Thursday, December 16, 2010

Kosovo and the myth of liberal intervention

This article of mine appears in today's Guardian.

Neil Clark: Far from being Tony Blair's 'good' war, the assault on Yugoslavia was as wrong as the invasion of Iraq.

'The United States of America and the Kosovo Liberation Army stand for the same human values and principles ... Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values." So declared the neocon US senator (and current foe of Wikileaks) Joseph Lieberman back in 1999 at the height of the US-led military intervention against Slobodan Milosevic's Yugoslavia.

It would be interesting to hear what Senator Lieberman makes of the report of the Council of Europe– Europe's premier human rights watchdog – on his favourite band of freedom fighters. The report, which cites FBI and other intelligence sources, details horrific rights abuses it claims have been carried out by the KLA, the west's allies in the war against Yugoslavia 11 years ago.

The council claims that civilians – Serbian and non-KLA-supporting Kosovan Albanians detained by the KLA in the 1999 hostilities – were shot in northern Albania and their kidneys extracted and sold on the black market. It names Hashim Thaçi, the former leader of the KLA and Kosovo's prime minister, as the boss of a "mafia-like" group engaged in criminal activity – including heroin trading – since before the 1999 war.

The report is a damning indictment not only of the KLA but also of western policy.
And it also gives lie to the fiction that Nato's war with Yugoslavia was, in Tony Blair's words, "a battle between good and evil; between civilisation and barbarity; between democracy and dictatorship".

It was a fiction many on the liberal left bought into.

You can read the whole of the article here.
UPDATE: The piece also appears over at the Stop the War website, where they've got a great picture of those two wonderful 'humanitarians': Hashim Thaçi and his mate Tony Blair.
More on the Kosovo organs scandal in the Guardian here and here.


ReaderKS said...

The only word to describe this is historic revisionism and falsification. By the end of the comment the writer exposes what he wants to achieve: Discredit the Kosovo people and especially the Republic of Kosovo.

olching said...

Well done, Neil. It's a great piece. It's funny how even that last bastion of liberal interventionist apologia is finally unravelling before our very eyes. It's just a shame it always takes so much bloodshed and disaster before people start questioning these simple good/bad paradigms.

PS I notice Marko Attila Harlot has been publishing a few articles in academic journals bemoaning the fact that liberal interventionism didn't come earlier (in 1992-95). They were pretty unconvincing pieces.

Anonymous said...

Bah, comments of CiF just closed. Here's what I wanted to add from a recent news conference given by Dick Marty:

Marty went on to say that some parts of his report document "open ties between organized crime and politics, including representatives of the government", and that he was "not guided by rumors, but described the crimes based on many testimonies, documents and objective findings".

"Finally, we arrived at the conclusion that these events were known to many intelligence services from many countries. This was known to the police, to a large number of people, who would privately say, 'yes, I am aware of that', but who, for the sake of political opportunism, would decide to remain silent," he continued.

"What has shocked me is that most facts in this report were known to a large number of organizations, and yet that there was silence about it until this day. I believe that a future of a country cannot be built without truth, without insisting on truth and memory. There will never be peace between various communities if the principle of 'not wanting to know' continues," Marty warned.

Anonymous said...

This is not 1999 and to the best of my knowledge Lieberman is/was devoid of any psychic abilities. You are very quick to lay any blame for what happened on an American. Would any American do? Or do you figure he’s an easy target. As you are so concerned about the goings on in what was Yugoslavia can you tell us why Europeans were impotent in righting the wrongs that were going on. For more than a solid year you people did nothing. I take that back. The Dutch stood by and watched the Serbs butchering men women and kids by the hundreds. It took Americans to come in and clean up your back yard as you are incapable or can care less. Don’t let a dose of reality slow you down with your cheap shots. The date is long overdue for a total American pullout of Europe and let you people pay for your own defense in blood and treasure, if you are capable which given your performance in Iraq and Afghanistan, I doubt very seriously. Just don’t expect us to come running to fight your wars for you. Those days are fast coming to an end.


Roland Hulme said...

Hey, if shooting prisoners to steal their kidneys and sell them on the black market is wrong, maybe the KLA don't want to be right. That's all I'm saying.

vladimir gagic said...

wonderful article. The only thing I would add is that the myth didn't start in Kosovo, but in Bosnia.

vladimir gagic said...

Considering your comment about the KLA not wanting to be right Roland, your profile picture is perfectly appropriate. The red haired rat sticking its head out of its filthy hole.

Gregor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...


"It took Americans to come in and clean up your back yard as you are incapable or can care less."

The US encouraged Izetbegovic to fight in 1992 and to renage on the Lisbon agreement. They then scuppered several peace initiatives before Dayton.

"The Dutch stood by and watched the Serbs butchering men women and kids by the hundreds."

The DutchBat soldiers did not witness any executions at Srebrenica.

Anonymous said...

great stuff Neil, Congratulations!

Anonymous - no not any American will do, but goodness me theres a very long list of Americans who have blood on their hands. If it hadn't been for an American the bloodshed in Bosnia would have stopped much earlier. If it hadn't been for an American over 250.000 Serbs would not have been ethnically cleansed from their ancestral homes in Croatia. Clinton x 2, Albright, Holbrooke, Bush, Lieberman, DioGuardia are just a few to be starting with.............

R J said...

Nancy Mitford's description in 1968 of a get-together between former French Prime Minister Pierre Mendes-France and future President Mitterand - "looking like two vampires who had seen a piece of garlic" - seems equally applicable to the pic of Blair and his Albanian spiv / drug-kingpin friend.

Gregor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Dutch troops meekly allowed the Serbs access to the camps and the refugees they held. Then, the following day -- July 11 -- some 1700 men, disproportionately the elderly and infirm, were separated from women and children. The peacekeepers "stood inches away from the Serb soldiers who were separating the Muslim men, one by one, from their families" (Sudetic, Blood and Vengeance, p. 306). At Serb command, the Dutch drew up a registry of 242 Bosnian men remaining in the camp, again mostly elderly and infirm. Then they handed the men over to the Serbs. Not one of the 242 men is known to have survived.


Neil Clark said...

Many thanks for the comments and kind words.

neil craig said...

Congratulations. I note that on the Guardian ALL but 1 of the comments are supportive, or go further (there is one that goes through the Bosnia lies). Considering that the Guardian have a record of banning people for not supporting these Nazis that is quite a turn around.

Nonetheless these atrocities were, except for those dissections while NATO was bombing, carried out by people who, to subvert the occupation agreement they had signed, were appointed as NATO police. Under international law as well as morality Blair & co are thus as criminal as Fred West. Nor, in the enthusiasm for "it was always the Fuhrer's fault, I knew nothing" should we forget that the overwhelming majority of MPs, particularly in the LidDims, led by perjurer Ashdown were enthusiastic for all the blood.

It is not Blair alone who stands accused of crimes against humanity but the whole obscene political & journalistic class (particularly incliding the Nazi supporting Guardian).

FaridaSamantha said...

Well we all know that Tony Blair is a liar as well as a mass murderer and criminal. He lied to his own people about Serbia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He killed many innocent people and he profiteered from this war. He is mass murderer of both Christians and Muslims. We said at Queens College in Flushing New York in Knight News that we doubted that there would be support among Christians and Muslims for his "faith foundation" given the fact that Blair always belived that War is the answer. We all hope that this man is arrested and sent to the Hague Netherlands for trial for War crimes. It is not Julian Assange but Tony Blair who is a criminal. We can't belive it Neil Clark he is now envoy for the Middle East! We cant' belive it! It's simply amazing!

Anonymous said...

@Neil Clark
Yugoslav forces did not conduct any ethnic cleansing. Those allegations("Operation Podkova") were exposed as NATO propaganda lies in The Hague and by independent journalists such as the authors of the TV documentation "It started with a lie" years ago. The anti-Serb propaganda of NATO is the same that the Nazis spread in 1941 to gain popular support for the war against the Serbs. Just like NATO Hitler and Goebbels accused the Serbs of attacking and oppressing minorities.
The Yugoslav forces - just like the Macedonian forces in 2000 - fought KLA and Islamic terrorists armed and trained by BND and CIA. The terrorists even wore German military uniforms. Albanians, Serbs and others fled from NATO bombs and encounters between KLA and VJ.
The number of "10,000" dead Albanians has already been exposed as a lie by Spanish forensic scientists sent to Kosovo. In reality it is around 2000 Albanians killed during battles between KLA and VJ or murdered by KLA as "collaborators" or by NATO bombs. For example in Korisa NATO deliberatly bombed 500 Albanian refugees returning to thier village with cluster bombs and then blamed Serbs for it. The number of Yugoslav civilians killed by NATO is around 2000. After the NATO invasion of Kosovo more than 1000 civilians were killed by the KLA during what NATO calls "peace".
The number of expelled Serbs, Roma, Jews and other minorities is over 300000 since 1999. NATO and KLA made the Kosovo "judenfrei" and used Kosovo as base for thier successive war against Macedonia.

neil craig said...

Another effect of Neils' article is that Farida, who has previously repeatedly refused to condemn even the vivissection, while alive, of Serbs by NATO police, has reversed her position. Clearly there is a wind of change on this subject.

FaridaSamantha said...

Actually we have condemned every American, Western (NATO) and Israeli agression. We belive that war is a crime against humanity and that it must be ended. The current problem of terrorism can only be done by Law enforcement and not by military action the way that idiot Donald Rumsfeld belives. That guy is so crazy and even stupid. We can't even belive that this old Cold Warrior was apointed as Defense Secretary rather than being retired.

neil craig said...

I take it from the "we" that FS is not a person but an organisation of anti-semitic fascists.