Skip to comments.We bombed the wrong side?
Posted on 04/06/2004 4:54:40 PM PDT by DTA
We bombed the wrong side?
Five years ago our television screens were dominated by pictures of Kosovo-Albanian refugees escaping across Kosovo's borders to the sanctuaries of Macedonia and Albania. Shrill reports indicated that Slobodan Milosevic's security forces were conducting a campaign of genocide and that at least 100,000 Kosovo-Albanians had been exterminated and buried in mass graves throughout the Serbian province. NATO sprung into action and, in spite of the fact no member nation of the alliance was threatened, commenced bombing not only Kosovo, but the infrastructure and population of Serbia itself -- without the authorizing United Nations resolution so revered by Canadian leadership, past and present.
Those of us who warned that the West was being sucked in on the side of an extremist, militant, Kosovo-Albanian independence movement were dismissed as appeasers. The fact that the lead organization spearheading the fight for independence, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), was universally designated a terrorist organization and known to be receiving support from Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda was conveniently ignored.
The recent dearth of news in the North American media regarding the increase in violence in Kosovo compared to the comprehensive coverage in the European press strongly suggests that we Canadians don't like to admit it when we are wrong. On the contrary, selected news clips on this side of the ocean continue to reinforce the popular spin that those dastardly Serbs are at it again.
A case in point was the latest crisis that exploded on March 15. The media reported that four Albanian boys had been chased into the river Ibar in Mitrovica by at least two Serbs and a dog (the dog's ethnic affiliation was not reported). Three of the boys drowned and one escaped to the other side. Immediately, thousands of Albanians mobilized and concentrated in the area of the divided city. Attacks on Serbs took place throughout the province resulting in an estimated 30 killed and 600 wounded. Thirty Serbian Christian Orthodox churches and monasteries were destroyed, more than 300 homes were burnt to the ground and six Serbian villages cleansed of their occupants. One hundred and fifty international peacekeepers were injured.
Totally ignored in North America were the numerous statements from impartial sources that said there was no incident between the Serbs, the dog and the Albanian boys. NATO Police spokesman Derek Chappell stated on March 16 that it was "definitely not true" that the boys had been chased into the river by Serbs. Chappell went on to say that the surviving boy had told his parents that they had entered the river alone and that three of his friends had been swept away by the current. Admiral Gregory Johnson, the overall NATO commander, further stated that the ensuing clashes were "orchestrated and well-planned ethnic cleansing" by the Kosovo-Albanians. Those Serbs forced to leave joined the 200,000 who had been cleansed from the province since NATO's "humanitarian" bombing in 1999. The '"cleansees" have become very effective "cleansers."
In the same week a number of individuals posing as Serbs ambushed and killed a UN policeman and his local police partner. During the firefight one of them was wounded which caused an immediate switch from Serbian to Albanian as he screamed, "I've been hit"! The UN pursued the attackers and tracked them to an Albanian-run farm where they discovered weapons and the wounded Albanian who had died from his wounds. Four Albanians were arrested. Once again, the ambush had been reported in the United States but not the follow-up which clearly indicated yet another orchestrated provocation by the Albanian terrorists.
Kosovo is administered by the UN, the very organization many Canadians have indicated they would like to see take over from the United States in Iraq. The fact the UN cannot order its civilian employees to go or stay anywhere -- they have to volunteer -- combined with recent history that saw the UN abandon Iraq after a single brutal attack on their compound in Baghdad and the reality that Kosovo, under the organization's administration, is a basket case, disqualifies it from consideration for such a role.
Since the NATO/UN intervention in 1999, Kosovo has become the crime capital of Europe. The sex slave trade is flourishing. The province has become an invaluable transit point for drugs en route to Europe and North America. Ironically, the majority of the drugs come from another state "liberated" by the West, Afghanistan. Members of the demobilized, but not eliminated, KLA are intimately involved in organized crime and the government. The UN police arrest a small percentage of those involved in criminal activities and turn them over to a judiciary with a revolving door that responds to bribes and coercion. The objective of the Albanians is to purge all non-Albanians, including the international community's representatives, from Kosovo and ultimately link up with mother Albania thereby achieving the goal of "Greater Albania." The campaign started with their attacks on Serbian security forces in the early 1990s and they were successful in turning Milosevic's heavy-handed response into worldwide sympathy for their cause. There was no genocide as claimed by the West -- the 100,000 allegedly buried in mass graves turned out to be around 2,000, of all ethnic origins, including those killed in combat during the war itself.
The Kosovo-Albanians have played us like a Stradivarius. We have subsidized and indirectly supported their violent campaign for an ethnically pure and independent Kosovo.We have never blamed them for being the perpetrators of the violence in the early '90s and we continue to portray them as the designated victim today in spite of evidence to the contrary. When they achieve independence with the help of our tax dollars combined with those of bin Laden and al-Qaeda, just consider the message of encouragement this sends to other terrorist-supported independence movements around the world.
Funny how we just keep digging the hole deeper!
Maj-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie, now retired, commanded UN troops during the Bosnian civil war of 1992.
(c) 2004 National Post . All Rights Reserved.
Um, yeah. Whatever.
I would expect them to despise us, as well they should. Our siding with radical Muslims in a war against Serb Christians is embarrassing, indefensible, ......horrific.
perhaps you could compare those different approaches for us. How does the approach of Dallaire contrast with the approach of MacKenzie, for example?
The differences are painfully obvious, and they don't reflect well upon Mackenzie.
The Commission is unable to determine the amount of harm and the exact number of violations committed by each of the warring factions. Nevertheless, it is clear that there is no factual basis for arguing that there is a "moral equivalence" between the warring factions. - UN Commission of Experts Report on Bosnia, 1994
Sorry that Mackenzie's statement doesn't conform to your desire to avoid glib generalizations, but that's part of the problem, isn't it?
Let me tell you how this is going to play out:
I'm going to lay out the facts on the ground, and then you're going to deny them in the case of Bosnia.
Ergo, any discussion as to Mackenzie vs. Dallaire is moot, isn't it?
For example, after over a year of preparation, Serbia invaded Bosnia in 1992 and conducted a war of aggression against it's neighbor.
Do you agree with the above statement?
I doubt it, and nothing, to include the submission of reports of various Serbian paramilitaries or an entire JNA Corps travelling across the Drina will suffice, will it?
Germany's erstwhile Arab ally, Iraq, had already been defeated and occupied by the British, and few Palestinian Arabs could or would sneak out of the British mandate, so most of the recruits came from occupied Yugoslavia, including Kosovo.
After the war, instead of hanging al-Husseini as a war criminal, the British restored him to office and he survived into the 1970s as the spiritual leader of the Palestinian people.
Interestingly, al-Husseini had blonde hair and blue eyes. This is not especially rare in that particular clan and may have been a factor in his popularity with the nazis.
Ergo, any discussion as to Mackenzie vs. Dallaire is moot, isn't it?
I can't tell whether it's moot because you hinted at a comparison, even tempting us with the comment it was "interesting" but haven't actually made the comparison yet nor supported it with specifics, which I asked you nicely to do. Please tell me about about Dallaire. A comparison isn't a comparison unless you're comparing 2 things.
We can quote lots of experts on the facts on the ground in Bosnia, can't we? Like the notoriously Serbophile and pro-Milosevic U.S. Information Agency, whose research disclosed that Serbs report the most lost family members of any group in Bosnia during the Bosnian war (not to mention the question of lost land - RS comprises 49% of Bosnia's territory, while Serbs formed a demographic plurality on +/-70% of pre-war Bosnia). Then there's the expert Charles Boyd, the former Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command, from November 1992 to July 1995, who wrote,
Much of what Zagreb calls the occupied territories is in fact land held by Serbs for more than three centuries, ever since imperial Austria moved Serbs to the frontier (the Krajina) to protect the shopkeepers of Vienna (and Zageb) from the Ottomans. The same is true of most Serb land in Bosnia, what the Western media frequently refers to as the 70 percent of was Bosnia seized by rebel Serbs. There were only 500,000 fewer Serbs than Muslims in Bosnia at independence, with the more rural Serbs tending toward larger landholdings. In short, the Serbs are not trying to conquer new territory, but merely to hold on to what was already theirs.
(Foreign Affairs, 1995)
Then there's the experts at the U.S. State Dept., who determined that Serb fatalities and losses in the Bosnian civil war were proportionate to their presence in the pre-war population, and that by the spring of '95, before the massive co-ordinated offensives against BSA-held areas by the Bosnian Army and Nato, total fatalities in the Bosnian war were in the vicinity of 50-60k. And there's the expert report to the Security Council in 1992, which confirmed that the Yugoslav army had withdrawn from Bosnia within the time limit mandated by the SC, and which was suppressed with U.S. connivance, leading to draconian sanctions on Yugoslavia, while "independent" Croatia's army remained on Bosnia's territory illegally, with no sanctions imposed on Croatia. So we just have a plethora of "experts" we can draw upon here can't we?
MacKenzie's consistent account of a civil war in which no side were angels and in which press reporting became parti pris for one side and fact-free stands up very well over time and accords with lots of *experts* actually. Which brings me again to Dallaire. Please answer my question. How does Dallaire's service to the facts come out better? Fyi, here's a report, with transcription, of his cross-exam at the ICTR. NB how he doesn't "defy" the facts or try to invoke "historical animosities", or anything:
Rwandan colonel's lawyer attacks Dallaire's credibility Last Updated Wed, 21 Jan 2004 14:19:34 ARUSHA, TANZANIA - Defence lawyers at a United Nations tribunal tried to undermine Roméo Dallaire's testimony Wednesday, attacking his memory of events leading up to the massacre in Rwanda 10 years ago and questioning his fairness when he headed the UN mission in the country.
The retired Canadian general has been testifying against Theoneste Bagosora and three other former Rwandan army officials who are accused of instigating the 100-day genocide that left more than half a million Rwandans dead.
Lawyer Rafael Constant, who represents Bagosora, spent hours Wednesday trying to demonstrate that Dallaire had a clear prejudice against the mostly Hutu government that has been blamed for killing Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
He implied that Dallaire had omitted important facts in his book, Shake Hands With The Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda.
"The book is the result of heated debates with my editor," replied Dallaire. "Not everything I know is in the book. It is a compromise."
Constant also questioned Dallaire's accuracy.
Dallaire insisted he had seen Bagosora at a meeting in late August 1993. Constant produced Bagosora's passport, proving he was out of the country at the time, attending a meeting of regional defence officials in Gabon.
"You have planted a seed of doubt in my mind," said Dallaire. "I can't answer anything else."
Wednesday's session in Tanzania had a distinctly Canadian feel to it.
Dallaire took the stand for cross-examination surrounded by a team of Canadian bodyguards because of death threats against him.
When his book about the genocide was quoted, long minutes were lost trying to reconcile the English and French versions.
And Dallaire himself couldn't seem to decide whether to answer questions in English or French.
"Just go on, general, in whatever language you want," one of the judges finally said.
Dallaire also told the tribunal that the central African country's presidential guard started the massacres after the Rwandan president's jet was shot down over Kigali on April 6, 1994.
In addition, he testified that he resisted having Belgian troops on the UN Assistance Mission because Rwanda was once a Belgian colony. M
CBC, Jan. 21, 2004
Would you consider wasting your time with someone who denied the holocaust or was of the opinion that 9/11 was a hoax?
I doubt it, yet here you are delving deep into the trashcan of Serb disinformation on what happened in the Balkans in the 1990's. Strange how that works.
Serbs report the most lost family members of any group in Bosnia during the Bosnian war
No kidding? Is the USIS's relaying of this fairy tale supposed to impart some credibility to it?
Serbs formed a demographic plurality on +/-70% of pre-war Bosnia
Wrong. That fallacy rests upon the misrepresentation of farm ownership, i.e., that the Serbs were farmers while the Muslims lived in the cities. Foreign Affairs, Nov/Dec 1995
total fatalities in the Bosnian war were in the vicinity of 50-60k
And some people say only 10,000 perished in Jasenovac, and since that number is out there, it must have some validity, right?
Or does mathematical nullification only apply when it benefits the Serbs?
MacKenzie's consistent account of a civil war in which no side were angels and in which press reporting became parti pris for one side and fact-free stands up very well over time and accords with lots of *experts* actually.
No, it doesn't. Mackenzie tries to portray the belligerents as equals, which was not the case, and his parrotting Bosnian Serb comedy routines regarding the various atrocities their forces were responsible for is beneath contempt - he was repeating BS about the breadline massacre without knowing the first thing about it other than what the Serbs had told him, and never bothered to correct himself when the facts became available.
As to your random Dallaire excerpt - are the Tutsis now supposed to have carried out a slaughter of Hutus at the outset of the genocide? How Bosniac of them.
Right before the slaughter began in Rwanda, General Dallaire proposed a raid on an arms cache - he proposed action, and even though it would have saved a few lives at the most, it would have been something.
His UN superiors instead put the kaibosh on it and told him to inform the Rwandan government, who's arms cache it was, of the existence of said cache. (In the interest of fairness, no doubt.)
I failed, yes. The mission failed. They died by the thousands, hundreds of thousands. - General Dallaire.
Compare that to General Mackenzie, who when tasked with providing food and supplies to a population, did so, blithely ignoring the fact that he was merely allowing them an opportunity to survive in order to be slaughtered by the Serb gunners ringing Sarajevo - not that that concerned him at all, for if the Serbs actually killed any of the people he was supposed to be helping, he could just blame it on the victims and forget about it - his reputation would emerge unscathed, there was nothing he could do, he was powerless in the face of these ancient blood feuds and besides, everybody was equally guilty.
Speaking of the UN's escorting humanitarian convoys in Bosnia.
This, from my perspective, is a dumb idea because people don't interfere with humanitarian convoys with artillery and sniper fire, mortars and tanks. They interfere by sniping women and children in the street. One person stands in front of you and warns that if you drive one more foot down the road, his buddies over the next hill will cut 20 throats. You've then got three choices: You can leave with your tail between your legs. You can keep driving and let them cut. Or you can resist them, which means you're no longer a peacekeeper, you're now taking sides. - General Mackenzie
And that, in a nutshell, is the difference between Dallaire and Mackenzie. One tried to make a stand and take a side, and recognizes the failure, while the other simply declared moral equivalency and ran off with his tail between his legs and now has the temerity to wax idiotic about Kosovo as if anybody gave a damn what he says besides the Serbs, who, to reiterate my point, have utilized him as a paid mouthpiece in the past.
What's worse is finding out how many neo-cons banged the drum to join up with these same radicals. Do a few googles--"McCain neoconservative kosovo biden"--and find yourself swearing off the neocons for good. It only took me a couple of hours' worth of reading.
Kissenger tried to stop us from doing it--and I don't even believe Clinton was all that eager to get involved, though for not the same reasons.
PRISTINA -- Monday Sukri Buja, a former guerrilla commander and a member of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, has been released from custody in the UN-governed province.
Buja, a party colleague of Kosovo Prime Minister Bajram Rexhepi, was arrested by NATO-led peacekeepers on March 23 on suspicion of undermining peace and security in Kosovo. His arrest came just days after a wave of violence against the provinces Serb minority.
Media in Pristina report that another former guerrilla commander has also been released. Dzabir Zarko, also of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, was reportedly arrested on Friday on suspicion of involvement in the March 17 and 18 attacks.
UN police on Saturday arrested Kosovo Liberation Army veteran Abdulj Muskoljaj on suspicion of orchestrating attacks in the Decani municipality.
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