Skip to comments.We Bombed the Wrong Side in Kosovo
Posted on 05/29/2004 12:24:36 PM PDT by Destro
While the Bush Administration dances around their lies about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction used to justify the conquest of Iraq, let us recall the Clinton administration lied to justify their conquest of Kosovo in 1999. No mass graves were found, except in places where a few dozen Islamic terrorists, and civilians caught in the crossfire, were killed in firefights with Serbian police. There was no "ethnic cleansing" by the Serbian army, which includes thousands of Muslim soldiers. Reports that civilians were forced to vacate cities by evil Serbian police proved false; they fled because they were terrified as NATO aircraft unleashed hundreds of bombs over a three week period, killing 2000 civilians. This destroyed the Serbian economy and terrorized their government into submission, which resulted in a compromise in which Serbia retained sovereignty over its Kosovo province and agreed to allow NATO peacekeepers to occupy Kosovo on a temporary basis.
As with the conquest of Iraq, it is uncertain why this conflict arose. Some think it was created by the powerful NATO bureaucracy to justify their post Cold war existence. Defense contractors made handsome profits though supplemental funding while by contractors like Halliburton continue to pocket billions of dollars to support the occupation of Kosovo. Others claim it was a public relations gimmick by President Clinton, while a few think more sinister reasons were involved. Here is an excellent update on the present situation:
THE NATIONAL POST (Canada) | 2004-04-06 |
We bombed the wrong side?
Major General Lewis MacKenzie - Armed Forces of Canada (retired)
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.
Serbia is a European democracy which maintains friendly relations with all nations. It delivered Milosevic to the war crimes tribunal in the Hague two years ago, although they are having trouble accumulating evidence that he used excessive force to suppress Islamic terrorists in Kosovo. Fighting had increased in the late 1990s as the CIA shipped arms to the KLA terror group and helped coordinate Iranian arm shipments to Albania funded in part by Al Qaeda. Deposing Milosevic and turning him over for "war crimes" was a key demand, yet NATO (e.g. the United States) has yet to announce when the temporary NATO peacekeepers will depart.
Kosovo has been part of Serbia for hundreds of years, and remains part of Serbia as recognized by every nation on Earth, including the United States. NATO and the UN have failed to keep the peace in Kosovo, and lack the resolve to pursue Islamic terrorists and criminal gangs based there. The United States hasn't the resources to provide security forever, and no European ally is anxious to add troops. The solution is obvious; allow Serbian peacekeepers to return to Serbia's Kosovo province. They are willing and experienced at this task, something they had done successfully for hundreds of years, until NATO pushed them aside.
Yes, there will be increased violence as Islamic terrorists and criminal gangs battle Serbian police, once again. The Serbians will win, once again. The terrorists will be pushed out and criminal activity reduced. Violence will also decrease in neighboring Macedonia which is often terrorized by rouge gangs from Kosovo. Serbians can return to their stolen properties and rebuild their Christian churches. During a 2000 presidential debate, George Bush said: "But one of the problems we have in the military is we're in a lot of places around the world. And I mentioned one, and that's the Balkans. I would very much like to get our troops out of there." Given the strain on the US Army, American troops should leave Kosovo by years' end. The last American officer to leave should tell his Serbian replacement: Sorry about all this, it was our mistake. Good luck and good bye.
Carlton Meyer editor@G2mil.com
G2mil editorials may be freely distributed without permission
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Our editor is Carlton Meyer, a former Marine Corps officer who has participated in military operations around the world. He had written dozens of articles for military magazines, but became frustrated that important issues are ignored by editors fearful of upsetting their corporate advertisers or government sponsors. There are no advertisers or sponsors for G2mil.
What someone doesn't want you to publish is journalism, all else is publicity.
About time someone else saw what I've been trying to get across for years.
Slobo understood the threat that islamofascists posed firsthand and was doing something about it.
You are absolutely right. Clinton wanted to be politically correct and make the Islamofascists like us. What a moron !!
Is Saran and mustard gas sold over the counter now?
Although Medved is Jewish, his ancestors came from Serbia. He still seemed to be loyal to Serbia.
I aree, we attacked the wrong people on phony charges and now are too dishonest to admit we are wrong. Bill Clinton is mainly at fault but George Bush has continued the policy.
Dumont's arrival in July 2002 should have raised red flags. He was put on an international wanted list in 1999 after escaping from a Sarajevo prison, where he was serving a 20-year sentence for the murder of a Bosnian policeman during a robbery. He was in Bosnia fighting alongside other Muslims.
You're right. We were on the wrong side. But I'm sure the EU still thinks we were on the right side.
You wouldn't want Bill Clinton to bomb his future political constituents, would you?
There is no doubt that the reasons given for the NATO attack were wrong. Serbia was just trying to hold the country together.
I am wondering if the real reason was to get NATO bases in Kosovo since it is the flashpoint between Islam and Europe. This relieves pressure on Russia to protect Serbia, which was what started WWI.
I have never heard of Carlton Meyer or G2mil, but it appears to be a liberal website, at least to me.
From the letters to the editor section has one revealing entry from a former marine. The reply from Meyer is not his complete answer; just various comments I found of interest. Just my opinion; means nothing to anyone else.
As a former Marine, I can appreciate problems with supply lines and possible worst case scenarios. What I cant appreciate and find unconscionable is the fact that a former Marine is writing articles that are then mailed out to the most liberal mailing list I have ever seen. My uncle in California is on that list and forwarded me this article. Statements like Iraqis show little gratitude since the United States caused most of the damage with bombings and a ten-year trade embargo. are a typical twisting of the true state of affairs that true state being that Saddam Hussein raped his own country to build palaces instead of investing in infrastructure. That he placed his own comforts first and failed to provide for his people.
The worst part is, supposing that you wanted to clarify your statements, is that you can't reach these people on the list anything positive you might have to say just wont be sent to the list. Instead of your article in between something from MoveOn.org and an article praising Michael Moore, they will stick someone else, some other MARINE CORP EXPERT that seems to say that what we are doing is wrong, that the war is unwinnable.
Ed: All the "Saddam is a demon" propaganda has confused reality. Iraqi women could go to school, drive cars, and wear Western dress only because the Baathists forced Muslim men to accept progress. Meanwhile, the US openly funded terrorists in Iraq, especially the Kurds in the North but also some Shiite groups, to destabilize Iraq, which took an economic toll as well.
And as for killing political opponents and suppressing the Shiites, the USA has proven far more brutal in keeping the peace in Iraq than Saddam. Possession of a Bible or preaching Christianity will land someone in jail in Saudi Arabia, while the Baathists protected Iraq's 600,000 Christians and their churches from Muslim radicals, while their foreign minister was a Christian himself.
So why does everyone assume Iraq's poor economic state is Saddam's fault? Saddam never "gassed the Kurds" as G2mil readers learned last December. I recall when Tim Russert interviewed the President a few months ago and Bush struggled to justify the unprovoked invasion of Iraq. At one point Bush said: "We all know Saddam was a madman, right Tim." The spineless interviewer responded: "Of course, Mr. President.", which is why the President chose him. You'll note there are no longer hard questions at news conferences like those posed by Sam Donaldson two decades ago. Why, because troublemakers lose their access to news conferences and free rides on Air Force 1.
Saddam was not a madman, reckless and ambitious is a better description. He was interviewed on "60 Minutes" just prior to the invasion and was lucid, polite, and was seeking some way to avoid the coming invasion.
Carlton Meyer is the editor of G2mil
I'm Jewish, and I saw clearly the demonization of Serbia in the same way that I see Israel demonized. Except Serbia has no nukes, so Clinton felt free to bomb. It was disgusting, and a real eye-opener as to how quickly "liberals" will engage in genocide once they believe they have the power to get away with it.
While the Bush Administration dances around their lies about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction...
Absolutely. The US and NATO should NEVER have bothered Milosevic and the Yugoslavian breakup. It was an internal matter--a civil war. As head of state, Milosevic knew what he was up against. Clintoon's interference in the internal affairs of Yugoslavia prevented Milosevic from ending the civil war. Ah, lest we forget, Clintoon needed press distraction from another erupting sexual scandals. And the matter with Milosevic provided just that regardless of all the international laws broken.
Yeah...if it wasn't for that comment, I agree with everything. We were disussing some of this on another thread.
It's amazing what went on in this war that the media didn't cover. Bush and the US military shut down al-Sadr's anti-American rag and Kerry complains, calling Sadr a legitimate voice. I didn't hear a peep out of Kerry or the libs when Clinton intentionally targeted Serbia TV, killing 20 civilians...as they also went after more than 46 private radio/TV transmitters.
From the bombing of Train #373 to the Chinese Embassy (killing 3 people)...and the intentional targeting of "public" utilities and electrical grids (all Geneva violations), the US media and the Left reamined silent. As journalist scoured the grounds of pre/post war Iraq looking for the latest American atrocity, our mainstream media was suspiciously absent in Serbia and Kosovo...even though they were there to cover the refugee crisis (which they helped use to support this war).
Christianne Amanpour had the nerve to say that the US media was carrying the water for Bush in Iraq...when the truth is, the US and international media completely believed without reservation, everything coming out from the KLA perspective of events. From Racak to the 100,000 mass graves claim, the US media propagandized on behalf of the CLinton WH. I remember clearly how US journalists were on the ground during the refugee exodus, claiming it was a result of forced expulsion...when the truth was, people were leaving because the US/NATO bombs were coming.
Unlike Iraq, the US media didn't take us into the Serb cities and hospitals to see what a 78-day aerial bombardment can do to a country. Of course, what did we expect...it would've been called a great failure, since Slobo didn't even leave power for almost a year later, even though we thoroughly destroyed much of the civilian infrastructure. Regardless of what one thinks about the war in Kosovo/Serbia...the media treated it far different than the way they've treated the war in Iraq. A war with much clearer implications on US security.
Exactly. And I always wonder how people are going to react when the time comes for the US to defend some southwest region from secession...simply because a minority population eventually attains majority status. There's a reason why the term balkanization is also now being used in American geo-politics. It's coming our way.
Seems like groups at war with each other forever have no difficulty in conning Uncle Sap to become involved and do the heavy lifting.
['The US and NATO should NEVER have bothered Milosevic and the Yugoslavian breakup....]
Right. Milosevic's "original sin" was that he was a socialist who resisted the West's push (led mainly by Germany and the US) for the breakup of Yugoslavia as far back as 1989. He didn't want to subject Yugoslavia to the painful economic reforms of privatization, strict IMF rules, etc. that were afflicting so many of the other former Eastern-Bloc countries under communist rule.
Because of his resistance to the West, the western media painted the conflicts in the Balkans as a war of good (The Muslims) against evil (The Serbs). As such, and with strong media support, it was easy for the Clinton administration to stigmatize Serbia as a rogue nation. Unfortunately, we're (Serbs) still paying the price for this negative stigmatization.
Why hasn't Wesley Clark been called on the carpet for this?
Perhaps he thought they would be grateful to him. If so it didn't work.
"Is Saran and mustard gas sold over the counter now?"
Must be in Canada.Judging from this guy's rant, These substances could well be his chosen recreational inhalants.
I quit reading the article after those words. The author of this article is an idiot.
I agree with you. Frankly, I think that President Milosevic and General Maladic were the good guys.
Bumping for a later read.
You are right, the real bad guys were Ahmed Ceku, Holbrook, Clark, Walker and mass media propagandists.
we took the wrong side.
Slobo should get an award.
We should turn him and his people loose on the islamists...
Some of the terrorists in Afganistan, were actually allies from the balkans conflict... killing us in Afghanistan.
We should turn on the Islamists
The US will have to go back to Kosovo? See that picture up there? Of Camp Bondsteel? That is the largest American military base in Europe outside of Germany - we are already in Kosovo.
That is proof of being leftist? You have no clue what being a leftists or rightist is do you?
Now of course, brace yourself for the (inevitable) flame-fest from our mutual acquaintance 'RonlyBonlyJones'....
The title should read BILL CLINTON bombed the wrong side.
Otherwise they will blame bush and michael more will make a new documentary linking the two
In a democracy the people are responsible....
Just another "Clinton foreign policy triumph" that went bad and killed thousands of people who were on the right side. Evil triumphed again.
While I agree we bombed the wrong side, I don't agree of course that Bush lied about Iraq. I am sick and tired of seeing the lie that he lied!!!
"Just my opinion; means nothing to anyone else."
I just post my opinion; didn't ask for psychoanalysis.
I DO know right from wrong.
...Good read. Thanks for the post.
And I always wonder how people are going to react when the time comes for the US to defend some southwest region from secession...simply because a minority population eventually attains majority status
I don't think that analogy applies. Kosovo had not been part of Serbia for close to five centuries when it was awarded to Serbia in 1913 by the Great Powers after the 1st Balkan War. By that time the Albanians had long been in a majority status and considered Kosovo an integral part of Albanian lands. In fact the Albanian modern nationalist movement, the League of Prizren, started in the 1870s in Kosovo. Most Albanians have never accepted what they consider to be an unjust Great Power diktat that amputated the Albanian populated lands of Kosovo away from the rest of the Albanians.
Sure, if you define good guys as mass murdering, ethnic cleansing thugs.
Albans like America. They are moderate Muslims and like America. It's the European country more pro-American. They support OP Iraqi Freedom and want to join NATO.
Milosevic is a criminal and a madman. He is anti-American and Communist. He deserves the death penalty for all his crimes.
"the real bad guys were Ahmed Ceku, Holbrook, Clark, Walker and mass media propagandists."
And don't forget NotBrightAtAll-Allbright!
No, no, President Milosevic wasn't a mo-slime.
Yeah, that was why good ol' Slobo fought wars against the islamofascist Slovenes and the islamofascist Croats. And since the first U.S. troop deployment in the Balkans was into Macedonia to deter Slobo from "doing something about" that situation, I guess the Macedonians are islamofascists, too. And of course, the Kosovar Albanians are famous islamofascists--that would explain their Christian president, the secular law, the expansion of the Catholic church in Kosovo, the alcohol consumption rate (high!) & the babes in tight jeans.
As to what Slobo was really doing "about it", go look up the 60+ counts of his indictment at the ICTY.
You're right, he was an atheist who was denounced by the Serb Orthodox Church and is being tried in absentia for Belgrade for murder while he is also being tried in the ICTY for war crimes. He presided over the destruction of his own country and the deaths of a couple hundred thousand people while personally enriching himself through criminal activities as well as by selling arms to Libya and Iraq and being one of the largest recipients of Saddam Hussein's oil bribes.
One of my arguments with international justice is the lack of a death penalty. Slobo richly deserves it.
A few minor little transgressions compared to the good he did.
Because the article is B.S. Clark should have been called on the carpet and relieved for military incompetence; i.e. bad military advice to the Rambouillet negotiating team (Slobo will fold if threatened by NATO bombing); for failure to make the case for ground troops with the President& joint staff; for failure to have a military plan in place other than his anemic little several day bombing campaign; and for his micro-managing command style. But this article, besides the obvious anti-U.S. bias, is riddled with lies about the Kosovo situation. Better to have gotten rid of Clark for what he really did or did not do instead of based on Slobo's Kosovo talking points.
Such as wars with Slovenia, Croatia, the Bosniaks, and Kosovar Albanians? A couple milllion refugees? Serbia's economy ruined? Sending weapons and military advisers to Saddam Hussein? But I'll bite--what good did he do?