Skip to comments.Remember Kosovo?
Posted on 12/28/2004 9:41:19 AM PST by Destro
By Cliff Kincaid | December 28, 2004
Clinton's policy was not to bomb those terrorists but to support them and bomb the Christian Serbs.
AIM put together a list of the most underreported or buried stories of 2004, and one of them was the resurgence of anti-Serb, anti-Christian violence in Kosovo. Dozens were killed and more Christian churches were destroyed there. Kosovo got some attention near the end of the year when newspapers covered the fact that a former leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army, the KLA, became prime minister in a new Kosovo-based government. A story in the Washington Post, back on page 18, noted that he has been accused of "war atrocities" and may be indicted. Here's the rest of the story.
Clinton's 1999 NATO war in Kosovo was illegal under U.S. and international law. The U.S. Congress never voted for it and the U.N. never endorsed it. There was no claim that Yugoslavia had weapons of mass destruction or had ties to terrorist groups. Instead, Clinton had the U.S. intervene on behalf of the terrorists, operating in Kosovo under the banner of the KLA. They had links to Osama bin Laden. In fact, it is reported that the KLA's head of elite forces, Muhammed al-Zawahiri, was the brother of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the military commander for bin Laden's Al Qaeda. After the war, the KLA was transformed into the police force for Kosovo.
(Excerpt) Read more at aim.org ...
Ah, how hypocritical the liberals are!
And surely the ICTY is having no problem finding Slobo guilty by now after all these years.....
What really galls me is that the leftists made Slobo a national hero for standing up to Clinton/Half-Bright during their attempt to bulldoze Serbia's sovereignty at Ramboullet.
If it hadn't been for those bumbling half-wits, the Serbs would have probably hung Slobo from a lamp-post.
Clinton lied, people died.
On June 17, 1999 The Guardian reports that an estimated 10,000 Albanians have been killed in up to 130 separate massacres. Where are all the bodies???
Hashim Thaci, one of the commanders of the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) told German TV ZD that 100,000 people were massed by the Serbian forces in the Pristina stadium. A worker cleaning the broken glass said that "no one has entered the stadium for a long time, since there is not much to see there."
Wrong war, wrong place, wrong time, WRONG ENEMY!
The schizophrenic nature of the West's response to terrorist is part of the reason we are having to face this threat now and why we will have a difficult problem eliminating it. On the one hand, we say terror is a great evil and bad, but on the other we legitimize former terrorists. Terrorists have been elected to the British House of Commons, have won the Nobel Peace Prize, have visited the White House, have become heads of state, etc. In essence, the West has rewarded what are in actuality war criminals. At the same time we are saying we ought to shut down terrorist organizations. Could you imagine if terror as a political weapon would have been condemned univerally from the start? I don't think we'd be even having this discussion right now.
William Montgomery (Former U.S. Ambassador to Serbia)
A couple of weeks ago I spoke to a class of about 30 university students. While the two-hour session took place in Belgrade, it more or less mirrored my experiences in other classrooms and lecture halls throughout the region. Inevitably, whatever the subject is supposed to be, we end up talking about the past decade or so in the Balkans. And I heard there, like everywhere else, a lot of passion, anger, and bitterness from the students.
While their own political leaders got some of the criticism, it was mostly directed at the United States, the international community, and the other ethnic groups. Each ethnic group inevitably sees themselves as the victims, believes that atrocities were exclusively committed against them, and feels that all of their own actions were fully justified.
It was interesting to me that the students, some of whom were barely teenagers when the violence occurred, seem to feel more passionately about the war-related issues than do older generations. Perhaps they are simply more open with their feelings. Maybe they feel like a generation that has lost its future through no fault of their own. In any case, what came abundantly clear was how little factual information any of them have about the events that have so dramatically impacted on them and their loved ones. None could give any example whatsoever as to how the actions of their own government or ethnic group in any way contributed to the escalation of violence. None seemed to have much factual knowledge at all about the former Yugoslavia...they probably are better informed about the history of other countries in other regions than their own. They all had passion but no ability to think critically. There is little sense of individual or collective responsibility for events of the past 15 years. Probably this is one of the impacts of living for decades under authoritarian rule.
This encounter continues to trouble me, for I fear that it bodes ill for the future of the region. Usually it is the young people who lead the way to the better future and who show the most flexibility and desire for positive change. I am not sure that that is the case here.
The fact is that there is clearly no shared perception of events in this region. And I don't mean simply about the violence associated with the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. The divergence started perhaps a century ago, certainly from the time of the actual forming of Yugoslavia following the end of the First World War. But the problems increased dramatically during the Second World War and its immediate aftermath.
In my conversations with people about Tito, many seem proud of his personal role on the world stage and rather nostalgic for what they sometimes call "the golden era" of the former Yugoslavia. It is rare when anyone brings up the human rights violations of that era. They have to be reminded that there was no democracy, a single -party system, no private enterprise of any consequence, religion was officially discouraged and at least for the first several years, brutal punishments and killings were commonplace. The events of World War II were seen and taught exclusively through the prism of the Partizan victors with all other groupings viewed as incarnations of the devil. Why are these realities so often overlooked? Is it because for most people at that time, all of those things were really less important than the perception of having a "good life?" Or was it because they realized that they had to stay within certain parameters in order to survive and simply did so, blocking out the rest?
The most significant damage that Tito and his system did was to punish vigorously anyone who dared to challenge Communist party rule, question events of the past, or to show any pride in being a Serb, Croat, or other nationality. Generations learned the harsh reality that these were subjects that just could not be discussed except, perhaps, with one's closest friends or family. Naturally, this brutal repression did not eliminate those thoughts, but simply drove them underground. Exactly as banning the Communist Party prior to the Second World War did not eliminate it. What it did do was ensure that when those feelings were finally released, they would be expressed in an explosive manner. Like a volcano that has slowly been simmering and building up strength. It also ensured that when the façade of good will and neighborliness between ethnic groups was no longer required, it brought forth an outpouring of suppressed grievances and hostility.
As far as I know, none of the countries, which have emerged from the former Yugoslavia, teaches a balanced history course of the Second World War and the Tito era, which followed it, let alone the past decade. Instead, each ethnic group in this region now has its own oral history of the past hundred years and dutifully passes it on to the younger generation. And they are all radically different from each other. Each group sees itself as the victims and all others as the perpetrators of atrocities. Now, because of the political sensitivity of these issues and the desire at the same time to move forward towards Euro-Atlantic integration, those subjects are in large measure ignored. I do believe that this deliberate avoidance of difficult, controversial issues of the past is and will be a major contributor to problems and misunderstandings in the future.
Perhaps it is basically a question of time. Perhaps it is too much to expect that newly emerging countries undergoing conflict, destruction, and tremendous upheaval can at the same time maintain a cool objectivity. In the United States, for example, the trauma of the Sept 11, 2001 terrorist attacks has definitely radicalized our own views on major issues. I hope this is the case and that over time, passions will cool and it will be possible to have a more objective evaluation. Certainly there has been a gradual, but steady improvement in relations between Croatia and Serbia and Montenegro, for example. But I am not sure if harboring diametrically opposed views of events of the past fifty years is in the long run sustainable or healthy. I am positive that the ability to try to look objectively at a situation and to try to see all sides of a problem is healthy.
The ICTY was supposed to help bring a sense of justice to the region, as well as providing education on the events of the past. But for reasons I elaborated in an earlier column, it has failed to do so. Worse yet, it has become instead a major factor of instability in its own right. Publicized trials, such as the one of Slobodan Milosevic have not discredited him at all in Serbia. Far from it. Particularly because of the controversial nature of some of the "command responsibility" indictments, the court has lost a lot of its own credibility and also blurred, perhaps fatally, the distinction between doing your duty as a soldier and committing war crimes.
Part of the problem is also that major media outlets in the region (with some notable exceptions) rarely carry many details on war crimes committed by their own ethnic group, but focus entirely on those committed by others. This is critically important because it is also evident that outside sources of information on events here will never have the credibility, which domestic media can bring to this issue.
The real hope for the region rests with the governments and peoples here themselves. There needs to be in all school systems within this region courses in history which deal with the recent past with more objectivity and with more factual information than is currently the case. To the extent that the government identifies and prosecutes legitimate war crimes and bring the culprits to justice, they will be doing a tremendous service to their own countries. They need to work to break the link between patriotism, love of country, and war crimes. None have successfully done so. It is not only possible to be a strong patriot and love your country, while being critical of some of its actions, but perhaps necessary in a democratic society. Not only will this make for a more informed, reflective population, but also it will help the process of reconciliation in the region and increase the interest in the EU in enlargement here. How long this will take is unknown. But until it does start to happen, the countries of this region will have the sword of retribution and violence hanging over their heads as it has for the past century.
I never forgot what we did to this part of my ancestral home.......BTTT!
Andy, what is your point? Is it that the threat to regional stability and the humanitarian aspects were insufficient to justify the US/NATO action? Or that they didn't exist at all?
Albanian bodies to be handed over in January | 21:00 December 27 | Beta
PRISTINA -- Monday The bodies of 44 Albanians found in mass graves in Serbia will be handed over to members of their families on January 15.
A total of 836 bodies were exhumed from mass graves in Serbia during 2001, of which 398 have so far been handed over after identification in central Serbia. UNMIK took delivery of 44 bodies from the Serbian authorities in mid-December. They will be released to families by the Forensic Medicine Institute in Orahovac. A further 3,192 people are listed as missing in Kosovo, of whom 2,460 are Kosovo Albanians, 523 Serbs and 203 of other ethnicity.
The total Kosovo death toll for all sides combined by all causes is around 5,000.
One thing recently struck me in connection with the purported atrocities in the Wars of the Yugoslav Dissolution, a thought which had, for some reason not occurred to me at the time. It is the custom in most countries, including many very civilized countries with a strong institutionalized regard for human rights (fill in the conservative or leftist definition as you wish), to execute traitors in time of war, often summarily.
The 'mass graves' in the former Yugoslavia are on a scale commensurate with battle casualties and the summary execution of traitors after a drum-head trial, not with genocide.
David, there is zero evidence to support your idea; but mountains of eyewitness statements, photos, electronic intercepts, and even confessions to support the past convictions of dozens of Balkans war criminals and the ongoing trials of many more. I refer you first to the ICTY website where you may review the actual indictments, trial transcripts, & sentences at your leisure and then to the bold-faced portions of post #9 to see if they apply to anyone you know.
Over 8,000 is what the Office of Missing Persons and Forensics says in a year old press release dated 3 February 2003: "4019 bodies of victims of the conflict have been recovered and approximately 2212 have been identified
.According to the latest version of the Consolidated List of Missing Persons, 4233 persons are still reported as missing, of which ... 3324 victims would be Albanian and 909 non-Albanians.
don't worry, US forces will be leaving Kosovo soon and leave behind a skeletel force behind. Within a year or so, maybe less.
ICTY's numbers of missing are laughable -
How many families in Kosovo receive UN pensions because their kin were KLA terrorists killed in 1998/99 insurgency? How many KLA terrorists/insurgents/mothertheresas are on UNMIK list? How many are listed as civilians on ICTY list?
It would be interesting to know this snippet of information.
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