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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

OFFICER INCOMPETENCE IN AFGHANISTAN?



Graphic courtesy of News Limited

OFFICER INCOMPETENCE IN AFGHANISTAN? 

by Sasha Uzunov

The story in the Herald Sun newspaper (see below) raises the ugly possibility that it was Australian Army Officer incompetence that contributed to the deaths of 3 diggers (soldiers) in a green on blue incident, that is Afghan soldiers who are Taliban sleeper operatives attacking Western soldiers.

Ask any former and serving enlisted Australian soldier (myself included), who has never been commissioned as an officer, their opinion of our "leader caste." It would not be too flattering.

Generally speaking, the good officers are the ones who don't buy the subliminal and subtle brainwashing at the Australian Army's Royal Military College - Duntroon about how they are the Lords of the Earth and soldiers are servants, a relic of the 19th century British aristocracy's influence in the armed forces.

Good officers earn the respect of their men by leading by example. Most soldiers accept when officers make tough & unpopular decisions that have a reason...ie. the safety of the unit.

The Australian Army and its parent, the British Army, have a tradition that young officers fresh out of the military academy are mentored by older non-commissioned officers (NCO) or warrant officers (also known as sergeant-majors) who show them the ropes.

Sometimes, the fault can lie with NCO's for not being strong enough in offering their guidance to officers.

We know that democracy does not work in the Army. The Russian Red Army during the Revolution and the Civil War period (1917-20) permitted soldiers to "elect" their commanders and to vote on whether to fight certain battles. It was found to be a disaster. So Leon Trostky, the Red Army Commissar, re-introduced the old system of a hierarchical rank structure. The Red Army went on to win the Civil War.

Good officers in the Australian Army, and there are many, listen to their men and their non-commissioned officers such as corporals and sergeants, but then show their authority by making a decision based on logic.

What is not acceptable is when officers, in order to play the promotion game, are too afraid to think outside the box, don't want to rock the boat. That is because we have a professional careerist officer corps. If they do not do as they are told they receive a poor evaluation report and their career could be destroyed.

I've witnessed how a popular and competent officer had his career destroyed for simply doing his job.

Another point, enlisted soldiers are seen as mere furniture or assets by officers, because soldiers only "make their careers" once they reach the rank of sergeant.

If you have 20 something year olds without any life experiences graduating as officers who are then expected to lead men into battle, you are asking for trouble.

Second point the I thought NATO ran the ISAF mission in Afghanistan, not the United Nations. Perhaps I'm wrong? Read the story below.

LINK
 to story
Herald Sun - September 25, 2013

Army fails Diggers in Afghanistan, finds secret report

A SECRET internal defence report into the murders of three soldiers in Afghanistan by a Taliban "sleeper" has revealed it was incompetence that exposed the three Australian sons to danger - and ultimately cost them their lives.

Lance Corporal Stjepan "Rick'' Milosevic, 40, Sapper James "Marto'' Martin, 21, and Private Robert "Poatey'' Poate, 23 were murdered in cold blood at Patrol Base Wahab on August 29 last year as they played cards.

But the tragedy for the fallen mates - and their families - was that the army failed to provide adequate protection despite increased risks of insider attacks.

A damning internal - and heavily censored - report has revealed the men's commanders knew of increased "green on blue" attacks by Taliban operatives against coalition forces.

The United Nations led coalition - called International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) - ordered security be beefed up.

But the warnings of the spike in insider attacks were never passed to the 22-man platoon.

Taliban operative - Sergeant Hekmatullah - quietly approached their makeshift recreation area.

It was 9.45pm and as the trained killer drew level with two Bushmaster vehicles, where the Aussies were gathered around two tables under a tarp just prior to turning in, he silently switched his weapon to automatic and squeezed the trigger.

Within seconds two bursts of automatic fire had sprayed the Diggers with 23 rounds.

Two died instantly, a third was dying and another two were wounded. In the chaos that followed, the killer had fled.
The report's key findings are;

* A high-level report boosting force protection was released on August 28 but not passed to troops at risk.

* Senior officers failed to adequately address the force protection needs at patrol base Wahab.

* The state of readiness and ability to respond to attack was "inadequate''.

* Senior officers knew that diggers would be unable to secure themselves away from Afghan troops at Wahab.

* No Australian intelligence existed about the risk from Hekmatullah.

The Taskforce Commander, a Lieutenant Colonel, and the Lieutenant in command of the platoon were both promoted months before the report was finalised.

The triple murder occurred just 13 days after a warning about increased "sleeper'' attacks from Taliban chief Mullah Omar and during a spike in so called "green on blue'' insider attacks by Afghan soldiers.



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

THE MIJALKOV HIT?



THE JORDAN MIJALKOV HIT - was the Macedonian Minister assassinated?

by Sasha Uzunov

Just before Christmas 1991, I got a phone call from two Melbourne based branch members, Andon Lazarevski and Vidan Zvezdakovski, from VMRO-DPMNE, now the governing party in Macedonia. They were faxing media releases about the unexpected death of Jordan Mijalkov, Macedonia's Interior Minister. One was sent to the BBC in London but with no response.

They asked if I, as an independent freelance journalist, was interested in the story? I said I was happy to talk to anyone from any political party, including Macedonia's Social Democrats (SDSM), or ethnic background for information. It is a hard business trying to steer an independent course amongst Macedonia's two major political parties.

In December 1991 Jordan Mijalkov, was killed in a car accident as he was rushing to meet with his Serbian counterpart. At the time there was speculation his death had been arranged by person or persons unknown. The other possibility was it was a genuine car crash. Link to story

later story in the British magazine The Economist in 2011 had this to say on Mijalkov:

"Mr Mijalkov's memory is cherished by many. It was he who ordered the seizure of Yugoslav army documents, which meant that the army could not mobilise Macedonians to fight in Croatia. Soon afterwards, he was killed in a suspicious car accident in Serbia."

In 1991-92 I did some digging but could not find any further information and left it at that. However, in 1993 during my stay in Macedonia as a correspondent with the MILS news agency I was invited to dinner by a prominent Macedonian journalist in Skopje.

We devoured the tavche gravche (baked beans and meatballs) and then hit the dessert cakes and cleansed our palette with the customary Turkish coffee afterward. Then we got onto the subject of Jordan Mijalkov. To be honest  I don't remember how we got onto the subject

Without any prompting, the journalist got up from the kitchen table, walked to a set of cabinet drawers and pulled out a map. It was hand drawn in black pen, detailing where exactly Mijalkov's car had crashed in Serbia, near the town of Vranje. He was adamant that it was driver error that caused the death. I kept an open mind. To this day I still don't know what to think.

What aroused my curiosity was the fact that the journalist had this map at the ready in his kitchen to show "foreign" journalists. I told a North American colleague about the story of the map, and he too had his curiousity aroused.

Jordan Mijalkov is the uncle of Macedonia's current Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski. Mijalkov's son and Gruevski's cousin, Saso, is Macedonia's Intelligence Chief. PM Gruevski and the Mijalkov's family have never bought the official version of the death.

later story in the British magazine The Economist in 2011 had this to say about Gruevski:

"MACEDONIANS either love him or loathe him. To his detractors, Nikola Gruevski, who was confirmed as prime minister for a third term on July 28th, is corrupt, a populist, a ruthless Machiavellian and an enemy of a free media. “No, no, no,” say his supporters. He is as clean as a whistle, modest, the scourge of tax-dodging tycoons and a family-values man to his core.

Spy mania and conspiracy theories have always been popular past times in the Balkans region of Europe. It seems history has a tendency to repeat itself. A new spy mania has spread through Macedonia.

Without passing judgment, I am a firmer believer in innocent until proven guilty, days ago a number of high profile arrests have been made in connection to people allegedly working for foreign governments. We await the investigation, where the accused can through a proper and fair legal process either clear their names or the government can prove its case. Link to story


Sunday, September 15, 2013

STAMP SCANDAL - NAZI COLLABORATOR



STAMP SCANDAL - NAZI COLLABORATOR 
- Where is the European Union, where is Stefan Fule? 
- Where is NATO? WHERE IS LORD ROBERTSON? JAVIER SOLANA?

by Sasha Uzunov 

To appease ethnic Albanian nationalist sentiment within the country, the Republic of Macedonia's Post Office is about to issue a stamp commemorating Rexhep Mitrovica, a staunch Albanian nationalist, (1887 - 1967) who was the Prime Minister of Albania's government under Nazi Germany from 1943 to 1944.

The link
to the Macedonian Post Office website offering the controversial stamp.

However, in a conflicting report in the Macedonian media, the Ministry for Transport and Communications, which overseas the Post Office, has said it does not support the stamp but the responsibility lies with the Post Office. Link to story is here


"On 6 November 1943, Berlin announced that a Pro-Nazi Germany Albanian government headed by Rexhep Mitrovica, an active member of the Balli Komb√ętar from Kosovo, was formed. Mitrovica's cabinet, most of whom had credentials as nationalists as well as some German or Austrian connections." Link to source material

The Republic of Macedonia consists of about 70% ethnic Macedonians, and about 20 to 25% ethnic Albanians. Under pressure from NATO and the West, Albanian nationalist groups under Ali Ahmeti and his DUI party have pushed out other ethnic Albanian parties to share power in Macedonia's coalition government with, strangely and paradoxically, is VMRO-DPMNE, a Macedonian nationalist party. 


Lord Robertson shakes hands with Ali Ahmeti

During a short lived war in Macedonia in 2001, launched by Ali Ahmeti, Ahmeti's National Liberation Army fought the then Macedonian coalition government consisting of VMRO-DPMNE and DPA (Democratic Party of Albanians). Under pressure from NATO's Lord Robertson and the European Union's Javier Solana, Ahmeti was given a share of political power in Macedonia.

During World War 2, Macedonian Partizans fought Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Bulgaria and the Balli Kombetar (Albanian Balists) from 1941 to 1945.


The Bulgarian occupying forces were responsible for wiping out Macedonia's Jewish population.

Questions remain as to why such a stamp was authorised, considering Mitrovica's well documented links to Nazi Germany? And what action the current Macedonian coalition government and European Union Commissar and Balkan envoy Stefan Fule will take?



Photo (above): World War II - Macedonian Partizan units marching through the Macedonian town of Bitola in 1944. Some of these units in the Bitola-Prilep-Prespa-Aegean Macedonia regions fought some of the toughest and nastiest battles against Nazi Germany (1941-45), Axis allies Bulgaria (1941-44) and Fascist Italy (1941-43) and the Balli Kombetar (Albanian nationalists aligned with Nazi Germany).

Saturday, September 14, 2013

STEVE JOBS OF APPLE & SKOPJE CITY !


Steve Jobs - photo credit: Matthew Yohe - Wikipedia


COULD STEVE JOBS OF APPLE COMPUTERS HAVE SUCCEEDED IN CITY OF SKOPJE?
By Sasha Uzunov

The legacy of one of the greatest geniuses the world has ever known, the late Steve Jobs, is that we have hi-tech mobile phones and computers that have allowed the average person to become a reporter of world events. This legacy together with the advent of social media has brought dramatic global political changes. But the question I would like to pose is could Steve Jobs have succeeded in Skopje, the capital city of the Republic of Macedonia?

THE ANSWER IS NO

The answer is a very obvious NO. Putting aside the lack of economic incentive, from a cultural perspective Steve Jobs would never have been able to do anything. So hypothetically if by some miracle the European Union or some other body was to pour a bag of gold or a fistful of dollars into Macedonia…there would still be no Steve Jobs.

WHY?

Firstly, Steve Jobs dropped out of university in his homeland of the United States. In status conscious Macedonia, run by the over-credentialed, City of Skopje cultural elite, Steve Jobs would have suffered ridicule for being an “uncultured peasant (nekulturen selanec).”

Secondly, Steve Jobs was not the off-spring of Macedonia’s former communist ruling elite, and in post-communist Macedonia, not belonging to any of the major political parties, he would never have been able to open his mouth, let alone create or invent anything.

Thirdly, in order to conform to the City of Skopje ruling and cultural elite and in order to “belong socially” he would have had to spent most of his time hanging out in cafes (kafic or kafani) chain-smoking and listening to Bijelo Dugme or Ceca of Serbian Turbo-folk music fame, and indulging in conspiracy theories and blaming everyone, including the government, the state, the CIA, the Vatican, the KGB, aliens etc for his predicament.

An example of Macedonian style nanny statism is Ana Stojanov(a) who did a Master's degree at Cambridge University, Britain, in child psychology and then returned to her homeland of Macedonia complaining about not being given a chance, that is a comfy public service job in an office!

Link to The Nanny State - Macedonian style article

But we know that Steve Jobs spent a lot of his time doing “uncool things” like tinkering in his parents’ garage trying to invent a computer. The City of Skopje elite would have perceived him as being crazy, even though many of them use his products, I-phones and Apple computers.

Fourthly, and this ties in with the previous point: Steve Jobs would have been punished by the City of Skopje cultural elite enforcers for being curious, for asking questions, for taking things apart and simply trying something different. He would have been hit over the head with “pravopis,” the obsession with speaking correct and formal Macedonian even though the elite itself does not practice what it preaches.