Saturday, December 31, 2005


A New Year's Resolution I want my government to make..

Besides the outsourceign of torture discussed in East Ethnia, I want an end to this.
Pentagon has yet to make a ban on forced labour by it's contractors


Sretna Nova Godina Prijateljima!

The Capitol Steps

This is programming some kind person beamed in on a bleak morning for us zeks to enjoy.
I feel like in my little way I've arrived since I met at least one person they are satirizeing on this show, 'Politics Takes a Holiday'namely Howard Dean, whom I have met twice. Once he visited our gulag, for a convention of zeks exiled for the crime of being Democrats, and once when I was able to get a three day pass to visit Seattle, where I was in the biggest crowd ever assembled in the ENTIRE history of Seattle, perhaps even of the Soviet of Washington.
For my contacts in the Balkans, this is recommended listening, and of oourse I recomend this highly to the other zeks liveing in this gulag.
The make fun of all the stories inflicted on us in the gulag courtesy of Glas Kapitalizme.
Speaking of those fine people, I am NOT hireing their contractor! Yesterday, I heard the State Approved Excuse for their odd broadcast difficulties, (aside from excessive right wing programming but that is another matter...) They have a building that leaks! This has damaged certain of their vital equipment. The equipment seems to work fine for re-runs of Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Mike Savage. Fortunately,(and this is NOT repeat Not my sarcastic voice!) most of Dr. Laura was live, she at least keeps working for a liveing and sometimes she's not all bad. Some of those incompetant Drama Queens that call her NEED a good bitch slap. It did not prevent the Seattle Sonics broadcasts for the most part, and since I like to hear the games, for ammo for small talk that doesn't involve politics, I'm nto even a BIG basketball fan, although it's one of the few sports I was halfassed good at.
It did however (Back to annoyed snarky sarcastic attitude mode) we got stuck with not even old radio shows, which I like as long as they aren't the cheesy Christmas shlock type shows, NOOOOO, it was close to 48 hours of the Manheim Steamroller Christmas Special, OVER and OVER again! This might have been alright IF they'd acutally put on Manheim Steamroller's music instead of damn near every worn out Christmas tune.
Actually these big brassy acts seem too popular with the right wing, Manheim Steamroller and TransSiberia Orchestra, which of the two I prefer anyway...
The Capitol Steps rule, they make fun of EVERYONE.
Ahhhhh! zasto ne?, they all deserve it! Especially Charles and Camilla, and Tom Delay, The song about Charles and Camilla ruled...but then all the songs from the Capitol Step's songs rule. OH the Hussein - Chirac routine killer! especially the bit about 'being stuck in a room with Ramsey clarke I mean haven't I suffered enough?'

damn stupid phone line into Sarajevo is overwhelmed I guess, I have been trying to get through, and it ate time on both my phone cards without giveing me even one ringie dingie. I hate this. It isn't bad enough being separated like this but when I can't even place the damn call, that pisses me off. I may as well give up and just go out. or for that matter go to sleep, it's rainign big time out there. I mean yeah it's better thaan snow at least. so I'm haveing my glass of slivo remembering a much happier New Year's Eve, when we were together. I hate this. sorry for being a Drama Queen about it. I could try again Midnight our time, that's 9 am there, and given that it's too rainy to go out, maybe that is the wisest course to take. I wanted to go out, it was only misty this morning. Mist I can deal with, but not rain.not heavy rain. Downtown where all the fun is, is going to be cold and miserable. At the same time, if people don't go out and enjoy what's out htere, it may never happen again. I think it's great they have stuff to do downtown for New Years. the internet broadcat from HRT was cool, I watched a lot of it, then it stopped showing any picture. At least for midnight it showed. That much. Lat year it was better, it was easier to see. but hey at least it was on. So for a few moments we were looking at the same pictures, though separated by 9 hours of time difference. I mean you gotta expect the phone lines to be bad in winter over there, at least we were able to talk on Christmas eve. I hope he got my card and letter, I got his card, not his letter yet. OK I"M gonna quit bitchin and go get some food. I';ll look at the great out doors again, I think I need a night out wheter it's a good idea or not, just for my own sanity.
Well I ended up staying home, I got a phone call from a friend I know here, and didn't feel like going out afterwards. then my son came home and he had coffee cake. oNe of his buddies has an internet girlfriend visiting, so I got o meet her, she's nice, they had a good time.
I will try to reach my fiance at 9 pm coordinated gulag time, by which point it will be 9am in Sarajevo.
I had some nice wine I was going to open to drink, just a nice white Zinfandel from California. I have one of those rabbit ear corkscrews, the best sort for a woman to use, and get this, the damn thing broke, I have used it with the new plastic corks before, but this one seems denser than usual, it's made to look like a real cork, but it's plastic, and I have been going occasionally to dig away with a knife from time to time. I just want a hole down the side of it, which I can do without getting chunks in the wine, but it's takeing awhile. Meanwhile I put on Shoutcast for a bit, I'm just tired of the same old music on NPR's jazz night. A little jazz isn't a bad thing, but this has gottesn repetative. So I am going to have a quick look at the blogosphere and then lie down with a good book until midnight our time, and make another try at calling my fiance. It's too late to call him now, assumeing the phone lines work.
Hey Thanks for your visit Goran. I don't know anything about chess, it's one of those things I never learned to do. My father tried to teach me, but some how it never sank in. Still I am well aware of the people from former Yugoslavia who are great players.
It's nice you have a blog devoted to this where you share the stories of that world.
I guess it's like I am about soccer, I don't understand the game, I'm more apt to know how the riot afterwards came out, the stories of the eccentricities of great chess players amuse me, I love reading them.

Friday, December 30, 2005


Assorted New Years News

I will be going out to take care of a couple of essential errends, it's cold out there, but I have had a couple good days of shopping, I will look sharper by far next quarter, less like someone who showed up to scythe the back 40. I found some new slacks for my son too, one pair came from MONGOLIA! I could not resist, and he was amused too. That was my Christmas present to my son, finding trousers to supplement the nice shirts and sweaters my daughter and son in law gave him. He said 'You know D. knows what I should wear, she always makes me look good!' I have a good eye for suits and things, but what I like is more old fashioned.
I was able to get a nice blazer, some nice shoes, several nice skirts, and three really cool vests, I know Mr. Malloy doesn't like ladies vests, but they are a good place to hide a pocket or two. I dislike purses and nylons the most out of the things women are expected to wear. Purses get lost and become a general pain in the dupa. One day I will do a photograph of what I actually carry on a normal day if I don't need to carry books. It would surprise you. I figure a HOUSE is a place to keep your stuff. Once a woman doesn't have little kids anymore, she should not be a pack animal!

I heard on the news that Wonderbread is going out of business, and a commentary of a woman who like me was raised on either whole wheat, or rye bread, or corn tortillas. My mother called store bought white bread 'plasterbread' and the only white bread allowed was the wonderful sourdough that you can get in San Francisco. Otherwise it would have taken doctor's orders. I remember one thing about when I was horribly sick and was nine years old, the guy she consulted about herbal treatment actually said, 'Get a good brand of white bread, wheat or rye is dangerous in this instance. Too irritateing when she's better she can have whole wheat or rye.'
So I had dry French bread.
Now as the commentator on NPR said 'My whole wheat bread IS the mainstream bread!'

Balkans news as ever, Thank you Mario!!!

American lawyer joins Gotovina defense team

Trust Slobodna Dalmacija to work in a reference to Gotovina...

New Years for Gotovina vvs for ordinary Croats

rest of story

Ante really got around! regular globe trotter, makes me wonder about the guys from the other side....
Gotovina traveled to lots of other countries besides Spain

Ways the Bosnians are helping us in the States, thanks!

Which reminds me, the last tropical storm of the year Tropical Storm Zeta is underway.... it could turn into a hurricane, not likely....I'm just saying.....

OK they know he got his pension...isn't that a pretty easy thing to trace? Like where it was cashed that sort of paper trail thing?
Ratko Mladic recieved his army pension until November of this year

The ethnic Serbian guy who was arrested in Croatia and tried for his involvement with the srebenica massacre was convicted.

Slobodan Davidovic convicted

Thursday, December 29, 2005


The Skunk Story

When I lived with my kids in the blue house, which is now painted a horrid babyshit yellow like the Sarajevo Holiday Inn now, we had a number of cats.
There were the indoor cats, Flash, a Domestic TAbby, and Saoirse, a Birman, who was rescued, and highly nervous. There one night was a peremptory knock on the back door, BOOMP BOOMP, I grabbed an antique iron I keep as a burglar basher. It was after dark and very cold out, "Yeah Waddaya WANT I hollered in my meanest voice. I heard nothing, and being an idiot, i opened the door, prepared to bash someone, I wasn't in a nice mood, I'd had a shitty day at my crummy job, and the kids were driveing me nuts too.
I looked and saw nothing, then I looked down, there was a tiny sleek black kitten, he was sooo adorable. I could not bring him in because of the other cats, so I put out a blanket in a box and food and water. He tore into th e food, which was cat food, and a few fat bits from some meat. He would not let me touch him,
We named him Zherzhenski, after the founder of the KGB. Later a girl cat came to live in the yard, she was a Russian Blue looking cat so we named her Natasha, but I am getting ahead of myself.
One evening when the weather turned warm again, in fact hot, I had put our house cats in large airline crates with doors and dinner and boxes, and I opened the door to let in some fresh air mixed with mossquitoes, we lived by an irrigation ditch. I burned a lot of incenst to try and keep the mosquitos out. Anyway, I heard this almighty catterwauling and realized something was fightign with the cat, I yelled DOORS and my son ran over and closed the back door, I closed the front door, but a whiff of that unique skunk smell still got in.
The catterwauling continued, but not for long. The skunk took off, and the Zherzhinski at the rest of his dinner.
that's my funny skunk story.
Zherzhinsky kept the lace free of skunks for as long as he was there.


continueing Gotovina coverage

More on the Gotovina trial

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


A man was found dead not far from my place.

The man was about 50 years old, and there was a murder not too far away night before last, both cases involved drugs, and were violent deaths.
both involved firearms, and the one near here, it's surpriseing I didn't hear the shots, it wasn't so far away.
Update, the dead guy turns out to have been a registered sex offender, the accused murderer was a juvenile, a boy, that this man solicited for sex, the juvenile refused, and then I guess things got nastier.
Nothing yet on the local news about the power failure here, but the snow has been falling in the passes, and we have had a LOT of rain. It caused some street flooding yesterday.
WOAH absalutamente nista about the power failure on the news locally. I must call them and complain about that. It was definately big enough to be on the news. What is UP WITH THESE PEOPLE?@!?!?!


The Real War on Christmas

Bora over at Science and Politics is one of those people with endless brain power, and is a joy to read. He put this up, and I really liked it,
Science and Politics

It's called The Real War on Christmas.
What this guy describes is something I've seen in my own life. Smart people getting dumbed down by talk radio, and worse yet loseing their manners. There is such a lack of decorum on those programs, such a lack of manners and it's packaged to seem so hard hitting and so 'American' and all that. Not that I am in favor of smoking pot in front of one's kids, I'm not even sure I'm in favor of takeing kids to demonstrations.

The REAL War on Christmas


Someone else agrees with me that BiH has a badly designed flag...

I don't agree with ALL of this guy's criteria, and he mis-uses the term 'graven image' and his thing against writeing on flags should not apply to really cool calligraphy. I also think that a free pass should be given to flags originateing in Medieval times or earlier, such as the Vatican flag.
I note that he gives Slovenia a poor grade vs Slovakia, and that Croatia comes off as haveing a too busy flag, a feature of it's Medieval origins. He gives Macedonia a bad grade too because the flag 'looks like a target' but he does give it some credit for being original, which I cannot agree with, it looks like an adaptation of the Japanese Navy flag in WWII, only red and yellow instead of red and white.

Some flags deserve his low grades though, and the present, BiH flag does, because it looks like the crappy flag of an even crappier Banana Republic. The old flag was much nicer. It was the coat-of-arms of the last royal family of Bosnia and Hercegovina, and that family had members who in today's terms would be classifiable as members of the three main ethnic-religious groups in BiH. It was elegant and much nicer than any other flag in the region aesthetically speaking. It was scarpped for stupid reasons as far as I was concerned and not replaced by anything worhtwhile.

Letter Grades for Flags


Bez Struja....

somthing like 3 am the power went out in at least our whole neighborhood in the gulag. It was wierd looking out and seeing not one light, and yet the sky seeming so white, it's raining a lot too, the power came back about 3 am. I had to go invade the lair of Ivan the Terrible to make sure the pilot lights to the furnace and the water heater were on. He's had to put some fairly heavy stuff to keep that area blocked because there was a cat who seemly could walk through walls something like Pixel, a cat in R. Heinleins' book 'The Cat Who Could Walk Through Walls' actually the cat, got in by means of a crawl space. The pilot lights both worked fine. I never smelled any gas so I think they worked fine the whole time, but I need to tell him to have it easier for me to unblock. I know we don't want cats down there, but surely it could be less blocked off. I still haven't figured out what happened to the Pepper Ridge Farms stuff. I am going to look again I have ruled out several places last night. I'm mad as Hell about that.
KIT came back on, the lights came back on, the only evidence being a succession of digital clocks on, the microwave oven, a kitchen clock, my radio, which blink 12:12 or 12:00 in an annoying fashion. later my son will have to help me with those. I am glad at least I know how to check the pilot lights. I was about to call the power company when the power came back on. The radio station has had their Christmas special on half the night it seems because their normal night programming, Coast to Coast with George Noory went down. That happened LAST night TOO. So I wasn't all that surprised. Then that went away and was replaced by the not much more agreeable old radio shows with special Christmas programing.This time the Manheim Steamroller Christmas Special kicked on and that was it. I think they got some calls from irate George Noory fans.
KIT has been showing a little more effort lately I noticed. I think they realize that their only one side political programming annoys some of us zeks badly and that compounding it with technical glitches opens them to being made fun of in addition to being objected to on those grounds.
Rick Gleason of KIT hasn't said anything about the power failure,he reported that it's 36 degrees F out at McAllister Airfield, it is 49 degrees F at the radio station. and there is no reportage of the power failure.
I'm sure Mr. Gleason is busy trying to set things up again at the radio station. My radio is blinking 12:12 in big friendly green letters.I'm really glad I bought the little fake candle actually, it puts out a surpriseing amount of light for it's small size. it was perfectly adequate lighting to get around the house in the dark.
LED bulbs last for a very long time, I just need to figure out some light reflecting techniques to use with this baby.
I took two pictures of the street in total darkness. I bet lots of people will be late to work.
I wonder how extensive this power failure was? I suppose in a couple hours it's going to be possible to find out.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


information on Mirsad Tokaca

I should point out that I am not one of those people who thinks getting the truth out about actual casualties in the Bosnian War is a bad thing.
I do however think that a true account should not be misused to defend bad people on ANY side, and that process is very visible to anyone who hits Google for information on Mr. Tokaca.
I was moved to have a look at Mirsad Tokaca's work after seeing a reply to a post over in East Ethnia by estavisti.


Another thing, Tokaca raises some important points about the war in Bosnia. Points which need to be taken seriously if there is ever to be an end to the ethnic aspect of the discussion and a serious analysis of the economic and geopolitical causes of the war. Some people from all sides seem to be afraid to do that. Either it is going to make someone look bad, or it is going to make someone look better than they deserve to look.
Tokaca verified names on lists, and verified whether the names of missing or dead people got listed more than once, which happens in time of war. There is no sure way of coordinateing sources of information, when some one is reported missing, they may be dead, they may be missing within their own country, liveing under an assumed name, have gone elsewhere as a refugee, etc. This same thing happened in the flood in Louisiana. It happened with casualty lists for the September 11th attacks especially with the World Trade Center. It doesn't necesssarily mean someone is acting in bad faith.
Revised Death Toll Bosnian War Mirsad Tokica
Interview with Mirsad Tokaca

Monday, December 26, 2005


Бозиц у Якиму Гулаг

OK I don't really write Cyrillic, I was useing that thingie that Bora over at Science and Politics showed us. Just put that in for laughs...
So Christmas in the Yakima Gulag was good. I do not know how it is I slept so badly Christmas eve. I was happy because I did get through to M--- without a problem, normally most years since he went back there, it's been especially difficult to get back on a holiday.
The lines go down. I tried to sleep early but something or other made it difficult. Then D--- and S--- came to get us, we went to her house first, and exchanged gifts, the kids already had a really huge number of gifts all the same I think they liked what I got them and what their uncle got them. Then we went to S----'s aunt. My daugher was kind of relieved not to have to do the dinner. J---- did a fantastic job, it was all good. Roast beef and turkey! mmmm then after awhile, we climbed back into the Suburban and went to D---- and S----'s and loaded up our nice things. She and S---- gave us really nice things. Stuff I really actually needed, and some unusual treats. When we got back there were three messages from this nice little boy who is a friend of K----s, sometimes D---- used to watch him, his father owns a really nice Chinese restaraunt, and little C-------- particularly wanted K----- to come, so we got to go too, oh it was FANTASTIC, I haven't had such wonderful Chinese food since arrival in this place. There were three types of beef, there was shrimp, there was DUCK, and I haven't had duck prepared Chinese style in forever. It was totally delicious. The kids had a wonderful time running around in the restaraunt, and playing with this Darth Vader helmet, it had a thing that made them all sound like Darth Vader too.
It was wonderufl. There was this really sweet dog there too, a big black Labrador female. She was about the nicest dog I ever met. Seriously, she was so well behaved, and played nicely with the kids, and was just generally a wonderful dog. All in all it was great.


St. Stephens Day thisnthat

What is the worst e-card yet? This, it combines an awful song with a fair parody of it, and not too awful grafix, I'm not so sure this isn't least under my unconventional definition of the word...
Awful E-Card

Sometimes in the wonderful world of news there are ever more stories of stuff you should not believe because someone MADE THE WHOLE THING UP!
I"m really pissed off with this little puke, theres enough bad stuff that can happen with the Patriot Act without makeing shit up. Things like this end up getting used in the debate over the Patriot Act by both sides to discredit one another. If he were my son the little puke would have a really really sore dupa.

Story I'm glad I held off on!

Goranci are a Serbian speakign Muslim minority group in Kosovo, and in Bulgaria there are also Goranci.

Goranci not the only ones who want Bulgarian passports..

Arms Trade and Eastern Euope

Remind me to stay out of the Mostar Aerodrom! that could have been another incident like the one that killed poor Trajkovski. I have seen their airport, it's tiny, and not suitable for large planes, It could be developed because for the Balkans it's in an excellent location,nice flat area.
Spanish defense minister survives plane incident in Bosnia

I would like very much if both Mladic and Karadzic surrendered, they should do so for the sake of their families, and the sake of their people. If Serbia is to rebuild itself on some decent basis that will work for the Serbian people, if any of the other countries are to do that, the war-lords and the criminals need to go.

I'll believe it when I see it!

and this is the great open borders for Europe? ha!

More Border Control

Saturday, December 24, 2005


bird tracks in the snow

bird tracks in the snow
Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag.

Sretan Bozic Prijateljima!
These are some bird tracks that were on my front porch one morning last week, it looked a lot more Christmassy than how it looks at the moment. Almost all the snow is melted now, and has been replaced by fog and rain.

ON the radio they just played my favorite Christmas song.
My very favorite Christmas song! The Rebel Jesus

Lyrics 'The Rebel Jesus'

Friday, December 23, 2005


A Slow News Day so I will put up some background information ..

This is originally from the excellent Bulgarian news source Focus on the News, in English, I didn't have room for it when it first came up on their site, so I saved it for a slow day, it's for people who want to have some background on the question of Kosov, specifically on ethnic Turks in the region.
The non-Albanian Muslims of Kosovo include Bosnian Muslims, presnt for a very logn time, centuries, Roma-Ashkali, Gorani, and Gorani. of these, the Roma Ashkali and the Gorani have had the worst problems with Albanians as they've been percieved as haveing ties to the Serbians in Kosovo. Gorani, and Bosnian Muslims in Kosovo speak Bosnian or Serbian. I do not know what the Roma-Ashkali people there speak, but I know they were persecuted very much. The ethnic Turks are now a small population and have had an interesting history.

Information and Analysis

Some 92 years ago, they were the predominant nation in Kosovo. Now they struggle so that the United Nations Mission in Kosovo recognises their language as official. Who are those Turks, who live in the most critical region of the Balkans? Will the most pacific minority during the Kosovo crisis have its word to say in the Balkans where only violence resolves the problems? AIA brings a reference file on Kosovo Turks.

Kosovo Turks in history

Turkish existence in Yugoslavian territories goes back as early as to the 5th century with immigrations of Avar, Pecenek, Oghuz and Kuman tribes. Systematic settlement began however after the Ottoman conquest during the 14th century.
In 1389, Ottomans defeated Serbians and conquered Kosovo. Turks started to settle down in the region according to the Ottoman traditions. After the Russo-Turkish war in 1877-78, the domination of Ottomans in the region was attenuated, and gradually Turks became a minority. In 1913, Kosovo was integrated into Serbia. Since then and still legally Kosovo is a part of Serbia-Montenegro. Although the Ottoman heritage is still alive in the region, the official number of Turks is lower than one would expect: 15 to 20 thousand people. However in Kosovo, individual declarations of national identity depend on the political conditions of the period of time when official censuses are made.
When the census of 1948 is compared to that of 1953, it is seen that in the first census, the figure of Kosovo Turks is as low as 1300, whereas in the second one, this figure suddenly reaches 35.000. By 1948 the beginning of the Cold War, Turks of Kosovo were “suspects” for the Yugoslavian communist administration. Therefore Turks preferred to be registered as Albanians. In 1953 however as relations between Yugoslavia and Turkey were softened, relations between Yugoslavia and Albania were tense more than ever. This time Albanians were suspect. So Turks made themselves registered as Turks in order to obtain the permission of immigration to Turkey. In 1991, Turks suffered from Albanian assimilation pressures. During the census, 12 Turkish census officials had to resign under Albanian pressure. The result of that census showed the figure of Turks diminished to 12.000. In 2000, the census organised by the OSCE (Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe) was boycotted by Turks, who demanded the recognition of their mother language as one of the official languages of Kosovo - a privilege that was granted to them once with the Yugoslavian Constitution of 1974, though suppressed by Milosevic in 1989. Finally, the OSCE statistics estimated the figure of Turks between 15 and 20 thousand.
Although it is not possible to give any figure with solid evidences, many sources estimate the figure of Turks living in Kosovo between 50 and 80 thousand people. In any case, the figure of Kosovo Turks must be much higher than it appears in official censuses.
Turkish minority of Kosovo live mainly in Prizren, Sandzak, Mamusha, Gnjilane, Pristina, Mitrovica and Djakovica.
Between 1389 and 1913, Turks, being members of the predominant nation, lived peacefully in Kosovo. After 1912 however they had to endure many assimilation measures first from Serbians, and then from Albanians.
Serbia, which obtained its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1878 with the Berlin Treaty, began to “slav-ise” its new territories, including Kosovo after 1913. The “slavisation” meant to force by every possible means those, who qualified themselves as “Ottoman”, “Turk” or “Muslim” to immigrate into the frontiers of the retreating Ottoman Empire. During and after the Balkan Wars, there was a mass exodus to the imperial capital, which for a long time did not know how to help them. Before those wars, there were 2 million 315 thousand Turks in the Balkans. By 1913, only 1 million 682 thousand of them took refuge in Istanbul. As to what happened to those 633.000 no one ever asked. Statistics do not tell much but no doubt that Kosovo was one of the most suffered regions at that time.
During the 1930’s, the lands of Turks were forcibly confiscated in the name of the land nationalisation reform. Between 1923, when the Republic of Turkey was established, and 1939, 120.000 Turks emigrated from Yugoslavia to the new Turkish State.
It is known that Kosovo Turks participated in Tito’s resistance groups and fought against Nazis during the Second World War. After 1945, Turks were not permitted to leave the communist Yugoslavian Federation for fear that the West might consider that immigration as flight from communism.
Between 1956 and 1960, Turks suffered from severe pressures under the campaign for the collection of arms. Consequently, between 1954 and 1968, 175.000 people immigrated to Turkey.
Between 1968 and 1991, Turks were subject to the applications of assimilation by the Albanians. Especially with the recognition of the autonomous status of Kosovo in 1974, Kosovo’s Muslim Albanians started assimilating every other Muslim ethnicity in the region (Turks, Muslim Gypsies, Pomaks and Bosnians). For instance, they encouraged Turks to boycott Serbian schools. Those Turks, who did not follow that boycott, were called “Milos”, and some of them even suffered from physical violence. Ironically, in 1989 when Milosevic suppressed the autonomy of Kosovo, Turks were released from that Albanian pressure.
Turks and Serbs have a history of conflict dating back to the 14th century. This historical antagonism and the unity of faith of these Turks with Kosovo Albanians made out of Turks strong supporters of the NATO during the 1990’s. Turkey welcomed refugees fleeing the crisis, and agreed to take as many as 20.000 of them. After the war, they returned to their homes.

Turks in Kosovo’s political and social life


Despite all, Turks were able to survive and to preserve Turkish culture in Kosovo. Particularly Turks, who constitute a majority in Pristina and Dragas (city in south of Kosovo, near Gora region) continue their struggles to invigorate Turkish identity through cultural societies and political parties against Serbians and Albanians.
As the negotiations for the final status of Kosovo, it seems that Kosovo Turks have not made their mind yet. Some of them are for an independent Kosovo. Others paradoxically sympathise with Serbians for fear that Albanians, being the predominant ethnicity, would start another vague of violent assimilation, which may be ended with forced immigration.
It cannot be said that Turks within Yugoslavian territories in general are organised the way they should be. Other minorities in Yugoslavia like Greeks, Armenians and Jews, which are lower than 3000 people, represent a more solid unity and lead political activities proportional to their population. However it must be remembered that the secession of Macedonia from Yugoslavia destroyed the unity of Turkish minority in the region, and put Kosovo Turks in a difficult position.

There are three Turkish political parties in Kosovo:

· Turkish Public Front under the leadership of Sezai Saipi
· Turkish Democratic Union under the leadership of Erhan Köroglu, centred in Pristina
· Kosovo Turkish Democratic Party (KTDP) under the leadership of Mahir Yagcilar, centred in Prizren
(the only registered Turkish party of Kosovo)

Turkish Public Front is pro-Albanian, and accuses the other two parties of “servility to Serbians”. The Party opposes that Turks attend Turkish schools.
KTDP used to wish for a solution of the Kosovo issue, which would not harm the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia. However, since the violent events of March 2004, the KTDP President, Mahir Yagcilar claims that a coexistence of Serbians and Albanians in Kosovo is impossible: “Serbian thesis and Albanian thesis are completely opposite. It is impossible that they live together”. Yagcilar, who does not believe that Kosovo can be a part of Serbia anymore, proposes a special status for Kosovo, through which Kosovo will be integrated into the European Union.
Activities of Turkish Democratic Union and KTDP mainly consist in the maintenance of Turkish culture and education. Especially the foundation of KTDP in July 1990 appeased anxieties of the Turkish minority in the region, for during the one-party-system in Yugoslavia, minority rights were protected by the Communist Party. Closing of Turkish schools and discriminations against Turks had an end. Thus KTDP contributes to the preserving of the Turkish identity in Kosovo.
In the parliamentary elections on the 17th of November, 2001, KTDP, with 1 per cent of the popular vote, obtained 4 seats out of 120 seats in the Assembly (Kuvendi). In the parliamentary elections of the 23rd of October, 2004, KTDP raised up its vote percentage to 1.2, though obtained only 3 seats. Kosovo Assembly has a particularity. Along with 100 seats elected through proportional representation, there are 20 set-aside seats representing national minorities: 10 for Serbs, 4 for Romas, Ashkalis and Egyptians, 3 for Bosnians, 2 for Turks and 1 for Gorancis. Thus in 2001 and 2004 Turks were represented in the Assembly respectively with 6 and 5 seats. KTDP also obtained the Ministry of Health and one minister deputyship in current government of Kosovo. And by the 27th of September, 2005, Mamusha (near to Prizren) municipality is administrated by Turks.
There are also two cultural and artistic Turkish associations in Kosovo: Right Way (Dogru Yol) and Truth (Gercek). The purpose of these two associations is to keep the Turkish culture alive in Kosovo.


The main newspaper of Kosovo Turks was weekly Dawn (Tan), published under State control from 1969 until the end of the Kosovo conflict (1998-99). Before 1969, Kosovo Turks had no independent Turkish press. Another Turkish newspaper, the famous Unity (Birlik), published in Skopje by Macedonia Turks since 1944, also dealt with Kosovo Turks. After 1999, the first independent Turkish newspaper appeared: New Period (Yeni Dönem). Other important Turkish newspapers are:

· Our Voice (Sesimiz), the official newspaper of KTDP
· Your Environment (Cevren) since 1973
· Avalanche (Cig)
· Bird (Kus) since 1974
· Pearl (Inci)

Radio broadcasting in Turkish started as early as in 1951. As to television broadcasting in Turkish, it started by 1974. By civil initiative, Kosovo Radio-Television agreed to broadcast 5-minutes-long news and another 40-minutes-long program in weekends in Turkish. Along with Kosovo Radio, which transmitted 2-hours-long programs in Turkish, another two Turkish radios were founded: New Period Radio in Prizren and Kent FM Radio in Pristina. Since the 1st of February, 2003, the New Period Radio broadcasts in four languages: 21 hours in Turkish, 3 hours in Albanian, Bosnian and Roman. This is the first radio, which broadcasts in four languages in Kosovo.


The Yugoslavian Constitution of 1974 recognised Turkish as the official language everywhere Turks were majority. In 1989, Milosevic suppressed the status of Turkish as the third official language of the Federation. Nowadays, Kosovo Turks are fighting to take back this right. However neither the OSCE nor the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) seem to take this demand into account. According to the European Council, the language of a minority can be recognised as official if this minority represents a substantial percentage of some ethnic community. However, Turkey gives full support to Kosovo Turks in this matter and accepts no concession. When Bernard Kouchner, former head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) proposed the recognition of the Turkish language in regions where one of the elected local officials is a Turk, the proposition was categorically rejected by Ankara.
The owner of the Kosovan Turkish newspaper, Yeni Dönem and the New Period Radio, Mehmet Bütüc uttered his anxiety: “The Constitution of 1974 declared that Turkish be the official language in regions where Turks are majority. That formality depended on the Constitution. There is still such a formality but instead of the Constitution it depends on municipal regulations. This is a disadvantage for Turkish population. For instance, Prizren municipality accepts Turkish as official language. However if someday a conservative Albanian wins the municipal elections, he would suppress this status of the Turkish language. Our main struggle is to regain the constitutional guarantee”.
As to the President of KTDP, Mahir Yagcilar declared that as Kosovo Turks, they do not consider themselves as minority. Yagcilar emphasised that the Yugoslavian Constitution of 1974 recognised Turkish minority as one of the three founder ethnic communities of Kosovo, and accused the UNMIK: “All of negative measures against us were undertaken by this institution. This is the same UNMIK, which removed Turkish from official languages as soon as they settled in Kosovo”. It is significant that UNMIK periodicals like UNMIK News and UNMIK Chronicles give no information at all about Turkish minority in Kosovo.
However, it seems that first of all Kosovo Turks should prove their exact number in order to impose their demands on international platform.


After 1913, Serbia banned the Turkish education in Kosovo except some religious schools in Pristina and Prizren. By 1943, Turkish education completely disappeared from Kosovo. The judicial existence of the Turkish minority in Kosovo was recognised as late as in 1951. In fact, after the foundation of the Yugoslavian Federation in 1945, every minority obtained the right of education in their own language. However, Turks, who had to study in Serbian in schools until 1945, after that year were forced to study in Albanian. The right of education in Turkish was granted to the Turkish minority with a delay of six years. By the 5th of September, 1951 only Turks had the right to build their own schools where they are majority.
Today Kosovo Turks have their own schools in every educative level. In Prizren, Mamusha, Pristina, Gnjilane, Djakovica and Vucitrin, there are 3 kindergartens, 11 primary schools, 6 colleges and the Pristina University where on the whole 2532 Turkish students attend lectures. After the Kosovo conflict in 1998-99, the Kosovo Turkish Battalion Task Force Commandership located in Prizren and founded a kindergarten (“Mehmetcik” after the symbolic name of Turkish soldiers) in 2001. In this kindergarten, there are two classes that educate children in Turkish.


For Balkan Muslims in general, more than ethnic identity, religious identity is the main determinant element. Balkan Muslims learnt Islam through Bektasi Sufi dervishes and other orders’ priests coming from Anatolia. That is why they are bound still today with Sufi orders. Especially in Kosovo, there are dervish lodges (tekke) of all of religious orders (mainly those of Bektasi order) in every city. Rafai Lodge in Prizren welcomes every Thursday many Albanians, Turks, Bosnians and Goranis for rites. Entering the lodge, everyone leaves their national identity behind and behaves according to their Muslim identity only.

Turkey-Kosovo relations

Former Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hikmet Cetin remembered an interesting moment during one meeting about Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992: “Turkey was also invited (to the meeting). Milosevic, Karadzic were all there. Beside me, the American Secretary for Foreign Affairs [Lawrence Sidney Eagleburger] was sitting. He had been Ambassador to Yugoslavia for seven years. He turned to me, and said, How come you succeeded to remain in these terrible territories for 500 years?” [Zaman newspaper, 22.9.1994]
This “success” can be explained by “pax ottomana”. It must be emphasised that “pax” means here political and ethnic stability. Except some turbulent periods, the Ottoman Empire managed to provide to the Balkans a supra-identity, namely the Ottoman identity, which was hard to demolish even after the rise of the nationalism during the 19th century.
During the Ottoman reign, thousands of Bosnians, Albanians, Pomaks and Roma Gypsies were converted to Islam by their free will. They accepted Islam in order to be integrated into the predominant nation, Turks, and also to have the Ottoman protection against Christian Serbians and Bulgarians. These Balkan Muslims ethnically are not Turks. They speak the same languages as Serbians and Bulgarians. However they feel themselves closer to Turks than to their Slav kinsmen because of their religion. Moreover throughout history and still today, Serbians diffuse the image of a monolithic Muslim community whereas they demolish the unity of Orthodox Christianity in the Balkans in the name of nationalist ideals. Turk, Pomak (a Muslim Bulgarian), Bosnian (a Slav Muslim) or Goranci (a Slav Muslim connected to Pomaks and Torbs of Macedonia), for Serbians they are all “Turks”, for they are all Muslims. Therefore, today Turkey is not only responsible for a couple of millions of Balkan Turks, but also for almost 10 millions of Balkan Muslims whatever their ethnic origin may be. This is the historical responsibility of Turkey.
The psychological affection of Balkan Muslims towards Turkey is still alive. Kosovo Roma Gypsies still protect the banner (sancak) confined to them by the Ottoman Sultan as a reward of their loyalty and courage in war times. During demonstrations in Belgrade in 1997, some carried banners with slogans like “Where are the days under Ottoman reign” on them. The intense affection showed to the Kosovo Turkish Battalion Task Force surprised foreign observers and journalists at that time. Every official visit from Turkey provokes great enthusiasm in Kosovo. For many Muslim Albanians, Turkish is a second language. Ottoman marks are imprinted on their wedding feasts and other festivities. Ironically, they remain more loyal to the Ottoman memory than Turkey itself. Prizren has every quality to be a perfect model for an Ottoman city.
Kosovo Turks take great care to hold their political and economic relations with Turkey at the highest, and follow every evolution in Turkey. Especially Prizren has intense commercial and social relations with Turkey. Almost every family member has a relative in Turkey.
So far Turkey participated in
KFOR, UNMIK and OSCE missions with soldiers, police agents and specialists in order to contribute to the security and stability in Kosovo. Turkish troops not only perform security missions, but humanitarian missions as well, including building schools and roads, restoring historical buildings, healthcare and social work. The Turkish presence in Kosovo is very visible.
Turkey does not change its Kosovo policy. During his Pristina and Belgrade visits in October 2005, Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdullah Gül stated: “Kosovo cannot turn to the period before the NATO intervention in 1999. Kosovo can be neither divided nor annexed to neighbouring countries. Except these, all other options will be saluted”. Serbia claims that thus Turkey does not support the independence of Kosovo. However Turkey’s position is more complicated than that.
Turkey worries that the independence of Kosovo would be a precedent for the solution of its own internal problems. Moreover, Turkey, which focuses on the European Union membership, does not want to clash with the Slav-Orthodox bloc in the Balkans.
However Turkey, on its own soil, has a considerable Kosovo Albanian population, who has several solidarity associations in Istanbul:

- Kosovans Solidarity Association (Shoqata e Kosovarëve)
- Pristina Culture and Solidarity Association (Shoqata e Pristinasve)
- Prizren Solidarity and Culture Association (Shoqata e Prizrenasve)
- Kosovo Gnjilane Association (Shoqata e Gjilanasve)

In Turkey, the number of people with Balkan origins is estimated over one million. Some of these people have relatives in Kosovo and elsewhere. Therefore Turkey should consider its responsibility over the Balkans beyond its self interests. The rather passive attitude of Turkey over Kosovo issue is criticised in Turkey as well.
According to the deputy president of the Turkish National Security Strategies Research Centre (TUSAM), Ali Külebi Turkey should adopt a “multi-dimensional foreign policy”. In this regard, Turkey should take benefit from its potential influence over the Balkans as well.
To start, Turkey may subsidise more Turkish education and cultural activities in Kosovo. Kosovo Turks lack many educative materials in Turkish. They demand the increase of the quota for students, who will attend lectures in Turkey, and also the equivalence of diplomas received in Turkey. Ankara may intervene with the UNMIK administration in the name of these Turks, who live in the most critical region of the Balkans.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


eXile reports on Maoist rebels in India

Yes far from the Balkans but is alwasy informative, and beautifully snarky.
This article illustrates the dangers of haveing failed to eradicate the caste system in India. In most of the world no one really believes in Communism in any form now. India might be the exception.


A bit from everywhere.

Gotovina coverage, looks like Sanadar has to go testify, he's likely to get a subpeona.
Sanader to testify in Gotovina trial?

Birf Flu moving west.

Bird Flu in Serbia?

Next month is the Hajj month and the Bosnians who are going by bus have left already.

Bosnians leave for Hajj
Trafficking doesn't happen without police complicity.
Two BiH policemen arrested for Human Trafficking
War crimes suspects have been arrested in Republika Srpska.
War Crimes suspects arrested in RS

So far the new constitution for BiH hasn't been agreed on. I hope it happens soon, because many aspects of law in BiH could stand to be modernized.
Constitution still being debated in BiH

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


camp bondsteel [kosovo i metohija]

camp bondsteel [kosovo i metohija]
Originally uploaded by gustomaina.

your tax dollars at work, this is huge!


This and That.

I'm recovering from a migraine so this is going to be short. First up, the Scorpions trial is on and Medic has no remorse for his deeds, indeed he wishes he'd shot the guy who filmed the whole thing, and his defense lawyer is trying to say the film is at least partly a fake. We shall see, looked real enough to me.

No Remorse

The Kosovo Macedonia Railroad is being reopened.
Kosovo-Macedonia Railway

Gotta love this story! I guess the men just were sitting around the coffee-bars instead of doing some work. Good luck to the lassies! :)
Lazy Men

A new blog in the Balkans Blogosphere, on Albania, not Kosovo. Check it out, interesting stuff.
Our Man in Tirana

in Bulgarian news services a flurry of BiH related stories on terrorism....

The clumsy search for Mladic continues

Terrorists in BiH

Yet another arms cache Interestingly enough this is in Republika Srpska, the implications were that somehow these were terrorists of a group not likely to be present in Republika Srpska

I think they wanted to distract everyone from this story:
Hostage rescued
The poor man was sexually abused and is reported to not be in good condition.

This story made me laugh but I also felt sorry for the humiliated couple...
Caught in the act and I do mean caught, if you know what I mean and I think you do!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Was Gotovina in the pay of the CIA? and other stuff.

Slobdna Dalmacija has an article about this.
Gotovina in CIA pay?

Rest of the Story

Srebenica Televised killigns on trial

Companies which operate like Lidl ought to be banned, in fact my attitude on this is that banning might be too much mercy. I did not hear about the headband story, it's DISGUSTING! The ones that thought of that one should be lined up and shot. Read down a little you will see what I'm talking about. I'm glad people in Croatia don't want these sorts of companies in their country, shows that they have more balls than Americans, or Germans for that matter. Do you realize how hard it is to have a company with no Workers Council in Germany, the Walmart in Germany has a Workers Council and the German Walmart workers may be the only satisfied Walmart workers in the world. They were in the film about Walmart shown Dec. 2 at the Yakima Gulag People's Institute of Higer Re:Education.
And you thought Walnart was bad?

Didn't the Kosovo-Metohija thing get tried before? Actually at the time it worked then Milosevic took away that status which was one of the causes of the war in the Balkans. I'm not sure if independance for Kosovo is the solution or not, but I do know that autonomy, even broad reaching autonomy was too vulnerable, and it will only start the next war.


More Kosovo news....

And monkeying around with property rights is not going to help either! One thing that could be said for the Balkans is that property rights, particularly the rights involveing land, were more respected from even the most ancient times than property rights in the West even. So to see this sort of thing happening, is very disquieting to say t he least. I should make note of one fact about the article, while in general , is an objective source, Serbiana in general is not objective, they have a dfeinate point of view, still if indeed this is what is happening, then I have to say that the seeds of the next war could be in these types of abuses. The Serbs were wrong to massacre and oppress Albanians in Kosovo, but the Albanians don't get the right to plunder and drive out Serbs from that fact.
I am not happy if the West is aiding and abetting such a process.

Ramzan Shiti Captured

In Bosnia Hercegovina an idea who'se time has come.
Stronger Central Cabinet in BiH

Interestingly the site characterized Bulgaria as racist on the basis of this survey.

Attitudes toward immigrants

and in furter Bulgarian news..
First of Balgarian Troops Return From Iraq

Monday, December 19, 2005


A story barely reported in the U.S...

I have been overwhelmed by other stuff to post about and this story only peripherally relates to the Balkans, so I've held off.
Basically in the area of Sydney, there is a beach which has a monument to 7 people who died in the terrorst attack in Bali.
There were riots organized by SMS, sort of like a 'flash mob' but it was instead a riot. Various neo-NAZI types began beating up on 'wogs' which in this case meant every sort of people from Lebanse to assorted Balkans types at the beach. The Lebanese however were particular targets, and they got pretty riled. There rumors and I need to stress that these were RUMORS, that the Lebanese, all three religions, the Greeks, and the Serbs had allied themselves to fight the Australian 'white suppremicists' on the beach. There is an online friend of mine who lives in Australia who has been keeping me up with developements.
Basically, people in Australia go to the beach this time of year, it's Summer down there, and Christmas beach barbeques are normal for everybody there.
Anyway last weekend there was a massive police presence to prevent hooliganism at the beach, but the real test is when the police ARE NOT there.
My friend in Australia is ethnically Croat, and he worried he might get attacked by one side or another. People are a bit puzzled generally because Australians may use some rather objectional racial terms but I still found the fact of race riots in modern day Australia just wierd. It's gotten no coverage in our press, probably because it was the White 'Anglo-Celtic' Australians that started it. God forbid any acknowlegement that they could be really doing this.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Winter Holiday in the Gulag

Winter Holiday in the Gulag
Originally uploaded by Yakima_gulag.

Well here in the Yakima Gulag, this is what our Christmas tree looks like ooops did i say Christmas? No it's Winter Holiday! mwahahahahaha!

Went out with Ivan the Terrible, to shop, first he needed to have his car serviced, tire repair the long overdue oil change, so we went out for breakfast in a local eattery. I heard the strains of an accordian, and realized it sounded like it was a live performer, on a SUNDAY morning in a RESTARAUNT, not a bar, he was playing Christmas tunes and wandered about playing and wering this silly hat with a plush reindeer head on it, kids were totally charmed and the normally very serious Ivan the Terrible was highly ammused, one little girl was so delighted, it was fun to watch her.
Anyway after the car was ready we went Chrismas shopping and got the stuff bought! YEAH hvala Bog!

Saturday, December 17, 2005



Handwriting Analysis

What does your handwriting say about YOU?

OK I am going to try the same thing another way just for kicks.

I can't do Cyrillic with a mouse! it's really a pain that it's so hard to achieve smoothness that way.
Handwriting Analysis

What does your handwriting say about YOU?


The agent who led the team that caught Gotovina was from Dalmacija

The head of the team that located Gotovina was from Dalmacija
It's worth noteing that Dalmacija is a bit different from Slavonia. The history while shared, is different, and there are some differences of dialect, nothing huge, but enough that perhaps only a Dalmacijan could have led such a team.

Rest of the story

UPUĆEN U ITALIJU Kao najinteligentniji u Karamarkovoj ekipi pokazao se agent iz Dalmacije, koji je, među ostalim, upućen u Italiju da provjeri sadržaj famozne torbe bačene u proljeće ove godine iz neidentificiranog BMW-a

piše Jasna BABIĆ

Za Mladena Bajića i Tomislava Karamarka, početna točka potrage za Antom Gotovinom bilo je preispitivanje jedinih dviju osoba koje su, prema vlastitim tvrdnjama, srele haaškog bjegunca: Ivu Pukanića koji je s Gotovinom napravio intervju, i Juru Kapetanovića koji se s Gotovinom navodno sreo nedaleko od Mostara.
Kapetanovićeva priča pokazat će se pukim hvalisanjem, no legende o Pukanićevu susretu iz 2003. učinile su se vjerodostojnim. Prema vrlo upućenim izvorima Slobodne Dalmacije, početkom 2005. višekratnim čitanjem i ponovnom analizom Gotovinina intervjua u Nacionalu, izveden je zaključak da taj razgovor nije obavljen iz Hrvatske, e-mailom ili putem "kurira", premda ga Gotovina, vrlo vjerojatno, nije osobno autorizirao.
Veza Mišetić - Pukanić

Luka Mišetić - branitelj generala Ante GotovineIntervju je imao vrlo jasne namjere. Jedna: da Gotovina iskaže naklonost prema predsjedniku Stjepanu Mesiću, kojeg je trebalo pridobiti da u diplomatskim krugovima lobira za ukidanje njegove haaške optužnice. I druga: da Gotovina naknadno prizna legitimitet Haaškoga tribunala, od kojeg se očekivalo da mu vrati status osumnjičenika i ranije prokockanu šansu za razgovor s haaškim istražiteljima.
U drugom koraku utvrđeno je da hrvatsko-američki odvjetnik Luka Mišetić, na jednoj strani, učestalo komunicira s Pukanićem, a na drugoj - s haaškim bjeguncem. Zbog toga je bila nužna mala asistencija Amerikanaca, koju je osobno ishodio premijer Ivo Sanader.
Spriječen odljev informacija

Ivo Pukanić - s Gotovinom napravio intervjuU posljednjem broju Nacionala, sam Pukanić piše kako je Sanaderu, negdje na početku njegova premijerskog mandata, ishodio vlastoručnu Gotovininu "akreditaciju" za Mišetića.
No, sve ostalo, uključujući otkriće lažne putovnice i fiktivnog identiteta Kristijana Horvata, obavila je POA pod vodstvom aktualnog ravnatelja Tomislava Karamarka. Preuzevši šefovsko mjesto u POA-i, Karamarko se obvezao da će, prije svega, spriječiti tradicionalni odljev povjerljivih informacija iz redova tajne službe...
U to ime sastavio je neveliku skupinu probranih obavještajaca, po modelu tzv. Ostojićeve grupe, koja je do 2004. postojala u Ravnateljstvu MUP-a, angažirana također za lov na Gotovinu. Kao najinteligentniji u Karamarkovoj ekipi pokazao se agent iz Dalmacije, koji je, među ostalim, upućen u Italiju da provjeri sadržaj famozne torbe bačene u proljeće ove godine iz neidentificiranog BMW-a. U torbi je, podsjećamo, pronađena i zemljopisna karta Kanarskog otočja.
Vrhunski profesionalci

Jure Kapetanović - hvalio se susretom s GotovinomUkratko, u svom prekjučerašnjem izvješću pred Vijećem sigurnosti UN-a Carla del Ponte obznanila je pravu istinu: uhićenje Ante Gotovine na španjolskim Tenerifima prvenstvena je zasluga hrvatskih istražiteljskih snaga. Kako haaška tužiteljica reče, 30. rujna od Hrvatske je dobila nepobitan dokaz da se Gotovina skriva u Španjolskoj, pa je dala pozitivnu ocjenu hrvatsko-haaške suradnje, kao uvjet za početak hrvatskih pristupnih pregovora s EU-om.
"Ljudi koje je Karamarko izabrao za taj zadatak pokazali su se sjajnim profesionalcima koji doista služe državi i nacionalnom interesu. Vodeći tu operaciju, zatomili su čak svoje osobne simpatije za Antu Gotovinu", ističe upućeni sugovornik Slobodne Dalmacije. S obzirom na dosadašnju strategiju Gotovininih odvjetnika, ne treba čuditi ako isti tim, zajedno s Bajićem, obavi i lavovski dio posla za njegovu obranu.

Suradnja s "Ostojićevom grupom"

Sve do uključivanja Bajića i Karamarka u potragu za Gotovinom, haaška tužiteljica Carla del Ponte nije vjerovala u iskrenost hrvatskih namjera da se bjegunac locira i uhiti zbog nekoliko, prilično logičnih, razloga. Kada je u Hrvatsku, za Račanove vlade, stigla haaška optužnica, Gotovina je o tome dobio neslužbenu informaciju, uz dovoljno vremena za bijeg.
Njegov intervju za Nacional u Haagu se također pomno čitao. Bilo im je jasno da je dio državnog vrha koncentriran na ukidanje optužnice, uz pritiske političko-diplomatskih krugova na Haag, dok ignorira nalog o uhićenju. Zato je uspostavljena suradnja s tzv. Ostojićevom grupom, koja je već 2002. imala prve indicije da se bjegunac povremeno pojavljuje u španjolskom dijelu Afrike.
Jure Kapetanović, koji se po vlastitim tvrdnjama, s Gotovinom našao kod Mostara, samo je učvrstio mišljenje da Sanaderova Vlada vara Haag. Nije isključeno da je, unatoč oprezu, negdje procurila vijest kako je POA Gotovini na tragu, pa je Kapetanović trebao poslužiti za ometanje potrage u pravom smjeru.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Carnival of the Balkans izvolite!

Heard the Word of Blog?

An exchange of letters from deep in the Balkans Blogosphere....

OK, I'll announce, but be prepared that many will decide not to respond
to the theme and will send whatever, and then YOU have to figure out
how to make that connection. Heck, if I send you a whole series of food
posts (prscut!), I guess you can find a way to weave "adjustment" into
it somehow...

Dear B...., actually yes, I can make an article about how the
deprivation of REAL prscut can be mind numbing and traumatic, same goes
for the lack of the correct coffee! or the lack of those sugar cubes
which when dunked into the coffee cause that lovely fizzing, or how the
fact that once one gets used to a diet which includes garlic or green
onions even at breakfast the worst thing is going back to the American
way of not haveing garlic on a week day because those petty effete
corporately casual effete delicate Anglo-Americans simply CAN'T TAKE IT!!!
mvxaxaxxaxaxax! it takes little creativity and what the hell it's too
late now, :)
Thanks for all your help technical and otherwise!
laku noc!
Oooooh! I love that! It is sooooooo Correct!


I don't want to trivialize the feelings of that transition by makeing it all about food, but food is a part of matierial culture and a source of comfort as well as nourishment...I am also talking about things like the political atmosphere what people wear, what music they like, the smell of the air, what's it like to go to a party, what's it like to take a walk...

So from Bora over at Science and Politics,a bit about food, and memories it evokes...

Breakfast Chocolate Cream of Wheat
I got sick over there the second trip and the big thing I missed was not Cream of Wheat, it was oatmeal, I longed for a good dish of oatmeal and the oats were whole, and you had to cook them in milk and they burned too easily. I was really frustrated because you don't really have to cook oatmeal.. You put hot water on it, and then do whatever with it, but this burned easily and drove me simply kuku! I like the picture because now I know where to find cream of wheat if I want it! Thanks Bora! Sometimes adjustment is finding the local item closest to what you liked at home. But in America there is no real prscut, that is a skill that must be passed from father to son, and it is some delicious stuff! I miss prscut terribly, and lozo for that matter which is something I didn't really like the first time I had it..I learned to like it later...
The other thing I missed badly was tacos! last time I came back, I was in a bad mood, and then I smelled tacos in a new small restaraunt in downtown Seattle and followed my noes in and ate a big plate of tacos drenched in salsa and washed down with Dos Equis. It definately made being back feel better! And to talk in Spanish with the guy who owned the restaraunt, that was good too.

Food Beautiful Food! from Science and Politics I sat and drooled over the pictures of beef prscut, I have to admit preference for the original variety made from pork! and Ajvar, Bora my introduction to Ajvar was the same brand you have there, from Bulgaria. It's available in Seattle at the Souk, a shop run by tow guys from Pakistan. I get it when I go there. No it's not like salsa it doesn't have the effect on my system that a good chutney or salsa has on my system but it does taste nice with boiled eggs! :)

The East West transition or the West East transition interests me a lot, partly because I have experienced it myself and partly because on compareing notes, i think I have experienced it differently from others.

Actually for me the big adjustment was comeing back here. I have family here, grown childre, grandchildren, and of course I have friends, but it was always really hard to come back all the same.
The usual shock for someone born in the States is on going there..the usual feeling of relief is on going back to the States, for me it was the other way around.
So much is different. and for most Americans going there is harder, physically, culturally, of course linguistically, a difficulty I soon over came, if not perfectly, at least enough to get by
It felt more natural to me there. It's funny how much of what is normal there was pretty much what I did left to myself and how much of what is the normal custom of Americans annoys me or feels wrong, or is something I have to force myself to do or not do...

For some people who'se entries I've included the shock was being from the Balkans and comeing to and trying to understand the West, and for some the shock was going from the West to the Balkans. Either way, there's been some good writeing on the subject in the part of the Blogosphere devoted to the Balkans.

The next two selections, are respectively an American Belgrade, in Serbia and an Englishman in Serbia,

An American in Belgrade

Eddie in Serbia's take on things

Several posts by Micheal Manke, an American who lives in Slovenia.

How to Learn Slovenian

The San Diego Reader Article

Darko V raised mostly in the States but sent home to ensure that he would not lose his culture and language. Here is one of his darker memories...I love how Darko writes.
Warning, bleak descripitons of suicide..
The Deep Fall

New Kids on the Balkans Blogospere Block:

Balkan Baby An English guy in Zagreb, amuseing

article about the British Embassy Christmas party in Zagreb..

IllyrianGazetteIllyrian Gazette,Catherine a Croatian young lady liveing in London

From Halfway Down the Danube, An American noteing differences in how and when respective National Days are celebrated

Halfway Down the Danube

To put it mildly, the fact that one is a member of a terrorist organization of any sort is a sign one has adjusted poorly to a transition,
This article is about Croatian terrorists who lived in New York in the mid 20th century. There is some kind of a thriller type detective book about these guys that I read. A friend wanted me to read it for fact checking purposes, and I could barely get through it. I wish I could have refered her then to this blog, because Slavs of New York has done a very thorough job of research. This blog is overall a very good source for information of interest to Slavic people liveing in New York City.

Croatian Terrorists in New York

The next entry from Slavs of New York shows that traditionally there may have been a different attitude in at least some parts of the Balkans about special parts of one's body. I warn ahead of time that organs which should be covered are bared and that this is a definate Not Safe For Work entry.
I don't know if any of the customs refered to in fact are still part of anyone's life now. Perhaps the value is more in shock than in culture. Some of the images portray men and some portray women. I did not find it especially shocking but some might and the boss will not be amused.

Not Safe For Work.

Balkans Erotic Epic

For someone who has packed up and done the 'Wagons East' act, language could be a problem,
here is an article from Micheal Manske's The Glory of Carniola'Slovenian Language

I had a LOT of fun with some fairly minor language differences between Croatia and BiH, and how people dealt with my efforts in their language were usually kind, and they tried to help. STill mutual understanding wasn't always so easily achieved.
There is also the fun of new swears, agan from The Glory of Carniola Not Safe for Work! :) serously bad language!


this link may work better, thanks whoever on TGC!

Diabtribe that works! NOT SAFE FOR WORK

I still haven't got over the polite, soft spoken 'thanks that's all' at the end, after all the nasty things he wants to do to their mothers!

gleaned from Bora's exhaustive archives, and links,

This article is one of the better summing ups of thoughts I too have had about rual America and the effect of talk radio on people generally. Those little stations like we got here in the Gulag that only have right wing talk radio, who have brainwashed people for better than the last ten years to the point where what Rush says, what Harvey says, what Mike Savage and Sean Hanity have to say is a matter of belief, not argument but belief, and they'll kick your ass over the matter has bothered me a long time. In the Balkans actually this is countered a bit better on the local scale, at least in terms of music available. There was also Radio Blue Sky in Kosovo which dedicated itself to countering that kind of thing. Sometimes for me at least haveing a good look at the East West West East transition has been of use figureing out the United States.

Rush Limbaugh and the Yugoslavization of America

Just for kicks, here's a link to Radio Blue Sky.
Radio Blue Sky

I find it interesting that the U.S. military is aware of the negative effects of 'hate radio'

on people in the Balkans but will not fully face the reality of these effects on the minds of

American soldiers. Believe me guys like Mike Savage are WELL aware of the effect they are
haveing and and they are damned prould of it. What is it going to take for Americans to learn

something from the experience of peace-keeping in Kosovo?


Today marks the end of the Bosnian war

I remember reading that the end of the war came in one of the worst winters recorded in Bosnia and Hercegovina and that those people who moved around to be in the different entities suffered very greatly in the move, there were some pictures in the New Yorker at that time that were heart rending, but there was one thing, a very important thing, she shooting was over, and there was a chance to make something better.
War basically falls into two catagories, attack and defense, it does not come in good and bad, because it's all bad. To pick a side in a war is to decide between two evils.
That does not mean both sides are morally equivalent, it means that both sides have taken up arms and one is decideing who is closer to being justified in so doing. Sometimes the decision is taken because of where one's land is, where are one's family liveing, sometimes the decision is taken for you because of these things.
Some people never got a choice whether or not to fight.
As war has gotten more modern, more people do come home wounded, but alive, but more people are affected by modern means of war, it's at the point where in a modern war the safest thing to be is a soldier, and the most un safe situation is that of a non combatant. I would have less problem with war if it was soldiers, fairly matched, fighting away from people who are not soldiers. I could almost respect that, but it's not like that, if it ever really was.
A lot of thngs about modern life are barbarous and cruel, the level of war fare, the consequences of war, and the fact it is so common.
The other barbarous facts of war are lands destroyed by such things as landmines, atomic fallout, and pure destruction. The lives of people destroyed by the loss of their loved ones, of life and limb, of honor, and a place to live and the means of liveliehood, whether that means was agricultural, industrial or commercial.
You don't realize haw bad war is until you go someplace where there recently was a war, and simply look around, and talk to people, or unless you have had the misfortune to be in a war. For most of us war is only theoretical, until it happens where we live.


Gotovina the only Croat from Croatia currently in The Hague

ICTY optužio 93 Srba,
32 Hrvata i 10 Bošnjaka
ICTY has accused 93 Serbs, 32 Croats and 10 Bosniaks,

Front Page

The rest of the

Also the judges are getting really bored with Slobodan Milosevic's delays and general time wasteing

And someone was pissy about letting me link to the story!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Bound for Glory Online Exhibit

Thanks Metafilter!

This exhibit you have to see, especially anyone who loved the seris 'Carnivale' will like it, because it bears out what I told my son's friends that the portral of how America looked in the era of the Great Depression, it's a marvelous exhibit and do have a look please.


I get visitors from all over!

I may not have a very big readership, but I certainly have a widespread audience, don't know how it happened that they are so widespread but it's almost scary!
I wish I could hear from some of the visitors and know what got them to visit, and perhaps if they have blogs visit their blogs. The one from Czech Republic is I think known to me Pozdrav Kuba! but who the heck would be reading my words in Mongolia? That's wild! it's cool too! Thanks Bora for turning me on to this means of finding out how far away people are reading my stuff. Interesting my U.K. readership is going up and someone is reading me regularly in Dublin Ireland. That's cool! a nifty little ego-boost!

Valleyford, Washington
Slovenia Podsmreka, Beltinci
Canada Maple Ridge District Municipality, British ...
United States Valleyford, Washington
United Kingdom London, Lambeth
United States Seattle, Washington
United States Dearborn, Michigan
Unknown Country
United States Huntsville, Alabama
United States Valleyford, Washington
Australia Pyrmont, New South Wales
Canada Halifax, Nova Scotia
Serbia and Montenegro Loznica
Germany Karlsruhe, Baden-Wurttemberg
United States Valleyford, Washington
Canada Burnaby, British Columbia
United States Huntsville, Alabama
United States Olympia, Washington
United Kingdom London, Lambeth
[1] 2 3 4 5

United States Carrboro, North Carolina
United States Valleyford, Washington
United States Huntsville, Alabama
New Zealand Auckland
United States Valleyford, Washington
United States Valleyford, Washington
United States Saint Louis, Missouri
Czech Republic Zln, Zlinsky Kraj
United States Valleyford, Washington
United States
United States Valleyford, Washington
United States Huntsville, Alabama
United States Valleyford, Washington
Norway Oslo
United Kingdom London, Lambeth
Ireland Dublin
United Kingdom Five Oaks, Birmingham
Germany Karlsruhe, Baden-Wurttemberg

Satellite Provider
United Kingdom London, Lambeth
United States Carrboro, North Carolina
United States Mountain View, California
United States New York
United States Valleyford, Washington
United States Issaquah, Washington
United States Saint Louis, Missouri
United Kingdom London, Lambeth
United States Valleyford, Washington
United States Sicklerville, New Jersey
United States Ormond Beach, Florida
United States Valleyford, Washington
Croatia Zagreb, Grad Zagreb
United States Valleyford, Washington
United Kingdom Harthill, Falkirk
United States Aliso Viejo, California
United States Oakland, California
Germany Hagenbusch, Nordrhein-Westfalen
1 2 [3] 4 5
United Kingdom Warlingham, Bromley
United States Saint Charles, Missouri
Canada Cobourg, Ontario
France Paris, Ile-de-France
United States Carrboro, North Carolina
United States Huntsville, Alabama
United States Valleyford, Washington
United Kingdom London, Lambeth
United States Canton, Michigan
United States San Diego, California
Canada Burnaby, British Columbia
United States Saint Louis, Missouri
United States Yakima, Washington
Croatia Zagreb, Grad Zagreb
United Kingdom London, Lambeth
United States Canton, Michigan
United States Huntsville, Alabama
United States Valleyford, Washington
Spain Santander, Cantabria
United States Huntsville, Alabama
1 2 3 [4] 5

United States Valleyford, Washington
United States Boston, Massachusetts
United Kingdom London, Lambeth
France Pantin, Ile-de-France
United Kingdom Bloomsbury, Newham
Germany Kleinumstand, Nordrhein-Westfalen
United States Boston, Massachusetts
United States Poway, California
Australia Regent, Victoria
United States Huntsville, Alabama
United States Hillsboro, Oregon
Unknown Country
United Kingdom London, Lambeth
Unknown Country
United States
Unknown Country
United States Valleyford, Washington
United States Brookline Village, Massachusetts
United States Canton, Michigan
Australia Riverwood, New South Wales
1 2 3 4 [5]


Innocent Victims

Don't read this story at work. It deals with the most innocent victims of the war in Bosnia Hercegovina. The ones no one will talk about.

Innocent victims

This story illustrates something important, and that is that when war is 'over' it really isn't.

Another thing I would like to say. In the Algerian war of independance the French raped women often in great numbers and often in very similar circumstances to how women were reaped in BiH.
Remember Algeria is to this day a Muslim country. The stigma towards women who have been raped is also a deep part of that culture.

The victorious revolutionary Algerian government took a very different approach to the problems of those women who were raped in the War of Liberation.
The Algerian government did provide compensation for these women. They also did something a bit unique for a Muslim country, they declared those women Martyrs of the Revolution! They gave them twice the dowry customary at the time for a virgin and encouraged men to marry them as an act of patriotism. That is what the Bosnian government should have done, and failed to do.

It's not like the example of how the Algerians handled this wasn't out there to be followed.

Algeria has had it's problems since, but at least Algerian people in the future can look with pride in their country and say 'we tried to do something better, we tried to pioneer a different approach.'

People in the Balkans generally were aware of Algeria, and the Algerian revolution, in fact anyone who has plotted revolution has to study Algeria!


Gotovina pleads not guilty

Front Page

The rest of the story

Even if you don't read Croatian there are pictures.

Monday, December 12, 2005


Yet further coverage of reactions to the Gotovina arrest

Front Page
There has been a very large turnout of people in the streets in support of General Gotovina in the area of Croatia where he came from and I suppose it's to be expected.
rest of story
The second part of the story is noticiably shorter than what appeared yesterday, but there are lots of pictures. Predictiable expressions of support from the usual suspects of course.

Maro Profaca Mario's Cyberspacestation
further coverage about the trial, and the ability to watch it live if you want, and more information than most people will ever suspect exists in open sources about the Gotovina case.

of course further demonstrations in Croat areas of BiH.


Three days to Carnival of the Balkans!!!

Heard the Word of Blog?

Please feel free to submit on the Theme of East-West or West-East transitions. So far there are a wealth of terrific entries on this theme, some which I have recieved, and some which I have found, on all sorts of ways the transition is experienced. It's a fairly flexiable theme, don't let that intimidate you!

Sunday, December 11, 2005


9,675 finished NaNoWriMo

I was happy to hear that NaNo raised the money it wanted to raise for the libraries in Laos project AND out of over 64,000 participants, 9,675 finished with 50,000 words or more. It was cool too because a woman started a small press for NaNo people to submit for publication. That was cool. I will be submitting my work there first.
ONce I have it edited a bit.


Further obsessive coverage of the Gotovina case....

Personally if I were hideing from authorities I think an island would be a poor selection. For one thing, it's relatively harder to escape an island if the need arizes. I suppose if one had a boat of some sort and were a decent sailor, that might be different, if one had friends there it might also be different. Apparently this is the case here. So maybe the answer to the question why a double bed in that hotel room has been ansewered? mozda...
A lot of Croats do learn Spanish at some point, there's usually at least some Spanish language programing on HRT and Spanish is closely related to the Italian language and again it's a language people from coastal regions may well learn to speak at least a few handy phrases, a lot of Dalmacijans in fact have at least some Italian ancestry. So him knowing Spanish isn't odd. Anyway they hasve busted me down to lowly earth worm over at TTLB so here I am digging up the real dirt for you!

Gotovina was in the Canaires Before

Of course coverage from Slobodna Dalmaicja continues...

Slobodna Dalmacija Front Page

Rest of the Story

Of course the search for Karadzic is on-going but it reminds me of a Nasrudin story. Nasrudin lost his key, so he went to look for it in the street, under the street lamp, and a passerby asked 'Why do you look for your keys here Nasrudin?' 'Well the light is here, and it is dark in my house, it's just easier to look here!'
Search for Karadzic

More questions are being raised about Camp Bondsteel and the possibility of a Gitmo like facility there. There is an actual picture of the inside of Camp Bondsteel. It looks like it's a cold winter down in Kosovo.
Questions about Camp Bondsteel

Saturday, December 10, 2005


Osmrtnice: Two notable Americans pass...

Richard Pryor

Senator Eugene McCArthy

and my friend G.R. lost a family member he had a lot of respect and affection for.
mo bron ar an Bhais!


United Nations Human Rights Day

Here in the Yakima Gulag, a number of us who habitually consider Human Rights an issue got togehter to mark the Anniversary of the Adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Traditionally we read the declaration by candle light, and then go hang out awhile someplace to drink coffee and talk about human rights, and how to better promote them. That's what we did, and it was good, saw a lot of people I've known for years.
Went out for lunch with a former co-worker and had the mixed grill at the Olive Garden. That was great! It is damn cold here! Supposedly it's 15 Fareneit but it feels colder. I got my stuff for my sister mailed out, and I found a very funny card for her, a Farside one. We both love the Farside.
Now I'm home warming up the house. I need to go to sleep early, I stepped on somthing hard that stripped me up downtown and skinned my right knee pretty nastily. Sorting through entiries to Carnival of the Balkans and deciding how to organize it all. There are some things I found that seemed pretty well to fit my theme, and I've gotten both good nominations and good entries, it's not too late if you still feel like submitting something or nominateing something. Remember the Theme is The East West or West East Transition. What sucked, what rocked and what was totally incomprehensible.


Further obsessive Gotovina Coverage for your edification.

Front Page As you can see Ante Gotovina is still front page news in Slobodna Dalmacija.

Further Coverage

This article includes pictures of his room, note the double bed! Who was keeping him company there? or is he just a guy who likes his space, oh theres stuff about Mr. Grgic too.
PS check out Balkan Baby's coverage of events in Gornije Grad Zagreb.

Friday, December 09, 2005


I had to share this with you!

Incompetant Design

I have heard a lot about Intelligent Design, a new way to wrap the Creationist theory, and make it palatible for the scientifically inclined, an effort to reconcile science and religion.
yeah I will agree, there are many remarkable things about life, anyone who has watched ants can or bees or the stars can tell you that, then there's the other side of the question, this Universe has also many tricks and trapdoors, somehow I can't help thinking of the human apendix....other body malfunctions best left to your own thought processes come to mind as well.


Slobodna Dalmacija's Coverage of Gotovina Arrest

IN Croatian, but pretty full coverage, from Slobodna Dalmacija...

Front Page

Of course a paper like Slobodna Dalmacija would cover the entire details of the arrest of General Gotovina.
second page, here I'll do the hard part,

The Rest of the Story

includes a picture of his fake passport. interestingly a couple other sources I have read indicate h e also had a fake French passport, or possibly a quite real French passport, since he was ex French Foreign Legion, he may have had a right to one, don't know how that works, adn since no one from France reads here, I can't ask. Should some nice French person stumble across this site, I would not mind knowing how that works*. Never mind, here's the answer to part of that question, I wonder if it was under the name Grabovac.

*Gotovina was the driver of Coronel Erulin. After five years, he left the Legion, and gained French nationality in 1979.


The Spanish police who handle international stuff th at should not be happening in Spain have been pretty busy. They busted some Al Qaida types too and there was a Non Balkans Blipvert story on NPR about that.
*Bonus* picture the exact moment of arrest.

exact moment
Gordy looks like no coffee to me. kako bez kulturno!

Getting a bit sick of Blipvert News. Stop it and tell us the news you people!
oh and placeing code is really really really really really rough for people who are nearsighted, i wish Blogger would just fix that part of this instead of makeing me have to do it Bora's way!

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Gen Ante Gotovina arrested while dineing in Canary Islands resort.

Thanks again Mario, there are quite a few accounts of the arrest over at Mario's Cyberspace Station. NPR picked up the story for Morning Edition, but it was a typical Balkans Blipvert Story.

Spoiler Alert, love the alias Kristian Horvat! He was useing a fake Croatian passport with that moniker.*update, besides the fake passport in the name of 'Kristian Horvat' Gotevina was carrying a weapon, and had body guards.

Focus English News, Bulgaria

Croatian General Ante Gotovina who was wanted by the International War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague was arrested in Spain, chief prosecutor at the Hague Tribunal Carla del Ponte reported. There is no detailed information regarding the arrest of Gotovina.
In 2001, the International War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague accused General Gotovina of war crimes against Serb civilians during a Croatian offensive to expel Serb forces from the country in 1995.

FOCUS News Agency reminds:
Ante Gotovina (born October 12, 1955) is a Croat professional soldier and fugitive from the International War Crimes Tribunal.
Gotovina was born on the island of Pašman near Zadar. He was a member of the French Foreign Legion, under the name of Ivan Grabovac, beginning in the early 1970s. He was affected to the 2nd regiment of parachutist, based in Calvi, Corsica. It was there he met Dominique Erulin, brother of colonel Philippe Erulin, known for his activities in Algeria. In 1978, the 2nd regiment jumped on Kolwezi, in Zaire. Gotovina was the driver of Coronel Erulin. After five years, he left the Legion, and gained French nationality in 1979.
Gotovina then engaged himself in various security offices, among them KO international company, which is a filial of VHP Security. This firm is known as a cover for the Service d'action civique (SAC), specialists of shady actions for the gaullist movement. KO international also assured at this time Jean-Marie Le Pen's security.
In 1981, with his friend Dominique Erulin, he helped editor Jean-Pierre Mouchard, a close friend of Jean-Marie Le Pen. The two men organised a comando to free Jean-Pierre Mouchard's press in La Seyne sur Mer, occupied by CGT strikers.
Gotovina and Erulin then went to Latin America, where they assembled paramilitary formations, notably in Argentina and Guatemala.
In 1990, Ante Gotovina returned to his native land, Croatia. When the war in Croatia began in 1991, he became a commander in the Croatian Army. He advanced from Brigadier in 1992 to Major-General in 1994. He was the commanding officer of the Split military district between 1992 and 1996; including the 1995 Operation Storm. In 1996 he became the Chief of the Croatian Army Inspectorate, but was dismissed from the active service in 2000, having been accused of plotting a military coup by Ivo Pukanic of Nacional. Gotovina was still a member of the Paris-based Assistance Sécurité Protection, and may have been in Paraguay and Argentina in 1990 and 1991.
Gotovina was indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in May 21th 2001 for crimes against humanity and violations of the laws and customs of war that the court claims troops under his command committed over the Serbs in the self-proclaimed Krajina region during and after Operation Storm, which was started on August 4, 1995 (during which the Serb-occupied territories of Croatia were restored) with the backing of Bill Clinton and the United States. General Gotovina has been charged with the death of at least 150 Serbs in 1995, while forces under his command are accused of killing scores of Serbs and of having expelling up to 200,000 from the Krajina region, now part of Croatia.
Gotovina, however, fled and remains at large, allegedly out of reach of both Croatian authorities and the Interpol. The USA has placed a $2,800,000 bounty on his head. Rumors abound as to his present whereabouts. In September 2005, the BBC reported that he is hiding out in a Franciscan monastery somewhere in Croatia or Bosnian Croat territory. A suitcase with personal items and news clips had been found in southern Italy allegedly meant for Gotovina, but the authorities could not confirm this. Gotovina has also been linked to several organized crime groups, notably those helping one Hrvoje Petrač who is wanted for questioning on unrelated matters.
The majority of allegations of criminality originate from Ivo Pukanic and his Nacional magazine. Between 1999-2000, Nacional launched a series of scathing attacks against former war veterans and leading HDZ figures in the run-up to a crucial governmental election.
Ivo Pukanic was the very first to attack Gotovina personally accusing him and his colleagues of drunkedness, cowardice and dishonour. Pukanic also accused Gotovina as being the chief instigator in an alleged presidential coup (Nacional 204, 13.10.1999.) At the same time, Nacional accused unidentified senior ministry of defence (MORH) officials, of which Gotovina was chief inspectorate, of arms fixing with the IRA and ETA.
Pukanic's Nacional also accused Gotovina of responsibility for General Blaskic's 45 year sentence (Nacional 250, 31/08/2000); and thuggery (Nacional 255, 5.10.2000.) The British media is eager to promote Pukanic as a key champion of Gotovina's cause; which has reportedly caused some consternation amongst his sympathisers.
Pukanic's financial condition was dire immediately prior to Gotovina's disappearance and many consider him as commercially exploiting the general's cause. Due to his track record of hostility against the general, the denouncement of supporters and associates, and self-confessed close friendship with chief police officers working alongside MI6 operatives in Operation Cash - the undercover operation to catch Gotovina - ; Pukanic is viewed with great distrust. His allegations of criminality against Gotovina, later picked up by the international media, have never been substantiated.
In September 2005, Carla del Ponte, chief prosecutor for war crimes in the former Yugoslavia, accused the Vatican of protecting him. She said the Vatican could probably pinpoint exactly in which of Croatia's 80 Franciscan monasteries he was being sheltered "in a few days" as she told [The Daily Telegraph]. She said: "I have information he is hiding in a Franciscan monastery and so the Catholic Church is protecting him. I have taken this up with the Vatican and the Vatican refuses totally to co-operate with us." Her spokeswoman told [BBC news network] that she had contacted Pope Benedict XVI in July 2005, via Vatican's "foreign minister", Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, in an effort to secure the Vatican's cooperation, but that the Pope has yet to reply to the prosecutor's request for a meeting. Giovanni Lajolo told her that the Vatican wasn't a state and thus had "no international obligations" to help the United Nations to hunt war criminals. Henceforth, in September, Carla del Ponte decided to make public her information, declaring that Gotovina was hiding in a Croatian Franciscan monastery. The Franciscans denied this information, without hiding their clear admiration for Gotovina. The Croat Minister of the Interior admitted having information on Gotovina's having been hidden in a Croatian monastery, before retracting themself, saying that further investigation showed that this was "incorrect".
The United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and some Scandinavian states currently oppose Croat intentions to join the European Union if the Croatian Government does not fully cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal. The Croat government has declared that it does not know the current location of Gotovina and that the authorities are doing their utmost to find the General and to extradite him to the Tribunal. Accession negotiations with the EU, scheduled to start on March 17, 2005, were postponed because Gotovina was not located. Austria, has taken Croatia's side, and finally accepted in october 2005 to support Turkey's accession to those negotiations in exchange of Zagreb's one.
Effectively, in February 2005, general's allies inside Croat intelligence outed several war crimes investigators in Croatia as serving MI6 and USA intelligence officers, as reported by the Daily Telegraph on September 29, 2004. A few months before, in August 2004, SIS station chief Anthony Monckton was forced to leave his post in Serbia after a campaign against him led by that country's DB intelligence agency, where his work investigating the 2003 assassination of reformist Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic won him few friends. In February 2004, Zoran Mijatovic, former #2 in the Serb DB, published a book including Monckton's name and picture. The SIS (UK's secret intelligence services) efforts were determined to capture Slobodan Milosevic, and it is now involved in the hunt for Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic and Ante Gotovina.
Franjo Turek was ousted as the head of the POA after resisting SIS demands for increased access to information about Ante Gotovina's whereabouts. Croatia's Prime Minister, Ivo Sanader, replaced Franjo Turek with Josko Podbevsek.
The next month (March 2005), Britain led a successful campaign to halt the planned opening of talks with Croatia on joining the European Union, which were to start on March 17, 2005. President Stjepan Mesić declared that Croat entry to the EU cannot be delayed indefinitely because of Gotovina, because if he were one day found in Patagonia, the injustice and the irrepairable damage to the Croat reputation and economy would already have been done. Mesić did point out that if the Croatian government had any clues whether Gotovina is in Patagonia or anywhere else, that it was its duty to promptly submit that info to the ICTY investigators.
Among a section of the Croat population, Gotovina is seen as a war hero to be admired. Croatians are divided over the issue of extradition to the ICTY because of several issues: whether trying an important general casts a shadow on what is mostly perceived as a just and lawful Operation Storm, and on the other hand whether it is correct to flee from a legal institution when others in similar position (such as former Croat Muslim General Rahim Ademi) have submitted themselves to such authorities. Many individuals and parties use hostility towards the ICTY to enhance their influence and clout.
Many posters of Ante Gotovina have been placed on privately-owned land in Croatia, mostly by veteran unions. In the region of his origin, in and around Zadar, even the buildings owned by the municipal government were plastered with Gotovina's pictures at one point. Some posters have been removed by the authorities, while some were subject to vandalism.
The newspapers in Croatia have also investigated into Gotovina's whereabouts, and the editor of Nacional Ivo Pukanić claims to have met him on an undisclosed location in the EU, and that weekly published an interview in 2003 from that occasion. In 2003, the weekly Feral Tribune ran a story about Gotovina quoting several French court records saying that Gotovina was convicted of a 1981 robbery and that he served five years in prison between 1986 and 1991. On February 19, 2005, the Croat daily newspaper, Jutarnji list, published facsimiles of those documents, which provoked a political upheaval and scandal in Croatia. Former Prime Minister, Ivica Račan (Social Democrats), the ex-ministers of the Defense and the Interior, and the ex-chief of Croatian security services all claim that French authorities never passed information about Ante Gotovina's criminal past to them. Šime Lučin, ex-ministry of Police, declared to Jutarnji list that he had read some articles in the press about the 1981 robbery, but that he had never received confirmation from France about it.
There is some discussion whether, as a former member of the French Foreign Legion, Gotovina was during this time in the employ of Gaullist first, and then François Mitterrand's extra-legal secret service. Another document stated that in 1993 he was convicted to two years in prison due to participation in an unlawful arrest, kidnapping and extortion, and another yet said that he was sentenced to 30 months for extortion in 1995. Gotovina's attorneys denied these allegations saying that the documents are falsified because he was given a French passport in 1995 and had it renewed in 2001, something the French authorities would never have done had he actually been a convicted criminal on the run.
On April 11, 2001, six weeks before his indictment by the International Penal Tribunal for War Crimes, he received a French passport from the French Embassy in Zagreb. Of course, at this time, all concerned were aware of his upcoming official indictment.

FOCUS News Agency
Fugitive Croatian General Ante Gotovina, who is wanted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal, has been arrested in Spain, U.N. chief war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte said in Belgrade on Thursday, Reuters announced.
Gotovina was indicted in July 2001 for alleged atrocities against rebel Serbs in a government offensive in August 1995 to retake rebel areas of Croatia, and has been on the run since.
His evasion from arrest had been a key obstacle in Croatia's attempts to join the European Union, whose leaders were for a long time skeptical over how hard the government in Zagreb was trying to track down a man many Croats see as a national hero.
"Ante Gotovina is arrested. He was arrested this night in Spain in the Isle of Canary and he is now in detention, finally. He will be transferred to the Hague," Del Ponte said in English.
No official reaction was immediately available from Croatian authorities. Spanish officials also declined comment.
"Considering the source, we should treat the information of his arrest as reliable. I expect he will be handed over and arraigned very soon because he was arrested abroad," his lawyer Marijan Pedisic told Reuters by telephone from Zagreb.
Croatia has claimed all along that Gotovina, a former French Foreign Legion veteran, fled the country just before his indictment was made public in July 2001.
However, it stepped up the hunt for him after the EU delayed the start of Zagreb's membership talks in March, and ordered all police and intelligence agents to do their utmost, including liaising with foreign services.
The efforts paid off and the EU opened accession talks with Zagreb in October, after Del Ponte said she was satisfied with Croatia's efforts.
Serbia has faced similar international criticism over the continued freedom of Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic and his military chief Ratko Mladic. Gotovina's arrest will only intensify the pressure on Belgrade to help catch them.
Del Ponte said she was very grateful to Croatian and Spanish authorities.
"Since September, we are working to find Gotovina...finally we could achieve that so Gotovina is in detention. Of course I am expecting now Mladic and Karadzic and the other fugitives."

FOCUS News Agency
Fugitive Croatian General Ante Gotovina, who is wanted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal, has been arrested last night on the Canary Islands in Spain and will soon be transferred to The Hague, Serbian RTS TV reports.
Gotovina was indicted in July 2001 for alleged atrocities against rebel Serbs in a government offensive in August 1995 to retake rebel areas of Croatia, and has been on the run since.

FOCUS News Agency
Fugitive Croatian General Ante Gotovina, who is wanted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal, has been arrested in Spain, U.N. chief war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte said in Belgrade on Thursday, cited by AFP.
Gotovina was indicted in July 2001 for alleged atrocities against rebel Serbs in a government offensive in August 1995 to retake rebel areas of Croatia, and has been on the run since.

FOCUS News Agency
Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader confirmed the information about the arrest of Gen. Ante Gotovina, the Croatian HINA agency reports.
Fugitive Croatian General Ante Gotovina, who is wanted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal, has been arrested last night on the Canary Islands in Spain and will soon be transferred to The Hague.
Gotovina was indicted in July 2001 for alleged atrocities against rebel Serbs in a government offensive in August 1995 to retake rebel areas of Croatia, and has been on the run since.

FOCUS News Agency
A Croatian general charged with war crimes has been held in Spain, the UN's chief war crimes prosecutor has said, BBC reports.
Ante Gotovina was one of the most wanted men from the 1990s Balkan wars.
He is accused of war crimes against Serb civilians during a 1995 Croatian offensive to expel Serb forces from the country.
Carla Del Ponte, chief prosecutor at the International War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague, had repeatedly sought Gen Gotovina's detention.
She had criticised Croatian efforts to arrest the general.

FOCUS News Agency
Fugitive Croatian General Ante Gotovina, who is wanted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal, has been arrested last night on the Canary Islands in Spain and will soon be transferred to The Hague, Die Welt informs.
Gotovina was indicted in July 2001 for alleged atrocities against rebel Serbs in a government offensive in August 1995 to retake rebel areas of Croatia, and has been on the run since.

FOCUS News Agency
The chief prosecutor of the Hague war crimes tribunal, Carla del Ponte, said in Belgrade on Thursday that fugitive Croatian general Ante Gotovina was arrested on the Canary Islands on Wednesday, the Bosnian FENA agency reports.
Steps are being taken to transfer him to The Hague, del Ponte's spokeswoman Florence Hartmann said.
Del Ponte, who is visiting Belgrade today, spoke on the phone with Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader regarding the matter, Hartmann said, adding that the chief prosecutor thanked Croatia for cooperation.
General Gotovina was indicted in 2001 for crimes committed in the course and after the 1995 Operation Storm and he had been on the run since.

FOCUS News Agency
Fugitive Croatian General Ante Gotovina, who is wanted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal, has been arrested last night on the Canary Islands in Spain and will soon be transferred to The Hague, Der Standart informs.
Gotovina was indicted in July 2001 for alleged atrocities against rebel Serbs in a government offensive in August 1995 to retake rebel areas of Croatia, and has been on the run since.

FOCUS News Agency
Fugitive Croatian General Ante Gotovina, who is wanted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal, has been arrested in Spain, U.N. chief war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte said in Belgrade on Thursday, El Mundo announced.
Gotovina was indicted in July 2001 for alleged atrocities against rebel Serbs in a government offensive in August 1995 to retake rebel areas of Croatia, and has been on the run since.

FOCUS News Agency
Gotovina arrested, Del Ponte calls for apprehension of Karadzic
Fugitive Croatian general Ante Gotovina has been arrested last night in Canary Islands in Spain, said the visiting Hague Tribunal's chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, the Macedonian Makfax iforms.
She added that Gotovina would be extradited to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague. Del Ponte expressed gratitude to Croatian and Spanish authorities on the co-operation and assistance in course of apprehension of the runaway general.
Del Ponte said the operation has been going on since September this year.
Del Ponte, who attends a conference on the rule of law, expects timely extradition of Hague's fugitives Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.
The indictment charges Gotovina with atrocities against Serb civilians in course of the operation codenamed Storm.

FOCUS News Agency
Fugitive Croatian General Ante Gotovina, wanted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal, is due to appear before a Spanish high court judge on Thursday afternoon, a court source said on Thursday, Reuters comments.
He was likely to face proceedings to extradite him to The Hague where the U.N. court sits as soon as possible, the source added.
Gotovina was arrested at a hotel on the Spanish island of Tenerife on Wednesday afternoon, the source said.
State radio said he was being transported to Madrid on a military plane.
Gotovina was indicted in July 2001 for alleged atrocities against rebel Serbs in a government offensive in August 1995 to retake rebel areas of Croatia, and has been on the run since.
"The prime minister has congratulated security forces for this brilliant and important police operation which has allowed the capture of one of the most wanted war criminals in the Balkans," a Spanish government official said.

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