[Fwd: Chossudovsky - NATO Has Installed A Reign Of Terror In Kosovo]

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Subject: [AFIB] NATO Has Installed A Reign Of Terror In Kosovo
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                              *****

||/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\|/\||/\||
|| * --  SPECIAL  -- *  August 11, 1999   * --  EDITION  -- * ||
||\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/|\/||\/||

                       * SPECIAL EDITION *

                              * * *
_________________________________________________________________

          NATO HAS INSTALLED A REIGN OF TERROR IN KOSOVO
_________________________________________________________________

                      By Michel Chossudovsky
           Department of Economics, University of Ottawa
                         Ottawa, K1N6N5
               Voice box: 1-613-562-5800, ext. 1415
                       Fax: 1-514-425-6224
                 E-Mail: chossudovsky at videotron.ca
                    - Tuesday, 10 August 1999 -

                              -----

     This text was presented to the Independent Commission of
     Inquiry to Investigate U.S./NATO War Crimes Against The
     People of Yugoslavia, International Action Center, New York,
     July 31, 1999.

                              * * *

            PART I: MASSACRES OF CIVILIANS IN KOSOVO

     While the World focusses on troop movements and  war crimes,
the massacres of civilians in the wake of the bombings have been
casually dismissed as "justifiable acts of revenge". In occupied
Kosovo, "double standards" prevail in assessing alleged war
crimes. The massacres directed against Serbs, ethnic Albanians,
Roma and other ethnic groups have been conducted on the
instructions of the military command of the Kosovo Liberation
Army (KLA).

     NATO ostensibly denies KLA involvement. These so-called
"unmotivated acts of violence and retaliation" are not
categorised as "war crimes" and are therefore not included in the
mandate of the numerous FBI and Interpol police investigators
dispatched to Kosovo under the auspices of the Hague War Crime's
Tribunal (ICTY). Moreover, whereas NATO has tacitly endorsed the
self-proclaimed KLA provisional government, KFOR the
international security force in Kosovo has provided protection to
the KLA military commanders responsible for the atrocities. In so
doing both NATO and the UN Mission have acquiesced to the
massacres of civilians. In turn, public opinion has been
blatantly misled. In portraying the massacres, the Western media
has casually overlooked the role of the KLA, not to mention its
pervasive links to organised crime. In the words of National
Security Advisor Samuel Berger, "these people [ethnic Albanians]
come back ... with broken hearts and with some of those hearts
filled with anger."1 While the massacres are seldom presented as
the result of "deliberate decisions" by the KLA military command,
the evidence (and history of the KLA) amply confirm that these
atrocities are part of a policy of "ethnic cleansing" directed
mainly against the Serb population but also against the Roma,
Montenegrins, Goranis and Turks.

     Serbian houses and business have been confiscated, looted,
or burned, and Serbs have been beaten, raped, and killed. In one
of the more dramatic of incidents, KLA troops ransacked a
monastery, terrorized the priest and a group of nuns with
gunfire, and raped at least one of the nuns. NATO's inability to
control the situation and provide equal protection for all ethnic
groups, and its apparent inability or unwillingness to fully
disarm the KLA, has created a serious situation for NATO
troops...2

     The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),
confirms in this regard that:

"more than 164,000 Serbs have left Kosovo during the seven weeks
since... the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) entered the province...
A wave of arson and looting of Serb and Roma homes throughout
Kosovo has ensued. Serbs and Roma remaining in Kosovo have been
subject to repeated incidents of harassment and intimidation,
including severe beatings. Most seriously, there has been a spate
of murders and abductions of Serbs since mid-June, including the
late July massacre of Serb farmers."3

POLITICAL ASSASSINATIONS

     The self-proclaimed Provisional Government of Kosovo (PGK)
has also ordered assassinations directed against political
opponents including "loyalist" ethnic Albanians and supporters of
the Kosovo Democratic League (KDL). These acts are being carried
out in a totally permissive environment. The leaders of the KLA
rather than being arrested for war crimes, have been granted KFOR
protection.

     According to a report of the Foreign Policy Institute
(published during the bombings):

"...the KLA have [no] qualms about murdering Rugova's
collaborators, whom it accused of the `crime' of moderation...
[T]he KLA declared Rugova a `traitor' yet another step toward
eliminating any competitors for political power within Kosovo."4

     Already in May, Fehmi Agani, one of Rugova's closest
collaborators in the Kosovo Democratic League (KDL) was killed.
The Serbs were blamed by NATO spokesperson Jamie Shea for having
assassinated Agani. According to Skopje's paper Makedonija Danas,
Agani had been executed on the orders of the KLA's self-appointed
Prime Minister Hashim Thaci.5 "If Thaci actually considered
Rugova a threat, he would not hesitate to have Rugova removed
from the Kosovo political landscape."6

     In turn, the KLA has abducted and killed numerous
professionals and intellectuals:

"Private and State properties are threatened, home and apartment
owners are evicted en masse by force and threats, houses and
entire villages are burned, cultural and religious monuments are
destroyed... A particularly heavy blow... has been the violence
against the hospital centre in Pristina, the maltreatment and
expulsion of its professional management, doctors and medical
staff."7

     Both NATO and the UN prefer to turn a blind eye. UN Interim
Administrator Bernard Kouchner (a former French Minister of
Health) and KFOR Commander Sir Mike Jackson have established a
routine working relationship with Prime Minister Hashim Thaci and
KLA Chief of Staff Brigadier General Agim Ceku.

ATROCITIES COMMITTED AGAINST THE ROMA

     Ethnic cleansing has also been directed against the Roma
(which represented prior to the conflict a population group of
150,000 people). (According to figures provided by the Roma
Community in New York). A large part of the Roma population has
already escaped to Montenegro and Serbia. In turn, there are
reports that Roma refugees who had fled by boat to Southern Italy
have been expelled by the Italian authorities.8 The KLA has also
ordered the systematic looting and torching of Romani homes and
settlements:

"All houses and settlements of Romani, like 2,500 homes in the
residential area called `Mahala' in the town of Kosovska
Mitrovica, have been looted and burnt down".9

     With regard to KLA atrocities committed against the Roma,
the same media distortions prevail. According to the BBC:
"Gypsies are accused by [Kosovar] Albanians of collaborating in
Serb brutalities, which is why they've also become victims of
revenge attacks. And the truth is, some probably did."10

INSTALLING A PARAMILITARY GOVERNMENT

     As Western leaders trumpet their support for democracy,
State terrorism in Kosovo has become an integral part of NATO's
postwar design. The KLA's  political role for the post-conflict
period had  been mapped out well in advance. Prior to Rambouillet
Conference, the KLA had been promised a central role in the
formation of a post-conflict government. The "hidden agenda"
consisted in converting the KLA paramilitary into a legitimate
and accomplished civilian administration. According to US State
Department spokesman James Foley (February 1999):

"We want to develop a good relationship with them [the KLA] as
they transform themselves into a politically-oriented
organization, ...[W]e believe that we have a lot of advice and a
lot of help that we can provide to them if they become precisely
the kind of political actor we would like to see them become.'"11

     In other words, the US State Department had already slated
the KLA "provisional government" (PGK) to run civilian State
institutions. Under NATO's "Indirect Rule", the KLA has taken
over municipal governments and public services including schools
and hospitals. Rame Buja, the KLA "Minister for Local
Administration" has appointed local prefects in 23 out of 25
municipalities.12

     Under NATO's regency, the KLA has replaced the duly elected
(by ethnic Albanians) provisional Kosovar government of President
Ibrahim Rugova. The self-proclaimed KLA administration has
branded Rugova as a traitor declaring the (parallel) Kosovar
parliamentary elections held in March 1998 to be invalid. This
position has largely been upheld by the Organisation for Security
and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) entrusted by UNMIK with the
postwar task of  "democracy building" and "good governance". In
turn, OSCE officials have already established a working rapport
with KLA appointees.13

     The KLA provisional government (PGK) is made up of the KLA's
political wing together with the Democratic Union Movement (LBD),
a coalition of five opposition parties opposed to Rugova's
Democratic League (LDK). In addition to the position of prime
minister, the KLA controls the ministries of finance, public
order and defence. The KLA also has a controlling voice on the UN
sponsored Kosovo Transitional Council set up by Mr. Bernard
Kouchner. The PGK has also established links with a number of
Western governments.

     Whereas the KLA has been spearheaded into running civilian
institutions (under the guidance of the OSCE), members of the
duly elected Kosovar (provisional) government of the Democratic
League (DKL) have been blatantly excluded from acquiring a
meaningful political voice.

ESTABLISHING A KLA POLICE FORCE TO `PROTECT CIVILIANS'

     Under NATO occupation, the rule of law has visibly been
turned up side down. Criminals and terrorists are to become law
enforcement officers. KLA troops which have already taken over
police stations will eventually form a 4,000 strong "civilian"
police force (to be trained by foreign police officers under the
authority of the United Nations) with a mandate to "protect
civilians". Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien has already
pledged Canadian support to the formation of a civilian police
force.14 The latter which has been entrusted to the OSCE will
eventually operate under the jurisdiction of the KLA controlled
"Ministry of Public Order".

US MILITARY AID

     Despite NATO's commitment to disarming the KLA, the  Kosovar
paramilitary organisation is slated to be transformed into a
modern military force. So-called "security assistance" has
already been granted to the KLA by the US Congress under the
"Kosovar Independence and Justice Act of 1999". Start-up funds of
20 million dollars will largely be "used for training and support
for their [KLA] established self-defence forces."15 In the words
of KLA Chief of Staff Agrim Ceku:

"The KLA wants to be transformed into something like the US
National Guard, ... we accept the assistance of KFOR and the
international community to rebuild an army according to NATO
standards. ... These professionally trained soldiers of the next
generation of the KLA would seek only to defend Kosova. At this
decisive moment, we [the KLA] do not hide our ambitions; we want
the participation of international military structures to assist
in the pacific and humanitarian efforts we are attempting here."
16

     While the KLA maintains its links to the Balkans narcotics
trade which served to finance many of its terrorist activities,
the paramilitary organisation has now been granted an official
seal of approval as well as "legitimate" sources of funding. The
pattern is similar to that followed in Croatia and in the Bosnian
Muslim-Croatian Federation where so-called "equip and train"
programmes were put together by the Pentagon. In turn,
Washington's military aid package to the KLA has been entrusted
to Military Professional Resources Inc. (MPRI) of Alexandria,
Virginia, a private mercenary outfit run by high ranking former
US military officers.

     MPRI's training concepts which had already been tested in
Croatia and Bosnia   are based on imparting "offensive tactics...
as the best form of defence".17  In the Kosovar context, this so-
called "defensive doctrine" transforms the KLA paramilitary into
a modern army without however eliminating its terrorist makeup.18
The objective is to ultimately transform an insurgent army into a
modern military and police force which serves the Alliance's
future strategic objectives in the Balkans. MPRI has currently
"ninety-one highly experienced, former military professionals
working in Bosnia & Herzegovina".19  The number of military
officers working on contract with the KLA has not been disclosed.

                              * * *

   PART II. FROM KRAJINA TO KOSOVO: THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME

A FORMER CROATIAN GENERAL APPOINTED KLA CHIEF OF STAFF

     The massacres of civilians in Kosovo are not disconnected
acts of revenge by civilians or by so-called "rogue elements"
within the KLA as claimed by NATO and the United Nations. They
are part of a consistent and coherent pattern. The intent (and
result) of the KLA sponsored atrocities have been to trigger the
"ethnic cleansing" of Serbs, Roma and other minorities in Kosovo.

     KLA Commander Agim Ceku referring to the killings of 14
villagers at Gracko on July 24, claimed that: "We [the KLA] do
not know who did it, but I sincerely believe these people have
nothing to do with the KLA."20 In turn, KFOR Lieutenant General
Sir Mike Jackson has commended his KLA counterpart, Commander
Agim Ceku for "efforts undertaken" to disarm the KLA. In fact,
very few KLA weapons have been handed in. Moreover, the deadline
for turning in KLA weaponry has been extended. "I do not regard
this as noncompliance" said Commander Jackson in a press
conference, "but rather as an indication of the seriousness with
which General Ceku is taking this important issue."21

     Yet what Sir Mike Jackson failed to mention is that KLA
Chief of Staff Commander Agim Ceku (although never indicted as a
war criminal) was (according to Jane Defence Weekly June 10,
1999) "one of the key planners of the successful `Operation
Storm'" led by the Croatian Armed Forces against Krajina Serbs in
1995.

     General Jackson who had served in former Yugoslavia under
the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) was fully
cognizant of the activities of the Croatian High Command during
that period including the responsibilities imparted to Brigadier
General Agim Ceku. In February 1999, barely a month prior to the
NATO bombings, Ceku left his position as Brigadier General with
the Croatian Armed Forces to join the KLA as Commander in Chief.

FROM KRAJINA TO KOSOVO: THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME

     According to the Croatian Helsinki Committee for Human
Rights, Operation Storm resulted in the massacre of at least 410
civilians in the course of a three day operation (4 to 7 August
1995).22  An internal report of The Hague War Crimes Tribunal
(leaked to the New York Times), confirmed that the Croatian Army
had been responsible for carrying out:

"summary executions, indiscriminate shelling of civilian
populations and "ethnic cleansing" in the Krajina region of
Croatia...."23

     In a section of the report entitled "The Indictment.
Operation Storm, A Prima Facie Case.", the ICTY report confirms
that:

"During the course of the military offensive, the Croatian armed
forces and special police committed numerous violations of
international humanitarian law, including but not limited to,
shelling of Knin and other cities... During, and in the 100 days
following the military offensive, at least 150 Serb civilians
were summarily executed, and many hundreds disappeared. ...In a
widespread and systematic manner, Croatian troops committed
murder and other inhumane acts upon and against Croatian Serbs."
24

US `GENERALS FOR HIRE'

     The internal 150 page report concluded that it has
"sufficient material to establish that the three [Croatian]
generals who commanded the military operation" could be held
accountable under international law.25 The individuals named had
been directly involved in the military operation "in theatre".
Those involved in "the planning of Operation Storm" were not
mentioned:

"The identity of the "American general" referred to by Fenrick [a
Tribunal staff member] is not known. The tribunal would not allow
Williamson or Fenrick to be interviewed. But Ms. Arbour, the
tribunal's chief prosecutor, suggested in a telephone interview
last week that Fenrick's comment had been `a joking observation'.
Ms. Arbour had not been present during the meeting, and that is
not how it was viewed by some who were there. Several people who
were at the meeting assumed that Fenrick was referring to one of
the retired U.S. generals who worked for Military Professional
Resources Inc. ... Questions remain about the full extent of U.S.
involvement. In the course of the three yearinvestigation into
the assault, the United States has failed to provide critical
evidence requested by the tribunal, according to tribunal
documents and officials, adding to suspicion among some there
that Washington is uneasy about the investigation... The
Pentagon, however, has argued through U.S. lawyers at the
tribunal that the shelling was a legitimate military activity,
according to tribunal documents and officials".26

     The Tribunal was attempting to hide what had already been
revealed in several press reports published in the wake of
Operation Storm.  According to a US State Department spokesman,
MPRI had been helping the Croatians "avoid excesses or atrocities
in military operations."27 Fifteen senior US military advisers
headed by retired two star General Richard Griffitts had been
dispatched to Croatia barely seven months before Operation Storm.
28 According to one report, MPRI executive director General Carl
E. Vuono: "held a secret top-level meeting at Brioni Island, off
the coast of Croatia, with Gen. Varimar Cervenko, the architect
of the Krajina campaign. In the five days preceding the attack,
at least ten meetings were held between General Vuono and
officers involved in the campaign..."29

     According to Ed Soyster, a senior MPRI executive and former
head of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA):

"MPRI's role in Croatia is limited to classroom instruction on
military-civil relations and doesn't involve training in tactics
or weapons. Other U.S. military men say whatever MPRI did for the
Croats and many suspect more than classroom instruction was
involved it was worth every penny." Carl Vuono and Butch
[Crosbie] Saint are hired guns and in it for the money," says
Charles Boyd, a recently retired four star Air Force general who
was the Pentagon's No. 2 man in Europe until July [1995]. "They
did a very good job for the Croats, and I have no doubt they'll
do a good job in Bosnia."30

THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL'S COVER UP

     The untimely leaking of the ICTY's internal report on the
Krajina massacres barely a few days before the onslaught of
NATO's air raids on Yugoslavia was the source of some
embarrassment to the Tribunal's Chief Prosecutor Louise Arbour.
The Tribunal (ICTY) attempted to cover up the matter and
trivialise the report's findings (including the alleged role of
the US military officers on contract with the Croatian Armed
Forces). Several Tribunal officials including  American Lawyer
Clint Williamson sought to discredit the Canadian Peacekeeping
officers' testimony who witnessed the Krajina massacres in
1995.31

     Williamson, who described the shelling of Knin as a "minor
incident," said that the Pentagon had told him that Knin was a
legitimate military target... The [Tribunal's] review concluded
by voting not to include the shelling of Knin in any indictment,
a conclusion that stunned and angered many at the tribunal"...32

     The findings of the Tribunal contained in the leaked ICTY
documents were downplayed, their relevance was casually dismissed
as "expressions of opinion, arguments and hypotheses from various
staff members of the OTP during the investigative process".33
According to the Tribunal's spokesperson "the documents do not
represent in any way the concluded decisions of the Prosecutor."
34

     The internal 150 page report has not been released. The
staff member who had leaked the documents is (according to a
Croatian TV report) no longer working for the Tribunal. During
the press Conference, the Tribunal's spokesman was asked: "about
the consequences for the person who leaked the information",
Blewitt [the ICTY spokesman] replied that he did not want to go
into that. He said that the OTP would strengthen the existing
procedures to prevent this from happening again, however he added
that you could not stop people from talking".35

THE USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN CROATIA

     The massacres conducted under Operation Storm "set the
stage" for the "ethnic cleansing" of at least 180,000 Krajina
Serbs (according to estimates of the Croatian Helsinki Committee
and Amnesty International). According to other sources, the
number of victims of ethnic cleansing in Krajina was much larger.

     Moreover, there is evidence that chemical weapons had been
used in the Yugoslav civil war (1991-95).36 Although there is no
firm evidence of the use of chemical weapons against Croatian
Serbs, an ongoing enquiry by the Canadian Minister of Defence
(launched in July 1999) points to the possibility of toxic
poisoning of Canadian Peacekeepers while on service in Croatia
between 1993 and 1995:

"There was a smell of blood in the air during the past week as
the media sensed they had a major scandal unfolding within the
Department of National Defense over the medical files of those
Canadians who served in Croatia in 1993. Allegations of destroyed
documents, a coverup, and a defensive minister and senior
officers..."37

     The official release of the Department of National Defence
(DND) refers to possibility of toxic "soil contamination" in
Medak Pocket in 1993 (see below). Was it "soil contamination" or
something far more serious? The criminal investigation by the
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) refers to the shredding of
medical files of former Canadian peacekeepers by the DND. In
other words did the DND have something to hide? The issue remains
as to what types of shells and ammunitions were used by the
Croatian Armed Forces ie. were chemical weapons used against Serb
civilians?

OPERATION STORM: THE ACCOUNT OF THE ROYAL CANADIAN REGIMENT

     Prior to the onslaught, Croatian radio had previously
broadcasted a message by president Franjo Tudjman, calling upon
"Croatian citizens of Serbian ethnicity... to remain in their
homes and not to fear the Croatian authorities, which will
respect their minority rights."38 Canadian peacekeepers of the
Second Battalion of the Royal 22nd Regiment witnessed the
atrocities committed by Croatian troops in the Krajina offensive
in September 1995:

"Any Serb who had failed to evacuate their property were
systematically "cleansed" by roving death squads. Every abandoned
animal was slaughtered and any Serb household was ransacked and
torched".39

     Also confirmed by Canadian peacekeepers was the
participation of German mercenaries in Operation Storm:

"Immediately behind the frontline Croatian combat troops and
German mercenaries, a large number of hardline extremists had
pushed into the Krajina. ...Many of these atrocities were carried
out within the Canadian Sector, but as the peacekeepers were soon
informed by the Croat authorities, the UN no longer had any
formal authority in the region."40

     How the Germans mercenaries were recruited was never
officially revealed. An investigation by the United Nations Human
Rights Commission (UNHRC) confirmed the that foreign mercenaries
in Croatia had in some cases "been paid [and presumably
recruited] outside Croatia and by third parties."41

THE 1993 MEDAK POCKET MASSACRE

     According to Jane Defence Weekly (10 June 1999), Brigadier
General Agim Ceku (now in charge of the KLA) also "masterminded
the successful HV [Croatian Army] offensive at Medak" in
September 1993. In Medak, the combat operation was entitled
"Scorched Earth" resulting in the total destruction of the
Serbian villages of Divoselo, Pocitelj and Citluk, and the
massacre of over 100 civilians.42

     These massacres were also witnessed by Canadian peacekeepers
under UN mandate:

"As the sun rose over the horizon, it revealed a Medak Valley
engulfed in smoke and flames. As the frustrated soldiers of
2PPCLI waited for the order to move forward into the pocket,
shots and screams still rang out as the ethnic cleansing
continued. ...About 20 members of the international press had
tagged along, anxious to see the Medak battleground. Calvin [a
Canadian officer] called an informal press conference at the head
of the column and loudly accused the Croats of trying to hide war
crimes against the Serb inhabitants. The Croats started
withdrawing back to their old lines, taking with them whatever
loot they hadn't destroyed. All livestock had been killed and
houses torched. French reconnaissance troops and the Canadian
command element pushed up the valley and soon began to find
bodies of Serb civilians, some already decomposing, others
freshly slaughtered. ...Finally, on the drizzly morning of Sept.
17, teams of UN civilian police arrived to probe the smouldering
ruins for murder victims. Rotting corpses lying out in the open
were catalogued, then turned over to the peacekeepers for
burial."43

     The massacres were reported to the Canadian Minister of
Defence and to the United Nations:

"Senior defence bureaucrats back in Ottawa had no way of
predicting the outcome of the engagement in terms of political
fallout. To them, there was no point in calling media attention
to a situation that might easily backfire. ...So Medak was
relegated to the memory hole no publicity, no recriminations, no
official record. Except for those soldiers involved, Canada's
most lively military action since the Korean War simply never
happened."44

                              * * *

       PART III. NATO'S `POST CONFLICT' AGENDA IN KOSOVO.

     Both the Medak Pocket massacre and Operation Storm bear a
direct relationship to the ongoing security situation in Kosovo
and the massacres and ethnic cleansing committed by KLA troops.
While the circumstances are markedly different, several of
today's actors in Kosovo were involved (under the auspices of the
Croatian Armed Forces) in the planning of both these operations.
Moreover, the US mercenary outfit MPRI which collaborated with
the Croatian Armed Forces in 1995 is currently on contract with
the KLA. NATO's casual response to the appointment of Brigadier
General Agim Ceku as KLA Chief of Staff was communicated by Mr.
Jamie Shea in a Press Briefing in May:

"I have always made it clear, and you have heard me say this,
that NATO has no direct contacts with the KLA. Who they appoint
as their leaders, that is entirely their own affair. I don't have
any comment on that whatever."45

     While NATO says it "has no direct contacts with the KLA",
the evidence confirms the opposite. Amply documented, KLA
terrorism has been installed with NATO's tacit approval. The KLA
had (according to several reports) been receiving "covert
support" and training from the CIA and Germany's Bundes
Nachrichten Dienst (BND) since the mid-nineties. Moreover, MPRI
collaboration with the KLA predates the onslaught of the bombing
campaign.46 Moreover, the building up of KLA forces was part of
NATO planning. Already by mid-1998, "covert support" had been
replaced by official ("overt") support by the military Alliance
in violation of UN Security Council Resolution UNSCR 1160 of 31
March 1998 which condemned: "...all acts of terrorism by the
Kosovo Liberation Army or any other group or individual and all
external support for terrorist activity in Kosovo, including
finance, arms and training."

     NATO officials, Western heads of State and heads of
government, the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan not
to mention ICTY chief Prosecutor Louise Arbour, were fully
cognizant of General Brigadier Agim Ceku's involvement in the
planning of Operation Storm and Operation Scorched Earth. Surely,
some questions should have been asked...

     Yet visibly what is shaping up in the wake of the bombings
in Kosovo is the continuity of NATO's operation in the Balkans.
Military personnel and UN bureaucrats previously stationed in
Croatia and Bosnia have been routinely reassigned to Kosovo. KFOR
Commander Mike Jackson had previously been responsible as IFOR
Commander for organising the return of Serbs "to lands taken by
Croatian HVO forces in the Krajina offensive".47 And in this
capacity General Mike Jackson had "urged that the resettlement
[of Krajina Serbs] not [be] rushed to avoid tension [with the
Croatians]... while also warning returning Serbs "of the extent
of the [land] mine threat."48 In retrospect, recalling the events
of early 1996, very few Krajina Serbs were allowed to return to
their homes under the protection of the United Nations.

     And a similar process is unfolding in Kosovo, ie. the
conduct of senior military officers conforms to a consistent
pattern, the same key individuals are now involved in Kosovo.
While token efforts are displayed to protect Serb and Roma
civilians, those who have fled Kosovo are not encouraged to
return under UN protection... In postwar Kosovo, "ethnic
cleansing" implemented by the KLA  has been accepted by the
"international community" as a "fait accompli"...

     While calling for democracy and "good governance" in the
Balkans, the US and its allies have installed in Kosovo a
paramilitary government with links to organised crime.

     The foreseeable outcome is the outright "criminalisation" of
civilian State institutions and the establishment of what is best
described as a "Mafia State". The complicity of NATO and the
Alliance governments (namely their relentless support to the KLA)
points to the de facto "criminalisation" of KFOR and of the UN
peacekeeping apparatus in Kosovo. The donor agencies and
governments (eg. the funds approved by the US Congress in
violation of several UN Security Council resolutions) providing
financial support to the KLA are, in this regard, also
"accessories" to the de facto criminalisation of State
institutions. Through the intermediation of a paramilitary group
(created and financed by Washington and Bonn), NATO ultimately
bears the burden of responsibility for the massacres and ethnic
cleansing of civilians in Kosovo.

STATE TERROR AND THE `FREE MARKET'

     State terror and the "free market" seem to go hand in hand.
The concurrent "criminalisation" of State institutions in Kosovo
is not incompatible with the West's economic and strategic
objectives in the Balkans. Notwithstanding the massacres of
civilians, the self-proclaimed KLA administration has committed
itself to establishing a "secure and stable environment" for
foreign investors and international financial institutions. The
Minister of Finance Adem Grobozci and other representatives of
the provisional government invited to the various donor
conferences are all KLA appointees. In contrast, members of the
KDL of Ibrahim Rugova (duly elected in parliamentary elections)
were not even invited to attend the Stabilisation Summit in
Sarajevo in late July.

     "Free market reforms" are envisaged for Kosovo under the
supervision of the Bretton Woods institutions largely replicating
the structures of the Rambouillet agreement. Article I (Chapter
4a) of the Rambouillet Agreement stipulated that: "The economy of
Kosovo shall function in accordance with free market principles".
The KLA government will largely be responsible for implementing
these reforms and ensuring that loan conditionalities are met.

     In close liaison with NATO, the Bretton Woods institutions
had already analysed the consequences of an eventual military
intervention leading to the military occupation of Kosovo: almost
a year prior to the beginning of the War, the World Bank
conducted "simulations" which "anticipated the possibility of an
emergency scenario arising out of the tensions in Kosovo."49

     The eventual "reconstruction" of Kosovo financed by
international debt largely purports to transfer Kosovo's
extensive wealth in mineral resources and coal to multinational
capital. In this regard, the KLA has already occupied (pending
their privatisation) the largest coal mine at Belacevac in Dobro
Selo northwest of Pristina. In turn, foreign capital has its eyes
rivetted on the massive Trepca mining complex which constitutes
"the most valuable piece of real estate in the Balkans, worth at
least $5 billion."50 The Trebca complex not only includes copper
and large reserves of zinc but also cadmium, gold, and silver. It
has several smelting plants, 17 metal treatment sites, a power
plant and Yugoslavia's largest battery plant. Northern Kosovo
also has estimated reserves of 17 billion tons of coal and
lignite.

     In the wake of the bombings, the management of many of the
State owned enterprises and public utilities were taken over by
KLA appointees. In turn, the leaders of Provisional Government of
Kosovo (PGK) have become "the brokers" of multinational capital
committed to handing over the Kosovar economy at bargain prices
to foreign investors. The IMF's lethal "economic therapy" will be
imposed, the provincial economy will be dismantled, agriculture
will be deregulated, local industrial enterprises which have not
been totally destroyed will be driven into bankruptcy.

     The most profitable State assets will eventually be
transferred into the hands of foreign capital under the World
Bank sponsored privatisation programme. "Strong economic
medicine" imposed by external creditors will contribute to
further boosting a criminal economy (already firmly implanted in
Albania)  which feeds on poverty and economic dislocation. "The
Allies will work with the rest of the international community to
help rebuild Kosovo once the crisis is over: The International
Monetary Fund and Group of Seven industrialized countries are
among those who stand ready to offer financial help to the
countries of the region. We want to ensure proper coordination of
aid and help countries to respond to the effects of the crisis.
This should go hand in hand with the necessary structural reforms
in the countries affected helped by budget support from the
international community."51

     Morever, the so-called "reconstruction" of the Balkans by
foreign capital will signify multibillion contracts to foreign
firms to rebuild Kosovo's infrastructure. More generally, the
proposed "Marshall Plan" for the Balkans financed by the World
Bank and the European Development Bank (EBRD) as well as private
creditors will largely benefit Western mining, petroleum and
construction companies while fuelling the region's external debt
well into the third millennium.

     And Kosovo is slated to reimburse this debt through the
laundering of dirty money. Yugoslav banks in Kosovo will be
closed down, the banking system will be deregulated under the
supervision of Western financial institutions. Narcodollars from
the multibillion dollar Balkans drug trade will be recycled
towards servicing the external debt as well as "financing" the
costs of "reconstruction." The lucrative flow of narcodollars
thus ensures that foreign investors involved in the
"reconstruction" programme will be able reap substantial returns.
In turn, the existence of a Kosovar "narco State" ensures the
orderly reimbursement of international donors and creditors. The
latter are prepared to turn blind eye. They have a tacit vested
interest in installing a government which facilitates the
laundering of drug money.

     The pattern in Kosovo is, in this regard, similar to that
observed in neighbouring Albania. Since the early 1990s
(culminating with the collapse of the financial pyramids in
1996-97), the IMF's reforms have impoverished the Albanian
population while spearheading the national economy into
bankruptcy. The IMF's deadly economic therapy transforms
countries into open territories. In Albania and to a lesser
extent Macedonia, it has also contributed to fostering the growth
of illicit trade and the criminalisation of State institutions.

ENDNOTES

  1. Jim Lehrer News Maker Interview, PBS, 26 July 1999.
  2. Stratfor Commentary, "Growing Threat of Serbian Paramilitary
     Action in Kosovo", 29 July 1999.
  3. Human Rights Watch, 3 August 1999.
  4. See Michael Radu, "Don't Arm the KLA", CNS Commentary from
     the Foreign Policy Research Institute, 7 April, 1999).
  5. Tanjug Press Dispatch, 14 May 1999.
  6. Stratfor Comment, "Rugova Faced with a Choice of Two
     Losses", Stratfor, 29 July 1999.
  7. Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Yugoslav Daily Survey,
     Belgrade, 29 June 1999.
  8. Hina Press Dispatch, Zagreb, 26 July 1999.
  9. Ibid.
 10. BBC Report, London, 5 July 1999.
 11. New York Times, 2 February 1999.
 12. Financial Times, London, 4 August 1999.
 13. See Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe,
     Mission in Kosovo, Decision 305,  Permanent Council, 237th
     Plenary Meeting, PC Journal No. 237, Agenda item 2, Vienna,
     1 July 1999.
 14. Statement at the Sarajevo Summit, 31 July 1999.
 15. 106th Congress, April 15, HR 1425.
 16. Interview with KLA Chief of Staff Commander Agim Ceku,
     Kosovapress, 31 July 1999.
 17. See Tammy Arbucki, "Building a Bosnian Army", Jane
     International Defence Review, August 1997.
 18. Ibid.
 19. Military Professional Resources, Inc, "Personnel Needs",
     http://www.mpri.com/current/personnel.htm
 20. Associated Press Report.
 21. Ibid.
 22. The actual number of civilians killed or missing was much
     larger.
 23. Quoted in Raymond Bonner, War Crimes Panel Finds Croat
     Troops Cleansed the Serbs, New York Times, 21 March 1999).
 24. Ibid.
 25. Ibid.
 26. Raymond Bonner, op cit.
 27. Ken Silverstein, "Privatizing War", The Nation, New York, 27
     July 1997.
 28. See Mark Thompson et al, "Generals for Hire", Time Magazine,
     15 January 1996, p. 34.
 29. Quoted in Silverstein, op cit.
 30. Mark Thompson et al, op cit.
 31. Raymond Bonner, op cit.
 32. Ibid.
 33. ICTY Weekly Press Briefing, 24 March 1999).
 34. Ibid.
 35. Ibid.
 36. See inter alia Reuters dispatch, 21 October 1993 on the use
     of chemical grenades, a New York Times report on 31 October
     1992 on the use of poisoned gas).
 37. Lewis MacKenzie, "Giving our soldiers the benefit of the
     doubt", National Post, 2 August 1999.
 38. Slobodna Dalmacija, Split, Croatia, August 5 1996.
 39. Scott Taylor and Brian Nolan, The Sunday Sun, Toronto, 2
     November 1998.
 40. Ibid.
 41. United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Fifty-first
     session, Item 9 of the provisional agenda, Geneva, 21
     December 1994).
 42. (See Memorandum on the Violation of the Human and Civil
     Rights of the Serbian People in the Republic of Croatia,
     http://serbianlinks.freehosting.net/memorandum.htm).
 43. Excerpts from the book of Scott Taylor and Brian Nolan
     published in the Toronto Sun, 1 November 1998.
 44. Ibid.
 45. NATO Press Briefing, 14 May 1999.
 46. For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, Kosovo `Freedom
     Fighters' Financed by Organized Crime, CAQ, Spring-Summer
     1999.
 47. Jane's Defence Weekly, Vol 25, No. 7, 14 February 1996.
 48. Ibid.
 49. World Bank Development News, Washington, 27 April 1999.
 50. New York Times, July 8, 1998, report by Chris Hedges.
 51. Statement by Javier Solano, Secretary General of NATO,
     published in The National Post, Toronto  May 1999.

     Copyright by Michel Chossudovsky, Ottawa, August 1999. All
     rights reserved. Permission is granted to post this text on
     "community internet sites" provided the essay remains intact
     and the copyright note is displayed. For community postings,
     kindly send a short message to chossudovsky at videotron.ca. To
     publish this text on commercial internet sites, in printed
     and/or in other forms (including excerpts), contact the
     author at chossudovsky at sprint.ca; fax: 1-514-425-6224.

     A frequent contributor to Antifa Info-Bulletin, Michel
     Chossudovsky is Professor of Economics at the University of
     Ottawa and author of The Globalisation of Poverty, Impacts
     of IMF and World Bank Reforms, Third World Network, Penang
     and Zed Books, London, 1997.

Recent articles:

On the War in Yugoslavia

Overview on the War:
http://www.transnational.org/features/Yuoverview.html
or http://www.flora.org/flora.mai-not/11967
On the role of the KLA:
http://www.transnational.org/features/crimefinansed.html
or: http://www.heise.de/tp/english/inhalt/co/2743/1.html
On the breakup of Yugoslavia:
http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/62/022.html
On the impact of the bombings:
http://www.diaspora-net.org/food4thought/chossudovsky.htm

On the Brazilian financial crisis:
http://wwwdb.ix.de/tp/english/special/eco/6373/1.html

On Global Poverty and the Financial Crisis:

http://www.transnational.org/features/chossu_worldbank.html
http://www.transnational.org/features/g7solution.html
http://www.twnside.org.sg/souths/twn/title/scam-cn.htm
http://www.interlog.com/~cjazz/chossd.htm
http://www.heise.de/tp/english/special/eco/
http://heise.xlink.de/tp/english/special/eco/6099/1.html#anchor1
http://www.ased.org/resources/global/articles/chossu.htm

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