Stranger than Fiction: NATO and the US Sponsor Terror in Kosovo and Macedonia
In the wake of 9-11, the US and other NATO countries have broadcast the claim that fighting terrorism is their top priority. But is it true? Do NATO and the US oppose international terrorism in practice
? Or do they sponsor it?
To help answer that, let's focus on how NATO/US forces have related to terrorism against Serbia, especially the province of Kosovo, and against Macedonia because a) these countries have been plagued by some of the worst terrorists and b) NATO and the US now dominate the whole region.
Have NATO and US forces opposed terrorism, supporting a peaceful life for all? Or have they sponsored terror as a central weapon of policy?
As a point of departure, consider the news dispatch below.
It was issued by the NATO command in Kosovo last year, on 24 May 2001. (NATO's occupation force in Kosovo is called KFOR. The command is called COMKFOR)
Here's the KFOR dispatch:
"KFOR News Update
Pristina, 24 May 2001
By Maj. Axel-Bernd Jandesek, KFOR Spokesman
"More Than 450 UCPMB Members Surrendered
"By the end of COMKFOR's soft policy towards UCPMB extremists, more than 450 former extremists had taken advantage of this policy. These people voluntarily laid down their arms and turned themselves in at several KFOR checkpoints. KFOR screened and released all UCPMB members who are not suspected of having committed serious crimes."--KFOROnline 24 May 2001 (1)
(UCPMB are the initials used by ethnic Albanian terrorists attacking inner Serbia, which is north of the province of Kosovo.)
1) Note that the headline of this KFOR report speaks of '450 UCPMB members surrender[ing]' but the text suggests that all except the exceptional few "serious" criminals were subsequently released.
2) KFOR refers to the UCPMB members as 'extremists.' This suggests people with far-out politics. But these are not just people with very radical views; these are terrorists. They are organized in military units. The units conduct heavily armed raids against inner Serbia. They plant land mines. They terrorize uncooperative ethnic Albanians. They kidnap, torture and kill non-Albanian villagers and all policemen. They ambush Yugoslav soldiers. All of this is illegal; all of it contradicts NATO's UN-defined mandate in Kosovo; much of it is murder. And yet KFOR reports that it has:
"...screened and released all UCPMB members who are not suspected of having committed serious crimes
." [My emphasis]
On what basis could KFOR have concluded that the crimes of some - apparently most - of these terrorists are not serious?
3) Once the terrorists were released, what possible reason would they have not to return
to their previous occupation - laying land mines, terrorizing, kidnapping and killing people in inner Serbia? After all, by arresting and subsequently releasing
the terrorists, hadn't KFOR made it clear to them and to potential recruits that such activities were acceptable?
Shocking as KFOR's behavior already seems, it is actually worse. For by implementing this "soft policy" on anti-Serbian terror, KFOR explicitly contradicted the principles and responsibilities laid down in UN Security Council Resolution 1244, under which KFOR and UNMIK occupy Kosovo.
Resolution 1244 states as one of its governing principles:
"Reaffirming the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the other States of the region, as set out in the Helsinki Final Act and annex 2..."
Note: Helsinki Final Act can be read at http://www.hri.org/docs/Helsinki75.html
Inner Serbia is part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia whose "sovereignty and territorial integrity" KFOR is bound to defend. Does KFOR honor that commitment by freeing 450 terrorists who have previously attacked Inner Serbia and who will now return to that occupation reassured that the are not "serious" criminals? By releasing these terrorists, doesn't KFOR affirm that murderously attacking "the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" is not a "serious crime"?
Here are some of KFOR and UNMIK's official responsibilities, as stated in Resolution 1244:
[Start KFOR Responsibilities]
Deterring renewed hostilities, maintaining and where necessary enforcing a cease-fire...;
Demilitarizing the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and other armed Kosovo Albanian groups as required in paragraph 15 below;
Establishing a secure environment in which refugees and displaced persons can return home in safety, the international civil presence can operate, a transitional administration can be established, and humanitarian aid can be delivered;"
-- KFOR Online on UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (2)
[End KFOR Responsibilities]
The 450 terrorists were in fact members of the KLA, which takes different names depending on which sovereign state it is terrorizing. It calls itself NLA when attacking Macedonia and UCPMB when the target is Serbia. Does releasing such terrorists - who are still armed and attacking Serbia two years after the passage of Resolution 1244 - jibe with:
Demilitarizing the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and other armed Kosovo Albanian groups...
[And] establishing a secure environment...
According to President William Clinton, the KLA was essentially disarmed and a secure environment was established by June 2000. In a letter to Congress, Clinton stated:
[Start Clinton's Rosy Picture]
"The KLA agreed on June 21, 1999, to a cease fire, to withdraw from the zones of conflict in Kosovo, and to demilitarize itself. On September 20, 1999, KFOR Commander Lieutenant General Sir Mike Jackson accepted the KLA's certification that the KLA had completed its demilitarization in accordance with the June 21 agreement. The UNMIK thereafter established a civil emergency services entity known as the Kosovo Protection Corps that is intended to provide civic assistance in emergencies and other forms of humanitarian assistance.
...The KFOR personnel provide a security presence in towns, villages, and the country-side."
--President Clinton's Letter to Congress on U.S. Forces in Kosovo. 16 June 2000 (3)
[End Clinton's Rosy Picture]
Let us consider Mr. Clinton's claims one by one.
*Clinton's Lie # 1: "On September 20, 1999 the KLA Had Completed its Demilitarization"*
Regarding this claim, the Russian Press Digest commented:
"The head of the U.N. mission in Kosovo, Bernard Kouchner, has announced that KLA representatives had turned in 10,000 units of various types of weapons which allows the mission to speak about the completion of the disarmament process. 'We are satisfied that the OAK [KLA] handed in 10,000 firearms, even if we know that they still have another 100,000 guns,' joked one of the members of the U.N. mission in Kosovo."
--Russian Press Digest 21 September 1999 (4)
Reports in other newspapers confirm that the supposed demilitarization of the KLA was a bad joke.
It is therefore no surprise that, following this phony 'demilitarization,' the KLA continued to engage in their established occupations: gangsterism and terrorism. This is documented in the chilling article, 'Concentration Camps and Gangster/Terrorism in Kosovo.' (4a)
*Clinton's Lie # 2: "UNMIK Established the Kosovo Protection Corps [which is]...civic and humanitarian"*
Number 2, above, actually includes two lies. There is the obvious lie - that the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) is "civic and humanitarian." And there is a hidden lie: by using the term, "established," Clinton suggests that some serious process of organization and training went into setting up the KPC as a "civic and humanitarian" organization.
An article in the Italian newspaper, La Stampa, vividly describes how this UN group, the KPC, was "established":
"Shortly after midnight a local commander of the KLA delivered to the Italian KFOR troops the first shipment of weapons. The delivery was preceded by a short ceremony ...in the course of which a group of KLA guerrillas symbolically turned over six machine-guns to a squad of Italian troops, receiving in exchange new uniforms of the 'Kosovo Protection Corps,' the civil protection group into which the KLA have to be transformed. The base commander, Gezim Ostremi was asked if his forces were still part of the Kosovo Liberation Army, to which he replied, after looking at the clock, 'It's after midnight, so we are Kosovo Protection Corps.'"
--La Stampa, 20 September 1999 (5)
As La Stampa suggests, and as I discuss later, the KPC membership was not drawn from the general population of Kosovo. Rather the KPC was created out of the whole cloth, from units of the KLA.
Keep in mind that by late September of 1999, the KLA had driven most of the non-Albanian population, and tens of thousands of pro-Yugoslavia Albanians, from Kosovo. Untold numbers of Serbs, Gypsies and others had been killed or kidnapped. Billions of US dollars worth of property had been stolen or destroyed.
But none - literally none - of the KLA leaders or members were arrested by KFOR. They weren't even subjected to serious re-education. Instead, they were given new uniforms, enrolled in an official UN organization and put on salary, courtesy of the UN and KFOR.
And they got a leader. This was Agem Ceku. For Mr. Ceku's curriculum vitae, see 'UN Appoints an Alleged War Criminal in Kosovo.' (6)
In brief, until he was appointed to the top position in the KPC, Agem Ceku led the KLA. Before that he was a Croatian military officer, implicated in war crimes against thousands of Serbian civilians in the Krajina section of Yugoslavia. (7)
Did KFOR and the UNMIK somehow transform the KLA terrorists into good citizens after
their organization was renamed, KPC?
Well, consider the case of Gezim Ostremi, the KLA commander mentioned in the La Stampa article, quoted above.
The La Stampa article was written 20 September 1999. Fast forward two years to the summer of 2001. Some Western newspapers revealed that Ostremi was leading a terrorist campaign against Macedonia! The Irish Times commented:
"Before launching war in Macedonia, Commander Gezim Ostremi was paid by the UN to help set up the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC), [then] being appointed its chief-of-staff." --The Irish Times, 5 July 2001 (8)
According to the Irish Times, Ostremi's role as terrorist chief came as a shock to the leaders of NATO and the UN in Kosovo:
"The co-ordination of the international community in the Balkans has been thrown into confusion [by the revelation]." The Irish Times, 5 July 2001 (8)
It seems that anytime the leaders of our new Empire are implicated in some vicious act that suggests not only hypocrisy but criminal misconduct, they and the media put the 'blame' on confusion, inefficiency, bewilderment, lack of preparedness - that is, human error. 'These vast bumbling bureaucracies don't plot evil deeds, they just totally screw up,' is the idea.
Perhaps someone did a study which revealed that ordinary people will forgive any official misdeed as long as the guilty party quickly and freely 'confesses' to stupidity or incompetence (rather than evil intent...)
We saw this a lot around September 11th. For example, when asked why no planes took off from Andrews Air Force Base, which is next to Washington, DC, to intercept American Airlines Flight 77 during the 55-or-so minutes it was flying towards the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld offered the following 'confession:'
"RUMSFELD: Tony, it happens because the United States has not said to itself that it needs to stay on high alert every minute of the day."
--Fox News Sunday, (09:00) 16 September 2001 (9)
And when U.S. war planes bombed the clearly marked and geographically isolated Red Cross warehouses in Afghanistan for the second time, the media universally called it a mistake. (Actually the second bombing was carried out in two or more waves by several different types of bombers. An impressive mistake!)
Here are several samples of the coverage:
* "In a costly mistake Friday, a Red Cross warehouse was accidentally bombed again." (The Lexington Herald Leader, 30 October 2001)
* "...twice mistakenly hit a Red Cross warehouse" (The Herald (Glasgow), 30 October 2001)
* "...a second mistaken strike on a Red Cross warehouse" (USA TODAY, 30 October 2001).
Emperor's Clothes interviewed Red Cross officials in Switzerland about the bombings. Based on what these officials told us, it is impossible to believe the U.S. military bombed the warehouses accidentally. (10)
Returning to Mr. Ostremi, the Kosovo Protection Corp (KPC) Chief-of-staff, how could his terrorist activities come as a surprise to KFOR and the UNMIK?
According to the Irish Times,
"The lack of close supervision [of the KPC] meant it was weeks before the UN realised Commander Ostremi had left to command the rebels in Macedonia - with some assuming he had gone on holiday."--The Irish Times, 5 July 2001 (8)
Ahh, lack of close supervision, the cousin of confusion and the curse of the 'bumbling bureaucrat.'
Note that not one bureaucrat has been arrested for the criminal neglect involved in allowing the Chief-of-Staff of the KPC, an official UN organization, to run a terrorist invasion of a sovereign state. All is forgiven because 'we all make mistakes.'
But wait. It wasn't just Ostremi that the UN and KFOR overlooked due to lack of close supervision.
"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 [as terrorist fighters] in Macedonia."
--London Times, 10 June 2001 (11)
Sounds like the whole skeleton of the KLA organization was activated, in the form of KPC reservists, to go off and fight in Macedonia.
You might wonder how KPC 'reservists' would be able to commit terrorist acts on unfamilair Macedonian territory.Wouldn't they get lost?
"Embarrassingly for the alliance, they [the KPC reservists attacking Macedonia!] are making use of maps issued by Nato for the Kosovo Protection Corps."
--London Times, 10 June 2001 (11)
We comment on these maps in 'Sorry Virginia But They Are Nato Troops, Not 'Rebels:'
[START QUOTE from 'Sorry Virginia']
"Isn't it charming how the Times employs the term, 'embarrassingly,' as if NATO had committed some breech of etiquette? Let's see. Would that be 'embarrassingly' as in you order the wrong wine to go with your date's grilled shark? Or would that be 'embarrassingly' as in you get nabbed driving the getaway car at the St. Valentine's Day Massacre?
"Since NATO issued them and the KLA is using them for an invasion, it is reasonable to assume these are detailed maps, including roads, the location of various facilities and topographical features such as hills, etc.
"Macedonia is a sovereign state. It is not under NATO or UN control. The Kosovo Protection Corps has no valid reason to set foot on Macedonian territory.
"The KPC is officially not a military entity.
"Putting all this together, for what purpose did NATO provide the KPC with military maps of Macedonia? If not for the obvious purpose: to attack it!"
[END QUOTE from 'Sorry Virginia']
This can be read at
For evidence that the KPC terrorists use NATO-supplied weapons to attack Macedonia, and that they are led by U.S. 'advisers,' see 'Emperor's Clothes Articles on Macedonia,' at http://emperors-clothes.com/mac/list-m.htm
CLINTON'S LIE # 3: '...KFOR personnel provide a security presence in towns, villages, and the country-side.'
This sounds comforting. But Emperor's Clothes has published interviews with eyewitnesses who report the exact opposite: that KFOR and the UNMIK are responsible for a massive reign of terror since they took over Kosovo. For example:
* KFOR opened the border with Albania, allowing KLA-connected gangsters to pass freely between Kosovo and their bases in Northern Albania. (12)
* KFOR watched while people with the wrong loyalties were terrorized and driven from their homes. (13)
* Serbs who remained in Kosovo were forced into concentration-camp-style ghettos, run by KFOR and terrorized by the KLA. (14)
* Those Serbs who remain in Kosovo live in constant fear. Speaking the wrong language can get one killed by making one appear to be a Serb. (14a) Even standing by one's window can be deadly if you are a Serb in one of the new Kosovo ghettos. (14)
UNMIK and KFOR are entirely aware of the monumental terrorism of the UN-created Kosovo Protection Corps. The UN even prepared a special report for Secretary General Kofi Annan documenting the KPC's violent racism and gangsterism. (15) But of course UNMIK and KFOR don't need a special report. These high-power management and military organizations with their redundant intelligence organizations are perfectly capable of seeing what is going on before their eyes.
Consider the following case in point.
On 16 February 2001:
"...[an] explosion destroyed a bus carrying more than 50 Serbs who were returning to Kosovo after visiting their ancestors' graves in Serbia. [The attackers] killed 11 Serb civilians, including a two-year-old child."
--The Daily Telegraph (London), 28 March 2001 (16)
Four suspects were arrested but "the identity of the men arrested is bound to prove highly embarrassing for Western governments." (The Daily Telegraph (London), 28 March 2001) (16)
Isn't 'embarrassing' an odd word to use regarding such a crime?
"They are all members of the Kosovo Protection Corps, the Western-backed civil defence organisation which sprang from the Kosovo Liberation Army when it was demilitarised in 1999. Some members of the KLA had been trained by the SAS."
"Links between the KPC and organised crime and political violence are an open secret in Kosovo. The KPC's alleged involvement in the killing of the 11 Serbs - an incident which was condemned around the world - comes at a highly sensitive time for Nato and the UN in Kosovo."
--The Daily Telegraph (London), 28 March 2001 (16)
Note that when President Clinton was claiming the Kosovo Protection Corps as a victory for UNMIK, he wrote:
"UNMIK thereafter established a civil emergency services entity known as the Kosovo Protection Corps."
But in its laudably critical comments the Daily Telegraph states that the KPC:
"sprang from the Kosovo Liberation Army when it was demilitarised in 1999."
So, even in criticism, the Western media pulls its punches. The demilitarization is accepted as fact in an article which provides evidence that it is a lie! And the KPC is presented as having popped out of the ground like a weed when it was planted and watered by the UNMIK and KFOR.
The arrest of the KPC terrorists who blew up this bus is of course 'embarassing' because:
a) "The UNMIK established the Kosovo Protection Corps"
(see Clinton's Letter to Congress of 16 June 2000 (3)) and
b) the "links between the KPC and organised crime and political violence are an open secret in Kosovo" (Telegraph, 28 March 2001 (16)) and therefore
c) KFOR and UNMIK are responsible for the KPC's murderous attacks.
KFOR and UNMIK apparently recovered from initial embarrassment. They released three of the suspects. The fourth, a certain Florim Ejupi, miraculously escaped from detention in Bondsteel, the impenetrable U.S. military base in Kosovo.
Undoubtedly the detention center guards were 'unprepared' for the escape attempt of this latter-day Houdini, which therefore threw the poor things 'into confusion,' a fact they subsequently found 'highly embarrassing.'
And of course nobody was arrested for letting Florim Ejupi get away because 'everyone makes mistakes.' And isn't the humiliation of it all punishment enough? (On Florim Ejupi , see Los Angeles Times, 15 May 2001) (17)
Contrary to the 'confusion/lack-of-preparedness/we-can't-be- everywhere /we're-just-bumbling-bureaucrats' line which KFOR, UNMIK and the apologist media routinely offer to explain the unending reign of terror in Kosovo, the U.S. Army's own rules hold KFOR commanders criminally responsible for systematic terrorism carried out on their watch:
"The commander is also responsible if he has actual knowledge, or should have knowledge, through reports received by him or through other means, that troops or other persons subject to his control are about to commit or have committed a war crime and he fails to take the necessary and reasonable steps to insure compliance with the law of war or to punish violators thereof.... "
--US Army Field Manual Law of Land Warfare (18)
Holding onto that thought, let us return to the KFOR news release posted at the start. It states that based on KFOR's 'soft policy' toward the UCPMB, 450 terrorists turned themselves in and were subsequently released unless there was evidence they had committed a 'serious crime.'
A few thoughts:
1) Newspaper accounts routinely describe the UCPMB 'extremists' attacking inner Serbia as local Albanians, driven to rebellion by intolerable oppression. But these 450 - 450! - 'extremists' were arrested in Kosovo, not inner Serbia. Obviously they are not people driven by abuse to take up arms; they are part of the Kosovo Liberation Army, now reorganized into the Kosovo Protection Corps, just like the terrorists attacking Macedonia.
2) Under UN Resolution 1244, KFOR must not limit itself to a 'soft policy' which lets terrorist murderers voluntarily turn themselves in and then be released while at the same time KFOR issues Public Relations-style statements, declaring that these people are not serious criminals!
KFOR is obliged to hunt down and jail these terrorists. All of them.
So why does KFOR go through the charade of voluntary detention of terrorists followed by their release? Because this charade is needed to solve a certain sticky problem.
On the one hand, KFOR wants the citizens of NATO countries to think it acts tough against terror. But on the other hand, the KPC terrorists are its creation; they constitute a proxy army used to destabilize the Balkans, which is NATO's strategic goal.
Moreover, these particular terrorists need clear evidence that NATO supports them. This is discussed in our third interview (shortened version) with Cedomir Prlincevic, the Kosovo archivist.
(See 'What's Behind KLA Strategy in the Balkans?') (19)
Mr. Prlincevic explains that in Kosovo Albanian social structure, much power is concentrated in the hands of clan leaders. At the same time, Kosovo Albanian culture is very serious about blood feuds and vendettas, which can last for generations and lead to the deaths of many clan members. Indeed, the 'Canon of Leke,' a 15th century text that describes the proper etiquette to be followed in blood feuds, is highly influential.
This combination - powerful clan leaders who have good reason to fear doing something that might start a blood feud - makes Kosovo Albanian society unusually susceptible to threats from gangster elements. The KLA's strategy for "winning over" these clan leaders (and with them, the clans) has combined a) conducting terrorist attacks on clan members opposed to the KLA and b) providing public demonstrations that the KLA is fully supported by NATO. This tells the clan leaders: these KLA people are ruthless maniacs so if we resist them we'll be saddled with blood feuds for 200 years. And if we fight them, we fight NATO!
NATO wishes to provide evidence that it supports the KLA. Yet it cannot do this openly without alienating Western public opinion. The KLA is, after all, right now attacking Macedonia and inner Serbia. The Macedonian government has, after all, been NATO's faithful servant, doing everything NATO asked. And the current government of Serbia is, after all, entirely pro-NATO. So NATO can't just come out and say it supports the secessionist attacks on Macedonia and inner Serbia.
Solution To A Contradiction
By accepting the voluntary surrender of terrorists (euphemistically called 'extremists') and then releasing all those 'not suspected of having committed serious crimes,' NATO resolves the paradox of its duplicity.
The detentions say, 'Officially, we oppose Albanian terrorism!' But the releases say, "Really, we support it."
And that, dear friends, is the truth.
As George Thompson has documented in his article, 'Roots of Kosovo Fascism,' the KLA and the KPC are the political descendents of the Albanian terrorist/fascists who ruled Kosovo as puppets of Nazi Germany in World War II. (20)
By supporting the KLA terrorist/fascists in Kosovo, KFOR and UNMIK leaders have not only violated international law, including the Helsinki Final Act; they have not only made a mockery of UN Security Council Resolution 1244.
They have also put the political descendents of the World War II Nazis back in power in Kosovo. It is a fact that the ethnic Albanian Nazis in Kosovo were the last Nazis to surrender - they kept fighting until 1950. U.S. and Euro policies have, shockingly, brought these, the worst elements among Kosovo Albanians, to power once again. Read carefully the following L.A. Times report regarding the joy of some ethnic Albanians when German troops returned to the Kosovo city of Prizren in June 1999:
[START L.A. Times excerpt]
"...Many Kosovo Albanians sided with the Nazis during World War II, and today, some of them do not distinguish between the past and present German armies--both of which, to their way of thinking, accomplished the same feat: freeing them from Serbian rule. "This is a second liberation," said Ali Majo, 68, a native of this city in southwestern Kosovo. "I can't describe how it felt when we saw German soldiers come to liberate us again."
"So much for moral victories in the Balkans.
"Majo was 10 years old when the German Wehrmacht rolled into Prizren in April 1941. The Nazis arrived in the hills around town on motorcycles, looked through their binoculars and opened fire on a partisan artillery position, he recalled.
'"After that, they came in and circled the town,' Majo said. 'We all shouted, Heil Hitler. We were proud of the German soldiers because they liberated us from the Serbs.'
"Naim Poloshka, 72, remembers how one of the Wehrmacht soldiers gave him a chocolate and a ride on his motorcycle. They drove him around town so he could point out houses where partisans lived.
"Like much of Prizren, Poloshka was stunned when he woke one morning to find that the Germans had hanged nine suspected partisans--five Serbs and four ethnic Albanians--in the center of town overnight.
"But it did not dampen his enthusiasm for the Nazis." [END L.A. Times excerpt] (21)
We call on KFOR soldiers and UN employees in Kosovo, of all nationalities: implement UN Resolution 1244. Arrest the terrorist leaders of the KPC, responsible for forcing hundreds of thousands of non-Albanians and anti-Fascist Albanians out of Kosovo, for kidnapping and murdering untold numbers of people in Kosovo, inner Serbia and Macedonia.
By doing this, you will obey both international law and your mandate under UN Resolution 1244 and you will uphold your honor as soldiers rather than thugs.
If anyone dares try to stop you from doing this, they are criminals - regardless of rank - and should be arrested as well.
- Jared Israel