the author of the international bestseller America’s "War
on Terrorism" Global Research,
2005. He is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa
and Director of the Center for Research on Globalization.
order Chossudovsky's book America's "War on Terrorism", click
the European Union and the US, have acknowledged that they would
be "opposed" to a " unilateral" declaration of independence of Kosovo,
the secession of Kosovo from Serbia is already de facto. It is part
of a US-NATO military agenda. It is the culmination of the
1999 NATO led invasion. It responds to US-NATO strategic objectives.
the "compromise" Ahtisaari Proposal under the helm of the former
Finnish Prime Minister to establish a "multi-ethnic" Kosovar State
has little to do with "national sovereignty" or "independence".
It is a copy and paste replicate of the structures imposed on Bosnia-Herzegovina
under the 1995 Dayton agreements. It essentially sustains the authority
of the military occupation. Under proposed blueprint, all the major
decisions pertaining to public spending, social programs, monetary
and trading arrangements would remain in the hands of the NATO-UN
re-election of a "pro-Western" president Boris Tadic in the Serbian
elections is likely to "legitimize" Kosovo's de facto secession.
Boris Tadic's Democratic Party takes its orders from Washington.
In 2000, it actively participated in the ousting of Slobodan Milosevic
from the Serbian presidency. Moreover, Boris Tadic as Serbian president,
is also the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. He is unlikely
to act without consulting Washington and Brussels in the event of
a unilateral declaration of independence.
the 1999 NATO invasion, Kosovo has become a territory under foreign
military rule. Kosovo remains under UN administration, In practice,
however, it is under NATO military jurisdiction. Secession from
Serbia would reinforce the control of the NATO-UN occupation authority.
civilian government of the province is headed by Prime Minister,
Hashim Thaci, former leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA)
(Ushtria Çlirimtare e Kosovës or UÇK in Albanian).
Known for its extensive links to Albanian and European crime syndicates,
the KLA was supported from the outset in the mid-1990s by the CIA
and Germany's intelligence agency, the Bundes Nachrichten Dienst
(BND). In the course of the 1999 war, the KLA was supported
directly by NATO.
Minister of Kosovo Hashim Thaci, who now heads the Democratic Party
of Kosovo was known in the 1990s to be part of a crime
syndicate, involved in drug trafficking and prostitution. During
the Clinton administration, he was a protégé of Madeleine Albright.
In the 1990s, Thaci founded the so-called "Drenica-Group", a criminal
syndicate based in Kosovo, with links to the Albanian, Macedonian
and Italian mafias. These links to criminal syndicates have been
acknowledged both by Interpol and the US Congress.
1997, the KLA was recognized by the U.S. as a terrorist organization
linked to the drug trade. President Clinton's special envoy to the
Balkans, Robert Gelbard, described the KLA as, "without any questions,
a terrorist group".
Democratic Party of Kosovo is integrated by former members of a
terrorist organization. It has maintained its links to organized
crime. In fact, a large part of the political spectrum in Kosovo
is dominated by former KLA members. Kosovo's previous prime minister
Ramush Haradinaj and head of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo,
elected in 2004, is also a former commander of the Kosovo Liberation
Army. In addition to his links to organized crime, Hadadinaj
was also indicted in 2005 for war crimes by the The Hague ICTY Tribunal.
NATO occupation of Kosovo responds to US foreign policy objectives.
It secures a heavily militarized US zone of influence in Southern
Europe. It ensures the militarization of strategic pipeline routes
and transport corridors which link Western Europe to the Black Sea.
It also protects the multibillion dollar heroin trade, which uses
Kosovo and Albania as transit locations for the transshipment of
Afghan produced heroin into Western Europe.
is home to one of America's largest military bases, Camp Bondsteel.
was built on contract to the Pentagon by Halliburton, through its
engineering subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR). Camp Bondsteel
is considered to be "the largest and most expensive army base since
Vietnam." with more than 6000 US troops.
Bondsteel, the biggest “from scratch” foreign US military base
since the Vietnam War (...) It is located close to vital
oil pipelines and energy corridors presently under construction,
such as the US sponsored Trans-Balkan oil pipeline. As a result
defence contractors—in particular Halliburton Oil subsidiary Brown
& Root Services—are making a fortune.
June 1999, in the immediate aftermath of the bombing of Yugoslavia,
US forces seized 1,000 acres of farmland in southeast Kosovo at
Uresevic, near the Macedonian border, and began the construction
of a camp.
Bondsteel is known as the “grand dame” in a network of US bases
running both sides of the border between Kosovo and Macedonia.
In less than three years it has been transformed from an encampment
of tents to a self sufficient, high tech base-camp housing nearly
7,000 troops—three quarters of all the US troops stationed in
are 25 kilometres of roads and over 300 buildings at Camp Bondsteel,
surrounded by 14 kilometres of earth and concrete barriers, 84
kilometres of concertina wire and 11 watch towers. It is so big
that it has downtown, midtown and uptown districts, retail outlets,
24-hour sports halls, a chapel, library and the best-equipped
hospital anywhere in Europe. At present there are 55 Black Hawk
and Apache helicopters based at Bondsteel and although it has
no aircraft landing strip the location was chosen for its capacity
to expand. There are suggestions that it could replace the US
airforce base at Aviano in Italy.
Paul Stuart, Camp Bondsteel and America’s plans to control Caspian
oil, WSWS.org, April 2002, http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/apr2002/oil-a29.shtml)
Bondsteel was not the outgrowth of a humanitarian or "Just War"
on behalf of Kosovar Albanians. The construction of Camp Bondsteel
had been envisaged well in advance of the bombings and invasion
of Kosovo in 1999.
plans to build Camp Bondsteel under a lucrative multibillion dollar
DoD contract with Halliburton's Texas based subsidiary KBR
were formulated while Dick Cheney was Halliburton's CEO.
of Camp Bondsteel was initiated shortly after the 1999 invasion
under the Clinton administration. Construction was completed during
the Bush administration, after Dick Cheney had resigned his position
as Halliburton's CEO:
US and NATO had advanced plans to bomb Yugoslavia before 1999,
and many European political leaders now believe that the US deliberately
used the bombing of Yugoslavia to establish camp Bondsteel in
Kosovo.. According to Colonel Robert L. McCure, “Engineering planning
for operations in Kosovo began months before the first bomb was
dropped.” (See Lenora Foerstel, Global Research, January 2008)
of the objectives underlying Camp Bondsteel was to protect the Albanian-Macedonian-Bulgarian
Oil pipeline project (AMBO), which was to channel Caspian sea oil
from the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Burgas to the Adriatic.
two years prior to the invasion, in 1997, a senior executive of
`Brown & Root Energy, a subsidiary of Halliburton, Edward
L. (Ted) Ferguson had been appointed to head AMBO. The feasibility
plans for the AMBO pipeline were also undertaken by Halliburton's
engineering company, Kellog, Brown & Root Ltd.
AMBO agreement for the 917-km long oil pipeline from Burgas to Valona,
Albania, was signed in 2004.
of the State
KLA was set up as a paramilitary group in the mid 1990s. It was
a US-NATO sponsored insurgency. The objective was to destabilize
and ultimately break up Yugoslavia. The KLA had extensive links
to Al Qaeda, which was also involved in military training. Mujahideen
mercenaries from a number of countries integrated the ranks of the
KLA, which was involved in terrorist activities as well as political
this context, what are the implications of the "Ahtisaari Plan."
which envisages the formation of a separate multi-ethnic Kosovar
proposed Kosovar political setup is integrated by criminal elements.
Western politicians are fully aware of the nature of the Kosovar
political project, of which they are the architects. .
are not, however, dealing with the usual links of individual Western
politicians to criminal syndicates. The relationship is far more
sophisticated. Both the EU and the US are using criminal organizations
and criminalized political parties in Kosovo to reach their military
and foreign policy goals. The latter in turn support the interests of
the oil companies and defense contractors, not to mention the multibillion
dollar heroin trade out of Afghanistan.
the institutional level, the US administration, the EU, NATO
and the UN are actually promoting the criminalization of the Kosovar
State, which they control. In broad terms we are also dealing with
the criminalization of US foreign policy. These criminal organizations
and parties are created to ultimately serve US interests in Southern
independence would formally transform Kosovo into an independent
mafia state, controlled by the Western military alliance. The territory
of Kosovo would remain under US-NATO military jurisdiction.
1999 NATO led Invasion of Kosovo
1999, many sectors of the Left both in North America and Western
Europe were tacitly supportive of the NATO led invasion. Many
progressive organizations upheld what they perceived as "a humanitarian
war" on behalf Kosovar Albanians.
propaganda and disinformation contributed to distorting the real
causes and consequences of the wars directed against the Yugoslav
anti-war movement was in disarray. At the height of the NATO bombings,
several "progressive" writers described the KLA as a bona fide nationalist
liberation army, committed to supporting the civil rights of Kosovar
KLA, as confirmed by the OSCE observer mission to Kosovo in late
1998, had been involved in countless terrorist acts and atrocities
directed against Serbian and Albanian civilians as well as minority
groups in Kosovo.
evidence, the Yugoslav government headed by president Slobodan Milosevic
was presented as being responsible for triggering a humanitarian
crisis in Kosovo. The alleged violation of human rights of ethnic
Albanians was used as a pretext for the extensive bombing of Yugoslavia.
In a cruel irony, the most intense bombing raids were carried out
in Kosovo. A majority of the victims of these raids were Kosovar
invasion and subsequent military occupation was upheld as a humanitarian
endeavor, geared towards preventing ethnic cleansing in Kosovo directed
against the Kosovar Albanians. The war on Yugoslavia was presented
as a "Just War". by Professor Falk, a leading "progressive" intellectual
endorsed the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia on moral and
Kosovo War was a just war because it was undertaken to avoid a
likely instance of "ethnic cleansing" undertaken by the Serb leadership
of former Yugoslavia, and it succeeded in giving the people of
Kosovo an opportunity for a peaceful and democratic future. It
was a just war despite being illegally undertaken without authorization
by the United Nations, and despite being waged in a manner that
unduly caused Kosovar and Serbian civilian casualties, while minimizing
the risk of death or injury on the NATO side."
progressive media condemned the "Milosevic regime", while expressing
mitigated support for the KLA:
present, the only armed force capable of defending the Kosovar
Albanian villages that remain is the Kosova Liberation Army (KLA).
Despite political shortcomings born of the state of lawlessness
into which the 90% Albanian majority has been thrown over the
last 10 years, since Milosevic abolished Kosova's autonomy, the
KLA last year managed to organise an army of up to 40,000 fighters.
Much left debate centres on its potential and political program
and on the desirability of armed struggle in general. For example,
Stephen Shalom, in an article on ZNet (its contributing editors
include Noam Chomsky and Edward Said) that incisively sums up
the case against both NATO and Milosevic, states: “I am sympathetic
to the argument that says that if people want to fight for their
rights, if they are not asking others to do it for them, then
they ought to be provided with the weapons to help them succeed.
Such an argument seemed to me persuasive with respect to Bosnia.”
Chossudovsky, a professor of economics at the University of Ottawa,
has set out the most meticulous frame-up in a piece entitled “Freedom
Fighters Financed by Organised Crime”, which has been doing the
internet circuit. Full of half-truths, assumptions and innuendoes
about the KLA's alleged use of drug money, Chossudovsky's article
seeks to discredit the KLA as a genuine liberation movement representing
the aspirations of the oppressed Albanian majority.
Karadjis, Chossudovskys frame-up of the KLA, Green Left Review,
years and two wars later, the Kosovo issue has re-emerged. It is
an integral part of the broader military roadmap. It is intimately
related to the post 9/11 US led wars in Central Asia and the Middle
Balkans constitute the gateway to Eurasia. The 1999 invasion
establishes a permanent US military presence in Southern Europe,
which serves the broader US led war. Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and
Iraq: these three theater wars were waged on humanitarian grounds.
Without exception, in all three countries, US military bases were
is my original April 1999 article on the Kosovo Liberation Army
(KLA), published barely three weeks after the onslaught of the NATO
bombings, almost nine years ago.
"Freedom Fighters" Financed by Organised Crime
10 April 1999
by the global media as a humanitarian peace-keeping mission, NATO's
ruthless bombing of Belgrade and Pristina goes far beyond the breach
of international law. While Slobodan Milosevic is demonised, portrayed
as a remorseless dictator, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) is upheld
as a self-respecting nationalist movement struggling for the rights
of ethnic Albanians. The truth of the matter is that the KLA is
sustained by organised crime with the tacit approval of the United
States and its allies.
a pattern set during the War in Bosnia, public opinion has been
carefully misled. The multibillion dollar Balkans narcotics trade
has played a crucial role in "financing the conflict" in Kosovo
in accordance with Western economic, strategic and military objectives.
Amply documented by European police files, acknowledged by numerous
studies, the links of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) to criminal
syndicates in Albania, Turkey and the European Union have been known
to Western governments and intelligence agencies since the mid-1990s.
... The financing of the Kosovo guerrilla war poses critical questions
and it sorely tests claims of an "ethical" foreign policy. Should
the West back a guerrilla army that appears to partly financed
by organised crime."
KLA leaders were shaking hands with US Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright at Rambouillet, Europol (the European Police Organization
based in The Hague) was "preparing a report for European interior
and justice ministers on a connection between the KLA and Albanian
drug gangs." In the meantime, the rebel army has been skillfully
heralded by the global media (in the months preceding the NATO bombings)
as broadly representative of the interests of ethnic Albanians in
KLA leader Hashim Thaci (a 29 year "freedom fighter") appointed
as chief negotiator at Rambouillet, the KLA has become the de facto
helmsman of the peace process on behalf of the ethnic Albanian majority
and this despite its links to the drug trade. The West was relying
on its KLA puppets to rubber-stamp an agreement which would have
transformed Kosovo into an occupied territory under Western Administration.
Robert Gelbard, America's special envoy to Bosnia, had described
the KLA last year  as "terrorists". Christopher Hill, America's
chief negotiator and architect of the Rambouillet agreement, "has
also been a strong critic of the KLA for its alleged dealings in
drugs." Moreover, barely a few two months before Rambouillet,
the US State Department had acknowledged (based on reports from
the US Observer Mission) the role of the KLA in terrorising and
uprooting ethnic Albanians:
... the KLA harass or kidnap anyone who comes to the police, ...
KLA representatives had threatened to kill villagers and burn
their homes if they did not join the KLA [a process which has
continued since the NATO bombings]... [T]he KLA harassment has
reached such intensity that residents of six villages in the Stimlje
region are "ready to flee."
backing a "freedom movement" with links to the drug trade, the West
seems also intent in bypassing the civilian Kosovo Democratic League
and its leader Ibrahim Rugova who has called for an end to the bombings
and expressed his desire to negotiate a peaceful settlement with
the Yugoslav authorities. It is worth recalling that a few days
before his March 31 Press Conference, Rugova had been reported by
the KLA (alongside three other leaders including Fehmi Agani) to
have been killed by the Serbs.
financing of "freedom fighters"
Oliver North and the Contras? The pattern in Kosovo is similar to
other CIA covert operations in Central America, Haiti and Afghanistan
where "freedom fighters" were financed through the laundering of
drug money. Since the onslaught of the Cold War, Western intelligence
agencies have developed a complex relationship to the illegal narcotics
trade. In case after case, drug money laundered in the international
banking system has financed covert operations.
to author Alfred McCoy, the pattern of covert financing was established
in the Indochina war. In the 1960s, the Meo army in Laos was funded
by the narcotics trade as part of Washington's military strategy
against the combined forces of the neutralist government of Prince
Souvanna Phouma and the Pathet Lao.
pattern of drug politics set in Indochina has since been replicated
in Central America and the Caribbean. "The rising curve of cocaine
imports to the US", wrote journalist John Dinges "followed almost
exactly the flow of US arms and military advisers to Central America".
military in Guatemala and Haiti, to which the CIA provided covert
support, were known to be involved in the trade of narcotics into
Southern Florida. And as revealed in the Iran-Contra and Bank of
Commerce and Credit International (BCCI) scandals, there was strong
evidence that covert operations were funded through the laundering
of drug money. "Dirty money" recycled through the banking system--often
through an anonymous shell company-- became "covert money," used
to finance various rebel groups and guerrilla movements including
the Nicaraguan Contras and the Afghan Mujahadeen. According to a
1991 Time magazine report:
the US wanted to supply the mujehadeen rebels in Afghanistan with
stinger missiles and other military hardware it needed the full
cooperation of Pakistan. By the mid-1980s, the CIA operation in
Islamabad was one of the largest US intelligence stations in the
World. 'If BCCI is such an embarrassment to the US that forthright
investigations are not being pursued it has a lot to do with the
blind eye the US turned to the heroin trafficking in Pakistan',
said a US intelligence officer."
and Germany join hands
the early 1990s, Bonn and Washington have joined hands in establishing
their respective spheres of influence in the Balkans. Their intelligence
agencies have also collaborated. According to intelligence analyst
John Whitley, covert support to the Kosovo rebel army was established
as a joint endeavour between the CIA and Germany's Bundes Nachrichten
Dienst (BND) (which previously played a key role in installing a
right-wing nationalist government under Franjo Tudjman in Croatia).
The task to create and finance the KLA was initially given to Germany:
"They used German uniforms, East German weapons and were financed,
in part, with drug money". According to Whitley, the CIA was
subsequently instrumental in training and equipping the KLA in Albania.
covert activities of Germany's BND were consistent with Bonn's intent
to expand its "Lebensraum" into the Balkans. Prior to the onset
of the civil war in Bosnia, Germany and its Foreign Minister Hans
Dietrich Genscher had actively supported secession; it had "forced
the pace of international diplomacy" and pressured its Western allies
to recognize Slovenia and Croatia. According to the Geopolitical
Drug Watch, both Germany and the US favoured (although not officially)
the formation of a "Greater Albania" encompassing Albania, Kosovo
and parts of Macedonia. According to Sean Gervasi, Germany was
seeking a free hand among its allies "to pursue economic dominance
in the whole of Mitteleuropa."
fundamentalism in support of the KLA
and Washington's "hidden agenda" consisted in triggering nationalist
liberation movements in Bosnia and Kosovo with the ultimate purpose
of destabilising Yugoslavia. The latter objective was also carried
out "by turning a blind eye" to the influx of mercenaries and financial
support from Islamic fundamentalist organisations.
financed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait had been fighting in Bosnia.
And the Bosnian pattern was replicated in Kosovo: Mujahadeen mercenaries
from various Islamic countries are reported to be fighting alongside
the KLA in Kosovo. German, Turkish and Afghan instructors were reported
to be training the KLA in guerrilla and diversion tactics.
to a Deutsche Press-Agentur report, financial support from Islamic
countries to the KLA had been channelled through the former Albanian
chief of the National Information Service (NIS), Bashkim Gazidede.
"Gazidede, reportedly a devout Moslem who fled Albania in March
of last year , is presently  being investigated for
his contacts with Islamic terrorist organizations."
supply route for arming KLA "freedom fighters" are the rugged mountainous
borders of Albania with Kosovo and Macedonia. Albania is also a
key point of transit of the Balkans drug route which supplies Western
Europe with grade four heroin. Seventy-five percent of the heroin
entering Western Europe is from Turkey. And a large part of drug
shipments originating in Turkey transits through the Balkans. According
to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), "it is estimated
that 4-6 metric tons of heroin leave each month from Turkey having
[through the Balkans] as destination Western Europe." A recent
intelligence report by Germany's Federal Criminal Agency suggests
that: "Ethnic Albanians are now the most prominent group in the
distribution of heroin in Western consumer countries."
laundering of dirty money
order to thrive, the criminal syndicates involved in the Balkans
narcotics trade need friends in high places. Smuggling rings with
alleged links to the Turkish State are said to control the trafficking
of heroin through the Balkans "cooperating closely with other groups
with which they have political or religious ties" including criminal
groups in Albanian and Kosovo. In this new global financial
environment, powerful undercover political lobbies connected to
organized crime cultivate links to prominent political figures and
officials of the military and intelligence establishment.
narcotics trade nonetheless uses respectable banks to launder large
amounts of dirty money. While comfortably removed from the smuggling
operations per se, powerful banking interests in Turkey but mainly
those in financial centres in Western Europe discretely collect
fat commissions in a multibillion dollar money laundering operation.
These interests have high stakes in ensuring a safe passage of drug
shipments into Western European markets.
smuggling from Albania into Kosovo and Macedonia started at the
beginning of 1992, when the Democratic Party came to power, headed
by President Sali Berisha. An expansive underground economy and
cross border trade had unfolded. A triangular trade in oil, arms
and narcotics had developed largely as a result of the embargo imposed
by the international community on Serbia and Montenegro and the
blockade enforced by Greece against Macedonia.
and agriculture in Kosovo were spearheaded into bankruptcy following
the IMF's lethal "economic medicine" imposed on Belgrade in 1990.
The embargo was imposed on Yugoslavia. Ethnic Albanians and Serbs
were driven into abysmal poverty. Economic collapse created an environment
which fostered the progress of illicit trade. In Kosovo, the rate
of unemployment increased to a staggering 70 percent (according
to Western sources).
and economic collapse served to exacerbate simmering ethnic tensions.
Thousands of unemployed youths "barely out of their teens" from
an impoverished population, were drafted into the ranks of the KLA
neighbouring Albania, the free market reforms adopted since 1992
had created conditions which favoured the criminalisation of state
institutions. Drug money was also laundered in the Albanian pyramids
(ponzi schemes) which mushroomed during the government of former
President Sali Berisha (1992-1997). These shady investment funds
were an integral part of the economic reforms inflicted by Western
creditors on Albania.
barons in Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia (with links to the Italian
Mafia) had become the new economic elites, often associated with
Western business interests. In turn the financial proceeds of the
trade in drugs and arms were recycled towards other illicit activities
(and vice versa) including a vast prostitution racket between Albania
and Italy. Albanian criminal groups operating in Milan, "have become
so powerful running prostitution rackets that they have even taken
over the Calabrians in strength and influence."
application of "strong economic medicine" under the guidance of
the Washington based Bretton Woods institutions had contributed
to wrecking Albania's banking system and precipitating the collapse
of the Albanian economy. The resulting chaos enabled American and
European transnationals to carefully position themselves. Several
Western oil companies including Occidental, Shell and British Petroleum
had their eyes riveted on Albania's abundant and unexplored oil-deposits.
Western investors were also gawking Albania's extensive reserves
of chrome, copper, gold, nickel and platinum.... The Adenauer Foundation
had been lobbying in the background on behalf of German mining interests.
Minister of Defence Safet Zoulali (alleged to have been involved
in the illegal oil and narcotics trade) was the architect of the
agreement with Germany's Preussag (handing over control over Albania's
chrome mines) against the competing bid of the US led consortium
of Macalloy Inc. in association with Rio Tinto Zimbabwe (RTZ).
amounts of narco-dollars had also been recycled into the privatisation
programmes leading to the acquisition of state assets by the mafias.
In Albania, the privatisation programme had led virtually overnight
to the development of a property owning class firmly committed to
the "free market". In Northern Albania, this class was associated
with the Guegue "families" linked to the Democratic Party.
by the Democratic Party under the presidency of Sali Berisha (1992-97),
Albania's largest financial "pyramid" VEFA Holdings had been set
up by the Guegue "families" of Northern Albania with the support
of Western banking interests. VEFA was under investigation in Italy
in 1997 for its ties to the Mafia which allegedly used VEFA to launder
large amounts of dirty money.
to one press report (based on intelligence sources), senior members
of the Albanian government during the presidency of Sali Berisha
including cabinet members and members of the secret police SHIK
were alleged to be involved in drugs trafficking and illegal arms
trading into Kosovo:
The allegations are very serious. Drugs, arms, contraband cigarettes
all are believed to have been handled by a company run openly
by Albania's ruling Democratic Party, Shqiponja (...). In the
course of 1996 Defence Minister, Safet Zhulali [was alleged] to
had used his office to facilitate the transport of arms, oil and
contraband cigarettes. (...) Drugs barons from Kosovo (...) operate
in Albania with impunity, and much of the transportation of heroin
and other drugs across Albania, from Macedonia and Greece en route
to Italy, is believed to be organised by Shik, the state security
police (...). Intelligence agents are convinced the chain of command
in the rackets goes all the way to the top and have had no hesitation
in naming ministers in their reports."
trade in narcotics and weapons was allowed to prosper despite the
presence since 1993 of a large contingent of American troops at
the Albanian-Macedonian border with a mandate to enforce the embargo.
The West had turned a blind eye. The revenues from oil and narcotics
were used to finance the purchase of arms (often in terms of direct
barter): "Deliveries of oil to Macedonia (skirting the Greek embargo
[in 1993-4] can be used to cover heroin, as do deliveries of kalachnikov
rifles to Albanian 'brothers' in Kosovo".
Northern tribal clans or "fares" had also developed links with Italy's
crime syndicates. In turn, the latter played a key role in smuggling
arms across the Adriatic into the Albanian ports of Dures and Valona.
At the outset in 1992, the weapons channelled into Kosovo were largely
small arms including Kalashnikov AK-47 rifles, RPK and PPK machine-guns,
12.7 calibre heavy machine-guns, etc.
proceeds of the narcotics trade has enabled the KLA to rapidly develop
a force of some 30,000 men. More recently, the KLA has acquired
more sophisticated weaponry including anti-aircraft and anti-armor
rockets. According to Belgrade, some of the funds have come directly
from the CIA "funnelled through a so-called 'Government of Kosovo'
based in Geneva, Switzerland. Its Washington office employs the
public-relations firm of Ruder Finn--notorious for its slanders
of the Belgrade government".
KLA has also acquired electronic surveillance equipment which enables
it to receive NATO satellite information concerning the movement
of the Yugoslav Army. The KLA training camp in Albania is said to
"concentrate on heavy weapons training--rocket propelled grenades,
medium caliber cannons, tanks and transporter use, as well as on
communications, and command and control". (According to Yugoslav
extensive deliveries of weapons to the Kosovo rebel army were consistent
with Western geopolitical objectives. Not surprisingly, there has
been a "deafening silence" of the international media regarding
the Kosovo arms-drugs trade. In the words of a 1994 Report of the
Geopolitical Drug Watch: "the trafficking [of drugs and arms] is
basically being judged on its geostrategic implications (...) In
Kosovo, drugs and weapons trafficking is fuelling geopolitical hopes
fate of Kosovo had already been carefully laid out prior to the
signing of the 1995 Dayton agreement. NATO had entered an unwholesome
"marriage of convenience" with the mafia. "Freedom fighters" were
put in place, the narcotics trade enabled Washington and Bonn to
"finance the Kosovo conflict" with the ultimate objective of destabilising
the Belgrade government and fully recolonising the Balkans. The
destruction of an entire country is the outcome. Western governments
which participated in the NATO operation bear a heavy burden of
responsibility in the deaths of civilians, the impoverishment of
both the ethnic Albanian and Serbian populations and the plight
of those who were brutally uprooted from towns and villages in Kosovo
as a result of the bombings.
Roger Boyes and Eske Wright, Drugs Money Linked to the Kosovo Rebels,
The Times, London, Monday, March 24, 1999.
3. Philip Smucker and Tim Butcher, "Shifting stance over KLA has
betrayed' Albanians", Daily Telegraph, London, 6 April 1999
4. KDOM Daily Report, released by the Bureau of European and Canadian
Affairs, Office of South Central European Affairs, U.S. Department
of State, Washington, DC, December 21, 1998; Compiled by EUR/SCE
(202-647-4850) from daily reports of the US element of the Kosovo
Diplomatic Observer Mission, December 21, 1998.
5. "Rugova, sous protection serbe appelle a l'arret des raides",
Le Devoir, Montreal, 1 April 1999.
6. See Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia,
Harper and Row, New York, 1972.
7. See John Dinges, Our Man in Panama, The Shrewd Rise and Brutal
Fall of Manuel Noriega, Times Books, New York, 1991.
8. "The Dirtiest Bank of All," Time, July 29, 1991, p. 22.
9. Truth in Media, Phoenix, 2 April, 1999; see also Michel Collon,
Poker Menteur, editions EPO, Brussels, 1997.
10. Quoted in Truth in Media, Phoenix, 2 April, 1999).
12. Geopolitical Drug Watch, No 32, June 1994, p. 4
13. Sean Gervasi, "Germany, US and the Yugoslav Crisis", Covert
Action Quarterly, No. 43, Winter 1992-93).
14. See Daily Telegraph, 29 December 1993.
15. For further details see Michel Collon, Poker Menteur, editions
EPO, Brussels, 1997, p. 288.
16. Truth in Media, Kosovo in Crisis, Phoenix, 2 April 1999.
17. Deutsche Presse-Agentur, March 13, 1998.
19. Daily News, Ankara, 5 March 1997.
20. Quoted in Boyes and Wright, op cit.
21. ANA, Athens, 28 January 1997, see also Turkish Daily News, 29
22. Brian Murphy, KLA Volunteers Lack Experience, The Associated
Press, 5 April 1999.
23. See Geopolitical Drug Watch, No. 35, 1994, p. 3, see also Barry
James, in Balkans, Arms for Drugs, The International Herald Tribune,
Paris, June 6, 1994.
24. The Guardian, 25 March 1997.
25. For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, La crisi albanese,
Edizioni Gruppo Abele, Torino, 1998.
27. Andrew Gumbel, The Gangster Regime We Fund, The Independent,
February 14, 1997, p. 15.
29. Geopolitical Drug Watch, No. 35, 1994, p. 3.
30. Geopolitical Drug Watch, No 66, p. 4.
31. Quoted in Workers' World, May 7, 1998.
32. See Government of Yugoslavia at http://www.gov.yu/terrorism/terroristcamps.html.
33. Geopolitical Drug Watch, No 32, June 1994, p. 4.\