National Post, April 08, 2004
We bombed the wrong side?
by Lewis MacKenzie
Five years ago our television screens were dominated by pictures of
Kosovo-Albanian refugees escaping across Kosovo's borders to the
sanctuaries of Macedonia and Albania. Shrill reports indicated that
Slobodan Milosevic's security forces were conducting a campaign of
genocide and that at least 100,000 Kosovo-Albanians had been exterminated and
buried in mass graves throughout the Serbian province. NATO sprung into action
and, in spite of the fact no member nation of the alliance was threatened,
commenced bombing not only Kosovo, but the infrastructure and population
of Serbia itself -- without the authorizing United Nations resolution so
revered by Canadian leadership, past and present.
Those of us who warned that the West was being sucked in on the side of an
extremist, militant, Kosovo-Albanian independence movement were dismissed
as appeasers. The fact that the lead organization spearheading the fight for
independence, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), was universally designated
a terrorist organization and known to be receiving support from Osama bin
Laden's al-Qaeda was conveniently ignored.
The recent dearth of news in the North American media regarding the
increase in violence in Kosovo compared to the comprehensive coverage in
the European press strongly suggests that we Canadians don't like to admit
it when we are wrong. On the contrary, selected news clips on this side of
the ocean continue to reinforce the popular spin that those dastardly
Serbs are at it again.
A case in point was the latest crisis that exploded on March 15. The media
reported that four Albanian boys had been chased into the river Ibar in
Mitrovica by at least two Serbs and a dog (the dog's ethnic affiliation was
not reported).Three of the boys drowned and one escaped to the other side.
Immediately, thousands of Albanians mobilized and concentrated in the area
of the divided city. Attacks on Serbs took place throughout the province
resulting in an estimated 30 killed and 600 wounded. Thirty Serbian
Christian Orthodox churches and monasteries were destroyed, more than 300
homes were burnt to the ground and six Serbian villages cleansed of their
occupants. One hundred and fifty international peacekeepers were injured.
Totally ignored in North America were the numerous statements from
impartial sources that said there was no incident between the Serbs, the
dog and the Albanian boys. NATO Police spokesman Derek Chappell stated on
March 16 that it was "definitely not true" that the boys had been chased
into the river by Serbs. Chappell went on to say that the surviving boy
had told his parents that they had entered the river alone and that three of
his friends had been swept away by the current. Admiral Gregory Johnson,
the overall NATO commander, further stated that the ensuing clashes were
"orchestrated and well-planned ethnic cleansing" by the Kosovo-Albanians.
Those Serbs forced to leave joined the 200,000 who had been cleansed from
the province since NATO's "humanitarian" bombing in 1999. The '"cleansees"
have become very effective "cleansers."
In the same week a number of individuals posing as Serbs ambushed and
killed a UN policeman and his local police partner. During the firefight
one of them was wounded which caused an immediate switch from Serbian to
Albanian as he screamed, "I've been hit"! The UN pursued the attackers and
tracked them to an Albanian-run farm where they discovered weapons and the
wounded Albanian who had died from his wounds. Four Albanians were
arrested. Once again, the ambush had been reported in the United States
but not the follow-up which clearly indicated yet another orchestrated
provocation by the Albanian terrorists.
Kosovo is administered by the UN, the very organization many Canadians
have indicated they would like to see take over from the United States in Iraq.
The fact the UN cannot order its civilian employees to go or stay
nywhere -- they have to volunteer -- combined with recent history that saw
the UN abandon Iraq after a single brutal attack on their compound in
Baghdad and the reality that Kosovo, under the organization's
administration, is a basket case, disqualifies it from consideration for
such a role.
Since the NATO/UN intervention in 1999, Kosovo has become the crime
capital of Europe. The sex slave trade is flourishing. The province has become an
invaluable transit point for drugs en route to Europe and North America.
Ironically, the majority of the drugs come from another state "liberated"
by the West, Afghanistan. Members of the demobilized, but not eliminated,
KLA are intimately involved in organized crime and the government. The UN
police arrest a small percentage of those involved in criminal activities
and turn them over to a judiciary with a revolving door that responds to
bribes and coercion.
The objective of the Albanians is to purge all non-Albanians, including
the international community's representatives, from Kosovo and ultimately link
up with mother Albania thereby achieving the goal of "Greater Albania."
The campaign started with their attacks on Serbian security forces in the early
1990s and they were successful in turning Milosevic's heavy-handed response
into worldwide sympathy for their cause. There was no genocide as claimed
by the West -- 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.
The Kosovo-Albanians have played us like a Stradivarius. We have
subsidized and indirectly supported their violent campaign for an ethnically pure and
independent Kosovo.We have never blamed them for being the perpetrators of
the violence in the early '90s and we continue to portray them as the
designated victim today in spite of evidence to the contrary. When they
achieve independence with the help of our tax dollars combined with those
of bin Laden and al-Qaeda, just consider the message of encouragement this
sends to other terrorist-supported independence movements around the world.
Funny how we just keep digging the hole deeper!
Maj-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie, now retired, commanded UN troops during the
Bosnian civil war of 1992.