Despite fierce opposition from Belgrade and Moscow,
the UN-designated "mediator" for Kosovo, former Finnish president
board member Martti Ahtisaari submitted
his proposal this week to the UN Security Council. Ahtisaari told Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon that "supervised independence" was the "only viable
option" for the Serbian province, occupied since June 1999 by NATO and
administered by a UN mission and a "provisional" ethnic Albanian government.
Washington has declared its ironclad support to Ahtisaari's proposal, rejecting
out of hand any further negotiations. According to NATO Secretary-General
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, the Alliance also fully
After a 78-day illegal
war, followed by almost eight years of violent occupation, the Empire is
finally making a move to separate Kosovo from Serbia. The decision is in line
with its systematic violations of international law, NATO and UN charter, the
U.S. Constitution, and even the very UN
resolution that created a precarious legal cover for the occupation.
What is even worse, the reasoning invoked to justify this criminal act is cynical
and duplicitous, bearing no relationship to truth or logic.
Jurist, a well-known publication of the
University of Pittsburgh School of Law, carried a guest column this week, in
which Prof. Anthony D'Amato of Northwestern University claimed an independent
Kosovo would be a "humanitarian
disaster" for the remaining Serbs. D'Amato described Kosovo as having
a "Serb-hating majority," and wrote that "a Kosovar-dominated
government will lose no time in confiscating the property and rights of the
Serbian minority. Some 200,000 Serbs in Kosovo could lose everything they own
and maybe their lives."
Of particular interest is this observation, concerning the legality of Ahtisaari's
"If we remove the diplomatic euphemisms from Mr. Ahtisaari's report,
we find that he is essentially arguing that UNMIK has conquered Kosovo! Territory-grabbing
by conquest has been illegal since the Kellogg-Briand
Pact of 1928, yet somehow the United Nations has done it, according
to Mr. Ahtisaari. However, there is nothing in the UN Charter that gives the
UN the power to oust an existing government by force, replace it with a United
Nations mission created especially for the occasion, and then dissolve the mission
and hand sovereignty over the territory to someone else. Acquisition of territory
by conquest is simply illegal, whether a state does it or an international organization
Sounds clear enough.
However, D'Amato continues the article by claiming that partition would be
a preferred solution, and explains why; to establish at least some legitimacy
for the Albanian (or "Kosovar," as he erroneously puts it) cause,
he turns to a "human rights argument." Since, he claims, the Albanians
were victims of an "unremitting campaign of suppression" by Milosevic,
and "crimes against humanity" by the Yugoslav army and police, "the
brutality of the Milosevic incursions into Kosovo may be argued as disqualifying
Serbia from ever again governing the Kosovars."
Argumentum Ad Atrocitas
This "victim argument" has long been
used as justification for NATO's bombing, the subsequent expulsion and persecution
of Serbs ("revenge attacks") and others by Albanians, and indeed for
claiming the "right" to independence. Supporters of independence have
that Serbia has somehow "forfeited" its sovereignty through actions
in Kosovo in 1999 and before.
As NATO bombs began raining on Serbia and Montenegro in March of 1999, media
in NATO countries began manufacturing atrocity stories from the mold perfected
just a few years earlier in Bosnia. Refugees, ethnic cleansing, genocide, massacres,
rape camps – everything was there. In addition to propaganda injected
into the mainstream media by U.S. and other NATO governments, there was also
KLA propaganda directly
fed to gullible reporters.
Even today, veteran propagandists
dutifully repeat the claim that Serb "ethnic cleansing" of Albanians
led to the NATO attack. Nothing can be further from the truth. NATO launched
the attack in March 1999 after failing to coerce Serbia into accepting an occupation
force, during the false negotiations in France. The official justification for
the bombing was to force Belgrade to sign the "agreement"
presented by the U.S. envoys in Rambouillet. Alleged atrocities are all said
to have happened subsequent to the start of the bombing. Indeed, the
against Slobodan Milosevic included only one alleged crime dated prior
to March 23, and that was the faux
massacre at Racak.
By late 1999, it was obvious that the death toll in Kosovo was much
less than the alleged 100,000 – or even the more commonly used 10,000, often
falsely qualified as Albanian civilians (That number was actually a wild claim
by UK Foreign Minister Geoff
Hoon, who sought to justify the bombing.) The total number of bodies exhumed
by ICTY's investigators was 2,108, of all ethnicities and with varying causes
of death. It is unclear whether that death
toll included the numerous Albanians killed by the KLA, the KLA's own substantial
casualties, or those of the Yugoslav Army. In any case, horror stories presented
as facts in a State Department "report"
were later proven false. For example, the "Trepca mines" story was
debunked by Wall Street Journal's Daniel
Pearl. True, several other mass graves were discovered in the province since
1999. However, the victims buried there were
Serbs, so the discoveries quickly faded from memory.
Although many Kosovo Albanians suffered terribly during the KLA insurrection
and the NATO bombing, their claim that "Serb atrocities" have earned
them the right to independence holds very little water.
Goose and Gander
However, neither the Albanians nor their Western
sponsors actually believe the "atrocity argument" on principle. For
if they did, and it was universally applicable, they would have forfeited
all right to Kosovo themselves!
We could start from the beginning: NATO's war itself was illegal
and illegitimate. In the course of the war, NATO pilots targeted
civilians and civilian infrastructure. The Alliance naturally claims those
were "unfortunate mistakes" and that bombs were dropped "in
good faith," yet Gen. Michael Short publicly
stated that the campaign was designed to force Belgrade to surrender by
– these were just some of the NATO
atrocities during the "humanitarian" war of 1999.
Once the government in Belgrade agreed to withdraw from Kosovo and allow the
UN to occupy the province (in practice, it was NATO occupation), Albanian separatists
began terrorizing Kosovo. Violence against Serbs has been amply documented,
in photographs, in print, and on
film. It is important to note that Serbs were not the sole victims of Albanian
and other communities in Kosovo have also been exposed to violence, intimidation,
extortion and murder.
Here are just some of the more gruesome incidents of anti-Serb violence:
- July 1999: fourteen Serb farmers massacred in the fields near Staro Gracko
- October 1999: Valentin
Krumov, UN official from Bulgaria, slain for "speaking Serbian";
- February 2000: bus carrying Serbs to a cemetery service hit
by a missile;
- February 2001: roadside
bomb blows up another bus;
- June 2003: brutal slaying
of a Serb family in Obilic;
- August 2003: Serb children swimming in the river near Gorazdevac machine-gunned
- March 2004: massive
pogrom throughout the province targets Serbs; 8 dead, 4500 expelled, several
All this was accompanied by systematic
destruction of Serbian Orthodox churches, chapels, monasteries and cemeteries.
Albanian separatists and NATO leaders claim that Serbia's violent suppression
of the terrorist KLA in 1998-99 merited not only an illegal aggression in response,
but also forfeited Serbia's sovereignty over Kosovo. Yet the Albanians have
not "forfeited" their right to Kosovo because of systematic terrorism
under NATO occupation – they are being rewarded for it by independence!
The Croatian Precedent
Further proof that the "atrocity argument"
was made up for the specific purpose of fabricating a reason to separate the
occupied province from Serbia and make it into an Albanian state is the absolute
absence of any such argument in the case of Croatia, which once had a considerable
No "humanitarian" interventionist has ever claimed that atrocities
of the Ustasha regime between 1941-1945, in which hundreds of thousands of Serbs
perished (Croat and Nazi estimates
were over half a million!), somehow disqualified Croatia from sovereignty over
territories with majority Serb population that rebelled in 1991? Nor have any
of them claimed that Croatia "forfeited" its sovereignty after the
cleansing of Serbs in 1995, following a brutal
Croat military incursion that ended the Serb rebellion and "reintegrated"
the disputed territories. So how is Kosovo different?
When Croatia engaged in suppression of a Serb rebellion, it was an ally of
the United States and NATO, enjoying their
full support – military, political, intelligence and diplomatic. When Serbia
tried to suppress the Albanian rebellion three years later, the U.S./NATO support
was there again – on the side of the Albanians! This is why the same logic does
not apply to Krajina and Kosovo, Croatia and Serbia, or even the Serbs and the
Albanians. There is no logic here, no
principle, no coherent concept of right or wrong – beyond the naked
argument of force: whomsoever the Empire supports is a righteous victim, and
its enemy an irredeemable villain.
The Final Leap
of aggression has by now torn the fragile tapestry of international law
to shreds. The UN has already lost so much credibility and respect in the world,
unable to stop the abuses by the Washington-run "international community,"
the Ahtisaari Show is but a final nail in its coffin. Over the past fifteen
years, many lines have been crossed. Appeasement
of NATO and Albanian aggression in Kosovo
might just be that last step over the edge, and into the abyss from which what
remains of Western civilization may never return.