New crisis in Kosovo

United Press International
March 24, 2004 Wednesday 11:18 AM Eastern Time

Outside View: New crisis in Kosovo



The violence in Kosovo this past week has dealt a serious blow to the
credibility of the Western Alliance.

After promising for five years that NATO could provide security so
that the United Nations could lay the foundations for the
construction of a multiethnic, democratic Kosovo, a well-organized
campaign exposed the hollowness of Western guarantees. It also tests
the long-term commitment of the alliance to engage in successful

Only a few weeks ago, Kosovo was continuing to be promoted as a
successful exercise in nation building. Indeed, the United States was
even preparing to withdraw more forces from the international
protectorate, on the grounds that reconstruction efforts were
proceeding apace.

Of course, the violence that rocked Kosovo this past week is a grim
reminder that ignoring a problem does not make it go away.

The West has been so desperate, however, to paint Kosovo as a
“success” for humanitarian intervention and nation building — even
to the point of citing it as a precedent for how things should go in
Iraq — that warnings of problems bubbling below the surface were

Indeed, Washington Post reporter Dana Priest had noted that after
NATO forces entered the province in 1999, “A more enduring, invisible
battlefield emerged quickly. The peacekeepers of the NATO Kosovo
Force, or KFOR, didn’t even pretend to mobilize on it. It was a
battlefield on which the struggle for ultimate power and control was
waged by underground political structures and outlawed security

But NATO countries placed such a high value on “no-casualty” missions
that aggressive and effective peacekeeping — including disarming
militias, hunting down war criminals and combating organized crime
and terrorist groups — took a back seat to “not stirring things up.”
And so the province has simmered.

In February, Serbian intelligence alerted their Western counterparts
that there might be an upsurge in violence in Kosovo and in other
areas of the Balkans. On the eve of the violence, Marek Nowicki, the
United Nations ombudsman for Kosovo, complained to the Council of
Europe at a hearing in Paris that the human rights situation in the
province was “unacceptable.” But Nowicki went on to criticize
international authorities in the province for failing to support his
work, accusing U.N. officials of playing down his concerns and
declining to pressure local authorities to act on his

The violence directed against the Serbs of Kosovo — “an outbreak of
violence of this scale, of this speed, of this intensity,” according
to spokesman Derek Chappell — occurred under the watchful eyes of
more than 18,000 international peacekeepers. So this raises a very
serious question: What was NATO and the United Nations doing? How
could these attacks be planned and coordinated across the province
with no advance warning, no signs, no leaks? And what does this say
for the effectiveness of NATO peacekeepers?

Jonathan Eyal of London’s Royal United Services Institute maintains
that NATO “has simply grown too complacent. It has ignored repeated
intelligence warnings about a rising level of tension between
Kosovo’s communities” and so was unprepared to act.

The destruction of the 130-home Serbian village of Svinjare —
located less than a mile away from a base housing French NATO
peacekeepers — was just one in a series of incidents that one
Western diplomat said were attempts by local Albanians “to cleanse
the Serbs and create a fait accompli before any talks.” So the result
has been startled inaction in the face of what Adm. Gregory Johnson,
commander of NATO forces in southeastern Europe, characterized as
“almost amount(ing) to ethnic cleansing.”

Certainly, “multiethnicity” as a value defended in the new Kosovo
also has gone up in flames.

NATO’s performance in Kosovo does not inspire those locked in other
ethnic conflicts in the region — such as the Cypriots, the Armenians
of Nagorno-Karabakh, the secessionists regions of Georgia, or even
the Israelis and the Palestinians — to assume that any settlement
backed by NATO guarantees would provide real and genuine security.

Outward calm has returned to the province. But the damage to NATO’s
credibility may be much longer lasting.

(Nikolas K. Gvosdev is executive editor of The National Interest and
a senior fellow for strategic studies at The Nixon Center.)

(United Press International’s Outside View commentaries are written
by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of important
issues. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of
United Press International. In the interests of creating an open
forum, original submissions are invited.)

An anti-Semitic left hook

An anti-Semitic left hook

By Patrick Chisholm |
March 23, 2004

WASHINGTON – Anti-Semitism traditionally has been associated with the
extreme right. Now, it is becoming more common among the extreme
left. Leftist president Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe huffed that “Jews in
South Africa, working in cahoots with their colleagues here, want our
textile and clothing factoriesto close down.” Former Malaysian Prime
Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who is no right-winger, lashed out against
Jews who “rule the world by proxy.” One finds pockets of anti-Semitism
at anti-globalization rallies, and plenty of it at pro-Palestinian
rallies. And in recent years anti-capitalist campaigners have been
networking with radical Islamists and neo-Nazi groups via their
websites, according to a draft report by the Technical University of
Berlin’s Center for Research on Anti-Semitism. (This was the same
report commissioned by the European Union, which decided for
who-knows-what-reason not to officially release it.)

Contrary to what one would think, left- and right-wing extremists are,
in major respects, ideological soul mates. Don’t be fooled by labels;
applyingthe simplistic terms of “right” and “left” to complex
political realities naturally begets confusion.

While ultra-rightists are generally thought of as racist and
ultra-leftists as nonracist, the latter are by no means immune to such

And both camps share these core attitudes: a readiness to buy into
conspiracy theories, hatred of the rich, contempt for speculators and
financiers, a deep suspicion of large corporate enterprises, and a
conviction that the privileged few oppress the masses.

These notions manifest themselves in the party platforms of radical
groups. Here are excerpts from one such platform (courtesy of
Australian writer John J. Ray):

– We demand that all unearned income, and all income that does
not arise from work, be abolished.

– We demand the nationalization of businesses which have been
organized into cartels.

– We demand the creation and maintenance of a healthy
middle-class,the immediate communalization of department stores which
will be rented cheaplyto small businessmen….

– We demand a land reform in accordance with our national
requirements, and the enactment of a law to confiscate from the owners
without compensation any land needed for the common purpose. The
abolition of ground rents, and the prohibition of all speculation in

And here is a quote from one such leader:

“We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic
system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair
salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to
wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we
are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions.”

Karl Marx? No. Vladimir Lenin? No. Ho Chi Min? No.

Adolf Hitler. And the above platform positions were those of his
National Socialist party. Note the formal name of that party: the
National Socialist German Workers Party.

The far left scapegoats rich people for causing the world’s ills. But
what if you live in a society where most rich people happen to be
members of a different religion or skin color? That makes them
particularly easy to recognize and identify. In the popular psyche,
the wealthy class becomes synonymous with members of that minority
group. So if you’re an envy-laden, paranoid conspiracy theorist,
there’s hardly a distinction between scapegoating the rich and
scapegoating the minority group.

That’s how the Nazis viewed the Jews. It’s how Stalinist Russia viewed
the Jews. It’s how Islamic militants view the Jews. And it’s how many
among today’s far left view the Jews.

Jews are by no means the only (relatively) affluent minority group
that has suffered mass slaughter. The same has been true of Armenians
in the Ottoman Empire (present-day Turkey), Tutsis in Rwanda, Tamils
in Sri Lanka, ethnic Chinese in Indonesia, and many others.

Palestinian hatred of Israelis, I suspect, is based on more than just
land disputes and the policies of the state of Israel. Much of it
likely derivesfrom envy. Jews as a whole are among the most able,
hard-working, and intelligent people ever to inhabit the
earth. Wherever they go they succeed. They turned Israel into an
economic powerhouse for its size, and “made the desert bloom.”
Success breeds envy. Envy breeds hatred.

Terrorism is the end result. So is an envy-driven economic philosophy
best described as hard-left or socialist: Islamic radicals generally
advocate government ownership of most sectors of the economy. They
detest “middlemen” and the rich. They loathe “foreign exploiters.”
They’re disgusted with materialism and consumerism. And they desire
complete economic equality among all citizens (which, in practice,
translates into everyone being equally poor).

Obviously, a mutual dislike for Israel’s policies is not the only
thing that binds Islamic radicals and ultra-leftists together.

Leftism is generally tolerant of different races and religions. But
not always. Extremists are not going to let Jews off the hook just
because theyhappen to be a different religion. When it comes to envy
versus tolerance, envy very often wins out.

Scepticism And Optimism: Greet Turkmenistan Decree

Maranatha Christian Journal
March 22 2004

Scepticism And Optimism
Greet Turkmenistan Decree

( F18News) — Despite a surprise 11 March decree from Turkmenistan
President Saparmurat Niyazov lifting the requirement that a religious
community must have 500 adult citizen members before it can register,
officials have insisted that unregistered religious activity remains

Religious believers of the many illegal faiths – including all
Protestant, Armenian Apostolic, Shia Muslim, Jewish, Hare Krishna,
Baha’i and Jehovah’s Witness communities – have been taken by
surprise by an March 11 decree from Turkmenistan’s authoritarian
president Saparmurat Niyazov allowing religious communities to gain
official registration regardless of how many members they have or
what faith they belong to.

Some have told Forum 18 News Service they are optimistic that
conditions will improve, though others – especially from groups that
have regularly suffered fines, beatings and threats – are sceptical.
Under the country’s harsh religion law, communities have previously
needed five hundred adult citizen members (a requirement almost
impossible for religious minorities to achieve), while since last
November unregistered religious activity has been a crime. The new
decree makes no mention of decriminalising unregistered religious

Bibi Agina, an official of the department that registers social
organisations at the Adalat (Justice) Ministry, told Forum 18 that
the decree does not mean that unregistered religious communities can
start to meet freely in private homes. “As before, religious
communities can only function after they get registration,” she told
Forum 18 from Ashgabad on 12 March. “The decree simply gives
religious communities like the Baptists and others the possibility to
work legally.”

Officials at the government’s Gengeshi (Council) for Religious
Affairs were, as usual, reluctant to talk, putting down the phone
when Forum 18 telephoned. Eventually Forum 18 managed to speak to
Mukhamed (who refused to give his last name), an aide to the deputy
chairman Murad Karriyev, who said the same as Agina that the decree
does not entitle unregistered religious communities to begin to
function. “They still need registration,” he insisted to Forum 18.

Radik Zakirov, a Protestant from Ashgabad, said his community is not
preparing to register under the new decree. But he believed it might
mark a change of policy. “The authorities have tried up till now to
use repressive measures and have understood this is unsuccessful,” he
told Forum 18 on March 12. “They seem now to be trying to bring
religious communities under state control – perhaps a cleverer

One immediate welcome for the decree came from Armenia’s Ambassador
to Turkmenistan, Aram Grigorian, who has been seeking the return to
the local Armenian community of their church in the Caspian port city
of Turkmenbashi (formerly Krasnovodsk), which was confiscated during
the Soviet period. “This is a very progressive decree,” he told Forum
18 from Ashgabad on March 12. “We will try to make use of it.”

The government has not allowed any Armenian Apostolic churches to
reopen or open in Turkmenistan and, if they wish to attend services,
Armenian Apostolic believers are forced to go to the only legal
Christian denomination, the Russian Orthodox Church, although the
Armenian Church is of the Oriental family of Christian Churches, not
the Orthodox.

Vasili Kalin, chairman of the ruling council of the Jehovah’s
Witnesses in Russia, who maintains close ties with fellow believers
in Turkmenistan, was cautiously optimistic over what he regarded as
perhaps the start of a process of improvement. “We welcome the
guarantees of freedom of religion and registration in the decree,” he
told Forum 18 from St Petersburg on 12 March, “but experience teaches
us to look at what happens in practice.” Anatoly Melnik, a Jehovah’s
Witness leader from Kazakhstan with contacts in Turkmenistan, was
more pessimistic over whether the decree will improve life for their
communities, believing the decree might be simply a “propaganda

Kalin said their communities in Turkmenistan are ready to register,
but pointed out that several Jehovah’s Witnesses remain in prison for
their faith. “It would be a good gesture that Turkmenistan is ready
to abide by its international human rights commitments if these
innocent people would be freed. We hope to see that soon.” He said
the new decree might be a signal that Turkmenistan is changing “just
as in the Soviet Union when the situation changed”. He pointed out
that moving from illegality in the Soviet Union to a position where
Jehovah’s Witnesses could register their communities took time.

One Protestant, whose church has had numerous problems from the
authorities and has to meet in secret to try to evade state control,
was sceptical about whether the decree would make a lot of
difference. “We know about the decree,” the Protestant – who
preferred not to be identified – told Forum 18. “But are we
optimistic? Not so much.”

A Christian representative outside Turkmenistan with close links in
the country told Forum 18 that “if the decree becomes a reality, it
will be good”. The representative noted that without registration the
church has faced a number of problems, including the impossibility of
acquiring property for services.

Most sceptical were leaders of unregistered Protestant churches.
Viktor Makrousov of the Pentecostal church (who had not yet seen the
decree) and Vladimir Tolmachev of Greater Grace both separately
believed the situation is unlikely to improve on the ground. “Our
main problem has not been the 500 signatures required for
registration – we could achieve that,” Tolmachev told Forum 18 from
Ashgabad on March 12. “The problem is that people signing the
registration application would get problems – they would be sacked
from their work, especially those who are ethnic Turkmens. It is a
problem of people’s safety.”

Niyazov’s decree, reported on state television on 11 March and
published in Russian on the pro-government website,
claims that the country “carries out fully” its commitments under the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights and the Declaration on the Elimination of
All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or
Belief “while securing the harmony of the religious confessions
functioning in Turkmenistan”. In reality, the government has
flagrantly violated these international commitments amid the heaviest
controls on religious life of all the former Soviet republics.

The decree sets out three provisions:

“1. To secure the registration on the territory of Turkmenistan of
religious organisations and groups in accordance with
generally-accepted international norms and procedures.

“2. To register on the territory of Turkmenistan according to
established procedure religious groups of citizens independently of
their number, faith and religion.

“3. The Adalat Ministry of Turkmenistan is to put into effect the
current decree from the day of its publication.”

The decree was published at the same time as a decree ordering the
lifting of exit controls on Turkmenistan’s citizens. Both this and
the denial of religious freedom have been heavily criticised by
foreign governments and human rights activists. Religious believers
within the country are generally too frightened to speak out openly
against the restrictions on their religious activity.

Armenian leader against post of capital’s mayor being elective

Armenian leader against post of capital’s mayor being elective

Mediamax news agency
19 Mar 04


Armenian President Robert Kocharyan said today that he backs the idea
of passing a law on the status of Yerevan.

At the same time, he recalled, answering a question from a Mediamax
correspondent, that the constitution should be reformed to resolve the
problem as it equates Yerevan with other regions of the country.

As for the issue of whether the mayor of the capital should be elected
by the people or appointed by the president, Kocharyan said: “Only a
third of Armenia’s population lives in Yerevan, and if the mayor
represents a political force that is in opposition to the head of
state, this will contain quite serious conflict potential.”

The president stressed that the issue should be thoroughly discussed,
and “if the post of Yerevan mayor becomes elective, it will be
necessary to think about certain mechanisms of restraint, which will
make it possible to stabilize the situation in the event of a possible
political confrontation”.

Literature symposium deals with genocide

Lubbock On line
March 19 2004

Literature symposium deals with genocide

The 37th annual Comparative Literature Symposium, scheduled Thursday
through March 27 at Texas Tech, will offer sessions for the general

A theme of “Memory and History: Cultural Representations of Genocide
and Displacement,” will deal with atrocities of the 20th century.

“This is the first time for this topic and the first time that we’ve
had public events specifically designed to go along with the more
academic events,” co-director Ingrid Fry said.

For the academic side, more than 60 presenters from around the world
– including Canada, Israel, France, Germany and the United States –
will discuss topics ranging from the Holocaust and displacement of
people in Europe during World War II, to the African and Armenian

Details of the academic program are available on the symposium’s Web

Events will be free, except for theater productions, which will cost

A highlight for the public will be exhibit of the paintings of Samuel
Bak that will be introduced formally at 10 a.m. March 27 in the third
floor conference room of the main library at Tech. It will open with
a lecture by Lawrence L. Langer, widely known scholar of Holocaust

The exhibit, titled “Landscapes of Jewish Experience,” will be in
place Thursday through April 13. Display hours will be 9 a.m. to 8
p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends.

Bak’s paintings in the exhibit depict symbols of people amid ruins,
inanimate objects in a tragic world.

“Probably religious groups – synagogues and churches – would be
interested in seeing this exhibit and going to the main lecture,” Fry

A public reading will be presented at 5 p.m. Thursday in Room 1 of
the English building by Stephen Graham Jones, English professor at
Tech. And at 7 p.m., a theater production of “America Shows Her
Colors” will be in the International Cultural Center.

Fry plans to introduce a session at 2 p.m. Friday called
“Representing a Vanished People: Samuel Bak’s Landscapes of Jewish
Experience” by Langer in English building Room 1.

A repeat of “America Shows Her Colors” will be at 7 p.m. Friday in
the International Cultural Center.

Fry said the symposium’s purpose is an exchange of ideas.

“It’s important for us to reflect upon our own world and the way we
interact with the world.”

Literature symposium

Thursday – 5 p.m., English building Room 1, public reading by Stephen
Graham Jones. Free. 742-0564.

– 7 p.m., International Cultural Center, “America Shows Her Colors.”
$2. 742-0564.

– Friday – 2 p.m., English Building Room 1, “Representing a Vanished
People: Samuel Bak’s Landscapes of Jewish Experience.” Free.
742-0564. 3:15 p.m., English building Room 1, excerpts from the drama
“Anne Frank.” Free. 742-0564. 7 p.m., International Cultural Center,
“America Shows Her Colors.” $2. 742-0564.

– Saturday – 10 a.m., Texas Tech Library Gallery, opening of Samuel
Bak Exhibition. Free. 742-0564.

[email protected] 766-8711

ANKARA: Tusiad Asks France To Support Turkey’s E.U. Bid

Anadolu Agency
March 10 2004

Tusiad Asks France To Support Turkey’s E.U. Bid

PARIS – Omer Sabanci, the Chairman of the Association of Turkish
Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSIAD) asked on Tuesday France’s
support for EU’s starting full membership negotiations with Turkey.

TUSIAD’s Paris Office was opened the same day in a ceremony in which
State Minister Ali Babacan, French Minister of Economy, Finances, and
Industry Francis Mer and Chairman of Association of French
Industrialists and Businessmen (MEDEF- Mouvement des Entreprises de
France) Antoine Seilliere participated.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Sabanci said that ”we firmly
believe that France will appreciate the historical, strategic and
political significance of helping Turkey join the EU.”

Sabanci stated that ”with the start of the negotiations early next
year, we expect an influx of foreign direct investment. This should
enhance the intensification of economic activities in our country.
Our economic dynamism is helping the economies of neighbouring
countries. We expect Armenia to soon join Syria, Iraq, Georgia,
Russia, Iran and other regional countries as a viable trade partner
of Turkey when the border is opened.”

”By the beginning of the next decade Turkey will be an energy
corridor as gas and oil pipelines cross the country north to south
and east to west. The EU would be one of the beneficiaries of such a
development since these multiple pipelines will enable it diversify
its sources of energy,” Sabanci noted.

Referring to the historical and cultural bonds between Turkey and
France in his speech, Sabanci also mentioned the importance of France
in modernization period of Ottoman Empire noting that ”it was the
philosophers of enlightenment, the literature and political thought
of France that attracted the reformers in Ottoman Empire.”

”The Turkish Republic was designed in large measure after French
political and administrative example. Kemal Ataturk’s private library
includes many well-thumped meticulously annotated works by French
thinkers, notably Rousseau and Montesqieu,” he said.

Sabanci said that the strong historical and intellectual bonds
between the two countries gave Turkey the assurance that France would
understand Turkey’s aspirations about EU membership.

TUSIAD Chairman said that important steps were taken in Turkey during
the last two years to meet Copenhagen criteria and remarked that the
economic system was being restructured.

Referring to the devastating economic crisis of 2001, Sabanci said
that ”with the guidance of a program supported by the IMF, and then
admirably managed by State Minister Babacan we have finally reached
calm waters. From now on the Maastricht criteria and the Lisbon
Strategy of the European Union are also our main guidelines.”

”As of this month, the rate of inflation dropped to single digit
levels. Growth has been restored to the economy even if employment
figures have not yet caught up with the rebound. Interest rates are
at their lowest since a quarter century ago and budgetary discipline
has been mostly restored. Turkish companies are emerging as
world-class competitors in sophisticated industrial products,” he

Sabanci stated that he believed that Turkey would reach its goals in
privatization and administrative reforms, adding that TUSIAD aimed to
bring Turkey’s economy to the standards of most competitive countries
in terms of its technological sophistication.

Sabanci noted that TUSIAD worked hard and long for Turkey’s
democratization, adding that TUSIAD was the watchdog of the reform

”What we ask from our partners in the EU is encouragement and a fair
assessment when December arrives. Turkey is ready for the process of
negotiations, which we know will take several years to successfully
conclude. By that European Council, Turkey will have done its part in
securing a Cyprus resolution. We hope that our Greek counterparts,
particularly in the island, will do the same,” Sabanci said.

”September 11 and the conduct of the war against Iraq led all of us
to a reassessment of Transatlantic relations,” he said adding that
Turkey would continue to play an important role strategically in the
new world order.

”We all have a common interest in not allowing a so-called clash of
civilizations. Just as much we have a common interest in stabilizing
the Middle East and assure the emergence of a secular, representative
political order in that critical region. I am sure you share my view
that such a task would be almost impossible without Turkey’s
participation and contribution. Developments of the past year and a
half particularly the context of the Iraq war have highlighted the
commonality of interests for Turkey and the EU. We should work to
deepen our dialogue and understanding. And this can only be achieved
as our partnership evolves to full membership in an EU that becomes a
full player in world politics just as France desires,” he added.

Armenian paper points to growing racism in society

Armenian paper points to growing racism in society

Aravot, Yerevan
12 Mar 04

Text of unattributed report by Armenian newspaper Aravot on 12 March
headlined “Official racism”

“The increase in anti-Armenian sentiments in Azerbaijan and its
consequences cannot be an excuse for spreading racist and chauvinistic
ideas that are characteristic of our society,” the Civic Society
Institute, the Yerevan Press Club, the Helsinki Committee and the
Caucasus Centre for Peaceful Initiatives said in a joint statement
published in the press yesterday. The authors of the statement are
anxious about “irresponsible statements by some Armenian politicians
and public figures” who make unacceptable generalizations with regard
to the whole Azerbaijani people.

The chairman of the foreign relations committee of the National
Assembly, Armen Rustamyan, and the leader of the Republican Party’s
parliamentary faction, Galust Saakyan, are these “irresponsible
figures”. The authors of the statement think that statements by
officials who have such a high political level and represent the
ruling coalition are more than unacceptable because they may be
understood to be the official position of our country. In turn, this
will create new obstacles for a peaceful settlement to the Karabakh
issue. It is natural that the statement by these four public
organizations will meet with resistance from our nationalistic
circles: how can racism and chauvinism be to blame if we have to live
in an atmosphere of permanent hatred, hostility and revenge in order
to preserve our national originality?

The president of our country has expressed almost the same
idea. According to him, the Budapest incident [the killing of an
Armenian officer] testifies to the fact that Armenophobia has reached
a physiological level in Azerbaijan. If the country’s president
expresses such ideas and if he in fact says during a meeting with
students that the Azerbaijanis have innate pathological Armenophobia,
which makes them reach for an axe when they meet an Armenian, there is
no need to complain about Rustamyan and Saakyan. The authors of the
joint statement are wrong as racist and chauvinistic ideas have been
an ordinary thing in our society for a long time. They are being
stimulated by the official ideology and propaganda.