Slobodan Miloshevich: Key Symbol in a Great Power Game

Les Schaffer schaffer at
Mon Apr 2 09:26:14 MDT 2001

[ part II from Jared ]

The 'Times' Spreads a Deadly Lie

by Jared Israel [2 April 2001]
Since Slobodan Miloshevich decided to voluntarily submit to what was,
in his and many other people's opinion, a U.S.-ordered arrest, a new
theme has emerged in the Establishment press. Put simply:
"Mr. Miloshevich is suicidal." This is rather ominous. Mr. Miloshevich
represents those forces in Serbia who wish to resist the U.S. This is
a plain fact, irrelevant of whether one "likes" Mr. Miloshevich or
"dislikes" him. That is why Senator Joseph Biden said, in Senate
testimony a year and a half ago:

      "The most likely thing to do is nail the son of a gun
      [Miloshevich] by literally going in and getting him and
      dragging him to The Hague. If we had a brain in our
      collective heads, that's what we would do; literally, not

      "It's amazing what a salutary impact that has upon
      extremes in countries....

      "And that's why the single best thing we -- my dream is
      to visit Milosevic in prison. [Laughter.] I mean that
      sincerely. I'm not being facetious. Because you put
      Milosevic in prison, and things in the region will change

      "If you said to me, 'You can leave him where he is or
      give him a plane ticket to take off to some -- like the
      former leader of Uganda, well, you know, we gave him --
      what was his name? -- Idi Amin -- we can give him an
      "Idi Amin passport' and he would leave; I'd say no,
      leave him there, leave him there till we get him. Put him
      in jail…." (Senate Hearings on "Bringing" Democracy
      to Serbia, 29 July 1999,

The ideal scenario for the U.S. government would be to stage a show
trial in which Mr. Miloshevich confessed that he was guilty of NATO's

The problem for the U.S. government is Mr. Miloshevich is a hard man
to break.

I was part of a group of three people who spent two and half hours
talking to President Miloshevich after we attended a conference in
Serbia last week. He is tough-minded; he is "cynical" about
U.S. Establishment intentions. (I put cynical in quotes because I
think his assessment is accurate.) He is very calm. Most important, he
is certain that the tide in Serbia is turning in favor of the
Socialists and their nationalist allies.  Frankly, in my conversations
with ordinary people there, I had the same impression. But whether
heis right or wrong, the point is - he is optimistic.
Hopeful. Stimulated by discussion. Anxious to lead. Excited about the
future. Not suicidal.

He is also very stubborn. That is a famous Serbian trait. The more you
order a Serb to do something, the harder he or she resists. That's one
of the reasons they drove the German Nazis crazy.

Precisely because the Socialist Party (SPS) is getting stronger and
because within the SPS Mr. Miloshevich represents the
anti-U.S.-Establishment line, the U.S. government, which is plainly
calling the shots in the current Yugoslav regime, may find it
unfeasible to stage a Miloshevich show trial at the Hague.

Instead, they may choose to assassinate him.

Before you dismiss this thought out of hand, please recall whom we are
talking about. The U.S. Establishment has continued to finance and
train KLA terrorists while they committed the vilest crimes in Kosovo,
southern Serbia and Macedonia. The U.S. supported the KLA while it
drove 90% of non-Albanians from Kosovo. The U.S. Establishment
intentionally bombed civilian trains, homes, Serbian Television,
during the 1999 aggression against Yugoslavia.

For such people, morality is not an issue. Murder is a practical
affair: will it help us or hurt us? That is the question.

And that is the problem with killing Miloshevich. They don't want to
make him a martyr. Hence a cover story has been worked out and is
being spread in the media. This cover story portrays Miloshevich as a
nutty character prone to suicide.

This line appeared in today's 'New York Times'. Keep in mind that the
'Times' is not some ordinary newspaper. It is the closest thing to the
official voice of the American Establishment. Hence today's
 article, which suggests that Mr. Miloshevich is suicidal, should be taken

The suicide argument is slipped into a piece about Miloshevich's
arrest.  From the start, the article is misleading. Consider the

      "Serb Authorities Arrest Milosevic to End Standoff"

With any given story, most people read only the headline. This
headline clearly suggests that through the initiative of the DOS
regime, a dangerous situation was peacefully resolved - "to end the
standoff". That is, DOS was trying to avoid trouble whereas, by
implication, Mr. Miloshevich was causing it.

What are the facts? It was the DOS authorities who sent jeeps with
darkened windows, filled with armed men in black uniforms, to
Mr. Miloshevich's house last week. It was they who refused to comment,
saying they couldn't be bothered worrying about a few jeeps. Under
those circumstances, wasn't it reasonable for Mr. Miloshevich and his
supporters to believe he was about to be murdered? Then DOS mobilized
hundreds, and then literally thousands of "special police" wearing ski
masks and women's stockings over their heads. Eyewitnesses told this
reporter that some of the "special police'' spoke a non-Serbo-Croatian
language. These men were stationed all around Mr. Miloshevich's house
and all over Belgrade. Wasn't this an extreme provocation? Why did the
DOS regime do these things?

Was it because they had discovered Mr. Milshevich had committed some
monstrous crime and so they just had to arrest him immediately?

First of all, that wouldn't explain the anonymous jeeps, would it? And
second of all, during the stand-off, the news reports concerning the
so-called charges against Mr. Miloshevich varied according to which
spokesman for DOS was speaking to which Western news agency at what
time.  One police official named:

      "Miodrag Vukovic said the original charges were abuse
      of power and corruption that cost the state close to $100
      million, and that Milosevic would face a maximum
      five-year prison term if convicted." (My emphasis.)

Other DOS people said the alleged charges were far more serious.

The point is, given the inability of the DOS leaders even to agree on
a specific charge or charges, why was it suddenly such an emergency to
arrest Mr. Miloshevich? Doesn't it make sense that the urgency was not
based on a need to achieve justice, but rather on a need to get
Miloshevich behind bars or dead quickly, to meet a March 31st deadline
set by the U.S.  government?

That the U.S. government's preferred solution to the Miloshevich
'emergency' was to kill him and his staunchest supporters is suggested
by the slew of news articles that suddenly appeared with title's like
"Miloshevich: the Endgame" and "Slobo: the Final Act" and "Milosevic's
Last Stand," and so on. Having vilified the Serbian people for so
long, some folks could not avoid a certain enthusiasm over the
prospect of the destruction of this symbol of stubborn Serbian
resistance to American hegemony.

This DOS-created 'emergency' was in fact defused by Miloshevich. Even
while Miloshevich was negotiating with DOS, DOS was, according to news
reports, preparing to attack the compound and telling the press he
would never surrender. But he did surrender, and voluntarily, "to end
the standoff." It was they who tried to provoke civil war, and he who
avoided it.

To be accurate, the 'Times' story should have had a headline that
stated these facts, something like:

      "Miloshevich voluntarily surrenders to DOS authorities to end standoff."

That has quite a different political impact, does it not?

Further down, the article gets to the point, which is suicide:

      "Zarko Korac, a Serbian deputy prime minister, said
      this morning that Mr. Milosevic had waved his own gun
      during the discussion and had threatened to kill himself
      and his wife, Mirjana Markovic, and his daughter,
      Marija. Mr. Korac said Mr. Milosevic "was in bad
      shape" but had finally agreed to surrender to save

      "A senior Serbian government official said that Zoran
      Djindjic, the Serbian prime minister, had sent an
      emissary, Cedomir Jovanovic, who spent more than a
      day negotiating with Mr. Milosevic and his family. The
      official confirmed Mr. Korac's account, saying Mr.
      Milosevic's mood "swung wildly, and he talked about
      killing himself and his family."

Two things about these two paragraphs.

First, note that Zarko Korac is quoted, but we aren't told anything
about him other than his current position in the DOS government. Since
he is being cited as a source concerning Mr. Miloshevich's behavior,
isn't it important for us to know a bit about him? Is he a neutral
witness? Is he an enemy of Miloshevich?

Second, the 'Times' implies that Korac directly observed Miloshevich's
allegedly wild behavior. This impression is strengthened in the second
paragraph, which gives the impression that Mr. Korac's account was
confirmed by Cedomir Jovanovic, who, the 'Times' tells us, attended
the negotiations. But if you read the second paragraph carefully, you
will see that the 'Times' never quotes Mr. Jovanovic. Indeed, the
mention of Jovanovic's presence at the negotiations is irrelevant to
the article - except insofar as it enhances the credibility of a
certain (unnamed) "senior Serbian official" who, we are told, has
"confirmed Mr. Korac's account, saying Mr. Milosevic's mood 'swung
wildly and he talked about killing himself and his family.'"

Zarko Korac is no ordinary politician. He is quite notorious in
Serbia. For a decade he's been appearing regularly on Western TV as an
expert Yugoslav psychologist. Using those credentials, he repeats ad
nauseum the charge that Serbs suffer from collective paranoia. They
just THINK the U.S. and Germany have been financing terrorists in
Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo. They just IMAGINE that NATO has targeted
the Serbian people in its ongoing effort to destroy multiethnic
Yugoslavia. They are under the ILLUSION that they've all been driven
out of Kosovo, that they've been bombed with depleted uranium, that
the Hague Tribunal was set up to destroy their leaders. So much
paranoia; so little time.

This morning I spoke to a Socialist Party (SPS) spokesman, Vladamir
Kershylanin. He checked with SPS leader Banislav Ivkovic, who was
present throughout the negotiations.

Ivkovic says Zarko Korac did not take part. Not for a minute.

Thus the 'Times' is presenting a most damaging picture of
Miloshevich's mental condition based on the testimony of a
Miloshevich-hater who has made a living slandering Serbian culture,
and who in any event did not observe Mr. Miloshevich during the
negotiations. And then the 'Times' 'confirms' Korac's misleading
statements by quoting an unnamed official who apparently also did not
attend the negotiations. To top it off, the 'Times' 'quotes' this real
or imaginary official in a sentence structured so as to mention the
misleading fact that Cedomir Jovanovic was present at the
negotiations, thus giving the hasty reader a false impression that he
has been given an eye-wsitness account.

That's a lot of misinformation to squeeze into two little paragraphs,
is it not?

If the 'Times' were trying to practice unbiased journalism, what might
it have done different?

To start with, it should have told us something like this:

      "Zarko Korac, a psychologist whose accusations about
      the paranoia of Serbian culture have made him a highly
      controversial figure in Yugoslavia, and who was not
      present, reported that Mr. Miloshevich acted unstable
      at the negotiations."

Then the 'Times' should have asked someone from Mr. Miloshevich's team
to answer Korac's accusation. Wouldn't that be fair? You know, like,
present both sides? Isn't that what NEWSpapers are supposed to do? Or
am I being absurdly old-fashioned?

If the 'Times' had bothered to check with the SPS, they would have
told the 'Times' what they told me this morning:

      "In fact, Mr. Miloshevich was quite calm which is
      amazing given the threat to himself, his family and his
      supporters. Why is Mr. Korac, who was not present,
      telling these lies about Mr. Miloshevich's actions and
      mood? We fear this is an effort to create public opinion
      which views Mr. Miloshevich as suicidal. Then, in the
      likely eventuality that the DOS-controlled, or should we
      say the U.S.-controlled Serbian judiciary cannot break
      Mr. Miloshevich, thus making it impossible to stage a
      proper show trial, the regime will assassinate him in jail
      and say he committed suicide."

As is well argued elsewhere (see Diana Johnstone, Sven Olafsson and
T.V. & Alida Weber) the attack on Miloshevich is an attack on the
Serbian people.  The best way to prevent the U.S. government from
having him killed is to expose their media campaign to label him
suicidal. Let us do whatever is possible to make the public aware that
this is a cover story to allow assassination. And demand his
release. His crime is resistance to aggression. Let us jail the real
war criminals: Clinton, Blair, Albright, Fischer, Solana and

Further reading:

For ten years, the Western media has been telling us that Slobodan
Miloshevich is a monster who makes Hitler-like speeches to whip Serbs
into a frenzy of racism. If you would like to subject that accusation
to a reality check, you may read his most talked-about (though never
accurately) 'Speech at Kosovo Field' at

Concerning Zarko Korac.The archives of the Western Media are full of
quotes from Dr. K, vilifying the Serbs.

Here's a choice tidbit:

'The Daily Telegraph'

May 27, 1993

"Fruits of victory are bitter in the state of paranoia "Immunised by
history, Serbians believe the West has accepted the reality of the
present front lines, where the suffering continues By Patrick Bishop
in Belgrade ... ...

"Zarko Korac, a psychologist and a leader of the Civic Alliance, said:
'This is a paranoid society.' His explanation of the extraordinary gap
between the world's judgment of their behaviour and the Serbs'
perception of themselves lies in history. 'They feel they have
sacrificed so much in creating two Yugoslavias. In the First World War
the main victims were the Serbian army. In the second it was the
Serbians in the partisan forces. Now it is being taken away. "You feel
bad. You're alone, you're economically destroyed, you've lost your
ideology and your state. People get angry and frustrated. They start
to regress. They revert to a primitive way of explaining the world. It
becomes Us versus Them. You get the idea there's a conspiracy, but at
the same time you get an inflated idea of your own importance: you
must be very valuable if there's a conspiracy against you.'"

Immediately after the Yugoslav coup of Oct. 5, Korac was Koshtunitsa's
special envoy to Croatia and Slovenia. Here is an 'Ap' dispatch that
describes his work:

AP Worldstream
October 12, 2000

Kostunica's allies: Good relations with neighbors Yugoslavia's top priority

ZAGREB, Croatia

Restoration of good relations with other ex-Yugoslav countries against
which Yugoslavia fought wars in the last decade are the top priority
of the new Yugoslav President, Vojislav Kostunica, a senior aide said
Thursday.  Zarko Korac, who met Croatian government and Serb leaders
here Wednesday, noted the significance of the fact that his first trip
abroad was to Zagreb. He also said he would travel soon to Slovenia
and Bosnia, which, together with Croatia, seceded from the former
Yugoslavia in 1991-2.

''It's easy to make friends at a distance, but it's harder to do so in
the neighborhood, particularly with regard to the past events,'' Korac

"Western governments have enthusiastically welcomed Kostunica's
victory over Slobodan Milosevic. But Yugoslavia's neighbors have been
more cautious, waiting to see whether Kostunica would distance himself
from Milosevic's nationalist policies that fueled wars in Slovenia,
Croatia, Bosnia and later Kosovo. They also insist that Milosevic
indicted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal for atrocities in Kosovo
should be extradited to the tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, and
that other Serb war criminals have to be prosecuted.

"Kostunica has ruled out Milosevic's extradition. Korac said Milosevic
may be tried in Serbia, despite the tribunal's request for his
extradition.  ''There is a huge bitternes toward Milosevic in
Serbia,'' he said. He nevertheless emphasized that only when war
criminals are prosecuted that ''the war wounds will begin to be

"Meanwhile, Croatian government issued a statement saying the end of
Milosevic's rule ''is a big and significant step, but it's only the
first step.'' The new Belgrade government's ''recognition of
Milosevic's regime's responsibility for the aggression and wars in
Croatia and other ex-Yugoslav republics, would be of crucial
importance'' for the future relations between the two countries, which
recognized each other in 1998, the statement said. "

* [Note that Korac is described here as an aide to Koshtunitsa. Also note
that with this foreign policy, Serbia would end up hobbled with war
reparations and moral responsibility for the wars started by
 Croatia, Slovenia and the Bosnian Islamic Fundamentalists. A very
 important step is the arrest of Miloshevich by which act the DOS
 government in Belgrade has accepted the NATO line that Serbia is
 guilty for trying to hold Yugoslavia together.- JI]


A total defeat

>From CANA director William Spring
"We have suffered a total and unmitigated defeat...and Russia has suffered
even more than we have."
The above is a quotation from Winston Churchill's speech in the House of
Commons Monday October 3rd 1938, with the change of "France" to Russia.
This was the debate on Munich, on the extinction of Czechoslovakia.

For Czechoslovakia read Yugoslavia. For Munich read Rambouillet. At
Munich Britain & France agreed to Hitler marching into the Sudetenland
& its environs. For Sudentenland read "Kosovo".

At Munich we did not actually march in with Hitler, but we might as
well have done so, had he let us. We stitched up the Czechs & at
Rambouillet we stitched up the Yugoslavs & together with the USA &
Germany & France etc set in motion a catastrophic chain of events
which have resulted in the current debacle - War in Macedonia, Kosovo
occupied, Serbs who lived there mostly either dead, or expelled, a
Vichy Government in Belgrade, & the final humiliation for those who
oppose NATO-EU's plans for world hegemony, Milosevic behind bars

"We have suffered a total and unmitigated defeat."
Who are 'we'?

Answer: I suppose "The Popular Front", men & women of all parties & of
none, & of all nationalities, people from the right, & the old
unreconstructed left, people who differ in many points but believe in
politics, international law, democracy, humane values, & understand
banditry & imperialism when we see it.  An emphasis on the rights of
sovereign states also informs our position, & we are also generally
opposed to the subversion of the UN, of diplomacy, & the degradation &
manipulation of the media in western countries.

That's us.

We have failed mostly because of the media. I write as an ex NUJ
member.  When I did serious journalism a few years ago, I was aware
that there were 'bad journalists': Lunch Time O'Booze etc, but I did
not conclude that a situation existed where all journalists, with the
exception of a very few, were manifestly corrupt.

Yet that is the position we have today in the hysterical inaccurate &
depressingly unanimous coverage of the Milosevic arrest, but that
itself is only an episode in a long running campaign of disinformation
from the national media of the western countries, but particularly @
the BBC, a psycho-pathological condition which requires a simplistic
explanation & finds the root of all evil in either Saddam Hussein or
"The Butcher of the Balkans".

Let us ask ourselves: why have we been defeated?

Answer: (in part) because we are dumb.

When the Kostunica Revolution came about - or the K. coup, whatever
you want to call it, some of us felt this was the long overdue "swing
of the pendulum" in Yugoslav politics, that things might not be so bad
after all, as Kostunica was a decent chap, a nationalist, & taking
into account that the war had been lost by the Serbs, it was necessary
for the Serbs to make some accommodation with NATO & Kostunica was
probably the best one to do it.

However, we were wrong.

To quote Jared Israel, who informed me & the hotel of this fact in
Belgrade about ten days ago: "Kostunica is the Vaseline which allows
Djindjic to enter."

In the planning sessions Kostunica was personally chosen by Madelaine
Albright as the man who was most likely to be able to deliver the
Serbs into the hands of NATO. US planners knew the Serbs would not
vote for Djindjic. But the coalition (DOS) could come to power by an
appeal to Kostunica's qualities of integrity & patriotism, & once
installed as President, by whatever means, real power could then be
transferred to Djindjic.

Thus it has proved.

We who supported Kostunica had forgotten the oldest trick in politics:
to take over a Government you don't need the nominal senior
position. You only need the Police: ideally the Justice & Interior

>From his power base as PM of Serbia Djindjic has been able to strike
down NATO opponents. Despite my comments about the inaccuracies of
journalists I will quote yesterday's Sunday Times (April 1, 2001):
"Officials close to Zoran Djindjic, the Serbian Prime Minister, said
the decision to arrest Milosevic had been taken late last week
when... Kostunica was away in Geneva visiting United Nations agencies.

"Asked about it at a press conference whether Kostunica had been
deliberately kept in the dark Djindjic said merely that "this was a
normal legal matter. Pressed on his own visit to Washington a week ago
...(& the March 31 deadline)..."Djindjic said only: "it was totally

"A western diplomat said Kostunica had been kept 'completely out of
the loop'.

Today's Observer reported a disagreement between Kostunica & Djindjic
over the arrest in Belgrade & deportation to The Hague of Dr Milomir
Stakic, picked up Friday 23rd March while collecting his child from
school. "K had called this "unacceptable." "A furious Djindjic went
public to say K was going back on what he had agreed..."

So the point is Djindjic controls the Police, & judicial policy &
foreign relations.

"I am not conversant with the Yugoslav Constitution, but surely K must
have some powers, e.g. in regard to his nine cats. Does the
Constitution allow the Federal President to look after his nine cats
or does Djindjic have to do it?

The President should sack Djindjic for trespassing on
executive/presidential power. Whoever the people voted for & whatever
definition is accorded to the events of October 2000, Djindjic was not
the popular choice.  There may be a case for the Yugoslav Army to come
to the rescue of the Constitution & if Kostunica is not strong enough
to sack Djinjic then he should be helped. If it was a Revolution it
has certainly been betrayed.

But it was probably not any such thing: the events of October provided
hope to a beleaguered people who were threatened with further bombing
by NATO if the vote went against DOS & they continued to elect
Milosevic. But even in this fraught situation the popular choice for
President was not Djindjic.

If it was not a Revolution, what was it?  It looks more & more like a
clever plan, an unconstitutional coup first against Milosevic, & then
later, against Kostunica.

The Yugoslav people deserve better: they should be rescued from
gimcrack politicians. Serbia now lies prone, disgraced & dishonoured,
& her enemies rejoice.  Russia stands by knowing that what has
happened to Yugoslavia, & the Soviet Union, will next occur to The
Russian Federation, unless an enormous effort is made to put back the
clock.  Russian special forces should rescue Milosevic from his
Belgrade gaol.

Milosevic is a political prisoner, as are many others both in Serbia &
those held as a result of the flawed rulings of The Hague Tribunal. I
say flawed because The Hague Tribunal does not conduct its affairs in
accord with the provisions of the European Convention of Human Rights,
& specifically Article Six. Russia & China must withdraw all
co-operation with this so called Court."

Christians Against Nato Aggression: at - tel: ++ 44 2088022144


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