Behind the Headlines
by Justin Raimondo
Antiwar.com

March 22, 2000

ANNIVERSARY OF SHAME

This Friday it will be exactly one year since the mightiest military power on earth decided to pulverize one of the smallest and weakest – all in the name of "humanitarianism." And what has been the result of this mission of mercy? It's time to take stock.

NOTHING SUCCEEDS LIKE . . .

What do the NATO-crats have to say for themselves? "A year ago, NATO launched its airpower to end the repression in Kosovo," says NATO Secretary General George Robertson, "and succeeded. In the blizzard of words that has followed it is easy to overlook that simple fact." A blizzard not only of words, but of casualties – over 800 Serbs slaughtered by the Kosovo Liberation Army fanatics since the NATO "liberation," and 150,000-plus driven out of the region – right under the noses of the so-called peacekeepers. This, to the NATO-crats, is success.

NO ILLUSIONS – AND NO SERBS

But we shouldn't rest on our laurels. "However there should be no illusions," avers the evil Robertson, "the task remaining is formidable." Yeah, I hear there are still a few Serbs left in Mitrovica. But we needn't worry about that – the "peacekeepers" are being kept busy "escorting" Albanians into the last remaining Serb neighborhood. It won't be long before the last Serb has packed his bags and NATO's mission has been accomplished.

COSA NATO

"Liberated" Kosovo, one year later, is – in the words of Kiri Dienstbier, the UN's special human rights investigator for the former Yugoslavia – "a paradise for different mafias." "There are very different private structures of power...It is a paradise for different mafias which not only control certain regions and villages, they even fight each other." What he doesn't say is that all these little mafias are operating under the protection of the Biggest Mafia of Them All, headquartered in Brussels, and known by its acronym: NATO.

IN THE CROSSFIRE

So, the Albanian Kosovars are "even fighting among themselves" – what a surprise! For centuries, the rural northern Ghegs – who were heavily recruited into the Skanderberg Division of the Nazi SS during World War II – have been fighting the southern Tosks, who live in the plains area and were big supporters of Enver Hoxha, the Albanian Stalin. The Kosovo war forged a temporary unity, but now the long-running feud between the Albanian version of the Hatfields and the McCoys is on again – with NATO caught in the crossfire.

TURNING POINT

The London Guardian reports that military planners are already preparing for the inevitable showdown with the KLA, and headlined the story: "Pentagon braced for bloodshed after raids on guerrillas." The Pentagon has "formally alerted" US troops in the field that they will no doubt be facing their former "allies" in the field. A year after State Department spokesman Jamie Rubin praised the KLA as "freedom-fighters," they are getting ready to start shooting at us – now that's what I call gratitude, Albanian style. A recent raid on the arm caches built up by the 800-man Liberation Army of Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac (UCPMB) – named after the three Albanian-inhabited towns in southern Serbia's Presevo valley – is the first major action in what will be an ongoing conflict. "We have now fired the first shot at the Albanian insurgents – and insurgents have a tendency to carry a grudge," says one Pentagon official. "If they come to see us as an enemy then [the raid] will be seen as a turning point."

KOSOVO, THE SEQUEL

Oh, but not to worry, says the KLA's man in the State Department: Rubin, just back from a trip to Kosovo, said: "We do not believe we are drifting towards a conflict with Kosovo Albanian insurgents." Why, those Albanian pussycats would never harm a hair on an American head due to the "deep reservoir of respect, thanks and goodwill towards the United States." Would he care to go over there himself, and go on patrol with American troops? Perhaps his lovely wife, KLA propagandist Christiane Amanpour, would like to accompany him: together they could do a CNN documentary, "Return to Kosovo," where they could confront – and perhaps even answer for – the results of their handiwork, a land that, as Dienstbier put it, is "a paradise of mafias."

OOOPS!

But Dienstbier is either unbelievably naïve or else utterly disingenuous when he avers: "I see that what is happening in Kosovo now is the result of a mistake of policy of the international community... bombing Yugoslavia without knowing what will be next. Meanwhile, Kosovo Liberation Army weapons came and they took over control and are now cleansing non-Albanians." Mistake? He can't be serious. Here is a sophisticated man, the former Czech foreign minister, who believes (or pretends to believe) that the bombing, the murder and ethnic cleansing of Serbs, the rising dictatorship of the KLA, the continued provocations aimed at destabilizing what is left of Yugoslavia – it was all an accident, a terrible "mistake." Is this what the UN has to say about an action endorsed by its Security Council and personally approved by the Secretary General: "Ooops!"? Gee, I tried to call The Hague to report a war crime – but the line seems always to be busy.

REMEMBER NAPALM?

To call what happened to Kosovo a "mistake" would be laughable, but only to someone given to the blackest humor. This is especially true in light of the recent confirmation that the US used radioactive bullets against the Serbs. According to a letter from the UN task force on Kosovo war damage to Secretary General Kofi Annan, areas hit by radioactive ammunition – used during approximately 100 bombing missions – are dangerously contaminated. With a half-life of 4.5 billion years, twice as dense as lead, depleted uranium is radioactive and ultra-toxic. The San Francisco Examiner, which broke the story, informs us that "depleted uranium burns when it hits a target, contaminating the tank and the surrounding area." Depleted uranium – the napalm of America's post-millennial Vietnam.

WHAT, ME WORRY?

As the Examiner story goes on, it all has a very familiar ring to it: "The Pentagon has tried to downplay the risks of exposure to depleted uranium dust and debris since the 1991 Persian Gulf War, when it was used for the first time in combat." I wonder how many vets of that war are now wandering the streets, irreparably damaged, inevitably homeless, and invariably hopeless – and all because of the Pentagon's "downplaying"? And how many more on the way? "However," the article continues, "independent scientists say the substance has been linked to skin, kidney and respiratory disorders, and can damage any part of the body in which it is stored, including the lungs, lymph nodes, liver, kidneys, muscle and bone." Ah, but not to worry, says the UN panel in their letter to Annan, this "should not be a cause of widespread alarm"! Unless you happen to live in Kosovo, of course – or if you happen to be an American soldier on patrol.

THE COVEN

Was it stupidity or evil that poisoned the very land the NATO-crats claimed to be "liberating"? Is this, too, a "mistake"? I don't think so. Do you? What we are dealing with, in the current leaders of the Western world, is not a gang of Keystone Kops, but a coven of sadistic assassins, the kind who like to torture their victims before they put them out of their misery. This is precisely what they are doing in Kosovo, and throughout the former Yugoslavia. An example must be made: the great enemy, nationalism, must be finally humbled and wiped out, so that the "European spirit" can wash over the land, cleansing it of any and all undesirable elements. Kosovo was no mistake, from the NATO-cratic point of view, but a model of the wars of the future. For Kosovo is only the first item on the pan-European agenda. Montenegro is next, and then Vojivodina, and then eastward, to Macedonia, and on to the Ukraine. Soon we will be at the very gates of Moscow.

TO ELBA

The ambition of the NATO-crats is positively Napoleonic: we can only hope that it meets a fate similar to that of the Little Corporal. In which case more than a few of them will be exiled to Elba, or some similarly desolate isle, where they will be free to write their memoirs and brood on the enormity of their crimes. It is something to look forward to, anyway.

Please Support Antiwar.com

A contribution of $25 or more gets you a copy of Justin Raimondo's Into the Bosnian Quagmire: The Case Against U.S. Intervention in the Balkans, a 60-page booklet packed with the kind of intellectual ammunition you need to fight the lies being put out by this administration and its allies in Congress. And now, for a limited time, donors of $40 or more receive a copy of Ronald Radosh's classic study of the Old Right conservatives, Prophets on the Right: Profiles of Conservative Critics of American Globalism. Send contributions to

Antiwar.com
520 S. Murphy Avenue, #202
Sunnyvale, CA 94086

or Contribute Via our Secure Server
Credit Card Donation Form

Your Contributions are now Tax-Deductible


Back to Antiwar.com Home Page | Contact Us