Behind Terrorist Attacks in Macedonia
While Washington supplies National Liberation Army (NLA) terrorists with brand new weapons "Made in America," some 3000 heavily armed NATO troops have been given the mandate to "disarm the rebels" and enforce the cease-fire. Code-named "Essential Harvest," this bogus "peacekeeping" operation under British command is intended to weaken the Macedonian Armed Forces and destabilize national institutions.
As much as their text ["peace plan"] is brutal, more brutal
and worrying is the fashion in which they are trying to break up Macedonian
All of the terrorist actions in Macedonia
have been supported by the Western democracies
all threats and
blackmails have been presented so far, except that NATO will conduct
an air-strike on us." ~Macedonian
Prime Minister Mr. Ljubco Georgievski
It is now documented beyond doubt that Washington is behind the terrorist assaults in Macedonia. While Secretary of State Colin Powell reaffirms America's resolve to "combat terrorism," US military advisers are fighting alongside the NLA terrorists:
"Among the rebels that were withdrawing were 17 "instructors" former US officers that provided military training for the rebels. Not only that: the Macedonian security forces claim that 70% of the equipment that the guerilla fighters took with them are of US production and the latter includes highly sophisticated third generation night vision devices."1
US FORCES PROTECT THE TERRORISTS
In late June, the Macedonian ARM undertook a major assault against KLA-NLA positions in Aracinovo, a village close to Skopje. In a NATO sponsored operation which "was supposed to allow the Macedonian Army to gain significant rebel territory," US troops were sent in to "evacuate" and "disarm" the terrorists:2
"When the terrorists were defeated and showed a white flag, the OSCE and NATO were in panic and ordered us [the Macedonian authorities] to stop immediately the [military] action. Swedish Foreign Minister Ana Lindth and the European leaders were hysterical, threatening us with economic sanctions, etc. Furthermore, the OSCE and KFOR entered Aracinovo and 'saved' 500 terrorists together with their weaponry and took them to another village from where they are now attacking again, killing civilians and undertaking ethnic cleansing in several Macedonian villages… NATO forbids us to defend ourselves when we are attacked; our territory is brutally abused by the terrorists. We have tried to defend ourselves, and they have saved the terrorists in air-conditioned buses. That has provoked harsh reaction of the Macedonian people."3
The official "story" out of the US military base near Skopje was: "[Sorry]…but something went wrong":4
"A confidential source at Camp Able Sentry [US base near Skopje] says the bus convoy [evacuating the terrorists] was stopped by tanks manned by NLA rebels … and the rebels left the buses and disappeared. 'Now we have some extremely angry Macedonians on our hands,' the American official said."5
The same source stated that the rebels "were escorted by lightly armed American troops," conveying the impression that the highly trained American GIs of the 502nd Infantry division could not do anything against "the tanks manned by NLA rebels" which had entrapped the bus convoy.6 The ambush story is a fabrication, for one KLA-NLA rebels do not have tanks in their arsenal.
OPENING A NEW FRONT
The US sponsored "evacuation" from Aracinavo had enabled the NLA terrorists together with their American military advisers and foreign mercenaries "to open up a new front" around the village of Radusa, 40 kilometers northwest of Skopje.7"They [NATO] are transporting the rebels, the terrorists, from one area to another and rearming them, instead of confiscating their weapons."8 In turn, KFOR is "protecting" the NLA terrorists' supply routes including the flow of military personnel and weapons from KLA-NLA bases in Kosovo and from training camps in Albania.
Sources in the U.S. Army in Kosovo suggest that the "evacuation" mission was also intent upon saving "the 17 'instructors' among the withdrawing rebels," presumably to avoid the diplomatic humiliation and media embarrassment of senior US military personnel captured together with the terrorists by the Macedonian Security Forces.9
Meanwhile, there are indications that US Apache helicopters and unmanned "predator" drone spy planes (UAV) (dispatched by a contingent of the US 15th Military Intelligence Battalion, stationed at Camp Able Sentry) are supporting this "new front" by transmitting military-intelligence to the rebel army's US military advisers:
"The Pentagon… approved [mid March 2001] sending several unmanned spy planes to monitor the Kosovo-Macedonia border. The Air Force Predator unmanned drones can feed images immediately not only to troops in the region, but also to Washington."10
And in the wake of the US sponsored "evacuation," the KLA-NLA terrorists together with their US military instructors have renewed their attacks in the Tetovo region.
RECRUITING FOREIGN MERCENARIES
Since the Soviet-Afghan war, recruiting Mujahedin ("holy warriors") to fight covert wars on Washington's behest has become an integral part of US foreign policy. A report of the US Congress has revealed how the US administration under advice from the National Security Council headed by Anthony Lake had "helped turn Bosnia into a militant Islamic base" leading to the recruitment through the so-called "Militant Islamic Network," of thousands of Mujahedin from the Muslim world.11
The "Bosnian pattern" has since been replicated in Kosovo, Southern Serbia and Macedonia. Among the foreign mercenaries now fighting with the KLA-NLA are Mujahedin from the Middle East and the Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union as well as "soldiers of fortune" from several NATO countries including Britain, Holland and Germany. Some of these Western mercenaries had previously fought with the KLA and the Bosnian Muslim Army.12
Also among NLA recruits are Albanian-American "volunteers" enlisted in New York with the tacit approval of the US government.13 In March 2001, the New York-based Albanian-language newspaper Bota Sot printed an advertisement of the National Liberation Army (NLA) "calling Albanians [in the US] to register as volunteers and to donate money."14 Several hundred Albanian-Americans had formed an "Atlantic Brigade" which fought alongside the KLA in 1998 and 1999. In recent months, members of the "Atlantic Brigade" have reportedly joined the NLA.15
THE UNITED NATIONS FUNDS THE TERRORISTS
Amply documented, the United Nations so-called "civilian" Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) is the KLA in disguise, and the NLA is a proxy of the KLA. According to the Sunday Times: "Hundreds of KPC reservists were called up by their Albanian commander, Agim Ceku, in March . They subsequently disappeared to former KLA training camps in Albania and are now re-emerging in Macedonia."16
NLA rebel Commander Ostremi was until recently Chief of Staff of the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC). To maintain appearances, Washington has "blacklisted" the KPC commanders who joined the NLA. Washington's so-called "blacklist" which bars the former KPC commanders from entering the US includes the names of "Commander Ostremi, his replacement as chief-of-staff at the KPC Commander Daut Haradinaj, the commander and deputy commander of the KPC's elite force, the Rapid Reaction Corps, plus the leaders of two of its six regional divisions, Commander Sami Lushtaku and Commander Mustafa Rrustem…"17
From the horse's mouth: Washington's "blacklist" visibly refutes the claims of both the "international community" and the Western media mantra that "the NLA has no links to KLA." In fact, the "blacklist" confirms that they are one and the same thing, with the same commanding officers in both the KPC and the NLA. Moreover, it also confirms that the terrorist assaults are led by military personnel paid by the United Nations.
When Commander Ostremi took leave from his UN job to lead the NLA, the UN "assumed he had gone on holiday."18 According to the Irish Times, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan failed to remove the NLA commanders from the United Nations payroll. The "international community" was still (early July) footing the bill under the disguise of UN "peacekeeping":
."..the United Nations says it will take no action against these five men [NLA commanders], all still serving officers [in the UN sponsored KPC] because Washington has yet to pass on details of what the men are supposed to have done."19
This pattern of "financing terrorism" from the UN purse is nothing new. The former head of the UN Interim Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) Bernard Kouchner had established close personal ties with KLA Commander in Chief Agim Ceku, who in a bitter irony was on the list of "alleged war criminals" of the Hague Tribunal. But because he was wanted in relation to "crimes committed in Croatia" rather than Kosovo, this was not an issue in his appointment by the UN to the position of Commander in Chief of the KPC.20
An independent report submitted to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in 2000 confirmed that the KPC had been involved in "criminal activities killings, ill-treatment/torture, illegal policing, abuse of authority, intimidation, breaches of political neutrality and hate speech."21 In a cruel irony, "the United Nations is paying the salaries of many of the gangsters."22
But what the report fails to mention, however, is that barely two months after the official inauguration of the KPC under UN auspices (September 1999), KPC-KLA commanders using UN resources and equipment were already preparing the assaults into Macedonia, as a logical follow-up to their terrorist activities in Kosovo. According to the Skopje daily Dnevnik, the KPC had established a "sixth operation zone" which:
"included Presevo, Bujanovac, Medvedja [in Southern Serbia] and Macedonian villages in the area of Skopska Crna Gora, Lojane, Vaksince, Straza and Lipkovo... Sources, who insist on anonymity, claim that headquarters of Kosovo protection brigades [directly linked to the UN sponsored KPC] have [March 2000] already been formed in Tetovo, Gostivar and Skopje. They are being prepared in Debar and Struga [on the border with Albania] as well, and their members have defined codes."23
According to the BBC, "Western special forces were still training the guerrillas" meaning that they were assisting the KLA in opening up "a new front" in Southern Serbia and Macedonia.24
LINKS TO ORGANISED CRIME
Also acknowledged by official US sources as well as by numerous press reports are the links of the KLA-NLA to powerful criminal syndicates involved in the Balkans' multi-billion dollar drug trade. Albanian and Kosovar criminal organizations are providing "a very significant support to them [the NLA terrorists in Macedonia]."25 These criminal groups are also involved in the traffic of Albanian women into prostitution in several European countries including Britain, Italy and Germany. And part of the proceeds of these illicit activities is used to arm and equip the KLA-NLA terrorists.
In other words, in providing support to the KLA-NLA, Washington (not to mention the United Nations) is indirectly upholding the organised criminal-business syndicates which are behind the terrorists.
TREASON WITHIN THE MACEDONIAN SECURITY FORCES
In April, the Commander in Chief of the Macedonian Armed Forces (ARM) General Andrejevski was accused by A1 TV Skopje of having transmitted military intelligence to the NLA through MPRI General Richard Griffiths, who is director of the US "equip and train" program with the Macedonian ARM under a US military aid programme.26 Sixteen senior (retired) US military officers are advising the ARM.
But it so happens that the same US mercenary outfit on contract to the Macedonian ARM is also assisting the NLA rebels in their terrorist assaults. In other words, Washington is arming and advising both the KLA attackers and the Macedonian defenders under military and intelligence authorization acts approved by the US Congress. MPRI is helping Macedonia as part of a US military aid package "to deter armed aggression and defend Macedonian territory." But MPRI is also advising and equipping the KLA, which is responsible for the terrorist assaults. In this war, the American military-intelligence apparatus is pulling strings "on both sides of the fence."27
Faced with mounting pressure, General Andrejevski has since given up his position as Commander in Chief of the ARM. But immediately following his resignation, Andrejevski was appointed "Military Adviser" to President Trajkovski, while maintaining his personal links with MPRI`s Richard Griffith who is still in Skopje, responsible for channeling US "military aid" on behalf of the Pentagon. In other words, the US military establishment is still involved on both sides, advising the NLA as well as "assisting" the Macedonian ARM. The ultimate objective of this military-intelligence ploy is to prevent the Macedonian ARM from defeating the terrorists.
CIVIL SOCIETY PLOY
Despite the barrage of media falsehoods, Macedonian citizens are fully aware that Washington is supporting the terrorists. To diffuse public resentment, several Western "foundations" and "human rights organisations" including the International Crisis Group (ICG) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) are working closely with local citizens groups in Macedonia. While their formal mandate is in the areas of "confidence building," "governance," "peace-making" and "inter-ethnic reconciliation," in practice, they work hand in glove with NATO. They are an integral part of the military-intelligence ploy. The role of these front organisations is to ensure that public resentment is directed against the Macedonian government and Military rather than against Washington, NATO or the IMF.28
The Open Society Institute (OSI) in Skopje, controlled by Wall Street financier George Soros is also playing a central role in manipulating and ultimately weakening the civilian protest movement.29 OSI in Macedonia has launched an "Appeal for Peace" endorsed by a large number of Macedonian organisations. (More than 300 organisations and individuals have signed the OSI "Appeal for Peace"). In other words, Soros' OSI in Skopje hosts and finances the citizens' movement against terrorism while carefully omitting to mention the causes of terrorism.
Moreover, George Soros is also part of the Wall Street financial establishment which is colonising the Balkans. And this "economic conquest" by American financial interests is supported by the US military-intelligence apparatus, which is funneling covert support to the terrorists.
While George Soros finances "peace" and "reconciliation" initatives in Macedonia, he also supports the KLA. Across the border in Kosovo, the Soros sponsored Kosova Foundation for an Open Society (KFOS) is funding the activities of "local governments" controlled by KLA appointees. This assistance was initially channeled through a World Bank "Post Conflict Trust Fund," of which 90 percent of the financing is controlled by George Soros.30
Needless to say, Soros is close to the seat of political power in the US, he works hand in glove with the World Bank and has significant economic interests in the Balkans. His Open Society Institute is also supporting the "alternative media" in Macedonia with all the appearances of purporting to advance "democracy" and "freedom of the press."
NATO SPONSORED REFUGEE CRISIS
The refugee crisis has been deliberately triggered by the US sponsored terrorist assaults. Both Macedonian and Albanian civilians are among the victims. More than 100,000 people are affected. According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) some 73,800 people have crossed the border into Kosovo, and another 34,500 people are "internally displaced" within Macedonia.31 In Albanian villages occupied by the rebels, Albanian civilians rather than being "protected" by NLA "freedom fighters" are often the object of intimidation and reprisals.
In villages inhabited by Macedonians in the Tetovo region, ethnic cleansing is being implemented in the presence of US military personnel who are advising rebel commanders. The KLA-NLA is reported to "have committed unprecedented acts of terror against the inhabitants, forcing them to leave the villages completely. The displaced persons from [these] villages have strongly criticized the OSCE and the International Committee of the Red Cross whose representatives have consistently avoided contact with the residents of these Tetovo villages."32
Entire communities are uprooted. According to the UNHCR, the majority of the refugees crossing into Kosovo are women, children and elderly men. Other reports suggest that the terrorists are enlisting ethnic Albanian men to join the KLA-NLA often through force and intimidation. The evidence suggests that those who refuse face serious reprisals.33 The pattern in this regard, is very similar to what occurred in Kosovo in 1999 where entire villages were uprooted.34
Washington is indelibly behind the process of ethnic cleansing in Macedonia. It is worth mentioning in this regard that MPRI (the mercenary outfit working with the KLA-NLA) was on contract with the Croatian Armed Forces in 1995, in charge of the ethnic cleansing and civilian massacres directed against the Serb population in the Krajina region of Croatia. In this regard, MPRI was working closely with Commander Agim Ceku, who at the time was a Brigadier General in the Croatian Armed Forces. Ceku was not only one of the key planners of "Operation Storm," he was also commander of the artillery division responsible for shelling Krajina Serb civilians. It is no wonder that the pattern in Macedonia is similar to that of Krajina and Kosovo.35
The same commanding officers from the KLA and the MPRI are now involved in the terrorist assaults and ethnic cleansing in Macedonia. "Protected" by American and British troops stationed in Kosovo and Macedonia, the KLA-NLA rebels now control a significant portion of Macedonian territory.
BOGUS PEACE PLAN
Washington's design is to prevent the Macedonian Security Forces from fighting the rebels and protecting its borders. In other words, the hidden agenda of the EU-US brokered "peace plan" is to gain time, drag out the conflict, keep the Macedonian Security Forces in the barracks while continuing to arm and equip the rebels. And this gruesome military-intelligence ploy is possible because the Macedonian President and part of his entourage are puppets of the US. Moreover, the MPRI, which is actively advising the NLA, is still on contract with the Macedonian government "helping the Macedonian Armed Forces."
Meanwhile General Andrejevski, who recently resigned his position as ARM Commander in Chief, is still in charge as "military adviser" to the President, acting on behalf of the MPRI and the Pentagon.
In other words, key senior military officers in the ARM are collaborating with the enemy, against the lower ranking officers and the ARM rank and file who are fighting for their country. Despite the divisions within the government, Prime Minister Mr. Ljubco Georgievski, has openly accused US envoy James Pardew and EU's Francois Leotard of "forcing Macedonia to cave in to demands from Albanian guerrillas":36
"It becomes obvious that all of the terrorist actions in Macedonia have been supported by the western democracies. Now, we practically have 95% of Ali Ahmeti's [the NLA leader] document on the table. It is clear that the international community has decided on its position beforehand, and now it is trying to realize it in Macedonia."37
"'As much as their text is brutal, more brutal and worrying is the fashion in which they are trying to break up Macedonian state institutions,' Mr. Georgievski said … The Prime Minister further stated that the proposed peace package constituted 'a serious interference in the internal affairs of the Republic of Macedonia'… Asked about the extent of pressure Macedonia could sustain, Georgievski said all threats and blackmails had been presented so far, 'except that NATO will conduct an air-strike on us.' "38
THE ANGLO-AMERICAN AXIS
In the negotiation of the "peace plan," the Anglo-US position has prevailed over that of France and Germany. In this regard, Prime Minister Georgievski "underlined that the French expert in law [former Minister of Justice] Robert Badinter was brutally eliminated from the political process," meaning that his recommendations on constitutional reform were turned down by James Pardew in consultation with NLA leader Ali Ahmeti.39
Although NATO is not formally part of the EU-US "mediation," EU High Representative Javier Solana (who occupied the position of Secretary General of NATO during the 1999 bombings of Yugoslavia) has been working hand in glove with his successor at NATO Lord George Robertson. In turn, British Ambassador Mark Dickinson was appointed in May by Solana to act on his behalf in Skopje. British paratroopers and Special Forces -which trained the KLA in 1999 are slated to lead the bogus "Essential Harvest" operation to "disarm the rebels."
Increasingly, the corridors of international diplomacy has been taken over by military-intelligence officials with previous experience in Bosnia and Kosovo. James Pardew started his Balkans career in 1993 as a senior intelligence officer for the Joint Chiefs of Staff responsible for channeling US aid to the Bosnian Muslim Army. Coronel Pardew had been put in charge of arranging the "air-drops" of supplies to Bosnian forces, working closely with the Chairman of the National Security Council Anthony Lake.40 NATO's Peter Feith who has been "put in charge of contacts with the [KLA-NLA] guerillas" is a longstanding "colleague" of James Pardew. He was political advisor to the IFOR High Command in Bosnia in the mid-1990s.41
REPLICATING BOSNIA AND KOSOVO
America's "mediator" James Pardew has been given the mandate to replicate the Bosnia-Kosovo pattern. In this regard, Washington's military-intelligence ploy is to fracture Macedonian territory, foster internal social divisions and fuel ethnic strife. The design is to destroy all social and political ties between Albanians and Macedonians, who have coexisted for more than a half a century within a multiethnic society. These socio-ethnic divisions are deliberately created so as to curb all forms of social resistance. More importantly, they want to prevent the development of a broader "common front" against the enemy.
The US sponsored terrorist assaults as well as the bogus "peace plan" are intent upon eventually splitting up the country and transforming Macedonia into a NATO protectorate. Operation "Essential Harvest" to be led by British parachutists would constitute a first step towards a military occupation of Macedonian territory. NATO forces are not only protecting the rebels in the territories under their control, MPRI advisers on contract to the Pentagon are assisting in the implementation of "ethnic cleansing" in these territories. In the latter, Macedonian State institutions are no longer functioning.
In other words, the territories under KLA-NLA control which border Kosovo are de facto under the jurisdiction of NATO. Moreover, there are indications that the KLA with NATO support may attempt to trigger a unilateral secession of Kosovo from Yugoslavia. This would not only heighten the political crisis in Belgrade, it would also raise the issue of the political status of the territories occupied by the KLA-NLA from which the Macedonian population has been expulsed (much in the same way as the Serbs were expulsed from Kosovo). In this design, NATO's intent is clear, it consists in fracturing and destroying Macedonia as a country.
Articles by the author on Macedonia:
Michel Chossudovsky is Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa, and author of The Globalization of Poverty, second enlarged edition, Common Courage Press, 2001.
Copyright by Michel Chossudovsky, Ottawa, June 2001. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to post this text on non-commercial community internet sites, provided the essay remains intact and the copyright note is displayed and no lengthy headers or footers are added without consulting the author. To publish this text on commercial internet sites, in printed and/or other forms (including excerpts) contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: 1-514-4256224.
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