Truth in Media Activism: Letters to Editors

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July 30, 1999

To: The Wall Street Journal

Albright's "Foster Thugs"

Re. "Who Will Lead the Balkans?," a WSJ editorial, July 29, 1999


Ned Crabb, Letters Editor


New York, NY

Dear Ned,

So George Orwell has now joined the Journal’s editorial staff? Congratulations! (For performing a miracle of bringing a dead writer back to life, not for adopting his tongue-in-cheek style as if it were real life).

Your editorial, "Who Will Lead the Balkans?" (July 29, 1999) fits Orwell’s Big Brother slogans from his masterpiece book, "1984," to a tee: "War is peace"… "Freedom is slavery"… "Ignorance is strength"…

You say the Montenegrin president, Milo Djukanovic, is an "intelligent moderate." In fact, he is a corrupt turncoat communist, worse than Serbia’s president, Slobodan Milosevic, whom Djukanovic has betrayed. Here’s, for example, an excerpt from an article by John Laughland, published in the June 14-18 edition of the London-based The European, which makes that point:

"In July of last year (1997), the ruling ‘Democratic Socialist Party’ - the former Communist party - underwent an internal split. Using classic Bolshevik tactics, one faction ruthlessly expelled the other from the party. The leader of the ascendant faction, the then prime minister, Milo Djukanovic, had been a close ally of the Serb (now Yugoslav) president, Slobodan Milosevic. He ousted his former friend, Momir Bulatovic, then president, even though Bulatovic's mandate should have lasted until 1998, and took with him, as the new president, control of all the main levers of power, from the television station and the press to the secret police.

Even though Djukanovic had been a member of the Federal Yugoslav government which prosecuted Milosevic's war against Croatia in 1991, and even though he had led the sanctions-busting organization which kept the Bosnian Serb Republic afloat during the war against the Muslim-led Sarajevo government after 1992, Djukanovic started to pretend he was an anti-war, pro-Western and anti-Milosevic candidate.

Nicknamed "Mr. 10%", he had also, since his student days, been constantly dogged by malicious rumors about his penchant for shady business transactions. According to the rumors - which he denies - he has been seen depositing cash in Cyprus, Vienna and London; he is in cahoots with the Cosa Nostra; and is involved in drug and cigarette smuggling.

By the time of the parliamentary elections held last Sunday, Djukanovic had consolidated his hold over the country. As during the presidential election in 1997, one could drive for hours around the Southern part of the country, and throughout the capital, without seeing a single poster for his rival Bulatovic, whereas his own face was to be seen everywhere.

In 1997, the Director of Montenegrin TV had happily handed out Djukanovic election rosettes; by 1998, even all television broadcasts from Serbia had been closed down - as if Scotland were to jam all BBC broadcasts from London - because they were hostile to Djukanovic's take-over of power.

Indeed, there is now more opposition press in Milosevic's Serbia than in Djukanovic's Montenegro. The key foreign correspondents in Montenegro had local "interpreters" who are in reality secret police minders.

During the run-up to last Sunday's election, Bulatovic supporters complained at length to the OSCE about police harassment of their meetings, and about personal harassment directed against them. They also complained about severe anomalies in the electoral lists (over 4,000 voters were registered twice, while over 30,000 did not have the required proof of identity)."

Now, doesn’t that make such a "fine fellow" a perfect bedfellow for the likes of Bill Clinton? And doesn’t it make Serbia’s Milosevic a model of a politician with integrity by comparison? (Remember the old saying, "the only honest politician is the one who stays bought!" Djukanovic didn’t even have enough morals to do that).

You also say that Djukanovic "isn’t listening to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright." Djukanovic is Madam Halfbright’s creation! You should have checked the State department visitors' log since Dayton (late 1995), before making such a ludicrous assertion. You might have found that Djukanovic has been one of the most frequent guests of our Secretary of Hate, exceeding even the number of visits of some NATO foreign ministers.

In fact, just like the KLA Albanian terrorist leader, Hashim Thaci, Djukanovic has become one of Albright’s "Foster thugs." And now evidently the Journal’s, too. For, you also lament, "it’s incomprehensible that he (the Djukanovic thug) has not gotten it" (more western support).

Did it ever occur to you that the reason for that is that perhaps not all Americans, or other western nations, are the godless, heartless, ruthless, duplicitous, unscrupulous "closet reds," who support one set of former communist thugs (e.g., Djukanovic, Yeltsin, Jiang…), while demonizing others (e.g., Milosevic, Lukashenko, Kim Jong II…)? And that many of us may not approve of the Washington thugs pitting the various Balkan, Russian or Asian thugs against each other on behalf of their Wall Street Thug-in-Chiefs, while innocent people are getting killed in the crossfire?

Best regards,

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Bob Djurdjevic

P.S. Here’s another excerpt from that story from The European (14-18 Jun 1998) by John Laughland:

"Nowhere, however, now includes the West. For however bizarre political life in Balkan countries, its surrealism is as nothing compared to the insane perception of it peddled by Western journalists and governments.

Take the case of Montenegro. Here is an archetypal Balkan country, with beautiful scenery, a mixture of different alphabets, churches and mosques, and an unhappy history of Ottoman domination interrupted only by a few brief decades of Ruritanian independence before the First World War. Now the country lives a suitably crazy post-Communist present, in which the dusty Communist capital Podgorica - the former Titograd - is populated mainly by sinister-looking young men in dark glasses, who spend their day conducting deals over their mobile phones, while their heavily made-up trophy girlfriends look on poutingly." […]

The OSCE never answered their letters. For in the looking-glass world of post-Communist politics, the West operates with the same extraordinary nihilist relativism with which the Montenegrins themselves happily slide into believing Djukanovic when he says he is hostile to Milosevic and his war, having waged it with him in the first place. It now presents him as a man of "reform" and "democracy".

So when the police suddenly cordoned off the opposition party HQ as the results of the Djukanovic victory came through on Sunday night, and when the "pro-Western" Djukanovic's supporters - the men in dark glasses - fired off their semi-automatic rifles into the air in celebration, the OSCE's election observing mission welcomed the elections as having been "well conducted". Its statement of approval had in fact been drafted the day before the vote. […]

Whenever accused of double standards, as it was on Monday, the OSCE gives a reply which would have made (Romania’s) Eugene Ionesco gag. The OSCE has standards, it says, but it never compares one country to another…And because, in the Balkan theatre of the Absurd, the one-eyed West is king… the gun-toting Montenegrins have made a step towards 'Europe'."

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Also check out... "Debt Is Good!  Really?,"  "Kosovo: Another Vietnam?", "Banality of Bombings", "Greek Archbishop: Stop This NATO Attack,"  "You Were Wrong About Gen. Perisic", "New York Times' Kosovo News Manipulation",  "Plus, Another Kosovo News Cover-up""Embarrassed About Such 'Serbs',"  "Put the UN Justice on Trial""Another Wall Street Bailout, Another Main Street Sellout", "Does WSJ Dance to Wall St. Bankers' Tunes?""Clinton Fiddles While Milosevic Burns""Let the Bombing Begin?  Not!" , "What's Good for the Goose..."  and "Journal's Rotten Apples" (Wall Street Journal); and "Stock buybacks: Wall St.'s Duping of Main St.", Business Week).