Meditation Focus #44
Support for Peace Talks in Macedonia
Web posted on August 4, 2001 for the 2 consecutive weeks
beginning Sunday, August 5, 2001
What follows is the 44th Meditation Focus suggested for the two consecutive weeks beginning Sunday, August 5, 2001.
SUPPORT FOR PEACE TALKS IN MACEDONIA
2. Meditation times
3. More information on this Meditation Focus
4. Peace Watch for the Middle East
5. Peace Watch for Kashmir
Once again, the situation in Macedonia is making headlines, but this time it is because there is a real possibility that the current peace talks will lead to a permanent and peaceful resolution of this ethnic conflict - and this positive development certainly deserves the support of all the healing vibrations we can direct towards this area of the world. However, there is another side to this story that is seldom reported. Evidences gathered by Michel Chossudovsky, a professor of economics from Canada, and others purport that, in fact, this conflict between the Albanian minority in Macedonia and the slav majority is being used and manipulated by some powerful interests as part of a plan to assert control over this region for alleged "strategic transport, communications and oil pipeline corridors in the Balkans". Whether these assertions are well-founded or not may seem irrelevant to the thousands of people suffering because of this conflict and the - potentially - hundreds of thousands more people who may suffer if those peace talks fail to achieve a compromise that will decrease the likeliness of the onset of a wider Balkan war. Yet, such information should be kept in mind when considering what potential positive outcome could be empowered through our prayers and meditations. From a broader perspective, it is reasonable to conclude that this conflict is linked with the unrepenting, obsolete and environmentally suicidal obstination of the corporate interests who want our world to continue down the path of dependency upon fossil fuels, especially oil, which has been so profitable to them and which has been the main thrust behind the Gulf War and several other recent large scale military conflicts involving the Western powers. A shift in attitude - and hence of priorities - towards pollution-free forms of energy would go a long way towards dismantling the worldwide military apparatus maintained at great cost to protect the hegemony of these corporations over the sources of fossil fuel energy and thus help alleviate the mounting consequences of global warming.
Please dedicate your prayers and meditations, as guided by Spirit, in the coming two weeks to contribute in supporting the peace talks currently underway in Macedonia. Visualize the cessation of all hostilities and a peaceful cooperation of all parties involved towards creating the political and social conditions that will allow both ethnic communities to live side by side in harmony and mutual respect, thus depriving those who favor violence of any rational motive to continue their military agression. Consider also supporting with positive vibrations those in the corporate world who are ready to part with any form of dependency upon fossil fuels and other polluting forms of energy as part of their economic dominance of the world. May their hearts open up to the spiritual wind of change now sweeping this world and may Peace prevail in Macedonia, for the Highest Good of All.
2. MEDITATION TIMES
i) Global Meditation Day: Sunday at 16:00 Universal Time (GMT) or at noon local time. Suggested duration: 30 minutes. Please dedicate the last few minutes of your Sunday meditation to the healing of the Earth as a whole. See the Earth as healthy and vibrant with life, and experience the healing of all relations as we awaken globally to the sacredness of all Life and to our underlying unity with All That Is.
ii) Golden Moment of At-Onement: Daily, at the top of any hour, or whenever it better suits you.
These times below are currently corresponding to 16:00 Universal Time/GMT:
Honolulu 6:00 AM -- Anchorage * 8:00 AM -- Los Angeles * 9:00 AM -- Mexico City, San Salvador & Denver * 10:00 AM -- Houston * & Chicago * 11:00 AM -- Santo Domingo, La Paz, Caracas, New York *, Toronto *. Montreal *, Asuncion & Santiago 12:00 AM -- Halifax *, Rio de Janeiro & Montevideo 1:00 PM -- Reykjavik & Casablanca 4 PM -- Lagos, Algiers, London *, Dublin * & Lisbon * 5:00 PM -- Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Geneva *, Rome *, Berlin *, Paris * & Madrid * 6:00 PM -- Ankara *, Athens *, Helsinki * & Istanbul * & Nairobi 7:00 PM -- Baghdad *, Moscow * 8:00 PM -- Tehran * 8:30 PM -- Islamabad 9:00 PM -- Calcutta & New Delhi 9:30 PM -- Dhaka 10:00 PM -- Rangoon 10:30 PM -- Hanoi, Bangkok & Jakarta 11:00 PM -- Hong Kong, Perth, Beijing & Kuala Lumpur +12:00 PM -- Seoul & Tokyo +1:00 AM -- Brisbane, Canberra & Melbourne +2:00 AM -- Wellington +4:00 AM
+ means the place is one day ahead of Universal Time/Greenwich Mean Time.
* means the place is observing daylight saving time (DST) at the moment.
You may also check at http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/full.html to find your current corresponding local time if a closeby city is not listed above.
3. MORE INFORMATION ON THIS MEDITATION FOCUS
This section is for those who wish to understand in more details the situation outlined in this Meditation Focus. For those who wish to read on, we would encourage you to view the following information from a positive perspective, and not allow the details to tinge the positive vision you wish to hold in meditation. Since what we focus on grows, the more positive our mindset, the more successful we will be in manifesting a vision of healing. We provide the details below because we recognize that the knowledge of what needs healing can assist us to structure our awareness to maximise our healing effect.
Please see the Complement to the Meditation Focus # 44: BALKAN SET-UP: America provokes conflict then intervenes to solve 'crisis' + Macedonia: Washington behind Terrorist Assaults, archived for your convenience at http://www.cybernaute.com/earthconcert2000/Balkans.htm
Here is the introductory note:
These 2 articles shed light on parts of the unreported (by the mainstream media) American involvement in masterminding the current conflict in Macedonia. The true motives of this deliberate strategy (securing a "patchwork of protectorates" along strategic transport, communications and oil pipeline corridors in the Balkans) are revealed in another excellent article also written by Michel Chossudovsky and entitled "America at War in Macedonia" (June 2001) available at http://www.antiwar.com/rep/chuss5.html
EU's Solana to Visit Macedonia Peace Talks
(Saturday August 4)
OHRID, Macedonia (Reuters) - European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana will on Sunday visit negotiations to end a five-month-old ethnic Albanian insurgency in Macedonia, raising hopes a breakthrough may be near. Solana has visited Macedonia several times over the past few months to try to push forward talks on improving ethnic Albanian rights to help persuade the guerrillas to disarm.
POLICING IS TOUGH ISSUE
But on Saturday a source in the bigger of the two Albanian parties at the talks, the PDP, said the two sides might at least overcome a key hurdle by agreeing to grant ethnic Albanians a bigger role in Macedonia's police force.
``We have not finished yet but I think that tomorrow the police document might be agreed,'' he told Reuters. And a Macedonian source also said that a deal on policing could be close.
The Albanian negotiators want the police to be ethnically representative of the population at a local level and under local control, complaining of widespread intimidation by Macedonian police in ethnic Albanian areas.
The Macedonian side insists policing should be under central control and ethnic proportions worked out on a country-wide basis, fearing that concentrations of ethnic Albanian police in Albanian areas will become a guerrilla force in a new guise.
Pardew, the EU's Francois Leotard and Max van der Stoel of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe won an agreement on the most contentious issue -- the use of the Albanian language -- on Wednesday, but policing and some less controversial issues remain to be resolved.
The Macedonian source said that once a deal was signed, the next step was an amnesty which, it was hoped, would prompt the start of rebel disarmament and encourage Macedonian deputies to approve the agreement in parliament.
NATO has agreed to send 3,000 troops to help collect weapons for a month but wants to avoid a long-term mission.
Diplomatic sources say they could deploy quickly but that they did not know if the rebels would agree to disarm or NATO deploy before the agreement passes through parliament, where Macedonian anger at the rebels runs high.
Rebels in southern Serbia agreed to disarm in May under a similar NATO-brokered deal to improve Albanian rights.
And in Kosovo, where the NATO-led peacekeeping force is trying to stop the supply of weapons to Macedonia, a spokesman for the force said it had captured 19 mules carrying 15,000 rounds of ammunition along with food and clothing. The people escorting the mules managed to escape.
Macedonia Needs Western Help
Western mediators discussed deploying dozens of foreign police experts and officers in Macedonia to help carry out reforms if rival ethnic groups can agree on a peace plan, officials said Saturday.
The Western-mediated peace talks plodded ahead, focusing on the highly contentious issue of sharing power in law enforcement. The issue is one of the most difficult to be faced at the talks, in part because both sides are far apart.
Ethnic Albanian representatives are demanding that their sizable community - nearly a third of Macedonia's 2 million people - be proportionately represented on the force. They also want to independently elect police chiefs who would answer to local leaders rather than authorities in the capital, Skopje.
Macedonians see these demands as part of a larger ethnic Albanian strategy to ultimately carve off and break away northwestern regions of the country where the restive minority lives. They fear forever losing control of areas already overrun by the rebels.
Another hurdle is the ethnic Albanian demand that the rebels, now entrenched in the mountains and clashing with government forces, become members of the police force once a peace deal is reached.
Scattered clashes have continued throughout nearly a month of talks, leaving dozens dead and thousands displaced.
Western officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, described the talks as ``very difficult'' but said both sides accept that any police reform would require significant assistance from Western democracies in the form of experienced officers who would help supervise and train Macedonian police.
The officers and experts would come on top of the estimated 3,000 NATO troops that the proposed peace plan envisages to help disarm the ethnic Albanian rebels.
July 31, 2001
By House Editorial
If the ethnic Albanians had their way, NATO would be a tool to create their Greater Albania, an ethnically pure homeland which would expand Albania to parts of Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo. The United States would lead the alliance in the Balkans and remain in the role of big brother, getting them out of scrapes when they become involved in excessive paramilitary violence. Macedonians and the Serbs waver between protesting the U.S. presence and pleading with them to disarm the ethnic Albanians. Europeans have considered it more convenient for the United States to continue to play a leading role in NATO peacekeeping during a time when European defense budgets are tight, while criticizing it for its shortcomings. For the United States, continued leadership on the ground has meant a backlash of violence by Macedonians, injured U.S. soldiers and an attack on the American Embassy in Skopje by protesters.
NATO Secretary-General George Robertson left for a mission to Macedonia last week in the face of growing violence there after drawing up plans to send 3,000 troops to Macedonia to keep the peace and collect guerrilla weapons. Though he stipulated that there could only be a mission on the ground if a cease-fire and political deal resulting from peace talks between four Macedonian and ethnic Albanian parties were made, Americans have already been forced to take the lead in the fray in the meantime. This has been to the detriment of the Balkan peace process and to the U.S. troops themselves.
Ask Sgt. Richard Casini of West Virginia. In the process of trying to get rid of the guerrillas' weapons near the border of Kosovo and Macedonia last month, he lost a foot when he stepped on a land mine, the New York Times reported. Ask the U.S. GIs whom Mr. Robertson ordered to escort 400 ethnic Albanian rebels out of the guerrilla stronghold of Aracinovo, and then dropped them a few miles down the road, where they continued the fighting. In the wake of this mission, thousands of Macedonians protested violently in the streets of Skopje, 1,800 new refugees fled from Macedonia to Kosovo the next day, and European NATO allies and Macedonians criticized the United States as a partisan force trying to protect the Albanian guerrillas.
Germany has now taken to criticizing the United States' role in the Balkans. While the official line of the German Embassy in Washington was that the United States' role is still important, German Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping told confidants that the "international community," meaning the Americans, had "not acted consistently" and "shared responsibility" for the crisis, according to yesterday's German weekly Der Spiegel. The same report quoted Greens Party Deputy Winfried Nachtwei and the deputy leader of Germany's opposition party, Willy Wimmer, as blaming the United States for training the rebels and supporting their desire for a Greater Albania.
In a time when the United States is seen as a partisan force, the Europeans must step up their role in peacekeeping in the face of increasing violence. The Bush administration has said U.S. troops will still be in the Balkans for years, and, indeed, the U.S. commitment to upholding peace in the region is unwavering. However, in a time when violence is only increasing in the region, Europeans would do best to stop criticizing and starting sharing more of the responsibility for peacekeeping.
"LAUGHS" AND "CHUCKLES" IN STATE DEPARTMENT TRANSCRIPTS:
WHERE DID THE KLA GET ITS WEAPONS FROM?
by Michel Chossudovsky
Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa
Official transcripts of US State Department briefings reproduce "verbatim" the "questions" (Q) by journalists and the answers of the State Department spokesperson. Words are always transcribed phonetically, "Yes" is recorded as "yeah", grammatical and speech errors are also recorded, non-verbal "noises" such as "laughs", "chuckles", "applause" as well as "mm-hmm", "wow" and "huh"
are also transcribed.
"Laughs" and "chuckles" are usually associated with a Question (Q) from an individual journalist or an answer by the State Department official, whereas "laughter" is from the floor. The "chuckles" and "laughs" often come after an embarrassing question, or when the State Department spokesperson says "Yeah, I don't know" or "I don't want to get into that". "Chuckles" is often a way of skirting the question. It also means, "You know the answer, why are you asking."
A few months before the onslaught of the NATO bombings of Yugoslavia, the State Department held a "Special Briefing" on Kosovo (November 1998). James Pardew, Washington's "mediator" now in charge of "disarming" NLA-KLA terrorists in Macedonia, had been appointed in 1998 "Special Representative for Kosovo Implementation" by the Clinton Adminstration. Joined by Julia Taft, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, Pardew answers questions on a central issue of the Kosovar crisis:
"Q Where are the arms coming from? I mean, the Yugoslav forces' arms are coming from Yugoslavia. Where is the KLA getting their arms?
MR. PARDEW: I can't answer that. I don't know the answer to that.
Q Don't have any suspicions?
MR. PARDEW: No, not that I'm going into here. (Chuckles.)
MR. PARDEW: Okay --
MS. TAFT: He's guns, I'm butter. Any other -- other questions? (Laughs.)
Ambassador James Pardew was sent by Washington to Macedonia in July 2001 with a mandate to "disarm" the NLA-KLA terrorists and implement a US-EU brokered "cease-fire". "No laughing matter": recent developments in Macedonia confirm that Washington rather than disarming the terrorists is in fact equipping them with brand new weapons "Made in America."
1. Federal News Service, State Department Briefing on Kosovo, Washington, November 13, 1998.
For details on how Washington has armed and equipped the KLA, see the following articles by the author:
"Washington Behind Terrorist Assaults in Macedonia", July 2001 at
"Washington Finances Ethnic Warfare in the Balkans", April 2001, at
"Macedonia: Washington's Military-Intelligence Ploy", June 2001, at
"America at War in Macedonia", June 2001, at
"Kosovo 'Freedom Fighters' Financed by Organised Crime", Covert Action
Quarterly, Fall 1999, available at
Copyright by Michel Chossudovsky, Ottawa, July 2001. All rights reserved.
Macedonia Talks Difficult, Serbian Clash Reported
(Saturday August 4)
OHRID, Macedonia (Reuters) - U.S. envoy James Pardew described talks to end an ethnic Albanian guerrilla revolt in Macedonia as ``very difficult'' on Saturday and there were ominous reports of fresh guerrilla fighting in neighboring Serbia. CLIP
Macedonia Peace Talks Score Breakthrough on Language (Reuters)
Macedonia's political parties made a breakthrough on Wednesday in talks to end a five-month-old ethnic Albanian rebel insurgency by agreeing on the toughest issue -- the use of the Albanian language. CLIP
Macedonian PM Urges Action Against Rebels (Reuters)
Macedonia's Prime Minister Thursday urged military action to recapture territory held by ethnic Albanian rebels, saying it would be shameful to sign any peace deal under the threat of rebel guns. CLIP
Bush Vows to Help in Macedonia (Associated Press)
American troops would participate in a NATO force that collects weapons from ethnic Albanian fighters in Macedonia if there is a settlement of their conflict with the Macedonian government, the Bush administration said Thursday. CLIP
Full Coverage on Macedonia
4. Peace Watch for the Middle East
Here are the latest developments in the Middle East. Please also keep this situation in mind during your meditations in the coming two weeks to help ensure that peace prevail there as well.
Israel Strikes Palestinian Convoy with Missiles
(Saturday August 4)
RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Israel launched its second missile attack in days on Palestinian activists on Saturday, hitting a convoy carrying a leader of Yasser Arafat 's Fatah faction, Palestinian officials and witnesses said.
Senior West Bank Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi said missiles were fired at two cars near his office in the town of Al-Bireh outside Ramallah but did not hit his vehicle.
``This is a failed assassination attempt and this is a cowardly act by (Israeli Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon, and a crime. The criminal occupiers will pay for this new crime,'' Barghouthi said.
SECOND STRIKE IN A WEEK
On Tuesday, Israel killed eight people, including two senior figures in the militant Islamic group Hamas and two children, in a helicopter missile strike in the West Bank city of Nablus. The Nablus attack raised tensions and prompted calls for revenge from Palestinians, who accuse Israel's military of assassinating more than 60 activists.
Israel describes its policy of tracking and killing Palestinian militants, which has drawn widespread international criticism, as ``active self-defense'' against those planning attacks on the Jewish state.
Palestinian Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo said the Al-Bireh attack was a continuation of Sharon's ``policy of assassinating Palestinian leaders.''
``This is a declaration of a comprehensive war by Sharon and we have received his message loud and clear,'' Abed Rabbo said. Barghouthi told Reuters: ``There can be no dialogue with this government. This is a gang and not a government.''
The Palestinian Authority issued a statement condemning the missile attack and renewing its call for international observers to be deployed in the West Bank and Gaza. Israel Radio said Halaweh was responsible for a ``very long list of attacks,'' most of them shooting ambushes near Ramallah, which had resulted in the deaths of at least six Israelis.
Earlier on Saturday, Israeli tanks and bulldozers destroyed a Palestinian police building in a brief incursion into Palestinian-ruled territory near the Kfar Darom Jewish settlement in central Gaza. The operation sparked a fierce gun battle between Palestinian security officials and gunmen and Israeli soldiers. There were no reports of casualties. CLIP
Israel Says It Foils Tel Aviv Bombing
(Friday August 3)
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said security forces at Tel Aviv's main bus station foiled an attempted Palestinian bombing that could have caused scores of casualties.
In another incident on Friday, Israeli soldiers shot and wounded a five-year-old Palestinian boy traveling in a car that approached their West Bank roadblock at night at high speed, an Israeli military source said. Palestinian security sources said the child's grandfather also was wounded.
At the United Nations, the world body presented a report on how it mishandled information and videotapes centering on the abduction last October of three Israeli soldiers by Lebanese Hizbollah guerrillas on the Israel-Lebanon border.
In findings that were not relayed at the time to U.N. headquarters or to Israel, U.N. peacekeepers said the soldiers ''may have been badly injured and may succumb to their injuries.'' There has been no word from the three since the abduction.
Speaking on Israeli television, Ben-Eliezer cited the Tel Aviv bomb incident to explain why Israel intends to stick to an internationally criticized policy of killing Palestinian militants it believes are plotting to attack its citizens.
Police said a security guard spotted a Palestinian woman placing a package on the pavement next to the bus station and gave chase. An 8.8 lb. bomb was found packed into a laundry detergent box. She was arrested and the bomb defused.
Asked if Israel was following the right policy by stepping up its attacks on Palestinians, Ben-Eliezer said: What do you expect us to do? What's left to talk about?
Only today, there was an attempted bombing at the Tel Aviv bus station. If we hadn't have foiled it, dozens would have been killed.''
An Israeli missile attack on Tuesday that killed eight Palestinians, including two children, at the office of a senior leader of the militant Muslim group Hamas, drew Palestinian calls for revenge and world condemnation of Israel.
The White House said on Friday the United States remained opposed to such killings, which Palestinians call assassinations and Israel describes as active self-defense.''
In Brussels, European Union officials said the EU was pressing Israel to drop its insistence on a total halt to Palestinian violence as a precondition of beginning steps to resume peace talks.
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana sought to convince the Israelis and the United States in intensive telephone diplomacy this week that otherwise there was a danger of a wider Middle East conflict.
The officials said Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Secretary of State Colin Powell seemed amenable to a more flexible interpretation of proposals for a phased return to the negotiating table.
But Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was demanding a one-week halt to all Palestinian attacks and insisting Israel would be sole judge of when conditions were right to move to a cooling-off period called for under a peace plan drawn up by a U.S.-led panel.
At least 510 Palestinians, 130 Israelis and 13 Israeli Arabs have been killed since the uprising began.
5. Peace Watch for Kashmir
Here are the latest developments on the Kashmir Dispute. Please also keep this situation in mind during your meditations in the coming two weeks to help ensure that peace prevail there as well.
The War That Never Ends
(JULY 30, 2001)
While the leaders of India and Pakistan played at peace, the killing raged on in Kashmir
The signs of killing disappear quickly in Kashmir. In the Muslim tradition, the dead are buried within hours. When suspected militants are shot by Indian security forces, the process is even hastier: the bodies are buried before their numbers are verified and recorded. The Himalayan isolation, the shifting political crosshairs, the chill breeze of oppression: all conspire against tracing what happened or where the victims lie. Nobody knows exactly how many people have died in the fighting between Indian forces and Kashmiri separatistsnot to mention Pakistani and Afghan mercenariessince the valley erupted in violence 11 1/2 years ago. (India says 35,000 while Pakistan claims the number of victims is double that.)
In the three days it took for talks between Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to collapse in Agra last week, between 70 and 80 people lost their livesaround one death for every hour Musharraf was on Indian soil, twice the normal rate. No one in Kashmir thinks that's a coincidence. New Delhi was expected to step up its maneuvers to back its demand in Agra that Pakistan stop supporting the Kashmiri insurgents. The rebels themselves wanted to signal that their struggle against India continued. Both messages were bound to be written in blood. The following is what is known of the last moments of some of the men, women and children who died as, 600 km to the south, hope of peace evaporated in Agra's withering heat. CLIP
Jihad-inspired bloodletting in Kashmir stifles all peace moves
NEW DELHI -- Recent massacres in Kashmir share one feature: they are massacres of innocents, of men, women and children who have no political affiliations or aspirations. Their only crime was that they chose to live in Kashmir or happen to be passing through the state.
These murders are being described in Pakistan as being essential for the freedom struggle. The country's president, Gen. Musharraf, must surely know that killing the man on the street cannot be part of any rational or logical movement for independence.
India views this is as cross-border terrorism, the very phrase that Musharraf would not agree to at last week's summit in Agra in India. To begin with, he does not even accept that there is a border in Kashmir between the two neighbors. In his words, what is happening there is "no terrorism." Why call it "cross-border terrorism?" he may ask.
This appears to be a classic case of a mind stuck up in a time warp. Let us go back to 1947, when the newly founded Pakistan sent tribal forces ahead of their regular soldiers to try and annex Kashmir, which had then not joined the Indian union. Kashmir's then Hindu ruler, Maharajah Hari Singh, who had a sizable number of Muslim subjects, was forced by this invasion to seek New Delhi's help, and a little later the area become part of India.
Had Pakistan not indulged in this desperate act in 1947, it is possible that Kashmir could have remained independent or formed a union with the smaller neighbor. The course of history could then have run differently.
Unfortunately, Islamabad continues with the same tactics even today. In the first days of the Kargil war between the two nations in 1999, Pakistan Army regulars were not to be seen. The men who engaged the Indian Army were pan-Islamic revolutionaries.
For the past 12 years, Islamabad has been funding, training and giving shelter to fundamentalists and pushing them to fight in Kashmir. India's Prime Minister has vowed to put an end to this menace.
Outside of this, Pakistan is going to find it difficult in the coming days to explain its open support for the continuing brutality in the border areas. The world clearly sees terrorism as a threat to global peace and economic well being, and Washington has made no bones about the need for Islamabad to tame its jihadi groups.
Also, a dominant section in the U.S. wants to strengthen India to counter China's awesome growth. Pakistan, long friendly toward Washington, might lose out if America courts India.
See also "Understanding each other" at http://www.mediamonitors.net/ikramsehgal29.html
World Full Coverage on the Kashmir Dispute From: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/fc/World/Kashmir_Dispute/
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