Wednesday, December 30, 2015

ATA - US State Department’s own army

By Sasha Uzunov

ATA - Office of the Antiterrorism Assistance Program is run by the United State’s State Department (it’s Foreign Ministry) and until recently when I stumbled upon this 1997 article from the Gainsville Sun in Florida, US, in a newspaper archive had no idea of its existence.

We all know of the CIA, the FBI, NSA, DEA and various other law-enforcement, espionage and para-military formations but this one, the ATA, was lunknown to me.

It was a secret counter terrorism unit set up by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 and hidden until 1987.

An article from the Gainsville Sun newspaper, 28 January 1997 - US newspaper archives

PD Knowles, American secret counter-terrorist trainer sent to Columbia, Peru & Macedonia by the US State Department’s Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program during the 1980s and 1990s.

He was obviously in Macedonia before the 1999 NATO war against Serbia for control of Kosovo and the 2001 ethnic Albanian uprising in Macedonia.

It is not known whether PD Knowles trained any potential Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) or its precursor elements during his stay in the Balkans.

You can read the 1997 full Gainsville Sun story at this link

The Official US State Department website:

The Office of Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA), administers the Antiterrorism Assistance Program. The ATA program trains civilian security and law enforcement personnel from friendly governments in police procedures that deal with terrorism. DS officers work with the host country's government and a team from that country's U.S. mission to develop the most effective means of training for bomb detection, crime scene investigation, airport and building security, maritime protections, and VIP protection.

DS assesses the training needs, develops the curriculum, and provides the resources to conduct the training. The bureau uses its own training experts as well as those from other U.S. federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, police associations, and private security firms and consultants.

Most ATA program recipients are developing nations lacking human and other resources needed to maintain an effective antiterrorism program and infrastructure. ATA training seeks to address deficiencies noted in the ability to perform the following areas:

Protecting national borders
Protecting critical infrastructure
Protecting national leadership
Responding to and resolving terrorist incidents
Managing critical terrorists incidents having national-level implications

Since its inception in 1983, the program has trained and assisted over 84,000 foreign security and law enforcement officials from 154 countries. These foreign security and law enforcement personnel have received training in bomb detection, crime scene investigations, airport and building security, maritime security, dignitary protection, and numerous other disciplines to increase their counterterrorism capabilities and capacity. These officials are now better prepared to fight terrorism and protect Americans overseas in times of crisis. DS has received numerous stories from foreign police officers who have used their ATA training successfully to counter terrorist situations in their countries.

Marc A Celmer takes a critical look at the ATA in his book. He points out that there is an ulterior motive in setting up the ATA.  link here

The Los Angeles Times newspaper ran a 1987 story about PC Knowles and the ATA:

U.S. Wins a Few : Upping the Stakes on Terrorism -
October 11, 1987 by DAVID LAMB

"WASHINGTON — In basement offices where a hand-lettered sign says "The Bullet Stops Here" and conference rooms where government lawyers gather, in California think tanks and training facilities from Oklahoma to Georgia, the United States is shaping the course of its undeclared war on international terrorism.

"It is a shadowy war that perhaps no one can win. Advances are measured in inches and may not last. The ammunition is often only snippets of intelligence or pleas for international cooperation, and the soldiers are as often lawyers and bureaucrats as undercover agents or counter terrorism squads awaiting secret deployment orders at U.S. military bases.

"Disarming a Terrorist

"One anti-terrorism instructor, P. C. Knowles, a deputy sheriff from Alachua County, Florida, stood the other day among a group of 30 Bolivian policemen and security officers at one of those facilities, a Transportation Department complex in Oklahoma City. One of the Bolivians held a simulated pistol at Knowles' back and the others crowded around attentively.

"First thing to know is where the weapon is," Knowles said, his head turning toward the assailant. "You have to look. Now, from this position, it's hopeless . . . but from here," and his feet spun, his arm swung back and in a flash he had the gun and his student had been flipped gently onto the canvas mat, "from here, it's easy."

"These efforts may represent only a footnote in a larger campaign, but CIA statistics indicate that they are paying dividends. They also imply that the Reagan Administration's sale of arms to Iran--which the State Department lists along with Syria, South Yemen, Libya and Cuba as a state sponsor of political violence--may not have been as harmful to U.S. interests as many had believed.” link to full story

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Photos: Aleksander Dinevski (above). Ljubomir Frckoski (below right).


The unusual choice for “human rights activist” - Ljubomir Danailov Frckoski.

It’s a puzzling selection by the Helsinki Committee for Macedonia - link - to have on board an ex politician, ex Interior Minister who ordered extensive wiretapping and wrongfully dismissed an intelligence officer in the early 1990s

- Former Macedonian Intelligence Officer, Alexander Dinevski, is no stranger to controversy.

THE JORDAN MIJALKOV MYSTERY DEEPENS - Why did Macedonia's Interior Minister Frckoski order intelligence officer's arrest in 1992?

by Sasha Uzunov

Professor Doctor Ljubomir Danailov Frckoski, who in recent times has cultivated the image of a mild mannered public intellectual who critiques mock baroque statues, had a more ruthless side to his stage personna as Macedonia's Interior Minister, ordering the arrest of a highly respected counter-intelligence officer and seizing documents relating to his successor Jordan Mijalkov (father of Saso Mijalkov, Macedonian Intelligence chief forced to resign in 2015 during anti government protests ironically over government wiretapping) killed in a mysterious car crash in Serbia in late 1991.


Alexander (Aleksandar) "Aco" Dinevski , an officer with the Interior Ministry's SDB (Sluzba za Drzavna Bezbednost - State Security Service) was arrested on the 13 July 1992 whilst on annual summer vacation in his father's village of Brajcino, in the Lake Prespa region of Macedonia. The order had come from Interior Minister Frckoski over claims that Dinevski had been leaking secrets.

The Interior Ministry runs the police force and intelligence services.

Dinevski, flanked by SDB officers, was then driven back to Skopje, the capital of Macedonia and made to hand over his work files from his office safe as well as having his flat (apartment) in Skopje searched and private documents and books seized, including material relating to Mijalkov.

He later was released from custody and began court proceedings against Minister Frckoski over wrongful dismissal. In 1993 during my time as a reporter with the MILS news agency in Skopje I met Dinevski and attended his court trial on 18 March 1993. His lawyer being the well known attorney Rafael Cerepnalkovski-Rafe, later to become a Supreme Court judge. The matter was eventually settled and Dinevski compensated.

Dinevski is no stranger to controversy. As a young reformist intelligence officer, he together with seven other colleagues, known as The Eight (Osumminata na RSVR), including Slobodan Bogoevski (now at the centre of a recent US investigation into a bribery scandal involving the sale of Macedonia’s telecommunications network to Magyar Telekom in 2005-06. see link ), began pushing for reforms in Macedonia's interitor ministry then under Federal Communist Yugoslav control. His group also exposed corruption and abuse of power by Macedonia's communist ruling elite, namely Lazar Kolisevski, a close collaborater with Yugoslav ruler Marshal Tito.

In 1991 Macedonia became independent after leaving the collapsing Federal Yugoslavia, caused in most part in Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic’s attempts to set up a Greater Serbia - see link

Recently Dinevski was released after spending two years in jail on alleged and controverisal espionage charges laid by Macedonia's government led by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski. see link. He denies his guilt and claims he was set up. There are plans to fight to overturn the conviction.

Dinevski was a staunch critic of the Gruevski government’s Lustration Commission, set up to reveal ex intelligence informers from the Yugoslavist period of Macedonia (1944-91), claiming the process was selective and documents open to tampering.

read on: link

A TEAM UZUNOV investigation, citing declassified Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) files confirmed that a genuine ex Yugoslav intelligence operative, Martin Trenevski, was not put through the Lustration Commission but appointed Macedonia’s Ambassador to NATO (2010-14) by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

read on: link
UPDATE - 2 February 2016 - Dinevski has lodged an appeal with Macedonia’s Court of Appeals to have his conviction overturned. It has been deferred til the end of February 2016. This post from Dinevski in Macedonian on Facebook, revealing that both pro-government and opposition media stayed away from the initial court hearing, with only one journalist turning up.

More on Martin Trenevski:

VANKOVSKA versus TRENEVSKI - Albright's legendary rudeness !

Scrutinising Macedonia's Foreign Policy - Vankovska versus Trenevski at NATO (2010-14).

Some of Macedonia's "foreign relations experts" seem to have kooky ideas on the importance of alliances etc. You'll notice that a lot of energy has been expended in critiquing Macedonia's relationship with Israel and Hungary but the blow-torch of scrutiny doesn't apply to say Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and even Kosovo.

An example of the weak and hilarious scrutiny of Macedonian Foreign policy is the attempted very soft takedown of Macedonia's Ambassador to NATO, Martin Trenevski by "intellectual" Professor Doctor Biljana Vankovska. In effect, she turned Trenevski into a kind of anti-NATO hero.

It's more like tickling Trenevski with a feather rather than tearing him apart. Water off a ducks back so to speak. Metaphorically speaking, It’s like going after a bank robber for parking in a disabled car par spot but ignoring the glaring fact he has just robbed a bank...

In essence her criticism is aimed at his rude behaviour. France's President Charles De Gaulle built a whole post war political career on being rude to NATO, culminating in France's withdrawal from the alliance in 1966.

Even Macedonian pundit Borjan Jovanovski, who claims to be pro-NATO, has been “rude” to NATO on many occasions, as in defending the regime in Serbia, which is anti-NATO, as well as attacking NATO and EU member Hungary.

Vankovska, who claims to be a miltary and geo-political strategist with extensive contacts, goes after Trenevski over his "rudeness" but misses or ignores the real scandal, that Trenevski was a one time intelligence operative for YUGOSLAVIA under journalist cover. With the collapse of Yugoslavia in 1991, the federal intelligence services (UDBa/SDB and KOS and SID) aparatus were taken over by Slobodan Milosevic's Serbian regime. The breakaway republics, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Macedonia kept their republican UDBas.

You'd think that she would have at least tried to dig up some real dirt on Trenevski by asking around. There are retired intelligence agents Vladimir Pivovarov or Ivan Babanovski she could have asked. But it appears that anything linked to the former Yugoslavia or current day Serbia is ignored.

Surely, if someone worked for Yugoslav state run newsagency TANJUG as an overseas correspondent as did Trenevski in Australia (1986-89), it would have raised alarm bells in Vankovska's head as an "expert?"

It's common knowledge that Soviet, Yugoslav, East German etc journalists working overseas during the Cold War (1946-89) where intelligence operatives. Surely, this would have aroused some intellectual curiousity in Vankovska?

Intelligence agents never really retire, so goes the story. Hypothetically speaking, how do we know someone so opposed to NATO might be doing so because he or she has been ordered by say Belgrade and not out of rudeness?

TEAM UZUNOV applied for the AUSTRALIAN Security Intelligence Organistion (ASIO) file on Trenevski during his stay in Australia (1986-89). Very easy process, only that it takes time waiting. The file confirms Trenevski was a high level intelligence officer reporting directly to Belgrade outside the normal diplomatic chain of command in the Yugoslav Embassy in Canberra. We did this because our curiousity was aroused because of the TANJUG connection.
See stories for more at these links:

Here and Here

She could have taken Trenevski and Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski apart over Trenevski's appointment to the sensitive position to NATO and for not going through the government's much criticised Lustration Commission.

Instead Vankovska attacked Trenevski for being rude to NATO.

An analogy would be criticising a bank robber for placing his get away car in a reserved Disabled Car Parking Spot or a Parents with Prams parking zone in the nearby shopping centre whilst robbing a bank, but not criticising him robbing a bank. Hilarious !

Ex US Foreign Minister (Secretary of State) and ex US Ambassador to the UN and the architect of the NATO war in Kosovo in 1999, Madeleine Albright, used rudeness and being pushy as her part of her shtick !

Vankovska quote in Macedonian from Utrinski Vesnik newspaper about Trenevski’s rudeness:

„Паднав од смеа. Мислев дека сум јас најанти-НАТО во Македонија“, беше реакцијата на професорката Билјана Ванковска вчера околу презентацијата на новиот амбасадор на Македонија во Алијансата, Мартин Треневски. „Едно е да имаш личен став, или научен, но дипломат е дипломат зашто внимава што зборува. Ме изненади неумешноста со која ги кажуваше нештата и мислам дека досега немало понедипломатски настап на кандидат за амбасадор на Македонија“, оцени таа.

Дипломати со контакти во НАТО оваа слика за Треневски ја сметаат за олеснителна околност за Македонија, иако звучи парадоксално. Сега барем ќе знаат со сигурност со кого си имаат работа, па нема да го прашуваат за мислење и нема да го земаат за сериозно, порачуваат тие.

Utrinski Vesnik article - 2010. Link here 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

(ROAD) SIGN OF THE TIMES - Serbia’s rocky relationship with Macedonia

Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic (on the left) shakes hands with Macedonia’s Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

(ROAD) SIGN OF THE TIMES - Serbia’s rocky relationship with Macedonia
By Sasha Uzunov 

The haughty and paradoxical behaviour of Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic has not been hard to miss over Belgrade’s confected outrage when Macedonia did not obey Serbia, which is rare anyway, and recently supported Kosovo’s, as it turns out failed, UNESCO application.

As you might be aware Serbia refuses to recognise the independence of its break away province of Kosovo, predominately Albanian. So when Macedonia supported Kosovo’s UNESCO bid, in retaliation a road sign inside Serbia had referred to Macedonia by the controversial- and offensive to Macedonians- FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). Serbia recognises Macedonia under its constitutional name of The Republic of Macedonia.

A quote from Serbian news website B92 - Link: 

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic has said he "sees no reason for Skopje's complaint" over a highway sign on Corridor 10 in Serbia that reads, "FYROM."
FYROM (Serbian: BJRM) is the acronym for "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" - the name under which the country has been admitted to the UN. Its constitutional name, and one under which Serbia recognized it, is "Republic of Macedonia."
"They mind the sign, whereas we should not mind that they voted in favor of Kosovo's admission to UNESCO," Dacic asked.
The minister added that "our ambassador in Skopje presented the same arguments during a meeting in their Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she was delivered an oral demarche over to the sign," Belgrade-based daily Vecernje Novosti is reporting.
Skopje has based its protest on the fact Serbia recognizes it as "Republic of Macedonia," asking that the sign, listing the details of the construction site that is currently the Vladicin Han- Donji Neradovac section of the road, be urgently removed.
But Dacic was adamant that the sign will remain where it is, saying:
"It is about time we stopped working against our own interests. It's true Serbia recognized Macedonia under that name, unlike (other) European states, but that was done under (Slobodan) Milosevic, in the 1990s. While Macedonia has recognized Kosovo and is now bothered by some sign. It's incomprehensible that Indonesia is a bigger friend to us than a neighboring state."
Macedonia was among 92 UNESCO members who in early November supported Pristina's failed bid to join the organization.
Dacic said at the time Belgrade was "disappointed, but not surprised" by its neighbors' behavior, and stressed their move was "deeply contrary to our national interests."
It is hypocritical and pure diplomatic theatre by Dacic, of course, because Serbia, is an ally of the United Arab Emirates, which funded "charity" organisations, read Kosovo Liberation Army, (KLA) in Kosovo and supported the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia, and has now invested heavily in the Serbian arms industry.  see link 

But even when Macedonia does "disobey” Belgrade on this very rare occasion look at the petty reaction. It's a form of blackmail, political bullying.
It is OK for Belgrade under ultra nationalists and indicted war criminals Vojislav Seselj and Slobodan Milosevic, until Milosevic slightly modified his behaviour from wielding the stick to dangling the carrot in the form of recognising Macedonia, to have threatened Macedonia's very existence and plundered its army barracks of weapons and equipment during the Yugoslav Army's withdrawal in the early 1990s, way, way before Macedonia under intense political heat from the West and its internal ethnic Albanian political bloc recognised the independence of Kosovo in 2008.

One of the reasons why Macedonia in 1999 allowed NATO to operate on its soil against Serbian control of Kosovo was a genuine fear engendered by the Milosevic regime in 1994 - see link 

There is no attempt to whitewash NATO intervention in Kosovo - we all know that two wrongs don’t make a right. A Greater Albania is a genuine fear that haunts Macedonia. The 2001 ethnic Albanian uprising in Macedonia was a consequence of the Kosovo war of 1999. It was a strange kind of gratitude by NATO to let loose the KLA in Macedonia in 2001. see link.  But it is insulting to believe that Milosevic did not have hostile intentions towards Macedonia before 1999.

When Macedonia recognised Kosovo in 2008, Serbia in retaliation cut off ties with Macedonia. It was only when Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski had to go grovelling and running like a scolded "naughty child" to "mummy" in Belgrade in 2009 that ties were re established. (See the Wikileaks document - link ).
It's OK for Belgrade to have strong-armed the Macedonian government in 2012 to allow Serbia on Macedonian soil at Zebrnjak, Kumanovo to commemorate the centenary of its 1912 conquest of Macedonia and subsequent colonial rule until 1941, which is like Poland allowing Germany to "celebrate" Berlin's invasion and partition of Poland in September 1939 - so Macedonians in 2012 had to “smile” and cop it on the chin and tolerate the insulting ceremony. see link 
Then there is the Serbian state, nominally secular, which funds a rebel pro Serb nationalist Priest Zoran Vraniskovski to destabalise Macedonia and the disengenious and "unofficial" use of the Serbian Orthodox Church to deny the existence of Macedonians. see link  
Then there is the 2014 agreement between Serbia and Macedonia for sharing joint diplomatic missions abroad, which Belgrade wanted and was given.
In the same year floods ravaged Serbia and Macedonia was quick to provide humanitarian aid from its tiny budget. 
In May 2015 the Serbian High Court officially rehabilitated a controversial Word War II leader Draza Mihailovic, whose followers murdered thousands of innocent people, and whose ideology was anti Macedonian. The Macedonian government of Prime Minister Gruevski and the opposition led by Zoran Zaev did nothing nor said anything in response when it should have in case of rousing Belgrade’s displeasure.
The hypocrisy stinks to high heaven from Belgrade and funnily enough there has been silence from some of Macedonia's human rights activists who at the drop of a hat call for demonstrations against Hungary over its wall to keep refugees out but not Belgrade nor Sofia for that matter.
This is a good wake up call for Macedonia and its foreign policy and the need to strengthen ties with Croatia and Slovenia as a balance to Belgrade.
And a wake up call for those who claim to be Macedonian patriots but naively believe Serbia's good intentions in protecting Macedonia from a Greater Albania.
There needs to a relationship of equals between Serbia and Macedonia; not master and servant as in previous times.
After all, Macedonia acting as a good "international citizen" has supported Kosovo's recent application to join UNESCO much to Serbia's chagrin.
Why isn't Macedonia's "in-house internationalist" Borjan Jovanovski immediately leaping to Macedonia's defence? There has been 48 hours of silence on Borjan's normally hyperactive Twitter account. That's "unusual."
It tells us so much about the "inconsistent" behaviour of some Macedonians who claim or pretend to be "internationalists" but seem to give Serbian nationalism a free pass or an alibi by deliberately remaining silent or downplaying it or offering a "fig leaf" of protest but without really meaning it… see link 

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.