A year ago today, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization began an
11-week bombing campaign against Yugoslavia to “save Kosovo.”
Today, Kosovo is in chaos.
The tensions between ethnic Albanians and Serbs that have frequently
led to bloodshed in the past are higher than ever. There’s no exit
strategy in sight for 37,000 United Nations troops. NATO, so eager to
drop bombs last year, has lost all interest in Kosovo.
Murder, arson and other violent crimes occur on a daily basis with no
hope of accountability. The only police force consists of 2,500 U.N.
civilian officers — many of them retired, working with one hand tied
behind their back and little understanding of local conditions.
If you want a picture of what the nightmare of life under global
government will be like some day, check out Kosovo.
“Split by the River Ibar, endless spirals of razor wire and French
Kfor troops, the divided city of Mitrovica has become a metaphor for the
hatred and latent violence of the province,” reports the London
Telegraph. “Northern Mitrovica, the Serbian enclave protected by the
universally despised French military, is as grim as it gets. People live
in overcrowded apartment blocks disfigured with graffiti — anti-NATO,
anti-Albanian, anti-anything. With virtually no work available, they
roam the streets like zombies or sit in cafes for hours in a drunken
The U.N. is hoping that September’s elections will fix things — and
make its dream of a multi-ethnic Kosovo a reality. Many Serbs, however,
don’t want to participate in the vote because they fear it will
legitimize the independence of the province.
So desperate is the West to make this plan work, diplomats have even
held secret talks with Serb President Slobodan Milosevic, whom they have
indicted as a war criminal, to persuade the Mitrovica Serbs to join the
All this would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic — if so many
human lives weren’t at stake, if so many had not already been sacrificed
for no reason.
What do I mean? Let’s recall how this U.S./NATO war on Serbia got
started in the first place. It began with NATO and the Clinton
administration lying about Serbian atrocities in Kosovo. They
deliberately and provocatively whipped up hysteria about violence and
genocide that simply did not exist.
Perhaps as few as 2,108 people were actually killed in Kosovo over a
period of months leading up to and including the period of heavy
bombardment of Serbia by NATO forces. While even one death is tragic,
some perspective is needed.
It wasn’t hundreds of thousands of dead in Kosovo, as some reports
suggested. It wasn’t even tens of thousands.
Remember what Clinton told us? He compared the atrocities in Kosovo
to the Holocaust. Kosovo, he said, “is not war in the traditional sense.
Imagine what would happen if we and our allies instead decided just to
look the other way as these people were massacred on NATO’s doorstep.”
While Clinton has blood on his hands for ordering the bombing, he is
hardly alone. Most of the establishment press went along for the ride
with all the pre-war and post-war propaganda from government and
supra-government authorities. Most Republican and Democratic members of
Congress participated in the charade, too.
The biggest lesson, if anyone cares, is that the transfer of power to
unaccountable global authorities is dangerous, illegal, ill-advised and
impractical. Who is going to keep abuses in check? How do people have
their say? What’s to prevent a small elite clique of power brokers from
making war in the future, as they clearly did in Kosovo?
The people of the Balkans are still living with these questions
Kosovo may not be in the headlines anymore, but that doesn’t mean all
is well. In fact, usually the worst human rights abuses occur far from
the bright lights of the television cameras. So, most Americans remain
oblivious to the death and destruction their tax dollars wrought on the
people of Serbia. They remain oblivious to the crises we have helped to
create throughout the Balkans. They remain oblivious to the continuing
violence and the hopelessness of imposing long-term solutions on the
region through force.
There is no peace in Kosovo. There is no peace in Bosnia. There is no
peace in Serbia. There is no peace in Montenegro.
Does anybody care?