Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Kosovo Serbs: Presumed Guilty

source: rtv.rs
Five days have passed and the killer of the EULEX officer is still unknown. 
On September 19, attackers killed one and wounded three EULEX members of the Customs Component in an ambush near the village of Balaban in Zvečan municipality. In the run-up to the controversial parliamentary election in Kosovo, scheduled for November 3 and projected to involve the North Kosovo Serbs for the first time, the murder of Audrius Šenavičius, while initially provoking a whirlwind of reactions, especially from Belgrade, has been quietly pushed under the carpet as no news of it have come out after September 19.
Not in the mainstream media, at least. 

This story is not unusual in itself; attacks on the Western forces occupying Kosovo have happened before and they all came from the Albanian side (now, this may sound surprising to the not-so-well-informed observers). What was unusual is the rapid reaction by the official Belgrade. Both Prime Minister Ivica Dačić and his First Deputy Aleksandar Vučić immediately sharply condemned the attacks. Dačić blurted out that this was a "bullet fired into Serbia's future," and Vučić threatened a "fierce response" by the Serbian government. Both statements strongly implied that it was Serbs who killed Audrius Šenavičius. News portal InSerbia quoted Dačić as saying that this was "an extremist and not a patriotic act." 
"This is an attempt to ruin everything Serbia has achieved in the past period. Serbia has no right to remain silent and allow terrorists and extremists to believe that they are the ones who can manage Serbia,” said Vučić. (inserbia.info)

 Both men apparently assumed that the act was perpetrated by disgruntled Serbs who felt an attack on EULEX would constitute an act of revenge, a patriotic act of sorts. They assumed this despite the fact that Serbs in Kosovo do not have a history of ambush attacks against the occupying forces. They know well that Serbs in Kosovo only resisted being integrated into the Albanian state, and always used non-violent methods against heavily armed KFOR and EULEX. But, for whatever reason, Dačić and Vučić went out on a limb to assume Serbs killed the EULEX officer.

Why would they assume this?

source: vestinet.rs
Well, I would call it projecting rather than assuming. Dačić and Vučić have experienced problems forcing the North Kosovo Serbs into the Albanian state of Kosovo. The agreement that Dačić signed with Catherine Ashton and Hashim Thaci on April 19, 2013, naturally was not well received in North Kosovo. After all, the local Serbs to which the terms of the agreement most directly apply were never consulted. The Brussels Agreement literally abolished the remaining institutions of the Republic of Serbia in its occupied province of Kosovo and Metohija and removed all the protections of the rights of Kosovo Serbs. The upcoming election is the final step in completely subordinating the Kosovo Serbs to the legal system of the Albanian "Republic of Kosovo," occupied and ran by NATO and EU.
So, naturally, there is a lot of animosity between the Kosovo Serbs and Belgrade leadership. The North Kosovo Serbs had their democratic referendum in which they overwhelmingly decided against their integration into the Albanian state. They issued declarations voicing their opposition to and fear from the subordination. They formed their interim people's assembly to assert their political unity in opposition to the occupation. The official Belgrade, led by Dačić, Vučić and president Tomislav Nikolić, ignored their wishes and bribed and threatened many into subordination. Others they simply removed. 
The opposition, however, is still swelling and its calls for a boycott of the Brussels-imposed elections still alarms Belgrade, whose representatives have specific orders from Brussels to see this through or risk falling out of favor with their imperial overlords. 

So, now, Dačić and Vučić could hardly wait for a false flag attack, or a real attack, to accuse the disobedient Kosovo Serbs of extremism and of undermining Serbia's future, and, in the best fashion of Western political students, use the events as pretext to swoop in, make arrests of key political opponents, scare the rest and clear the path towards the subordination of all the Kosovo Serbs to the Albanian government in Priština. 
How else would anyone explain the reaction from Belgrade?

source: b92.net
Belgrade has relinquished all its authority in its occupied province and to matter-of-factly state it will respond in a fierce way is plain ridiculous. Of course, NATO and the EU forces in Kosovo can let the Serbia's investigators to come in and help rummage around Serb areas, but only because it suits them, not because it empowers Belgrade in any way. 

The natural, professional and diplomatic reaction would be to take it easy, condemn the attack in a neutral way while the investigation is ongoing, and shut up. But no, without even asking what happened, Serbia's leaders rush in to show fierce loyalty to their colonial overlords. A "Hail!" from Belgrade would be in order here.

I'm only making sensible points here, trying to observe this abnormal reaction opposite a normal one we are used in situations that are less politicized. Which professional politician, in his right mind, rushes to conclusions and goes on a limb like that, without following any rational or procedural logic? A puppet with orders, of course.

Say, an Albanian did this. This is a more likely scenario not because I wish Serbs are not at fault here, but for the obvious reason of this particular crime scene location being notorious for Albanian extremist activity and because it is the Albanians who wish to clear the obstacles for subordination of North Kosovo. They are the onesAnd what is more like them than to commit a crime and blame Serbs for it? To outright wave off false flags and false pretexts amidst the global political turmoil in which they abound would be stupid. 

Serbian media under the corporate or state control did not go in depth reporting about the investigation. The EULEX website had no updates after the original press release, which is not unusual. But the one looking for more background information on the attack can find in Serbian independent news sources. Thus, the news portal New Serb Political Thought (NSPM) lined up reasons to believe this attack was committed by local Albanians.

source: srbinaokup.info
Namely, NSPM cites other, well-documented attacks by Albanians in this narrow area where the Mitrovica-Leposavić main road leans on the Albanian-inhabited villages of Žaže, Boljetin and Lipa, in Zvečan municipality.
In 2003, local Albanians attempted to tear down a nearby railroad bridge. The Albanian National Army (ANA) took responsibility for this murder after the UNMIK spokesperson denied the possibility of ANA's involvement.
Later that year, an Indian member of UNMIK was killed at the exact same location. The Albanian National Army (ANA) took responsibility for this murder as well. 
In 2006, a Ukrainian member of KFOR was shot when Albanians fired on KFOR convoy in the same area. 
The notorious video footage of Albanian snipers menacingly observing the main road was shot by a Tirana Albanian channel in this location on April of 2012. Serbian pleas to disarm the former members of KLA roaming the area went unheeded. According to Belgrade newspaper Novosti, KFOR spokesman Mark Stimmler said for the occasion that the local Albanians were armed neither more nor less than it was customary!
Adding to these instances of attacks against NATO, Albanian civilians stoned Serbian buses on the same road on numerous occasions. 

All in all, judging by the past experience, if one is going to make any assumptions, it's safe to assume that local Albanians killed the Lithuanian. Whatever the investigation produces, Belgrade leadership's assumption that Serbs have done this is malicious and extremely short-sighted and amateurish. This is not to say that it should be taken lightly, quite the opposite. 

According to reports from mainstream media, denied by Aleksandar Vulin, Serbia’s special envoy for Kosovo, Belgrade sent about 150 plain-clothed policemen into North Kosovo to ostensibly help in the investigation, but in effect to further enforce the already forceful message Serbia's official envoys have been spreading to the Kosovo Serbs: Don't you dare oppose us! Under what other circumstances would NATO, EULEX and the Albanian authorities have agreed to let the official Serbia back into the conquered land?

As Enver Hoxhaj, the rogue state's foreign minister, hinted at in yesterday's interview to the Wall Street Journal, Belgrade did get the green light to storm in under the investigation pretext and repress the opposition to the subordination process. It's not surprising that an Albanian official accuses local Serbs of killing the EULEX official in the area where only his Albanians conduct attacks and kill foreigners, but the fact that the official Belgrade does so builds an entirely new, although not-so-unexpected, political dimension.

Five days after the initial assumption and the accusatory reaction, though, whatever investigation is going on is not producing any results. But, the Serbs must have done it, right? Such is the presumption of guilt on the Imperial frontier. 


Anonymous said...

Has there been any non official confirmation that those 150 guys are roaming around?

You are truly right that something is fishy about Vucic's and Dacic's reaction, but I'm curious about those alleged policemen.

Srbo said...

Beta, one the Serbian news wire agencies, reported it. Unofficially, it is probably very hard to draw a line between operatives native to the North and those sent from the central Serbia, and with the kind of border that exists and the movement of people in and out, I doubt that the number or the size of the presence can be determined and reported precisely.