Who and What is the KLA?
The Ushtria Clirimtare e Kosove (UCK) or Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) has several "parents" including the Iranian and Bosnia-Herzegovina governments and several important "midwives-cum-doting aunts", including the United States, Croatian and Turkish govern-ments and a wide range of individuals. The KLA would not be the significant factor it is today in the Kosovo crisis, however, had it not been for the blessing of the United States Clinton Administration, and for the direct and indirect support given to it by the Clinton Administration.
It now seems clear that the US Clinton Administration and the German Government have been actively supporting the KLA since 1992 with weapons, training, intelligence and, most importantly, significant political encouragement. The final turning point in KLA fortunes camewhen US special envoys Richard Holbrooke and Peter Galbraith posed in 1998 for pictures with the KLA leadership, thereby cementing the endorsement.
Ironically, the KLA has its origins in the stalinist/leninist/maoist Albanian Party of Labor of the late Albanian leader Enver Hoxha. Today, although clearly of a mao-ist bent its leader, Adem Demaci, uses the maoist clenched fist salute constantly it also uses the appeals of nationalism and religion to win converts among the Kosovar Albanians. Gradually, following the end of the stalinist era in Albania in 1992, the KLA, by now mainly operating out of Germany and among the expatriate Albanian Kosovars, as well as inside Albania, began drifting more toward becoming a purely criminal organization, almost totally preoccupied with narcotics trafficking and extortion to sustain itself. Not much has changed since then, apart from the addition to the KLAs persona of political-military support from the Iranian Government and then from the US and German governments.
"In the Fall of 1997, the uppermost leadership in Tehran ordered the IRGC [Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps; the Pasdaran] High Command to launch a major program for shipping large quanti-ties of weapons and other military supplies to the Albanian clandestine organizations in Kosovo." "... By early December 1997, Iranian intelligence had already delivered the first shipments of hand grenades, machine-guns, assault rifles, night vision equipment, and communications gear from stockpiles in Albania to Kosovo. ... the Iranians began sending promising Albanian and UCK commanders for advanced training in [Iranian-controlled] al-Quds forces and IRGC camps in Iran. Meanwhile, weapons shipments continue. Thus Tehran is well on its way to establishing a bridgehead in Kosovo." The report detailed the KLAs ments for men and equipment, and outlined the KLAs proposed theaters of op-erations. [The full text of the report is available on the Defense & Foreign Affairs website at www.strategicstudies.org]
The report further went on to say that the KLAs radical wing was considering mthe assassination of the leader of the moderate Democratic League of Kosovo (DLK), Dr Ibrahim Rugova, and Fehmi Agani, the DLK deputy chairman, and blaming Belgrade for the killings. Dr Rugova, however, escaped assassination and remained in Yugoslavia to help negotiate a peaceful solution to the Kosovo crisis. Even after the NATO bombings began on March 24, 1999, he remained in
Yugoslavia to help negotiate an end to the crisis, a move which has led KLA sources to "leak" to the media the fact that Dr. Rugova was, in fact, "a virtual prisoner" of the Yugoslav Government, something which Dr Rugovas visibility in the Yugo-slav media should have dispelled. Dr Rugovas position, however, is not one which the US Clinton Administration wishes to hear.
The US committed itself to the KLA, and therefore to trying to break off Kosovo with its 20 ethnic groups, not just the Kosovar Albanians into a separate state. So the thought that Dr Rugova was "a virtual prisoner" remained in the media interpretation, blessed by the Clinton White House. Either because of political commitment, or to simplify the publics perceptions, the Clinton Administration has promoted the view that the KLA represents those Kosovo residents of Albanian origin. Clearly, the KLA does not. The KLA has for some years based its revenue collection on extorting money from expatriate Kosovars under the threat of assassination of their relatives at home, and on drug trafficking and violence aimed largely at the Kosovo people themselves.
The KLA is the principal proponent of the "greater Albania" philosophy, under which the organization first hopes to achieve an independent Kosovo under its control and then to use that base to take over Albania itself, given that Albania is currently in a virtual state of anarchy. Before that stage is reached, however, the swelling Albanian minority in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYRM) would be targeted for either complete takeover or for the "Albanian part" to be targeted for "independence". These are objectives which the KLA does not bother to hide. However, the German and US administrations have chosen to ignore these objectives, and the ongoing criminal activities of the organization.
As noted, the KLA, supported since 1992 by the US and Iran who are, in fact, strategic opponents, given the Iranian clerical administrations structural incompatibility with the West received much support and training from the radical Muslim leadership of Bosnia-Herze-govina, under President Alija Izetbegovic. It may be a matter of some significance that during 1992, before William Clinton became US President, he signed, as Governor of the US State of Arkansas, an "initiative" with the "Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina". In response, the Bosnians "pronounce[d] the month of April 1992 as The Month of Bosnia-Berzegovina and Arkansas". The Official Gazette of the Bosnians, in February 1992, published the following item, dated February 15, 1992: "On acceptance of the initiative of the governor of the state of Arkansas, on establishment of close cooperation with the Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina: The initiative of the governor of the state of Arkansas on establishment of close cooperation between the Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the field of culture, education, economy, science and other forms of cooperation is hereby accepted." The implications for the KLA are apparent in this closeness.
Ironically, the KLAs head of Úlite forces, Muhammed al-Zawahiri, is the brother of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the military commander for Saudi-born terrorist leader, Osama bin Laden. The US Clinton Administration has, of course, declared bin Laden "public enemy number one" for his alleged involvement in the bombing of the two US embassies in East Africa in 1998. And Ayman al-Zawahiri has been implicated in the assassination attempt in 1995 against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Little wonder that numerous US policy analysts, even those who are hostile to Yugoslavia as a basic stance, are extremely uncomfortable with the Clinton Admin-istrations close ties with the KLA. There is no doubt that the involvement of the two brothers al-Zawahiri in the two movements is not coincidental.
Ben Works, director of the Strategic Research Institute of the US, noted: "Theres no doubt that bin Ladens people have been in Kosovo helping to arm, equip and train the KLA. ... [T]he [US] Administrations policy in Kosovo is to help bin Laden. It almost seems as if the Clinton Administrations policy is to guarantee more terrorism."
And yet this is the group favored by the Clinton Administration (and as a result by the Blair Administration in the UK) over the moderate Kosovo Albanian leaders who have always sought to create a situation in which Yugoslavs of Albanian origin could live, pray and work in harmony alongside the other 25 Yugoslav nationalities. Indeed, Clinton and Blair deliberately overturned a workable agreement signed by all Yugoslav parties in Kosovo so that the KLA-written "Rambouillet Accords" could be served up as an ultimatum to the Yugoslav Government.
2. "RACAK MASSACRE"
Werent the bodies of the Albanians killed in combat by the Serb police gathered into the ditch to create a horror scene which was sure to have an appalling effect on public opinion?"