Dole's Concurrent Resolution 150
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Feb. 21, 1999
Bob Dole and Yugoslavia; "Concurrent Resolution 150"
In June 1986, more than four years before the suspension of Kosovo's Albanian- Muslim dominated autonomous government, Senator Robert ("Bob") Dole of Kansas was the Republican Majority leader in the US Senate. On June 18th of that year, he submitted the inflammatory Concurrent Resolution #150, the complete text of which is reprinted below, along with Senator Dole's introductory speech. Joseph DioGuardi, a conservative Republican of Albanian ancestry from New York's metropolitan area, sponsored a companion Resolution in the House of Representatives, ("concurrent" means a resolution is deliberately submitted in both houses) to be found elsewhere in the same volume of the Congressional Record for June 18, 1986.
(I retain a xerox copy of this resolution from the Congressional Record on file for any who choose to question the veracity of this text.)
Note that four years earlier, the New York Times had reported a wide-spread persecution of Kosovo's Serbs by the local Albanian majority, and that this was continuing at the time of Dole's proposed concurrent resolution:
The New York Times, Monday, July 12, 1982
Exodus of Serbians Stirs Province in Yugoslavia
"Serbs .... have... been harassed by Albanians and have packed up and left the region.
"The [Albanian] nationalists have a two-point platform, ...first to establish what they call an ethnically clean Albanian republic and then the merger with Albania to form a greater Albania. "
"Some 57,000 Serbs have left Kosovo in the last decade... The exodus of Serbs is admittedly one of the main problems... in Kosovo..."
Note, too, that in November of that year, the Republicans lost control of the Senate to the Democrats, giving up several key seats, when Dole could not find a "message" to support re-election of several of his colleagues. Even before, the Concurrent Resolution "died" right away in committee, but its repercussions have been felt in Yugoslavia ever since.
Mr. Dole was already, I am told, under "the spell" of his assistant, Ms. Mira Baratta, reputedly granddaughter of a Croat Ustashe (fascist) officer in World War II. Ms. Baratta was singled out by Senator John Warner for praise in framing and helping in the passage of Senate bill S-21, of July 26, 1995, which sought to lift the arms embargo on Bosnia's Izetbegovic regime. Izetbegovic founded a fascist "Young Muslim" movement in Bosnia in 1940 and was jailed by the Tito regime in 1946 for four years for perpetrating hate crimes against Bosnia's Serbs. In 1949, his revived "Young Muslims" staged a revolt and committed substantial anti-Serb violence, for which he and three others narrowly escaped the death penalty.
Mrs. Dole, by the way, as President of the American Red Cross, appears to have done more than her share of mischief in seeking to prevent the free flow of medical supplies to Yugoslavia or to the Serb population in Bosnia, while supplies flood into Kosovo for Albanian relief. It was this document and other actions in the US and elsewhere that caused novelist Dobrica Cosic and others in the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences to issue their "Memorandum" positing a concerted conspiracy to dismantle Yugoslavia, (as discussed by Mischa Glenny in "The Fall of Yugoslavia" and other narrative histories of the wars of Former-Yugoslavia).
This Dole- sponsored resolution also predates the rise of Slobodan Milosevic by more than a year, and pre-dates the termination of autonomous government in Kosovo by about three years. In effect, Mr. Dole's attempts to undermine Yugoslavia's multi-national --albeit still Communist-- Constitutional polity, made the rise of Mr. Milosevic possible, even a logical reaction to such devious pressures. In the Fiscal Year 1990 Budget of the United States, which took effect Oct. 1, 1989, Senator Dole continued his personal campaign of sabotage against Yugoslavia by denying that sovereign republic international funding. William Dorich, an American journalist of Krajina-Serb ancestry, described that action in a February 16, 1999 speech to the World Affairs Council of Orange County:
"The Balkan quagmire began in 1990 in Foreign Appropriations Bill #101-513, in which Senator Robert Dole slipped in 23 sentences that denied financial aid to Yugoslavia when that nation was 31 billion dollars in debt. This bill was a direct violation of the Helsinki Act which forbids "any act of economic or other coercion." In fact, the mischief was afoot by 1986. Mr. Dole's war against Yugoslavia, fought in conjunction with the neo-fascists of Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo and their politically astute cousins here in America continues. He has managed to bamboozle many others on both sides of the aisle in Congress, and in both political parties in the United States and elsewhere. In this, Dole and the governments of Croatia and Bosnia were assisted by the New York-Washington public relations firm, Ruder Finn and a number of former Republican Senators and Congressmen turned lobbyists, including Larry Pressler.
In light of this, the text of the Concurrent Resolution is to me an appalling misrepresentation of events in Kosovo in the mid-1980s, but I ask the reader to judge that for yourself. In my view, now that Mr. Dole no longer enjoys the protective cloak of a Senate seat, this might be a fairly clear case for prosecution under the Logan Act, which prohibits US citizens from interfering in the domestic affairs of other nations. That won't really happen, but some smart lawyer might find reason to launch a civil class-action suit.
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CONGRESSIONAL RECORD-SENATE; June 18, 1986 Page 14439 (Vol. 132 Part 10, June 11-19, 1986)
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 150 - EXPRESSING CONCERN OVER THE CONDITION OF ETHNIC ALBANIANS LIVING IN YUGOSLAVIA
Mr. DOLE submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations: S. Con. Res. 150
Whereas there are more than two million ethnic Albanians living within the borders of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; Whereas the ethnic Albanians constitute one of the largest ethnic groups within Yugoslavia; Whereas there are reports that several hundred ethnic Albanians have been killed in communal violence and the Government's efforts to control it Whereas there is evidence that several thousand more have been arrested by the Yugoslavian Government for expressing their views in a non-violent manner; Whereas most political prisoners within Yugoslavia are ethnic Albanians; Whereas many of those arrested have been sentenced to harsh terms of imprisonment ranging from one to fifteen years; Whereas many ethnic Albanians have been denied access to full economic opportunity because of alleged "Albanian nationalist" activities; Whereas Amnesty International, a respected international human rights organization, has published allegations of torture and assassination of ethnic Albanians in exile by the Yugoslav secret police; Whereas the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is a signatory to the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe [CSCE, now OSCE], known as the Helsinki Final Act; Whereas one of the provisions of the Act states that "the participating States on whose territory national minorities exist will respect the rights of persons belonging to such minorities to equality before the law, will afford them full opportunity for the actual enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms and will, in this manner, protect the legitimate interests in this sphere;" Whereas the Government of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has failed to protect fully the rights of ethnic Albanians, in accordance with its obligation under the Act; Resolved by the Senate, the House of Representatives Concurring, That Congress:
(1) is deeply concerned over the political and economic conditions of ethnic Albanians in Yugoslavia and over the failure of the Yugoslav Government to fully protect their political and economic rights;
(2) urges the Government of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to act so as to ensure that human rights and fundamental freedoms as expressed in the Helsinki Final Act and the Concluding Document of the Madrid CSCE Follow-Up Meeting are respected in regard to persons from all national and ethnic groups in Yugoslavia;
(3) calls upon the Government of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to review in a humanitarian spirit the cases of all ethnic Albanians currently imprisoned on political charges and to release all of those who have not used or advocated violence;
(4) requests the President of the United States to direct the Department of State to convey the contents of this Resolution to the appropriate representatives of the Government of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Mr. President, I rise today to submit a concurrent resolution expressing the concern of the Congress about the conditions of ethnic Albanians in Yugoslavia. Congressman DIO GUARDI of New York has introduced a similar resolution in the House, and I am pleased to be working with him to focus attention on this important matter. Mr. President, there are approximately two million ethnic Albanians living in Yugoslavia, making them the third largest ethnic group in that country. They have extensive ties of ancestry and common culture with the growing ethnic-Albanian community in the United States. Regrettably, the Yugoslav Government has not granted to the Albanian community the full protection of their political and economic rights. While many ethnic groups in Yugoslavia have suffered at the hands of the government, the Albanian community has been singled out for particularly harsh treatment. Under the guise of responding to the greatly exaggerated threat that ethnic Albanians might try to assert political independence from Yugoslavia, the government in Belgrade has arrested thousands of Albanians, hundreds this year alone, often for doing no more than peacefully expressing their commitment to the preservation of Albanian culture. In fact, the Helsinki Commission and other knowledgeable, independent observers have reported that more than one- half of all political prisoners in Yugoslavia are Albanian. And when arrested these ethnic Albanians face the harshest kind of penalties. Prison sentences of from 1 to 15 years are common for offenses that may be no more than holding up a placard at a public gathering pledging to uphold elements of Albanian culture. Many Albanians have also been fired, or denied access to particular jobs, because in some way they have expressed their Albanian heritage or manifest some element of Albanian culture. A number of university professors, for example, have been fired solely for teaching courses on Albanian history or culture. Finally, and most disturbing of all, hundreds of ethnic Albanians have died in recent years as a result of communal strife and the government's often violent efforts to put down communal unrest. These dead have become martyrs within the ethnic Albanian community. Even admitting that the government's actions in all cases were not unprovoked, the strong evidence is that the government has vastly overreacted, as part of a conscious campaign to stamp out even any sign of Albanian ethnocentrism or any inclination for ethnic Albanians to develop a stronger political self-identification. Mr. President, as I noted, the Albanian populations is not the only group that suffers. But it appears that it may well be the group that suffers the most. For that reason, I believe we have a responsibility to express our deep concern about the plight of these suffering people, in the hope that the influence we can bring to bear will encourage the Yugoslav Government to meet its solemn commitments under the Helsinki Accords to grant ethnic Albanians --and all other ethnic groups in Yugoslavia-- their full rights and freedoms. Mr. President, I send the concurrent resolution to the desk and ask for its appropriate referral. * * * *
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