Retired Canadian general and veteran UN peacekeeper Lewis McKenzie isn’t the first to say that, and may not be the last.
In an op-ed in Canada’s National Post today, McKenzie deals with the very same issues as last week’s Balkan Express: a seemingly (and likely) coordinated effort to ignore or spin away the truth behind the pogrom in Kosovo, going as far as omitting the discovery that gunmen who murdered two UN police were Albanians posing as Serbs.
McKenzie commanded the first UN contingent in Bosnia in 1992, and by managing to open up the flow of humanitarian aid to Sarajevo buggered up the Bosnian Muslim leadership’s plan to provoke a NATO intervention on its behalf. That earned him the burning hatred of Izetbegovic’s toadies and their foreign enablers, who smeared McKenzie endlessly as a “Serb-lover” and even accused him of war crimes! So he knows what he’s talking about, first-hand.
Because the National Post offers the full text of the article to subscribers only, here are some excerpts from McKenzie’s piece:
Those of us who warned that the West was being sucked in on the side of an extremist, militant, Kosovo-Albanian independence movement were dismissed as appeasers. The fact that the lead organization spearheading the fight for independence, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), was universally designated a terrorist organization and known to be receiving support from Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda was conveniently ignored. […]
The objective of the Albanians is to purge all non-Albanians, including the international community’s representatives, from Kosovo and ultimately link up with mother Albania thereby achieving the goal of “Greater Albania.” […]
The Kosovo-Albanians have played us like a Stradivarius. We have subsidized and indirectly supported their violent campaign for an ethnically pure and independent Kosovo. We have never blamed them for being the perpetrators of the violence in the early ’90s and we continue to portray them as the designated victim today in spite of evidence to the contrary. When they achieve independence with the help of our tax dollars combined with those of bin Laden and al-Qaeda, just consider the message of encouragement this sends to other terrorist-supported independence movements around the world.”
(Thanks to the wonders of the Web, the article has been reposted in its entirety on Wednesday.)
Now that I think of it, the current situation in Iraq and Kosovo fits in perfectly with things McKenzie wrote about in his 1993 memoir, Peacekeeper:The Road to Sarajevo, especially the afterword, about the pitfalls of peacekeeping. The book is a a fascinating read for anyone interested in the history of UN peacekeeping, and the early stages of the Bosnian War. I wholeheartedly recommend it.