By Paul Williams
America’s war on terror has come full circle.
By pledging his support of Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia, President George W. Bush has sanctioned the genocide of thousands of Serbian Christians in the Balkans and the creation, thanks to al Qaeda, of a radical Muslim state at the doorway to Europe.
After announcing their independence from Serbia on February 16, thousands of ethnic Albanians (Muslims) took to the streets waving American flags and singing patriotic songs.
While the national press provided glowing coverage of these demonstrations as proof that the “Kosovars” were adamantly pro-America, few media outlets took notice that the demonstrations were preceded by the sacking of Christian churches and the burning of thousands of Serbian books.
But book-burning is the least of the sins of our new friend and ally. The Kosovars have also sacked churches, raped nuns, and mass-murdered approximately 4,000 Christian Serbs in and around the town of Srebrenica and its adjoining towns and villages (Bratunac, Skelani, Milici, et al) as well as the town of Gorazde.
In a letter to Fatmir Sejdui, the president of the new “republic,” Bush wrote: “On behalf of the American people, I hereby recognize Kosovo as an independent and sovereign state. I congratulate you and Kosovo’s citizens for having taken this important step in your democratic and national development.” He also pledged to increase the amount of foreign aid to the Balkan state from $77 million in 2007 to $335 million in 2008.
Kosovo had formally remained a part of Serbia even though it has been administered by the United Nations and NATO since 1999, when strategic NATO bombings ended the Serbian crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists.
Ninety percent of Kosovo’s two million people are ethnic Albanian and Muslim— and they see no reason to stay joined to Christian Orthodox Serbia. Despite calls for restraint in the wake of the announcement of Kosovo’s independence, tensions flared on February 19 in northern Kosovo, home to most of the territory’s 100,000 minority Serbs. An explosion damaged a U.N. vehicle outside the ethnically divided town of Kosovska Mitrovica, where thousands of Serbs chanted, “This is Serbia!”
The crowds in Kosovska marched to a bridge spanning a river dividing the town between the ethnic Albanian and Serbian sides. They were confronted by NATO peacekeepers guarding the bridge, but there were no outbursts of violence.
Another 800 Serbs staged a noisy but peaceful demonstration in the Serb-dominated enclave of Gracanica outside Pristina.
The Serbs were not alone in their protests.
Former UN Ambassador John Bolton maintains that the creation of an independent Kosovo “will give a boost to Islam extremism.” Bolton voices his agreement with Alekandr Botsan-Kharcenko, Russia’s ambassador to the Balkans, who said: “Any unilateral declaration of independence by Pristina [capital of the new nation] would not be legal and could trigger separatist movements in the world and could undermine international order and the structure of international relations.”
A PRIMER TO THE PROBLEM
The turmoil in Kosovo began in 1989 when Slovodan Milosevic, president of Serbia and the Free Republic of Yugoslavia, set out to create a greater Serbia by annexing Kosovo. When the Kosovo assembly approved this measure, ethnic Albanians (the sanitized way of saying native Muslims) rebelled. In 1990, Milosevic dispatched troops into Kosovo to squelch the rebellion and restore order. In 1992, the ethnic Albanians responded to this military measure by establishing their own government in Kosovo - - the Republic of Kosovo - - with self proclaimed pacifist Ibrahim Rugova as its president.
With two governments in one tiny country, the situation quickly became downright ugly. In 1993, Milosevic ordered the arrest of thirty ethnic Albanians for planning an armed uprising. In 1995, a Serbian court sentenced sixty-eight members of Rugova’s government to prison for setting up a parallel police force.
BIN LADEN IN THE BALKANS
To aid in the struggle for independence, the ethnic Albanians turned to Osama bin Laden and the mujahadeen. Muslim warriors from Chechnya, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia traveled in droves to Kosovo. By 1995, more than sixty thousand holy warriors, including members of al Qaeda, had made their way to the Balkans to prepare for the struggle against Milosevic and the Christian Serbs.
Bin Laden visited the area three times between 1994 and 1996. In the wake of these visits, al Qaeda training camps popped up in Zenica in Bosnia and Malisevo and Mitrovica in Kosovo; elaborate command and control centers were set up in Croatia, Macedonia, and Bulgaria; and a central headquarters for the mujahadeen was established in Tropje, Albania, on the property of Sali Betisha, the former Albanian premier.
In addition, Bin Laden provided seven hundred million dollars to establish the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). The purpose of the KLA was to drive Christian Serbs from Kosovo, to topple the government of Milosevic, to undermine the peace initiatives of Ibrahim Rugova, and to unite the Muslims of Kosovo, Macedonia, and Albania into the Islamic Republic of Greater Albania.
BILL CLINTON’S MUSLIM BRIGADE
By 1997, President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and Secretary of Defense William Cohen came to view the KLA as “freedom fighters.” Millions in U.S. aid began to flow to the Muslim rebels. America, unbeknown to its citizens, was now in league with the terrorists who were intent upon the destruction of western civilization. Human history, going back to the tree-swinging apes, does not get much crazier than this.
By 1998, the KLA became a formidable army of 30,000 highly trained troops with sophisticated weaponry that included shoulder-launched antitank rocket launchers, mortars, recoilless rifles, and antiaircraft machine guns. From Tropje, the KLA began to conduct hit and run terror attacks throughout Kosovo. They bombed police stations, killed scores of police officers and government workers, and desecrated Christian cemeteries.
Milosevic, in outrage, responded by burning homes and killing dozens of KLA foot soldiers in the Drenica region. A full-scale conflict erupted, culminating in the infamous massacre of January 15, 1999, when the bodies of forty-five ethnic Albanians were discovered in a gully near the small village of Racak.
Confronted with the crime of genocide, Milosevic insisted that the bodies had been planted by the KLA to implicate the Serbs and to justify Western involvement in the conflict. Milosevic’s claims were supported by investigative journalists from Le Figaro and Le Monde, who discovered that the bodies had been placed in un-natural positions; that the site of the so-called “massacre” was devoid of cartridge shells; and that the villagers were unable to identify a single victim.
PUTTING THE SCREWS TO SLOBODAN
Convinced that Milosevic was engaging in ethnic cleansing, President Clinton summoned his NATO allies and began a bombing campaign that reduced Kosovo to a heap of rubble. At the start of the campaign, Secretary of Defense Cohen said that 100,000 ethnic Albanians of military age were missing and may have been deported by the Serbs to Albania and Macedonia. “They may have been murdered,” Cohen added.
Between March 24 and June 10, 1999, 37,465 bombing missions took place, destroying 400 Serbian artillery weapons and 270 armored personnel carriers, and causing 1.4 ethnic Albanians to flee for their lives - - the greatest mass migration of refugees since World War II.
Milosevic and the Serbs were forced to toss in the towel. The accord of June 21, 1999 ended the air strikes, eliminated the presence of a Serbian government in Kosovo, and authorized a NATO force of 1,700 police officers to establish law and order until democratic elections could be held.
But the situation in Kosovo was far beyond the capability of 1,700 police officers. The ethnic Albanians who had fled for safety from the Serbs now returned with a vengeance. A pogrom got underway in the Balkans, and neither Bill Clinton nor the United Nations uttered a word of protest.
THE REAL ETHNIC CLEANSING
The Muslims wasted no time in exacting their pounds of flesh. More than two hundred Christian churches and monasteries were destroyed before the NATO peace-keeping force. Some of these Christian shrines, including the Devic Monastery, the Cathedral of St. George, and the Monastery of the Holy Archangels, had been built in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Reports surfaced of mass executions of Serbian farmers, the murders of scores of priests, the rape of nuns, and “granny killings” - - the drowning of old Christian women in bathtubs.
Of the two hundred thousand Serbs who lived in Kosovo before the conflict, only four hundred remained after Kosovo became a NATO protectorate. The vast majority of the Christians had gathered their belongings and fled for their lives. The 400 Serbs who remained in Kosovo were sequestered in three gloomy apartment buildings, where the international police stood guard day and night.
In the aftermath of the war, hundreds of Wahhabi mosques and schools, thanks to the contributions of wealthy Saudis, now appeared in every town and hamlet throughout the country. The back-door to Europe had been pried open by bin Laden and the mujahadeen for the drug trade and the movement of weapons of mass destruction.
MILOSEVIC WAS THE MUSLIM’S PATSY
In 2000, NATO dispatched forensic teams from fifteen countries and eight human-rights organizations into Kosovo to find the killing fields and evidence of Milosevic’s crimes against the ethnic Albanians. Mass murder is difficult to hide. One need only recall the entry of war-crime inspectors into Nazi Germany, Cambodia, and Rwanda to understand that the execution of thousands of people leaves behind massive and undeniable evidence for the world to see. But the bodies of the ten thousand victims of Milosevic’s “reign of terror” were nowhere to be found.
The claims of the Clinton administration were based on flawed intelligence from the CIA.
Despite the failure to uncover mass graves, Milosevic was accused of crimes against humanity and placed on trial in February 2002 before an international criminal tribunal in The Hague. There was scant chance that he would receive a favorable verdict. The United States, in an unprecedented move, demanded and received the right to censor all evidence. Slobodan’s goose was cooked. He was found dead in his cell on March 11, 2006, after court officials denied his request to seek medical treatment at a cardiology clinic.
AND SO IT GOES
The real genocide in Kosovo, i. e., the killing of Christian Serbs, continued under the collective noses of the George W. Bush Administration. In March 2004, the ethnic Albanians, in a last ditch effort to eradicate the remaining Serbs, torched Serbian homes and destroyed almost all of the remaining Serbian Orthodox Church sites, and even the UN facilities. But no protest came from the White House.
Instead, President Bush visited Albania on June 11, 2007 and declared: “At some point, sooner rather than later, you’ve got to say, ‘Enough is enough - - Kosovo is independent.’”
On February 17, 2008, enough became enough. Kosovo declared its independence and the mujahadeen dream of the Islamic Republic of Greater Albania began to crystallize into a reality.
George W. Bush has always been a staunch defender of the faith.
“Islam is a religion of peace,” he assures us.