Wednesday, December 02, 2015


AMERIKAN PROVOKATSIYA?  Robert Baer CIA claims? Washington-Belgrade rapprochement on the cards?

By Sasha Uzunov

It's no surprise that the Serbian media, and by extension the Macedonian media, naturally, have wholeheartedly embraced the alleged claims by ex CIA officer Robert Baer that the US had a hand in destroying YUGOSLAVIA in 1991. see link here

Is it an attempt on Baer's part to promote his books or an act of revenge against Washington over a personal grievance or is he simply telling the truth? On the balance of probabilities, his claims however make no sense, unless it's a deliberate act of disinformation in what is known as "provokatsiya" - what the Russians call special warfare. Or is the whole thing an elaborate hoax or disinformation campaign? It is emerging that Baer never made those claims to begin with. see link here 

It would be naive to assume that the CIA did not have operatives in Yugoslavia, as it would be naive to say that the Russians, French, Germans, British did not have agents in Yugoslavia.

However, the faked Baer claims conveniently whitewash the reality of a Greater Serbia of Slobodan Milosevic, it whitewashes the actions of Vojislav Seselj, who attacked innocent Macedonians in 1990 and who repeatedly called for Macedonia to become a part of a Greater Serbia;  it also whitewashes Milosevic's offer of a deal to divide Macedonia with GREEK Prime Minister Mitsotakis in 1992.

Moreover, the assumptions that underpin these various conspiracy theories peddled by right wing nationalists in Belgrade over the 1991 collapse of Yugoslavia are racist - that is Slovenes, Croats and others (Macedonians) aren't smart enough to be independent, they somehow have to be goaded by others to break away and be free or how dare they leave YUGOSLAVIA without Serbian permission? It's always the same. However, there is a large body of Serbs who do not buy the nationalist spin and have rightly concluded that such an ideology is what brought Serbia to its very knees in the 1990s.


Put simply, so what if the CIA did allegedly intervene in Yugoslavia in 1991. We are led to believe that somehow the CIA managed to convince millions of Slovenes and Croats to break away from Yugoslavia in 1991 when before 1991 the CIA because of the Cold War (1946-89) actually stopped these two groups from wanting to secede. Belgrade can’t have its cake and eat it too. The reality is the CIA did not tear down Yugoslavia.

The faked Baer and the real Belgrade narrative also ignore the rise of Milosevic on the platform of Serbian nationalism, a point covered by prominent Serb human rights activist Sonja Biserko.

It was Yugoslav tanks ordered by the Generals in Belgrade and supported by Milosevic in June 1991 that invaded Slovenia, after it democratically voted to secede from Yugoslavia. No Slovenian tank invaded Serb territory. No Croat tank invaded Serbian territory. These basic points seem to be ignored.

Then the 1991 collapse is deliberately linked with the 1999 NATO war in Kosovo, where the US is clearly culpable, in order to get Belgrade off the hook for 1991.

In essence Serbian nationalist wrongdoing in 1991 is "excused" because of American wrongdoing in 1999. Put simply a bully, Milosevic, later justifies his actions of bullying because a big bully, the U.S., hits him !

The whole narrative plays upon the Serb "victim card."

You'll notice in recent times, Serbia is an ally of the United Arab Emirates, an ally of the U.S.

Cynically, where the Gulf Arab States were once condemned by Belgrade for funding the Kosovo Liberation Army, the Sheikhs are now Serbia's best friends with investments in Serbia's arms industry. see here

Serbian weapons, manufactured by the Zastava company are sold to the lucrative Middle East market. Some have ended up in the arms of Syrian rebels. see here

And could this be the real reason for the faked Baer's strategically timed claims about the CIA allegedly destroying Yugoslavia in 1991? To divert attention or to stop American-Serb rapprochement which is on the cards (see below for story

The people at the helm in Serbia are all fellow travellers of Milosevic and Seselj - President Tomislav Nikolic and Prime Minister Alexander Vucic, who in 1995 infamously shouted that for one Serb killed in Bosnia, 100 Muslim Bosnians must be killed. Vucic has now been transformed into a caring-sharing "internationalist" for the West !

From 1991 to 1995, Milosevic had a free hand to win the wars in Yugoslavia. The U.S. changed its policy under President Clinton in 1994 because of a fear of RUSSIAN domination in the Balkans. The U.S. then assisted the Croats and also set up the KLA. The US quite stupidly imported Al Qaeda operatives to run rampant in Bosnia. The guys who pulled off 9/11 had links to Islamists in Macedonia, Albania and Bosnia.'

All of this is openly known and has been for sometime. No one is attempting to whitewash America's wrongdoing. Yes, American interference in Kosovo in 1999 then spilled over into Macedonia in 2001 with Kosovar attempts to annex Macedonian territory and the Ohrid Framework Agreement was forced upon Macedonians, as a way of hiding US culpability.


A Greater Albania poses a serious threat to Macedonia's very existence. These forces were unleashed because of Kosovo’s detachment from Serbia. A fact even acknowledged by ex US Foreign Minister (Secretary of State) Henry Kissinger. see link An ethnic Albanian uprising took place in Macedonia in 2001 under the cover of “human rights” but in reality a land grab to expand Kosovo. To cover American complicity and get Washington off the hook, the Ohrid Framework Agreement was signed in order for the Albanian rebels/terrorists to lay down their arms. But is it a prelude to the “federalisation” of Macedonia into an “Albanian republic” and a rump Macedonia? If so, then it would mean the end of Macedonia as an independent nation-state, with the rump probably absorbed by either Serbia or Bulgaria.

However, it's childish to assume that Belgrade has been an "innocent" participant in all of these events as well. If Slovenia, Croatia had been allowed to leave peacefully by Belgrade in 1991 then SERBIA wouldn't have lost Kosovo. Milosevic, a rogue, took a gamble and got beaten by a bigger rogue, Clinton !

If anything, the question that is always conveniently ignored is why did US cash keep Yugoslavia alive for so long during the Cold War? As a proposition it was never a realistic long term concept. That it survived for about 45 years is extraordinary. It should have collapsed in the 1970s.

Why did the CIA turn a blind eye to Yugoslav intelligence (UDBa) as it murdered dissidents in the West during the 1970s and 80s? Because Tito's Yugoslavia, after the 1948 split from the Soviet communist bloc, feared Moscow.

One of the founders of Tito's Yugoslavia, the Montenegrin Marxist Milovan Djilas has acknowledged that it was dysfunctional and wouldn't last long.

If anything, the "Yugoslavist utopia" ended up being a vehicle for Serbian cultural hegemony, for example the embracing of a Serb identity by Vladimir Gligorov, the son of Kiro Gligorov(, later, ironically, to become the President of an independent Macedonia in 1991).

What undermines the Serb victim card that get's played by BELGRADE is the use--by the nominally secular Serbian state--of religion, the Serbian Orthodox Church, to interfere in Macedonia via its agents such as rebel priest Zoran Vraniskovski.

It's a tragedy for the Serbian people that they have allowed themselves to believe in such conspiracy theories and their country destroyed. And what happens in Serbia, you know arrives as a "fashion" in Macedonia within 24 to 48 hours.

When analysing events from 1991 onwards, a kind of childlike or immature approach is adopted where key players such as Serbia or the US are either innocent or evil. The reality is nations have their own strategic interests that change - an ally can become an enemy or an enemy can become a friend.

Blaming the US for the 1991 collapse also ignores the dysfunctional society, economy and "work habits" or lack of "work habits" of the then SFR Yugoslavia
The reality is whilst it was useful as an entity during the Cold War, the money kept flowing into Yugoslavia. When that usefulness was over, the money was turned off.

What lessons can we draw from this - it is better to be independent rather than rely on others to fund your cafe lifestyle. Less Belgradisation or Brusselisation (the EU is a surrogate Utopia like the failed Yugoslavist one).


It is no surprise that many of the leading fanatical Yugoslavists in Macedonia such as the foul-mouthed journalist Borjan Jovanovski, who would be more comfortable in a BELGRADE smoke filled cafe, and other fellow travellers have naively or opportunistically jumped on board the EU bandwagon and supposedly embraced western values when deep down they still possess Yugoslavist authoritarian ones and still see Belgrade as the cultural universe.

Likewise, those claiming to be Macedonian patriots, have out of a fear of a Greater Albania or pro Serb sentiment allowed themselves to go running to Belgrade, in particular the equally authoritarian and foul-mouthed shock jock commentator Milenko Nedelkovski. He too would be at home in a BELGRADE cafe !

Macedonia needs less Belgradisation and Brusselisation, not more of it !

TEAM UZUNOV ANALYSIS: Is Washington trying to strike a deal with Belgrade? Is Macedonia the bargaining chip? Recently the US restored full diplomatic and political ties with long time enemy Cuba and signing off on Iran’s nuclear program.
The United States and Serbia have been at loggerheads over the US lead in the 1999 NATO war in Kosovo which detached that province from Serbia and led it to become an independent state, albeit an American protectorate in the Balkans.
Serbia has refused to accept the fact it won’t be having Kosovo back anytime soon or in the immediate future. The US realising it needs Serbia’s final agreement in order to secure Kosovo’s eastern flank (border with Serbia) might come to some kind of deal to “compensate” Serbia for its loss and make Belgrade’s dalliance with Putin’s Russia less attractive.
Compensate, you ask? Well, hypothetically speaking the only other territory up for grabs is the Republic of Macedonia. Federalisation of the country will spell the end of: that is if the western part becomes an “Albanian republic” with the Republic of Macedonia it will eventually secede and join up with Kosovo and Albania, assuming that is the the US’s end state? 
Washington could give Serbia a freehand in Macedonia, even though it already has enormous, some say too much, cultural influence in Macedonia. Also toss in Republika Srpska from Bosnia into the mix. What is interesting is a controversial ex US Ambassador William Montgomery, who lives in Croatia, was hired by Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic as an advisor. see link - “Coincidently, Montgomery angered Bosniaks when he called for the partition of Bosnia-Hercegovina and for Republika Srpska to join Serbia. see link 

Another scenario could be the partition of Kosovo into Albanian and Serb parts. see link

Russian influence in the Balkans plays in favour of Serbia and Greece, though a NATO member, because it will squeeze Macedonia between these two traditional allies who have always had predatory designs on Macedonia. Serbia is not ally of Macedonia but more involved in a relationship (not marriage) of convenience with Macedonia over fears of a Greater Albania but ironically a partitioned and destablised Macedonia will gravitate towards Belgrade for its survival. But this still remains conjecture. It could happen; it could not happen.

Another nightmare scenario is if Serbia joins the EU before Macedonia, Serbia, like Bulgaria, will be offering citizenship and passports to Macedonians.
A number of events have occurred in the past 24 months which point to a creeping US-Serbia rapprochement:
1. Serbia securing a $1 Billion loan from the United Arab Emirates, an ally of the US and one time financier of the Kosovo Liberation Army;
2. The US being “concerned” for the “human rights” of pro-Serb nationalist priest in Macedonia, Zoran Vraniskovski;
3. The release of ultra Serb nationalist and war criminal Vojislav Seselj from the International Tribunal in the Hague on “health grounds;”
4. Washington keeping low key about the recent official rehabilitation by the Serbian High Court of controversial ultra Serb nationalist leader executed by Tito at the end of World War II, Draza Mihailovic, whose platform was anti-Macedonian, Croat etc.
Bulgaria is already in the US camp, after dumping the Soviet bloc at the end of the Cold War. There are US military bases in Bulgaria.
So hypothetically, if Serbia, assuming it’s in the American camp, or Bulgaria where to partition what’s left of the the Republic of Macedonia, it would solve Greece’s problem as well. Moreover, Serbia’s historical rival Croatia which is also locked into the EU and NATO, may need to step up its diplomatic initiative to balance Belgrade’s influence in Macedonia. A failed Macedonian state is not in Zagreb’s strategic interests as it turns a bi-polar Balkan power centres into a three ring circus - Belgrade, Zagreb and Pristina, which then becomes even more unpredictable.

Zagreb needs to balance its interests in Kosovo and Macedonia, a herculean task, but something it will have to grapple with.
All of these scenarios remain hypothetical and may not eventuate. But any sensible person or adult in Macedonia, especially the strategic planners have to take into consideration the volatility of the Balkans.

When Yugoslavia collapsed in 1991, Macedonia’s cultural and political elite, according to pundit Risto Nikovski, were caught unaware because they naively believed that Yugoslavism, which was funded by US dollars, would last forever and they would not need to do anything….

- The best course of action is for Macedonia to somehow maintain an independent foreign policy--playing off Russia against the US and strengthening economic ties with the People’s Republic of China.

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