Lessons in the Bi-Partisanship of Empire
The Real Story Behind Kosovo’s Independence
February 23 / 4, 2008
Beyond the obvious hypocrisy of the US condemnations of Serbia and the sudden admission that international law exists, the Kosovo story is an important one in the context of the current election campaign in the United States. Perhaps more than any other international conflict, Yugoslavia was the defining foreign policy of President Bill Clinton’s time in power. Under his rule, the nation of Yugoslavia was destroyed, dismantled and chopped into ethnically pure para-states. President Bush’s immediate recognition of Kosovo as an independent nation was the icing on the cake of destruction of Yugoslavia and one which was enthusiastically embraced by Hillary Clinton. „I’ve supported the independence of Kosovo because I think it is imperative that in the heart of Europe we continue to promote independence and democracy,“ Clinton said at the recent Democratic debate in Austin, Texas.
On March 24, 1999, President Bill Clinton began an 11-week bombing campaign against Yugoslavia. Like Bush with Iraq, Clinton had no UN mandate (he used NATO) and his so-called „diplomacy“ to avert the possibility of bombing leading up to the attacks was insincere and a set-up from the jump. Just like Bush with Iraq.
A month before the bombing began, the Clinton administration issued an ultimatum to President Slobodan Milosevic, which he had to either accept unconditionally or face bombing. Known as the Rambouillet accord, it was a document that no sovereign country would have accepted. It contained a provision that would have guaranteed US and NATO forces „free and unrestricted passage and unimpeded access throughout“ all of Yugoslavia, not just Kosovo. It also sought to immunize those occupation forces „from any form of arrest, investigation, or detention by the authorities in ,“ as well as grant the occupiers „the use of airports, roads, rails and ports without payment.“ Additionally, Milosevic was told he would have to „grant all telecommunications services, including broadcast services, needed for the Operation, as determined by NATO.“ Similar to Bush’s Iraq plan years later, Rambouillet mandated that the economy of Kosovo „shall function in accordance with free market principles.“
Finding The Albanian Mafia 6-6.
Uncovering Albania’s role in the Kosovo war
After the arrest of a man in Kosovo on war crimes charges this month, the BBC’s Nick Thorpe visits Albania, which is at the centre of the EU-led investigation into torture and murder.
Durres is a popular holiday spot, but is implicated in a dark chapter of history
The Hotel Drenica still graces the sea-front in Durres, on Albania’s Adriatic coast – one of a long line of hotels and restaurants waiting for the summer influx of tourists.
Children take their first dip of the season in the warming sea, while their parents sip coffee and watch them from the terraces, and boys play football on the sand.
Ties to neighbouring Kosovo run deep. Tens of thousands of refugees found shelter here during the war, and local people are proud of their role in helping their ethnic-Albanian brethren in their hour of need.
But the arrest of Sabit Geci in Pristina on 6 May, and an ongoing investigation by the War Crimes Unit of Eulex – the European Union Law and Justice Mission in Kosovo – look set to show the role of Durres in a different light.
We panicked every time they opened the door, wondering who they were going to pick on next
Former prisoner, Kukes detention centre
Mr Geci, 51, stands accused of the torture and killing of ethnic Albanian prisoners of the KLA at a detention facility within a KLA base in the north-east Albanian town of Kukes in 1999. According to investigators, some of the 40 people who were mistreated in Kukes were detained by the KLA in Durres.
There were also Serb prisoners kept in Kukes – apparently kidnapped and smuggled in from across the border, and kept in a separate room.
Lawyers for Mr Geci say he denies all charges, and was receiving medical treatment in Slovenia during the period mentioned by Eulex, April-June 1999.