THE WEIGHT OF CHAINS TIMECODE SCRIPT
00:00:00-00:00:10 BLANK SCREEN
00:00:10-00:00:24 – Malagurski cinema title
(Opening, various shoots of politicians with credit titles)
Vuk Jeremic: “I am glad there is an absolute commitment […] to advancing the goal of European integration […] We have very ambitious plans!”
Ivo Sanader: “We are very ambitious country, we are very ambitious government! […] We have a special Minister for European integration in our cabinet.”
Boris Tadic: “We are changing the face of our country […] to become member states on the end of the day of the European Union. […] *laugh* ”
Hashim Thaci: “EU member[ship] is our goal, is our vision”
G-17 coordinator Veselin Vukotic: "We want to be part of Europe […] We want to be colony and open society."
00:01:11 (Boris VO)
Who in their right mind would actually want to be a colony?
THE WEIGHT OF CHAINS
00:01:32 (Various archive footage of old Yugoslavia)
JRT: “It’s interesting for the world, but what is Yugoslavia for us who live in it?”
(People speaking of their opinion on Yugoslavia)
00:01:36 (VV) (Serbian)
Man 01: “To me, Yugoslavia is the symbol of independence”,
00:01:39 (VV) (Serbian)
Woman 01: “Yugoslavia can offer everything to everyone”,
00:01:44 (VV) (Serbian)
Man 02: “I see Yugoslavia as developing and changing very fast”,
00:01:48 (VV) (Serbian)
Man 03: “A society of self-management for all its people”,
00:01:48 (VV) (Serbian)
Woman 02: “I think it’s not easy to say what Yugoslavia is.”
00:01:56 Fade Out
00:01:58 (Boris VO) (various private archive shoots)
I don’t think my early childhood in Yugoslavia was bad at all – I always got a lot of presents, the
family was close and close friends were the extended family.
00:02:06 (VO -> VV)
Gregory Elich: “It’s a very close culture, people really care about each other in so many ways. You just don’t see that here in the same way, people are very isolated from each other. They work and they go home and just watch television in the evening.”
00:02:20 (Boris VO) (Various private archive shoots, all in Serbian language)
We liked to watch TV as well and even had a camcorder, which I, being the cinematically gifted child that I was, always tried to get my hands on.
Boris as a kid saying “Come here, dad!”
What I really wanted was the camera he was holding. When mom took over the camera so dad could come, I changed my story.
Boris: “Come here, mom!”
I was a clever child. Clever like a fox. Which was one of the characters of my favourite show, “Goodnight kids”.
Boris: “Goodnight Mr. Donkey and Ms. Fox”
00:02:51 (Boris VO)
Sometimes my parents would flip the channel to the Parliament where there were more bedtime stories.
00:02:55 (VV) (Serbian parlament footage) (Serbian)
Unkovic: “I’d like to tell you a story. It’s my story for you. Calm down, I listened to your stories. An old man and his grandson were caught by the enemy and they had to find a way out. Laugh all you like. The ending is very sad.“ (Member of Parliament) „Tell us the sad ending already!“ (President of Parliament)
00:03:30 (Boris VO) (private footage and various shoots from promotional film of Yugoslavia)
As I was getting a little old for those kinds of stories, I did what every Yugoslav did in the Summer.
Michael Parenti: “One month free vacation with pay! When was the last time I had a month vacation…”
00:03:40 (VV) (Old BW film) (Serbian)
Old man: “ ‘Twas a long time ago…”
00:03:43 (Boris VO) (Old promotional film of former Yugoslavia)
We Yugoslavs had it, every single year. But I never noticed, I was too young during the times of Communist Yugoslavia. Now I know what you’re thinking. Communism?
00:03:53 (VV) (BW footage of an old American Anti Communism movie)
US educational program: “It’s an international criminal conspiracy!”
00:03:57 (Boris VO) (Various shoots from the old Yugoslavia period)
Well, for two decades prior to 1980 Yugoslavia was prospering with its annual GDP growth averaging 6.1 percent.
00:04:05 (VO) (Various footage from old Yugoslavia)
Michael Parenti: “A decent standard of living, free medical care and education, guaranteed right to a job, […] affordable public transportation and housing and utilities, literacy rate over 90%, life expectancy was 72 years. Most of the economy was in the public, not for profit sector.”
00:04:25 (VV) (clip the popular Yugoslavia comedy drama) (Serbian)
Yugoslav song: “Nobody has it better than us, may it be like this every day!”
Barry Lituchy: “Yugoslavia was a different case because it had established it’s own form of a socialist model
00:04:37 (VO) (Various Yugoslavia period archive shoots)
of economic activity, which was a mixed economy with private capitalist enterprise, with state-run industry and with worker cooperatives. And the worker cooperatives were extremely successful or sometimes the only game in town.”
00:04:47 (VO) (Various Yugoslavia period archive shoots)
Michel Chossudovsky: “It was considered to be a success story of market socialism. It had higher rates of growth than most of the countries of Western Europe, it had an advance welfare state, [...] it was a multiethnic society which lived in harmony, and in many regards it was a model of development.”
00:05:12 (Boris VO) (Various Yugoslavia period archive shoots)
I guess you could say there really is something special about this land. So, why have people spilt so much blood over this land? Who was to blame here?
00:05:21 (VV) (Footage from the old Yugoslavia comedy movie) (Serbian)
Ckalja: “Usually, the least suspicious one is guilty. That I know. I’ve read dozens of crime novels.”
00:05:25 (Boris VO) (Various shoot from the old Yugoslavia)
Before I continue, where are we? Yugoslavia was located between Greece, Italy and Romania and it was populated by Serbs, Croats, Bosnian Muslims, Slovenes, Macedonians, all of which are Slavs, and Albanians, Hungarians and others. Their country was the result of a long fight to unite the people, to show the world what they can achieve if they work together, regardless of what happened in the past.
00:05:48 (VO) (Music clip Lepa Brena, Zivela Yugoslavia) (Serbo-Croatian)
00:06:22 (Boris VO) (Various footage from the old Yugoslavia)
Throughout history, this idea has been a thorn in the eye of many Empires and world powers.
00:06:27 (VO), (Various old archive shoots)
Michael Parenti: “The idea was that the Southern Slavs would not remain weak, divided people falling out among themselves or falling prey to some imperialist outsider,
00:06:37 (Boris VO) (Various archive shoots)
Serbs lost their freedom after the Ottoman Turks attacked them in 1389 on the Field of Blackbirds, which is called Kosovo.
Srdja Trifkovic: “With the Serbs, the loss of statehood that lasted several centuries, for instance, produced a strong anchorage in the myth of Kosovo.”
00:06:54 (VV) (VO with various pictures of the Kosovo and other famous historic battles)
John Bosnitch: “Journalists come to Serbia and say: “Why are you Serbs so darn crazy that you celebrate a battle that you lost? When you talk about the Battle of Kosovo. And you always talk about a battle and how great it was, but you lost. Aren’t you guys masochistic? Isn’t there something wrong with you?” And I said: “Ever heard of the Alamo?” Remember the Alamo? Ever heard of Masada? In which the Jews defended to the death and then committed suicide, rather then to be captured.”
00:07:29 (Boris VO) (Various BW shoots)
For standing up against the Turks, Serbs were persecuted and inventive torture devices were implemented.
00:07:34 (VV) (Various archive shoots)
John Bosnitch: “We lived under terrible persecution. We were whipped, we were lynched, except the manner in which we were lynched was by impalement. We were impaled. If you don’t know what impalement means, impalement means a sharppened stick is put up your anus, driven through your body and exits through your back without going through your vital organs. They were experts, Turkish Ottoman experts who did that. So, you were impaled, like Christ was put on the cross, to suffer.”
00:08:15 (Boris VO) (Footage from old Yugoslavia films and archives)
There was, however, a way to avoid all this - Convert to Islam! And many did, many had no choice. This made a part of the Slavic population Muslim while the rest was Christian Orthodox. On the other hand, the State Religion of the Austrian Empire was Roman Catholic, with a large Croatian population greatly influenced by this.
00:08:35 (Boris VO) (Various shoots, BW shoots and pictures)
When the Austrians illegally took over Bosnia and it’s large Yugoslav population in 1908, the Yugoslav dream had never been more threatened. So, a group of Yugoslav nationalists, “Young Bosnia” which included Serbs, Muslims and Croats, decided that ‘enough was enough’. A young man, perhaps you’ve heard of him, Gavrilo Princip, shot and killed the Austrian archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo. Afterwards he was quoted as saying:
00:09:01 (Boris VO) (Newspaper animation)
“I am a Yugoslav nationalist, aiming for the unification of all Yugoslavs, we must be free from Austria!”
00:09:08 (Boris VO) (Various BW shoots from the archives)
Although the assassination of their archduke did kinda make the Austrians mad and heck, now they had a reason to attack the last Slavic stronghold – Serbia. This was, however, not the real reason for the attack – the Austrians and Germans had a plan to expand their Empire to the East. War was the only way they’d achieve this.
00:09:31 (Boris VO) (Various BW archive footage)
During the early period of World War I, a bunch of Yugoslav politicians fled the Habsburg Empire and formed the Yugoslav Committee in London to raise funds and realize the Yugoslav dream.
Towards the end of the war, the Committee met up in Corfu, Greece, with the Serbian government and declared that Serbs, Croats and Slovenes were "the same by blood, by language, by the feelings of their unity, by the continuity and integrity of the territory which they inhabit undividedly, and by the common vital interests of their national survival and manifold development of their moral and material life”…
00:10:14 (Boris VO) (Various BW shoots from the archives)
It was what the Austrians and Ottomans had feared – Yugoslav unity! The Old World Order was gone – Yugoslavs finally got a country of their own!
00:10:15 (Boris VO) (Various BW shoots from the archives)
The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was, sadly, short lived, because another war was brewing soon, the likes of which the world has never seen. In hopes of keeping Yugoslavia out of the war Yugoslav Prince Paul signed the Tripartite Treaty with Nazi Germany in 1941. But the British didn’t like this, so they encouraged a coup d’etat and mass rebelion against the pact. The British were happy, but now Hitler wasn’t. In fact, he was so angry that he wanted to wipe Yugoslavia off the map. Yugoslavia was attacked from all sides.
00:10:46 (VO) (Various BW shoots from the archives)
Barry Lituchy: “Yugoslavia at that time was divided up into 12 pieces and some of it went to fascist Hungary, some of it went to fascist Italy. Macedonia went to the Bulgarians and the Albanians, […] Serbia was occupied by the Wermacht and ruled by the Germans. Croatia and Bosnia were united into a Croatian fascist state under the Ustashe regime.”
00:11:10 (Boris VO) (Various BW shoots from the archives)
This was called the Independent State of Croatia.
00:11:13 (VO) (Various BW shoots from the archives)
Barry Lituchy: “The idea, of course, in 1941 was that Croatia would be a kind of condominium for German power in the Balkans.”
00:11:20 (Boris VO) (Various BW shoots from the archives)
The Croatian fascists were quick to start eradicating all non-Croatian elements in the state. You know what that meant? Serb hunting season started!
00:11:28 (Old Ustasha song) (Croatian)
00:11:35 (Boris VO) (Various BW shoots from the archives)
Yes, Hitler’s final solution was applied here as well, and hundreds of thousands of Serbs but also Jews, Roma and others were killed, most of them at the 4th largest concentration camp in Europe – Jasenovac.
00:11:47 (Boris VO) (Various BW shoots from the archives)
Barry Lituchy: “A total number of 600,000 were killed at Jasenovac.”
00:11:54 (VO) (Various BW shoots from the archives)
Barry Lituchy: “The Croatian fascist regime, the Ustasha regime, […] had one aspect that was very distinctly different, and that was that it was a clerical fascist regime. It integrated into its political dictatorship the Catholic clergy. […] They were at the top of the government, in the leading councils of government, and they were also in the military and they were in the concentration camps. They were at Jasenovac. Some of the actual camp directors were priests.”
00:12:27 (VV and VO, various shoots from the archives)
John Bosnitch: “The Croatian inquisition, which took place in World War II, makes the Spanish inquisition just look like child’s play.”
00:12:35 (VO) (Various BW shoots from the archives)
Barry Lituchy: “Pope Pius supported this fascist regime, the top leadership of the Vatican was fully cognecent of what was going on there.”
00:12:42 (Boris VO) (Various BW shoots from the archives)
On the other hand, Royalists loyal to the crown, called Chetniks, decided to act.
00:12:47 (VO) (Various BW shoots from the archives)
Srdja Trifkovic: “The Chetniks were the resistance movement which even though proclaimed itself
The Royal Yugoslav Army in the Fatherland was composed almost exclusively of the Serbs. However, after the bloody German reprisals in Serbia in the fall of 1941, the Chetniks realized that continuing resistance at any cost, when the Germans were killing […] 100 Serbs for a single dead German, was self defeating and suicidal.”
00:13:19 (Boris VO) And various BW shoots from the archives)
This didn’t matter to the West though.. they just wanted dead German bodies. So, all aid to the Chetniks was cut and shifted towards another group of fighters who managed to neutralize all other groups. The Yugoslav Partisans! The communists, made up of members of all ethnicities, were lead by a guy called Tito. In 1943, Tito declared the new Yugoslavia which was finally liberated two years later. Tito, if nothing else, was brilliant at playing political games with big powers for his own interest, which is just what Yugoslavia needed to gain complete independence. It’s important to say that Tito wasn’t just a leader, he was a brand, recognized in the world.
00:14:03 (Boris VO) (Various shoot from the archives)
He was one of the founders of the Non-Aligned movement. And why were they so important?
00:14:07 (VO) (Various shoot from the archives)
Sunil Ram: “They were able to play a middle ground for the great powers that allowed the great powers to potentially talk to each other and discuss certain issues that could not be talked about openly.” (Sunil Ram interview, 07:02 min)
00:14:20 (VO, Various shoots from the movie archives)
TV announcer: “He hopes to [...] perform the difficult feet of walking both sides of the street – East and West!”
00:14:27 (Boris VO) (Various shoots from the movie archives)
Tito’s strong arm kept the country together. When he died on May 4, 1980, many in Yugoslavia were crying… maybe not so much for him as much they were crying for Yugoslavia itself.
00:14:45 (Boris VO) (Various shoots from the movie archives)
His funeral was the largest funeral for a statesman in recorded history.
00:14:59 (Boris VO) (Various shoots from the movie archives)
Then things started to fall apart when Yugoslavia began to get into debt to international creditors shortly after Tito’s death. In 1984, while the eyes of the world were pointed at Sarajevo where the Winter Olympic Games were being held the Reagan administration was specifically targeting the Yugoslav economy in a secret memo, National Security Decisions Directive 133, which stated that: “U.S. policy will be to promote the trend toward a market-oriented Yugoslav economy”. And it was in line with previous decisions directives which advocated expanded efforts to promote a quiet revolution to overthrow Communist governments and parties.
00:15:34 (VV) (Various shoots from the movie archives)
Michel Chossudovsky: “It triggers a whole series of other initiatives, most of which are not published. The Decisions Directive [...] simply states that what the US would want to achieve is that Yugoslavia ceases to be a market socialist economy and becomes a free market economy, modelled on the West.”
00:15:59 (Boris VO) (Various shoots from the movie archives and animation)
And we know today what means the U.S. used to impose their will on Yugoslavia, years before any conflicts began. As the Soviet system was on its last legs in 1988, Washington wasted no time in sending advisers to Yugoslavia from a non-profit organization with a high-sounding name, the National Endowment for Democracy, or NED.
00:16:11 (VV) (Presidental talk)
Ronald Reagan: “Good morning and welcome. It’s good to have you all here to celebrate the launching of a program with a vision and a noble purpose, the establishment of the National Endowment goes right to the heart of America’s faith in democratic ideals and institutions.
00:16:27 (Boris VO) (Various shoots from the movie archives and newspaper animation)
However, Allen Weinstein, who planned the NED told the Washington Post in 1991 that: "a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA." This basically means that the NED was really a sort of CIA spinoff.
00:16:41 (VO) (Various shoots from the movie archives)
Philip Agee: “Instead of having just the CIA going behind the scenes and trying to manipulate the process by inserting money here
00:16:49 (VV) (Part of interview with Philip Agee)
and instructions there and so forth… They have, now, a sidekick – which is this National Endowment for Democracy. NED.”
00:16:56 (Boris VO) (Various shoots from the movie and TV archives)
Thus the NED started handing out generous bribes in every corner of Yugoslavia, financing opposition groups, buying up hungry young journalists with dreams of a new life, and financing trade union opposition, pro-IMF economists and human rights NGOs.
00:17:09 (Boris VO) (Various archive shoots, author shoots and animations)
The National Endowment for Democracy also controls and pays for the Center for International Private Enterprise which in turn funded the G-17. Who were the G-17? They were an NGO made up of 17 free market economists, with three of the leading members being Washington-based staff members of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank - Dusan Vujovic, Zeliko Bogetic and Branko Milanovic.
G-17 coordinator Professor Veselin Vukotic worked closely with the World Bank, and, as the Minister of Privatization under Yugoslav Premier Ante Markovic, he was in charge of the World Bank "bankruptcy program" in Yugoslavia during 1989-1990, which led to the devastation of the Yugoslav economy.
00:17:50 (Boris VO) (Various archive shoots, WOC purpose shoots and animations)
Other members of the G-17 consult for the World Bank and attend World Bank-organized meetings. In 2002, they formed a political party in Serbia, and since then, despite the fact that in every election they’ve gotten between 7% and 11% of the popular vote, G-17 controlled the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Economy of Serbia.
This is not simply a group of economists. It is a network. The IMF and World Bank use this network to impose their policies on Yugoslavia. And how do they do it?
First, they force governments to do away with any social protections - subsidized food or rent, free transportation, free medical care. You know… all those things you don’t really need. Out the window.
00:18:30 (VV) (Various archive shoots, author shoots and animations)
Michael Parenti: “You cut back public sector spending, you cut wages, you cut employment, you abolish worker management enterprise, in other words, you force your people to work harder for less.”
00:18:41 (Boris VO) (Various archive shoots, author shoots and animations)
Second, they use economic manipulation and new laws to force businesses - public and private - into bankruptcy.
Michel Chossudovsky: “The World Bank describes this mechanism as a “trigger” mechanism, they use that term. They say we need to trigger the bankruptcy of Yugoslav industry.”
00:19:02 (Boris VO) (Various archive shoots, author shoots and animations)
Then these businesses are taken over by a small clique of leveraged buyout speculators and other powerful foreign economic interests. They purchase the businesses at rock bottom prices.
00:19:12 (VV) (Various archive shoots, author shoots and animations)
Michel Chossudovsky: “Creditors could simply take hold of these enterprises within a 45 day period and either the enterprise had to close down or it was privatized.”
00:19:25 (Boris VO) (Various archive shoots and purpose shoots)
This is called "Privatization through Liquidation" and it is standard practice in the Balkans and Eastern Europe and this is exactly what happened to Yugoslavia. World Bank data confirms that under Vukotic’s direction from January 1989 to September 1990, more than 1100 industrial firms were wiped out. The standard of living declined 18% between January and October 1990. This downturn raised unemployment to 20 percent and thus increased tensions between the republics.
00:19:49 (VV) (Various archive shoots)
Michel Chossudovsky: “Impoverish the population through these sweeping IMF reforms, which in turn contributed to heightening social and ethnic strife.”
00:20:01 (VV) (Serbian Language)
Slobodan Drakulic: “So you had dissatisfaction of everybody and everybody’s looking for a guilty party.”
00:20:06 (VV) (Serbian Language)
Branislav Lecic: “When a man has nothing and he’s not aware in the egistential sense,
00:20:11 (VO) (Various archive Film and TV shoots)
he clings to those types of ideas that awaken the human inside him, and those are usually national or religious stories. Suddenly, he feels more important when someone tells him – Yes, it’s their fault, not yours. By believing that you’re bigger than others, your ego and libido goes up.”
00:20:26 (Boris VO) (Various archive Film and TV shoots)
In desparation, Prime Minister Markovic visited Washington to meet with President George H. Bush. He said that rising tensions among nationalities would be a consequence of his austerity/privatization plan, so he asked for a billion dollars in aid, and said that, if aid didn’t come, there would be trouble.
00:20:43 (Boris VO) (Various archive Film and TV shoots)
And we all know the Americans didn’t want any trouble.
00:20:46 (VO, VV, various archive Film and TV shoots)
Michael Parenti: “In November of 1990 […] President George Bush went to the U.S. Congress and pressured them to pass the Foreign Appropriations Law that called for the cutting off of all aid and credits to Yugoslavia. The law also demanded that if any republic in Yugoslavia wanted further U.S. aid, it would have to break away from Yugoslavia and declare its independence. OK? It’s not a conspiracy theory, it’s not my speculation, it’s not my analysis, it’s a public law! It’s a public law! [...] It required the U.S. State Department approval of election procedures and results in every one of the republics! It required that the republics not hold national elections, but hold elections only in their own republics. And that the aid would only go individually to these republics, and when the aid did go, it went to those groups which the U.S. defined as “democratic” groups, which meant small, right-wing, ultranationalist and even fascistic parties.”
00:21:48 (VO, various archive Film and TV shoots)
Michel Chossudovsky: “This fracturing of Yugoslavia was not the result of pre-existing internal divisions. Those internal divisions were heightened as a result of an outside intervention.”
00:22:03 (Boris VO) (Various archive Film and TV shoots)
By 1991, the inflation was 200% and the Yugoslav federal government was unable to pay the enormous interest on its foreign debt or even to arrange the purchase of raw materials for its industry. Credit collapsed and recriminations broke out on all sides. Cooperation between the republics and the Belgrade central government virtually ceased.
00:22:23 (VO) (various archive Film and TV shoots)
Michel Chossudovsky: “The republics were not getting any money from the federal government, they weren’t transferring any tax revenues, so the whole federal fiscal structure had collapsed and the republics were left to their own devices and then came in the new form of nationalism.”
00:22:40 (Boris VO) (Various archive Film and TV shoots)
As the Americans demanded, multi-party elections were held and economic policy was at the center of the political debate as nationalist and separatist coalitions ousted the Communists in Croatia, Bosnia and Slovenia. And with the republics at one another's' throats, both the economy and the nation itself embarked on a vicious downward spiral.
00:23:00 (Boris VO) (Various archive Film and TV shoots)
Of course, the local political figures did their best to calm the people down.
00:23:06 (VV) (Serbian)
Vojislav Seselj: “We shall avenge Serb blood.”
00:23:09 (VV) (Croatian)
Vlade Gotovac: “The Serbs will die in the havoc of their dead heart!”
00:23:13 (VV) (Serbian)
Radovan Karadzic: “Don’t think that you won’t take Bosnia and Herzegovina to hell and the Muslim people perhaps to annihilation!”
00:23:19 (Boris VO) (Various archive Film and TV shoots)
The people needed a hero to save them, someone with their interest at heart. Instead, they got these guys. In 1991, elections were held in the Bosnian republic of Yugoslavia. Alija Izetbegovic, a former Nazi collaborator in World War II, was a candidate who had an Islamic vision for the mainly Christian Bosnia, as professed in this little book he wrote: “There can be neither peace nor coexistence between the Islamic religion and non-Islamic social and political institutions”. Alija lost the elections to the moderate Muslim leader Fikret Abdic. Losing the elections didn’t stop our Alija though, so he madea a deal with Fikret, where Alija would be President, but would quit a year. So, faster than you can say “Islamic Declaration”, Alija made sure his Presidency was extended due to the crisis, as you can’t have a power struggle in such tragic times. In fact, there was a moment when Alija could’ve prevented the war, when he signed the Lisbon Agreement in 1992, which would’ve made Bosnia a confederation of three regions. Alija didn’t like this, he wanted all the power. Luckily for him, the Americans didn’t like this peace idea either. So, the American ambassador to Yugoslavia, Warren Zimmerman, stepped in.
00:24:30 (VO) (Various archive Film and TV shoots)
George Kenney: “So, my cabinet was in this meeting with Zimmerman and Izetbegovic. Izetbegovic had just come back from Lisbon […] and Zimmerman says to him: ‘Well, you know, you could get a lot more from U.S. recognition if you just waited.’ And my cabinet told me his jaw just hit the floor.” (George Kenney, 16:27 min)
00:24:49 (Boris VO) (newspaper animation)
“If you don’t like it, why sign it?”
00:24:50 (Boris VO) (Various archive Film and TV shoots)
Alija took the American advice and withdrew his signature, fortified his power, and the Americans recognized it.
00:24:58 (Boris VO) (Various archive Film and TV shoots)
Another guy who just loved his power was the one, the only, Slobodan Milosevic! Slobo, as the masses liked to call him, knew how to use those masses to get what he wanted.
00:25:10 (VO, various archive Film and TV shoots) (Serbian)
Masses: “Slobo we love you!”, Slobo: “I love you too!”
00:25:14 (Boris VO) (Various archive Film and TV shoots)
With a little luck and help from his close friend Ivan, the President of Serbia, he got sent to Kosovo in 1987 where Serbs felt threatened by the Albanians. During a scuffle with the police, one Serb asked Slobo why the police were beating them. Slobo then rightfully proclaimed: “No one shall dare beat you”. He became an overnight star, as the protector of all Serbs! However, the incident with the police was fairly localized. This guy needed a bigger stage. So, because he was so thankful to his friend Ivan, he booted him from the Presidency. He also got him killed a decade later. You’d think that after Slobo became the new President of Serbia, he’d calm down, but no. He still needed a bigger stage,
00:25:55 (Boris VO) (Various archive Film and TV shoots of battle of Kosovo anniversary)
and what luck, a big anniversary was coming up. As Serbs were marking the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo, which is the crux of their historical culture, waving Serbian, Yugoslav, American and, wow, Canadian flags, singing patriotic songs, Slobo took the stage and what the West described as a nationalist call to arms, inflamed the audience!
00:26:17 (VV) (VO Milosevic speak with various archive film and TV shoots) (Serbian)
Slobo: “Yugoslavia is a multiethnic society and its survival depends on the complete equality of all nations that live within it. The crisis that has struck Yugoslavia led to ethnic, but also social, cultural, religious, and many other less important divisions. The bridging between the differences will soften the effects of these rifts.”
00:26:48 (Boris VO) (Various archive Film and TV shoots)
Alright, maybe it wasn’t that inflammatory, but at least the opera singers afterwards were pretty cool.
00:26:56 (Boris VO) (Various archive Film and TV shoots)
But if you think this guy had high ambitions, what about a guy being compared to Jesus Christ?
00:27:00 (VO) (Various archive Film and TV shoots) (Croatian)
Announcing Franjo Tudjman: “On this day Christ triumphantly came to Jerusalem, greeted by the people as a messiah. Today, the capital of Croatia resembles Jerusalem, as Franjo Tudjman has come to his people.”
00:27:00 (Boris VO) (Various archive Film and TV shoots)
Holy *bleep*. The saviour of the Croatian people, Franjo Tudjman. No pressure, eh?
00:27:30 (Boris VO) (Various archive Film and TV shoots)
Now, Franjo won the elections fair and square, but the people around him weren’t really good at hiding what was going to happen next.
00:27:37 (VV) (Croatian)
Stipe Mesic: “There will be no war!”
Even these guys aren’t buying it. Franjo’s government was quick to arm themselves, illegally.
00:27:45 (VV) (Croatian)
Franjo: “We have not been arming ourselves!”
00:27:48 (Boris VO)
Yeah right, what about this?
00:27:50 (VV) (Croatian)
Martin Spegelj: “Right now, we have 80,000 of us armed with Kalashnikovs.”
00:27:53 (Boris VO, various film and TV archive shoots)
It seemed like war was the only option. Thankfully, there were many citizens who just said “NO”.
00:28:00 (VI) (Footage from the Belgrade peace rally)
Belgrade peace rally: “All we are saying is give peace a chance!”
00:28:10 (VV) (Bosnian)
Raif Dizdarevic: ““We shall not go down the path of inter-ethnic quarrels”
00:28:20 (Boris VO) (Various film and TV archive shoots)
Yugoslavs stood a lot to lose if Yugoslavia broke up. For 50 years, they grew up together, lived together, married each other and at the centre of all this was Bosnia, with a mixed population of Muslims, Serbs and Croats – a sort of mini-Yugoslavia in itself. Massive anti-war rallies were held in its capital Sarajevo, which had the largest number of ethnically mixed marriages, with a message to the politicians: “Don’t sacrifice peace for political ambition!” But with little higher interest in keeping Yugoslavia together, the politicians decided to send a message of their own to the demonstrators.
00:29:05 (Boris VO) (Various film and TV archive shoots)
Slovenia and Croatia were the first who decided that peaceful negotiations weren’t working out for them. So, they unilaterally declared independence in 1991.
00:29:14 (VV) (Slovenian independence) (Slovenian)
Slovenian Parliament: “We declare independence and state sovereignty.”
00:29:22 (Boris VO, various film and TV archive shoots)
Bosnia followed in 1992. All of them were quickly recognized by the West.
00:29:26 (VO, various film and TV archive shoots)
George Kenney: “When the White House announced that we would be recognizing Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia, we at the State Department had no idea what that decision would be before it was announced, which is a very peculiar state of affairs. I was a desk officer, office director, nobody at the working level had any idea what the White House would decide. So, you can say just that the decision was a political one, it was not based on a careful consideration of what recognition might entail.”
00:29:56 (Boris VO, various film and TV archive shoots)
It was, in essence, a dependable way of making conflict inevitable. The question was, would the people buy it?
00:30:09 (Boris VO, various film and TV archive shoots)
Of course, as history has shown, there was one surefire way to mobilize public opinion in favour of a conflict and bring them back to the WWII mentality where all Serbs became Chetniks and all Croats Ustashe. Hardcore propaganda!
00:30:24 (VV, film and TV archive shoots) (Croatian)
Thompson: “Listen you band of Serb Chetnik soldiers! Our wrath will reach you in Serbia as well!”
00:30:38 (Cartoon) (film and TV archive shoots)
Croatian cartoon about Serbs: “This is Serbia”
00:30:44 (VV, Soldier) (Croatian)
Croatian soldier: “My specialty is killing Chetniks”
00:30:48 (VV, Singer) (Serbian)
Dzbun: “We Serbs are Supermen! We’re fighting against the world! We’re ready for a holy war, even if it lasts a hundred years!”
00:30:58 (VV) (Film and TV archive shoots) (Croatian)
Croatian song: “Protect Croatia with your blood!”
00:31:02 (VV) (film and TV archive shoots) (Croatian)
Branimir Glavas: “Feel free to call yourself Ustashe, because you’re just that!”
00:31:08 (VV) (Warlord arkan) (Serbian)
Arkan: “My message to the Ustashe is a bit vulgar: I’ll f**k your mother and father”
00:31:13 (VV) (Serbian)
Momcilo: “It’s time for the Serb revenge, all mosques must go up in the air!”
00:31:18 (VV) (Serbian)
Vojislav Seselj: “Now we slaughter with a shoehorn, a rusty one. That way you can’t figure out at the autopsy whether the victim died from the slaughter or tetanus.”
00:31:28 (BV, various TV and film archive shoots) (Croatian)
Song about the Jasenovac concentration camp: “This is the home of Ustashe butchers!”
00:31:43 (VV) (Croatian)
Croat girl: “I think all girls would agree – we should slaughter and kill these fascist Chetniks”
00:31:50 (VV) (Bosnian)
Alija Izetbegovic: “You have broken the spine of the Chetnik enemy“, Masses: „Allah-Akbar“
00:31:58 (VV) (Serbian)
Army commander: “We wish you happy mine-field crossings with the song – Make at least one wrong step.”
00:32:03 (VV) (Serbian and Croatian news archive footage) (Serbo-Croatian)
Serb TV: “The destroyed town of Vukovar”
Croat TV: “The destroyed town of Vukovar”
Serb TV: “In which the enemy is showing its genocidal nature by massacreing Vukovar Serbs”
Croat TV: “In which the enemy is showing its genocidal nature by massacreing Vukovar Croats”
Serb TV: “Pictures from Vukovar completely negate allegations of the Croat-Zagreb propaganda about killed Croats.”
Croat TV: “Pictures from Vukovar completely negate allegations of the Serb-Belgrade propaganda about killed Serbs.”
00:32:33 (Boris VO) Various TV archive shoots)
Yup, they were pretty much all the same.
00:32:37 (VV, various TV archive shoots) (Serbian)
Veran Matic: “The wars and nature of the wars were prepared before the wars actually started. When they did start, the role of the media was to further homogenize, futher brutalize, to give people new motives to take part in the war and be on their worst behavior.”
00:33:00 (VV) (Various TV archive shoots) (Serbian)
Woman on TV: “Well, when I watch television and see what’s really going on, I want to help and our Serbia is worth sacrificing one’s life for.”
00:33:06 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
There was no official military mobilization, it all worked on a voluntary basis.
00:33:10 (VV, scene from a film “Tito i Ja”) (Serbian)
Lazar Ristovski: “You.. and you. You two are volunteers.”
00:33:17 (Boris VO, TV archive shoots)
One man, though, who could make a difference, realized where this madness was heading. His name was JOSIP KIR.
00:33:24 (VV) (Croatian)
Jadranka Reihl-Kir: “My husband was the police chief of the Osijek-Baranja county in the Slavonian region of Croatia in 1991. Back then there was no Croatian Army, so all problems were being dealt with by the police.”
00:33:46 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
As rebel Serbs had put up road blocks to control passages towards Serb-populated areas, Josip Kir, who was a Croat, decided to resolve these issues in a peaceful manner.
00:33:56 (VV and various TV archive shoots) (Croatian)
Jadranka Reihl-Kir: “Exclusively through negotiations, he was able to take down every single road block. My husband never differentiated people according to ethnicity – he believed that people are either good or bad. Apparently, that was his disadvantage. At the time, Franjo’s party, the HDZ, was in power, and extreme elements within the HDZ did not agree with Kir’s policies of peace.”
00:34:24 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Kir was quickly becoming an obstacle to the aspirations of the Croatian HDZ and had to be taken out.
00:34:30 (VV) (Croatian)
Jadranka Reihl-Kir: My husband was murdered by a Croatian HDZ member, Antun Gudelj. He pulled the trigger.”
00:34:39 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Who ordered the assassination, however, remains unresolved.
00:34:43 (VV and various shoots) (Croatian)
Jadranka Reihl-Kir: “On the day he was murdered, a newspaper came out with the headline – With Kir no more, Slavonia is at war.”
00:34:52 (Boris VO, various shoots)
Yes, the war had started, best characterized by two words!
00:35:01 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
“Ethnic cleansing, ethnic cleansing,...”
00:35:02 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Ethnic cleansing. The term, however, was nothing new in the Balkans, as it was first used in WWII to describe how the Croatian Ustashe were cleansing Croatia of unwelcome ethnic elements such as Serbs and Jews. In the minds of Serbs during the 1990s, this was very much engraved in their national memory. Franjo didn’t care because he knew he had the support of just the right people. German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, in almost daily contact with Zagreb, gave his go-ahead for Croatian secession and actually pressured its Western allies to recognize Slovenia and Croatia.
00:35:35 (VV, scene from a film) (Serbian)
Lazar Ristovski: “Who else would attack us Serbs other than the Germans! Don’t you ever get tired of that?”
00:35:41 (VV, various TV archive shoots)
Srdja Trifkovic: “The German Serbophobia [...] it was geopolitical in the sense of 1914 and 1941. And that continuity also reflected itself in the almost visceral preference for the Croats and the Slovenes, who after all had belonged to the German cultural and state structures for hundreds of years.”
00:36:04 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
There was, however, one problem in this plan. The Serbs – who were now a constitutional people of Croatia! That pretty much meant that no decisions about Croatia could be made without the Serbs, while Serbs and Croats had an equal status. Now, Serbs were facing increasing discrimination by the Croatian government.
00:36:22 (VV, various TV archive shoots)
Gregory Elich: “A lot of people were killed outright and threatened. People lost their jobs. It wasn’t just Serbs, even say Croatians who’s married partner was Serbian faced similar discrimination.”
00:36:36 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Franjo knew this all too well. So what did he do? He wrote a new Constitution.
00:36:42 (VV, Milan Panic) (Serbian)
Milan Panic: “The constitution says that Croatia is a country of Croats. That’s automatic ethnic cleansing. Constitutional.”
00:36:49 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
By creating such a Croatian constitution, Franjo violated the Yugoslav constitution which he considered invalid, but he still wanted to keep the internal Yugoslav borders. The Serbs had a different idea.
00:36:59 (various TV archive shoots) (Serbian)
Krajina rebellion: “This is Serbia!”
00:37:02 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
What the Croatian Serbs wanted was to have control over the lands they populated, their own self-government, their schools, a right to preserve their language, culture and national identity. The Croats really wanted the same, feeling threatened by what was now being described by Zagreb as the Serbo-Yugoslav giant.
00:37:18 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots and animation)
The Serbs thought, well, if Croats can separate from Yugoslavia, why can’t the Serbs separate from Croatia? After all, the same thing happened in America back during the Civil War. When Virginia seceded from the U.S., the northwestern part of the State seceded from Virginia to form West Virginia that was loyal to the Union.
00:37:35 (VV, various TV archive shoots)
Scott Taylor: “When I got there, when we inspected the lines these guys all told me their heroic stories of how they were just simple peasant Croats that had been, you know, patriots. And the JNA was this formidable fighting force they had overcome […] All the weapons that they had, they said that they had to capture from the JNA. Well, that might have worked on someone else. I looked around and I did my in-training, I mean, and I knew who made various Kalashnikovs. [...] Every single one of the weapons carried by these guys, everything from machine guns to sniper reiffles, was all made in East Germany.”
00:38:11 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Even though Croatia never officially admitted that Germany was arming them, they decided to thank the Germans with a song. In German, you know, so only the Germans would understand.
00:38:19 (VV, Danke Deutschland) (Deutsch)
Danke Deutschland by Sanja Trumbic: “Thank you Germany, my soul is burning. Thank you Germany, for this lovely gift”
00:38:28 (VV, various TV archive shoots)
Scott Taylor: “If you follow that bouncing ball, just recently, just last summer, Croatia donated surplus, 4 or 5 thousand Kalashnikovs to the Afghan National Army. Those aren’t surplus, what they’re doing is hiding essentially a murder weapon.”
00:38:44 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
The Serbs had more than enough weapons and they were too eager to crush the Croatian Army.
00:38:49 (VV, Seselj) (Serbian)
Vojislav Seselj: “As far as their army is concerned, 20, 30 Chetniks fixes everything.”
00:39:02 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
The Croatian town of Vukovar was under siege for 87 days, which later brought a phyric victory to the Serb forces. Why phyric? Well, because they actually destroyed the entire city!
00:39:13 (VV, various TV archive shoots) (Croatian)
Zeljko Sabo: “The whole world became aware of the tragedy of Vukovar. Over 4,000 people living in Vukovar perished.”
00:39:22 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
A horrific example of how territory suddenly became more important than the people living on it.
00:39:31 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Even though they were brainwashed into thinking they were doing the right thing, some people woke up and realized what was really going on.
00:39:39 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
MILAN LEVAR, a Croat who was determined to protect his town of Gospic from the Serbs, was among the first to join the newly established Croat Army, but quickly became disillusioned after an order he received.
00:39:50 (VV) (Croatian)
Zeljko Peratovic: “Milan Levar was a Croatian defender who got tasks in 1991 to murder Serb civilians, which he saw as immoral and wrong, thus refusing to complete them.
00:40:04 (VV, Levar’s Wife) (Croatian)
Vesna Levar: “In June of 1992, my husband got out of the Army after his unwillingness to carry out orders of those who were in power here in Gospic.”
00:40:17 (VV, TV archive shoots) (Croatian)
Zeljko Peratovic: “He then alerted the proper authorities about the crimes being committed in Gospic. Since the authorities did nothing, in 1993 Levar resorted to public appearances, talking about the injustice against his fellow citizens, the Serbs of Gospic, but also some Croats who either didn’t agree with the policies of ethnic cleansing in Gospic, or simply were an obstacle to those in power at the time.” (Zeljko Peratovic)
00:40:48 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
His fight brought him all the way to the International Criminal Court where he testified. After that, however, extreme elements in Croatia decided to silence Milan Levar.
00:40:59 (VO, VV various TV archive shoots) (Croatian)
Vesna Levar: “He was killed by a planted bomb in his own back yard. This was in 2000. when there was peace in Croatia.”
00:41:17 (VV, various TV archive shoots) (Croatian)
Zeljko Peratovic: “Milan Levar was a symbol of Croats who wanted a fair and just Croatia and that’s why he was killed. The government only partially investigated the crimes of Gospic, discovering 50 bodies and convicting 3 people of 15, 12 and 10 years in prison. And that’s where everything stopped.”
00:41:48 (Boris VO, various shoots and newspaper animation)
Instead of building peaceful and trusting relationships between the waring sides in Croatia, in 1992, the Pentagon was busy proclaiming its imperial hegemony over the world in its "Defense Planning Guide." According to the New York Times of 1992 this document asserts that the only possible course for the U.S. to pursue is complete world domination, and it adds that no other country has the right to aspire to the role of leadership, even as a regional power.
James Bissett: “It simply looked upon itself now as the supreme power in a unipolar world and that they could do whatever they wanted to do.”
00:42:25 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots and pictures)
Yugoslavia had to be broken down. And there was no better symbol for Yugoslavia than it’s central republic of Bosnia. War erupted into the worst bloodbath in Europe since World War II.
00:42:47 (various TV archive shoots)
John Hawthorne: “Civil war. Civil war is the worst kind of war. It involves brother versus brother, family member versus family member and it is one of the ugliest kind of conflicts.”
00:43:20 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots and pictures)
The Serbs wanted to have control over lands mainly inhabited by Serbs, including lands that were of strategic importance to them, the Croats wanted the same for themselves, while the Bosnian Muslims, or Bosniaks as they’re called today, wanted it all. To achieve this, the Bosnian government, now increasingly representing the Bosniak voice, started getting help from the Americans.
00:43:44 (various TV archive shoots and pictures, VV)
Lewis Mackenzie: “Secret flights started arriving at Tuzla and air drops and other areas. […] The Americans started to approve the delivery of arms to the Bosnian Muslims.”
00:43:54 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
American President Clinton later admitted in a book that the Americans didn’t enforce the arms embargo. Heck, but that’s not all. Alija was also offered the help of hundreds of Mujahadeen! Come on, who can say no to these guys. Serbs, on the other hand, relied heavily on aid from Belgrade. As the Yugoslav Army was the fourth largest in Europe, the West moved to stop Belgrade from helping the Serbs in Bosnia. So, in May of 1992 sanctions were imposed on what was left of Yugoslavia - Serbia and Montenegro.
00:44:26 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
By October 1993, 90 percent of Yugoslavia's domestic drug production stopped. The average daily intake of calories had fallen by 28 percent compared to 1990 and 1.5 million people were classified as undernourished. Two months later, over 60 percent of Yugoslavia's work force was unemployed and the average monthly income had dropped from $500 to $15. The markets and stores were close to empty.
00:44:55 (VV, scene from a film “Balkanski Spijun”) (Serbian)
Serbian movie: “There’s no meat, no medicine, no oil, not even regular light bulbs. Look!”
Lewis Mackenzie: “As usual, sanctions […] merely hurt the people at the lowest run on the ladder. People at the top benefit from them.”
Scott Taylor: “They forced the Serbs into what would happen anywhere, it was a criminal economy. The criminals became King, because we made it so.”
Lewis Mackenzie: “If you go to Belgrade […] now, what used to be the diplomatic areas are now all the thugs and goons that made tons of money from the war, on the black market.”, Boris: “War profiteers?”, Lewis Mackenzie: “Big time!”
00:45:33 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Slobo’s government hijacked the country’s financial system, while Serbia’s citizens were dooped by several pyramid schemes, most notably by those of Dafina Milanovic and Jezda Vasiljevic.
00:45:43 (VV) (Serbian)
Dafina: “ I repeatedly say that we’re smart people. I have decided that all those who live from Dafiment bank will continue to live.”
00:45:53 (VV) (Serbian)
Jezda: “My people! Do you wish a better life? Want a job? Pensions that are on time? Would you like your old foreign currency deposits? I can and will make this a reality.”
00:45:43 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
For themselves, of course. Because both Dafina and Jezda got the hell out of the country with the people’s money. The economic tragedy triggered by the sanctions was reaching it’s peek.
00:46:19 (VV, various TV archive shoots)
Gregory Elich: “The effect was quite severe. Especially in 1993, actually, the inflation rate in Yugoslavia was the highest in recorded history. As I recall, it was something like 1.8 billion percent inflation rate.”
00:46:34 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
They even printed a 500 billion dinar note. The lawlessness was intensifying and the mafia was taking control. In spite of the catastrophe around them, the Serbs would not heel to the will of the West, so one man decided to use this opportunity to save an organization that no longer had a purpose.
00:46:52 (Boris VO, NATO various TV archive shoots)
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, was a system of collective defense whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party, founded in 1949. The purpose, really, became to protect the West from the Soviets, a counter-balance to the later formed Warsaw Pact.
George Bogdanich: “President Eisenhower saw NATO as a defensive Alliance that eventually the Europeans would take over. Instead, the US has turned it into an instrument of power and Eastward expansion.”
00:47:27 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
But then the Soviet Union went bust.
00:47:29 (VV, various TV and film archive shoots)
George Bogdanich: “The US […] explicitly broke the agreement that was made with Gorbachev about not surounding Russia with hostile militarily armed states.” (George Bogdanich, 27:48 min)
00:47:44 (VV, various TV archive shoots)
John Bosnitch: “The colonization of Serbia is the bottom or second step on the staircase to Russia. We must be colonized because NATO […] learned Hitler’s lesson: Don’t have a two-front war when you’re attacking the Russians, you have to neutralize Yugoslavia the way Hitler did.”
00:48:03 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
But to do that, you’d need to create a case where you had to intervene against an enemy in Yugoslavia. Enter Joe Biden.
00:48:11 (VV, Senate Foreign relations Comittee)
Joe Biden: “We face […] a blatant act of Serbian expansionism and aggression […] This is no more a civil war than Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia had civil wars in the 1930s. This, as then in my view, is fascist thuggery on the march!” (Joe Biden and British response, 02:19 min)
00:48:29 (VV, various TV archive shoots)
George Bogdanich: “He was calling Serbs horrific names and at the same time he had a very influential position on the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate.” (George Bogdanich, 24:43 min)
00:48:39 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Biden was also emphasizing the importance of a new role for NATO, as seen in February of 1994 at the Senate hearing on the future of NATO.
00:48:47 (Boris VO, newspaper animation)
Joe Biden’s words: “Last month, while the allies reassured themselves in Brussels that NATO remains at the bedrock of European security, crimes of a kind that were tried at Nuremberg a half a century ago continued unabated in Bosnia. Without a common enemy to unite us, we may find that our conceptions of what constitutes national interest may very well divide us”
00:49:13 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
He found the common enemy in the Serbian people, who were already previously demonized by US Public Relation firms such as Ruder & Finn, hired by various separatist groups from Yugoslavia.
Michel Chossudovsky: “They not only demonized the Serbian leadership, they demonized the Serbian people.”
00:49:31 (VV, various BW archive shoots)
Sunil Ram: “The problem for the Serbs was that they were a little slow off the mark. They did not understand what was being done to them, and by the time they did, the whole Balkan region had collapsed into a state of conflict, in which the Serbs were made out, clearly, from propaganda at the time, to be the enemy of everybody else.”
00:49:53 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Thus, the US quickly set out to act against the Serbs, stirring up a storm in Croatia. Operation Storm, that is.
00:50:01 (VO, various TV archive shoots, VV)
Lewis Mackenzie: “They came up with a plan where the Croatian Army would launch an attack down into the Krajina and occupy the area that was manned by the Serbian minority that had been there for 4 or 5 centuries, but it was declared that they were much too radical to permit to continue within the borders of Croatia”
00:50:25 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
And at a meeting on the Brijuni islands, Franjo gave his go-ahead to general Ante Gotovina for the single largest act of ethnic cleansing during the Yugoslav wars:
00:50:34 (VO, various TV archive shoots) (Croatian)
Voice of Franjo: “We must inflict blows that will make the Serbs all but disappear [...] It is important that these [Serb] civilians start moving and then the army will follow them, and when the columns start moving, they will have a psychological effect on each other. [...] We provide them with an exit, while on the other hand we pretend to guarantee civilian human rights and the like...”
00:51:00 (Boris VO, various TV archive and BW shoots)
An operation that lasted 84 hours in August of 1995, resulted in the death of around 2,000, and a quarter of a million ethnically cleansed Serbs. Slobo and his generals, the protectors of all Serbs, had abandoned them.
00:51:14 (VV, Scene from a BW movie) (Serbian)
General: “Save yourselves if you can!” Soldiers: “Come back, General!”
Lewis Mackenzie: “Operation Storm was an American inspired, by some of my coleagues, because the people that were advising the Croatian Army were retired American general officers who operated just outside of Beltway in Washington.”
00:51:37 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Franjo was very happy.
00:51:39 (VV) (Croatian)
Franjo: “They didn’t even have time to take their dirty money, or underwear!”
00:51:46 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots and animation)
With the Serbs gone from Croatia, the Americans moved on to Bosnia. Simply pushing out the Serbs from there was not so easy, so a different strategy was implemented. Presenting the conflict in Bosnia as a civil war, which it was, instead of a war of Serbian aggression, meant that the Western public would be confused, and the water would be muddied. To intervene, the Americans needed to make clear who they had to intervene against.
Richard Holbrooke: “The Serbs started the war. The Serbs are the original cause of the war.”
Bill Clinton: “They are the complete aggressors and wrongdoers.”
00:52:19 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
NATO was used to militarily continue the colonization process, but Clinton knew it had to be somehow justified to the wider public. Perhaps the best example of what we’re talking about here is Srebrenica.
00:52:32 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Srebrenica, a village in Bosnia, was declared a UN safe zone for Bosniaks seeking refuge, but was never really demilitarized, which allowed Bosniak forces to attack neighboring Serb villages. Serb commander Ratko Mladic overran Srebrenica, with thousands of Muslims killed and ethnically cleansed.
00:52:51 (VV, various TV archive shoots)
Srdja Trifkovic: “What happened in Srebrenica was a stage managed fall of the enclave to the Serbian forces, which never expected to conquer it.”
00:53:00 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
The United Nations declared that this was genocide, even though UN observer Philip Corwin estimated that the number of killed Muslims in Srebrenica was no larger than the number of Serbs killed in villages around Srebrenica. But that didn’t matter, Srebrenica was to be used for a much greater agenda.
00:53:17 (VV, various TV archive shoots)
Srdja Trifkovic: “There are trustworthy witnesses on the Muslim side who claim that Alija Izetbegovic told them that Bill Clinton had indicated to him, Izetbegovic, that 5,000 dead Muslims would be the price of NATO intervention on the Bosnian Muslim side. They believe that Srebrenica was deliberately sacrificed by Izetbegovic in order to provide this burnt offering to the White House that would be the justification for intervention and indeed, ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’.”
00:53:48 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
The Bosniak government ‘had no choice’.
Joe Biden: “Mr Silajdzic, speaking for his government said:”
00:53:53 (VV) (Bosnian)
Haris Silajdzic: “We have no choice and our Presidency had no choice but to appeal for a military intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina”
Joe Biden: “You can not […] go this alone, the American public will not tolerate it, the Alliance can not stand it.”
00:54:10 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
And intervention ensued. Here was NATO, an organization formed for the sole purpose of defense of its member states, attacking a country that has not attacked or threatened any of its member states. Lewis Mackenzie, who was the Major General of the UN Army in charge of Sector Sarajevo, tried to warn the Americans of what they were embarking upon.
Lewis Mackenzie: “I appeared in front of Congress and they asked me my opinion. And I said – Start training your grandchildren to be peacekeepers in Bosnia, because you’re going to be there for generations. And a lot of them are still there.”
00:54:47 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
As heavily-armed US and NATO troops enforced the peace in Bosnia, the press and politicians alike portrayed Western intervention in the former Yugoslavia as a noble, if agonizingly belated, response to an outbreak of ethnic massacres and human rights violations.
00:55:03 (VV, various TV archive shoots)
Barry Lituchy: “A lot of the so-called liberal or left-wing or progressive media were themselves coopted by the mainstream viewpoint regarding the Balkans. In other words, they had bought into this paradigm that was presented to them by [...] the arms of the Government of the United States and of the EU powers.”
00:55:25 (VV, various TV archive shoots and pictures)
John Bosnitch: “Only the journalists who towed the line and found new ways to attack the Serbs, other than the ones their editors sent them to tell, other than the stories that were pre-written before they came to the Balkans [...] those guys excelled.”
00:55:40 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Of course, the bombing campaign forced the Bosnian Serbs to surrender. At the peace accord signing, which internally divided Bosnia into a Serb entity and a Muslim Croat entity, all those responsible for intensifying the war were praising peace.
00:55:54 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
This is the village of Vrhbarje, near Sokolac in Bosnia, inhabited mainly by Serbs and Muslims. After the imposed Dayton peace accords, the villagers were aware of what this meant to them, and as the town became a part of the Serb entity, the Muslims decided to collectively leave to their own entity.
00:56:14 (VV, TV archive shoots) (Bosnian)
“Both of you in tears!“ (Interviewer), “Neighbours!” (Suno, Muslim), “Neighbours.” (Nedjo, Serb), “Today you’re parting ways.” (Interviewer), “That we are.” (Suno) “Well, is it hard?” (Interviewer), “Yes, as you can see.” (Suno), “Two neighbors saying goodbye in tears?” (Interviewer), “From the depth of my heart, and his - definitely.” (Suno) “Definitely.” (Nedjo) “You lived together for so many years…” (Interviewer), “As many years as he’s lived, we’ve lived together.” (Suno), “Together for 68 years” (Nedjo), “Without fights, disagreements…” (Interviewer), “Always helping each other, our entire lives and now as well.” (Suno) “And how is it now?” (Interviewer) “It’s hard. Dear God, it’s hard.” (Suno)
00:57:01 (VV, TV archive shoots) (Bosnian)
“Was there any abuse by the other side, was it bad for you here?” (Interviewer), “Never. It couldn’t have been better.” (Nura, Muslim)
00:57:10 (VV, various TV archive shoots) (Bosnian)
“Are you sad?” (Interviewer), “Of course I’m sad we’re saying goodbye to our neighbours, we’ve always liked them.. We got along great.” (Senad, Muslim), “Did the Serb kids ever provoke you or cause any problems?” (Interviewer), “No, never, everything between us was good, just like before.” (Senad)
00:57:30 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
This video footage has never been shown anywhere before. It just didn’t fit the image the Western media had tried to hard to project, the tidy melodrama of the evil Serbs destroying everything non-Serb in sight. Do you think this would mobilize Western public opinion to intervene?
00:57:47 (VV, various TV archive shoots) (Serbian)
“No disagreements, no pressures, no fights.” (Interviewer) “No, never. Never here.” (Nura)
00:57:53 (VV, various TV archive shoots) (Serbian-Bosnian)
“You’re alive and well.” (Interviewer), “Alive and well, never had any problems, not the slightest problem. Lots of people came, soldiers, different ethnic groups, nobody even gave me a dirty look.” (Zenka, Muslim)
00:58:00 (VV, various TV archive shoots) (Bosnian)
“We had everything we needed, even the Army came to give us clothing, feed us. They really took good care of us.” (Nura)
00:58:10 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
What? Serbs not behaving like genocidal maniacs? I must be dreaming.
00:58:14 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots) (Bosnian)
“Our neighbours are here, we’re all crying.” (Zenka) “Because you’re leaving” (Interviewer), “We’re saying goodbye in a way human beings should!” (Zenka)
00:58:25 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Human beings? Them?
00:58:28 (VV, various TV archive shoots) (Bosnian)
“I want things to be like before, for problems to get fixed so we can live together again. I want Yugoslavia back, like it was before.” (Kadrija, Muslim)
00:59:08 (Boris VO, various pictures)
Human compassion was something that was completely normal to a young Serbian man from Trebinje in Herzegovina called SRDJAN ALEKSIC.
00:59:16 (Boris VO, Srdjan’s father)
Srdjan’s father recalled how his son noticed that the Serb police were arresting a man on an ethnic basis.
00:59:22 (VV, Srdjan’s father, various reconstruction shoots) (Serbian)
Rade Aleksic: “Srdjan saw the police taking away Alen and he followed them to see why they were doing so. They then confronted a drunk soldier who seized Alen from the policemen, quickly realizing he’s a Muslim. At the time, Alen was a soldier of the Army of Republika Srpska and was on leave due to an injury he sustained during battle and the necessary rehabilitation needed. The drunk soldier took out his knife to slaughter Alen on the street, the worst possible death for a man. Srdjan intervened and started fighting with the soldier. Alen managed to escape, while Srdjan threw the soldier’s knife and began walking away. However, three other soldiers, who were watching the fight from far away, attacked Srdjan, threw him to the ground, kicked him, hit him… and left Srdjan on the street unconscious. My son was taken to the hospital where they diagnosed him as having a brain hemorage. Srdjan was fighting for his life for seven days. On the seventh day, January 27, 1993, my son passed away.”
01:00:45 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
This is one among many stories of true heroism that never made it to the Western media. The West was more focused on escalating the conflict so they could have the excuse for jumping in for their own interests. As the world celebrated peace in Bosnia 1992, the international financial institutions were busily collecting former Yugoslavia's external debt from its remnant states, while transforming the Balkans into a safe-haven for free enterprise. In late 1995, the West unveiled a "reconstruction" program that stripped Bosnia of sovereignty to a degree not seen in Europe since the end of World War II. It was pure colonialism, consisted largely of making Bosnia a divided territory under NATO military occupation and foreign administration. This pattern of intervention was so successful, that the West just had to replicate it in Kosovo.
Visar Yimeri: “I think that the region is important in geostrategic terms. They saw Kosovo as a very potential country to actually secure their presence in the region.”
01:01:46 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
But the West underestimated the importance that Kosovo has to the Serbian people.
01:01:55 (VV, various TV archive shoots)
Bill Clinton: “My fellow Americans, today our armed forces joined our NATO allies in air strikes against Serbian forces responsible for the brutality in Kosovo.”
01:02:05 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
On March 24, 1999, on the order of Javier Solana, in an act of pure aggression, NATO had violated international law and the UN charter by launching an air assault on Yugoslavia. The people of Yugoslavia, however, decided to show their true spirit, by going outside, singing songs and having fun on their bridges in spite of the catastrophe around them.
01:02:27 (various TV archive shoots) (Serbian)
The song “We love our fatherland!”
01:02:33 (VV) (Serbian)
TV: “Did you hear that the air raid sirens have sounded off in Belgrade?” Ceca: „Yes, and I don’t give a damn!“
01:02:39 (VV) (Serbian)
Woman: “Clinton, f**k you, we’ll win!”
01:02:42 (VV) (Serbian)
Man: “I want to say that Clinton is a woman and has no heart! He’s without mercy, that motherf… I apologize.”
01:02:51 (VV) (Serbian)
Another man: “If they bomb our village bridge, we’ll build it again in… 3 hours! Just because we can.”
Scott Taylor: “We thought the Serbs should last 5 days under the bombing and then [give up]. No one expected them to run on the bridges, put on target T-shirts,…”
01:03:08 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
The declared mission was to stop the violance in Kosovo and topple Slobo. Bombing Yugoslavia had the opposite affect, as the conflict in Kosovo only intensified, and the public rallied behind Slobo.
The reality of the war, however, was far too gruesome. Schools, hospitals, bridges, TV stations, and even foreign embassies, were all legitimate military targets for NATO.
01:03:33 (various TV archive shoots)
Scott Taylor: “The things that they bombed, I mean, the power grid. […] Night after night they would hit the power grid, knock it out so that they couldn’t pump water and, you know, the bakeries couldn’t fire up in Belgrade. So, denying […] millions of people access to daily bread and water. How does that affect the counter insurgency efforts of the Serbian security forces in the province of Kosovo?
01:02:42 (Boris VO)
These were attacks on the Serbian people.
Vlade Divac: “When civilians die, they call them collateral damage. That’s what makes you feel bad, because they’re humans, you know, they have their names and they’re everything for their families. But, for the rest of the world, they’re just collateral damage.”
01:04:11 (VO, various TV archive shoots)
Scott Taylor: “They hit the cigarette factory in Nis three times. And it ended up being purchased by Phillip Morris. Well if I walk into a supermarket with a hammer and start smashing stuff and then say – look, I’ll pay you a pittens for the remains, I’m a viking and a vandal.”
01:04:28 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Apparently the cigarettes made in Nis were also killing Albanians in Kosovo, so they needed to be taken out.
01:04:35 (VV, various TV archive shoots)
Scott Taylor: “Obviously Phillip Morris had an issue with the cigarette factory in Nis, it was one of their main competitors in the European market.”
01:04:41 (VV, various TV archive shoots)
John Bosnitch: “The real purpose of the war was to economically colonise the country. […] To replace the whole non-compatible domestic infrastructure with German-compatible, American-compatible economic systems. So, bomb the car factory, the Yugo car factory, the car that managed to make it into the U.S. market, bomb that to the ground. Bomb the cement factories, bomb the oil industry, […] bomb all of the telecommunication systems so you can sell them the new ones, much more expensive, but not any better.”
01:05:13 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoot, newspaper animation)
If this was NATO’s job, it had to have been well coordinated in advance. In fact, almost a year prior to the war, the World Bank carefully analyzed the consequences of an eventual military intervention leading to the occupation of Kosovo and conducted relevant "simulations" which "anticipated the possibility of an emergency scenario arising out of the tensions in Kosovo." This suggests that NATO had already briefed the World Bank at an early stage of military planning. The plans for occupation started before a good enough pretext to intervene was found.
01:05:45 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
But hold on, occupation? Weren’t we told that Kosovo was to be liberated from the Serbian aggressors who invaded it? Well, I have yet to find someone who can explain how a country can invade itself. History was twisted in a way that would give the West a believable pretext to intervene.
01:06:01 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
After 5 centuries of Turkish rule, Kosovo legally became a part of Serbia in 1912. By then, a lot of the Serbs were long gone, and those that were left were again under attack during World War II, when the Albanian fascists took over Kosovo. Mustafa Kruja, the Prime Minister of Albania, was in Kosovo in June 1942, and at a meeting with the Albanian leaders of Kosovo, he said: "We should endeavor to ensure that the Serb population of Kosovo be – the area be cleansed of them and all Serbs who had been living there for centuries should be termed colonialists and sent to concentration camps in Albania. The Serb settlers should be killed."
01:06:39 (VV, various TV archive shoots)
Srdja Trifkovic: “The terror against the indigenous Serbian population reached significant proportions with over 10,000 being killed in cold blood and twice that number being expelled.”
01:06:59 (Boris VO, various BW TV archive shoots)
Here’s Tito with Enver Hoxha, the Albanian dictator during communist times. You see, one thing I didn’t mention about Tito is that he didn’t just want to be ruler of Yugoslavia, he wanted most of the Balkans, a federation including parts of Greece and Italy, Bulgaria and Albania as well. This meant that the Albanian dictator Hoxha was to be shown just how much the Albanians were well treated in Yugoslavia. So, the Yugoslav Albanians, living mostly in Kosovo, got a better living standard than in Albania! Their own University, schools, newspapers, political institutions, cultural centres, everything in the Albanian language. Albanians from Albania were flooding into Kosovo with ease, and the Serbs were being pushed out.
01:07:47 (VV) (Serbian)
Serb woman in 1982: “There were 200 Serb houses here, now there’s only 5. Everyone left, from pressures, terror.”
01:08:00 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Western media failed to mention any of this. The official story was that Kosovo Albanians wanted independence because of Slobo’s actions in the 1990s, which ignored the fact that Albanians demanded for Kosovo the status of a Republic quickly after Tito’s Yugoslavia was formed, around the time Slobo was born, and even held mass demonstrations in 1968. In ‘74, Tito gave Kosovo, still a province of Serbia, all the traits of a Republic and this effectively helped the Albanian leaders to continue what was started in World War II.
John Hawthorne: “You had a lot of low level intimidation. [...] Attacks on individuals that are not dealt with by the police, in that sense, effectively. There are no arrests that follow.”
01:08:42 (VV) (Serbian)
Serb man in 1985: „We can’t stand this terror anymore!”
01:08:45 (Boris VO, newspaper animation, various TV archive shoots)
A New York Times article published on July 12th 1982, many years before Slobo came to power said that “the exodus of Serbs is admittedly one of the main problems that the authorities have to contend with in Kosovo.” Regarding the Albanians who want to separate from Yugoslavia, Becir Hoti, an executive secretary of the Communist Party of Kosovo stated that ''the nationalists have a two-point platform - first to establish what they call an ethnically clean Albanian republic and then the merger with Albania to form a greater Albania.”
01:09:14 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
And they were desparate for help, they needed it at any cost. Any cost you say?
01:09:20 (VV, girl sings)
Albanian girl, Medlina Bardhi, singing: “Madeleine (Albright), I love you! I forget you never! Madeleine, I adore you, now and forever! My dreams come true cuz I have your name. When I grow up, I will do for children the same!”
Madeleine Albright: “There are a lot of little girls in Kosovo whose first name is Madeleine.”
Richard Holbrooke: “If you want, we can talk here or we can go outside”
01:10:09 (Reporter VO)
Albanian American conference, New York, 2004: “Mr. Clark, this is your group, they’re all KLA, former fighters.”
Richard Holbrooke: “Thank you for the enormous amount of money you’ve raised tonight!”
Bill Clinton: “I must say, I never expected that anywhere someone would make such a big statue of me.”
01:10:47 (Boris VO, newspaper animation, various TV archive shoots)
You gotta hand it to the Albanians, they really know how to flatter the Americans. Trouble is the Albanians didn’t know what they were getting themselves into. In 1998, the KLA was still classified by the U.S. State Department as: “a terrorist organization bankrolled by the proceeds from the heroin trade and by Osama bin Laden”.
01:11:07 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
As it became more evident that the KLA was driving events in Kosovo, the U.S. realized it could use them for their own interests.
01:11:13 (VO, various TV archive shoots)
Gregory Elich: “The whole northern Albania region was actually under the control of the KLA, not the Albanian government and U.S. cargo planes were landing at a rate of two a day bringing supplies and arms shippments. British special forces, CIA, U.S. military forces were providing training to the KLA – this was before the war. Germany was shipping ex-East German military arms to Albania, with the understanding that Albania would provide it to the KLA.”
01:11:43 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
The goal was to provoke a harsh response from the Serbian army, so the West could pretend it’s jumping in to stop the war and impose its policies. Slobo sent in the military and a full blown conflict erupted in 1998.
01:11:56 (VV, various TV archive shoots) (Serbian)
Slobodan Samardzic: “The situation of an unsolvable conflict between Serbs and Albanians was simulated under the banner of human rights violations. Human rights were used as a matra through which Western, especially US, public opinion would accept the legitimacy of intervention.”
01:12:20 (VO, VV various TV archive shoots)
Barry Lituchy: “Certainly everything the United States have done in Afghanistan and Iraq, [...] is far worse than what the Serbian military ever did in Kosovo.”
01:12:28 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
If you’re gonna colonize a territory, might as well put it on paper.
US State Secretary Madeleine Albright, masterminded the so-called Rambouillet agreement which was modeled on the Dayton Accords imposed on Bosnia. Here NATO outlined how it will occupy and colonize Yugoslavia, in Annex B of the Rambouillet agreement:
01:12:47(Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
“NATO personnel shall enjoy, together with their vehicles, vessels, aircraft, and equipment, free and unrestricted passage and unimpeded access throughout Yugoslavia”
01:12:56 (VV, various TV archive shoots)
Milan Milutinovic: “They took us to Rambouillet to drown us!”
01:13:02 (VV, various TV archive shoots)
George Kenney: “We intentionally raised the bar too high, we knew that they could not accept this Addendum to the Agreement and the intention was to go ahead and bomb.”
01:13:14 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
In fact, this Annex was secret! That’s right, it was not revealed to the public until several months after the beginning of the war. The document also went a step further and basically promised Kosovo secession in 3 years.
01:13:28 (VO -> VV, various TV archive shoots)
Bill Clinton: “The Kosovar leaders signed that agreement last week. Even though it does not give them all they want…”
01:13:33 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Nope, they have to wait 3 more years to get it.
Bill Clinton: “…they saw that a just peace is better than a long and unwinnable war. The Serbian leaders, on the other hand, refused even to discuss key elements of the peace agreement.”
01:13:49 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Gee, I wonder why. “Hey, do you want us to occupy you this way or that way?” Of course while the true details were hidden, the story was presented that the Americans wanted to protect the Albanians.
01:13:59 (VV, American talk show)
Fox News: “Maybe we could show some refugee pictures, you know what, they break my heart, America’s been responding to this terror, these pictures that have been going on and all these attrocities. […] You look at all the attrocities, all the misery and mayhem and insanity – there’s an incideous evil that permeates this Earth.”
01:14:15 (VV, various TV archive shoots)
Many Albanians didn’t buy it.
01:14:17 (VV, various TV archive shoots) (Serbian)
First Albanian: “I’m not Orthodox, I’m an Albanian. From the First World War to today, I’ve never lived better anywhere than in Kosovo and Yugoslavia. The country that is the richest and should be the smartest in the world, is bringing evil to Yugoslavia, the Yugoslav and Albanian people. This is all the fault of the KLA, America and NATO.”
01:14:47 (VV) (Serbian)
TV newscaster: “But the West says they’re helping you and solving the humanitarian crisis”, Second Albanian: “Bombing doesn’t help anyone.”
Visar Yimeri: “I consider that the intervention of the West in 1999 against Serbia was [...] made possible by the geostrategic interests that the Western countries might have had and especially the United States of America.”
01:15:09 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
This had nothing to do with the Albanians, or the Americans caring about them.
01:15:13 (VO, Serbian war reporter) (Serbian)
Miroslav Lazanski: “Can NATO pilots distinguish tractors from Yugoslav Army tanks from the air? 10 days after the incident, we stand on the spot of the NATO slaughter of Albanian refugees from Kosovo, near the town of Djakovica.”
01:15:28 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
That’s right, NATO killed Albanian civilians too. Lots of them. If they cared about Albanians, or Serbs for that matter, the West wouldn’t have aided the KLA which was directly linked to organized crime and the narcotics trade. You don’t help anyone by aiding the mafia. After the highly publicized Racak massacre which was later to be revealed by Finnish forensic Helena Ranta as staged, NATO bombed Yugoslavia, but failed to destroy the Yugoslav military.
Gregory Elich: “By the end of NATO bombing, only 13 Yugoslav tanks were destroyed and a lot of those were old models that were left out deliberately as decoys.”
01:16:03 (VO, various TV archive shoots)
John Bosnitch: “The Serbs had ingenius methods of protecting their military defences. They built wooden tanks, painted them to look like a real tank and put an old heater or microwave oven inside it and turned it on. NATO goes by with hiper-high technology, sees the target and bombs it. OK, those bombs cost several hundred thousand dollars per go, and the tar paper tank costs about 200 bucks.”
01:16:28 (VO -> VV scene from a Serbian film) (Serbian)
Bata Stojkovic: “ Let me tell you a joke. An Englishman, a Bulgarian, a Frenchman and a Serb are sitting in an airplane. Now, I’m not quite sure what happened, but in the end, the Serb was the smartest and outwitted everyone else!”
01:16:58 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
So why did Slobo give in to NATO?
01:17:02 (VO, various TV archive shoots)
Gregory Elich: “At the June 2nd meeting when Marti Ahtisaari and Viktor Chernomyrdin came to Belgrade to meet with Milosevic, Ahtisaari read […] NATO’s terms and Milosevic asked if it could be modified or discussed, and Ahtisaari said “No, you have to accept this in its entirety.” Milosevic asked them: “What would happen then if I don’t sign?”
There was a table between them with a flower vase and Ahtisaari moved the vase to the side and said: “Belgrade will be like this table.” Then he repeated the gesture of his arm sweeping across the table. He said in a weeks time there will be half a million dead, it will be carpet bombing Belgrade.”
01:17:40 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Faced with Ahtisaari’s monstruous threat, Slobo had no choice and signed the agreement, while Ahtisaari went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008.
01:17:56 (VO, various TV archive shoots)
CBS: “This is a CBS News Special Report, part of our continuing coverage of the Crisis over Kosovo”, Dan Rather: “Earlier today, Serb forces began withdrawing from Kosovo and NATO suspended its 11 week bombing campaign. The UN Security Council then voted to authorize a NATO-led force of up to 50,000 troops to move into Kosovo immediately.”
Visar Yimeri: “The first step of the Western geostrategic interests was fulfilled in 1999 being that NATO troops entered Kosovo and they remain still in Kosovo.” (KOSOVO 04, 08:24 min)
01:18:20 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Along with U.S. troops which established Camp Bondsteel, the second largest foreign military base outside of Germany, an army of lawyers and consultants was sent into the now occupied Kosovo under World Bank auspices to create an "enabling environment" for foreign capital. And how was this done?
Gregory Elich: “They set up an organization to manage the privatization of socially owned enterprises and after a certain period of time they determined that they would do this without any regard to legal ownership, that they wouldn’t have to pay any attention to who actually legally owned this, they just basically confiscated it and privatized it, sold it to whom they chose.”
01:19:02 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Yugoslav State banks in Kosovo were closed down and the Deutschmark was adopted as legal tender. Almost the entire banking system in Kosovo was handed over to Germany’s Commerzbank A.G. which gained full control over commercial banking functions for the province.
01:19:17 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
One second though. Think about this for a little bit. Human rights violations. War crimes. Those are the reasons the West went in to Kosovo, we’ve been told by the media, right? So why was the head of the UN mission of Kosovo most obsessed with taking over a coal mine from the Serbs?
01:19:36 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Prior to the bombings, Western investors already had their eyes riveted on the massive Trepca mining complex which constitutes "the most valuable piece of real estate in the Balkans, worth at least $5 billion."
01:19:50 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
The Trepca complex not only includes copper and large reserves of zinc but also cadmium, gold, and silver.
01:19:57 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
The International Crisis Group, a think tank supported by Financier George Soros, issued a paper on "Trepca: Making Sense of the Labyrinth" which told UNMIK "to take over the Trepca mining complex from the Serbs as quickly as possible” and that “handing Trepca over to the Kosovars is ruled out”.
01:20:13 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
And in August 2000, UNMIK Head Bernard Kouchner sent in heavily armed "peacekeepers" wearing surgical masks against toxic smoke to occupy the mine. This was done on the pretense that it was creating an environmental hazard through excessive air pollution.
01:20:28 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Of course, a healthy environment had always been a top priority of the West in Yugoslavia, even during the bombing campaign nicknamed “Merciful angel”.
01:20:38 (VO, various TV archive shoots)
RT: “After NATO used depleted uranium munitions here during the 1999 bombing, military experts from Belgrade have registered an increased radiation level and claim the area is highly contaminated. Dr. Sedlak was the first to raise the alarm. In 2001, he registered an unprecedented increase in cancer patients.”
01:20:50 (VO, various TV archive shoots)
Doctor: “There is no other place in the modern world where so many people and so many young people aged between 30 and 40 die from cancer.” RT: “In this animal hospital in the South of Serbia, one of the most bombed regions, there is evidence of something going wrong.
01:21:02 (VV, Journalist)
As it takes billions of years for uranium to decay, the ghost of the merciful angel will hang over the region virtually forever.”
01:21:12 (Boris VO, various shoots)
See, that’s perfectly fine. Meanwhile, the United Nations had handed over the management of the entire Trepca mining complex to a Western consortium. With a stake in the Trepca deal was Morrison Knudsen International. The new conglomerate was the Washington Group, one of the World's most powerful engineering and construction firms as well as a major Defense contractor in the US.
01:21:34 (Boris VO, various shoots)
Are any of the Western politicians, businessmen or lobbyists facing charges for stealing from the Yugoslav people, for crimes against the people of the former Yugoslavia? Nope. Not a single one of them. Instead, to escepe any persecution, they set up a tribunal in the Hague, the Netherlands, to try the Yugoslav people involved in the war.
Srdja Trifkovic: “The Hague Tribunal was founded in 1993 on the basis of the Security Council Resolution, rather than General Assembly Resolution, which means that it is an ad hoc body created on the basis of political rather than legal principles.”
01:22:14 (Boris VO, various shoots and TV archive shoots)
When you’re creating a colony, you only lock up the dissidents. Back in Belgrade, Slobo, who was declared a man of peace in 1995 when he handed over Bosnia to the West, after he was being stubborn about doing the same for Kosovo, got indicted for war crimes.
John Perkins: “I think every major world leader knows that if they don’t go along with the system, that they’re likely to be taken out one way or another.”
01:22:38 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
After an extensive anti-Slobo campaign readily financed by Western wallets,
01:22:43 (VO, Euronews footage)
The EU and the USA have spent millions of Euros in equipping opposition movements inside Yugoslavia with the necessary resources to fight in election campaign.
01:23:52 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Slobo lost the elections in September of 2000, but wouldn’t heel to his opponent, Vojislav Kostunica. Vojo decided that enough was enough.
01:23:07 (VO, drums)
Victory, victory shoutet the crowd, Slobodan, Slobodan save Serbia and kill yourself
01:23:14 (VV, Slobodan announces that he’s been defeated) (Serbian)
Slobo: “I congratulate Vojislav Kostunica on his election victory.”
01:23:19 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Slobo fell. But what next? The politicians were all back to quarelling over insignificant nonsense, in the hottest TV reality show also known as the Serbian National Assembly.
01:23:33 (VV, TV presenter) (Serbian)
Vladimir Jelic: “The MPs spent the night making accusations and even swearing.”
01:23:39 (VO, Serbian parlament) (Serbian)
RTS: “After members of DS allegedly talked dirty about his mother, Aleksandar Vucic asked the President of Parliament to intervene several times”,
01:23:46 (VV) (Serbian)
Aleksandar Vucic: “This bandit from the Democratic Party swore at me more than once!”
01:23:49 (VV, Serbian parlament) (Serbian)
Dragan Todorovic: “I’m ready to make my modest contribution to our path to Europe, as I know what you’ll need there. Unlike those who have been taking their stockings off, dear Minister, I will give you a pair of stockings that you’ll need for the EU.”
01:24:13 (VV, Serbian parlament) (Serbian)
Aleksandar Vucic: “The only thing worse than appointing Ceku and Thaci’s archduke and Solana’s corporal, Boris Tadic, would be to give the title of Prime Minister to the archdule of Meridijan bank worth 11 million Euros.”
01:24:27 (VV, Serbian Parlament) (Serbian)
Bozidar Djelic: “I would’ve prefered if members of the Radical Party here said ‘Bravo Djelic! That’s the stuff! Show everyone how a Serb can be successful in finances! Bozo, you da man! Show! Show everyone! We’re proud of you! One archdule, an archduke of finances, Bozidar Djelic, well done!”
01:24:46 (VV, a historic Shoe) (Serbian)
Dragan Todorovic: “This is the second shoe that will go down in history. The world will hear about this.”
01:24:56 (VO, Newscaster) (Serbian)
Newscaster: “This is the first time shoes were thrown around in Parliament, adding to a long line of incident including water splashing and forceful removal of MPs.”
01:25:07 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Instead of focusing on the really important things, they allowed the further fragmentation of Yugoslavia. In 2003, the name “Yugoslavia“ officially ceased to exist thanks to the genius perscription of Havier Solana.
01:25:23 (VV, Comedians) (Serbian)
Question: “Is that the famous doctor Solana?” Micko: “Yes, the famous NATOlogist, OEBSologist and bombardologist.”
01:25:29 (Boris VO, various shoots)
However, one man didn’t want to give up his country and its system so easily. Blasko Gabric, from my hometown of Subotica, decided to make a radical move.
Blasko Gabric: “Yugoslavian socialism was much much better socialism than any other socialism, alright, comparing to the Russians or comparing with Chinese. We had a Heaven. If you can imagine a Heaven in the Earth, that was Yugoslavia.”
01:25:53 (Boris VO)
Blasko explains who took away his piece of Heaven.
01:25:56 (VO -> VV)
Blasko Gabric: “The Western world, they want to talk ‘You will go to Heaven when you die.’ They don’t want afford you Heaven when you’re alive.”
01:26:06 (Boris VO)
So, he turned his property of 15 hectars into a new, fourth Yugoslavia.
Blasko Gabric: They destroy your factory, if they put everything on private. Whatever we had we don’t have anymore, what do you call that?”
01:26:18 (Boris VO)
The West said this was democracy.
01:26:21 (VV, Explanation of Democracy)
Blasko Gabric: “We have a very very nice joke. When Muslim people ask their priest how can he explain democracy to them, to be capable to understand. Says, well, very simple I can explain that to you. See, when I go in top of minaret and you are down below me and I piss on you guys, even you can piss on me too. That’s democracy.”
01:26:48 (Boris VO)
Well, jokes aside, taking away Yugoslavia’s name had a more malevolent motive.
01:26:54 (VO -> VV)
Blasko Gabric: “When they take Yugoslavia away, when they call [...] Serbia and Montenegro [...] West promised to the Montenegro: Leave the Serbia alone”
01:27:02 (Boris VO)
Come 2006, after a controversial referendum Montenegro became the newest country of the world.
01:27:10 (Newspresenter VO) (Montenegrin)
News: “55.4% of citizens voted for the independence of Montenegro!”
01:27:18 (Boris VO)
However, another part of the former Yugoslavia still wanted that title. You guessed it, Kosovo. In the same year, negotiations began between the Belgrade government and the Albanian minority over the status of Kosovo. However, the so-called negotiations were a farce from the beginning, as almost all the Western powers were promising Kosovo independence regardless of the negotiations.
01:27:41 (VV, President Bush)
George W. Bush: “Sooner rather than later, you gotta say enough is enough – Kosovo is independent. That’s the position we’ve taken. The people of Kosovo need to know that it is a solid, firm position, even though there is diplomacy and talks […] but if it’s apparent that that’s not going to happen in a relatively quick period of time, in my judgement, we need to put forward a resolution!”
01:28:05 (Boris VO)
Think about it. If you had some of the world’s largest powers telling you that you can get what you want, why the hell would you settle for any less and try to reach a compromise? As anticipated, the talks broke down and Kosovo, unilaterally, declared independence.
01:28:26 (VO, President Bush)
Bush: “It has been an honor to welcome the President and Prime Minister of an independent Kosovo to the Oval Office. I’m proud y’all are here. I welcome you. I’m a strong supporter of Kosovo’s independence.”
01:28:39 (Church is being ruined)
“Albanian pro-independence protest in Kosovo”
01:28:59 (VV, Bush)
Bush: “I pledged that the United States would continue to work with those nations that have not recognized an independent Kosovo to convince them to do so as quickly as possible.”
01:29:07 (Boris VO, various TV archive shoots)
Contrary to what Bush had hoped, the majority of world countries didn’t recognize Kosovo, and it didn’t even become a UN member state. Thus Kosovo failed to become a country. What was absurd in this story is that the Albanian minority, which in all fairness did suffer greatly throughout the 1990s, thought that they actually got independence in 2008.
Albanian: “Big day for Kosovo people. Albanians, yeah.”
Reporter: “How do you feel?”, Albanian: “Oooo, I feeling very very good. This is like a dream.”
01:29:39 (VV -> various TV archive shoots)
John Bosnitch: “As a Serb, I feel sorry for the Albanians. Because they have been dooped even more than we have. They think they have an independent state. All they’ve got is a military barracks in which they are just allowed to walk around freely. Kosovo is a U.S. military base. It happens to have some local color called Albanians. Some local foliage like leaves on the trees.”
01:30:01 (VV, Hashim Tachi) (Albanian)
Hashim Thaci: “The Kosovo government and the Kosovo people will always bow in deep respect for the United States and for the U.S. administration.”
John Bosnitch: “Whether they could decide to do something not consistend with U.S. wishes – impossible.”
01:30:14 (VV Interview with Kosova people)
Boris: “Do you think the Kosovo government could do anything without the Americans agreeing with it?”,
Albanian 02: “No.”
01:30:21 (VV) (Serbian)
Albanian 01: “I don’t believe so. No. I don’t think we can do something without the Americans, English, Germans, French and other powers.”
01:39:32 (VV) (Serbian)
Boris: “Do you think that the Kosovo government can make any decisions not consistent with American wishes?”, Albanian 03: “No, it can’t, it can’t.”, Boris: “Why not?”, Albanian 03: “It can’t. America is America.”
01:30:45 (VV) (Serbian)
Albanian 05: “I don’t think so. I don’t think so.”
Albanian 04: “We just... we listen Americans.”
Vjollca Abdullahu: “America, there are 50 countries... States. Yeah, so, why Kosovo not be a part of America?”, Boris: “You would support that?”, Vjollca: “Yes, why not. They are just administrating everything in Kosovo.”
Boris: “The Americans are in control?” Albanian 07: “Yea, they are pretty much in control here.”
Albanian 08: “We are not independent from European Union and from America.”
01:31:15 (VV, English Language)
Visar Yimeri: “The formal channel whereby the international missions of Kosovo have the absolute power over all walks of political and economic life in Kosovo are represented through International Civilian Representative who has the right to expell any elected official or anull any laws that are passed by the Assembly of Kosovo. At the same time, there is an informal channel whereby the international community meddles within the politics and economics of Kosovo through the Ambassadors of the powerful countries that have been seen or presented itself as sponsors of the independence of Kosovo. [...] The wishes of these Ambassadors are kind of like orders to Kosovo’s politicians. Kosovo still remains a colony and this colonization has actually degraded the life or the standard of living of Kosovo.”
01:32:01 (Boris VO, various footage of Vojvodina)
On the other hand, the people of Serbia’s other province were unaware of what was being prepared for them. Smack dab in the middle of the Pannonian plain, Vojvodina has always been an attractive chunk of real estate, exploited for its fertile farmland. After Kosovo’s declaration of independence, the West turned their sights northward.
01:32:22 (Boris VO, newspaper animation)
Towards the end of 2009, in an article published in The Economist, the situation in Serbia’s northern province was described as being on: “the thin end of a wedge leading to Vojvodina’s independence. After all, Kosovo and Vojvodina had equally extensive autonomy…”
01:32:42 (VV) (Serbian)
Slobodan Samardzic: “The Economist is a serious magazine which makes this information deeply troubling.
01:32:48 (Boris VO, various footages)
And why did nobody take action? What’s with the silence? You see, there’s a way to get people to do something in Serbia, or any other Yugoslav country for that matter – just tell them it’s another step towards bringing them closer to the European Union.
01:33:03 (Boris VO, Eu promotional material)
The EU, a unique political and economic partnership of European countries, provides states with an exchange of goods, people and ideas on a market that includes around a billion inhabitants. Apart from the official definition, there’s more to it than the eye can see.
01:33:20 (VV, -> VO, various footages)
Srdja Trifkovic: “European Union is a project of the elite class in Europe that denies the value of the genuine heritage of European civilization and seeks to replace it with politically correct dictate of the ideology of post modernism and post nationalism.”
01:33:38 (Boris VO, various footage)
First, your country has to open its market to EU products and sell all its banks, which is like giving away your queen and rooks in a game of chess. Then, your country’s domestic industry, agriculture and money market goes bust, which allows foreign companies to get a good purchase price on your most valuable assets. If we continue the chess analogy, your government is playing as a beginner against the EU who is ten steps ahead of you. You may know how to move the figures, but your opponent knows how to draw you to thin ice and get what he wants. Check-mate.
01:34:08 (Boris VO, various footage)
In the Czech Republic, the EU forced the sugar industry to close their factories, because the EU had too much sugar it was importing from Cuba that made them bigger profit. Instead, the Czechs got a little gift from the Germans – their dirty industry which they couldn’t keep in Germany due to the Kyoto protocol.
01:34:26 (Boris VO, various footage)
In Hungary, the people’s vineyards were first destroyed by French dumping prices, which then caused the Hungarians to not be able to pay back their loans to the banks, and foreigners bought their property at low prices. This is why the most famous Hungarian vineyars such as Tokay, are owned by the English.
01:34:42 (VO, DW Presenter)
DW: "There is no work, says this man, just poverty. The situation has become worse since the sugar factory nearby Szerencsi closed down last year." 80 people from Meszozombor lost their jobs. The factory’s been torned down.
01:35:01 (Boris VO, various footages)
I think you can see a pattern here.
01:35:03 (VO, various footage)
Barry Lituchy: “These places like the Balkans and the rest of Eastern Europe were not supposed to be colleagues and equals in a brotherhood of nations, but rather they were supposed to be markets for Western industrial goods. They were supposed to be markets for cheap labour.”
01:35:23 (VO -> VV, various footages) (Serbian)
Zvonimir Trajkovic: “Let’s say a ton of butter costs a German farmer 300 dollars to make. A Serbian farmer can produce it for 200. However, the German government gives a subvention to its farmers, so the butter costs 150 dollars. That butter is 50 dollars cheaper than the Serbian one. This leads us to having an array of imported agricultural goods, while our domestic farmer has nowhere to sell them.”
01:36:05 (Boris VO, various footages)
Bear in mind it takes a while to join the EU.
01:36:09 (VO -> VV, various commercials) (Serbian)
Zvonimir Trajkovic: “For twelve years, we have to open our doors to goods from the European Union, so they can export subsidized goods that are cheaper than ours. We don’t have money to give subventions to our agricultural workers. In that way, from a producer of agricultural goods, we are turned into an importer of agricultural goods. That’s how they destroy one after another branch of agriculture.”
01:36:51 (Boris VO, various footage)
You won’t hear about these things in the media though.
01:36:54 (VV, various EU promotional footages)
Erik Valencic: “European Union spends over 2 billion Euros per year for its representation in the media. They sponsor shows on television, on radios, they sponsor programs and so on. They organize conferences, especially just for the journalists. […] It’s a massive industry, you hardly ever hear criticism about the European Union from the journalists.”
01:37:21 (VV, various footages)
Srdja Trifkovic: “In Serbia there has never been a true debate about the European Union and any attempt to even initiate such a debate was condemned upfront as anti-European
01:37:31 (Boris VO, various footages from Serbian TV shows)
Those who try to open up such a debate are simply cut off.
01:37:35 (VO ->> VV, taken from political talk show) (Serbian)
Erik Valencic: “It’s funny for me to listen to what you’re saying here about the EU, because those are the exact same things the Slovene people have been listening to for 10 years, it’s like the CIA or someone else is writing what you’ll say. Now, listen to this…”, Jesic: “Before you continue, how much are they paying you?”, Erik Valencic: “Please, let me finish… He’s cutting me off! Look, nobody in Slovenia believes in the EU dream anymore, even after a few months, because we’re having massive layoffs, 50,000 people just lost their jobs, the factories are all moving to Romania, Honduras, China, get it?”, Jesic: “Luckily, some are coming to Serbia.”, Erik Valencic: “Are you serious? You’re talking about the same partners from Slovenia whose CEOs boast that they’re colonizing Serbia and the entire Balkans!”
Erik Valencic: “I remember that guy, the neoliberal guy from the party G17+, he told me ‘Yea but you are criticizing the European Union, but hey, you live in European Union, Slovenia is doing well in Europe!’ No, it just doesn’t work like this. This is a standard propaganda, you understand? We are not better off because we are in European Union. It’s vice versa. We are in European Union because we did better off than other, for example, republics of the former Yugoslavia.”
01:39:05 (Boris VO, various TV footage)
After the death of Yugoslavia, every single former Yugoslav republic wanted to become a member of the EU. Slovenia was the first to actually join in 2004, but wasn’t dazzled much.
01:39:18 (VO -> VV, various TV footage)
Joze Mencinger: “We are no more a country, we are just a region of European Union. Why do I claim that? We have no monetary policy, we have practically no fiscal policy, because we are very much restricted with the rules of European Union or EU area.”
01:39:37 (Boris talks with people in Slovenia)
Boris: “Are things better off now that Slovenia is in the European Union?”, Interviewee: “No, I don’t think so.”
Interviewee: “I don’t think it’s better…”
Interviewee: “No, I don’t think so.”
Interviewee: “The prices have just doubled, everything is more expensive.”
Interviewee: “The clothes are more expensive, hehe.”
Interviewee: “I voted ‘no’ when we had a referendum for joining European Union.”
01:39:57 (VV) (Serbian)
Interviewee: “They’re stealing everything, it’s complete chaos. Litostroj, Metalka,.. Not a single company that has 500 employees is in good standing!”
Interviewee: “As you know, if you are part of the European Union, you are giving something into the common wallet EU.”
Interviewee: “A lot of social rights that we had in the past are now being shrunk.”
Interviewee: “I believe, and that’s my personal opinion, that European Union is more of a corporation than like a political establishment that secures human rights.”
01:40:31 (VV) (Boris asks) (Serbian)
Boris: “Is Slovenia better off since it joined the European Union?”, Interviewee: “Yes, much better!”, Boris: “Why?”, Interviewee: “Well, there are many reasons.”, Boris: “What are they?”, Interviewee: “Oh, many.”
01:40:41 (VV) (Serbian)
Boris: “Was life better during the times of Yugoslavia?”, Interviewee: “Yes, it was better.”
01:40:48 (VV) (Serbian)
Interviewee: “We were more free.”
01:40:49 (VV) (Serbian)
Interviewee: “Tito was the God of Gods!”
01:40:51 (Boris VO, various Croatia footage)
Right across the street from Slovenia, Croatia was giving up enforcement of the Ecological and Fisheries Protection Zone towards EU states, as one third of all Italian fishing activity came from that zone. It also flushed away it’s banking sector.
01:41:04 (VV) (Croatian)
Zeljko Peratovic: “Only one bank in Croatia is left that belongs to us. We were forced to sell all other banks to foreigners. The Croatian telecom was sold to Deutsche Telekom, and we still don’t know the details of that contract.”
01:41:20 (Boris VO, various footage)
On the other hand, people in Serbia find it hard to stop trusting everything that comes from the West, often readily believing their propaganda that the West really loves them, and that even when they’re bombing Serbs, they’re doing it for the Serbs’ own good.
John Perkins: “I think the situation that we’re in today is the result of something that I call predatory capitalism. And it really got under way in the 70s when I was an economic hitman, we used predatory capitalism in the third world a lot. […] The first principle is that the only responsibility of business is to maximize profit regardless of the social and environmental cost.”
01:41:58 (VV) (Serbian)
Zvonimir Trajkovic: “Yugoslavia was offered very beneficial loans so we’d get into a large debt. If you’re economically strong, then you’re militarily strong, and strong in all fields. If you’re indebted and your economy is weakening, then you’re weakening on all fronts.”
01:42:18 (Boris VO, debt animation and various footage)
As Yugoslavia broke up, the federal debt was distributed between the successor states. At the end of the 2000s, the prosperity everyone was promised clearly kicked in.
01:42:28 (Boris VO, debt animation)
Montenegro, from a debt of 416 million, had acquired a debt of 4,7 billion dollars, Macedonia had jumped from 890 million to 6,7 billion dollars, and Bosnia went from 2,1 billion to 16,5 billion dollars.
01:42:47 (Boris VO, debt animation)
Serbia’s debt increased from 5,5 billion to 38 billion dollars. Slovenia from 2,6 billion to a shocking 56,3 billion dollars. And Croatia, the absolute debt acquiring winner, jumped from 4,6 billion to a dizzying 69 billion dollars.
01:43:07 (VO -> VV) (Serbian)
Zvonimir Trajkovic: “In 1988, two years before the breakup of Yugoslavia, Yugoslavia was 13,5 billion dollars in debt. Then, we were told by the world financial structures that we’re too indebted and we can’t get further loans. Today, the former Yugoslavia, divided in 6 countries, is 184 billion dollars in debt, and nobody tells us we’re too indebted. On the contrary, we get new loans.”
01:43:44 (Boris VO, various footage)
Heh, Yugoslavs love to say how they lived off foreign debt during Tito’s Yugoslavia. And now they don’t?
01:43:50 (VV) (Serbian)
Zvonimir Trajkovic: “How to rob a country? First you demand the privatization in a country where people didn’t get wages big enough to save a million dollars, let alone buy a company, so those companies could only be purchased by foreigners.”
01:44:19 (Boris VO, various Yugoslavia footage)
Okay, so, they were bought by foreigners. What’s so bad about that?
01:44:23 (VV -> VO, various Yugoslavia footage) (Serbian)
Zvonimir Trajkovic: “To build the Smederevo steel factory, we took loans from international creditors during the times of Yugoslavia of 600 million dollars. For that 600 million dollars, we built it. In 2003, we sold it to U.S. Steel for 23 million dollars. That’s how much the land on which the factory was built costs. This is what happened to our entire infrastructure.”
01:44:54 (Boris VO, various Yugoslavia footage)
On the other hand, here’s one example of how they robbed the reduced Yugoslavia with loans. First, they enforced heavy sanctions.
01:45:12 (VO, various Yugoslavia footage) (Serbian)
Zvonimir Trajkovic: “Then, in 1992, they started charging us interest, default interests and so-called penalty interests, thus increasing the debt of Serbia and Montenegro from 5,5 billion to 13,5 billion dollars. In 2000, when Slobo fell, Labus became government VP in charge of finances.”
01:45:29 (Boris VO, various Yugoslavia footage)
Miroljub Labus was, by the way, a member of G17+, those so-called pro-IMF experts.
01:45:34 (VO, various Yugoslavia footage) (Serbian)
Zvonimir Trajkovic: “Labus came and with the stroke of a pen signed that we accept to pay all interest – regular, default and penalties for the period of 8 years, between 1992 and 2000, and completely enslaved Yugoslavia with debt. We paid 8 billion to the West, even though they were the ones who blocked us.”
01:46:10 (Boris VO, various Croatia footage)
In 2008, Croatia earned 9,3 billion dollars from tourism, which amounts to some 20% of Croatia’s overall GDP. And this would’ve been great, had the money actually stayed in Croatia.
01:46:23 (VO, various Croatia footage) (Serbian)
Zvonimir Trajkovic: “All hotels, the best hotels on the Adriatic in Croatia were bought by German and Austrian companies.”
01:46:30 (Boris VO, various Croatia footage)
Of those 9,3 billion, Croatia was left with small waiter salaries, wage taxes, the goods and services tax of 19%, and a handfull of Euros from restaurants, cafes and private accomodation, while the profit went to Germany.
01:46:46 (VV) (Danke Deutschland)
“Sanja Trumbic: “Thank you Germany, my soul is burning”
01:46:49 (Boris VO, various footage, loan explanation)
With the macro economic stability at stake in all the republics, the IMF and World Bank step in to save the day. And how to they do it? Let’s say the IMF and World Bank give you a loan of 300 million dollars, to which you have to pay interest of 5,5 to 7%. But the money doesn’t go anywhere, no no, it stays in big American or German banks, as well as the republics’ foreign exchange reserves, to which you get 2 to 2,5 % interest. Then, those same banks, with essentially the republics’ money, give investment loans to the republics through different development funds, which again increases their debt that they can repay only with fresh new loans. Thus, the cycle continues.
01:47:26 (VV) (Croatian)
Marko Franciskovic: “You don’t have to be an economist to understand this. You take a loan to repay the old loan, it’s interest on interest, an exponential function. Pure banality.”
01:47:34 (Boris VO, debt animation and various footage)
What does this mean to the people? Well, to put it in perspective, this is how much the GDP per capita was in each of the former Yugoslav republics. If we divide up every country’s debt by it’s population, this is how much every citizen would have to pay. Yet, many people still think that foreign factors want to help them.
01:47:46 (VO, various footage) (Croatian)
Marko Franciskovic: “They want to destroy our faith in our own capabilities, and it’s working sadly. This is not just for Croatia, but elsewhere as well. They say ‘We can’t do this alone, we need help’, like someone will help us, someone like foreign banks or similar structures. This is a deception, a bit lie that we have to escape from.”
01:48:08 (Boris VO, various footage)
Foreign banks used the desparate state of the Yugoslav population for their own gains, sometimes by criminal means.
01:48:15 (VO, various bank and money footage)
Zeljko Peratovic: “Hypo Alpe Adria bank. It’s an Austrian bank which was laundering money in the Balkans by buying real estate throughout Croatia. Then it was sold to the German Bayerische Landesbank, which, in the end, went bankrupt and German taxpayers had to give 3 billion Euros for a bailout. It’s interesting that in the German media, the people to blame for the crime are Croatian politicians, which simply isn’t true. If it wasn’t for German and Austrian officials that corrupted the Croatian ones, none of this would’ve happened.”
01:48:40 (Boris VO, various footage)
The dire situation was made worse by the world financial crisis, so Croatia looked at what else the country had a lot of that it could sell. That’s right, islands!
01:48:50 (Boris VO, various footage)
In 2009, Britain’s Independent newspaper announced that Croatia wants to sell the Brijuni Islands, which is also a national park and, located on it, Tito’s luxurious former residence.
01:49:02 (VO, various footage)
Marko Franciskovic: “Brijuni are very attractive and they’ve been chosen as an experimental shot at the psychological barrier the people have regarding giving up a part of their country’s territory, and, might I add, one of the most beautiful parts.”
01:49:19 (Boris VO, various footage)
Meanwhile, in the colony of Bosnia, the IMF [...] added Article 7 to Bosnia’s new constitution, drawn up in Dayton, Ohio. They decided that the “Governing Board of the Central Bank shall consist of a Governor appointed by the International Monetary Fund” and that “The Governor […] shall not be a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina or any neighboring state” Therefore, the government does not have control of its country’s economy.
01:49:45 (Boris VO, various footage)
But it wouldn’t be fair to say that all the money invested in Bosnia was used to repay its loans. Nope, a lot of the money did go to the Bosnian people. Except that it went to a very few Bosnian people. Very… very few.
01:50:00 (Boris VO, various footage)
In fact, according to antifraud unit set up by the Office of the High Representative, one billion dollars disappeared from public funds and international aid projects from 1995 to 1999.
01:50:12 (Boris VO, various footage)
Where did all this go, one might ask? Well, for example, in the town of Sanski Most, money went to a horse racing track, rather than developing the economy, or infrastrcture. If you're going to steal public and aid funds, you may as well go all out, and gamble it too, right? The same mayor of this town also gave 450,000 provided by Saudi Arabia to his brother, so the guy can open a new bank. He also faces 358 charges of coruption.
01:50:43 (Boris VO, various footage)
On the other hand, Montenegro relied on cigarette smuggling to keep the country afloat during the war years. It’s leaders, Bulatovic and Djukanovic, claimed they never personally benefited from the smuggling. Which is really odd, considering that Prime Minister Djukanovic was the 20th richest statesmen in the world in 2010, more than 3 times richer than Nicholas Sarkozy and Barack Obama combined. Djukanovic’s government salary has never topped $1,700 per month, while it’s estimated that he’s worth $14.7 million. You do the math.
01:51:06 (VO, various footage of Montenegrin politicians)
Srdja Trifkovic: “In general, it’s very lucrative to be a politician in the Balkans and no politician has ever ended his career in the post-communist Balkans without being a rich man. However, Milo Djukanovic has been more successful than most in turning his entire country into a personal fiefdom operated on the basis of cosa nostra principles. In fact, I think his personal net worth is much greater than the one officially listed, that in reality he can claim to own everything there is in Montenegro.”
01:51:29 (Boris VO, various footage)
Since these elites couldn’t care less about anyone else the people at the bottom of the food chain had to resort to desparate acts.
01:51:47 (VO, Serbian national NEWS footage)
Vladimir Jelic: “And now the local news. Everyone draws attention to themselves in their own way. Citizens of Zitiste have erected a statue to the movie character Rocky Balboa in hope of drawing attention to the problems facing this undeveloped municipality in Vojvodina.”
01:52:00 (VO, various ABC footage)
ABC News: “44 year old Samir was born in Bosnia […] and he is convinced that under these layers of dirt […] is the largest pyramid in the world.”
01:52:03 (Boris VO, various footage)
Many youths realized what was going on and started fighting against what their countries were being turned into.
01:52:09 (VV, Beogradski Sindikat)
Bosko Cirkovic: “Our band’s name is Beogradski Sindikat, which would translate in English like Belgrade Union.”
01:52:16 (Boris VO, Beogradski Sindikat footage)
“Belgrade Union” is a Serbian rap band famous for it’s critical views towards society’s elite and criminal elements.
01:52:22 (Beogradski Sindikat Rap song) (Serbian)
BS: “I know it’s hard here, but for me it’s awesome, it’s really a travesty, how much money I have. Life is beautiful as a picture, but I don’t pay any taxes, my life motto is, I have everything, I can do anything!”
01:52:34 (Boris VO, Beogradski Sindikat footage)
Bosko Cirkovic from Belgrade Union explained why not many people were taking action against the injustice.
01:52:39 (VV and Music clip footage)
Bosko Cirkovic: “A lot of young Serbians and youth of the world just think about material stuff and, you know, going into politics, they do it just to get more material stuff.”
01:52:55 (Music clip footage) (Serbian)
BS: “Everything begins, starts with money and everything ends with money.”
01:52:59 (VV, Frontman speaks)
Bosko Cirkovic: “If I was in the same room with the guys running this country, and one of them is my... the main guy is my ex-highschool psychology teacher. [...] I would conduct the real revolution on them.”
01:53:10 (VV, Music clip footage)
BS: “This is not at all politically correct, nor left or right, but straight to the flesh. here you have no control, this is a mass reaction. So ask yourself, how much can you take, what kind of man are you, living in fear, without freedom!”
01:53:23(VO -> VV)
Bosko Cirkovic: “How that would turn out, I don’t know, but some of us would probably not leave the room.”
01:53:28 (VV, Music clip footage)
BS: “They are the system, instruction, dogma, coruption, institution of terror, lethal repression, mafia, police, brigand state, judges, and we’re the revolution! This is not our Serbia!”
01:53:40 (Boris VO)
Down in Sarajevo, things weren’t much different.
01:53:46 (VV) (Music clip starts) (Bosnian)
DK: “We’re asking for unreceived salaries from 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and believe it or not 2007.
01:54:01 (VO) (Bosnian)
This is the land of Bosnia and Hercegovina.
01:54:04 (VO) (Bosnian)
They’re stealing all over the place here.
01:54:07 (VO) (Bosnian)
Of course, the price is paid by the country’s citizens.
01:54:11 (VV) (Bosnian)
I’m not going to resign, nor will my government. We won’t, for a thousand reasons.
01:54:17 (VO) (Bosnian)
The country is going bust, while the ruling elite is getting richer and richer.
01:54:20 (VO) (Bosnian)
They always tell you to shut up and it will be better.
01:54:23 (VO) (Bosnian)
Bosnian woman: Ovo je drzava za pozaliti.
01:54:25 (VO) (Bosnian, Lyrics)
SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP AND TAKE IT!”
01:54:30 (Boris VO)
Dubioza Kolektiv is a Sarajevo-based band with a similar message to the one Belgrade Union had.
01:54:36 (VV) (Frontman speaks) (Bosnian)
Vedran Mujagic: “As long as people think that their impact on the democratic processes ends up when they put the ballot in the box, then nothing’s gonna change, because that leaves four years gap to whoever is elected to do whatever he wants.”
01:54:55 (VO) (Music clip) (Bosnian)
DK: “A dollar is an abstract noun for some. We are on the street. We are nobody. That didn’t stop our MPs to get their salaries on time, receiving between 2,000 and 3,300 dollars a month.”
01:55:06 (VV) (Frontman speaks) (Bosnian)
Vedran Mujagic: “The ruling elites don’t listen to anybody. That’s the thing they learned the best. They even ignore mass protests...”
01:55:26 (VV) (Musician speaks) (Bosnian)
Armin Busatlic: “They are masterful at using those cheap stories of nationalism to swindle the masses, which allows them to get more and more rich. We are against these elites.”
01:55:37 (Boris VO) Sadly, the elite in power, even when the majority was against them, still didn’t listen.
01:54:43 (VV) (Various clips of 2008. Elections in Serbia)
John Bosnitch: “One of my very close and very trusted friends was at a dinner, a private dinner […] at which the American Ambassador Cameron Munter was present. That dinner was held between the election, in which the Radical party, which is much more independence oriented than the democratic party, had apparently won the election, had the most votes of any party. And we were all expecting that , well, the people have spoken, there’s been an election and the biggest party is going to form the government. My friend asked Cameron Munter […] “Well, Mr. Munter, it seems that your mission here has been a failure.” The mission to bring Serbia under the imperial tutelage. He said: “I wouldn’t speak so soon. In fact, I’d watch the television tomorrow and see what the results of the meeting between Mr. Tadic and Mr. Dacic are.”
01:56:49 (VO, Voice of America footage)
TV newscaster: “The EU welcomed the agreement between Tadic’s democratic party and Dacic’s socialist party to form the next government in Belgrade.”
01:56:58 (Boris VO)
And as the government itself was formed by Washington, the policies and laws were also dictated from abroad.
Gregory Elich: “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is writing laws for the Government of Serbia and telling them these are the laws we want you to pass.”
01:57:11 (Boris VO)
Thus, the former Yugoslav countries started becoming NATO member states.
01:57:16 (VV) (Various NATO footage)
John Bosnitch: “Do you know what it means to join NATO? You have to get rid of all your weapons systems which are domestically produced, domestically designed, domestically developed, designed for your terrain […] to reequip yourself with F16s, F18s, [….] F22s, at a cost of hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars per plane. […] And your sons and daughters have to go and fight. Now, where do they want us to fight? […] They want us to put on the night vision goggles and go to Afghanistan and kill them dang ragheads, who never did anything to us.”
01:57:49 (Boris VO)
Profits and military gains were again being accuired from these economic and geopolitical colonies. The people were completely unaware of what was happening to them and thought that they were finally free and independent.
Gregory Elich: “What happened in Yugoslavia could be considered like a classic example of colonization. It’s sort of a new flavour, but it’s still colonization.”
01:58:11 (VV -> Various footage)
Scott Taylor: “Rather than trying to colonize the unsettled areas of the world, or industrialize them, why not just create a mess and fix it. Bring the German banks in to finance them to buy American cars when it’s all over, right? Then you basically own a chunk of the world which was already developed and consuming.”
01:58:55 (VO) (Various TV footage)
Michael Parenti: “They wanted a Yugoslavia whose rich natural resources would be at the disposal of multinational corporations, whose populations would work at subsistance wages, whose economy offered no competition with existing capitalist producers, only new investment opportunities. They wanted a Yugoslavia whose petrolium, engineering, mining and automotive industries would be undone and deindustrialized and they wanted to abolish Yugoslavia’s public sector services and social programs.”
01:58:56 (Boris VO) (various TV footage)
And. . . they did it. Furthermore, the harmony that the people of Yugoslavia had been building for the greater good was crushed. It is a stereotype that the hatred between the population in Yugoslavia was always there. The South Slavs travelled together to arrive in these lands from the North and found their piece of heaven around the 6th century.
01:59:15 (Boris VO) (various TV footage)
Hatred was later manufactured for greater powers, who saw it appropriate to teach the Slavs how to be civilized and democratic. Consider that for the better part of the 20th century, black people weren’t even allowed to sit at the front of the bus in the U.S., while the Dubrovnik Republic actually abolished slavery back in 1642, when the U.S. was still a British colony and didn’t exist as a country. The Western hypocricy was obvious.
01:59:30 (Boris VO) (various war footage)
Why would a Croat really hate a Serb, or a Serb hate a Muslim? Hmm? Because of what someone somewhere did in who knows when? Because of what TV says? Hasn’t history shown that these people were in fact able to live together? Or is this all irrelevant the moment someone starts arguing about who did what to whom how many times worse.
01:59:55 (VV ->) (War footage) (Serbian)
Branislav Lecic: “Do you live in some kind of constant hatred, do you live in endless fear, or do you simply hate someone so much that your entire positive energy is focused on recognizing that and, through some irrational force, manifesting your hatred in everyday life. You can’t live from that. Sick people live from that.”
02:00:15 (Boris VO) (various TV footage)
There is no such thing as biological hatred, that a certain group is predestined to hate another. Anyone who says any different, has an agenda, trust me.
02:00:25 (Boris VO) (Fade from black to various pictures)
I know what you’re going to say. Boris, all you do is criticize, without offering a solution. Well, for the solution, all you need to do is look at the stories of those who said no to this madness, who decided to act as human beings during inhuman times.
02:00:39 (VV) (Croatian TV footage) (Croatian)
Stjepo Martinovic: “When a man moves away from the umbrella of collectivity which pushes him towards evil, he can be noble, good and brave.”
02:00:48 (VV) (Croatian)
Jadranka Reihl-Kir: “If people thought the way my husband, Josip Kir, did, of course there would’ve been no war.”
02:00:57 (Boris VO) (Various footage)
Corrupt politicians, army generals or war profiteers were to blame for the colonization of Yugoslavia just as much as the colonists from the West.
John Bosnitch: “Nobody could’ve done this to us if we were not as weak as we are in defining ourselves and defending our own history […] If we, as a nation, stand up, no one can keep us down. There is no cruise missile, there is no imperial power, there is no spying network, […] there is no media domination that can crush our people.”
02:01:30 (Boris VO) (Various TV footage)
Yugoslavs must become aware that their countries are Western colonies, victims of rampant and merciless globalization, bound by economic, social and political chains. If they don’t, the weight of chains will slowly get unbearable.
02:01:50 (Boris VO) (Various footage from Yugoslavia)
The land of the South Slavs, whatever you call it, has great potential shared by some of the most diverse and enigmatic people in the world. The East thought they were the West, the West considered them the East. Some of them misunderstood their place in the clash of currents, so outside powers exploited them for centuries.
02:02:11 (Boris VO) (Fade Out to end titles)