June 18, 1999; 11:30PM EDT - "Peace" 5
Kosovo 1. Serb Patriarch Heads for Kosovo to Stem Serb Exodus
Kosovo 2. Serb Nuns Beaten, Tortured by Albanians at Devic Monastery
Helsinki 3. Russia Does It to Serbia Again, Yielding to NATO
Belgrade 4. Yugoslav Military Downed 61 NATO Aircraft?
San Diego 5. Col. Hackworth: What Victory?
1. Serb Patriarch Heads for Kosovo to Stem Serb Exodus
KOSOVO, June 18 - Displaying the kind of leadership which we have come to expect only from the bravest of the warriors, the frail, 84-year old Serbian spiritual leader, Patriarch Pavle, said he would move to Kosovo in a show of solidarity with the region's Serb minority.
The Patriarch declared this one day after the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church demanded Slobodan Milosevic's resignation (see S99-109, "Peace" 3, June 15), as up to 50,000 Serb refugees were fleeing the NATO "peace process," according to a front page story in the USA TODAY (today, June 18).
Patriarch Pavle appealed to Serbs and their fellow Orthodox Montenegrins "not to leave your centuries-old hearths and your holy places" in Kosovo, the birthplace of Serbian culture. He said he would travel to the western Kosovo city of Pec (the seat of the old Serb Patriarchate), and stay there for an extended period "with all my spiritual children and all well-meaning people living there.''
Pec, controlled now by Italian NATO "peacekeepers," has been the spiritual seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church since 1346 (i.e., since before the Kosovo Battle in 1389).
2. Serb Nuns Beaten, Tortured by Albanians at Devic Monastery
KOSOVO, June 18 - Ethnic Albanian terrorists took over the Serb Devic (female) monastery right after the Yugoslav police withdrew, as provided by the NATO "peace process." The Albanians beat and tortured the nuns, according to the Mother Superior, Anastasia.
The Albanians threatened the youngest nuns mostly, but the unity of sisterhood and courage of the Mother Superior saved their "Angel image", as the Orthodox Christians understand monastic oath for celibacy.
The confessor of the sisterhood of Devic monastery, old Fr. Seraphim, was forced by the Albanians to carry a heavy load of monastery food and inventory, by day and by night. The monastery has been "totally looted," according to Serb sources.
The ethnic Albanians desecrated and destroyed the altar of the Monastery church, and damaged the fresco paintings in it. The relics of St. Joanikije of Devic, the greatest sanctity of the Monastery Devic, were also ruined.
Today, a French K-FOR command decided that 10 of its soldiers should remain at the Devic monastery to protect the nuns from further harassment. Patriarch Pavle is also expected to visit the monastery today.
His most recent visit was in January, when he was also stopped and mistreated by armed ethnic Albanians. (see our report about that incident, as told to the TiM editor by the Patriarch Pavle himself, during this writer's visit to Belgrade in late April (Day 24, Update 1, Item 2, Apr. 17 - www.truthinmedia.org/Kosovo/day24up1.html).
3. Russia Does It to Serbia Again, Yielding to NATO
HELSINKI, June 18 - After a brief, flash-in-a-pan, stand off at the Pristina airport with the world's most powerful military alliance, the Russian quisling government today meekly caved in and agreed to its assigned role of being a waterboy to NATO's "peacekeeping" force in Kosovo.
If in doubt about this characterization of today's agreement signed in Helsinki by the U.S. secretary of defense, William Cohen, and the Russian defense minister, Igor Sergeyev, just listen to an American negotiator in this deal gloat, according to today's Washington Post:
"We got what we needed in that there will be no Russian sector, no partition and no alternative to a unified NATO command structure," a senior Clinton administration official told the Washington Post today. "The Russians finally realized those were red lines that none of the allies would cross."
TiM Ed.: So they folded their tents, and sold the Serbs out. Again. Just as Viktor Chernomyrdin and Slobodan Milosevic did it in their initial "peace agreement" (see S99-100, Day 72, Update 2, June 3).
The deal will allow 3,000 Russian soldiers to patrol sectors of the southern Serbian province controlled by American, French and German troops. Cohen and Sergeyev acknowledged the agreement raises the stakes in the Russian-NATO relationship because the two sides are now clearly embedded in a long-term strategic partnership to stabilize the southern Balkans, Europe's most volatile region.
TiM Ed.: Only 3,000 Russian troops? Whatever happened to the 10,000 to 15,000 troops which Moscow had been expecting to send to Kosovo? Not to mention the "Russian sector" which will similarly never come to pass.
Senior U.S. officials said nearly 3,000 Russian troops would be equally distributed among the three allied sectors, with 750 others assigned to maintenance and fuel supply duties at the airport in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo. NATO personnel will handle all flight plans and air control matters.
About 200 Russian troops have occupied the airport since last Saturday, when they arrived in the early morning to cheering crowds of Kosovo Serbs following a day-long dash from Bosnia to beat NATO forces into the Serbian province.
Moscow will maintain authority over its own soldiers but coordinate their activities with respective national commanders in each sector, who in turn will answer to NATO's chief commander in Kosovo, British Lt. Gen. Mike Jackson. In effect, this system ensures that NATO will remain in charge, but Russia can claim to perpetuate its own chain of command.
4. Yugoslav Military Downed 61 NATO Aircraft?
BELGRADE, June 16 - The Yugoslav army downed 61 allied fighter jets, 30 unmanned spy aircraft, 7 helicopters and 238 missiles during the NATO air strikes campaign, according to Yugoslav armed forces chief of general staff chief, Gen. Dragoljub Ojdanic.
The Yugoslav army chief stated on the occasion of the Yugoslav Armed Forces Day that the resistance displayed by the Serb army and the Serb people will be the object of study for war analysts.
TiM Ed. Yeah, right. The morale and unity of the Serb people certainly did remain high, until Milosevic and his stooges caved in to NATO. So spare us the violins, Gen. Ojdanic.
5. Col. Hackworth: What Victory?
SAN DIEGO, June 18 - We had received the following column by Col. David Hackworth, America's most decorated living soldier, before today's Russian-American agreement on Kosovo's "peacekeeping" became public. With that as a preamble, many of "Hack's" comments are still as valid today as they were on June 15, when he wrote this piece:
Also, check out... Truth in Media Statement on Kosovo Crisis, "Wither Dayton, Sprout New War?", "On the Brink of Madness", "Tragic Deja Vu's," "Seven U.S. Senators Suggest Ouster of Milosevic", "Biting the Hand That Feeds You", "A Balkan Affairs Potpourri", "Put the U.N. Justice on Trial", "International Justice 'Progresses' from Kidnapping to Murder", "Milosevic: 'A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery'...", "Kosovo Lie Allowed to Stand", "New World Order's Inquisition in Bosnia", "Kosovo Heating Up", "Decani Monastery Under Siege?", "Murder on Wall Street", "Kosovo: 'Bosnia II', Serbia's Aztlan", "What If the Shoe Were on the Other Foot?", "Green Interstate - Not Worth American Lives", "An American Hero or Actor of the Year?" (A June '95 TiM story) and/or "Clinton arme secrètement les musulmans bosniaques"
Or Djurdjevic's WASHINGTON TIMES columns: "Chinese Dragon Wagging Macedonian Tail," "An Ugly Double Standard in Kosovo Conflict?", "NATO's Bullyboys", "Kosovo: Why Are We Involved?", and "Ginning Up Another Crisis"