The Guardian March 21, 2001


New war in the Balkans

The front-page headline in last week's British Guardian Weekly 
was "West struggles to contain monster of its own making". The monster 
referred to is the Albanian National Liberation Army (NLA). Spring is 
coming to Europe and with it a renewed threat of another war in the 
Balkans. This time there is no Milosevic to blame or the fake claim of 
"ethnic cleansing".

Far from the break up of Yugoslavia and the removal of Slobadan Milosevic 
bringing peace to the region it is leading to one catastrophe after 
another.

The US and other NATO governments nurtured the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) 
that is nothing more than a gang of terrorists and drug runners. It is 
similar to the US created monster in Afghanistan, the Taliban. The KLA has 
been financed, trained and armed by the CIA. KFOR forces  the alleged 
peacekeepers now occupying Kosovo and Macedonia, have not disarmed it.

The British conservative newspaper The Observer quoting a KFOR 
battalion commander on March 11 wrote: "The CIA has been allowed to run 
riot in Kosovo with a private army designed to overthrow Slobadan Milosevic 
the radical Albanians. US policy was and still is out of step with the 
other NATO allies."

Since the departure of the Yugoslav army from the Yugoslav province of 
Kosovo, the field has been wide open for gangsters and extremists to 
flourish. Ethnic minorities have been left unprotected from continuing 
attacks by the KLA whose members have set about seizing assets and creating 
a vast criminal network.

Drugs, prostitution, kidnappings, baby and human organ trade bring in huge 
amounts of money for the criminal KLA gangs. UN and NATO forces are also 
alleged to be involved in some of the rackets. There is no peace and no 
rule of law in Kosovo. Those with money or guns, or both, terrorise the 
rest.

Clashes in the province have never stopped but now threaten to turn into a 
new war.

The recent attacks are two-pronged  one is directed against Macedonia 
which has a sizable ethnic Albanian population; another is raging on the 
border between Kosovo and Serbia.

The forces involved are the same as before  the Kosovo Liberation Army 
(KLA) and its various offshoots. The aim is the creation of a Greater 
Albania.

Yugoslav troops had been forced to withdraw from the border with Kosovo and 
a buffer zone was established to prevent incidents between Yugoslav and 
NATO forces.

This buffer zone was successfully utilised by the armed Albanian terrorists 
as a launch pad for their attacks on Yugoslav police and civilians. The 
border has been controlled for months by US troops who encouraged the KLA 
in its attacks on the Serbian population.

Yugoslav President Kostunica has accused NATO "peacekeepers" in Kosovo of 
"direct collaboration" with the Kosovo terrorists. "Flights of KFOR 
helicopters have been traced that gave the impression of being used as a 
sort of logistics support to the terrorists rather than surveilling them", 
Kostunica said.

The KLA has now turned its attention to Macedonia in its drive to create a 
Greater Albania.

Again the US and NATO are playing soft-pedal with the KLA although they 
could have easily used their superior military forces to bring a rapid end 
to the incursions of the KLA into the heart of Macedonia.

The further fragmentation of the Balkans into more mini-mini states makes 
it easier to control the whole region.

The shortsightedness of those in Macedonia who led its breakaway from 
Yugoslavia is now apparent. They will look in vain to NATO to help defeat 
the KLA gangsters and preserve their newly established independence.

War in the Balkans is a happy hunting ground for the Western imperialist 
powers as they fight for control of this rich and strategic peninsular.

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