date for "a coordinated declaration with the U.S. and EU, if possible, and key countries in the EU or" -- now bringing his expectations closer in line with reality -- "a significant number of countries in the EU." NATO troops and funds must stay, along with minority protections. Kosovars would, however, be better off with less "supervision" and greater leeway to, in the words of opposition leader Hashim Thaci, "build a new state." After all, the stress in self-determination ought to be on self.

At stake isn't Serbian national sovereignty but liberty for the Kosovars. This province was part of Yugoslavia, a state that no longer exists; Serbia effectively lost its claim in the 1990s.

The EU plays softly-softly with Belgrade, even recently restarting talks toward eventual membership. Instead, Belgrade should be given a stark choice: a future in league with Russia, or the EU and NATO. Kosovo is the test.

From the moment Madeleine Albright pushed for military intervention, Kosovo became an American-led nation-building project. Of the ones currently on the docket, it ought to be the easiest, too. At the command of 2,500 peacekeeping troops in the southeast, Gen. Douglas Earhart says Kosovo is "where we'll like to be in Iraq and Afghanistan." Accepted by both Serbs and Albanians, America's advantage is not to be European. "We don't have a history in the Balkans," he says.

Calm now, Kosovo can blow up unexpectedly. Three years ago in March, Albanian-led riots left 19 dead and forced hundreds of Serbs to flee. The job isn't finished. "This is one of the places," says Gen. Earhart, "you have to see through to the end."

Mr. Kaminski is editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal Europe.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Julia Gorin lies and fabrications

Finally some of US soldiers stationed in Kosovo decided to speak and end Julia Gorin lies once for ever. On their blog called The Liberty Zone they analyze every single lie Julia written regarding situation on Kosovo. So they conclude:

It is difficult to say where Ms. Gorin is getting her erroneous information, or whether she’s simply using her rather fertile imagination as a substitute for checking facts. However, her claims of what, in essence, are NATO-run concentration camps are simply untrue.

And there are more misrepresentations and outright lies. Gorin quotes a 2000 Washington Post article in order to paint the Kosovo Liberation Army, or KLA, as a continuing influence in the region. She calls the KLA “violent, jihadist, narco-terrorist mafiosos” which “has continued arming itself in the event that the province isn’t granted independence this year.” The truth, according to those actually on the ground – those who know the truth – is quite different.

“[The] KLA is not alive and well. It no longer exists as a military organization,” says Multi-National Task Force (East) Chief of Staff, Col. Damon Igou. “However, there are legitimate government institutions that employ some of the former members of the KLA. The KPS (Kosovo Police Service), and an organization similar to our National Guard, the KPC (Kosovo Protection Corps). These organizations are multi-ethnic, professional and legitimate and employ many former members of the KLA that meet their rigorous standards.”

We are not politicians. We are Soldiers. We do our jobs to the best of our abilities, and we have kept the situation stable and secure in Kosovo on our watch. To claim otherwise … to twist the facts, publish outright lies and accuse our brave troops of turning their backs on genocide that is allegedly going on right under our noses is unforgivable and unacceptable, as well as outrageous and disrespectful to those who serve.

As for Soilder who did write letter to Julia Gorin here is real truth after some investigation:

The Battalion Commander of the Soldier in question had a conversation with the troop upon seeing this letter. According to the conversation account, the Soldier is currently in combat stress counseling - not because of anything he has encountered here, but because of problems back home. "I believe he's a good troop," writes the Battalion Commander, "but was manipulated by Gorin while he is under tremendous amount of stress due to personal tragedy at home." The Soldier also admitted he knew of no U.S. Soldiers killed in Kosovo on our rotation. He further conceded that he knew of no Serbs who were hurt in our area of operations, nor any that have been denied freedom of movement. He told his commander that he had not realized Ms. Gorin was going to "take everything he said seriously and 'word for word'."

UPDATE: Ms. Gorin is quite the liar. Her latest blog entry says the following:

I was just about to publish the third letter from an American soldier in Kosovo when the military command discovered his correspondences with me and now he’s in deep doo-doo because our government doesn’t want you to know what’s going on in Kosovo. But the following excerpt from said letter is relevant here:

If these people are ready for independence, how come they don’t clean up their streets, towns, and cities, and remove the trash that has been sitting on the curb for several weeks to several months (the smell is getting to me)?…A lot of us feel like the Albanians here don’t really care nor give a crap about this place by the way they treat their countryside. Trash, filth — driving out into sector is a plethora of pungent aromas from burning trash, sewage, and God only knows what else. I suppose that’s because they really don’t know if this land will be theirs or go back to Serbia, but still. It doesn’t look good for them to want independence yet do nothing to clean up their community. Granted they are still very poor and don’t have the services we’re used to at home, garbage disposal, a good public health department to ensure that the living conditions are up to par, it still doesn’t give them the reason to just say “screw it”.

Interesting. No one has said this Soldier was in any kind of trouble at all. Did they? Nope. He's getting help from a counselor for his personal issues, but nothing has been said about "deep doo-doo." Hmmmm. Oh yes, there are OPSEC violations in his letters, but as far as I know, talking with your Battalion Commander does not constitute "deep doo-doo." Here's your prime example of how this woman twists the facts to suit her own agenda. Nice, eh?

ADDED IN RETROSPECT: I have to laugh... this woman doesn't have the intestinal fortitude to admit her mistakes. She doesn't have the guts to reply to anything that is posted here or on Brad's blog. She simply fabricates stories and claims "government conspiracy" as an explanation for her lies.

Here's your tinfoil hat, Julia. You've earned it.

Read rest of articles HERE and HERE