The Centre for Peace in the Balkans
THE U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS AND THE BALKANS
Analysis, September 2004
"Amicus certus in re incerta cernitur"
The Clock is Ticking
Sixty days before America goes to the polls, the presidential race is becoming too close to call. The battle is being fought for every single voter and this time around, the hottest topic is not a domestic issue. Instead, the focus of this campaign is on President Bush's waging and handling of the war against Iraq. While President Bush is playing the card of a global leader against terrorism, Senator Kerry is portraying Iraq's mission as a poorly executed operation.
Democratic pundits are keen to present their 1999 bombing campaign of Serbia-Montenegro [then Yugoslavia] as a "humanitarian" venture undertaken under the urgent presumption that mass murder and an organized campaign of ethnic cleansing needed to be stopped in the province. This is their current justification for why they carried out a war without the United Nations' approval, and in direct contravention of the U.S. Constitution and UN Charter. This, however, is not the original reason given by the Democrat-led US government and its NATO allies. The original reason was this: if Serbia-Montenegro did not sign the Rambouillet Accords by the US appointed deadline, bombing would commence - regardless of the fact that under international law, any agreement signed under the threat of violence is considered null and void.
It was only after the bombing commenced, and refugees began pouring out, that the media and Democratic spokespeople conveniently forgot the original reason and began presenting the bombing campaign's raison d'etre as a campaign to stop ethnic cleansing and mass murder of Albanians. The "facts" were later found to be grossly inaccurate and the numbers of victims proved to be inflated in order to gain public support at home for bombing a sovereign European country that had been a US ally in both World Wars.
There was no genocide as claimed by the Democrats: "the 100,000 allegedly buried in mass graves turned out to be around 2,000, of all ethnic origins, including those killed in combat during the war itself" (National Post, April 08, 2004). The actual numbers are a mockery of the numbers used to justify the war. Looking back a couple of years after the conflict, Canadian defence minister Art Eggleton acknowledged that the propaganda coming out of the Pentagon was extraordinary. The fig leaf of legality was achieved through the immense pressure that the US' Democrat government applied to other NATO members. Tony Blair put it best when stating, "the failure to bomb [Serbia] would have dealt a devastating blow to the credibility of NATO."
"I am a strong proponent of a national defense that is smart," Hilary Clinton insisted, warming to her role as head of the Democratic Party's GOP Convention "Truth Squad". Yet, she forgot to mention that it was the Democratic political and military policies that created the state of "Bosnia [where] hundreds of agents from military intelligence and the CIA are tracking hundreds of suspected terrorists."One intelligence operative reports that "Bosnia has become a way station for Islamic extremists, and a possible refuge."
Indirectly, Clinton's Administration encouraged international chaos by ignoring the United Nations' due process by overriding the opinion of other nations. Bill Clinton's administration conveniently ignored known and active connections between Al-Qaeda and the Bosnian Muslim government. Denying these connections included ignoring the following important facts:
The first World Trade Centre attack in 1993 was directly connected to the Bosnian Muslim government (specifically, the TWRA and Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman). Osama Bin Laden was issued a Bosnian Passport by the Bosnian Embassy in Vienna in 1993; Al-Qaeda uses Bosnia as a springboard. Almost every Al-Qaeda terrorist attack since the first Trade Centre bombing can be traced back to Al-Qaeda activities in Bosnia.
Consequently, it is hard to overlook the failure of Clinton's administration to prevent terrorist attacks such as those on the USS Cole, 9/11, and the recent Madrid train bombings.
Moreover, it is equally important to underline the role Clinton's administration played in creating the global political climate in which these tragic events took place. Recent developments indicate that the final steps towards establishing Kosovo's independence are in the works regardless of UN Resolution 1244 which clearly states Serbia's sovereignty over her Kosovo and Metohija provinces and their indivisibility from Serbia. At the same time, Bosnian Serbs are having their hands twisted into accepting a unitary Bosnia, contrary to the Dayton Accord of 1995, which the Democrats still consider a laurel in their role as "nation builders".
Hence, the Democrats, who are hurling condemnations at the Republicans for breaches of international law, are accountable for comparable violations.
It is now obvious that since the NATO intervention in 1999, Kosovo has become the criminal hub of Europe and the province is being systematically purged of all non-Albanians, including representatives of the international community.
Since NATO's entry into Kosovo in June of 1999, the indigenous population of this region has suffered at the hands of Albanian extremists and organized terrorists. NATO troops, operating under the organizational name KFOR (Kosovo Force), have done little to protect minority groups. KFOR has stood by and watched over 350,000 people be ethnically cleansed from the region (primarily Serbs and Roma). Over 2,500 Serbs have been abducted or killed. More than 200,000 Kosovo Serbs have left their homes as a result of actual and threatened extremist violence. The 80,000 to 120,000 Serbs who remain live in isolated enclaves, sometimes as small as a single apartment block, "protected" by NATO troops.
Due to an absence of multi-ethnic tolerance, the non-Albanian population of Kosovo has been ghettoized. For those living in these ghettos, it is not safe to travel freely. They can only travel if KFOR provides an armed escort. The people are left to the mercy of the schedules and goodwill of the KFOR unit assigned to this escort task. Should the particular KFOR unit "not feel like" providing this service, trips to the hospital, market, school, church or polling booths are not possible.
NATO has created the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC), a local constabulary allegedly comprised of terrorists from the supposedly disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). Since its inception, this organization has only presented roadblocks in the path of those trying to establish stability in the region. The KPC is openly engaged in organized crime. They run the region's largest drug trafficking operations and fund themselves through protection rackets across Kosovo: shopkeepers, businessmen, and contractors across the province (including those in Pristina, Suva Reka, Dragash, Istok and Prizren) are required to pay the KPC "protection". Instead of focusing on building and establishing the civic foundations for the future of Kosovo, the international community has been forced to commit its time and resources to investigating and "purging" the criminal and terrorist cells that exist within the KPC. These criminals are not restricted to operations within the provincial borders of Kosovo; they have infiltrated Macedonia and other regions of Serbia.
It is clear that the UNMIK Mission in Kosovo has turned a blind eye to the corruption that has infiltrated this operation. It is impossible to imagine that the KPC, and groups similar to them, can operate their international-scale drug rings (to the extent that they have been tagged as the "heroin bridge" linking Asia and Europe), without the intentional ignorance of UNMIK. The watchful leaders of UNMIK appear to disregard organized crime in Kosovo, and are seemingly unmotivated to take any action to combat the drug trafficking, prostitution rings, organized crime, and threat of potential terrorism that exist in the province. Even the Albanian population in Kosovo has come to see that UNMIK is clearly incapable of instituting positive and proactive change in the province.
On March 17, 2004, following the false accusation that Serbs were responsible for the accidental drowning of three Albanian children, organized mobs of Albanians-including many teenagers-rampaged through Kosovo and destroyed 35 Serbian Orthodox Christian churches and monasteries, some of them artistic gems dating from the fourteenth century. They also killed 31, wounded over 600 and expelled thousands of non-Albanians from their homes. Well over a hundred churches had already been attacked with fire and explosives in the past five years. Quite clearly, the objective was and is to erase all historic traces of centuries of Serbian culture. In this way they will better be able to assert their claim to an ethnically pure Albanian Kosovo.
Missing Weapons of Mass Destruction vs. Missing Mass Graves
The missing dead in Kosovo are definitely a scandal comparable to the absence of WMD in Iraq. However, the founding lie behind the Kosovo war is still widely believed by the same circles who call absence of WMD "a lie" and "deception".
To suggest subtle criticism of the Republican war against Iraq, while making it clear that they are by no means opposed to war as such, the 2004 Democratic election campaigners can be expected to glorify the Kosovo war. In terms of the Republican campaign, however, focusing solely on Iraq and ignoring the Democrats' actions in the past could prove expensive for G.W. Bush in the month leading up to the election.
The Centre for Peace in the Balkans