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Aleksandra Rebic | Columns | Serbianna.com OPINION
Clinton Kosovo Policy Will Haunt Candidate Clinton
By Aleksandra Rebic
October 16, 2007

Whoever doesn’t take the current Clinton candidacy seriously is a fool. It’s quite probable that she’ll end up inheriting the Iraq War and all its collateral issues which I’m sure doesn’t sweeten the pot, but she’s determined to become President anyway. I admire her for that. I know I wouldn’t want to inherit someone else’s baggage. And certainly not that kind of baggage.  Candidate Hillary Clinton sure has a lot to say about the Iraq War and how the current administration has conducted itself.  Maybe I missed it, but she has not had nearly enough to say about another issue, this one also involving questionable foreign policy that is every bit a part of her legacy as the Iraq War will be part of George Bush’s. Someone needs to ask Hillary about Kosovo.

At the end 2007, the official status of Kosovo could well be finally determined and the implications will be far reaching.  Unlike with Iraq, it will not be George Bush who will have to shoulder the blame for the outcome if it’s bad.  It will be Candidate Clinton’s albatross, even though she has conveniently, and very thoroughly, been ignoring the elephant in the room.

If I were Diane Sawyer, this is what I’d like to talk to Candidate Clinton about.

THE ALBANIAN ISSUE IN KOSOVO

Who are these "Kosovars" that engendered such sympathy and such a call to action by the world community and its leaders on their behalf at the end of the 1990s and who continue to agitate for “action” today, as the fate of Kosovo once again lies in the balance?  In my view, this is who they are:

What the modern day Albanians have been attempting to “finish” over the course of these last couple of decades in Kosovo, with the full support of NATO and prominent American politicians, is a fascist program that Benito Mussolini began in 1941 during World War II but that in essence was initiated years earlier.

On November 27, 1918 the United States State Department was informed by Thomas Page, U.S. Ambassador to Italy 1913-1919, that the British Foreign Office favored the creation of a "Greater Albania" in order to block Serbian advances to the Adriatic. Years later, Mussolini had the same idea. On June 25, 1941 Mussolini proclaimed the annexation of Kosovo, the cradle of the Serbian nation, “Serbia’s Jerusalem”, to Albania. The first concern of the Albanians, led by their notables, tribal chiefs, and the so-called "Kosovo Committee" was to get rid of the Serbs and Montenegrins in their midst. Serbs were promptly murdered or expelled, and their property was looted.

Before World War II, Serbs comprised 50 percent of the population of Kosovo. By war’s end they had been reduced to 25 percent of the population. Still later, as of 1989, they were reduced yet further, to only 10 percent of the population of Kosovo. Thus, the Albanian “Kosovars” were successful in their ethnic cleansing of Serbs from Serbian sacred land.

Although Mussolini and his fascist allies lost the war, communist Josip Broz Tito, who came to power in Yugoslavia at the end of World War Two, would not allow Serbs to return to their homes in Kosovo.  However, he would maintain Kosovo within Yugoslavia, stifled further expulsions, and would, with his iron fist, keep secession a moot point.

Serbs made one big mistake in regards to Kosovo. In 1945 the Provisional National Assembly of Serbia passed a law establishing the autonomous Kosovo-Metohija region known as Kosmet. Kosovo became an "autonomous province" of Serbia. This act was, in fact, the constitutional instrument of Kosovo and Metohija, and from the very outset it guaranteed the equal rights of all citizens without distinction as to nationality, race, religion, or sex, and the equality of the language of all the national groups within the region before the authorities. Similarly, the right to education in their mother tongue was also granted to all national minorities. In 1974, with the revision of the Yugoslav Constitution, the autonomous regions in Yugoslavia, (Vojvodina and Kosovo and Metohija), were endowed with many of the sovereign prerogatives of statehood. It is then that the Albanian terrorists and drug traffickers, with the support of some local ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, began planning the establishment of a second Albania in the Balkans. They began paralyzing work and progress in the Republic of Serbia, of which Kosovo and Metohija were still a part. The constitution of the Republic of Serbia could not be changed without the express consent of the Assembly of the Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija where Albanians had become a majority due to the cleansing of Serbs and Tito's policy of not allowing the expelled Serbs to return to their homes.

Ethnic Albanians in Kosovo enjoyed all the human and civil rights due them before the intrusion of the Albanian terrorists and drug dealers who would organize the Kosovo Liberation Army, the notorious KLA. Just prior to the recent war in Kosovo, the University of Pristina in Kosovo had 37,000 students enrolled in it, eighty percent of whom were ethnic Albanians. The Pristina Radio and Television Station was broadcasting their programs in the Albanian language all day. There was one Albanian Daily and eleven periodicals. Just prior to recent war the government of Yugoslavia was providing enormous subsidies to the province of Kosovo. The mistake made by the Serbs was setting up a party-run state instead of a constitutional government that would give effective sovereignty to the Republic of Serbia over its entire territory, including Kosovo and Metohija. The assumption was that all the people of Kosovo and Metohija, including the majority of Albanians who lived there, would remain loyal citizens of the Republic of Serbia, endowed with all the same rights and privileges accorded to the Serbian population and in some cases, above and beyond those rights that had been accorded to the Serbs.

If the educated group of politically powerful policy makers who were so instrumental in fashioning policy towards the Serbs in the 1990s had taken one serious, honest look at the real status of the Albanian and other minorities in the Republic of Serbia, they would have discovered that these individual ethnic groups enjoyed national, cultural, and civil rights on par with the most modern and best constitutional systems in the world. Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that persons belonging to ethnic, religious, or linguistic minorities shall not be denied the right in a community with the other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion, or to communicate in their own language. The ethnic Albanians in Kosovo had all of this guaranteed them and more. But it wasn’t enough. They wanted and continue to demand TERRITORIAL autonomy.  Imagine the implications this scenario would have in the United States of America if such demands by different national and ethnic groups were initiated and granted. There would be no more United States, and there would be no more America.

With all that would transpire between the years of 1980 following Tito's death and 1988, it was determined by the government in Belgrade that it was necessary to start a process of bringing the autonomy enjoyed by Kosovo and Metohija in line with autonomy as understood by the civilized world, in legal, political, and constitutional theory. The government of Belgrade did what any civilized, sovereign nation and leadership, including the United States, would do if one of her territorial areas was becoming too independent and terrorism was being used as a means of gaining that independence. Due to the nature of the trouble, in 1989, out of necessity, Slobodan Milosevic and the Belgrade government cracked down on Kosovo’s autonomy. If one examines the events of the decade prior to this, it was the only thing that could have been done to maintain civilized order in Kosovo and to protect its citizens.

It was in 1981, after several years of preparation and obtaining various arms and whatever else was necessary for conducting terrorism in Kosovo, that the Albanian separatists began their armed attacks on the local authorities loyal to the Serbian government in Belgrade with simultaneous attacks on the civilian population to drive the remaining non-Albanians out of Kosovo. Between 1981 and 1988 500 assaults on military personnel, 80 cases of harassment of military units, and 251 attacks on military facilities were recorded. What went unrecorded and the civilian casualties incurred can only be imagined. Atrocities against the Serbian population were committed in Kosovo as these events unfolded. The Serbian government was given no choice but to crack down.  I don’t know of any government in the civilized world that would have done otherwise to protect its people. Yet, incredibly, the Serbian government was vilified and condemned and the criminals were elevated to victim and “liberator” status. The crackdown, however, did not stop the Albanian terrorists.

Every civilized country in the world is trying to limit the kinds and number of arms its citizens carry around. The owner of a weapon is generally legally obligated to register his weapon when such ownership is allowed. Yet, in Kosovo, still an integral part of Serbia, Albanians were in possession of all sorts of guns and arms, including machine guns, explosives, detonators, and even pieces of artillery, just prior to the Kosovo war of 1998. The Serbian police force, given these threatening and hostile circumstances, was more than justified in taking action to protect its citizens. However, the situation unfortunately only got worse, not better. What the Serbs were faced with in their own backyard would require a separate essay alone to describe so let me suffice by saying this:

The Albanian moslems destroyed more Serbian Orthodox Churches and historical monuments in Kosovo in the last five years of the 1990s than the Turks did in their 500 years of domination in the Balkans. The desecration and destruction of Serbian Orthodox and Christian monuments, symbols and places of worship in Kosovo continues today, but there is no outrage.  Where is the outrage?  Thus, not only should the West have considered the Albanian affiliations with the fascists and the Nazis in the 20th century as it was choosing sides in the recent conflict, but it should have considered the crimes being committed against the Christian heritage in the Balkans.

Another unconscionable Albanian crime was setting fire to the Pristina City Library. This library held tens of thousands of Serbian books collected over a long period of time. They have burned and thrown into the garbage books of Serbian origin throughout Kosovo. And they have terrorized civilians mercilessly, killing at will. For the Serbs in Kosovo, this has been an ongoing Kristalnacht.

The tragedy of western action in response to the Serbian crackdown is that the U.S. and NATO ended up aiding and abetting this Kristalnacht against the Serbs, finally bombing a people who have never been anything but a loyal, good friend of the West, particularly the United States. They ended up rewarding the terrorists. I’ll say it again: The Clinton administration, using NATO as its tool, ended up rewarding the terrorists.

Candidate Clinton, your husband ordered the bombing of the Serbs, with your blessing and encouragement, and regardless of whether you choose to address this or not, you will be haunted by it. The Kosovo issue has not been resolved. And I am afraid that you will inherit it just as you will inherit the Iraq problem. You speak often about Iraq and the mistakes made by the current administration. I have not heard you yet address Kosovo and the mistakes made by the previous administration. You will not be able to shift the blame for Kosovo onto George Bush’s shoulders.

The past is always relevant. It should never be dismissed, for the past is like a cat. It has nine lives.  When the first SS troops were formed, only those that could prove they were pure Aryans could be members of this elite group. Then, later, 'second grade' SS troops were formed consisting of people who did not have to prove that they were pure Aryans. Finally, in 1943, Himmler decided to form 'third grade' SS troops. That is when three new divisions of SS formations were created: "KAMA", "HANDZAR", and "SKENDERBERG", the first two being composed of Bosnian moslems and the third of Albanian moslems, including Albanians from Kosovo. These Nazi divisions were not sent to any front to fight, but instead were sent to the Serbian villages in Bosnia, Hercegovina, and Kosovo, where they gleefully committed indescribable atrocities against the Serbian population. When the war was over and the Western Allies turned Yugoslavia over to communist control under Tito, all these moslem Nazis and criminals became Yugoslav communists and none of them were brought before an international court for war crimes and crimes against humanity. To my knowledge, there is no statute of limitations for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

To add to this travesty, over 50 years later, we had the pronouncements of Dr. Bernard Kouchner, appointed head of the United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo in 1999. In regard to the situation in Kosovo where Albanians were continuing to wreak havoc against the innocent Serbian civilian population, Kouchner maintained that while previously it was “ethnic cleansing” being committed by the Serbs against the Albanians, what was happening to the Serbs being terrorized by the Albanians was a sort of
"justifiable revenge."  The double standard so flagrantly practiced and institutionalized by the West with regards to Kosovo is incomprehensible.

Candidate Clinton,

Due to Albanian manipulations, sanctioned by the powerful, political elite in this country and heavily underwritten by those such as financier George Soros, who have a vested interest in this little area in the Balkans, there was war in Kosovo, and though the war is over the consequences continue. The NATO bombing was not the only big crime committed. Criminal accountability lays on those who actively and clandestinely supported Albanian criminals and terrorists such as the KLA, the Kosovo Liberation Army, under the guise of humanitarian aid and support of so called “freedom fighters”.

THE KLA

Just who were these “freedom fighters” that enjoyed the support of certain American politicians who were influential in dictating U.S. foreign policy?  The Kosovo Liberation Army was the armed wing of the Kosovo National Front, a primary agitating force behind independence for Kosovo. That was not their only agenda, however. The Kosovo National Front was one of the most powerful heroin smuggling organizations in the world and throughout their fight with the Serbs over Kosovo, they were diverting the dirty profits from their dirty trade to the KLA "liberators" to buy weapons for the express purpose of killing. Not freedom fighting, but killing and terrorizing. The U.S. State Department officially red-flagged the KLA in 1998. It was listed as an international terrorist organization. The primary charges against the organization were that it had bankrolled its operations with money made from the international heroin trade and from loans given by notorious terrorists like Osama bin Laden, who would become increasingly notorious and helpful to terrorist causes as time went by. A year later, in 1999, when Kosovo exploded on the world stage as a focus of international attention, nothing had changed insofar as the true nature of the KLA. Only then, due to "political expediency," instead of being called the terrorists that they were, they were being called "freedom fighters” and “liberators”.

Dirty money from dirty drug sales on a vast scale financed the weapons used against the Serbs and the Serbian civilians.  And our own people, our politicians, most notably Senator Joseph Lieberman, wanted to further augment and subsidize this organization with U.S. money, this after the Serbs had already been bombed mercilessly by NATO at the behest of the Clinton administration.

That same month that the bombing of the Serbs began, in March of 1999, it was estimated by "Jane's Intelligence Review" that drug sales alone could have netted the KLA profits in the high tens of millions of dollars. At that same time, this highly regarded British based journal noted that the KLA had rearmed itself for a Spring offensive against the Serbs with drug money, along with donations from Albanians in Western Europe and the United States. Leading intelligence officials also confirmed that the KLA had financed its purchase of weapons in great part with profits earned from drug smuggling, the cash being laundered through banks in Italy, Germany, and the ever accommodating Swiss banks. The KLA, according to these same intelligence reports that our politicians and policy makers didn’t seem to be deterred by, paid for the weapons using the heroin itself as currency. These issues were all exposed at the same time that Senator Lieberman was pushing his “Kosovo Self-Defense Bill” that was intended to give the green light to further arming the KLA.  To my knowledge, Senator Lieberman's involvement did not begin with the Kosovo Self-Defense Act of 1999. As far back as 1994, the Senator received at least $10,000 from an Albanian-American PAC and was one of the most vocal proponents of "bombing Serbia," before NATO bombs were ever launched. His determination to see the Serbs bombed would be echoed by the majority of the Clinton administration with fervor. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright seemed to make it her mission in life to see the Serbs “punished”.  Was Senator Lieberman’s “Kosovo Self-Defense Bill” intended to complement NATO’s bombing of the Serbs by giving their enemies an additional gift? This bill was to provide $25 million dollars of the American tax- payer money to equip 10,000 KLA fighters with arms and anti-tank weapons.  Our tax-payer money to fund terrorists.  Even though you weren’t a Senator back then, what I’m wondering is would you, Candidate Clinton, have supported this bill?

The KLA was ruthless and brutal in its conduct throughout the Kosovo conflict. The KLA did not operate under rules of civility or ethical and humane conduct in war. It did not follow rules. The KLA used its terrorist tactics not only against the innocent Serbian civilian population of Kosovo but against its own Albanian people who did not comply with the KLA program and who were perfectly satisfied to continue living in harmony with their Serbian neighbors. This was the group of people that people like Senator Lieberman who postured daily as a "moral, ethical, and righteous" politician against the excessive violence on television and in children’s video games, wanted to arm. This was the organization whose agenda the Clinton administration served to fulfill.
 

Perhaps what Harry Summers, Jr., a fellow of the Army War College, said shortly after the bombing of the Serbs began in March of 1999, best reflects the irony of United States support for the KLA and for the Albanian cause in Kosovo, but reading it now, eight years later, it was more than reflective.  It was one of those harbingers that don’t allow for a clear conscience. He called the NATO attacks on the Serbs
"the hubris of its leadership and the ineptitude of its foreign policy."

He wrote:

"The United States -- once the champion of internal stability and the sanctity of national sovereignty - has replaced the Soviet Comintern as the prime fomenter of international dissent and inciter of revolution... Not only by its actions in Bosnia did the U.S. encourage the KLA to revolt, but it also condemned Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic when he attempted to maintain order in his own country. In a bizarre twist to its foreign policy, the U.S. now tacitly supports the KLA guerrillas
who are aided and abetted by America's arch enemy Osama bin Laden, who masterminded the African Embassy bombings last August...

Not only is America working against its own best interests by fostering a Muslim terrorist base in Europe, it is defeating the very purpose of its Balkan intervention. Ostensibly designed to promote stability in the region, U.S. foreign policy is doing precisely the opposite by its support of the Muslim revolution..."
 

Funny thing.  Change the geographical context and you’d swear that was being said by someone such as yourself about the Bush administration and Iraq today.  But no.  This was said in direct reference to the policy of the Clinton administration, a policy to which you gave your blessing.  It’s not over yet.  Kosovo just may well return to haunt you if you do make it all the way, Candidate Clinton. This is one legacy I would not want to inherit.


Aleksandra Rebic
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