Small Bites 1

The Kosovo War – Contrary to the official story

  1. The Serbs did not start the fighting in Kosovo in 1998. It was a KLA army, boosted by some 2,000 battle-hardened mujahideen provided by Osama Bin Laden,  secretly trained and equipped in Albania by western powers, which crossed the border into Kosovo with the aim of capturing the entire province by force. Initially they had great success. Then the Serbian forces rallied and recaptured much of the lost territory.  
  2. By the autumn the US diplomat Richard Holbrooke had intervened to negotiate a ceasefire. The aim was to halt the Serbs before they defeated the KLA.
  3. Under the agreement President Milosevic committed to withdraw most of the Serbian forces from Kosovo. He kept his promise. But the KLA immediately broke the agreement by reoccupying the land won back by the Serbs. The international community turned a blind eye to this. The Serbs responded by moving forces back into Kosovo. 
  4. The US was now determined to force affairs to a conclusion on its own terms. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright appointed diplomatic fixer William Walker, notorious for his involvement in the Iran contra affair, as Head of the OSCE  monitoring mission in Kosovo. Within weeks of arriving Walker returned Albright’s favour by proclaiming a Serbian massacre of Albanians in the village of Racak. This gave the US the pretext to call all sides to a showdown conference at theRambouillet. 
  5. As Albright’s spokesman Jamie Rubin openly acknowledged to the BBC, the US plan for Rambouillet was – from the start – to present terms that the Kosovo Albanians could sign up to but the Serbs could not. This goal was achieved by sleight of hand once the Kosovo Albanians had been persuaded to sign up. Additional last-minute conditions were added to the demands on the Serbs which, as was generally agreed afterwards when they were made public, could not be acceptable to any sovereign state. When Serbia rejected them, the talks were instantly abandoned and they were immediately threatened with NATO bombing.  
  6. As a defensive alliance set up during the Cold War, NATO had no authority of any kind to intervene in the affairs of Yugoslavia. Nor did it have the formal backing of  the United Nations. The bombing of Serbia was wholly illegal under the UN Charter, a raft of international treaties and NATO’s own Charter. The fact that NATO held a special summit meeting in May 1999 to amend its Charter (The North Atlantic Treaty) to allow it to intervene in humanitarian emergencies shows they were well aware that its bombing of Yugoslavia was an act of unprovoked aggression against a sovereign UN state – the most fundamental breach of the UN Charter.