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Enigma behind U.S. Kosovo Policy
By Vojin Joksimovich
January 7, 2008
The U.S. has been a staunch supporter of Kosovo secession from Serbia. In 1999 the U.S. turned NATO into an aggressor attacking a sovereign country fighting none other than Islamist financed terrorism. The U.S./NATO bombed Serbia for 78 days for the “crime” of repelling the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) narco-terrorist insurgency from the Republic of Albania into the ancestral Serbian lands. The aim has been to snatch 15% of the Serbian territory, ethnically cleanse the Serbian population and other minorities, eradicate the Christianity by demolishing the Serbian churches and monasteries and replacing them with mostly Saudi built Wahhabi mosques, unilateral declaration of independence with recognition from the U.S., some EU and Islamic countries followed several years later by a referendum to join Albania because citizens of Kosovo and Albania are one nation.
At this writing it appears that the U.S. is willing to ignore the international laws, bypass the UNSC and recognize Kosovo Albanian precedent-setting unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo Albanian thugs—over vehement Russian objections based on adherence to the UN Charter, the Helsinki Accords and the UN resolution 1244. Allegedly it is now to be proclaimed as the “coordinated independence” by the Kosovo Albanians, the U.S. and most EU countries on February 6 or thereabout after the Serbian presidential elections. Meanwhile, the establishment media is pointing the finger of blame on Serbian and Russian “obstructionism,” as presidential candidate Hillary Clinton parroted, for the problem made in America.
Meanwhile breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia, Transdniestria in Moldova and Nagorny Karabach in Azerbaijan all claim to have more grounds to declare independence than Kosovo Albanians. In Transdniestria they are willing to implement results of September 17, 2006 referendum, whereby the absolute majority supported independence and integration with Russia. Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriots eye Kosovo to end their isolation and get recognition from others than Turkey. Also, meanwhile the Lakota Indians, living in five-state area, have withdrawn from treaties with the U.S. signed more than 150 years ago. Claiming that they are no longer U.S. citizens they delivered a message to the State Department and visited the Bolivian, Chilean, South African and Venezuelan embassies. Professor Raju Thomas wrote in the Guardian : “Serbia’s claim to Kosovo is, to Serbs, far stronger than Russia’s claim to Chechnya, China’s to Xinjiang, India’s to Kashmir (a claim still disputed by Pakistan), and the Philippines’’ to the island of Mindanao. All of these are provinces with Muslim majority populations that are part of non-Muslim majority states.”
Russian Patriarch Alexy II expressing profound concern that Kosovo independence can lead to new tragedies stated: “Today, the Kosovan future is resolved by people who have never been to Kosovo, who do not know how sacred this land is for the Serbian people. Think of one Kosovan field, soaked with the blood of our sisters and brethren.”
The U.S. Balkans policies have been mind-boggling and enigma to many. The Bush administration is getting ready to leap into unknown again. Lack of foresight is viewed as a leading cause of its Iraq debacle. What motivates the U.S. and its allies is less than transparent and defies common-sense. A citizen of the 21st century world expects the Western leaders to offer genuine moral judgments, sound logic and thorough assessment of possible consequences of their decisions. However, expectations have not been met. Here is an attempt to figure it out using the thoughts of James Jatras, Srdja Trifkovic, and John Bolton in addition to my own.
Srdja Trifkovic, foreign affairs editor of Chronicles and Byronica, attempted to explain the mystery of the U.S. policy in the Balkans in an article published by Sloboda-Liberty on September 25, 2007. For irrationality of the U.S. policy Trifkovic offered four elements. The text below represent an amalgam using some Trifkovic’s thoughts supplemented by my own while retaining Trifkovic’s four element framework.
1. The power of money and lobbying in Washington: Albanian lobby has been well funded and well placed for decades. The Serbian lobby is small in comparison. As a product of money and lobbying, combined with media reinforcement, much false information has been accepted as unquestionable facts. I would like to add that the Washington foreign affairs elitist community is with some minor exceptions totally ignorant about the Balkans with no knowledge of history. For most of them the history started in 1989 when the U.S. started paying attention to Kosovo. In this truncated version of history, the Serbs were branded as bad guys and the Albanians as innocent victims. Having bought into this gross simplification they do not want to know about even what happened after June 10, 1999 when genocide and ethnic cleansing over the Serbian population took place as documented by Iseult Henry in Hiding Genocide in Kosovo: A Crime against God and Humanity.
2. Inertia: In politics no one ever admits he is wrong about anything. It is unthinkable that any responsible political actor will go back to suggest we might have misunderstood, or even falsified the facts, or that our actions were misguided. Statements that Kosovo is “the last piece of unfinished business in the Balkans” mean that its solution must reflect the anti-Serb formula applied in the past, because to do otherwise would call into doubt previous actions.
3 Hegemony: In the post Cold War world notion prevailed that the U.S. is the only superpower and as such its role has been characterized as “benevolent global hegemony.” Jatras sums up the overall tendency in American global policy with one word: hegemony. The concept has particular application to Europe through NATO. No security decision can be taken without the U.S. approval, and preferably sponsorship as exemplified with the military interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo. The concept doesn’t stop in Europe but covers in particular so called Broader Middle East, which includes the Caucasus and Central Asia. The Balkans is seen as much part as it is of Europe. “In wider applications, it means that the opinion of any other power, or the any possible combination of powers, may not outweigh that of the United States on any point in the globe.”
In order to enforce this global hegemony, Prof. Chalmers Johnson in his book Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic, lists 737 American military bases in foreign countries. Furthermore he said if there were an honest count the number would probably top 1,000. Camp Bondsteel built in 1999 in Kosovo is the biggest built after the ones built during the Vietnam War. The Roman Empire at its heights in 117 AD required 37 major bases to police its realm from Britannia to Egypt, from Hispania to Armenia. Therefore, entirely peripheral Kosovo has so far managed to restart the Cold War as Moscow cannot be allowed to “win” despite the fact Russia is upholding international legality standards and the U.S. wants to violate the backbones of the international law. This despite a distinct possibility that it would set a precedent for secessionist movements worldwide; to reverse the imperative in the War on Terror and the War on Drugs. These types of victories have often devastating consequences. Some discovered this in Iraq but some never learn.
Ron Suskind, a columnist who had been investigating the Bush 43 White House wrote in The New York Times about a conversation he had with a presidential adviser in 2002. “The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people ‘who believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” The aide continued to say: “That’s not the way the world really works anymore. We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality, and while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history actors...and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.” This was an eye opener to me as it explains many acts of both the Clinton and Bush-43 administrations.
4 Islamophilia: During the Cold War, for containment of the Soviet Union, the U.S. relied on Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Furthermore, in Washington Islamism was considered as antidote to nationalism, socialism and godless communism in the Islamic world. Economically, it was viewed compatible with global capitalism---oil and petrodollars are indispensable. Also, it was derived in part from the U.S. support for the Afghan mujahideen in a proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980ies. The Gulf war in 1991 created an image that the U.S. was hostile to Islam. A need to counter that image arose which led in part to support of the Bosnian Muslims in the civil/religious war in Bosnia, 1992-1995. In 1992, Lawrence Eagleburger then Acting Secretary of State characterized the U.S. government’s pro-Muslim position in Bosnia as a counter to the Muslim World’s perception of an anti-Muslim position regarding Iraq. In 1996, two New Republic editorial staff writers Jacob Heilbrunn and Michael Lind argued that the American commitment to the Islamic connection is so strong that the U.S. design is to make the Islamic world part of a new American empire and that the American support of Bosnian Muslims is part of the implementation of this plan.
President Clinton operated on the basis that Islamist terrorism should be viewed as cost of doing business. Hence, the American life is just the cost of doing business! Clinton boasted that he used military power to protect poor Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo. He has allowed former KLA leaders and the Albanian narco-mafia to control the Kosovo society. The Islamists invariably view Kosovo as jihad.
Even in the aftermath of 9/11 the pro-Islamist favoritism continued. President Bush considers Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance and meets frequently with Islamic leaders. One needs to recall a photograph of Bush’s visit in June 2007 to the Washington’s Islamic Center, during which he repeated his call for a Palestinian state, touted U.S. support for Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo, characterized jihadists as betrayers of faith, stated his intention to appoint a special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Conference, and expressed Americans’ collective “appreciation for a faith that has enriched civilization for centuries.” American ambassador to Belgrade Cameron Munter hosted a Ramadan dinner in Novi Pazar and read out a message from President Bush and said that the U.S. wanted to build stronger bridges with the Muslim community. This despite the fact that the Serbian authorities arrested 15 members of a Wahhabi terror group charged for planning terror attacks on various locations in Belgrade including bombing the American embassy.
The U.S. is fixated on the notion that victory in the misnamed “war on terror” could only be achieved by getting the Islamic world on our side. A part of that strategy is to make peace with radical Islam including the Muslim Brotherhood. Their radical background is presented in my The Revenge of the Prophet book as a longstanding pattern in the U.S foreign policies. This orientation can be summarized as follows: “in local conflicts, promote Islamic interests; ally ourselves with jihad as long as it is directed against someone else. The underlying logic is: if we—the United States, the West—support Islamic interests, the result will be a moderate Islam that will perhaps threaten others but not us; if we don’t, those interests will be championed by “extremists’ (or at least by extremists we have co-opted and redefined as moderates).” The U.S. intelligence officers are currently meeting not only with the Muslim Brotherhood representatives but also with even more radical members of the Deobandi sect in Pakistan.
The U.S. State Department has been using the PR, rather than a policy change, in promoting this utopian policy of “If we just explained our policies in a manner they could hear, and then they would understand.” In that PR drive it helps to tell the Muslims that the U.S. supports independence for Kosovo like it supported the KLA. Anticipating a diplomatic dividend for pleasing the Muslim world, the House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos called upon “jihadists of all color and hue” to see Kosovo as “yet another example that the U.S. leads the way for the creation of a predominantly Muslim country in the very heart of Europe.” Senator Biden, a former presidential candidate and another Serb basher, said: “Pristina is one of rare Muslim cities in the world where the U.S. is not only respected but loved...The people of Kosovo—already the most pro-American in the Islamic world –will provide much needed example of a successful U.S.-Muslim partnership.”
Walid Phares, writing in the American Thinker, points out those statements of the American congressmen were not only legally unfounded but dangerous. “There is no basis in modern international law for forming states to satisfy a religious bloc of states. This strange logic, instead of weakening the Jihadist view of the world, would further strengthen Al Qaeda and its ilk. The United States is not the Byzantine Empire, nor is the Organization of the Islamic Conference a Caliphate, and they should not behave as if they were. The International Salafists want the world to respond to theologically-motivated world power dynamics instead of the present set of international conventions. Washington has no right to trade favors with oil powers on the basis of satisfying ideological ambitions here and there...Will the U.S. please the Wahhabis by forcing India to relinquish Kashmir, Phillipines to let go of Mindanao, Russia to cut Chechnya loose, Cyprus to abandon its Turkish north and last but not least to slice out half of the Galilee to its own Muslim minority.”
On the opposite side of the spectrum is Daniel Serwer, VP for Peace and Stability Operations at the U.S. Institute for Peace, reminding the American officials who are “fond of pointing out that the U.S. has repeatedly intervened to protect the Muslims from war and dictatorship” that their claim would be devalued “if the so far successful international interventions in Bosnia or Kosovo end in tragedy.” To him the tragedy would be if the U.S. and the EU do not ensure that Serbia is blocked from making trouble, Kosovo becomes independent, and Bosnia stays united. His column in the Pakistani Daily Times was referred to me as the one written by an “empire servant.”
Hence, Islamophilia is a huge factor in the U.S.’ Balkan policies, perhaps the dominant one with hegemony being close second. However, it disregards that the Muslims have brought no praise but instead have simply augmented the list of Muslim grievances headed by Iraq and Palestine but including also Chechnya, Kashmir, Philippines, etc. How can the Muslims forget that anywhere up to one million Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the American aggression releasing sectarian violence in Iraq? A survey released by WorldPublic-Opinion.org suggests that the struggle for Muslim hearts and minds may already be lost. Overwhelming majorities in Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan and Indonesia say they believe that the U.S. seeks to “weaken and divide the Islamic world” and to achieve political and military domination to control Middle East resources.” Most think that Al Qaeda defends the dignity of Muslims by standing up to the U.S. and most share Al Qaeda’s goal of evicting the U.S. military from the Mideast.
American Council for Kosovo Director James George Jatras on November the 20th following the "election" victory of the "Democratic Party of Kosovo," under the leadership of Hashim Thaci, said:
“Take everything you think you know about the stated U.S. policy of
combating jihad terrorism, organized crime rackets, trafficking in persons
(i.e., sex slavery), the global drug trade, peddling weapons and explosives
to terrorist groups, and so on. Now stand everything you think you know
on its head - and picture the U.S. supporting all of these activities,
not combating them. As incredible as it sounds, that describes in a nutshell
American policy in Kosovo, which seeks to separate the province from Serbia
It is also irrational that most EU countries support the Kosovo Albanian
extremism, separatism, irredentism and fundamentalism—everything that authentic
Europe allegedly is supposed to stand against. The EU leaders refuse to
admit that the white apartheid practiced by the Kosovo Albanians as well
as their anti-Christian persecution is de facto anti-European and anti-Christian.
John Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, was interviewed by Branko Mikasinovich of Voice of America. Several of Bolton’s responses are reproduced followed by my commentaries.
“Historically, it is very difficult to identify a new threat, as the case with Nazism in Europe, and it look us a long time to spot the international danger of Communism. I am not sure whether radical Islam would reach such a level of threat, but the threat is real as we have witnessed during the terrorist attacks on the US in 2001, attacks in Madrid and London, then in Asia, Indonesia, Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian-occupied territories. We need to pay more attention to that threat and we shouldn’t take any steps which would further increase it, especially in Europe.” This author asserts that Islamism or jihadism is a global movement and represents a real threat to the Western civilization, just as fascism and communism did. In this context the U.S. Balkans policies based on Islamophilia border with criminal negligence.
“I think that the State Department has had an anti-Serbian policy for more than 15 years. When Yugoslavia was falling apart and Milosevic conducted his policy, there was some logic to our opposition to such a policy. Unfortunately, this biased policy has continued, even though there’s no logical explanation for it. While Serbia is trying to establish an effective and functional democracy regarding human rights and other issues, the anti-Serbian policy has continued, especially with regard to Kosovo, where a decision in favor of its independence could only create other concerns, and such a decision can could impact on the democracy in progress in Serbia, and the possibility that the Security Council would step beyond its authority, which would be very unfortunate.” Bolton is right on the mark with regard to the threat to Serbian democracy, but overstates the case of Milosevic conducted policies. The agitprop package portrayed Milosevic almost as omnipotent as Hitler. In this fairy tale Milosevic unleashed four wars so that Greater Serbia could be carved out. The Prosecution at the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), however, couldn’t prove those allegations so Milosevic died after his human rights had been grossly violated in a judicial malpractice case.