NATO Stages a War Provocation in the Balkans
by Jared Israel.
Research by Jared Israel and Samantha Criscione
As you probably are not aware, on October 1st NATO began twelve-days of special forces maneuvers on land and in the air
and sea, on the Yugoslav side of the Adriatic. Thirteen countries are participating, including twelve NATO members plus
Croatia, which is hosting the maneuvers even though it is not a member - a first. Albania and Montenegro, also not
members, are observing. Serbia is not.
These military maneuvers, positioning Croatia as NATO’s command center in the Adriatic Sea area, with coastal states
Albania and Montenegro as deputies (see map
), are being held after a year of escalating clerical-fascist activity in Croatia, activity to which NATO, by presenting
Croatia as a model Adriatic state, has given its blessing.
Croatia's year of clerical-fascism was:
A) Set up in October 2006 by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs with an international display of Balkans Holocaust
denial and mockery of Serbian victims of the Holocaust in the 'Independent' State of Croatia;
B) Advised, steered, prodded and mis-described by the US State Department, through various operatives, and the New York Times;
C) Aggressively promoted by the Croatian Catholic hierarchy and by the Vatican itself, which, despite its posture of
other-worldliness, is a very powerful – if not the most powerful – single political force in the earthly region of
Europe, East and West.
If you don’t know about the maneuvers it is because your local media, at least if it is French, English, Italian,
German, Spanish or Dutch, has been nearly silent. The BBC Monitoring service has been sending Croatian news agency dispatches on the maneuvers to its many thousands of media customers. (We
have set up a page so you can see three of the BBC Monitoring dispatches [1
].) But besides military websites, all we can find as of today (October 10th) are a photo with caption in US News and World Report [2
] and a brief mention in the newspaper La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno in Puglia, Italy, and on a Puglia TV news program [3
]. Other than that, nothing.
And yet, the maneuvers are manifestly important.
First of all, they are big, involving:
“8,000 [special - J.I.] troops, 40 ships, six submarines, 40 aircraft, and a dozen helicopters…”
-- US News and World Reports, Oct.. 7, 2007
Second of all, somebody got shot. Croatia's HINA news agency reported:
“An Italian Marine suffered gunshot injuries to the lower legs in an accident that occurred on Monday afternoon during
mobile target practice as part of the NATO exercise “Noble Midas 07” on the Croatian Army training ground at Slunj… An
investigation was under way.”
-- “Italian soldier wounded in NATO exercise in Croatia,” BBC Monitoring Europe, Oct. 2, 2007 [4
We could find only one report of the shooting in the Italian media. And nobody anywhere has reported the outcome of the
Third of all, NATO is not holding the maneuvers in some neutral location but in the battlegrounds of the war-plagued
Balkans: the Dalmatian coast, an area that host-Croatia seized during the 1990s, and a few inland locations. One is the
city of Knin , formerly capital of the Krajina Serbian Republic (RSK). Croatia drove the RSK’s entire population of more than 250,000
from their homes into refugee status, or killed them, in 1995. By approving Knin as a location for Croatian-hosted
maneuvers, NATO legitimizes this genocide.
NATO describes the maneuvers as preparation for “Peace Enforcement” [7
] but they seem more like ‘rubbing salt in a wound’ to me.
Peace is War
Which brings us to the fourth point.
The media is supposed to draw the public’s attention to important connections between events. Reporters and editors may
recall a recent decade of war in the Balkans - clue: it was called ‘the 90s’ - that began with Croatia’s violent 1991
secession from Yugoslavia. They may recall that NATO massively bombed the Bosnian Serbs in the fall of 1995 and Serbia
proper in 1999. Why hasn't the media reported that the same Croatia is hosting military maneuvers for the same NATO in the identical Balkans, pointing out the most obvious connection, that this is either preparation for war or a provocation that could lead to
A week before the maneuvers started, NATO put out a press release with the headline:
“NATO NRF Exercises Peace Enforcement In Adriatic Sea”
-- NATO press release, September 25, 2007
The press release stated that:
“This live [? - J.I.] maritime and amphibious exercise will focus on NATO RESPONSE FORCE (NRF) operations supported
from the sea.”
The NRF is a new creation. According to NATO, the maneuvers are being held in order to prepare for the NRF’s use:
“where NATO is appointed by the UN to build up an immediate reaction in a fictitious country on the brink of civil war.”
Ah. “Peace enforcement” in a “ficticitous country” in the Adriatic region “on the brink of civil war.” Let’s consider
First, there is no way to ‘enforce peace’ in a country supposedly on the verge of civil war without boosting some forces
and hurting (or crushing) others. And indeed, no power would get involved in such a quagmire unless it was allied with -
or sponsoring - one side.
Second, even if there is no real “brink,” big powers can always manufacture the appearance of one using false media
reports and/or incidents staged by local proxies, of which the NATO countries have plenty in the Adriatic region.
And third, if NATO were really worried about avoiding civil strife, why provoke it by showcasing Croatia, Albania and
Montenegro, which are governed by forces that promote anti-Serb racism, celebrate the breakup of Yugoslavia and advocate
further attacks on the Serbs and consolidation of the breakup?
Croatia, most powerful of the anti-Serbian states, covets all of Bosnia. Albania covets Kosovo. And as for Montenegro,
the greatly respected, independent Magistrates of Italy are likely, according to the Montenegrin media, soon to indict
former Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic and twelve associates from the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), which still
rules and which Djukanovic still leads. The charge: massive, mafia-linked [8
] cigarette smuggling. To give you an idea of the scale of the smuggling, the Montenegrin newspaper Vijesti reports that:
“Italian prosecutors say that they discovered a secret [Djukanovic-linked - J.I.] account in a Cyprus bank with 500m
euros and that that money was reinvested in Montenegro.”
-- “Montenegrin officials reject Italian prosecutors’ tobacco-smuggling accusations,” Vijesti, June 24, 2007
(For full text see footnote [9
So, spitting in the face of the Italian judiciary, NATO has invited a government accused of mafia-linked, Adriatic
smuggling to observe Adriatic military maneuvers. Why? So that the Montenegrin leaders can learn new tricks about
evading capture? Or perhaps they will patrol the coast?
Politically, Montenegro is sharply divided; its government would like to suppress the large part of the population that
wishes to return to close relations with Serbia and believes in Yugoslav unity.
By inviting Montenegro and Albania to maneuvers hosted by Croatia, NATO is in effect assembling a NATO-backed local
alliance under Croatian leadership against Serbia and in control of the coast.
In the ’90s, when NATO intervened to support - and sponsor - military action against Serbia and the Bosnian and Krajina
Serb states, NATO justified it on the grounds that they were just trying to preserve the peace in the face of supposedly
power-hungry, expansionist Serbian leaders.
To gauge the credibility of that claim, consider that in holding the current, provocatively anti-Serb maneuvers, NATO is
likewise claiming they are intended to preserve the peace. Consider that today most of the top leaders of the Bosnian
Serbs, and of their Bosnian Muslim and Krajina Serb allies, are dead, in jail or in hiding. 500,000 or more Serbs have
been driven from Croatia and adjacent areas. Serbia’s former ally, Montenegro, has split away from Serbia and is run by
Serb-baiters. Republika Srpska is part of a Bosnian ‘state,’ which it shares with the same Muslim-Croat federation the
Serbs and their Muslim allies once fought, a state dictatorially controlled by the NATO powers. In Serbia itself,
Milosevic is dead. The top political parties (both in power and in the opposition) passively supported or participated
in the NATO-directed coup of March 2000. While the charge that under Milosevic Serbia was a violently expansionist state
was always a lie - Milosevic was in fact an appeaser, although he fooled many people, including me, with his rhetoric,
and as for the Bosnian and Krajina Serb Republics, they always had defensive strategies - the charge that Serbia is an
aggressive threat today is simply preposterous.
NATO’s real policy was never directed against supposedly aggressive Serbian leaders; it was directed against the Serbs as a people because:
A) The Serbs were the keystone of Yugoslavia;
B) For nearly a hundred years the Serbs have resisted German and Vatican attempts to keep the Balkans divided into tiny
states, have resisted the fomenting of divide-and-conquer racism and religious fanaticism and, starting in the 1930s,
resisted the fusion of racism and religious fanaticism known as ‘clerical-fascism.’ That is a major reason why, in the
first half of the twentieth century (that is, until the end of World War II) and starting again in the 1980s and 1990s,
Germany and the Vatican made crushing the Serbs and other pro-Yugoslav forces (e.g., in the 1990s, the Bosnian Muslims
under Fikret Abdic [10
]) their practical goal in the Balkans.
Since Germany and the Vatican are the US establishment’s primary allies in Europe, this anti-Serbian goal became US
policy as well. Became, and still is. Because even today, after all that has happened, the Serbs remain a substantial
presence in the Balkans, and are not politically broken. Most have been driven from their homes in Kosovo and the
Krajina, but large Serbian populations remain in Bosnia and of course Serbia. The bombed, terrorized, whittled down and
betrayed ‘entity’ that is the remains of Republika Srpska (in Bosnia) still holds government-authorized conferences
defending the truth about the Jasenovac death camp complex, speaking the unspeakable, that is, linking the Holocaust to
German and Vatican policies past and present.
As a group, the Serbs have refused to forget, to give up. (This despite great effort to ‘turn’ them, such as: 1) Since
the coup in October 2000, local Serbian media have deluged ordinary people with propaganda blaming the Balkans war on
the Serbs; and 2) starting in 1992 there has been a carefully crafted effort to sell all Slavs the lie that the Jewish
people are supposedly the cause of Western military and media attacks on the Serbs. Despite some ideal conditions for
the development of antisemitic fascist ideology - including two decades of seemingly inexplicable attacks causing
immense suffering - the Serbs have not succumbed to fascism.)
The Serbs’ remarkable stubbornness of principle is a large part of the reason for the Austro-Hungarian slogan of ninety
years ago, “Serbia must die.” A large part of the reason why, after Germany invaded Yugoslavia in April 1941, a German
officer told the New York Times, concerning the Serbs, who were the only ones in Europe who dared to overthrow a pro-Nazi German government in March 1941, when Hitler seemed to be sweeping all
the world before him:
“‘They must be taught a lesson they will never forget,’ said a German Oberlieutenant, who outlined the German program
for defeated Serbians. ...‘We shall deal with the Serbs as Nordic conquerors must deal with vain inferiors who opposed
-- “Nazis Held Ready to Crush Serb Guerrillas and Jews,” New York Times, May 11, 1941 [11
(Notice that the New York Times headline refers to crushing Serbian guerrillas. However, the article itself makes clear that Germany’s target was the Serbs as a people. See footnote [11
]. - J.I.)
The Serbs' stubborn adherence to principle is a large part of the reason why the German leadership did not stop the
attempt by the Croatian Ustasha fascists, from 1941 to 1945, to eliminate the Serbs, even though the Ustashe’s
unspeakably brutal mass murder drove tens of thousands of Serbs to join the Partisans and the Cetnik guerrillas, and
therefore was, from a purely military point of view, a big problem for Germany.
It is a large part of the reason why, according to the Manchester Guardian, in August 1992 German Minister of Foreign Affairs Klaus Kinkel felt:
“helpless rage at the inability of the EC to undertake concrete measures to ‘force Serbia to its knees.’”
-- “Germany Seeks to Assert Itself,” by David Gow, Manchester Guardian Weekly; August 2, 1992
And it is a large part of the reason why NATO is holding these maneuvers today.
Because the Serbs, not some government or political party, but the Serbs as a people, pose, by their very existence as a political force, the possibility of Slavic unity against Germany and the Vatican and other predators in the Balkans.
However, there is more involved in the attack on the Serbs and others who uphold Yugoslavia. It is not simply a
practical measure, instigated by Germany and the Roman Catholic church, to crush those who embody the threat of creating
Yugoslav unity and who oppose racism. It is a means to a more ambitious end. What end do they have in mind? To help us
understand that question we will need to examine what has been happening in recent times - we will focus on the past
twelve months - in Croatia.
To understand NATO better, examine Croatia
Announcing the upcoming maneuvers, the Croatian weekly Nacional, which I am told is close to Croatian President Mesić, wrote:
“Indicative of just how important this exercise is, [is] the fact that it will, for the first time in NATO history, be
held in a non-member country, a precedent for the alliance and which on the other hand speaks volumes of how
strategically vital Croatia’s maritime position is and of its future role in preserving security on the Mediterranean
[of which the Adriatic Sea is a section - J.I.].”
---Nacional, May 9, 2007 [12
When institutions have been around a long time, people begin to think of them as inevitable parts of the social
landscape. But there is nothing inevitable about NATO, a military machine created by allies in a clear-cut conflict: the
The cold war is over, so why does NATO still exist? Why is it expanding?
Alliances are formed to a purpose. What is the goal of this one now that there is no Soviet bloc? To achieve security?
How has the destruction of Yugoslavia increased security? How do the current maneuvers, not just showcasing the Serbs’
regional enemies but including in the itinerary the city of Knin, site of a terrible tragedy for the Serbian people -
how can this possibly increase security? Surely ‘security’ is a euphemism, but for what?
By choosing to break precedent to allow Croatia to host these maneuvers; by holding them in prime criminal locations of
Croatia’s 1990s “Homeland war”; and by giving Croatia the appearance of guarantor of Adriatic security - NATO has
boosted Croatia’s world standing and its ability to politically influence and menace others in the Adriatic in pursuit of what Croatia wants.
Therefore, if we examine what the dominant forces in and around NATO have been molding Croatia to want, it may help us understand what these forces are trying to secure and how they plan to secure it, especially as regards the countries that resisted Germany and the Vatican in the past - the countries that formed the now-defunct
Socialist bloc and/or those that have a tradition of massive democratic and/or anti-fascist movements, such as
Yugoslavia and Italy.
Let's look at what has been happening in Croatia.
To be continued.
Editor, Emperor’s Clothes
Footnotes and Further Reading
 For BBC Monitoring dispatches on the maneuvers go to http://tenc.net/a/oct10.htm
 U.S. News and World Report, “The Day in Photos,” Oct. 5, 2007, at http://tinyurl.com/2jqfel
 La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno, 25 Sept. 2007, “Nato-games in Adriatico,” at http://tinyurl.com/25n3am
“Marina Militare: Fuciliere Pugliese Ferito in Croazia, Buone Condizioni,” Telenorba, Oct. 2, 2007, at http://tinyurl.com/2xnw44
 “Italian soldier wounded in NATO exercise in Croatia,” BBC Monitoring Europe, Oct. 2, 2007 at
 “Marina Militare,” see footnote [3
 “NATO NRF Exercises Peace Enforcement In Adriatic Sea,” NATO press release, September 25, 2007
 See “In Dec. 2004, Italy’s Supreme Court Ruled: Jail Prime Minister Djukanovic,” including ‘Summary and background
information on Supreme Court ruling, explanation of legal terms, notes on Italian judicial system and English
translation of ANSA’s report,’ by Samantha Criscione
 “Montenegrin officials reject Italian prosecutors’ tobacco-smuggling accusations” can be read in full at
 Regarding Fikret Abdic, see “Pro-Yugoslav Muslim Leader Put on Trial” at
 A longer excerpt from the 1942 Times article with my comment about whether the Germans were threatening to attack Serbian guerrillas, or the Serbian
population as whole is posted at
 “9,000 NATO Commandos in Adriatic Operation,” Nacional, May 9, 2007, at