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Posted: April 04, 2002

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The Myth of Western Humanitarian Intervention
Grim Lessons from the Killing in Kosovo
A Case Study
:: Part One ::

by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed
   and Kosovo


In the aftermath of the 11th September attacks, the Bush administration has been escalating plans to impose U.S. hegemony in key strategic regions. The oil-rich Middle East is high on the agenda. The U.S. government and its British partner in crime are building up to a two-pronged killing campaign in the Arab region: one part of the campaign is already in overt motion in the Israel-Palestine conflict, where Sharon is pushing forth with his plans to smash the Palestinian people Sabra&Shattila-style; another part of the campaign is proceeding steadily behind-the-scenes, where the Anglo-American duo are attempting to galvanise a pretext to launch a full-fledged bombing assault against Iraq.
The two-pronged campaign is rooted in a wider military escalation that is set to be so brutal and final in scale that the Pentagon has already established contingency plans for nuclear war in relation to conflicts in the region, and in other regions of strategic interest to the United States. The motives and context of this build-up to war in the Middle East are extremely pertinent to anyone with the slightest regard for the future of their children, and of humanity at large. The motives of the Bush administration, supposedly, are fundamentally benevolent. That is the unquestionable axiom underlying almost all mainstream political discourse in the West. The U.S. government, we are told, is fighting a “war on terror” to save the entirety of civilisation from destruction at the hands of international terrorism. Hence, we must all stand behind the “war on terror”, and give it our full support – otherwise, we are no better than the terrorists themselves, beyond the pale of civilisation.
This paper attempts to consider, on the basis of contemporary history, whether it is probable – or even possible – for the Western powers to fight a “war on terror” for benevolent purposes. It does so by studying in detail the case of Kosovo. It is the opinion of this author that recent history provides a principal source of insight into the most current developments in world order under U.S.-led Western hegemony. The case of Kosovo is particularly pertinent, since according to the ardent supporters of interventionist Western foreign policy, Kosovo is a case par excellence of Western humanitarianism, benevolence, and opposition to global terrorism.
Indeed, the intervention in Kosovo is an oft-cited example of what is supposed to be a new idealism among the Western powers: an unwillingness to tolerate tyranny and a relentless concern for humanitarian principles. President Bill Clinton, who of course was deeply involved in the intervention in Kosovo, has articulated the alleged humanitarian implications with great eloquence:
“What is the role of the UN in preventing mass slaughter and dislocations? Very large. Even in Kosovo, NATO’s actions followed a clear consensus expressed in several Security Council resolutions that the atrocities committed by Serb forces were unacceptable, that the international community had a compelling interest in seeing them end. Had we chosen to do nothing in the face of this brutality, I do not believe we would have strengthened the United Nations. Instead, we would have risked discrediting everything it stands for… By acting as we did, we helped to vindicate the principles and purposes of the UN Charter the opportunity it now has to play the central role in shaping Kosovo’s future. In the real world principles often collide, and tough choices must be made. The outcome in Kosovo is hopeful.”[1]
This official interpretation of the intervention in Kosovo is, however, in contradiction to the facts on record. This paper is the first in a two-part series conducting a critical review of the Western response to the crisis in Kosovo, analysing the context, ramifications and consequences of the NATO military intervention. It is the hope of this author that this series provides crucial insight into the realities of Western policy, a policy that deliberately divides communities, fosters wars, and devastates countries to secure power and profit. An impartial analysis demonstrates that neither Western diplomacy nor NATO bombing contributed to the resolution of the conflict in Kosovo, but rather systematically exacerbated the war to an extent that brings into question the motives of the Western powers.
In this sense, there are very pertinent lessons to be learned from Western policy in Kosovo under U.S. leadership. Under the “war on terror”, the United States is leading the Western powers in a reinvigorated policy of interventionism with the purported aim of eliminating terrorism worldwide. This case study of Western intervention in Kosovo, however, discloses a matrix of interests and policies that seriously challenges the idea that the Western powers are capable of waging such a war. Indeed, this study suggests that the promotion of conflict and terrorism is an integral dimension of the doctrine of Western humanitarian intervention, pursued to secure regional Western interests. We need to understand exactly how the doctrine of Western humanitarian intervention is – in reality - intrinsically bound up with the support of terrorism, the provocation of wars, the fabrication of pretexts for intervention, and the justification of mass murder. This understanding will allow us to see clearly what the Western powers are planning in the increasingly volatile Middle East.
I. A Brief History
I.I Repression of Serbs in Kosovo
It is a widespread belief that the history of ethnic repression in Kosovo consists of nothing but the systematic oppression of Kosovan Albanians by Serbia. This notion has become conventional opinion largely thanks to the efforts of Western governments attempting to provide justification for their intervention in Kosovo on behalf of the besieged Albanian minority. Yet this is a very misleading picture indeed. To understand properly the crisis that erupted in Kosovo in the 1990s it is essential to understand properly its historical context.
It is a matter of record that prior to 1990, the principal architect of ethnic repression in Kosovo was not the Serbian leadership, but rather the leadership of the Kosovan Albanian community. Albanian nationalists in Kosovo were, in fact, heavily complicit in the repression of Serbs in Kosovo for many years, such that the Serb community (which within the province of Kosovo itself are a minority) were the principal victims of ethnically-motivated atrocities. In 1982, for instance, the New York Times reported in detail that: “‘The [Albanian] nationalists have a two-point platform’, according to Becir Hoti, an executive secretary of the Communist Party of Kosovo, ‘first to establish what they call an ethnically clean Albanian republic and then the merger with Albania to form a greater Albania.’…
“Mr. Hoti, an Albanian, expressed concern over political pressures that were forcing Serbs to leave Kosovo. ‘What is important now’, he said, ‘is to establish a climate of security and create confidence’. The migration of Serbs is no ordinary problem because Kosovo is the heartland of Serbian history, culture and religion. Serbs have been in this region since the seventh century, long before they founded their own independent dynasty here in 1168. Some 57,000 Serbs have left Kosovo in the last decade, and the number increased considerably after the riots of March and April last year... The 1981 census showed Kosovo with a population of 1,584,558, of whom 77.5 percent were ethnic Albanians, 13.2 percent Serbs and 1.7 percent Montenegrins. The population in 1971 of 1,243,693 was 73.8 percent Albanian, 18.4 percent Serbian and 2.5 percent Montenegrin.... ‘We don’t want to go because we have a large farm’, a Serbian farmer’s wife said in a village near Pristina. ‘Our property hasn’t been touched, but there are the insults and the intimidation, so we feel uncomfortable’.”[2]
Five years later, by 1987, the plight of the Serbian minority community within the province of Kosovo had worsened dramatically, reaching almost critical condition:  “Ethnic Albanians in the Government have manipulated public funds and regulations to take over land belonging to Serbs…
“Slavic Orthodox churches have been attacked, and flags have been torn down. Wells have been poisoned and crops burned. Slavic boys have been knifed, and some young ethnic Albanians have been told by their elders to rape Serbian girls… As the Slavs flee the protracted violence, Kosovo is becoming what ethnic Albanian nationalists have been demanding for years… an ‘ethnically pure’ Albanian region… Last summer, the authorities in Kosovo said they documented 40 ethnic Albanian attacks on Slavs in two months. In the last two years, 320 ethnic Albanians have been sentenced for political crimes, nearly half of them characterized as severe… Ethnic Albanians already control almost every phase of life in the autonomous province of Kosovo, including the police, judiciary, civil service, schools and factories. Non-Albanian visitors almost immediately feel the independence - and suspicion - of the ethnic Albanian authorities... While 200,000 Serbs and Montenegrins still live in the province, they are scattered and lack cohesion. In the last seven years, 20,000 of them have fled the province, often leaving behind farmsteads and houses, for the safety of the Slavic north”.[3]
These unfortunate facts illustrate that the Albanian authorities in Kosovo were responsible for a variety of facist-style policies throughout most of the 1980s. The omission of these facts from conventional attempts to understand the causes of the crisis in Kosovo have granted a very one-sided view of a far more complex conflict. The consequence has been the unwarranted demonisation of the Serbian community, who have been blamed entirely for the recent crisis in the late 1990s. The reality, however, is that ethnically-motivated repression is attributable to both sides in the history of civil conflict in Kosovo. There is a longstanding background of entrenched mutual ethnic tensions within the province, rooted in the nationalism of certain sections of both communities. The Kosovan Albanian community, therefore, cannot be absolved of responsibility, having played a devastating role in the institutionalised repression of the Serb minority in the province for almost a decade.
I.II Repression of Albanians in Kosovo
Partly in response to the escalation of the repression of Serbs by Albanians in the province of Kosovo, Slobodan Milosevic revoked Kosovo’s autonomy in 1989. There can be little doubt that the conditions faced by the Serb minority had grown increasingly dire under the fascist reign of Albanian extremists, who were free to do as they pleased in an autonomous administration. However, with Kosovo’s autonomy revoked, the tables were turned as the victims and perpetrators of ethnic repression were reversed. Losing its relative autonomy, Kosovo became subject to the direct rule of the central Serb government under the leadership of Milosevic, who subsequently imposed an apartheid-style regime on the Kosovan Albanian community – a minority within Serbia as a whole of course - resulting in the intense suppression of their cultural and political rights. Stephen Zunes, assistant Professor of Politics and Chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Program at the University of San Francisco, reports that as a consequence of brutal Serb-led ethnic repression of the Albanian community in Kosovo, the latter embarked upon what eventually became a decade-long - largely peaceful - campaign for an autonomous Kosovo.
Serbia, however, was unwilling to allow this. Whether or not this refusal to grant the province autonomy or independence was justifiable, it is clear that the historical context of communal conflict within Kosovo no doubt contributed to the central government’s insistence on maintaining control over the province. In response, the Kosovan Albanians waged their struggle for autonomy through boycotts, demonstrations, strikes and alternative institutions. But their sustained movement for independence by peaceful means proceeded with the indifference of the international community, and met with little domestic progress. Zunes observes that as a result of this failure, by 1997 an armed guerrilla force - the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) – came to the forefront of the movement. Unfortunately, this group of armed ultra-nationalists was considerably less willing to compromise or guarantee the rights of the Serbian minority in Kosovo in an autonomous or independent Kosovo.[4]
But while the KLA’s extremist strain of Albanian nationalism rose to the forefront of the Kosovan Albanian movement for independence from Serbia in the later half of the 1990s, the KLA has existed as an active organization for far longer. Contrary to the conventional view, “the KLA was not set up in response to intensified Serb repression in Kosovo”, observes British historian Dr. Mark Almond, who lectures in history at Oriel College in Oxford University. Almond points out that the KLA was established as early as 1982, and has distinctly fascist roots. “After Tito’s death in 1980, his great regional rival, Albania’s obdurate Stalinist Enver Hoxha, saw an opportunity to cause problems for his Yugoslav neighbour by taking advantage of Kosovo’s large Albanian majority. It was on Tirana’s initiative that the KLA came into being.” The group was eventually forcefully dispersed by Yugoslav secret police, the survivors fleeing abroad to become refugees in Hoxha’s Albania. “Others became refugees in Germany and Switzerland. There they bided their time”, while operating “under various Marxist-Leninist party names” until the recent “implosion of post-communist Albania in 1997” under the repression of the Milosevic regime. The escalating crisis “threw a lifeline to the shadowy KLA”, due to the inability of the Kosovan Albanian community’s peaceful movement to effectuate meaningful social change.[5]
A spokesperson for Kosovo had admitted in early December 1997 that the peaceful movement had failed:
“At a time when the international community has been underestimating and seriously ignoring the Albanian factor, reducing it to a problem of minorities requiring solutions in ridiculous frameworks with Serbia, when Serbia’s only way of communicating with Albania was violence and crime, one should not be amazed if part of the people decide to end this agony and take the fate of Kosovo and its people in its own hands.”[6]
The demand for other measures thus began to intensify, resulting in the eventual domination of the KLA, which subsequently began initiating attacks on Serb soldiers and civilians. By 1998, the KLA’s attacks were eliciting increasingly forceful responses from the Serb military. Almond reports that: “Before the current crisis exploded, one of the KLA’s leaders admitted that its strategy was to provoke the Serbs into reprisals and then gather support among ordinary Albanians and from the West. These are classic partisan tactics.”[7] Serb forces responded to KLA attacks on Serb police and civilians by cracking down on the KLA and its perceived civilian supporters, often indiscriminately. This was further accompanied by further attacks on Serb forces and civilians by the KLA. The predictable result was a cycle of confrontation in which “Ordinary Albanians in Kosovo [were] suffering a terrible wave of reprisals from the Serb forces”.[8] Finally, after about a year of such escalating conflict between Serb and KLA forces, with civilians from both sides being killed and expelled - though it appears that the majority of these victims were Kosovan Albanians - NATO intervened under the pretext of having “learned the lessons of Bosnia”.
The Western powers displayed their concern for Kosovo in an initial period of diplomacy through the arrangement of ‘peace talks’. Diplomacy, which was supposed to have failed dismally, was soon replaced by a full-fledged bombing campaign. It is normally rare for Western leaders to intervene in regional conflicts with such ferocity and determination. Then U.S. envoy to the UN Richard Holbrook noted that one outstanding reason for the intervention was that the conflict within Kosovo might have easily spread to involve European allies Macedonia, Greece and Turkey. The Times similarly argued that in this context, the Western powers intervened  to preserve “stability”: “The fighting in Kosovo not only threatens stability in the Balkans, and the possibility of conflict involving Nato countries in the area, but also a flood of refugees into Western Europe...” Other than these factors, which would be economically detrimental to the Western powers, there was the importance of strengthening NATO, that has long been a key instrument of U.S. hegemony over Europe: “Failure to act now after specific warnings and assurances would undermine the credibility of Nato.”[9] According to critics, “credibility” here has very important implicit meanings, bound up with the concept of “stability”. Firstly, critics argue, it sends a message to the world that the West can bomb at will, where and when it likes. In other words, they say, the NATO bombing constituted a show of power, demonstrating that anyone who may impede the expansion of Western hegemony can be blasted to fragments by Western forces at ease. Secondly, it sends a message to the Western public apparently proving the ongoing necessity of monumental levels of military spending, which also results in huge profits for defence contractors and other corporate elites.
II.I Inconsistency in Western Foreign Policy
These critical interpretations should be impartially assessed in context with the observations of former executive editor of the World Policy Journal, Benjamin Schwartz, and MacArthur Fellow in Peace and International Security Studies, Christophe Layne. Schwartz and Lane note that “while Clinton has depicted Serbian actions in the most horrific light possible, he remains silent about the human rights atrocities perpetrated by America’s NATO ally Turkey, which has been waging a decades-long military campaign of repression against its Kurdish ethnic minority…
“Like the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, Kurds waging a guerrilla war demand independence. Turkey has responded to the Kurdish insurgency with the same tactics that Clinton has imputed to Serbs: terror, ‘genocide’ and suppression of rights. Yet the Clinton Administration does not propose bombing Ankara, which, of course, provokes the obvious question: Why intervene in Kosovo and not in Turkey - or Sudan, Rwanda, Congo or Sierra Leone, for that matter, where humanitarian intervention is at least justified? The moral argument for intervention in Kosovo is cast in terms of universally applicable principles. But Washington picks and chooses its humanitarian interventions, inserting itself in some conflicts and ignoring others in which the reasons to act are at least as compelling.”
What is worse, is that the U.S. often in alliance with its European allies, is contributing directly to crises in Turkey, Sudan, and Rwanda - to name only a few - by supporting the primary perpetrators of violence. This support continues with the aim of securing economic or strategic interests. The logical implication is that in Kosovo, U.S. policy-makers “are using humanitarian intervention as a pretext to mobilize public support for military interventions undertaken for other reasons.”[10] The British Parliament’s International Development Committee (IDC) concurred with the conclusion that there is a clear inconsistency in justification for Western humanitarian intervention. In a critical report on the Government’s allegedly “ethical” foreign policy, the IDC took note of the contradiction in the humanitarian pretexts for the intervention in Kosovo, pointing out: “A ‘worrying discrepancy’ between the resources deployed in Kosovo and the neglect of less strategic parts of the world, notably Rwanda.”[11]
II.II The Economic Agenda in Kosovo
In fact, humanitarian motives were not very high on the list of concerns when the Western powers decided to intervene. The real essence of the Western agenda in Kosovo was in fact candidly revealed by Clinton himself when he stated: “If we’re going to have a strong economic relationship that includes our ability to sell around the world, Europe has got to be a key... That’s what this Kosovo thing was all about.”[12] Writing in The Nation, Schwarz and Lane comment: “He thus seems to argue that the United States is fighting a war in Kosovo to make the world safe for capitalism. In fact, the President and other policy-makers have long been making similar arguments…
“In explaining its global strategy, for instance, the Pentagon declared in 1993 that ‘a prosperous, largely democratic, market-oriented zone of peace and prosperity that encompasses more than two-thirds of the world’s economy’ requires the ‘stability’ that only American ‘leadership’ can provide.”
In this context, “The air war against Serbia is just the latest installment in what appears to be Washington’s quest to make the world safe for America’s investors and exporters…
“Last year, speaking to the Boston Chamber of Commerce, Defense Secretary William Cohen justified NATO expansion as a way of ‘spreading the kind of security and stability that Western Europe has enjoyed since after World War II to Central and Eastern Europe.’ And, in an observation certain to resonate with his audience, he noted: ‘And with that spread of stability, there is a prospect to attract investment’.”[13]
Indeed, NATO’s intervention was from the outset likely to contribute to the nationalistic disintegration of the region, as was noted in a letter to each member of the UN Security Council by former U.S. Attorney-General Ramsey Clark.[14] Given the probability that NATO military action would only worsen an already volatile situation, and given the longstanding economic and strategic U.S. interests in regional “stability”, it is not surprising to find that the bombing had apparently been pre-ordained long before the escalation of the crisis. As early as 12 August 1998, the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee observed that:
“Planning for a U.S.-led Nato intervention in Kosovo is now largely in place. The only missing element seems to be an event – with suitably vivid media coverage – that could make the intervention politically saleable... That Clinton is waiting for a ‘trigger’ in Kosovo is increasingly obvious.”[15]
World financial institutions based in Washington, working closely with NATO, had also closely analysed the consequences of a military intervention leading to eventual occupation in Kosovo long before this crisis erupted. The World Bank undertook “simulations” which “anticipated the possibility of an emergency scenario arising out the tensions in Kosovo”, almost a year before the war began.[16] Similarly, a report released by Jurgen Reents, press spokesman for the popular Party of Democratic Socialism at the German Parliament, reveals that a joint U.S.-German programme titled “Operation Roots” has been in place since the launch of Clinton’s presidency, designed to sow ethnic tensions in Yugoslavia to encourage its disintegration. The report records that the operation’s fundamental purpose “is the separation of Kosovo with the aim of it becoming a part of Albania; the separation of Montenegro, as the last means of access to the Mediterranean; and the separation of Vojvodina, which produces most of the food for Yugoslavia. This would lead to the total collapse of Yugoslavia as a viable independent state.”[17] This suggests that much of NATO’s policy towards Kosovo had been planned some time in advance with the objective of manipulating events in such a way as to permit NATO to occupy the region, thus expanding a U.S.-dominated military presence in the Balkans. All that was therefore needed was a suitable crisis to act as a “trigger”.[18]
III.I U.S. Green Light to Serb Army Atrocities
Indeed, the United States appears to have been inextricably involved in escalating the crisis from behind-the-scenes prior to August 1998 with the view to create “politically saleable event” that could provide a convenient “trigger” for already extant war plans for NATO intervention. When the KLA began to carry out organised attacks in February 1998, “U.S. special Balkans envoy Robert Gelbard visited Belgrade, praised Milosevic for his new cooperation in Bosnia and branded the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) ‘without question a terrorist group’.”[19] However, at this time Gelbard conspicuously failed to properly acknowledge the Serb Army’s repression, killing and deportation of Kosovan Albanians. New York Times correspondent Chris Hedges notes that the effect of Gelbard’s statement was to grant a “green light” to Serb President Slobodan Milosevic to escalate attacks against Kosovan Albanians in the name of fighting terrorism.[20]
The existence of an effective “green light” to Serb violence has been noted by a variety of commentators. Dejan Anastasievic of the Belgrade newspaper, Vreme, observed in March 1998 that “we have four dead policemen and the U.S. special representative to the former Yugoslavia, Robert Gelbard, last week in Belgrade very clearly denounced terrorism. I’m afraid Mr Milosevic has assumed this statement gave him a green light to do whatever he wants in Kosovo.”[21] Patrick Moore similarly reported for Radio Free Europe that according to independent Serbian journalists, “the major powers may have led Milosevic to think that he has a green light in Kosovo. Those who support this view note that U.S. special envoy Robert Gelbard on his recent trip to the region stressed that Kosovo is Serbia’s internal affair and criticized the UCK [KLA]... U.S. Secretary of State James Baker delivered a similarly ambiguous message to Belgrade in June 1991. The Yugoslav army attacked Slovenia shortly thereafter.”[22] Jim Hooper of the Balkans Institute similarly concluded that: “Holbrooke played into Milosevic’s hands by bringing him carrots and giving the stick to the Kosovo Albanians. Milosevic took those concessions as a green light to proceed, and cracked down harder on the Kosovars and in Serbia itself, withdrawing autonomy from universities and moving against independent media.”[23]
The consequence of these U.S. diplomatic initiatives was predicable. The West’s simultaneous condemnation of the KLA and casting of the Kosovo problem as an “internal affair” of Serbia, effectively displayed tacit consent to a Serb crackdown. There is other evidence suggesting that the Western powers had continued to support Milosevic throughout the early period of the Serb Army’s ethnic repression and atrocities against Kosovan Albanians. For example, although Milosevic has now been indicted as a war criminal, and accordingly is being held on trial in The Hague, he has only been indicted for war crimes since 1st January 1999.[24] In this connection, two pertinent questions must be asked: Why is it that he was not indicted for the military campaign he commanded against the Kosovan Albanians throughout 1997-8? And why was he not indicted for his war crimes since 1991 in Bosnia? Director of the Sweden-based Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research (TFF) Jan Oberg explains that unfortunately, “The West cooperates with war criminals” when it suits Western interests. Mentioning “crimes [Milosevic] may be directly or indirectly responsible for since 1991” “would mean that he was a criminal when still a partner of the West, such as in Dayton 1995”, as well as during the 1997-8 attacks on Kosovan Albanians.[25] It seems likely that Milosevic’s criminal policies throughout this period were undertaken while he had still been “a partner of the West”.
Having effectively flashed a “green light” to the Serb crackdown, the humanitarian catastrophe subsequently escalated. As a result, some 2-300,000 people, mostly Albanians, were reportedly displaced within Kosovo in the ensuing conflict in the year before the NATO bombing. Given that this is a war crime for which Milosevic has not been indicted by the Western powers, one may reasonably infer that the failure to do so reveals Western approval of this period’s atrocities – or otherwise admission that they never happened.        
III.II NATO’s Covert Support of the KLA
While having at first extended tacit approval to an unhindered crackdown by the Serb Army within Kosovo, it was only a few months later that the Western powers under U.S. leadership began to openly support the KLA. This was the same organisation that “the US envoy, Robert Gelbard, in early 1998 called a terrorist organisation”, as TFF Director Jan Oberg reports. The West had thus publicly befriended the very armed group which it had condemned “very strongly” for its “terrorist activities”, and which subsequently, as Oberg notes, “built its military capacity on weapons, ammunition and training supplied by various Western sources”; was “given political legitimacy in Rambouillet through the embrace of the U.S. and UK”; and “served as NATO’s ally on the ground during the bombardments”. The disconcerting ramifications of this policy become clear when it is noted that the Kosovo leadership at the forefront of the peaceful movement for independence was completely ignored by the international community. The “nonviolent line” of moderate Albanian leader Dr. Rugova “was never given any political support, legitimacy or concrete economic or other support comparable with what the KLA was given by the West.” Accordingly, the West had begun “actively support[ing] Albanian hardliners’ violence, atrocities and violations of international laws.” This elicited an even more violent response from the Serbs, which escalated the conflict further.[26] The result was that according to NATO reports, by March 1999 around 2,000 had been killed, the majority Kosovan Albanians, and an estimated 200,000 people were expelled from their homes to become refugees.
In fact, evidence seems to confirm that the U.S. played off both sides - Serbs and Albanians - against each other. In the same year, 1998, that the KLA guerrillas had been publicly condemned by the U.S. as a “terrorist group”, the CIA had already established covert links with the armed group. These links may have been established at least as early as 1996. According to the London Sunday Times:
“American intelligence agents have admitted they helped to train the Kosovan Liberation Army before Nato’s bombing of Yugoslavia... Central Intelligence Agency [CIA] officers were ceasefire monitors in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999, developing ties with the KLA and giving American training manuals and field advice on fighting the Yugoslav army and Serb police.”[27]
For the sake of impartiality, one is impelled to question what kind of “ceasefire monitoring” involves the following actions: publicly condemning the KLA for terrorism while casting the Kosovo issue as an internal affair of Serbia - hence giving a green light for the Serbs to expand their violent campaign; meanwhile covertly “developing ties with the KLA” in spite of its own atrocities and giving them military advice which swiftly escalated into military support. Clearly, U.S. policies seem to have been implemented to fan the flames of civil war. The Sunday Times further reports that:
“The KLA has admitted its long-standing links with American and European intelligence organisations. Shaban Shala, a KLA commander now involved in attempts to destabilise majority Albanian villages beyond Kosovo’s border in Serbia proper, claimed he had met British, American and Swiss agents in northern Albania in 1996... Agim Ceku, the KLA commander in the latter stages of the conflict, had established American contacts through his work in the Croatian army”.
According to one European envoy: “The American agenda consisted of their diplomatic observers, aka the CIA, operating on completely different terms to the rest of Europe and the OSCE [Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe].” One CIA source admitted that: “It was a CIA front, gathering intelligence on the KLA’s arms and leadership.” Another agent was more open, stating that he had felt “suckered in” by the U.S. intelligence agency: “I’d tell them [the KLA guerrillas] which hill to avoid, which wood to go behind, that sort of thing.”[28]
The United States had thus begun with severe public condemnation of the KLA, displaying to the Serb Army Western approval of its crackdown on Kosovan Albanians. Simultaneously, the KLA – which continued to carry out atrocities against Serb police and civilians - had been in receipt of direct CIA support, training and direction. When the Serb Army, confident in the “green light” signalled by dubious U.S. diplomacy, began cracking down with increasing brutality on the KLA and its perceived civilian supporters, the U.S. responded with severe public condemnation of the Serbs, signalling to the KLA Western approval of its violence. In this manner, the U.S. successfully fuelled the crisis by manufacturing conditions conducive to civil conflict, thus providing a pretext for NATO military intervention. European diplomats have been angered by the U.S. policy toward the KLA disclosed in March 2000, saying that: “… this had undermined moves for a political solution to the conflict between Serbs and Albanians... European diplomats then working for the OSCE [as “cease-fire monitors” in Kosovo prior to air strikes] claim it was betrayed by an American policy that made air strikes inevitable”.[29]
Western diplomacy, purportedly initiated to encourage both sides to come to a peaceful agreement catering for the interests of both the Serbian and Albanian communities in Kosovo, played a similar role in actually triggering conflict rather than averting it. By March 1999, the Western-brokered Rambouillet peace talks between representatives of Serbia and Kosovan Albanians, had been brought to an ultimatum: Serbia must accept the Rambouillet (Interim) Agreement of 23 February 1999 or be bombed.
The Rambouillet peace talks had lasted for only two weeks before the Western powers under U.S. leadership produced their ultimatum. This is in contrast to U.S. policy elsewhere, for example, the Israel-Palestine peace process that has continued for decades without any ultimatums being issued by the U.S. on behalf of either side along with the threat of a full-scale military intervention. Indeed, the actual peace talks leading up to the U.S. ultimatum at Rambouillet did not amount to a significant and fair negotiation process. As U.S. journalist David Peterson reports, the Rambouillet talks were not really negotiations at all, but were actually ‘proximity’ talks in which the two parties to the conflict were kept in separate rooms from one another, while Contact Group mediators (officials from the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Russia) moved back and forth between the parties. This obviously denied them the opportunity of holding face-to-face negotiations of their own, and allowed the Contact Group to impose their own conditions on Serb and Kosovan Albanian parties, in the form of the Interim Agreement for Peace and Self Government in Kosovo.[30]
IV.I Legislating for U.S. hegemony in the Balkans
Serbia refused to accept the Rambouillet Interim Agreement of 23rd February 1999. Western commentators have largely reported that this was because of the fascist intransigence of Milosevic and his brutal regime, which did not want a reasonable mutually beneficial peaceful solution. The reality of the matter was that Serbia rejected the Rambouillet accord because it contained extremely unreasonable conditions related to the interests of the Western powers, and which had nothing to do with a genuine peaceful solution. The accord consisted of numerous “non-negotiable” terms effectively legislating for NATO colonisation of the former Yugoslavia. The text of the Rambouillet accord reveals that the United States was less interested in averting a humanitarian catastrophe, than exploiting the Kosovo crisis as a cover of legitimacy under which it could extend its hegemony over the Balkan region through NATO. The accord contained crucial provisions that would have provided for the full-fledged military occupation of the entire Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) by NATO - not just Kosovo. A brief review of some of these provisions demonstrates the less than humanitarian motives behind NATO intervention.
Chapter 4a, Article I states: “The economy of Kosovo, shall function in accordance with free market principles.” Kosovo happens to be rich with mineral resources including gold, silver, mercury, molybdenum and other ores - free market principles would serve to open the region up to Western investors, maximising corporate profits.
Chapter 5, Article V states: “The CIM shall be the final authority in theater regarding interpretation of the civilian aspects of this Agreement, and the Parties agree to abide by his determinations as binding on all Parties and persons.” The CIM is the Chief of the Implementation Mission, to be appointed by the European Union countries.
Chapter 7, Article XV states: “The KFOR [NATO] commander is the final authority in theater regarding interpretation of this Chapter and his determinations are binding on all Parties and persons.” This chapter refers to all military matters. The overall import is that together, the CIM and the NATO commander were to have absolutely dictatorial powers, including for instance the right to overturn elections, shut down organisations and media, and overrule any decisions made by the Kosovo, Serbia or federal governments.
Excerpts from ‘Appendix B: Status of Multi-National Military Implementation Force’ of the Rambouillet text are even worse. They provide for the following: “NATO personnel shall enjoy, together with their vehicles, vessels, aircraft and equipment, free and unrestricted passage and unimpeded access throughout the FRY including associated airspace and territorial waters. This shall include, but not be limited to, the right of bivouac, maneuver, billet, and utilization of any areas or faculties as required for support, training and operations”; “NATO is granted the use of airports, roads, rails and ports without payment of fees, duties, dues, tolls, or charges occasioned by mere use”; “NATO may, in the conduct of the Operation, have need to make improvements or modifications to certain infrastructure in the FRY, such as roads, bridges, tunnels, buildings and utility systems”; “The Parties (Yugoslav government) shall, upon simple request, grant all telecommunications services, including broadcast services, needed for the Operation, as determined by NATO... [NATO shall have] the right to use all of the electromagnetic spectrum, free of cost”; “NATO shall be immune from all legal process, whether civil, administrative, or criminal”; “NATO personnel, under all circumstances and at all times, shall be immune from the Parties’ jurisdiction in respect of any civil, administrative, criminal or disciplinary offenses which may be committed by them in the FRY”; “NATO personnel shall be immune from any form of arrest, investigation, or detention by the authorities in the FRY”. Additionally, NATO personnel would be able to “detain” individuals and turn them over to unspecified “appropriate authority”. Appendix B of the accord therefore outlines the demand that NATO forces and whoever they employ can do as they wish throughout the territory of the FRY, without any obligations regarding the laws of the country (since such obligations are rendered obsolete under the qualification that NATO forces must “respect the laws applicable in the FRY” “Without prejudice to their privileges and immunities”), while having complete and unimpeded access throughout the whole region. Meanwhile, the FRY’s authorities would be required to follow any NATO orders “on a priority basis and with all appropriate means.”[31]
Professor Robert Hayden, Director of the Center for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, concluded from his expert analysis of the Rambouillet accord that:
“The administration’s Rambouillet plan was a public relations fraud rather than a diplomatic compromise. It provided for the independence of Kosovo in all but name and the military occupation by NATO of all of Yugoslavia - not just Kosovo. This was plainly a proposal that no government could accept”.[32]
It is therefore not surprising that Serbia rejected the absurd provisions proposed in the Rambouillet accord, particularly in Appendix B, which would have granted NATO sweeping hegemonic and, indeed, colonial powers throughout all of Yugoslavia. Although Serbia had rejected the idea of a NATO-led force in Kosovo, they had agreed to an international peacekeeping force, proposing instead a UN command.[33] Indeed, while President Clinton claimed that NATO had “exhausted every diplomatic effort for a settlement” and that “Serbian leaders refused even to discuss key elements of the peace agreement”,[34] Serbia had continued to make very clear that it was interested in a peaceful solution - it had already accepted most provisions of the Rambouillet Accord.[35]
IV.II NATO Rejection of Reasonable Peace Terms
Subsequent reports demonstrate that it was the United States and the Western powers, not Serbia, which had rejected a reasonable peaceful solution. The New York Times, reported in April 1999 that: “In a little-noted resolution of the Serbian Parliament just before the bombing, when that hardly independent body rejected NATO troops in Kosovo, it also supported the idea of UN forces to monitor a political settlement there.”[36] Indeed, the Serbian National Assembly had called loud and clear for negotiations with the objective of
“… reaching a political agreement on a wide-ranging autonomy for Kosovo and Metohija, with the securing of a full equality of all citizens and ethnic communities and with respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia… The Serbian Parliament is ready to review the size and character of the international presence in Kosmet [Kosovo/Metohija] for carrying out the reached accord, immediately upon signing the political accord on the self-rule agreed and accepted by the representatives of all national communities in Kosovo”.[37]
Serbia had in other words unambiguously agreed to an international presence in Kosovo in the form of a United Nations peacekeeping mission, going so far as to accept “self-rule” and “wide-ranging autonomy” for Kosovo. But this was unacceptable to the United States, which was apparently more interested in imposing hegemony over the region through NATO, while sidelining a prospective wider UN role. Indeed, NATO’s sacred credibility was at stake. So on 24th March 1999, NATO initiated a bombing campaign against Serbia with the professed aim of “prevent[ing] a greater humanitarian catastrophe”, claiming - quite falsely - that it had “no alternative” to a violent military intervention.[38]
It is clear then that the U.S.-led Western rejection of the reasonable proposal for a peaceful solution from Serbia illustrates a complete disinterest on the part of the West in genuinely establishing peace and autonomy for Kosovo. As the appended terms of the Rambouillet document reveal, the expansion of NATO in the Balkans was a primary objective. And furthermore, as noted in a previously cited report by the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee, justification for this expansion would be provided by manufacturing a crisis that could act as a “trigger” for NATO military intervention.
Thanks to the slavish complicity of the wider media and academia, both of which refused to take note of the facts, the Western public was meanwhile led to believe that Serbia had refused to accept, or even discuss, an international peacekeeping plan - hence allegedly leaving NATO with “no alternative” but to bomb. But at that time, Serbia had actually agreed to most of the provisions - including autonomy for Kosovo - of the Rambouillet accord, requesting UN monitors instead of NATO. Moreover, it was the West that had imposed unreasonable non-negotiable terms in the Rambouillet accord that would have legislated for NATO’s full-fledged colonial-style military occupation of the whole of Yugoslavia. It was, in fact, the Western powers under American leadership who had rejected reasonable Serb proposals for peace including wide-ranging autonomy for Kosovo and a UN-led peacekeeping presence in Kosovo.
Indeed, the “Rambouillet talks were a farce”, according to U.S. media analyst Seth Ackerman of the Washington DC-based Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), America’s leading media watchdog. “The U.S. consistently refused to negotiate; for example, Madeleine Albright told the Serbs, ‘We accept nothing less than a complete agreement including a NATO-led force’.” Ackerman thus observed at the time that although “a peaceful solution was possible”, “the U.S. has blocked that route”, preferring instead to drop its humanitarian bombs in the name of ‘preventing a greater catastrophe’ - which could have easily been prevented peacefully. In other words, the West deliberately obstructed a peaceful solution because it favoured a military solution.[39] Seth Ackerman elaborates on this elsewhere:
“NATO described its war as a humanitarian campaign - a war for human rights. So the media have tended to evaluate it in those terms. But what’s missing is the recognition that the U.S. had strategic goals in Europe that shaped the way it addressed the Kosovo problem... Secretary of State Albright’s goal at Rambouillet was provoking a Serbian ‘no’ and an Albanian ‘yes’ so that the Europeans would be forced to approve NATO air strikes.”[40]
The glaring inconsistencies in the official story of what happened in Kosovo are evident in later developments. The principal objective of the Western powers, purportedly, was the desire to “avert humanitarian catastrophe” in Kosovo - that is, to “halt the genocide”, and to prevent the expulsion of Kosovan Albanians from their homes. But as a matter of strategic fact, the Western powers had been well-aware that a NATO bombing campaign would only escalate the genocide and widen the humanitarian catastrophe – which, to say the least, throws the official humanitarian motives of the NATO powers into severe doubt.
V.I Internal U.S. Predictions on the Impact of NATO Bombing
Professor Stephen Shalom, a political scientist at William Paterson University in New Jersey, provides a lucid summary of the predicted impact of NATO bombing:
“Firstly, the bombing required the removal of the international observers and relief workers whose presence provided some restraint. (‘The Serbs were spring-loaded to go when the last observer left Kosovo’, said a NATO intelligence official quoted in the Washington Post [WP], April 11, 1999.)”[41]
The Chicago Tribune concurred with this assessment, reporting at the time that: “The absence of international monitors in Kosovo has given a green light to Serb ‘cleansing’ of Albanian Kosovars.”[42] “Second,” noted Professor Shalom, “the bombing incensed many even in Serbia’s democratic movement, so one can only imagine how it must have affected Serbian security forces in Kosovo…
“… unable to retaliate against NATO missiles and warplanes, they could be expected to lash out at those most vulnerable. Third, mass expulsions would benefit the Serbian military, who hoped a flood of refugees would ‘overwhelm and distract NATO forces stationed on the other side of the border’ (WP, April 11, 1999, citing Western officials). And fourth, if NATO was going to try to force a settlement militarily, there was considerable incentive for Milosevic to make sure he was in the strongest possible bargaining position when the fighting ended: i.e., to try to totally wipe out the KLA, uproot its mass base, and remove Albanians from as much territory as possible in preparation for any partition... What were U.S. officials thinking?”[43]
In fact, U.S. officials were thinking exactly along these lines. Many reports indicate that U.S. officials appear to have known all along that a bombing campaign would escalate the humanitarian catastrophe, rather than reverse it. The Sunday Times reports that well before the launch of NATO air strikes, President Clinton knew that “air strikes might provoke Serb soldiers into greater acts of butchery.” On 15th March 1999:
“Clinton and his cabinet members, including William Cohen, the defence secretary, and Sandy Berger, the national security adviser, sat in silence as Shelton [General Hugh Shelton, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] outlined the thrust of the analysis. There was a danger, he told them, that far from helping to contain the savagery of the Serbs in Kosovo - a moral imperative cited by the president - air strikes might provoke Serb soldiers into greater acts of butchery. Air strikes alone, Shelton stated, could not stop Serb forces from executing Kosovars.”[44]
The same was confirmed by U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chair Peter Goss: “Our intelligence community warned us months and days before [the bombing] that we would have a virtual explosion of refugees over the 250,000 that was expected as of last year [i.e. pre-bombing], that the Serb resolve would increase, and that there would be ethnic cleansing.”[45] George J. Tenet, Director of the CIA, similarly warned that the Serbs might respond to NATO bombing with a campaign of ethnic cleansing.[46] After the initiation of the bombing campaign and the escalation of the humanitarian catastrophe, Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon admitted that the Pentagon had known all along that this was a probable outcome: “In the Pentagon, in this building, we were not surprised at what Milosevic has done.”[47] The Supreme Commander of NATO, General Wesley Clark, who led the entire campaign, went even further, admitting that: “We knew there were going to be some horrendous atrocities… We knew it might lead to the expulsion of Kosovars from certain regions of Kosovo.”[48]
He also stressed quite unambiguously during the first few days of the bombing that it was “entirely predictable” that Serb paramilitary atrocities would increase as a result of NATO’s intervention, and that as a consequence the ethnic cleansing of Kosovan Abanians would escalate. The Sunday Times, for instance, reported that: “Nato’s supreme commander, Wesley Clark was not surprised at the retaliatory upsurge [by the Serbs]. ‘This was entirely predictable at this stage’, he said” concerning the bombing’s “horrific impact” on civilians in Kosovo. Not long later Clark further affirmed: “The military authorities fully anticipated the vicious approach that Milosevic would adopt, as well as the terrible efficiency with which he would carry it out”.[49] A month after the bombing, the NATO Commander further revealed that the NATO air war against Serbia planned by “the political leadership”, “was not designed as a means of blocking Serb ethnic cleansing. It was not designed as a means of waging war against the Serb and MUP forces in Kosovo. Not in any way. There was never any intent to do that. That was not the idea.”[50]
In other words, according to the then Supreme Commander of NATO who steered the bombing campaign in Kosovo, it was fully anticipated that the NATO intervention would escalate acts of genocide, atrocities and the humanitarian catastrophe as such. Indeed, General Wesley Clark admitted that this was because the military intervention had nothing to do with averting Serb ethnic cleansing, or even waging war with Serb forces in Kosovo. Yet on 24th March 1999, President Clinton, speaking from the White House, told reporters: “Our purpose here is to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe. Our objective is to make it clear to Mr. Milosevic he must choose peace or limit his plans to make war.”[51] The Western powers under U.S. leadership therefore wished to convince the world that they had intervened militarily to avert Kosovo’s humanitarian catastrophe, in spite of having predicted that, “Airstrikes alone... could not stop Serb forces from executing Kosovars” (Shelton), and having anticipated that bombing would escalate the humanitarian catastrophe.
V.II NATO’s Escalation of the Humanitarian Catastrophe
It is hardly surprising therefore to find that NATO’s bombing campaign directly resulted in the escalation, exactly as anticipated, of the humanitarian crisis in Kosovo. The impact of the West’s intervention has been noted by numerous commentators. For instance, leading specialist in international studies Andre Gunder Frank, currently Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Nebraska, reported the predictable anti-humanitarian results: “NATO bombing, as the CIA and Pentagon reportedly predicted, has immeasurably increased the deprivation of the Kosovo Albanians’ life, property, home and country.”[52] British war correspondent John Pilger, winner of British journalism’s highest award, reported that:
“From 24 March [when the NATO bombings commenced], the escalation of both atrocities and the flood of refugees is clear in reports to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. The bombing, reported investigators of the International Strategic Studies Association, ‘contributed heavily, perhaps overwhelmingly’.”[53]
Cultural critic and political affairs commentator Professor Edward Said of Columbia University similarly observed:
“[T]hat the illegal bombing increased and hastened the flight of people out of Kosovo cannot be doubted. How the NATO high command, with Bill Clinton and Tony Blair leading the pack, could ever have assumed that the number of refugees would have decreased as a result of the bombing fairly beggars the imagination.”[54]
Some commentators have attempted to deflect from the damning implications of these facts, by suggesting that the Serb Army had long planned to escalate violence against the Kosovan Albanians regardless of whether or not NATO bombed. Yet this suggestion is based on a distortion of the facts. As concluded by the London-based Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR): “It is now clear that Belgrade prepared the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo - code-named Operation Horseshoe - months in advance. It was to be executed in the event of NATO bombing. [italics added]”[55] In other words, if these Serb plans existed, it was also planned that they only be implemented subsequent to NATO military intervention. However, other experts have challenged the very existence of such plans. German General Heinz Loquai has revealed that ‘Operation Horseshoe’ never existed at all – rather, it was a myth manufactured by the German Minister of Defence to galvanise public support of the NATO bombing.[56]
Even the U.S. Department of State somewhat inadvertently admitted that “In late March 1999”, which was when NATO’s huge air war had commenced, “Serbian forces dramatically increased the scope and pace of their efforts”, as predicted would occur as a consequence of NATO’s military intervention, “moving away from selective targeting of towns and regions suspected of KLA sympathies.” Thus, the State Department confessed that prior to NATO intervention, Serb attacks constituted “selective targeting” directed primarily at the KLA - not genocide - which only “dramatically increased” thanks to NATO’s military humanism.[57]              
The mayhem that consequently ensued on the ground has been described well by leading U.S. foreign policy analyst Professor Noam Chomsky of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology:
“The threat of NATO bombing, predictably, led to a sharp escalation of atrocities by the Serbian Army and paramilitaries, and to the departure of international observers, which of course had the same effect. Commanding General Wesley Clark declared that it was ‘entirely predictable’ that Serbian terror and violence would intensify after the NATO bombing, exactly as happened… [T]here are credible reports of large-scale destruction of villages, assassinations, generation of an enormous refugee flow, perhaps an effort to expel a good part of the Albanian population - all an ‘entirely predictable’ consequence of the threat and then the use of force, as General Clark rightly observes. Kosovo is therefore another illustration of... try[ing] to escalate the violence, with exactly that expectation.”[58]
The conclusions of the above examination are confirmed by a comparison of the casualties before and after the NATO bombing. Such a comparison reveals the occurrence of a very sharp rise in deaths after the commencement of the NATO air war. The contrast between conditions in Serbia and Kosovo before and after NATO intervention is so striking that, as Balkans specialist Professor Robert Hayden records: “… the casualties among Serb civilians in the first three weeks of the war [as a result of NATO bombing] are higher than all the casualties on both sides in Kosovo in the three months that led up this war, and yet those three months were supposed to be a humanitarian catastrophe.”[59]
VI.I No Genocide Prior to NATO Intervention
There is little doubt that in 1998, Kosovo was being ravaged by a conflict that had resulted in the killings of approximately 2,000 people, mostly Kosovan Albanians. The cycle of violence, however, had mainly been initiated through a series of concerted KLA attacks on Serb police and civilians, culminating in the KLA’s takeover of approximately 40 per cent of Kosovo. The KLA offensive had elicited a disproportionately violent response from Serb security forces who cracked down on both KLA guerrillas and their perceived civilian supporters among the Kosovan Albanian community. However, a fairly detailed review of this sequence of events demonstrates that it is inaccurate to construe the violence as a clear-cut case of genocide perpetrated by the Serb Army on the Albanian population of Kosovo. It is indeed striking to find that the cycle of military violence had been initiated not by the Serbs, but by the KLA.
On 8th December 1998, the Foreign Minister of the European Union “expressed concern for the ‘recent intensification of military action’ in Kosovo, noting that increased activity by the KLA has prompted an increased presence of Serbian security forces in the region.” The North Atlantic Council had similarly concluded that the KLA constituted “the main initiators of violence… [in]… a deliberate campaign of provocation.” The KLA and other Kosovan Albanian leaders explained the reasoning behind their tactics as follows: “any armed action we undertook would bring retaliation against civilians”; “the more civilians were killed, the chances of intervention became bigger”. Such statements – and there are others of this sort - reveal that the KLA attacks were designed to deliberately provoke a brutal Serb reaction against Kosovan Albanian civilians, which could be exploited to justify Western intervention. When four Serb policemen were killed by KLA fighters prior to the massacre of dozens of Kosovan Albanians at Racak, KLA leader Hashim Thaci told the BBC: “We knew we were endangering civilians lives, too, a great number of lives.” Another KLA guerrilla admitted with reference to the Racak massacre that: “It was guaranteed that every time we took action they would take revenge on civilians”. Importantly, he also described the violence at Racak not as a genocidal attack by Serb security forces on Kosovan Albanian civilians, but rather as “a ferocious struggle” in which both sides “suffered heavy losses”.[60]
In response to the escalating tit-for-tat killings of which civilians were increasingly becoming a target, the UN Security Council demanded a ceasefire and negotiations in September 1998. U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke brokered an agreement between Serbia and the KLA. According to veteran Balkans specialist Tim Judah, the agreement “had come just in time for the guerrillas”, who “were hard pressed and were holed up in hills”. The U.S.-brokered agreement granted the KLA “a reprieve, time to reorganise and rearm, and, as they told anyone who cared to listen, time to prepare for their spring [1999] offensive.”[61] Thus, after the October ceasefire, the KLA violated the terms of the agreement as predicted, initiating a new wave of attacks. The simultaneous assessment of the violence by EU Foreign Ministers and the North Atlantic Council was that:
“Kosovo Albanian paramilitary units have taken advantage of the lull in the fighting to re-establish control over many villages in Kosovo, as well as over some areas near urban centres and highways… leading to statements [by Serb authorities] that if the [Western KVM monitors] cannot control these units the government would.”
Reviewing the ensuing violence, the UN Inter-Agency Update reported in January the specific incidents of fighting between Serb security forces and the KLA. “More reports were received of the KLA ‘policing’ the Albanian community and administering punishments to those charged as collaborators with the Serbs.” The “cycle of confrontation can be generally described” as a series of KLA attacks on Serb civilians and police, eliciting “a disproportionate response by the FRY authorities” and “renewed KLA activity elsewhere.” In a revealing statement during the commencement of NATO bombing, British Defence Minister Lord George Robertson, later to become NATO Secretary-General, testified before the House of Commons that up until mid-January 1999, “the KLA were responsible for more deaths in Kosovo than the Yugoslav authorities had been.”[62] Similarly, a UN report put the balance of violence between Serb and Albanian paramilitaries before NATO intervention at roughly equal.[63]
It is important to recall the U.S. role in the crisis at this time. Having displayed a “green light” to Serbia’s response to KLA attacks, the U.S. covertly supported the KLA throughout the period of confrontation described above. We should refer again to the findings of the Sunday Times that:
“American intelligence agents have admitted they helped to train the Kosovo Liberation Army before Nato’s bombing of Yugoslavia… Central Intelligence Agency officers were cease-fire monitors in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999, developing ties with the KLA and giving American military training manuals and field advice on fighting the Yugoslav army and Serbian police.”
In other words, under the cover of acting as independent KVM ceasefire monitors, the CIA gave covert assistance - primarily in the form of training, military advice, and strategic planning - to the KLA in its above attacks on Serb civilians and police, which were designed to provoke a violent Serb response. According to one CIA agent, “I’d tell them which hill to avoid, which wood to go behind, that sort of thing.” Covert U.S. support therefore apparently guided the KLA to attack in a manner most likely to elicit a brutal Serb clampdown, which could thus eventually be used to justify airstrikes. “European diplomats then working for the OSCE claim it was betrayed by an American policy that made airstrikes inevitable.”[64]
Official internal German government reports obtained by the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms clearly show that the German government privately denied the existence of both ethnic cleansing and genocide in Kosovo, prior to NATO intervention. This was apparently in spite its own public assertions in support of U.S. claims. The internal documents thus corroborate our conclusions above, that averting genocide was not the basis for NATO’s intervention, and that in reality the escalation of humanitarian crisis in Kosovo occurred as a direct product of NATO intervention. Key excerpts from some of these documents are cited and discussed below.
A German Foreign Office intelligence report of 12 January 1999 observed: “Even in Kosovo an explicit political persecution linked to Albanian ethnicity is not verifiable. The East of Kosovo is still not involved in armed conflict. Public life in cities like Pristina, Urosevac, Gnjilan, etc. has, in the entire conflict period, continued on a relatively normal basis.” The “actions of the [Serb] security forces (were) not directed against the Kosovo-Albanians as an ethnically defined group, but against the military opponent and its actual or alleged supporters.”[65] Another internal report noted:
“The Foreign Office’s status reports of May 6, June 8 and July 13, 1998, given to the plaintiffs in the summons to a verbal deliberation, do not allow the conclusion that there is group persecution of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo. Not even regional group persecution, applied to all ethnic Albanians from a specific part of Kosovo, can be observed with sufficient certainty. The violent actions of the Yugoslav military and police since February 1998 were aimed at separatist activities and are no proof of a persecution of the whole Albanian ethnic group in Kosovo or in a part of it. What was involved in the Yugoslav violent actions and excesses since February 1998 was a selective forcible action against the military underground movement (especially the KLA) and people in immediate contact with it in its areas of operation... A state program of persecution aimed at the whole ethnic group of Albanians exists neither now nor earlier.”[66]
The Administrative Court of Baden-Wurttenburg concluded: “The various reports presented to the senate all agree that the often feared humanitarian catastrophe threatening the Albanian civil population has been averted...
“This appears to be the case since the winding down of combat in connection with an agreement made with the Serbian leadership at the end of 1998 (Status Report of the Foreign Office, November 18, 1998). Since that time both the security situation and the conditions of life of the Albanian-derived population have noticeably improved... Specifically in the larger cities public life has since returned to relative normality (cf. on this Foreign Office, January 12, 1999 to the Administrative Court of Trier; December 28, 1998 to the Upper Administrative Court of Lüneberg and December 23, 1998 to the Administrative Court at Kassel), even though tensions between the population groups have meanwhile increased due to individual acts of violence... Single instances of excessive acts of violence against the civil population, e.g. in Racak, have, in world opinion, been laid at the feet of the Serbian side and have aroused great indignation. But the number and frequency of such excesses do not warrant the conclusion that every Albanian living in Kosovo is exposed to extreme danger to life and limb nor is everyone who returns there threatened with death and severe injury.”[67]
Near the end of February, the Upper Adminstrative Court at Munster observed:
“There is no sufficient actual proof of a secret program, or an unspoken consensus on the Serbian side, to liquidate the Albanian people, to drive it out or otherwise to persecute it in the extreme manner presently described... Events since February and March 1998 do not evidence a persecution program based on Albanian ethnicity. The measures taken by the armed Serbian forces are in the first instance directed toward combatting the KLA and its supposed adherents and supporters.”
The Court similarly noted on 11th March: “Ethnic Albanians in Kosovo have neither been nor are now exposed to regional or countrywide group persecution in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.”[68] These official reports contradict the official public line adopted by the NATO powers. They demonstrate that the massive crisis in Kosovo was largely a production of the NATO intervention, and almost certainly did not exist prior to the latter. In tandem with other reports discussed above, they disprove NATO’s justification for intervention by strongly suggesting that there simply was no such policy of genocide on the part of the Serb authorities.
VI.II The Impact of NATO Bombing on Serbia and Kosovo
Indeed, while the available evidence weighs strongly in favour of the conclusion that there was no genocide in Kosovo prior to the NATO bombing campaign, it is apparent that the bombing directly escalated the humanitarian catastrophe to unprecedented degrees. Gar Lipow reports these results with cutting irony:
“Cruise missile humanitarianism has multiplied the number of Kosovar Albanian homeless and dead, without saving one life, or stopping one atrocity. By highest estimates, the Kosovo civil war drove 400,000 ethnic Albanians from their homes in 1998; 30,000 of these fled Kosovo. The first two weeks of the bombing increased this to over one million homeless Kosovars; more than 400,000 of whom fled Kosovo. From March 26th through April 13th, NATO escalated the atrocities to double those in the whole year of 1998. The CIA and Pentagon both warned our government that it would provoke massacres before it dropped the first kind and cuddly bomb.”[69]
The overall import of all this is that NATO’s air war was implemented before the refugee evictions and killings began on an unprecedented scale. As had been forecast at the outset, the intervention constituted the fundamental cause of the rapid escalation of ethnic cleansing and other atrocities. One only need recall the damning testimony of NATO Commander General Clark, who noted that the war plans he was ordered to prepare by “the political leadership” were “not designed as a means of blocking Serb ethnic cleansing... Not in anyway. There was never any intent” to block “ethnic cleansing”. “That was not the idea.” In that context, it is not surprising that the NATO campaign involved the deliberate bombing of civilians.
In April, the Washington Times reported that NATO planned to hit “power generation plants and water systems, taking the war directly to civilians.”[70] The New York Times similarly reported in April that “the destruction of the civilian infrastructure of Yugoslavia has become part of the strategy to end the war on Kosovo... We are bringing down terror on the Serbian people”.[71] In May, NATO Generals admitted that “Just focussing on field forces is not enough... The [Serbian] people have to get to the point that their lights are turned off, their bridges are blocked so they can’t get to work.”[72] “NATO officials also have said they believe that putting pressure on the civilian population will undermine the regime,” reported the San Francisco Examiner.[73] A British Harrier pilot who had been bombing Serbia in April 1999 was led to remark: “After a while you’ve got to ignore the collateral damage [i.e. civilian casualties] and start smashing those targets”[74] – in other words, bomb indiscriminately with no regard for the civilian death toll.
NATO’s attacks were therefore aimed at civilian targets right from the outset of the campaign, when a tractor factory was destroyed by cruise missiles. According to an employee of a U.S. intelligence organisation, the CIA had been charged with crafting lists of Yugoslav economic assets – the official testified that “basically, everything in the country’s a target unless it’s taken off the list.”[75]
Professor Robert Hayden of the University of Pittsburgh, a specialist in Central and East European affairs, surveyed the results:
“Since then NATO targets have included roads, railroad tracks and bridges hundreds of miles from Kosovo, power plants, factories of many kinds, food processing and sugar processing plants, water pumping stations, cigarette factories, central heating plants for civilian apartment blocks, television studios, post offices, non-military government administrative buildings, ski resorts, government official residences, oil refineries, civilian airports, gas stations, and chemical plants. NATO’s strategy is not to attack Yugoslavia’s army directly, but rather to destroy Yugoslavia itself”.[76]
TFF Director Jan Oberg similarly noted that:
“Perhaps the biggest lie in all this was the statement that ‘we are not at war with the Yugoslav people’. But NATO destroyed 300 factories and refineries, 190 educational establishments, 20 hospitals, 30 clinics, 60 bridges, 5 airports; it killed at least 2,000 civilians and wounded 6,000 and many will die and suffer because of the health infrastructure destruction. To this you may add the sanctions since 1991 and the burden of more than 700,000 refugees from other republics and now from Kosovo. Only 12-15 tanks of 300 main battle tanks and some planes were destroyed.”[77]
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter concurred: “[Our attack] has been counterproductive, and our destruction of civilian life has now become senseless and excessively brutal...
“The American-led force has expanded targets to inhabited areas and resorted to the use of anti-personnel cluster bombs. The result has been damage to hospitals, offices and residences of a half-dozen ambassadors, and the killing of innocent civilians... [Our] insistence on the use of cluster bombs, designed to kill or maim humans, is condemned almost universally and brings discredit to our nation.”[78]
Other reports detailed the nature of NATO’s attacks. “After two months of bombing, which began March 24, a NATO bent on crippling Serbia’s war effort is going after the country’s electricity in a serious way, and water supplies dependent of electrical pumps are a major casualty. The high-explosive bombs are doing permanent damage to both systems.”[79] The result was noted by William Drozdiak: “In the past few days of NATO’s 2-month-old campaign of air attacks against Yugoslavia, allied bombing runs have deprived Belgrade and other major cities of much of their electricity and water supplies by knocking out power stations.”[80]
In fact, according to the Confederation of Trade Unions in Serbia (CTUS), the hundreds of factories destroyed by NATO bombs were almost all state-owned. Foreign-owned private enterprises in the country were not targeted. “Many of these factories had been occupied by their workers, who hoped to prevent U.S. warplanes from attacking by placing their bodies on the line. NATO bombed them anyway,” reported Fred Gaboury. “Among the factories destroyed are the giant Zastava plant that employed 30,000, the Energoinvest plant in the Kosovo city of Pristina that employed 800, the Amortizeri plant that employed 4,500 workers and the 14th of October plant that employed 5,000.”[81]
Further evidence for the fact that civilian infrastructure constituted the prime target - with Yugoslav military losses constituting the actual ‘collateral damage’ - comes in the form of casualty figures. Award-winning British journalist Robert Fisk reported that: “NATO killed far more Serb civilians than soldiers during its 11-week bombardment of the country and most of the Yugoslav Third Army emerged unscathed from the massive air attacks on its forces in Kosovo”. According to “investigations by Western correspondents and humanitarian agencies of Nato bombing incidents”, “the official civilian casualty toll of around 1,500” was confirmed, with 6000 wounded.
“At least 450 of these died in Nato’s repeated ‘mistakes’, when alliance aircraft bombed a train at Grdelica, a bridge at Varvarin, housing estates at Surdulica, Aleksinac and Cuprija, a bus at Luzane, an Albanian refugee convoy in Kosovo and made other attacks on civilians. Many others died in what Nato called ‘collateral damage’ in attacks around Belgrade, Kraljevo, Kragujevac, Nis and Novi Sad.”
Meanwhile, “thousands of Yugoslav tanks, missile launchers, artillery batteries, personnel carriers and trucks have been withdrawn from the province with barely a scratch on them”, while “only 132 members of the armed forces were killed in Nato attacks” according to “figures given to The Independent by a Yugoslav military source.”[82]
We should hence contrast the 7,500 Serb civilians wounded and killed, with the death toll of only 132 Serb soldiers in comparison. This blatantly contravenes NATO’s repeated insistence that it “never intended to cause civilian casualties.”[83] On the contrary, the figures indicate that NATO was primarily targeting civilians, rather than the Yugoslav military. According to NATO itself, less than one per cent of bombs miss their target, which means that more than 99 per cent of the time NATO hits home. By NATO’s own inadvertent admission then, if Serb civilian casualties vastly outnumber military losses, the only explanation is that NATO was deliberately targeting them - a fact admitted by the major American newspapers.[84]
A crucial report from Spain details the testimony of a Spanish fighter pilot concerning NATO’s deliberate targeting of civilians: “The suspicions that NATO’s repeated bombing of civilian victims and non-military targets are not the result of war ‘errors’, are confirmed by Captain Martin de la Hoz”, a Spanish pilot who participated in the NATO bombing raids. Captain Adolfo Luis Martin de la Hoz, who returned to Spain in May after the bombings, affirmed the following:
“Several times our colonel protested to NATO chiefs as to why they select targets which are not military targets. They threw him out with curses, saying that we should know that the North Americans would lodge a complaint to the Spanish Army... once there was a coded order from the North American military that we should drop anti-personnel bombs over the localities of Prishtine (Pristina) and Nish (Nis). The colonel refused altogether and, a couple of days later, the transfer order came.”
The report continues with the Captain’s description of the NATO campaign:
“They are destroying the country, bombing it with new weapons, toxic nerve gases, surface mines dropped by parachute, bombs containing uranium, napalm, sterilization chemicals, sprayings to poison the crops and weapons of which even we still do not know anything. The North Americans are committing there one of the biggest barbarities that can be committed against humanity.”[85]
VI.III Some Reports On NATO’s Targeting of Civilian Infrastructure
For a basic understanding of the real import of NATO’s allegedly humanitarian targeting of civilian infrastructure in Yugoslavia, we may consider the following excerpt from a report by Robert Fisk in The Independent:
“On the second floor of the Serbian Clinical Centre in Belgrade are victims of the Balkan war who will never be mentioned in any NATO briefing. There’s a 14-year-old boy with his head crushed, lying in a coma, eyes half-closed, a fat oxygen tube down his throat. There’s a middle-aged farmer hit in the head by shrapnel and expected to die within a few hours. A little further down the emergency ward is another boy - 13 this time - with his head swathed in bandages, moving in agony, his brain damaged and his right leg fractured by a falling building. They are NATO’s victims.”
In another later report, Fisk relates:
“They had been torn apart. Blood was caked around what was left of Vojislav Milic’s cellar, and there was the smell of meat. In the morgue, they had been unable to fit together the pieces of his son and daughter-in-law and his two grandchildren. NATO’s bomb - one of two which struck the homes of Surdulica - had scored a direct hit on the house, killing at least nine other children in the basement, the youngest only five years old... Every house in Zmaj Jove Jovanovica Street had been ripped apart by the 2,000-lb laser-guided bomb, their roofs flung hundreds of metres around the town, their walls cracked or blasted to the ground, their people - those who survived - taken to hospital in their dozens.... ‘Bits [of children] were all over the road’, a young, American-educated man said to me. ‘We found the head of a child in a garden and many limbs in the mud. But you don’t want to report that. CNN filmed the bodies - but they didn’t show them on television.’ Alas, the young man was right.”[86]
Other reports give us a similarly bleak picture of NATO’s indiscriminate bombing of civilian infrastructure in Serbia.
“NATO carried out a daytime attack in the capital area, severely damaging a railway bridge over the Sava River a few miles west of Belgrade… Other strong explosions hit the Yugoslav capital hours later. Serbian media reported NATO jets also attacked the central town of Valijevo, hitting a factory and damaging nearby civilian homes.”[87]
“Less than two hours after the Russian special envoy left Belgrade after peace talks with President Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia, NATO bombed a hospital this morning. Four people were killed and dozens wounded, including medical staff and two women struck by broken glass while giving birth. At least 70 other pregnant women were moved to another hospital.”[88]
“At a news conference Tuesday, Health Minister Leposava Milicevic said that across Serbia, there were 9,500 patients in intensive care or semi-intensive care, 3,000 patients a day in need of dialysis and 300 infants in incubators, all at risk because of the power shortages.”[89]
“After the attacks this morning, Radio Novosti reported that a chemical complex at Baric, 15 miles southwest of Belgrade, had been hit. Telephone calls around Serbia found witnesses who reported attacks at Obrenovac, the site of a power station; at Ostruzmica, and at Makis, a water-purifying station for Belgrade.”[90]
“‘It took only five seconds to destroy the future of 5,000 people and their families. As of today this factory is dead, as well as the town of Cacak itself,’ said Radomir Ljujic, managing director of the Sloboda household utilities plant.”[91]
Senior lecturer in Media Studies at South Bank University, Phillip Hammond, has undertaken a critical analysis of several further examples of such systematic ‘collateral damage’:
“The bombs that hit Nis marketplace on 3 May, for example, were cluster bombs designed to kill and maim people with shrapnel, although the stated target was an airport runway. Similarly, when Nato hit a bus on 1 May, killing 47 people, was it also an accident that Nato aircraft returned for a second strike, hitting an ambulance and injuring medical staff at the scene? It is certain at least that the attack on the television building in Belgrade was carried out in the full knowledge that civilians were inside. Nato’s definition of a ‘legitimate military target’ is flexible enough to include homes, schools and hospitals.”[92]
As a result of the Western campaign “staggering problems” lay ahead, reported the New York Times, including the problem of returning refugees “to the land of ashes and graves that was their home”, but that has now been devastated as a result of both NATO bombing and the scorched earth campaign it predictably induced. This has produced the “enormously costly challenge of rebuilding the devastated economies of Kosovo, the rest of Serbia and their neighbours.” For example in Serbia, thanks to NATO’s pinprick missile attacks on the country’s water pumps, only 30 per cent of Belgrade’s 2 million people had running water, and the city was down to 10 per cent of its reserves. According to Balkans historian Susan Woodward of the Brookings Institution, “all the people we want to help us to make a stable Kosovo have been destroyed by the effects of the bombings.”[93]
VI.IV NATO’s Environmental Catastrophe
The NATO bombing has resulted in the ecological devastation of the entire region. The effects, which according to environmental experts have rather ominous implications for the ecological future of Europe, have been documented by the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Professor Michel Chossudovsky of Ottawa University and Dr. Radoje Lausevic of Belgrade University, among others. Dr. Lausevic, for instance, documents NATO damage to (a) Infrastructure - general, traffic, bridges, railways and railway stations, roads and transporters, and airports (b) Industry - factories, refineries, warehouses, agriculture (c) Urban and rural residential areas (d) Pre-school institutions, schools and universities (e) Cultural and historic monuments.[94]
Some instances of NATO’s devastation of the environment were also reported by Steve Crawshaw:
“The fertilizer factory was bombed, releasing huge amounts of ammonia into the air and into the Danube. The oil refinery was repeatedly bombed: 20,000 tons of crude oil were burnt up in one bombardment alone, and a cloud of black smoke hung in the air for 10 days. The petrochemicals factory was bombed: 1,400 tons of ethylene dichloride poured into the Danube, and high concentrations of vinyl chloride, the main constituent of polyvinyl chlorides, were released into the atmosphere at more than 10,000 times the permitted level.”[95]
British journalist George Monbiot, who won a United Nations prize for the environment, likewise reported around mid-April: “The chemical tanks ruptured by NATO bombers on the outskirts of Belgrade last week contained a number of lethal pollutants…
“Some held a complex mixture of hydrocarbons called ‘naptha’, others housed phosgene and chlorine (both of which were used as chemical weapons in the first world war), and hydrochloric acid. As the factories burnt, a poisoned rain, containing hundreds of toxic combustion products, splattered Belgrade, its suburbs and the surrounding countryside. Broken tanks and burst pipes poured naptha, chlorine, ethylene dichloride and transformer oil, all deadly poisons, into the Danube... Oil slicks up to 12 miles long wound their way towards Romania... Many of the compounds released cause cancers, miscarriages and birth defects. Others are associated with fatal nerve and liver diseases. The effects of the bombing of Serbia’s economy equate, in other words, to low-intensity chemical warfare.... This, in environmental terms at least, is perhaps the dirtiest war the West has ever fought.”[96]
These grave consequences of the intervention were by no means accidental. In an extensive analysis of the impact of NATO’s bombing on the Pancevo petrochemical plant in Yugoslavia, Professor Michel Chossudovsky – a longtime observer on Balkans affairs – concluded that:
NATO military strategists knew precisely what they were doing and what would be the likely consequences. At the neighboring oil refinery, two NATO missiles had hit on April 4th the refinery’s control rooms killing three staff members. The strikes had set the plant on fire, reducing it to a toxic wreck. The objective was not to avoid an environmental disaster. The objective was to create an environmental disaster... NATO was expecting that by ruthlessly bombing Pancevo among other civilian sites, this would intimidate Belgrade into accepting the Rambouillet Agreement including its infamous Military Appendix which essentially gave NATO the right to occupy all parts of Yugoslavia.”[97]
Chossudovsky’s study is based on conclusive photographic and documentary evidence. It focuses particularly on whether the resultant damage was accidental or purposeful, in light of the specific capabilities of NATO targeting technology.
To add to the West’s culpability, it has been revealed that the NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade - in which three Chinese journalists were killed - was also not an accident. Contrary to claims by Western politicians echoed by the majority of mainstream news outlets. “NATO deliberately bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during the war in Kosovo after discovering it was being used to transmit Yugoslav army communications”, reports The Observer.[98]
VI.V NATO’s Destruction of Kosovo
Even the province of Kosovo, which was purportedly supposed be under the protection of the international community, was apparently targeted by the NATO humanitarian bombing campaign. In fact, NATO’s bombing of Kosovo played a direct role in escalating the refugee crisis: Kosovan Albanian civilians were often fleeing NATO bombs in addition to Serb reprisals. Indeed, there is abundant evidence to suggest that Kosovan Albanians were very often fleeing NATO bombs alone. For instance, the Sunday Times reported in March 1999 that:
“Mivei, a tall Albanian woman clutching her four-month old baby, looked bewildered when asked if Serbian troops had driven her out. ‘There were no Serbs’, she said. ‘We were frightened of the bombs.’... Red Cross officials say many of the recent arrivals [in Macedonia] intend to return to Kosovo as soon as the NATO bombardment stops.”[99]
British media scholar Phillip Hammond similarly noted that refugees claiming to have been bombed by Serbs, “have sometimes proved unreliable witnesses…
“Even when told they had been bombed by Nato, survivors of the attack on the Djakovica convoy blamed the Serbs. From the viewpoint of ethnic Albanians who welcome Nato action, such statements are understandable. But it is less obvious why Western reporters should be determined to accept them. Channel Four News, for example, reported a large exodus from Prizren on 29 April, the day after the town had been heavily bombed by Nato. Yet this was not even mentioned as a possible reason for the flight of refugees.”[100]
The Los Angeles Times reported similar ominous facts that belied NATO claims: “The small craters and mysterious fin-shaped pieces of metal found next to civilian vehicles attacked in Kosovo suggest that they may have been hit by U.S. cluster bombs designed to destroy tanks…
“Similar evidence has been found at several bomb sites over the past four days, including two roads on which tractors pulling wagonloads of Kosovo Albanian refugees were destroyed during NATO airstrikes on Wednesday. The intact bomb remnants, shaped like single fins about two feet long with a one-inch hole at one end, are stamped in two places with the name ALCOA, suggesting that the U.S. aluminum company made them... ‘The circumstantial evidence points to some kind of cluster bomb,’ said a US defense expert in Washington, who spoke on condition he not be named. The refugees, at least six of whom were badly burned, may have been the victims of the debut of U.S.-made CBU-97 cluster bombs, guided by infrared sensors and built to spray super-hot shrapnel into tanks”.[101]
The London-based Times also reports the humanitarian results of NATO bombing in Kosovo: “Charred and dismembered corpses, wrecked tractors and a pathetic trail of personal belongings yesterday lay on the Prizren to Dakovica road in southern Kosovo...
“The most gruesome scene was at the third site. In the village of Bistrazin, six bodies lay cheek by jowl in the grass meadow beneath the road, five of them women. Worse was to come: a head lay further up the meadow, and near it a forearm and hand. On the road itself a half-charred corpse lay slumped across the steering wheel of a smashed tractor, slewed crazily across the shrapnel-pitted tarmac. On its trailer lay an indeterminate number of blackened body parts, and one leg hooked over the back of a trailer. A few yards away pieces of brain tissue lay spattered about across the road.”[102]
A similar event occurred later on 1st May when NATO bombed a bus of Kosovan Albanian civilians: “Yugoslav authorities said between 34 and 60 people were killed, many of them children, when the missile hit the bus as it crossed a bridge in Kosovo at midday Saturday…
“Dozens of bodies and body parts, including a child’s arm, were scattered near the bridge. The charred bodies of at least two children could be seen.... ‘They did not hit anything but the bus. There was nothing else there,’ said Rajko Maksic, 45, a local farmer. ‘I heard a plane and then I heard a blast. I saw falling bodies. I heard screams. Then I ran to help get the bodies out. ‘What can I say. What can I think. This is a horror. All I can think about were the children that I saw,’ he said.”[103]
British media scholar Phillip Hammond pointedly asks: “when Nato hit [the] bus on 1 May, killing 47 people, was it also an accident that Nato aircraft returned for a second strike, hitting an ambulance and injuring medical staff at the scene?”[104]
Civilian structures were systematically targeted even when no military structures were in sight. NATO’s claim that such attacks were mistakes simply fails to explain how such ‘mistakes’ could occur repeatedly, or rather systematically. How could NATO with its advanced technology, ‘mistakenly’ bomb civilian vehicles in Kosovo such as a group of refugees in tractors without any military objects in sight? How could NATO ‘mistakenly’ destroy a civilian bus full of Kosovan Albanians, again with the area being totally devoid of anything other than civilian structures, with no military objects in the vicinity - and then return for a second strike at the medical crew trying to help the injured? The force of these questions is accentuated in light of the fact, previously briefly indicated, that NATO bombing was directly responsible for the Kosovo refugee crisis. No doubt, Serb Army reprisals played a significant role, but reports show that the NATO bombing campaign also played a highly significant role - not merely in provoking the Serb Army as predicted, but in devastating Kosovo directly.
U.S. correspondent Marcus Gee, for instance, referred to reports showing that the escalation of the refugee crisis was primarily the impact of NATO bombing, rather than Serb reprisals. He refers to the findings of Pulitzer Prize winning LA Times correspondent Paul Watson: “One of the few Western journalists reporting from inside Kosovo says his impressions clash with NATO reports of what is happening in the war-torn province. Paul Watson, a Canadian who works for the Los Angeles Times, says he has seen no evidence that Serb authorities have massacred Albanians in the Kosovo capital of Pristina”, contradicting NATO assertions. Watson, who was in Kosovo since NATO began bombing on 24th March, stated: “It is very hard to hide an anarchic wholesale slaughter of people… There is no evidence that such a thing happened in Pristina.” Watson reported, however, that many civilians fled the area around Pristina’s airport after a NATO bombing there, and concluded from his overall observations of the NATO campaign:
“I see a pretty clear pattern of refugees leaving an area after there were severe air strikes… I don’t think that NATO member countries can, with a straight face, sit back and say they don’t share some blame for the wholesale depopulation of this country. If NATO had not bombed, I would be surprised if this sort of forced exodus on this enormous scale would be taking place.”
He thus noted that the centre of the Kosovo capital of Pristina had been totally devastated by the NATO bombing.[105] When asked about the damage inflicted by NATO bombs on the Kosovo capital, Watson replied:
“The very center of the city is devastated. The government buildings have been hit. The main special police or ministry of interior police headquarters has been hit. A residential area, the oldest street, in fact, in Pristina which was ethically mixed. In years past it had Jewish residents next to Serbian residents, next to ethnic Albanians, next to ethnic Turks. That took a direct hit. The post office was hit, etc… Those that were hit last night included a graveyard, a children’s basketball court outside an apartment complex, and the main bus station... The cemetery is one that was hit. It’s the second time it’s been hit with large craters where there used to be graves... There is no sign of tire marks or track marks from armored vehicles or anything to suggest that there was a military target in the sort of something that might have been hidden in among apartment buildings.”[106]
These reports suggest that the devastation of Kosovo was more a result of NATO bombing than anything else. They also indicate that the massive exodus of Kosovan Albanian civilians, blamed by NATO on the Serb Army, was on the contrary very often the result of NATO bombing of civilian infrastructure in Kosovo. In other words, NATO was actively participating in the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo.
Further testimony supporting this conclusion comes from an official holding “a high security post” in the German government, who reports that according to the internal acknowledgement of the German Defense Ministry, reasons for the escalation of the refugee crisis included: “Excess on the part of Yugoslav soldiers and police force, often triggered by the KLA attacks carried out under cover of Kosovo-Albanian civilians”; “The results of the NATO bombing, such as the lack of potable water in nearly all cities of Kosovo and general devastation”; “Understandable fear of getting caught in the crossfire between the KLA, the Yugoslav military, and NATO attacks.”[107]
Indeed, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees has confirmed that most of the destruction of Kosovo was due to NATO bombing, rather than an assault from the Serb Army. James Petras, Professor of Sociology at the State University of New York, reports that: “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.”[108] Former chief editor at Radio Television Pristina, now working for the Kosovo Democratic Initiative, Fatmir Seholi, in an interview with members of the North American Solidarity With Yugoslavia Delegation led by Professor Barry Lituchy of CUNY, similarly testified that the devastation of Kosovo, including Albanian casualties, was caused primarily by NATO bombing:
“After NATO bombing stopped, I went with [temporary UN special representative for Kosovo] Sergio de Mello to visit Kosovo, and we visited almost every part of Kosovo. The trip lasted five days. We visited almost every village and city in Kosovo, and we saw what damage resulted from NATO bombing, and what damage resulted from gangs. I want to point out that Mr. Sergio de Mello seemed disinterested in damage from NATO bombing in Kosovo. Most of those killed due to NATO bombing were Albanians. In just one strike from NATO in the village of Korisa, they killed 105 people. Mr. de Mello wasn’t interested.”[109]
While much of the mainstream media and academia have lauded NATO’s intervention as a noble humanitarian effort that saved Kosovo from the Serb Army, the reality of the matter is that Kosovo was totally devastated as a direct consequence of NATO bombing. The San Francisco Chronicle reported the results:
“Forty percent of Kosovo’s water supply is of poor quality – ‘polluted by a range of materials including human, as well as animal, corpses.’ Only 12 percent of the health facilities that existed before the NATO bombing still exist, and 60 percent of the schools have been damaged or destroyed. Meat is reliably available in only 7 percent of the villages, fruit in 18 percent and wheat in 35 percent. Agriculture was also seriously damaged. The wheat harvest this year is expected to be half it normal size, and the corn crop just 10 percent of normal.”[110]
The impact of the bombing thus continues to affect the lives of civilians in Kosovo even now. Professor James Petras further notes that “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.”[111] In this connection the BBC reported:
“A British biologist, Roger Coghill, says he expects the depleted uranium (DU) weapons used by US aircraft over Kosovo will cause more than 10,000 fatal cancer cases... In mid-June scientists at Kozani in northern Greece were reporting that radiation levels were 25% above normal whenever the wind blew from the direction of Kosovo. And Bulgarian researchers reported finding levels eight times higher than usual within Bulgaria itself, and up to 30 times higher in Yugoslavia.”[112]
It is reasonable to deduce from these facts that NATO bombing contributed substantially, directly and indeed primarily, to the killings and expulsions of Kosovan Albanians and the general devastation of Kosovo. As shown above, not only is there clear evidence that vast numbers of Kosovan Albanians were killed by NATO bombs, there is also clear evidence that Kosovo’s infrastructure was destroyed by NATO bombing, with vast numbers of Kosovan Albanian refugees fleeing not Serb reprisals but NATO bombs.
It is further highly probable that the refugee crisis was not merely a result of the combination of NATO bombing with Serb reprisals against the Kosovan Albanians, but of violent clashes between Serb and KLA forces in which the KLA also struck at Serb civilians within Kosovo. Statistical data suggests that NATO and KLA violence against Serbs in Kosovo far outweighed that of Serb violence against Albanians in the province. The vast majority of the victims of the crisis – i.e. those who fled Kosovo - were not Kosovan Albanians, but non-Albanians of Serbian or Montenegrin ethnicity. Balkans specialist David Binder, formerly of the New York Times, noted OSCE data on the crisis showing that during the bombings, 46 per cent of those who fled Kosovo were Albanians, compared to 60 per cent who were Serbians or Montenegrins. Binder concluded that “proportionally more Serbs were displaced during the bombing, and they did not return to Kosovo.”[113]
It therefore seems that the “staggering problems” of Kosovo, as well as the whole of Yugoslavia, are primarily “the effects of the bombings” - deliberately inflicted and fully anticipated by the Western powers. It also appears that neither the Serb Army nor the KLA can be absolved of responsibility for the crisis. However, it is certainly clear that the United States exploited ethnic tensions to play both sides against one another, escalating the conflict and justifying a military intervention. NATO intervention subsequently resulted in the exacerbation of the humanitarian crisis, the escalation of ethnic cleansing, and the destruction of Serbia and Kosovo. The principal aim of this policy was the extension of U.S. strategic and economic interests in the Balkans.
There are very important lessons to be learned from the case of Kosovo - the principal lesson being that the Western powers under U.S. leadership are more than willing to cultivate conflict and manufacture justifications for an interventionist terrorist foreign policy, motivated by power and profit.


[1] Presidential Document, Administration of William J. Clinton, Vol. 35, No. 38, 27 September 1999, p. 1782.

[2] Howe, Mike, New York Times, 12 July 1982.

[3] Binder, David, New York Times, 1 November 1987.

[4] Zunes, Stephen, ‘Bombing Serbia Not The Answer’, Progressive Response (Foreign Policy In Focus), 23 March 1999, Vol. 3, No. 10; Zunes, ‘Kosovo: One Year Later’, Foreign Policy In Focus News Release, 21 March 2000.

[5] Almond, Mark, ‘What the KLA really is’, Spectator, 3 April 1999.

[6] cited in Vickers, Miranda, Between Serb and Albanian: A History of Kosovo, Columbia, 1998.

[7] Spectator, 3 April 1999.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Riddel, Peter, ‘The politicians must now let us know their true objectives’, The Times, 31 March 1999.

[10] ‘The Case Against Intervention in Kosovo’, Nation, 19 April 1999.

[11] Guardian, 5 August 1999.

[12] Cited in Nation, 19 April 1999.

[13]  Ibid.

[14] Clark, Ramsey, letter to members of the UN Security Council, International Action Center, New York, 5 April 1999,

[15] Cited in New Statesman, 17 May 1999.

[16] World Bank Development News, Washington DC, 27 April 1999.

[17] Cited in Wilson, Gary, ‘Who’s the KLA? German Document Reveals Secret KLA Role’, Workers World News Service (reprinted from Workers World newspaper), 29 April 1999; ‘A German Insider’s View of the Kosovo Conflict’, Truth In Media Global Watch Bulletin, 20 April 1999 (reported from “credible sources in the international intelligence community”, War/day28.html); Balkania Report, ‘Plotting the War Against Serbia: An Insider’s Story’, April 1999,

[18] The Racak massacre was undoubtedly one of the key events providing justification for the NATO intervention. The discovery of bodies in the Kosovo village of Racak played a crucial role in pushing NATO into war. The Washington Post (18 April 1999) noted that “Racak transformed the West’s Balkan policy as singular events seldom do.” Yet severe doubt has been cast on the reality of the alleged massacre of Kosovan Albanian civilians at Racak. In March 1999, several European governments, including Germany and Italy, were pressing the OSCE to fire its American head William Walker based on information from OSCE monitors in Kosovo that the Racak bodies “were not - as Walker declared - victims of a Serbian massacre of civilians”, but were rather KLA guerrillas killed during fighting (Berliner Zeitung, 13 March 1999). After the massacre, the European Union hired a Finnish team of forensic pathologists to investigate the deaths. Their report was kept secret for two years. The German daily Berliner Zeitung (16 January 2001) reports that the Finnish investigators could not establish that the victims were civilians, whether they were from Racak, or even exactly where they had been killed. Furthermore, the investigators found only one body that showed traces of an execution-style killing, and no evidence at all that the bodies had been mutilated. The Berliner Zeitung also reports that these findings were completed as early as June 2000 - however, their publication had been blocked by the UN and the EU. Also see ‘Dark Clouds Over a Massacre’, Le Figaro, 20 January 1999; ‘Were the Dead in Racak Really Massacred in Cold Blood?’, Le Monde, 21 January 1999. For an overall review of the issue, see FAIR Media Advisory, ‘Doubts On A Massacre: Media Ignores Questions About Incident That Sparked Kosovo War’, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, New York, 1 February 2001.

[19] Reuters, 9 March 1998.

[20] Judah, Tim, Wall Street Journal, 7 April 1999; Sciolino, Elaine and Bonner, Ethan, New York Times, 8 April 1999; Chomsky, Noam, ‘Kosovo Peace Accord’, Z Magazine, July/August 1999.

[21] BBC News, ‘Kosovo: A New Yugoslav Crisis?’, 2 March 1998.

[22] Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Newsline, 2 March 1998. It is worth noting here that former Canadian Ambassador to Yugoslavia James Bisset has indeed confirmed the existence of a deliberate “green light” to Belgrade in regard to the attack on Slovenia. See Bisset, James, ‘The Claims and Assertions by NATO about Kosovo were Lies’, speech to the Canadian Hellenic Federation of Ontario, 19-21 May 2000.

[23] Erlanger, Stephen, ‘US Ready To Resume Sanctions Over Kosovo Strife’, New York Times, 6 June 1998.

[24] Oberg, Jan, ‘Some Ethical Aspects of NATO’s Intervention in Kosovo’, Transnational Foundation for Peace & Future Research (TFF) Press Info 73, 14 July 1999,

[25] Ibid. Also see Saif-ad-Deen, Abd-ar-Rahmaan, Srebrenice, Kosova and the New Crusade, Islamic Human Rights Commission, London, July 1998, For further discussion of the evidence for tacit Western support of early Serb attacks against the KLA/Kosovan Albanians see Siddiqui, Iqbal, ‘U.S. acts on behalf of Serbs while feigning neutrality in Kosova’, Crescent International, 16-30 November 1998; Siddiqui, Iqbal, ‘U.S. admits its forces help the Serb’s genocidal campaign in Kosova’, Crescent International, 16-31 December 1998.

[26] Oberg, Jan, ‘Some Ethical Aspects of NATO’s Intervention in Kosovo’, op. cit.

[27] Walker, Tom and Laverty, Aidan, ‘CIA aided Kosovo guerrilla army’, Sunday Times, 12 March 2000.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Peterson, David, ‘What the Documents Really Say About the Occupation of Kosovo’, ZNet, March 1999,

[31] To evaluate the full Rambouillet text visit the following web-site, where it is available for complete perusal, Interim Agreement for Peace and Self-Government in Kosovo, 23 February 1999; reproduced in Le Monde diplomatique, 17 April 1999.

[32] IPA News Release, ‘Despite Denials from NATO Offical, Questions Emerging’, Institute for Public Accuracy, Washington DC, 27 April 1999;  IPA News Release, ‘Earth Day and Rambouillet’, Institute for Public Accuracy, Washington DC, 21 April 1999,

[33] FAIR Media Advisory, ‘They Call This Victory? Bombing “Success” Must Be Weighed Against Human Cost, Missed Chances for Peace’, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, New York, 4 June 1999,

[34] ‘A Just and Necessary War’, New York Times, 23 May 1999.

[35] Hayden, Robert, ‘Humanitarian Hypocrisy’, Jurist: The Law Professor’s Network, 1999,

[36] The New York Times, 8 April 1999.

[37] Zimonjic, Vesna Peric, Inter Press Service (IPS), 23 March 1999; Agence France Press (AFP), 23 March.

[38] President Clinton, first statement on NATO attacks, 24 March 1999; New York Times, 25 March 1999.

[39] IPA News Release, ‘Earth Day and Rambouillet’, Institute for Public Accuracy, Washington DC, 21 April 1999,

[40] IPA News Release, ‘Bombing of Yugoslavia: One Year Later’, Institute for Public Accuracy, Washington DC, 24 March 2000,

[41] Shalom, Stephen R., ‘Reflections on NATO and Kosovo’, New Politics, Summer 1999.

[42] Mertus, Julie, Chicago Tribune, 1 April 1999.

[43] Shalom, Stephen R., ‘Reflections on NATO and Kosovo’, op. cit.

[44] ‘NATO Attacks’, Sunday Times, 28 March 1999.

[45] Goss, Peter, BBC, ‘Panorama: War Room’, 19 April 1999.

[46] Washington Post, 7 April 1999.

[47] Guardian, 6 April 1999.

[48] BBC News, 28 April 1999.

[49] ‘Overview’, New York Times, 27 March 1999; Sunday Times, 28 March 1999;  Newsweek, 12 April 1999.

[50] BBC News, 19 April 1999.

[51] ‘NATO Attacks’, Sunday Times, 28 March 1999.

[52] Frank, Andre Gunder, ‘U.S./NATO’s Hypocritical Oath’, ZNet, 4 April 1999,

[53] Pilger, John, ‘Nothing in My 30 Years of Reporting Wars Compares with the Present Propaganda Dressed as Journalism’, New Statesman, 12 July 1999.

[54] Said, Edward, ‘The treason of the intellectuals’, Al-Ahram Weekly, 24-30 June 1999, No. 435.

[55] Anastasijevic, Dejan, ‘How Milosevic Won the War’, Institute for Peace & War Reporting, 12 May 1999,

[56] Sunday Times, 2 April 2000.

[57] U.S. State Department, Erasing History: Ethnic Cleansing in Kosovo, May 1999, issued just before 12 May 1999.

[58] Chomsky, Noam, ‘The Current Bombings: Behind the Rhetoric’, ZNet; Chomsky, ‘Crisis in the Balkans’, Z Magazine, May 1999,

[59] Cited in ibid.

[60] EU General Affairs Council cited in Agence Europe, 9 December 1998, No. 7559; Little, Alan, ‘Moral Combat: NATO At War’, BBC2 Special, 12 March 2000; ‘How Nato was sucked into Kosovo conflict’, Sunday Telegraph, 27 February 2000; Current History, March 2000.

[61] Judah, Tim, Kosovo: War and Revenge, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2000, p. 178.

[62] House of Commons Select Committee on Defence, Minutes of Evidence, Examination of Witnesses, Questions 380-399, 24 March 1999.

[63] New Statesman, 17 May 1999.

[64] Sunday Times, 12 March 2000.

[65] Intelligence report from the Foreign Office, January 12, 1999 to the Administrative Court of Trier (Az: 514-516.80/32 426).

[66] Opinion of the Bavarian Administrative Court, October 29, 1998 (Az: 22 BA 94.34252).

[67] Opinion of the Administrative Court of Baden-Württemberg, February 4, 1999 (Az: A 14 S 22276/98).

[68] Opinion of the Upper Administrative Court at Münster, February 24, 1999 (Az: 14 A 840/94,A); opinion of the Upper Administrative Court at Münster, March 11, 1999 (Az: 13A 3894/94.A). Internal German documents cited in Eric Canepa, Brecht Forum, New York April 28, 1999. All these reports can be read online at Also see Junge Welt, 24 April 2000, where these documents were featured and examined.

[69] Lipar, Gar, ‘Summarizing the Case Against the Bombing’, Znet,, viewed June 1999.

[70] Washington Times, 25 April 1999.

[71] The New York Times, 9 April 1999.

[72] Philadelphia Inquirer, 21 May 1999.

[73] Hundley, Tom, ‘NATP bombs Serbs into survival mode’, San Francisco Examiner, 26 May 1999.

[74] Officer, September 1999.

[75] Hayden, Robert, ‘Humanitarian Hypocrisy’, op. cit.

[76] Ibid. References here cited by Hayden include: New York Times, 30 April, 1999, p. 1; a list of infrastructure damage between March 24 and April 19 compiled by the European Movement in Serbia, a non-governmental group that was pro-West before the war. List was posted by MSNBC.COM on 26 April 1999. Pictures of many destroyed buildings may be found on, among other sources.

[77] Oberg, Jan, ‘Some Ethical Aspects of NATO’s Intervention in Kosovo’, Transnational Foundation for Peace & Future Research (TFF) Press Info 73, 14 July 1999,

[78] Carter, Jimmy, New York Times, 27 May 1999.

[79] Erlanger, Steve, ‘Reduced to a “Caveman” Life, Serbs Don’t Blame Milosevic’, New York Times 25 May 1999.

[80] Drozdiak, William, ‘NATO OKs Attack on Telecommunications’, San Francisco Chronicle, 27 May 1999.

[81] People’s Weekly World, 14 June 1999.

[82] Fisk, Robert, ‘Serb army “unscathed by Nato”’, The Independent, 21 June 1999; Hayden, Robert, ‘Humanitarian Hypocrisy’, op. cit.

[83] Fisk, Robert, ‘How fake guns and painting the roads fooled Nato’, The Independent, 21 June 1999.

[84] Hayden, Robert, ‘Humanitarian Hypocrisy’, op. cit. Also see Newsweek, 15 May 2000.

[85] Morales, Jose Luis, ‘Spanish Fighter Pilot Admits NATO Purposely Attacks Civilian Targets’, Articulo 20 (a Spanish weekly), 14 June 1999. It is worth pointing out that the notion that bombing Serb civilians was justified because they supported Milosevic and his policies is disingenious. In his role as President of Yugoslavia, Milosevic was not freely and fairly elected at all. He was chosen by the Yugoslav federal assembly, in an irregular vote in which he was the only candidate. To understand Milosevic’s level of popular support within his country, consider the fact that an opposition coalition won November 1996 local elections in 14 of Serbia’s largest cities - including those communities particularly bombarded by NATO attacks (e.g. Belgrade, Novi Sad, Kragujevac, aak, Nis). In fact, there were massive anti-Milosevic demonstrations in 1991, 92, 93, 94 and 96-97. It is therefore inconsistent to attempt to hold the Serbian people morally responsible for Milosevic’s policies, given that he was an unpopular dictator; see Naureckas, Jim, ‘Legitimate Targets?: How U.S. Media Supported War Crimes in Yugoslavia’, Extra!, July/August 1999,

[86] Fisk, Robert, ‘“Collateral Damage”: The Victims You Don’t See On CNN’, Independent, 2 April 1999; Fisk, ‘Families Blasted in “Just Another Mistake”’, Independent, 29 April 1999.

[87] Kempster, Norman and Paddock, Richard C., ‘Ground War Planning Heats Up’, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 April 1999.

[88] Erlanger, Stephen, ‘Staff at the Hospital asks Why 4 had to Die’, New York Times, 21 May 1999.

[89] San Francisco Examiner, 26 May 1999.

[90] ‘Allied Jets Attack Belgrade Area Again’, New York Times, 20 May 1999.

[91] ‘Serbs Lament Bombing of Factory’, San Francisco Chronicle, 1 April 1999.

[92] Hammond, Phillip, ‘NATO’s Propaganda War’, Living Marxism on-line magazine, 1 June 1999.

[93] Schmemann, Serge, ‘Kosovo Problems Just Beginning’, The Times, 3 June 1999; New York Times, 25 May 1999.

[94] Chossudovsky, Michel, ‘Impacts of NATO’s “Humanitarian” Bombings: The Balance Sheet of Destruction in Yugoslavia’, posted on the Internet 11 April 1999; Lausevic, Radoje, ‘Overview of Ecological Consequences of NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia until May 20th’ Eaton, Janet M., ‘Ecological Catastophe: NATO Bombings in the Balkans’, commissioned by Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe, for the Bulletin, Quarterly Magazine, 7 July 1999, Vol. 8, No.4,,

[95] ‘NATO’s Yugoslavia bombing uncorked toxic chemicals,’ San Francisco Examiner, 26 July 1999.

[96] Monbiot, George, ‘Consigning Their Future to Death’, Guardian, 22 April 1999.

[97] Chossudovsky, Michel, ‘NATO Willfully Triggered An Environmental Catastrophe in Yugoslavia’, Emperors-Clothes, June 2000,

[98] Sweeney, John & Jens Holsoe & Ed Vulliamy, Observer, 16 October 1999.

[99] Allen-Mills, Tony, Sunday Times, 28 March 1999.

[100] Hammond, Phillip, ‘NATO’s Propaganda War’, op. cit. The Sunday Times similarly reports the inconsistencies in many Kosovan Albanian accounts (28 March 1999).

[101] Watson, Paul, ‘Cluster Bombs May be What Killed Refugees’, Los Angeles Times, 17 April 1999.

[102] Walker, Tom, ‘Charred Corpses Litter Site of Attack’, Times, 16 April 1999.

[103] ‘NATO Admits Hits Bus, Raids Go On’, Reuters, 2 May 1999.

[104] Hammond, Phillip, ‘NATO’s Propaganda War’, LM on-line magazine, 1 June 1999.

[105] Gee, Marcus, The Globe and Mail, 14 April 1999.

[106] CBC Radio (Canada), ‘As It Happens: Paul Watson in Pristina’, 13 April 1999.

[107] ‘Erkldrung eines Insiders aus dem Bonner Regierungsapparat zum Balkan-Krieg vom 7 April 1999’, This is the same report confirmed by Jurgen Reets, press spokesman of the PDS at the German Parliament, and which has been further authenticated by a multitude of sources in the international intelligence community. Also see Wilson, Gary, ‘Who’s the KLA? German Document Reveals Secret KLA Role’, Workers World News Service (reprinted from Workers World newspaper), 29 April 1999; ‘A German Insider’s View of the Kosovo Conflict’, Truth In Media Global Watch Bulletin, 20 April 1999 (reported from “credible sources in the international intelligence community”); Balkania Report, ‘Plotting the War Against Serbia: An Insider’s Story’, April 1999.

[108] Petras, James, ‘Aftermath: NATO in Kosova’, Z Magazine, October 1999.

[109] Elich, Gregory (transcriber) and Lituchy, Barry (interviewer), ‘If They Find Me They Will Kill Me: Interviews with pro-Yugoslav Albanian Refugees from Kosovo’, North American Solidarity with Yugoslavia Delegation, International Action Center, 9 August 1999.

[110] ‘Kosovo’s Damage,’ San Francisco Chronicle, 9 July 1999.

[111] Z Magazine, October 1999.

[112] BBC News, ‘Depleted Uranium `Threatens Balkan Cancer Epidemic`’, 30 July 1999.

[113] Binder, David, ‘Why the Balkans?’, Blaetter fuer deutshe und internationale Politik, May 2000.

Mr. Nafeez Ahmed is a British political analyst and human rights activist based in London. He is Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development and a Researcher at the Islamic Human Rights Commission.


by courtesy & © 2002 Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed

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