Gracko Farmers (Correctly) Blame NATO for KLA Slaughter

Borba100 at Borba100 at
Sun Aug 22 21:29:52 MDT 1999

Dear people,
The website I'm working on,, has
some things people on the marxism list will find interesting,
including Sean Gervasi's take on the imperilist strategy
behind the war against Yugoslavia
( look up Gervasi in Articles by Author). ANother: on the top of the home
page, an interview with Greg Elich, just back from Yugoslavia.

Below is a piece I wrote (along with villagers from Gracko...)
concerning NATO responsibility for the killing of 14 Serbian farmers
in that  village on July 23.

If anyone has ideas for the website please let us know.  It's reaching
over 1000 people a day (we only count hits on the home page and
since URLs are up at some big sites, the actual number of hits
must be considerably higher.)

-- Jared

Gracko survivors blame NATO
Introduction by Jared Israel

The letter below, written by residents of Gracko, the Kosovo town where KLA
terrorists recently slaughtered 14 Serbian farmers, is quietly horrifying.
And it quietly points the finger of blame at KFOR. KFOR is of course the
latest alias for NATO. NATO is in turn very much under the control of the US
government. So as the late Mr. Truman said, the buck stops here.


The letter notes that Gracko residents repeatedly begged the local British
KFOR (that is NATO) forces for protection. KFOR repeatedly declined. Must beg
off; previously engaged. Take a rain check?

In his interview posted at Greg Elich reports
that refugees from Kosovo said NATO troops watched while the KLA drove them
from their homes. We were told the same thing by a spokesman for Jewish
residents forced out of Pristina, capital of Kosovo.

It would appear that no matter who appeals to KFOR for help these preservers
of ethnic peace are always too busy to combat terrorism. Too busy doing what?


Wasn't it NATO that used the threat of continued bombing to force Yugoslav
border guards to abandon their posts on the Albanian border? NATO cannot
claim this was intended to protect ethnic Albanians in Kosovo; border guards
guard borders. Northern Albania, which abuts Kosovo, is ruled by bands of
gangsters and by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) which draws recruits from
criminal elements. The Yugoslav border guards played a crucial role in
protecting Albanians and everyone else in Kosovo from criminal and terrorist

Having disposed of the Yugoslavs, NATO installed no guards of its own. The
border is therefore open. Not porous, open. Is NATO too stupid to know that
unguarded borders allow criminals to pass? Perhaps, but stupidity doesn't
wash as an excuse. The Albanian border has been a bone of contention between
NATO and the Yugoslav government for almost a year. Indeed, when the threat
of NATO bombing forced the Yugoslavs to withdraw some forces in October of
1998, they were permitted to maintain troops in Kosovo precisely in order to
protect the border.

NATO had to know that opening the border would guarantee an influx of
KLA/criminal thugs. Since NATO insisted on getting rid of the guards we can
only conclude that NATO desired the result of getting rid of the guards.

Now that the terrorist/criminals are in, NATO offers "helplessness in the
face of overwhelming chaos" as its rationale for not stopping secessionist
terror. Is it so unreasonable for NATO's critics to view this as a bit of
public relations spin, intended to hide a practical division of labor? To
conclude that NATO's presence is intended to prevent Yugoslav intervention
and to lull some people into thinking they will be protected, in order to
guarantee that they take no measures for self-defense? So that, much to
NATO's surprise, the terrorists/criminals can attack with impunity? With the
end result that the survivors flee Kosovo?

Just as the survivors of Gracko are reportedly fleeing.


NATO, the KLA and the media try to blame massacres like this on "mysterious
forces" in Kosovo. These forces are never described very clearly, hence
"mysterious," and NATO troops seem unable to get a handle on the problem; a
stubborn mystery, and all the more so because the forces seem to be
everywhere. Sometimes the mysterious forces are described as gangsters,
though as the entire European press has reported, the KLA is itself comprised
of gangsters. Sometimes the mysterious beings are "renegade elements in the
KLA," though from what we have read, KLA leaders do not treat renegades
gently. And sometimes we are told the terror is carried out by "middle
ranking" leadership, as if the KLA were some corporation, like Coca Cola or
IBM, suffering a management crisis. In any case, these "mysterious elements"
are invariably called "extremists" apparently by way of contrast to the KLA
leadership. You may recall that the KLA made a name for itself by carrying
out drive-by shootings and lobbing bombs into children's restaurants in
Pristina, but time and our media moderate all sins.


As the letter below notes, the killing of the 14 farmers is "not the [work of
a few] extremists." Instead, the "planned ethnic cleansing of Kosovo...stands
in the background of these and the similar crimes." Planned. That is the key
word here. Planned. These Gracko farmers are no fools. The ethnic cleansing
of hundreds of thousands of Kosovo residents has required planning and
organization. In other words, it requires a Kosovo-wide military/terrorist
organization: the KLA. But is the KLA an independent force? Hardly. It has
been trained by the MPRI, a US company whose field personnel are retired (?)
CIA agents and military officers. The KLA's military chief is a Croatian
officer, one of the main planners (along with the Pentagon) of the 1995
expulsion of 250,000 Serbian residents from the Krajina section of
Yugoslavia. The KLA has been endorsed by Madeline Albright. (Since Albright
is U.S. Secretary of State, her endorsement is official policy.) Congress
just voted millions in military aid - for the KLA.

The KLA never won a single battle against Yugoslav troops; it is running most
of Kosovo because NATO bombed Yugoslav civilian facilities for 78 days until
Yugoslav forces agreed to withdraw. So in the real world the KLA is dependent
on NATO. It is inconceivable that the KLA would be allowed to launch a
campaign to drive hundreds of thousands of people from Kosovo without NATO's
explicit (if private) approval.


As we noted earlier, NATO has a scheduling problem. It gets daily requests
from Serbs, Romas ("Gypsies") and other ethnic minorities in Kosovo, as well
as from pro-Yugoslav ethnic Albanians just begging the troops to drop by, and
of course the troops would love to oblige, but where to find the time? There
are simply not enough hours in the day. Ethnic cleansing, now 90% complete,
may offer a solution:
nobody left alive to protect.

A note on credibility: The letter below cannot be dismissed as biased due to
source. Officials of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo have not generally
taken a stance hostile to NATO (KFOR). Indeed some have advocated an approach
of compromise and cooperation and have been criticized for doing so. NATO
troops recently rescued an Orthodox Priest, Fr. Sava, from an angry crowd of
Kosovo Serbians who wanted to "soundly thrash" the priest for meeting with US
Secretary of State Madeline Albright. The Orthodox Church did not distribute
this letter because it has an anti-NATO axe to grind. (If anything it has an
anti-Milosevich axe.) Rather it has distributed this letter because it is

* * *

>From the Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Church
Lipljan, July 24, 1999

Report from Staro Gracko village

The investigation carried out on the very spot, namely on the territory of
Staro Gracko village (numbering 73 Serbian and 3 Albanian houses) in Lipljan
municipality, has showed that the massacre of 14 Serbs who were threshing
wheat, happened on July 23, 1999, between 20:30 and 21:30; the fields they
were working in, border on districts of the Albanian villages - Bojance and
Veliki Alas, and are near Bujanicka forest.

Ten days ago, Staro Gracko villagers requested KFOR captain in Lipljan, Mr.
Alen, to provide them protection during the harvest, and requested the same
that tragic morning, on July 23, 1999. The answer was always the same: "We do
not have enough men, but we will visit the fields from time to time". In
spite of that promise, the patrols never visited the fields. Sometimes KFOR
patrols did not pass through Staro Gracko village for the whole day.

 Fourteen Serbian peasants, among whom there was a boy aged 15, went to their
fields to thresh wheat. Stevo Lalic heard shooting from the direction of the
fields, and having been concerned for the harvesters and their not coming
back, Lalic and Dragan Odalovic went to the fields to look for the men. At
200 meters distance from the place where reaping machine stood, they stopped
and perceived that the reaping machine did not move, but worked in one place.
On its platform, they saw a corpse of one of the killed villagers.

They returned to the village immediately (about 21:30) and quickly telephoned
KFOR in Lipljan to inform it. They pointed out that they saw a man killed.
KFOR translator, an Albanian woman, answered that no car was at disposal at
that moment. The Serbs repeatedly telephoned for at least 10 times, but the
answer of the Albanian translator was always the same. Having concluded that
the phone calls were unsuccessful, Stevo Lalic immediately went to KFOR
police station in Lipljan. Only than did KFOR send a transporter the scene of
crime. They stopped 50 meters from the reaping machine that was working in
the same place. KFOR soldiers ascertained that the man on the reaping machine
was killed by 3 shots in the back. The searching of the territory being
executed, 13 corpses were found lying everywhere, near the tractors and in

 KFOR conducted an investigation, and the corpses of the killed were
transported to the Clinical Centre in Pristina. Some of the relatives of the
killed people went to the hospital in Pristina on Saturday, July 24, to
identify the corpses. Some of them claim that certain bodies were mutilated,
and one man's head was smashed. We believe that the autopsy will provide a
more precise report on the event.

Further Attacks on Non-Albanian Population

In the last two weeks, houses in Staro Gracko village, namely on the farms of
Nikola Lukic, Novica Spasic and Novica Savic were set on fire. Pero Ristic
(aged 65) from Staro Gracko village was kidnapped on the road between Lipljan
and Staro Gracko village. We, the undersigned people from Lipljan, as well as
the other Serbs from the other villages of this municipality, have submitted
written reports for many times to KFOR representatives, and talked to them as
well, almost every day, about evidently preconceived Albanian attacks on the
Serbian villages within Lipljan municipality. Rt. Rev. Artemije, the Bishop
of Raska and Prizren, has also transferred information to KFOR and UNMIK. We
have pointed out that not the extremists, but planned ethnic cleansing of
Kosovo and Metohia from the Serbs, stand in the background of these and the
similar crimes. Unless the people who committed this crime are found
immediately and punished appropriately, and unless similar crimes are
decisively prevented, we fear that the people will accuse directly KFOR as
another guilty one for not executing its duties and not providing safe life
and work to the Serbian population.

We have been informed that women and children from Staro Gracko village pack
their things and prepare to leave their homes...

Father Milovan Kojic, parish priest of Lipljan and Staro Gracko village
Stevo Lalic, from Staro Gracko village

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