May 2011

I got the following email this morning from a young woman named Elizabeth Hagen.

Hello Ms Gorin,
I’m a graduate journalism student doing a radio story on last month’s ICTY sentencing of Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac and the reactions of the Serbian and Croat communities in NYC. Croatians here have protested outside the UN when the two were sentenced, and will be following up with another demonstration soon. I have been in touch with one of the organizers and have also spoken to Serbian, former Yugoslav-Army soldiers who were pushed out of Krajina in 1995.

I’m writing to ask if you know female Serbian survivors of Oluja living in New York City whom I could approach. I would be very grateful for any help.

After I replied to Elizabeth, she wrote the following: “I’m extremely interested in this area. I also think this has the potential to be really a unique story, because it complicates what we usually hear about the Balkan war narrative…”

It’s quite rare indeed to meet an American journalist who is not only interested in the area but interested in the complicated version rather than the concocted one. So if anyone can direct her toward a survivor or two or three, please contact Elizabeth at

Since I recently posted a nice letter by a Mexican Catholic named Gamalieth, I am reminded that I never cross-posted a fabulous 2010 interview with my favorite Irish Catholic, Iseult Henry. Since there is otherwise no English-language record of it online, it’ll be here for future referencing:

“[Iseult Henry]: I am a witness to the truth about Kosovo”
Pecat Magazine-Serbia, Aug. 15, 2010
Interview by Natasa Jovanovic

1. Ms. [Henry], you have spent several years in Kosovo working for the international community. What ideas of that region did you arrive with — how were you prepared for, and what instructions were you given prior to your arrival in Kosovo — and what ideas did you leave with?

I first came to Kosovo in August 1999 with an Irish NGO, I worked as a volunteer with them in Pec for a total of 14 months. I received a general briefing before I departed but in actual fact received very little concrete information because the people briefing us did not know much. However, on the 24 August as I travelled from Skopje to Pristina, I was given a detailed account of recent happenings in the villages we passed on the way to Pristina. It was only later I realised that the houses I saw burning in all the villages we passed could not have been torched by the Serbian defence forces as the ethnic Albanian driver told me, not least because the Serbian forces had withdrawn almost ten weeks before — but these houses were burning as we passed them. It was only after I got to know Kosovo better that I realised the villages we passed had been without exception Serbian villages with some Roma communities as well which had been torched by the UCK [or KLA]. This experience was repeated several times with drivers, all ethnic Albanians, detailing the crimes that had happened against them perpetrated by the Serbs but every time they pointed out a destroyed village I subsequently learned they were Serbian, for example the village of Dolac near Klina which had an old medieval monastery and church overlooking it.

Without exception, every driver passing Dolac would point out the poor Albanian village and the mosque on the hill which had been destroyed by the Serbian forces. However, it is a matter of record that Dolac was a Serbian village and there had never been a mosque there. These types of experiences made me seriously question what had actually taken place in Kosovo. I have never left Kosovo in the sense that I travel there regularly nor do I plan to leave anytime in the near future. I am a witness for the truth.

2. As you know, the terror against the Serbian Orthodox holy places did not begin yesterday. It has been going on for decades. Why, do you think, that fact is no longer of interest to the creators of the New Order in the Balkans?

I am only too well aware of the destruction of holy places in Kosovo. I recorded evidence of this systematic and well co-ordinated destruction myself and on many occasions my life was threatened. On one occasion on 8 December 2003 an Irish friend of mine and a Russian nun accompanied me to Bogorodica Leviska, in Prizren where we photographed all the frescoes. I did not know then that we would be amongst the last to see those wonderful frescoes and certainly the last to take a pictorial record of them before they were destroyed in the March 2004 pogrom. All three of us were lucky to get away unharmed as a crowd surrounded our car and we beat a hasty retreat reversing at speed down a narrow street chased by the mob. To date, more than 150 holy places around Kosovo and Metohija have been destroyed — all since UNMIK and NATO arrived in June 1999, and yet who in the West is aware of it let alone prepared to say anything about it.

3. Why is the official Washington unable to establish a link between September 11 in New York and March 17 in Kosovo? Why is the destruction of the two towers of the World Trade Center a greater crime than the destruction and torching of hundreds of Christian churches in the middle of present day Europe?

There is a force in human behaviour that should never be underestimated. It is the need to save face. There is very little that people (and in particular men in positions of power) will not do in order to avoid the admission that they have made a mistake. Governments will persist with the lie rather than lose face. For NATO to admit that there was any connection between the two crimes they would need to examine their own actions and in my opinion that is never going to happen.

4. According to all available information, the Albanian separatist government of Kosovo needs a couple of [the] most famous monasteries, which it would present in the future as “cultural monuments of Kosovo”; [it’s] most certainly not present[ed] as holy places of the Serbian Orthodox Church. How do you interpret this “beauty salon cosmetic intervention” approach and what do you think is hidden behind it?

In all official correspondence that I have [read] in recent years, it would appear that these remaining few monasteries are simply a token presence that will at some stage in the future come to be regarded as tourist attractions generating income for the people of the new Kosovo. That is part of the strategic development plan of international donors which will culminate in a regional cultural centre in Prizren operating in close co-operation with the Turkish government. As someone who was in charge of the Returns Programme to Kosovo since 2001 - for the largest donor organisation in Kosovo - I advocated in every possible way for the return of the displaced to their ancestral homes. I argued that return had to be linked to the restoration of destroyed holy places including churches, graveyards and monasteries many of which had formed the ecclesiastical centre of the settlement. This pattern of settlement was not unknown to me, being from Ireland where many towns and villages grew up around monastic sites in the medieval era and before. It goes without saying that my ideas for return met with little support or success. Indeed a previous plan to return some 10,000 Serbs between late 2001/2 put forward by Andrew Whitley, a UN official, led to his being replaced and the end of that particular plan. Perhaps the best way to think of it would be to consider the words of one former UNMIK official in charge of returns in Kosovo who told me in my office in Belgrade in February 2005 that Return to Kosovo was “just a smokescreen to trick the Serbs.”

5. In your opinion, how right are geostrategists, historians and even many theosophists who maintain that the conflict of religions and civilizations in Kosovo is equally important for the destiny of humanity as the one in Jerusalem?

In my opinion what you refer to as the conflict of religions and civilizations is equally important wherever it is happening.

6. You are probably aware of official and unofficial discussions of the possibility of His Holiness the Pope’s visit to Niš, the birthplace of Constantine the Great, for the bimillenary celebrations of his Edict of Milan (313), which officially ended the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire.

When I tried to discuss the on-going persecution in Kosovo with the Papal Nuncio in Belgrade in June 2005 I got the distinct impression that my information was not welcome. I went to see him with an outline of what was happening to communities in Kosovo initially focusing on the Croats in Letnica village in Vitina municipality. As they were Catholic, he was Catholic and I was Catholic I thought we would have a common language. After twenty minutes listening to my catalogue of human rights violations he began fidgeting with his mobile phone and making obvious signs that my time was up. I did not even get to discuss in detail the abuses committed against the Serbs and their places of worship. I told him that as fellow Christians we had a duty to protect our brothers and sisters in Christ. He responded that the Vatican was following UN Resolution 1244, at which point I stated that if they were then they were the only ones who were. At this point he politely showed me the door but not before I gave him a little lecture on ‘Whited Sepulchres’ and ‘Pharisees’, people with nice facades but rotten on the inside. Strange that I should have to remind a Papal Nuncio about basic Christian principles.

My main concern is human rights. At the moment I am studying International Human Rights Law; I believe that all people should live in dignity free from discrimination. I believe that human rights are universal rights and all persons should be able to exercise their rights. However, this is not the case in Kosovo. Not all people are able to exercise their rights — neither civil and political nor economic, social and cultural rights. The on-going denial of basic human rights to those displaced from Kosovo in not being able to return or access their properties, and to those who remain in Kosovo — particularly those who live in the enclaves, in container camps, military barracks and collective centres south of the Ibar [River] and the displaced Roma in the camps north of the Ibar — should be highlighted by NGOs and Human Rights Defenders but this is not the case. These people have no voice.

I am not a theologian and therefore feel unqualified to write about ecumenism or issues surrounding the pope’s proposed visit. However, I think we need a new Constantine if we are to save Christianity in the 21 century and beyond.

7. Based on your personal experience, can you tell us how you saw the Albanian authorities in Kosovo, the Albanian people and their everyday life?

The Albanian authorities have very little actual authority except at municipal level where they have carte blanche to do what they want including falsifying cadastral records and discriminating against what they see as minority ethnic groups or indeed anyone opposed to their vested interests. After working in Kosovo for more than eight years I would say that the Kanun e Lek, the traditional and customary practices of Albanian clans, has more to do with everyday life in Albanian society in Kosovo than any form of statutory legal practice or the modern rule of law.

8. At what point did you begin to realize what the presence of the Serbs means to Kosovo and what is their situation in Kosovo, and what was the key reason for your taking a different perspective and basing your conclusions on your personal knowledge of the situation?

I follow a Human Rights perspective and quite soon after beginning work with the largest international donor in Kosovo I realised that human rights and development aid was targeted at the majority community in Kosovo. I started working on projects with Serbs and Roma communities in early 2000 which did not make me very popular either with the local population or with their international mentors. Perhaps being Irish I have a keen appreciation of the need to question authority especially when that authority is blind to gross and systematic human rights violations.

9. As a Roman Catholic and an Irish woman you have continued to monitor analytically and to write about the situation in Kosovo. What motivates you to do this?

One can leave Kosovo but Kosovo never leaves one. No matter where I am whether it is in Kosovo or outside it I continue to work towards redressing the many wrongs that were committed there in the name of peace since 1999. I firmly believe that the truth must be told and that there is a pressing need for a more accurate, more balanced and more truthful account of the tragedy that has unfolded in Kosovo since 1999.

10. Do you understand Serbia and Kosovo as well as you understand your native Ireland?

Between June 1999 and 2004 a war of terror was unleashed against an innocent civilian population who were unarmed and unprotected. Every town was ethnically cleansed of its Serb and Roma populations as well as many villages. Properties were seized, houses burnt, lands were illegally occupied, people returned to find roads, car parks, factories and petrol stations built on their properties. This all happened in a UN Protectorate which was under the effective command of NATO. People displaced from Kosovo came from more than 30 ethnic groups. Detention camps were opened up by the KLA/UCK in many parts of Kosovo and most of those who ended up in the camps were never seen again.

The UCK operated with impunity armed not only with sophisticated weaponry and explosives but with lists of those whom they had earmarked for death [and] also conveniently with lists of the households that had handed in whatever weapons they had.

Regarding Ireland, on many occasions during my time in Kosovo the resemblance to what happened in Ireland’s province of Ulster stuck me forcibly, things like the ethnic cleansing of the native population, the re-granting of their lands to newcomers, the destruction of the oldest monasteries and churches, destruction of entire settlements, the renaming of places in a new language although often preserving remnants of the old name spelt differently as if to say the new inhabitants were there all along. All this occurred supposedly as part of the New Order created during the reign of the Tudors in particular under Elizabethan England’s ‘civilisation’ of Ireland.

Obama recalls Balkans conflict at NY speech (March 30)

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama dropped by the United Nations Tuesday, to dedicate the U.S. Mission to the UN Building in honor of Ron Brown, who was killed in a plane crash while serving as Bill Clinton’s Commerce Secretary.

Obama noted that while Brown was not an ambassador, he did die on a mission to the Balkans, “because, [Brown] said, just as America ‘took the lead in the peace process, we need to show the way in rebuilding from the ruins of war.”

“There are times - as when President Clinton showed extraordinary leadership in the Balkans, and moments such as now in the situation in Libya - where our conscience and our common interests compel us to act,” he said, referring to the the 1990s NATO mission to oust Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, who was accused of atrocities against Kosovar Albanians. [Note again the prudent new language in light of that war being debunked: “accused of.”]

“To lend some perspective on how rapidly this military and diplomatic response came together,” Obama said in his speech Monday evening, “when people were being brutalized in Bosnia in the 1990s, it took the international community more than a year to intervene with air power to protect civilians.” […]

That is, it used to take us a whole year to do something stupid. Now we do it without even thinking!

It’s always been interesting, of course, that Ron Brown died in a crash on a plane to the Balkans, where it’s far easier to make people disappear. I mean, look at the difference in the magnitude of speculation between Vince Foster, who died here, and Ron Brown, who died over there…somewhere. Allow me to even out that balance by excerpting Jack Cashill’s article about Brown, from 2008 (tacky and gross as always, Clinton was in the audience at the dedication of the UN building in his name):

Hillary, why did you go to Bosnia?

Jack Cashill is an Emmy-award winning independent writer and producer with a Ph.D. in American Studies from Purdue.

As has become painfully normative, Hillary, the major media ask you all the wrong questions. The current controversy centers on whether you and your daughter, Chelsea, actually had to dodge sniper fire upon your landing at the airport in Tuzla in Bosnia on March 25, 1996 [six months after the ceasefire].

The photographic evidence seems to suggest otherwise. But sniper fire or not, as you and I both know, this really was risky business.

As testament to how dangerous trips in and out of Bosnia could be, just nine days later, another U.S. Air Force plane carrying American officials took off from that same Tuzla airport and crashed “inexplicably” near the Croatian-Bosnian border.

The crash killed all 35 people on board…You understood the risk. In your memoir, “Living History,” you tell how you and Chelsea had to wear flak jackets and sit in a reinforced cockpit in case of snipers or ground-to-air missiles, and there is no reason to doubt you.

The right question, Hillary, is not whether this trip was dangerous – it clearly was – but why you took Chelsea on such a trip in the first place. According to your schedule, you spent no more than nine hours in country, did little of consequence while there, and yet exposed Chelsea to considerable risk both coming and going.

At the time, you told the press that you wanted “to visit our troops and to say ‘thank you.’” The White House even made a point of noting that “no first lady since Eleanor Roosevelt has made a trip into such a hostile military environment.”

You also anticipated the question of why you and Bill would willingly put your 16-year-old in harm’s way. Your answer: The experience would help Chelsea “mature.” As the father of two daughters, I don’t buy that.

I have a nagging suspicion that there was something more involved, and it likely involves the fate of the lead official killed on that doomed flight out of Tuzla on April 3, nine days later.

That official, of course, was Bill’s beleaguered and increasingly desperate secretary of commerce, Ron Brown, the classic “man who knew too much.”

In the way of background, when I accepted the commission to write the book “Ron Brown’s Body,” the publishers agreed to live with the possibility that the Brown plane crash was an accident

I had presumed it was either that or a terrorist incident whose investigation was corrupted for political reasons – as happened occasionally in the run up to the 1996 election.

In this case, as you recall, Bill had sent Brown to Croatia to broker a sweetheart deal between the neo-fascist Croatian president, Franjo Tudjman, and an American corporation much-favored during your White House years, Enron. Remember them?

As you know, Hillary, the crash spawned more than a few conspiracy theories, some of which I was able to disprove, like the involvement of U.S. Special Forces or the murder of a surviving Air Force flight attendant.

Some facts, however, refused to go away, including the skullduggery of Croatian intelligence, headed at the time by Tudjman’s son, Miroslav.

Best evidence suggests that Croatian intelligence agents lured the plane into a mountainside through the use of a rogue beacon and then diverted NATO search and rescue operations over the Adriatic for at least four hours.

In the interim, these agents found the wreckage and administered a final coup de grace to Brown’s otherwise intact body – the very real hole in the top of his head, likely a bullet hole.

As it happens, airport aviation manager Nike Jerkuic had been “off” the day the plane crashed. Three days later, the day before USAF investigators were scheduled to talk to him, Jerkuic showed up dead with a bullet hole in his chest. Croatian authorities called Jerkuic’s death a “suicide.”

Our media chose not to investigate Jerkuic’s death or Brown’s or the Enron connection for that matter. Remember, they were on your side back then and the Croats’ as well.

Both you and the Croats had also gotten a pass from the media just months earlier, in August 1995, when Croatian forces ethnically cleansed the Krajina area of its Serbian population.

Unfortunately, Hillary, you guys had your hand in this, tactically and strategically. The White House gave the Croats the green light, as did Peter Galbraith, your ambassador to Croatia.

“Tudjman can do only what the Americans allow him to do,” said Stipe Mesic, a prominent Croatian politician of the era. “Krajina is the reward for having accepted, under Washington ’s pressure, the federation between Croats and Muslims in Bosnia.”

Still, as rough as the Croats could be, they had absolutely no motive for killing Ron Brown. Tudjman, as the man said, could do only what the Americans allowed him to do.

Even if Tudjman did have personal reasons to cooperate — he was suffering from cancer and likely facing a trip to the Hague to be tried as a war criminal — he would not have dared to assassinate Brown without an undeniably “strong signal” from someone in the White House.

Without even knowing it[,] Hillary, your trip to Tuzla may have been the signal of White House seriousness that Tudjman needed to proceed.

His cooperation would seem to have paid off. In November 1996, just one week after the president’s re-election, Tudjman traveled not to The Hague to be tried but to the Walter Reed Hospital in Washington to be treated.

The media may be asking you irrelevant questions now, Hillary, but consider yourself lucky. Back in the day, when it still mattered, they weren’t asking you any real questions at all.

Originally, Cashill didn’t believe it possible that Clinton had Brown killed, that a US president could order a death like that. And Cashill still does not think Clinton specifically ordered the plane to be sabotaged and 34 other people killed in the execution of the task. But what he did discover in the course of his investigation is included in this 2004 writing:

…More than a few callers [to Cashill’s radio show] argued that the Clintons had the plane destroyed. I dismissed these arguments out of hand. I believed then, and believe now, that an American president would never do such a thing.

When I began my investigation for my book, “Ron Brown’s Body,” I thought, however, that I might very well find another link in the Mega Fix chain – that is, the cover-up of a terrorist incident for the sake of political advantage.

Brown’s flight did leave Bosnia, a Muslim country swarming with mujahideen. This flight came just six months after the Dayton accords and the insertion of American troops – an unpopular move. I figured that if a terrorist missile shot Brown’s plane out of the sky, or a hijacker flew it into the mountain, the Clinton White House would have good cause to conceal this fact.

But I was wrong. The evidence does not support a terrorist scenario. Here is what we know for sure about Ron Brown’s last days.

* To protect his son Michael from prison, Ron Brown threatens to expose the White House’s yet unrevealed Asian fund-raising scheme, in which Brown played a major role.

* Just weeks before his death, Brown starts going to church for the first time in his life. He is scared for his life and that of his confidante, Nolanda Hill. [Note: This is reminiscent of what Clinton-era INS lawyer Rebeca Sanchez-Roig went through; she wasn’t allowed to mention that Juan Gonzalez came here not to get Elian back, but to defect too — while saying the opposite under duress by the Cuban government. According to my friend who spoke with Roig’s brother, Roig was hiding inside her house with the curtains drawn because her life had been threatened by the government.]

* The Croatian government insists on a Dubrovnik stop an unprecedented 36 hours before Brown’s scheduled landing.

* The Enron executives take their own plane.

* The Air Force calls the pilot’s nearly two-mile deviation into a Croatian hillside “inexplicable.” No aircraft has ever drifted inland before at that airport. The AWACS data suggest sabotage of the ground-based navigation system, a line of inquiry that the Air Force is not allowed to pursue.

* For the first time ever on friendly soil, the White House orders the Air Force to skip the “safety” phase of the investigation and move directly to the “accident” phase. There is to be no consideration other than accident, even though this airport is near the Bosnian border and in a potential hot-fire zone.

* Three days after the crash and two days before his scheduled interview by the Air Force, the Croatian responsible for the airport’s navigation system is found with a bullet hole in his chest.

* A day later, every pathologist who views Brown’s body concludes his head wound, at the very least, looks like a bullet hole. In a decision that reached the White House, there is to be no autopsy. The Brown family is not informed. Nor is there any forensic testing or a search for an exit wound.

* The head x-rays that show a possible “lead snowstorm” are destroyed. Officially, they’re lost.

* The three Armed Forces pathologists and the forensic photographer who blow the whistle on this case have their careers destroyed.

* In silencing these dissidents, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology brass assure the public that Brown died of “multiple blunt force injuries” like the others. The death certificate says otherwise. It notes that Brown died of “blunt force injuries to the head.” He was the only one of the 35 victims to have a reported head wound.

* Franjo Tudjman, who has feared a trip to the Hague as a war criminal, shows up a week after the election at the Walter Reed Army Hospital to have his cancer treated.

* His son, Miroslav, investigates the death of the navigation chief and rules it a suicide.

The evidence strongly suggests that Ron Brown was, in fact, assassinated. In the most likely scenario, Croatian intelligence agents coerce the navigation chief into sabotaging the airport’s non-directional radio beacon. After the plane crashes, they divert the rescue efforts, go to the crash site and administer a coup de grace to Brown, who may already be dead. Three days later, they murder the airport’s navigation chief lest the Air Force investigators persuade him to talk.

Who commissioned the Croatians is not known, although the list of suspects is small. If the commission came from Washington, it likely did not include the destruction of the aircraft.

Although not technically “terrorism,” the Mega Fix paradigm works here just the same: The White House undermines the investigation and exploits the political advantage. The Clintons do not want to know the truth about Ron Brown’s death, and they certainly do not want to share it. In this case, it is impossible to lay the blame on the FBI. That much-maligned agency is not involved.

This time, the Clintons use a reluctant Air Force and a nearly mutinous Armed Forces Institute of Pathology to bury Ron Brown as quickly as possible, literally and figuratively. They exploit Brown’s death for political advantage and leave the truth buried with him. Without an autopsy or a serious investigation, that is where it remains to this day. […]

(Jack Cashill’s book is Ron Brown’s Body: How One Man’s Death Saved the Clinton Presidency and Hillary’s Future)

A month after the first Cashill article above ran, he published the following piece:

Time for Obama to talk about Ron Brown (April 3, 2008)

In early December 1997, after 18 months of successful damage control by the White House, the black community in Chicago finally learned of the anomalies in the death of Ron Brown.

Bill Clinton’s secretary of commerce, Brown had dreamed of becoming America’s first black president from the time he was a little boy. And although he was, as Joe Biden might have put it, as “articulate and bright and clean” as Barack Obama, he never got the chance.

Brown died on April 3, 1996 – 12 years ago today – when the U.S. Air Force plane in which he and 34 others were flying crashed “inexplicably” into a Croatian mountainside near Dubrovnik.

As reported in the Chicago Independent Bulletin, a group of black pastors, led by the Rev. Hiram Crawford of the Israel Methodist Community Church on Chicago’s south side, “blasted local black legislators for their apparent silence in this matter.”

The Bulletin article does not specify whether the Rev. Jeremiah Wright was among the pastors or whether then Illinois state Sen. Obama was among the blasted.

Given the proximity of Crawford’s south side church to Wright’s church and Obama’s Senate district, however, the pair had to have at least known about the protest.

As the Bulletin article reported accurately, Lt. Col. Steve Cogswell, a doctor and deputy medical examiner with the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, or AFIP, had gone public with his concerns.

“When you get something that appears to be a homicide, that should bring everything to a screeching halt,” Cogswell was quoted as saying of Brown’s death.

Cogswell was referring to the “.45-inch inwardly beveling circular hole in top of [Brown’s] head,” which he described as “essentially the description of a 45-caliber gunshot wound.” Cogswell argued that at the very least the wound should have prompted an autopsy, but it did not.

So troubled were the Chicago pastors by what they saw as a “conspiracy to divert justice” that they called for the impeachment of President Clinton along with the opening of an investigation into Brown’s death.

Had the pastors known about the likely sabotage of the Dubrovnik airport’s aviation systems, the death by gunshot wound to the chest of the manager of those systems, the purloining of Brown’s head X-rays, or the “lead snowstorm” visible in the photos of the same, they would have been more outraged still.

There was something else the pastors did not know: Brown was desperate after his son Michael had been targeted by an independent counsel.

Nor did they know that Brown had threatened to reveal the still-buried details of the China fundraising scandal when President Clinton refused to intervene on Michael’s behalf.

After Cogswell’s revelations, White House troubleshooters went into overdrive. They had the AFIP impose a gag order on Cogswell while military police escorted him to his house and seized all of his case materials on the Brown crash.

The following day, Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post did what the mainstream media routinely did during the Clinton years – attacked the president’s critics.

“Cogswell never actually examined the body,” Kurtz snickered about Cogswell, who had covered the Croatian end of the crash. Kurtz then added with preposterous certainty, “There definitely was no bullet because there was no exit wound.”

If the Post or the White House thought the outbreak had been contained, they were in for a surprise. In a refreshingly noble gesture, Lt. Col. David Hause, a pathologist who had been present for the Brown examination, went public in support of Cogswell.

To Kurtz’s claim that there was no exit wound, Hause and Cogswell both agreed a bullet could have traveled down the neck and lodged elsewhere in the body. They knew too that given White House pressure, there had been no time to search for an exit wound, let alone perform an autopsy.

The pressure from the black community continued to grow. On Dec. 18, the head of the NAACP, Kweisi Mfume, took the Brown case to the White House and demanded answers.

On Christmas Eve, veteran activist and former comedian Dick Gregory staged a protest and prayer vigil at the AFIP headquarters in Washington that culminated in the TV-friendly gesture of wrapping yellow crime scene tape around the area.

“We are not going to allow this to pass,” Gregory vowed. “There is very strong evidence the AFIP found a gunshot wound on Brown’s head and decided to cover up this evidence.”

The mainstream media largely ignored Gregory, just as they had Mfume. But there was one black leader neither the media nor the White House could ignore.

That was Chicago’s own Jesse Jackson, and he came forward on Jan. 5. With Jackson on board, reporters finally raised the Brown question at a White House press conference on that same day. They obviously struck a nerve.

“It’s time to knock this stuff off,” snapped press secretary Mike McCurry. “I’m not going to talk about this further or take any further questions on the subject.”

But the questions would not go away. A week later, a third AFIP pathologist came forward, Air Force Maj. Thomas Parsons. He agreed the hole was “suspicious and unusual” and worthy of an autopsy.

The chief forensic photographer who had first discovered the hole, Kathleen Janoski, offered public confirmation and support as well.

With momentum still building in the black community, the Washington Afro-American ran a lengthy front-page story on Jan. 17, 1998.

At this moment in time, the story had enough substance and biracial support to breach the firewall the mainstream media had constructed around the White House and shake Washington to its foundation, but this was not to be.

On that very same Jan. 17, Bill Clinton was about to swear under oath that he had no idea who Monica Lewinsky was. True to form, Newsweek tried to suppress the Lewinsky story as the Washington Post had successfully done earlier.

The Internet, however, now made suppression all the more difficult. Matt Drudge ran with the story and forced the major media to follow. By Jan. 21, the Monica tale had inundated the land and left every other news story gasping for breath.

Jesse Jackson and other ambitious black politicians had a choice to make. They could either pick away at the administration on a story that had just lost its legs or exploit the president’s Monica problem to their own best advantage.

Jackson chose to exploit. Dick Gregory continues his protest to this day. The three pathologists and the photographer had their careers destroyed, and it is unlikely that in his visit to Croatia this week President Bush will vindicate them.

As to Obama, he has kept his powder dry. Apparently, he feels no need to talk about Brown’s death unless he has to.

And unless he does, there will never be an investigation.

I’ll close with Cashill’s most recent article on the subject, which makes a few good points:

How Clinton-era mischief protects Obama (Oct 22, 2009)
By Jack Cashill

As late as the Woodward-Bernstein era, people who chased down good stories and reported the facts were called “reporters.” Today, they are called “conspiracy theorists.”

In trying to bust out the increasingly obvious story that Bill Ayers played a major role in the writing of Barack Obama’s “Dreams From My Father,” I have found myself hindered by my reporting on Clinton-era mischief.

Consider the following post on Powerline by its respected and halfway sympathetic editor, Scott Johnson:

“Cashill’s apparent penchant for conspiracy theories – a look at his Web site suggests he believes that former Clinton administration Commerce Secretary Ron Brown might have been murdered – should also give one pause.”

Unlike others who have attacked from the same angle, Johnson accurately includes a “might” in describing my conclusions about Brown’s death.

Before writing me off as some moonbat, however, Johnson and others might want to take a deeper look at why I came to the conclusion I did in my book “Ron Brown’s Body.”

What follows is just one detail out of many that should have interested any reporter. It involves a woman named Zdenka Gast, a Croatian-born American citizen.

U.S. Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith entered her name into the official record. Gast had been scheduled to fly with Brown to Dubrovnik on his fatal flight but thought better of it.

Said Galbraith to Air Force interviewer Capt. John Cairney, “There were problems in – in – in this – in concluding this deal where they wanted to sign a letter of intent, and so, rather than – than go on the Brown trip, she stayed with the Inron [sic] people to do the final negotiations.”

That is “Inron” as in “Enron.” At the time Gast was serving as liaison between Enron and the Croatian government. Brown had died for no nobler purpose than to secure a sweetheart deal between the neo-fascist president of Croatia and a notoriously corrupt American company.

I discovered this nugget in the 22-volume Air Force report eight years after the crash. When I tried to interest my major media contacts in the Enron angle – Enron was by this time a hot item – they chose not to know. The story gets better.

“We’ve been looking for [Zdenka],” Cairney told Galbraith. The Air Force obviously did not look too hard. Investigators conducted 148 witness interviews, but Zdenka Gast was not among them.

I found her in five minutes of searching. When I reached her contact person, I was told, “Don’t be surprised if she gets back to you in just a few minutes.” I am still waiting.

Inquiring into Gast’s background, I came across a Croatian-language magazine named Gloria. Although I could not read the text, the photo that graces this article leapt off the page at me.

In the center of three smiling women, all linked arm in arm, is Zdenka Gast, an attractive, full-figured redhead. On her left is the then–secretary of labor, Alexis Herman. On her right is none other than Hillary Clinton.

This was one article that I had to get translated. I did, and here is what I learned.

The story details a wedding reception for Alexis Herman at the White House, hosted by the Clintons. The reception took place a few weeks after Herman’s wedding in mid-February 2000.

Only 40 people were in attendance. Those named included Bill and Hillary Clinton, Al and Tipper Gore, as well as “several governors and senators.” Zdenka was about the only person there I had not heard of.

One would think that real reporters would find the Enron-Clinton connection at least interesting.

Or the fact that Hillary had made a quick side trip to Tuzla in Bosnia, Brown’s point of departure, nine days before Brown’s fatal flight.

Or that the Air Force concluded that the plane’s controlled descent off course and into a mountainside was “inexplicable.”

Or that the maintenance chief responsible for the airport’s navigation system showed up with a bullet hole in his chest the day before his Air Force interview.

Or that Brown’s fatal injury struck the forensic photographer and attending pathologist as having the size and shape of a gunshot wound.

Or that Brown was buried over the protest of the pathologists without an autopsy.

Or that a U.S. Navy criminal investigator informed the photographer that the first set of Brown’s head X-rays had been destroyed because they showed a “lead snowstorm.”

Or that the photographer and three Armed Service pathologists would sacrifice their careers going public with their discontent.

The mainstream media found none of this interesting enough to report on, despite the fact that the New York Times had a reporter on the doomed plane. None of them even requested the Air Force report.

For all of his flaws, Ron Brown never lost his core humanity. He was still capable of love, especially toward his children.

Just before his death, he and his son Michael were facing indictment on serious corruption charges. Brown reacted as a father would.

According to my source, Brown confidante Nolanda Butler Hill, Brown threatened the Clintons and their associates with exposure on their still unreported China fundraising as leverage for his son’s freedom.

The Clintons’ Indonesian, Chinese and American corporate allies had invested much in the Clintons and couldn’t have cared less about Ron or Michael Brown or the affection between them.

Any number of them would – and did – benefit greatly from Brown’s death. Whether accidental or not, it preserved their investments and likely saved the Clinton presidency.

A month after the crash, Michael Brown was playing golf with the president, and Nolanda Butler Hill was in hiding.

Eric Holder, then deputy attorney general, had warned Hill’s lawyer that her statements “were getting her into trouble.” She would soon enough be imprisoned on bogus tax charges. […]

“The [former] U.S. Ambassador to Croatia…[Peter] Galbraith is famous for having described the light rain that was falling when Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown’s plane crashed near Dubrovnik as the worst storm in a decade. He also approved the importation of arms by Croatia in violation of the U.N. embargo.” — Reed Irvine, Accuracy in Media, May 1999

Following up on this story, an advisory issued by the U.S. Embassy in Pristina announces the dog-killing schedule (oh I’m sorry, not “killing” but “culling” — that’s a whole vowel different):

Warden message: Stray Dog Culls, April 15, 2011

The U.S. Embassy Pristina informs U.S. Citizens that Pristina Municipality is continuing its efforts to reduce the stray dog population in and around Pristina. Over the next two weeks, the municipality will shoot and kill stray dogs in and around Pristina during the nighttime hours. We urge U.S. citizens to exercise caution and avoid walking or driving the streets of Pristina during the time of the operation due to the danger of stray gunfire. If you have pets, ensure that they are secured inside your residence. The Embassy recommends that you do not leave pets outside in your yard during this operation.

Within Pristina city limits, you may hear sporadic gunshots from the culling operation at night. These operations are scheduled on the following days: April 15, April 18, April 20, April 22, April 25, April 27 and April 29 between midnight and 0700 hours. However, it is recommended that owners follow the guidelines in the paragraph above for the entire two week period.

In the event that we obtain additional information regarding the culling operation in Pristina or other locations in Kosovo, U.S. Embassy Pristina will provide updates via this same channel and on the Embassy’s website.

I’ve often asked myself: When Muslims in America finally reach, with the help of our political class, the critical mass they’re striving for, is the government going to make us give up our dogs upon Islamic demand? That is, as our leaders continue avidly Islamicizing the country, will dogs eventually be made illegal? I think we’ve been given a harbinger of the answer.

But by that point I’ll probably have had to found a new country already, called “Only Jews and Dogs Allowed.”

In this video you can see the two groups rehearsing together for a performance this Friday (today). The introduction reads:

The U.S. Army Europe Band and the Serbian Ministry of Defense Orchestra rehearse Dmitri Shostakovich’s Serbian Festive Overture at the Central Army Hall in Belgrade, Serbia, 9 May 2011. This is a joint rehearsal in preparation for the two joint concerts to be performed at the Topcider on 11 May 2011 and the National Theater in Belgrade on 13 May 2011

And then the U.S. will attack Serbia anyway.

I wonder if the orchestras will be playing as it does, providing the backdrop of classical music as during Hitler’s time.

(Disclaimer: The impending attack to subdue northern Mitrovica may be averted, or at least postponed, as talk of a possible land swap is again on the table: Presevo mayor Ragmi Mustafa last week said that three southern Serbian municipalities “have to” join Kosovo, and so northern Kosovo may be “given” to Serbia. I don’t know if he checked with the Pristina/Washington authorities on that one, but in other words: To keep a fraction of the land being stolen from it, Serbia has to give up more land.)

Freedom House: Kosovo media “partially free”; An international watchdog sounds the alarm over the government’s violation of press freedom.

According to a recently released “Freedom of the Press 2011″ survey published by the US-based watchdog Freedom House, Kosovo ranks 104th out of 196 countries in press freedom, qualifying it as only “partially free”.

An Association of Professional Journalists of Kosovo poll conducted on May 3rd indicates that the government of Kosovo is one of the major violators of media freedom in the country.

“The [absence of] the rule of law and lack of a functioning judicial system discourages journalists from reporting on high risk subjects,” chairman of the association Arben Ahmeti told SETimes.

“Kosovo is described as a transit place for drugs, and then it happened that 50kg of drugs were stolen from the police evidence room, where police keep confiscated evidence,” Ahmeti said. “Threats, blackmail and other forms of pressure stopped journalists from delving deeply into the issue,” he added.

He underlines that police take note of threats against journalists, but says “Those who threaten [journalists] are never punished. Even in one case when a journalist was seriously threatened and the person who threatened her was punished, he received a fine of only 350 euros, ironic under the circumstances.”

Now, the complaining journalist is in BIG trouble, since we know what happens to people who manage to get judgments against, or punishment administered, to Albanians.

…The government refutes the accusations and says the Freedom House report is incomplete. Government officials accused some journalists of abusing free speech by attacking the government without facts and for conducting a campaign against it.

Although I think he’s missing the meaning of the word “free” press, I’d like to make a starker point: Notice that we’re back to the pattern of “no facts,” reminiscent of what the Albanian side has been uniformly saying about the Council of Europe’s report on the Albanian murder-for-organs operation: “no evidence/facts.” This is meant to stop any potential investigation in its tracks. Never mind that you’ve got at least partial facts - they don’t want you to go anywhere with the facts you do have, because pursuing an investigation could lead to discovery and subpoenaing of the rest of the facts. So now we know what underlies the emphatic mantra — filled with certainty — “You have no facts!”: You can’t possibly have the evidence, because we’ve hidden most of it. (Serbian war crimes prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic kind of made this point in March about the Albanians’ proxies, EULEX: “[EULEX] expects proof rather than having to look for it.”)

Deputy Prime Minister Hajredin Kuci told SETimes the government is not perfect, but it is a guarantor of press freedom and not its violator. [It just can’t be possible that the government of Kosovo is a ‘violator’ of anything, can it?]

He said his government has demonstrated the will to guarantee media freedom. [That means they’ve signed a piece of paper agreeing to it and nodded their heads at their Western masters/servants.]

But not everyone agrees. “The government, political parties, and business groups are politically and financially controlling most of the media,” Blerina Rogova, an analyst at the Kosovo daily Zeri, told SETimes.

“The government has put obedient people at the head of the public media, while blackmailing private media with the finances it spends on marketing,” she said.

There is no mechanism in Kosovo where journalists can ask for help when they are threatened. There are two journalist associations, but they only morally protect the journalists.

Four cases of threats against journalists and one case of physical mistreatment were recorded in April alone.

Now, get this. Not only is the media situation bad, but in this brand new not-yet-country, it’s already even “deteriorating”:

OSCE concerned over media situation in Kosovo (Tanjug, May 3)

Acting Head of OSCE Mission in Kosovo and Metohija Edward Joseph expressed concern Monday about various forms of pressure on journalists in Kosovo.

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, May 3, Joseph said that the OSCE was concerned about the alleged attempts to unduly influence the editorial policy of media in general, especially that of the public television in Kosovo.

Unfortunately, international observers have noted that the state of press freedom in Kosovo is deteriorating, which emphasizes the need for speedy resolution of this situation, he said. […]

I guess the good thing about Albanians getting their Kosova is they get to find out what Albanians are all about.

I’ve commended Bad Eagle’s David Yeagley before, and need to do so again. The following blog post was actually from a year ago — I missed it at the time — but it is an excellent synopsis of what’s going on:

Soros in Serbia: The Plot to Plunder

George Soros, the globalist billionaire who condemns the concept of nationhood, who actively seeks to dissolve nations of the world, has a crooked, crippling hand in Serbia. Soros is intimately involved in the international betrayal of Serbia, and the theft of the Serbian province of Kosovo.

Soros has “foundations” in Kosovo, and in Serbia…”Because of his ‘Quantum Fund’ that does business in Kosovo along with his weapons-dealing Carlyle Group, Soros wants to be free of any constraints by the Putin-sponsored Serbs…Soros has invested millions of dollars through his International Crisis Group in an effort to possess Trepca [zinc mine]. Oil interests also figure into an independent Kosovo….

Like most globalist visionaries, Soros professes a messianic calling to save the world, when all he’s really doing is taking financial advantage…[Soros] despises the idea of nationhood, and especially Christian nationhood. He believes that ethnicity is equivalent to tribalism, and…condemns human separatism as the cause of all social problems, and advocates the dissolution of all nations — in the name of a global government, in which he and those like him expect to have exalted positions of incomprehensible power.

The modus operandi, of course, are the NGOs (non-government organizations) — which exist entirely, exclusively, and precisely to overthrow existing governments and to replace them with globalist regimes under the control of the world elites. Soros is named as one of several who push their anti-nationhood, anti-sovereignty agendas through this means…

Indeed, the anti-Serbian NGO’s all work together…They are essentially the ACORN of the Balkans. In the name of “freedom” and “democracy,” their aim is to destroy the nation. In the name of “human rights,” they propose the deadliest tyranny of all. It’s the old Communist ploy, actually. In the name of “equality,” they assert their own control. has long recognized the cause of Serbia, the last of the Mohicans in Eastern Europe. The last barrier against the invasion and triumph of Islam…The West casually writes [off] Serbia as the cause of trouble in the Balkans, when the West is obviously interested in profits to be made.

Serbia then is attacked from two sides, both of which are apparently coming from one source: globalist profiteers. In the name of western democracy and freedom, western nations condemn Serbia, but they do so only in conjunction with globalist, anti-nationalist forces. I am most bewildered and sad to say, the United States is part of this anti-Serbian campaign. To this day, I consider this the most unfounded betrayal in the modern history of America. Globalists, whether Democrat (Clinton) or Republican (Bush) have all contributed to the [assault on] Serbian sovereignty. In their blind lust for power, the “Christian” globalist leaders are willing to let Islam smash a Christian nation, in order to profit thereby. Though the media scarcely mentions it, the Kosovo Independence phenomenon is simply about allowing Islamic Albania to get an upper hand over Christian Serbia.

To these globalist power players, nationhood and religion are just toys, manoeuvers, or techniques. There is nothing sacred about nationality, or ethnicity, or religion. As Soros preaches, that’s all tribalism, something to be overcome. Nationhood is something to advance beyond. Religion is something to rise above. It is time, globalists say, for the nations to surrender to the mild sway of the messianic elitists.

I must say, Soros bears a striking resemblance to the sadistic, misanthropic Nazi-reminiscent German doctor in the 2009 movie “The Human Centipede.” Which, come to think of it, is something of a metaphor for what Soros is trying to do to the world. The doctor’s dream was to create a single organism out of three separate individuals who had heretofore each had his or her own unique identity and functionality. By the end, one could not eat, go to the bathroom or make a move without the other two.

George Soros is a sick, sick man.

I got the following email from a source:

Dear Julia,

Are the talking heads on US news shows using Kosovo to justify Libya? [Yes, they were.] The Brits sure are. It is disgusting.

Below is a note I sent to the MP representing the constituency I reside in. I doubt that it will make much difference, but maybe. He has a very small majority (about two thousand votes), and there is a substantial British Serbian population in East Oxford. He might pay some heed. I live in hope. Unfortunately, many Serbs in Oxford do their best to avoid being identified as Serbs. This, of course, diminishes their political clout. The Albanian immigrants Tony Blair blessed Oxford with have a rather higher profile — not just for voting I should add.



———- Forwarded message ———-
Date: 20 March 2011 13:06
Subject: British Serbs in East Oxford
To: Andrew Smith

Dear Andrew,

As you no doubt know[,] East Oxford has a large and vibrant British Serbian community, but you may not be aware of the prejudice that these East Oxford residents frequently encounter.

Here’s an example, several years ago residents in Iffley mounted a sustained effort to prevent a British Serb from taking up residence in “their” village. They failed, but the racist rumours spread about this man and his family by the residents were vile, and the slurs they made against Serbs in general offend me to this hour. Now I see anti Serb propaganda being reintroduced into the public discussion.

Over the past 48 hours I have been listening to commentator after commentator (e.g. Col. Bob Stewart, MP) justifying actions taken against the Libyan regime by making comparisons to what happened in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s. By in large these comparisons have tended to demonise the Serbian people, and to celebrate Bosniaks and Albanians.

These rants typically describe all Balkan atrocities as Serbian atrocities: they never mention KLA or Bosniak atrocities committed against the Serbs. (Such reporting and commentary unjustly portrays the Serbian people as an ethnic SS. This is especially galling given the heroic resistance of the Serbian people to German aggression.)

On 13 April 1941 Churchill broadcast the following statement to the Serbian people, ‘Serbs we know you. You were our allies in the last war, and your arms are covered with glory. . . . Your fame as warriors spread far and wide on the Continent.’ According to Lord Owen, as many as 750,000 Serbs may have perished in concentration camps, and 1.7 million Yugoslavs in total were killed in Second World War. It is estimated that somewhere between 6 and 36 German divisions were tied down by predominately Serbian guerilla fighters in WW2.

Britons of Serbian heritage are rightly proud of the contribution that the Serbian people made to that war effort.

In more recent times the Serbs have been unjustly vilified.

When the Balkan civil wars are discussed there is seldom a reference made to what happened to the Krajina Serbs. (I recommend Brendan O’Shea’s balanced account found in Crisis at Bihac. Dr. O’ Shea was a serving officer in the Irish Defence Forces (Army), and an EC Monitor in the Former Yugoslavia (1994-5).)

Few outside of the British Serbian community seem to recall, and none outside that community reference[,] Madeleine Albright’s admission [to BBC in late 2000 or early 2001] that she knew that the KLA was a “terrorist organisation” and that she “crossed her fingers” hoping they would not commit any atrocities that made headlines before she could get authorisation to bomb Serbia. I was with a number of East Oxford Serbs when I first saw that interview: to a person, they were angered by Sec Albright’s admission [at a time when Albanians were next trying to seize southern Serbia and western Macedonia]. Oddly, no one outside of the Serbian community seems to care that Albright misled the public.

More recently the former chief prosecutor of the UN’s Yugoslav war crimes tribunal, Carla Del Ponte, has indicated that rather unspeakable crimes were committed by the KLA against [mostly] Serbian prisoners. Her allegation is supported by a report prepared by the Swiss senator Dick Marty for the Council of Europe. According to Marty (as reported by [pro-Albanian writer] Tim Judah):

“In a report for the Council of Europe which took two years to compile, he has accused Hashim Thaci, the prime minister of newly independent Kosovo, not only of being a mafia boss, a murderer and a drug dealer – but of having been involved with a group that in 1999 killed prisoners to sell their kidneys.”

I have a copy of the Marty report and would be happy to forward it to you, if you would like to see it. If such allegations had been made against the Serbian people, they would no doubt be used to justify our actions in Libya today. As it is[,] the commentariat seems happy to portray people of Serbian heritage as uniquely having Nazi criminality in their DNA. However, it is the KLA that stands accused of slaughtering people like cattle for their organs.

By the way, what do we know of the rebels we are indirectly supporting in Libya?

Judah continues:

“There are, however, other allegations that are very real and very current. A courthouse in Pristina heard last week how seven Kosovars were part of an elaborate international ‘organs for cash’ network, in which donors from poor countries such as Moldova, Turkey and Kazakhstan donated their body parts to wealthy patients on the promise of payments of up to EU 15,000 at a time…While no connection has yet been found between the current trafficking allegations and the “organ harvesting” claims of a decade ago [indeed it has], some doubt whether it can be purely coincidence. Defending his report on Thursday, Mr Marty added that he [has] often seen “terror” in the eyes of witnesses he had talked to…”

Andrew, shouldn’t humanitarian interventions protect all innocents, and not merely some favoured few? And, shouldn’t we take care not to vilify a people for the crimes of the very few? [As has been the general insistence, in contrast, on behalf of the Albanians and their ill-gotten Kosovo — despite their far more gruesome, more confirmed, and more widespread and iron-fisted terror.]

I want to provide you with one last illustration of how hatred against the Serbs has been stirred in the past. Tony Weymouth (University of Central Lancashire) has written an excellent analysis in his “The Media: Information and Deformation”. Weymouth writes:

“. . . the front-page headline of the Independent of 12 April 1999 asserted that, ‘Nato hits Serbs as fears rise for 100,000 “disappeared” . . .’ On 18 April 1999 an American government official claimed on ABC television that: ‘Tens of thousands of young males have been executed . . .’ On 19 April 1999 the US State Department announced that: ‘500,000 Albanian Kosovars . . . are missing and feared dead.’ Western television and radio also put out what in retrospect appear to be grossly inflated figures of Kosovo Albanian casualties from Serbian violence. . . .Sometimes the politicians led the way with exaggerated and ill judged references to ‘genocide’. Prime Minister Blair, two weeks into the bombing campaign, spoke of the Serbian situation thus: ‘I pledge to you now, Milosevich and his hideous racial genocide will be defeated . . .’ In the aftermath of the conflict, such assertions were found to be significantly exaggerated . . . .”

I hope that you will encourage your colleagues to find better examples to use to justify their support for actions taken against Libya, and that I can assure my Serbian friends in East Oxford that you understand their concerns, and will do your best to protect them from unjustified condemnation.

With warm regards,

Thomas Tait

There is exactly one subject, and one place, whose narrative is immune to evidence — no matter how much of it accumulates, no matter how recently, no matter how prominently. That subject and place is the former Yugoslavia. Indeed, even in the face of daily — nay, hourly — reports of the badness that Albanians, Bosnian Muslims, and the unreformed Nazi populace of Croatia are up to (and were found to be up to at the time), the dated and debunked but still designated villain is trotted out on cue for utilization in whatever current context requires him. And the obsolete official truth is always left unperturbed and untainted.

Regardless of more recent findings, testimonies, hard evidence, and anecdotal evidence provided by clear world trends, none of it ever causes a questioning — from ANYONE, EVER — of the original Western premises, positions and policies, still in effect and still wreaking havoc. Only the fast-fading organs story came close. The Balkans chapter is to remain suspended out of context, uninterpretable by trends or rationality which apply to all other subjects and places; no critical thinking (i.e. obvious thoughts) allowed. Or else Bosnia and Kosovo won’t have been “successes”; the Muslim genocide industry would be jeopardized; policy would have to be reevaluated; prominent journalists would be exposed and Pulitzers would have to be revoked; and a lot of Western politicians and generals alike would have to be brought up on war crimes charges. And lost would be the following refuge of Islam-critical pundits: “I’m not anti-Muslim! Look — I supported the Muslims against the Christians in the 90s!” (Clue to the clueless: It’ll still serve if you revise to “But I supported the Muslims against the Christians in the 90s, even though I was wrong.”)

No matter what we learn about what these people are — whether an Albanian kills U.S. soldiers in Frankfurt, a Bosnian massacres Americans in Salt Lake City, or Croatians brandish swastikas at the Australian Open while punching and spitting at a photographer and menacing fans with flares — all the world complies in not questioning whether we didn’t get something backwards along the way.

To cite just one random example, here is an excerpt from an article published in the days following the release of Dick Marty’s organ report:

Hilmi Gashi, a member of Switzerland’s 200,000 strong Kosovan diaspora…said the Kosovo community was “a little bit annoyed” about the report, especially coming shortly after a survey showing the unpopularity of Albanians in Switzerland and the vote on deporting foreign criminals… “They say [the report] is trying to change the roles of victim and perpetrator…” Gashi added, referring to crimes committed by the former Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic against ethnic Albanians during the 1998-99 war.

So in the 12 years since the intervention, which have allowed Europeans to get a more intimate sense of Albanians, the latter have proved “unpopular.” But whatever the traits and activities causing their unpopularity, don’t let them cause you to invert the inverted roles of good guy and bad guy.

As for Albanians being unpopular in the Diaspora, one wonders why the Serbs whom they originally invaded were supposed to get along with them so much better — though they did. And still do.

MP Andrew Smith, of the Labour Party, was decent enough to send the following response to Thomas:

Dear Thomas,

Thanks for this. I do well understand your concerns. Over the years, I have had a number of contacts with local people from the Serbian community, and do believe I understand their perspective and experience.

Before the whole Yugoslav tragedy unfolded, I met a number of constituents of Serbian background at Westminster, and it was all too clear what was likely to happen following the precipitate recognition of Slovenia. (If Slovenia can unilaterally secede from Yugoslavia, why can’t Srbska secede from Bosnia-Herzegovina? Etc). Now, many awful things, war crimes indeed, were carried out in the wars that followed, and some Serbs were amongst the worst perpetrators; but the brutality and criminality was as you say also carried out by others, including Croatians and Bosnians, but because of the way Milosevic exploited the situation, a disproportionate share of blame became associated with Serbia, when in fact of course ordinary Serbs had few ways of exerting influence; then there was the whole issue of Kosovo, where again a very one-sided perspective took root in the western media and political establishment. So I hope you will appreciate I do have some understanding of this and can sympathise with how people of Serb origin must feel as a result of the “demonization” you describe. I agree with you that it is wrong to brand whole people for the crimes of a few.

I suppose the best hope for the future is that over time there will be a new generation of leaders in the Balkan states, closer co-operation between them, closer relations in Europe, as well as the bringing to justice of war criminals. An important part of the reconciliation will need to be at the people-to-people level – as happened between French and Germans after the Second World War; this is the way to try and ensure the enmities of the past do not contaminate the future.

I will do what I can. If there are any specific points on all of this which you would like me to put to government ministers, I should of course be happy to do so.

Best wishes


Thomas and I are still trying to find the transcripts from the program where “Not-at-Albright” said the bit about keeping her fingers crossed that the KLA wouldn’t commit any headline-making atrocities before she could get Serbia bombed, but Thomas adds that in the same interview she “described how she used bobbles and fashion to impress other diplomats — it was hard not to wretch when listening to her.” In the meantime, another BBC transcript of interest came to our attention. I close with an abridged version of it, my comments and bolding interspersed.

A BBC2 special, 9pm Sunday 12 March 2000
Reporter Allan Little

It is almost a year since NATO went to war in Europe.

Kosovo, November last year. Five months after NATO won its war to end the oppression of one group by another, a Serbian family drove, by chance, into a crowd celebrating Albanian Independence Day.

Anonymous woman
This group flipped over the car, set the gas tank on fire, the car started to burn, so my parents had a choice either to burn alive in the car or to get out. These bunch of people just grabbed them and started to hit them with fists, punched them, with metal bars with everything … the rest were just standing watching and cheering. It was a lot of people, it was a big crowd. They were determined to kill them. And then somebody shot my father.

Her father died instantly. His wife and her mother were beaten to unconsciousness. One British UN police officer saw the mob make murder part of their festivities.

It was like a victory for them, the fact that this - they were celebrating their independence [sic] for the first time for so many years - this was like the icing on the cake for them and you could see it in their faces.

Vengeance has been unleashed in Kosovo - in streets patrolled by NATO troops.

That night I just thought these are three innocent Serbian people. Just how could they do that to three innocent people?

Just how? Just the way they’d been doing it all along. Indeed, when a designated victim kills so easily, and with relish, one might question whether they hadn’t been practiced in the art all along. But no. No questions allowed.

Dragoslav Besic was a professor of civil engineering who’d taught at the Universities of Oxford and Berkeley.

Anonymous woman
It was basically a highlight of their celebration. It was a lynch. It was not an ordinary killing.

They were chanting UCK! I found out, later on, through one of the interpreters, that they had
been chanting: “three more Serbs dead”.

UCK is Albanian for KLA, the Kosovo Liberation Army. The KLA hold the whip hand here now. There is a state of lawlessness that grew directly out of the manner of Kosovo’s liberation. The KLA sprang from the desperation of a brutally oppressed [sic: ambitious] people for whom peaceful resistance had failed. The war in neighbouring Bosnia taught them the value of a resort to the gun. Even the children understand it. [And even the children are armed.]

There is a message that is being sent to the Kosovars - if you want to draw international attention you have to fight for it. That is exactly it. You need to use violence to achieve your goals.

From the remote wooded hillsides of rural Kosovo, they embarked on a strategy to draw the world’s most powerful military alliance into their struggle. They began in the villages from which they sprang, a shadowy civilian militia force emerging from - and melting back into - the civilian population that sustained them. They aimed to make the roads that held Kosovo together too dangerous for the Serb forces to control them. [As they’ve now made the roads too dangerous for NATO and UN to patrol.]

It was a hit and run strategy, done usually by very small groups of three to four people and the aim of these ambushes was to promote themselves.

We saw the KLA as a serious threat as something which could endanger the Yugoslav army.

They began to ambush Serb patrols, killing policemen, then disappearing as rapidly as they had struck, an invisible Commando force. Serb casualties mounted. Would the West see them as victims of terrorism, or of legitimate peoples’ uprising?

Killing postmen or killing Serb civilians in cold blood - those are terrorist acts that we do believe were wrong and unfortunately that was what the KLA was pursuing at the time.

It was a calculated but dangerous gamble. The KLA’s political leader Hashim Thaqi now admits that he knew the Serbs would retaliate against innocent civilians.

Any armed action we undertook would bring retaliation against civilians. We knew we were endangering a great number of civilian lives.

Their desperate calculation was to draw the world into Kosovo’s feud.

The more civilians were killed, the chances of international intervention became bigger, and the KLA of course realised that. There was this foreign diplomat who once told me ‘Look unless you pass the quota of five thousand deaths you’ll never have anybody permanently present in Kosovo from the foreign diplomacy.

[Similarly, recall the Bosnian-Muslim police chief of Srebrenica “telling a Dutch TV station that Clinton had promised [Bosnian president] Izetbegovic NATO military intervention against the Serbs as far back as 1993 if at least 5,000 Muslims could be killed in Srebrenica.”]

The western world was still haunted by a profound collective guilt: it knew it had waited too long to intervene [sic: to help kill infidels] in Bosnia. Now one woman resolved not to make the same mistake again.

I believed in the ultimate power, the goodness of the power of the allies and led by the United States. We were dealing which such a basic evil, that could not be tolerated.

…In the west, many came to believe that the lessons of Bosnia could now be applied to the very different circumstances of Kosovo…On March 5th 1998, Serb forces began an action that illustrated that very point of view. They attacked the home of a leading KLA commander called Adem Jashari, in the stronghold of Prekaz. The Serbs regarded this as legitimate anti-terrorist policing. It was the start of a brutal campaign that would lose them Kosovo.

About six o’clock or seven o’clock in the morning we just saw about two thousand or two hundred soldiers or police, they were coming up…

As their home was being destroyed even the Jashari children understood the value of appealing to the world. As though heirs to an ancient tradition of epic tale telling. [And this tall tale was EPIC.]

There was a standard police operation in that village, I don’t know all the details. I know it involved the arrest of a notorious criminal, someone condemned for criminal offences. And that it was successfully executed. I don’t remember the other details.

These are the details he doesn’t care to remember. Fifty three members of the Jashari family were killed. What were KLA ambushes compared to this? Albanian leaders appealed to the wider world.

“Fifty three members” of a prominent Muslim-Albanian terrorist family were killed. Doesn’t that just pull at your heart strings? “What were KLA ambushes compared to this?” I think one might call them the reason. What’s better, Americans: Dead police, or 53 dead members of a terrorist cop-killing family? Take your time figuring that one out. Let’s not even go into the number 53, demonstrating the simultaneous demographic war that was in progress to help take over the area.

As Kristian Khars, a Norwegian former NATO officer in Kosovo who recently apologized to the Serbs, admits: Not only does even Wikipedia no longer accept that there was a massacre in Račak (it’s now called “Operation Račak” instead of the “Racak Massacre,” but “the operation against Adem Jashari was also legitimate…” (See “The first KLA armed groups in the region of Drenica were led by Adem Jashari of Donji Prekaz, and the membership was composed mainly of his close and distant relatives, usually persons prone to violent behavior and petty crime.”) Check out some of these Jashari family members!

And what were 53 family members doing at the Jashari “home”? Here’s a clue: the “home” was a compound, a veritable fortress, with guns blazing — guns being something that, as the reporter explained above, “even the children” understood the value of. Which helps explain some of the “civilian” deaths that occurred:

As soon as we got the photographs we put them on the internet because that was the most horrendous thing we had seen until then. Kids, shot dead, were images of a war that people needed to see. We were shocked and we thought that other people needed to see this because this was getting out of control.

Four days later, foreign ministers from allied countries met at Lancaster House in London: The ghosts of Bosnia were there too. [Whatever.]

Not only was it a deja-vu about the subject generally, but we were in the same room that we had been in during Bosnian discussions. I thought it behooved me to say to my colleagues that we could not repeat the kinds of mistakes that had happened over Bosnia, where there was a lot of talk and no action and that history would judge us very, very severely.

She was very vigorous in making it clear that we had to prevent Milosevic from repeating in Kosovo what he had attempted to do in Bosnia. [i.e. that we had to repeat in Kosovo the war propaganda we did in Bosnia.]

I think I probably seemed quite harsh to my colleagues. But I decided it was worth it.

…Milosevic regarded the KLA as a terrorist organisation funded by drug barons. [sic: The KLA was a terrorist organization founded on and funded by drugs.] But the US wanted to reach out to them. Richard Holbrooke - the US envoy who’d brokered Bosnia’s peace deal - went to seek them out.

We got into this Albanian village, we met with the village leader and as we were meeting with him seated in his living room upstairs, on the floor , Albanian style a guy sat down, wedged himself in between him and me cradling his Kalishnikov. This guy was very good at photo ops and he got photographed with me. He understood how to handle the world media beautifully and this photograph became the first official photograph of an American official with a member of the KLA. Snap!

When the official ambassador of another country arrives here, ignores state officials, but holds a meeting with the Albanian terrorists, then it’s quite clear they are getting support.

Albanians were very encouraged.

With renewed confidence that the world was now at last taking heed, the KLA made astonishing advances[.] From countryside strongholds they now held major cities in their sights. In the city of Pec, half the population was Serb. The rise of the KLA terrified them. Pec is the home of Serbian Orthodox Christianity. They call it the cradle of Serb identity.

They were terrified because they, in contrast, did know what the KLA are, and had been their victims all along. Today, about 40 remain, huddled in a 12th-century monastery, plus a few token families that were returned in a 2006 project, whom the KLA were instructed to protect to show how Kosovo allows Serbs back.

Serbs could not move around freely during the day, let alone at night. Our youth couldn’t stay out after 10pm. We panicked if they weren’t back on time.

…We had just sat down when Milosevic leaned forward without any small talk or breaking of the ice and leaned forward and said ‘So you are the man who is going to bomb me’. And I will admit that I was stunned.

Milosevic agreed to an immediate cease-fire. He agreed to allow international observers into Kosovo and to limit his troop numbers.
It seemed that the threat of force had worked…

…A senior American diplomat was summoned to the State Department. The head of the political office made him an offer that surprised and offended him.

I remember thinking to myself he can’t be serious sending me to Kosovo. I’m a very senior career officer. How could Kosovo be important enough to require my services?

The cease-fire agreement made it important enough. In October Walker was received by Milosevic. His job was to make sure that Milosevic’s forces complied with the cease-fire. He set up the headquarters of the Kosovo Verification Mission in the capital Pristina. It was conceived as an independent, international body. But Walker had spent a life time loyally serving the US State Department. He saw the world from Washington’s perspective.

The selection of Bill Walker was made by the Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. She knew him.. and made the choice herself.

Ambassador Walker was not just working for the OSCE. He was part of the American diplomatic policy that was occurring which had vilified Slobodan Milosevic, demonised the Serbian Administration and generally was providing diplomatic support to the UCK or the KLA leadership.

Walker’s cease-fire monitors drove round Kosovo in brightly-coloured orange vehicles. Their job was to watch as Milosevic withdrew his police and returned his troops to barracks. In the beginning, he complied. The German General Klaus Naumann had helped broker the cease-fire deal[.]

He really did what we asked him to do, he withdrew within 48 hrs some 6,000 police officers and the military back into the barracks. This was also confirmed by the OSCE Verification Mission.

…Where the Serbs withdrew, the KLA moved forward, filling the vacuum. For the cease-fire agreement had a fatal flaw. It was one sided. It had required nothing verifiable from the KLA.

The cease-fire was very useful for us, it helped us to get organised, to consolidate and grow.

They were really growing ever stronger from day to day, and there was nobody to really stop them.

We aimed to spread our units over as much territory as possible, we wanted KLA units and cells across the whole of Kosovo.

At Podujevo, in the north of Kosovo, the KLA now filled the very positions the Serbs had vacated. The pattern was repeated across the province. William Walker’s Deputy was a British General. He and his colleagues could see what the KLA was doing, but had no means of stopping or even discouraging it.

The Kosovo Liberation Army infiltrated forward.

The KLA basically came back into its old positions that they held before the summer offensive.

And this started to be a factor in dealing with the Serbs. Because the Serbs said to us, well hang on, the deal was that we withdrew from these things, and you were going to police the agreement. So can you just get these Kosovo Liberation Army out of the trenches that we were in a month ago?

But they couldn’t. At NATO headquarters there was growing disquiet. We’ve obtained confidential minutes of the North Atlantic Council or NAC, NATO’s governing body. They talk of the KLA as “the main initiator of the violence and state…” It has launched what appears to be a deliberate campaign of provocation”. This is how William walker himself reported the situation then, in private[.]

Ambassador Walker stated in the NAC that the majority of violations was caused by the KLA.

Walker didn’t admit that in public at the time. He still doesn’t.


Q: You told the North Atlantic Council that it was the KLA side who were largely responsible.

A: I would have to go back and re-read my notes. I don’t remember. Most of the briefings I gave to the North Atlantic Council was that both sides were in non-compliance. Both sides were doing things that were wrong. Obviously it was easier to point at the government.

With US backing for the KLA now barely concealed, Milosevic sent the army back into action to clear the KLA out of Podujevo. The doomed procession to war with NATO had begun. The KLA continued to smuggle arms over mountain passes from Albania. Albanian civilians were press ganged into service.
Before dawn on the fifteenth of December, they walked into a well prepared Serbian ambush. Most of those taken by surprise fled back into Albania. But 31 Albanian men were killed. Later on the same day in an apparent act of revenge, what remained of ethnic co-existence in the city of Pec nearby, was to be torn apart. A group of hooded, masked men drove up to this bar which was popular with young Serbs.

The doors opened and then we heard the machine gun fire.

Lazar’s teenage son, Ivan, was in the bar. He was a bright and promising school boy, who’d come top of his class..

It was a horrifying sight. We tried to help those that were still moving. There was blood everywhere. Ivan didn’t stand a chance. He was sitting right by the door. So he was the first one to be hit.

The situation in Pec became unbearable. The Serbs couldn’t stand the Albanians because they had killed 6 children. And the Albanians couldn’t stand the Serbs. Nobody knew what would happen next.

Walker condemned both the ambush on the border and the killings in the bar in equal measure.

It really looked like this was a tit for tat again. KLA hearing about their people being killed up on the border had done this in Pec.


Q: There is a huge difference, isn’t there, between people killed in a legitimate military exchange and a bunch of hooded unknowns walking into a bar and killing some teenagers..?

A: I think the point is, we really didn’t know what had happened in Pec. Yes the government was saying it was KLA gangsters who had come in and sprayed this bar. When you don’t know what has happened, it’s a lot more difficult to sort of pronounce yourself.

One month later Walker was to break this rule to spectacular effect. He pronounced himself with absolute certainty about a massacre that occurred here, in the village of Racak. Even now, more than a year on, important questions about what happened here remain unanswered. This is the story of that massacre, of the political uses to which it was put, of how it galvanised the west to go to war, and of the pivotal role played by William Walker. There is nothing remarkable about Racak. Except that by January 1999, the KLA had moved in, most of the villagers had fled, and trenches had been dug on the edge of the village.

We encountered many villages where the villagers themselves told us in very clear terms that they would prefer to be left completely alone. Often times they felt that if a KLA group were to come into their village, that would put them under greater threat.

From camouflaged positions near Racak the KLA launched well prepared hit and run strikes against Serb patrols. In early January, they killed four Serb policemen.

International observers watched from safe high ground as Serb forces took control of the village. They moved from house to house. Most were empty. The KLA had gone. When the Serb forces pulled out in the afternoon, they announced they’d killed 15 KLA men in action. The international monitors entered the village and reported nothing unusual. Only next morning did the full force of Serb retaliation become apparent [sic: staged]. William Walker went to see for himself.

We progressed up the hill and about every 15 or 20 yards there was another body as we kept going up the hill, and I don’t know how many bodies we passed before we got to a pile of bodies.

By the time Walker arrived the KLA had retaken control of Racak[.]

Walker [archive]
The facts as verified by KVM include evidence of arbitrary detentions, extra-judicial killings, and the mutilation of unarmed civilians [sic: forensics found that mutilation was done post-mortem; staged] of Albanian ethnic origin in the village of Racak by the MUP and VJ.

In other words, he blamed the Serbian police and the Yugoslav army. Walker was supposed to be an independent international official. But did he seek direct instruction now from the Americans?

Without calling any of my capitals I told what I thought I had seen, which was the end result of a massacre.

William Walker, the head of the Kosovo Verification Mission, called me on a cell phone from Racak.

Q. But you don’t remember calling Washington at all?

I got a call from Bill Walker. He said there’s a massacre. I’m standing here. I can see the bodies.


(No reply to question)

Q: And you didn’t speak to Gen Clark or anybody like that?

Walker’s comments gave America the green light to enter Kosovo’s war. The KLA had pulled in it’s mighty ally.

With Racak, and with lots of others, the Serbs were playing into KLA hands. It will remain I would say an eternal dilemma whether the KLA initiated these battles in the civilian inhabited areas because it knew that the Serbs will retaliate on them…

Clearly, after Racak, extraordinary measures had to be taken.

It clearly is a galvanising event, and the President really felt that we could then move forward
, make clear that the US was going to be a part of an implementing force.

But Albright knew that the galvanising effect of Racak would not last long. She had to get her European allies on board. She insisted there could be no more diplomacy without the credible threat of force. The Europeans agreed. There would be one last diplomatic effort. The mesmerising splendour of the Chateau Rambouillet near Paris became the most luxurious last chance saloon in diplomatic history? Would the grandeur of Rambouillet beguile and seduce old foes to reconciliation?

We became used to rare wines. We became used to delicious and I suspect tremendously expensive French specialities. We became used to a luxury which the main aim was to see us taking up a pencil and signing a piece of paper. So luxury was there, everything was there: you just sign the damned document.

As the delegates arrived, the last ditch nature of the talks became clear. The atmosphere was tense, it was the first time these old enemies had sat in the same room. The Europeans, some reluctant converts to the threat of force, earnestly pressed for an agreement both the Serbs and the Albanians could accept. But the Americans were more sceptical. They had come to Rambouillet with an alternative outcome in mind.

If the Serbs would not agree, and the Albanians would agree, then there was a very clear cause for using force.

The Europeans clung to the formal purpose of the talks - an agreement by both sides.

Obviously, publicly, we had to make clear we were seeking an agreement, but privately we knew the chances of the Serbs agreeing were quite small.

The Serbs did not object to the political aspects of the peace plan - including wide ranging autonomy for Kosovo. But their delegation refused even to consider the military part - a NATO peace implementation force. [Occupation.]

They would have unlimited rights of movement and deployment, little short of occupation. Nobody could accept it.

Focus now shifted to the Albanian delegation. They’d elected the young and inexperienced KLA man [sic: former petty thief and budding mobster] Hashim Thaci as their leader. The entire delegation urged him to accept. But he refused because the agreement on offer did not include a referendum on independence.

Thaci was really blunt to the delegation stating that look this document this actual presentation is completely unacceptable.

He used language which could be threat.. could be understood as threatening.

And whoever signs it now, I would treat him or consider him as the enemy of the nation. [Paraphrasing Thaci]

The following sentence in a summary of a BBC documentary film elaborates: “A KLA commander tells how he threatened to blow up his own delegation to the Ramboulliet peace conference if they signed an agreement which didn’t secure Kosovo independence.”

It was a graphic illustration of the power the gun now wielded among the Kosovar Albanians. Thaqi’s intimidation of his fellow delegates did not stop a warm relationship developing between him and his international sponsors.

He was somebody who was a younger member of the delegation more my age and so there was a certain natural rapport. I think I used to tease him a little bit about how he might look good in a Hollywood movie and I think he appreciated that sort of basic teasing back and forth.

Thaqi did not respond to this flattery. The Americans sent for their diplomatic big gun. Madeleine Albright arrived on St Valentine’s Day. She was absolutely focussed on getting a yes from Thaqi. She spent four days wooing him…Deadlines came and went, Thaqi still held out[.]

I must say I was unbelievably frustrated. We needed clarity then and there.

She was saying you sign, the Serbs don’t sign, we bomb. You sign, the Serbs sign, you have NATO in. So it’s up to you to say. You don’t sign, the Serbs don’t sign, we forget about the subject[;] it was very explicit.

It took three weeks, but America’s chief diplomat got there in the end. The Serbs said no. The Albanians, finally, said yes…

There was a lot of disquiet as our very lengthy convoys of international orange vehicles motored out of the province. I guess foreboding of what was coming next. I personally felt frustration, betrayal? Yes to some extent.

We [Milosevic and Holbrooke] sat alone in this vast white palace surrounded by Rembrandts or fake Rembrandts who knows, and we were totally alone and I said “You understand what will happen when I leave here?” and he said very flatly, no emotion, Milosevic said “Yeah, you’re gonna bomb us, you’re a big powerful country, you can do anything you want”. And I said “Well that’s it Mr President I have to go now”. And there was dead silence in this room where there had rarely been silence. And he said as we walked out “I wonder if I’ll ever see you again”. And I said “Well that depends on your actions Mr President”. And we shook hands and that was it. The bombing started twenty nine hours later.

[Fast-forward to mid-hostilities…]

It wasn’t a War. There was no declaration of War. It wasn’t legally a War…And I don’t think there was a single member government of NATO that sought to go to war with Slobodan Milosevic.

All out war came to Belgrade on April 3rd - Day 11. NATO hit the Interior Ministry, the campaign headquarters of Kosovo’s ethnic cleansers. For the head of the air campaign, the real war had finally begun. But it was to prove a false start.

That difficulty came from France. Paris claimed not to have been consulted. President Chirac was furious to learn of the attack only afterwards. He and his foreign minister determined they would be consulted from now on.

For strategic reasons and, quite frankly, for signal reasons, I wanted to strike what had become called the rock ‘n roll bridge, the bridge that the Serbs were dancing on during the campaign to demonstrate their defiance. I wanted to bring that bridge down, and by one country we were denied the ability to strike that bridge. And in fact, what was relayed to me was that, the leadership of that country had said “Don’t even ask”.

Q: Which country?

A: It was France.

We tried hard to avoid targets affecting the economic life of the country, in other words people’s day-to-day lives in the most fundamental sense.

Nations beginning to ask us, in the region, said please get rid of Serb Television it’s just a huge propaganda weapon for Milosevic, its the way he maintains command and control. It’s a legitimate military target you need to disable this. And so we looked at a number of different techniques that could have been used to disable it. We finally concluded that the best way to do it was to bomb it.

RTS pictures were beamed around the world. Western television journalists in Belgrade used them too.

The American network CNN was based in the RTS building itself.

When these pictures hit western television screens they became a real threat to NATO’s ability to sustain the war. Whenever NATO made mistakes Western journalists were taken to film civilian casualties. At Djakovica, the allies bombed a convoy of Albanian refugees, wrongly believing it to be a Serbian military column, RTS pictures had an impact around the world.

…It was also a time when NATO started making the first mistakes, hitting civilian areas, and RTS was obviously prominently showing that… they were concentrating 99.9 per cent of their coverage on the mistakes or so-called mistakes that NATO would do…..and of course we were using those pictures because they were the only pictures that we had available.

This was one of the problems about waging a conflict in a modern communications and news world…we were aware that there would be pictures coming back, the convoys were the, in many ways the worst of the refugees, that were hit by NATO bombs. We were aware that those pictures would come back, and there would be an instinctive sympathy for the, for the victims of the campaign.

RTS journalists openly taunted the west.

Let Clark take a shot, we are waiting for him. Our address is 10 Tarkovska street, I wont give you the co-ordinates, you’ll have to work them out yourselves.

And then at some point we were told that it was better to just leave the building altogether, because the risk of staying there, even during the day was too high because NATO had started 24-hour bombing, and that there was no way to find out when exactly RTS may get bombed.

Although the foreign journalists had pulled out local technicians continued to work their nightshifts. Kasenja Bankovic was among them. She believed that if the building was to be bombed the RTS bosses would warn the staff in advance.

I had the crazed look of a person searching through a crowd. Someone asked, Madam, was someone you know working here tonight? I said yes, my daughter.

Ksenija Bankovic and fifteen others, mostly technicians, died. When Belgrade woke the next morning, RTS was triumphantly back on the air. They were re-running the interrupted Milosevic interview. RTS had made a contingency plan in the event of bombing. It did not include evacuating their own staff [which of course would have required knowing when one was to be bombed].

We knew that when we struck it there would be an alternate means of getting out the Serb television. There’s no single switch to turn off everything. But we thought it was a good move to strike it and the political leadership agreed with us[.]

This was an outrage. I can’t just condemn RTS and say NATO was right, because NATO killed my child and RTS were accomplices. NATO is the murderer.

American stealth bombers flew missions directly from bases inside the united states. The French government accused the Americans of flying unilateral bombing raids of their own outside the NATO command structure.

All the countries in the Atlantic Alliance acted as part of NATO, with full discussion about what to target, but the US was also carrying out a separate American operation. They deployed national forces, with a national decision-taking mechanism commanded from the US, and the European allies did not know about these other actions.

With all due respect the French foreign minister that’s incorrect.

Q: Why would he say it?

A: It’s incorrect I am not going to speculate on his motives. I can simply tell you it’s not correct. I commanded all assets and all assets were integrated into the NATO plan.

NATO had sent twelve thousand troops to neighbouring Macedonia, to go into Kosovo only once Milosevic had agreed to a peace deal. Britain now argued that they could be turned into a ground invasion force.

I became convinced that we had to have that option there, and I became convinced even more so once I had visited NATO and sat down and talked to the guys who were fighting the campaign.

Clinton told Blair that NATO would not be allowed to lose. Blair took this to mean that US troops would be committed if needed.

But in the Pentagon there was intense opposition. When General Clark took a ground invasion plan to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he was cold shouldered.

The American military was closing off Blair’s ground option. Instead, the alliance stepped up the bombing campaign. Graphite bombs cut off the electricity. The targets were no longer purely military.

NATO, led by the USA, was flouting all the principles of international law. These principles had been in place since World War Two.

[Fast-forward to the Russian-brokered peace plan]

Both [Chernomyrdin] and I didn’t believe for a moment that we could get agreement in Belgrade…We went to the guest house where [Milosevic] was waiting….I actually read the peace offer, and he said “can we have a copy?”. They got it, and then they asked me if they could start improving the proposal. I said, unfortunately not, that this is as good as we can come up with, and if we can’t agree on this, then the next offer will be worse than this, from your point of view.

NATO had agreed [to] two key compromises.

For them I think the important points were the whole thing would happen under UN auspices and secondly that Kosovo would remain a part of Yugoslavia. That made the deal acceptable to the Russians. It also gave Milosevic something that had not been on offer before the bombing started: a UN mandate. There was a sort of sigh of relief, and I congratulated Chernomyrdin, and hugged him in a brotherly fashion.

But the relief was premature. The Russian military had expected their own sector of Kosovo, independent of NATO. They now felt double crossed.

I felt as if I were the defeated one. That was the feeling I had, as if I myself had been defeated. I felt that evil was triumphing over good.

They decided to try to take what they had been denied. Russian troops stationed in Bosnia rolled towards Kosovo.

They had informally conveyed information that they might be an advance party for an airborne operation that would go into Pristina Airfield and potentially partition the country.

There was a way to stop the Russians. In a Macedonian cornfield, Clark put five hundred British and French paratroopers on immediate standby to launch an air-borne assault. But Clark’s British subordinate told him the plan risked sparking World War Three.

We were standing into a possibility - let me put it no more strongly than that – a possibility of confrontation with the Russian contingent, which seemed to me probably not the right way to start off a relationship with Russians who were going to become part of my command.

British and French objections thwarted Clark’s plan. The two hundred Russian troops passed through Kosovo and were greeted as liberating heroes by local Serbs. They took the airport unopposed. The world watched nervously. The Russians were planning to fly in thousands of paratroopers, who would then cut Kosovo in half, leaving Milosevic in control of the North…Clark asked neighbouring countries to try to stop Russian aircraft flying towards Kosovo. The Rumanian defence minister took great pleasure in warning Moscow not to try to fly over his country.

June 12th 1999, Force Entry Day, with the agreement of Slobodan Milosevic, fifty thousand NATO troops entered Yugoslavia at last. They went more in relief than in triumph…

The Kosovo Liberation Army recruited NATO to its cause. An old injustice [sic] was defeated here. But NATO’s moral war rewarded those who took up arms.

I don’t believe that any of the liberation forces, or guerrilla forces of our lifetime moved more rapidly, or more successfully, from total obscurity to international standing and recognition than the Kosovo Liberation Army[.]

The Serbs that remain live in ghettos now. At Gorazdevac, near Pec, six hundred Italians stand between them and the vengeance [sic: continued violence] of their old neighbours. The war started as a moral
crusade to end such intolerance. But in the end it wasn’t about morality. It wasn’t even about Kosovo. It was about saving NATO from collapse.

The bottom line was we couldn’t lose. If we lost, it’s not just that we would have failed in our strategic objective; failed in terms of the moral purpose - we would have dealt a devastating blow to the credibility of NATO and the world would have been less safe as a result of that.

Of course, as we all know, the war itself is what dealt a devastating blow to the credibility of NATO, and the world is far less safe as a result of that war, and of NATO’s designs for this world.

And NATO’s leaders did not know, when they led us into it [the war], that [NATO’s credibility] is what they were jeopardising. How closely they courted catastrophe, or how hollow the moral victory amid the ruins of a Kosovo where the oppressed, once liberated, themselves oppress.

But, like Glenn Beck said in February 2008 upon Kosovo’s illegal secession flouting the international agreements cited herein, “Who cares about Kosovo?!”

Every so often, this goes on: Kosovo hunters shoot dogs at city’s request (AP, Nebi Qena)

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — The video was shocking: Wounded dogs yelping in pain as they tried to escape the hunters gunning them down.

Authorities in Kosovo’s capital of Pristina say 190 street dogs have been shot and killed in the first three weeks of a culling campaign that has been harshly criticized by animal lovers.

Urban areas in the tiny Balkan nation, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008, have been plagued by packs of dogs that often attack people. An infant died last year after being bitten by several dogs, sparking calls for authorities to do something.

Their solution has provoked an outcry.

The local council was “unwillingly forced to undertake an inhumane approach” and hire a hunter’s group to kill the strays after no animal rights groups bid for a government project to shelter the dogs, Pristina spokesman Muhamet Gashi said Wednesday.

In response, an animal rights group has presented a petition signed by over 2,000 Pristina residents urging a stop to the slaughter.

“It’s not humane and it’s not always a quick kill. Often it’s a slow agonizing death,” said Dennis Capstick, a spokesman for Animal Friends of Kosovo.

Hunters hired to do the shooting have refused to talk to journalists or allow them on their nightly killing sprees since harrowing images of the shootings appeared on Kosovo’s Klan television last month.

The shootings are supervised by Kosovo’s police, and the dead dogs are disposed of at a site outside Pristina. The program will go on until the problem is solved, authorities said.

Serbia, which has pledged not to give up its claim to Kosovo even though 75 countries recognize it as independent, also has a massive stray dog problem, fueled by years of war, poverty and the lack of any government strategy to neuter or control strays.

“These dogs need a shelter and not a bullet,” said Aridan Agaj, 27, a resident of Pristina. “We’ve had enough shooting in this part of the world anyhow.”

Well now, that’s an ironic statement coming from an Albanian. (See “Kosovo Albanians Armed to the Teeth“; and “every fifth Kosovo student is armed,” for starters.)

I must say, I’m heartened that there are Albanians like Agaj, who have a raised consciousness about dogs (and thank god for this guy). It’s certainly a contrast to the Kosovo Albanians who make sport out of running over dogs with cars. But notice in the report — written by an Albanian woman — two things: Serbia isn’t giving up its claim to Kosovo “even though 75 countries recognize it as independent.” Who knew that 75 was a majority of 192 countries? Serbia and the rest of us are supposed to pay more heed to 75 countries than to 117. Is that Albanian math?

Notice also how, whenever anything negative is reported about Kosovo, the reporter has to bring up a point about Serbia to show that it’s no better. So she mentions that “Serbia…also has a massive stray dog problem.” Indeed, it goes without saying that most eastern European countries (remember Athens before the Olympics — and Bucharest) have this issue. But notice there’s no mention of any government-sanctioned killing sprees in Serbia. That’s because, as I’ve pointed out before, on the dog issue as well Serbian society will take the longer route of finding a more humane solution, even if there is ultimately no solution. (Most especially not a final one.) In contrast, Albanians have a history of dealing with issues inhumanely.

Another report: “…many of the dogs that have been shot by the hunters are suffering a slow death, and that agonizing howls can be heard across the city…”

I’ll close with an oldie but goodie: Albanians want UN to kill ‘Serbian’ dog
(Nov. 21, 1999)

Pristina, Yugoslavia - A group of Kosovo Albanians want a dog adopted as a mascot by United Nations police to be put down because it is Serbian, UN sources in Kosovo said Sunday.

Members of the UN police force in Yugoslavia adopted the stray bitch, who is expecting a litter, at the beginning of September. They named the animal UNMIK, the acronym for the UN Mission in Kosovo.

A group of ethnic Albanians came two-and-a-half weeks ago to tell the UN police they had to kill the animal because the dog was Serbian, US officer Sam Holton, who looks after UNMIK, said.

Soldiers told the Albanians they would not comply with the request, but Holton said they were worried for the animal’s safety.

The father of UNMIK’s puppies is a black dog belonging to British soldiers called KFOR, named after the international peacekeeping force in Kosovo, Holton said.

Revenge attacks on Serbs have been commonplace in Kosovo, since the majority ethnic Albanian population returned after fleeing Belgrade’s repression. - Sapa-AFP

UPDATE: Kahrs is closing his site, and so the Serbian Whitepaper on organized crime and terrorism in Kosovo mentioned below will redirect here and here, and the relevant links for his apology are now available here.


Recently, on the 12th anniversary of the inscrutable NATO bombing of Serbia and the ruination of my life, a Norwegian ex-NATO officer in Kosovo apologized to the Serbian people. His name is Kristian Kahrs and it appears he now works as an independent journalist. The message under his video reads as follows:

On March 24, 2011, 12 years after NATO went to war against Yugoslavia, I apologized to the Serbian people on national TV as a former NATO officer because we were not able to protect the minorities in Kosovo. This clip is from the main news on Radio Television Serbia (RTS).

The fact that he was actually a press officer makes this apology even a little more impressive, since military press officers are supposed to perpetuate any and all lies by the Command. (Remember these two press officers.) Unfortunately, however, even this noble soul remains under the outrageous pop impression that Milosevic actually tried to cleanse a province of 90% of its population — long disproved even at the Serb-hostile Hague. But who cares what actually comes out at the Hague once it gets its Serb.

Kahrs provides links in English, Serbian and Norwegian to a longer written statement by him.

A NATO officer apologizes
By Kristian Kahrs, former NATO officer

In 1999, my country Norway and the NATO alliance went to war against Yugoslavia, and in January 2000 the Norwegian government sent me to Kosovo as an army major to represent KFOR as a press officer.

Of course there were reasons for the NATO bombing, but I do not know one single country that would accept the Rambouillet Agreement. However, I cannot take responsibility for the bombing because I was not a part of NATO at that time.

Our job in KFOR, according to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and the Military Technical Agreement was to protect Serbs and non-Albanians from repercussions from the Albanians, but we failed, we failed miserably.

Under our watch, 250,000 Serbs and non-Albanians were ethnically cleansed from Kosovo. Of course I do not defend the ethnic cleansing of 800,000 Albanians during the NATO bombing, but the Yugoslav government, not NATO, was responsible for this. [Not, not, not, not, not and not. Who was cleansing whom? See “90 Serb villages cleansed before March 1999″]

In my view, we made two main errors in KFOR:

1. We should have enforced martial law from the first day we came to Kosovo on June 12. Then there would be no question that we were in charge. Anyone out after dark would be arrested and put in a camp with barbed wire around for a week or two, regardless if it was a Serb, Albanian or something else. We were too concerned about playing the role as liberators for the Albanians.

2. We were too cowardly when we allowed the Kosovo Liberation Army (UÇK) to transform into the Kosovo Protection Corps and later Kosovo Police Service in Аugust 1999. Thus, the criminal elements from UÇK were legitimized into the governing structures in Kosovo. [Not that Washington would have let KFOR do it any other way.] The Serbian government has outlined this very well in the Whitepaper on organized crime and terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija. Among officers in KFOR, there were many who didn’t like this, but we made this choice to protect our own forces from attack from the Albanian extremists.

And to hell with the Serbs. In other words, rather than deal with the Albanian extremists now, let’s organize, fortify, weaponize and legitimize them — so that they’ll be stronger against us in the future. BUT NOTICE MOST IMPORTANTLY in what he just said: The ‘threat population’ was clear and known to KFOR immediately: it was the Serbs’ “victims.”

Before I went to Kosovo, I quit my job to study the conditions in Kosovo, and I was therefore prepared for an area where Albanian organized crime was rampant. Still, I was not prepared for the realities on the ground, and while I was working in KFOR, I was not aware that we did not do our job.

That’s funny — because some of us were aware of it from all the way over here.

However, for a long time I have felt a sense of collective responsibility for not being able to protect Kosovo’s minorities. In September 2010, Norway sent back 70 Kosovo Serb refugees who had applied for political asylum. Norway recognized Kosovo as a separate state in 2008, and now I am ashamed that the Norwegian government is sending the Kosovo Serbs back to Belgrade. We created the refugee problem, and this is how we are dealing with it.

After I met Kosovo refugees in the refugee camp in Resnik close to Rakovica, Belgrade as a journalist, I also got a strong personal reaction. I am not talking about post-traumatic stress disorder, but I felt a sense of personal responsibility, and I cried. But my personal reaction can also be used for something good. I hope to raise a debate in Norway and other NATO countries about the heavy moral responsibility of going to war. Can I change something? I don’t know, but I will try.

OK, but can you make it specific to this particular war? You know, the war that no one wants to talk about except indirectly and in generalities? The most under-discussed war of the 20th Century? Can you maybe — for once, — finally raise some awareness about something called the Kosovo War, which I’ve been fruitlessly trying to do for 12 years now? You know, the West’s MOST RECENT and last pre-9/11 war?

As a former NATO officer, I would like to offer my apology to the Serbian people for not being able to protect the minorities in Kosovo.

Kristian Kahrs is a Norwegian journalist and business adviser, living and working in Belgrade, and he was serving in KFOR from January to July 2000.

The best way for Kahrs to apologize is to do something to raise public and media awareness that could finally expose what the policy-making establishment has been up to in that region, and the danger to all of us that these inside-out policies and the careerism that spawns them have unleashed. Expose to the public the fact that at the turn of the 20th Century the West allied itself with Nazis and jihadists. No need to look back to 1980s Afghanistan or WWII to study our “mistakes.”

Again, however, one can’t be entirely confident in Kahrs as a messenger, given his reply to a comment posted under his video:

I do not claim that the bombing was justified. It was not, and it did not come as a result of an UNSC resolution. What I say about the reasons for a bombing was the brutal [sic] security operation before the bombing started, but that was not a good enough reason to start the bombing. An increased presence of Kosovo Verification Mission would have been a better option, but I think Milošević also wanted the bombing to justify his ethnic cleansing.

Indeed, the KVM was saying that all was well; no need for a bombing. As for “I think Milosevic wanted the bombing” to retroactively justify the ethnic cleansing which, from the beginning, existed only in Western imaginations, former ICTY prosecutor Geoffrey Nice tried that one too. This is called by the same name as a Wayne Brady comedy show: “Just Making Shit Up.”

I dare say, living in Belgrade among so many Serbs and all their supposed “propaganda,” it’s interesting to me that no one has managed to set Kahrs straight about the “ethnic cleansing.” Of course, by now the Serbs believe it themselves.

Here are just some links about how KFOR and UN — more actively than acts of omission for which Kahrs is apologizing — helped ethnically cleanse Serbs from Kosovo.

At the bottom of the information screen under his video, Khars adds: “The Serbian government’s assessment of organized crime and terrorism in Kosovo and Metohija from September 2003 could also be a useful resource. I have made that available on Serbian whitepaper on organized crime in Kosovo.” Here it is, with my comments in brackets throughout:

Disclaimer and assessment of information

On this website, you can read the Serbian whitepaper Albanian Terrorism and Organized Crime in Kosovo-Metohija, published by the Serbian government in September 2003. The document is very thorough, and as far as I can assess, the information is mostly factual, even if it is only presenting the Serbian side. [Yet again! “Mostly factual” Serbian “propaganda” — the propaganda that keeps on checking out against reality.] However, I also think the Serbian government’s analysis of the Pan-Islamic factor is exaggerated. [One step forward and two steps back. Indeed, why see what’s coming until we’re all kneeling in mosques?]

When I first published this document in 2005, Western intelligence agencies struggled to gather correct information in Kosovo, the Serbian security services have very long and good experience in the region. [Good thing we dismantled their border controls and handed over all the relevant police documents to the KLA.] Western intelligence within UNMIK Police was weak, while the military intelligence capacity within KFOR was better. I have inside knowledge about KFOR because I served as a press officer in KFOR HQ from January to July 2000.

However, the turnover is quite high in the military intelligence agencies, and one of the major problems has been that the intelligence has not been sufficiently coordinated. In KFOR, there are different national intelligence cells from different countries, and sometimes their loyalty is with their respective countries and not KFOR. [Exactly the kind of non-cohesiveness the terrorists and criminals have counted on.] Furthermore, the Serbian services are not as dependent on translation as the international intelligence services. [Good thing we took over for them, huh! And what reliable translators/interpreters the Albanians make.]

When you are reading this document, you have to be aware that this document is totally one-sided, and in making this information available, it should not be read as support of Serbian crimes and policies against Kosovo Albanians in the 90s. [God forbid it should occur to anyone that those reputed “policies and crimes” were actually law enforcement, misrepresented as the former/embellished to seem like crimes.] In this document, all UCK (Kosovo Liberation Army) activity is described as terrorism, but all sides were guilty of terrorism during the conflict. [Because our governments told us so.] Therefore, there is no excuse for former Serbian strongman Slobodan Milošević when he attempted to ethnically cleanse the Albanian population from Kosovo in 1999. [Even though he didn’t. Is that the “terrorism” Kahrs is referring to?]

Although some of the UCK activity could be described as a liberation struggle against an oppressive Serbian regime [not any more oppressive to Albanians than to Serbs and others], I don’t believe in UCK as a liberation movement. [Maybe that’s because they were only ever a criminal network until we suggested that they pass themselves off as a “liberation movement.”] The Serbian whitepaper does an excellent job in outlining the criminal intentions of UCK and links to the top of Kosovo Albanian politics and institutions like the Kosovo Protection Corps (now transformed into the Kosovo Security Force) and Kosovo Police today. Organized crime is and will be a major problem for Kosovo in the future. [No, it’ll be a major problem for us — for the rest of the world. Kosovo is merely the headquarters that we subsidize.]

Another weakness of this paper is also that the information is old, but it would be very interesting to see what kind of intelligence Dick Marty possesses in his investigation of organ trafficking in Kosovo. He has been in close contact with Western intelligence services, and they have more updated information that the Serbian government provides here. Read the very interesting interview with Marty, Witness Safety Could Hamper Kosovo Organ Trafficking Investigation.

For more information about me, please take a look at my website at, and any questions should be directed to me at

Kahrs’ YouTube channel is here.

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