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Trepca Takeover:
According to Script
by Jared Israel (8-17-00)
[Emperor's Clothes

In the wee hours of the morning, Monday, August 14, KFOR (that is NATO forces in Kosovo) swept into Northern Mitrovica and seized the Zvecan lead smelting plant, part of the fabulously valuable Trepca mining complex.

The excuse given: pollution.

Oh pollution, how hast we suffered in thy good name. Or words to that effect.

Here's what the 'AP' said, as reported by Richard Hugus in a sharp news analysis last night:

  • "Hundreds of NATO-led peacekeeping troops wearing surgical masks against toxic smoke swept into a Serb-run metal smelting complex." ('Boston Globe' August 15, 2000) (1)

Denouncing the takeover as theft, the Yugoslav government quoted the mine's managers saying that the "dark satanic mills" stuff was hypocritical fiction. The Yugoslav news agency, 'Tanjug', reported:

  • "According to these [recent test] results, there was .12 milligrams of lead per cubic metre (permitted level .15 mg), .019 mg of zinc (permitted level .4 mg), copper .004 mg (permitted level .01 mg), iron .002 mg (permitted level .2 mg), etc.

    '"If UNMIK experts are concerned for the children and pregnant women in Kosovska Mitrovica, they should take care of the waste gases from their own heavy-duty vehicles that throng our roads at all hours and poison the people', the statement said." (2)

What is truly amazing is, in a report posted on Emperor's Clothes Feb. 28, 1999, Diana Johnstone noted that the ICG, an international think tank that does some of the thinking for NATO, proposed that the Internationals seize the smelter using an environmental excuse - proposed this all months ago.

  • '''UNMIK [said the ICG report] and KFOR should implement a rapid and categorical takeover of the Trepca complex, including the immediate total shutdown of the environmentally hazardous facilities at Zvecan'.

    ''In the 'game-plan of measures' recommended by the ICG, UNMIK is advised to instruct a 'Zvecan environmental assessment team' to report on the status of the equipment and thereupon 'advise as to what measures must be taken'... Environmental hazards are to be the pretext to shut down Zvecan and deprive the last Serbs in Kosovo of their livelihood.'' (3)

We have posted the actual ICG report as well at the end of Diana's analysis so you can see how the plan for using environmental arguments as a cover for theft was originally formulated.

It's unusual for an analyst to discover a document like the ICG report and based on this document make a prediction and have it come so completely true. Unusual and in this case more than a little horrifying.

But in fact Diana Johnstone didn't just hit one home run here, she hit two. She cited a second piece of advice in the ICG report. Some advice about the Yugoslav elections. Here's what she wrote:

  • '''The ICG urges UNMIK to hurry up with the game plan for taking over the valuable mining complex before Serbian elections so that a new government more to the West's liking cannot be accused of 'losing Trepca'. All Serbian leaders, including opposition leaders, the ICG observes, will have to protest when UNMIK takes over Trepca and the Zvecan smelter. 'However they could exploit the argument that the `loss' was due to the pariah status of Milosevic himself, so that once again Serbia has lost assets due to his presence in office. So provided action were taken before any elections in Serbia it need not upset, and might contribute to, any strategy for unseating Milosevic.'''

And low and behold, this prediction of Diana Johnstone's has come true as well. Because there are indeed elections scheduled soon in Yugoslavia. In those elections, the pro-US 'democratic' opposition (most notably Zoran Djindjic) has more or less lined up behind a politician little known outside Yugoslavia, Vojislav Kostunica of the Democratic Party of Serbia. The 'democratic' opposition is notable for having been promised $100,000,00 by the US Senate last July, a lot of which has been delivered. (Working for the US is the best job in Yugoslavia.) (4)

In a chilling echo of the ICG report, Kostunica has, sure enough, issued a statement accusing Milosevich of losing (indeed, of 'trading away'!) the Trepca mines. Here's the statement. I have restrained myself and only made a couple of comments:

  • Kostunica writes: "The game over the "Trepca" complex, whose lead smelter in Zvecan has been taken over by the international administration in Kosovo-Metohija, continues. Instead of the promised 50 German marks, Unmik representatives are offering the employees 1,250 dinars as an advance, in brand new, unused banknotes. Unmik also possesses lists of all the employees".

    "Therefore, one can rightly ask how Unmik managed to come by dinars, and also brand new ones? [Emperors-clothes note: NATO is the military arm of the richest Empire in history. Now how could it POSSIBLY get hold of a few thousand dinars? Like Du-uh.] How did it obtain the lists of employees? [Emperors-clothes note: ditto with the list of employees. That one wouldn't even cost Kouchner money.] How is it that Unmik, whose head Bernard Kouchner last year introduced the German mark as the only legal tender, is now paying in dinars? [One more Emperor's Clothes note: didn't the Yugo's grab some guys last year smuggling brand new counterfeit dinars from the Bosnian Serb 'entity' into Serbia? Weren't they supposed to be agents of Dodik, a collaborator NATO installed in the Bosnian Serb 'entity'?]

    "Could it be that the Milosevic regime has once again concluded a secret deal and sold 'Trepca'"?

Or could it just be that the ICG is stranger than fiction?

"Cut! It's a wrap! Print it!"

(1) 'Hollywood Invades Kosovo: The NATO Trepca Takeover'
by Richard Hugus at

(2) 'Management Denounced UN Pollution Claims Prior to Seizure of Trepca Smelter' Official statement of Yugoslav government at

(3) 'Pro-NATO Thinktank Thought-up Excuse for Grabbing Trepca Smelter Plant' at

(4) The July 29th Senate hearings on how to help bring 'democracy' to Serbia are amazing. They reveal first and foremost the disease which has possessed the USA: Empire. The assumption that the US has the right to meddle infuses every paragraph of the transcript of testimony and the casual intimacy with which these US officials discuss their domination of the leaders of the Yugoslav 'democratic' opposition is a marvel. 'July 29th Senate Hearings on Bringing 'democracy' to Serbia' at
[Emperor's Clothes]