Ivo Skoric on Wed, 7 Jul 2004 07:34:55 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> ivogram x6: strangeness, serbo-palooza, war on oil, deserter, burma

          [ digested @ nettime ]

"Ivo Skoric" <ivo@reporters.net>
     Moore pre-empted by Bush
     Serbia's Cultural Wars
     Free Iraq...
     Fahrenheit 911 sequel?
     Human Rights Champions

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo@reporters.net>
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 2004 12:00:16 -0400
Subject: Moore pre-empted by Bush

Legalizing Abu Ghraib

The author of the memo giving the president green light to torture 
the evil ones, Jay S. Bybee, the conservative judge elected for life 
to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, is a 
serious, soft-spoken, reflective man, according to his colleagues. As 
assistant attorney general in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel 
he used to be the conscience of the Justice Department. In that 
capacity he wrote that only pain like that accompanying "death, organ 
failure or the permanent impairment of a significant body function" 
qualifies as torture. He is also a kazoo enhusiast: he has a 
collection of kazoos and play them on occasion. Himler, should 
someone have forgotten, was also soft spoken, reflective man, who 
loved to collect canaries. He also sent millions of people to death 
in gas chambers.

No More Exceptional

With that memo, pictures from Abu Ghraib, and the breaking story of 
US torturing prisoners around the world - Iraq, Afghanistan, 
Guantanamo Bay, it became impossible for the US to claim exception 
for its troops from prosecution under International Criminal Court. 
The US requested the immunity for its troops on the premise that its 
troops are behaving as soldiers from a democratic, civilized country. 
The UN granted the immunity on an annual renewal basis, threatened by 
the US to veto U.N. peacekeeping missions if the resolution giving it 
immunity from the new International Criminal Court was not passed. 
Faced with the behavior of its troops the US will not even try to ask 
the extension of that immunity past the expiration date on June 30.

Instead, Turning to the Bizzare

In Milosevic's Serbia there was the astrologist (remember, Hitler had 
an astrologist, too) Milja Vujanovic, who explained that the Pentagon 
is a symbol for the pentagram and G7 is the seven-headed dragon from 
St. John's gospel. He was given a prime-time slot on the national TV 
network. The painter Milic od Macve proclaimed himself the Baron 
Lepenski, leader of world vampires. As such, he threatened the US 
that if they do not help Serbia, Serbia would make a deal with Japan 
to build the New Byzantium. He was the first living artist to have a 
solo exhibition in the National Museum in Belgrade. The exhibition 
was opened by the Minister of Culture of Serbia. The opening was 
visited by 350,000 people, 3.5% of the population. G7 is now G8 and 
Milosevic is in The Hague.

On March 23, 2004, in George W Bush's America, the US Senate was used 
for a bizarre ritual in which the Rev Sun Myung Moon, the head of the 
Unification church, was "crowned" and declared himself the messiah in 
the presence of more than a dozen Republican and Democratic members 
of Congress. So much for the separation of the church and state. He 
told his audience: "The five great saints and other leaders in the 
spirit world, including communist leaders such as Marx and Lenin, who 
committed all manner of barbarity, and dictators such as Hitler and 
Stalin, have found strength in my teachings, mended their ways and 
been reborn as new persons."


And this all even before Michael Moore's docudrama Fahrenheit 9/11 
reached the movie theaters....


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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo@reporters.net>
Date: Fri, 25 Jun 2004 12:38:36 -0400
Subject: Serbia's Cultural Wars

What Woodstock and Lollapallooza were and Warped Tour is for the U.S. 
rock culture, The State of Exit is for Serbia's. For the past four 
years Exit was the largest open-air youth alternative culture 
celebration in the Balkans. Not unlike in the US - where rock 
concerts are used by organizations like MoveOn or TrueMajority to 
register young people to vote, preferrably along the liberal agenda - 
Exit festival is perceived by the Serbia's ruling elite as "an annual 
fundraising event for liberals and leftists". Serbia's nationalist 
lobby, however, excersise far greater control over society than the 
centurions of the New American Century do in the US. Wouldn't they 
wish to throw Michael Moore in jail? In Serbia they did just that: 
they detained organizers of Exit festival, two weeks before the 
event, on charges of embezzlement.   

from: www.iwpr.net

Detention of organisers of Serbia's most popular rock festival 
outrages liberals and reformists. 

By Aleksandar Reljic in Novi Sad

"Everything is political in Serbia and so is the Exit music 
festival," said the event’s general manager, Bojan Boskovic, on 
leaving jail in Novi Sad, where he recently spent eight days under 
suspicion of embezzlement. 

"Some people in this country are annoyed by European and 
civilisational values and they attack Exit," he added. "It is a 
symbol for young people who do not want to bury their heads in the 
sand and this bothers the xenophobes." 

Boskovic and another Exit organiser, Dusan Kovacevic, were detained 
on June 6 on suspicion of embezzling millions of dinars from last 
year's ticket sales. 

The public prosecutor in Novi Sad claimed the two men failed to 
account for the sale of all 12 million dinars of tickets sold to the 
2003 event and had pocketed 5.5 million dinars for their own use.

Their temporary release - the two remain under police investigation  -
means the festival can go ahead on July 1.

But with the prospect of charges hanging over the organisers, tempers 
have not cooled, with festival supporters claiming a political 
campaign is being waged against a pro-western music festival that 
irks Serbia's nationalist lobby.

The festival always had political undertones. The first was held in 
the summer of 2000, the last year of the rule of Slobodan Milosevic 
and was associated from the start with opposition to the regime's 
nationalist agenda.

The decision to hold the event was a gesture of cultural revolt by a
generation tired of being force-fed nationalist folk music, known as

"For a whole decade, Milosevic imposed the culture of 'turbo folk' on
young people," Boskovic told IWPR after his release. "You were 
supposed to wear a gold chain round your neck and have a blond girl 
with huge breasts by your side."

After Milosevic's fall, the new democratic government of Zoran 
Djindjic signalled its approval of Exit by supporting the decision to 
hold a second festival in 2001, which 200,000 attended. In 2003, the 
event was officially opened by the Serbia and Montenegro foreign 
minister Goran Svilanovic.

Significantly, in 2002 tickets were also sold in several former 
Yugoslav republics. About 7,000 of that year's 300,000 visitors were 
from neighbouring republics alongside about 1,000 from the European 

Not everyone looked on the growth of Exit festival with enthusiasm.
Nationalists, well represented in Serbia's northern Vojvodina 
province, saw it as a cultural Trojan horse. 

They did not appreciate last year's title, "The State of Exit", the
decision to issue visitors with "passports" and olive branches 
"issued by the state of love and tolerance" or the festival's multi-
ethnic character.

A hostile campaign began in 2002, shortly after the ruling Democratic
Party of Serbia, DSS, parted company with its coalition partners the
Social Democratic League and the Democratic Party, DS, in Vojvodina 
to join the opposition in the provincial assembly.  That summer, the 
DSS denounced the festival as "a parade of drug dealers and junkies". 

The Serbian Orthodox Church, SPC, a key pillar of Serbian 
nationalism, took up the campaign.

When several youths vandalised a cemetery in Novi Sad last October, 
the Church blamed Exit's influence for the outrage, claiming the 
festival was a "hotbed of drug addiction and all sorts of vices" that 
naturally fuelled such violence. 

The media seized on SPC complaints of vice, reporting on seizures of
drugs and some visitors' allegedly immoral behaviour. 

Slobodan Jovanovic, in the Novi Sad daily Dnevnik, complained of the
sight of "drunken, drugged and worn-out girls and boys" as well as
"withered women with bare buttocks and shaved genitalia".

The nationalist hostility to Exit explains why the arrests of 
Boskcovic and Kovacevic triggered accusations that political motives 
lie behind the case.

According to the two men's lawyer, a graded system of ticket sales,
under which different prices were offered for one-day to four-day
tickets, is the only possible explanation for claims of financial

"All the cash from the ticket sales [in 2003] was paid into the Exit
account and nothing was taken away," lawyer Vladimir Beljanksi told
IWPR, adding there was "absolutely no proof" any criminal act had 
taken place.

Festival supporters preferred to train their ire on Novi Sad judge 
Zlata Rodic Knezevic, who ordered the two men to be placed in custody 
for a month in Novi Sad District Court so that they would not 
"influence witnesses".

Judge Knezevic is unpopular among liberals and reformists in 
Vojvodina, who claim she was a Milosevic loyalist.

The detentions provoked a furious reaction. Young people in Novi Sad 
and other cities held protest concerts "For the freedom of Dusan and 
Bojan", and wore T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan, "I won't give 
Exit away." 

Posters and graffiti went up expressing support for the festival 
while thousands of young people signed a petition for their release. 

Liberal politicians voiced concern. Some suspected the arrests formed 
part of an opening salvo by the DSS to win autumn's local and 
regional elections in Vojvodina. 

"Exit is of immense cultural and national importance and I am not 
happy - as some seem to be - that the festival organisers have been 
arrested," said Milos Tomic, chairman of Serbian Oil Industry, NIS, 
and an official in the reformist G17 Plus party. 

Nationalist politicians saw the arrests very differently. The local
branch of the DSS welcomed the detentions as the start of a fight-
back against vice and petty crime. "Finally a crackdown has begun on 
people pursuing their own personal financial interests under the 
guise of Exit," said the head of the branch, Dejan Mikavica.

Making it clear he saw the festival as an annual fundraising event 
for liberals and leftists, he added, "The Social Democrat League of 
Vojvodina and Democratic Party leaders came up with the idea to turn 
this festival into a reliable source of funds, to suit their own 
financial interests." 

After public protests, appeals to release the Exit organisers and
complaints that the arrests formed part of a nationalist pre-election
campaign, Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica acted to distance his DSS
party from accusations of pursuing a vendetta against the festival.

He "had nothing against Exit", he declared, adding that he personally
liked Iggy Pop, one of this year's expected guest star performers. 

While the concert is now free to go ahead in the Petrovaradin 
fortress in Novi Sad from July 1-4, supporters of Serbia's premier 
rock event do not believe this was the last round in Serbia's 
increasingly vicious culture wars. 

According to Boskovic, "Someone wanted to score political points on 
the eve of the presidential election but failed."

Ivan Lalic, of the Anti-Corruption Council, told IWPR he was 
"stunned" that Kovacevic and Boskovic were put in custody while 
"those closest to Milosevic have not been even charged with financial-
related crimes". 

"It reminds me of the year 2000," said Branislav “Kebra” Babic, of 
the popular rock group Obojeni Program. "These arrests were 
politically motivated, as someone had to issue orders. The police 
were not doing their job on their own but on orders issued by 

On the other side of the political fence, the local committees of the 
DSS and several smaller nationalist parties are likely to continue to 
lobby for the festival to be closed or reduced in scale.

In a joint statement issued after a fire broke out in the famous 
Serbian monastery of Hilandar on Mount Athos in March, several of 
these parties called on the Vojvodina government to divert funds from 
both the Exit festival and the Vojvodina Academy of Arts and Science, 
equally suspected as a hotbed of liberalism, "to devastated Serbian 
holy places and in this way show that they stand behind our culture."

Aleksandar Reljic is journalist with the BETA news agency in Novi 
Ivo Skoric
19 Baxter Street
Rutland VT 05701

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo@reporters.net>
Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2004 13:29:23 -0400
Subject: Free Iraq...

On behalf of the interests of the Saudi royal family (the largest 
planetary oil producer), that, as we can learn from Michael Moore's 
documentary, owns 7% of the U.S., the Bush presidential family, a 
direct beneficiary of the Saudis, obliterated a competing oil-
producing country of Iraq (the 2nd largest planetary oil producer), 
using unparallelled US military might, which is financed by the 
unsuspecting US taxpayer, and manned by the poorest bracket of the US 
society, to defend the pecuniary interest of the richest, the 
shareholders of Halliburton, Carlyle Group and the sorts. 

The happy ending for those "haves and have mores" (aka Bush's 
political base), as the Fahrenheit 911 continued to develop past its 
written and shot scenario is, of course, the return of the 'full 
sovereignty' TWO DAYS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE (so not only is Bush 
creating jobs at home now, but he is also really liberating Iraq...) 
to the destroyed country on the brink of civil war. With militias 
fighting each other, American soldiers cowering in their heavily 
protected compounds, blown up pipelines, destroyed power and 
transportation infrastructure, elusive terrorists kidnapping foreign 
construction workers, Iraq is on a long way to recovery, and in no 
position to compete with Saudis, leaving them in the firm control of 
the world's spare oil production. Exactly as planned.

The war was not for Iraqi oil. But against it. Terrorists are 
unwilling accomplices in the sinister plot of the global energy price 
fixing. 160,000 of US troops in Iraq have no intention of leaving (or 
rather, they would love to, but their superiors won't let them) until 
stability returns to Iraq. To make sure that never (or, at least, not 
in foreseeable future) happens, the US left in charge of the newly 
sovereign country a CIA agent Allawi, the man who organized terrorist 
actions against Saddam's Iraq in 1990-s. With his hands-on experience 
in blowing up cars and killing civillians, how can we be sure that 
daily car explosions in Baghdad in past two weeks were not done on 
his behalf - to speed up the transfer of power, and scare Americans 
enough not to think twice about it?

Meanwhile in the US, in a replay of Milosevic's Serbia, the 
oppressive state protects its corrupt leaders against justice:

White House Security Rebuffs Attempt to Serve Lawsuit on Dick Cheney
By Susan Jones
CNSNews.com Morning Editor
July 26, 2002

(CNSNews.com) - The legal group that's made a name for itself by 
filing numerous lawsuits against the nation's leaders is having 
trouble serving its latest complaint against Vice President Dick 

Judicial Watch says a process server was threatened with arrest when 
he went to the White House on Monday, July 22, to deliver a copy of 
the legal complaint against Dick Cheney on behalf of Halliburton 

Judicial Watch accuses Cheney, the former chairman of Halliburton, of 
overstating company revenues. The Securities and Exchange Commission 
announced it is investigating how Halliburton accounted for cost 
overruns on construction jobs.

According to Judicial Watch, a White House security officer refused 
to accept any papers for the vice president. The process server said 
he was told he would be arrested if he simply dropped the federal 
court summons and complaint on the ground and left.

Judicial Watch notes it is a crime to interfere with the "service of 

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo@reporters.net>
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2004 23:58:26 -0400
Subject: Fahrenheit 911 sequel?

>From Fahrenheit 911 we can enjoy learning that US tanks are equipped 
with stereo systems, so that troops can blast their favorite tunes 
while blasting buildnigs around them. Rancid's "we don't need no 
water..." was cited by interviewed crowd. So, they listen to punk 
rock. Just like me. It is a class thing, I guess, confirming the 
documentary's hypothesis that the soldiers are from lower income 

This was true for the wars in former Yugoslavia as well. First people 
Tudjman got to volunteer to defend newly established Republic of 
Croatia against Yugoslav Army and Serbian inusrgency were soccer 
punks (http://balkansnet.org/rock.html). And quite in sync with the 
defenders taste the Rolling Stones author just published a book about 
the troops: Generation Kill. 

But as Fox News are getting busy celebrating the new generation, that 
generation seems to be questioning its adolescent priorities. 
Survival comes in mind. New York Times reports that some US soldiers 
are already taking advantage of corruptible Iraqis, bribing them to 
get out of Iraq and to a neigboring country, from where they can 
perhaps book a flight home. Be all you can be.

One of those wanna be desserters appears to be Corporal Hassoun, 
Lebanese-American Marine linguist, who left US military base with 
Iraqis, that apparently, instead of dropping him at the border, 
dropped him at the beheading squad.

His story is Homeric. A Muslim from Utah. Marine. Desserter. Held by 
the 20th Revolution Regiment, a reference to the Arab uprising after 
World War I. His relatives are invoking Allah to sway his captors to 
release him - an American Marine. This is quiet, yet potent 
advertisement for the inclusiveness of the US armed forces. And it 
puts his captors in an awkward position.

What benefit would it be for them to execute a Muslim US soldier that 
wanted to desert? If they are true to Koran, they should promptly 
release him. He would be of much better use to them as a propaganda 
tool if they let him talk, or if they return him to the Marines, that 
he wanted to leave. Actually, killing him is the worst political 
choice for the kidnappers - one that would make reasonable people 
doubt that kidnappers are indeed Iraqis.

Beheadding is practiced routinely in Saudi Arabia, and the beheadders 
may easily be some roaming Saudi terror group. Or maybe even Saudi 
secret agents bent on making situation in Iraq as ugly as possible to 
delay Iraqi oil competitiveness as much as they can.



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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo@reporters.net>
Date: Sat, 03 Jul 2004 22:16:34 -0400
Subject: Human Rights Champions


Before Cheney became vice-president, and before Milosevic got shipped 
to The Hague, the two oilmen had one thing in common: desire to do 
business with the cruel military regime in Burma.


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