IN THE MADNESS
did the Albanian militants attack now, when they could have
done so in 1999, with NATO backing them up? The logic behind
the surprise raid/invasion of this border strip is seemingly
incomprehensible. But there may be method in the madness after
NATO feeling less hostile towards the Serbs, Milosevic out
of power and everyone seemingly so infatuated with Kostunica,
the KLA leaders must be feeling frustrated. Additionally,
victory in the local elections
robbed them of their power base and reduced their political
influence. In the face of these setbacks, they decided to
do what they do best – fight. So this attack could just be
a show of force aimed at restoring the KLA's flagging support
among the Albanians.
analysts have pointed out, this could be an attempt to
involve NATO in another war against Serbia. This scheme is
incredibly harebrained, since NATO doesn’t have enough will
or weapons for such an adventure right now and the PR situation
is not favorable at all. More likely, the KLA is trying to
show NATO that it is serious about wanting independence for
Kosovo, and would not hesitate to embarrass or even openly
oppose the Alliance in order to achieve that goal.
conspiracy theorists, this is obviously a part of a greater
American plot to separate Kosovo from Serbia by showing that
the Albanians refuse to be pacified.
way, there are hundreds of bandits on the border of free Serbia
and occupied Kosovo, and they don’t seem willing to leave
unless someone makes them. For the time being, Kostunica is
restraining his troops and
putting an egg on NATO’s face for allowing this situation
to happen in the first place. NATO’s critics can now rightfully
say what they’ve been saying all along: that the Alliance
never had any intentions of honoring its agreements, opposing
the Albanians in any way, or protecting Serbia’s sovereignty.
After all, they did just fight a very dirty and brutal war
against the Serbs only a year and some months ago.
A FEW CHOICES
isn’t much any of the actors involved can do right now. NATO
will have to do something in order to at least repair its
image. It is unlikely that the occupation garrison in Kosovo
will actually disarm or in any way confront the UCPMB militants.
Instead of doing so – as the Kumanovo treaty dictates it should
– KFOR has instead "brokered
a cease-fire" and threatened to move into the DMZ.
This way, all KFOR has to do is arrange a cease-fire every
time the militants take another town, and soon enough "Kosova
Lindore" will join the rest of Kosovo under NATO occupation.
course, Yugoslav troops could take action and wipe out the
UCPBM off the face of the earth. They would have every right
to do so, since they cannot be held to the letter of the Kumanovo
treaty if NATO has failed to honor its end of the bargain.
Using force would be bad from a PR standpoint, though, and
Kostunica will probably give
every other solution a try before
actually ordering in the tanks.
of how this situation is ultimately resolved, the most profound
effect of the Albanian bandits’ incursion could be a better
understanding of last year’s war over Kosovo. Several reports
have mentioned the similarity between this weekend’s attack
on Serbian police and the 1998’s assault by the KLA on Serbian
police and military personnel in Kosovo. Of course, those
reports continue to say that Yugoslav response to these attacks
was the "ethnic cleansing" that ensued. But what
caused the attacks?
do the first major offensive by the KLA and the first major
attack by the PMBLA have in common? Slobodan Milosevic and
his "oppression" of Albanians can no longer be invoked
as an excuse. Neither can violations of human rights by the
new government, which has released many former KLA members
and has appointed numerous human rights activists to powerful
positions. Nothing else seems plausible.
not quite. As Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock
Holmes used to say, once you eliminate the impossible,
anything else – however improbable – must be the truth. It
could be that the solution has been staring everyone in the
face all along, but that everyone has been too busy accusing
the Serbs of racism, fascism, genocide and dictatorship to
the causes behind Presevo Albanians’ and Kosovo Albanians’
attacks on Serbia be one and the same: hatred of Serbs and
the desire to have a separate, ethnically cleansed statelet
in the Balkans? Is this desire for independence not what their
have reiterated over the past year and a half? Have not
the Kosovo Albanians expelled just about every other ethnicity
from the territories in Kosovo they control? Have they not
repeatedly killed and assaulted non-Albanians over the past
year and a half?
it be that there really is a plan to create a Greater Albania,
which had nothing to do with Slobodan Milosevic or the human
rights policy of Belgrade, and everything to do with the hatred
and racism of those militant Albanians unwilling to live together
with anyone else?
when you eliminate the impossible, that is what remains.
Note to Balkan Express readers: Though in last
week’s installment I objected to the butchering of Serbian
and other Balkans names through improper spelling, in order
to avoid confusion I have decided to retain the old forms
for the time being.
contribution of $50 or more will get you a copy of Ronald
Radosh's out-of-print classic study of the Old Right conservatives,
Prophets on the Right: Profiles of Conservative Critics
of American Globalism. Send contributions to
520 S. Murphy Avenue, #202
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
Contribute Via our Secure Server
Credit Card Donation Form
Have an e-gold account?
Contribute to Antiwar.com via e-gold.
Our account number is 130325
Contributions are now Tax-Deductible