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Eleven Years Later: NATO Powers Prepare Final Solution In Kosovo

Stop NATO
March 18, 2010

Eleven Years Later: NATO Powers Prepare Final Solution In Kosovo
Rick Rozoff

March 17 marked the sixth anniversary of a concerted assault against Serbs and other ethnic minorities in Kosovo that resulted in 800 Serbian homes and thirty-five Orthodox churches and monasteries being destroyed, 4,000 Serbs and Roma (Gypsies) forced to flee their homes, 900 hundred people injured and 19 killed.

The attacks followed the accidental drowning of three ethnic Albanian youth which local separatist politicians and media attributed to the actions of Serbs and used to incite an orgy of intolerance, ethnic hostility and violence.

They marked the worst, and deadliest, violence in the Balkans since NATO’s 78-day bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 and the war in Macedonia two years later launched by an offshoot of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) operating out of NATO-occupied Kosovo. Clashes occurred between ethnic Albanians and Serbs and between both and NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR) troops. The dead and wounded included members of all three groups.

On the first day of the attacks, which started in the ethnically-divided city of Kosovska Mitrovica but soon spread to several other locales, personnel of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) abandoned offices in the cities of Gnjilane, Prizren and Pec and one UN representative, alluding to the anti-Jewish rampage in Nazi Germany in 1938, said “Kristallnacht is under way in Kosovo. What is happening in Kosovo must unfortunately be described as a pogrom against Serbs: churches are on fire and people are being attacked for no other reason than their ethnic background.” [1]

The United Nations ombudsman at the time, Poland’s Marek Nowicki, issued a similar warning, saying “there exists the intent to cleanse this land of the presence of all Serbs.” [2]

The government of Serbia, and Kosovo was still legally recognized as its province by every nation in the world except Albania, also characterized the attacks as designed to perpetrate ethnic cleansing. But NATO, in charge of KFOR and as such the Serbian sites that were destroyed, did not.

Four years later Albanian separatist leaders declared the province’s unilateral independence on February 17. Despite a historically unprecedented campaign by the U.S. and its NATO allies to gain international recognition for “the first NATO state in the world” as Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica described the illegal entity shortly following its secession [3], after over two years and a combination of heavy-handed pressure and handsome bribery from the West only 65 of the world’s 192 nations accord the breakaway entity diplomatic recognition.

Those who do not include the BRIC nations – Brazil, China, India and Russia – and the overwhelming majority of countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. Those who do include the United States and all other NAT0 members except for Greece, Romania, Slovakia and Spain which have their own reasons for fearing the Kosovo precedent, and small (and very small) states particularly susceptible to economic incentives like Belize, the Comoros, Liechtenstein, the Maldives, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, and San Marino.

In early January the commander of NATO’s Joint Forces Command Naples, U.S. Admiral Mark Fitzgerald, was in Kosovo and met with German KFOR Commander Markus Bentler, afterwards claiming that self-governing Serbian enclaves, surrounded and besieged by Kosovo separatists, “represent a threat to Kosovo stability,” and emphasizing “KFOR’s readiness to answer any threat.”

More specifically, Fitzgerald said that “All violations of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 pose a threat to security. Since the resolution does not approve of parallel institutions, they are cause for concern.”

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 was adopted on June 10, 1999 and placed Kosovo under interim UN administration.

As for ethnic Serbs violating the terms or even the spirit of the resolution by refusing to surrender to an illegal secessionist regime not recognized by almost two-thirds of United Nations members, UN Resolution 1244 “Reaffirm[s] the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the other States of the region, as set out in the Helsinki Final Act….”

The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia devolved into the Western-engineered State Union of Serbia and Montenegro in 2003, which in turn split into its two parts in 2006. This created waters muddy enough for advocates of Kosovo separatism to fish in, but the fact remains that Kosovo was a province of Serbia during the eleven years of the Federal Republic mentioned in UN Resolution 1244. The State Union of Serbia and Montenegro was coterminous with and the successor state to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

The Constitutional Charter of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro of February 4, 2003 states:

“Should Montenegro break away from the state union of Serbia and Montenegro, the international instruments pertaining to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, particularly UN SC Resolution 1244, would concern and apply in their entirety to Serbia as the successor.”

Serbs in Kosovo don’t desire to leave Kosovo but to remain in Serbia. Residents of the U.S. state of West Virginia can appreciate the distinction.

By an ostensible “threat to security” the NATO commander meant the unwillingness of Serbs and other non-Albanian minorities to vote in elections held by and entrust their fragile security to a renegade political anomaly with an ethnically exclusionary agenda and extensive, in fact inextricable, links to Europe’s largest criminal underworld. (To wit, trafficking in narcotics, weapons, sex slaves, passports and, if accounts in the recent memoirs of former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia Carla Del Ponte are to be credited, organs extracted from murdered victims.)

That is, refusing to submit to the West’s carefully groomed client state and the first NATO pseudo-nation. As with the Georgia of Mikheil Saakashvili, all the West’s much-celebrated “Euro-Atlantic” rhetoric about diversity, pluralism, rule of law, transparency, human rights and democratic values is exposed for the hollow, self-serving lie it is.

After 50,000 NATO troops poured into Kosovo in 1999, bringing with them their allies from the Kosovo Liberation Army which they had trained and armed in camps in Albania, hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Roma and other minorities fled the province. 200,000 Serbs alone remain in exile almost eleven years later.

Roma sources have estimated that a comparable amount of Roma and related Askalis and Egyptians have been terrorized into fleeing their homes and relocating elsewhere in Kosovo, other parts of Serbia, Macedonia and further abroad.

UN Resolution 1244, which of late NATO and U.S. officials have taken to evoking (as the Devil quotes Scripture) also “Reaffirm[s] the right of all refugees and displaced persons to return to their homes in safety.”

Before NATO’s entry and the KLA’s return in June of 1999, Kosovo was one of the most ethnically, culturally and religiously diverse spots on the earth. Its two million citizens consisted of Muslims, Christians and Jews, including (to defy stereotypes) Muslim Slavs and Christian Albanians. Its inhabitants were Albanian, Serbian, Askali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Egyptian, Gorani, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Roma and Turkish.

If the province was diverse, the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army wasn’t. It was monoethnic. Fiercely so. It sought an exclusively Albanian Kosovo and after that Greater Albania.

The West is near to providing it with the first and is assisting its former members – ex-KLA chief Hashim Thaci is now recognized by the West as Kosovo’s prime minister – to achieve the second.

In the late 1990s no one but ethnic Albanian separatist extremists, by no means all Albanians, felt constrained to wage unprovoked armed attacks against security and civilian targets in the province.

The fate of the smaller ethnic communities, those neither Albanian nor Serbian, since June of 1999 gives the definitive lie to eleven years of Western propaganda about Kosovo. Roma, Gorans, Turks and others have been murdered, driven in fear from their homes and forced to flee the province.

Paul Polansky, head of the Kosovo Roma Refugee Fund, wrote in 2008 (two days before Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence) that “Before NATO troops arrived, there were about 17,500 Gypsy homes with a population of about 120,000. By the time I did my survey [in 2007] more than 14,500 homes had been destroyed by Albanians and only about 30,000 Gypsies were still in Kosovo.”

He added:

“I witnessed many Albanians chasing out Gypsy families and then looting their homes before burning them down. This happened in front of NATO troops.”

“Fearing independence, all minorities are still leaving Kosovo….After eight years of UN administration, there is still no freedom of movement for minorities outside their own villages.”

“The German government acknowledges that there are more than 35,000 Kosovo Gypsies living today in Germany. Germany hopes to deport them when Kosovo has independence….” [4]

He further detailed that remaining Roma have been living in camps on or near toxic dumps (an abandoned mining and smelting complex with a slag heap containing 100 million tons of poisonous materials) and suffering from epidemic rates of cancer and brain damage.

Polansky used the word appropriate to what is occurring: Genocide.

Last October, twenty months after separatist leaders announced Kosovo’s independence, Germany formalized plans to forcibly deport 14,000 Kosovo refugees including 12,000 Roma. A member of parliament of the opposition Left Party warned that the expulsion would put them in danger, as “Kosovo is a country in which minorities are deeply discriminated against and persecuted.” [5]

There are an estimated 20,000 internally displaced persons in Kosovo living in dangerous and squalid conditions. A United Nations report estimates that 20 per cent of Roma remaining in Kosovo are stateless.

Albanians have not fared much better. A feature in Germany’s Der Spiegel in 2002 revealed that “After the war the cruelest cleansings took place among the Albanians. Under the pretext that they were ‘Serbian collaborators’, the leaders of the KLA liquidated their political opponents; old blood feuds were settled, and Albanian civilians were executed by the Albanians themselves.”

“The number of the victims is estimated to be more than a thousand. The perpetrators or instigators were usually former senior KLA leaders; after the war they were integrated nearly without exception into the KLA successor organization, the civilian Kosovo Protection Corps.” [6]

A report by the Reuters news agency last November documented that if non-Albanians fear for their lives in Kosovo, even ethnic Albanians were condemned to a plight that can barely be qualified as living.

Eleven years and an estimated three million euros (over $4 million) in aid later, the official unemployment rate is between 40-50 per cent and the average per capita income is 1,760 euros, “less than 93 cents a day, according to the World Bank.”

“That compares with average joblessness of just under 10 percent in the European Union and an average salary of about 24,000 euros ($35,930).” [7]

Kosovo is the showcase for the West’s self-styled humanitarian intervention and post-Cold War “nation building.” The prototype for Afghanistan, Iraq and much of the rest of the world.

With the perversion – the inversion – of the intent of UN Resolution 1244, the U.S. and its NATO allies are well on their way to insuring a monoethnic Kosovo with a NATO standard army.

In late January of this year U.S. ambassador to Kosovo Christopher Dell “said that Serbia’s efforts to once again impose its legal system on Kosovo are a clear violation of the UN Security Council’s Resolution 1244.”

He further stated:

“What has been forgotten over the last ten years is that Resolution 1244 clearly takes the power over Kosovo away from Serbia, and Belgrade’s effort to impose a legislative system in Kosovo is an open violation of the resolution….This resolution recognizes Kosovo’s territorial integrity and the fact that there is only one legal system in Kosovo. All countries that do not recognize Kosovo still recognize the validity of Resolution 1244.” [8]

Again, the resolution unequivocally confirms “the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the other States of the region, as set out in the Helsinki Final Act….”

Which is how Russia still views the mandate of UN Resolution 1244. Two days after the American envoy’s egregious comments, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said that the current Western – U.S., NATO and European Union – plans for forcibly subjugating northern Kosovo and its Serb minority “violates Resolution 1244 of the UN Security Council.”

“By this I refer to the so-called strategy for northern Kosovo, which violates UN SC Resolution 1244 and generates tensions in the province.”

He also said that Russia “insists on the UN mission in Kosovo, UNMIK, fulfilling its obligations in representing Kosovo in regional and international institutions.” [9]

However, U.S. Ambassador Dell, in indicating that Western intentions toward surviving Serbian enclaves are not peaceful, referred to their autonomous governing bodies as “criminal parallel structures” and added “criminal structures organized in the north are completely linked with the so-called parallel governmental structures.” [10] To exclusively single out Serbian communities in a Kosovo that is the most crime-ridden part of Europe is a tour de force of arrogance, underhandedness and Goebbelsesque distortion of the truth.

Serb and other threatened minority communities are to be subordinated to the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), which will transition them to the control of the Kosovo regime of former KLA chief Hashim Thaci.

In late January Pieter Feith, the European Union Special Representative in Kosovo, disclosed that “EULEX personnel will be moving into northern Kosovo soon.”

“Feith’s strategy for northern Kosovo calls for the support of the ‘international community’ in direct links between Serbia’s European perspective and the decrease of Belgrade’s support for the ‘parallel’ structures in the north of Kosovo.

“The strategy was created by Feith and the temporary institutions in Pristina, and it is part of the decentralization process in Kosovo, with the goal of taking over control in the northern [Serbian] part of Kosovska Mitrovica.” [11]

In the same week Feith visited NATO headquarters in Brussels with EULEX chief Yves de Kermabon to “take part in an informal meeting with the NATO Council and…focus on cooperation between the EU and NATO in the field, and the situation in the north of Kosovo.

“The visit comes after the meeting of the NATO military leadership, who discussed Kosovo.” [12]

(Starting in December of 2007 the European Union worked in tandem with Washington to unleash an independent Kosovo on Europe and the world and to supplant the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo with the European Union Rule of Law – EULEX – Mission as the transitional mechanism for turning the province fully over to the new Republic of Kosovo. The EU nations that led the drive to recognize Kosovo’s secession were Britain, France, Germany and Italy, the same four countries that met in Munich 70 years earlier to cede the Sudetenland and then all of Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany.)

Russian political analyst Pyotr Iskenderov wrote a few days afterward that “the plan for a final solution for North Kosovo is similar to the one Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili had in mind launching an attack against South Ossetia in August, 2008. Even the stated objectives – the restoration of the constitutional jurisdiction in Saakashvili’s wording – is the same in both cases.

“The contours of the Kosovo separatists’ plan to suppress the Serbian resistance in the northern part of the province with the help of the US and the EU are becoming increasingly visible.” [13]

After KFOR and EULEX secure domination over Serb communities, they will be transferred to the rulers in Pristina and their NATO-created army.

The month after Thaci and his colleagues declared independence with the assistance of the major NATO nations, KFOR and the revamped KLA that was the Kosovo Protection Corps began the conversion of the latter into the Kosovo Security Force (KSF). It was officially inaugurated in January of 2009.

Described by Western powers as an “unarmed disaster-relief organization,” it was recently identified by a German news agency more accurately as “Kosovo’s fledgling army, mainly manned by former guerrillas….” [14]

Last year it was announced that the Pentagon would supply it with uniforms, Britain with training – in the words of the Defence Ministry to NATO standards and according to London’s ambassador to Kosovo to prepare the state for NATO membership – and Germany with 200 vehicles.

Last September NATO held maneuvers with the Kosovo Security Force, Exercise Agile Lion, and pronounced that the KSF had achieved Initial Operational Capability. “The next goal for the KSF is to reach Full Operational Capability.” [15]

UN Resolution 1244 also explicitly calls for “Demilitarizing the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and other armed Kosovo Albanian groups….”

NATO has instead rearmed them and is in the process of institutionalizing the former KLA as a national army.

The last time foreign powers militarily occupied Kosovo was in the early 1940s. They were Benito Mussolini’s Italy and Adolf Hitler’s Germany. The last time an Albanian military formation was created by an occupying power was in 1944 when Heinrich Himmler set up the Skanderbeg SS Division.

January of 2009 brought the official launching of the KSF “overseen by Nato.” [16]

Within days of assuming the post of NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe Admiral James Stavridis affirmed that “We are interested in having modern equipment and advanced training for KSF, and I will try in my capability to assist widely during my three-year mandate.” [17]

On March 15 a NATO website disclosed:

“Since achieving Initial Operational Capability in September 2009, the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) has continued to develop its skills and capabilities in core areas, with the assistance of NATO forces in Kosovo….NATO nations decided to support this task with a Donation Programme established In June 2008. The value of all the equipment and infrastructure projects required by the KSF to be fully capable is 37.4 million euros. [18]

On March 7 the Kosovo Security Force, erstwhile “unarmed disaster-relief organization,” brandished arms at what was described as a Kosovo Liberation Army memorial service to mark the twelve anniversary of the latter’s rebellion against the government of Yugoslavia and the death of its commander at the time, Adem Jashari. An “armed honor guard” also displayed the NATO flag during the parade.

KFOR commander General Markus Bentler pretended to be offended at what, after all, is only the KLA renamed and with new insignia reverting to form, and even mentioned suspending NATO’s training of the 2,500-man force the day of the armed march.

The nominal president of Kosovo, Fatmir Sejdiu, responded by stating “KFOR is an important investor in the enlargement of KSF and…all the steps thus far were undertaken in agreement and partnership and I believe that in the future (it) will contribute to our NATO membership.” Hashim Thaci’s deputy Hajredin Kuci added the assertion that “nobody should expect Kosovo not to behave like a sovereign state.” [19]

However, the bond between the North Atlantic military bloc and its KLA allies is an old and unbreakable one, and the next day relations between the NATO Kosovo Force and its Kosovo Security Force subordinates were restored and “a new agreement was reached by which the KSF ceremonial unit could carry weapons in a manner agreed upon in advance.” [20]

Russian analyst Pyotr Iskenderov, cited earlier, wrote that “The statements emanating from Pristina and the intensifying international debates over the Kosovo theme do not only show that the Albanian separatists are preparing an attack against their opponents but also give an idea of its potential scenario, the distribution of roles in it, and the extent to which Hashim Thaci and other former leaders of the terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army are relying on international support in the process.” [21]

From January 15-24 of this year NATO’s KFOR conducted military exercises throughout Kosovo. The stated purpose of the maneuvers was to “enable KFOR forces to maintain a high degree of readiness and be prepared to quickly deploy in response to any scenario.” [22]

Afterward a Serbian news agency reported on a KFOR press release which stated “the exercises were conducted so as to check the full operational capability of multinational combat groups after the structural changes in the international military forces have taken place.

“More than 5,000 soldiers from 31 countries, 700 tactical vehicles on land, and 21 helicopters for air support, were included in this military simulation of real-life battle conditions….[T]he exercises confirmed that the multinational battle groups are ‘fast, very flexible, mobile, and ready to deploy in response to any situation which might endanger security on the whole territory of Kosovo.'”

“KFOR said there will be further exercises so that the groups could be trained and their operational capability preserved at the highest possible level.” [23]

Toward the end of last month the U.S. deployed two companies of soldiers based in Camp Bondsteel, the largest overseas military installation the Pentagon has constructed since the Vietnam War, to the north of Kosovo.

“The KFOR command in Pristina has announced that their deployment will confirm operational ability to reinforce and support any combat group in Kosovo.”

The U.S. exercises in February and the KFOR ones the previous month occurred against the backdrop of the threats by NATO commander Admiral Mark Fitzgerald and U.S. ambassador to Serbia Christopher Dell examined earlier and are part of “an ICO [International Civilian Office - European Union Special Representative]/Kosovo Albanian government strategy to ‘integrate’ this [northern Kosovo], predominantly Serb area of the province, and bring it under Pristina’s control.

“Serbs in the north, however, are refusing any kind of connection to the Kosovo institutions. Pristina’s intent is to start shutting down local governments supported by Belgrade.” [24]

In conjunction with coordinated moves against Serbian communities in the north of Kosovo by KFOR, EULEX, the Kosovo regime of Thaci and Sejdiu and its new army in formation, attacks against Serb civilians have also intensified in an effort to drive them out of the province.

Three firebombs were hurled at the home of a Serb family in northern Kosovska Mitrovica last month and the house of an elderly Serb couple in Klina was stoned at the same time.

On February 18 in Gnjilane, in eastern Kosovo, the grave of a Serbian woman buried earlier in the day was dug up and robbed. A local Serb official remarked of this desecration: “The deceased’s last wish was to be buried in the upper part of the Gnjilane cemetery. This was the first burial in this cemetery since 1999. The digging up of her grave is a clear message to Serbs that they cannot even bury their dead in Gnjilane.” [25]

Two days later a Serbian male was assaulted in Istok, in northwestern Kosovo, by a gang of Albanians and afterward taken to a hospital in Kosovska Mitrovica. The coordinator for returning Serbs in the city said “that the situation in Istok has drastically worsened over the last week, and that the attack has further upset Serbs living in the municipality.”

“There are five homes almost complete for returning Serbs…and it is obvious that someone does not like it,” Vesna Malikovic added. [26]

Almost eleven years ago the U.S. and NATO brought their KLA allies to power in Kosovo. There was no way they could have achieved that objective on their own.

To demonstrate to whom the likes of Hashim Thaci, Ramush Haradinaj, Agim Ceku and other former Kosovo Liberation Army leaders see themselves indebted to for the opportunity of purging the province of all non-Albanian inhabitants – and eliminating Albanians not deemed sufficiently subservient – they have named the main street in the capital of Pristina after George W. Bush, who engineered Kosovo’s formal secession two years ago.

Major streets in the capital are also named after Tony Blair, Madeleine Albright and William Walker, and last November 1 Bill Clinton arrived in Pristina to join Hashim Thaci in unveiling a grotesque eleven-foot statue to the former American president.

While promoting NATO’s new Strategic Concept with her 12-member Group of Experts last month, Madeleine Albright said that “If you wish to know what I think is the most important thing I accomplished as U.S. secretary of state, I think it is the stopping of the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo,” though local media reported she initially used the phrase “conducting the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.” [27]

There was no need for her to correct herself. She stated the matter accurately the first time.

1) B92, March 17, 2004
2) Ombudsman office, Pristina, Kosovo, Statement to the Media, 18 March 2004
3) Serbian Government, April 26, 2008
4) The Statesman (India), February 15, 2008
5) Reuters, October 14, 2009
6) Der Spiegel, September 21, 2002 (In German)

http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-25211840.html

7) Reuters, November 20, 2009
8) Beta News Agency, January 27, 2010
9) B92/FoNet/Tanjug News Agency, January 29, 2010
10) Beta News Agency, January 27, 2010
11) Tanjug News Agency, January 30, 2010
12) B92/FoNet/Tanjug News Agency, January 29, 2010
13) Strategic Culture Foundation, February 3, 2010
14) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, March 8, 2010
15) North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Kosovo Force, September 16, 2009
16) BBC News, January 21, 2010
17) Kosovo Times, July 30, 2009
18) North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Allied Command Operations
March 15, 2010
19) B92, March 7, 2010
20) Southeast European Times, March 11, 2010
21) Strategic Culture Foundation, February 3, 2010
22) Radio Serbia, January 13, 2010
23) Tanjug News Agency, February 6, 2010
24) B92, February 22, 2010
25) Beta News Agency, February 19, 2010
26) FoNet, February 20, 2010
27) Tanjug News Agency, February 11, 2010

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