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U.S. Arrogance and Yugoslav Elections
By Jared Israel and Nico Varkevisser
From our vantage point in the West, we would like to relate what we know about Western interference in Yugoslav society and the current elections.
The Yugoslav opposition coalition calls itself democratic and independent.
However, our research shows it is controlled by Washington, by the same people who spent the last ten years trying to break up Yugoslavia.
In July, 1999, the US Senate held hearings on Serbia. The Special U.S. Envoy to the Balkans, Robert Gelbard, his assistant, James Pardew and Senator Joseph Biden all testified. They stated clearly that the US pays and controls the so-called "independent democratic" opposition. 
The day before the hearings the United States Senate had voted to give this opposition one hundred million US dollars. Special Envoy Gelbard said: "In the two years leading up to the Kosovo crisis, we spent $16.5 million on programs in support of Serbian democratization." He added that more than $20 million had been given to Milo Djukanovic who heads the government in the Yugoslav Republic of Montenegro.
This money has funded, or even created, political parties, radio stations, even trade unions. If any hostile foreign power did that in the USA their local agents would be thrown in jail.
Here's Gelbard's assistant, James Pardew:
Sen. Joseph Biden didn't feel that the measures which Pardew described went far enough:
Gelbard tried to defend US government policy, pointing out that during last year's war against Yugoslavia, the US had indeed "shut down" Serbian TV, by bombing it:
Senator Biden interrupted, afraid that Gelbard would say too much:
"GELBARD: Well, as far as I'm aware, Serb television has still been cut off the EUTELSAT facilities, and we have made sure that whenever they made an attempt, we shut them off those."
When Special Balkans Envoy Ropbert Gelbard testified before the Senate in 1999 he said the U.S. government distributes money to "Civil Society" groups in Yugoslavia through the 'National Endowment for Democracy' which calls itself a 'non-governmental organization.' In fact the Endowment is quite governmental. It is funded by the US Congress.
The National Endowment for Democracy was created in 1983 to solve a problem. People knew that the CIA bribed people and set up phony front groups to carry out US policy.
So Congress set up the National Endowment for Democracy to try to do openly what the CIA used to do secretly. This had a big advantage. Since the subversion was no longer done in secret, it could not be exposed.
With vast sums of money and the participation of high-level members of the foreign policy establishment, the National Endowment and its daughter groups recruited "democracy activists" and "peace activists" and "independent economists" from target countries. These people were wined and dined and paid well. Plenty of expense money. Fellowships and scholarships and internships. They were made to feel they were tomorrow's leaders in the American Empire.
These "activists" proceeded to set up "independent organizations" in their home countries and then applied for money from the National Endowment (which had recruited them in the first place!) Isn't it amazing? The National Endowment always gave them the money!
Meanwhile, the National Endowment recruited reporters from the same countries. These were also wined and dined and paid and thus were transformed into "independent journalists." They took over newspapers, radio and TV stations, or set up new ones. These "independent journalists" could then use their newspapers or TV shows to defend the "democratic activists." If anyone accused the "activists" of being agents of the U.S., the "independent journalists" would denounce this as an attack on "freedom" by "entrenched, corrupt interests" who hide behind "nationalism"!
Allen Weinstein directed the research study
that planned the National Endowment. He explains:
How clever! Like magic, "agents"
became "activists." Organizations and people
who did what the US government told them to do were now
called "the institutions of Civil Society."
Leaders who opposed US attempts to destabilize their
countries became "corrupt nationalists " who
"opposed to freedom". Listen to this statement
from US Secretary of State Madeline Albright, delivered
to a meeting of the National Endowment for Democracy,
held by the US State Department, in Germany:
Never has bravery been so well funded.
What is the point of this huge network of "independent" front groups? It is used to soften up the target countries, making it easier for the US to take over, politically and economically. And if the US succeeds in taking over, the "institutions of civil society" can be used to undermine resistance to the horrible effects of being made a US colony.
In a Dec., 1998 report, The National Endowment
for Democracy described some of the groups it has set up
and/or taken over in Yugoslavia. This is not a complete
list. We hope to uncover more:
"Western organizations should increase direct support to the independent media in Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo. Special attention should be given to supporting the independent electronic media in Serbia, such as Radio B-92 and TV Negotin, Assistance should target the establishment of small "underground" print shops and distribution networks.
"The West should help the democratic political opposition develop a concrete program which offers positive alternatives to the destructive policies of the Milosevic regime. Democratic think tanks, independent research organizations and expert groups should be supported to develop these alternative policy recommendations. In addition to assistance in policy formation, [National Endowment for Democracy] organizations should continue to provide opposition political parties with expertise in coalition building, message development, media outreach, improving the operations of party branch offices and election monitoring.
"Democratic forces in Montenegro, including media, think tanks, student groups, human rights organizations, must be supported financially, and nurtured.
"One of the most important tasks is to increase cooperation between trade unions and political parties. In addition, independent media must be encouraged to report on the work of independent organizations." [End of Quote] (1)
We urge you to keep in mind that the terms "independent," "democratic" and "non-governmental" are codenames used by the National Endowment for "Democracy" to describe organizations they create around the world to bring down governments and societies which they wish to re-colonize, break up or control.
Meanwhile, back at the Senate Hearings,
Senator Biden and Special Envoy Gelbard had the following
exchange about the Serbian "democratic opposition":
"GELBARD: No, he's actually given access to Studio B to Radio B-92, [which] has just reopened as Radio B-292. We want Draskovic to open up Studio B to the rest of the opposition, and that's a message that he'll be getting from us in the next few days."
Gelbard was Clinton's top adviser on Yugoslavia. Biden is a leading anti-Serb US Senator. These two men are so involved in the control of the Serbian "independent" opposition that they know - up to the minute! - whether Draskovic, Djindjic and Djukanovic are properly sharing office space and broadcast time at Studio B in Belgrade.
One of the supposedly independent groups funded through the National Endowment for Democracy is the G-17 group of so-called "independent" economists. G-17 and the "democratic opposition" have been doing what Gelbard and Biden want them to do. They have been meeting for months to plan for the current Yugoslav elections.
Backing a Single Candidate
On August 2, 'Agence France Presse' reported that a delegation from the "democratic opposition" met behind closed doors with the Montenegrin leadership, trying to convince the Montenegrins to support the "democratic opposition" candidate for President:
Here's some more information on the trip Albright made to Rome, where she met Djukanovic:
So Albright offered Milo Djukanovic money if he would support the so-called "independent" opposition.
At first Djukanovic refused. Kostunica criticized him publicly for not joining the team. Then, on September 11th, Djukanovic endorsed Kostunica. Albright got her money's worth.
It was a stroke of luck for the US agents in Yugoslavia, working with their National Endowment for Democracy handlers, to maneuver Kostunica into the no-win situation of joining Djindjic and Djukanovic and numerous others under the umbrella of USA sponsorship.
Kostunica has a very weak organization. He therefore depends on the US-controlled parties, groups and mass media to campaign. If he were to win the Presidency, the local US puppets (Sorry! the "democratic activists") would staff his government.
This "democratic opposition" has endorsed a Program written for them by G-17, the group of neoliberal economists in Belgrade, funded by the National Endowment for Democracy. This Program is posted on the websites of both G-17 and the "student group", Otpor. The program has a list of points which the "democratic opposition" is pledged to carry out were they to win the presidential and/or other elections. Here are some of the main points:
1. The "democratic opposition" program proposes the option of adopting the German Mark as a legal currency for the whole of Yugoslavia, following the lead by NATO forces in Bosnia, Kosovo and Montenegro. This would immediately impoverish the Yugoslav people by making the country an economic dependency of Germany.
2. The "democratic opposition" program calls for ending all price controls. No subsidized food, no social protections. Working people, including a million refugees whose conditions are already difficult, would be buying food at Western prices but without Western wages.
3. The program calls for the immediate shock treatment of introducing a full capitalist society without first providing Yugoslavs with the necessary financial means to participate in such an economy. The result would be the transfer into foreign hands of control of the entire Yugoslav economy. Similar provisions for the application of so-called "modern economic ideology" have already succeeded in destroying Russia's economy.
4. Curiously the "democratic opposition" program makes no mention of NATO's criminal aggression against Yugoslavia.
5. The program calls for slashing public spending, demilitarization, radical tax changes, drastically limiting the power of the central government. All these measures set Yugoslavia up to be controlled from the outside.
6. The program would accept the US dictate that Yugoslavia no longer exists and that Serbia must come on bended knee to Washington to be recognized anew. This would mean the immediate surrender of all the assets and historical rights of the Yugoslav state. These assets include billions of dollars worth of embassies, the Yugoslav navy, the air force, bank accounts frozen all over the world, foreign assets, property assembled by the Yugoslav people since the end of World War I.
Kostunica's candidacy is nothing more than an effort to paper over the easily recognized faces of the United States' discredited agents in Yugoslavia.
An Honor Roll of the Discredited
The coalition backing Kostunica includes:
What is the US Government Trying to Do?
The US government wishes to crush the Serbian and other pro-Yugoslav people as a force capable of resisting US/German domination of the Balkans and the East. There is nothing new about this. The German establishment has been trying to crush the Serbs as a political force or more than a hundred years.
Senator Biden said it quite clearly in the
July 29, 1999 hearings:
Note that by "extremes" Sen. Biden means: people who refuse to kneel before the U.S. boot.
Do Biden and Gelbard and the other U.S. puppet masters believe Kostunica can get enough votes to win? We doubt it. After all, his campaign apparatus consists of people who are discredited as US agents.
But if Kostunica did win, it would be great for the US government. Regardless of Kostunica's intentions, he has a very small organization and the US-paid opposition forces, who are numerous, would flood his government apparatus.
The US would then use its dominant position in such a Yugoslav government the same way it has used its dominant position in Kosovo. Since NATO marched into Kosovo 15 months ago, about 350,000 ethnic Serbs, Gypsies, Slavic Muslims, Croatians, Jews, Turks and anti-fascist ethnic Albanians have been driven out. Even the UN admits that Kosovo has been turned into a gangster's paradise. Tens of thousands of women have been kidnapped by the US ally, the Kosovo Liberation Army, and forced into prostitution. This is what Yugoslavia could expect if the US agents got their hands on the government.
Look how the US has treated its allies, the pro-Islamist Bosnian Muslims and neo-Nazi Croatians. All things considered, these groups did not profit by being obedient to their US and German masters. By every standard of measurement they are worse off today than before they illegally left Yugoslavia. Or one can look at other countries. Take Russia. The Russian government was fully obedient and adopted every horrible measure the US "advised" . They helped the United States crush the Russian economy. And what did the people get? The worst poverty since World War II. A falling population. But the population of Serbia has resisted for the last ten years. If they were to stop now, if they were to fall for the nice words, "freedom" and "democracy" and "modern economic measures", as others have fallen for these words, what could they expect? Could they expect to be treated as "well" as the Russians and Bulgarians who as nations have not resisted? No. Yugoslav loyalists would get the special treatment the US gave the American Indians. Do you know what they used to say? "The only good Indian is a dead Indian."
If the US, were to get control of the Yugoslav government apparatus they would try to crush the people. KLA terrorists would infiltrate all over the country. NATO would try to disarm the people while fascists destroyed Serbian culture. People would be expelled with nowhere to go. Prices would shoot sky high. Industries would be seized. Secret lists of phony "war crimes" suspects would be used to arrest or shoot any leader who resisted. It would be open season on Serbs and other Yugoslav loyalists. Of course, the Yugoslavs would not take this like lambs. Such a government would be driven from power by the ordinary people.
For ten long years the people of Yugoslavia have seen the evidence that the US government has no mercy. We believe the Yugoslavs will not drop their resistance now.
Footnotes and Further Reading:
1. The full
text of the July 29, 1999 Senate hearings on Serbia can
be read at
2. The NED
report cited above is called "Statement by Paul B.
McCarthy, National Endowment for Democracy to the
Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe".
It can be read at
3. For more
on the G-17 economists see the article "The IMF and the Yugoslav