HAS INSTALLED A REIGN OF TERROR IN KOSOVO
of Economics at the University of Ottawa and author of
The Globalization of Poverty, Impacts of IMF and World
Bank Reforms, Third World Network, Penang and Zed
Books, London, 1997.
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
Copyright by Michel Chossudovsky, Ottawa, July 1999.
rights reserved. (See note at end of article). The author
can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, fax 1-514-425-6224.
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).
because 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
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
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),
confirms in this regard that:
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
NATO's regency, the KLA has also ordered assassinations
directed against political opponents including "loyalist" ethnic
Albanians and supporters of the Kosovo Democratic
League (KDL). These acts --ordered by the self-proclaimed
Provisional Government of Kosovo (PGK)-- are being carried
out in a totally permissive environment. The leaders
the KLA rather than being arrested for war crimes, have
been granted KFOR protection.
to a report of the Foreign Policy Institute (published
during the bombings):
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."
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
have Rugova removed from the Kosovo political landscape."6
turn, the KLA has abducted and killed numerous professionals
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
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.
COMMITTED AGAINST THE ROMA
cleansing has also been directed against the Roma (which
represented prior to the conflict a population group
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
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
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
A PARAMILITARY GOVERNMENT
Western leaders trumpet their support for democracy,
State terrorism in Kosovo has become
an integral part of NATO's post-war design. The KLA's
political role for the post-conflict period had
been mapped out well in advance. Prior to the 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):
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
other words, Washington had already slated the KLA "provisional
government" (PGK) to run civilian State institutions.
Under NATO's "Indirect Rule", the KLA
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
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 post-war
task of "democracy _building" and "good governance".
In turn, OSCE officials have already established a working
rapport with KLA appointees.13
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 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.
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.
A KLA POLICE FORCE TO "PROTECT CIVILIANS"
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".
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:
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
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.
the KLA maintains its links to the Balkans narcotics
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.
training concepts --which had already been tested in
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
experienced, former military professionals working in
Bosnia & Herzegovina".19 The number
officers working on contract with the KLA has not been
FORMER CROATIAN GENERAL APPOINTED KLA CHIEF OF STAFF
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.
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
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.
Jackson --who had served in former Yugoslavia under
the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR)-- was
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.
KRAJINA TO KOSOVO: THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME
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
executions, indiscriminate shelling of civilian populations
and "ethnic cleansing" in the Krajina region
a section of the report entitled "The Indictment.
Operation Storm, A Prima Facie Case.", the ICTY
report confirms that:
the course of the military offensive, the Croatian armed
forces and special police committed numerous violations
of international humanitarian law, including but not
to, shelling of Knin and other cities... During, and
the 100 days following the military offensive, at least
150 Serb civilians were summarily executed, and many
disappeared....In a widespread and systematic manner,
Croatian troops committed murder and other inhumane acts
upon and against Croatian Serbs" 24.
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:
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
it was viewed by some who were there. Several people
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-year investigation into the assault, the United
States has failed to provide critical evidence requested
by the tribunal, according to tribunal documents and
adding to suspicion among some there that Washington
uneasy about the investigation... The Pentagon, however,
has argued through U.S. lawyers at the tribunal that
shelling was a legitimate military activity, according
to tribunal documents and officials.26.
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
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
to Ed Soyster a senior MPRI executive and former
head of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) (interviewed
by Time Magazine in early 1996):
"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 . "They did
a very good job for the Croats, and I have no doubt they'll
do a good job in Bosnia. " 30.
HAGUE TRIBUNAL'S COVER UP
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 Peace-keeping officers'
testimony who witnessed the Krajina massacres in
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
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
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
internal 150 page report has not been released. The staff
member who had leaked the documents is (according to
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
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".
USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN CROATIA
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
cleansing in Krajina was much larger.
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 Peace-keepers
while on service in Croatia between 1993 and 1995:
was a smell of blood in the air during the past week
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..."
official release of the Department of National Defence
(DND) refers to the 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 peace-keepers
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?
STORM: THE ACCOUNT OF THE ROYAL CANADIAN REGIMENT
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
their minority rights". 38.
Canadian peace-keepers of the Second Battalion of the
Royal 22nd Regiment witnessed the atrocities committed
by Croatian troops in the Krajina offensive in September
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.
confirmed by Canadian peace-keepers was the participation
of German mercenaries in Operation Storm:
behind the front-line Croatian combat troops and German
mercenaries, a large number of hard-line 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.
the Germans mercenaries were recruited was never officially
revealed. An investigation by the United Nations
Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) confirmed that foreign
mercenaries in Croatia had in some cases "been paid
[and presumably recruited] outside Croatia and by third
1993 MEDAK POCKET MASSACRE
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
destruction of the Serbian villages of Divoselo, Pocitelj
and Citluk, and the massacre of over 100 civilians.42
massacres were also witnessed by Canadian peace-keepers
under UN mandate:
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
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
ruins for murder victims. Rotting corpses lying out in
the open were catalogued, then turned over to the peacekeepers
massacres were reported to the Canadian Minister of Defence
and to the United Nations:
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
the Medak Pocket massacre and Operation Storm bear a
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
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:
have always made it clear, and you have heard me say
that NATO has no direct contacts with the KLA. Who they
appoint as their leaders, that is entirely their own
I don't have any comment on that whatever.45
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
Germany's Bundes Nachrichten Dienst (BND) since the mid-nineties.
Moreover, MPRI collaboration with the KLA predates the
onslaught of the bombing campaign.46
building up of KLA forces was part of NATO planning.
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
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. Canadian Major General
Lewis McKenzie who served under the United Nations confirmed that "the same officer who masterminded the 1993 Medak
offensive in Croatia that saw Canadian soldiers using
deadly force to stop horrendous atrocities against Serb
civilians [had also] ordered the overrunning
of lightly armed UN outposts, in blatant contravention
of international law. His influence within the KLA does
not augur well for its trustworthiness during Kosovo's
political evolution". 47 Surely, some
should have been asked....
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".48 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]
threat "49. 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. According to "Veritas" (a Belgrade
based organization of Serbian refugees from Croatia),
some 10-15,000 Serbs were able to resettle in Croatia.
a similar process is unfolding in Kosovo, --ie. the conduct
of senior military officers conforms to a consistent
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 post-war 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 peace-keeping 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
ethnic cleansing of civilians in Kosovo.
TERROR AND THE "FREE MARKET"
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
and other representatives of the provisional government
invited to the various donor conferences are all KLA
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
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
close liaison with NATO, the Bretton Woods institutions
had already analysed the consequences of an eventual
intervention leading to the military occupation of Kosovo:
almost a year prior to the beginning of the War, the
Bank conducted "simulations" which "anticipated
the possibility of an emergency scenario arising out of
the tensions in Kosovo". 50.
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." 51. 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.
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
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
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
co-ordination 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
the so-called "reconstruction" of the
Balkans by foreign capital will signify multi-billion
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
largely benefit Western mining, petroleum and construction
companies while fuelling the region's external debt well
into the third millennium.
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. Narco-dollars
from the multi-billion dollar Balkans drug trade will
be recycled towards servicing the external debt
as well as "financing" the costs of "reconstruction".
The lucrative flow of narco-dollars 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
reimbursement of international donors and creditors.
latter are prepared to turn blind eye. They have a tacit
vested interest in installing a government which facilitates
the laundering of drug money.
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.
Jim Lehrer News Maker Interview, PBS, 26 July 1999.
Stratfor Commentary, "Growing Threat of Serbian Paramilitary
Action in Kosovo", 29 July 1999
Human Rights Watch, 3 August 1999.
See Michael Radu, "Don't Arm the KLA", CNS
from the Foreign Policy Research Institute, 7 April,
Tanjug Press Dispatch, 14 May 1999
Stratfor Comment, "Rugova Faced with a Choice of Two Losses",
29 July 1999.
Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Yugoslav Daily Survey,
Belgrade, 29 June 1999.
Hina Press Dispatch, Zagreb, 26 July 1999
BBC Report, London, 5 July 1999.
New York Times, 2 February 1999
4 August 1999.
See Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe,
Mission in Kosovo, Decision 305, Permanent
Council, 237th Plenary Meeting, PC Journal No. 237, Agenda
item 2, Vienna, 1 July 1999 .
Statement at the Sarajevo Summit, 31 July 1999.
106th Congress, April 15, HR 1425.
with KLA Chief of Staff Commander Agim Ceku, Kosovapress, 31 July 1999
Tammy Arbucki, Building a Bosnian Army", Jane
International Defence Review, August 1997.
Professional Resources, Inc, "Personnel Needs",
The actual number of civilians killed or missing was much
Quoted in Raymond Bonner, War Crimes Panel Finds Croat
Troops Cleansed the Serbs, New York Times, 21 March 1999).
Raymond Bonner, op cit.
Ken Silverstein, "Privatizing War", The Nation,
New York, 27 July 1997.
See Mark Thompson et al, "Generals for Hire", Time
Magazine, 15 January 1996, p. 34.
Quoted in Silverstein, op cit.
Mark Thompson et al, op cit.
Bonner, op cit:
Weekly Press Briefing, 24 March 1999).
See inter alia
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).
Lewis MacKenzie, "Giving our soldiers the benefit of the
doubt", National Post, 2 August 1999
Split, Croatia, August 5 1996.
Scott Taylor and Brian Nolan, The Sunday Sun, Toronto,
2 November 1998.
United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Fifty-first
session, Item 9 of the provisional agenda, Geneva, 21
(See Memorandum on the Violation of the Human and Civil
Rights of the Serbian People in the Republic of Croatia,
Excerpts from the
of Scott Taylor and Brian Nolan published in the Toronto
Sun, 1 November 1998.
NATO Press Briefing, 14 May 1999.
For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, Kosovo
`Freedom Fighters' Financed by Organized Crime, CAQ,
McKenzie, Soldier's View Nato Should Disarm the KLA Before
It's Too Late, The Vancouver Sun, June 12,
Jane's Defence Weekly, Vol 25, No. 7, 14 February
Bank Development News, Washington, 27 April 1999.
July 8, 1998, report by Chris Hedges.
Statement by Javier Solano, Secretary General
of NATO, published in The National Post, Toronto May
Copyright by Michel Chossudovsky, Ottawa, August 1999.
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