Enter content here
Albanian guerrillas march through the village of Radusa, a bastion of their National Liberation Army (NLA), before assembling to surrender the weapons to British paratroopers, September 7, 2001. More than 600 ethnic Albanian insurgents queued up in a highland meadow near the Kosovo border and began handing in hardware ranging from AK-47 assault rifles to anti-tank rocket launchers and a stolen Macedonian army armored personnel carrier. REUTERS/Peter Andrews
Guerrillas carry an Albanian flag as they march through the village of Radusa, a bastion of their National Liberation Army (NLA), before assembling to surrender the weapons to British paratroopers September 7, 2001. More than 600 ethnic Albanian insurgents queued up in a highland meadow near the Kosovo border and began handing in hardware, ranging from AK-47 assault rifles to anti-tank rocket launchers and a stolen Macedonian army armoured personnel carrier. REUTERS/Peter Andrews
Albanian UCK guerrillas gather at a school courtyard prior to marching through the village of Radusa, a bastion of their National Liberation Army (NLA), before surrendering the weapons to British paratroopers, September 7, 2001. More than 600 ethnic Albanian insurgents queued up in a highland meadow near the Kosovo border and began handing in hardware ranging from AK-47 assault rifles to anti-tank rocket launchers and a stolen Macedonian army armored personnel carrier. REUTERS/Peter Andrews
Guerrillas waving an Albanian flag march through the village of Radusa, a bastion of their National Liberation Army (NLA), before assembling to surrender the weapons to British paratroopers September 7, 2001. More than 600 ethnic Albanian insurgents queued up in a highland meadow near the Kosovo border and began handing in hardware ranging from AK-47 assault rifles to anti-tank rocket launchers and a stolen Macedonian army armored personnel carrier. REUTERS/Peter Andrews
Guerrillas waving Albanian flag march through the village of Radusa, a bastion of their National Liberation Army (NLA), before assembling to surrender the weapons to British paratroopers, September 7, 2001. More than 600 ethnic Albanian insurgents queued up in a highland meadow near the Kosovo border and began handing in hardware ranging from AK-47 assault rifles to anti-tank rocket launchers and a stolen Macedonian army armored personnel carrier. REUTERS/Peter Andrews
Albanian guerrillas march through the village of Radusa, a bastion of their National Liberation Army (NLA), before assembling to surrender the weapons to British paratroopers September 7, 2001. More than 600 ethnic Albanian insurgents queued up in a highland meadow near the Kosovo border and began handing in hardware ranging from AK-47 assault rifles to anti-tank rocket launchers and a stolen Macedonian army armoured personnel carrier. REUTERS/Peter Andrews
Elderly Albanian men look at machine guns and artillery shells being transported on a tractor trailer through the village of Radusa, a bastion of the National Liberation Army (NLA), to the weapons collection point September 7, 2001. More than 600 ethnic Albanian insurgents queued up in a highland meadow near the Kosovo border and began handing in hardware ranging from AK-47 assault rifles to anti-tank rocket launchers and a stolen Macedonian army armored personnel carrier. (Peter Andrews/Reuters)
EU Commissioner Christopher Patten, 2nd left, and EU Chief of Foreign Affairs Javier Solana, 3rd left, sit opposite Stojan Andov, 2nd right, the Macedonian parliament speaker, at a meeting in the Macedonian parliament building in Skopje, Macedonia, Friday, Sept. 7, 2001. Others are unidentified. (AP Photo/Richard Lewis)
EU external commissioner Chris Patten walks in front of a destroyed Eastern Orthodox church as he visits the Macedonian village of Leshok in the Tetovo area, September 7, 2001. NATO resumed collecting weapons from ethnic Albanian rebels after Macedonia's parliament overwhelmingly backed a peace plan to end the armed conflict in return for upgrading minority rights. (Oleg Popov/Reuters)
German Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping during a news conference while a Macedonian honor guard is seen in the background, at the Ministry of Defense in Skopje, Macedonia, Friday, Sept. 7, 2001. (AP Photo/Str)
A British soldier from the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment watches as Albanian guerrillas march through the village of Radusa, a bastion of the National Liberation Army (NLA), before assembling to surrender weapons September 7, 2001. Macedonia's precarious peace process moved into round two as more than 600 guerrillas queued up and disarmed. (Peter Andrews/Reuters)
The coffin of British paratrooper Ian Collins is carried during the funeral with full military honors, at St. John the Baptist church in Wales, South Yorkshire, England, on Friday Sept. 7 2001. Collins, 22, of the 9th Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers was killed on August 27 in the Macedonian capital, Skopje, after a block of concrete was thrown through the windscreen of his Land Rover while on Nato-led weapons gathering mission Operation Essential Harvest, in Macedonia. (AP Photo / Gareth Copley, PA)**UK OUT, NO SALES, MAGS OUT**
A young boy holds a toy rifle brought to a street performance in front of the parliament building in Skopje, Macedonia Friday, Sept. 7, 2001. The gathering, attended by about 1,000 residents of Skopje, was meant to mock NATO's plan to collect ethnic Albanian rebel weapons. Many Macedonians believe the rebels are handing in only outdated hardware. (AP Photo)
Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski addresses the nation during a ceremony the night before Independence Day, in Skopje, Macedonia, Friday, Sept. 7, 2001. On the 10th anniversary of independence, Trajkovski pledged to protect and preserve the territorial integrity of the country. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
Bulgarians lay flowers at the newly erected monument to the late communist leader Todor Zhivkov on Friday, Sept. 7, 2001 in Pravetz, Bulgaria. Some 3,000 people flocked to Zhivkov's home town to mark his 90th anniversary of his birth. He died in 1998. (AP Photo/Dimitar Deinov)
Bulgaria Marks Unification Day. 116 years ago the young Principality of Bulgaria did not comply with the Berlin Treaty and unified with Eastern Romelia. On the photo: the 'Gurgulyat' society whose members are heirs to participants in the Serb-Bulgarian war, staged a festive march-past in front of parliament. Photo Kiril Konstantinov
What will happen in Macedonia?
the Transnational Foundation for peace and future research
PressInfo # 126
September 7, 2001
By Jan Oberg, TFF director
NATO will not leave Macedonia
NATO people emphasise that Operation Essential Harvest in Macedonia is a very limited mission; it will only be in Macedonia for one month and only to collect 3,300 weapons. It is not monitoring, it is not peace-keeping and it is not peace-enforcement. And, as we have shown in PressInfo 125 it is not a disarmament mission. It's a "collect-not-too-many weapons" mission.
When NATO's mission approaches its termination, there is likely to be an intensive media effort to emphasise that the KLA/NLA kept its promise and handed in 3,300 weapons. It will be heralded by NATO and the EU as a major step in the direction of peace by that side. However, following the logic of this whole affair it is a quite reasonable hypothesis that both parties will spend the time productively to acquire new weapons. Because:
a) The Macedonians and the government have no reason whatsoever to trust that NATO will help it against future KLA/NLA military activity. Western countries have threatened sanctions against Macedonia in case it defended itself too strongly and they have prevented others, e.g. Ukraine, from delivering weapons. They have supplied KLA/NLA with weapons and trained it since 1993. In addition, Western agencies and mercenary companies work with them and both in Kosovo and in Macedonia the international community has sided politically with the KLA/NLA, no matter that its spin doctors would like us to believe otherwise .
b) If 3,300 is all or most of the weapons held by the Albanian militarists, why should they disarm themselves voluntarily only to wave good-bye to the only force that they feel could protect them in the event of continued military activity by Macedonian army and police and even paramilitaries? Beyond doubt, the government sees it as its right and duty to get back the 10-15% of the country's territories effectively controlled by KLA/NLA - one way or another.
c) Things usually do not go according to plan. The architects behind the Dayton Agreement talked about one year for IFOR as the time it would take to solve the major problems of Bosnia-Hercegovina. In Croatia, there are still enough problems and animosity to prevent nine-tenths of those chased out since 1991 from returning.
A massacre? The government side castigated
As a nuclear alliance, NATO upholds the capability to kill millions of non-NATO people - that is, if it can be done by sophisticated long-range technology. Not so when it comes to peace-keeping and risking the lives of NATO soldiers. Undoubtedly, there are NATO supporters, as well as good-hearted people in NATO-countries, who hope everything will go fine in Macedonia and NATO will withdraw on time. However, that is the least likely scenario of all.
Around the time of NATO's stipulated departure, there could well be a major clash, a massacre la Racak or the Merkhale Square or some other kind of major killing and cruelty. Whether staged or not, it will change the situation fundamentally. However much NATO loathes risking NATO lives, history's strongest alliance loathes even more to look like a coward who runs away when the circumstances get hot.
One can already see the breaking news headline which would run something like: "Macedonians/government forces kill recently disarmed, defenceless Albanians, mostly civilians" - followed by world wide outrage. Step-by-step creating a situation in which Macedonia will look like a replica of Serbia under Milosevic is what the West may need to legitimate a much larger future NATO presence. The terrible event will be done by actors who see an interest in sucking in and keeping NATO in the country for, say, 30 months or years, rather than 30 days.
Perhaps we are already seeing the beginning of this image-creation. On the front page of the International Herald Tribune of September 6 we find the headline "Macedonians accused of excuting Albanians." The story is based on a report by Human Rights Watch which analyses the terrible events around August 11-12 in Ljuboten just north of the capital Skopje. The Ministry of the Interior is accused of having killed 10 Albanian civilians as revenge for the death of 8 Macedonian soldiers. It also accuses the government side of summary executions of civilians, arson and torture.
This is what Human Rights Watch reports; on its website one finds 17 stories and reports related to Macedonia, only 3 of which focus on abuses and violence done by the KLA/NLA. Priding itself of evenhandedness, Human Rights Watch has, from time to time, functioned more or less as the extended arm of State Department. Its reports and appeals on the Balkans are pro-NATO, pro-ICTY and pro-NATO in Macedonia. Its coverage in this region, at least, is an example of how otherwise legitimate human rights concerns may serve broader, purely political purposes.
The Commander of Essential Harvest, Danish General Gunnar Lange, stated (on Danish television August 27) that there is no "Plan B" and that he has no comment on what to do if something like this happens.
Further, it remains to be seen whether KLA/NLA will simply withdraw from the occupied territories and let Macedonian forces take over control. From a Macedonian viewpoint that would be a major precondition for ratifying and implementing the so-called Peace agreement of Ohrid dated August 13. Why should it accept and implement a series of major changes in the Constitution and improvements in the status and rights of Albanians if extremist Albanians occupy parts of the country?
So, the government's defence of Macedonia's territory will be presented as ruthless military activity and cruelty against virtually unarmed Albanians and will be condemned by the international "community." NATO will, sooner or later, see fit to move in with a much larger force, either negotiating its way in or bombing the government side, somewhat like in the case of Serbia. This is also the moment when the United States is likely to engage in order to show - again - who is the real conflict-manager, peace-maker (and bomber) of the world.
Simple mission creep and non-implementation of the Agreement
This will be particularly likely should a majority of the Macedonian Assembly not ratify the EU- and NATO mediated Framework Agreement of August 13. This scenario might develop somewhat like this: the dissatisfaction with both that Agreement and with NATO's presence will grow even stronger among Macedonian people and hard-line politicians. Some NATO soldiers may be harassed and some killed. The cease-fire agreement might be violated repeatedly.
On September 6, the Macedonian backed the framework agreement in principle . The vote passed 91-19, with two abstentions, following a nearly weeklong process in which many lawmakers assailed the pact but conceded the consequences of defiance were too grave. But, the assembly was only asked whether to back the general concept of the accord: granting wider ethnic Albanian rights in exchange for rebel disarmament.
The difficult - and potentially disruptive - details come next. Lawmakers will now have to decide on the specific constitutional changes. The package is to be submitted for ratification later this month, within three days of NATO completing its mission. If these phases go well, the Agreement is to be implemented on the ground.
It is not unlikely that the new Albanian National Army, ANA, will take over most of the hard-line leadership and fight on, perhaps even attacking NATO troops. The first 5,000 NATO troops will be reinforced; it will dawn upon NATO's leadership that NATO is caught more or less in the middle and that its arms collection mandate is too limited given that the fighting continues and there is no peace in sight. The United States will not mind at all that European allies get stuck militarily and the EU shows to the whole world that its much publicised attempt to create "stability" and its new crisis management organisation is an utter failure.
From NLA to ANA, the Albanian National Army
I would expect the political leader of KLA/NLA Mr. Ali Ahmeti to soon become a politician and probably create a party. He is on President Bush's list of wanted Albanians and has his family in Germany, so it is quite convenient to change dress now. Since Ali Ahmeti has struck the disarmament deal with NATO, KLA/NLA may need an alibi if the war continues. Transforming into the ANA and, like earlier Balkan fashion shows, changing uniforms and emblems may be the way out. KLA/NLA would then be able to say that it had kept its promise. NATO has invested a lot in its deal with Ali Ahmeti and the KLA/NLA in spite of the fact that NATO-KFOR in Kosovo feels grossly cheated by KLA there .
NATO ambassador Pieter Feith who negotiated all the time with Ahmeti, while S-G Robertson called them "thugs," denied them a seat at any table and said problems could not be solved by weapons, recently stated that Ahmeti is not for a division of Macedonia or a Greater Albania and that he will hand in his weapons because he has achieved his goal which is to improve Macedonia's democracy, to create a more modern European state. (Danish Television, August 27, 2001)
This extraordinary statement reveals how deep the democratic sentiment is within NATO! NATO gives legitimacy to aggressors and militarists who fight for human rights with AK-47s and worse. And, regrettably, human rights organisations endorse this blatant misuse of the human rights cause by not protesting!
Ahmeti's role model, thus, is probably KLA/UCK founder Hacim Thaci in Kosovo. Like him, Mr. Ahmeti, after having obtained NATO support, declared himself a man of peace; he is likely to be protected for years ahead by countries and agencies of NATO, the EU and the United States that gave him the weapons with which he so gallantly promoted democracy and human rights and European values. More about Ahmeti here http://www.realitymacedonia.org.mk/web/news_page.asp?nid=344
ANA is the new splinter group from KLA/NLA under former KPC (the "civilian" Kosovo Protection Corps) member Rasmush Haradinaj who has declared that he accepts neither the weapons collection not the framework agreement. (http://www.realitymacedonia.org.mk/web/news_page.asp?nid=252 )He was Agim Ceku's assistant and sat on the first row when KPC was trained in conflict-resolution and reconciliation, human rights, humanitarian work and fire-fighting (I know because I was one of the trainers).
So, the KLA/NLA we have known may now be for peace and more or less cease to exist. Its members will change their emblems, become ANA fighters who - naturally - have no moral or legal obligations to follow any agreement negotiated when they did not even exist!
Fighting spreads to Western Macedonia
From the Kumanovo area the war continued to Tetovo. It is likely to later move on to Gostvar and Debar. NATO's intelligence sources know that and some of the arms collection points are in exactly these Western Macedonian areas. The geographical movement of KLA/NLA/ANA military activity must be seen as indicative of its real motive. If it is only improved human rights for Albanians in Macedonia, fighting must be expected to end completely in a few weeks, more or less simultaneously with the ratification by the government of the Ohrid agreement.
If, in contrast, war-fighting continues to the areas mentioned, it is territory rather than human rights that drives the struggle of KLA/NLA/ANA. If Macedonia is divided in two, it will imply a huge humanitarian catastrophe, the displacement and switching of hundreds of thousands of citizens both ways: Albanians toward Western Macedonia, Macedonians out of this part of the country.
An EU military presence?
The European Union aims to set up a fully-fledged intervention force of some 70.000 troops by the year 2003, able to intervene up to 6000 kilometres from Brussels. The EU would undoubtedly like to show that it is rapidly becoming a unified foreign policy and military actor.
One should not exclude, therefore, that the EU might see it fit to use Macedonia as a test rabbit for a limited EU military force acting as a "peace"-keeper. This would be a real exercise opening up also for rehearsals of limited co-ordination between NATO and EU units and functions. However, if things go sufficiently wrong, young men from EU countries may come home in body bags.
Another complication would be that EU soldiers might run into American and British citizens operating with KLA/NLA...
A comprehensive UN presence - relevant but unlikely
It is obvious that there is also a more relevant and decent scenario: within a few days, discussion begins about deploying a comprehensive UN mission to take over after NATO, in co-operation with a boosted OSCE presence. It would be a re-deployment of a larger UNPREDEP-like mission supported by a robust peace-keeping and real disarmament component.
To be effective it would be coupled with a Balkan conference on real security and defence, negotiations about reduction of force levels for all in and around Macedonia and a comprehensive disarmament and confidence-building regime. A major task force would develop a program for reconciliation, forgiveness, tolerance and the promotion of peace-oriented media and peace-education in schools and universities. A Truth and Reconciliation Commission (or process) would commence at the earliest.
The confidence between various groups in Macedonia that has been undermined by the violence and international manipulations must - and can - be brought back to what it was seven months ago. Up till now we have not seen a single proposal from any international mission or organisation aimed at healing the minds and the souls of all of the citizens of Macedonia. We have not seen a single proposal aimed at building peace and reconciliation from the ground-up, with the people.
However, such a UN- and NGO-centred approach is politically completely unlikely. The UN and its Secretary-General has shown conspicuously little interest in the case of Macedonia. The US would fight against every UN presence with a military component. And any mission that would understand Macedonia's conflicts and needs for real peace much better than the EU and NATO has done so far would be an embarrassment for-all-to-see.
If peace comes to Macedonia in the next few weeks, miracles do exist!
Albanian rebels stage show of surrender but keep options open.
RADUSA, Macedonia, Sept 7 (AFP) -
Chanting "We are Albanian heros," teenage NLA fighters paraded Friday round a football pitch in a valley near Macedonia's border with Kosovo before handing in their arms to NATO.
But, after a well-staged show of surrender, they vowed to battle on if necessary.
"If we feel concerned at any point we will buy new arms," said 19-year-old National Liberation Army (NLA) "commander" Mevlud Bushi, in black uniform and sunglasses, surrounded by a throng of khaki-clad fighters.
"If they sign it will be peace. If they don't sign it will be war again," he said bluntly, when asked what will happen if a Western-backed peace plan is not approved by the country's parliament.
Under a blazing Balkan sun, the handover of some 160 weapons in the village of Radusa was an apparently well-rehearsed display of cooperation with NATO's Operation Essential Harvest -- while at the same time keeping the rebels' options wide open.
The handover, coincidentally shortly after the arrival of a group of reporters flown in by helicopter to see them, at certain points seemed to have the timing of a military parade.
As hundreds of gun-toting British NATO troops and gawping local children looked on, the show started with the distant sound of chanting from the village, overlooked by steep scrub-covered hillsides.
"They're coming," said a NATO captain. And suddenly there they were, marching two-abreast along a track towards the waiting media and international security forces.
Fluttering in the breeze, the red double-headed eagle flag of the Albanian separatist movement was held aloft at the head of the 200-strong column of chanting fighters.
At the back of the column was an armoured personnel carrier (APC), one of two seized from the Macedonian army, with the NLA flag emblazoned all over it, and fighters perched on top. As they came alongside the football pitch, the parade stopped and fell silent.
And at exactly that moment a huge boom resounded through the valley -- the detonation of a T-55 tank, seized by the NLA from their Macedonian foes, and handed in to NATO for destruction.
Suddenly a spontaneous chant of "UCK, UCK, UCK" -- the Albanian acronym for NLA -- erupted from the assembled ranks, on hearing the former Macedonian hardware blown to smithereens.
Cynics might suggest that the whole thing was carefully planned by NATO and the NLA together. And the fighters' leaders made no secret of their good links with the Alliance force.
"It's a good relationship, we are happy to talk to them," Bushi told reporters, adding that they had been discussing the logistics of the arms handover "for about a month."
NATO spokesman Major Alex Dick, watching as the rebels paraded around the football pitch, confirmed: "We have had close cooperation with the NLA. It is a transparent operation."
The ethnic Albanian fighters are openly keen for NATO, which is in Macedonia for a strictly-limited, 30-day mission to collect arms, to stay longer.
"If NATO doesn't stay for at least five years the mission will be a failure," said Ratif Msusi, a 45-year-old former teacher in command of 400 fighters in the region.
The young ethnic Albanians -- including one boy of about six proudly displayed in full khaki uniform to journalists by his father -- say their first priority is peace.
But equally they will not lie down if attacked.
"If anything was to happen, we could get more arms," said a 19-year-old who gave only his nickname, "Chechen", and said he had been in the NLA for three months.
He said he had two sisters and three brothers, one of whom was also in the NLA. "My mother is very worried but she is also very proud of me," he added.
By the end of the day the rebels said they had handed in some 160 weapons, the first consignment of about 1,100 arms which NATO expects to collect by September 13, as part of the Western-backed peace deal.
Defiant Albanian rebels give more arms to NATO in Macedonia.
RADUSA, Macedonia, Sept 7 (AFP) -
Defiant rebels surrendered a tank and other arms to NATO troops near this northwest Macedonian village Friday, a day after parliament approved a peace deal giving more rights to ethnic Albanians.
Up to 200 National Liberation Army (NLA) fighters chanting "We are Albanian heroes" and "there is only one Albania" marched in double file across a bridge to stand beside a football pitch where the NATO operation is taking place.
As the rebels arrived, a loud boom was heard as the captured Macedonian army tank was destroyed by NATO munitions experts, sparking chants of "UCK, UCK, UCK," the Albanian acronym for the NLA, from the assembled ranks.
The column of NLA fighters, most of them uniformed teenagers or men in their early twenties, was followed by an armoured personnel carrier (APC), also captured from the Macedonian army.
Defiant fighters sat atop the damaged APC, which was draped with the red double-headed eagle that has been the symbol of the guerrilla army here, in Kosovo and in southern Serbia.
The rebels carried mostly assault rifles slung over their shoulders, across their chests or hanging from their hands, but a number of machine guns could be seen among the weaponry.
One NLA commander, Ratif Msusi, said his men had brought 160 weapons, besides the armoured vehicles, and a large amount of ammunition.
British NATO military spokesman Major Alex Dick would not confirm the figures but he said that most of the weapons were AK-47 assault rifles and some of them were in "Grade A" condition.
Dick said a number of anti-tank weapons had been handed in and journalists saw tank shells transported to the site on a tractor-drawn trailer.
"It has been a very orderly performance by the NLA. So far it has been a success. We still expect by September 13 to have the next third of weapons."
NATO's Operation Essential Harvest aims to collect 3,300 arms in three phases by September 26. More than 1,200 weapons were gathered in the first phase of the operation last week.
The figure of 160 arms, if confirmed, is low compared to other collections.
"We always thought this would be lower in productivity than other areas," Dick said.
Some 600 British, Dutch, Italian and Norwegian troops were stationed around the collection site as the rebels began surrendering their arms two-by-two to soldiers at a low breeze-block building here.
One rebel "commander", 19-year-old Mevlud Bushi, said the NLA's relationship with NATO was good and that his fighters were happy to talk with them.
When asked whether 3,300 weapons was all the NLA had, Bushi said: "We are giving up every last bullet" but he added, "If we feel concerned at any point we will buy new arms."
Young fighters, including a few boys, pressed in as Bushi, dressed in a black uniform and dark sunglasses, warned of what could happen if the authorities renege on their commitments when NATO pulls out of Macedonia.
"If they don't sign (referring to parliament), it will be war again. If they sign it will be peace," he said.
The weapons site opened at 8:00 am (0600 GMT) and was closed at 4:35 pm, NATO spokesman Major Barry Johnson said.
The Russian-made T-55 tank, one of two seized by the NLA, was destroyed with plastic explosive charges set by British and Norwegian experts.
The tank, by far the heaviest piece of weaponry handed in by the NLA, had been damaged and could fire shells but could not be moved.
The other arms were "bagged, tagged and boxed," in army parlance and were to be flown in a sea container by helicopter to the Krivolak military base in central Macedonia where preparations are being made to destroy them.
Meanwhile, European external affairs commissioner Chris Patten announced that a donors conference would be held for Macedonia in mid-October once parliament has changed the constitution and implemented the August 13 peace agreement.
Patten, who signed a document earlier on Friday for 38.5 million eurosmillion dollars) in funds for Macedonia, said the EU would keep its promises and provide the economic backing for the troubled state's political reforms.
IT WILL BE BETTER FOR FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT TO REMAIN UNCHANGED.
It took a long time for finalising of the Framework Agreement. Therefore, we consider that there should be as few changes as possible to the agreement. The most intelligent thing would be not to make changes at all in order to avoid a whole new process, said Javier Solana, the European Union High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, at a joint press conference in Skopje with Euro-Commissioner for external relations Chris Patten.
Yesterday's vote of the Macedonian Parliament for starting a procedure on constitutional changes "is a very significant result, but also a beginning of the process that must go on", he added.
"Macedonia and the European Union are taking a trip together and we hope that your country will come closer to the European institutions as soon as possible," Solana said.
Giving credit to the role of Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski, Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski, Parliament Speaker Stojan Andov and to the leaders of political parties in the parliamentary procedure, Solana said that the Macedonian authorities were fully aware of the fact that the political process would have to continue in compliance with the Framework Agreement.
"The next few days will be crucial for Macedonia and I hope very much that the sense of responsibility will prevail," Solana said.
Asked about the international military presence in Macedonia after a competition of the operation "Essential Harvest", Solana said the issue was not discussed in details with the Macedonian authorities. However, the EU and OSCE readiness to send monitors in Macedonia, logically meant they would require security guarantees for their personnel, he added.
"If the Agreement is going to be adopted by the Parliament, the EU will provide means for its implementation," Patten said.
He also informed on his talks with the Macedonian authorities about the additional financial assistance of $30 million that the EU would grant to the country for support of the Framework Agreement.
"Talks with the Macedonian authorities were focused on the additional humanitarian aid, necessary for safe return of the displaced persons to their homes," Patten said.
EU diplomats promised more economic aid to Macedonia provided the country's politicians stick to the terms of the agreement.
"Once the constitutional amendments are passed, the local government law is enacted we will hold, with the World Bank, an international donors conference in Brussels. We intend - if we can - to hold the conference on October 15," Patten said. The more successful the political process and restoration of stability in Macedonia, the more successful that conference would be, he added.
He also said the EU wished to contribute in renewal of the Lesok monastery and the mosque in the village of Neprosteno "that present a significant symbol of coexistence in a community.
PRESS CONFERENCE OF PARLIAMENT SPEAKER ANDOV.
Most of the deputies consider that the crisis has not emerged because of the Constitution, but has been imposed from Kosovo, Speaker of the Macedonian Parliament Stojan Andov said Friday at a press conference referring to a five-day parliamentary debate on starting a procedure for constitutional changes.
"I've told to Mr. Solana today that more serious measures should be taken in Tirana and Pristina that ill prevent terrorism to spill over, particularly from Kosovo to Macedonia. I've pointed out that Macedonia is imposed to an aggression and unless the source of terrorism in Kosovo is not cut to its roots, all our efforts will be in vain," Andov said.
In regard to the NATO mission in Macedonia, Andov said that according to the National Security Council there was no need for extending of its mandate. There was an idea for reestablishing of the UNPREDEP mission to Macedonia, Andov said, adding that various plans were under preparation in regard to the international community engagement in the combat against terrorism, particularly in better controlling of borders with Kosovo and Albania.
Referring to the parliamentary procedure on constitutional changes, Andov said the experts were preparing the initial wording of draft-amendments, which upon consultation with the Macedonian president's advisors, would be submitted to the Parliament within ten days. The parliamentary debate on constitutional changes would be scheduled upon receiving of a report that two thirds of the weaponry were collected, Andov said.
Court rules no genocide in Kosovo.
PRISTINA, Yugoslavia (AFP) - Kosovo's highest legal body has ruled that genocide was not committed during the 1998-99 Serbian crackdown on the breakaway province, according to a court decision released yesterday. The UN-supervised Supreme Court, however, ruled that crimes against humanity and war crimes had been carried out during "a systematic campaign of terror, including murders, rapes, arson and severe maltreatments."
"The exactions committed by (former Yugoslav president Slobodan) Milosevic's regime cannot be qualified as criminal acts of genocide, since their purpose was not the destruction of the Albanian ethnic group... but its forceful departure from Kosovo," said the province's Supreme Court.
The ruling overturns an earlier genocide conviction by a district court in Mitrovica, northern Kosovo, handed down to Serb Miroslav Vuckovic for atrocities committed against ethnic Albanians during NATO's bombing campaign in the spring of 1999.
That was the first guilty genocide verdict in Kosovo but it was called into doubt by Europe's security body, the OSCE, which called for a review, while Vuckovic also appealed against the conviction.
The Supreme Court is under the authority of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and the five-member panel that issued the decision is presided over by an international judge.
The Mitrovica District Court found Vuckovic, a member of a Serb paramilitary group, guilty of having "sacked and burnt houses and shops in the villages of Gusavac and Gornjisuvido and of having expelled the Albanian population," according to UNMIK.
Vuckovic, 52, was given a 14-year jail term and has been behind bars in Mitrovica since August 23, 1999. He was remanded in custody and will be given a retrial by the Mitrovica court. The 1948 United Nations Convention defines genocide as the intent "to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such."
Macedonians 'surrender' toys and fruit to mock NATO.
SKOPJE (Reuters) - Several hundred Macedonians have "surrendered" kitchen cutlery, toy weapons and fruit in central Skopje to mock NATO's mission to collect arms from ethnic Albanian guerrillas.
The burlesque, dubbed "We harvest water melons", was organised by domestic media as a parody of NATO's "Essential Harvest" mission of gathering up weapons handed in by the ethnic Albanian National Liberation Army (NLA) as part of a peace plan.
"There are too many weapons in the region and this is an effort, at least in some way, to release frustration from the people," said Branko Gerovski, editor-in-chief of independent daily Dnevnik and one of the organisers of the charade.
Most of the domestic media have criticised "Essential Harvest", saying it is reaping mainly ancient, unusable weapons while the guerrillas squirrel away their modern firepower for another day. NATO has been accused of grossly under-estimating the NLA arsenal.
"We wanted to show the international community that we want a more successful disarmament operation than the one NATO is doing now," Gerovski said.
People from all over town gathered in front of parliament and stood peacefully in lines at designated checkpoints waiting to deliver their forks, spoons, knives, brooms, plastic toy weapons, water melons, bananas -- you name it.
Organisers playing the role of NATO soldiers made lists of every peace of "weaponry" brought in before they gathered up the haul and delivered it to NATO headquarters in Skopje.
The scene resembled NATO collection points in guerrilla-held hills north of Skopje where rebels have queued up to disarm.
EU may take over from Nato in Macedonia.
By Stephen Castle in Brussels and Justin Huggler in Skopje
07 September 2001
Europe is moving to fill the security vacuum due to be left in Macedonia when Nato troops end their mission at the end of the month, under plans to be discussed by European Union foreign ministers this weekend.
The Western-backed peace process in Macedonia survived a crucial vote in the country's parliament yesterday, clearing the way for Nato troops, including up to 1,900 British soldiers, to begin a second round of collecting arms from Albanian rebels.
But with Nato's Operation Essential Harvest due to end on 26 September, a frenzy of diplomatic activity was sparked by a proposal from the EU's special envoy, Francois Lotard, for a 1,500-strong European-led force to take responsibility from that date.
The move would be the clearest statement yet of the EU's defence and diplomatic ambitions in the region, although any new force would still depend heavily on Nato support. Mr Lotard's plan has strong French backing but has been greeted with some caution by Britain and Germany.
The EU is setting up its own rapid reaction force, but this will not be operational until the end of the year and still has no formal agreement with Nato to use the alliance's military assets.
The Skopje parliament's vote defused immediate fears that the peace process could unravel, leaving Nato troops caught up in fighting. The parliamentary debate dragged on over five days, as MPs condemned the deal, under which the Albanian minority will be granted new rights. The rebels have agreed to disarm in return. In the event, MPs voted 91-19 in favour of the general terms of the plan well clear of the two-thirds majority needed to pass the vote.
But Macedonia is not safe yet. Two further parliamentary votes are needed to pass Albanian rights into law. And there is still a potential for violence. The biggest problems may come if Nato troops leave.
ANA's Outlaws Will Continue The Violence.
"ANA" and her units are willing and able to continue the war in Macedonia until the "Albanian rights" are recognized and because the terms for Macedonian-Albanian state are not fulfilled, and the presence of the international community can only prolong the agony in the country writes in the todays issue the paper Nova Makedonija under title THREAT OR NEW TRICK OF THE ALBANIAN TERORISTS.
In their announcement sent to France Press in Prishtina, "ANA" has called all the ethnic Albanians that are still fighting in Macedonia to continue with their fight against the government troops despite the efforts from NATO for collecting the weapons.
At the same time the "ANA headquarters" has called the NLA leaders to join their forces until the final liberation of the territories of Albanians. ANA also claims that NLA havent finished their mission and that their troops in the second zone, which includes the Albanian territories in Macedonia, are at the position according to the plan and at very good strategic locations.
So called ANA says the same source, says that they are going to increase the presence in the regions inhabited with Albanians and through the announcement they threat to the Macedonian authorities that they are going to reply very rough if the government troops continue to attack Albanian villages. But they are not going to take any military action until the NATO troops are in Macedonia. According to France press ANA this summer for the first time have came out with aspirations for Big Albania which is going to connect Kosovo, southern Serbia and parts of Macedonia with Albania, and they are taking responsibility for the several attacks in the region.
"We are going to have serious war problem" - thinks doctor and professor Vlado Popovski commenting the latest terrorist threat.
"This is a result of the culmination of the extreme Albanian potential and not facing with peaceful solution. And if the international community doesnt make clear statement about that, the Ohrid agreement and the process in the Macedonian assembly around the constitutional changes will make no sense."
Vlado Popovski is a former minister for defense and justice, he is a professor at the law faculty, and before becoming member of the negations team of the president Trajkovski, he was the head of the Intelligence Agency of Republic of Macedonia.
Russia set to join new Macedonia peacekeeping force.
BY RICHARD BEESTON, DIPLOMATIC EDITOR
A NEW international military force to Macedonia was taking shape yesterday, after the United States, the European Union and Russia agreed on the need for renewed foreign intervention once Natos mission expires later this month.
The decision to send another force to the Former Yugoslav Republic was announced in Moscow by James Pardew, the US special representative to Macedonia, and Franois Lotard, his EU counterpart. We agreed on the need for an extended international presence in Macedonia for a period of time, said Mr Pardew, after meeting Igor Ivanov, the Russian Foreign Minister.
The make-up and size of the force has yet to be decided and Macedonia has still to give its approval but it may number in the thousands and will have to be ready to move by the beginning of next month, when Nato is due to withdraw its British-led force.
In Skopje, the capital, the parliament passed yesterday the first stage of legislation aimed at granting greater rights to the ethnic Albanian minority. The vote opens the way for the next phase of the disarming of ethnic Albanian rebels by Nato troops, who are scheduled to complete their mission by September 26.
There are real fears that the withdrawal of nearly 5,000 Nato soldiers will leave a dangerous vacuum and that hardliners will resume fighting. We cant just get up and go and leave them to it, a British official said. There need to be people on the ground to make sure that the peace sticks.
The move could see Russian personnel serving beside their European and US counterparts, as they now do in Bosnia and Kosovo.
Two plans are being explored. Under one, hundreds of monitors from the EU and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe would be deployed. Unarmed observers would set up positions in Macedonias flashpoints north and west of Skopje, and be protected by an armed force probably made up of troops from the EU, Nato and other countries.
M Lotard on Wednesday floated a different plan to assemble a 1,500-strong EU force, the first of its kind, which would monitor the truce and defend itself if necessary. It is likely that Macedonia would accept only a force that included Russian or other third nation soldiers regarded as sympathetic to the countrys Slav Orthodox majority.
BIGGEST PORTION OF CARDS PROGRAMME FOR INFRASTRUCTURAL PROJECTS.
Vice-President of the Macedonian Government, Zoran Krstevski and Chris Patten, EU Commissioner for External Relations, Friday signed financial agreement for CARDS (Community Assistance for Reconstruction, Development and Stabilisation) for 2001, financed by EU.
Macedonia will receive Euro 42 million in grants, out of which the biggest portion are intended for infrastructural projects.
The rest of the resources will be realised through carrying out the economic reforms, preservation of the environment, development of agriculture, training of judges and prosecutors and integrated border control.
Prior to signing of the financial agreement, Krstevski said "the agreement marks the beginning of the EU support to CARDS programme for the Republic of Macedonia."
Expressing satisfaction with the signed agreement, EU Commissioner Chris Patten stated that firstly the part of the agreement intended for urgent assistance for reconstruction of the destroyed homes will be reviewed. He announced that during this afternoon the European Commission officials will go on the terrain to evaluate the damages.
"In concordance with the Framework Agreement together with the World Bank we have an obligation to organise donor's conference that is to take place in Brussels on October 15, and the success of the conference will depend on the current realisation of the agreement in the Macedonian Parliament, Patten stressed.
He expressed hope that the results of IMF mission, that is to arrive in Macedonia in the following days, will be successful, with which Macedonia will receive another Euro 50 million.
The way of their usage, according to Patten, will be defined at the meeting with governmental officials where areas that need additional resources will be determined.
BUCKOVSKI-SCHARPING, FRUITFUL COOPERATION FOR STABLE MACEDONIA.
"The German Government wishes for Macedonia to be a stable and sovereign country and therefore we greet Macedonian Assembly's positive decision," said Rudolf Scharping, German Minister of Defense, after his meeting with his Macedonian counterpart Vlado Buckovski.
It is a vital and decisive step for the future of the Republic of Macedonia that will make it stable, as Scharping says. "So far we had three meetings with Minister Buckovski and I believe we have a fruitful cooperation that contributes to peaceful economic development not only in Macedonia, but also in the Southeast Europe in general," he added.
Concerning the border control issue, the German Defense Minister said that there is a good cooperation between the German contingent to the NATO forces and the Macedonian authorities.
Commenting some journalists' questions, Scharping said that some decisions for supplementary monitoring missions of EU and OSCE were already made and that Macedonia is to receive financial support in order to develop as a stable country, once the peacekeeping process is concluded.
Macedonian Minister of Defense Vlado Buckovski expressed his satisfaction from the successful talks as well as from the good relations between Macedonia and Germany. "Among the other topics, we discussed the NATO mission "Essential Harvest" above all, said Minister Buckovski.
About the removal of the mine field along the Tetovo-Jazince road, Buckovski said that it was agreed during the talks that the German contingent to the NATO forces ought to have essential role in the mission.
"We also discussed the possibility to create conditions for returning of the displaced persons to their homes," said Buckovski.
Very important for the further developments will also be the financial support that Germany, as EU member country, may provide for Macedonia.
"Mr. Scharping and I exchanged opinions on the possible decision of UN Security Council for deployment of supplementary international military forces, i.e. for renewed engagement of the UNPREDEP forces," said Buckovski. Following to their discussion, he added that the Macedonian side made efforts to secure the Macedonian-Yugoslav border, Kosovo part, where most of the illegal immigrations were recorded.
"All of the discussed topics, especially in the field of military-technical cooperation, will be the profit that we need to put through," said Buckovski at the end of his statement for the journalists Friday morning.
SECURITY COUNCIL ADOPTED PLAN FOR REESTABLISHMENT OF CONSTITUTIONAL ORDER.
At today's session, chaired by President Trajkovski, Macedonian Security Council adopted the plan and methodology of reestablishment of constitutional order on the whole territory of the country.
The plan in consisted of security, infrastructure and economic measures, including the return of Macedonian security forces in the areas, which are temporarily out of control, thus enabling safe return of displaced persons.
Security Council expressed its conviction that NATO mission "Essential Harvest" will finish successfully, thus creating conditions for return of Macedonian security forces in crisis regions, together with international OSCE observers and EU monitoring mission.
The Council supported the initiative of the President for reviewing of the possibility for establishment of UN monitoring mission along the borders of Macedonia with FR Yugoslavia, in the part of Kosovo, and the Republic of Albania.
The Security Council rejects all insinuations that there are some paramilitary formations in Macedonia, which are linked with the Internal Ministry. At the same time, the Council stresses that in these crisis conditions, both the active and reserve members of the Police and Army are engaged, acting as legitimate pillars of the security system of the country. Furthermore, the Council estimated that all insinuations directed against these institutions or persons represent attacks against the Macedonian state, announcement of the President's Cabinet states.
Who is behind Human Rights Watch?
by Paul Treanor
Reposted September 7, 2001
The backgrounds of the Board members at Human Rights Watch (HRW), Europe-Central Asia section, with an indication of HRW funding sources. HRW is founded on the idea that the values of the United States are universal, and that the US must impose them on the rest of the world. As the largest human-rights lobby, it is partly responsible for the increasingly expansionist US foreign policy.
No US citizen, and no US organisation, has any right to impose US values on Europe. No concentration camps or mass graves can justify that imposition. But Human Rights Watch finds it self-evident, that the United States may legitimately restructure any society, where a mass grave is found. That is a dangerous belief for a superpower: European colonialism shows how easily a "civilising mission" produces its own atrocities. Sooner or later, more people will die in crusades to prevent a new Holocaust, than died in the Holocaust itself.
For a century there has been a strong interventionist belief in the United States -- although it competes with widespread isolationism. In the last 10 years attitudes have hardened: human-rights interventionism is becoming a consensus among the "foreign policy elite." Human Rights Watch itself is part of that elite, which includes government departments, foundations, NGO's and academics. It is certainly not an association of "concerned private citizens." HRW board members include present and past government employees, and overlapping directorates link it to the major foreign policy lobbies in the US. Cynically summarised, Human Rights Watch is a joint venture of George Soros and the State Department.
HRW is an almost exclusively US-American organisation. Its version of human rights is the Anglo-American tradition. It is "mono-ethical"-- recognising no legitimate ethical values outside its own. Attitudes to redistribution of wealth illustrate the limited nature of human rights ethics. In the Anglo-American human-rights tradition, seizure and redistribution of the property of the rich is unethical. The human-rights tradition recognises no inherent value in equality itself: human rights are not, and can never be, a substitute for a general morality.
I do not believe that ethical values are culturally specific. However, it is true that one ethical tradition has become associated with the United States, with an emphasis on rights. That includes the universal rights set out in its Declaration of Independence and its Constitution. In a sense the US was "designed" or "pre-programmed" as an interventionist power. Universal human rights, by their nature, tend to justify military intervention to protect them.
Why are human rights linked to interventionism?
Any modern society which wants to engage in a war of conquest would need an ideology of justification. If nation state is clearly the victim of an unprovoked attack by another state, then it can appeal to the idea of national self-defence. However, such unprovoked attacks are rare, and self-defence is inherently implausible for super-powers at war with small countries. A super-power can get involved in hostilities all over the planet, usually preceded by a complex chain of events. From its point of view, an ideology is needed to justify these wars, preferably all of them.
Such an ideology should ideally meet some criteria. First, it should not be a simple appeal to self-interest. Simply stating "We own the world!" or "We are the master race, submit to us!" is not good propaganda. An appeal to higher values is preferable.
Second, these higher values should be universal. This is why Islamism would probably fail as an interventionist ideology: it is specific to Islam. A geopolitical claim to intervene in support of Islamic values can be answered simply by saying: "We are not Muslims here." The doctrine of universal human rights is, by definition, universal and cross-cultural.
Third, the ideology should appeal to the population of the super-power. In the United States, for historical reasons, rights doctrines have become part of its national culture. It would be pointless for a US President to justify a war by appealing to Islam, or royal legitimacy, because very few Americans hold these beliefs. Most Americans believe in rights theories: very few know that these theories are disputed.
Fourth, if possible, the ideology should appeal to the "enemy" population. It should ideally be part of their values. This is very difficult, but the doctrine of human rights has itself succeeded in acquiring cross-cultural legitimacy. This does not mean it is inherently right, but simply that no non-western cultures have an answer to the doctrine. The government of China, for instance, fully accepts the concept of human rights, and claims to uphold them. So when it is accused of human rights violations, it can do nothing but deny. It will be perpetually on the defensive. Even if the US bombs Beijing in support of human rights, the Chinese regime would be incapable of simply saying "Human rights are wrong." This effect could be seen as the Holy Grail of war propaganda: if the enemy leadership is incapable of presenting an alternative value system, it will ultimately collapse. If the US was a devoutly Islamic country, what response would it offer to an invasion of Islamist purists? If they came to destroy Las Vegas for being "un-Islamic" what could the US Government do? Offer pathetic denials, that's all. That is all the Chinese government can offer to international public opinion, when facing claims of human rights violations.
Human rights are not the only possible option, for a general ideology of intervention. The "civilising mission" which justified 19-th century colonisation is another example. However, it is important to note that human rights can serve a geopolitical purpose, which is unrelated to their moral content. It is not possible to show that "human rights" exist, and most moral philosophers would not even try. It might not be a very important issue in ethics anyway -- but it is important in politics and geopolitics. And that's what Human Rights Watch is about -- not about ethics.
For more on human rights as ideology, see "Why human rights are wrong."
If the United States was inhabited by pacifist relativists, then probably it would not go to war so often. However, most US-Americans believe in the universality and superiority of their ethical tradition. Interventionist human-rights organisations are, in a sense, a logical result. Human Rights Watch is not formally an "association for the promotion of the American Way of Life" -- but it tends to behave like one.
Human Rights Watch operates a number of discriminatory exclusions, to maintain its character.
Firstly, it is linguistically racist. Although it publishes material in foreign languages to promote its views, the organisation itself is English-only.
Secondly, the organisation discriminates on grounds of nationality. Non-Americans are systematically excluded at board level. (One 1974 Indian immigrant was recently appointed, but presumably she is long since an American citizen). HRW recruits its employees only in the United States, in English. US readers of this site may be unfamiliar with multilingual cross-border employment, but it does exist in Europe. HRW has the option of going multilingual in this way -- it would even facilitate its work -- but it remains organisationally Anglophone.
Third, the organisation discriminates on grounds of social class. Again, the list makes clear that board members are recruited from the upper class, and upper-middle class. Although I traced almost all the board members' professions, there are none from middle-income occupations -- let alone any poor illegal immigrants, or Somali peasants.
Human Rights Watch can therefore claim no ethical superiority. It is itself involved in practices it condemns elsewhere, such as discrimination in employment, and exclusion from social structures. It can also claim no neutrality. An organisation which will not allow a Serb or Somali to be a board member, can give no neutral assessment of a Serbian or Somali state. It would probably be impossible for an all-American, English-only elite organisation, to be anything else but paternalistic and arrogant.
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
Europe Committee, formerly 'Helsinki Steering Committee' or 'Helsinki Watch'.
This is the Europe section of the Board of HRW, which is split into sections approximately by continent. The section was established in 1978: in the late 1970's human rights became the main issue in Cold War propaganda. The Soviet Union had made concessions at the Helsinki summit (1975), allowing human rights monitoring. Western governments encouraged "private" organisations to use this concession -- as a means of pressuring the Soviet Union. Human Rights Watch began as a Cold War propaganda instrument.
The committee is now called the Europe and Central Asia Division. It is still affiliated with the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, which co-ordinates the "Helsinki committees." The first version of this web page was compiled several years ago, and the committee's membership has changed, as noted below. For the exact current composition of the HRW Board and its subdivisions, check the web page HRW Board of Directors & Advisory Committees.
No longer Chair of the Committee -- promoted to Chair of the HRW Board. An academic and foundation man. Former Vice President of the University of Chicago, in 1982 appointed as President of the New School for Social Research, now the New School University. He is active in building US academic contacts with eastern Europe, directed at the new pro-western elites, see the Transregional Center for Democratic Studies (TCDS) page.
now Chair George Soros' publisher. He is Chief Executive of Public Affairs publishers.
Alice H. Henkin, Vice Chair
Director of the Justice and Society Program at the Aspen Institute, an elite think-tank.
Note their report Honoring Human Rights: From Peace to Justice proposing United Nations mission strategies later used in Kosovo.
A link to the US Foreign Policy establishment, one of several at HRW. Abramowitz was U.S. Ambassador to Turkey (1989-91) and Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research (1985-89), among other posts: see his personal details at the Council on Foreign Relations, CFR, where he is a Fellow. The CFR is the heart of interventionist US policy since 1921 (and hated by the isolationist right).
He directed the CFR Balkan Economic Task Force, which published a report on "Reconstructing the Balkans".
A donor of HRW, see the list below. A retired vice president with the Carnegie Corporation of New York, who donated $1 million to Stanford University.
Human rights specialist at the American Jewish Committee and chair of the Steering Committee for the 50th anniversary of the UN Human Rights Declaration, see this biography:
"Ms.Gaer is Director of the Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights. Author, speaker, and activist, she is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Board of Directors of the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, a member of the International Human Rights Council at the Carter Center, ...Vice President of the International League for Human Rights."
According to this JTA report, Gaer praised Madeleine Albright for her "outstanding human rights record."
Felice Gaer was also a non-governmental member of the United States delegation to a United Nations Human Rights Commission meeting in Geneva, where (according to the Voice of America) she denounced Sudan, saying the the U.S. "cannot accept those who invoke Islam or other religions as justification for atrocious human rights abuses." However, more interesting is this speech at the Geneva meeting, where she suggested the UN should no longer investigate prison rapes in the US: "we would urge the Special Rapporteurs to focus their attention on countries where the situation is the most dire and the abuses the most severe."
Vice Chairman of the Board at Fanton's New School for Social Research. Investment manager and Trustee of the Carnegie Institute.
Gellert is a director of Premier Parks Inc., owner of the Six Flags and Walibi theme park chains. Also a director of:
High Speed Access Corp.,
Devon Energy Corporation,
Director of Communications and political commentator at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Cold War propaganda transmitters that survived the end of the Cold War. From their website:
"Free Europe, Inc., was established in 1949 as non-profit, private corporations to broadcast news and current affairs programs to Eastern European countries behind the Iron Curtain. The Radio Liberty Committee, Inc., was created two years later along the same lines to broadcast to the nations inside the Soviet Union. Both were funded principally by the U.S. Congress, through the Central Intelligence Agency, but they also received some private donations as well. The two corporations were merged into a single RFE/RL, Inc. in 1975."
It is still funded by the US Government, through Congressional appropriation.
Is no longer on the committee. Former Republican member of Congress, a trustee of the New School for Social Research (where Fanton is President), with many other public and business posts: see the biography at the American Assembly, an academic/political think-tank.
Mark von Hagen
New on the Committee. Director of the Harriman Institute -- an International Relations institute of Columbia University in New York. A Soviet and post-Soviet specialist, with a long list of publications, see his profile at the institute website.
A pro-interventionist theorist (of course that means US intervention, not a Taliban invasion of the US). Professor at Harvard, see his biography. Note that his colleagues include Daniel Goldhagen, who openly advocated occupation of Serbia, to impose a US-style democracy: see A New Serbia.
Also on the Board of Human Rights in China, another Soros-funded organisation.
New on the Committee. President of the Committee to Protect Journalists. However this "protection" did not extend to journalists killed by NATO bombing of the Belgrade TV studios: she declined to condemn it. This may, perhaps, have something to do with not embarrassing her husband: Richard C. Holbrooke, former Special Envoy to Yugoslavia, and US Ambassador to the United Nations. For an idea of the social world behind Human Rights Watch, and a glimpse of of how US foreign policy is made, see this article about their cocktail parties...
"Dick Holbrooke, who's been U.N. ambassador since August, has a different idea of what sort of people the suite should be filled with. Tonight, he's hosting a dinner for General Wesley Clark, the granite-faced, soft-spoken Nato chief, who is leaving his post in April. .... Dressed in a formal pin-striped suit, crisp white shirt, and red tie, Holbrooke still manages to look comfortably rumpled -- his unruly hair is the secret to this effect -- as he banters his way around the room. Introducing Clark to billionaire financier George Soros and Canadian press lord Conrad Black, Holbrooke teasingly calls the general, whose formal title is supreme Allied commander for Europe, 'The Supreme'..."
"Holbrooke's wife, the author Kati Marton, is equally adept at the art of the cocktail party. Dressed in an elegant white pantsuit, she ushers guests into the dining room, where four tables are set for a meal of crab cakes and sauted duck. Marton and Holbrooke, who have been giving twice-a-week diplomatic dinners, have a carefully choreographed act. 'I give the opening toast, which is unorthodox in the U.N. village,' she explains. 'Richard and I are making the point we're doing this together.'"
Ambassador A-List, from the January 3, 2000 issue of New York Magazine.
As "journalist protector," Kati Marton lobbied for the Soros-funded B92 radio in Belgrade, which played a central role in the opposition under Milosevic, at least until his last year in power. The campaign for B92 is illustrative of the symbiotic relationship of interventionist lobbies and interventionist governments. Marton was lobbying to protect an "independent" radio station which was already part-funded by the US government (National Endowment for Democracy). Partly as a result, it got even more western funding.
Immediately after the station was banned, Ivor Roberts, the British ambassador, showed his support by visiting its offices on the fifth floor of a run-down socialist-style building in downtown Belgrade. Carl Bildt, then the international High Representative in charge of the civilian side of the Dayton peace agreement in Bosnia, the US State Department, and Kati Marton of the Committee to Protect Journalists also made protests on behalf of the station.
Internet technology and international pressure proved to be effective weapons against Milosevic. After two days he withdrew his edict forbidding B-92 to broadcast. It seems likely that he was convinced that lifting the ban would win Western praise and deflect international attention from his electoral fraud. Immediately afterward, B-92 was able -- through funds provided equally by the BBC, the British Foreign Office, USAID, the European Union, and George Soros's Open Society Foundation -- to gain access to a satellite that linked twenty-eight independent local radio stations, covering 70 percent of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which is now made up of Serbia and Montenegro.
1997 article from the New York Review of Books
A detail: Kati Marton was also a member of the Honorary Committee of the Civil Society Vision Award Dinner -- Tribute to Madeleine K. Albright by the American Friends of the Czech Republic. No, I don't invent these committees. In fact, they are part of a tradition of immigrant politics in the United States, where exile communities lobby for the "liberation" of their homeland, by US intervention. George Soros himself is the personification of this style of politics. In this case, the "liberation" of former Czechoslovakia has been achieved, so it is a form of victory celebration.
And an ironical note: Kati Marton spoke at a panel, funded by George Soros' OSI, on What Drives US Foreign Policy?. One answer is of course: George Soros. And in a more general sense, people like Kati Marton, and organisations like HRW.
The token non-westerner, an Indian immigrant. She is, however, also CEO of the YWCA (Young Womens Christian Association), which is as American as can be.
Is no longer on the committee. US Ambassador to the Soviet Union during its collapse, 1987-1991. Author of Autopsy On An Empire: The American Ambassador's Account of the Collapse of the Soviet Union (Random House, 1995).
Member of the large Board of Directors of the Atlantic Council. The Atlantic Council is more than a pro-NATO fan club: it supports an expansionist US foreign policy in general. Note their recent paper (in pdf format) Beyond Kosovo, a redesign of the Balkans within the framework of the proposed Stability Pact.
The Atlantic Council list of sponsors is a delight for corporate-conspiracy theorists. Yes, it is all paid for by the Rockefeller foundation, the Soros foundation, the Nuclear Energy Institute, Boeing, Lockheed, Northrop, Exxon, British Nuclear Fuels, the US Army and the European Union.
Conspiracy theorists will also be delighted to see that Matlock attended the 1996 Bilderberg Conference.
Career diplomat, former Special Advisor on Yugoslavia to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, Deputy Co-Chairman of the International Conference on the former Yugoslavia. Member of the Board of the Lawyers Alliance for World Security (LAWS) and its affiliate the Committee for National Security (CNS) which gives this biography:
Ambassador Herbert Okun is the U.S. member and Vice-President of the International Narcotics Control Board, and Visiting Lecturer on International Law at Yale Law School. Previously, he was the Deputy Chairman on the U.S. delegation at the SALT II negotiations and led the U.S. delegation in the trilateral U.S.-U.K.-USSR Talks on the CTBT. From 1991 to 1993 Ambassador Okun was Special Advisor on Yugoslavia to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, Personal Envoy of the U.N. Secretary General, and Deputy Co-Chairman of the International Conference on the former Yugoslavia. He also served as Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States to the UN from 1985 to 1989 serving on the General Assembly, the Disarmament Committee and the Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. Amb. Okun was also U.S. Ambassador to the former German Democratic Republic.
He was from 1990-97 Executive Director of the Financial Services Volunteer Corps, "a non-profit organization providing voluntary assistance to help establish free-market financial systems in former communist countries," see his biography at International Security Studies at Yale University, where he is also a board member. This Corps is a de facto agency of USAID, see how it is listed country-by-country in their report. Although it is not relevant to Human Rights Watch, this curriculum vitae gives a good impression of the kind of international elite created by such programs.
Okun is also a member emeritus of the board of the European Institute in Washington, an Atlanticist lobby. It organises the European-American Policy Forum, the European-American Congressional Forum, and the Transatlantic Joint Security Policies Project. Okun is a special advisor to the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict funded by the Carnegie Corporation. (It links pro-western international elite figures advocating a formal structure for control of states by the "international community.")
Okun was a member of a Task Force (including Bianca Jagger and George Soros) on war criminals: see their report. Although it also demands "UN Sanctions Against States Harboring Indicted War Criminals" it is unlikely that the Task Force members meant the man quoted at the start of their report, President Clinton.
A curiosity: this human rights supporter is accused of an attempt to destroy the right to free speech, in his post at the International Narcotics Control Board: see A Duty to Censor: U.N. Officials Want to Crack Down on Drug War Protesters in the libertarian Reason Magazine.
A member of the Executive Committee of HRW Southern California, and until 2000 its co-chair, see this biography. One of the few who are simply human rights activists, although her views are clearly 100% acceptable to the US Government. She was appointed a member of the U.S. delegation to the 1991 Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) in Moscow. The biography vaguely notes that she "...served on many delegations to the former USSR and Yugoslavia."
Again note, that US citizens consider it normal to travel to Europe, to decide on Europe's "Security and Cooperation." However, there is absolutely no equivalent "Conference on North American Security and Cooperation," where Europeans arrive, to tell Americans what to do.
Olson is also a member of the Board of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, one of many small globalist groups, advocating peace and some vague form of world government. So long as they just sell sunflower seeds at $2.50 a packet they are harmless, but as a HRW Board member Olson also lobbies for US military intervention -- a less innocent way to achieve "peace."
Academic and Soros-institutes advisor. Director of the "Center for Preventive Action" at the Council on Foreign Relations. The center is funded by the US Government through USIP, and by the Carnegie Corporation as part of their program Preventing Deadly conflict. "Preventive Action" means intervention.
He is a member of the center's South Balkans Working Group, and edited a 1996 Council on Foreign Relations study Towards Comprehensive Peace in Southeast Europe: Conflict Prevention in the South Balkans. Rubin is an Afghanistan specialist, also on the Board of the Asia division of HRW. He authored and edited several works on Afghanistan. Rubin apparently has a curious attitude to the Taliban, seeing them as a bulwark against Islamic radicalism . See this letter to NPR, entitled Afghanistan Whitewash.
While the Lyden-Rubin conversation made no mention of US support for the Taliban, they referred several times to US "pressure" on the Taliban to now respect human rights. This is a total white wash which distorts the historical record beyond recognition.
Rubin is on the Advisory Board of the Soros Foundation Central Eurasia Project. He is an advisor of the Forced Migration Project of Soros' Open Society Institute, and he is also on the Board of the Soros Humanitarian Fund for Tajikistan. Perhaps most interesting is that the U.S. Institute of Peace (a de facto government agency) gave him a grant to research "formation of a new state system in Central Eurasia."
Barnett Rubin articles on Central Asia
This may be repetitive, but note once again that there are absolutely no Foundations or Institutes in Central Asia, which pay people to design "new state systems" in North America. For people like Rubin "human rights" mean simply that the US designs the world: at the same time, the US might accept the Taliban, if it was a strategic interest. See this article at the Soros Central Asia site, The Political Economy of War and Peace in Afghanistan, advocating a de facto colonial government in Afghanistan financed by oil revenues.
Rubin is also a member of the US State Department Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad. The Final Report of this Committee also sums up what the United States can do, when it finds religious freedom has been infringed. The list begins at "friendly, persuasive: open an embassy" and ends with "act of war."
Rubin was also involved in the 1997 New York meeting, where the United States attempted to create a unified Yugoslav opposition, with among others Vuk Draskovic. (The effort failed at the time, and ever since.)
NOTE: I can find no website matching this info on "Leon Sigal" to HRW. I assume it is the same person, although I do not understand why an expert on Asian issues is on the board for the European division of HRW.
Consultant to the Social Science Research Council, member of the Board of Advisors at Globalbeat Syndicate, part of the New York University Dept of Journalism. See their article on Lessons From The War In Kosovo.
"He is a former member of the Editorial Board of The New York Times, where he wrote frequently on nuclear issues, and is the author of many books and articles on both international security and media issues."
Sigal authored Disarming Strangers: Nuclear Diplomacy with North Korea (Princeton University Press 1998). He is a Project member of the Committee on Nuclear Policy.
No online information available.
From the Public Affairs site, the biography of George Soros, financier of HRW and of numerous organisations in eastern Europe with pro-American, pro-market policies.
George Soros was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1930. In 1947 he emigrated to England, where he graduated from the London School of Economics. While a student in London, Mr. Soros became familiar with the work of the philosopher Karl Popper, who had a profound influence on his thinking and later on his philanthropic activities. In 1956 he moved to the United States, where he began to accumulate a large fortune through an international investment fund he founded and managed.
Mr. Soros currently serves as chairman of Soros Fund Management L.L.C., a private investment management firm that serves as principal investment advisor to the Quantum Group of Funds. The Quantum Fund N.V., the oldest and largest fund within the Quantum Group, is generally recognized as having the best performance record of any investment fund in the world in its twenty-nine-year history.
Mr. Soros established his first foundation, the Open Society Fund, in New York in 1979 and his first Eastern European foundation in Hungary in 1984. He now funds a network of foundations that operate in thirty-one countries throughout Central and Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union, as well as southern Africa, Haiti, Guatemala, Mongolia and the United States. These foundations are dedicated to building and maintaining the infrastructure and institutions of an open society. Mr. Soros has also founded other major institutions, such as the Central European University and the International Science Foundation. In 1994, the foundations in the network spent a total of approximately $300 million; in 1995, $350 million; in 1996, $362 million; and in 1997, $428 million. Giving for 1998 is expected to be maintained at that level.
In addition to many articles on the political and economic changes in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, Mr. Soros is the author of The Alchemy of Finance, Opening the Soviet System, Underwriting Democracy, and Soros on Soros: Staying Ahead of the Curve.
Mr. Soros has received honorary doctoral degrees from the New School for Social Research, the University of Oxford, the Budapest University of Economics, and Yale University. In 1995, the University of Bologna awarded Mr. Soros its highest honor, the Laurea Honoris Causa, in recognition of his efforts to promote open societies throughout the world.
Soros Foundations Network
Open Society Institute Staff Directory
Open Society Institute Budapest
Donald J. Sutherland
Not the actor. Also on the advisory board of the World Policy Institute.
Professor of Constitutional Law at the New York Law School, see his biography. In the last few years he has specialised in the Constitutions of eastern European countries, and advised on the new Ukrainian constitution.
William D. Zabel
George Soros' legal advisor, on foundation and charity law. An estate and family financial lawyer for the rich at Schulte, Roth, and Zabel. His biography lists his involvement with these Soros Foundations: "Newly Independent States and the Baltic Republics, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Central European University and Open Society Fund." See this biographical article originally from the National Law Journal: "When fate knocks, rich ring for Zabel."
He is a trustee of Fanton's New School of Social Research, and member of the Advisory Board of the World Policy Institute at the New School.
Zabel is a director of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights. The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights is one of the partners in the "Apparel Industry Partnership," a group set up by the Clinton administration and the US clothing and footwear industries to defuse criticism of conditions in their factories. The (not particularly radical) US trade union federation refuses to co-operate with it.
Zabel is also on the Board of Doctors of the World, the USA branch of Mdecins du Monde, founded by Bernard Kouchner in 1980. Kouchner is now the UN Representative (the "governor") in Kosovo. Despite the name, Mdecins du Monde is a purely western organisation, see the affiliate list.
US Ambassador to Yugoslavia during its break-up, author of Origins of Catastrophe: Yugoslavia and Its Destroyers. A Cold-War career diplomat, long active in US human rights campaigns against eastern Europe. See this site for an extreme pro-Bosniac assessment of his book by Branka Magas, alleging he appeased Milosevic: "In the event, by pursuing Yugoslavia's unity rather than supporting Slovenia and Croatia in their demands for either the country's confederal transformation or its peaceful dissolution, the United States helped ensure its violent break-up." (I think it is logically consistent with US values and interests, that the US supported one policy around 1990 and another in Kosovo. The real problem is that so many people in Europe expect the US to design their states and write their Constitutions. It is because of this attitude, that people like Zimmermann, and organisations like HRW, can flourish.) Zimmermann is now a professor of Diplomacy at Columbia University. If you think the "amoral diplomat" is a stereotype, look at his Contemporary Diplomacy course. This is his assignment for the young future diplomats:
Imagine that you are a member of Secretary Albright's Policy Planning Staff. She has asked you to write a strategy paper for one of the following diplomatic challenges:
Dealing with NATO expansion and with the countries affected;
Crafting a more energetic and assertive US approach to the Israeli-PLO deadlock;
Raising the American profile in sub-Saharan Africa;
Developing a US initiative to improve relations with Cuba;
Forging an American approach to Central Asia and its energy wealth;
Making better use of the UN and other multilateral organizations like OSCE;
Weighing the relative priorities between pursuing human rights and keeping open lucrative economic opportunities;
Increasing interest in, and support for, US foreign policy among the American people. With Barnett Rubin, Zimmermann is a member of the Advisory Board of the Forced Migration Project at Soros Open Society Institute.
With Felice Gaer, Zimmermann is also on the Board of the quasi-commercial International Dispute Resolution Associates. (Peacemaking has become big business, but IDR is also funded by the US Government through the USIP.)
He is a Trustee of the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs.
Also new on the Committee (from the 2001 list) are:
The Human Rights Watch "Council" is primarily a fund-raising group. However, its members no doubt expect some influence on HRW policy, for their $5 000 minimum donation. The Council describes itself as "...an international membership organization that seeks to increase awareness of human rights issues and support for Human Rights Watch." The interesting thing about the Council is that it shows how much HRW is not international. It is Anglo-American, to the point of caricature. The Council is sub-divided onto four "regional committees." You might expect a division by continents (the Americas, Africa, Europe and Asia-Pacific). But instead the "regions" of the HRW global community are New York, Northern California, Southern California, and London. There is also a "Committee At-Large" but it does not appear to organise any activities. The Council members are not publicly listed, but its regional limitations are clear. Although Human Rights Watch claims to act in the name of universal values, it is an organisation with a narrow social and geographical base. If HRW Council members were truly concerned about the welfare of Africans, Tibetans or eastern Europeans, then they would at least offer them an equal chance to influence the organisation. Instead, geographical location and the high cost restrict Council Membership to the US and British upper-middle-class.
Taken from an older version of the HRW website, this 1995 list is apparently the latest available online. HRW is not legally obliged to disclose who donates money. About half of its funds come from foundations, and half from individual donors. In its latest financial statement, HRW claims that it "accepts no government funds, directly or indirectly." However, that is not true with respect to the 1995 list. The Dutch Novib is a government-funded aid organisation. Oxfam also gets funds from the British government, and the European Union, see their annual report. Possibly they are still contributing, but Human Rights Watch is apparently not prepared to disclose present sources of funding.
DONORS OF $100,000 OR MORE
Dorothy and Lewis Cullman
The Aaron Diamond Foundation
The Ford Foundation
The Lillian Hellman & Dashiell Hammett Fund
Estate of Anne Johnson
The J. M. Kaplan Fund
The Fanny and Leo Koerner Charitable Trust
The John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
The John Merck Fund
The Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation
Novib, The Dutch Organization for Development Corporation,
The Overbrook Foundation
The Ruben and Elisabeth Rausing Trust
The Rockefeller Foundation
Marion and Herbert Sandler, The Sandler Family Supporting Foundation
Susan and George Soros
Shelby White and Leon Levy
DONORS OF $25,000 -- $99,999
The Arca Foundation
Helen and Robert Bernstein
Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Bronfman, Jr.
Nikki and David Brown
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Compton Foundation, Inc.
Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Davis
The Dr. Seuss Foundation
Fiona and Stanley Druckenmiller
Federation Internationale des Ligues des Droits de L'Homme
General Service Foundation
Abby Gilmore and Arthur Freierman
Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund
Katherine Graham, The Washington Post Company
Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation
The Isenberg Family Charitable Trust
The Henry M. Jackson Foundation
Robert and Ardis James
Jesuit Refugee Service
Nancy and Jerome Kohlberg
Lyn and Norman Lear
Moriah Fund, Inc.
Ruth Mott Fund
Kathleen Peratis and Richard Frank
Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation
Public Welfare Foundation, Inc.
Anita and Gordon Roddick
Edna and Richard Salomon
Lorraine and Sid Sheinberg
Margaret R. Spanel
Time Warner Inc.
U.S. Jesuit Conference
Warner Brothers, Inc.
Edie and Lew Wasserman
Maureen White and Steven Rattner
Malcolm Wiener and Carolyn Seely Wiener
The Winston Foundation for World Peace
Bartholomew Gets a Letter from the Pope in Plovdiv.
The Oecumenical Patriarch promised to pray for Bulgaria's admittance to NATO.
In Plovdiv Oecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew got a letter of greetings from Pope John Paul II. The letter was read out at a conference 'The Byzantine cultural heritage in the Balkans'. 'Today we should recall the mission of the sacred brothers Cyril and Methodius which is inseparable from Europe's cultural heritage,' the Pope writes. In the letter he calls for 'another evangelization of Europe', in order that it may return to its Christian roots. The address of Pope John Paul II was interpreted as a token of thawing relations between the Vatican and the eastern Orthodoxy.
In his speech the Oecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew stressed that today too, the Byzantine civilization should be an example of a peaceful co-existence in the Balkans and tolerance between the religions.
'In this way we could spare our troubled peninsula many of its present problems,' he pointed out. After the opening of the conference Patriarch Bartholomew, Patriarch Maxim and Monsignor Georgi Yovchev attended a mass for Bulgaria's well-being.
Bulgarians Erect Communist Monument.
By VESELIN ZHELEV, Associated Press Writer
PRAVETZ, Bulgaria (AP) - A decade after driving him from power, Bulgarians unveiled a monument Friday honoring the late communist leader Todor Zhivkov.
Some 3,000 people flocked to Zhivkov's home town of Pravetz, some 40 miles northeast of Sofia, to mark the 90th anniversary of Zhivkov's birth by unveiling the bronze sculpture of the man who led them for 35 years.
``No matter how one would judge him, he is a historical figure,'' said the sculptor, Sekul Krumov. ``I made this sculpture for an exhibition 15 years ago. It has been kept in the National Art Gallery in Sofia since then.''
Zhivkov's one-man rule collapsed in 1989 after a party coup and three years later, he was sentenced to seven years in prison for misappropriating state funds by giving apartments to loyalists.
A high court acquitted him in 1996 and he never served any time in jail due to poor health. He died in 1998 of heart disease.
Zhivkov - known for his iron-fisted leadership and servility to Moscow - reportedly once requested that Bulgaria be made a republic of the former Soviet Union. Soviet leaders declined the proposal.
Although the collapse of Zhivkov's one-man rule gave Bulgarians freedom and democracy, it also ushered in painful economic reforms, poverty and unemployment - fostering a nostalgia for Zhivkov's years.
``We lived very well under him,'' said Nevenka Petrova, 50. ``I raised two children with my two hands. Now I don't have money for bread.''
Vazil Tsanov, a senior communist under Zhivkov, said: ``There were jobs for everybody, order and security. Bulgaria attained its highest living standards during that time.''
Zhivkov's son Vladimir said his father remained ``one of the greatest politicians and statesmen of Bulgaria.''
In the 1980s, Zhivkov had a statue of himsef erected in Pravetz, but he ordered it removed when former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev embarked on his perestroika reforms, which ended the worship of communist leaders.