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Kostunica says some backers "unconsciously work for American imperial goals"
by Jared Israel and Max Sinclair

[Emperor's Clothes]

Below are excerpts from an important N.Y. Times article. In it, the reporter, Steven Erlanger, concedes that the charges we and others have raised about U.S. meddling in Yugoslavia are true. Indeed Erlanger adds information we had no way of knowing. For example, he reports that:

"The money from the West is going to most of the institutions that the government attacks for receiving it - sometimes in direct aid, sometimes in indirect aid like computers and broadcasting equipment, and sometimes in suitcases of cash carried across the border between Yugoslavia and Hungary or Serbia and Montenegro."

So, 'suitcases full of cash' are sent across borders to fund the 'democratic opposition.'

Note that despite his own evidence that journalists, broadcasters and others receiving this largesse are lavishly paid employees of the U.S. and European governments, Mr. Erlanger refers to them as 'independent,' thus giving 'independent' a new meaning:

"Independent journalists and broadcasters here have been told by American aid officials 'not to worry about how much they're spending now,' that plenty more is in the pipeline, said one knowledgeable aid worker. Others in the opposition complain that the Americans are clumsy, sending e-mails from 'state.gov' -- the State Department's address -- summoning people to impolitic meetings with American officials in Budapest, Montenegro or Dubrovnik, Croatia." [Our emphasis]
-- NY Times, 9-20-2000

Notice in the text above that Mr. Erlanger says that he has been informed about this 'aid' by 'aid workers.'  Have the meanings of 'aid worker' and 'aid official' been adjusted as well, so that they now refer to 'persons who hand out suitcases full of cash to overthrow governments'?

Mr. Erlanger's article includes a number of attacks on the Yugoslav government as well as personal attacks on Mr. Milosevic. As is customary, these attacks are made without supporting evidence. Mr. Erlanger is able to get away with this because these same attacks have been made thousands of times in the mass media and constant repetition gives people the impression that a charge has been proven true. Attacks on the Serbian people and their government (always referred to as 'Milosevic') are so common in the mass media that making them is considered a matter of etiquette:

"When speaking of the Serbs it is considered proper to say something negative. More than one thing is optional. But one is obligatory."
-- From 'The Obligatory Bash' at


In his article, Mr. Erlanger quotes a report on US meddling in Yugoslavia that appeared in the Yugoslav paper, 'Politika'. He fails to mention that the statement was written by people in the U.S., Canada and Holland and published on Emperor's Clothes where it was read and republished by the editors at Politika . (1)

Erlanger quotes Yugoslav Presidential candidate Vojislav Kostunica as dismissing the 'Politika' article as the "ravings of the regime."

Some hard-to-satisfy person might raise the question, "Why does Mr. Kostunica, and for that matter the N.Y. Times, insist on calling the Milosevic government a "regime'? Doesn't the word 'regime' refer to a government installed by force which rules by terror, like the 'regime' of General Augusto Pinochet that took over Chile after the 1973 coup d'etat or the 'Old Regime' that ruled France before the French Revolution? And wasn't the Milosevic government in fact elected?"

Well, yes and no. Yes, Milosevic was elected and yes the word 'regime' used to mean a government run by people like General Augusto Pinochet, but that's old fashioned. Nowadays, there's a whole new dictionary. In this new dictionary, a guy like General Augusto Pinochet might be defined as a 'Democrat', whereas an elected pain-in-the-neck like Milosevic could very well be a 'Dictator'; it all depends.

At the end of the N.Y. Times article one Zarco Korac, a close ally of Mr. Kostunica, refers to Mr. Milosevic as an "elected dictator." Before you get totally confused, here's the rule of thumb: the 'dictator' vs. 'democrat' thing depends on where a leader stands in relation to U.S. and German Imperial goals. If a leader supports those goals, he is a democrat and if not he is a dictator, irrelevant of where he sands in relation to his people. Get it?

We'll get into that more later. Now let's return to Mr. Kostunica. He was rejecting our argument, quoted in Politika, that Yugoslav opposition groups are funded by the U.S. to serve its Imperial interests, as "the ravings of the regime." Just for the record, we didn't get our ideas from the Milosevic government. We got them from some documents we came across while doing research on the Internet.

After saying we (or 'Politika' and 'the regime') are just raving, Mr. Kostunica does an about-face and says some "nongovernmental" organizations do take American money, and they "are even unconsciously working for American imperial goals."

Well which is it? Are we raving or just telling the truth?

And what does it mean to "unconsciously" take millions of U.S. dollars and work for American Imperial goals? How would this operate in practice? Do the US-funded opposition people receive their "suitcases full of cash" and instructions from US (or German) paymasters, carry out political actions that serve "American [or German] imperial goals," and do it all "unconsciously"? Do they have a mental disease?

Everybody says Mr. Vojislav Kostunica is a super-untarnished man. It is unfortunate to have to question a guy like that, but common sense suggests that people do notice when they are handed suitcases full of cash. So perhaps Mr. Kostunica is mistaken. Perhaps these Yugoslavs who "unconsciously work for U.S. Imperial goals" are fully alert when U.S. operatives give them the suitcases. Perhaps they take the suitcases back to their hotels and open them up and sit for awhile and look at all the money. Maybe they run their fingers through it and then, since nobody is watching, maybe they turn the suitcases over and empty the contents on the bed, and then, after they have rolled around in the thousand dollar bills, they finally slip off into never-never land and achieve a higher state, without consciousness. Without conscience either, for that matter.

It is really good that Mr. Kostunica has admitted the thing about the opposition taking U.S. money and serving Imperial goals, although keep in mind, he made this admission to Mr. Erlanger at the 'Times', not to the Yugoslav people. Shouldn't he tell the Yugoslav people as well?

Moreover, he does not appear to grasp the implications. The people he is talking about, who accept the U.S. government money, are not from Mars. They are Yugoslavs. They are not his enemies. They are the organizations that back him. They are Otpor that puts up his posters and hands out his fliers and goes to his demonstrations; they are Vesna Pesic with her US-paid Women in Black; they are the economists at G-17 Plus, who are funded by the U.S. Congress, and who wrote his International Monetary Fund takeover plan; they are Radio B292, the US-financed radio station; they are his own campaign manager, chief spokesman and strategist, Zoran Djindjic. They are his whole organization, the people who would staff a Kostunica government. These are the Yugoslav citizens who "unconsciously" take U.S. money and "work for American Imperial goals."

Mr. Kostunica is like a man in a swamp. Already he has sunk up to his neck in muck comprised of employees of the U.S. State Department, and yet he professes not to notice the smell.

What has the government of my country done to this world? What a spectacle, that this Washington, which bombed the  people of Yugoslavia, that blocks medicine from entering that country, that blocks Yugoslavia from importing spare parts to fix the bridges and hospitals the US bombed last year; that has put racist gangsters in charge of Kosovo - what a spectacle that this Washington now tries to bribe and coerce its way into controlling Yugoslavia. And once in control, what would Washington do to the Yugoslav people, who have been resisting Washington for ten years? Kosovo is the US government's model.

Washington, with its "democratic" this and its "independent" that, and all the time they want to buy people, especially young people, corrupt them with the lure of gold.

When, and it will happen, the decent people of America learn that they have been lied to, when they learn what crimes are being committed in their name, may God help the U.S. State Department.


The following is from 'The New York Times', September 20, 2000 * Reprinted for fair use only - (C) N.Y. Times

Milosevic, Trailing in Polls, Rails Against NATO

BELGRADE, Serbia, Sept. 19 - In his race for re-election, President Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia is running against NATO and the United States, not against his democratic opposition.

He is not entirely mistaken to do so. The United States and its European allies have made it clear that they want Mr. Milosevic ousted, and they have spent tens of millions of dollars trying to get it done.

Portraying himself as the defender of Yugoslavia's sovereignty against a hostile, hegemonic West led by Washington, Mr. Milosevic and his government argue that opposition leaders are merely the paid, traitorous tools of enemies who are continuing their war against him by other means. In March 1999, NATO began a 78-day bombing campaign to drive Serbian forces out of Kosovo.

The Yugoslav elections are on Sunday, but there has hardly been a day since the bombing began that state television news has not railed against "NATO aggressors."

With the campaign at its height, the government has spread its attacks to include all opposition political parties, independent newspapers, magazines and electronic media, the student organization known as Otpor - or Resistance - and any nongovernmental organization working to promote democracy, human rights or even economic reforms.

While Mr. Milosevic is trailing the main opposition leader, Vojislav Kostunica, in opinion polls, the anti- Western campaign is having an impact. The money from the West is going to most of the institutions that the government attacks for receiving it - sometimes in direct aid, sometimes in indirect aid like computers and broadcasting equipment, and sometimes in suitcases of cash carried across the border between Yugoslavia and Hungary or Serbia and Montenegro. Most of those organizations and news media (3) could not exist without foreign aid in this society, which is poor and repressive and whose market is distorted by foreign economic sanctions. [Comment by Emperor's clothes - if Yugoslavia is so repressive why haven't they arrested these people who are financed by an enemy power?] (4) and (5)

Even with foreign aid, government restrictions on newsprint supplies and high and repeated fines after suspiciously quick court cases make it hard for the independent news media to reach their natural market.

As for the opinion polls that show Mr. Kostunica in the lead, the information minister, Goran Matic, charges that the polls are orchestrated and manipulated by the Americans and the Central Intelligence Agency, who help pay for them. According to Mr. Matic, Mr. Milosevic is actually far ahead of Mr. Kostunica, and the polls simply serve as a vehicle for the opposition to claim that the government stole the election once Mr. Milosevic wins.

Mr. Matic asserts that the Atlantic alliance has come up with various scenarios, such as infiltrating soldiers wearing Yugoslav Army and police uniforms, to make it possible for the opposition to start civil unrest in the streets after the election while claiming that the police and the army are actually on their side.

Mr. Matic has attacked various nongovernmental organizations, including the Center for Free Elections and Democracy, which is trying to monitor the fairness of the election, as paid instruments of American and alliance policy. Many such organizations have been raided by the police, who confiscate computer files and also appear to be gathering evidence about foreign payments.

"President Milosevic will win this election," said Ljubisa Ristic, the president of the Yugoslav United Left party, founded by Mr. Milosevic's wife, Mirjana Markovic. "This is not Hollywood." Washington and the West, she said, "are like little kids, wanting something to happen so much they're fooling themselves."

Mr. Ristic said the alliance's war produced a new solidarity among Yugoslavs and "killed many illusions people had about the West and about their own opposition leaders, who went to the countries that were bombing us to seek their support."

The issues, Mr. Ristic said, are clear now. "It's a decisive time," he said. "This is not an election so much as a referendum, a decision on being an independent country or a colony. People see what's happened in Kosovo, what happens when NATO troops enter the country, and they are not going to allow the alliance's hand- picked candidates to win."

Even before the Kosovo war, the United States was spending up to $10 million a year to back opposition parties, independent news media and other institutions opposed to Mr. Milosevic. The war itself cost billions of dollars. This fiscal year, through September, the administration is spending $25 million to support Serbian "democratization," with an unknown amount of money spent covertly to help the failed rallies of last year, which did not bring down Mr. Milosevic, or to influence the current election. For next year, the administration is requesting $41.5 million in open aid to Serbian democratization, though Congress is likely to cut that request.

Independent journalists and broadcasters here have been told by American aid officials "not to worry about how much they're spending now," that plenty more is in the pipeline, said one knowledgable aid worker. Others in the opposition complain that the Americans are clumsy, sending e-mails from "state.gov" - the State Department's address - summoning people to impolitic meetings with American officials in Budapest, Montenegro or Dubrovnik, Croatia.

But there is little effort to disguise the fact that Western money pays for much of the polling, advertising, printing and other costs of the opposition political campaign - one way, to be sure, to give opposition leaders a better chance to get their message across in a quasi-authoritarian system where television in particular is in the firm hands of the government.

While that spending allows the opposition to be heard more broadly, deepening the opposition to Mr. Milosevic, it also allows the government here to argue that it has real enemies, and that the Serbian opposition is in league with them.

Just today, in the state-run newspaper Politika, a long article used public information from the United States - including Congressional testimony and Web site material - to show that the United States is financing the opposition.

" `Independent,' `nongovernmental' and `democratic' are the standard phrases the C.I.A. uses to describe organizations established all over the world to destroy the governments and the societies that the U.S. government wants to colonize and control," the paper wrote.

The Congressional testimony, from July 29, 1999, cited American officials then involved with Yugoslav policy, like Robert Gelbard and James Pardew, telling Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware about their projects. They describe the creation of a "ring around Serbia" of radio stations broadcasting into Serbia from Bosnia and Montenegro, the spending of $16.5 million in the previous two years to support "democratization in Serbia," and another $20 million to support Montenegro's president, Milo Djukanovic, who broke away from Mr. Milosevic in 1998.

The testimony listed some of the recipients of American aid here, including various newspapers, magazines, news agencies and broadcasters opposed to Mr. Milosevic, as well as various nongovernmental organizations engaged in legal defense and human rights and projects to bring promising Yugoslav journalists to the United States for professional training.

All such projects are portrayed by Politika and state television as a way to undermine the legal government, and the recipients are labeled traitors to their country.

Opposition leaders like Mr. Kostunica regard such tactics by the government as crass propaganda, but even he is skeptical of American intentions in paying for nongovernmental organizations, some of whom, he believes, are even unconsciously working for American imperial goals and not necessarily Serbian values.

Other democratic leaders, like Zoran Djindjic and Zarko Korac, regard such attacks as an indication of Mr. Milosevic's desperation and anxiety on the eve of the first election he is likely to lose in his entire political career. Given the stakes for Mr. Milosevic, they believe that he will do all he can, including the wholesale stealing of votes, to ensure a victory in the first round of voting.

"The stakes are fundamental for Milosevic," Mr. Korac said. "These elections are crucial, not necessarily for the immediate handover of power, but because for the first time Mr. Milosevic will be delegitimized in the eyes of his own people. He was an elected dictator, with popular and legal legitimacy. But from now on he's a true dictator, and he will only be able to rule by force - that's a big step for Serbia."

[Comment by Emperor's Clothes: What is an "elected dictator"? Is democracy something that exists independent of real life so that a person is DEFINED as being democratic if he gets US approval and DEFINED as undemocratic if he does not, and therefore if someone who does not get US approval wins an election, then that election is by definition undemocratic and the elected official is a dictator? ]

Copywright (c) NY Times. Reprinted For Fair Use Only.


(1) 'How the U.S. has Created a Corrupt Opposition in Serbia'

(2) In the following two documents U.S. officials discuss the overt methods by which the US government funds and advises an apparatus of organizations in other countries (in this case Yugoslavia) with the explicit goal of destabilizing those countries in the guise of encouraging 'democracy' and 'civil society', whatever that is.

(3) In this interview, staff members at Radio B292 discuss why they think it's OK to take money from the governments that bombed their country. "Emperor's Clothes Interviews Radio B292 at http://emperors-clothes.com/interviews/emperor.htm

(4) Erlanger calls the money that the U.S. government spends to bribe Yugoslavs, "foreign aid". Foreign aid? Isn't foreign aid money that one country grants to another to help with some project? It used to but the definition has changed. This change in definition is part of a New World Order dictionary in which "democratic" means "US government approved" and "civil society" means "organizations set up by the US government and its agents" and "peace activist" means "someone who tries to prevent the population from resisting attacks by US-financed terrorists" and "election monitor" means "someone who works to destabilize a country by destroying the people's confidence in its institutions" and "independent media" means "paid by the U.S. government to do Public Relations work for those groups and individuals who are also paid by the U.S."

A fair election is one that the US-backed side wins.

(5) Erlanger justifies the US practice of giving bribe money to Yugoslav organizations on the grounds that these organizations are poor and need the money. Never mind that the quantities of money are immense. Never mind that the "I'm poor" argument can be used to justify any crime. Erlanger goes on to argue that one of the reasons these organizations are poor is that the Yugoslav "market is distorted by foreign economic sanctions." Let's stick with that for a moment. The sanctions were imposed by the United States government and its allies. They have badly hurt the Yugoslav economy. They have increased poverty and therefore made US money much more attractive. So first the US government impoverishes people and then it seduces them with monetary bribes which are attractive because...they are poor. Makes perfect sense.


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