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June 15, 1999
Bait and switch: The NATO/KLA alliance emerges
* NATO is deputizing armed KLA in some areas,
looking the other way in others as they rampage
* The coal mines of Kosovo: KLA forces led by
MPRI-asociate Croatian General Agim Ceku seize
key strategic coal reserves in Kosovo
The KLA was supposed to put down its arms as
part of the peace agreement which started
the withdrawal of Yugoslavian forces from the
Yugoslavian province of Kosovo.
Before the NATO bombing, the KLA, a "terrorist
organization" according to the US State
Department (1998) and funded by criminal enterprises
including the heroin trade and extortion according
to Interpol, had been waging a guerilla terror
campaign in Kosovo targeting primarily civilians,
including uncooperative Albanians.
By all reports, Yugoslavian forces are withdrawing
according to schedule, but guess who's moving into
the vacuum created by their departure? Armed KLA
forces - with the endorsement of NATO.
Here's today's line from the AP, which less than
a week ago was repeating NATO assurances that the
KLA would disarm: "Ethnic Albanian rebels are
quietly moving in, taking positions vacated by
departing Serbs as the West struggles to reach
an agreement with Russia on the operation of
the massive peacekeeping mission."
The use of language here is remarkable. The
armed terrorist KLA moves "quietly" and the
diplomatic dispute between Russian and NATO
is a "struggle." Add to this the fact that
these two issues are in no way logically
connected and you have a first class piece of
It looks like the presence of 200 Russian troops at an
airport General Wesley Clark says he had no plans for
is about to be used by NATO as the justification for
open collaboration with the KLA in some parts of Kosovo.
"Good" KLA members have been given yellow arm bands
by NATO to show that they are authorized "peacekeepers."
In some areas where the KLA is openly resuming its
terror campaign, NATO commanders in the field are doing
nothing and the Supreme Commanders and his PR flacks
just shrug and call the situation "difficult":
"Brigadier General Fritz von Korff said that Nato
has no mandate for disarming the KLA, and that it
would require a separate resolution from the UN.
`"For the moment, I can only disarm a KLA soldier
if he hinders me in fulfilling my mission," he
said. At the moment, KLA is controlling Pec, Prizren
and Orahovac although its demilitarization was
required by the agreement."
Source: INET http://www.inet.co.yu/
(INET is a group of Yugoslavian computer
engineers who have been issuing near hourly
bulletins on news of the war. They were
the first to report the movement of
Russian troops out of Bosnia and have
generally been days to weeks ahead of
the US news media reports and far more
Also reported by INET today:
1. An explosion at Pristina airport
where the Russians are stationed.
In a report yesterday, the AP relayed
a thinly veiled threat from the KLA
that it "could not guarantee the
safety of the Russian troops." A Russian
military spokesman attributed the explosion
to a mortar round.
2. Reports from the Russian press indicate
that Bulgaria has approved use of its
airspace by Russian planes. The Russian RIA
news agency reports that the arrival of 7000
Russian paratroopers from Pskov is expected
in Kosovo in the next few days. (I'm double
checking this number. It's awfully high.
If it's correct, they're not coming to play
3. At a press conference yesterday, Sali Mustafer,
KLA commander for Pristina, stated that the
ultimate aim of the KLA was to unite all the
Albanian people in one homeland, including areas
of Macedonia. More on this later.
And the following essential points go selectively
unmentioned in most US news reports:
1. Thousands of Serbian civilians are fleeing
their homes in Kosovo in fear of KLA attack.
2. KLA assaults and provocations, including
several shooting deaths, which target civilians
as well as Yugoslavian military and police are being
reported from all over the province.
The Coal Mines of Kosovo
Coal may not seem like an important resource
in the age of oil and silicon, but for poorer
countries that are lucky enough to have some,
it's essential for industry and maintaining basic
life support systems. It gets cold in Belgrade
in the winter. Cold enough for vulnerable people
to freeze to death.
The LA Times reported yesterday that KLA forces
took control of one of Kosovo's most important
assets, the Belacevic coal mine.
"Serbian infantrymen who had guarded the Belacevic
open pit mine during 16 months of guerrilla war
pulled out at 8 a.m. Saturday. Their army's withdrawal
from Kosovo was supposed to be tightly synchronized
with the arrival of NATO-led troops to pacify the province.
Instead, the advancing foot soldiers the mine director
saw in his binoculars were from the Kosovo Liberation
(I wonder who gave the KLA the timetable?)
Kosovo contains the largest coal reserves in the
entire Balkans. NATO has already announced via a recent
New York Times article that Kosovo will be economically
cut off from Yugoslavia. The Kosovo coal reserves,
so important to the economy of the Yugoslavia, have
in essence, been appropriated.
NATO appears to be completely unconcerned by the seizure
of this asset valued in the hundreds of millions of
"Although the mine takeover was reported on Serbian radio
and television Saturday, the peacekeepers knew nothing about
"I'm going to send a report to the guys in headquarters,
and they'll probably have some questions," (the
Canadian area commander) told the mine director. "Then
they'll make a decision."
An hour later, the lieutenant still was waiting for
instructions. He explained that the British army unit he
had contacted said it did not have jurisdiction of the
area around the mine. He was trying to call someone else."
Source: Los Angeles Times, June 14, 1999
Unlike the typical sloppy hit and run terror
tactics the KLA is known for, this operation
was carried out with military precision.
Lost in the shuffle of the Kosovo story
is the name and background of the KLA's
military commander-in-chief. Here's a man you'd
think would receive a fair amount of media attention.
Yet he's almost as well kept a secret as the details
of Wesley Clark's tour of duty at Ft. Hood, Texas
during the Waco atrocity.
>From the Brass Check report of May 15:
"Jane's Defense Weekly...in the May 10 issue
reports that the current leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army
is a Croatian general, Agim Ceku. He was in charge of Operation
`Storm,' the bloodiest and most brutal military campaign -until the
current NATO bombing--carried out in the Balkans since the invasion of
the Nazis during World War II. In August 1995, the Operation `Storm'
offensive against the Serbian population in the Krajina region in
Croatia that drove hundreds of thousands of Serbs from the region
that they have inhabited for centuries.
Ceku is a U.S.-trained military officer who is closely tied to the
Pentagon's Military Professional Resources, Inc. (MPRI). The MPRI is a
semi-official Pentagon contractor, headed by retired U.S. military
officers. It specializes in sending mercenary armies under Pentagon
contract into unofficial wars. The MPRI was contracted by the Pentagon
to organize and train the Croatian Army for its Operation Storm
against Serbs in Krajina. This massive ground offensive against
hundreds of thousands of civilians was seen as the decisive military
event that forced the Milosevic government in Yugoslavia to sign the
U.S.-brokered Dayton Accord for Bosnia."
Source: Brian Becker, Co-Director, International Action Center
"Is the U.S./NATO leadership planning a ground war?"
MPRI's web site: http://www.mpri.com
One of MPRI's competitors in the brave new world of
privatized and unaccountable military forces is a
South African company called Executive Outcomes. The
company operates primarily in Africa has been known
to take its fee in the shares of mines it has helped
Finally, if you're wondering what a greater
Albania would look like, here's an intelligence
report from Janes on the state of that country
and the nature of the people who run it:
Here's an excerpt:
"After the collapse of the pyramid finance scheme
in 1997, economic activity in Albania had been
dominated by a few families who ran the country's
organised crime gangs. Their reaction to the
current crisis was strategic in nature. Orders went
out that NATO troops were not to be attacked
and middlemen were despatched to set up deals to
supply the incoming armies and aid agencies
with food and other resources as well as rented
buildings and land. Hundreds of millions of dollars
are now pouring into the country.
In late April the Albanian telephone authorities
switched off the international roaming facilities
of the mobile phone network, forcing foreigners to
buy special chips for more than US$1,000 to give their
cell phones access to the world network.
Aid shipments into Tirana airport are also 'fair game',
and these generate huge 'kick-backs' for officials
working there. Reputedly the job of chief police officer
at the airport can be bought from a government official
for a bribe of US$250,000, but the incumbent is only allowed
to stay in post for three months until the job is sold to
someone else. As one NATO officer in Tirana commented:
"The Albanians now only have one god: money."
Full text: http://www.janes.com/defence/features/kosovo/albania.html
And this from Sam Smith, http://www.prorev.com and
"BALKAN BELIEVE IT OR NOT
-- Yugoslavia is actually a sovereign country.
-- Kosovo is actually a province of Yugoslavia.
-- Historically, the term for what is now happening
in Kosovo is not "peacekeeping mission" but "invasion
-- One way to tell this is to ask a simple question:
just who asked NAT0 to bomb and invade Yugoslavia?
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