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Pastimes : Kosovo

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To: Les H who wrote (17446)3/19/2001 10:32:29 AM
From: George Papadopoulos   of 17770
This makes much more sense to me than the official line...

March 17, 2001

Replaying NATO's Greatest Hits

Let us stipulate the following: If NATO – the greatest military force
in the world – wished to stop the ethnic Albanian insurgency in
Southern Serbia and Macedonia it would do so. If the KLA believed
for one moment that its insurgencies were likely to push NATO into
abandoning Kosovo it would wind them up. The conclusion is
inevitable: The KLA launched the two insurgencies in the full certainty
that they would enjoy tacit, if not explicit, NATO – and that, of course,
means United States – support. Let us further stipulate the following:
The objective of the KLA is to detach chunks of Serbia and
Macedonia and to attach them to a future state of Greater Albania.
NATO leaders furthermore know this to be the case. Another
conclusion is inevitable. Greater Albania is very much in conformity
with US plans for the Balkans.

Therefore we must assume that the KLA will not call
off its insurgencies, and that agreements promising
"ceasefires" are not be worth the paper they are
written on. From what we have stipulated above, we
deduce that NATO knows full well that these
"agreements" are not be worth the paper they are
written on. Therefore the "ceasefire" earlier this
week between the Belgrade regime and the Albanian
guerrillas, brokered by NATO, which would allow
the Yugoslav armed forces into the 3-mile wide
buffer zone between Kosovo and Serbia proper, is
clearly a fraud. And NATO knows it to be a fraud.
The KLA has not the slightest intention of permitting
Belgrade to re-establish its authority in Southern

Indeed, the Albanian guerrillas are not even
pretending to take it seriously. Having signed a
"ceasefire" agreement, they immediately announced
that they could not guarantee the safety of any Serb
soldier entering the buffer zone. Presevo Valley
terrorist "chief of staff," Shefket Musliu, declared: "I
and my commanders cannot accept responsibility for
spontaneous actions of local Albanian elements in
Sector C of the Ground Safety Zone." NATO
furthermore imposed all manner of restrictions on the
Yugoslav armed forces entering the zone, thereby
condemning them to almost certain failure. Tanks
and armored cars were out. Helicopters were out. All
air support for ground troops were out. Villages were
out of bounds. Mines were out. Rocket launchers
were out. There was to be no shelling without
NATO’s consent. "We have demanded that they do
not occupy houses, do not enter villages, do not
receive backing from armored cars or use rocket
launchers and antitank weapons," declared a smug
Lieutenant General Carlo Cabigiosu, commander of

The ostensible purpose of the deployment of the
Yugoslav troops is to block off "escape routes" of
Albanian guerrillas into Kosovo. This is a strange
task. The KLA terrorists are coming across the
border from NATO-occupied Kosovo. One would
have thought responsibility for preventing their entry
into Macedonia or the Presevo Valley was NATO’s
and NATO’s alone. According to UN Security
Council Resolution 1244, which had authorized
NATO’s seizure of Kosovo, the "responsibilities of
the international security presence to be deployed
and acting in Kosovo will include:

(a) Deterring renewed hostilities, maintaining and
where necessary enforcing a ceasefire...(b)
Demilitarizing the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA)
and other armed Kosovo Albanian groups...(d)
Ensuring public safety and order until the
international civil presence can take responsibility for
this task...(g) Conducting border monitoring duties as
required." In other words, NATO has massively
failed to live up to almost every single one of its
obligations. Yet this does not stop the United States
from endlessly demanding that Belgrade live up to its
obligations to cooperate with the Hague Tribunal.

NATO’s strategy, as always, is to shift responsibility
for its failures on to Belgrade. Before last October’s
coup, NATO blamed every calamity on Slobodan
Milosevic. Now that Milosevic is no longer there, the
new Yugoslav regime is to be set up for a fall. All too
eagerly Belgrade is marching into NATO’s trap. The
Yugoslav military deployment is bound to fail. There
are two scenarios and only one conclusion. First
scenario: NATO will impose so many constraints on
the Yugoslav armed forces that they will be unable to
get to grips with the KLA insurgency. After a couple
of months, NATO will declare that Yugoslavia had
"failed" and that only solution was possible.
Reluctantly, KFOR must itself take over Southern
Serbia and Macedonia. Second scenario: The
Yugoslav forces begin to get on top of the situation.
Immediately the cry of "humanitarian abuses" goes
up. The KLA will stage massive flights of Albanian
refugees across the border into Kosovo, and
"anguished" Albanians will stage riots in
Kosovska-Mitrovica. Again NATO will declare that
Yugoslavia had "failed" and that KFOR has to take

This, of course, is precisely the KLA strategy.
Concern about Albanians shooting at NATO soldiers
is ludicrous. KLA and NATO march in lockstep. The
KLA wants to run Greater Albania. NATO is there
to facilitate its creation. The media will cheer on
NATO’s expanded mission in the Balkans. We must
bear any burden, we will be told, to make the world
safe for "peace" and "stability." According to Robert
Curis, a senior analyst with the International Crisis
Group, the George Soros-funded outfit always on
hand to advocate military intervention on behalf
noble goals, the current fighting is "a threat to the
stability of the Balkans and therefore to all of
Europe." Once the stakes are this high – nothing less
than the "stability" of "all of Europe" – only NATO
can be trusted to get the job done.

NATO began preparing to expand its mission in the
Balkans quite some time ago. In early 1999, at
Rambouillet, the United States had demanded that
NATO be given free access to all of Serbia.
Milosevic said no and thereby precipitated the
NATO onslaught. UN Security Council Resolution
1244 also failed to deliver what the US wanted. As
soon as the Americans arrived in Kosovo, however,
they began to arm and train KLA fighters to take
over Southern Serbia. According to a recent article in
the Observer, the "CIA encouraged former Kosovo
Liberation Army fighters to launch a rebellion in
southern Serbia in an effort to undermine the then
Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic." A
European KFOR commander told the Observer
reporter: "The CIA has been allowed to run riot in
Kosovo with a private army designed to overthrow
Slobodan Milosevic. Now he’s gone the US State
Department seems incapable of reining in its bastard
army." This, of course, is an absurd misreading of
what really took place. The purpose was not
primarily to "overthrow" Milosevic, but to take over
Serbia. This was to happen either by the reduction of
Serbia to US satellite-status or by gradual US military
takeover. The notion that the US State Department
is unable to rein in "its bastard army" is laughable.
Interestingly, the Observer story echoes a recent
BBC report: "The BBC’s Nik Gowing in Davos has
been shown evidence by foreign diplomatic sources
that the guerrillas now have several hundred fighters
in the 5km-deep military exclusion zone on the
boundary between Kosovo and the rest of Serbia.
The sources said that: Certain NATO-led KFOR
forces were not preventing the guerrillas taking
mortars and other weapons into the exclusion zone.
The guerrilla units had been able to hold exercises
there, including live-firing of weapons, despite the
fact that KFOR patrols the zone. Western special
forces were still training the guerrillas, as a result of
decisions taken before the change of government in
Yugoslavia." Again, the European sources cited are
being disingenuous. The United States could bring
the KLA to heel any time it wanted. One has to
assume that Washington policymakers read
newspapers and would therefore be aware of the fact
that Milosevic was no longer in power in Belgrade.
Perhaps they just simply did not know what the
telephone code for Kosovo was.

What we are seeing now is an eerie replay of the
sinister events of 1998. It was then that the United
States began training and arming the KLA even as
officials were condemning it in public as a "terrorist"
organization. It was then that the United States was
forcing Serbia, under threat of bombs, to sign one
"ceasefire" agreement after another, each one of
which would then be exploited by the KLA to
strengthen its position in Kosovo. US support for the
KLA, incidentally, was in flagrant violation of UN
Security Council Resolution 1160, passed on March
31, 1998, which had condemned "all acts of
terrorism by the Kosovo Liberation Army or any
other group or individual and all external support for
terrorist activity in Kosovo, including finance, arms
and training."

In October 1998, facing imminent US air strikes,
President Slobodan Milosevic signed an agreement
with US envoy Richard Holbrooke, promising to
withdraw Yugoslav security forces from Kosovo.
This deal imposed obligations exclusively on
Yugoslavia. The Albanians had not had to sign
anything, and were therefore free to continue to
provoke the Serbs, confident that any act of Serb
retaliation would be reported in the US media as
typical Serb barbarity. It was a fatal surrender of
sovereignty. Yugoslavia had been forced to agree not
to suppress an armed insurrection within its own
borders. It would be a matter of time before the
Serbs would be confronted by even more humiliating

As soon as Yugoslavia began withdrawing its forces
from Kosovo, the KLA moved swiftly to take over
positions previously held by the Serbs. The most
sinister feature of the Holbrooke-Milosevic
agreement was the establishment of the Kosovo
Verification Mission (KVM) under the auspices of
the Organization for Security and Cooperation in
Europe (OSCE). The ostensible purpose of the KVM
was to monitor Yugoslavia’s compliance with the
agreement. Its real purpose was to lay the
groundwork for the subsequent NATO attack. The
KVM was largely a CIA operation. Its chief was
former US Ambassador to El Salvador, William G.
Walker, a specialist in covert warfare and
propaganda. Walker maintained close links to the
KLA. He elicited from them critical information
about Yugoslav defenses. As for the KLA, here is
how Roland Keith, a former field office director of
KVM, described their methods: "Upon my arrival the
war increasingly evolved into a mid-intensity conflict
as ambushes, the encroachment of critical lines of
communication and the [KLA] kidnapping of
security forces resulted in a significant increase in
government casualties which in turn led to major
Yugoslavian reprisal security operations…. The
situation was clearly that KLA provocations…were
clear violations of the previous October’s

KLA provocations, on the one hand, and CIA
manipulation of US public opinion, on the other
hand, culminated in the notorious deceit of Racak in
January 1999. Walker had declared to the media of
the world, on the basis of no evidence whatsoever,
that KLA fighters killed in a firefight with Yugoslav
police had been Albanian civilians murdered in cold
blood. Subsequent forensic investigations confirmed
the Yugoslav version of events: No one had been
shot at close range. The dead had lost their lives in
battle. Yet this alleged "massacre" served to fuel the
media hysteria leading up to NATO’s March 1999
murderous onslaught.

The US media, needless to say, maintained their
usual discreet silence when questions about the US
Government’s deceitful conduct came up. A year
ago, the Sunday Times of London reported:
"American intelligence agents have admitted they
helped to train the Kosovo Liberation Army before
NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia…. Central
Intelligence Agency officers were ceasefire monitors
in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999, developing ties with the
KLA and giving American military training manuals
and field advice on fighting the Yugoslav army and
Serbian police. When the Organization for Security
and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which
coordinated the monitoring, left Kosovo a week
before airstrikes began…many of its satellite
telephones and global positioning systems were
secretly handed to the KLA, ensuring that guerrilla
commanders could stay in touch with NATO and
Washington. Several KLA leaders had the mobile
phone number of General Wesley Clark, the NATO
commander." Amazing stuff. Nothing about any of
this found its way into the US media. That the
United States was behind what is taking place
currently in the Presevo Valley was obvious to the
Sunday Times reporters a year ago: "The KLA has
admitted its long-standing links with American and
European intelligence organizations. Shaban Shala, a
KLA commander now involved in attempts to
destabilize majority Albanian villages beyond
Kosovo’s border in Serbia proper, claimed he had
met British, American and Swiss agents in northern
Albania in 1996."

By now, United States involvement with the KLA is
so flagrant and outrageous that even that master of
the inconsequential turn of phrase, Yugoslav
President Vojislav Kostunica has now taken to
accusing NATO of "direct collaboration" with the
KLA in Southern Serbia. KFOR, Kostunica says,
had "enabled and in some way supported or was
helping the terrorists." "Flights of KFOR helicopters,"
he went on, "have been traced that gave he
impression of being used as a sort of logistics support
to the terrorists rather than surveilling [sic] them."
Given these facts then, why would Kostunica want
to cooperate with NATO? Would it not make more
sense for him to publicize NATO’s mendacity? And
to challenge NATO to live up to its obligations and
seal the Kosovo border? But then the Belgrade
regime is bought and paid for. Its orders now are that
it should be the fall guy, the one to blame for the
continued turmoil in the Balkans.
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