By Michel Collon
What is left of the explanations of NATO ?
A sinister repetition? After the Albanian separatists of the KLA have attacked the villages of the Presevo valley in Serbia, after they have killed 11 Serbian civilians of Kosovo by throwing a bomb in a bus, they are waging now war in neighbouring Macedonia. And again refugees are on the roads. Is there a new escalation in the Balkans? In fact, these events allow to better understand what happened in 1999. In this complex situation (because everything is done to disorientate the public opinion), let us answer clearly to the main questions.
1. Is Macedonia a strategic region ?
Yes, as we have explained in our book Monopoly by citing the general Jackson, commander of the NATO troops: "We will certainly stay here for a long time in order to guarantee the safety of the energy corridors which cross Macedonia". (1)
`Energy corridors` ?
We had presented the maps showing the projects of Europe (a whole net of oil and gas pipe-lines connecting Europe via the Balkans to the huge oil and gas resources of the former soviet Caucasus) and the ones of the US (a pipe-line Bulgaria-Macedonia-Albania-Adriatic which would give to the US oil multinationals the control of this road of oil and gas). These projects are in fact rival. This is why all the great powers attempt for ten years to control Yugoslavia. The road of oil and gas passes by. We had also stressed that as soon as 1992 it is in Macedonia - however very far away from the conflicts zones - and nowhere else that Washington had decided to send a division. We have to be frank: even in the left circles, some peoples found exaggerated to suspect Washington to have so dark projects. But very recently, the respectable British newspaper Guardian confirmed: "A project called the Trans-Balkan pipeline has been little-reported in any British, European or American newspaper. The line will run from the Black sea port of Burgas to the Adriatic at Vlore, passing through Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania. It is likely become the main route to the west for the oil and gas now being extracted in central Asia. It will carry 750,000 barrels a day. The project is necessary, according to a paper published by the US Trade and Development Agency, because it will "provide a consistent source of crude oil to American refineries", "provide American companies with a key role in developing the vital east-west corridor", and "advance the privatisation aspirations of the US government in the region".(2)
Clear, isn`t it ?
Moreover, Bill Richardson, the former US energy secretary, declared in 1998, that is before the war: "This is about America`s energy security". When the US speak about `energy security`, one must know what it means: to preserve the world domination and the profits of their oil multinationals. And Richardson continues: "We would like these newly independent countries reliant on Western commercial and political interests rather than going another way. We`ve made a substantial political investment in the Caspian, and it`s very important to us that both the pipeline map and the politics come out right." (3)
And The Guardian adds this essential comment: "On December 9, 98 (before the war), the president of Albania attended a meeting on this subject in Sofia: "According to my personal opinion, no solution which will stay strictly inside of the Serbian borders will bring a sustainable peace." The message could hardly be clearer: if you want the agreement of the Albanians for the Trans-Balkans pipeline, you have to take the Kosovo away from the Serbs".(4)
2. Is the offensive of the KLA a surprise?
The US made thus a pact with the devil. Because many US diplomatic reports testified it: the separatist KLA murdered not only Serbian policemen or civilians, but also Albanians married with Serbs or simply accepting to live in the Yugoslav state. And the special envoy of Washington in the Balkans, Robert Gelbard, had himself claimed three times in front of the international press, at the beginning of 1998: "I tell you that these KLA peoples are terrorists". But three months later, these terrorists were turned by miracle into `freedom fighters` and NATO will soon become their air force. Today the US simulate surprise faced to the "extremist violence" (5) which attacks Macedonia. It is hypocrisy! As soon as June 98, the KLA distributed among its European sympathisers a map of `Great Albania`. In our book Monopoly (p.69), we reproduced this map and made the following comment: "In addition to Kosovo, which is part of Serbia, this great Albania would remove large territories in Macedonia, Montenegro and Greece. Wars are unavoidable if the KLA is allowed to realize its plans".
This Greater Albania implies not only expansionism but also ethnic cleansing. Today, under the eyes and with the tacit agreement of NATO, 350,000 not-Albanians have already been expelled from Kosovo: Serbs but also Gypsies, Gorani, Turks etc.. Kosovo is almost `clean`.
A surprise? Not really, since, on July 12, 1982 already, the New York Times interviewed a Yugoslav official in Kosovo, a man of Albanian ancestry, who aid: "`The [Albanian] nationalists have a two-point platform...first to establish what they call an ethnically clean Albanian republic and then the merger with Albania to form a greater Albania." Besides, during the anti-Yugoslav insurgency of 1981, the Albanian nationalists had already established a close collaboration between their units in Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro. All this didn`t prevent the influential US Senator Joseph Lieberman to declare in April 99: "[The] United States of America and the Kosovo Liberation Army stand for the same human values and principles... Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values."(6).In other words, the US and the KLA share the same fight. Besides, anybody who travels through Kosovo can see everywhere, for example in the petrol stations, the Albanian and US flags closely associated.
3. Does the version of NATO still make any sense ?
What did NATO tell us to justify its murderous bombings?
1. That its war was humanitarian. Wrong: it was for oil and to break an economy which resisted to the Western multinationals and to the IMF.
2. That it had tried everything to find a negotiated solution. Also wrong: we now know that there was never any negotiation; Rambouillet was only a comedy to justify a war which had already been decided.
3. That it was a clean war. Wrong again: 2.000 Yugoslav civilians killed, a huge number of factories and infrastructures destroyed, the use of forbidden and criminal weapons: cluster bombs, depleted uranium. General Mangum just wrote in the very official journal of the Army War College: " The high-altitude bombing did very little damage to the Serb military. It was only after NATO began deliberately attacking civilian targets that the Serbs sued
for peace." (7)
Now what was left of the official version also collapses.
We were told: `The problems of Kosovo are caused by Milosevic`. The situation is not better with Kostunica and a government which is subjected to the West ! By the way, the Time confess: "Remember Kosovo? According to Clinton administration spin during the 1999 bombing campaign, NATO was rallying to the defense of helpless ethnic Albanians and their brave champions in the Kosovo Liberation Army who were fighting a David-vs.-Goliath struggle against Belgrade`s genocidal army.
Well, guess what? Not only has NATO now declared armed Albanian nationalists of the KLA stripe to be the primary security problem in the region, the Western alliance is also considering asking the selfsame Yugoslav army to help NATO troops police the border between Kosovo and the neighboring former Yugoslavian republic of Macedonia. Once Yugoslavia had elected a president with whom the West could do business, prospects for winning NATO support for formal independence for Kosovo dimmed even further." (8)
So, you may say white today, and black tomorrow if this useful for "business". Who will dare to come and speak to us about a humanitarian war, newt time?
We were told that the intervention was necessary to stop a Serbian genocide and to establish a multi-ethnic Kosovo. But the German general Heinz Loquai has demonstrated that the so-called `horse-shoe plan` document presented by the German minister Scharping was fake, that the genocide was a lie of the media and he just qualified the war as `unjustified`, and accused NATO to have caused two humanitarian catastrophes: a massive exodus of the Albanians and then another exodus of the Serbs. And the general Michael Rose, who commanded the UN forces in Bosnia, reproaches NATO "to have introduced a culture of violence". (9)
Finally, in order to find some excuse for the current ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, the supporters of NATO and KLA have pretended that it was `revenge acts for what the Serbs had done`. And now, in Macedonia, where nothing happened, under which pretext should one justify the aggression of the KLA? It is time to acknowledge the only possible explanation: the KLA aims to establish an ethnically clean state and can only realise this program by the escalation of hatred and by terrorism.
4. Does Washington play a double game?
The United States make as if they were indignant at the current violences of the KLA. But we must point out several things:
1. They didn`t move a finger when the KLA went out from Kosovo to attack the region of Presevo in Central Serbia. Worse: the infiltration occurred from the US occupation zone in Kosovo.
2. Washington and the NATO pretend today "to try to stop the flux of weapons and fighters towards southern Serbia and Macedonia".(10)
But anybody who goes to Kosovo can observe roadblocks and check-points of the KFOR every five kilometers. But the same KFOR is working with interprets and other collaborators coming from the KLA, which besides was transformed by KFOR into the very official `Kosovo Protection Corps`. So, the ones who don`t look for the weapons of the KLA will not find them. Moreover, the major Jim Marshall, spokesman of the US KFOR, declared on March, 6: "We have identified between 75 and 150 rebels in Tanusevci (Macedonia), we saw them enter and go out from Kosovo, and get rid of their equipments and weapons before to cross the border."
A little stupid question: what did prevent you to arrest them? 45,000 NATO soldiers are occupying Kosovo and can not arrest 150 terrorists? Can not or don`t want to?
On March, 11, in the British newspaper Observer, several European high officers of KFOR and also several Macedonian officials accused explicitly the CIA to have encouraged the KLA to start its summer offensive in the South of Serbia in order to undermine the former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic. Today, who could guarantee that these encouragements have stopped?
5. Will the KLA start a new war ?
What will happen?
The current fights around Tanusevce could well be the prelude of more important clashes. For example, to take control of Tetovo, five kilometers away from the Kosovo border. In any case, one thing is clear: the KLA, which lost the elections last year, - because the large majority of the Albanians in Kosovo don`t want to live in a permanent state of war - can only regain ground by using violence. Including in Macedonia where it pretends to defend the rights of the Albanian minority, but one often forgets to remind that, for years, every government of this country has been made of a coalition with Albanian parties. To take power, and thus increase the range of its mafia - like traffics, necessitates war. The tactics of the KLA is thus clear: to cause an escalation by provoking the Macedonian and the Yugoslavian armies. Hoping that the later will attack Albanian civilians as was done by some Serbian forces during the first days of the NATO bombings.
That will allow to reach two goals:
1. To internationalise the conflict (we will come back to it later).
2. To enrol new recruits in an Albanian youth which has been fanatised by nationalism. In spite of the development of many little traffics more or less legal, the Albanian community of Macedonia has an unemployment rate of 60%; it is a potential where to recruit.
To get this escalation, the KLA will probably use again a method which has already been put in practice. As a French observer of the OSCE explained it in Kosovo in 1998: "Inside the OSCE, everybody knew that NATO, in particular the US, didn`t want our mission (of pacification) to succeed. The massacres have been encouraged to justify a military intervention. One day we got a message. We were told that Albanian fighters had been trained by American instructors. They were explained that it was more strategic to kill Serbian policemen to provoke important retaliations against the Albanian community." (11)
As in Bosnia and in Kosovo there can be some time before that this tactics ends up in more important clashes. An important step would be done by provoking the equivalent of the `Racak massacre`. In January 99, in this village of Kosovo that it had fortified, the KLA had provoked, and lost, a fight between the two armies. But it made believe that the victims were civilians coldly massacred by the Yugoslav army. With the help of the CIA, one made believe this media-lie in the international media and this allow to condition the Western public opinion to make it accept a war decided for a long time by the US. Each war of today is preceded by such a big media-lie, with shocking pictures.
6. What are the US really looking for?
But to do again the `Racak trick` would necessitate a complicity of the US to lead the Western media. If this would happen, that would certainly be the sign that the US superpower would be preparing a new intervention.
One can oppose two objections to this hypothesis: First the US are qualifying today the KLA as `extremist forces` and condemn their actions, at least in words. Answer: at the beginning of 98 also, they qualified the KLA as `terrorists`, as we have seen, but that didn`t prevent them to support unconditionally the KLA a few months later. If there is one principle to remember in the action of the US for ten years, it is that there are no principles! One can also ask why would the US intervene although they seem to control the region and have installed there their military bases ? Of course one doesn`t know yet all the aspects of their current tactics. It may be that behind the scene they push the KLA to create again some tension in order to help the US troops to occupy the whole region. As soon as the first incidents in the Presevo valley occurred, Washington had generously proposed to station US troops in Serbia proper. One must also remind that during the so-called `negotiations` in Rambouillet before the war, Madeleine Albright had required that NATO will be allowed to occupy militarily the whole Yugoslavia. It may also be that new Bush administration has not yet decided which is the best tactic to protect the US interests in the Balkans, that it prefers to play for some time with both sides and that the tactic of the KLA was precisely to force it to take a decision or to act quicker. In both cases, one thing is sure: the US are not there to defend peace or protect any people of the Balkans. They are there to reign. And to reign you have to divide, as we know, and to divide the best solution is a war, or at least a so-called `low intensity` war, a situation of `neither war nor peace` with irregular clashes.
Isn`t it the best way to justify the installation of US military bases in the Balkans ? Of course, the candidate George Bush had said that he wanted to move the US troops out of Kosovo. But the president George Bush rapidly forgot these electoral promises. Lets remind that in 1995 the candidate Bill Clinton had promised that the US troops would have left Bosnia by Christmas. Immediately afterwards, the commander of the UN troops in Bosnia, the general MacKenzie, answered to a parliamentary commission: "If I were you, I`d start training your grandchildren as Bosnia peacekeepers." (12)
Whether it wants to force Bush to intervene or acts in collaboration with him, the goal of the KLA is in any case to internationalise again the conflict, as did the Muslims of Izetbegovic in Bosnia from 1992 and the KLA itself in Kosovo in 1998. By attacking almost at the same time Macedonia and the South of Serbia, by denouncing in racist terms any Slav presence on their territories, the leaders of the KLA aim at provoking a reaction of Macedonia and Yugoslavia, but also of Greece, close to the Serbs. And, as an indirect result, a retaliation of their own allies: Albania and Turkey. That is an internationalisation of the conflict which would force Washington to choose between its allies and, as the KLA hopes, to definitely choose the Albanian side.
7. Will Washington still be able to play on both sides?
To understand the situation of the US, it is important to understand that they systematically play on several sides at the same time. To support and to manipulate discretely two adversaries - and even train them militarily - does not embarrass them at all. For example, we can read in the British Daily Telegraph of March 3: "The private company of security which is the most appreciated by the US government has trained both sides of the last ethnic conflict in the Balkans. Only two years ago the Albanian rebels of Kosovo were trained by the society `Military Professional Resources` based in Virginia... One of the recent task of this society was the training of the Macedonian army which is now shooting on the Albanian guerrilla." One should not underestimate the role in the US military system of the private companies and militia, led by former high officers. Already in Bosnia, they had trained and led the Muslim militia of the president Izetbegovic before that the US could openly intervene. And in Croatia they helped the president Tudjman to realise the bloody ethnic cleansing of the Serbian Krajina in august 95 (13). History repeats itself. Having played in several sides, the US can be for a moment in a difficult situation. From one side, they continue to use the KLA to get more concessions from Serbia: the complete privatisation and the elimination of the main opposition party, the SPS (by sending its president Milosevic to the Court of the Hague). But on the other hand, if they let the KLA going too far, they will have troubles with precious allies:
1. The Macedonian government
2. Greece (also threatened by the demands of the KLA)
3. The Yugoslav president Kostunica.
The Macedonian government has not much autonomy and one says that Washington could impose it what it wants, including a federal state, prelude to a splitting. Moreover, the Macedonian leaders are very weakened by various scandals, which have revealed their links with the US. The left opposition claims to be more independent, but its main candidate was put aside by terror during the last elections.
Macedonia, a too weak and unstable ally for Washington ?
On the other hand, the Greek leaders are important pawns in the NATO strategy of Washington. But the Greek people is strongly against NATO, the influence of the communist party is important and very recently one third of the Greek soldiers have required and obtained to be moved out from Kosovo to escape the dangers of depleted uranium. Finally by playing too openly with the card of the KLA, the US would strongly endangered the president Kostunica, who was elected with an ambiguous profile - anti-NATO and pro-West - and who can not present to his opinion any positive result about Kosovo, to the contrary. To allow him to make come again some Yugoslav troops to watch the border is maybe a small concession to give some more credit to Kostunica and to somehow balance the two `friends` of the US. But the reason can also be simply to avoid that US soldiers would be in first line and risk to come back to the US in body-bags, which is always embarrassing for the US opinion. And, in a more machiavellian way, that would start again clashes between Serbs and Albanians.
What if Washington drops the KLA and reverses its alliance?
Then it could be that its German `ally` -but also rival- supports again secretly the KLA as it did at the beginning 98 (14). Which also explains that the KLA has interest to make even more provocations. The rivalry between Western great powers is thus another factor which increases the risks of war. Many European politicians had already accused the US to be guilty of having uselessly prolonged the war in Bosnia in order to eliminate their German competitor which had got a too good position. (15)
Reverse the alliance? One has already seen everything in this respect from the US, for example between Iran, Iraq and Syria. But their goal is to establish in the Balkans a `plane-carrier` state, like Israel in the Middle-East. For this, an obvious choice is still an Albanian state which would owe everything to Washington. However, the European powers refuse a change of the borders in the Balkans. This would cause new wars and destabilise the projects of `corridors` described above. One thing is sure: the intervention of NATO for some hidden interests didn`t bring and will not bring peace.
8. Do they really ask themselves if they have created a monster?
It is again in The Guardian that one could read, on March 12, a surprising question: `Did we create a monster ?`. Their special correspondent in Pristina reports: "The West is stunned. Balkan nightmares were supposed to have ended with the fall of Slobodan Milosevic. But now Albanian nationalist militants are stirring ethnic rivalries in a quest for a greater Kosovo. The liberated victims have become the villains. In Washington and London, and in the offices of NATO and UN in Pristina, a question is dominating: did we create a monster?" The correspondent of the Guardian led a quite vast investigation with the staff of UN and KFOR and concludes: "The failure of KFOR to disarm the KLA, protect the Serb minority and build a multi-ethnic society has created a climate in which extremists flourish. For almost a year it ignored intellectuals who urged a crackdown on KLA members who seized assets and set up criminal networks. "Now it`s too late, the moderates won the election, but those who smuggle and run the rackets have the real power," one officer serving there admits." Disastrous result, and one understands that the former governor of Kosovo, Bernard Kouchner, had quickly left the ship before that his self-satisfied TV statements have been refuted. Because what The Guardian reports is true.
I was myself in Kosovo last December to make there a documentary movie "The damned of Kosovo" (which will be ready next May). I discovered there a hell for the Serbs and all non - Albanian minorities. Most of them have been expelled from Kosovo: ethnic cleansing. The ones who have stayed live in terror. To speak its own language in public constitutes a mortal danger. Also to go on highways in non-Serbian zones. But the terror strikes also a number of Albanians. KLA mafiosi kill Albanians also. To take houses, companies or women. And many of the Albanian with who I was talking, predicted a civil war - between Albanians - in two or three years time.
Quickly The Guardian mentions the theory of `the mistake`: The West would `have misunderstood the danger of Albanian nationalism`.
Of which `West` are we talking here? If it is the public, it is indeed true that it didn`t understand because one hided to it carefully the truth. When some analysts explained that the program of the KLA was the ethnic cleansing, they were almost excluded of the media or even considered as evils. But if one speaks about the leaders of this `West` - the White House, Tony Blair, Solana and Robertson, the CIA - they knew of course for a long time because their own reports considered the KLA as `terrorists`.
In Kosovo, we have also seen that one has to distinguish between a number of honest Western aid workers and militaries, and their high-level officials. The former went to Kosovo with prejudices but also with good will. The later havebeen sent to Kosovo to hide this truth, to hide the secret goals of the US and their allies and to lie. It is certainly in the first category that one must put Eric Torch, a UN aid worker cited by The Guardian: "Albanians trace their lineage to the Illyrans who controlled the territory in the 11th century BC. Underground schools during Milosevic`s rule inculcated ethnic hatred into generations."
Yes, you have read correctly: `during Milosevic`s rule`. This confirms what have said some unconventional analysts: these parallel Albanian schools, organized by the party of Rugova and financed by the US taught racist anti-Serbian conceptions. It was wrong to say that the responsibility of the conflict was entirely on the side of the Serbs. Pushed by the US, the Albanian leaders of Kosovo refused to negotiate seriously, they wanted only independence and taught the hatred to achieve it.
9. Which role will play the rivalry US -EU?
One can not understand the attitude of the US in these events without replacing it in the context of their world strategy. One of the key-men of the new Bush administration is called Wolfowitz.
In our book Liar`s Poker we made comments about his shock-report of March 92: "The status of unique super-power of the US must be preserved by a constructive behaviour and a sufficient military force to dissuade any nation or group of nations to challenge the supremacy of the US. We must act in order to prevent the appearance of a security system exclusively European which could destabilise NATO" (16).
The US military budget began to blow up under Clinton and this will continue under Bush. Three potential rivals at more or less long term are today the potential targets of this dangerous strategy: the European Union, Russia, China. The embassy of the later was bombed as a warning. It is considered by the CIA as risking to overtake around 2015-2030 the power of the US. Concerning Russia, the new US State secretary, Colin Powell, declared that the objections of Moscow would not prevent the expansion of NATO to the East or the militarisation of space by the so-called `anti-missiles shield` (NMD). His colleague Condoleezza Rice declared that she sincerely "believes that Russia is a threat for the West" (17).
And the Defence secretary Rumsfeld attacked Russia for "its `active proliferation of missiles` to countries like Iran, Korea or India". (18) Concerning Europe, Rumsfeld warned against any autonomous European intervention force which would perturb the transatlantic relation during the conference of Munich about global safety, beginning of February. Answer of the German minister Joskha Fisher: the new Bush administration wants to restart a new arms race. His colleague Scharping expressed sympathy for the Russian views about NMD. Germany has, like France, condemned the US bombings against Iraq. Moreover, the ambition of the US to dictate their will to the whole world is currently braked by several points of resistance that they don`t succeed to eliminate. Iraq still resists, as well as the Palestinians. The US intervention in Colombia could transform itself into a new Vietnam. The communist guerrilla in Nepal worries the American experts. Some of them think that it is time to find a solution in the Balkans and to focus on other operations. All this on a background of growing commercial rivalries and crisis which could only worsen the tension USA-Europe.
The game that these powers are playing in the Balkans for ten years, each of them trying to get the biggest part of the cake, this game will continue to cause damages to the peoples of the region. When the elephants fight each other, it is the grass which is smashed. And after all the gifts that the US have given to reward the terrorism of the KLA, one can expect that this example will be contagious for some fractions of the Albanian community in Macedonia and Montenegro or for other secessionist movements in the world. One will use provocations and terrorism to try to present oneself as `victims`. The mistrust between US and Europe about Kosovo increased when the candidate Bush threatened to move out the US troops from the Balkans, letting the Europeans alone in what one is forced to call a mess. Since then, many European officials criticize -privately- the support of the US to the terrorists of KLA.
An expert of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI) has just declared: "The Dayton process is dead. The whole system needs to be renegotiated. But no-one wants to open the Pandora`s box by calling it into question, risking poisoning the situation on the ground. If for example, the Kosovo Albanians were appeased with a state of their own, it would trigger a domino effect that would see Serbia`s junior partner in the rump Yugoslavia, Montenegro, as well as Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian Croats all renewing their own independence claims. For some time it appeared the Americans were prepared to look at changing borders. I think that cannot happen now, and if they did try it they would be opposed by Europe." (19)
What will be the outcome?
In fact, Bush has four options:
1. to redraw his troops. That would have strongly embarrassed the Europeans. It is now not possible anymore, especially with the depleted uranium scandal.
2. to reverse the alliance and to support the Serbia of Kostunica. But the US troops could become the targets of the KLA. And one is not sure that Serbia will be a reliable partner for the long term. The spirit of popular resistance is still alive there.
3. to support both sides by using a strategy of tension.
4. to maintain the support to the KLA to create an Albanian `Israel-like` state while hiding its game as long as possible.
No one of the options is moral, we have seen that this criteria is never relevant. But to realize their strategic long-term goals, the US can well resort to changing and contradictory tactics.
For now a combination of the options 3 and 4 seems the most likely to us. But maybe the US have not decided yet and they are waiting to see the most favourable according to the reactions of their `friends`?
In any case, the tactics being changing, some docile media would have some trouble to explain to the peoples that the good guys are not good anymore and that the bad guys are on the other side. Let`s hope that these troubles will cause a deep reflexion. If one doesn`t understand the economic interests at stake, and first, the ones of the multinationals looking for new markets, working forces and raw materials, it is impossible to understand all these wars.
10. Is Kostunica in a trap ?
The president Kostunica has been elected by defending an ambiguous position: on one hand, he denounces the war of NATO, the occupation of Kosovo and the interference of the US; on the other hand, he promises the reconciliation with this very same West and an economic improvement thanks to Western aid. Till now the least one can say is that he wasn`t rewarded concerning Kosovo. On March 6, he declared: "The representatives of the international community in Kosovo are facing failure, because they did not provide stability and peace, and the crisis spilled over into Macedonia. Kfor is dealing with its own security, and not with the security of those because of whom it is here." (20) Kostunica also accused KFOR of "stimulating instead of curbing the aspirations of a Greater Albania. KFOR is abandoning protection of the border and is inviting our army to be in the crossfire" (21) He also expressed hope that the policy of the new U.S. administration would be marked by "a high level of non-interference in the problems of other states". (22) The paradox is that two days after having warned so clearly against NATO and the interference of the US , the same Kostunica added that "he did not rule out Yugoslavia becoming a formal alliance partner one day."(23) A NATO which is however the most obvious tool of the interference spirit of the US! In the same declaration, the Yugoslav president declared himself disappointed: "When I came to office, I did not expect the situation in the country to be quite so difficult; it is discouraging," citing security and constitutional problems as well as 40 percent unemployment and 800,000 refugees. Surprising declaration as the 800,000 refugees (expelled from Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo) are living in Serbia for years. Concerning the unemployed, did he lead his electoral campaign by ignoring that the Western embargo and the state of the economy had such consequences? And by not reading the program of the economists of his own electoral coalition which foresaw privatisations and massive dismissals ?
How to interpret these contradictory statements?
In fact, as expected, the material situation of the Serbian population has still worsened with the Djindjic government. If the salaries of the university professors have been doubled, the ones of the workers have only increased by 25% to 50%, and it is completely insufficient to face the huge increases of the prices. The cubic meter of gas has gone from three up to twelve dinars, the kilo of sausages from 150 up to 300 dinars, the electricity bill of a household has increased from 150 or 200 dinars a month to 500 dinars! The electricity company of Belgrade indicates that 130,000 households of the city have a very important debt: more than 30,000 dinars! And the price of petrol also increases, all the more that the new government took control of all the oil sector in order to eliminate the black market of petrol (cheaper). As expected, the honeymoon didn`t last. If the president Kostunica is not considered as personally responsible for all this, the rate of discontent towards the new government of Zoran Djindjic on the other hand has already gone up to 60%: "He doesn`t do anything for the people. Even during the war, we had always had electricity, but with the `great democracy`, the cuts last for four hours during the day, three hours at night" is it told everywhere. And many judge that elections are unavoidable in 12 or 18 months time. The heterogeneous coalition of 18 parties should split quite soon. It is why one must dismiss Milosevic and eliminate the risk of a come back of the socialist party, even if this party has not yet gone up in the polls.
Which evolution is to foresee inside Yugoslavia?
The professors that are not from the universities are on a prolonged strike. Many strikes occur also in the industry, only broken by threats of collective dismissals. This didn`t prevent the new left trade-union `Solidarity` to get at the car factory Zastava an additional increase of salary of 25%. On the other hand, the minority trade-union of government tendency had refused to join the strike. `Solidarity` has announced the publication of a monthly newspaper and the next months should see it increasing its influence.
Did Kostunica fall in a trap of the West? Was he expecting to get more support in the question of Kosovo and for the economy?
Till now he just got alms and the US make the other credits depend on the extradition of Milosevic. What Kostunica can not do otherwise he would contradict himself and commit a political suicide. Thus, the US finance a new campaign of OTPOR to criminalize Milosevic. The US, which, for fifty years, have supported, financed and armed all the far-right and military dictatorships in the world, these US which have protected the crimes of Pinochet, Mobutu, Franco, Salazar, the Greek colonels and the Turkish fascist generals, these US pretend to judge just one former head of state, precisely one who has resisted to them? The US deserve the Oscar of hypocrisy.
In a world marked by a looming economic crisis, by an increase of the wars and a frightening increase of the military budgets, it is important to fully draw the lessons of Kosovo and of the current situation.
1. There are no `humanitarian` wars, only economic and strategic wars.
2. The US and NATO are not searching to solve the problems but to dominate the world. Thus they create or excite the problems when it is useful for them
3. The military intervention against Yugoslavia and in favour of the KLA has worsened everything.
4. It is not `by mistake` that Washington supported the KLA, but consciously. It is urgent to reinforce or to recreate a powerful peace movement on a grass-root level. The only way to get there is to work with patience in establishing the dialog between the peoples, who are all victims of this strategy of `dividing to conquer`. And for this, to debate of the results of this war and of the real strategies of the great powers is the fundamental condition. The struggle for peace begins with a lucid analysis.
12th of March 2001
(1) Michel Collon, Monopoly - L`Otan à la Conquàªte du monde, EPO,
march 2000, p. 96. (English edition prepared)
(2) The Guardian, February 15, 2001.
(5) AFP-Skopje, March 6, 2001.
(6) Washington Post, April 28, 1999.
(7) Pittsburgh Gazette, March 11, 2001.
(8) Time, 8 mars 2001
(9) Both cited in Kan Anders-Vredeskoerier (Holland), march 2001.
(10) Declaration of Robertson (NATO), AP, March 6.
(11) L`Humanità©, November 18, 1999
(12) Pittsburgh Gazette, March 11, 2001
(13) Michel Collon, Poker menteur, EPO, 1998, p. 191. (Soon
published in English version)
(14) See Monopoly, pp. 70-71.
(15) The European mediator in Bosnia, David Owen, cited in Michel
Collon, Poker menteur, EPO, 1998, p. 182.
(16) Michel Collon, Poker menteur, p. 116.
(17) Le Figaro, February 10, 2001.
(18) PBS, February 14, 2001.
(19) AFP - Paris, March 8, 2001.
(20) BBC, March 6.
(21) Reuters - Skopje, March 8, 2001.
(22) BBC, March 6.
(23) Reuters - London, March 8, 2001