Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Rich Pickings of a 'Humanitarian' War

Anyone out there still believe that Yugoslavia was bombed in 1999 for 'humanitarian' reasons?

From: Associated Press

Kosovo's Nickel Plant Sold for $40 Million
-The privatization of Feronikeli is the most important
sell-off of socially owned enterprises, a term used
for enterprises owned by the workers and managers
under a system set up under communist-era Yugoslavia.
PRISTINA, Serbia-Montenegro - A nickel plant in
Kosovo was sold Friday for euro33 million, or about
US$40 million, authorities said.
Officials from the Kosovo Trust Agency, dealing with
privatization in Kosovo, signed a contract with
Alferon/IMR, part of Eurasian Natural Resources group,
which is among the world's largest private mining and
metals groups, a U.N. statement said.
The company has offered a business plan including at
least 1,000 jobs and an additional investment of
euro20 million (about US$24 million) within the first
three years, it said.
The Feronikeli plant in central Kosovo was badly
damaged during NATO bombing of Serb forces in the
disputed province in 1999. It is one of the major
plants in the economically depressed province.
Kosovo is the poorest region in the Western Balkans
with an annual gross domestic product per capita of
around euro1,000 (US$1,300) and a jobless rate of at
least 50 percent, according to European Union data.
The privatization of Feronikeli is the most important
sell-off of socially owned enterprises, a term used
for enterprises owned by the workers and managers
under a system set up under communist-era Yugoslavia.
The process of privatization is complex, in part
because it is unclear whether Kosovo will become
independent or remain part of Serbia-Montenegro, the
successor state of Yugoslavia.
Serbia's authorities have fiercely opposed the process
of privatization.


Ken said...

Back in 1999 I published an article in an English magazine called "Right Now." I doubt if you have even heard of it, but it amuses me to publish things in rightist journals. Gets the pure at heart all a twitter...

I argued that the war was basically a grab for the province's riches. It's nice to see that the argument held water - it was speculative at the time.

Raoul Djukanovic said...

If you're arguing - which it's hard to determine from your non-committal insinuation - that the bombing of Yugoslavia was undertaken to access the "glittering prize" of Kosovo's paltry assets, I think the word you were thinking of is probably best applied to yourself.

It doesn't take a credulous acceptance of NATO propaganda to figure that out either. Sure the privatisation game comes with the territory (viz the departure of the Pristina sell-off tsar to Iraq in 2003), but nickel plants aren't oil fields. Or even Romanian banks...

Anonymous said...

It is pretty simple what we are dealing with here. The assets of Kosovo are not paltry whether we are talking about the position of the country or of its riches. What would you call someone who breaks into your home and takes your valuables? It's robbery!

Anonymous said...

'Paltry assets' Raoul ?!! In the words of John McEnroe, 'you cannot be serious'!
Here's Noel Malcolm- hardly a left-wing supporter of Slobodan Milosevic- on the importance of Kosovo's mineral wealth- and how imperial invaders- from the Romans through the Nazis to NATO, have always coveted it. Here's a handy tip Rauol to help you understand the driving force behind future 'humanitarian' interventions: always see what the invader 'liberates' first. Adolf seized Trepca before others had chance to say 'Sieg Heil', while the 'liberators' of Iraq made straight for the oil wells.

Geography, or rather geology, supplies one essential reason for the enduring historical importance of Kosovo -- particularly of its eastern half. It contains the greatest concentration of mineral wealth in the whole of south-eastern Europe. The Trepca mine (Srb.: Trepca; near Mitrovica, 30 miles north of Prishtina), developed by a British company in the 1920s, became in the post-war period one of Europe's largest suppliers of lead and zinc; this mining area, including another important mine south-east of Prishtina, was estimated in the 1960s to contain 56 per cent of the reserves of those metals in Yugoslavia, and 100 per cent of the nickel. It also supplied half of the country's production of magnesite (of which Yugoslavia was the third largest producer in the world). Important too are the deposits of bauxite and chrome in Western Kosovo; and there are large coal-mines in both halves of the territory, as well as some copper and iron ore. Kosovo's mineral riches have made the territory a special target for conquest by many armies, from the Romans to the Nazis: when Hitler divided this area into occupation zones with his Axis allies after the conquest of Yugoslavia in 1941, he took care to create a special German zone to include the Trepca mine and its nearby mines and factories. Within three months, Trepca was sending a daily train-load of 500 tons of lead and zinc concentrate to supply the war industries of the Reich.

Raoul Djukanovic said...

Hitler also relied on Romania's oil. Does that mean it's now a vital geostrategic asset. Think about it...

As I stressed, one can see right through "humanitarian intervention" propaganda without having to make things up.

Anonymous said...

So who is really running Romania? Need to read up about Romania Raoul

Raoul Djukanovic said...

Cryptic. Go on, enlighten me.

Last time I checked it was the same lot who lopped off the head of the old hydra via a kangaroo court, although there's nominally been a change of front of house management in the meantime.

They also seem to be mighty keen on becoming an imperial outpost, to the point that they get caught between the rocky road to Brussels and the hard place of New Europe. Still, they got a base...

Who were you thinking? The Iron Guard?

Anonymous said...

From where I'm standing it's the same sort of scum that have risen to the surface since all these "revolutions" velvet, orange, 5th October but to name a few.

Raoul Djukanovic said...

Well, in the Romanian case, the same sort of scum have been running the show for some time now. Ditto Serbia, although the turf wars seem to be more intense. And Ukraine was like a now you see him now you don't joke. But your cryptic point's still lost on me. And I'm still waiting for a reply on the "what's so great about Slobo?" thread. We appear to have reached the point of contradiction.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing cryptic in what I'm saying. What I see is the total disintegration of society in Eastern Europe. Poverty is frightening. There is very little one can say that is positive there now.

As for Slobo, do you agree that he should be at the Hague? Why single him out? Slobo may have done things that are wrong but while we concentrate on him the rest of the country is going to hell in a basket. Slobo should answer to his people for any misdeeds. NATO is the enemy and the people that run the country at the moment are NATO's henchmen.

Raoul Djukanovic said...

the people that run the country at the moment are NATO's henchmen.

I thought you were suggesting we examine beyond the puppets on the stage.

I don't see this as a binary calculation I'm afraid. If you think there's anything worth celebrating about Slobo the onus is on you to prove it.

No need to get sidetracked with rhetoric about the politicised Hague tribunal - I thought we were talking about the welfare of ordinary people.

Why conflate the obvious hardships people face with a whitewashing of Milosevic? War stories aside, what's with the fetish for self-serving authoritarians?

These arguments do a disservice to the cause you claim to espouse.

Anonymous said...

What is your point? you asked about Milosevic and I tell you what I think. Self-serving authoritarian, is that what you think of Milosevic? why don't you just come out with what's on your mind?

Raoul Djukanovic said...

I'm just curious as to why you write what you do. Are you simply a supporter of the enemy of your enemy? Sadly, it seems you've convinced yourself there's more to it. How long have you been a Slobo fan? How much time have you spent in Serbia?

Anonymous said...

I am a Serb. I am also a fan of my country, as it was. I was one of the privilaged generation. No war in my time until 91. The great sacrifices were made by my parents so we would have a happy childhood and life up to that point. People then were proud to be what they were. How about you, Raoul is not a Serb name and yet you speak with such authority? What I cannot understand is your remarks about Milosevic. He is peripheral here. who is the enemy of my enemy, I wonder?

Raoul Djukanovic said...

So you're not Neil then? Perhaps he can answer my question.

Anonymous said...

Not keen to answer other peoples questions. Why do you single Slobo out?

Raoul Djukanovic said...

Think you should be asking Neil that not me...

Unfortunately his interest in dialogue is next to non-existent. Perhaps he's simply unable to defend his opinions.