March 14, 2002

A Superbly Organized Crime
Imperial Occupation of the Balkans

The Voice of America, Empire's official propaganda broadcasting service, reported this Monday that NATO pledged to "crack down on organized crime in Kosovo." Well, that's just wonderful. NATO stormtroopers should be knocking down the door of their Secretary-General any minute now, along with the entire state leadership of Britain, France, Germany – and oh yes, the United States. Not that we should hold our breath.

It is Lord George Robertson himself the VOA report quotes, claiming that "criminal groups made Kosovo a center for drug smuggling, arms contraband and the trafficking of human beings." He also said these groups were "undermining progress made in the province since the U.N. and NATO took charge of the administration there nearly three years ago" and "stealing Kosovo's future from its people."

How can this be, Your Lordship? Did these groups appear before 1999, when the "clearly terrorist" KLA was attacking police officers and civilians with weapons bought with drug funds? Or after, when NATO's intervention brought the KLA into power? Did they spring up as part of "resistance" to Serbia, or under the protection of NATO occupation troops? Shocking! And since the "people of Kosovo" are routinely referred to as "Kosovars," and that in turn is a synonym for "Albanian," is Robertson saying these "gangs" are Serbs?

Organized And Other Crimes

Not exactly. It turns out "several ethnic Albanian politicians are suspected of being linked to the gangs." Like who? Hashim Taqi, head of the KLA, nicknamed "Snake" for assassinating his rivals? Agim Ceku, former general in the Croatian army who specialized in ethnic cleansing? Bajram Rexhepi, the current Prime Minister, who is said to have decapitated a Serb prisoner during the NATO-KLA "war of liberation"? Robertson does not say, and neither does the VOA. All that matters is that NATO (good) is pledging to fight some unspecified organized crime (bad).

NATO has committed the worst crime under international law by attacking Yugoslavia in 1999 to begin with. It has occupied Kosovo for three years, with 50,000 troops and God only knows how many civilian clerks. It watched (even helped?) as 300,000 non-Albanians were driven out of the province, and their homes looted, seized or torched. It stood idly by as over 100 Serbian churches and thousands of other cultural monuments were destroyed. It did nothing as scores of Albanians were murdered by their fellow Albanians. It intervened to legitimize the Albanian bandits as they seized a part of Macedonia, and forced the government in Skopje to give them special rights. It has tolerated (fueled?) the explosion of sex slavery, gun- and drug-running in Kosovo since 1999. After all this, how can anyone in their right mind believe NATO is against "organized crime"? Please.

Fudding Around in Bosnia

Two weeks ago, NATO stormtroopers descended on a Serb hamlet in Eastern Bosnia. They smashed doors on houses, ransacked a church, held schoolchildren and teachers hostage, and turned the entire village upside down.  They were looking for Radovan Karadzic, wartime leader of the Bosnian Serbs accused by The Hague Inquisition of genocide and other war crimes. He was nowhere to be found, though.

If the raid itself was ugly, the aftermath was even uglier. The fuming Americans accused the French of tipping Karadzic off. The Associated Press blamed the Bosnian Serbs. Everyone was trying to shift blame from NATO – and more specifically the US troops, who were behind the operation – and ignore the obvious. The entire affair looked like one of Elmer Fudd's hare-hunts, as NATO spokesman Mark Laity – former BBC "journalist" who found his true calling as paid mouthpiece of the Alliance – told his former colleagues, "Shhh, we'we hunting waw cwiminaws," and pretended nothing was wrong when the whole thing exploded in their faces. 

This sudden interest in catching Karadzic and his former military commander, General Ratko Mladic, might have more to do with Empire's propaganda needs than with some imaginary effort to "help Bosnia heal." Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen brazenly suggested back in November that Karadzic and Mladic should be "bagged" to show the Muslim world the US is after other people, too. And in a Sunday Telegraph guest column on March 10, former BBC editor John Simpson made a direct comparison between Karadzic and Osama Bin Laden. Ironic, given that Osama's mujahedin fought against Karadzic's troops in Bosnia – but hey, back then they were our terrorists, not yet Evil Incarnate.

What, Me Unhappy?

Given Bosnia's realities under NATO occupation, should it be surprising that some Serbs sympathize with Karadzic? Just one glance at recent headlines offers a plethora of clues. Muslim leaders still advocate a monolithic state in which they would be a majority – a fixation that caused the 1992-95 war. Croats have named a major new bridge after Croatia's late president Franjo Tudjman, whose troops invaded Bosnia in 1992 and are responsible for many atrocities against Serbs and Muslims. Serb and Croat cemeteries in Muslim-dominated areas have been desecrated. At US behest, Islamic charities are raided and their assets seized under suspicion of links with terrorism. Yet the Bosnian Prime Minister found time to thank Iran for its support to "the Bosnian people" during the war. Iran sent money, weapons and volunteers to the Bosnian Muslims, not the Bosnian "people" - unless those two have somehow come to mean the same thing, just as the Muslim integrationists have been advocating all along...

Besides, it is extremely difficult to find Karadzic's methods of waging war objectionable now that NATO has made them legitimate. Bombing civilians, starving them out and depriving them of food, water and other supplies, killing journalists and targeting hospitals is wrong regardless of who does it – it can't be wrong only if Karadzic and Mladic are accused of it, and acceptable if NATO pilots are pulling the trigger.

With all that in mind, favoring Karadzic over his persecutors is actually a drop of reason in the vast sea of insanity that is the Bosnian protectorate. Earlier this week, twelve Bosnian police officers were fired by the UN police oversight mission, because they had helped organized a post office robbery in order to foil it and thus gain recognition. Now where could they have possibly gotten that idea…?

Instances of Advanced Dementia

Events in Macedonia and Serbia further prove the extent to which the Empire's all-pervading presence has already corrupted all aspects of Balkans life, beginning with the process of logical thinking.

Vlado Popovski, Macedonia's defense minister, told the national radio last week that the country's only future was in joining NATO and the EU. According to him, this would be the only way to stabilize the country and the region. Even if they did not admit Macedonia, he averred, the Skopje government would still implement all of their practices and demands, so it could be a virtual member.

Has Mr. Popovski by any chance lain his hands on some primo Afghan heroin the Albanian mafia specializes in smuggling through his country? NATO and the EU have just about destroyed Macedonia by giving aid and comfort to the Albanian militants. Last week, Macedonian police discovered irrefutable proof that international terrorists were at work in the country, aiding the UCK. Now the man who should be in charge of defending Macedonia advocates joining the sponsors of Macedonia's destruction?

Under Zoran the Foul, Serbia has long been a logic-free zone. Recent news from another official Imperial propaganda outlet, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, is thus not surprising, though it is superbly ironic. RFE/RL reported last week that Djindjic's government has started a campaign against corruption, one criticized as not serious enough by the "government watchdog" organization Otpor. This is the same Zoran Djindjic who sold Slobodan Milosevic to the Hague Inquisition in exchange for empty promises of financial aid. This is the same Otpor which was organized and funded by the CIA to topple Milosevic's government. And they are investigating corruption? Good luck.

The Obvious Truth

It takes a major case of block-headedness to ignore the obvious: the Empire is the source of most Balkans problems, and thus cannot – now or ever – provide a solution to them. Like those police officers in Bosnia, who probably only sought to please their foreign masters by demonstrating "efficiency," the Imperial occupiers of the Balkans seek credibility by claiming to be "solving" problems their very presence is responsible for creating.

Just look at the facts. Terrorism, smuggling, graft, slavery, drug-running, murder and prostitution – were there any in the former Yugoslavia prior to 1991, when outside forces first intervened in local disputes? No more than elsewhere in Europe, and often less. Now, after ten years of Imperial meddling, and thanks to the presence of at least 100,000 foreign occupiers (civilian and military), the place is a den of darkest depravity.

The truth speaks for itself. It is the masters of lies who make it seem otherwise.

Text-only printable version of this article

Nebojsa Malic left his home in Bosnia after the Dayton Accords and currently resides in the United States. During the Bosnian War he had exposure to diplomatic and media affairs in Sarajevo, and contributed to the Independent. As a historian who specializes in international relations and the Balkans, Malic has written numerous essays on the Kosovo War, Bosnia and Serbian politics, many of which have been published by the Serbian Unity Congress. His exclusive column for appears every Thursday.


Archived Columns

A Superbly Organized Crime

Bitter Balkans Ironies

Of Hubris, Heretics, and Hermits

Masters of Mendacity

The Trial

Exercises In Wishful Thinking

Ten Years in the Twilight Zone

Wastelands of Imperial Reality

Off to a Bad Start

Operation Enduring Stupidity

Balkans Christmas – All Year 'Round

A Trojan Horse in Belgrade

Where the Shadows Lie

Republic Day

Surrender in Kosovo

A False Choice for Kosovo

Death by Protectorate

Perverted Justice

The Meanings of Madness

Arrogance of Power

Reflections on Revolution

War Without End

Battle in the Balkans

Intersections of Fate

Macedonia's Tragedy Masquerading as Farce

A Day to Remember

The Serbian Standoff

Macedonia's Futile Surrender

Murdering Macedonia

Rambouillet Repeated?

Empire's Willing Servants

Kostunica's Choice

Betrayal in Belgrade

The Empire Shows Its Hand

The Return of Kings

Meditations On The Edge Of The Abyss


Terms of Betrayal

Presevo – A False Victory

The Balkans: Land of Delusions

Enemies at the Gates

ICG's Blueprint for Destruction

Kosovo: Between Death and Taxes

Madness in the Mountains: Montenegro's Looming Secession

A House Divided


Empire at the Gates

Macedonian Maelstrom

Pax Americana

The Fourth Balkan War

Mayhem in Macedonia

Surreal Realm

Santayana's Curse

The Croatian Conundrum

March of the Black Eagle

Showdown in Belgrade

Out of the Shadows

With a Grain of Salt

Crusade's End

The Worst of Times

Moments of Transition

Dιja Vu

The Crucible

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