[The above picture
of the Zvecan Smelter was taken June 1 when the Smelter
was in full operation. Part of the immensely valuable
Trepca Mining Complex in Northern Mitrovica, a complex
owned by the Yugoslav people, the Zvecan Smelter was
seized August 14th on the orders of UN Kosovo Chief
Bernard Kouchner. The picture shows nothing
extraordinary. That's why it's newsworthy. According to
the UN, the Smelter was seized because it was causing
dangerous pollution and so we should be seeing what the
'Boston Globe' described as "clouds of black and
white smoke belching from aging chimneys." (August
15, 2000) A picture is worth a thousand words.]
Url for this
here for printable version.
by George Szamuely
Last week 900 NATO troops, under UN
auspices, stormed into a smelting factory at Zvecan in
Kosovo and closed the place down. According to the UN
Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) chief, Bernard
Kouchner, pollution from the plant part of the
vast Trepca mining complex that produces gold, silver,
lead, zinc and cadmium was raising lead levels in
the environment to 200 times World Health Organization
norms. "I would be a debauched person if I let this
threat to the health of children and pregnant women
continue operating any longer," he announced.
One wonders if the
Frenchman managed to keep a straight face as he said
this. Kouchner is running the province on behalf of a
NATO that littered the place with cluster bombs and
depleted uranium shells, that presided over the expulsion
of some 200,000 Serbs, that sent bridges crashing into
the Danube, that happily released clouds of toxic fumes
from bombed-out petrochemical factories into the
atmosphere. The residents of this town
particularly the women showed their usual
ingratitude to their benefactors by throwing stones at
them. Trepca is the leading employer of Serbs in Kosovo
and is Yugoslavia's chief exporter. The protesters got
the Los Angeles treatment: tear gas and rubber bullets.
government disputes Kouchner's claims. Yugoslavia's
record for telling the truth is considerably better than
NATO's. Seizure of Zvecan gives UNMIK control of the
Trepca mines. Already an agreement has been signed with a
group of major mining companies, ITT Kosovo Consortium,
to begin rehabilitation of the complex. Some $16 million
is forthcoming from the EU, the United States, France,
Italy, Holland and Sweden.
UNMIK, needless to
say, does not have the right to take over property that
belongs to others. The agency was set up by UN Security
Council Resolution 1244; strangely enough, it remained
silent on the matter of stealing. However, as is the way
with NATO, Kouchner simply issued a decree last year:
"UNMIK shall administer movable or immovable
property, including monies, bank accounts, and other
property of, or registered in the name of the Federal
Republic of Yugoslavia or the Republic of Serbia or any
of its organs, which is in the territory of Kosovo."
enough, the seizure of Trepca had been urged on him as
long ago as last November by the International
Crisis Group (ICG).
(1)The ICG, invariably described in the media as an
"independent" and "private" think
tank, is largely financed and run by the billionaire
financier George Soros. Its "independence" can
be gauged by the fact that on its board sits Louise
former chief prosecutor at that travesty of justice, the
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former
Yugoslavia; as well as Wesley Clark, loony chief bomber
from last year. Financial support also comes from the
governments of France, the UK and the U.S.
The ICG is a
fascinating case study of the way human rights
organizations, governments and international corporations
work hand in glove these days. "Independent"
figures like Soros identify a "crisis"
demanding urgent government attention. Governments act on
them and then parcel out the lucrative contracts to Soros
and his pals. The Trepca report begins with the usual
tendentious boilerplate: "The future of Trepca cuts
to the heart of the Kosovars' identity. Its great mineral
wealth is the basis of the economy of Kosovo, but the
complex is badly run-down as a result of under-investment
and over-exploitation by governments in Belgrade
is Kosovo's Berlin Wall. It has long stood
for Kosovar Albanians as the symbol of Serbian oppression
and of their own resistance." Therefore,
should implement a rapid and categorical
takeover of Trepca complex, including the immediate,
total shutdown of the environmentally hazardous
facilities at Zvecan." There is no question of
turning the mines over to the Kosovar Albanians. And
forget about there being lots of jobs for the locals.
Trepca is to be rehabilitated and then divided up among
The report notes,
with pleasure, that the
KLA appears to be thoroughly up-to-date on the issue of
turning Kosovo over to international financiers. George Soros has littered the world with
innumerable think tanks and foundations, all dedicated to
promoting his nebulous notions of the "open
society." Cut away the pompous verbiage and what his
pronouncements amount to is that enlightened businessmen
like himself and enlightened governments with the
appropriate globalist outlook should help each other out.
To hell with national sovereignty.
It is an outlook
that has been happily in conformity with that of the
Clinton administration. And it has gone out of its way to
be very helpful to Soros. Last month, Soros Private Funds
Management announced that it will invest $50 million of
its own equity in the Balkans. The U.S. Overseas Private
Investment Corp. will provide a loan guarantee for
another $100 million of investments. The Soros investment
was chosen over 16 other proposals.
Last December the
Clinton administration ordered the U.S. Export-Import
Bank to delay approval of $500 million in credit
guarantees to a Russian company, Tyumen Oil, following
complaints by Western investors, including Soros, that
they had been swindled. The U.S. Export-Import Bank
argued that the loan met all its financial criteria.
After talking to Soros, however, it was announced that it
was not in the "national interest" to go ahead
with the loan "for the time being." Now comes
the seizure of Trepca. There is little mystery as to what
it is our society is "open" to.
This article is
reprinted from New York Press
(1) 'How it is done:
Taking over the Trepca mines: plans and propaganda' by Diana Johnstone at www.emperors-clothes.com/articles/Johnstone/howitis.htm
'Louise Arbour- Unindicted War
Criminal' by Chris Black and Ed
Herman at http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/herman/louise.htm
(3) 'State terror and the "free market"
Opening up Kosovo to foreign capital' by Michel Chossudovsky at http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/chuss/opening.htm
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