For those interested in how NATO ended up going to war against Yugoslavia, it could be very useful to read the book Fools’ Crusade, Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions from 2002 written by Diana Johnstone. In this article I have written a summary.
In her book, Johnstone explains the geopolitical mechanisms in for example Germany and the United States. For a German it would not be very pleasant to see how the reunified Germany first said that it would fight no more wars and later promoted nationalism instead of a multiethnic Yugoslavia. It is also interesting to see how Chancellor Gerhard Schröder was happy to see Albanians in Kosovo greet the German KFOR troops in 1999 with Nazi salutes from WWII.
Johnstone is somewhat controversial in some circles, and her book was even rejected in Sweden. However, I am not very surprised by the Swedish rejection because I know no other democracy where freedom of speech and a fair and open debate is suppressed as much as it is in Sweden. In the spirit of multiculturalism, Swedish media and politicians are ridiculously politically correct, and it is virtually impossible to be critical to the massive non-Western immigration or Islam without being labeled a racist. Please read a letter signed by Noam Chomsky.
I believe Diana Johnstone’s book is very well documented, and you should read the whole book if you can. However, if you are not able, please read my selected segments below. I have included the page numbers before every paragraph, and I have also included her footnotes where appropriate. In addition I have also added relevant hyperlinks for a better interactive reading.
1. Apparently, many people on the left, who would normally defend peace and justice, were fooled or confused by the claim that the “Kosovo war” was waged for purely humanitarian reasons.
2. A significant difference was that the war against Yugoslavia was waged by the political center-left. The NATO governments were mostly led by liberals and “Third Way” social democrats.
Globalization vs U.S. hegemony
6. In the words of Madeleine Albright, “What’s the point of having this superb military … if we can’t use it?”
7. As the ability of nation-states to protect the interests of their citizens declines, the importance of citizenship diminishes in turn.
Conversion of the threat
8-9. The chef d’œuvre of that policy of destruction was undoubtedly the use of Islamic mujahidins in Afghanistan to entrap the Soviet Union – the declared goal of Jimmy Carter’s openly cynical advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski.
9. Between Democratic and Republican administrations there is no fundamental difference, even though the Democrats often prefer to stress positive and ambitious goals such as “nation-building” and “human rights.”
9. An influential member of this foreign policy establishment is Morton Abramowitz, whose career has involved him with both the Afghan mujahidin and Kosovo Albanian rebels.
9-10. “American ideals and self-interest merge when the United States supports the spread of democracy around the globe – or what we prefer to call ‘limited’ constitutional democracy, meaning rule by a government that has been legitimized by free elections,” was the conclusion of the Carnegie experts, summed up in the Endowment’s 1992 publication Self-Determination in the New World Order. (…)This future “rule of law” is not to be confused with existing international law. (…)In the future, the authors announced in 1992, “Humanitarian interventions will become increasingly unavoidable.” 
10-11. Abramowitz continued to act from behind the scenes as an eminence grise for Albright. He helped found the high-level International Crisis Group, a chief policy designer for Bosnia and Kosovo. He was omnipresent behind the scenes of the Kosovo drama, both in making policy and in shaping elite business, government, and media opinion.
11. Islamic fundamentalism is compatible with U.S. globalization in that it cares nothing for national boundaries and does not threaten to establish national governments that can serve as a progressive model of alternative development.
11. In a way, Yugoslavia became an enemy both as a discarded asset and as a potential alternative.
12. If the country held together, it might stand in the way of Western plans for the region.
13. In Yugoslavia, the National Endowment for Democracy generously funded Albanian separatists in Kosovo and the anti-Miloševic opposition in Serbia, Human Rights Watch, closely linked to U.S. policy-making, repeatedly launched inflammatory and unsubstantiated accusations against the Yugoslav government.
13. Operating across borders, some charitable groups tend to perceive national sovereignty as little more than an obstacle to their own operations. Based in the rich NATO countries, operating in poorer countries, the direction of their intervention is the same as that of NATO, acting as policeman of the new world order.
About the book
14. My main thesis is that the intervention of the NATO powers in Yugoslavia, far from being a last-minute rescue, was from the start a major driving factor in the tragic course of events.
1. The Yugoslav Guinea Pig
Miloševic, a fictional charachter
16-17. Margaret Thatcher went further: “We are not dealing with some minor thug,” she insisted. “Miloševic’s regime and the genocidal ideology that sustains it represents … a truly monstrous evil … which must be totally defeated …”
What was really wrong with Miloševic
19. Miloševic’s sin was that he used the Kosovo question to wrest leadership of the Serbian League of Communists away from the man in line for the job, Belgrade party leader Dragiša Pavlović. (…)Supporters of Pavlovic bitterly resented Miloševic’s rise to prominence and played a key role in characterizing him as an “extreme nationalist.”
19-20. What was really wrong with Miloševic was a mixture of optimism and ambiguity not uncommon among ambitious politicians. He was often described as better at tactics than at strategy. His claim to be able to resolve the problem of Kosovo was based on illusion, lie continued to preach unity, but offered no program for achieving it.
Invisible economic causes
21. Susan Woodward has provided a masterly description of this process, which by the end of the 1980s had resulted in “a breakdown in all elements of the domestic order, political disintegration and rising nationalism.”
Scapegoating economic reforms
22. Tito’s Yugoslavia was built on a policy of deliberately reducing Serbian influence. The “key” system of national quotas ensured even distribution of public office between the various nationalities. Serbian dominance of Yugoslavia after World War II was a myth.
22. By granting effective veto power to Serbia’s autonomous provinces of Vojvodina and Kosovo, the 1974 Constitution made it impossible for Serbia to carry out serious reform.
23. National governments are discredited. Only the “International Community” knows what is best for everyone.
23. Tudman had the strong political and financial support of the Croatian émigré community, including direct descendants of the fascist Ustashe movement which ran the “Croatian Independent State” set up in 1941 following the Nazi invasion of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
24. It was clear that “by now the Croatian countryside was bristling with weapons that had been secreted or stolen from JNA warehouses or smuggled across the Croatian-Hungarian border.”
24. On 17 January 1991, the United States made a decisive intervention on behalf of Croatian secession. The U.S. ambassador to Belgrade, Warren Zlmmermann, informed Jovic that the United States would not accept any use of force to disarm the paramilitaries.
24. And of course, the United States considers Abraham Lincoln its greatest president for using force against the secessionists of the southern Confederacy.
25. Warren Zimmermann, arrived in Belgrade with instructions to deliver “a new message: Yugoslavia no longer enjoyed the geopolitical importance that the United States had given it during the Cold War.”
25. Most Serbs would surely have preferred to preserve the Yugoslav Federation intact. But was this possible, when the United States was banning the use of force?
26. “It is not our intention to prevent the Croats or any other nation from leaving Yugoslavia/’ Miloševic told Belgrade University professors on 21 March 1991, “but we are not going to allow anybody to dug the Serbs out with them against their will.”
26. Self-determination was the right of the peoples, not of the republics, regarded as arbitrary administrative units, drawn by the communists without popular consultation.
The ghosts of Gospic
27. The Serb rebellion, as it gained support from Belgrade, was masterfully exploited by Tudman to portray the long-planned Croatian secession as a defensive resistance to “Greater Serbia.”
28. Mile Budak, described how Croatia was to be purified of non-Croatians within ten years. 20 For non-Croats, he said, “we have three million bullets. We shall kill one part of the Serbian population, expel another, and the rest we shall convert to the Roman Catholic religion.”
28. Two Albanian officers, Ahmet Krasniqi and Agim Çeku, reportedly played a leading role in betraying the JNA garrison to the Croatian separatists, thus depriving local Serbs of protection. This was an early manifestation of an operational alliance between Croatian and Albanian nationalists.
28. Çeku helped command “Operation Storm” which emptied the Krajina of its Serb population.
29. In late September 1991, over 120 Gospic Serbs, including prominent professors and judges, were abducted and murdered, their bodies destroyed or hidden. “It was a warning to Serbs – they were no longer safe in Croatia.”
29. Western media ignored the 1991 Gospid massacre until the late summer of 1997 when a disgruntled former policeman, Miro Bajramovic, decided to reveal all. Bajramovic said his paramilitary unit was sent to Gospic in September 1991 with orders from the Croatian Interior Ministry to spread terror among the region’s 9,000 Serbs.
30. The three – Milan Levar, the former commander of a reconnaissance intelligence unit, Zdenko Bando, a former military police commander, Zdenko Ropac, a former secret intelligence police officer -told New York Times correspondent Chris Hedges that they had witnessed “scores of abductions and killings in and around the town of Gospic.”
Greater Serbia or smaller Yugoslavia
33. A look at the map shows that the failed attempt to detach the “Serbian Republic of Krajina” from Croatia was less an attempt to create “Greater Serbia” than an effort to solidify a “Smaller Yugoslavia.”
33. The two “Serb Republics” in the Croatian Krajina and in Bosnia-Herzegovina were left out. The West failed to acknowledge that this amounted to a formal renunciation of “Greater Serbia,” or even of medium-sized Yugoslavia.
Integrating Europe, disintegrating Yugoslavia
34. If using criminals for dirty tasks makes him a criminal, then he may be considered a criminal – but surely no more (or rather, less) than the late President Tudman of Croatia or President Alija Izetbegovic of Bosnia, widely regarded as a saint.
35. The main significance of the Maastricht Treaty was to lock the EU member states into a monetarist economic policy from which there was no way out, but it was presented to the public as a brave step toward a peaceful democratic new Europe that would emerge as the wonder, even the salvation, of the world.
35. The country’s relatively prosperous and market-oriented economic development, as well as its geographic position between Italy and Greece, would have seemed to make Yugoslavia the most eligible of Eastern European countries to join the European Union. There was, however, no clear program for integrating Yugoslavia.
35. At this point, the richest of the republics – especially Slovenia, but also Croatia – saw their chance to “jump the queue” and get into the European Union ahead of the others by cutting themselves off from the rest of Yugoslavia.
36. What could “Europe” have done? The answer in principle is simple, although the application would have been complex. It could have offered Yugoslavia’s people and politicians a prospect of an overall solution to their supposed problems of coexistence by offering a clear, feasible program for integration of all of Yugoslavia – all the republics, simultaneously – into the European Union.
The Badinter Commission
36. At the time, Germany was calling the shots in the Balkans, insisting on rapid diplomatic recognition of independent Slovenia and Croatia.
37. Advocates of hasty recognition of the secessionist republics claimed that this would prevent civil war in Yugoslavia by settling the matter once and for all. But the real impact of hasty diplomatic recognition was not to stop the fighting, but rather to formally transform a civil war into an international conflict, thus allowing international intervention. The impact was to destroy the prospect of neutral mediation and further polarize the conflict.
37-38. In the summer of 1991, while Slovenian and Croatian independence were in suspension at Europe’s request, the Serbian government submitted three questions to the Commission for its opinion:
- Who can be the subject of the right to self-determination from the standpoint of international public law, a nation or a federal unit? Is the right of self-determination a subjective collective right or the right of a territory?
- Can tension be a legal act from the standpoint of the United Nations and other relevant legal rules?
- Are the demarcation lines between constituent parts of a federal state (provinces, cantons, states, Länder, republics and the like) borders in the sense of international public law?
38. On 29 November 1991, the Badinter Commission issued its First Opinion, which sounded the death knell of Federal Yugoslavia by announcing that “the Federative Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia is engaged in a process of dissolution.”
38-39. In regard to the question of what new states should be recognized in place of the “disintegrating” Yugoslavia, it abandoned the traditional realistic criteria for diplomatic recognition (control of territory).
39. The Badinter Commission avoided questions of legal principle by resorting to an interpretation of fact: Yugoslavia was “in a process of dissolution.”
40. A British legal scholar has observed: “The view that the SFRY underwent a process of dismemberment was also undoubtedly influential as regards the United Nations’ determination that the FRY should not continue automatically the membership of the former SFRY in the UN.”
40. In those years in EU circles, Yugoslavia could only be “the former Yugoslavia,” and to use the term “Yugoslavia” without the obligatory “former” was taboo in polite company.
Multicultural Bosnia vs. Multicultural Yugoslavia
41. At this point, cautious and constructive outside mediation might have avoided war through negotiations to preserve the federation, while avoiding excessive domination by Serbia.
42. Ironically, however, as part of the limitless demonization of Miloševic, Tudman was subsequently criticized not so much for having proposed the division (which he admittedly did), but for having made a deal with Miloševic.
42-43. To avoid such a war, dividing the territory between Serbia and Croatia was not necessarily a scandalous idea. It would have required guaranteeing that the full religious freedom already enjoyed by Bosnian Muslims would be safeguarded – by no means a difficult matter. Serbs and Croats had no objection to living with Muslims as neighbors; their objections were to living as potentially second-class citizens of a Muslim state – another matter altogether.
44. The compromise did not satisfy Mr. Izetbegovic because (in the words of U.S. ambassador to Yugoslavia, Warren Zimmermann) it would have “denied him and his Muslim party a dominant role in the republic.”
44. the same U.S. ambassador who first prohibited the Yugoslav People’s Army from maintaining the unity of Yugoslavia, then went on to encourage lzetbegovic’s party to fight to maintain the unity of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Morally and practically, this was contradictory.
45. The United States never delivered on Zimmermann’s implicit promise to ensure Izetbegovic a dominant role in a unified Bosnia-Herzegovina. However, behind the scenes it helped him arm his military forces, with considerable input from Islamic states and mujahidin fighters, while portraying his cause to the world as one of pure martyrdom.
46. It was also a useful demonstration that, despite unshakable support for Israel and the ongoing destruction of Iraq, the United States was not anti-Muslim.
46. “The main purpose of NATO countries, for the foreseeable future, will be to serve as staging areas for American wars in the Balkans, the Mediterranean and the Gulf.”
47. On the rhetorical level – which was dominant in the early Clinton years – verbal support for the Muslims was an indispensable gauge of liberal sensibility, anti-racism, and concern for human rights.
The Bosnia Cult
48. “Bosnia was and always will be a just cause,” wrote David Rieff, who has expressed as well as anyone the ideology of the Bosnia cult. By “Bosnia,” Rieff meant above all the value of multiculturalism, which, in his mind, was exemplified in Bosnia-Herzegovina where it was the object of “genocide.”
48. He had left the United States in order to write about the effect of non-European refuses and immigrants on Europe, firmly persuaded in advance of the imperative need to transform old Europe into a new Europe that was “genuinely multicultural and multiracial”
48. Television viewers suddenly discovered a romantic Sarajevo, populated by gentle, blue-eyed Muslims, practicing musical instruments in comfortable apartments – people “just like us.” These people would be perfect neighbors, and their lukewarm European Islam seemed to offer the ideal model for successful assimilation.
49. If these ideals were so worth preserving, why had there been no such ardent crusade for preserving Yugoslavia?
50. With the help of US-based public relations experts, this perfectly reasonable (In terms of self-interest of a Muslim state) attitude was presented as proof of devotion to multicultural tolerance in contrast to the “racism” of the Serbs.
Ideals vs. facts
51. In the opening stages of the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Tudman sent the Croatian army to occupy southwestern Herzegovina. Extreme right-wing Croatian nationalist militia drove the Serb population out of Mostar.
52. “the Islamic fundamentalists became more and more important as the conflict dragged on…” But neither Rieff nor the other Bosnia enthusiasts stopped to consider that the extreme fragility of the Islamic party’s devotion to multicultural values might explain why Serbs (and Croats) did not want to remain under a government headed by Izetbegovic.
52. The media reproduced photographs of the grandfatherly Izetbegovic, but not his words, such as in this March 1994 speech:
“In one of our respectable newspapers I read that our soldiers are dying for a multicultural coexistence, that they are sacrificing their lives so we can live together. Multicultural togetherness is all very well, but – may I say this openly – it is a lie! We cannot He to our people or deceive the public. The soldier in combat is not dying for a multinational coexistence…”
53. The fact that Izetbegovic enjoyed the active support of these Muslims from outside Bosnia, against a large part of the indigenous Bosnian Muslim population, was also of little interest to Western enthusiasts.
54. Rieff evidently considered the genocide charge so self-evident that he made no effort to prove it. He simply repeated the figure that everyone else repeats: 200,000 dead. “Two hundred thousand Bosnian Muslims die, in full view of the world’s television cameras,” according to Rieff.
Izetbegovic: Islamic hero of the Western world
56. In reality, Izetbegovic not only failed utterly to represent the population of Bosnia-Herzegovina in its multicultural variety, he did not even represent all the Muslims. In the 1990 election, the former head of the republic’s important agrial company, Fikret Abdic, received 1,010,618 votes, compared to 847,386 for Izetbegovic. As president of Bosnia, the pragmatic Abdic could have been acceptable to the non-Muslim populations.
Politics and religion
56. First distributed in 1970 and republished 20 years later, precisely at the time of his bid for the presidency, the “Islamic Declaration” was a manifesto addressed to Bosnian Muslims who, according to Izetbegovic, could not be satisfied in a secular order.
“Islamic society without an Islamic government is incomplete and Impotent … A Muslim, in general, does not exist as an individual … to live and exist as a Muslim, he must create an environment, a community, a social order… History does not know of a single truly Islamic movement which was not simultaneously a political movement.”
57-58. The country Izetbegovic singled out in his “Declaration” as an example and inspiration, as “our great hope”, was Pakistan. “Pakistan constitutes the rehearsal for introduction of Islamic order in contemporary conditions and at the present level of development.”
58. He was calling for an awakening of an Islamic consciousness as the first necessary step toward eventual restoration of International Islamic unity and Islamic government wherever Muslims would constitute a majority, regardless of the nature of the existing government.
61. To a certain number of indigenous Muslims, it was clear that Izetbegovic’s SDA was using outside forces, primarily the international Islamic network but also naive Western supporters, to solidify his control over Bosnian Muslims who, without the war, would never have accepted the leadership of a religious party.
2. Moral Dualism in a Multicultural World
The uses of rape
78. The stigmatization at Serbs as “Nazi rapists” was an extremely effective way to win over to the side of their enemies’ two constituencies with enormous influence in the liberal mainstream of Western society.
78. The same journalist who launched the “death camps” story, Roy Gutman, also played a major role in the rape story. His 9 August 1992. Newsday article, headlined “Bosnia Rape Horror,” began with a vivid description of the rape of a 16-year-old girl by three Serb guards. The account was drawn from an interview with a refugee girl and her mother who had been persuaded by a doctor in Croatia to tell the story to the Newsday journalist. Gutman added a multiplier drawn from politically interested sources.
79. One of his sources was Jadranka Cigelj, who combined the roles of rape victim and Croatian nationalist propagandist with considerable success.
80. Gutman’s other source was “a Western diplomat, who asked not to be identified by name or country,” who confirmed that women were raped and men were killed at Omarska. How are readers to evaluate the credibility of a source who refuses to be identified “by name or country”?
80. Cigelj was a vice president of Croatian president Franjo Tudman’s ruling nationalist party, the Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ) and was in charge of the Zagreb office of the Croatia Information Center (CIC), a wartime propaganda agency funded by the same right-wing Croatian émigré groups that backed Tudjman.
81-82. After Gutman’s report, every editor wanted a “Serb rape” story for his own paper. Pursuing the search in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a fledgling feminist journalist named Alexandra Stiglmayer complained to a German colleague, Martin Lettmayer, that it was “damned hard” to find a victim to interview.
82. Although based on only one victim, Stiglmayer’s story magnified this single case by giving it a broad political interpretation in terms familiar to the women’s movement.
82. Medical staff said that only three raped women had been treated there in the past seven months, Lettmayer had nothing to sell. A rape story is a rape story, even if unverified. A no rape story is no story at all.
Rape and politics
83. The mainstream media chose to play up stories involving Muslim victims, while ignoring the rape of Serbian women.
83. By accident, a group of basically uninformed European women politicians became the main source for a figure, which was thereafter repeated as authoritative. In February 1993, Gutman reported:
“A probe authorized by the European Community came to the conclusion that at least 20,000 Muslim women had been raped during the Serb conquest. Some of the rapes occurred in special detention centers set up for women and children.”
This was a reference to the “Warburton Report,” which, in the absence of serious sources, became the available and thus favorite “official source” for countless politicians and journalists.
83. The delegation soon noted the discrepancy between the huge number of presumed rape victims reported by the media and the absence of concrete evidence.
84. The Warburton mission lacked the means to carry out a serious, scientific investigation. Formed under pressure to “do something,” it could only repeat the accusations it heard in Zagreb, capital of a country at war with the Serbs.
84. The most prestigious member of the delegation was Simone Veil, a former French minister of health who had served as president of the European Parliament.
84-85. Mme Veil criticized the EU governments for having instructed the Warburton delegation to investigate the rape of Muslim women only (without specifying whether, as reported, it was the German government that eliminated Serb rape victims from the mandate).
85. While Mme Veil stepped back, others stepped forward, especially Mrs Doris Pack, a German Christian Democrat who first as vice chairman and later as chairwoman of the European Parliament (EP) delegation for relations with the republics of former Yugoslavia found a mission as one of the chief demonizers of the Serbs.
85. To Mrs. Pack, the absence of proof was no obstacle to repeating such horrendous tales.
85. Thierry Germond, of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said abuses had been committed by all sides and there was not enough evidence to describe rapes as “systematic.”
Yet the only conclusion drawn by the European Parliamentarians was expressed in a resolution adopted on 11 March 1993, demanding that “systematic rape of women be considered a war crime and a crime against humanity” and calling for rapid establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The crime, it should be noted, was not simply rape but “systematic” rape. Yet “systematic” rape was a mere assumption.
Numbers and patterns
86. The only international body to pursue a thorough investigation of rape accusations was the Commission set up by the Security Council to prepare the documentary basis for the ICTY. It began work in 1992 under the presidency of Frits Kalshoven, professor of humanitarian international law at the University of Leiden.
86. In 1993, Professor Kalshoven resigned and was replaced with Professor Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni. An American of Egyptian origin, Professor Bassiouni was an author of books and essays on Islam. His sympathy for the Muslims of Bosnia was manifest.
87. In the absence of large, verifiable figures, Professor Bassiouni sought to base the case less on the clearly inadequate number of proven cases than on what he considered “patterns,” from which he deduced a “policy.” The search for “patterns” became a regular substitute for either numbers or documentary evidence.
88. Five years after resigning from the UN commission, Professor Kalshoven told Dutch journalist Aart Brouwer:
“Terms like ‘genocide’ came all too easily from the mouths of people like Bassiouni, an American professor of law, who had to establish a reputation and to work on fund-raising. In my opinion these terms were way out of line. ‘Genocidal rape’ is utter nonsense. ‘Genocide’ means extermination, and it is of course impossible to exterminate people and make them pregnant at the same time. It is a propaganda term which was used against the Serbs right from the start, but I have never found any indication that rape was committed systematically by any of the parties – and I understand by ‘systematically’, on orders from the top.”
Imaginary rapes in Kosovo
89-90. The more preposterous the tale, the more fiendish the enemy. Moreover, editors know that sex crime stories attract readers. During the Kosovo bombing and refugee crisis, the insatiable demand of journalists for “rape stories” irritated some aid workers. Dr. Richard Munz, a German surgeon working with humanitarian aid in Macedonia, complained to the daily Die Welt about the inability of most reporters to accept the fact that among the 60,000 Kosovo Albanian refugees in their camp, medical aid workers had not encountered a single case of rape.
90. Guardian reporter Audrey Gillan later reported that she knew of “several tabloid reporters who were dispatched to Macedonia and Albania with the sole purpose of finding a rape victim . Chatting together in the bar of Skopje’s Hotel Continen as a potential alternative., which, in his mind, was exemplified in Bosnia-Herzegovina where it was the object of “genocide.”tal, reporters rehearsed the “notorious” question: “Is there anyone here who’s been raped and speaks English?” Benedicte Giaever, the coordinator for OSCE’s field office in Skopje, complained that almost every journalist who came to see her asked one thing: could she give them a rape victim to interview.
90. The final OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission report on refugee testimony, intended for the Hague Tribunal, demonstrated a willingness, even an eagerness, to believe the worst. Noting that “very little” had been documented on the subject of rape, the KVM hastened to explain that this did not prove anything. “A woman who admits having been raped can be reRape and politicsNumbers and patternsjected or expelled by her husband, her family or her husband’s family.” Yet, the report continued, interviewers “received the support of the men in trying to make the women feel secure enough to talk … and often they would encourage the women to tell the whole story with all details.”
3. Comparative Nationalisms
124. Throughout the 1990s, “nationalism” was widely denounced, with the Yugoslav disaster given as the prime illustration of where » could lead. However, the condemnation of Serbian nationalism as the arch villain supposedly opposing “multiculturalism” led to tacit endorsement of the separatist nationalisms that were tearing apart the multinational state of Yugoslavia. Anti-nationalism in theory became pro-nationalism in practice.
4. The Making of Empires
Germany is born again
165. With the Yugoslav crisis of the 1990s, newly reunified Germany abruptly emerged on the international scene as the major power wielder in Europe. It was the foreign minister, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, who successfully put pressure on his country’s West European partners to dismantle Yugoslavia by recognizing Slovenia and Croatia as independent states.
165. For Germans, assertion of humanitarian ideals as justification for foreign intervention was widely understood as a form of compensation for their Nazi past.
165-166. The crisis in Yugoslavia enabled German leaders to proclaim a new Germany, not only innocent of the realpolitik sins of the past, but moved by a special responsibility born of t e Holocaust to play a prominent role in the crusade for universal human rights.
Why “Serbia must die”
166. In July 1991 a virulent barrage of articles appeared in the German press, led by the Influential conservative newspaper, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). Day after day, FAZ editor Johann Georg Rei ssmüller denounced the “Serbo-communist power called Yugoslavia,” “Belgrade Serbo-communism” that held a “Greater Serbian communist knife at the throat” of the Slovenes and Croats. Reissmüller described “the Yugo-Serbs” as essentially oriental “militarist Bolsheviks” who had “no place in the European Community.”
167. Everywhere, Serbs were stigmatized as “non-European” barbarians intruding into civilized Europe. Nineteen months after German reunification, and for the first time since Hitler’s defeat in 1945, the German media resounded with condemnation of an entire ethnic group reminiscent of the pre-war propaganda against the Jews.
167. The attitude was summed up in the 1914 slogan “Serbien muss sterbien” (a play on the word sterben, to die), meaning “Serbia must die.”
168. A few observations: these hostages were all civilians, in no way linked to the acts being punished. The policy of retaliation was carried out not by the SS, usually held responsible for all the criminal acts of Nazi occupation, but by the Wehrmacht, the regular army.
Nation-state vs. volk-state
168-169. “Overcoming the consequences of the First World War” was set as a policy goal of unified Germany in a significant speech by a leading policy-maker, Rupert Scholz, deputy chairman of the CDU/CSU faction in the German Bundestag.
In September 1991, Scholz gave a talk on “the security policy role of the Germans in Europe” to a forum of business leaders and army officers in which he stressed the “basically new tasks and orientation” of German foreign and security policy that came with “German reunification and the recovered full sovereignty.”
169. Far from feeling restrained by Germany’s aggressive role in the Balkans in two world wars, Scholz maintained that this “historic experience” gave Germans a special mandate to show solidarity … with Croats and Slovenians. He called for immediate international recognition of Croatia and Slovenia.
169. Scholz’s meaning was clear: rapid recognition of Croatia and Slovenia was designed not – as was officially claimed by the German government – to prevent military conflict, but to internationalize it, in order to justify outside military intervention, with German participation, under the auspices of either the UN or the OSCE.
169-170. In this traditional German view, “self- determination” is above all an ethnic – or völkisch, from the German word for ethnic or national group, Volk – rather than a political principle, a matter not of the political rights (such as equality before the law, free elections, and other civil rights) of people sharing a particular territory, but rather of the collective right of a racially and culturally homogeneous population to assert its identity as the basic principle of political organization.
Self-determination as ethnic determination
180. On 12 September 1990, less than a month before the official unification of the two German states, their two foreign ministers, along with the foreign ministers of the four Allied Occupation Powers – the Soviet Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France – signed the treaty for the final settlement of the German question, known as the “Two Plus Four” Treaty, in particular, the treaty included a binding commitment never again to export war from German soil. Henceforth, the Germans vowed, the German Constitution barred any disturbance of peaceful coexistence between peoples. On the day of reunification, 3 October 1990, Chancellor Helmut Kohl sent a message to all the world’s governments, including that of Yugoslavia, declaring that: “With its national unity restored, our country will serve peace in the world.”
181. Nowhere in Europe would such restraint seem more obligatory than in Yugoslavia, a country attacked, invaded, occupied, and fragmented by Hitler’s Wehrmacht.
181. The old tradition of ethnic or linguistic determination of state boundaries was given a fresh emotional charge by the 1989 slogan “Wir sind einVolk” justifying the rapid unification of the two German states.
182. The enthusiasm of politicians and the media for Germany’s special mission to defend “self-determination” moved Genscher, the main architect of the successful reunification policy, to overrule the warnings of the German diplomatic corps, including Bonn’s own ambassador in Belgrade, and force through immediate recognition of Slovenia and Croatia. Such recognition was certain to give Serbs the impression that they were facing a repetition of 1941, when Germany backed the establishment of the murderous “Independent State of Croatia.”
182. Recognizing unnegotiated secessions was a flagrant violation of the pledge to respect “intangibility of borders and territorial integrity,” as Yugoslavia’s territory was suddenly stripped of its two richest territories.
182. It took heavy pressure from the Bonn government to persuade the member states of the European Community to disregard the advice of their own diplomats and recognize Slovenia and Croatia as independent states.
Old friends and old enemies
184-185. Reunified Germany’s forceful backing of its World War II clients, the Croatian and Albanian nationalists, may have seemed startling to those who accepted the postwar description of the Federal Republic of Germany as an “economic giant and a political dwarf.” In reality, Germany’s absence from international politics was largely an illusion fostered by the Bonn government’s discretion in the face of the widespread hostility left from the war.
185. In addition, there were the undercover operations of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), the German equivalent of the CIA. (…)Once Khrushchev had restored “peaceful coexistence” with Tito in the late 1950s, the BND intensified contacts with militant Croatian nationalist exiles.
186. One of the fatal consequences of the disastrous 1974 Yugoslav Constitution was that it enabled each of the republics to set up its own clandestine intelligence service. (…)Initially, since Tito himself was a Croat, Croats had a prominent place within Yugoslav Intelligence services. One of these was Ivan Krajacic. (…)Krajacic reverted to Croatian nationalism, and in the 1970s his circle of “national communists” pursued contacts with a END agent in Yugoslavia, Klaus Dorner, who organized numerous secret meetings in Germany, Austria, and Croatia itself designed to forge an effective alliance between the national communists and the Ustashe emigration.
186. It was years before the German public received any hint of Its government’s role in preparing the disintegration of Yugoslavia. In January 1995 journalist Andreas Zumach disclosed reports Indicating that “since the 1980s, in cooperation with the Croatian secret service, the BND systematically worked to aggravate conflicts between Zagreb and Belgrade.”
187. These connections were recounted in detail in intelligence analyst Erich Schmidt-Eenboom’s 1995 book on Kinkel, DieSchattenkrieger.
187. In the case of the Albanians, it seems there was not so much continuity as a resumption of relations between the German secret services and Albanian secessionists in Kosovo. The enthusiasm of the armed Kosovo Albanian rebels for NATO has a clear precedent in the enthusiasm of their fathers and grandfathers for the German Wehrmacht 50 years earlier.
188. Through sponsorship of a so-called “Second Prizren League” and the formation of an all-Albanian SS Division named for the Albanian national hero Skanderbeg, the Nazi occupiers actively encouraged their proud, gun-toting mountaineer allies to create a “racially pure Greater Albania” (including Kosovo) by massacring Serbs, Greeks, and other non-Albanians.
188. Social Democratic Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and his government turned out to be ideal salesmen for a remilitarized Germany. The champion in this exercise was without doubt the Green foreign minister, Joschka Fischer.
189. In his battle to win leadership of the Greens, Fischer was allied with his long-time Frankfurt friend and co-tactician Daniel Cohn-Bendit, another media favorite, since his spectacular emergence as symbol of the May’68 student uprising in Paris.
189-190. In 1994, the conflict in Bosnia took a new turn. Secretly armed by Islamic countries and supported diplomatically by the United States, the Bosnian Muslims were on the offensive in Bosnia itself, although the media studiously ignored Muslim attacks or military advances.
190. In Germany, Cohn-Bendit won a seat In the European Parliament on the Green list and promptly departed from the majority Green position by calling for German participation in military intervention in Bosnia.
190. At that time, the Social Democrats and Greens were overwhelmingly against such intervention. The exception was Cohn-Bendit, who dismissed Green objections as “ridiculous” and found original arguments to support Kohl’s position.
191. At that time, Fischer was still arguing that Germany should stay out. But by the following August, Cohn-Bendit was able to announce that his friend Joschka was “on the right path,” even though he still opposed sending in German soldiers. But, predicted Cohn-Bendit with remarkable clairvoyance, “Once Fischer is foreign minister, he won’t be able to maintain this position.”
191-192. The debate on Yugoslavia became a matter of German conscience first and foremost, encouraging self-absorbed moralistic poses favored by self-styled “realists.” Together, Cohn-Bendit and Fischer had succeeded in playing the role of pied pipers of Frankfurt, leading the Green children over the brink into support of German participation in NATO’s war against the Serbs.
The ideological domination of this moralistic approach was achieved by constant analogy with “Auschwitz” and “the Holocaust,” equating the Serbs with the Nazis. (…) In the name of human rights, the Federal Republic lifted its ban on military operations outside the NATO defensive area.
192. Fischer had managed to reassure the kingmakers in Germany and Washington that here was a man they could trust.
193. Returning from his visit to German troops in Kosovo, Chancellor Schroder declared: “It is already impressive and moved me deeply, when in Prizren I saw on the one hand German tanks and German soldiers with machine guns, and on the other hand I could share the experience of the extraordinary euphoric jubilation with which a German Chancellor was welcomed. I find that in the context of the specific German history in this region, really anyone must be moved by this.”
193. Is it credible that the German Chancellor, however ignorant of history, was not informed by his advisors of the fact that the enthusiasm came from the same Albanians, or their descendants, whose terror against Serbian inhabitants was encouraged by the Nazi occupiers?
5. The New Imperial Model
Albanians: a people in search of an empire
201. Albanians have inhabited the Western Balkans since time immemorial, without organizing an Albanian state until less than a century ago.
202. After Serbs sided with the Habsburgs in their seventeenth-century wars against the Ottoman Empire, the Turks turned to Albanian converts to Islam to suppress the Serbs in Kosovo.
202. An oft-quoted statement dating back to the late nineteenth century claimed that “The religion of the Albanians is Albanianism.”
202. The newly formed “Prizren League” called for the preservation of Ottoman rule and of Islam.
202. It was only as they saw that the Turks were no longer determined to preserve the old order that the Prizren League tried to expel them and take over.
203. The fact that toward the end of the Ottoman Empire the Albanian leadership had more to lose than to gain from the creation of new modern states, whereas the Serbs had everything to gain and little to lose, confirmed the deep cleavage between the two communities.
The crowded “cradle of civilization”
203. As Turkish rule crumbled, Ismail Kemal, a prominent Albanian statesman who had served the Sultan in Istanbul, returned to the Albanian port of Vlora and, on 28 November 1912, encouraged by Austria, proclaimed: “From today on Albania is free and independent.”
203. Despite the Vlora declaration, there was no coherent national movement that could claim to represent the core of a representative Albanian state.
204. Allied with Essad Pasha Toptani until his assassination in Paris in June 1920, the Belgrade government did what it could to champion an independent Albania in opposition to Italy.
204. Monuments of the past were unquestionably Serbian, but by 1912 the Albanians were the most numerous group in a mixed population, including not only Orthodox Serbs and Montenegrins, but also a large number of Serbian Muslims (notably the Gorani in the mountainous southernmost tip of Kosovo), Turks, Gypsies, and even some Circassians brought in by the Turks.
204. Each side has remembered being massacred by the other, but forgotten times when it was the other way around.
205. In contrast, the Serbs did not cross oceans to conquer foreign lands. They were liberating the traditional heartland of their nation, still inhabited by Serb peasants who had been oppressed by Albanians.
Problems of education, language, and truth
208. For Tito, an “Albanian” Kosovo was initially perceived as an asset toward incorporating Albania itself into Yugoslavia on the way to creation of a broader Balkan federation (an ambition rapidly quashed by Moscow).
208. However, the birthrate among Kosovo Albanians – Europe’s highest by far – kept per capita income low.
209. It was clearly part of the Albanian nationalist agenda to appear as numerous as possible.
209. In early 1912, on the eve of the first Balkan war, the Serbian government attempted to accommodate Albanian leaders in Kosovo by offering an accord guaranteeing freedom of religion, use of the Albanian language in schools and courts, and a separate Albanian assembly to legislate for the Albanian community.15 The Albanian leaders rejected any such agreement.
210. So what went wrong? In reality, educating Albanians in their own language aggravated their cultural isolation and self-absorption. Since written Albanian was a relatively new language, there were no great libraries in the Albanian language treating all the various subjects required for a full modern education. Schooling in Serbian offered broader cultural resources, notably access to the modern scientific and technical culture greatly prized by the Serbs.
211. In 1968, in an odd concession to Albanian nationalism, the Tito government banned use of the word Šiptar, the Serbo-Croatian version of Shqiptar, the name that the Albanians use for themselves.
211. Subsequently, the insistence on being called “Kosovars2 helped give the world the impression that the Shqiptars/Albanians were the only genuine inhabitants of Kosovo, just as calling Muslims “Bosniaks” or Bosnians suggested that Serbs and Croats were intruders in Bosnia.
211. With their schoolbooks imported from Tirana, Kosovo’s Albanian children were being raised as citizens of a foreign state.
212. The question arises: how can any society survive when its children are educated in complete ignorance of each other and with no common language?
212. In 1981, an Albanian professor at Priština University concluded from extensive travels abroad that “not a single national minority in the world has achieved the rights that the Albanian nationality enjoys in Socialist Yugoslavia.” Only the Hungarians in Romania and the Swedes in Finland had their own universities, but without the full autonomy enjoyed by the Albanians at the University of Priština, he observed.
213. The Western left often assumes that only socio-economic oppression leads to revolt; ergo, the Kosovo Albanians were oppressed.
214. “The nationalist movement gained momentum after the Constitution of 1974 promoted Kosovo to an autonomous unit of Federal Yugoslavia. Kosovars began acting as masters, making Serbs and Montenegrins feel like subjects.”
218. Calling Albanian harassment of Serbs in Kosovo “genocide” was precisely the type of emotional overstatement that in the following decade would be used constantly against the Serbs themselves.
Politics and human rights
219. In the 1980s, Western journalists and diplomats had defended the Serb viewpoint. The New York Times published reports of the plight of Serbs being driven out of Kosovo by Albanian “ethnic cleansing.” Western governments supported modernizes (such as Miloševic) who saw the need to reduce Kosovo’s autonomy in order to enact economic reforms.
220. Miloševic was introducing political pluralism and had transformed the Serbian League of Communists into the Serbian Socialist Party, inviting ethnic Albanians to join. The new Constitution defined Serbia as “a democratic state of all its citizens,” without ethnic distinctions. But Miloševic and the Serbian leadership grievously underestimated the wound they had inflicted on Kosovo and the capacity for mobilization of the Albanian community. The formal equality offered by the new Constitution was of no interest to Albanian leaders who wanted nothing to do with Serbia.
220. Miloševic’s crackdown on Kosovo was harsh, but no more so than Tito’s style of governing, and it was accomplished for the sake of an economic reform program approved by the West.
221. Prominent HRW members include Morton Abramowitz, involved in using Islamists to wreck Afghanistan before going on to use the “Kosovars” to wreck Yugoslavia; former U.S. ambassador Warren Zimmerman; and Paul Goble, director of the U.S. propaganda news network Radio Free Europe, which for years displayed its bias by using only Albanian language names for towns in Kosovo.
222. The 1992 Constitutions of both Yugoslavia and Serbia guaranteed extensive rights to several national minorities, notably the right to education in their own mother tongue, the right to information media in their own language, and the right to use their own language in judicial or administrative proceedings.
222-223. Aaron Rhodes, executive director of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, claimed that Albanians in Kosovo “have lived for years under conditions similar to those suffered by Jews in Nazi-controlled parts of Europe just before World War II. They have been ghettoized. They are not free, but politically disenfranchised and deprived of basic civil liberties.” This was as incendiary as it was untrue.
The Kosovo NGO
The authorities in Belgrade justified the harsh 1989 crackdown in Kosovo on the grounds that they were combating a violent secessionist movement. Those grounds were rapidly undermined by the unexpected decision of Kosovo Albanians to turn to something they had never tried before: non-violence. This sudden metamorphosis was described by the prominent Kosovo Albanian intellectual Shkelzen Maliqi (…) In Maliqi’s words:
“However, in winter and spring of 1990 there was a sudden and radical change. Warriors went out of fashion over night. The interesting thing is that there were no major theoretical disputes, nor organized campaigns propagating non-violence, nor was there even a specific personality to undertake the role of the Albanian Gandhi. Dr. Rugova became the most influential leader of the Albanians later on when the concept was already spontaneously formulated. The strategy of non-violence was somehow self-imposed as the best, most pragmatic and most efficient response to Serbian aggressive plans.”
224. Albanians boycotted Serbian institutions, and refused to pay taxes or utility bills. Without public debate or charismatic leader, they proclaimed their own parallel state, which was immediately recognized by neighboring Albania (but by no one else).
224. The Kosovo Albanians were not trying to gain improvements for Albanians within the framework of Yugoslav or Serbian institutions. They simply rejected those institutions totally. There was no non-violent campaign to gain equal access to education or other social benefits. The Kosovo Albanian movement boycotted them.
224. Albanian abstention ensured President Miloševic’s party some 35 swing seats in parliament. If the Albanians had elected their own representatives instead of boycotting elections, they could have altered the political majority in Serbia. However, Albanian leaders preferred the “demonized” Miloševic as an irreplaceable public relations asset to their cause.
225. By the end of 1992, the Serbian authorities had given in and accepted the principle that “leaders of each nation were responsible for the cultural development of their own people.”
225. To get the children back in the official schools, Serbian officials told Albanian leaders during talks held in Switzerland that they could write their own program. But by that time, Albanian leaders were attached to their own system and saw its extraordinary value as a political weapon.
225-226. According to official figures in 1998, 64 per cent of the official Serbian system’s health employees in Kosovo and 80 percent of its patients were still ethnic Albanian.
226. Serbia was widely accused of practicing “apartheid” in Kosovo. This likening of Kosovo to racist South Africa was a successful propaganda theme. But there was no state-decreed separation of populations in Kosovo. If “apartheid” is reduced to meaning a degree of separation between ethnic communities, in Kosovo it was organized by the very Kosovar Albanian nationalist leaders who denounced it in order to win support from international public opinion. The amazing strategy of “self-apartheid” was designed both to deepen the chasm between the Albanian majority in Kosovo and the dwindling Serbian minority, and to win international sympathy by posing as victims of “racism.” It was successful thanks to the internal discipline of Albanian patriarchal society, which massively followed calls for boycott, and constant support from abroad. Western support took the form of readiness to believe -or seem to believe – that the Kosovo problem was a matter of human rights rather than a conflict between a recognized government and an irredentist movement seeking territorial secession.
228. In 1996, the radical Kosovo Albanian nationalist Adem Demaqi suggested a democratically re-federated Yugoslavia, with a new name such as “Balkania,” including Kosovo. Some Albanian leaders proposed granting Kosovo the status of a third “republic” within Yugoslavia (alongside Serbia and Montenegro), without the right to secede. Such ideas gained circulation at a time when the 1997 “pyramid scheme” collapse plunged Albania itself into lawlessness, which initially was understood as a blow to the political credibility of secession. This might have been the moment when unbiased outside mediation could have promoted efforts toward reconciliation and a peaceful compromise.
228. Kosovo Albanians had no reason to negotiate when they could count on support from U.S. government-financed “NGOs.” Through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), set up by the Reagan administration to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries with U.S. taxpayers’ money, the United States had a major influence on how Kosovo was seen by the world.
229. The main source of all reports circulated worldwide concerning Serbian police brutality and other abuses originated with the Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms, founded in 1989 by militant Kosovo Albanian nationalists.
229-230. In the months leading up to the NATO bombing, in response to demands for asylum lodged by Kosovo Albanians, the German Foreign Ministry and various regional German courts categorically denied that Kosovo Albanians were being persecuted or even that there was a “humanitarian catastrophe” resulting from Yugoslav security forces’ repression of armed Albanian rebels. In late October 1998, the Bavarian administrative court, on the basis of intelligence reports from the German Foreign Ministry, concluded that the recent violence “was a selective use of force against the military underground movement (especially the UÇK – Ushtria Çlirimtare e Kosovës)A government program of persecution aimed at the whole ethnic group of Albanians has never existed either now or earlier.”
The ear of the Empire: the Albanian lobby in the United States
231. In their effort to win separate states of their own, Croats, Albanians, and Bosnian Muslims shared a common enemy. That common enemy was multinational Yugoslavia. Politically, the formula for winning support from American politicians was to identify Yugoslavia with the Serbs and the Serbs with “communism”. The success of the three anti-Serb lobbies owed much to a young aide Of Senator Robert Dole, Mira Radielovic Baratta, who went to work for Dole in June 1989.
231. Baratta has “as good an understanding of the Balkans as anyone on Capitol Hill,” The Weekly Standard reported admiringly, adding that “she is probably the only congressional staffer monitoring ex-Yugoslavia who speaks and reads both Croatian and Serbian” – a statement which itself indicates the prevailing ignorance, since Croatian and Serbian are the same language.
232. An independent Albanian Kosovo would strengthen Turkey’s renewed presence in the Balkans. This would bolster the key strategic partnership between the United States and Turkey, linked to Israel in the eastern Mediterranean and expanding northward into the oil-rich ex-Soviet republics.
232. Washington’s support for the “Kosovar” cause has helped make Albania the most enthusiastically pro-American country in the world, whose leaders constantly plead for establishment of permanent U.S. bases.
Preparing for war
234. The UÇK demanded a stop to what it called the “colonization” of Kosovo and called on the United States to recognize the independence of Kosovo. It warned that any fellow Albanians who chose “Kosovo’s autonomy within Serbia” would be assassinated.
234. For a long time, Rugova and his colleagues denied the very existence of the UÇK, claiming that it was nothing but an invention of Serbian propaganda designed to discredit the Kosovar cause.
235. “The KLA had a simple but effective plan. It would kill Serbian policemen. The Serbs would retaliate, Balkan style, with widespread reprisals and the occasional massacre. The West would get more and more appalled, until finally it would, as it did in Bosnia, take action. In effect, the United States and much of Europe would go to war on the side of the KLA. It worked.”
“Bombing for peace”
236. The NATO powers insisted that Kosovo should remain part of Yugoslavia … but also blamed Belgrade when negotiation were blocked by Kosovo Albanians’ refusal to discuss anything but independence from Yugoslavia.
236. Izetbegovic wanted to continue the war, and it was only if the United States bombed the Bosnian Serbs that he would even consent to discuss negotiations.
237. UÇK commander Agim Çeku, who as an officer in the Croatian army had previously won notoriety by massacring Serb civilians, later explained: “The cease-fire was very useful to us. It enabled us to get organized, to consolidate, to grow.”
238. According to one Swiss verifier, “We understood from the start that the information gathered by OSCE patrols during our mission was destined to complete the Information that NATO had gathered by satellite. We had the very sharp impression of doing espionage work for the Atlantic Alliance.”
238. France’s KVM deputy chief, Ambassador Gabriel Keller, complained that “every pullback by the Yugoslav army or the Serbian police was followed by a movement forward by UÇK forces”. The UÇK took advantage of Serbian restraint “to consolidate its positions everywhere, continuing to smuggle arms from Albania, abducting and killing both civilians and military personnel, Albanians and Serbs alike.” Privately, Keller said he believed that Walker deliberately sabotaged the mission, and that his only obsession was to “keep the UÇK for the Americans.”
The Rambouillet farce
244. Rambouillet was an exercise in fake diplomacy designed to “prove” that diplomacy had failed and that war was unavoidable.
244. Thaqi was treated as a special pet by Madeleine Albright’s press officer Jamie Rubin. The Kosovo Albanian delegation at Rambouillet was counseled by top U.S. foreign policy guru Morton Abramowitz.
245. In any normal negotiation, the long proposal presented by the Serbian government calling for extensive local self-government and guaranteed rights for all ethnic groups would at least have been acknowledged as a basis for discussion.
245. Substantial economic aid was promised to Kosovo, while Serbia was to get nothing; the agreement did not evea title=”” href=”#ref-44″n mention suspending economic sanctions against Serbia, much less any help to the 650,000 refugees in Serbia.
246. Since at a Rambouillet press conference on 20 February Albright herself blamed failure to reach an agreement on Serbian refusal to consider the presence of a NATO-led implementation force, it was clear that NATO was the sticking point and, if peace was the goal, it was on NATO presence that the “bargaining position” needed to be softened instead, it was deliberately hardened.
247. In short, even if for some European governments the aim at Rambouillet was to make peace, the primary aim of the United States was to get NATO into Kosovo.
The triumph of hatred
247. Relations between Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo were already bad. NATO’s war made them hopeless. The main psychological effect of the war was to endorse Albanian hatred of Serbs, recognize it as justified, and give free rein to subsequent persecution of Serbs as “revenge.”
250. Meanwhile, the targeting of the civilian population – in flagrant violation of international law – was justified by commentators who found various ways of showing that the Serbian people fully deserved whatever punishment came their way. Most sophisticated was the columnist William Pfaff. “Much has been made, unwisely in my view,””he wrote, “of NATO’s being in conflict only with Serbia’s leaders. Serbia’s leaders have been elected by the Serbian people … Serbian voters have kept Slobodan Miloševic in power during the past decade. It is not clear why they should be spared a taste of the suffering he has inflicted on their neighbors.”
250. Newsweek: “The Serbs are Europe’s outsiders, seasoned haters raised on self-pity.”
250. In a Memorial Day address, Clinton claimed that Miloševic’s government “like that of Nazi Germany rose to power in part by getting people to look down on people of a given race and ethnicity, and to believe they had … no right to live”.
251. In the absence of international observers, the only information about wartime Kosovo was provided by Albanian sources close to the UÇK. The role of the Kosovo Albanian “Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms” as main source of reports on “human rights abuses” continued during the bombing, as before.
251-252. German defense minister Rudolf Scharping was in the forefront of the propaganda war. On 8 April, as the bombing campaign was going badly, he announced the discovery of a Serbian plan called “Operation Horseshoe” designed to empty Kosovo of its Albanian population. This was supposed to prove that Miloševic had been planning to expel the Albanians from Kosovo before the NATO bombing, “Operation Horseshoe” was subsequently exposed as a hoax manufactured by military intelligence.
On 16 April, he outdid himself, choosing the most gruesome details from unsubstantiated horror stories told to eager Interrogators by Kosovar refugees: “it is recounted that the fetus was cut out of the body of a dead pregnant woman in order to roast it and then put it back in the cut-open belly.., that limbs and heads are systematically cut off, that sometimes they play football with heads…” These stories were “hard to bear for any normal human being,” but Scharping bore them well. There was no material evidence, then or now, for these stories, which can take their place in the anthology of apocryphal wartime horror stories.
252. The double standards of the NATO powers enforced the tendency of the Albanians themselves to say and believe the worst of the Serbs.
253. Telling Serb atrocity stories was the greatest service Kosovo Albanian refugees could render NATO and the UÇK, and there was no risk of being charged with perjury or slander. Jn reality, the number of Albanian victims in all categories turned out to be significantly lower than estimated during the bombing.
254. Kouchner did more to Justify Albanian violence against the remaining Serb civilians than to stem it. “Human nature dictates this response among some Albanians, revenge being a direct antidote to the poison that has infected this war-ravaged region,” prescribed the borderless doctor. Kouchner told Albanians that he felt very close to them, adding: “I love all peoples but some more than others and that is the case with you.”
255. After a phony “disarmament” of the UÇK, its members were recruited into an ambiguous “Kosovo Protection Corps” – ambiguous because while its international sponsors pretend that “protection” refers to protection from natural disasters, the official word in Albanian, “Mbrojtes,” means not protection but “defense.”
255. In March 2000, former Czech foreign minister Jiri Dienstbier reported to the UN Commission on Human Rights: “The bombing hasn’t solved any problems. It only multiplied the existing problems and created new ones.”
Democracy and in the New World Order
256. Among the various stated and unstated aims of the U.S. war against Yugoslavia was the desire to determine the government in Belgrade. The adjective “democratic,” in this context, certainly does not mean a government that wins a multiparty election, something Miloševic himself had done on several occasions.
256. As it was, the Yugoslav president called for early elections in 2000 that put his own office on the line. This was a risk a genuine dictator would have avoided.
257. Not satisfied with this prospect of a certain victory at the ballot box, DOS claimed a first round victory and announced it would boycott the second round. This heightened tension and provided an opportunity for the Otpor agitators to take matters into their own hands.
258. Some of these former “special forces” commandos included veterans of the civil wars in Croatia and Bosnia. The peak of irony lies in the fact that such paramilitaries, primarily responsible for giving the Serbian people the reputation of “ethnic cleansers” and war criminals, were instantly promoted by Western media into heroes of a “democratic revolution.”
Postscript: Perpetual war
The idealization of war, the Imperial Condominium
259. The United States has continuously wielded its uncontested power and multifaceted influence to reduce the United Nations to a rubber stamp to be used or neglected as Washington sees fit.
259. Richard Holbrooke has emphasized that Kofi Annan “won the job” of UN secretary general the day he enabled the United States to bomb the Bosnian Serbs.
259. The political authority of the United Nations was replaced by the moral authority of a vague entity called the “International Community.”
260. Bound together in a single military organization, under U.S. leadership, the leading industrial powers may have to fish together in troubled waters, rather than against each other as they did in the first half of the twentieth century, with such disastrous results.
Partners in crime
261. Once the NATO governments had taken part in devastating a country that had done them no harm, they had to stick together, at least in maintaining the basic pretense that this was a morally justified and even necessary war waged for humanitarian values. The NATO governments found themselves obliged to defend the concept of “humanitarian war,” even if they secretly knew better.
262-263. The unilateral procedures adopted by NATO for Yugoslavia amounted to asserting a Western monopoly on determining what is a “humanitarian catastrophe” and what should be done about it. A genuine, unquestioned humanitarian emergency could be dealt with legally through the United Nations.
The real existing New World Order
263. Another irony is that the crusade against “nationalism” in Yugoslavia was fed by the United States, which has no qualms about pursuing its own national Interest with the clamorous support of a population whose flag-waving nationalism has no rival in contemporary Europe, or perhaps even in the world.
263-264. British foreign secretary Robin Cook concluded that “the old independent nation-state is a thing of the past.” Once the concept itself is considered obsolete, smaller nations can no longer hope to evade the dictates of the “International Community” by invoking national sovereignty.
264. “For globalism to work, America can’t be afraid to act like the almighty superpower that it is,” announced the New York Times as the bombs began to fall on Belgrade.
265. NATO membership is a coveted guarantee to avoid being the victim of aggression – especially from NATO itself. As a prized NATO member, Turkey can pursue massive internal repression with arms provided by NATO allies, burn villages, violate human rights, and invade neighboring Iraq in pursuit of Kurdish rebels without the slightest worry that Washington will deliver an ultimatum demanding Turkey withdraw its troops immediately from Kurdish-inhabited parts of Turkey, or else bombs will fall on Ankara.
266-267. The vaguely defined “security Interests” of NATO member states were seen to be threatened, no longer by Soviet communism, but by “risks of a wider nature, including acts of terrorism, sabotage and organized crime, and by the disruption of the flow of vital resources” as well as “uncontrolled movements of large numbers of people, particularly as a consequence of armed conflicts.”
267. Instead of feeling safer, the “defense” planners imagine potential threats everywhere. These go beyond invisible “terrorists” or recalcitrant “rogues.” From now on, the United States fears the very potential of anybody, anywhere, to have the capability to pose any sort of threat.
 In 1993, when General Colin Powell questioned the usefulness of air strikes against Bosnian Serbs, Albright, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, retorted angrily: “What’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” Colin Powell, My American Journey, Random House, New York, 1995, p. 576.
 Interviewed by the French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur, 12 January 1998, Zbigniew Brzezinski revealed that the “official version” of history, according to which the CIA began to aid the mujahidin in 1980 after the Soviet Army invaded Afghanistan, was false. In reality, months earlier, on 3 July 1979, President Carter signed the first directive on clandestine aid to the Islamic rebels opposed to the pro-Soviet government in Kabul. At the time, Brzezinski said he had explained to Carter that this would trigger Soviet military intervention. That secret operation was “an excellent idea” because it sucked the Russians into the “Afghan trap”, Brzezinski concluded. The former presidential National Security advisor made these revelations in Paris apparently as part of the promotion of the French edition of his book, The Great Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives, Basic Books, New York, 1997.
 The Croats were trained for “Operation Storm” by the Virginia-based Military Professional Resources Incorporated (MPRI), described as an “outfit of former U.S. marines, helicopter pilots and special forces teams,“ which went on to train first the Kosovo Albanian rebels and then their adversaries in the Macedonian army. Christian Jennings, “Private U.S. Firm Training Both Sides in Balkans“, The Scotsman, 3 March 2001.
 Mr. Bajramovic told his story to the fearless Croatian satirical weekly. The Feral Tribune, from which it was picked up by leading Western newspapers. See Chris Hedges, “A Croatian Militiaman Recounts His Hole as a Killer and Torturer”, New York Times, 5 September 1997, pp. 1 and 3.
 Martin Lettmayer, “Da Wurde einfach Geglaubt, ohne Nachzufragen” [It was Simply Believed without Further Quest ion], Serbien muss sterbien: Wahrheit und Lüge im jugoslawischen Bürgerkrieg, Tiarnat, Berlin, 1994, pp. 37-49.
 Since the proceedings of the European Commission/Union Councils of ministers are not published, it is not possible to confirm reports that it was the German government which insisted on omitting rape of Serbian women from the delegation’s investigation. See Merlino, Les verités yougoslaves, pp. 65-71.
 Audrey Gillan, “The Propaganda War: Audrey Gillan tries to find the evidence for mass atrocities in Kosovo,” Guardian, 21 August 2000. Audrey Gillan recounts that “Ron Redmond, the baseball-capped spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, stood at the Blace border crossing from Kosovo into Macedonia and said there were new reports of mass rapes and killings from three villages in the Lipljan area … He spoke to the press of bodies being desecrated, eyes being shot out. The way he talked it sounded as if there had been at least a hundred murders and dozens of rapes. When I pressed him on the rapes, asking him to be more precise, he reduced it a bit and said he had heard that five or six teenage girls had been raped and murdered. He had not spoken to any witnesses. ‘We have no way of verifying these reports of rape’, he conceded. ‘These are among the first that we have heard of at this border.’” Ms Gillan observed that during a war like this, “you are not allowed to doubt atrocity.”
 Kosovo/ Kosova, As Seen, As Told, 1999, An analysis of the human rights findings of the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission October 1998 to June 1999, pp 95-97 in the PDF.
 At the 6th Fürstenfeldbrucker Symposium “for leaders of the Bundeswehr and business,” on 23 and 24 September 1991, organized by the Bavarian educational association, a branch of the Federal association of German employers (Bildungswerk der Bayerischen Wirtschaft e.V, Munich, Bundesvereinigung der Deutschen Arbeitgeberverbände) Scholz argued that as a part of the “Western value community” – the German moralizing version of the IC – Germany could no longer claim that its Constitution prevented it from taking part in foreign military operations. For one thing, Germany was unquestionably “the biggest motor” for Europe’s political integration, and political union required “security union.” Second, NATO will be engaged in more and more “out of area” engagements, as shown by the Gulf War, so Germany cannot stay on the sidelines. Scholz told his business leaders several years in advance that the NATO Treaty would be changed to deal with “greater global risk control” and changed weapons systems.
 Von deutschen Boden wird in Zukunft nur Frieden ausgehen. Wir sind uns bewußt, daß die Unverletzllchkeit der Grenzen und die Achtung der territorialen Integrität und der Souveränität aller Staaten in Europa eine grundlegende Bedingung fur den Frieden ist.”
 Andreas Zumach, “Die Internationale Politik in Südosteuropa hat versafgt,“ Bosnien-Herzegowina: Die Chancen einer gerechteri Lösung. Frieden und Abrüstung, January 1995; p. 53. Cited by Mira Beharn. Kriegstrommeln: Medien, Krieg und Politik, Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich, 1996, p. 214.
 On 14 October 1992 in Priština, Rugova’s mentor Fehmi Agtril confirmed this widely held Impression in conversation with |oum,ilht Tim Judah: “Frankly, it is better (for usj to continue with MIMevn* He is not prepared for such a long war. Mllolevlc was very uhi ewful in destroying Yugoslavia and, in the same way, if he continues, he will destroy Serbia.” Tim Judah, Kosovo: Wat ami Revenge, Yale Uiikmiiy Press, New Haven and London, 2000, p. 79.
Interview with Dany Cohn-Bendit, “Schluss mit den Halbherzigkeiten”, Die Tageizeitung, 2 August 1995.
 Speech by Gerhard Schröder on “Germany’s foreign policy responsibility in the world” before the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik in Berlin, published In Internationale Politik 10,1999, p. 69. Cited and commented by Küntzel, Der Weg in den Krieg, p. 87.
 Gardan Gashi and Ingrid Steiner. Albanien: Archaisch, orientalisch, europäisch, Promedia, Vienna, 1997, p. 68. Miranda Vickers. Between Serb and Albanian, A History of Kosovo, Columbia University Press, New York 1997, p 57. Here as elsewhere, the attributions differ slightly.
 The 1961 census registered 646,605 Albanians, making up 67.2 per cent of the total population of Kosovo (of the seven listed minorities, Serbs numbered 227,061, accounting for 23.6 per cent). The 1971 census registered 916,167 Albanians, making up 73.7 per cent (with Serbs at 228,261 or 18.4 per cent). The 1981 census counted 1,227,000 Albanians – roughly double the number of 20 years earlier – with the Serb population declining to 210,000 or 13.2 per cent. From then on, Kosovo Albanians boycotted the census, but claimed vastly greater numbers and “90 per cent of the population.” This percentage, impossible to verify, was accepted and constantly repeated by international news media throughout the Kosovo crisis of 1998-99.
 For example, in the New York Times of 12 July 1982, Marvine Howe, in a report from Priština entitled “Exodus of Serbians Stirs Province in Yugoslavia,” quoted Becir Hoti, an executive secretary of the Communist Party of Kosovo and an ethnic Albanian, as saying: “The [Albanian] nationalists have a two-point program, first to establish what they call an ethnically clear Albanian republic and then the merger with Albania to form a greater Albania.” And in the 1 November 1987 New York Times, David Binder reported from Belgrade (“In Yugoslavia, Rising Ethnic Strife Brings Fears of Worse Civil Conflict”) that: “As Slavs flee the protracted violence, Kosovo is becoming what ethnic Albanian nationalists have been demanding for years … an ‘ethnically pure’ Albanian region, a ‘Republic of Kosovo’ in all but name.”
 Shkelzen Maliqi, “Characteristics arid Perspectives of the Albanian Movement,” Conflict or Dialogue: Serbian-Albanian Relations and integration of the Balkans, Open University, European Civic Centre for Conflict Resolution, Subotica, Serbia, 1994, pp. 237-47.
 On 14 October 1992 in Priština, Rugova’s mentor Fehmi Agtril confirmed this widely held Impression in conversation with journalist Tim Judah: “Frankly, it is better (for usj to continue with Milošvic. He is not prepared for such a long war. Milošvic was very successful in destroying Yugoslavia and, in the same way, if he continues, he will destroy Serbia.” Tim Judah, Kosovo: War and Revenge, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2000, p. 79.
 A late example of this hyperbole: in an interview in Politique Internationale in 2000, Bernard Kouchner, at the time UN administrator for Kosovo, sought to excuse the Albanians for their failure to cooperate by claiming that “after ten years of apartheid, during which they lived as sub-humans, the Albanians no longer have confidence in anybody.”
 Judah has observed that “many Kosovars successfully convinced many Westerners that the question of Kosovo was really one of human rights. In fact it was not. At the heart of the matter was a fundamental struggle between two peoples for the same piece of land” (War and Revenge, p. 84). The question Judah neglects to raise is to what extent certain Western officials deliberately let themselves be convinced of something that all informed observers of the area knew was untrue.
 In an interview given to Julia Ferguson of Reuters on 27 May 1998, Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano suggested that “a compromise could be reached by giving Kosovo the status of the third republic without the right of succession from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia under international guarantees.”
 One NGO, Jan Oberg’s Transnational Foundation for Future and Peace Studies, based in Lund, Sweden, distinguished itself by attempting to work toward peaceful reconciliation. But its efforts were undermined by the conflictual approach of the “international community.”
 These documents, dated from October 1998 until 15 March, less than ten days before the NATO bombing began, were obtained by the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA) which sent them to various media. Several texts were published in the daily Junge Welt on 24 April 1999. Either the authorities were downplaying the plight of the Kosovo Albanians in order to reject asylum-seekers, or they were exaggerating the plight to justify war. Either way, the hypocrisy is manifest.
 Holbrooke, To End a War, pp. 91-2, 96. On 28 August, Holbrooke arrived in Paris to work out a negotiating position with Izetbegovic and his foreign minister Muhamed Sacirbey. That day, CNN reported a particularly gruesome bomb massacre in downtown Sarajevo, with scores of civilian victims. The timing was perfect. Izetbegovic, wearing “a sort of paramilitary outfit, complete with loose khakis, a scarf, and a beret bearing a Bosnian insignia,” demanded that NATO launch strikes against the Bosnian Serbs immediately. Izetbegovic was exclusively “focused on the necessity for immediate NATO bombing, and wary of negotiations … From Pale the Bosnian Serbs accused the Bosnian Muslims of staging the incident to draw NATO into the war,” Holbrooke recalls. Within NATO, experts disagreed, and UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali called for an investigation. “None of this mattered much,“ according to Holbrooke. „“What counted was whether the United States would act decisively and persuade its NATO allies to join in the sort of massive air campaign that we had so often talked about but never even come close to undertaking.“ American experts instantly attributed the massacre to the Serbs. Holbrooke failed to mention that British ammunition experts serving with the UN in Sarajevo said they found no evidence that Bosnian Serbs had fired the lethal mortar round and suspected the Bosnian government army might have been responsible (Hugh McManners, “Serbs ‘Not Guilty’ of Massacre: Experts Warned U.S. that Mortar was Bosnian,” Sunday Times, 1 October 1995, p. 15).
 German NATO General Klaus Naumann, who had helped design the ultimatum, told the BBC, “He really did what we had asked him to do. He withdrew within 48 hours some 6,000 police officers and the military back into the barracks. This was also confirmed by the OSCE verification mission.” On 12 March 2000, the BBC broadcast “Moral Combat: NATO at War,” hosted by Allan Little (Daily Telegraph correspondent and co-author with Laura Silber of The Death of Yugoslavia), first broadcast on BBC2, 12 March 2000).
 The fraud of “Operation Horseshoe” was authoritatively exposed by Brigadier General Heinz Loquai, former German military advisor to the OSCE in Vienna, in his careful study entitled Der Kosovo-Konflikt: Wege in einen vermeidbaren Krieg [The Kosovo Conflict: Ways into an Avoidable War], edited by the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy of the University of Hamburg, Nomos, Baden-Baden, 2000, pp. 138-44.
 Richard Holbrooke’s, To End a War, Random House, New York, 1998. On p. 202, he recounts that it was “Kofi Annan’s strength on the bombing in August” that had “made him the private favorite” of American officials to replace Boutros Boutros-Ghali. “Although the American campaign against Boutros-Ghali, in which all our key allies opposed us, was long and difficult … the decision was correct, and may well have saved America’s role in the United Nations.” The key event was the 30 August 1995 bombing. On p. 99, Holbrooke recounts the eve of that bombing. “In New York, Ambassador Albright continued her vigorous campaign with those United Nations officials she could round up; fortunatel259. The political authority of the United Nations was replaced by the moral authority of a vague entity called the “International Community.”y, Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali was unreachable on a commercial aircraft, so she dealt instead with his best deputy, Kofi Annan, who was in charge of peacekeeping operations. At 11:45 a.m., New York time, came a big break: Annan informed Talbott and Albright th at he had instructed the U.N.’s civilian officials and military commanders to relinquish for a limited period of time their authority to veto air strikes in Bosnia. For the first time in the war, the decision on the air strikes was solely in the hands of NATO – primarily two American officers …” “To sum it up, p. 103: “Annan’s gutsy performance in those twenty-four hours was to play a central role in Washington’s strong support for him a year later as the successor to Boutros Boutros-Ghali as Secretary General of the United Nations. Indeed, in a sense Annan won the job on that day.”
 Thomas Friedman, “A Manifesto For a Fast World”, New York Times Magazine, 28 March 1999. This surprising candor did not mean that the Times editors got the facts straight. Friedman declared complacently: “It’s true that no two countries that both have a McDonald’s have ever fought a war since they each got their McDonald’s. (I call this the Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention.)” In reality, there were several McDonald’s restaurants in Belgrade, enjoying advantageous sites and considerable publicity. This did not deter the United States from bombing Belgrade.