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Bill Clinton apologized last weekend for his “personal failure” to prevent the 1994 slaughter of 800,000 mostly Christian members of the Tutsi tribe in Rwanda.
It was certainly appropriate – if a little late.
But there was another genocide that took place during Clinton’s watch that occurred not because of his inaction, but because of his deliberate, criminal and immoral military actions.
Let me tell you the little-known story.
In 1997, Osama bin Laden visited Albania to help establish the Kosovo Liberation Army. He provided between $500 million to $700 million and – according to an upcoming book by Paul L. Williams, “The Al Qaeda Connection” – 500 seasoned Arab Afghan troops to train KLA recruits at the al-Qaida headquarters in Albania and at another camp in Macedonia.
Understand the KLA was, from its creation by bin Laden, a jihadist terrorist group.
Here’s how Williams tells the story from here:
At this point in the twisted history of Kosovo, the CIA and the Clinton administration began to view the KLA as an army of ‘freedom fighters’ and offered aid in the form of military training and field advice. The United States, unbeknown to the American people, was now in league with a group that contained enemies who were intent upon its destruction. They were generally not the innocent people who had been targeted and attacked by the Serbs.
A year later, with help from both al-Qaida and the United States, the KLA had an army of 30,000 with sophisticated weaponry, including anti-tank rocket launchers, mortars, recoilless rifles and anti-aircraft machine guns. Naturally, they began to use them – conducting hit-and-run attacks on Serbian special-forces police units.
Slobodan Milosevic, the president of Serbia, responded by burning homes and killing dozens of ethnic Albanians. Soon, there was a little war raging – “culminating,” Williams writes, “in the infamous ‘Racak Massacre’ of Jan. 15, 1999, when the bodies of 45 Albanians were discovered in a gully within the village of Racak.”
Milosevic insisted the bodies had been placed there by the KLA to implicate the Serbs and justify Western intervention. In fact, European papers found his claim was supported by the unnatural position of the bodies, the absence of cartridge shells and the inability of Racak villagers to identify the bodies.
But, this time, Clinton wasn’t going to sit on the sidelines and watch a genocide take place as he had done in Rwanda. On the basis of this “evidence” and amid international outcries of ethnic cleansing, the United States and its European allies became militarily involved – not as “peacemakers,” mind you, but as partisans in an ethnic and religious conflict initiated by al-Qaida.
At a cost exceeding $4 billion, NATO forces soon reduced Kosovo to rubble, flying 37,465 missions, destroying 400 Serbian artillery positions, 270 armored personnel carriers, 150 tanks, 100 planes, killing 10,000 Serbian soldiers and causing 1.4 million Kosovars to flee for their lives. Williams calls it “the greatest mass migration since World War II.”
Milosevic surrendered and NATO placed a force of 1,700 police officers on the ground to restore order.
But those forces did little to restrain the “victorious” KLA. Over 200 churches were burned – including monasteries dating back to the 13th century. There were uninvestigated reports of mass executions of Serbian farmers, the murders of scores of priests.
“Of the 40,000 Serbs who lived in Kosovo before the war, only 400 were left within a month after Kosovo became a U.N. protectorate,” writes Williams.
Soon, hundreds of Wahhabi mosques and schools were built.
“Kosovo, with a Muslim population of 1.8 million now stood as an Islamic bulwark in the midst of the Balkans,” Williams writes.
And an even more strategic objective was won by bin Laden. He now had his European connection for the international drug-running operation that would subsidize his future terrorist attacks – including Sept. 11, 2001.