Thursday, August 21, 2008

Don't Forget What Happened in Yugoslavia

"The secrets of the crushing of Yugoslavia are emerging, telling us more about how the modern world is policed. The former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia in The Hague, Carla Del Ponte, this year published her memoir The Hunt: Me and War Criminals. Largely ignored in Britain, the book reveals unpalatable truths about the west's intervention in Kosovo, which has echoes in the Caucasus.

Readers will recall that the justification for the Nato bombing was that the Serbs were committing "genocide" in the secessionist province of Kosovo against ethnic Albanians. David Scheffer, US ambassador-at-large for war crimes, announced that as many as "225,000 ethnic Albanian men aged between 14 and 59" may have been murdered. Tony Blair invoked the Holocaust and "the spirit of the Second World War". The west's heroic allies were the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), whose murderous record was set aside.....

With the Nato bombing over, international teams descended upon Kosovo to exhume the "holocaust". The FBI failed to find a single mass grave and went home. The Spanish forensic team did the same, its leader angrily denouncing "a semantic pirouette by the war propaganda machines". A year later, Del Ponte's tribunal announced the final count of the dead in Kosovo: 2,788. This included combatants on both sides and Serbs and Roma murdered by the KLA. There was no genocide in Kosovo. The "holocaust" was a lie. The Nato attack had been fraudulent."

You can read the whole of John Pilger (pictured above)'s brilliant New Statesman article on the criminal and fraudulent US-sponsored aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia here. Sadly too many progressives swallowed the anti-Yugoslavia lies and propaganda in 1999, which only paved the way for the equally unlawful aggression against Iraq four years later. The Road to Baghdad began in Belgrade, as I've said on several occasions, but it won't end there until progressives wake up to the fact that the grounds for war against Yugoslavia in 1999 were as fraudulent as those used to justify the attack on Iraq in 2003.


Anonymous said...

The Amish have a good test of any new innovation in their lives. They ask the questions: what will this do for our community? how will it assist human flourishing? They are good questions and I am tempted to pose them here over this 'brilliant' article whose partisanship, absence of evidence and lack of context simply obscures truth. Let us not start by trying to understand the complex issue that was and is Kosovo. Let us simply find a cartoon set of baddies on whom we apportion blame and rest content in the certainty of our own self-righteousness. So we have the ethnic cleansing of Serbian populations from Kosovo post-Nato intervention but let us forget the prior cleansing of thousands of Kosovo Albanians into Albania and Macedonia. Let us pretend that the 'evil' KLA were not mirrored in their culpability by Serbian security forces who, in this fantasy world, were as presumably blameless as Dixon of Dock Green. And so on and so forth...

Does this help anybody in Serbia or Kosovo understand what happened and continues to unfold? Or to recognise and apportion genuine responsibility (their own included)?

Nope, do n't think so, just keeps the ball of hatred and violence rolling along...

Neil Clark said...

jolies: this piece certainly would pass the 'Amish test'. It is very important for us to revisit what happened in 1999, so that people will be able to wake up to see the pattern. In 1999 we were told that Milosevic was 'the new Hitler' and that he was carrying out ethnic cleaning/genocide etc and threatened the peace of the region. It was baloney. In 2003 we were told that Saddam was 'the new Hitler', that he had WMD which threatened the peace of the region etc, and again it was baloney. Now we are told that not only is the Russian Prime Minister Vladmimir Putin 'the new Hitler' who threatens the peace of the region, but that the President of Iran is 'the new Hitler' who threatens the peace of the region too.
Don't you see the pattern?
The more people who wake up to the fact that the biggest threats to peace and security were/are not Milosevic, Hussein, Putin and the President of Iran but those accusing them of being the 'new Hitler', then the greater the chance of the neocon war juggernaut being derailed.
'Only connect', as EM Forster said.

Anonymous said...

I never though I would ever disagree with Mr Pilger, but no one can be right all the time.

He wrote an intorduciton to Mark Curtis's book ( Web of deceit). in which Mr Curtis has made it clear the bombing campain has (exaspirated) the killing of Muslims there rather than prevented it.

I agreed with him then, and will quote his own words here if I could find the book.

Anonymous said...

Jolie Are you saying that it is OK to ethnically cleanse Serbs because Milosevic pushed out Albanians. If that is the case then you will have to stop believing everything you read in the British press. You have no understanding of how the Albanian social system works. It is quite simple in structure but at the same time very effective. If you want to search, you will find that the Racak massacre was a put up job and William Walker was very practised in creating "massacres". He had a lot of practice in South America. If you look at the reports of all the forensic teams which came in after the bombing stopped they all say that there were no massacres, no genocide. The people started moving en masse when the bombing started.

The KLA were aided and abetted by Clinton, Blair, Holbrooke, Albright, Cook to name but a few. Of course the Serbian response was "out of all proportion". You were never told what the KLA had done to get such a response, were you?

The pattern repeats itself in Iraq and now in Georgia. The neocons blame Russia. Pretty predictable, eh? Goergia flattens the capital of South Ossetia without any provocation and the Russians respond "out of all proportion"!

Serbs in Serbia and Kosovo know what happened. It is you who needs to understand if you are going to comment on events which you know very little of.

If you looked anywhere in the last few days many have made this comparison. T

Anonymous said...

Dan - you say "in which Mr Curtis has made it clear the bombing campain has (exaspirated) the killing of Muslims there rather than prevented it."

Which Muslims? Where? If you are referring to Kosovo the only people killed were those that were hit by bombs. The KLA was and is a terrorist organisation, not unlike Al Qaida.

Roland Hulme said...

Alternatively - perhaps the mass murders and concentration camps set up by the serbs in Bosnia gave the UN a good indication that genocide might well have been going on in Kosovo as well.

Anonymous said...

@roland, and perhaps it's just more convenient to look for skeletons in the closet of only one, particular, side?

God knows the Serbs have committed their share of crimes and heinous acts... However, using that as an excuse to justify more of the same is just as heinous.

Unknown said...

Joslies -Coleurs

Were the 100,000 ( Red Cross figures) ethnic Albanians who streamed over the border into Serbia proper when the NATO bombs fell ethnically cleansed too?

Roland, Roland, Roland,

Neil's site is concerned with serious informed debate, please don't insult our intelligence by providing wikipedia links!

If that's where you do your research no wonder you have turned out an Anti-Serb bigot!


Anonymous said...

Roland Hulme - " ...the mass murders and concentration camps set up by the serbs in Bosnia... "

You quote wikipedia as your source. This shows me that you can't be bothered reading up on the Balkan wars, and so are just trying to 'wind up the lefties'. No-one who thinks wikipedia is a sound source, on anything controversial anyway, is worth arguing with.

Anonymous said...

Let me make it very simple.

First,I happen to believe all violence, whoever perpetrates it is wrong.

Second, I have this, probably misplaced hope, that we can move beyond seeing the world in black & white and try colour and stop pretending in this particular context that all victimhood belongs to...fill in according to your prejudiuce.

Third as to 'anonymous' - Albanian social structures are as complex (or simple) as anybody else's social structures; and, as it happens I can confirm this by close observation having lived in the Republic of Macedonia, and having worked with all its differenct (and often conflicted communities) including the Albanian one. I, also, have helped build social institutions in Albania, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia that have sought to assist people, regardless of any determinating characteristic, except need. I think we can lay aside both your implicitly racist remark about Albanians and accusations unfounded about my ignorance.

Finally, Andrew, the Albanians who fled NATO bombing were refugees from conflict. A conflict that was as unjustified as that which caused the Albanian refugees who fled into Albania and Macedonia as result of actions by Serbian security forces. If you a refugee being driven from your home because of the terror of conflict, frankly, I do not care what you choose to call it. It is simply wrong! Violence is wrong is the only thing on which I am a fundamentalist.

Anonymous said...

@jolies-couleurs, I agree on the Black & White issue.

So how come you are having problems with Pilger's article, which deals with propagandistic painting of conflicting sides in black and white in order to justify an aggressive war? You say you hate stereotyping as justification for violence, but it seems the levels of your hatred vary wildly, depending on who's being cast as villain, and who is playing the innocent victim.
It seems to me that, pacifistic rhetoric notwithstanding, you too desperately seek/need a predominantly guilty party.
Yes, it does provide one with some bizarre replacement for hope in humanity, and hints that there may be some sort of moral absolute, to guide us through troubled times and imply that justice can and will be done right here on Earth.
No, it's not really there. Not in places that are tectonically challenged in social and religious sense, such as the Balkans. I used to believe that there is a real, measurable, difference between the West and us. In time, however, I've come to think that the Western foundations of human rights and personal freedoms stand so strong... ...because they're not built atop the fault lines of millennial conflicts between civilizations.

Anonymous said...

Strobe Talbot, who was high up in the Clinton administration, said (in a foreword to a book by John Norris):

"the real purpose of the war had nothing to do with concern for the Kosovar Albanians, it was because Serbia [former Yugoslavia] was not carrying out the required social and economic reforms"

That about sums it up -- no need to continue on p94!

Neil Clark said...

last anonymous: Exactly. There is absolutely no need to go to page 94, when we have the admissions of high level insiders as to what the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia was really all about.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

I would much rather identify the complexity of causation that gave rise to the overlapping crises in the Balkans so that all participants could identify and lay claim to their part of the responsibility; and, my problem with the Pilger article is simple. It presumes that the propaganda arose only on one side - that of 'the West' and you cannot respond to lies by adding your own distortions. It is a black & white account to respond to another black & white account - not thinking in colour!

Nor am I interested in assigning guilt. I was always interested, when volunteering in a prison, that those who talked about their guilt were the people, in fact, least likely to change. I would like people, including myself, to have a clear perception of their histories and look for the potential there is for transforming those histories in a positive direction. Very difficult to do, I know, but probably better than punching each others' lights out - metaphorically or literally.

Dave said...

The German BND started funding, training and arming what came to be known as the KLA as early as 1991.The US CIA began to do so in 1996.Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda began to do so in 1997.Note that all three groups worked in parallel and neither the CIA nor BND had any objection to al Qaeda's presence in Albania or Kosovo where they were training the KLA.

The Albanian KLA is a terrorist organization funded by heroin and cocaine trafficking, the trafficking of tens of thousands of child sex slaves every year across Europe and the dissection of thousands of living human beings (Serbs from Kosovo and Albanians from Albania) for their vital organs.

Albanian ethnic cleansing of Christian Orthodox Serbs did not begin in 1999 but began in 1945 after Josip Broz Tito - the Croatian Yugoslav communist dictator - allowed hundreds of thousands of illegal Albanian immigrants from Albania to pour in across the border into Kosovo.

The decades-long terrorism and mass murder against the Serbs and other nationalities in Kosovo (like the Jews, Turks, Gorani and Roma) were documented by the New York Times in the early 1980's.

In 1999 Albanian civilians were fleeing not because of "Serbian security forces" attacking them but because they were forced to do so by the KLA on pain of death and because NATO aircraft were bombing their homes to smithereens.

The Albanians have a remarkable clan-orientated society - which has changed very little since the 15th century - with a codified oral law called the "Kanun of Leke Dukagjini" based on a generations-long cycle of murderous vengeance and blood feuds.

Read the New York Times article:

"The Curse Of Blood and Vengeance"

Why Albanians Fled Kosovo During the 1999 NATO Bombing

Interview with Čedomir Prlinčević

Formerly the Chief Archivist of Kosovo and President of the Jewish Community of Priština; driven from Kosovo by KLA terrorists in 1999

Seculla said...

We didn't forget. We know what Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Warren Zimmerman, Javier Solana, Madeleine Albright, Wesley Clark, and other nazis did to Yugoslavia. We won't forget how many people they have sent to death. They are mass murderers and should be hanged.