The funeral of three Serbs in Belo Polje, a village near Pec. The three were executed by KLA members on June 19. Each of them was shot between the eyes at point blank range.
Human Rights Watch 1999
Who should be held responsible for the cascading violence sweeping through Kosovo?
The reign of fascist terror in Kosovo against Serbs, Roma people and pro-Yugoslav ethnic Albanians is now in full swing. As reports of murder, beatings and house burnings have finally filtered into the Western media, local refugee officials in Kosovo report that over 80,000 people have fled in the last three weeks.
Yugoslav officials estimate that another 70,000 Serbs had fled Kosovo during the 78 days of NATO bombing.
Until the U.S./NATO occupation forces entered Kosovo on June 8, the village of Belo Polje was an entirely Serb town. Today it lies in smoldering ruins. Soldiers wearing the uniform of the Kosovo Liberation Army murdered Serb civilians, and then looted and torched the whole village, according to June 28 dispatches from a San Francisco Chronicle reporter at the scene in Belo Polje.
NATO soldiers did nothing to stop the mayhem, the Chronicle reported.
It is the KLA that initiated the insurgency to separate Kosovo from Yugoslavia. Their history of fascist terror is well substantiated. Even the New York Times carried a long piece by Chris Hedges on June 25 documenting the KLA's murderous role.
But State Department spokesperson James Rubin blandly responded, "We simply don't have the information to substantiate that there was a KLA-leadership directed program of assassinations and executions."
U.S./NATO responsible for massacres
In addition to the hundreds of thousands of people made refugees during the NATO bombing campaign, thousands more people of all nationalities were killed.
How many did the United States lose in combat? None.
By all objective historical standards this would qualify as one of the great massacres in the modern epoch.
These warplanes dropped more than 23,000 missiles and bombs on a country of 11 million people. U.S. military planners selected all but one of the bombing targets. The U.S. said it would keep bombing until the Yugoslav government allowed thousands of NATO troops to occupy Kosovo.
Now the Yugoslav government has relented. The maintenance of "law and order" has fallen to the U.S./NATO occupiers. It is they who are fully responsible for the reign of terror and murder being directed against the minority Serb and Roma populations and the pro-Yugoslav ethnic Albanians being killed by the KLA for "collaborating" with the Yugoslav government.
In fact, it was the same constellation of forces--pro-Yugoslav Serbs, Roma, Albanian, Croatian and Slovenian people--who constituted the anti-fascist Partisan movement that defeated Hitler's massive invasion 50 years ago.
U.S. seeks overthrow of Milosevic
There is a political and strategic motive behind U.S. and NATO support for the KLA terror campaign.
Clinton and the other NATO leaders are hoping that a huge influx of Kosovan Serb refugees into Serbia will help destabilize the Yugoslav government of Slobodan Milosevic.
The U.S. hopes that the anger of the Serb refugees from Kosovo will be deflected from NATO to Milosevic for his signing of the agreement that NATO forced on him.
This strategy involves a most insidious calculation. The CIA hopes to manipulate the most direct victims of the NATO bombing campaign into an anti-Milosevic political opposition movement orchestrated by the same Western governments that bombed them in the first place.
The top priority for Clinton and the other imperialist leaders is to engineer his overthrow. They have authorized CIA operations to carry out this destabilization campaign while telling the people of Yugoslavia they "will not get one red cent" to rebuild their devastated country until they topple the government.
In fact, war-torn Yugoslavia will be the victim of economic sanctions.
The massive bombing of Yugoslavia's factories, bridges, communications systems and electrical grid is a specific military tactic designed to enhance the destructive impact of post-war economic sanctions.
This is precisely the strategy that U.S. military planners carried out against Iraq. Nine years later more than 1.7 million Iraqi civilians have perished from hunger and malnutrition-related diseases.
Why is U.S. imperialism hell bent on overthrowing the Milosevic government?
Milosevic is not a revolutionary communist or an intransigent opponent of imperialism. But he presides over a social system that was birthed during a great revolutionary upsurge against the fascist occupation of 1941-1945.
The remnants of socialized property remain, although badly corroded from decades of a "mixed economy." Imperialism wants a full-scale counter-revolution that will replace Milosevic with a Yeltsin-type regime. In a word, the imperialists desire a puppet government in Belgrade that is fully committed to privatizing all of Yugoslavia.
The indictment of Milosevic as a "war criminal" by a specially created U.S.-dominated kangaroo court in The Hague should be understood by progressives as part of the larger imperialist plan to crush Yugo slavia and any other Eastern European country that resists the U.S./NATO take over of the region.
One can look at Kosovo today to get a clear understanding of what kind of government the U.S. would create if it succeeds in ousting Milosevic
Fascist-like invasion 50 years later
The KLA are thugs. Without U.S., German and Albanian government support their 1997 insurgency would never have gotten off the ground.
The KLA is the ideological heir of the Albanian nationalist movement that collaborated with Hitler's and Mussolini's fascist invasion during World War II. It is a story that was rarely reported in the U.S. media. But the cause of Albanian Kosovo nationalism--that is, to make the multi-ethnic Kosovo a "pure" Albanian state--was a theme of the 1941 German and Italian fascist invasion.
The Nazis administered Albania and Kosovo as a single unit during World War II. As a counterweight to the strong Serb presence in the Partisan anti-fascist guerrilla army led by Tito, Hitler promoted Albanian nationalism.
The Germans bombed Belgrade in 1941 and they killed more than 1.3 million Serbs and hundreds of thousands from other nationalities before they were driven out by the heroic Partisan struggle.
Today, the German contingent of the NATO occupation force represents the first use of German troops in Yugoslavia in 54 years.
So it came as a surprise to some Western journalists that pro-KLA forces in Kosovo would give such a hearty welcome to the German troops.
"This is a second liberation," Ali Majo, 68, a native of Prizren in southern Kosovo told Los Angeles Times staff writer Marjorie Miller on June 17. "I can't describe how it felt when we saw German soldiers come here again."
Majo told the reporter how he had first seen the Nazi forces bomb Partisan guerrilla positions. "After that ... we all shouted `Hitler.' We were proud of the German soldiers because they liberated us from the Serbs."