KLA's tactics have not changed. Too cowardly and ineffectual
to take on the Yugoslav army, it stages assassinations and
grenade attacks in the hope of provoking Serb retaliation.
The US Government and its NATO minions denounce Serb "atrocities"
and issue dire threats. And CNN and the New York Times
make themselves available to spread lies like unpaid whores.
During the past few weeks the KLA has been busy. First,
they have been making a final push to secure an ethnically
pure Albanian state in Kosovo. Most of Kosovo's Serb population
has already been driven out. There remains one final Serb
enclave in the northern part of the town of Mitrovica. Day
after day, the KLA has been staging demonstrations demanding
that Albanians be allowed to "return" to their
homes in the Serb sector.
Albanians marched on Mitrovica and tried by force to
get across the bridge over the Ibar River. The Serbs believe
(with good reason) that these so-called "returning"
Albanians are actually be KLA agents trying to provoke violence
and NATO intervention. Serb suspicions are well-founded.
commander Klaus Reinhardt actually praised the demonstrators
who used violence against his own troops: "They
have shown the way they want to live and are demonstrating
for a better future. They want a united city." He obviously
knows that "united" means Serb-free an
outcome that obviously pleases him. The
demented NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley Clark announced
that "Mitrovica is going to be multi-ethnic, and that
means ending the intimidation and other dirty work of the
military units, gangs and thugs who have been sent there
by Belgrade." Clark, as usual, offered no evidence
to support his ravings. To Clark "multiethnic"
problem here comes from Belgrade," spluttered UN Ambassador
Richard Holbrooke, "This is not a simple question of
local Serbs who are all stirred up north of the bridge.
This is being stirred up by the
and the Yugoslav leadership is directly responsible
for this." It is hard to appreciate fully the repulsiveness
of a man like Holbrooke. This is a creature who for years
has been shedding phony tears about the supposed atrocities
perpetrated on Bosnian Moslems and the Kosovo Albanians.
And here he is now refusing to believe that Serbs are genuine
in their desperate desire to hold on to their ancestral
homes. No, it is all being orchestrated by that terrible
man, Slobodan Milosevic. Such lies serve to justify future
violence against the Serbs. Last week's KLA-staged demonstration
was a great success. KFOR announced that it will facilitate
the "return" of the Albanians into northern Mitrovica.
And, if this leads to violence, well, we know who will be
to blame. One need hardly mention, of course, that there
are no NATO plans to facilitate the return of Serbs to Pristina
or Pec or any other part of Kosovo from which they have
been driven out.
KLA is also waging a nasty little war in Serbia. It has
been crossing the border from Kosovo and killing any Serb
it can get its hands on. Belgrade has responded by sending
security forces to defend the isolated villages in the Presevo
Valley from terrorists. The KLA aim is to seize South West
Serbia they refer to it as "Eastern Kosovo"
and attach it to Kosovo. Jonathan
Steele writes in the Guardian that the United
States has "started to build a mini-base right on the
border line between Kosovo and Serbia proper, close to the
village of Dobrosin, from where tanks and troops in an observation
tower look down on the increasingly brazen street forays
by guerrillas in broad daylight." Evidently, the Americans
see nothing wrong with this cross-border infiltration, flagrantly
in violation of all the UN Security Council Resolutions.
The KLA is seeking to provoke Serb retaliation and engineer
a "refugee" flow from Presevo there are
some 70,000 Albanians living there-into Kosovo. According
to the Washington Post "'Presevo is an issue of real
concern', said a Western diplomat in the Kosovo capital
of Pristina. 'There is a potential for big involvement by
Serb security forces,' and considerable anxiety that if
reports of abuses mount, US and allied troops stationed
in Kosovo could be pressured to intervene."
to intervene"! Where would this pressure come from?
The usual crowd-Clinton, Albright, Holbrooke, Talbott and
so on. Once again, we are about to be sold a bill of goods
about the United States accidentally stumbling into a war-with
the "best of intentions," of course. NATO Secretary-General,
Lord George Robertson is already blustering away: There
is "no doubt that
Milosevic will have a hand in
some of the provocations being organized on the Serb side,"
he declared, "There is clearly rising tension in the
southern part of Serbia and large numbers of additional
Yugoslav troops have moved into the area. And I would warn
anybody who seeks to be provocative
on whatever side
of the divide they may be that again we will not tolerate
action being taken." Robertson's show of even-handedness
is, of course, a crock. Remember
Robert Gelbard, US Envoy to the Balkans, who in 1998 denounced
the KLA as a "terrorist" organization? This
is all part of a little charade that these creepy little
politicians play on the public to demonstrate that they
resort to force only after much heavy and pained deliberation.
the bombing starts, the media will be present and politically
correct with all the appropriate denunciations and lamentations.
They have already started whipping up hysteria. Reporters
pour out thousands of anguished words about Albanians who
supposedly have fled from the northern part of Mitrovica.
Expelled or murdered Serbs get a "News in Brief"
mention, if they are lucky. Here is the Times'
Carlotta Gall writing about Mitrovica: "For whatever
reason [sic], Albanians engaged the French in heavy firefights,
and in the resulting melee two French soldiers were wounded
to the general, a crowd of Albanians gathered Sunday morning
near a French guard post after a grenade exploded and wounded
five Albanians. The crowd began throwing stones at French
Then a man appeared from a house, shouted
at the people to get down, and fired directly at the soldiers,
hitting one in the stomach and a second as he moved to react
events are likely to aggravate relations between the French
troops and the ethnic Albanians here. Thousands flocked
today to the burial of the one man killed by French troops
during the fighting Sunday. Avni Haradinaj, 35, a former
guerrilla fighter of the Kosovo Liberation Army and a local
hero, was buried with full honors by his former comrades
in arms. His coffin, draped in the red Albanian flag, was
carried up the hill to the edge of a wood outside the city,
through a crowd of some 3,000 mourners
tried to reassure the Albanians of French neutrality. 'If
we were shot at by Albanians, it is difficult to arrest
Serbs,' he said." Note that Ms. Gall suggests twice
that Albanians have good reason to doubt French neutrality.
Evidently, if a NATO country is not murdering or arresting
Serbs, then it cannot possibly be neutral.
few days earlier Carlotta
Gall was at her most dishonest. She began her piece
with standard indignation: "A week after Serbs rampaged
through the northern part of town, killing eight Albanians
and forcing 120 to flee, the exodus continues, perhaps more
quietly, but at a similar pace of 120 to 150 a day. The
at a rocket attack on a Serbian bus that killed two
and a grenade
attack on a cafe that injured 15, said the rampage was
a moment of anger." She is referring to the rocket
attack on a bus carrying Serb civilians the act that
started the most recent violence. But she is not buying
into the notion of Serb rage. "International observers
and the police said the violence possessed a certain method
and organization," she explains, "Ensuing actions
show a similar pattern. Apartment buildings have been made
targets, and the resident Albanian families have been persuaded,
ordered or frightened to leave." Buried deep
almost at the end in her story is the revelation
just how untypical the events of Mitrovica are. The United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees had just issued a
report on the treatment of minorities in Kosovo. And
surprise, surprise "virtually all the attacks
on minorities are committed by Albanians on Serbs, Roma,
Muslim Slavs, Turks and others, many of whom live in protected
enclaves. Only in Mitrovica are Albanians still persecuted."
So why is she paying such inordinate attention to these
few hundred Albanians? Could it be because that is where
the reporters are being directed by the US Government to
eagerness with which reporters swallow every lie was clearly
in evidence in Jane
Perlez's story in the New York Times last week:
"The United States and allied governments have detected
direct radio links between Mr. Milosevic's special police
in Serbia and Serbian militants in the city of Mitrovica
Yugoslav leader is also encouraging his plainclothes police
to travel to Mitrovica
and has ordered a buildup of
special police units along the border between Kosovo and
the rest of Serbia." No mention of the KLA. No mention
of the Serbs' desperate fight for survival in Kosovo. Just
straightforward US Government propaganda calculated to justify
any future US military action. By the way, what was in those
radio messages? Apparently, they "included statements
like 'they are going here, they are going there,'
referring to movements by Albanian militants rather
than direct orders." "Albanian militants"
in northern Mitrovica! Wasn't it supposed to have been "ethnically
cleansed"? So what could they possibly be doing there?
is the moment of greatest danger. It is up to all of us
to point out the scandalous lying NATO is engaged in. And
to make clear that we do not wish to be citizens of a terrorist