Saturday, December 29, 2007

On the Serbian Secret Service

I reproduce here a comment left for me on my recent post about the Balkans, Kosovo at Year's End:

Bardhyl said...
Matt! Get out of Serbian payroll. The "burocrats" in Washington get payed by uncle Sam and work for uncle Sam. You think you are doing a service to christian cause but in fact you are damaging it. Serbs are close allies with rusians and you know how much the Rusians love America.They(Serbs) are Rusian avantpost in Ballkans. A new Kosova state will for ever stop their dream of expanding further in Europa. They should remain where they belong in Asia. So Robertson stop the nonsense, do your god's work if you work for the church, and serve your country that fills up your belly. If Kosova was a danger no Europian state was going to support it.So do you understand now all your nonsence. Haw much the Serbs pay you for your services?

December 28, 2007 7:29 PM

It's not really a question of how much the Serbs pay me, as it is the fringe benefits I get -- the caviar, the champagne... and that's just what they offer in the back of the limo they have assigned for my use.


Seriously, Bardhyl brings up some points that do need to be addressed.

First, it is true that Serbia has traditionally been aligned with Russia.

We do see that being challenged today, as there is a current in Serbian politics toward alignment with the West, membership in NATO and the EU, and so on. However, this must be viewed in context, as only a few years ago NATO was conducting an air campaign in support of Kosovan separatists. It is hard to imagine that the ongoing issue of the West's support for Kosovan independence is not having an impact, perhaps pushing Serbia more into the hands of Russia.

However, to say that Serbia is an outpost of Russia in the Balkans is quite an exaggeration. Now, if the West pushes too hard for Kosovo's independence, in violation of international law and under threat of military force, then Serbia might feel compelled to snug up to Russia for security. However, it is my reading of the situation that Serbians have prized their independence; I believe this is part of the reason why Yugoslavia was not a Soviet satellite during the Cold War. Consequently, I do not see Serbia as an outpost of Russia in the Balkans.

Second, Bardhyl calls into question relations between the US and the Russian Federation.

It certainly seems to me that the winds of the Cold War are blowing up again. I blame both sides for this.

Under Clinton, US foreign policy in the Balkans supported narcotraffickers at the expense of Serbia and international law. Bush has greatly contributed to this process, and has even gone beyond it, using the War on Terror as an opportunity to ring Russia's southern periphery, areas that had previously been Moscow's sphere of influence, with US military bases.

As time has gone on, it has certainly become obvious to me, and so presumably to the Kremlin, that Bush is motivated by far more than a few terrorists in a cave somewhere. The Bush neocons certainly seem determined to secure oil, not just in Iraq, but in the Caspian Basin as well, bringing it to Western markets via pipelines, perhaps through the Caucusus and Turkey, perhaps through Afghanistan and Pakistan. There is definitely corruption at the highest levels of the Bush Administration as well, and that includes an obvious attempt to do the bidding of narcotraffickers who produce heroin in Afghanistan, and bring it to Western markets through Turkey and the Balkans, and along the Silk Road, both now secured by Western military power, NATO in Kosovo and these US military bases along the Silk Road. I write about this heroin connection extensively.

However, even in the presence of a relatively benign or benevolent US Administration, Putin is an old Cold Warrior, and is perhaps more of a symptom of a powerful anti-West undercurrent in Russia. While many, perhaps even most, Russians have some friendly feelings toward the United States, there is at the very least a great deal of suspicion regarding the intentions of the American government -- suspicion certainly justified by the conduct of the present and past administrations.

Consequently, it takes two to tango, and Putin and Bush, representing their factions in their respective governments, are naturally interacting to revive the Cold War along the traditional lines of the Great Game.

To America and Russia, Kosovo is only a small part of all this -- it is perhaps somewhat of a slap in Moscow's face from the EU and the US, a clear-cut violation of international law that will set a terrible precedent (one that is damaging to Russia as well as to the United States) despite what the Bush Administration says, and a not-so-obvious play in support of narcotraffickers on the part of those corrupt elements in Washington that Sibel Edmonds has warned us about.

It may not be very apparent, but just to clarify: none of my comments should be seen as a blanket approval of Serbian actions, neither should they be construed as a sign of anti-Albanian sentiment on my part. My main point is this: the Serbs have been getting painted as the ethnic-cleansing villians, and other groups, especially Balkan Muslims and Albanians, have been getting painted as oppressed victims; this picture, while containing some nuggets of truth, is far from comprehensively accurate.

The corruption, the heroin-, arms- and human-trafficking, and other aspects of this need to be more thoroughly addressed, and only then, with honest government in Washington (fat chance?), can US foreign policy begin to be shaped for the benefit of America -- and perhaps the world? -- instead of for the benefit of influential lobby groups and powerful underworld forces.

I will be interested in reading everyone's input, especially regarding my comments on the Balkans.

So, now that it has been established that I am working for the Serbs....


Bardhyl said...

Thank you for answering Matt. As you may imagine from my previous post, I am an Albanian national. Reading your answer to my post I realised that your views about Ballkans are inaccurate. From the way your answer is built ,I can tell that you view Albanians through Serbian propoganda. Serbians have been and will be Rusia's outpost in Ballkans. And they have a good reason to do so. They are brothers by blood. Speak the same branch of language and share the same history, relegion and culture. There is nothing that connects them with U.S. Kosovo problem is older than you think. Its starts since 1878 and up to today. They(Serbia) are the only country that were allowed to have a colony, which they robed so badly that the people have hard time to survive. And this poverty brings narkotraficers that you are complaining about, and of course crime. Albanians own their existence succesive American administrations starting with Willson, Clinton and finally Bush. If your views are based on relegion you again are dead wrong. The very man that made christinity official by law was an Albanian born in todays city of Nish in Serbia. At that time Serbians were in their natural home in Asia. They (Serbians) came to the region 400 years later for unknown reasons.The name of the Albanian that ordered by law and force that christianity became the only religion of the west was Costantine the GREAT, at that time employed by Rome as Emperor. Not to mention Mother Teresa.What is the Serbian contribution to christianity? So any way you view it ,your views are inaccurate and wrong. I will stop here but I have a thousend arguments to prove you wrong.Thanks again for your answer.

Yankee Doodle said...

Hi, Bardhyl!

I am concerned about the organized crime that has moved into the Balkans, including Kosovo -- organized crime which you, yourself, admit exists and has a foothold there.

Beyond that, I really don't care if Kosovo is independent or not. It's not really a national security issue for America. It is an issue for the people of Kosovo, for the people of Serbia and Montenegro, to whom Kosovo belongs under international law, and it is an issue of interest to other people in the region.

My concern is the connection to US corruption, and how corruption in Washington means that US foreign policy is made by the highest bidder, despite damage to US national security -- and when heroin traffickers are calling the shots, that is exactly what we have.

I very much appreciate you offering your views on this topic. I believe that it is in the crucible of debate, protected by the Freedom of Speech, that the truth will be discovered, and security will be obtained.

Consequently, while I have plenty of links to "pro-Serb" sites, I have none to Kosovan nationalist sites. If you would care to provide a few links, I would be happy to check them out, and perhaps establish a widget with them so my readers can get the other side of the story. If I find it interesting enough, I might even do a post on it.

Thanks, and have a great New Year! :)

Bardhyl said...

I don't understand why Kosova's "heroin" problem and crime, troubles you so much, for U.S national security.None of them reaches U.S. When you know that Mexicans bring you more than enough drugs and other crimes. It seems that because they are christians their crimes are less inhuman. American administration I don't think is corrupted in high levels of goverments, since moust of them donate money to their churches and charities. Bush administration is full of millionars and I don't think they are there for money. They are there for their social views, so sleep sound about corruption in high levels of goverment. I am sure might be in low levels. You need more discusions to change your views about Albanians at least. We don't view relegion the way you do. We view it as a private matter and christians as the other Albanians who belong in another political party. You might not agree with it but you can live in peace with it. So enough for today.