27 September 2011

Drawing Blood

American soldier on Serbian land: taking down a Serbian flag

Recall how the government of Serbia in early August justified its agreement with the NATO ocupiers that was really a surrender, by pointing out it at least barred KFOR from using force to try change the circumstances on the ground again? As predicted it turns this reassurance was groundless. The way the occupiers figured the deal only obliged them not to act unilaterally until September, for when a new round of talks was envisioned. Seeing the pro-Imperial government in Belgrade has always capitulated before an onslaught of forces behind the NATO occupation, these in turn have came to think of "talks" as using threats, deception or force to "create facts on the ground", then having Belgrade sign under them.

It may have worked once again except that another predictable thing happened. September 16th, when KFOR moved to install the personnel of the US sponsored Albanian government in Priština on the two crossings between occupied and unoccupied Serbia in the north of Kosovo, the imperiled Serb communities lost the last of their faith in Belgrade negotiators. Albeit the regime in place in Serbia would like nothing more but for Kosovo Serbs to stand down and accept the fate Washington has in mind for them, its one betrayal of them too many has deprived it of the means to influence their actions.

Without the Serbian government in position to sign under a capitulation on behalf of the Kosovo Serbs and bail out KFOR, the occupiers have found themselves in a difficult position. Everywhere in the north they are blocked in. Wherever they set up a control point to curtail the movement of the imperiled communities and cut them off from unoccupied Serbia they are in turn blockaded themselves. The locals have become expert at speedily constructing makeshift roadblocks, which they then man around the clock to prevent them from being dismantled and to monitor the occupiers from. As a consequence the only new meaningful "fact on the ground" is that KFOR can move about freely only in the air.

Today KFOR lashed out. Early in the morning German soldiers moved against a barricade near the Jarinje crossing and took it over with the help of tear gas. They tied up several people on the scene and destroyed the barrier. As word spread hundreds of people gathered on site to protest. After noon the occupiers demanded of protesters to disperse. When they did not, KFOR struck again using stun grenades and live rifle ammunition. Six people were wounded by live fire. NATO troops on the scene, a mix of Americans and Germans, did not refrain from firing at medical workers and ambulance vehicles extricating the wounded. Attempts to film the aftermath of the carnage were met with warning shots.

Two week ago, when NATO redoubled its efforts to bring the Serbs of northern Kosovo under the control of its client government in Priština it further imperiled their communities, but by creating distance between the pliant government in Belgrade and the resolute Serb communities it actually weakened its enterprise. Today NATO inflicted further grief on these people, but it did not do itself any favors.

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