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   PastimesKosovo


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To: George Papadopoulos who wrote (17436)3/8/2001 10:26:18 AM
From: George Papadopoulos
   of 17770
 
I like her sense of humor<g>: ``I'm just waiting to be accused of provoking a conflict in Chechnya, floods in India, the abduction of Aldo Moro or freezing temperatures in Siberia,'' Markovic said.

dailynews.yahoo.com

Milosevic Did Not Steal From State, Wife Says

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Slobodan Milosevic (news - web sites)'s wife defended her
husband against allegations that he grew rich and stashed away funds while in power, saying
in remarks published on Thursday the ousted leader only had one bank account.

``If there is a person who did not take anything from the state, nor got anything from it, it's
him,'' Mirjana Markovic told Yugoslav weekly Vreme in an interview. ``And if there is a man
this state owes it's him.

``Every director of a good company, or a mayor of a larger municipality, has more material
possessions than he does,'' said Markovic, an influential behind-the-scenes figure during her
husband's turbulent 13 years in power.

Markovic is a leader of the neo-communist Yugoslav Left, whose officials are widely
associated in the eyes of the Serb public with getting rich through questionable business
dealings.

Milosevic's opponents have frequently alleged he and his family took advantage of their status
to plunder state assets and hoard money in a web of foreign bank accounts.

But Markovic said her husband had no bank accounts other than the one into which his
salary had been paid.

``The ugliest thing of all that can be heard about him constantly on TV or read in the press is
that he had financially benefited from his... presidential position,'' she said.

She spoke bitterly about ex-allies who had become rich when Milosevic was in power only
to switch sides when he was ousted, buying the new leadership's silence by ``selling out their
party colleagues, political associates or personal friends.''

Milosevic's party friends had fled to other parties, retired or cut some deal with the new
leadership, ``to refrain from defending their boss, to keep silent,'' she said.

Mysterious Killings

Markovic also denied any knowledge of or role in mysterious killings and assassination bids
when her husband was in power.

``I'm just waiting to be accused of provoking a conflict in Chechnya (news - web sites),
floods in India, the abduction of Aldo Moro or freezing temperatures in Siberia,'' Markovic
said. Moro, a former Italian prime minister, was assassinated in 1978.

``It is a little bit too much, even from political opponents and malicious individuals,'' she said.

Milosevic's foes, who ousted him last year, have accused his secret police of being behind
murders and other crimes.

His secret police chief Rade Markovic was arrested last month on suspicion of ordering an
assassination attempt in 1999 against then opposition leader Vuk Draskovic.

``I don't know whether the accident on the Ibarska highway was of a political or of a traffic
nature,'' said Markovic, referring to a car crash which slightly injured Draskovic and killed
four of his associates.

But, she added: ``I sincerely believe the authorities in Serbia played no part in that matter.''

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To: Yaacov who wrote (17434)3/9/2001 9:56:49 PM
From: goldsnow
   of 17770
 
Kind of reminds you of Soviet style revision of history?

"Nato Secretary-General Lord Robertson said: "We want to prevent what can be limited, localised skirmishes becoming bigger or spilling over into the wider region."

news.bbc.co.uk

Was not it exactly that before Maddy decided to get some respect from Milo? <gg>

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To: Yaacov who wrote (17432)3/9/2001 10:02:53 PM
From: goldsnow
   of 17770
 
Maybe it was better to allow
Serbs to make a compromise with them without NATO! WHo knows?>>>

Who knows? Who knows???!!!!
Is it a rhetorical question?
Who does not know? <ggg>

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To: George Papadopoulos who wrote (17436)3/10/2001 12:06:08 PM
From: John Lacelle
   of 17770
 
Those nice Albanian "Freedom Fighters" now seek Macedonia!

Jeesus...they are blasting away at Macedonian troops. I guess they
think that since 1/3 of Macedonia is ethnic Albanian, they must own
the place.

This situation is just like with the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. We
help em out and then they turn the guns on us.

Get the body bags ready...

-John

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To: John Lacelle who wrote (17440)3/10/2001 7:53:20 PM
From: George Papadopoulos
   of 17770
 
SHOCKING Development in the Balkans<gggggg>

dailynews.yahoo.com

U.S. Links Belgrade Aid, Milosevic Arrest - Report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has told the
Belgrade government it should arrest and imprison former
Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic (news - web sites) by
the end of March if it expects American aid to continue, The
New York Times reported on Saturday.

The demand for Milosevic's arrest was included in a three-page
list of demands delivered last week by the U.S. ambassador to
Belgrade, William Montgomery, to Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica (news - web
sites), Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic of Serbia and other senior officials, the newspaper said.

Belgrade was also asked to assist in transferring at least one person indicted on war crimes
charges to the international tribunal in The Hague (news - web sites) and to cooperate with
the tribunal on ''international charges against Milosevic,'' according to the report.

The State Department declined to confirm that the Bush administration had asked Belgrade
to take action against Milosevic.

``We are looking at all aspects of Belgrade's cooperation with the Hague tribunal, as well as
other issues relating to democracy and human rights in Serbia,'' a State Department official
said.

The U.S. Congress had already set a deadline of March 31 for Yugoslavia's new democratic
government to show a clear sign of cooperating over Milosevic, who is under indictment by
the tribunal in The Hague for war crimes, if it is to receive the balance of $100 million in U.S.
aid. About half of that aid has not yet been disbursed.

The latest demands ratchet up the pressure on Belgrade to act swiftly against Milosevic to
avoid a suspension of aid.

President George W. Bush (news - web sites) must certify to Congress by the March 31
deadline that Yugoslavia is cooperating with the U.N. tribunal on international war crimes in
the former Yugoslavia.

Belgrade has indicated that the net is closing in on Milosevic and that he may soon be brought
to trial in Serbia. But it has balked at Western demands that he be handed over to the war
crimes tribunal.

Djindjic suggested on Friday that his government might try Milosevic in Belgrade but urged
the international community to respect Serbia's desire to try the former strongman in its own
courts rather than deliver him to the tribunal.

The Times said Washington had not insisted in its latest demands that Milosevic be
transferred immediately to The Hague. But official U.S. policy remains that he should at some
point face charges before the international tribunal for Serbian actions and war crimes
allegedly committed before and during the 1999 Kosovo war.

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To: George Papadopoulos who wrote (17441)3/14/2001 10:14:59 AM
From: George Papadopoulos
   of 17770
 
I like Kostunica, he is no puppet pragmatist<g>

usatoday.com

Yugoslav leader assails NATO Says peacekeepers are helping guerrillas

By David J. Lynch
USA TODAY

BELGRADE, Yugoslavia -- Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica accused
NATO peacekeepers in Kosovo Tuesday of ''direct collaboration'' with
anti-government ethnic Albanian guerrillas in southern Serbia.

The peacekeeper force ''enabled and in some way supported or was helping
the terrorists,'' he said. ''In the case of some units, there was direct
collaboration between (the peacekeepers and the rebels).''

Kostunica's statements, in an interview with USA TODAY, came one day
after NATO agreed to allow Yugoslav soldiers to return to part of a buffer
zone ringing Kosovo. The ''ground safety zone'' was created at the end of
NATO's war in 1999 with Yugoslavia, which waged a crackdown against
ethnic Albanian separatists in the Serbian province of Kosovo.

The 3-mile-wide buffer zone was designed to prevent incidents between
Yugoslav forces and NATO peacekeepers. But Albanian guerrillas moved
into the vacuum and have been seizing ethnic Albanian villages in Serbia's
Presevo Valley and in neighboring Macedonia. More than 5,000 U.S.
soldiers are in the peacekeeping force, and they are based in eastern Kosovo,
which is adjacent to the area where fighting has occurred.

Kostunica, a former constitutional law specialist who rode a wave of popular
protest to power last October, is a Serb nationalist who opposed the
U.S.-led NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. He has complained that
peacekeepers are not doing enough to stop ethnic Albanian fighters from
crossing into southern Serbia from United Nations-administered Kosovo.

On Tuesday, he said the peacekeepers, wary of taking casualties, should
show ''more courage'' and confront armed Albanians.

The peacekeeping force, known by the acronym KFOR, was slow to react to
the ethnic Albanian insurgency. In recent weeks, U.S.-led peacekeepers have
stepped up their patrols and conducted surveillance overflights of rebel-held
territory.

But, Kostunica said, ''flights of KFOR helicopters have been traced that gave
the impression of being used as a sort of logistics support to the terrorists
rather than surveilling them.''

In Brussels, NATO spokesman Mark Laity responded: ''Such comments are
simply wrong. It's simply pointless getting involved in this kind of exchange
when the cooperation between Serbia and KFOR is so important to the
future of the area.''

In the 50-minute interview, Kostunica also said he:

* Doubts investigators will have sufficient evidence to arrest former president
Slobodan Milosevic by March 31, the congressional deadline for cutting off
$100 million in U.S. aid unless Belgrade cooperates with international war
crimes investigators.

* Views Milosevic as a war criminal -- along with the former leaders of
Croatia and Bosnia and military commanders from NATO and the Albanian
guerrillas.

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To: John Lacelle who wrote (17440)3/14/2001 10:36:26 PM
From: George Papadopoulos
   of 17770
 
John, your body bags are coming....if Stratfor is right and they tell us about them<g>

stratfor.com

KFOR and Serb forces will be subject to regular hit-and-run attacks by UCPMB bands, and they will suffer numerous casualties through the spring.

Dangerous Ground: Inside the Buffer
Zone
14 March 2001

Summary

The Yugoslav army entered the ground safety zone along the Kosovo border March
14. Serb forces were deployed into areas near where ethnic Albanian militants
control strategically important villages. But ethnic Albanians are fighting to keep
those villages from Serb control and ultimately will attack KFOR and Serb patrols
in defense of the region. KFOR can expect the number of guerrilla forces to grow
along the border and for its forces, and those of the Serbs, to be under the
constant threat of ambush.

Analysis

With ethnic Albanian militants fighting for control of key villages inside a 3-mile
ground safety zone established by NATO, the Yugoslav army entered the area
March 14 in order to stem the incursion of the Liberation Army of Presevo,
Medvedja and Bujanovac (UCPMB).

But the guerrillas will target the Serb patrols entering the ground safety zone, as
well as U.S. KFOR units, in order to defend the strategically important villages and
continue the fight for Kosovo’s independence. Moreover, Albanian militants will
recruit heavily for the fight and keep with hit-and-run attacks against multinational
forces in the Presevo Valley.

In an attempt to stabilize the region, KFOR will be forced to consider a build up of
multinational forces along the border to suppress Albanian extremists. But as a
result, KFOR, U.N. monitors and Serb forces will come under regular attacks by
small bands of Albanians who will migrate over territory in Serbia’s Presevo Valley.
Only a major buildup by KFOR’s forces along the border would stem the violence,
and even that is an uncertain proposition.

KFOR’s biggest challenge will be sealing the border from arms traffic and new
UCPMB recruits. Until KFOR can interdict all guerrilla personnel and equipment,
the militants will own the Presevo Valley.



U.S.-KFOR forces, part of what is known as Multinational Brigade East, are
responsible for three zones along Kosovo’s border with Macedonia and Serbia. The
area has become the center of gravity for a potential border war.

The Albanian extremists seek armed control of predominantly Albanian
communities in Serbia’s territory. Albanian paramilitary leaders claim NATO
betrayed them by refusing to declare Kosovo independent and by aligning with new
Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica.

While Serb forces are not allowed near areas under Albanian control, U.S.-KFOR
forces – with notable assistance from British, Scandinavian, Polish, Russian and
Ukrainian forces – are attempting to clean up towns occupied by the militants.

KFOR efforts to contain the Presevo Valley will resemble the cleanup missions by
Russian paratroopers at the end of the1999 incursion by Islamic militants in
Dagestan.

These are preventive operations in towns under the risk of rebel occupation.
Keeping these towns from rebel control will require a steady KFOR presence
through the spring and winter.

Other towns inside the ground safety zone are currently under guerrilla control.
These include Dobrosin, Konculj, Lucane, Bujanovac and Veliki Trnovac – all
inside Serbia proper. There are as many as 4000 militants already inside the
ground safety zone between Kosovo and Serbia and there are about 300 militants
inside Macedonia, concentrated southwest of Serbia's Presevo Valley near
Tanusevci.

NATO will allow only small teams of KFOR liaisons into the ground safety zone
and will help coordinate operations with Serb forces in the Presevo Valley.
Monitors from the European Union and United Nations will be in place to oversee
the actions of Serb forces. KFOR’s objective in the Presevo Valley is to contain
the militants in their strongholds and to rout them from towns under partial control.

NATO’s mission in the Presevo Valley is risky. Guerrillas have launched mortars
inside the ground safety zone from Macedonia, Serbia and Kosovo, and they
regularly engage Serb police. Ethnic Albanian strongholds cannot be overwhelmed
by force, as Serb forces cannot bring anti-tank weapons, artillery or tanks into the
ground safety zone. The matter is such a concern for Yugoslav officials that Serb
Deputy Prime Minister Nebojsa Covic and President Kostunica fear NATO has put
Serb forces in harm’s way.

Moreover, there is a strong likelihood multinational forces will be encircled in their
effort to contain the militants.

The UCPMB is expanding its base of influence inside Kosovo, likely following the
refugee traffic. Substantial refugee flows have gone eastward into Kosovo from the
Presevo Valley.

In December 2000, the UNHCR regional office reported 4,900 internally displaced
people sought refuge in Kosovo from the Presevo Valley. Most registered in towns
surrounding Gnjilane and Kamenica, a few miles inside the border across
Dobrosin, the guerilla stronghold. Also, almost 100 people fled to Kosovo for every
person fleeing to Serbia.

Given the freedom of movement within the buffer zone and the flight of most
persons to Kosovo, UCPMB forces are likely to build up forces in the key towns
inside Kosovo. These include Malisevo, Zegra, Toponica and Karacevo, and also
Breznica inside Serbia.

At present, guerilla forces are diffused throughout the region, and KFOR and Serb
forces effectively will become ducks in the barrel while on patrol.

UCPMB forces have confronted police at key transport routes into Serbia from
Kosovo, including Malina Malla, Blace, Mucibaba and Brevnik. These were
probably attempts to monitor traffic at crossing points. Despite calls by ethnic
Albanian moderates, UCPMB field colonels are bracing for war. Their targets will
be KFOR and Serbian personnel patrolling inside the ground safety zone and
outside along the border.

UCPMB will attempt to hold at key points along the border and will use the
mountains as cover. Much like Russia’s problems in Dagestan, KFOR will face a
mobile enemy and will remain unable to isolate the guerilla bands. KFOR and Serb
forces will be subject to regular hit-and-run attacks by UCPMB bands, and they
will suffer numerous casualties through the spring.

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To: George Papadopoulos who wrote (17443)3/18/2001 9:15:12 AM
From: Tom Clarke
   of 17770
 
U.S. Troops Brace for Confrontations With Albanians

By Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 18, 2001; Page A22

CAMP BONDSTEEL, Yugoslavia -- U.S. peacekeepers in Kosovo, watching warily as ethnic Albanian guerrillas launch new attacks just across the border in Macedonia and southern Yugoslavia, are bracing for possible confrontations in Kosovo with the guerrillas or their supporters.

Stepping up patrols on the border to block the flow of men and weapons from Kosovo to the insurgents, the peacekeepers risk becoming targets themselves if the guerrillas feel threatened.

On Friday, U.S. troops seized machine guns, rocket launchers and other weapons from a Volkswagen Golf car near the border.

NATO waged a 78-day bombing campaign against Yugoslavia in 1999 to end a brutal crackdown by that country's Serb-dominated army against an Albanian insurrection in Kosovo. But U.S. Army peacekeeping troops here see the recent attacks as confirmation that the Albanians are now the problem.

NATO has been cooperating more and more closely with its former adversary in the war. Earlier in the week, the alliance allowed Yugoslav troops to reoccupy a 10-square-mile sector of a buffer zone just outside Kosovo, where Albanian guerrillas have been attacking Yugoslav police.

"As the [buffer zone] gets smaller and there's less room for them to maneuver, I think it'll get hotter," said Lt. Brandon Griffin, an 82nd Airborne Division officer who has led patrols near the zone.

U.S. military intelligence officials expect that if Yugoslavs reoccupy the zone sector by sector in the coming weeks, as is the plan, the Albanian fighters inside will be pushed back into Kosovo -- and into the U.S. peacekeeping sector.

Tensions are higher at the Macedonian border as well. On Friday, four German Leopard tanks crossed from Kosovo into Macedonia to protect German logistics troops who are stationed there to support the peacekeeping operation in Kosovo. Officials said this was not an intervention, only a beefing up of security for the Germans.

Almost two years into the peacekeeping mission, it's hard to find Americans in the field who feel much sympathy for the Albanians they came to rescue.

"I got used to thinking of the Serbs as the oppressors, because of Bosnia," said Capt. Christopher Glover, commander of a military police company deployed here from Fort Polk, La., and a veteran of that other U.S. peacekeeping mission in the Balkans. "But here we're really protecting the Serbs from the Albanians."

Serb civilians who remained in their homes when the Yugoslav army pulled out in 1999 are in constant danger from Albanians, who either want revenge or a Kosovo without Serbs.

U.S. troops are guarding isolated Serb enclaves, religious sites and homes. In some Albanian-dominated towns, the remaining Serbs get round-the-clock protection to deter grenade and bomb attacks. Of the approximately 70 locals put in orange suits and held behind concertina wire and chain-link fence at the jail that U.S. forces maintain inside their main camp, about 65 are ethnic Albanians.

Despite these efforts, Albanians manage regularly to terrorize Serbs. Serbian churches have been dynamited. Last month, a bomb was detonated under a bus filled with Serbs, killing seven.

Many Serbs say the peacekeepers are too concerned about taking casualties and should apply their full military muscle to establish order and confiscate weapons used by Albanians during the war against Yugoslavia.

"The Albanians just keep on pushing and pushing and pushing," Capt. Guenther Pearson, a company commander, said with frustration.

Lt. Judd Young added: "Tensions are rising as the attacks are becoming more and more blatant."

The irony is that the Serbs being protected don't particularly like their protectors. And the ethnic Albanians by and large remain friendly with the U.S. troops moving among them.

Riding through the ethnically Albanian town of Kacanik, Lt. John Waters said that the locals bring coffee and bread to his troops when they visit. "The Albanian town, they love us," summarized Spec. Jason Pasko, a paratrooper from Huntington, Ind. Added his friend, Sgt. Joshua Bailey, from Raymond, N.H., "We're like saviors."

By contrast, the only time they were in a Serb town, the two soldiers said, was to put down a riot and they had rocks thrown at them.

Riding through the beleaguered Serb town of Strpce, an isolated enclave near the Macedonian border, Capt. Glover said the populace shuns his troops. "Notice that we don't have all the 'Hey, hello.' " As he said this, he passed two teenage Serb boys. One stared at him, expressionless. The other ignored him..

"The people here are still anti-U.S., anti-NATO," said Young, standing inside a U.N. police station in Strpce that was attacked last month. "They feel we're an army of occupation."

Among the troops, this ambiguous situation seems sometimes to have a demoralizing effect. Staff Sgt. George Cyrus of Montgomery, Ala., invokes the civil rights movement. "I mean, you think about race in America, and history. You can't go on angry forever. Eventually you've got to get over it."

"I find it very frustrating," added Staff Sgt. Robert McCormick, a combat engineer from Niagara, Wis. "You go into a town and they all act nice and friendly, and the next day they have a riot. So I just want to go home."

© 2001 The Washington Post Company

washingtonpost.com

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To: George Papadopoulos who wrote (17443)3/18/2001 4:31:30 PM
From: goldsnow
   of 17770
 
I like that comparison...

In a clear sign of the government's nervousness, Georgievski accused the West of ``creating a new Taliban in Europe,'' referring to Afghanistan (news - web sites)'s radical Islamic movement.

dailynews.yahoo.com

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To: Patrick E.McDaniel who started this subject3/19/2001 10:20:31 AM
From: Les H
   of 17770
 
We are close to the precipice

guardianunlimited.co.uk

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