Background Part 2
Once the NATO air attacks began, Yugoslavia took the essential defensive step of moving an army into Kosovo to wipe out KLA terrorist bases and secure the borders against a possible ground attack by NATO. The war between the government and the KLA along with the NATO bombing created an unstable environment in many areas that caused large numbers to flee. About 200,000 Kosovo refugees of all ethnic backgrounds have moved further into Yugoslavia, into either Montenegro or other Serbian provinces.
In some areas, Albanians saw the initiation of NATO bombing as a signal to begin killing their Serb neighbors. Yugoslav security forces and the army responded by forcing them out or incarcerating many for common crimes.
Yugoslav troops were involved in expulsions where they perceived a security threat in the event of invasion or saw an area as heavily compromised with the KLA. The United States had similar motivation in 1941 with the internment of Japanese Americans because of our fears of invasion. It isn't nice, but it happens when war breaks out.
Yugoslav troops may also have targeted Albanians who are "illegal aliens" in the country, who may number around 300,000. These people, born in Albania with no sense of Yugoslav citizenship, have been a major contributor to dissidence in the province. Many of them fled as soon as the bombing started, deciding to return to their homes in Albania. They make up a goodly portion of the "refugees."
The KLA itself played a major role in the flow of refugees, using its armed men to force Albanian Kosovars out of the province and commandeer young men to be trained and used as soldiers. They intimidated Albanian Kosovars into not returing to Kosovo. Like the Bosnian Muslims with whom they have had close ties for years, the KLA has been getting direct assistance from Iran and other Muslim nations, some of which have sent Mujehadeen to the Balkans to fight with them against the Christians.
An estimated half million Albanians never left Kosovo. Many told Western journalists even in recent weeks that they were under no pressure to leave because the KLA has never been active in their areas.
It is worth noting that there were 100,000 Albanians living in Belgrade who were not touched. Nor has Yugoslavia made any effort to "cleanse" the country of more than 350,000 Hungarians and many Ruthenians, Slovaks, Croats, Rumanians, Turks, Gypsies, Macedonians, or other minorities. Yugoslavia has given refuge to 15,000 Croats and Muslims who fled the fighting in Bosnia. These minorities were harmed only by the NATO attacks.
Before the NATO bombing began, Yugoslavia was only 63 percent Serb, the most ethnically diverse state in the former Yugoslavia. All major linguistic groups, including the Albanians, were and are guaranteed instruction in their own language. During World War II, when Serbia was occupied by the Germans, the Serbs refused to cooperate in killing Jews and Gypsies. Orthodox clergymen and ordinary Serb citizens risked their lives to save these people from extermination. Indeed, in the midst of the bombing of their country, many Serbs took to wearing Stars of David.
In attacking Yugoslavia, the U.S. and NATO ignored the United Nations charter and the NATO treaty itself, which justifies war only to defend a NATO member from attack. Only one NATO nation even borders Yugoslavia, the recently admitted Hungary. Since international treaties signed by the United States are considered U.S. laws under our Constitution, some legal experts say that Albright and Clinton have violated the American Constitution as well.
Mr. Clinton also ignored the War Powers Act, which requires that he seek congressional authorization to continue a military conflict more than 60 days. He suggested at one point imposing a naval blockade on Yugoslavia until his own European allies pointed out to him that it is considered an act of war to detain ships of other nations on the high seas.
The petty refusal by Mrs. Albright and Mr. Clinton to suspend the bombings even for the Eastern Orthodox Easter, when we have been sensitive not to bomb the Muslim Iraqis during all of Ramadan, sent a powerful message to Eastern Orthodox Christian nations that we disdain them. Public opinion polls in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Rumania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Greece show overwhelming popular opposition to the NATO attack on Yugoslavia.
The suspicion among many in the world is that Mrs. Albright's real reason for the war was to establish total U.S. hegemony over the Balkans and its land routes to the oilfields of the Middle East and Central Asia. Active Western collusion, initially led by Germany, in the breakup of Yugoslavia has converted Slovenia, Croatia, and the Muslim-Croat Confederation in Bosnia into client states of the U.S., established a NATO military presence with bases in Bosnia, enabled NATO to land troops in Macedonia, and is now enabling NATO to put troops and military bases in Albania. Only Yugoslavia stands in the way of total U.S. domination of the region, which Rambouillet would have achieved. This was part of Mr. Clinton's New World Order.
It has also been pointed out that Kosovo proper is extremely rich in minerals, has some of the largest coal reserves in Europe, and has petroleum reserves potentially as vast as those in the Caspian Sea area. Its minerals may be worth $3 trillion. These facts may explain the very explicit statements in the Rambouillet Accord that the economy of Kosovo had to be organized along economic lines dictated by the U.S., which would open the province up to American investors.
In our propaganda to get rid of Milosevich, we fail to note that he was elected President in an open election in which his own party controls only 35 percent of the seats in the Yugoslav parliament. In the last election, the U. S. preferred him because his principal opponent was considered an ultranationalist. The Yugoslav parliament itself rejected the Rambouillet Accord. The unrest in Kosovo that he has been trying to deal with has existed in various manifestations since at least the 1920s. Milosevich has attacked no neighbors nor engaged in any terrorist activities around the world. He is not manufacturing weapons of mass destruction.
The assistance that Milosevich provided the Serbs of Croatia and Bosnia when Yugoslavia was breaking up must be understood in the context of what was in effect a civil war within Yugoslavia, where Serbs had justifiable reasons to fear a recrudescence of the genocide and ethnic cleansing of the 1940s by Croats and Bosnian Muslims, who massacred more than 600,000 Serbian non-combatants during World War II.
Franjo Tudjman, the current president of Croatia, has resurrected the flag, other national symbols, and even the uniforms and arm bands of the Croatian fascists of World War II. He declared a few years ago that the Jewish Holocaust was a fabrication, and he destroyed all records of the notorious Croatian concentration camp at Jasenovac in Bosnia, where tens of thousand of Jews, Gypsies, and Serbs perished in the 1940s.
In 1995, with the assistance of the CIA and American military advisers, he drove several hundred thousand Serbs from their ancestral homes in Croatia where they had lived since the fifteenth century. The U.S. cooperated in this act of ethnic cleansing.
Alija Izetbegovich, the Muslim fundamentalist leader in Bosnia, helped organize the notorious Muslim Waffen SS "Handzar Division" during World War II. Officered by Germans, the division slaughtered thousands of Bosnian Serb civilians before going off to Russia to fight for the Nazis. When declaring Bosnia's independence from Yugoslavia, he obtained military assistance from Iran and brought in Muslim mujehadeen from the Middle East to fight on his behalf. Tudjman and Izetbegovich have been the U.S.'s friends in the Balkans.
In fact, there are currently more than 700,000 Serb refugees from Croatia and Bosnia living in what is left of Yugoslavia after being driven from homes they had lived in since the fifteenth century or earlier. No Western TV crews filmed their plight or interviewed them about the atrocities they had suffered. No international relief agencies have come to their assistance. Yugoslavia has had to absorb them while under an economic embargo since 1992.