NATO in Kosova


James Petras

Tony
Blair, Madeline Albright, and Javier Solano all returned to Kosova to cheering
Albanian crowds, praising NATO and the KLA for their efforts on behalf of
peace and democracy. The triumphal returns and euphoric rhetoric of the NATO
leaders covers up the brutal reality of massive ethnic cleansing, systematic
assassinations, pillage and destruction of churches, houses, farms, and
businesses by NATO-backed Albanian KLA terrorists and their paramilitary
supporters. The mass media claim these crimes are acts of revenge. When are
killing farmers and older women acts of revenge?

By the end of
the second week of August, over 200 Serbs had been assassinated and many more
had disappeared by Albanian gangs and KLA regulars, according to Human Rights
Watch and other human rights agencies. Thousands of Serbs have been forcibly
driven from their homes. Over 164,000 of the 200,000 Serbs in Kosova had fled
for their lives, many after being beaten and tortured. Over 20,000 of the
30,000 Roma people (gypsies) had also fled from the murderous Albanian gangs.
The main orthodox cathedral in Pristina, a few meters from NATO headquarters
was bombed, while scores of orthodox monasteries had been damaged and
pillaged. Under NATO’s watchful eyes, the Albanians had engaged in driving
out proportionately more Serbs in shorter time than the Albanians had been
driven out by the Yugoslav army during the NATO war. Under Yugoslav
occupation, approximately half the Albanians fled; under NATO occupation, over
80 percent of the Serbians and 90 percent of the Romas have been terrorized
into leaving.

The claim by
NATO commanders that they are "incapable" of preventing Albanian gangs
from killing Serbs is patently false. NATO has 46,000 soldiers in Kosova, a
ratio of one soldier for every four Serbs in a province the size of a postage
stamp. The ration of NATO soldiers to Serbs in Kosovo is the highest in the
world. UN officials privately admitted that most of the humanitarian aid was
stolen by Albanian gangs that work with the KLA. Most returning refugees are
robbed, their apartments seized by fellow Albanian thugs, according to the
German military police.

The claim by
NATO that there are not enough police is false. There are too many police—
KLA—police who run Kosova like a police state. While Serbs are free to
criticize Milosevic and organize public protests, in Kosova under the KLA
dissidents are beaten, tortured, and killed.

NATO’s role
in Kosova is to facilitate Albanian ethnic cleansing. Most of the Albanians
pillaging of houses takes place with the knowledge and presence of NATO
soldiers and commanders. NATO has a close working relation with KLA leasers
who’s uniformed followers have been identified as the material authors of
the assassination of 14 Serbian farmers.


Instead of
protecting the Serbs, NATO is encouraging their flight from Kosova. One U.S.
soldier who was appalled by the brutality of the Albanians commented, "I
didn’t come here to help the Serbs flee from their homes." Not a single
Albanian terrorist has been arrested and sentenced for murder or rape. Not one
KLA official, publicly identified with forcibly evicting Serbs from their
homes or bombing churches has been dismissed.

NATO’s
shameful behavior in Kosova is not a result of monumental incompetence,
ignorance, or impotence. The close relations between NATO and the KLA and the
overwhelming armed presence of NATO throughout the region preclude any
assumption of innocence. The most plausible explanation is that NATO is
supporting a very professional and systematic form of ethnic cleansing in
order to punish and destabilize the Serbian government by forcing tens of
thousands of refugees into Serbia.

Secondly, an
"ethnically cleansed" Albania Kosova would be a docile client of the U.S.
and Western Europe, thus increasing NATO’s stranglehold in the Southern
Balkans. The UN Commission on Refugees refuses to consider the tens of
thousands of Serbs fleeing Albanian terrorists as refugees because
"technically" Kosova is still part of Yugoslavia. Therefore, the refugees
are denied any aid and the burden is placed on the Serbian government.

U.S. military
strategists have worked with and promoted paramilitary groups like the KLA to
terrorize enemy populations in many regions of the world. Washington’s (and
NATO’s) purpose in using paramilitary groups is to deflect responsibility
for human rights violations from the military and police to "anonymous
extremists." Thus, the NATO powers can claim innocence, while their Albanian
clients engage in their dirty little war.

The Albanian
leadership in Kosova has strong ties with the Mafia in Northern Albania, which
has been very active in the kidnaping of under age Kosova women for overseas
prostitution in Spain and Italy. as well as servicing the NATO
"liberators." Kosova is overrun with Albanian gangsters stealing cars,
looting and killing Albanian Kosovars. While the NATO war opens small scale
business opportunities for the Albanian Mafia, the "reconstruction"
contracts have provoked a major economic war among European and U.S.
multinationals, eager to obtain lucrative construction contracts. Washington
has shown greater concern and forcible intervention to secure "equal
treatment" for its construction companies than it has for the tens of
thousands of Serbs terrorized by Albright’’ cheering crowds. In the
process of evaluating the damage in Kosova, the UN High Commission for
Refugees revealed that the majority of Albanian houses, hospitals, and schools
damaged during the 78-day war were caused by NATO bombing. Under these
circumstances, it is understandable why NATO commanders prefer to let
Albanians vent their rage and revenge over their destroyed homes against poor
and aged Serbian farmers. It allows NATO to escape its responsibility for the
destruction in Kosova. Nevertheless, the destructive legacy of NATO’s war
lives on in Kosova’s everyday life. British and U.S. made cluster bombs and
depleted uranium ammunition found throughout the province are killing and
wounding dozens of Kosovars every week. Apparently, NATO and KLA commanders
"forgot" to inform them. Such is the concern for peace and freedom.
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