Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

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TiM GW Bulletin 2002/3-3

Mar. 19, 2002Apr. 3, 2002

"Serbia and Montenegro" to Replace Yugoslavia

Yugoslavia: R.I.P. and Good Riddance!

Prison of Nations, Graveyard of Empires, Dies a Quiet Death; General Perisic: An American Spy, Caught Red-handed on Videotape; Serb Quislings Snubbed by Washington



Phoenix                             1. Yugoslavia: R.I.P. and Good Riddance!

Belgrade                           2. General Perisic: An American Spy?

Belgrade                           2a. American Spy Scandal Heats UpMar. 20, 2002

Belgrade                           2b. The “Balkan Spy” EpilogueMar. 20, 2002

Washington                      3. Retaliation! Washington Responds to "Balkan Spy"

                                              Embarrassment with Financial BlackmailMar. 20, 2002

Nis                                     4. Prisoners for DollarsMar. 26, 2002

Belgrade                            5. Serb Quislings Snubbed by WashingtonApr. 3, 2002

Prison of Nations and Graveyard of Empires Dies a Quiet Death

1. Yugoslavia: R.I.P. and Good Riddance!

"Serbia and Montenegro:" Fresh Start or Continued Dismemberment of Serbia?

PHOENIX, Mar. 19 - An 82-year old lady died in Belgrade in her sleep on Thursday, Mar. 14.  Yugoslavia was born in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, near Paris, on June 28, 1919, St. Vitus Day - the 530th anniversary of the famed Battle of Kosovo.  No funeral services are planned for this 20th century prison of nations and graveyard of empires.  

Many people, especially the “Yugo-nostalgics” who grew up in her lap, will probably miss the old lady.  Not this writer who was also born as one of her sons, only to give her up when she was being run by communists (see "Communist Media - Then and Now," June 1999 and the bio). So  “Yugoslavia: R.I.P. and good riddance!” - sums up the TiM editor’s sentiments about her.

Why?  Because Yugoslavia was a whore; a mistress of both kings and communists and loyal to neither.  And because this unfortunate 20th century brainchild was also the bane of her most populous founding nation, the ethnic group that paid the highest price in achieving the Great War victory. 

Here’s what the U.S. Secretary of State (1915-1920), Robert Lansing, said about that:

"When the history of this war is written, its most glorious chapter will be called - Serbia. The Serbian army has displayed incredible heroism; the Serbian nation has suffered untold hardships... Such sacrifices and determination must be rewarded."

(see From Love to War in 50 Years,” Special TiM Bulletin, Apr.8, 1999)

By the time WW I ended, over one million Serbs had perished, a quarter of the country's prewar population, we also noted in the above wartime report. Some 55% of the nation's male population died.  That's as if about 77 million American males were to lose their lives defending our country. No wonder Secretary Lansing paid Serbia such a tribute.

Nor was he alone. Even the Serb enemies paid them a grudging tribute.  Having been informed that Bulgaria had capitulated and signed an armistice agreement in September 1918, German Kaiser Wilhelm II, sent a telegram full of bitterness to his ally in World War I, the Austro-Hungarian Emperor, Karl:

"62,000 Serbs have decided the outcome of this war. Shame on us!"

Actually, Serbia was liberated by an army of about 80,000 - all that was left from some 450,000 soldiers she had at the start of WW I. But that was evidently enough to achieve the final victory and liberty.  Here’s an excerpt from the TiM Bulletin 93-11, Nov. 1993:

“After being practically decimated by the advancing German and Austrian forces in the early years of the war, the Serbs retreated via Albania to recuperate and regroup on the island of Corfu, Greece.  When they returned to the battlefield on the Thessalonika front, on September 15, 1918, they launched a counterattack against the Central Powers' forces with such a ferocity that neither their own rear guard, nor the French or the British units in reserve, could keep up.  In just 46 days, relentlessly pursuing the retreating enemy over the rugged mountainous terrain, they were in Belgrade, some 400 miles to the north.  The day was November 1, 1918.  Two days later, the Austro-Hungarian Empire capitulated.  On November 11, Germany surrendered.  World War I was over.”

The grateful Serb WW I allies rewarded the Kingdom of Serbia at Versailles by giving her the lead role, including the throne, of the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.  The day of birth was probably Yugoslavia’s crowning moment.  From there on, Yugoslavia traveled a rocky road and often bloody road.

King Alexander I, a Serb, was assassinated in 1934 by Croat secessionists during a state visit in Marseilles, France.  His was only one of many prominent Serb lives violently snuffed out. 

During WW II, some 750,000 Serbs perished at the hands of the pro-Nazi Croats who Hitler had rewarded with their own puppet state (the actual number of Serb victims is subject of dispute among historians, but their victimhood is not).

And then, just as WW II ended in Europe with allied victory, another pogrom of the Serbs was only beginning.  This time, it was carried out by bloodthirsty communists to whom Winston Churchill had turned over his allies, the Yugoslavia loyalists, who surrendered to the British in Austria (see “Kocevje: Tito’s Bloodiest Crime,” Feb. 1991).

How many POWs were turned back by the British? Karapandzic (the book’s author - TiM Ed.) writes that there were 12,000 Slovenian "home guards," 3,000 Serbian volunteer troops, 1,000 Montenegrin "chetniks," and 2,500 Croatian "home guards."

Why did the British do that? Karapandzic says that there were about 600,000 soldiers and other refugees of various nationalities who converged on Austria. They were a great burden on the British army in terms of food and accommodation. "It seems that the British weren't able to look after them all, and were happy to get rid of some of them," Karapandzic told NIN.

Karapandzic claims that Tito personally gave a verbal order to execute the POWs: "Liquidate all members of the Yugoslav army which the British return!"

Josip Broz Tito, a communist leader, continued his murderous work all through the rest of 1945 and into 1946.  Tens of thousands of middle-class citizens were rounded up and summarily executed just because they were “bourgeois” - the communists’ class enemies.  Executions became a banality that no longer frightened people.  Tired of killing and ever a pragmatic, Tito ordered a halt to them. 

This writer knows from firsthand accounts of one repentant communist henchman that some 15,000 people were killed in cold blood in Belgrade and Zemun (a suburb) alone in 1944-1945.  Should the current “Yugoslav” authorities ever decide to exorcise these demons from the past, and erect a proper memorial for the innocent victims of Yugoslav communism, this writer will be happy to lead them to some unmarked mass gravesites.

No wonder that the late Serb Patriarch German, who himself lost his firstborn son to a brutal communist execution, said that the Serbs are “always winning in war time, and losing in peace time.”  He also noted that Yugoslavia was “a prison of nations” and “too big a meadow for the Serbs” (see "A Prison of Nations: Yugoslavia Is Too Big a Meadow for the Serbs" - a 1985 Interview with the Late Serb Patriarch German):

“Yugoslavia is too big a meadow for the Serbs. Since we don't have the time to work all of it, some of it is covered with weeds. Every day our neighbors who walk by these weedy fields, they scheme of grabbing them and taking them over from us; and of working them themselves. A farmer must know what his strength is, so as to match the size of the meadow to it. It is equally bad having too much land as not enough.

It is the same with nations and states. A small nation is happy in a small state; it is unhappy in a big one. In a big one, a small nation feels diluted, worried about preserving its national being. But, it is the same type of a sin grabbing and destroying other peoples' national beings. Perhaps I am sinning myself talking like this, but I would say that the Serbs today have not chosen the meadow which matches their strength.”

On Patriarch German’s personal tragedy, we wrote back in 1991:

“Patriarch German’s firstborn son, Mihailo (Michael), was a member of the Serbian Voluntary Corps, the second battalion, which was officially dissolved at the end of WW II on May 9, 1945. At Kocevje, however, along with the hundreds of the Serbian youth (who were betrayed by the British -- see APPENDIX B), he was taken out of the lines destined for execution. But, all of that was only a temporary reprieve. He disappeared only days after that in Zagreb, Croatia. Hranislav Djoric (the Patriarch’s civilian name - TiM Ed.), who had for years been expecting his son to return home, was to find out later on, that his son Michael, along with a group of some other youth, was shot to death by the Communists in Zagreb, Croatia, on June 16, 1945. He was not even 20 years old...

Much later, after he had apparently accepted the loss of his firstborn son, Patriarch German held a liturgy in the honor of the Nazi/"ustashe" WW II victims (at Jasenovac, where the Croatians' murdered hundreds of thousands of Serbs), during which he spoke the now famous words:

"The Serbian children were doomed then... I do not know if I can forgive them (the mass murderers), but I will not forget; never..."

His speech was subsequently attacked by the Vatican as well as by the many other anti-Serbian spokespersons in Yugoslavia.”

Unperturbed by the criticism, the then 83-year old Patriarch philosophized about the future of his nation in his 1985 interview:

“In the end, everything, I believe, will find its proper place. It won't happen by itself, but I think that the Serbs will quite quickly find the strength and the wisdom to choose their real meadow, one whose size God had intended for them. And so, every wandering, including our own, will come to an end.

The Serbian question (within Yugoslavia) can only be solved in a Serbian sovereign state. We must build a state which is oriented toward the world, and not one which is constantly consumed with internal squabbles.”

Amen!  For that reason alone, a temporary reprieve to intra-Serb bickering will be welcome.   

“Serbia and Montenegro” to Replace “Yugoslavia”

The death of Yugoslavia and the emergence of Serbia and Montenegro, the new name which replaces the Milosevic-created “rump Yugoslavia,” promises at least three years of relative stability, as Montenegro shelved its independence plans on to form a new union with Serbia.

Under heavy EU (European Union) pressure, Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic agreed to a three-year moratorium on a breakaway referendum for his small coastal republic (see the charts).  Both sides were motivated by ambitions shared across the Balkans to forge closer ties with the affluent European Union, which said they had taken a step in the right direction. 

“This is good news for Europe and for the future of the Western Balkans on their road to the EU,” EU Commission Foreign Relations Spokesman Gunnar Wiegand said in Brussels, according to a Mar. 14 Reuters report.

Yugoslavia, whose painful breakup spawned four of Europe's bloodiest conflicts since WW II,Text Box:  
would finally cease to exist but without disintegrating into more unstable parts.

Kosovo, a part of Serbia now occupied by NATO and administered by the United Nations, remains part of the Serbia and Montenegro.  But even the latest compromise deal raised hopes of independence for Kosovo among some Albanian politicians.  

“This agreement will accelerate the process of independence for Kosovo, because from today Yugoslavia no longer exists,” Ruxhdi Sefa, a senior official from the province's third largest party the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, told Reuters on Mar. 14.

Serbia and Montenegro, the only two of Yugoslavia's six republics not to break away since the old federation started to unravel along ethnic lines in 1991, will now draft a new constitution, along with federal leaders.  Parliaments will need to agree to the document which will replace the current Federal institutions with a new “Union” parliament, president, cabinet and army.

Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica and Djukanovic were feted at a summit of EU leaders in Barcelona on Friday (Mar. 15), a further step in calming the Balkans.  Kostunica's job will be replaced by a less powerful position in the new union, which analysts said may hasten a showdown with his ruling coalition rival, Serbian Premier Zoran Djindjic.

But when Kostunica returned to Belgrade, he landed smack in the middle of another spy crisis.  For more on that, stand by for our next report, “General Perisic: An American Spy?”


Caught Red-handed in Espionage Case, Perisic Confesses But Pleads Innocent, Citing Primacy of International over National Law

2. General Perisic: An American Spy?

Belgrade Apologizes to Washington! For What? For Doing Too Good Job of Counterespionage?

BELGRADE, Mar. 19 - Imagine a former top American military official, now a high-ranking government minister, being arrested with two of his former military aides while meeting a foreign power’s spook at a restaurant.  The charge?  Espionage.  Some secret U.S. military materials, found in the foreign spy’s briefcase, serve as evidence. 

All hell would break loose in Washington, right?  The State Department and the White House would send messages of outrage to that foreign power, demanding explanations and apologies.  In fact, in the “good old days” of the Cold War, such domestic traitors could be summarily court-marshaled and probably executed, maybe along with the foreign spy. 

After all, that’s exactly what happened to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, for example.  The couple were tried, convicted and sentenced to death by Judge Irving Kaufman. They were executed on June 19, 1953 for wartime espionage (see “Cold War Spies and Espionage”).  And Rosenbergs were “mere” civilians who betrayed their country!

Well, that was in the “good old days.”  What happened on Thursday night (Mar. 14) in Belgrade, Serbia, was just the reverse.  A foreign power (America), which engaged in a failed spying endeavor, and which got caught red-handed in its espionage activities, professed outrage and demanded apology.  And amazingly - got it, from the vassal Serb authorities who rushed to defend the accused traitors.

Furthermore, the three domestic defendants were released by Serb authorities on Saturday (Mar. 16), solely on the basis of the “enormous pressure by the international community, specifically the U.S. government,” according to a Mar. 18 report by the Serbian language daily “Glas Javnosti.” 

So much for respect of the law and for sovereignty of Serbia and Montenegro and its judicial system.  O tempora, o mores…

Here’s what happened…

Agents of the Serb military security service, known as KOS, entered on Thursday night the restaurant “Saric,” south of Belgrade, and arrested General Momcilo Perisic, former chief of the general staff of the Yugoslav army, along with Colonel Miodrag Sekulic and Vladimir Vlajkovic.  Perisic is currently serving as Serbia’s deputy prime minister.

An American diplomat, (General) John David Neighbor, the U.S. Embassy’s first secretary, with whom the three Serbs were meeting, was also detained for questioning.  Neighbor reportedly heads up the CIA’s Balkans desk, according to Deutsche Presse-Agentur (Mar. 18) and Agence France Press (Mar. 19) reports,

Serb military sources told the Associated Press that Perisic was apprehended while allegedly handing over secret army documents that “could link (the former Serb president) Milosevic with war crimes.”  Milosevic is currently on trial by the U.N. war crimes tribunal at the Hague for his alleged role in atrocities committed by troops loyal to him in Kosovo, Bosnia and Croatia.

The secret documents, which reportedly included tape recordings of some top Serb military leaders’ meetings, were reportedly found in the American’s briefcase.  Neighbor later claimed they were planted there by the Serb army.

But Belgrade’s “Vecernje Novosti” (“Evening News”) said that Perisic admitted to the military investigative judge that he had turned over confidential documents to the American diplomat (see, Mar. 18, 17:05-news in Serbian).  Perisic defended his action by saying he was innocent of the charge of espionage, since he was obligated to do so by international law (the Hague Tribunal), which (in his opinion) ranks higher than the domestic law.

Col. Sekulic, who allegedly secured the secret documents for his former army boss, is in charge of Yugoslav Army’s electronic surveillance, Belgrade sources said.

Belgrade’s Apology to Washington: For What? 

For Doing Too Good Job of Counterespionage?

"From the outset of his interrogation, John David Neighbor presented himself as the head of the CIA in the Balkans," Belgrade’s “Vecernje Novosti” reported on Mar 18, quoting Serb military sources (see AFP, Mar. 19).  He was released by the army after 15 hours of interrogation, during which Neighbor claimed he was roughed up (a hood was allegedly placed over his head after he was apprehended). 

"I expressed my personal apology and that of the Yugoslav government (to U.S. ambassador William Montgomery) over the procedure against the American diplomat," foreign minister, Goran Svilanovic, told Belgrade’s Radio B-92.

After a crisis meeting with the Serb prime minister, Zoran Djindjic, upon his return from Barcelona late on Friday, Yugoslav president, Vojislav Kostunica, did not condemn the arrests, saying only that the charges leveled against Perisic were serious.  "According to everything I have learned so far, and I repeat so far, the legality of the procedure itself, from the standpoint of domestic procedure, is not disputable," he said.

But Djindjic, a leading American stooge in Belgrade, described the arrest as "a first-rate scandal with international consequences."

State Department spokesman, Richard Boucher, said on Mar. 18 that Washington considered the case closed as a "bilateral issue," but denied reports that the detained diplomat had been involved in any kind of espionage.

"We have received a formal apology from (Svilanovic)," Boucher told reporters. "We've accepted that apology.... we view it as a public acknowledgment of the military's inappropriate and excessive actions and we now consider this closed as a bilateral issue".

Wait a minute... What’s the rush to have the case “closed” without completing the due process of law?

Clash of Generals?

General Perisic served as Yugoslavia's chief of the general staff during the wars in Croatia and Bosnia (1993-1998), but was fired by Milosevic in November 1998, on the eve of NATO bombardment of Yugoslavia, allegedly for criticizing the Kosovo campaign against ethnic Albanian militants ordered by Milosevic (see “You Are Wrong about Gen. Perisic,” this writer’s letter to the New York Times, Nov. 30, 1998, and (see "Senators Urge Ouster of Milosevic", TiM GW Bulletin 98/12-8, 12/26/98).

The NATO attack was intended, among other things, to punish Milosevic for his crackdown against Kosovo's ethnic Albanians.  During the period before the strikes, Perisic had met top NATO commanders, including U.S. Gen. Wesley Clark, NATO’s Supreme Commander during the bombing.

After his ouster, Perisic formed the opposition Movement for Democratic Serbia, which played a role in Milosevic's ouster in October 2000. After Milosevic was forced to resign and cede power to the Washington-financed and led “Ostrich Revolution,” Perisic became Serbia's deputy prime minister, responsible for security and defense issues.

Perisic commanded the old Yugoslav Army (JNA) troops during the opening stages of wars in Croatia and Bosnia. He was sentenced in a Croat court in absentia to 20 years in prison for ordering the shelling of Adriatic towns of Sibenik and Zadar (for a firsthand account of what really happened in Zadar, see “Don’t Mess with Serb Generals,” TiM Bulletin 93-11, Nov. 1993).

One Belgrade source said a local TV report Perisic had been “a CIA man” since 1999, possibly in the hopes of avoiding an indictment by the Hague war crimes tribunal.  Others, such as unnamed Serb military sources cited in a Mar. 18 “Glas Javnosti” story, say that “some information had been flowing from Perisic to American intelligence services” even at the time when the general was in charge of the Yugoslav Army.

General Nebojsa Pavkovic, the Serb army’s current chief of the general staff, who had held the same position in Milosevic’s regime (see “Serb General Warns the West Plans to Provoke Violence,” Sep. 22, 2000 ), has already been indicted by the Hague tribunal for his role in Kosovo as commander of the Third Army (see TiM Editor's "Tour de Serbia" - Stage 2 (Nis), Sep. 1999).  Pavkovic and Perisic have frequently clashed in public, through the media (see S99-142, KFOR "Peacefarce" 36 - Special TiM GW Bulletins, Aug. 29, 1999), which led some sources to speculate that Pavkovic had ordered the arrests.

Officially, Pavkovic was not involved in the arrest, according to sources close to Yugoslav president Kostunica.  The order to apprehend the suspects came from General Aco Tomic, who is in charge of the army’s security service. But since the arrests were made by members of the special anti-terrorist unit “Kobra,” which reports directly to Gen. Pavkovic, “it is logical that the chief of the general staff knew about the whole operation,” concluded Belgrade’s “Glas Javnosti” on Mar. 18.

Whoever led this counter-espionage operation, evidently did a good job of it. For, at a marathon weekend meeting at the offices of president Kostunica, attended by the DOS (Serb ruling coalition) and the Serb military leaders, the army had reportedly presented an unequivocal proof of guilt of the accused. 

“After that, some DOS leaders left the meeting looking rather nervous,” the “Glas” said.  And for a good reason.  For, their cozy and subservient if not treasonous arrangement with Washington had been evidently exposed.

At the end of the long meeting, it was decided that a new Council for National Security be formed, which will oversea the work of both civilian and military intelligence agencies.

Good idea.  If Washington and its Belgrade government stooges agree.  Which they probably won’t.  Already, Secretary of State Colin Powell and his EU cronies are back to their old financial blackmail tactics (see Item 3 of this Bulletin).


2a. American Spy Scandal Heating Up in BelgradeMar. 20, 2002

Perisic Videotaped Handing Secret Disks to CIA Man

BELGRADE, Mar. 20 - The American spy scandal in Belgrade is heating up just as Washington is trying to cool it down.  And the scenario is starting to look as if it were taken straight out of a Cold War spy film.

“Blic,” a Belgrade newspaper, published Wednesday (Mar. 20) a front page story that provides additional details about the superb job the Yugoslav Army ‘s military intelligence unit had done.  The Serb counter-espionage service obtained unequivocal proof before arresting General Momcilo Perisic and his two former aides on espionage charges.  Perisic was caught red-handed in the act of espionage, according to the “Blic.”  The videotaped footage shows the former Serb army chief taking the disks from under his track suit, and handing them over to John David Neighbor, ostensibly the first secretary of the U.S. embassy, but allegedly chief of the CIA Balkans desk.

Yes, that’s the very same Neighbor who then did an unneighborly thing.  He lied and denied everything.  As you saw in our initial report, Neighbor reportedly claimed that the evidence found in his briefcase had been planted by the Serb army.  But that was before the army produced the videotape that showed this Neighbor and the State Department as afflicted by a hoof-in-mouth disease. 

The large egg planted on Washington’s face by the Belgrade spy scandal even earned the Serb army security service a reluctant compliment by the American ambassador in Belgrade. William Montgomery, initially also expressed an outrage over the incident.  But a much humbler Montgomery reportedly just said “Congratulations!” - upon viewing the evidence against Neighbor gathered by the Serb army’s counterespionage unit, according to the “Blic.”

No wonder the State Department was in such a rush to call the matter closed (see Item 2 above).

The professionalism of the Serb military intelligence unit made its former boss (Perisic) and the local CIA chief look like amateurish fools.  But the Serb quisling politicians, such as Zoran Djindjic and Goran Svilanovic, for example, made even greater fools of themselves.  Not only were the Serb prime minister and Yugoslav foreign minister clueless about what was going on in their backyard; they rushed to condemn the real heroes of the operation - the Serb military intelligence service.  Acting like two good Washington lapdogs, they wagged their tails and barked on cue, hoping the master would give them a pat on the head.

Instead, they may get a boot in the butt.  For, the omnipotent “master of the world” (America) does not like being made to look foolish by its vassals.


The “Blic” also reported today (Mar. 20) that Perisic has resigned as deputy prime minister of Serbia.  "Nedeljni Telegraf," a Belgrade weekly, said in its latest edition that the surveillance videotape also shows him as accepting $1,000 as payment for services rendered to his American handlers.

The Telegraf story provides many "gory details" about the late night meeting of Serb political and military leaders at the Federation Palace (Kostunica's office), at which the damning Perisic tape was screened. The article suggests that Kostunica and Gen. Aco Tomic, the head of the Serb military intelligence service, were behind the brilliant counter-espionage play that embarrassed Washington and all its Belgrade vassals.  

Even Gen. Pavkovic, for whose resignation or firing Djindjic has been lobbying for 18 months now, is shown to be in the quisling camp, or was at least unaware of the trap being set for Perisic and the CIA.  So "Djindjic and friends" have now changed the tune, calling for the resignation or firing of Gen. Tomic.  And speaking in Brussels, the Yugoslav foreign minister Svilanovic said that Serbia's integration into EU is now conditioned by the removal of Pavkovic and Tomic from their positions.

So far, however, Kostunica isn't budging.  Which is fueling speculation that the Yugoslav a.k.a. Serbia and Montenegro president may finally fire Pavkovic himself, and replace him with Tomic (to read the Telegraf story in Serbian, click here).

Meanwhile, The Scotsman, a Glasgow newspaper, reports today (Mar. 20) that "Mr Neighbor has been spirited back to Washington."  A friendlier neighborhood, we suppose?  

The Scotsman story (mis)titled "Serbian PM resigns over spy claims," also notes that Perisic "reportedly gave the documents to Mr Neighbor for cash" (to read the article, click here).

Here is an excerpt from the “Blic” story:


Translated by Bojan Vojvodic

BEOGRAD, Mar. 20 – The Yugoslav Army (VJ) military intelligence service’s arrest of Momcilo Perisic, and the discovery of illegal activities of John David Neighbor, the first secretary of the US Embassy in Belgrade, was also praised by the American ambassador in Belgrade William Montgomery – says “Blic” source close to the military judiciary.

When Montgomery was presented the evidence about the role of his diplomat in this incident, the American ambassador allegedly spontaneously said: “That is what I was afraid of.” Our source claims that, after he had learned the facts about Neighbor’s activities in Yugoslavia over an extended period of time, Montgomery just said: “Congratulations!” […]

According to the “Blic sources, Neighbor did not have his diplomatic passport at the moment when the members of the special “Cobra” Army unit arrested him with Momcilo Perisic in the “Saric” motel on March 14.   The same source claims that the briefcase in which the first embassy secretary put the floppy disks he had received from Perisic did not have a diplomatic label. The source adds that the opening of Neighbor's case and the inspection of its content was recorded on a videotape.

“Blic” source says that the Serb military intelligence service also recorded the moment when Perisic produced the disks under his track suit and handed them over to Neighbor.

For the full original Serb language version of the above story, click on .


Here It Comes... Retaliation!

3. Washington Responds to "Balkan Spy" Embarrassment with Financial BlackmailMar. 20, 2002

Powell Again Links Financial Aid with Hague Collaboration

WASHINGTON, Mar. 18 - Washington’s response to the embarrassing “Balkan Spy” affair was swift and predictable.  Blackmail, threats, sanctions… and then more sanctions. 

What else is new?  That’s the way Washington has treated Serbia for the last 10 years.  It evidently makes no difference whether Slobodan Milosevic or now its own vassals run the country. 

Only now Washington’s retaliation for the tiny Serb military intelligence service’s exposing a large egg on the faces of the mighty State Department and the CIA is indirect.  It is linked to Serbia’s “cooperation” UN war crimes tribunal.

Yugoslavia could lose $40m in vital financial aid if it does not start to co-operate with theText Box: Miffed and Embarrassed
Del Ponte and Powell
international war crimes tribunal, US Secretary of State Colin Powell has warned,” according to a BBC Word News Mar. 18 report.  Powell spoke after meeting with the world’s kangaroo-in-chief, Carla Del Ponte, the chief prosecutor at the Hague.

A deadline looms at the end of this month for the United States Congress to on whether Yugoslavia has met the conditions for a new tranche of cash.  "If they are not deserving they won't get it. If they are, they will, and they know what they have to do and we'll keep the pressure on," Powell added.

Diplomats have speculated that the March 31 deadline could provoke the last minute arrests of wanted war crimes suspects similar to that of Slobodan Milosevic this time last year, the BBC speculated.  The dramatic arrest of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in April of last year was linked to similar international aid, which was subsequently granted.

"I told [Ms Del Ponte] we would redouble our efforts to get the kind of co-operation we need," said Mr Powell.

Ms Del Ponte is a long standing critic of what she considers to be Belgrade's obstruction of the tribunal's work. Co-operation with the tribunal is a divisive issue in Yugoslavia. It is opposed by President Vojislav Kostunica but supported by Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic.

For the full BBC report, click here.


TiM Ed.: It is a sad day for Serbia when its former military leader is willing to betray his country for $1,000, and the current prime minister is ready to sell it out for a mere $40 million.

Of course, no surprise there. Both Perisic and Djindjic were among the leaders of the "Ostrich Revolution" that millions of Serbs cheered while TiM jeered (see "Fifth Column," Not Street "Revolutionaries" Toppled Milosevic, Oct 25, 2000), “Serb "Ostrich Revolution" Was Anything But Spontaneous,” Oct. 11, 2000, “How Washington Bought the Yugoslav Presidency”, Dec. 12, 2000). 

Now the voters are having to harvest what they sowed - both in Serbia and in America.


4. Prisoners for DollarsMar. 26, 2002

Washington Vassals in Serbia Prostrate Themselves Anew, Release Albanian Prisoners to Get U.S. Aid; Albanians Refuse to Reciprocate

NIS, Mar. 26 - Serbian authorities have begun transferring the last of the ethnic-Albanian prisoners jailed during the Kosovo crisis back to the province, the BBC World News reported today.  More than 100 Kosovo Albanians had been imprisoned for various terrorist offences committed prior to the NATO occupation of that Serbian province.  The Albanian prisoners' cases will now be reviewed in Kosovo, where some may be required to serve out their sentences.

Prime minister of Kosovo, Bajram Redzepi, said that the Albanian prisoners who arrive to Kosovo will first be placed in the "Dubrava" prison near Istok, until it is established who is guilty and who's not.  Those who are proven not guilty will be released, said Redzepi.  He did not elaborate about how this extra-judicial process will be carried out.

The prisoners-for-dollars trade was one of the insulting conditions outlined by the U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, in order for Serbia to receive the next tranche of U.S. financing, due March 31 (the other being its cooperation with the UN kangaroo court at the Hague - see Item 3 of this Bulletin - “Washington Responds to "Balkan Spy" Embarrassment with Financial Blackmail,” Mar. 18).

Can the Washington vassals in Serbia prostrate themselves any more?  Yes, they can, it would appear.  Get this…

The prisoner exchange agreement reached between Serbia and the NATO/UN authorities in Kosovo also covered the transfer to Serbia of the Serb prisoners held in Kosovo.  But President of Kosovo, Ibrahim Rugova, said today that, while he is grateful for Belgrade’s transfer of Albanian prisoners from the prisons in central Serbia, there will be no exchange; none of the Serbs in (its Kosovo) province's prisons would be released, the Serb national TV network RTS reported today (Mar. 26) (translation by Bojan Vojvodic).

No comment is necessary.


5. Serb Quislings Snubbed by WashingtonApr. 3, 2002

Powell Postpones Decision on Yugoslav Aid, U.S. Money Stays Frozen

BELGRADE, Apr. 3 - What did the Belgrade quislings get for prostrating themselves so low before their Washington masters that to be any lower, they’d have to dig in?  A kick in the teeth!  Which is what they deserved, of course.

But wait… No, Zoran Djindjic (Serbia’s prime minister) et. al. did not get their well-earned rebuke from the Serb people.  No, Sir.  It was their Washington bosses who kicked them away like annoying lapdogs.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell indefinitely postponed a decision to certify Yugoslavia's cooperation with a U.N. war crimes tribunal, a move that will keep $40 million in much-needed assistance to Belgrade frozen. 

Powell “has decided to defer a decision on whether the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has met the criteria,” deputy State Department spokesman Philip Reeker said.

As you saw in Item 3 of this TiM Bulletin (Washington Responds to "Balkan Spy" Embarrassment with Financial Blackmail, Mar. 20), besides the $40 million, Washington's support for multilateral loans to Belgrade from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank were also at stake.

“Although Yugoslavia has made significant progress with respect to the certification criteria, the secretary has determined that it would be premature to certify at this point,” the State Department said in a statement.

Powell's move came despite an announcement from the Yugoslav government earlier Monday (Apr. 1) that it would “cooperate fully” with the UN court and hand over indicted suspects wanted by the tribunal.

“The federal government decided unanimously during an extraordinary meeting to cooperate fully with the tribunal and to demand all state organs to also cooperate fully,” Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic told reporters.  “This means allowing access to archives in a way that does not harm national dignity and the arrest and transfer to The Hague of those charged with war crimes.”

Opening national military archives to foreign powers “does not harm national dignity?”  Hm… Wonder what kind of a “nation” Svilanovic is talking about?  To us, it seems more like a nation of slaves, not of once proud Serbs (see Item 1 of this Bulletin, Yugoslavia: R.I.P. and Good Riddance!, Mar. 20).

Powell had praised some steps Belgrade has taken in meeting the U.S. requirements - such as releasing 145 Kosovo Albanian prisoners that had been held in Serbian jails (see Item 4 of this TiM Bulletin - Prisoners for Dollars, Mar. 26).  Yet the Serb vassals have received neither the dollars, nor the Serb prisoners from Kosovo, in return for their subservience.

Powell also came down hard on Belgrade's reluctance to hand over war crimes indictees to the Hague tribunal.  Although four more war crimes suspects have been transferred there since former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic was kidnapped and shipped to the Hague on June 28, 2001, there has been no attempt to arrest high-profile indictees believed to be in Serbia..

These include senior allies of Milosevic such as Serbian President Milan Milutinovic and Yugoslav army chief Dragoljub Ojdanic, and former Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic, whom the Hague court has insisted that he has been in hiding in Serbia.

Yugoslav president Vojislav Kostunica reacted Monday (Apr. 1) to the Powell decision by urgently calling for the adoption of a Yugoslav law that stipulates cooperation with the tribunal, the AFP said.  Kostunica’s hurry to pass apparently an unconstitutional law is rather curious given the oft-stated legalistic approach that this lawyer has adopted in the past, according to the western media anyway.  

“As far as I am aware, there is no similar example in the history of constitutional law when a government made such a mockery of constitutionality and law,” writes Milan Tepavac, a Belgrade constitutional lawyer, whose comments longtime TiM readers may recall from our past reports (see Kostunica Likens Himself to Lenin! Other Balkans Stories, Nov 7, 2000), and How Washington Bought Yugoslav Presidency (Dec 12, 2000).

So add another former Serb nationalist (Kostunica) to the list of Washington doormats in Belgrade.

Meanwhile, one reason Washington’s Belgrade stooges have not arrested some Hague indictees is that they would get their teeth kicked in if they tried.  Former top associates of Slobodan Milosevic vowed today (Apr. 3) to resist arrest and extradition to the U.N. war crimes tribunal - defying the Serb leadership and its attempts to avoid U.S. sanctions, the Associated Press reported from Belgrade.

Serbia has said it would arrest and extradite (Ret.) Gen. Dragoljub Ojdanic, who commanded the army under the former Yugoslav president during 1999 NATO bombing; Milan Milutinovic, the current Serb president; Nikola Sainovic, Milosevic's top security adviser; and Vlajko Stojiljkovic, a former Serbian interior minister.

The most direct challenge to the arrest warrants, issued by the Serb government earlier this week, came from Gen. Ojdanic.  He said in a statement relayed to the Associated Press by his family that he is "not afraid of an arrest" and would resist any detention attempt.

“And would resist” - being the key phrase here. 

Ojdanic has left the Yugoslav capital for an undisclosed location. Sainovic and Stojiljkovic are also somewhere in Serbia, and do not intend to surrender voluntarily, Dusan Bajatovic, spokesman for Milosevic's Socialist party, told the AP (click here at our web site to read the full story).

Milutinovic has immunity from prosecution in his post, which is largely ceremonial.

Ojdanic said he would surrender only if the Yugoslav Parliament passes a law on cooperation with war crimes tribunal in The Hague.  Serb leaders have said that because of the U.S. step (to continue the aid freeze) there is no time to pass an extradition law before the arrests are made.

The Serb prime minister Djindjic warned Wednesday of the “catastrophic economic consequences” of the U.S. aid freeze.

That a mere $40 million can be “catastrophic” for an entire country’s economy is, of course, a ludicrous assertion.  But it could be catastrophic for the Belgrade quislings’ personal bank accounts.

“The $40 million is a drop in the bucket,” a Belgrade businessman told TiM.  “Besides, the Serb people at large would have never seen that money.  It would have all gone to Djindjic and his cronies.”

If true, Washington has for once made the right move, albeit for the wrong reasons.  Djindjic et. al. have already shown that they are ready to sell themselves and their country for pittance.  So why waste money bribing beggars?  

Powell should do the right thing for the right reasons - pay to Serbia $30 billion+ as unconditional, interest free, war reparations.  That would be a small compensation for the destruction of the country's CIVILIAN infrastructure that the American bombs have caused.  No amount of money, of course, can compensate the families of innocent civilians killed by American bombs.  But a small amount of compassion might be a good start.


See TiM Readers' Forum some reactions and comments about these and other articles. 


For additional stories on Balkan affairs, click here, or on the year for an index of past issues - 1999, 1998, 1997 and earlier.  

Also see"From Apparatchik to Bogeyman to Martyr,"  “Milosevic at the Hague: A Mockery of Justice” (June 2001), Hail to the Yugo Chief, Followed by Turn-about-Face” (Jan. 16, 2001), “How Washington Bought the Yugoslav Presidency” (Dec. 12, 2000), “Kostunica Snubs Albright; Serbia Is in Love, Again...,” (Nov. 28, 2000), "Fifth Column," Not Street "Revolutionaries" Toppled Milosevic (Oct 25, 2000), “Serb "Ostrich Revolution" Was Anything But Spontaneous,” (Oct. 11, 2000), “How Milosevic Sold Out Kosovo,” Sep. 1, 1999, "Milosevic: 'A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery'..." - TiM GW Bulletin 98/6-6 (6/22/98), “Toward Another ‘Red October,’” (Sep. 8, 2000), "Biting the Hand That Feeds You" (November 1998), "A Balkan Affairs Potpourri" (October 1998), "Put the U.N. Justice on Trial" (August 1998), "International Justice 'Progresses' from Kidnapping to Murder" (July 1998), "Jimmy Carter Is a Trojan Horse" (TiM Dec/94+The News, 1/05/95), and other stories in the The Balkans Affairs section of the TiM web site.

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