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When NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) was founded after World War II, its first Secretary General, British General Lord Ismay, succinctly stated its real, original purpose: "To keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down." In other words, NATO was supposed to be an instrument not for spreading democracy, but for maintaining geopolitical hegemony in Europe by the Western capitalist states. Very soon, of course, the idea of keeping the Germans "down" was scrapped, and Germany became a major actor in NATO military matters.

But now NATO is being repackaged for the media as a sort of organisation of world crusaders for democracy. New NATO members have been recruited from former socialist states and former member states of the Soviet Union, under the slogan of "protecting" those countries’ freedom. NATO participated in the destruction of Yugoslavia and in the Gulf War and Afghanistan, and now may recruit Georgia, which is pretty far from the "North Atlantic." It is no coincidence that the pattern of new and prospective NATO states forms a close ring around Russia, with an interesting proximity to major oil pipelines also.

While our corporate media paint a pretty picture of NATO, its real history shows it to be much closer to Lord Ismay’s depiction of a grouping aimed at issues of power, not democracy.

A particularly sinister aspect of NATO was what came to be called Operation Gladio ("gladius" means "sword" in Latin), for its Italian manifestation. This was (and probably still is) a NATO-sponsored top secret "stay behind" program, operating under various names in all the NATO countries and in several neutral ones, including Finland, Switzerland and Sweden.

The official purpose was that if the USSR and its allies would some day overrun Western Europe (a thing that never happened, and was never going to happen), there would be clandestine networks of military and civil personnel who could disrupt, attack and eventually drive out the Soviet forces.

In reality Operation Gladio became a mechanism whereby fascist and criminal elements could be secretly mobilised, not against a foreign invasion, but against progressive and labour forces within each country. To this day, there has not been a full public airing of just exactly what arrangements were made under Gladio in every NATO country.

But we do know something about what Gladio did in Italy, and it has nothing to do with democracy, freedom or the rule of law.

In Italy, the original Gladio formed its clandestine networks on the basis of old fascists (Mussolini leftovers) and their younger imitators, the Mafia and other criminal organisations, and the extreme right wing of the Roman Catholic Church, including the well known organisation Opus Dei. It had a close link to a corrupt Masonic lodge, Propaganda Due (or P2) to which key military and civilian officials belonged. Funding came partly from the CIA.

When Osama bin Laden was just a callow youth, the Gladio-P2 network carried out bombing campaigns which they then blamed on the far left. The idea of this "strategy of tension" was to maintain a high level of fear and uncertainty in the population, which would lead people to reject voting for the then-huge Italian Communist Party (PCI), and that might make a right-wing coup possible. The most violent of many such actions was the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing in Milan, which killed 17, and the 1980 bombing of the train station in Bologna, in which 85 innocent civilians died. There may have been a connection to the kidnapping and murder of Prime Minister Aldo Moro in 1978 as well: Moro had been working toward a "grand alliance" of his Christian Democratic Party with the PCI. He was killed by ultra-leftist terrorists, but Gladio sometimes manipulated such people and encouraged their terrorism, because it helped the "strategy of tension."

The Italian set-up metastasised into other countries, building links with dictatorships like that of Argentina’s Jorge Videla and Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, and leading to terrorist actions all over the world.

When the relationship between Propaganda Due and Gladio came to light, in the wake of the huge Vatican banking scandal (Banco Ambrosiano) which forms part of the plot of the movie "Godfather III", there was a wave of indignation in and beyond Italy. When it was discovered that the CIA was funding much of the Gladio-type activity, and along with Britain’s MI6 was participating in planning functions, Italian authorities asked for clarification from the George Bush and Clinton administrations, which to date have not been given.

The NATO "stay behind" networks have been involved in many other undemocratic actions in the NATO countries and beyond, including massacres of leftist protesters in Turkey, the 1967 "colonels’ coup" in Greece, and, possibly, the assassination of African freedom fighters against Portuguese colonialism, Amilcar Cabral and Eduardo Mondlane. In the former West Germany, the US and the Adenauer government did not shrink from working with General Reinhard Gehlen’s secret network of former Nazis when setting up equivalent structures.

We now see NATO incorporating more and more countries which are many long kilometres from the North Atlantic region. The pretext is to defend democracy against outside threats, but the reality is that the point of NATO’s sword is aimed at democratic and left-wing forces within the countries in which it establishes itself, as well as at economic and military rivals.

NATO is not a force for democracy, but its opposite. And far from being an organisation for fighting terrorism, NATO itself stands accused of fomenting terrorism. It is time for it to go.
Emile Schepers

The UN appoints an alleged war criminal in Kosovo

By Michel Chossudovsky (3-17-00)

(Please see end for conditions-for-use.)

(Michel Chossudovsky is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and author of The Globalization of Poverty, Impacts of IMF and World Bank Reforms, Third World Network, Penang and Zed Books, London, 1997.) [emperors-clothes]

A recent report submitted to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan conceded that the Kosovo Protection Force (KPC), created under UN auspices in September 1999, has been involved in "criminal activities - killings, ill-treatment/torture, illegal policing, abuse of authority, intimidation, breaches of political neutrality and hate speech." 1
In a cruel irony, "the United Nations is paying the salaries of many of the gangsters." 2
The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), known for its connections to organized crime in general and the Balkans narcotics traffic in particular, was officially dissolved. In fact it was transformed into the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC). Modelled after the US National Guard, funded by US military aid, the KPC is trained by Military Professional Resources Inc (MPRI), a mercenary outfit based in Alexandria, Virginia. The MPRI had also been involved in the training and command of the Croatian forces that drove over 200,000 ethnic Serbs from the Krajina region of Croatia in 1995.
The Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) was slated by the UN to become - in the words of UNMIK Special Representative Bernard Kouchner -
"a civilian, disciplined, uniformed and multi-ethnic emergency response... with a mandate to providing humanitarian assistance... and contributing to rebuilding infrastructure and communities...." 3
Shift in military labels.
KLA Commander Agim Ceku was appointed Chief of Staff of Kosovo's new KPC. In the words of Bernard Kouchner during the inauguration ceremony:
"I look to him [Agim Ceku] to lead the new members of the Corps in the footsteps of Cincinnatus, the model citizen-soldier of ancient Rome -- who left his plow standing in the field to answer the call to arms & and at the end of the war refused all honors in order to return to his civic duties."4
Who is Commander Ceku?
Barely a few weeks later, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) announced that it was "investigating Ceku for alleged war crimes committed against ethnic Serbs in Croatia between 1993 and 1995." 5
That he was being investigated was known to military and intelligence analysts well in advance of Ceku's appointment. The information was withheld from broad public view by former ICTY Prosecutor Louise Arbour. But the information was publicly available, though only in limited circles. For instance, Jane Defence Weekly reported that Ceku had:
"masterminded the successful HV [Croatian] offensive at Medak [in 1993] and in 1995 was one of the key planners of the successful Operation 'Storm'." (Jane 10 May 1999) Operation Storm led to the massacre of many ethnic Serbs and the eviction of more than 200,000.
These actions involved massive war crimes against civilians.
United Nations Special Representative Dr. Bernard Kouchner must have known about Ceku. The UN had full access to the files of the ICTY, a UN agency. The Tribunal's Chief Prosecutor was required, by ICTY statute, to report the matter to the UN Secretary General.
When the information was released a few weeks after Ceku's appointment, Tom Walker wrote the following in the Sunday Times:
"A diplomat close to Bernard Kouchner the UN special representative [declared] 'If we lose him [Agim Ceku] it will be a disaster' ... 'When you get to the second level of the TMK [Kosovo Protection Corps], you're down to a bunch of local thugs.'

"American diplomats... have suggested any indictment of Ceku would most likely be 'sealed' and thereby kept out of the public domain... "

"The possibility that Ceku, a respected figure in Kosovo, could be accused of war crimes, sent shivers through the international community... "

"Another diplomat said he believed Kfor, the Nato-led peacekeeping force, could not contemplate a public relations disaster with the Albanians by arresting Ceku."

"The court's inquiries ... relate to atrocities committed in Krajina ... between 1993 and 1995... Ceku's record in Kosovo itself is not thought to be in question, although the office of Carla del Ponte, the new chief prosecutor, said an investigation into his activities with the KLA could not be ruled out..." 6
Continuity of NATO operations
The appointment of Ceku in Kosovo follows a pattern. To put matters bluntly, NATO and the UN are re-using, in Kosovo, the same NATO apparatus, and some of the same local ethnic war criminals, who previously served in Bosnia and Croatia.
Lieutenant General Mike Jackson, until recently commander of NATO troops in Kosovo, was posted there from Bosnia Herzegovina and Croatia.
The war crimes for which Agim Ceku was under investigation occurred when Croatian forces, aided by the US, drove over 200,000 ethnic Serbs from the Krajina region of Croatia. General Jackson was then put in charge as IFOR commander. His job: organizing the return of Serbs "to lands taken by Croatian HVO forces in the 1995 Krajina offensive." 7
In this capacity Jackson "urged that the resettlement [of Krajina Serbs] not [be] rushed to avoid tension [with the Croatians]" while also warning returning Serbs "of the extent of the [land] mine threat." 8
According to "Veritas" (a Belgrade based organization of Serbian refugees from Croatia), only 10-15,000 Serbs were allowed to resettle in Croatia.
Jackson's experience in "ethnic warfare" predates the Balkans.
As a young captain he was posted to Northern Ireland. There he was second in command in the "Bloody Sunday" massacre of civilians in Derry in 1972. Under the orders of Lieutenant Coronel Derek Wilford, Captain Jackson and thirteen other soldiers of the parachute regiment opened fire:

"on a peaceful protest by the Northern Ireland civil rights association opposing discrimination against Catholics. In just 30 minutes, 13 people were shot dead and a further 13 injured. Those who died were killed by a single bullet to the head or body, indicating that they had been deliberately targeted. No weapons were found on any of the deceased." 9
Jackson's role in Bloody Sunday
"did not hinder his Military career."10
He was reassigned first to Bosnia and Croatia and then to Kosovo.
While Jackson made only token efforts to protect Serb and Roma ["Gypsy"] civilians, those who fled Kosovo during his mandate were not offered UN protection to return. Moreover, in post-bombing Kosovo, massacres of civilians were carried out by the KLA (and subsequently the KPC) under UN/NATO auspices. This was accepted by the "international community" as a fait accompli.
The Installation of a Mafia State
While calling for democracy based on "transparency" and "good governance," the US and its allies have worked through the UN to install a paramilitary government with links to organized crime. The outcome is the outright criminalization of State institutions in Kosovo and the establishment of what is best described as a Mafia State. The complicity of NATO and the Alliance governments (namely their relentless support to the KLA provisional government) suggests the de facto "criminalization" of KFOR and of the UN peace-keeping apparatus in Kosovo.
By providing financial support to the KPC, the donor agencies, that is the United Nations and Western governments, are accessories to this criminalization of State institutions. NATO and the UN are responsible for the massacres of civilians and the prevailing reign of terror in Kosovo.
1. Quoted in John Sweeney and Jen Holsoe, "Kosovo Disaster Response Service Stands Accused of Murder and Torture," the Observer,12 March 2000.
2. Ibid.
3. Statement by Bernard Kouchner, 21 September 1999 on the occasion of the inauguration of the KPC, see )
4. Ibid
5. AFP, 13 October 1999
6. Tom Walker, "Kosovo Defence Chief Accused of War Crimes, Sunday London Times, 10 October 1999.
7. Jane Defense Weekly, Vol 23, No. 7, 14 February 1996.
8. Ibid
9. Julie Hyland, "Head of NATO Force in Kosovo was Second-in-command at "Bloody Sunday" Massacre in Ireland", World Socialist Website, 19 June 1999.
10. Ibid.
C Copyright by Michel Chossudovsky, Ottawa, March 2000. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to post this text on "community internet sites" provided the essay remains intact and the copyright note is displayed. For community postings, kindly send a short message to . To publish this text on commercial internet sites, in printed and/or in other forms (including excerpts), contact the author at fax:1-514-4256224.
Further reading...
* A recent confidential UN report makes it clear: the UN has presided over what Prof. Chossudovsky calls "the criminilzation of state institutions" in Kosovo. For more on the secret UN report, and to read a short Emperors-Clothes commentary, see How will you plead at your trial, Mr. Annan? at
* To get an idea of the enormity of the crimes committed by Ceku, the Croatian military and their American handlers see Greg Elich's brilliantly researched The invasion of Serbian Krajina at
* Could the UN leaders not have known that the KLA was a criminal-terrorist organization? See Prof. Chossudovsky's article, The KLA: Grim Origins at
* Prof. Chossudovsky believes the KLA, or rather, its blighted offpsring, the Kosovo Protection Corps, supposed to be the control apparatus for multinational corporations in Kosovo. See State terror and the "free market" Opening up Kosovo to foreign capital by Michel Chossudovsky at
* NATO is apparently suffering from internal conflicts, most apparent in the tormented town of Mitrovica in northern Kosovo, near the administrative border with inner Serbia. What's behind those conflicts? See Why is the KLA shooting at KFOR? at
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I can go on and on at length about NATO and the break up of Yugoslavia. As much as the MSM have been more than compliant with regards to the Iraq invasion they have been positively complicit in their role in the destruction of Yugoslavia. There has at least been the blogosphere doing some good coverage. That never existed much with Yugoslavia. If it wasn't for Diana Johnstone, Michel Chossudovsky, Jared Israel and the guys from Emporers New Clothes, Ramsey Clarke and IAC, and a few brave and bewildered Yugoslav writers, and none of these people I would have called in any way main stream, I doubt we would have heard anything except for the NATO daily press breifings.

On the eve of the 'humanitarian' bombing of Serbia and Kosovo the Yugoslav Consul in Sydney called a press conference to put forward their case, the case for peace, against this unwarranted attack on a non-agressive nation who never did anything except try to hold itself together against powerful forces trying to rip it apart for their own agendas. Well, I was rather shocked that there was just myself and one other journalist there from one of the local Yugoslav papers. Just us two in this rattling big space with the consul and staff. No tv, no radio or any other print there. There was a total disinterest on the part of most of the media and they had long ago bought in on Milosovich being the next Hitler wanting to ethnically cleanse the Balkans. In reality, the largest group of refugees (200,000) was and still is Serbians ethnically clensed from their homes all over the former Yugoslavia. Then there is the plight of the Roma/Gypsies and Ashkalis and Jews and other ethnic and cultural/religious groups also purged from much of this area but still welcome in Serbia which still has Albanians living there the last multi-cultural place left in the former Yugoslavia.Just like in Nazi Germany their homes and farms have been given to others of purer blood and good connections.

The lonely consul gave us both a booklet with all the names and details of the persons so far killed in the attacks. I found it interesting that the Yugoslav authorities knew so much about the dead and their circumstances. More than can be said for the NATO forces. My memory tells me there were about 2,000 listed and that ethnically they were divided into roughly half Albanian and half Serbian. But on reading many of the Albanians were killed by other Albanians. These were the Albanians who didn't want to support the KLA and who were okay with life in Yugoslavia. Most of the Albanians in Yugoslavia came from Albania to live a life with a higher standard of living in the first place. The border was always very porous especially during Tito's time (a Croatian) who saw the influx of Albanians as a good thing to keep the Serbians (numerically large) on their toes. Many of the Serbians in the Consuls booklet were policemen, as it was a matter of criminal gangs firstly, and latter many soldiers from the Yugoslav army were listed. This looks like there were many Albanian civilians killed by Yugoslav army until you take into account that these are almost all KLA soldiers (and sometimes their innocent Albanian hostages and human sheilds), a guerilla army in an undeclared war (funded and organised by Germany and the US). There was no ethnic cleansing of Albanians. Just a police and later military action in a regional dispute (created by outsiders) used as a pretext for NATO to launch their attack on a country which woukld not bend to their will.

The following text was written in the immediate wake of the 1999 NATO bombings of Yugoslavia and the invasion of Kosovo by NATO troops.

It is now well established that the war was waged on a fabricated humanitarian pretext and that extensive war crimes were committed by NATO and the US.

In a bitter irony, the so-called International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague is controlled by those who have committed extensive war crimes. It was not President Milosevic, who was poisoned in his prison cell, but NATO who started the war in Yugoslavia.

According to Nuremberg jurisprudence, the ultimate war crime consists in starting a war. According to William Rockler, former prosecutor of the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal:
"The [1999] bombing war violates and shreds the basic provisions of the United Nations Charter and other conventions and treaties; the attack on Yugoslavia constitutes the most brazen international aggression since the Nazis attacked Poland to prevent "Polish atrocities" against Germans. The United States has discarded pretensions to international legality and decency, and embarked on a course of raw imperialism run amok."
According to Nuremberg jurisprudence, NATO heads of State and heads of government are responsible for the supreme crime: "the crime against peace."

Reagan's NSDD 133 (1984) "Secret and Sensitive"

There is evidence that the US administration in liason with its allies took the decision in the early 1980s to destabilise and dismantle Yugoslavia.

The decsion to destroy Yugoslavia as a country and carve it up into a number of small proxy states was taken by the Reagan adminstration in the early 1980s.

A "Secret Sensitive" National Security Decision Directive (NSDD 133) entitled "US Policy towards Yugoslavia." (Declassified) set the foreign policy framework for the destabilization of Yugoslavia's model of market socialism and the establishment of a US sphere of influence in Southeastern Europe.

Yugoslavia was in many regards "an economic success story". In the two decades before 1980, annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaged 6.1 percent, medical care was free, the rate of literacy was 91 percent, and life expectancy was 72 years.

While NSDD 133 was in itself a somewhat innocous document, it provided legitimacy to the free market reforms. A series of covert intelligence operations were implemented, which consisted in creating and supporting secessionist paramilitary armies, first in Bosnia then in Kosovo.

These covert operations were combined with the destabilization of the Yugoslav economy. The application of strong economic medicine under the helm of the IMF and the World Bank ultimately led to the destruction of Yugoslavia's industrial base, the demise of the workers' cooperative and the dramatic impoverishment of its population.

Kosovo "Independence"

The record of US-NATO war crimes is important in assessing recent developments in Kosovo.

From the outset of their respective mandates in June 1999, both NATO and the UN Mission to Kosovo (UNMIK) have actively supported the KLA, which has committed numerous atrocities.

It is important to understand that these atrocities were ordered by the current and former prime ministers of the Kosovo "government".

Since 1999, State terrorism in Kosovo has become an integral part of NATO's design. The present government of prime minister Hashim Thaci (a former KLA Commander), is an outgrowth of this reign of terror. It is not a government in the common sense of the word. It remains a terrorist organization linked to organised crime. It is instrument of the foreign occupation.

Michel Chossudovsky, 23 February 2008


by Michel Chossudovsky

10 August 1999

This text was presented to the Independent Commission of Inquiry to Investigate U.S./NATO War Crimes Against The People of Yugoslavia, International Action Center, New York, July 31, 1999.

While the World focusses on troop movements and war crimes, the massacres of civilians in the wake of the bombings have been casually dismissed as "justifiable acts of revenge". In occupied Kosovo, "double standards" prevail in assessing alleged war crimes. The massacres directed against Serbs, ethnic Albanians, Roma and other ethnic groups have been conducted on the instructions of the military command of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).
NATO ostensibly denies KLA involvement. These so-called "unmotivated acts of violence and retaliation" are not categorised as "war crimes" and are therefore not included in the mandate of the numerous FBI and Interpol police investigators dispatched to Kosovo under the auspices of the Hague War Crime's Tribunal (ICTY). Moreover, whereas NATO has tacitly endorsed the self-proclaimed KLA provisional government, KFOR the international security force in Kosovo has provided protection to the KLA military commanders responsible for the atrocities. In so doing both NATO and the UN Mission have acquiesced to the massacres of civilians. In turn, public opinion has been blatantly misled. In portraying the massacres, the Western media has casually overlooked the role of the KLA, not to mention its pervasive links to organised crime. In the words of National Security Advisor Samuel Berger, "these people [ethnic Albanians] come back ... with broken hearts and with some of those hearts filled with anger."1 While the massacres are seldom presented as the result of "deliberate decisions" by the KLA military command, the evidence (and history of the KLA) amply confirm that these atrocities are part of a policy of "ethnic cleansing" directed mainly against the Serb population but also against the Roma, Montenegrins, Goranis and Turks.
Serbian houses and business have been confiscated, looted, or burned, and Serbs have been beaten, raped, and killed. In one of the more dramatic of incidents, KLA troops ransacked a monastery, terrorized the priest and a group of nuns with gunfire, and raped at least one of the nuns. NATO's inability to control the situation and provide equal protection for all ethnic groups, and its apparent inability or unwillingness to fully disarm the KLA, has created a serious situation for NATO troops...2
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), confirms in this regard that:
"more than 164,000 Serbs have left Kosovo during the seven weeks since... the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) entered the province... A wave of arson and looting of Serb and Roma homes throughout Kosovo has ensued. Serbs and Roma remaining in Kosovo have been subject to repeated incidents of harassment and intimidation, including severe beatings. Most seriously, there has been a spate of murders and abductions of Serbs since mid-June, including the late July massacre of Serb farmers."3
The self-proclaimed Provisional Government of Kosovo (PGK) has also ordered assassinations directed against political opponents including "loyalist" ethnic Albanians and supporters of the Kosovo Democratic League (KDL). These acts are being carried out in a totally permissive environment. The leaders of the KLA rather than being arrested for war crimes, have been granted KFOR protection.
According to a report of the Foreign Policy Institute (published during the bombings):
"...the KLA have [no] qualms about murdering Rugova's collaborators, whom it accused of the `crime' of moderation... [T]he KLA declared Rugova a `traitor' yet another step toward eliminating any competitors for political power within Kosovo."4
Already in May [1999], Fehmi Agani, one of Rugova's closest collaborators in the Kosovo Democratic League (KDL) was killed. The Serbs were blamed by NATO spokesperson Jamie Shea for having assassinated Agani. According to Skopje's paper Makedonija Danas, Agani had been executed on the orders of the KLA's self-appointed Prime Minister Hashim Thaci.5 "If Thaci actually considered Rugova a threat, he would not hesitate to have Rugova removed from the Kosovo political landscape."6
In turn, the KLA has abducted and killed numerous professionals and intellectuals:
"Private and State properties are threatened, home and apartment owners are evicted en masse by force and threats, houses and entire villages are burned, cultural and religious monuments are destroyed... A particularly heavy blow... has been the violence against the hospital centre in Pristina, the maltreatment and expulsion of its professional management, doctors and medical staff."7
Both NATO and the UN prefer to turn a blind eye. UN Interim Administrator Bernard Kouchner (a former French Minister of Health) and KFOR Commander Sir Mike Jackson have established a routine working relationship with Prime Minister Hashim Thaci and KLA Chief of Staff Brigadier General Agim Ceku.
Ethnic cleansing has also been directed against the Roma (which represented prior to the conflict a population group of 150,000 people). (According to figures provided by the Roma Community in New York). A large part of the Roma population has already escaped to Montenegro and Serbia. In turn, there are reports that Roma refugees who had fled by boat to Southern Italy have been expelled by the Italian authorities.8 The KLA has also ordered the systematic looting and torching of Romani homes and settlements:
"All houses and settlements of Romani, like 2,500 homes in the residential area called `Mahala' in the town of Kosovska Mitrovica, have been looted and burnt down".9
With regard to KLA atrocities committed against the Roma, the same media distortions prevail. According to the BBC: "Gypsies are accused by [Kosovar] Albanians of collaborating in Serb brutalities, which is why they've also become victims of revenge attacks. And the truth is, some probably did."10
As Western leaders trumpet their support for democracy, State terrorism in Kosovo has become an integral part of NATO's postwar design. The KLA's political role for the post-conflict period had been mapped out well in advance. Prior to Rambouillet Conference, the KLA had been promised a central role in the formation of a post-conflict government. The "hidden agenda" consisted in converting the KLA paramilitary into a legitimate and accomplished civilian administration. According to US State Department spokesman James Foley (February 1999):
"We want to develop a good relationship with them [the KLA] as they transform themselves into a politically-oriented organization, ...[W]e believe that we have a lot of advice and a lot of help that we can provide to them if they become precisely the kind of political actor we would like to see them become.'"11
In other words, the US State Department had already slated the KLA "provisional government" (PGK) to run civilian State institutions. Under NATO's "Indirect Rule", the KLA has taken over municipal governments and public services including schools and hospitals. Rame Buja, the KLA "Minister for Local Administration" has appointed local prefects in 23 out of 25 municipalities.12
Under NATO's regency, the KLA has replaced the duly elected (by ethnic Albanians) provisional Kosovar government of President Ibrahim Rugova. The self-proclaimed KLA administration has branded Rugova as a traitor declaring the (parallel) Kosovar parliamentary elections held in March 1998 to be invalid. This position has largely been upheld by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) entrusted by UNMIK with the postwar task of "democracy building" and "good governance". In turn, OSCE officials have already established a working rapport with KLA appointees.13
The KLA provisional government (PGK) is made up of the KLA's political wing together with the Democratic Union Movement (LBD), a coalition of five opposition parties opposed to Rugova's Democratic League (LDK). In addition to the position of prime minister, the KLA controls the ministries of finance, public order and defence. The KLA also has a controlling voice on the UN sponsored Kosovo Transitional Council set up by Mr. Bernard Kouchner. The PGK has also established links with a number of Western governments.
Whereas the KLA has been spearheaded into running civilian institutions (under the guidance of the OSCE), members of the duly elected Kosovar (provisional) government of the Democratic League (DKL) have been blatantly excluded from acquiring a meaningful political voice.
Under NATO occupation, the rule of law has visibly been turned up side down. Criminals and terrorists are to become law enforcement officers. KLA troops which have already taken over police stations will eventually form a 4,000 strong "civilian" police force (to be trained by foreign police officers under the authority of the United Nations) with a mandate to "protect civilians". Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien has already pledged Canadian support to the formation of a civilian police force.14 The latter which has been entrusted to the OSCE will eventually operate under the jurisdiction of the KLA controlled "Ministry of Public Order".
Despite NATO's commitment to disarming the KLA, the Kosovar paramilitary organisation is slated to be transformed into a modern military force. So-called "security assistance" has already been granted to the KLA by the US Congress under the "Kosovar Independence and Justice Act of 1999". Start-up funds of 20 million dollars will largely be "used for training and support for their [KLA] established self-defence forces."15 In the words of KLA Chief of Staff Agrim Ceku:
"The KLA wants to be transformed into something like the US National Guard, ... we accept the assistance of KFOR and the international community to rebuild an army according to NATO standards. ... These professionally trained soldiers of the next generation of the KLA would seek only to defend Kosova. At this decisive moment, we [the KLA] do not hide our ambitions; we want the participation of international military structures to assist in the pacific and humanitarian efforts we are attempting here." 16
While the KLA maintains its links to the Balkans narcotics trade which served to finance many of its terrorist activities, the paramilitary organisation has now been granted an official seal of approval as well as "legitimate" sources of funding. The pattern is similar to that followed in Croatia and in the Bosnian Muslim-Croatian Federation where so-called "equip and train" programmes were put together by the Pentagon. In turn, Washington's military aid package to the KLA has been entrusted to Military Professional Resources Inc. (MPRI) of Alexandria, Virginia, a private mercenary outfit run by high ranking former US military officers.
MPRI's training concepts which had already been tested in Croatia and Bosnia are based on imparting "offensive tactics... as the best form of defence".17 In the Kosovar context, this so- called "defensive doctrine" transforms the KLA paramilitary into a modern army without however eliminating its terrorist makeup.18 The objective is to ultimately transform an insurgent army into a modern military and police force which serves the Alliance's future strategic objectives in the Balkans. MPRI has currently "ninety-one highly experienced, former military professionals working in Bosnia & Herzegovina".19 The number of military officers working on contract with the KLA has not been disclosed.



The massacres of civilians in Kosovo are not disconnected acts of revenge by civilians or by so-called "rogue elements" within the KLA as claimed by NATO and the United Nations. They are part of a consistent and coherent pattern. The intent (and result) of the KLA sponsored atrocities have been to trigger the "ethnic cleansing" of Serbs, Roma and other minorities in Kosovo.
KLA Commander Agim Ceku referring to the killings of 14 villagers at Gracko on July 24, claimed that: "We [the KLA] do not know who did it, but I sincerely believe these people have nothing to do with the KLA."20 In turn, KFOR Lieutenant General Sir Mike Jackson has commended his KLA counterpart, Commander Agim Ceku for "efforts undertaken" to disarm the KLA. In fact, very few KLA weapons have been handed in. Moreover, the deadline for turning in KLA weaponry has been extended. "I do not regard this as noncompliance" said Commander Jackson in a press conference, "but rather as an indication of the seriousness with which General Ceku is taking this important issue."21
Yet what Sir Mike Jackson failed to mention is that KLA Chief of Staff Commander Agim Ceku (although never indicted as a war criminal) was (according to Jane Defence Weekly June 10, 1999) "one of the key planners of the successful `Operation Storm'" led by the Croatian Armed Forces against Krajina Serbs in 1995.
General Jackson who had served in former Yugoslavia under the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) was fully cognizant of the activities of the Croatian High Command during that period including the responsibilities imparted to Brigadier General Agim Ceku. In February 1999, barely a month prior to the NATO bombings, Ceku left his position as Brigadier General with the Croatian Armed Forces to join the KLA as Commander in Chief.
According to the Croatian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, Operation Storm resulted in the massacre of at least 410 civilians in the course of a three day operation (4 to 7 August 1995).22 An internal report of The Hague War Crimes Tribunal (leaked to the New York Times), confirmed that the Croatian Army had been responsible for carrying out:
"summary executions, indiscriminate shelling of civilian populations and "ethnic cleansing" in the Krajina region of Croatia...."23
In a section of the report entitled "The Indictment. Operation Storm, A Prima Facie Case.", the ICTY report confirms that:
"During the course of the military offensive, the Croatian armed forces and special police committed numerous violations of international humanitarian law, including but not limited to, shelling of Knin and other cities... During, and in the 100 days following the military offensive, at least 150 Serb civilians were summarily executed, and many hundreds disappeared. ...In a widespread and systematic manner, Croatian troops committed murder and other inhumane acts upon and against Croatian Serbs." 24
The internal 150 page report concluded that it has "sufficient material to establish that the three [Croatian] generals who commanded the military operation" could be held accountable under international law.25 The individuals named had been directly involved in the military operation "in theatre". Those involved in "the planning of Operation Storm" were not mentioned:
"The identity of the "American general" referred to by Fenrick [a Tribunal staff member] is not known. The tribunal would not allow Williamson or Fenrick to be interviewed. But Ms. Arbour, the tribunal's chief prosecutor, suggested in a telephone interview last week that Fenrick's comment had been `a joking observation'. Ms. Arbour had not been present during the meeting, and that is not how it was viewed by some who were there. Several people who were at the meeting assumed that Fenrick was referring to one of the retired U.S. generals who worked for Military Professional Resources Inc. ... Questions remain about the full extent of U.S. involvement. In the course of the three yearinvestigation into the assault, the United States has failed to provide critical evidence requested by the tribunal, according to tribunal documents and officials, adding to suspicion among some there that Washington is uneasy about the investigation... The Pentagon, however, has argued through U.S. lawyers at the tribunal that the shelling was a legitimate military activity, according to tribunal documents and officials".26
The Tribunal was attempting to hide what had already been revealed in several press reports published in the wake of Operation Storm. According to a US State Department spokesman, MPRI had been helping the Croatians "avoid excesses or atrocities in military operations."27 Fifteen senior US military advisers headed by retired two star General Richard Griffitts had been dispatched to Croatia barely seven months before Operation Storm. 28 According to one report, MPRI executive director General Carl E. Vuono: "held a secret top-level meeting at Brioni Island, off the coast of Croatia, with Gen. Varimar Cervenko, the architect of the Krajina campaign. In the five days preceding the attack, at least ten meetings were held between General Vuono and officers involved in the campaign..."29
According to Ed Soyster, a senior MPRI executive and former head of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA):
"MPRI's role in Croatia is limited to classroom instruction on military-civil relations and doesn't involve training in tactics or weapons. Other U.S. military men say whatever MPRI did for the Croats and many suspect more than classroom instruction was involved it was worth every penny." Carl Vuono and Butch [Crosbie] Saint are hired guns and in it for the money," says Charles Boyd, a recently retired four star Air Force general who was the Pentagon's No. 2 man in Europe until July [1995]. "They did a very good job for the Croats, and I have no doubt they'll do a good job in Bosnia."30
The untimely leaking of the ICTY's internal report on the Krajina massacres barely a few days before the onslaught of NATO's air raids on Yugoslavia was the source of some embarrassment to the Tribunal's Chief Prosecutor Louise Arbour. The Tribunal (ICTY) attempted to cover up the matter and trivialise the report's findings (including the alleged role of the US military officers on contract with the Croatian Armed Forces). Several Tribunal officials including American Lawyer Clint Williamson sought to discredit the Canadian Peacekeeping officers' testimony who witnessed the Krajina massacres in 1995.31
Williamson, who described the shelling of Knin as a "minor incident," said that the Pentagon had told him that Knin was a legitimate military target... The [Tribunal's] review concluded by voting not to include the shelling of Knin in any indictment, a conclusion that stunned and angered many at the tribunal"...32
The findings of the Tribunal contained in the leaked ICTY documents were downplayed, their relevance was casually dismissed as "expressions of opinion, arguments and hypotheses from various staff members of the OTP during the investigative process".33 According to the Tribunal's spokesperson "the documents do not represent in any way the concluded decisions of the Prosecutor." 34
The internal 150 page report has not been released. The staff member who had leaked the documents is (according to a Croatian TV report) no longer working for the Tribunal. During the press Conference, the Tribunal's spokesman was asked: "about the consequences for the person who leaked the information", Blewitt [the ICTY spokesman] replied that he did not want to go into that. He said that the OTP would strengthen the existing procedures to prevent this from happening again, however he added that you could not stop people from talking".35
The massacres conducted under Operation Storm "set the stage" for the "ethnic cleansing" of at least 180,000 Krajina Serbs (according to estimates of the Croatian Helsinki Committee and Amnesty International). According to other sources, the number of victims of ethnic cleansing in Krajina was much larger.
Moreover, there is evidence that chemical weapons had been used in the Yugoslav civil war (1991-95).36 Although there is no firm evidence of the use of chemical weapons against Croatian Serbs, an ongoing enquiry by the Canadian Minister of Defence (launched in July 1999) points to the possibility of toxic poisoning of Canadian Peacekeepers while on service in Croatia between 1993 and 1995:
"There was a smell of blood in the air during the past week as the media sensed they had a major scandal unfolding within the Department of National Defense over the medical files of those Canadians who served in Croatia in 1993. Allegations of destroyed documents, a coverup, and a defensive minister and senior officers..."37
The official release of the Department of National Defence (DND) refers to possibility of toxic "soil contamination" in Medak Pocket in 1993 (see below). Was it "soil contamination" or something far more serious? The criminal investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) refers to the shredding of medical files of former Canadian peacekeepers by the DND. In other words did the DND have something to hide? The issue remains as to what types of shells and ammunitions were used by the Croatian Armed Forces ie. were chemical weapons used against Serb civilians?
Prior to the onslaught, Croatian radio had previously broadcasted a message by president Franjo Tudjman, calling upon "Croatian citizens of Serbian ethnicity... to remain in their homes and not to fear the Croatian authorities, which will respect their minority rights."38 Canadian peacekeepers of the Second Battalion of the Royal 22nd Regiment witnessed the atrocities committed by Croatian troops in the Krajina offensive in September 1995:
"Any Serb who had failed to evacuate their property were systematically "cleansed" by roving death squads. Every abandoned animal was slaughtered and any Serb household was ransacked and torched".39
Also confirmed by Canadian peacekeepers was the participation of German mercenaries in Operation Storm:
"Immediately behind the frontline Croatian combat troops and German mercenaries, a large number of hardline extremists had pushed into the Krajina. ...Many of these atrocities were carried out within the Canadian Sector, but as the peacekeepers were soon informed by the Croat authorities, the UN no longer had any formal authority in the region."40
How the Germans mercenaries were recruited was never officially revealed. An investigation by the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) confirmed the that foreign mercenaries in Croatia had in some cases "been paid [and presumably recruited] outside Croatia and by third parties."41
According to Jane Defence Weekly (10 June 1999), Brigadier General Agim Ceku (now in charge of the KLA) also "masterminded the successful HV [Croatian Army] offensive at Medak" in September 1993. In Medak, the combat operation was entitled "Scorched Earth" resulting in the total destruction of the Serbian villages of Divoselo, Pocitelj and Citluk, and the massacre of over 100 civilians.42
These massacres were also witnessed by Canadian peacekeepers under UN mandate:
"As the sun rose over the horizon, it revealed a Medak Valley engulfed in smoke and flames. As the frustrated soldiers of 2PPCLI waited for the order to move forward into the pocket, shots and screams still rang out as the ethnic cleansing continued. ...About 20 members of the international press had tagged along, anxious to see the Medak battleground. Calvin [a Canadian officer] called an informal press conference at the head of the column and loudly accused the Croats of trying to hide war crimes against the Serb inhabitants. The Croats started withdrawing back to their old lines, taking with them whatever loot they hadn't destroyed. All livestock had been killed and houses torched. French reconnaissance troops and the Canadian command element pushed up the valley and soon began to find bodies of Serb civilians, some already decomposing, others freshly slaughtered. ...Finally, on the drizzly morning of Sept. 17, teams of UN civilian police arrived to probe the smouldering ruins for murder victims. Rotting corpses lying out in the open were catalogued, then turned over to the peacekeepers for burial."43
The massacres were reported to the Canadian Minister of Defence and to the United Nations:
"Senior defence bureaucrats back in Ottawa had no way of predicting the outcome of the engagement in terms of political fallout. To them, there was no point in calling media attention to a situation that might easily backfire. ...So Medak was relegated to the memory hole no publicity, no recriminations, no official record. Except for those soldiers involved, Canada's most lively military action since the Korean War simply never happened."44
Both the Medak Pocket massacre and Operation Storm bear a direct relationship to the ongoing security situation in Kosovo and the massacres and ethnic cleansing committed by KLA troops. While the circumstances are markedly different, several of today's actors in Kosovo were involved (under the auspices of the Croatian Armed Forces) in the planning of both these operations. Moreover, the US mercenary outfit MPRI which collaborated with the Croatian Armed Forces in 1995 is currently on contract with the KLA. NATO's casual response to the appointment of Brigadier General Agim Ceku as KLA Chief of Staff was communicated by Mr. Jamie Shea in a Press Briefing in May:
"I have always made it clear, and you have heard me say this, that NATO has no direct contacts with the KLA. Who they appoint as their leaders, that is entirely their own affair. I don't have any comment on that whatever."45
While NATO says it "has no direct contacts with the KLA", the evidence confirms the opposite. Amply documented, KLA terrorism has been installed with NATO's tacit approval. The KLA had (according to several reports) been receiving "covert support" and training from the CIA and Germany's Bundes Nachrichten Dienst (BND) since the mid-nineties. Moreover, MPRI collaboration with the KLA predates the onslaught of the bombing campaign.46 Moreover, the building up of KLA forces was part of NATO planning. Already by mid-1998, "covert support" had been replaced by official ("overt") support by the military Alliance in violation of UN Security Council Resolution UNSCR 1160 of 31 March 1998 which condemned: "...all acts of terrorism by the Kosovo Liberation Army or any other group or individual and all external support for terrorist activity in Kosovo, including finance, arms and training."
NATO officials, Western heads of State and heads of government, the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan not to mention ICTY chief Prosecutor Louise Arbour, were fully cognizant of General Brigadier Agim Ceku's involvement in the planning of Operation Storm and Operation Scorched Earth. Surely, some questions should have been asked...
Yet visibly what is shaping up in the wake of the bombings in Kosovo is the continuity of NATO's operation in the Balkans. Military personnel and UN bureaucrats previously stationed in Croatia and Bosnia have been routinely reassigned to Kosovo. KFOR Commander Mike Jackson had previously been responsible as IFOR Commander for organising the return of Serbs "to lands taken by Croatian HVO forces in the Krajina offensive".47 And in this capacity General Mike Jackson had "urged that the resettlement [of Krajina Serbs] not [be] rushed to avoid tension [with the Croatians]... while also warning returning Serbs "of the extent of the [land] mine threat."48 In retrospect, recalling the events of early 1996, very few Krajina Serbs were allowed to return to their homes under the protection of the United Nations.
And a similar process is unfolding in Kosovo, ie. the conduct of senior military officers conforms to a consistent pattern, the same key individuals are now involved in Kosovo. While token efforts are displayed to protect Serb and Roma civilians, those who have fled Kosovo are not encouraged to return under UN protection... In postwar Kosovo, "ethnic cleansing" implemented by the KLA has been accepted by the "international community" as a "fait accompli"...
While calling for democracy and "good governance" in the Balkans, the US and its allies have installed in Kosovo a paramilitary government with links to organised crime.
The foreseeable outcome is the outright "criminalisation" of civilian State institutions and the establishment of what is best described as a "Mafia State". The complicity of NATO and the Alliance governments (namely their relentless support to the KLA) points to the de facto "criminalisation" of KFOR and of the UN peacekeeping apparatus in Kosovo. The donor agencies and governments (eg. the funds approved by the US Congress in violation of several UN Security Council resolutions) providing financial support to the KLA are, in this regard, also "accessories" to the de facto criminalisation of State institutions. Through the intermediation of a paramilitary group (created and financed by Washington and Bonn), NATO ultimately bears the burden of responsibility for the massacres and ethnic cleansing of civilians in Kosovo.
State terror and the "free market" seem to go hand in hand. The concurrent "criminalisation" of State institutions in Kosovo is not incompatible with the West's economic and strategic objectives in the Balkans. Notwithstanding the massacres of civilians, the self-proclaimed KLA administration has committed itself to establishing a "secure and stable environment" for foreign investors and international financial institutions. The Minister of Finance Adem Grobozci and other representatives of the provisional government invited to the various donor conferences are all KLA appointees. In contrast, members of the KDL of Ibrahim Rugova (duly elected in parliamentary elections) were not even invited to attend the Stabilisation Summit in Sarajevo in late July.
"Free market reforms" are envisaged for Kosovo under the supervision of the Bretton Woods institutions largely replicating the structures of the Rambouillet agreement. Article I (Chapter 4a) of the Rambouillet Agreement stipulated that: "The economy of Kosovo shall function in accordance with free market principles". The KLA government will largely be responsible for implementing these reforms and ensuring that loan conditionalities are met.
In close liaison with NATO, the Bretton Woods institutions had already analysed the consequences of an eventual military intervention leading to the military occupation of Kosovo: almost a year prior to the beginning of the War, the World Bank conducted "simulations" which "anticipated the possibility of an emergency scenario arising out of the tensions in Kosovo."49
The eventual "reconstruction" of Kosovo financed by international debt largely purports to transfer Kosovo's extensive wealth in mineral resources and coal to multinational capital. In this regard, the KLA has already occupied (pending their privatisation) the largest coal mine at Belacevac in Dobro Selo northwest of Pristina. In turn, foreign capital has its eyes rivetted on the massive Trepca mining complex which constitutes "the most valuable piece of real estate in the Balkans, worth at least $5 billion."50 The Trebca complex not only includes copper and large reserves of zinc but also cadmium, gold, and silver. It has several smelting plants, 17 metal treatment sites, a power plant and Yugoslavia's largest battery plant. Northern Kosovo also has estimated reserves of 17 billion tons of coal and lignite.
In the wake of the bombings, the management of many of the State owned enterprises and public utilities were taken over by KLA appointees. In turn, the leaders of the Provisional Government of Kosovo (PGK) have become "the brokers" of multinational capital committed to handing over the Kosovar economy at bargain prices to foreign investors. The IMF's lethal "economic therapy" will be imposed, the provincial economy will be dismantled, agriculture will be deregulated, local industrial enterprises which have not been totally destroyed will be driven into bankruptcy. The most profitable State assets will eventually be transferred into the hands of foreign capital under the World Bank sponsored privatisation programme. "Strong economic medicine" imposed by external creditors will contribute to further boosting a criminal economy (already firmly implanted in Albania) which feeds on poverty and economic dislocation.

"The Allies will work with the rest of the international community to help rebuild Kosovo once the crisis is over: The International Monetary Fund and Group of Seven industrialized countries are among those who stand ready to offer financial help to the countries of the region. We want to ensure proper coordination of aid and help countries to respond to the effects of the crisis. This should go hand in hand with the necessary structural reforms in the countries affected helped by budget support from the international community."51
Morever, the so-called "reconstruction" of the Balkans by foreign capital will signify multibillion contracts to foreign firms to rebuild Kosovo's infrastructure. More generally, the proposed "Marshall Plan" for the Balkans financed by the World Bank and the European Development Bank (EBRD) as well as private creditors will largely benefit Western mining, petroleum and construction companies while fuelling the region's external debt well into the third millennium.
And Kosovo is slated to reimburse this debt through the laundering of dirty money. Yugoslav banks in Kosovo will be closed down, the banking system will be deregulated under the supervision of Western financial institutions. Narcodollars from the multibillion dollar Balkans drug trade will be recycled towards servicing the external debt as well as "financing" the costs of "reconstruction." The lucrative flow of narcodollars thus ensures that foreign investors involved in the "reconstruction" programme will be able reap substantial returns. In turn, the existence of a Kosovar "narco State" ensures the orderly reimbursement of international donors and creditors. The latter are prepared to turn blind eye. They have a tacit vested interest in installing a government which facilitates the laundering of drug money.
The pattern in Kosovo is, in this regard, similar to that observed in neighbouring Albania. Since the early 1990s (culminating with the collapse of the financial pyramids in 1996-97), the IMF's reforms have impoverished the Albanian population while spearheading the national economy into bankruptcy. The IMF's deadly economic therapy transforms countries into open territories. In Albania and to a lesser extent Macedonia, it has also contributed to fostering the growth of illicit trade and the criminalisation of State institutions.
1. Jim Lehrer News Maker Interview, PBS, 26 July 1999.
2. Stratfor Commentary, "Growing Threat of Serbian Paramilitary Action in Kosovo", 29 July 1999.
3. Human Rights Watch, 3 August 1999.
4. See Michael Radu, "Don't Arm the KLA", CNS Commentary from the Foreign Policy Research Institute, 7 April, 1999).
5. Tanjug Press Dispatch, 14 May 1999.
6. Stratfor Comment, "Rugova Faced with a Choice of Two Losses", Stratfor, 29 July 1999.
7. Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Yugoslav Daily Survey, Belgrade, 29 June 1999.
8. Hina Press Dispatch, Zagreb, 26 July 1999.
9. Ibid.
10. BBC Report, London, 5 July 1999.
11. New York Times, 2 February 1999.
12. Financial Times, London, 4 August 1999.
13. See Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Mission in Kosovo, Decision 305, Permanent Council, 237th Plenary Meeting, PC Journal No. 237, Agenda item 2, Vienna, 1 July 1999.
14. Statement at the Sarajevo Summit, 31 July 1999.
15. 106th Congress, April 15, HR 1425.
16. Interview with KLA Chief of Staff Commander Agim Ceku, Kosovapress, 31 July 1999.
17. See Tammy Arbucki, "Building a Bosnian Army", Jane International Defence Review, August 1997.
18. Ibid.
19. Military Professional Resources, Inc, "Personnel Needs",
20. Associated Press Report.
21. Ibid.
22. The actual number of civilians killed or missing was much larger.
23. Quoted in Raymond Bonner, War Crimes Panel Finds Croat Troops Cleansed the Serbs, New York Times, 21 March 1999).
24. Ibid.
25. Ibid.
26. Raymond Bonner, op cit.
27. Ken Silverstein, "Privatizing War", The Nation, New York, 27 July 1997.
28. See Mark Thompson et al, "Generals for Hire", Time Magazine, 15 January 1996, p. 34.
29. Quoted in Silverstein, op cit.
30. Mark Thompson et al, op cit.
31. Raymond Bonner, op cit.
32. Ibid.
33. ICTY Weekly Press Briefing, 24 March 1999).
34. Ibid.
35. Ibid.
36. See inter alia Reuters dispatch, 21 October 1993 on the use of chemical grenades, a New York Times report on 31 October 1992 on the use of poisoned gas).
37. Lewis MacKenzie, "Giving our soldiers the benefit of the doubt", National Post, 2 August 1999.
38. Slobodna Dalmacija, Split, Croatia, August 5 1996.
39. Scott Taylor and Brian Nolan, The Sunday Sun, Toronto, 2 November 1998.
40. Ibid.
41. United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Fifty-first session, Item 9 of the provisional agenda, Geneva, 21 December 1994).
42. (See Memorandum on the Violation of the Human and Civil Rights of the Serbian People in the Republic of Croatia,
43. Excerpts from the book of Scott Taylor and Brian Nolan published in the Toronto Sun, 1 November 1998.
44. Ibid.
45. NATO Press Briefing, 14 May 1999.
46. For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, Kosovo `Freedom Fighters' Financed by Organized Crime, CAQ, Spring-Summer 1999.
47. Jane's Defence Weekly, Vol 25, No. 7, 14 February 1996.
48. Ibid.
49. World Bank Development News, Washington, 27 April 1999.
50. New York Times, July 8, 1998, report by Chris Hedges.
51. Statement by Javier Solano, Secretary General of NATO, published in The National Post, Toronto May 1999.

At the risk of turning this into a thread about the creation of a NATO/US intelligence sovereign state in "Kosovo", the following correspondence - if genuine - is highly revealing.

Quote:Correspondence between German Politicians Reveals the Hidden Agenda behind Kosovo's "Independence"

by Aleksandar Pavić

Global Research, March 12, 2008

Or: How NATO broke international law in drive to match Rome’s “greatest territorial expansion”

To all those still trying to get at the bottom of the recent US-led unilateral declaration of Kosovo’s “independence” completely outside of the UN framework and America’s willingness to destabilize not just relations with Russia but the entire international order, no document provides a clearer or more cogent explanation of the entire process than the following piece of correspondence.

In a strikingly frank letter to then German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, of May 2, 2000, in the form of a report from a State Department/American Enterprise Institute-sponsored conference in Bratislava, Slovakia (“Is Euro-Atlantic Integration Still on Track? Opportunities and Obstacles,” held on April 28-30, 2000), Willy Wimmer, then member of the German Bundestag and Vice President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe), succinctly lays out the causes of NATO’s 78-day bombing of Yugoslavia in the spring of 1999, the purposes behind NATO’s further enlargement toward the borders of Russia, and, most importantly from the aspect of global security, the US aim of undermining the international legal order as part of its vision of succeeding the Roman Empire at the height of its territorial expansion.

The conference itself was held at a very high level, with several prime ministers, foreign ministers and defense ministers from Central European countries in attendance, along with high-level State Department, OSCE and NATO officials, and representatives of high profile international NGO’s and think tanks

(see for a complete list of participants and for the conference agenda), including Richard Perle and Daniel Fried, current U.S. Assistant Secretary of State.

The fact that the correspondence between two of Germany’s and Europe’s highest officials pertains to a conference that took place almost 8 years ago does not make it any less relevant. Quite the contrary. Looking back at the events that have taken place since, and especially having in mind the “Kosovo parliament’s” “Declaration of Independence” of February 17, 2008, and the subsequent lightning-quick recognition of the new “state” on the part of the US and its closest, mostly Western allies, Willy Wimmer’s letter is not just a prophecy, but a roadmap, both of certain key events in Europe of the previous 8 years (expanding NATO to Rumania and Bulgaria “in order to secure a land connection with Turkey,” “permanently excluding Serbia out of European development,” establishing an unhindered US military presence in ex-Yugoslavia – Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo – etc.) and of events (soon?) to come (“undermining the international legal order,” “favoring peoples’ rights to self-determination over all other provisions or rules of international law,” etc.) on the international scene, including, most likely, a descent into disorder on a global scale.

In a subsequent interview given to a German foreign policy magazine (an excerpt of which was translated into English and posted on the site of New Serbian Political Thought, an influential Serbian political periodical -, Wimmer further elaborated on the points made in his letter, revealing, among other things, that the US is using the Balkans to cushion the fallout with Muslim states over its Mid-East policies, but also, following in Bismarck’s footsteps, to keep the rest of Europe off balance by encouraging unrest in that region, which, as an added bonus, is a good way to spoil European-Russian relations.

If there were any doubts as to the aggressive nature of the US-led policy regarding Kosovo (and Europe as a whole), the following letter will almost certainly dispel them. The same applies to all doubts as to whether the case of Kosovo’s secession and its US-led recognition as an independent state represents not just a grievous but a deliberate violation of international law and the wrecking of the post-World War II European and global order.

Mr. Gerhard Schröder

Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany

Schloßplatz 1
10178 Berlin

Berlin, May 2, 2000

Highly esteemed Mr. Chancellor,

At the end of last week I had the opportunity to attend a conference in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava, jointly organized by the American State Department and the American Enterprise Institute (the foreign policy institute of the Republican Party). The main topics of the gathering were the Balkans and NATO enlargement.

The conference was attended by very high level political officials, as witnessed by the presence of a large number of prime ministers, as well as foreign ministers and defense ministers from the region. Among the numerous important points of discussion, certain themes deserve special mention:

The conference organizers demanded the speediest possible international recognition of an independent state of Kosovo within the circle of the allied states.
The organizers declared that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia lies outside of any legal framework, before all outside the Helsinki Final Act [on the inviolability of state borders – trans. note].
The European legal order presents an obstacle to carrying out the plans of NATO. In this sense, the American legal system is more suitable for application in Europe.
The war against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was waged in order to rectify General Eisenhower’s erroneous decision during World War II. Therefore, for strategic reasons, American troops must be stationed there, in order to compensate for the missed opportunity from 1945.
The European allies participated in the war against Yugoslavia in order to, de facto, overcome the obstacle and dilemma that appeared after the adoption of NATO’s “New Strategic Concept” in April 1999, that is, the Europeans’ efforts to previously secure a UN or OSCE mandate.
Without denigrating the importance of the Europeans’ after-the-fact legalistic interpretation, namely that the expansion of NATO’s tasks beyond the treaty’s legal domain in the war against Yugoslavia was just an exception, it is nevertheless clear that this represented a precedent, to be invoked by anyone at any time, and that many others will follow the example in the future.
It would be good, during NATO’s current enlargement, to restore the territorial situation in the area between the Baltic Sea and Anatolia such as existed during the Roman Empire, at the time of its greatest power and greatest territorial expansion.
For this reason, Poland must be flanked to the north and to the south with democratic neighbor states, while Romania and Bulgaria are to secure a land connection with Turkey. Serbia (probably for the purposes of securing an unhindered US military presence) must be permanently excluded from European development.
North of Poland, total control over St. Petersburg’s access to the Baltic Sea must be established.
In all processes, peoples’ rights to self-determination should be favored over all other provisions or rules of international law.
The claim that, during its attack on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, NATO violated all international rules, and especially all the relevant provisions of international law – was not disputed.

After this conference, at which discussion was quite candid and open, it will not be possible to avoid the importance and long-term ramifications of its conclusions, especially having in mind the competence of the participants and organizers.

It seems that the American side, for the sake of its own goals, is willing and ready to undermine, on a global scale, the international legal order, which came about as a result of the two world wars in the previous century. Force is to stand above law. Wherever international law stands in the way, it is to be removed.

When the League of Nations experienced a similar fate, World War II was not far off. The manner of thought that takes into regard solely its own interests can only be referred to as totalitarian.

With friendly regards,

Willy Wimmer

Member, German Bundestag and Vice President, Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE

(Note: a facsimile of the original letter, in German, can be found at

The above translation is from a German-to-Serbian translation by Nikola Živković, which appeared in the Belgrade weekly “NIN,” of February 8, 2007. Another translation, by Andrej Grubacic, preceded by a commentary, can be found at

Introduction and translation: Aleksandar Pavić

Aleksandar Pavić is a political commentator living in Belgrade, Serbia.

Contact e-mail:
Thanks for that Jan. I had forgotten about Wimmer's letter. Also, David, interesting about Jackson. He sure got around to some interesting places during pivotal times.
Magda Hassan Wrote:When NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) was founded after World War II, its first Secretary General, British General Lord Ismay, succinctly stated its real, original purpose: "To keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down." In other words, NATO was supposed to be an instrument not for spreading democracy, but for maintaining geopolitical hegemony in Europe by the Western capitalist states. Very soon, of course, the idea of keeping the Germans "down" was scrapped, and Germany became a major actor in NATO military matters.

But now NATO is being repackaged for the media as a sort of organisation of world crusaders for democracy....
Emile Schepers

Civilian dead are a trade-off in Nato's war of barbarity

The killing of innocent Afghans by US bombs is the result of a calculation, not just a mistake. And it is fuelling resistance

Seumas Milne

The Guardian, Thursday, 16 October 2008

While the eyes of the western world have been fixed on the global financial crisis, the military campaign that launched the war on terror has been spinning out of control. Seven years after the US and Britain began their onslaught on Afghanistan to oust the Taliban and capture Osama bin Laden, the Taliban surround the capital, al-Qaida is flourishing in Pakistan and the war's sponsors have publicly fallen out about whether it has already been lost.

As the US joint chiefs of staff chairman Admiral Mike Mullen concedes that the country is locked into a "downward spiral" of corruption, lawlessness and insurgency, Britain's ambassador in Kabul, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, is quoted in a leaked briefing as declaring that "American strategy is destined to fail". The same diplomat who told us last year that British forces would be in Afghanistan for decades now believes foreign troops are "part of the problem, not the solution".

The British commander Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith was last week even blunter. "We're not going to win this war," he said, adding that if the Taliban were prepared to "talk about a political settlement", that was "precisely the sort of progress that concludes insurgencies like this". The double-barrelled duo were duly slapped down by US defence secretary Robert Gates for defeatism. But even Gates now publicly backs talks with the Taliban, which are in fact already taking place under Saudi sponsorship.

This is the conflict western politicians and media continue to urge their reluctant populations to support as a war for civilisation. In reality, it is a war of barbarity, whose contempt for the value of Afghan life has fuelled the very resistance that western military and political leaders are now unable to contain.

In this year alone, for every occupation soldier killed, at least three Afghan civilians have died at the hands of occupation forces. They include the 95 people, 60 of them children, killed by a US air assault in Azizabad in August; the 47 wedding guests dismembered by US bombardment in Nangarhar in July - US forces have a particular habit of attacking weddings; and the four women and children killed in a British rocket barrage six weeks ago in Sangin.

By far the most comprehensive research into Afghan casualties over the past seven years has been carried out by Marc Herold, a US professor at the University of New Hampshire. In his latest findings, Herold estimates that the number of civilians directly killed by the US and other Nato forces since 2006, up to 3,273, is already higher than the toll exacted by the devastating three-month bombardment that ousted the Taliban regime in 2001. And over the past year civilian deaths at the hands of Nato forces have tripled, despite changes in rules of engagement.

But most telling is the political and military calculation that underlies the Afghan civilian bloodletting. "Close air support" bomb attacks called in by ground forces - which rose from 176 in 2005 to 2,926 in 2007 and are now the US tactic of choice - are between four and 10 times as deadly for Afghan civilians as ground attacks, the figures show, and air strikes now account for 80% of those killed by the occupation forces.

But while 242 US and Nato ground troops have died in the war with the Taliban this year, not a single pilot has been killed in action. The trade-off could not be clearer. With troops thin on the ground and the US military up to their necks in Iraq and elsewhere, US and Nato reliance on air attacks minimises their own casualties while guaranteeing that Afghan civilians will die in far larger numbers.

It is that equation that makes a nonsense of US and British claims that their civilian victims are accidental "collateral damage", while the Taliban's use of roadside bombs, suicide attacks and classic guerrilla operations from civilian areas are a sign of their moral depravity. In real life, the escalating civilian death toll is not a mistake, but the result of a clear decision to put the lives of occupation troops before civilians; westerners before Afghans.

Dependence on air power is also a reflection of US imperial overstretch and the reluctance of Nato states to put more boots on the ground. But however much the nominal Afghan president Hamid Karzai rails against Nato's recklessness with Afghan blood, the indiscriminate air war carries on regardless. Given that the US government spent 10 times more on every sea otter affected by the Exxon Valdez oil spill than it does in "condolence payments" to Afghans for the killing of a family member, perhaps that shouldn't come as a surprise.

But nor should it be that the occupation's cruelty is a recruiting sergeant for the Taliban. As Aga Lalai, who lost both grandparents, his wife, father, three brothers and four sisters in a US bombing in Helmand last summer, put it: "So long as there is just one 40-day-old boy remaining alive, Afghans will fight against the people who do this to us."

That doesn't just go for Afghanistan. Gordon Brown recently told British troops in Helmand: "What you are doing here prevents terrorism coming to the streets of Britain." The opposite is the case. The occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq - and the atrocities carried out against their people - are a crucial motivation for those planning terror attacks in Britain, as case after case has shown. Now the US is launching attacks inside Pakistan, the risks of further terror and destabilisation can only grow.

Senior Pakistani officials are convinced Nato is preparing to throw in the towel in Afghanistan. Both Bush and the two US presidential candidates are committed to an Iraq-style surge, though the number of troops being talked about cannot possibly make a decisive difference to the conflict - and in Barack Obama's case may be as much about providing political cover for his plans for Iraq. But the strategic importance of Afghanistan doesn't suggest any early US withdrawal: more likely an attempt to co-opt sections of the Taliban as part of a messy and protracted attempt to rearrange the occupation.

It will fail. The US and its allies cannot pacify Afghanistan nor seal the border with the Taliban's Pakistani sanctuary. Eventually there is bound to be some sort of negotiated withdrawal as part of a wider regional and domestic settlement. But many thousands of Afghans - as well as occupying troops - look certain to be sacrificed in the meantime
Azerbaijan has moved to the North Atlantic....some how....And neutral Sweden isn't.


March 1, 2013

Azerbaijani servicemen to take part in NATO events

Representatives of the armed forces of Azerbaijan are to take part in a number of events held as part of the cooperation with NATO. reports citing the news service for the Defence Ministry of Azerbaijan that in the period from 4 until 8 March our servicemen will take part in the training of the staff officers of NATO in Swedish Kursangen, in the same period Riga will host courses on preparation of the NATO concept and Lithuanian Kaunas will host trainings on prevention of chemical, biological and radiation threat.

Under the work plan signed between Azerbaijan and US, from 11 until 15 March Azerbaijani officers will take part in the Combined Endevor-2013 conference in Irish capital, Dublin.

In addition, Azerbaijani servicemen will take part in the field exercises in Germany - FELDBERG 13 from 11 until 14 March. Courses for control over armaments are due in London from 11 until 16 March, and from 11 until 22 March, the representatives of the armed forces of Azerbaijan will attend the courses for officers in Holland.
Lyman L. Lemnitzer* Center for NATO and European Studies
Kent State University's Lyman L. Lemnitzer Center for NATO and European Union Studies devotes its activities to the expansion and dissemination of scholarly knowledge about NATO, the European Union, and related European American issues. The Center also provides academic advising for the North Atlantic Security Studies minor/certificate program, support for a course on NATO and coordinates participation by Kent State University students in the National Model NATO Conference. More recently, the Center has become an Associate of the Parallel History Project on NATO and the Warsaw Pact (PHP).

The Center was originally established in 1979 to provide an institutional setting for the academic examination of the historical, political, economic, and military experiences of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. In April 1982 the Center was formally named after a distinguished participant in the affairs of the Atlantic Alliance, General Lyman L. Lemnitzer, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, 1963-69. A decision was made in 1991 to expand the mission of the Center to include an emphasis on the European Community.

Among its activities, the Center sponsors public lectures and conferences that are open to the University community and the general public. Scholarly meetings sponsored or cosponsored by the Lemnitzer Center have resulted in fifteen books. The Lemnitzer Center also launched an occasional papers series in 1992 and a conference papers series in 1999. The Center has research associates from Kent and other universities who participate regularly in its scholarly activities and contribute to its publications. Additionally, the Center maintains a corresponding associates category that includes scholars from U.S. and European universities who participate less frequently in its functions.

Within the University the Center encourages and oversees the introduction of related undergraduate and graduate courses to supplement already established offerings. It is the academic home for and provides advising to the minor/certificate in North Atlantic Security Studies. This is a twenty-four hour interdisciplinary minor with courses in economics, geography, history and political science. The Center also houses a small library of specialized holdings on NATO and the European Union.
* Part of the intersection of the JFK Assassination and NATO Gladio! In case it is lost on anyone, Lemnitzer was the author and promoter of Operation Northwoods, and removed from the JCS because of it.....but there was some 'blowback' from several of the people he put out of the CIA or had re-stationed...and their pals below and above - who all had their own reasons to join in the conspiracy to murder JFK and overthrow the USA in a secret military-intelligence-bankster Coup d'etat.
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NATO: The alliance that should have been dissolved


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NATO backing the Ukrainian military is about as sensible as Russia's support for paramilitary forces in Eastern Ukraine.

Last updated: 03 Sep 2014 11:06

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[TD] Ian Klinke

Ian Klinke is a researcher at the University of Oxford.

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[TD] [Image: 201492155251809734_20.jpg] Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko gave NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen the Order of Liberty, Ukraine's highest award for foreign nationals [AP]

[TD="class: DetailedSummary"] Russia's disrespect for Ukrainian sovereignty has captivated the Western media for months. The focus on Moscow's bullish behaviour has, however, obscured both NATO's recent attempts of joining the Ukrainian proxy war and its long-term strategy of Eastern expansion. The upcoming summit in Wales is only the most recent reminder that NATO should have been disbanded long ago.
Western journalists and think tankers are increasingly telling us that Russia is re-creating a bipolar order in Europe. The Kremlin's support for separatists in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine has sparked accusations that Russia is breathing new life into a confrontation that Europe thought to have overcome 25 years ago. Yet, while both the 2008 Russo-Georgian war and the Kremlin's involvement in the 2014 Ukrainian civil war show that Russia is an important source of regional instability, it is not the only one. Western commentators often reduce NATO's involvement in Ukraine to that of a passive bystander, but such a view is highly misleading.
Over the last months, the alliance has sent fighter planes to Eastern Europe and increased its naval presence in the Black and Baltic Seas. NATO has unilaterally suspended its military and civilian cooperation with Russia and its deputy secretary general has downgraded Russia from "partner" to "more of an adversary". Most controversially, NATO is wrapping up an aid package to modernise the Ukrainian army and is therefore fast becoming, like Russia, an active party in the Ukrainian civil war.
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While NATO has so far been careful not to pass heavy armoury to Kiev, the alliance has neither ruled out individual members from sending such weapons nor from participating in military exercises on Ukrainian soil - even during the ongoing war. Grateful for such allegiance, Kiev has recently decorated NATO's outgoing Secretary General Anders Rasmussen with the Order of Liberty, Ukraine's highest award for foreign nationals. In return, Ukraine's President Poroshenko has received the honour of being invited to NATO's September summit in Wales as the only non-NATO head of state.
This week's much-awaited summit in Wales could bring a decisive boost to the North Atlantic alliance's new proxy war. Already, the secretary general has announced his intention to beef up NATO's rapid response force and to encourage increased military spending throughout the alliance. He has also called for permanent military bases to be installed in NATO's Eastern members. The alliance has been careful not to call such bases "permanent" because they would breach a 1997 promise to Russia, but they will send an unambiguous signal to the Kremlin nevertheless. "The point is that any potential aggressor should know that if they were to even think of an attack against a NATO ally," Rasmussen recently explained, "they will meet NATO troops."
Beating the war drum
The most significant source of support for the new line comes from NATO's most powerful member. In early June, Washington announced a $1bn fund to bolster the wider US military presence in Europe. US President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Barack Obama has promised Poland and other Eastern European NATO members "unbreakable commitments", backed both by "the strongest alliance in the world" and "the most powerful military in history".
But it is not just Washington that is beating the war drum. Today, politicians like Poland's Radek Sikorski, Lithuania's Dalia Grybauskaite or Estonia's Toomas Hendrik Ilves are pursuing a similar line. The very states that were eager to host the controversial Missile Defence Shield in the 2000s are now lobbying for permanent military bases on their territory. Even Germany, sometimes considered a lethargic member of NATO, has stocked up troops in the Polish headquarters of the Multinational Corps North East, a facility concerned with the defence of NATO's Eastern territorial border.
While these recent events have often been read as mere reactions to Russia's imperial reflexes, it is important not to divorce them from their historical context. A crucial key to NATO's current investment in Ukraine is the alliance's longstanding identity crisis. Unlike the Warsaw Pact, which was disbanded in 1991, the North Atlantic alliance has survived the end of the Cold War. It has had to legitimate its further institutional existence in two distinct if rather contradictory ways.
Firstly, it replaced its Cold War policy of "forward defence" with that of "forward presence" (non-linear defence lines, scattered across the globe). This new mission was powerfully demonstrated by a number of "out of area" wars against Serbia in 1999, Afghanistan in 2001 and Libya in 2011, but also by combating pirates off the Horn of Africa. Given the fiasco in Afghanistan, this strategy is now widely considered to have failed.
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Secondly, it embarked on an ambitious enlargement agenda to Eastern Europe that saw the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland enter the alliance in 1999. Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia and the three Baltic states followed in 2004 as well as Croatia and Albania in 2009. NATO has furthermore developed close ties with a number of post-Soviet republics, particularly with Georgia and Ukraine, both of which have in the past declared an interest in joining the alliance.
NATO has held military exercises with these states and recently reiterated its continued support for Georgia's plans to gain NATO membership. Tbilisi now builds units according to NATO standards so as to ensure interoperability in the future. It is this policy of regional involvement that is directly at odds with the alliance's global mission. Indeed, it has helped to re-create the very linear defence line it claims to have abandoned in the early 1990s, but now further to the East.
In response to such allegations, NATO has held that its expansion to the former Warsaw Pact and its flirtation with the post-Soviet republics was never directed against Moscow, but merely an attempt to stabilise democratic transitions in these states. Russia has never quite believed that version of events, reminding the alliance that its most powerful member state once gave Russia an informal promise that NATO would not expand eastwards.
Perhaps more interestingly, NATO's new members were also never fully committed to the story that NATO enlargement had nothing to do with Russia. It should be remembered that it was anti-Soviet politicians like Poland's Lech Walesa and the Czech Republic's Vaclav Havel who originally lobbied for their countries to join NATO.
What should have been done 25 years ago
In the run up to the September summit it seems as if NATO's 25-year identity crisis might finally have been resolved. As the US Secretary of State John Kerry has recently put it, the war in Ukraine has called NATO "back to the role that this alliance was originally created to perform". As both NATO and Russia seem to be using the current Ukrainian crisis to re-enact their Cold War roles, a debate on the alliance's purpose is more than timely.
Today's critics of NATO frequently face charges of Kremlin apologism, quite in the same way that the anti-nuclear and peace protestors were ritually accused of being Soviet puppets during the Cold War. Yet, to take a critical stance on NATO does not mean to embrace Putin.
Unlike what some commentators have argued, we do not need more understanding for a nationalist, militarist and autocrat whose new Eastern Monroe doctrine is destabilising Eastern Europe while isolating his country. Instead, we need a better grasp of NATO and its drive to further militarise of Eastern Europe. This alliance is currently aiding a nationalist regime that did very little to diffuse its ethnic tensions in the aftermath of the Ukrainian revolution and that is now shelling its own citizens. Backing the Ukrainian military is about as sensible as Russia's support for paramilitary forces in Eastern Ukraine.
The only reasonable response to the current crisis is a radical rethinking of European security that starts with the realisation that the continent has two problems: Russia and NATO. The West cannot disband Russia, but it can finally start a process that it should have started in 1991: the dissolution of its antiquated military alliance.
This solution is admittedly counter-intuitive in the light of Russia's current assertiveness, but it is ultimately the only sane step towards a more peaceful continent. Perhaps it is important to remember that it was the Soviet Union under Gorbachev and not the West that called off the Cold War. Interestingly, this happened at a time when Washington was excessively funding terrorist paramilitaries and freedom fighters around the world while showing very little respect for the sovereignty of certain Latin American neighbours.

Ian Klinke is a researcher at the University of Oxford.

I've been following world events for over 30 years, and being an American, it took me a long time to escape from the Media Matrix. When I was younger, I may have disagreed with the interpretation or analysis given to certain events in the media, but I never questioned whether the events had actually happened or not. I never thought that the media and the government would fabricate out of a whole cloth false events and complete narratives for the American people to swallow. It was very hard to finally accept that idea, but I did. I don't think many Americans will ever be able to "go there."
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