Wesley Clark War Crimes amply documented:
War of Aggression against Yugoslavia
General Wesley Clark, NATO's Supreme commander in Europe, confirmed in late
May that "NATO'S air campaign has not reached its peak yet and the alliance should be prepared for more civilian casualties.".
General Clark also confirmed that "he would be seeking to increase the number of air strikes in Kosovo and expand the range
As the bombings entered their third month, there was also a noticeable change
in "NATO rhetoric". The Alliance had become increasingly unrepentant, NATO officials were no longer apologising for civilian
casualties, claiming that the latter were contributing to "helping Milosevic's propaganda machine."
Low Intensity Nuclear War
With NATO air-strikes entering their third month, a new stage of the War has unfolded.
NATO's "humanitarian bombings" have been stepped up leading to mounting civilian casualties and human suffering. Thirty percent
of those killed in the bombings are children.1 In addition to the use of cluster bombs, the Alliance is waging
a "low intensity nuclear war" using toxic radioactive shells and missiles containing depleted uranium. Amply documented, the
radioactive fall-out causes cancer potentially affecting millions of people for generations to come. According to a recent
scientific report, "the first signs of radiation on children including herpes on the mouth and skin rashes on the back and
ankles" have been observed in Yugoslavia since the beginning of the bombings.2
In addition to the radioactive fall-out which has contaminated the environment
and the food chain, the Alliance has also bombed Yugoslavia's major chemical and pharmaceutical plants. The bombing of Galenika,
the largest medicine factory in Yugoslavia has contributed to releasing dangerous, highly toxic fumes. When NATO forces bombed
plants of the Pancevo petrochemical complex in mid-April "fire broke out and huge quantities of chlorine, ethylene dichloride
and vinyl chloride monomer flowed out. Workers at Pancevo, fearing further bombing attacks that would blow up dangerous materials,
released tons of ethylene dichloride, a carcinogen, into the Danube."3
Nato to the "Rescue of Ethnic Albanians"
Ethnic Albanians have not been spared by NATO air raids. Killing ethnic Albanians
in Kosovo is said to be "inevitable" in carrying out a "humanitarian operation on behalf of ethnic Albanians". In addition
to the impacts of the ground war between the KLA and the Yugoslav Armed Forces, the bombings and the resulting radioactive
fall-out in Kosovo have been more devastating than in the rest of Yugoslavia.
Presented as a humanitarian mission, the evidence amply confirms that NATO's brutal
air raids of towns and villages in Kosovo have triggered the exodus of refugees. Those who have fled their homes to refugee
camps in Macedonia and Albania have nothing to return to, nothing to look forward to... An entire country has been destroyed,
its civilian industry and public infrastructure transformed into rubble. Bridges, power plants, schools and hospitals are
displayed as "legitimate military targets" selected by NATO's Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) in Vicenza, Italy and
carefully "validated prior to the pilot launching his strike."
With the "diplomatic shuttle" still ongoing, the Alliance is intent on inflicting
as much damage on the Yugoslav economy (including Kosovo) as possible prior to reaching a G8 brokered "peace initiative" which
will empower them to send in ground troops. "Allied commanders have steadily widened their list of economic targets... Increasingly,
the impact of NATO air strikes has put people out of work... causing water shortages in Belgrade, Novi Sad and other Serbian
cities. ... [T]he effect was to shut down businesses, strain hospitals' ability to function and cut off water..."4.
Some 115 medical institutions have been damaged of which several have been totally demolished. And hospital patients --including
children and the elderly-- are dying due to the lack of water and electricity...5
General Wesley Clark, NATO's Supreme commander in Europe, confirmed in late May
that "NATO'S air campaign has not reached its peak yet and the alliance should be prepared for more civilian casualties."6.
General Clark also confirmed that "he would be seeking to increase the number of air strikes in Kosovo and expand the range
of targets.7 As the bombings entered their third month, there was also a noticeable change in "NATO rhetoric".
The Alliance had become increasingly unrepentant, NATO officials were no longer apologising for civilian casualties, claiming
that the latter were contributing to "helping Milosevic's propaganda machine."
Extending the Conflict Beyond the Balkans
Drowned in the barrage of media images and self-serving analyses, the broader
strategic interests and economic causes of the War go unmentioned. The late Sean Gervasi writing in 1995 had anticipated an
impending War. According to Gervasi, Washington's strategic goals stretched well beyond the Balkans. They largely consisted
in "installing a Western-style regime in Yugoslavia and reducing the geographic area, power and influence of Serbia to a minimum...."8
In this context, the installation of American power in Southern Europe and the
Mediterranean also constitutes a step towards the extension of Washington's geopolitical sphere of influence beyond the Balkans
into the area of the Caspian Sea, Central Asia and West Asia.
In this regard, NATO's military intervention in Yugoslavia (in violation of international
law) also sets a dangerous precedent. It provides "legitimacy" to future military interventions. To achieve its strategic
objectives, national economies are destabilised, regional conflicts are financed through the provision of covert support to
armed insurgencies... In other words, the conflict in Yugoslavia creates conditions which provide legitmacy to future interventions
of the Alliance into the "internal affairs of sovereign nations".
The consolidation of American strategic interests in Eastern Europe, the Balkans
(and beyond) was not only marked by the enlargement of NATO (with the accession of Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic
as NATO members) barely two weeks before the beginning of the bombings, the War in Yugoslavia also coincided with a critical
split in geopolitical alignments within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
In late April, Georgia, the Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moldava signed
a pact in Washington, creating GUUAM, a regional alliance which lies strategically at the hub of the Caspian oil and gas wealth,
"with Moldava and the Ukraine offering [pipeline] export routes to the West".9 This geopolitical split bears a
direct relationship to the crisis in Yugoslavia. The region is already unstable marked by nationalist conflicts and separatist
The members of this new pro-NATO political grouping not only tacitly support the
bombings in Yugoslavia, they have also agreed to "low level military cooperation" with NATO while insisting that "the group
is not a military alliance directed against any third party, namely Moscow."10
Dominated by Western oil interests, the formation of GUUAM is not only intent
on excluding Russia from the oil and gas deposits in the Caspian area but also in isolating Moscow politically thereby potentially
re-igniting Cold War divisions...
The War Has Stalled Nuclear Arms Controls
In turn, the War in Yugoslavia has significantly stalled nuclear arms-control
initiatives leading to the cancellation of an exchange program "that would have had US and Russian nuclear weapons officers
in constant contact at year's end to prevent any launches as a result of Year 2000 computer troubles."11
Moreover, Russia's military has also voiced its concern "that the bombing of Yugoslavia
could turn out in the very near future to be just a rehearsal for similar strikes on Russia."12.
According to Dr. Mary-Wynne Ashford, co-president of the Nobel Peace Prize winning
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), the impact of NATO bombings of Yugoslavia "on nuclear
weapons policy is an extremely serious development... Russians feel a sense of betrayal by the West... because NATO took this
action outside the UN."13
Aleksander Arbatov, deputy chairman of the Defence Committee of the Russian State
Duma U.S.-Russian relations describes the War in Yugoslavia as the "worst most acute, most dangerous juncture since the U.S.-Soviet
Berlin and Cuban missile crises."14 According to Arbatov:
"START II is dead, co-operation with NATO is frozen, co-operation on missile defence
is out of the question, and Moscow's willingness to co-operate on non-proliferation issues is at an all-time low. Moreover,
anti-U.S. sentiment in Russia is real, deep and more wide-spread than ever, and the slogan describing NATO action - "today
Serbia, tomorrow Russia," is "deeply planted in Russian's minds."...15 Mary-Wynne Ashford also warns that whereas
Russia was moving towards integration with Europe, they [the Russians] now:
".... perceive their primary threat from the West. Officials in [Russia's] Foreign
Affairs (Arms Control and Disarmament) told us that Russia has no option but to rely on nuclear weapons for its defence because
its conventional forces are inadequate.... Even if the bombings stop now, the changes in Russia's attitude toward the West,
its renewed reliance on nuclear weapons with thousands on high alert, and its loss of confidence in international law leave
us vulnerable to catastrophe.... This crisis makes de-alerting nuclear weapons more urgent than ever. To those who say the
Russian threat is all rhetoric, I reply that rhetoric is what starts wars".16
The Media War: "Silencing the Silent Majority"
This war is also "a War against the Truth". With protest movements developing
around the World, NATO has reinforced its clutch over the mass media. In a stylised ("wag the dog") media mascarade, the Alliance
is relentlessly portrayed as "the saviour of ethnic Albanian Kosovars". A full-fledged "cover-up operation" has been set in
motion with a view to thwarting public debate on the War. The hidden agenda is to "silence the silent majority." The Western
media heeding to the Alliance's demands has blatantly misled public opinion. Casually portrayed on TV screens, civilian deaths
are justified as inevitable "collateral damage". According to the Pentagon, "there is no such thing as clean combat."17
Meanwhile, anti-war commentators (including former ambassadors and OSCE officials)
have been carefully removed from mainstream public affairs programmes, TV content is closely scrutinised, the images of civilian
deaths and destruction relayed from Belgrade are seldomly and selectively displayed, journalists are under tight supervision.
While the media does not hesitate to criticize NATO for having committed "errors" and "tragic mistakes", the legitimacy of
the military operation and its "humanitarian mandate" are not questioned:
"Public opinion is confronted with a loaded question which allows only one answer.
In the present war, that question is, "Doesn't ethnic cleansing have to be stopped?" This simplification allows the media
to portray Yugoslavia rather than NATO as the aggressor. The alliance, in a complete inversion of reality, is presented as
conducting an essentially defensive war on behalf of the Kosovar Albanians..." when in fact ethnic Albanians are the principle
victims of NATO's "humanitarian bombings."18
According to NATO's propaganda machine, "ethnic Albanians do not flee the bombings"
and the ground war between the KLA and the Yugoslav Army. According to Diana Johnstone this makes them "nearly unique [because]
throughout history, civilians have fled from war zones.... No, as we have heard repeatedly from NATO spokesmen and apologists,
Kosovo Albanians run away from only one thing: brutal ethnic cleansing carried out by Serbs."19
The refugee crisis we are told by NATO is limited to Kosovo. Yet the evidence
(withheld by the Western media) confirms that people throughout Serbia are fleeing major cities:
Reliable estimates put the number of refugees who have left Belgrade to escape
the bombing at 400,000. Most are women and children, as with the Kosovo Albanians. At least another 500,000 have left Serbia's
other cities, notably Novi Sad and Nish, where NATO bombing has caused air pollution, cut the water supply, and struck purely
civilian targets such as market squares. Altogether, according to the Italian daily "Il Manifesto", the NATO bombing has produced
at least a million refugees in Serbia. Predrag Simic, foreign policy adviser to Serbian opposition leader Vuk Draskovic, told
a Paris conference [in late May] that Kosovo was being so thoroughly devastated by NATO bombing that nobody, neither Albanians
nor Serbs, would be able to go back and live there".20
Who is Responsible for War Crimes?
Public "disapproval" of NATO bombings is immediately dismissed as "Serb propaganda".
Those who speak out against NATO are branded as "apologists of Milosevic". While most anti-War critics in NATO countries are
not defenders of the Milosevic regime, they are nonetheless expected to be "balanced" in their arguments. "Looking at both
sides of the picture is the rule": anti-war commentators are invited to echo NATO's fabricated media consensus, to unequivocally
"join the bandwagon" against Milosevic. Under these circumstances, an objective understanding and analysis of the role of
the Milosovic government since the civil War in Bosnia and in the context of the present crisis in Kosovo has been rendered
Media double standards? Whereas President Milosevic and four members of his government
were indicted by the Hague International Criminal Tribunal (ICTY) (late May) for organising a policy of "ethnic cleansing"
in Kosovo, the news media failed to mention that several parallel law suits were launched at The Hague Tribunal (ICTY), accusing
NATO leaders of "crimes against humanity."21
It is also worth mentioning that the UK government (whose Prime Minister Tony
Blair is among the list of accused in one of the parallel law suits) has provided The Hague Tribunal with "intelligence on
the situation within Kosovo" since the beginning of the bombings.22 Part of this intelligence material was relayed
by the KLA with which British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook has been in frequent contact as well as through British Special
Forces (SAS) directly collaborating with the KLA.
Law Suit Directed Against Nato Leaders
In May, a group of 15 Canadian lawyers and law professors together with the American
Association of Jurists (with members in more than 20 countries) launched a suit against NATO leaders at the ICTY in the Hague.23
The suit points to "open violation" of the United Nations Charter, the NATO treaty, the Geneva Conventions and the "Principles
of International Law Recognized by the Nuremberg Tribunal". The latter makes: "planning, preparation, initiation or waging
of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances" a crime.24
The list of crimes allegedly committed by NATO leaders includes:
"wilful killing, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or
health, extensive destruction of property,... employment of poisonous weapons [implying radioactive fall-out] or other weapons to cause unnecessary
suffering, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity,... "25
Under the terms of reference of the ICTY "a person who planned, instigated, ordered,
committed or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation or execution of a crime shall be individually responsible
for the crime" and "the official position of any accused person, whether as Head of State or Government or as a responsible
Government official, shall not relieve such person of criminal responsibility or mitigate punishment."26
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson (and former President
of Ireland) confirmed in Geneva on 30 April that the Prosecutor of the War Crimes Tribunal (ICTY) has the mandate not only
to prosecute Serb forces but that the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and NATO may also come under scrutiny, "if it appears that
serious violations of international humanitarian law have occurred."
According to Walter J. Rockler, former prosecutor of the Nuremberg War Crimes
"The bombing war also violates and shreds the basic provisions of the United Nations
Charter and other conventions and treaties; the attack on Yugoslavia constitutes the most brazen international aggression
since the Nazis attacked Poland to prevent "Polish atrocities" against Germans. The United States has discarded pretensions
to international legality and decency, and embarked on a course of raw imperialism run amok."27
Articles by Michel Chossudovsky on Yugoslavia:
On the KLA: http://www.transnational.org/features/crimefinansed.html
On the break-up of Yugoslavia: http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/62/022.html
On the impact of the bombings:http://www.diaspora-net.org/food4thought/chossudovsky.htm
The Use of Weapons banned by
The NATO bombings have also used of weapons banned by international conventions. Amply documented
by scientific reports, the cruise missiles utilize DEPLETED URANIUM "highly toxic to humans, both chemically as a heavy metal
and radiologically as an alpha particle emitter". Since the gulf War, depleted uranium (DU) has been a substitute for lead
in bullets and missiles. According to scientists "it is most likely a major contributor to the Gulf War Syndrome experienced
both by the veterans and the people of Iraq". According radiobiologist Dr. Rosalie Bertell, president of the International
Institute of Concern for Public Health:
"When used in war, the depleted uranium (DU) bursts into flame [and] releasing
a deadly radioactive aerosol of uranium, unlike anything seen before. It can kill everyone in a tank. This ceramic aerosol
is much lighter than uranium dust. It can travel in air tens of kilometres from the point of release, or be stirred up in
dust and resuspended in air with wind or human movement. It is very small and can be breathed in by anyone: a baby, pregnant
woman, the elderly, the sick. This radioactive ceramic can stay deep in the lungs for years, irradiating the tissue with powerful
alpha particles within about a 30 micron sphere, causing emphysema and/or fibrosis. The ceramic can also be swallowed and
do damage to the gastro-intestinal tract. In time, it penetrates the lung tissue and enters into the blood stream. ...It can
also initiate cancer or promote cancers which have been initiated by other cancinogens".
According to Paul Sullivan,
executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center:
"In Yugoslavia, it's expected that depleted uranium will
be fired in agricultural areas, places where livestock graze and where crops are grown, thereby introducing the spectre of
possible contamination of the food chain."
The New York based International Action Center called the Pentagon's decision
to use the A-10 "Warthog" jets against targets in Serbia "a danger to the people and environment of the entire Balkans". (Truth
in Media, 10 April 1999). In this regard, a report in from Greece:
"registered an increase in levels of toxic substances
in the atmosphere of Greece, and said that Albania, Macedonia, Italy, Austria and Hungary all face a potential threat to human
health as a result of NATO's bombing of Serbia, which includes the use of radioactive depleted uranium shells".
in Media, 10 April 1999).
What is not conveyed by the international media, is that people of all ethnic origins including
ethnic Albanians, Serbs and other ethnic groups are leaving Kosovo largely as a result of the bombing.
There are reports
that ethnic Albanians have left Kosovo for Belgrade where they have relatives. There are 100,000 ethnic Albanians in Belgrade.
The press has confirmed movements of ethnic Albanians to Montenegro. Montenegro has been portrayed as a separate country,
as a safe-haven against the Serbs. The fact of the matter is that Montenegro is part of Yugoslavia.
FOR MORE, VISIT:
Milica Rakic, 3 years old, Belgrade, FRY... Her only sin or guilt (whichever suites you) was that,
despite the horror that was happening to her country, she tried to live her short, innocent life. She was also a victim
of Wesley Clark's war. Wesley Clark today calls himself an Anti-War candidate, but for Milica Rakic, he is her murderer!
NATO cluster bombs take their toll in Kosovo
PRISTINA, Yugoslavia, Apr 28, 1999 (AFP) - When seven cousins
from the Koxha [Albanian] family found a yellow tube attached to a mushroom-shaped cloth in a pasture, they thought it was
They did not imagine it was a cluster bomb that would soon kill five
of them and seriously injure two others, said Besnik Koxha, one of the wounded survivors.
The Koxhas, ethnic Albanians from Doganovic village, 55 kilometers
(30 miles) south of Pristina, were among the latest casualties of cluster bombs dropped on Kosovo by NATO warplanes.
Rade Grbic [a Serb], director of the main hospital in Kosovo's capital
Pristina, said his staff has treated "between 300 and 400" people wounded by cluster bombs since NATO raids began March 24.
"But there were also many people killed by these bombs," he said.
Besnik Hoxha, 14, and his brother Ardijen, 2, suffered shrapnel injuries
even though they were at least 20 meters (yards) from their five cousins who played with the cluster bomb when it went off,
"I have worked in this crisis region for 15 years and treated many
injuries, but I have never seen such horrific wounds as those caused by cluster bombs," he says.
"These wounds lead most often to disability, people lose their limbs."
Cluster bombs are most commonly used against concentrations of tanks
and infantry soldiers on a battlefield, according to a source close to the Yugoslav army in Kosovo.
"The yellow tubes and so-called 'parachutes' found throughout the province
indicate that most of the cluster bombs dropped by NATO in Kosovo come from a CBU-87 system," the source said.
"This system consists of more than 200 mini-cluster bombs loaded in
a dispenser which is delivered by aircraft," he said.
"At a certain height, the dispenser releases the bombs," he said. "But
not all of them explode when they fall in the field."
At NATO headquarters in Brussels, an official confirmed that the alliance
is using cluster bombs, but only those designed to destroy tanks [sic!] and other armored vehicles.
"There are two types -- anti-material and anti-personnel," the official
told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. "We are using the first."
But he acknowledged that civilians could become casualties if they
tamper with unexploded cluster bombs.
According to the authoritative "Jane's Air-Launched Weapons" directory,
the US-made CBU-87 "combined effects munition" is a "free-fall cluster bomb" comprising 202 "multi-purpose bomblets."
Each bomblet is capable of "defeating up to 177mm (seven inches) of
armor," and has fire-starting capabilities as well, Jane's said.
But it added: "The bomblet also has a fragmenting case which gives
it a good anti-material/personnel capability."
In a combat zone like Kosovo, civilians and military live and operate
close to each other which leaves great risk for civilian casualties from cluster bombs, especially those left unexploded.
An AFP reporter in Kosovo has seen dozens of unexploded cluster bombs
in three places -- at [Serb monastery] Gracanica, seven kilometers southeast of Pristina; Merdare, five kilometers northeast
of Podujevo, in the north; and in the area of Urosevac, in the south on the road to Macedonia.
It was in the area south of Urosevac that the five Koxha cousins were
"There are villages in Kosovo where large portions of space cannot
be accessed because of a huge number of unexploded bombs," Grbic said.
"Even when the war is over, they will be a big problem, because no
one knows the exact number of unexploded cluster bombs on our territory."
NATO talking heads: "We have nothing against the Serbian
NIS, Yugoslavia (Reuters) - A woman lies dead beside a bag of carrots
Friday after a NATO daylight air raid near a market over the town of Nis south of Belgrade. Two residential areas and a hospital
were hit by what appears to be cluster bombs killing 15 people, injuring scores with shrapnel and destroying some 30 homes.
by Desmond Boylan
From the editors of this web site: Whenever a Serbian person is
murdered the Western media leaves the person nameless. We want to identify the victim.
This Serbian woman is Vera Ilic. She was buying vegetables
in a crowded marketplace in the Serbian town of Nis. It was May 7, 1999, 11:20am. This is the busiest time of day for the
marketplace. At this time from the safety of unreachable heights NATO cowards dropped cluster bombs into the market. Vera
Ilic died slowly from her wounds. Her murderers
are still at large.
From the Spanish weekly:
No. 30, June 14, 1999
The Spanish pilots of fighter planes admit that NATO attacks civilian targets
The Spanish original follows.
The pilots of Spanish planes who participated in bombing raids against Yugoslavia
do not feel like "supermen" nor as masters of air space. Quite on the contrary, they say that our forces play to the tune
of music played by the North Americans, and accuse NATO of having honored with medals the bombing of civilian targets, what
they otherwise name "collateral damages". Jose Luis Morales
Captain Adolfo Luis Martin de la Hoz, who returned to Spain end of May
after having participated in the bombings since the beginning, an "authentic expert for the dreadful F-18", the war plane most often used in the war strategy of "scorched land" in the Balkans, is very categorical:
"First of all, I want
to make it clear that the majority, I say the majority, of my colleagues, even if not all, are against the war in general
and against this war of barbarity in particular." Martin de la Hoz says that he and his colleagues "are burnt out". "Since a few days
ago there appeared in the papers certain statements of the commander Maches Michavilla, who is now in the air base at Aviano
with the pilots who replaced us, in which he said that our worst enemy in the air was our mental and physical health.
I tell you that our worst enemies are our own authorities, the Defense Minister and his whole team, the members of the Government,
who know nothing about war and go along with it without informing themselves about anything and, what is gravest, are guilty
of lying to the Spanish people through the papers, radio and television, foreign correspondents and press agencies."
suspicions that NATO's repeated bombings of civilian victims and non-military targets are
not the result of war "errors",
are confirmed by Captain Martin de la Hoz: "Several times our Colonel protested to NATO commanders why they select targets
which are not military targets. They threw him out with curses saying that we should know that the North Americans will lodge
a complaint by the Spanish Army, once through Brussels and again by the Defence Minister. But there is more, and I want to
tell it to the whole world: once there was a coded order of the North American military that we should drop anti-personnel
bombs over the localities of Prishtina and Nish. The colonel refused it altogether and, a couple of days later, the transfer
order came. But what I say now is nothing compared to what I shall have to say when the time comes."
DANISH GOVERNMENT TO HAVE A "WAR CRIMES" TRIAL FOR THEIR INVOLVEMENT
IN KOSOVO? The Danish Government was under the NATO command. Wesley Clark was the General in command. If the Dutch
are to open a WAR CRIMES trial about the attack against Serbia, then it is logical to assume that others should also be on
trial. READ MORE HERE:
Humanitarian Bombing vs. Iraqi Freedom
Analysis, June 2003
Qui habet aures audiendi audiat
This June marks the 4th year anniversary of NATOs presence in the Serbian province of Kosovo. Given that the Kosovo Mission may be perceived by some as a success
story, offering precedence in the approach of the international communitys strategy for dealing with post-war Iraq, it would
be both timely and wise to, recap the "successes" of NATOs Mission in Kosovo. Such a reflection may prove to be a telling
and honest warning to those embarking on similar, future projects in Iraq.
"Maintain civil law and order; promote
human rights; and assure the safe and unimpeded return of all refugees and displaced persons to their homes in Kosovo" - UNMIK
Almost four years after the United Nations established its mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), inter-ethnic
hostility is still widespread and the few Serbs remaining in the province, are afraid to travel freely.
Although the number
of ethnically motivated attacks can be interpreted in many different ways, tensions between the ethnic Albanian majority and the Serbian minority remain high. Surrounded and outnumbered
by the ethnic Albanian majority (many of whom see no room for Serbs in Kosovo) the Serbs are realistically pessimistic about
The ethnic make up of the population of Pristina reflects the validity of this fear. Since 1999, the
population of Pristina has grown to over 500,000 people less than 200 of which are Serbs.
Since the NATOs entry into
Kosovo in June of 1999, the indigent population of this region has suffered at the hands of Albanian extremists and organized terrorists. The NATO troops, operating under the
organization of KFOR (Kosovo Force), have done little to protect minority groups and have stood by and watched as over
350,000 people were ethnically cleansed from the region (primarily the Serbs and Roma) and over 2,500 Serbs were abducted or killed.More than 200,000 Kosovo Serbs have left their homes as a result of extremist violence or fearing
bloody reprisals from Albanians. The 80,000 to 120,000 Serbs who remain live in isolated enclaves, sometimes as small as a single apartment block, "protected"
by NATO troops.
The continual depletion of the number of NATO soldiers committed to Kosovo is a strong indication that little will be done to help these
victims or prevent the further persecution of minorities in Kosovo.
As a result of this absence of multi-ethnic tolerance,
the non-Albanian population of Kosovo is forced to live in ethnic ghettos. For those living in ghettos, it is not safe to
travel freely. Consequently, they can only travel if KFOR provides an armed escort. The people are left to the mercy of the
schedules and goodwill of the KFOR unit assigned to this escort task. Should the particular KFOR unit "not feel like" providing
this service, trips to the hospital, the market, school, church or polling booths are not possible.
Serbian National Council has demanded that the UN Security Council and NATO urgently develop a plan for the protection of the Serbian communities within the province,
the reality is that the KFOR check-points, guaranteeing some level of security to the remaining Serbian enclaves, have all
The decision to remove the checkpoints was ordered by the UNMIK (United Nations Mission in Kosovo)
administrator Michael Steiner, who believed that the security situation had improved significantly.
Mr. Steiners position
was contradicted by the provinces UN Ombudsman, Marek Anton Novicki, who stated that: "The situation is not in the least bit optimistic for the Serbs who have been expelled to return
to urban regions, and at the moment there are no basic conditions for their return."
At the same time, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) claim that Kosovos minorities
lack access to education, healthcare services and equitable employment.
The report issued by these organizations states
that one concern is primarily the minority Serb and Roma populations, which find it harder to move around freely and therefore
to live normal lives in Kosovo where ethnic Albanians are an overwhelming majority.
The question is then, on the foundation
of what information does the UN Administrator base his position? The inconsistency in the two positions indicates an inherent
lack of communication between the two UN agencies, the UNMIK and the UNHCR.
As a warning to the unfounded and bias
position of the UNMIK, the incident rate of murder, terrorist activities and hate crimes in the region is, despite the presence
of the international community, increasing.
NATO created the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC), a local constabulary allegedly comprised of terrorists from the supposedly disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). From the time of its establishment, this
organization has presented only roadblocks in the path of those trying to establish stability in the region. The KPC is openly
engaged in organized crime. They run the regions largest drug trafficking operations and fund themselves through protection rackets across Kosovo - shopkeepers, businessmen
and contractors across the province (including Pristina, Suva Reka, Dragash, Istok and Prizren) are required to pay the KPC
"protection". Instead of focusing on building and establishing the civic foundations for the future of Kosovo, the international
community has been forced to commit its time and resources to investigating and persecuting the criminal and terrorist cells
that exist within the KPC, and that operate not only within the province of Kosovo but have infiltrated Macedonia and other regions within Serbia as well.
Macedonia remains volatile after a 2001 conflict
between ethnic Albanian insurgents and Macedonian government troops. A renegade ethnic Albanian group, known as the "Albanian National Army", who operates from Kosovo, plans, organizes and executes occasional terrorist attacks in Macedonia.
This group advocates the unification of ethnic Albanian-dominated areas in several Balkan countries.
It is clear that
the UNMIK Mission in Kosovo has turned a blind eye to the corruption that has infiltrated this operation. It is impossible
to imagine that the KPC, and those groups similar to them, can operate their international-scale drug rings (to the extent that they have been tagged as the
"heroin bridge" linking the orient and Europe), without the intentional ignorance of the UNMIK. The watchful leaders
of the UNMIK appeared to have disregarded organized crime in Kosovo, and are seemingly unmotivated to take any action in combating
the drug trafficking, prostitution rings, organized crime and threat of potential terrorism that exists in the province. Even the Albanian population in Kosovo has come to see that the UNMIK is clearly incapable of instituting positive and proactive change
in the province.
Multi-ethnic tolerance in Kosovo has not been established. The murder and persecution of ethnic minorities in the province not only continue to happen, but
these incidents are not even reported by the provinces media outlets, which are of course, owned and operated by the Albanians. Moreover,
anything and everything that bears any resemblance to a culture other than Albanian, is destroyed.
corrupt and culturally intolerant climate continues to strengthen its hold on the province. And in spite of the efforts of
renowned international human rights agencies (such as Amnesty International), who have voiced their concerns over Kosovos oppressed minorities, nothing has been done to instigate change. Amnesty International
has conclusively stated that: "Unless such rights can be guaranteed, minority refugees and internally displaced people in
other parts of Serbia and Montenegro will be unable to return to their homes."
When assessing the shortcomings of
progress in Kosovo, the ineffectiveness of the Government in Belgrade to take a proactive role cannot go unmentioned. As the
primary stakeholder, Belgrade has failed to propose a constructive or detailed plan for their vision of the future of Kosovo.
More importantly, the Serbian Government has been unable to create enough presence in order to hold the international force
responsible and accountable in governing this province according to resolution 1244 and as an integral part of their sovereign
Iraqi Freedom four years from now
And hence the question of Kosovos fate remains unresolved.
In todays Kosovo, no one side can offer acceptable objectives, while the Albanians push forth with an unrealistic and menacing agenda of independence. Such a precedent would most certainly lead to new Balkan divisions (in particular
Bosnia and Macedonia) and consequently new conflicts in the unstable region. The UN is frivolously allowing what little credibility
they may still maintain (especially after their failed diplomatic role in Iraq) to be destroyed by passive and corrupt representatives,
who in Kosovo have done little to uphold the UNs mandate and ideals. Belgrade, from its side, must abandon its na´ve hope for a quick and easy solution and instead approach the problems of Kosovo
Thus, what lessons can we learn, more than four years after NATOs intervention in Yugoslavia?
Canada can confidently engage in international reconstruction efforts, such as the opportunity we have in shaping the rebuilding
of Iraq, we must be aware of the consequences of our role. More importantly, to ensure that Canadas contribution can be measured,
and that the impact of our contribution has a long-standing and positive effect, we must first outline the concrete and viable
steps needed to achieve our goals. In the unfortunate case of Kosovo, NATOs Forces either totally disregarded, or were not
in a position to implement the very goals they themselves set - a multicultural and multiethnic society, the protection of
human rights, and the safe return of refugees. Their failure to deliver on these promises has jeopardized or shattered the lives of most non-Albanians in Kosovo.
As a similar mission in Iraq unfolds today, we as Canadians must offer credence to the example
of Kosovo in determining the role we play in reconstructing this fragile nation.
IT IS A VERY INFORMATIVE WEBSITE WHICH OFFERS GREAT INSIGHT INTO THE WAR ON KOSOVO AND THE SUFFERING
THAT HAS OCCURED SINCE CLARK MARCHED IN!
FOR THOSE WHO ARE CHRISTIANS. IMAGINE YOUR CHURCH BEING DESTROYED BY VANDALS. NOW IMAGINE THAT
HAPPENING TO OVER 150 CHURCHES WHICH ARE AS OLD AS 500 YEARS OLD!!!
PLEASE LOOK AT THIS MAP AND SEE THE DESTRUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY IN KOSOVO.
CLARK CALLS KOSOVO A SUCCESS! DOES THAT MAP LOOK LIKE A SUCCESS?
AND WHAT IS HAPPENING TODAY IN KOSOVO?
THE MEDIA IS NOT COVERING THE STORY. BUT HERE IS A GLIMPSE AT LIFE IN KOSOVO. (Please remember, these people doing
the killing were fighting alongside with Clark. Today he considers these murderers his FRIENDS!)
Critically wounded Bogdan Bukumiric - one of victims in the massacre
of Albanian terrorists against Serb children in Western part of Kosovo and Metohija
ALBANIAN TERRORIST KILL TWO AND WOUND
FOUR SERBIAN CHILDREN IN KOSOVO
Two killed, at least five seriously wounded in terorrist attack - Albanians stone and set on fire one of the
cars transporting injured Serb children - Great unrest in Serb enclaves throughout Kosovo and Metohija - Bishop Artemije strongly
Gorazdevac, Gracanica - Unknown persons opened machine gun fire on Serb children bathing
in the Bistrica River not far from Gorazdevac, Pec municipality. According to preliminary information two Serb children
were killed and at least five others wounded.
Panta Dakic (10) and Ivan Jovovic (20)
were pronounced dead at Pec Hospital while Bogdan Bukumiric (15) and Nikola Bogicevic are in critical condition. Also seriously
wounded were Dragana Srbljak (14), Djordje Ugrenovic (20) and Marko Bogicevic, said Sladjana Todorovic of Gorazdevac, who
was with the wounded children in Pec Hospital.
Bogdan Bukumiric is scheduled to be transferred to Belgrade by helicopter
during the day. According to reports from the field, Albanians stoned the vehicle of Milovan Pavlovic while he was
attempting to drive some of the wounded children to Pec Hospital. Pavlovic sustained arm injuries. Local sources report that
the attackers also beat the wounded child in Pavlovic's vehicle.
- The children were bathing today in the
Bistrica River, some 500 meters from the center of the village, when they were targeted by machine gun fire by unknown
persons at about 13.30. Three rounds were fired. KFOR and UNMIK police have not conducted an investigation at the
site of the attack, although members of the UN military mission helped to get from Gorazdevac to Pec Hospital, whose staff
is really trying to help the wounded children," explained Sladjana Todorovic.
Gorazdevac today is full of great unrest
and fear. The nuns of the Pec Patriarchate and the monks of Visoki Decani have urgently requested KFOR to allow them to enter
Gorazdevac. The sisterhood of the Pec Patriarchate could not get an escort and the Decani monks are still waiting for a positive
response from KFOR to provide them with a military escort.
- This is an unprecedented crime. In Kosovo and
Metohija for four years there has been no Serbian Army or police, who Albanian terrorists claimed were their enemies, and
they are killing our children. In the past Serb children have been the targets of grenades and run over by cars, and now they
are being perfidiously killed when they are swimming in the river - said Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren, commenting
on today's terrorist attack near Gorazdevac.
The Serb village of Gorazadevac is located
near Pec and security is provided by Italian KFOR troops. It is still the home of some 1,000 Serbs, half of the village population
prior to the arrival of the UN mission in Kosovo and Metohija. The village has a primary school and two secondary schools,
one technical and one economic. In order to obtain basics for life, residents are dependent on military and police assistance
or forced to travel to northern Kosovska Mitrovica by escorted convoy.
Wounded Marko Bogicevic (age 11) in the military field hospital in Prizren.
He was visited today
by Abbot German of Holy Archangels Monastery
THE GUARDIAN (UK)
Atrocity at Bistrica beach
A gunman's brutal attack on a group of Serbian children swimming
in a Kosovan river has plunged the troubled region into further crisis, writes Ian Traynor
Friday August 15, 2003
With the mercury touching 40C (104F) in the blistering Balkan heatwave,
the children of Gorazdevac merrily pursued their favourite summer pasttime - plunging in and out of a popular swimming stretch
of the river Bistrica in western Kosovo.
Gorazdevac is a Serbian village among an overwhelming Albanian majority
in the United Nations-run province. The splashing children, too, were Serbian, several dozen of them.
On Wednesday afternoon a man with a Kalashnikov machinegun suddenly started
spraying the water with bullets. Pantelija Dakic, 11, and Ivan Jovovic, 20, were killed. Another four children were seriously
wounded. The rest fled in panic.
"About 50 of us were taking a swim when we heard one, two, three machine
gun bursts. I saw children falling around me, and then felt strong pain in my arm and knee," one of the wounded told the Belgrade
newspaper, Vecernje Novosti.
The murderous attack is extreme, even by the vicious standards that still
prevail in Kosovo four years after a war that ended with Nato forces driving brutal Serbian occupying forces out of the province
and left the Albanians under an international protectorate.
The murders also come at an extremely delicate time in the protracted
wrangling over what will become of Kosovo, with the Albanians insisting on full independence, the Serbs demanding that Kosovo
enjoy a form of home rule within Serbia, and the international community playing for time.
Murders and armed attacks are a weekly occurrence in the streets and villages
of Kosovo, with the minority Serbs still clinging to an existence in the province particularly under threat from roaming bands
of Albanian thugs.
childrens' clothes and bycicles remained on the river bank
after the massacre
A few days before the beach killings, an Albanian gunman shot a Serb man
in the mouth while he was fishing. An Indian UN policeman was killed by an Albanian sniper in a road ambush 10 days ago, the
first UN policeman to be murdered since the war ended in 1999.
And just beyond Kosovo's border in the Presevo area of Serbia proper,
where Albanian militants are on the prowl, a series of incidents in recent weeks points to trouble ahead.
The Bistrica beach atrocity is assumed to have been the work of an Albanian
gunman although the perpetrator is still at large. The attack on the children was exceptionally brutal. Predictably and understandably,
Serbia is in uproar over the crime.
The Serbian government declared today a day of mourning for the victims.
An emergency session of the country's supreme defence council was hurriedly convened to debate the crisis.
"We are not here to announce war or military messages," said Svetozar
Marovic, the head of state of the new loose union of Serbia-Montenegro.
Angry Serbs blocked roads in Kosovo and in southern Serbia. The Belgrade
government demanded that the UN security council meet to discuss the matter.
"Kosovo is descending into a catastrophe," said Nebojsa Covic, the Serbian
deputy prime minister responsible for Kosovo, who said the murders constituted "a continuation of ethnic cleansing of Serbs
The Serbian foreign ministry declared the murders were part of a planned
and coordinated campaign of terror aimed at Kosovo's destabilisation.
UN and Nato officials in Kosovo deplored the murders as an act of barbarism.
Kosovo Albanian leaders also condemned the killings, but perhaps a bit more hesitantly than they might have.
"We are shocked that someone in Kosovo could do such evil," Ramush Tahiri,
a senior Kosovo Albanian official, told a Belgrade television station. "Dark forces who bear ill intent towards Kosovo are
probably behind it."
It remains to be seen what impact the murders will have on the wider effort
at conciliation and resolving the curious status of Kosovo, currently a diplomatic and political limbo.
Earlier this week the Serbian prime minister, Zoran Zivkovic, laid out
Belgrade's claims with a declaration on Kosovo that is to be adopted by the Serbian parliament after the summer recess. It
is a wish list instantly scorned by the Kosovo Albanian leadership, with fat chance of becoming reality.
Serbia's sovereignty and territorial inviolability extends to Kosovo,
the declaration asserted, and promised that once human and ethnic minority rights are secured for the Serbs in Kosovo, the
province will also be afforded substantial autonomy.
This is essentially a return to the status quo ante of the 1980s before
the indicted war criminal, Slobodan Milosevic, abolished Kosovo's autonomy and established a police state there. It is utterly
unacceptable to the Albanians who have since been through a war to secure independence along with the other peoples of former
Besides, the Zivkovic demand presupposes that the loose union of Serbia
and Montenegro, established earlier this year, will survive while most analysts view those chances as remote.
Mr Zivkovic's gambit, following the assassination in March of his predecessor,
Zoran Djindjic, is also aimed at building electoral support among Serbian nationalists, a move which will inevitably produce
a parallel hardening of nationalist positions on the Albanian side.
blood of Ivan Jovic (19) who was killed at the spot by Albanian terrorists
On the fringes of the European Union summit in Greece in June, it was
announced that the Serbs and Kosovo Albanians were about to embark on their first negotiations since the end of the war. The
talks, initially to deal with low-level and administrative matters, were to open last month. They did not. The talks are now
expected to begin within a couple of months.
The murders, the thuggery, and the political posturing highlight the problems
enveloping these negotiations and the challenges facing the former Finnish prime minister, Harri Holkeri, who has just been
appointed the new UN chief in Kosovo after months of backroom sniping and manoeuvring between the Americans and the Europeans.
Mr Holkeri has not even taken up his new post yet. Wednesday was the first
day of his first reconnaissance visit to Kosovo, the day of the Bistrica beach atrocity.
Serbs transporting wounded attacked by Albanian
hooligans in Pec - Albanian medical staff refused medical assistance
"Somehow we managed, with
a KFOR military escort, to get to Pec Hospital but once there we were mistreated even by the physicians, who refused to give
immediate assistance to the wounded boys," said Jandzikovic, who returned to Gorazdevac without his vehicle, together with
EUROPE AND AMERICA, WHY DID YOU
LET THEM KILL OUR CHILDREN
Protesting Kosovo Serbs march holding a banner reading "Europe and America,
why did you let them kill our children" in Gracanica, in central Kosovo, after unknown gunmen killed two Serbian teenagers
Wednesday and wounded six other adolescents from the village of Gorazdevac, including an Albanian woman, firing on them with
automatic arms while they were swimming in a river near Zahac.