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More on Apis and the Black Hand . . . and the Folly of the Monarchs

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I recently reviewed many U.S. history books and texts, from a variety of high profile publishers. Amazingly little mention is made of Serbia as a nation-state in 1914, and zero mention is made of the Black Hand organization or its shadowy leader, Apis (a.k.a Colonel Dragutin Dimitricivitch).

Remarkably, the core cause of the outbreak of World I is ignored in mainstream U.S. history. The basic facts are these: Apis (left) founded the Black Hand along with other Serbian military officers including Major Voja Tonkositch; the Black Hand sought to unify all Serbians beyond the borders of Serbia to create a Greater Serbia; they are associated with a number of assassinations and attempted assassinations; they orchestrated the Sarajevo Assassination that led to World War I; Apis was the head of Serbian Military intelligence; Serbian border guards participated in the Sarajevo plot; the weapons used in the Sarajevo assassination came from the Serbian state armory; and Prime Minister Pasic knew of the nefarious activities of Apis and acted quickly after June 28, 1914 to cover them up. This is all established in my prior posts, as well as a series of new books on the causes of World War I.

The Austrians found all the essential elements of the assassination plan that could be found from an investigation in Sarajevo. The confession of Danilo Ilic (and other assassins) immediately after the assassination directly accused Major Tankositch (right) and the Serbian military in the assassination. The Austria-Hungarian government would need assistance from the Serbian government to follow the leads into Belgrade. That is where things stood on July 13, 1914, and at this point Serbia could have co-operated (as in any transnational murder plot) and World War I could have been averted–saving up to 37 million from the ravages of war.

But Serbia chose not to cooperate at all and the Russians backed them to the hilt through their Serbian Blank Check. Why? Well because both the Serbs and the Russians were in on the murder plot up to their ears, according to the eventual confession of Apis, reproduced here (and generally not otherwise available online):

Feeling that Austria was planning a war with us, I thought that the disappearance of the Austrian Heir Apparent would weaken the power of military clique he headed, and thus the danger of war would be removed or postponed for a while. I engaged Malobabic to organize the assassination on the occasion of the announced arrival of Franz Ferdinand to Sarajevo. I made up my mind about this only when Artamanov [The Russian Military Attaché in Serbia] assured me that Russia would not leave us without protection if we were attacked by Austria. On this occasion I did not mention my intention for the assassination, and my motive for asking his opinion about Russia’s attitude was the possibility that Austria might become aware of our activities, and use this as a pretext to attack us. Malobabic executed my order, organized and performed the assassination. His chief accomplices were in my service and received small payments from me. Some of their receipts are in the hands of the Russians, since I got money for this purpose from Artamanov, as the General Staff [of the Serbian Army] did not have funds available for this increased activity.

As for the Russians, Artamanov admitted that he had funded the Black Hand (but denied fore kowledge of the assassination). Thus, the Apis confession is fully consistent with the report of attorney Freidrich Von Wiesner of July 13, 2014, as well as subsequent admissions by Colonel Artamanov.

In light of the above, blaming primarily Germany for World War I is untenable, even though Germany also suffered from a dim monarch who went on vacation during July 1914. Moreover, the mainstream US approach that vague notions of militarism, alliances, and nationalism led to war is also nonsense. These forces are constants and yet do not always lead to war. (Consider the cold war for example, which never erupted like Europe in 1914).

Instead, World War I illustrates the problems with concentrated, unaccountable, and non-meritocratic power. It proves the folly of monarchies, and the need for law to channel and curb power for the benefit and welfare of society generally, as I argue in Lawless Capitalism, and will elaborate on shortly.

Indeed, the monarchs of World War I closely resemble the financial titans of today–willing and able to bring great ruin upon the world in reckless pursuit of their own venal and narrow self-interest.


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