Serbia

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Serbia, officially referred to as the Republic of Serbia is a landlocked country in Central Europe, covering the central part of the Balkan Peninsula and the southern part of the Pannonian Plain. [1]

Background

Serbia was the main part of the former Yugoslavia until Yugoslavia's break up in the early 1990s, the other countries resulting from the break up being Montenegro, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Macedonia. On February 17, 2008, Kosovo the southern province of Serbia, declared independence, a move opposed by Serbia and Russia but supported by key countries in the West.

The population is around ten million and the capital city is Belgrade. [1] [2]

U.S. lobbyists and public relations consultants

In November 2008, Serbia signed a $50,000-a-month PR contract with the Maryland firm 30 Point Strategies. The firm is tasked with "a broad range of issues including economic development, tourism promotion and Serbia’s bid to join the European Union. It also will highlight Serbia’s effort to apprehend war criminals associated with the past decade’s tragedies in the Balkans," reported O'Dwyer's. "Media targeted for placements include the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the 'Charlie Rose Show.'" [3]

Barbour Griffith & Rogers landed a $60,000 a month contract to represent Serbia. The contract, which was signed by Serbia's Minister for International Economic Relations, Milan Parivodic, runs until January 2009. Serbia has been criticised for being half-hearted in its co-operation with investigations into war crimes committed during the 1990's. [2]

Media

The BBC says of the country's media:

The end of the Milosevic era brought new freedoms for the Serbian media and former pro-Milosevic outlets rushed to denounce the past. In Kosovo a commission set up by the UN has set out a code of conduct for journalists which aims to prevent incitement to hatred in the media. The public broadcaster, RTK, was set up as an editorially-independent service. UN-supervised Blue Sky Radio aims to provide a multi-ethnic audience with impartial news.[2]

U.S. military bases

The U.S. has Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo. Joseph Gerson of the American Friends Service Committee wrote, 'The U.S. led NATO in fighting "Kosovo" war against Serbia in violation of the United Nations Charter, and it emerged from the war with a new and massive military base, Camp Bondsteel, the first of what the Pentagon hoped would become a new system of U.S. Eastern European military bases.

'Bush Administration came to power with the commitment to impose what Vice President Cheney called, "the arrangement for the 21st century" to ensure that "the United States will continue to be the dominant political, economic, and military power in the world." The so-called "Revolution in Military Affairs" - the near-complete integration of information technologies into U.S. war fighting doctrines and its air, land, sea and space based systems, was envisioned as an essential pillar of "the arrangement."'[4]

The GlobalSecurity.org website describes Camp Bondsteel as "quite large: 955 acres or 360,000 square meters. If you were to run the outer perimeter, it is about 7 miles. Bondsteel is located on rolling hills and farmland near the city of Ferizaj/Urosevac. There are two dining facilities at Camp Bondsteel: one in North town and one in South town. The food is very well prepared and there are always a variety of main and side dishes to choose from. There are also salad bars, potato bars and multiple dessert offerings. Due to General Order #1, only alcohol-free beer is served, but it is better than nothing! There are set hours for meals, but each dining facility also has a 24-hour section for sandwiches, coffee, fruit, and continental breakfast items." [5]

Lenora Foerstel writing for Global Research said, 'On March 27th, 1999, the Clinton administration initiated heavy bombing of Yugoslavia. These attacks on a sovereign country were never approved by the United Nations or the US Congress, violating both international law and the War Powers Act.

'The US and NATO had advanced plans to bomb Yugoslavia before 1999, and many European political leaders now believe that the US deliberately used the bombing of Yugoslavia to establish camp Bondsteel in Kosovo. According to Colonel Robert L. McCure, "Engineering planning for operations in Kosovo began months before the first bomb was dropped."

'In June 1999, in the immediate aftermath of the bombing of Yugoslavia, US forces seized 1,000 acres of farm land in southeast Kosovo at Uresevia, near the Macedonia border, and began the construction of a camp. Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, currently provides all of the services to the camp. This same company receives $180 million per year to build military facilities in Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia, and several other countries. Presently, the Bondsteel template is being supported in Georgia and Azerbaijan. According to Chalmers Johnson, author of "America’s Empire of Bases," the US has about 1000 bases around the world. Once upon a time, you could trace the spread of imperialism by counting up colonies," says Johnson. "America’s version of the colony is the military base." Kosovo is an American colony.

'The main purpose for the Bondsteel military base is to provide security for the construction of the Albanian-Macedonian-Bulgarian oil pipeline (AMBO). The AMBO trans-Balkan pipeline will link up with the corridors between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea basin, which holds close to 50 billion barrels of oil.' [6]

Leaders

  • Boris Tadic, President since 2004, favors free market, pro-European reforms and NATO membership

Official website

Web: http://www.srbija.sr.gov.yu/?change_lang=en

Resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. Serbia, National Geographic, accessed March 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Country profile: Serbia, BBC, accessed March 2008.
  3. "Serbia Buffs Image," O'Dwyer's PR Daily (sub req'd), November 3, 2008.
  4. Joseph Gerson, "U.S. Foreign Military Bases & Military Colonialism", American Friends Service Committee, accessed March 2008.
  5. Camp Bondsteel, GlobalSecurity.org, accessed March 2008.
  6. Lenora Foerstel, "Yugoslavia, Camp Bondsteel and the Caspian Sea", Global Research, January 30, 2008.

External resources

External articles