President Bill Clinton cannot make up his mind. Last year, while under siege during the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal, his administration bombed targets in Sudan and Afghanistan, targeting Osama bin Laden, alleged terrorist ringleader.
Now, in 1999, this president has flip-flopped, supporting bin Laden’s organization by wrecking war-torn Yugoslavia with an unmerciful American-led NATO bombardment of the Serbs. His ignorant stooge, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, has sold NATO a long-term nightmare. This rapidly expanding madness threatens to engulf Europe in a horrific war in which nuclear arsenals could well be used by desperate nations teetering on the edge of apocalyptic oblivion.
Kosovo, the lightning rod, has for centuries been a conduit through which narcotics have flowed from the Middle East into Europe. Populated by Albanians who are mostly Muslim, the Kosovars have long catered to the needs of the bloody Albanian criminal syndicates, whose drug-selling and illegal pyramid financial schemes destroyed the Albanian economy and wiped out what little coherent government existed in the impoverished state in the 1990s. The Yugoslavian Serbs, who are Russian Orthodox Christians, have opposed Muslims for centuries, politically and militarily.
Both sides have been played like fiddles by the ugly narcotics trade. Mafia drug lords, headquartered in Italy, Greece and Turkey, enriched themselves for decades with Albanians doing most of the dirty work. Two world wars, and numerous other smaller-scale conflicts including Vietnam, fed this monstrous trade. Its financial nexus has ended up in the United States, with Bill Clinton gingerly nurturing that black practice, first as Arkansas attorney general and governor, then as leader of the “free world.”
Military leaders in the United States saw this coming. Retired U.S. Army Col. Harry G. Summers wrote in a syndicated column in August of 1998 that, because of American military deployments in Bosnia, and now Kosovo, “we find ourselves championing the very Islamic fundamentalist terrorist groups who are our mortal enemies elsewhere.”
While the U.S. mainstream media demonizes the Serbs and waters down the current conflict by describing it simply as an attempted “liberation” of Kosovo, the foreign press is not so stupid. As early as 1994, French investigators reporting for the European Commission through the counter- narcotics Observataire Geopolitique Des Drogues stated that “heroin shipment and marketing networks are taking root among ethnic Albanian communities in Albania, Macedonia, and the Kosovo province of Serbia in order to finance large purchases of weapons destined not only for the current conflict in Bosnia but also for the brewing war in Kosovo.”
Complicating the issue are activities of the Russian mob, from whose headquarters in the Brighton Beach area of New York has sprung one of the most dangerous drug-dealing organizations in history. Roger Clinton, the president’s younger half-brother who has a history of criminal drug use, has played rock-and-roll engagements in Brighton Beach nightclubs before primarily Russian audiences. The Associated Press even covered one of these concerts, complete with photos.
The desperate Russians have backed the narcotics overlords to some extent, making the current crisis a very sticky issue for Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Naturally, the Russians are kindred spirits with the Serbs historically, but cannot openly oppose NATO because of the drug business, and because infusions of badly needed International Monetary Fund cash would be cut off.
The Albanian resistance army in Kosovo, the KLA, so gallantly defended by NATO, is a criminal syndicate, heavily armed through the business ventures of well-known drug lord Agim Gashi. The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, in Milan, published a story Jan. 19 that Gashi “supplied his brothers in Kosovo with Kalishnokov rifles, bazookas, and hand grenades. He controlled the heroin market, and at least part of the billions he made from it was used to buy weapons for the ‘resistance’ movement of the Albanian Kosovo community.”
Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic knows all too well how the heroin trafficking has locked up Kosovo and Albania and its transshipment points into Italy. In fact, this knowledge is key behind his current strategy.
First, he knows that NATO troops, including thousands of Americans, are already in place and on alert in Bosnia and Macedonia. Instead of knuckling under to NATO missiles and bombs, he is instead doing just the opposite — depopulating Kosovo with lightning speed and forcing a tidal wave of refugees into surrounding nations. It will only be a matter of time before NATO will be forced to take on the vicious Serbs with a bloody ground assault, and that will shatter the NATO alliance. Before he is done, Milosevic will expose the drug business for what it is, and bring some rude realities crashing down around the head of President Clinton. Public outrage over the drug hypocrisy alone will drive Americans against him, where a sex scandal would not.
Andrew B. Spiegel, a Chicago-based attorney with deep knowledge about the Balkans, has compared the United States interest in Kosovo to the American “oil interests” in Kuwait that triggered the Persian Gulf War against Iraq in 1991. Only instead of oil, heroin is the substance at issue.
Spiegel, general counsel to the Pavlovic Peace Delegation, has also stated that CNN reporter Christian Amanpour — whose father is Iranian — has received bribes from Muslim-Arab sources to keep coverage biased against the Serbs, dating back to 1995 when NATO first bombed the Serbs to stop the Bosnian civil war. CNN offers no comment on these allegations, but it is interesting that Amanpour has been strangely silent during this latest war. Maybe the scene is getting a little too hot even for those in power to handle.
One thing is certain: The Serbs have serious firepower and they will fight to the last man, woman, and child. This is not a co-opted Saddam. This is, however, a salient moment in history, and could well mark the beginning of the end of Western civilization.
Gerald A. Carroll is a free-lance journalist and former editor of Media
Bypass magazine. He is also author of “Project Seek: Onassis, Kennedy and
the Gemstone Thesis,” available
online through Amazon. com.