Friday, December 29, 2006

10 minutes by Ahmed Imamovic - BEST SHORT FILM IN EUROPE

Powerful is all I can say.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Foggy Bottom

Richard W. Rahn, director general of the Center for Global Economic Growth, has some food for thought applicable to those planning the new EU mission in Kosovo:

A few advisers seem to view Kosovo as a life-time job rather than quickly transferring knowledge and leaving. The Americans are the most mission-directed but are frustrated in trying to deal with the endless U.N. bureaucracy. As it would be expected when there are numerous advisers from many countries and organizations, some of the advice is contradictory and poorly thought out.
The U.N. people were reluctant to make decisions for fear of being criticized, which meant crucial decisions were delayed for years. For instance, serious privatization has been under way for only two years. As a result, the economy depends largely upon remittances from Kosovans working abroad, and the donations and employment created by various international organizations and foreign government missions.


This is something straight out of a Kadare novel. There was a three minute "cordial" drama in the Skopje Airport. Kosovo PM and Serbia President were stranded there due to the fog in their respective capitals. Ceku went to see Tadic in the VIP room, where a short conversation ensued. B92 has the Tadic version of the story, and the third commentator on the story (balkanupdate) gives the K-daily Express version of the event, as reported by a witness that was traveling with Ceku. As you can imagine, they are quite different.  

Friday, December 08, 2006


Back to blogging. The Hague is definitely an expensive failure. I'm not sure what it's legacy will be. All sides complain that they are being targeted unfairly and that the people they fought against are not being persecuted enough. Hague, despite the big media attention it has gotten in the ex-YU countries has  rarely  brought us insights that we didn't already know. Some of the accused have even made a mockery of the court, and seems that we are in for another of those episodes with Seselj getting the right to  defend himself. Strap in for the  circus that will follow. 

But in  the mean time,  there is  one of those  less talked  aspects  of  Kosovo, an interesting witness testimony  in the Hague by an ex-police  commander  in Mitrovica  about the  command responsibility of  vice-PM at the time Nikola Sainovic  and the role of Kosovo Serbs - our neighbors - in the war. Although it has not been discussed, Kosovo Serbs were instrumental in providing local intelligence and doing the killings and burning missions. When they operated, they did it at night and always wearing masks. At times, neighbors to their surprise recognized the voices in the killing squads (Serbs think they have a sense of humor and can't withhold themselves from cracking jokes).

Naive me, got elated there for a second when I was reading this news in the hope that this witness is a Kosovo Serb. He's not - unfortunately. For me it's very important that these people step up and apologize for what they did and help find the rest of the missing persons - it will help heal the wounds of the victims' families and will make the life of the Kosovo Serbs that didn't have apartments in Serbia to escape to better.

At the session yesterday, the prosecutor presented an order issued by the Joint Command to “reinforce with the armed non-Šiptar population” the regular military and police forces in the action in Drenica in late March 1999. The witness says that the term “non-Serb population” was a synonym for local Serbs, assigned to specific military and police formations – Military Territorial Units and the Reserve Police Squads.About 6,000 local Serbs were part of the police, Cvetić says. As members of the Reserve Police Squads, they had the same weapons as other reserve police, but did not wear full police uniforms. Many prosecution witnesses identified armed local Serbs as the perpetrators of murders, expulsions, mistreatment and robbing the Kosovo Albanians. The witnesses often found it difficult to describe accurately how they were dressed and to identify their uniforms.

B92 - News - Society - Police insider testifies at Kosovo Six trial

technorati tags:, , , , , ,