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
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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.
Isn't that part of the problem with this entire region. The Balkans fell victim to what many call Islam's 2nd Jihad, starting in this region from as early as 1389. With the collapse and conquest of the Byzantine Empire, the flood-gates were once again open as the dominant Eastern Orthodox Christians were left at the mercy of Islam.
While you dismiss the Serbian population in Kosovo, saying that the region was mostly Albanians...I've seen stats that put the population rate of each group at about a 50/50 representation at the turn of the 20th Century. In fact, (I'll have to see if I can find it) I got that info from an address to Congress, given by a fellow representative who opposed the war in Kosovo.
From what I understand, much of the Serbian (Christian) population of Kosovo was eliminated just prior to, and during, WWII...when the Albanians sided with Hitler as he annexed Kosovo and they carried out a system of ethnic cleansing only rivaled by the Holocaust. From what I read, this is were the huge descrepency in minority/majority status occured as even after the war, Tito wouldn't allow the Serbs to return to their homes.
While both sides have obviously committed atrocities against each other, it is only in recent history that the US has taken an interest in this so-called genocide. Ironic in a way, since the US has taken the side of the very people supported by Islamofascists, as we attacked one of our former allies in WWII.
I fear that this war wasn't just a distraction for an embattled president, but a war to extend an olive branch to the very people who want us dead. While I am willing to learn more about this region and their history, I'm sad that the American people only got one perspective when it came to who the bad guys were in this ongoing conflict.
Sure, like they did during WWII.
Milosevic is a criminal and a madman. He is anti-American and Communist. He deserves the death penalty for all his crimes.
Milosevic is as much Communist as president of Poland - Kwasniewski is. And what makes you think that he was anti-American (I would not be surprised if became such after the war).
If Dubya has more such fans he will be a loser.
Nice to know you are a fan of racism and mass murder. Exactly what are you doing on Free Republic besides bringing it discredit?
What racism? You are very ignorant about this area. People in Bosnia and Kosovo are of one race. Maybe with the exception of Gypsies who are escaping from your Albanian friends to the main part of Serbia.
What mass murder? The defeat of International Muslim Corps in Srebrenica (which after loss of few hundred mujaheddins escaped to Tuzla)? Or staged "massacre" of KLA fighers in Racac (these so called civilians had civilian clothes without bullet holes)?
So much confusion. It was not Slobo but the Federal Army under Croatian general, it was not real fight but a symbolic resistance to the unilateral illegal secession.
Do you want to buy a bridge?
These churches survived Turkish yoke, Nazis and Communists. They cannot survive NATO sponsored KLA thugs.
Here's an excerpt from the Albania country study section entitled The Balkan Wars and Creation of Independent Albania:
"In July 1913, the Great Powers opted to recognize an independent, neutral Albanian state ruled by a constitutional monarchy and under the protection of the Great Powers. The August 1913 Treaty of Bucharest established that independent Albania was a country with borders that gave the new state about 28,000 square kilometers of territory and a population of 800,000. ... The treaty, however, left large areas with majority Albanian populations, notably Kosovo and western Macedonia, outside the new state and failed to solve the region's nationality problems".
And later: " Albanians claim Kosovo based on the fact that their kinsmen have constituted the vast majority of Kosovo's population since at least the eighteenth century".
And in the Yugoslavia country study: " After the mid-eighteenth century, Albanians became a majority in Kosovo "
Census data shows that the Albanian population of Kosovo was pretty consistently at 2/3 of Kosovos population for most of the century, although it was probably higher than that prior to 1913. The Albs were not happy about the Serbian takeover and revolted. In a manner familiar to anyone who followed the Kosovo situation in 1998-99, the Serbs brutally put down the Albanian resistance, so there was a drop in the Albanian population in the WWI period.
There's some illuminating comments from the Report of the International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars Published in 1914 by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace:
p.158 "They [the Servians] have resumed possession of their ancient domain, Old Servia proper (Kosovo Pole and Metchia), despite the fact that this historic domain was strongly Albanian." and p. 148 ... war is waged not only by the armies but by the nations themselves. "The populations mutually slaughtered and pursued with a ferocity heightened by mutual knowledge and the old hatreds and resentments they cherished. the object of these armed conflicts, overt or covert, clearly conceived or vaguely felt, but always everywhere the same, was the complete extermination of an alien population." and p. 149 "[as a result] the Albanian population [suffered] at the hands of the Servians."
Still, the 1921 census by the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes shows that 65.8% of Kosovo's population was Albanian and 26% was Serbian. That is considered by many scholars to be an undercount of the Albanians based on Albanian reluctance to be identified for either military conscription or for paying taxes.
The 1939 census show that the non-Slav population (ethnic Albanians, Turks, Gypsies, etc.) numbered 422,828 people, or 65,6%, the native Slav population accounted for 25,2% and the settlers (mostly Serbs) for 9,2%. (Settlers refers to the Serb colonisation program; a plan to increase the Slavic population in Kosovo and parts of Macedonia by bringing in Serbs from elsewhere and giving them confiscated Albanian lands).
In 1948, Serbs were 23.6% of the population, while in 1981 they stood at only 13.2%. Because ethnic Albanians boycotted the last census in 1991, there are only estimates of the population's ethnic breakdown for that year: Albanians, 81.6%; Serbs, 9.9%. Nacionalni sastav stanovnistva SFRJ (Belgrade: Savremena administracija, 1991) and Bilten No. 1934 (Belgrade: Savezni zavod za statistiku, 1992).
The Serbian government's Kosovo Coordination Centre's web-site used to have a census table going back to 1921, but it has vaporized--it reflected Albanian majorities in Kosovo prior to WWII & that is a very politically inconvenient truth in Serbia. Here's a hard-to-read table from the UNMIK web-site that shows post WWII figures:
Table 1.1: Total Population and Population by Ethnic Origin According to Population Censuses
Year Total Alb. Serbian Others
1948 729000 68 24 8
1953 808000 65 23 11
1961 964000 67 24 9
1971 1244000 74 18 8
1981 1584000 77 13 10
1991 1956000 82 10 8
I imagine those who were killed would wish that the bullets and bombs had been "symbolic".
Hang in there, Dubya's fan. You are speaking the truth, but some of those you are addressing don't know better and are more comfortable with their ignorance--in some cases willful ignorance--than in confronting facts inconvenient to their world-view.
It was quite symbolic. When the secessionists encircle the government forces and capture thousands of them, the death a few dozens (on both sides) is symbolic. If Florida decided to unilateraly secede and captured federal troops and blockaded the bases of US Army, more people would die.
Either way the Federal troops which put up the resistence were led by a Croatian general (not by Milosevic).
Uh, A. Pole, you are way behind on your Racak talking points. The version that the killed Albanians were "so called civilians" with no bullet holes in their clothes is a few years out of date. It turned out that they really were civilians with bullet holes in their clothes that inconveniently lined up with the bullet holes in their bodies.
Let me help you. The current version is that they were civilians complete with bullet holes, but the holes were put there by bullets fired from the KLA who were setting up a staged massacre in order to blame the blameless Serbs.
Get with the program, A. Pole! I'm not always going to be around to square you away.
I wonder if he should be named "Bubba's fun". After all it was Clinton's/Dole's war.
"Current version"! Just because you say so. Tell me did KLA lose any fighers at all? Or were they all civilians?
Yarddog, in my military career I've had literally years on the ground in Africa, the Middle East, and the Balkans. I've spent lots of time with lots of Muslims, to include in both friendly and extremely unfriendly circumstances. First, when you hear Albanian--do not automatically think "Muslim". While, the Bektashi and Sunni added together make the majority in Kosovo, there is also a significant Catholic minority--in fact the elected Kosovar Albanian president is a Catholic (Rugova). In Albania proper, the religious diversity is even more pronounced--in addtion to Sunni, Bektashi, and Catholics, there is a significant minority of Albanian Orthodox. Both the elected President and Prime Minister of Albania are Christians and life is very secular.
Second, although there are a few exceptions, the Albanian Muslims are much, much more Albanian than they are Muslim. They are anti-Serb, but its because the Serbs are Serbs--not because they are Christians. That is why Albanian Catholics are part of the KLA and why Albanian Christian churches are unharmed.
In fact, because of their pro-American stance, in the only documented instance of an Al Qaeda link-up with the KLA, the KLA threw out bin laden's emissary and would not even accept the weapons he brought:
"The spotlight fell on bin Laden in Albania with the arrest in 1998 of a French passport holder, Claude Kader, who was believed to be of Middle Eastern origin. He confessed to being a member of one of bin Ladens groups and told investigators he had been sent to give weapons to the guerrillas of the Kosovo Liberation Army, then beginning their war against the Serbs. The KLA had promised US officials it would not co-operate with fundamentalists. Mr Kader said the KLA had turned him down and that he had returned to Albania, still with his weapons."
Very nice that they do not harm Albanian Christian churches, very humane. How many of them, five or ten?
Race has nothing to do with the situation over there, and you know it.
The stories of mass murder are mere albanian propaganda.
Exactly what are you doing on Free Republic besides bringing it discredit?
Upholding a standard of truth.
Here's the indictment for Racak:
Paragraph 66.a. On or about 15 January 1999, in the early morning hours, the village of Racak (Stimlje/Shtime municipality) was attacked by forces of the FRY and Serbia. After shelling, the forces of the FRY and Serbia entered the village later in the morning and began conducting house-to-house searches. Villagers, who attempted to flee from the forces of the FRY and Serbia, were shot throughout the village. A group of approximately 25 men attempted to hide in a building, but were discovered by the forces of the FRY and Serbia. They were beaten and then were removed to a nearby hill, where they were shot and killed. Altogether, the forces of the FRY and Serbia killed approximately 45 Kosovo Albanians in and around Racak. (Those persons killed who are known by name are set forth in Schedule A, which is attached as an appendix to this indictment.)
Follow the link above and the names are listed at the bottom. Those are civilian noncombatants and killing noncombatants is murder--that is what the indictment addresses.
There were KLA in Racak also. Nine were killed and I believe one died later of wounds. Their names are not included in the above as they were combatants and legitimately killed as part of a pretty successful and well conducted operation by the Serb security forces the first thing that morning. The KLA commander, Shukri Buja, describes what happened here. (Scroll down to page 6297) Its a long read. The bodies of the KLA soldiers who were killed were evacuated that day and buried in the village of Mullopolc.
Their names were Kadri Syla, Skender Qarri, Ismail Luma, Enver Rashiti, Mehmet Mustafa, Sadik Mujota, Ali Beqa Nazim Kokollari, who was also known as Budakovc, and Skender Jashari. Those names are not included on the list of civlians in the indictment.
The Racak incident took place in three general phases. First was the early morning attack in which the KLA garrison on the edge of town was surprised and suffered 9 killed. They were legitimate battlefield casualties. Second was the house to house search through the village by Serb forces while other Serb elements continued to exchange fire with the KLA who had regrouped outside the village. During this time, about twenty Albanian villagers were killed at various spots in the village as they hid or tried to flee from the Serbs. Some were certainly murdered, but it is possible that others were either accidentally caught in a cross-fire or killed by Serbs who werent taking any chances in a combat situation. Finally, in the afternoon, a group of close to 30 Albanian men was separated from the women and children of the village and taken by guards up a hill outside the village where 25 of them were shot dead by the Serbsan obvious case of mass murder. Numerous eyewitnesses saw and heard the Serbs take the murdered men away. Four men from the group escaped and reported what happened.
There's been a lot of commotion made about peripheral issues at Racak, but any fair-minded person who reads the accounts either in the ICTY transcripts or else as collected at the Human Rights Watch site can come to no other conclusion than that the Serbs committed mass murder. Now, when Slobo does his defense, perhaps he will present witnesses who saw the KLA shooting the civilians, etc. That would change everything, but so far there has been no hint of any such witnesses.
Also look at the fact that the report by Finnish experts was delayed on demands coming from the Western sponsors of KLA as it contained some indication of a fraud(so the attcak on Serbia could go on).
Another interesting fact is that this "massacre" appeared gradually under the supervision of William Walker - "humanitarian" expert has curious background of being in Central America at the time of death squads epidemic.