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Wesley Clarks Ties To Muslim Terrorists
Cliff Kincaid, 09/22/03

The retired General who had been refusing to declare himself a Democrat or Republican is now declaring himself a Democratic presidential candidate. But more important than his party affiliation is Wesley Clarks bizarre view on how to fight terrorism. The media refer to Clarks impressive military credentials but they fail to note that his main accomplishment under President Clinton was presiding over the establishment of a base for radical Islamic terrorism, including Osama bin Laden, in Kosovo.

Clark, who has been making headlines by claiming that the U.S. decision to go to war in Iraq was a misjudgment based on scanty evidence, ran Clintons NATO war against Yugoslavia on behalf of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). The House of Representatives failed to authorize the war under the War Powers Act, making it illegal. Thousands of innocent people in Serbia, Yugoslavias main province, were killed to stop an alleged "genocide" by Yugoslavia that was not in fact taking place. Investigations determined that a couple thousand had died in the civil war there.

Kosovo was a province of Yugoslavia and the military intervention of the U.S. and NATO, a defensive alliance, was unprecedented. It was far more controversial than the policy of regime change in Iraq, which was a policy of Clinton, Bush and the Congress. Kosovo was never a threat to the U.S., and Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic didnt even pretend to have weapons of mass destruction.

Clark wrote a Time magazine column, "How to Fight the New War," in which he said we need new tactics and strategies against terrorists. He also said, "We need face-to-face information collection: Who are these people, what are their intentions, and what can be done to disrupt their plans and arrest them?"

For the answer, Clark should ask his old friend, Hashim Thaki, the commander of the KLA. The 1998 State Department human rights report had described the KLA as a group that tortured and abducted people and made others "disappear." Yet a photograph was taken of Clark and Thaki with their hands together in a gesture of solidarity.

The KLAs ties to Osama bin Laden were also well-known and reported.

An article in the Jerusalem Post at the time of the Kosovo civil war had said, "Diplomats in the region say Bosnia was the first bastion of Islamic power. The autonomous Yugoslav region of Kosovo promises to be the second. During the current rebellion against the Yugoslav army, the ethnic Albanians in the province, most of whom are Moslem, have been provided with financial and military support from Islamic countries. They are being bolstered by hundreds of Iranian fighters, or Mujahadeen, who infiltrate from nearby Albania and call themselves the Kosovo Liberation Army. U.S. defense officials say the support includes that of Osama bin Laden, the Saudi terrorist accused of masterminding the bombings of the U.S. embassies" in Africa.

Another Democratic presidential candidate, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, has tried to prohibit funding for the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC), the successor to the KLA now being protected by U.N. troops as a result of the outcome of the conflict. Kucinich said an internal United Nations Report found the KPC responsible for violence, extortion, murder and torture.

After the war, Milosevic was ousted and put on trial, where he has been making the case in his own defense that Serb troops in Kosovo were fighting Muslim terrorists associated with bin Laden. At a hearing before the U.N. court trying him, he brandished an FBI document concerning al Qaeda-backed Muslim fighters in Kosovo.

The FBI document was a congressional statement by J. T. Caruso, the Acting Assistant Director of the CounterTerrorism Division of the FBI, who cited a terrorism problem in Albania, the base for the Muslim terrorists that attacked Serbia forces in Kosovo.

Clarks presidential decision suggests that he believes the media will not ask him about supporting the same extremist Muslim forces in Kosovo that militarily attacked us on 9/11. Hes right: during interviews on ABCs Good Morning America and the NBC Today show on September 17, the subject didnt come up. Clark did say that he would not have gone to war with Iraq, and that he would have turned the matter over to the U.N. There was no "imminent threat" from Iraq, he claimed.

So where was the "imminent threat" to the U.S. from Yugoslavia? And why did the Clinton administration bypass the U.N. on that illegal war? Clark is counting on not hearing those questions from the same media going after Bush on Iraq. They are all worse than hypocrites.
Please visit Cliff's website at http://www.aim.org

IMPORTANT:  Read Wesley Clark's letter to the Albanian Lobby. 
For a man who was suppose to be impartial, it's odd that he is such close friends with people who have ties to Bin Laden.  After reading the letter above, click on this link:  KLA Rebels Train in Terrorist Camps
The Kosovo Liberation Army: Does Clinton Policy Support Group with Terror, Drug Ties?
From 'Terrorists' to 'Partners'

On March 24, 1999, NATO initiated air attacks on Yugoslavia (a federation of two republics, Serbia and Montenegro) in order to impose a peace agreement in the Serbian province of Kosovo, which has an ethnic Albanian majority. The Clinton Administration has not formally withdrawn its standing insistence that Belgrade sign the peace agreement, which would entail the deployment in Kosovo of some 28,000 NATO ground troops -- including 4,000 Americans -- to police the settlement. But in recent days the Clinton public line has shifted to a demand that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic halt the offensive he has launched in Kosovo, which has led to a growing humanitarian crisis in the region, before there can be a stop to the bombing campaign.

One week into the bombing campaign, there is widespread discussion of options for further actions. One option includes forging a closer relationship between the United States and a controversial group, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), a group which has been cited in unofficial reports for alleged ties to drug cartels and Islamic terrorist organizations. This paper will examine those allegations in the context of the currently unfolding air campaign.

The KLA: from 'Terrorists' to 'Partners'

The Kosovo Liberation Army "began on the radical fringe of Kosovar Albanian politics, originally made up of diehard Marxist-Leninists (who were bankrolled in the old days by the Stalinist dictatorship next door in Albania) as well as by descendants of the fascist militias raised by the Italians in World War II" ["Fog of War -- Coping With the Truth About Friend and Foe: Victims Not Quite Innocent," New York Times, 3/28/99]. The KLA made its military debut in February 1996 with the bombing of several camps housing Serbian refugees from wars in Croatia and Bosnia [Jane's Intelligence Review, 10/1/96]. The KLA (again according to the highly regarded Jane's,) "does not take into consideration the political or economic importance of its victims, nor does it seem at all capable of seriously hurting its enemy, the Serbian police and army. Instead, the group has attacked Serbian police and civilians arbitrarily at their weakest points. It has not come close to challenging the region's balance of military power" [Jane's, 10/1/96].

The group expanded its operations with numerous attacks through 1996 but was given a major boost with the collapse into chaos of neighboring Albania in 1997, which afforded unlimited opportunities for the introduction of arms into Kosovo from adjoining areas of northern Albania, which are effectively out of the control of the Albanian government in Tirana. From its inception, the KLA has targeted not only Serbian security forces, who may be seen as legitimate targets for a guerrilla insurgency, but Serbian and Albanian civilians as well.

In view of such tactics, the Clinton Administration's then-special envoy for Kosovo, Robert Gelbard, had little difficulty in condemning the KLA (also known by its Albanian initials, UCK) in terms comparable to those he used for Serbian police repression:

" 'The violence we have seen growing is incredibly dangerous,' Gelbard said. He criticized violence 'promulgated by the (Serb) police' and condemned the actions of an ethnic Albanian underground group Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) which has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks on Serb targets. 'We condemn very strongly terrorist actions in Kosovo. The UCK is, without any questions, a terrorist group,' Gelbard said." [Agence France Presse, 2/23/98]

Mr. Gelbard's remarks came just before a KLA attack on a Serbian police station led to a retaliation that left dozens of Albanians dead, leading in turn to a rapid escalation of the cycle of violence. Responding to criticism that his earlier remarks might have been seen as Washington's "green light" to Belgrade that a crack-down on the KLA would be acceptable, Mr. Gelbard offered to clarify to the House Committee on International Relations:

"Questioned by lawmakers today on whether he still considered the group a terrorist organization, Mr. Gelbard said that while it has committed 'terrorist acts,' it has 'not been classified legally by the U.S. Government as a terrorist organization.' " [New York Times, 3/13/98]

The situation in Kosovo has since been transformed: what were once sporadic cases of KLA attacks and often heavy-handed and indiscriminate Serbian responses has now become a full-scale guerrilla war. That development appeared to be a vindication of what may have been the KLA's strategy of escalating the level of violence to the point where outside intervention would become a distinct possibility. Given the military imbalance, there is reason to believe the KLA -- which is now calling for the introduction of NATO ground troops into Kosovo [Associated Press, 3/27/99] -- may have always expected to achieve its goals less because of the group's own prospects for military success than because of a hoped-for outside intervention: As one fighter put it, "We hope that NATO will intervene, like it did in Bosnia, to save us" ["Both Sides in the Kosovo Conflict Seem Determined to Ignore Reality," New York Times, 6/22/98].

By early 1999, the Clinton Administration had completely staked the success of its Kosovo policy on either the acceptance by both sides of a pre-drafted peace agreement that would entail a NATO ground occupation of Kosovo, or, if the Albanians signed the agreement while Belgrade refused, bombing of the Serbs. By committing itself so tightly to those two alternatives, the Clinton Administration left itself with as little flexibility as it had offered the Albanians and the Serbs.

At that point for the Administration, cultivating the goodwill of the KLA -- as the most extreme element on the Albanian side, and the element which had the weapons capable of sinking any diplomatic initiative -- became an absolute imperative:

"In order to get the Albanians'... acceptance [of the peace plan], Ms. Albright offered incentives intended to show that Washington is a friend of Kosovo...Officers in the Kosovo Liberation Army would . . . be sent to the United States for training in transforming themselves from a guerrilla group into a police force or a political entity, much like the African National Congress did in South Africa." [New York Times, 2/24/99]

The Times' comparison of treatment of the KLA with that of the African National Congress (ANC) -- a group with its own history of terror attacks on political opponents, including members of the ethnic group it claims to represent -- is a telling one. In fact, it points to the seemingly consistent Clinton policy of cultivating relationships with groups known for terrorist violence -- not only the ANC, but the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) -- in what may be a strategy of attempting to wean away a group from its penchant for violence by adopting its cause as an element of U.S. policy.

By the time the NATO airstrikes began, the Clinton Administration's partnership with the KLA was unambiguous:

"With ethnic Albanian Kosovars poised to sign a peace accord later Thursday, the United States is moving quickly to help transform the Kosovo Liberation Army from a rag-tag band of guerrilla fighters into a political force. . . . Washington clearly sees it as a main hope for the troubled province's future. 'We want to develop a good relationship with them as they transform themselves into a politically-oriented organization,' deputy State Department spokesman James Foley said. 'We want to develop closer and better ties with this organization.'

"A strong signal of this is the deference with which U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright treats the Kosovar Albanians' chief negotiator Hashim Thaci, a 30-year-old KLA commander. Albright dispatched her top aide and spokesman James Rubin to Paris earlier this week to meet with Thaci and personally deliver to him an invitation for members of his delegation to visit the United States. Rubin, who will attend the ceremony at which the Kosovar Albanians will sign the accord, is expected to then return to Washington with five members of the delegation, including Thaci. Thaci and Rubin have developed a 'good rapport' during the Kosovo crisis, according to U.S. officials who note that Thaci was the main delegate they convinced to sign the agreement even though the Serbs have refused to do so. [ . . . ]

" '[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.' Foley stressed that the KLA would not be allowed to continue as a military force but would have the chance to move forward in their quest for self government under a 'different context.' 'If we can help them and they want us to help them in that effort of transformation, I think it's nothing that anybody can argue with.' "

Such an effusive embrace by top Clinton Administration officials of an organization that only a year ago one of its own top officials labeled as "terrorist" is, to say the least, a startling development.

Even more importantly, the new Clinton/KLA partnership may obscure troubling allegations about the KLA that the Clinton Administration has thus far neglected to address.

Charges of Drugs, Islamic Terror -- and a Note on Sources

No observer doubts that the large majority of fighters that have flocked to the KLA during the past year or so (since it began large-scale military operations) are ordinary Kosovo Albanians who desire what they see as the liberation of their homeland from foreign rule. But that fact -- which amounts to a claim of innocence by association -- does not fully explain the KLA's uncertain origins, political program, sources of funding, or political alliances.

Among the most troubling aspects of the Clinton Administration's effective alliance with the KLA are numerous reports from reputable unofficial sources -- including the highly respected Jane's publications -- that the KLA is closely involved with:

  • The extensive Albanian crime network that extends throughout Europe and into North America, including allegations that a major portion of the KLA finances are derived from that network, mainly proceeds from drug trafficking; and

  • Terrorist organizations motivated by the ideology of radical Islam, including assets of Iran and of the notorious Osama bin-Ladin -- who has vowed a global terrorist war against Americans and American interests.