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.