Saturday, April 12, 2008

The KLA's death camp.


It turns out that Carla Del Ponte had credible evidence of the KLA harvesting the organs of Serb prisoners and selling them off. This follows recent reports that the former Kosovan PM, Ramush Haradinaj, ordered the rape, persecution and murder of Serb civilians during the KLA's insurgency in the 1990s (he has, however, been declared 'not guilty' by the ICTY after nine of ten planned witnesses for the prosecution were killed). I must say, the Kosovan Liberation Army become more interesting every time I read about them. One minute they're desperate freedom fighters, next minute they're anti-Serb and anti-Roma racists engaged in pogroms. Then their successors are harrassing Serb minorities and trying to expand into Macedonia. Now they're mutilating prisoners to their death in - what else? - death camps. It seems that "prisoners were aware of the fate that awaited them, and according to the source pleaded, terrified, to be killed immediately". It wasn't just 300 young Serbs who were butchered in this fashion; those killed included Albanians and women trafficked from Russia and Eastern Europe to be pimped. Just so much untermenschen to be processed for the sustenance of the advance army of the NATO protectorate. One question that comes up in the article is why Del Ponte didn't pursue these investigations five years ago. Why should she? After all, she pointedly refused to study NATO crimes. What should compel her to announce to the world that America's local adjunct was engaged in these sorts of crimes? Given the preponderance of themes of fascism and genocide in the justification for war, and given how hysterical the commentariat became on this point, any piece of information that associate America's footsoldiers with death camps had to be delayed for release into a more benign climate. Just as few thought to mention at the time that the guy America paid to help them to victory, Agim Çeku, was a seasoned ethnic cleanser.

We now know, of course, that the KLA was being trained up by the CIA from at least 1998. The KLA had emerged for the first time as a serious force in Kosovan life after the failure of Dayton to address the conflict over Kosovo's status. Launched in Macedonia, they started a series of sabotage campaigns and attacks on Serbian police throughout Kosovo-Metohija in 1996. Within short order they had conquered 30% of Kosovo, declared the goal of a 'Greater Albania', suppressed rival political parties in the areas they controlled (particularly Rugova's DLK) and were en route to making their goal a reality. The Serbian government responded as I suspect most governments would, with a vicious and relentless crackdown. After a series of reprisals that had only intensified support for the KLA, they followed this up in September 1998 by launching a massive counterinsurgency operation, in which villages where the KLA had strength were burned, with about 800 killed and 300,000 forced to flee. By October 1998, just as the war was dying down and OSCE observers sent to help keep the peace, the US had evidently decided on war. This, according to Hashim Thaci, is what the KLA had sought - by provoking attacks on civilians, they believed they stood a greater chance of justifying external intervention. This is a tactic they evidently learned from the Bosnian leadership. NATO had threatened strikes, but unfortunately Milosevic had done the dirtiest deed imaginable - he had launched a negotiations process with Ibrahim Rugova in September that might stand a chance of success. By destroying Rugova's rivals, and empowering his FARK organisation, he could cut a deal that would solve a hitherto intractable problem. For, let's be clear about this: Milosevic may have exploited the problem politically, and he certainly exacerbated it, but he didn't cause it. He did not, for instance, bring about the repression and discrimination against Serbs in Kosovo that he was to tap in his brief for Serbian restoration. He did not cause the failure of the Titoist settlement or the collapse of Yugoslavia, though he milked it. And he did not cause the KLA to choose the means they did, though his means of repression helped them along. Milosevic was a thug, if somewhat less of a thug than Blair or Clinton, but he was essentially an opportunist. So, it was at this point that the CIA started sending its agents to pose as peacekeepers and infiltrated the OSCE. They trained up the KLA in preparation for the war which would inevitably arrive once the US had successfully scuppered the negotiations process by setting "the bar higher than the Serbs could accept", what with the insulting plan for the de facto occupation of the whole FRY and the imposition of 'free market' principles on Kosovo. Having waged war, and conquered, NATO permitted the KLA to edulcorate the territory. Serbs and Roma were expelled en masse, and it seems that it was at this point that they hit upon the happy idea of using Serbs as organ meat. While the US got down to building its own mini-Guantanamo, and UN forces were found to be involved in child prostitution rings, the KLA got down to wiping out its rivals on the grounds that they were "Serb collaborators". They tried expanding into the Serbian region of Preševo and an offshoot started an insurgency in Macedonia. Repeated attacks on the Serb minority, which relies on aid from the Serbian government, has resulted in what are euphemistically described as "ethnic tensions". Even the best tending and care of Dr Bernard Kouchner was unable to alleviate these ailments. And now, free and independent at long last, Kosovo stands tall as the best little lily-pad in the world. The Milky Bar Kid Militia won the day thanks to the yankees. Who says it wasn't worth it?