Wednesday, November 26, 2014

How PCG's Ron Fraser Viewed the Kosovo War in 1998

For a long time PCG has taken a pro-Milošević stance regarding the Yugoslav Wars, portraying Serbia as the innocent victim of sinister German designs to "conquer" Yugoslavia as part of the Germans' plan to unify Europe into a European Empire. This may be seen in Gerald Flurry's booklet, Germany's Conquest of the Balkans, which was discussed previously on this blog (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3).

Having read the booklet and watched a program of theirs I began to suspect that PCG adopted their pro-Milošević stance around 1999, during the height of the Kosovo War. I have since come upon an article that seems to have been written before PCG's stance hardened in Milošević's favor.

In the September 1998 issue of The Philadelphia Trumpet Ron Fraser wrote an article entitled "Crisis Point of Western Leadership". This article gives a glimpse of how PCG's writers viewed the situation in Kosovo at this time. Having read this one is struck by how little emphasis there is on justifying and minimizing what was done by those who were led by Milošević as PCG normally does.

It has been the standard line for PCG's writers to profess support and sympathy for Milosevic and those who followed him and to belittle and criticize the others, especially Croatia and Kosovo, in order to insist that these wars were part of a great conspiracy by Germany to bring Europe under its heel.

But that is not found here in this September 1998 article. While Fraser discusses what happened in Kosovo there is no sympathy for Milošević. In fact Milošević is portrayed as being morally the same as Tudjman, who was leader of Croatia at the time.
Malcolm goes to the heart and core of the matter. He slices through the multiplicity of views touted by the media, almost all of which have assumed the causes of the Balkan problems to be “ethnic conflicts.” Malcolm quite rightly argues that this is far from the truth. The real cause of the continuing Balkan crisis has been the aggressively pursued political policies of Balkan leaders, primarily Serbian Slobodan Milosevic and Croatian leader Franjo Tudjman. They have deliberately created conflict via military initiatives for political and territorial gain.
This is very unusual for PCG. Normally PCG's writers portray Milošević and those with him as innocent victims of German aggression and betrayal. None of those themes are to be found here. Here Milošević and Tudjman are portrayed as morally equivalent to each other. This suggests that PCG's leadership had not yet taken a pro-Milosevic stance regarding the Yugoslav Wars at this point.

Fraser also discusses the history of Kosovo. While reciting this he relates certain events, including incidents of ethnic violence committed by some Serbs in Kosovo just before World War I and after World War II which seem quite surprising to see from him considering how staunchly pro-Milošević he would later become.
The intensity of Serbian aggression against Albanians in Kosovo increased to the point where between 1912 and 1913 gross atrocities were committed by combined Serbian/Montenegran forces in campaigns which sacked Albanian villages, whole village populations being massacred in the process. This was followed by a policy of forced conversions of Muslims and Catholics to orthodoxy, the penalty for refusal being torture or death. Peculiarly, the Montenegrans enforced this policy more stringently than did the Serbians. The combined initiatives of “ethnic cleansing” and forced conversion were designed to change the population statistics of conquered areas to ease their assimilation by the Montenegran and Serbian governments. The Serbian king placed Kosovo under military rule, disarming all Albanians. This Serb hegemony was, however, to be short-lived. The Austro/Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia on July 28, 1914.
I will not speak on whether these assertions are true but these words are cited to show that at this time Fraser had no sympathy for the Milošević regime. 

If anything Fraser seems to use Milošević's refusal to listen to the concerns of Western leaders to claim that America and Britain just cannot not get any respect from him.
The American President had promised that his government would not permit a repetition of the Bosnian tragedy. Meanwhile, the British Prime minister declared, “This is Milosevic’s final warning”; Robin Cook, foreign minister for Britain, warned Milosevic that he should take the threats of retribution from the West most seriously. The UN warned Milosevic; Madeleine Albright, U.S. Secretary of State, repeated President Clinton’s warning; NATO rattled its sabers in pitiful war games in Albania; and world leaders and shuttle diplomats talk in huddled meetings of air strikes.

Talk, talk, talk—threats, but no action! The Serbian leader has the world’s greatest powers checkmated!
And so Fraser talks of Milošević as an enemy, not an innocent victim of German aggression as PCG normally portrayed Milošević from 1999 onwards.

Fraser also seems to regard the Dayton Accords as a false peace.
Richard Holbrooke, shuttle-diplomat who brokered the false peace of the Balkans (the Dayton Accords),
As far as I can gather no side was particularly pleased with those terms but it is now nineteen years since it was signed. How false is a peace that lasts that long?

Also Fraser talks about the negotiators who devised the Dayton Accords that finally ended the Bosnian War. Fraser portrays the negotiators in a very bad light as Machiavellian schemers of the worst sort.
The most recent “success” in ending a war was the conclusion of the Dayton Accords, facilitated between the Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian leaders by U.S. emissary Richard Holbrooke in 1995. Yet, studying Holbrooke’s analysis of events leading to the conclusion of this peace accord, one is struck by the dramatic nature of the mood swings of the Balkan leaders with whom he negotiated. Here were men whose moods could swing most dramatically from red-hot anger to dramatic calmness in a flash. Here were men either unable to exert proper control over their emotions or who were just great deceivers, deliberately and manipulatively using the impression of dramatic mood swings to rattle the opposition and influence outcomes in their own favor. Either way, here were men, leaders of governments, who were missing a vital ingredient to enable them to deal honestly and with true integrity with each other.
Normally PCG would have described the negotiators from Belgrade as victims of German aggression. But here they are viewed as morally equivalent to the Croatians and the Bosnians. Fraser does not take sides here.

After all this Fraser then goes onto to make a denunciation of "human nature" as is common in all forms of Armstrongism and insisting that only Christ's return can make humanity turn away from it and become righteous people who will produce a peaceful society. The crisis point according to Fraser is human nature. The message is somewhat similar to Stephen Flurry's booklet, Human Nature--What Is It?, which was discussed in a previous post.

This article seems to be strong evidence that as of the latter half of 1998 PCG's writers had no sympathy to the Milošević regime.

But later in the January 1999 issue of The Philadelphia Trumpet Gerald Flurry wrote an article entitled "Croatia Reveals the Rising Beast", condemning the secession of Croatia from Yugoslavia and was later adapted to become Chapter 1 of his booklet, Germany's Conquest of the Balkans, which was discussed in a previous post.

Then in the May 1999 issue Gerald Flurry wrote "The Unseen Danger in Kosovo" which portrayed the armed insurgency against Belgrade in Kosovo as being secretly engineered by the Germans. That article later became the basis for Chapter 2 of his booklet, Germany's Conquest of the Balkans, which was discussed in a previous post.

Since then PCG has maintained the same line, insisting that Milošević was the innocent victim of German designs. Shamefully PCG's writers have even allowed their sympathy for Milošević to even belittle the atrocities that forces aligned with Milošević committed. Richard Palmer in one article even dared to belittle the Srebrenica Massacre as just "a crime of passion".


Here are some other posts regarding the topic of the Yugoslav Wars and how PCG discusses it:

Reading PCG's Booklet, Germany's Conquest of the Balkans (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)

PCG Using the Yugoslav Wars to Demonize Germany and the Pope

Watching PCG's Program, Germany's Conquest of Europe

PCG Advertizing Flurry's Yugoslav Wars Booklet

PCG Exploits Yugoslav Wars to Demonize Germany

PCG's Support for Serbia in the Yugoslav Wars

Watching PCG's Telecast, Putin Remembers Yugoslavia

PCG's Ron Fraser Demonizing Bosnia as a "Terrorist Enclave" (2008)

PCG Calls Srebrenica Massacre "a Crime of Passion"

Serb War Criminals Convicted

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