Friday, November 11, 2011


Unsung heroes: Macedonian Partizans who fought Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Bulgaria (1941-45) enter the southern Macedonian town of Bitola, after liberating it from the Germans during fierce battles in November 1944.

Estreja Ovadija - Mara : Macedonian-Jewish Partizan Hero killed during World War II. (photo: Yad Vashem)

On Remembrance Day - 11 November– Lest We Forget
by Sasha Uzunov
In a shameful episode, the European Union's newest member Bulgaria has kicked up a stink about an upcoming Macedonian film which deals with Bulgaria's extermination of Macedonian Jews during World War II.
Bulgarian Members of the European Parliament, who seemed to have forgotten their country's well documented Nazi collaboration, have in effect resorted to blackmailing the EU's Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule in putting pressure on The Republic of Macedonia, which has applied for EU membership.
The film, “The third half time,” is a Macedonian production with international funding about a soccer match in 1942 between two teams in the Bulgarian soccer league, Levski and Makedonia. Makedonia is made up of ethnic Macedonians living under Bulgarian wartime occupation and coached by a Jew, who in the film, is being targeted for death by Bulgarian fascists.
see links:
Macedonian film infuriates Bulgaria
'Third Halftime' filming kicks off
In 1941 Bulgaria under Tsar (Emperor) Boris became an ally of Nazi Germany and his armies invaded Macedonia, which had been under Serbian and Greek occupation. Ethnic Macedonians looked upon the Bulgarian Army as occupiers. On 11 October 1941 a Macedonian Partizan resistance uprising took place in the town of Prilep.
As Bulgarian occupation became more brutal, more and more young Macedonians joined the resistance and took to the mountains and engaged in guerilla, hit and run, ambush style warfare. Macedonian Jews fared worst. In 1943, over 7,000 Jews were rounded up by the Bulgarian security forces and sent to Nazi death camps. Ninety-eight percent of Macedonia's Jewish population was wiped out, even though Bulgaria managed to save its own Jews.
For decades Bulgaria had been boasting of its humanitarian record during World War II over its treatment of Jews. But the genocide in Macedonia has put a huge stain on that record.
In September 1944, with Nazi Germany losing the war, a communist coup led to Bulgaria, conveniently, changing sides and joining the Allies.
Macedonia later became a constituent republic within Marshal Tito's Federal Communist Yugoslavia in 1945 until 1991, when it became an independent state during the break up of Yugoslavia. Bulgaria, ironically enough, recognised the new state but not the ethnicity or language of Macedonians. Bulgarian nationalists, both on the left and right, deny the existence of a separate Macedonian identity, as does Greece, as do some Serbian nationalists.
Macedonians maintain they are a separate people, and who during World War II began a resistance movement against Bulgarian, Italian and Nazi German occupation of their homeland.
By the end of the war, over 80,000 Macedonians, including a small group of surviving Jews, were in the People's Liberation Army of Macedonia (NOV na M), which later was forcibly merged with Tito's Yugoslav Liberation Army (NOVJ).
Ethnic Macedonians in Greece established an anti-Nazi resistance movment known as NOF, which Greek writers refer to as SNOF (Slavo-Macedonian National Liberation Front). NOF linked up with NOV na M in operations against the Germans.
The Macedonian Partizans in an uneasy alliance consisted of communist and non-communists. One of the leaders of the resistance was Metodija Andonov-Cento, a non-communist who later was imprisoned on trumped up charges by Marshal Tito in 1946.
Estreja Ovadja-Mara, a young Macedonian Jewish Partizan was proclaimed a national hero and has a statue in her honour in her home town of Bitola (Monastir).
According to the Yad Vashem website:
"In March 1943, on the eve of the deportation of the Jews from the town, Ovadja and some of her friends went underground, and a short while later joined the ‘Goce Delchev’ partisan unit, where she became the company's political commissar. Despite her non-combat role, she joined her unit for the majority of their battles, claiming her right to fight.
“With the establishment of the Seventh Macedonian Brigade, Ovadja was appointed regiment political commissar. In the early hours of the 26 August 1944, she was killed in a battle near the Greek border while attacking, as head of her unit, the last German fortresses in the Kaymakchalan Mountains.”
Considering Macedonia's tiny population, over 25,000 soldiers from the NOV na M were sent to assist the NOVJ at the Syrmian Front (Sremski Front) in North-Eastern Serbia in early 1945, one of the last major battles in the Balkans as the German Army were order to fight to the bitter end. This was to allow the retreat from the Eastern Front by other German forces back to Greater Germany and stop the Soviet Union entering German territory.

Israeli Jewish News, February 11, 2011

Bulgarian Holocaust ATROCITIES Revealed: 13,000 Ladino Speaking Jews Deported By Bulgaria Remain Dirty Secret Until Now

National Liberation War of Macedonia

Monday, November 07, 2011



By Sasha Uzunov

The Occupy Wall Street movement and its Australian franchise have generated fear and criticism from leading commentators but if history or human nature is any guide, then we could see a future Australian Prime Minister or state Premier emerge from that movement in the years to come.

We all know Winston Churchill’s famous quote that if a man was not a socialist by the age of 17 and a conservative by 40 then there was something wrong.

However, we now live in the “era of eclectica.” This means that old labels of left wing, right wing are no longer accurate. We find middle-aged male stockbrokers who follow the Dalai Lama and wear an earring in one ear. Or conservative mothers with tattoos. In other words, people pick and choose bits and pieces of political ideology and the clothing that goes with it.

The Occupy Melbourne franchise, critics allege, degenerated from a peaceful protest against the abuses of capitalism to a full on brawl with Victoria Police. Accusations and counter-accusations have been made about “police brutality” in evicting protestors and “professional protestors” deliberately creating mayhem against the police.

So how should we view these types of anti-establishment movements? I would argue that the mainstream political parties, the ALP, Liberal-National Coalition, and the Greens should take a scientific approach, much in the same way that the Australian Football League (AFL) does with its draft system and talent scouting.

I would have talent scouts from the political parties fully badged or wearing photo ID cards, so as not to be confused with protestors or police during a confrontation, they would carry clipboards and take notes as to potential leaders or rising stars, who would be given points for charisma, speaking, organising ability and so on.

I can think of three examples of mainstream politicians emerging from what could be termed, for want of a better phrase, anti-establishment movements.

First is our own Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. In her youth, according to political news breaker Andrew Landeryou and his website Vexnews, the Prime Minister was a member of Australian Union of Students Women’s Department, and a staunch supporter of Gay/Lesbian rights in the early 1980s without embracing the lifestyle. But now has been accused of abandoning these principles for her opposition to same sex marriage.

Iron Mike Rann, Premier of South Australia for nearly a decade until being forced out recently, has made an incredible political journey from one end to the other in the political spectrum.

In the early 1970s he began as a Greenpeace activist in New Zealand and as a “Green Admiral” organized boats to breach French territorial waters in the South Pacific to protest nuclear testing.

He moved to Australia and began work for his political idol, the flamboyant Don Dunstan, ALP Premier of South Australia. Eventually, Iron Mike evolved into a middle-of the road politician and towards the end of his career embraced right-wing Greek nationalism on the issue of Macedonia.

Joschka Fischer also has an incredible story. He began as a militant German left-wing activist who once brutally beat a police officer during a riot in 1973. Fischer mellowed by becoming a Green politician and Germany’s Foreign Minister who, ironically enough, supported “imperialist America’s” invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

The list is endless of u-turn politicians: Australia’s own Gareth Evans who opposed conscription during the Vietnam War (1962-72) went onto become Foreign Minister and in the early 1990s sent Australian combat troops into Somalia and Rwanda in order to win a Nobel Peace Prize and become United Nations’ Secretary General, whilst supporting Indonesia’s brutal occupation of East Timor.

Professor Robert Mann, dubbed Australia’s leading public intellectual, is in a class of his own. By his own admission he gone: “left, right, left” in terms of political views. And who knows where he will be in the near future, still in the left or back to the right? It all depends where the spotlight is? Pardon my cynicism!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bulgarian Intelligence's ferocious reputation

Lieutenant General Pavel Sudoplatov, Soviet intelligence chief who ran the Trotsky assassination in 1940, revealed in his 1994 memoirs, Special Tasks, about the workings of the Bulgarian intelligence service, KDS, during the Cold War. Photo: wikipedia.

PART 2 – : Bulgarian Intelligence operations in Western Europe during the 1990s...
Bulgarian Intelligence's ferocious reputation.

By Sasha Uzunov

Bulgaria has in two major wars chosen the wrong side but still ended up winning politically. During the Second World War Tsarist Bulgaria joined Adolf Hitler's Axis alliance in 1941, invaded Macedonia and under a brutal occupation exterminated the Jewish population as well as killing many of Macedonia's young Partizan resistance heroes. By 1944, with the Nazis on the way out, a Communist coup led by Georgi Dimitrov, an ethnic Macedonian and one of USSR dictator Josif Stalin's henchmen, made Bulgaria change sides and throw in its lot with the Soviet Union.

During the Cold War (1946-90), Sofia stood shoulder to shoulder with Moscow as it battled the West for ideological supremacy. With the collapse of communism, Bulgaria found itself an ally of the West and eventually a member of the European Union, despite its problems with the ill-treatment of ethnic minorities such as the Macedonians, Turks, and Roma.

A common thread running through all the regime changes in Sofia has been a ferocious but efficient secret police and brutal enforcement of Bulgarian nationalism, albeit for Dimitrov's brief reign.
Lieutenant General Pavel Sudoplatov, of the USSR's NKVD (forerunner of the KGB) and the man who ran the successful assassination of Stalin's rival Trotsky in 1940 in Mexico, wrote in his 1994 memoirs, Special Tasks:

When Dimitrov returned home to Bulgaria in 1944, he allowed the czarina (tsarina) and her son, the heir apparent, to leave the country with their personal wealth and property. Sensing the danger that might come from monarchist emigres, Dimitrov decided to eliminate the entire political opposition....and...didn't face the existence of an emigre organisation in the West.”

Sudoplatov in 1970 met with Bulgaria's Defence Minister General Ivan Genarov, who worked for the Soviet NKVD during WWII. Genarov said to Sudoplatov: “we ourselves learned the lesson from you and wiped them out...”

Yugoslavia's own communist intelligence service UDBa, later to be renamed SDB, was also a student of the Soviet secret service.

In 1949 the Macedonian ethnic minority in Bulgaria had the misfortune of being caught in the middle of a quarrel between Yugoslav Communist ruler Marshal Tito and Stalin, as well as Dimitrov dying mysteriously. Overnight the Bulgarian communist regime canceled their ethnic rights.

Under the xenophobic leadership of Todor Zhivkov (1954-89), the brutal policy of forced Bulgarisation took place. Macedonian orthodox Christians and Turkish Muslims were now Bulgarians. Ethnic Turk weightlifter Naim Suleymanoglou became Naum Shalamanov against his will. In 1986, with the help of local Turks, Suleymanoglou defected whilst competing in Melbourne, Australia.

In 1988 the “Pocket Hercules,” as he was known for his short height, won the Olympic Gold Medal for Turkey. Talking to members of Melbourne' Turkish community during the 1988 Olympics, they said emotionally with tears in their eyes that Suleymanoglou was not only lifting heavy weights but carrying the burden of Bulgaria's persecuted Turkish minority.

But Zhivkov's secret police, Komitet za Darzhavna Sigurnost, KDS, also hunted ethnic Bulgarians who did not toe the political line. In 1978 Georgi Markov, a dissident living in Britain was killed by being stabbed with a poison-tipped umbrella supplied by the Soviets.

General Sudoplatov wrote: “ [KGB General] Oleg Kalugin revealed that he passed the Bulgarian Special Services in Moscow...Kalugin was awarded a medal and a Browning automatic pistol from the Bulgarian government for his services.”

The KDS, like UDBa, had special departments monitoring ethnic groups. KDS's 6th Directorate, 4th Department, handled pro-Turkish and pro-Macedonian nationalism.

A clever technique used to silence opposition abroad was created by the Tsarist Russian police in the late 1890s and later perfected by the Communists when they seized power during the October Revolution in 1917.

Both UDBa and KDS would use the exact same technique, known as the TRUST operations.
In the 1920s, the Soviet Secret service, which began as the Cheka and evolved along the way as OGPU/NKVD/KGB, began to “lure emigre agents into the arms of the OGPU, including the Trust, an imaginary counter-revolutionary union of monarchists and social revolutionaries.” (Donald Rayfield, Stalin and his henchmen, Penguin Books, 2005, page 137).

In other words, Russian dissidents living in Paris were fooled into returning to fight the Soviet regime but were executed on their arrival. In the early 1970s UDBa managed to lure Croat nationalists back to Yugoslavia in a similar manner. Both UDBa and KDS' infiltrated some Macedonian organisations in Western Europe, namely Belgium.

Surprisingly, Ivan “Vancho” Mihailov, the fanatical pro-Bulgarian Macedonian leader and Nazi collaborator was allowed to die in peace in Italy many decades after the end of WWII. Neither UDBa nor KDS was successful in getting rid of him.

As I explained in part 1 of my story, I came across individuals living in Belgium, who said they were Macedonians but who strongly believed in linking up with Bulgaria. The scenario they gave back in 1992 almost echoed that of what happened in 2001, a war between Albanians and Macedonians, with Macedonians running into the arms of Bulgaria for help! One individual, as I revealed in part 1, was able to come and go into Bulgaria, despite the regime's paranoia of emigres.

With the end of the Cold War, Eastern European communists and secret police hitmen transformed themselves into democrats and nationalists. Despite Bulgaria's inclusion into the European Union, it still gives its Macedonian ethnic minority a hard time by denying their right to their own identity and language. It seems old habits die hard but only the tactics change.

When the ethnic Albanian insurgency erupted in Macedonia in 2001, Bulgaria, playing the nice guy despite not recognising a separate Macedonian identity, offered tanks and well as troops. The tanks were accepted but not the troops, as this report in the British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, spelled out:

BULGARIA offered to send troops to Macedonia yesterday, raising fears that the fighting on the border with Kosovo could spread into a regional conflict.

Officials in Sofia said President Petar Stoyanov told his Macedonian counterpart, Boris Trajkovski, that he was ready to send "Bulgarian armed forces if Macedonia asks its neighbours or international organisations". Later, Mr Boiko Noev, Bulgaria's Defence Minister, sought to play down the president's remarks, saying there was no need to send troops. But the offer revived fears in the West of a pan-Balkan conflict centred on Macedonia.

Macedonia has been largely spared the past decade's convulsions in the region. But it was the object of contention in the two Balkan wars early last century, and there have long been fears that it could be dragged into the strife that has accompanied the break-up of Yugoslavia.
Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria have in the past all made territorial claims on what is now Macedonia. But the latest threat comes from Albanian militants, seeking to create a "Greater Albania", or at least a "Greater Kosovo"” (end of quote)

But this is the Balkans region, a region that is a victim of its past which it cannot let go !


Map of The Republic of Macedonia during the 2001 Albanian Insurgency.
source: wikipedia

Part 1: Bulgarian Intelligence operations in Western Europe during the 1990s....


by Sasha Uzunov

The Republic of Macedonia celebrated its 20th anniversary of independence on 8 September 2011. This year also marked a decade of the short-lived ethnic Albanian insurgency in that tiny Balkan state. Did neighbouring Bulgaria, for its own strategic ends, light the fuse to long standing tensions between ethnic Albanians and Macedonians?

Is Bulgaria's long term strategic goal in creating instability in Macedonia! That is making the new state non-viable and absorbed by a Greater Bulgaria, a century old aspiration of ultra Bulgarian nationalists?

The Balkans region of South-Eastern Europe has throughout history been a political powder keg. Not surprisingly, conspiracy theories have become the past time in many of the Balkan states. You will find crackpots blaming the CIA, Henry Kissinger, ex-KGB, the Vatican, Zionists, Islamic fundamentalists, the Freemasons for whatever misfortune occurs, including the current economic collapse in Greece and natural disasters such as earthquakes.

Macedonia managed to break away from the then crumbling Serb dominated Yugoslav federation in 1991 without bloodshed, unlike Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Bulgaria, under its president Zhelyu Zhelev, was one of the first states to recognise Macedonia's independence but not its language or ethnicity. Intellectual circles in Sofia, the Bulgarian capital, regard Macedonians as misguided “Western Bulgarians” who need to be coaxed gently back into the fold. Bulgaria tried unsuccessfully with brutal force during two world wars to achieve this objective.

In 2001 an ethnic Albanian insurgency erupted in the western part of Macedonia and, fortunately, it was short lived. But its legacy engendered mistrust on both sides.

Before the conflict, there had been an awkward but peaceful co-existence between the Macedonians, predominately Orthodox Christian and comprising 70 to 75% of the population, and the Albanians, largely Sunni Muslim, and about 20% of the population. But with simmering ethnic tensions just below the surface, ready to bubble over.

Macedonian nationalists were alarmed at the high birth rate of the Albanians and their alleged unwillingness to assimilate and their support for a Greater Albania. Moreover, as Macedonia had never been independent for over a millennium, there was a fear of losing territory.

The Albanians on the other hand complained of being marginalised in public service jobs and education, and their basic rights denied.

Since its independence in 1991, ethnic Albanian parties have been a coalition partner in successive Macedonian governments in order to allay these fears. Under Yugoslav rule, the communists were hard on Macedonian nationalists or those with mild patriotic aspirations as well. Yugoslav intelligence (UDBa) spent years silencing dissent abroad with assassinations or scare tactics.

Into this volatile mix came the 1999 Kosovo War. Macedonia permitted NATO to operate on its territory to launch attacks and push the Serbs out of the region. Consequently, tiny impoverished Macedonia was swamped by thousands of ethnic Albanian refugees fleeing the war.

Two years later, a group calling itself the National Liberation Army launched an uprising in Western Macedonia claiming to be fighting for Albanian human rights. Initially, the West labelled this group as a terrorist or organised crime element but realising that it may have been aligned to the Kosovo Liberation Army, and a de-facto ally of NATO, changed its tune, according to Canadian journalist and award winning war reporter Scott Taylor. In other words, the KLA warriors were accused of going from freedom fighters against the Serbs to territorial expansionists in Western Macedonia.

So if Macedonia had opened its door to NATO and Western media scrutiny in 1999, then how was it that war, purporting to be fought for Albanian human rights, was permitted to erupt in 2001? Were both Albanians and Macedonians manipulated into a conflict?

Up until 1998, a United Nations peacekeeping force (UNPREDEP), including US troops, was deployed on Macedonia's borders to stop aggression at the hands of Slobodan Milosevic in his quest for a Greater Serbia or weapons smuggling by Kosovo Albanian separatist.

UNPREDEP managed the job well. But for some crazy reason, Macedonia's Foreign Minister Vasil Tupurkovski recognised Taiwan and all hell broke loose in the UN Security Council. Security Council permanent member the People's Republic of China in an act of retaliation withdrew support for the UNPREDEP mission. Macedonia's border now became a sieve: with criminal gangs or terrorists able to come and go.

But why did the Macedonian government at the time, headed by Prime Minister Ljupco Georgievski of the nationalist party VMRO-DPMNE ignore the threat?

Edward Joseph in his in-depth study: MACEDONIA’S PUBLIC SECRET: HOW CORRUPTION, DRAGS THE COUNTRY DOWN, 14 August 2002, for the think tank, International Crisis Group, wrote:

The see-no-evil posture of the Macedonian police allowed smuggling villages like Tanusevci (which lies on the border, 36 kilometers north of Skopje) to become, in effect, “free territories”. The village not only became the transit point for contraband, it also served as a recruiting and training base for Albanian radicals active in the nearby Presevo Valley of southern Serbia.”

However, Joseph dismisses the conspiracy theory, largely popular in Macedonia, that there was collusion between Georgievski's VMRO-DPMNE and its coalition partner Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA) to start a war in order to divide territory.

Despite the evidence to the contrary, the notion that there was a “deal” to divide Macedonia persists. Even many of those who concede that the conflict was not the result of a grand conspiracy believe that the ruling parties colluded at least to manipulate public opinion during its course.”

However, in the footnotes he cites:

The notion of a VMRO – Albanian deal to divide the country dates back to the interwar period, and as well, the Fascist Bulgarian and Albanian period during World War II.

The 2001 Albanian insurgency was brought to a quick end and a deal known as the Ohrid Framework Agreement was signed by the Georgievski's government, DPA and the Albanian insurgents under Ali Ahmeti's command.

In what appears to be a case of sour grapes at Macedonia not being partitioned and with racist overtones, Georgievski called for a Berlin-style wall. But it was criticised by a leading expert:

...a wall [to] be built if necessary to divide ethnic Macedonian and ethnic Albanian populations accepts the possibility of considerable violence in realising the proposed territorial division. Even were such a division to occur without bloodshed, however, it would generate a new set of problems likely to further threaten the already tenuous stability of the region. On the one hand, cession to Albania of an artificially created ethnic Albanian enclave could upset the country’s (sub-)ethnic balance between Ghegs and Tosks.

"On the other hand, the loss of territory and population from the Republic of Macedonia would call into question the country’s existence not only for reasons of size, but also because such truncation could lead to clashes between serbophile and bulgarophile elements of the ethnic Macedonian population intent on union with neighbouring states already short on administrative capacity. Thus, while ethnic partition might promise to ethnic Albanian and ethnic Macedonian populations an escape from deadlock over the Framework Agreement, such an arrangement would pose a greater danger than does wrangling on implementation.”

(THE SPECTRE OF TERRITORIAL DIVISION AND THE OHRID AGREEMENT, by Eben Friedman, European Centre for Minority Issues, Brief # 9 July 2003).

Before we go any further or even dip back into history, we have to mention that Georgievski left VMRO- DPMNE, some say he was pushed out, to set up his own political party. He has taken to the Macedonian media with all sorts of controversial statements about Macedonian identity, allegations that his previous party was pro-Serbo-Yugoslav, the danger of Greater Albania, and calls for closer links to Bulgaria.

He told Milenko Nedelovski of Macedonian TV station Kanal 5 in 2009:

In the Republic of Macedonia from 1945 and again from 1990, it's no secret that to be considered a Macedonian patriot you had to spit on Bulgaria...”

On the allegation of Georgievski holding dual Macedonian and Bulgarian citizenship, the former Prime Minister mentioned his cabinet colleague at the time, the bombastic Ljube Boskovski having Croatian citizenship.

Nedelovski's response: “the Croats don't deny the existence of our [Macedonian] name, language, nation, church [as the Bulgarians do].”

Georgievski's “Berlin War” solution is nothing new. However, the startling thing about it was back in the early 1990s, shadowy emigre groups in Western Europe with possible connections to Bulgarian intelligence were calling for the same solution !

In 1992 I had the good fortune of meeting Mr Goce Vidanovski, a long time Macedonian community leader and activist in Belgium. Vidanovski had spent decades trying to keep out Yugoslav and Bulgarian interference within his community. In doing so he lived with the possibility of being on the end of an assassin's bullet.

Belgium, because of its small size and lax policing, was a hub for UDBa operations in the 1970s and 80s against emigre political opponents living in Western Europe. Zeljko Raznjatovic-Arkan, the Serb warlord began his career as a petty criminal and bank robber in Belgium before graduating to UDBa hit man.

Likewise, Macedonian groups and individuals with pro-Bulgarian affiliations were active in Belgium as well. Vidanovski introduced me to them. One such individual strongly believed that Macedonia's salvation lay with the country being partitioned along the river Vardar, with the west going to Albania and the east linking up with “Mother Bulgaria.”

His reasoning was that Bulgaria needed a buffer zone against the Albanians. He also made the outrageous claim that the Bulgarian authorities had established camps for refugees fleeing from Macedonia into Bulgaria should war erupt. This individual was also free to travel to Bulgaria before and after the communist period in that country. A remarkable feat considering Bulgaria was one of the Soviet Union's staunchest allies during the Cold War (1946-90) and kept a close watch on who entered or left the country.

As I began to examine closely Bulgarian intelligence operations in Western Europe, I received a number of threatening phone calls during my stay in Belgium...

Coming soon: PART 2 – Bulgarian Intelligence's ferocious reputation.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Melbourne Airport Security concern

TEAM UZUNOV beat Sunday Herald Sun over Airport Security story by 7 months !

It has taken major Melbourne newspaper The Sunday Herald Sun 7 months to realise there is a parking problem at Melbourne Airport.!

See our story below on 25 January 2011 and Sunday Herald Sun's on 21 August 2011.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


MELBOURNE AIRPORT SECURITY CONCERN. Photo by Sasha Uzunov, copyright 2011.


In light of the recent terror attack on Moscow Airport, Russia, you would think that Melbourne Airport authorities would enforce their own security measures...But over the past couple of months, motorists, to avoid expensive parking at Melbourne Airport, (Victoria state, Australia) or to simply watch aeroplanes fly over, have been parking in the emergency stopping lane or roadside on the Tullamarine Freeway, about 1 to 2 kilometres from the Airport entrance.

By law this is forbidden, as the above photograph demonstrates. Photograph taken on Monday evening, 24 January 2011.

Drivers may not necessarily pose a direct security threat or even be members of Al Qaeda !

Heaven forbid should any attack happen but should an incident arise then the potential is there for clogging the freeway or simply creating an obstacle for emergency response teams.

No regular security or police patrols have been observed in keeping the emergency stopping lanes clear on the Tullamarine Freeway. Perhaps, Melbourne Airport officials should lower the expensive parking fees to get motorists off the freeway.

ABC News - 25 January 2011

Carnage as bomber targets Moscow airport


21 August 2011

Parking fee dodgers blamed for Maccas mayhem


Workers construct barriers on the Tullamarine Freeway Picture: Rob Leeson Source: Sunday Herald Sun

NEW moves to fortress off the roadside on the approach to Melbourne Airport have been blamed for creating fast-food parking havoc.

Staff at the McDonald's airport outlet have complained that parking fee dodgers are clogging the restaurant carpark as they wait for flights to arrive.

One said the problem had grown worse since VicRoads began installing permanent fencing along the Tullamarine Freeway as part of a $4.5 million "safety upgrade" this year.

"The carpark is always full and customers and sometimes even staff can't get a park," the staff member said.

Angry motorists, including Ferntree Gully's Robyn Key, complained the works were about forcing people to pay $12 an hour for short-term parking.

"They are just trying to force people into their ridiculously priced parking," Ms Key said while waiting at McDonald's for her daughter to fly in from Tasmania. "It's totally a money grab."

Christine Cook, of Lancefield, said stopping people from parking on roadsides was "pretty shameless".

But Melbourne Airport spokeswoman Anna Gillett said the practice was a traffic hazard.

"(The fencing) is to stop people from parking on the side of the road when they are waiting for a plane to arrive," Ms Gillett said.

"That's actually really dangerous, so as part of a safety initiative they are erecting safety barriers along there."

In the 2009-10 financial year, Melbourne Airport reaped close to $90 million from its carparks.

An Australian Competition and Consumer Commission report released this year was scathing about the airport's parking.

Former ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel, who retired last month, accused the airport of price gouging by not allowing any alternative to its own carparks.

"By reducing the ability of alternatives to compete, Melbourne Airport can increase demand for its own car parking services, charge higher prices to consumers and, therefore, earn monopoly profits," Mr Samuel said.

The Sunday Herald Sun last week saw several cars pulled up on the freeway reserve, despite signs warning of $73 fines.

VicRoads metropolitan northwest regional director Nial Finegan said the works, which included installation of a wire rope safety barrier, guard fence and other "hazard removal", were purely to prevent accidents.

"The road safety project is not related to parking issues," he said.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Why did Australia's domestic spy catchers ASIO keep Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser (1975-83) in the dark over a foreign diplomat's true identity?
Fifth part in a series on Yugoslav intelligence activities on Australian soil from the 1970s to the early 1990s.
A twenty year investigation…TEAM UZUNOV on the trail of a Yugoslav master spy…London, Brussels, Skopje, Belgrade, Zagreb, Melbourne...who managed to fool ASIO twice...
TEAM UZUNOV cracks open the Croatian Six Case…
By Sasha Uzunov
One of Australia’s worst miscarriages of justice, the Croatian Six terrorism case in 1979-80, may have been perpetrated by a Yugoslav master spy posing as a diplomat and who, would you believe it, not once but twice managed to outsmart Australia’s domestic spy catchers, ASIO, and even shook hands with an unsuspecting Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser.
Intelligence sources in Washington and in the Republic of Macedonia, one of the successor states of the former communist Federal Yugoslavia, have confirmed that Dr Georgi Trajkovski, the Yugoslav Consul General in Melbourne, Australia during 1978-79 was “hardcore UDBa (Yugoslav intelligence) and a key player in the Croatian Six set up.”
In 1988, Trajkovski with the same modus operandi, the use of agent provocateurs and exaggerated claims of anti-Yugoslav subversion, had a fellow Yugoslav diplomat removed from his post in Melbourne right under the nose of ASIO. This story, told for the very first time, will be detailed in part 6.
In 1991 legendary ABC TV investigative reporter Chris Masters dropped a bombshell on the Four Corners program about The Croatian Six case.
An agent provocateur set up members of Australia's Croatian community in 1979. Six Croats were imprisoned on false charges of wanting to plant bombs in Sydney.
Masters tracked down the agent provocateur, Vitomir Visimovic, who was an ethnic Serb living in Bosnia but had passed himself off as a Croat.
In fact, ASIO, the Australian Federal Police (successor of the Commonwealth Police) and the infamous and corrupt New South Wales Police Special Branch were all aware that Visimovic was an UDBa operative but suppressed the information during the trial of the Croatian Six. Moreover, the alarming thing was the Australian authorities let the man depart the country. This was during Malcolm Fraser’s tenure as Prime Minister (1975-83).
An UDBa hitman Vinko Sindicic was arrested in Scotland in 1988 after a failed assassination attempt on Croat dissident Nikola Stedul. At Sindicic's trial it was revealed he “had been in Australia in 1978, working with another Yugoslav agent on a plan to link Croatian political activists with terrorism.”
In all probability co-ordinating with Trajkovski the Croatian Six set up.
The irony is that two months after NSW Police arrested the Croatian suspects in early 1979, Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser paid a visit to the Yugoslav Consulate General in Melbourne to offer his condolences at the death of Yugoslav leader Edvard Kardelj, and shook hands with Trajkovski.
We know this because a book "Art Treasures of Yugoslavia" with a special annotation was offered on the web by the prestigious auction house Downies:
“Inside the book is an inlaid letterhead dated 18th April 1979 addressed to the Honourable J.M.Fraser MP, Prime Minister of Australia with typewritten message "With this small token,we wish to express our thanks that you found the time to visit this Consul General (which represents the Yugoslav community) to express your condolences. Please accept this book in appreciation of your thoughtfulness" and hand signed by Consul General Dr Georgi Trajkovski.
The question remains why did ASIO keep Fraser in the dark over Trajkovski's true identity?
Trajkovski, an ethnic Macedonian, was regarded as a fanatical Titoist and a specialist on foreign affairs. He authored Diplomatski Protokol, regarded as a text book on international relations in the then Yugoslavia.
Having pulled off the Croatian Six set up in 1979, Trajkovski repeated his shtick in 1988 with the removal of a fellow Yugoslav diplomat right under the nose of ASIO.

Yugoslavia was a multi-ethnic communist federation founded in 1945, modelled on the Soviet Union, and fell apart in 1991 into various independent nation states.
Yugoslav intelligence (UDBa) later known as SDB, together with Yugoslav military counter-intelligence (KOS) were largely pre-occupied with silencing dissident Croats, Macedonians, Serbs and Albanians living in Western Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, who were agitating for independence from Yugoslavia.
UDBa was so ruthless and efficient it at one time rivalled the old Soviet KGB and Mossad in liquidating opponents. In Munich, West Germany, a whole section of a cemetery was set-aside for Croats assassinated by UDBa.
Communist strongman Marshal Josip Broz Tito ruled Yugoslavia until his death in 1980 and during the height of the Cold War managed a great balancing act between East and West. He was seen as an indirect ally of the West after his infamous split with Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in 1949.
A number of Australian left-wing politicians, including Victorian State MP Joan Coxsedge, began to allege that ASIO was turning a blind eye to extremist Croatian elements, who were secretly training on Australian soil to undertake terrorist attacks on Yugoslav territory or upon Yugoslav diplomatic missions in Australia.
In this atmosphere of terrorism mania during the 1970s Australia’s Croat community were looked upon as the bad guy.
We now know that the alleged Croatian terrorism on Australian soil was the work of UDBa.

TOP JOURNALIST ON THE TRAIL - Hamish McDonald (pictured above)
One of Australia's most distinguished investigative reporters and authors, Hamish McDonald of the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, has told TEAM UZUNOV in a filmed interview that he became interested in the Croatian Six case after following the Balibo Five story, the murder of five Australian based newsmen at the hands of the Indonesian military during its invasion of neighbouring East Timor in 1975.
According to McDonald, vital evidence in proving the innocence of the Croatian Six and Indonesian culpability in the murder of the Balibo Five was suppressed by the Australian federal government on the grounds of "national security."

Thursday, July 07, 2011

SBS TV & that Commando "scandal"

Reality show proposal: Dibb's Deli. Australia's premier Arm chair General Professor Paul Dibb and his views on Army cooks.
By Sasha Uzunov
Lance Corporal Andrew Jones was first and foremost a trained Australian soldier who was also an army cook. His tragic death at the hands of a rogue Afghan soldier in May of this year highlights the dangers that support troops face in the Afghanistan War and also hammers home how out of touch our highly paid defence experts are.
The irony of it all is that you the Australian taxpayer, not once but twice, have to pick up the tab every time an “expert” comes up with a harebrained scheme or a journalist from the state owned media chases a “boutique defence scandal” in the hope of winning an award.
Let us start proceedings with the Lord High Priest of Australian defence experts, Professor Paul Dibb. In 2008 I wrote:
“Let us not forget some of the hair-brained schemes to save money from the Defence budget. Highly paid academic and a former Secretary of Defence, Professor Paul Dibb, proposed in 2006 to "civilianise" some trades within the Army. He complained that there were too many Army cooks.
“But what he failed to understand is first and foremost cooks are trained soldiers who can be used to patrol bases, and secondly how many civilian cooks are prepared to work in a warzone. Maybe if we hired many Gordon Ramsey styled chefs, they could hurl abuse at the Taliban!
“Maybe we need to employ some unorthodox methods to beat the Taliban. Here is a suggestion to the Defence Minister why don’t you commission Professor Dibb to go to England and recruit these foul-mouthed cooks who would strike terror into the terrorists.
“Let us call it Dibb’s Deli. It would also be televised. Great reality television.”
Dibb together with his disciple, Hugh White, a former Fairfax newspaper journalist turned defence expert, came up with the “brilliant idea” of cutting back our frontline combat troops, such as infantry, in the mid 1990s. When the East Timor crisis erupted in late 1999 the Australian Army did not have enough infantry “gunslingers” and was forced to canabalise reserve units for soldiers.
In 1998 the then Chief of Australia's Army Lieutenant General Frank Hickling was so concerned that our army was run down at the hands of Dibb-White that he issued his famous back to basics directive ordering all soldiers sharpen up their war fighting skills. A year later his move had potentially saved the lives of many young Australian soldiers engaged in a conflict with pro-Indonesian militia in East Timor. General Hickling had to fight off opposition from some of Canberra's desk warriors and self-appointed experts who "knew better."
Moving right along here…The Australian My Lai Massacre that never was story, being pushed by the taxpayer funded Special Broadcasting Service’s (SBS TV) Dateline program, and aided and abetted by the other state owned Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC TV) as well as Fairfax newspapers.
In February 2009 Australian Commandos entered a Taliban compound in the Oruzgan province of Afghanistan and were fired upon. And in the fog of war a grenade was thrown into a room to subdue the Taliban but instead six civilians were tragically killed.
The Australian newspaper’s Rory Callinan and Jeremy Kelly summed up the dilemma for the soldiers involved:
“A source said the troops came under fire from a building in the compound and they responded with a grenade. When the firing continued they responded with another one as their training required, the source said. "What were they supposed to do?"
“The source said there was anger among the troops about what they would do if prosecution for a possible manslaughter went ahead. "Every time someone goes into a compound and gets shot at they will be thinking will we get charged with manslaughter if we use a grenade."
SBS TV’s Dateline program reporter, the self-styled media tough gal, Sophie McNeill, broke the story, which initially got off to a false start, and Tom Hyland and Rafael Epstein, self-appointed defence experts, have followed it for Fairfax.
In 2010 I predicted that the McNeill story would win an award, simply because it had the media template of “bad” Australian soldiers, a controversial war and an obstructionist Defence Department. But as we shall see the story simply had no legs. Why it won an award is hard to fathom:
“The ABC TV’s Media Watch program, hosted by Jonathan Holmes, revealed that SBS Dateline on 8 March 2009 with such haste put together a story by McNeill, which ended up quoting Zahir Khan, a survivor of the commando raid. But it turned out he was an imposter.
“A year later McNeill went to Afghanistan and finally tracked down the real Zahir Khan. SBS Dateline threw the blame on wily Afghan media fixer Fazel Reshad “Arshad” Wardak for the mistake in the first story. If all else fails, blame the hired help!
“You can see Wardak boasting about his services to SBS in 2008 on this youtube clip.
“Jonathan Holmes then smacks naughty Sophie McNeill on the hand with the full force of a feather duster: as if the second story somehow redeems the first big mistake, a sack able offence. Great spin by Holmes. If only all journalists got such second chances.
““Sophie McNeill's second report is compelling. It includes film of the surviving family, and the graves of the victims, in their village in Oruzgan. And it poses serious questions about the ADF's original account of the incident, and why a year later it has said nothing more, and not even interviewed this family.”
““You’re now beginning to get the picture: a boutique scandal which has Walkley Award, Australia’s version of the Pulitzer Prize, written all over it.”
As a consequence, taxpayer dollars were spent in prosecuting some of the Commandos involved in the raid. But the charges against two were thrown out this year.
The honourable thing for McNeill to do is to apologise and return her Walkely Award and for the Executive Producer of Dateline Peter Charley to fall on his sword and resign. The media expects politicians to be accountable, why not journalists?
There is a public perception that journalists have become a law onto themselves that is they have a special media sheriff’s badge they can flash, whilst the rest of us cannot even ask a question.
Let us take Rafael Epstein, former ABC TV reporter and now with Fairfax.
In 2010, the taxpayer funded journalist got up to some shenanigans and tied up valuable court time:
Victoria Police will not prosecute a former ABC journalist accused of breaching police roadblocks after the Black Saturday bushfires.
“Rafael Epstein and a cameraman were stopped by officers in the main street of Kinglake on February 24 last year.
“Mr Epstein, who now works at The Age, admitted to deliberately entering an area restricted by the coroner. Mr Epstein's lawyers and the Office of Public Prosecutions agreed charges would not proceed, no conviction be recorded and that the matter would be dealt with through the Magistrates Court diversion program.
“Under diversion, Mr Epstein donated $2000 to Strathewen Primary School and admitted wrongdoing. He said: ''I apologise to local residents and police. I do wish to stress that my intention was to provide constructive and responsible coverage.''
I am trying to come up with a nick name for Epstein: Rafael “Roadblock” Epstein or Rafael “Smokey and the Bandit” Epstein:
I can just picture Epstein with a Burt Reynolds moustache and cowboy hat in a car with Sophie McNeill, as the Sally Field character, and the former Victoria Police Chief Simon Overland playing the role of Buford T. Justice.
Perhaps Epstein did not have a media sheriff’s badge but simply a note giving him permission to breach the roadblock “signed Epstein’s Mother!”
Would the law have been lenient with a 17-year-old boy or girl, acting as a citizen journalist, with a video camcorder wanting to shoot a youtube clip?