Borba100 at Borba100 at
Fri Oct 8 09:16:20 MDT 1999

In a message dated 10/08/1999 6:39:44 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
mstainsby at writes:

 So I guess we should be wondering where the Kosovar people who opposed Nato
 were? Probably already dead, from the KLA. >>

Excerpts from an interview with the leader of some of these Albanians can be
found at:
-- jared israel

  The Text is posted here:

[Note from The following excerpts are taken from an
interview with pro-Yugoslav Albanians, driven from Kosovo by the KLA,
transcribed and edited by Greg Elich. Further editing by Jared Israel. Please
feel free to duplicate. Please include all text including this note.]

Kosovo Albanians: The Other Side

"My father was killed two years ago by the KLA terrorists. One day before I
left [i.e., fled from] Kosovo, a woman came to my flat and said that if I
told people my father was killed by Serbs, I could have a high-ranking
position in the Kosovo Liberation Army, the KLA. The US is heavily involved
with the KLA, they work closely together. What can one think when one sees
Madeleine Albright, President Clinton, [KLA leader] Hasim Thaci together, and
Albright gives Thaci a kiss? We accuse Mr. Clinton for the crimes Thaci has
committed, not only against Albanians in Kosovo, but against all ethnic
groups. Mr. Clinton is indirectly connected with the murder of my father."
(Albanian leader Fatmir Seholi, Belgrade, 8/9/99)

Interviews are with Faik Jasari, Corin Ismali, and Fatmir Seholi, all members
of the Kosovo Democratic Initiative.

Comments are by: Biljana Koteska, First Secretary of the United Nations Law
Projects Center in Belgrade; Bajram Haliti, Secretary of the Republic of
Serbia Secretariat for Development of Information on the Languages of
National Minorities, and editor of "Ahimsa"; Jovan Damjanovic, President of
the Roma organization in Yugoslavia.

Interview conducted by Barry Lituchy, Joe Friendly, Ayman El-Sayed, Ken
Freeland, Jeff Goldberg and Gregory Elich, members of the North American
Solidarity with Yugoslavia Delegation.

Belgrade, August 9, 1999


Faik Jasari, President, Kosovo Democratic Initiative, representative at peace
talks in Rambouillet, member of the Temporary Executive Board in the pre-NATO
Kosovo Government

Lituchy: Would you tell us a little bit about the Democratic Initiative?

Jasari: This is a new political party, formed only last year. Our position
was for Kosovo-Metohija to stay in Yugoslavia, organize humanitarian aid for
people, and oppose secession [from Yugoslavia].

Freeland: How many people does this party represent?

Jasari: We have 30,000 members. During the NATO aggression, we tried to
encourage people to stay in Kosovo, not to leave. We helped people with food,
medicine, blankets and so on. If anyone had trouble we tried to help.

[Since the NATO occupation began] about 10,000 members [of our party] have
left Kosovo, about 20,000 remain. Many have been kidnapped or tortured by the
KLA {EC Note: Kosovo Liberation Front which is now essentially running Kosovo
under NATO occupation.}The refugees went to Serbia and Montenegro.

Lituchy: Are you a refugee?

Jasari: Yes, of course. I had to leave on June 18th. Members of the KLA were
showing photos of my family and me to people, taking the pictures from home
to home. One of my colleagues, Cafre Cuka, from Pec, was kidnapped. We still
[know nothing] of his fate.

Lituchy: What did you leave behind?

Jasari: Our flat, all our furniture and belongings. My wife and I worked 34
years, now we have nothing. Nothing.

Lituchy: No assistance from the United States?

Jasari: No assistance from any organization. The government of Serbia
arranged [accommodations].

Lituchy: Were any members of your family attacked?

Jasari: No one from my family. The KLA didn't have time. The KLA is looking
for me, even now. If they find me, they will kill me.

Freeland: Was KFOR -    {EC Note: KFOR is the name for the NATO operation in

Jasari: KFOR does nothing to protect us. They don't do their job.

Lituchy: Did you have discussions with KFOR?

Jasari: I sent an open letter to Mr. Kouchner [UN special representative for
Kosovo] to discuss the situation in Kosovo and with my party but I received
no response. Where is democracy and pluralism in Kosovo? I can't go there. I
can't take part in the political process. Where is democracy?

Lituchy: Approximately how many Albanians were forced out of Kosovo by the

Jasari: About 150,000. About 200 were killed.

Lituchy: Tell us a little bit about the KLA.

Jasari: Initially the KLA was a separatist organization and then became a
military organization. They killed loyal Albanians, Serbs, also Albanians who
held public office.

Lituchy: What happened at Rambouillet?

Jasari: During 1998, the [Yugoslav] government tried to meet with KLA leaders
17 times, but the leaders refused. When Western countries asked Yugoslavia to
meet the KLA in Rambouillet, Yugoslavia sent representatives.

Lituchy: Did they ever meet face-to-face?

Jasari: Only once, at the first meeting with Jacques Chirac.

Lituchy: An introductory meeting?

Koteska: Yes.

Lituchy: Why no negotiations?

Jasari: Our representatives tried to meet them face-to-face every day but
they refused. They did only what the United States told them.

Lituchy: Did you ever walk up to one of the KLA people and say, 'why can't we
discuss this?'

Jasari: We couldn't even meet them in the hotel. We only had meetings with
American and British officials, their Western supervisors.

Lituchy: Whom did you meet with from the United States?

Jasari: Ms. [Madeleine] Albright, Mr. [James] Rubin and Mr. [James] Hill.
They told us to sign our names to the paper drafted by the United States. In
this paper it was written that Kosovo must be a republic [i.e., independent
of Serbia]. At first, they thought the delegation from Yugoslavia wouldn't go
to Rambouillet. Later, they saw that wasn't true, and when they also saw that
not only Serbs, but also Roma, Albanian and Egyptian representatives were in
our delegation, they were shocked.

Lituchy: The Americans?

Koteska: Yes.

Jasari: There were only three Serbian representatives and one Montenegrin in
our delegation.

[French Foreign Minister Hubert] Vedrine, [British Foreign Secretary] Robin
Cook and Albright told secessionist Albanians in Kosovo that everything will
be fine in Rambouillet, and that any agreement will be in their favor.

But they didn't ask other nationalities in Kosovo what they want. I told them
that the KLA doesn't represent the opinion of all Albanian people, that there
are three other Albanian political parties who have a different view, as do
Romas, Serbs, Muslims and other nationalities.

They wouldn't listen.

In Paris, the representatives of Yugoslavia didn't sign the paper. Albright
told them, whether you sign or not, Kosovo will be a republic. When Albright
was in Kosovo, she embraced and kissed Hasim Thaci, the terrorists' leader
[of the KLA].

Lituchy: Why do you think the United States launched this war?

Jasari: To establish military bases and extend its occupation of the Balkans,
to dictate to all countries in Europe.

Lituchy: What do you have to say to groups and individuals who claim
Yugoslavia was a police state, oppressing [Albanians]?

Jasari: It's just not true. I'm Albanian, and I have all the same rights as
any Serbian. Every country must hold onto its own territory and not give it
to other countries or to an ethnic minority. One third of the people in
Yugoslavia are ethnic minorities. Why do we have problems only with
Albanians? This problem didn't arise yesterday. After World War II, many
Albanians wanted to secede from Yugoslavia; they were preparing for
secession. I asked Albanians from Albania and Albanians from Kosovo, who has
a better life? All the knowledge and property Albanians have is in Kosovo,
not Albania. The Republic of Serbia, Belgrade, and the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia wanted to help them, to support them. You can find Albanian
doctors, professors, engineers, and all professions. Our government wanted
and still wants to provide education, to help them. Education was free.


Corin Ismali, Under-Secretary for National Social Questions in the Kosovo
Executive Council, Secretary of the Democratic Initiative.

Lituchy: Would you tell us what happened after the bombing stopped in Kosovo?

Ismali: We had to leave Kosovo because KFOR didn't guarantee us freedom,
peace, or the possibility to walk in the evening without being afraid of KLA

Lituchy: Were you threatened?

Ismali: Yes, because I opposed secession.

Lituchy: Why do [some] Albanians support Yugoslavia?

Ismali: Because we want to live with other ethnic groups in Yugoslavia. We
don't want to live in a country with only one ethnic group.

Lituchy: Why do some join the KLA?

Koteska: [For many] if they didn't join, they'll kill and torture them, rape
their wives, daughters. They had to.

Lituchy: Would you like to return to Kosovo?

Ismali: Of course. Why not? If our army and police return, I'll go the same
day. I must have peace, freedom, and no one to threaten me before I can

Friendly: Does the KLA give any indication of their interest in democracy, or
do they tend to be more totalitarian?

Ismali: I think it won't be democracy.


Fatmir Seholi, Chief Editor, Radio/Television Pristina

Lituchy: Tell us about the media available for Albanians.

Seholi: Albanians had more media than Serbs. In Kosovo, you could find only
one newspaper in Serbian but about 65 in Albanian.

Lituchy: Did you go to Pristina University [in Kosovo]?

Seholi: Yes.

Lituchy: In what language were your courses?

Seholi: Albanian.

Lituchy: Are you aware that in America, the television and radio and
newspapers were regularly saying Albanians have no rights in Yugoslavia?

Seholi: I think America didn't have the right information.


Seholi: Until I arrived here as a refugee, I worked as Chief Editor at
Radio/Television Pristina, in Albanian. I spoke with KFOR about a peaceful
solution for problems in Kosovo.

El-Sayed: Did the United States create the KLA?

Seholi: The KLA received great support from America and Germany. According to
our Secret Service, they created the KLA. But why? The United States was the
leading country against terrorism, but in our case the United States
supported and still supports KLA terrorism. Two years ago, on a night in
January 1997, the KLA killed my father, Malic Seholi. He was called a
"traitor" because he supported Yugoslavia and the Serbian government, not the
KLA. He loved living with all ethnic groups in Kosovo. He was 51 years old.

The KLA told us that they did it.

Lituchy: The KLA themselves said that?

Koteska: Yes, yes.

Seholi: The KLA said they killed more than one thousand people because they
were not Albanian or wanted Kosovo to stay in Yugoslavia. And that doesn't
even include members of the Yugoslav army they killed.

Lituchy: Who else from your family was injured or killed by the KLA?

Seholi: About two weeks ago, two of my brothers were tortured in Podujevo.
After they beat them they let them go home. But they must call every day at
10 AM.

Lituchy: They have to call the KLA?

Koteska: Yes, yes.

El-Sayed: Do you know what torture methods the KLA use?

Seholi: What more do you want? They're killing people. By strangulation, by

Koteska: In some places their torture implements were found, like those used
by the Inquisition centuries ago. I think the Inquisition would say, 'These
new methods are better.'

Lituchy: Why did they torture them?

Seholi: Because they stayed in Kosovo and still support the Yugoslav
government. Also because they worked in our government.

Lituchy: So the KLA will not allow anybody to live in Kosovo who doesn't
agree with them?

Seholi: Exactly.

Lituchy: Where was KFOR? {NATO}

Seholi: KFOR was in Podujevo while the KLA threatened my two brothers. The
KLA Commander walks the streets, armed, drunk, firing a rifle in the air.
KFOR does nothing.

Lituchy: Which sector?

Seholi: British and American.

Goldberg: Does anyone willingly join the KLA?

Seholi: I think many join because they're forced. If someone refuses, he's
tortured or killed. They used to say, "They vanished..." People value their


Seholi: I left Kosovo June 28th. The day before, I spoke with Maj. Kennedy
from KFOR about the return of Albanians to the office, to work with Serbs and
other non-Albanians. We formed a commission to plan programming for
Radio/Television Pristina for the next five months.

We worked out a good agreement. Representatives from KFOR and the UN also

We agreed that the next meeting would be the following day, at 10 AM.

We arrived at 9.

At 9:30 three or four thousand Albanians gathered in front of the station.
Neither representatives from KFOR nor from the UN appeared. At 10:15, three
or four hundred Albanians forced their way into the station and smashed
windows and equipment. Employees were threatened and beaten.

Maj. Kennedy arrived at 10:30 and shouted at the crowd but in such a manner
that it was clear he was merely posturing. He invited three representatives
from the crowd inside for negotiations. After ten minutes one man came into
our office and told us someone had placed a bomb in the station, so we must
leave. Because of the danger, all but 15 employees left. I was one of those
who remained. The KFOR Major and a Russian representative from the UN wanted
us to leave because [they claimed there was] a bomb. They took us out and
brought us through the crowd of four thousand. When we left the building,
before we entered a KFOR car, the crowd shouted some rough things.

I couldn't go home because it was possible I might be killed. I couldn't see
my own children.

Kotestka: He left Kosovo without anything.

Seholi: I know now that KFOR and the UN arranged all of this. There was no

After the NATO bombing stopped, I went with [temporary UN special
representative for Kosovo] Sergio de Mello around Kosovo. The trip lasted
five days. We visited almost every village and city in Kosovo and 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. Most of those who died from bombs were in fact Albanians.
In just one strike in the village of Korisa, they killed 105 people. Mr. de
Mello wasn't interested.

Koteska: Most of those were little children, women, old men.

Lituchy: What did you leave behind?

Seholi: My mother and two brothers.

Lituchy: Have you heard from them?

Seholi: Yes.

Lituchy: Are they safe?

Seholi: The KLA's secret police visited my flat three times and removed all
they could.

Lituchy: What do you think the future is in Kosovo?

Seholi: I think powerful Western countries have their own plans for Kosovo.

Freeland: Following up this question of the bombing of Albanians inside
Kosovo, did you notice a trend of more of them being bombed earlier in the
bombing vs. later in the bombing? In other words, [did you notice that the
bombing was used to] attempt to get them to flee, to make it seem like
something else [i.e., Serbian persecution] was going on?

Seholi: Albanians got hurt from all sides, but mainly from NATO bombing. More
than 300 Albanians were killed by NATO bombings.

El-Sayed: Do you think that NATO bombed Albanians purposely, to make them

Seholi: Whether that was their purpose or not, people were killed. The man
who could command NATO to bomb people isn't human. After the bombing of
Djakovica I saw decapitated bodies. I have pictures. It's horrible.

Jasari: Now we see that the US doesn't care about any ethnic minority. Before
NATO started bombing us, they said they're protecting Albanians. If they were
protecting Albanians they wouldn't be bombing them.

The aim of the US was clear: to create a Greater Albania, to sever Kosovo
from Yugoslavia. The Western countries have military bases in Albania. They
want to expand throughout the Balkans and have a controlling influence in
other countries. Unfortunately, our Albanian people are the victims of that,
also of Albanian terrorism.

[KLA leader] Hasim Thaci was in the US and other Western countries, not in
Kosovo. He came to Kosovo after NATO bombing ceased, and after our army left
Kosovo. What kind of Albanian is that who doesn't protect the Albanian
people? We, as Albanians, together with the other nationalities, protected
everyone in Kosovo. Regardless of whether he is Albanian, Egyptian, Serb or
Turk, he's a human being who lives in Kosovo.

The US used the Albanian people as the excuse for aggression and perhaps they
will again. KFOR and the United States can't guarantee security in Kosovo.
They can only guarantee that terrorists walk armed through cities and
villages and act without restraint. When someone reports that someone is
killed or kidnapped, they do nothing to stop such actions. Many KFOR soldiers
support the KLA.

Lituchy: How many Albanians live in Serbia?

Jasari: In Belgrade alone you can find about 80,000, many as long as twenty
years. They have rights, they work, they have offices, no one bothers them.

Jasari: According to the Serbian Constitution, everyone has the same rights.
It doesn't depend on nationality. After the visit of Mr. [Bob] Dole and [Joe]
DiGuardi [in 1990] some Albanians started pushing for a Greater Albania. They
[i.e., the U.S. government] promised a Greater Albania, providing support,
both monetary and other.

Friendly: What is your comment on the allegations of wrong-doing by the
Serbian military in Kosovo? How would you compare that with what NATO did. Is
there some basis for the allegations that the Serbian army was wantonly
killing villagers, or were they actually after the KLA?

Jasari: It's not true. It's propaganda. The Yugoslav army never attacked
anyone in Kosovo. They only defended themselves.

Lituchy: An argument certain U.S. officials made was that the US had to go to
war because these people couldn't live together. Comments?

Jasari: There was no reason to bomb us. We lived together. Why didn't the
United States influence the KLA to negotiate with our government before

El-Sayed: When you met Albright [at Rambouillet], why did she say they were
in Kosovo? Did she say the Yugoslav army was killing innocent civilians?

Jasari: She told me that. I told her, "Don't speak from your imagination. Do
you have some facts? We have facts that this isn't happening." But she said,
"We don't need facts." You couldn't say anything to her.[Now] Albanians have
lost everything. They no longer have property, accommodations. They have a
Narco-Mafia [the KLA]. Kosovo is [or was] multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and
multi-religious. Unfortunately, these days Serbians, Romas ("Gypsies"),
Muslims, Egyptians, Albanians who don't support the political aims of the KLA
have fled. One only one ethnic group will live in Kosovo.

Lituchy: Are you getting help right now from abroad?

Jasari: None.

Lituchy: What kind of help can Americans give?

Seholi: Any kind: food, medicine. Clothes, because winter will come.

Lituchy: Is there an Albanian Yugoslav organization we can deal with directly?

Jasari: It is best to deal through the International Red Cross or the
Yugoslav Red Cross. But when you send help, arrange to whom the aid should
go, otherwise it may be diverted to the terrorists.


Haliti: Do the US and the 19 countries who bombed us know that Hasim Thaci's
[KLA]army has no ethnic groups but Albanians? They said the reason they
bombed us is because there is no multi-cultural life in Kosovo.

Lituchy: Did American human rights officials ever contact you?

Seholi: No, but I had a conversation with Mr. Jerzy Dienstbier from the UN
human rights organization.

Jasari: There was one visit from the United States called the Mission of
Peace, before the war. We spoke with a Colonel Robert from that group. They
asked about the situation and our rights and listened to us. But the other
delegations came with their own opinions, to support the terrorists. They
never told the truth back in their countries. Some delegations visited only
Albanians who supported terrorism, never our side. I want to travel to tell
the truth about what has happened.

Seholi: One day before I left Kosovo, a woman came to my flat and said that
if I told people my father was killed by Serbs I could have a high-ranking
position in the KLA.

The United States is heavily involved with the KLA, they work closely
together. Why didn't the United States do anything many months ago, when the
KLA was killing citizens of Kosovo? The US took measures only when the KLA
was about to be destroyed. What can one think when one sees Madeleine
Albright, President Clinton, [KLA leader] Hasim Thaci together, and Albright
gives Thaci a kiss? We accuse Mr. Clinton for the crimes Thaci has committed,
not only to Albanians in Kosovo but to all ethnic groups. Mr. Clinton is
indirectly connected with the murder of my father.

* End of interview *

For first-hand information and in-depth analysis of Yugoslavia and the war,
go to:

For an interview with the leader of Kosovo's Jewish community, driven out of
Pristina by the KLA, see

In this report, a diplomat's aide tells a harrowing tale of his
just-completed trip through Kosovo...

Also: Credible Deception - How the NY Times Covered the Sudan Bombing
This article proceeds by careful analysis to uncover a pattern of dishonesty
in foreign policy reporting.

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