Six Years Later, Kosovo Still Wrong
In the early hours of March 24, 1999, NATO began the bombing of what was
then the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. For some reason, many in the targeted
nation thought the name of the operation was "Merciful Angel." In fact, the
attack was code-named "Allied Force" ? a cold, uninspired and perfectly
descriptive moniker. For, however much NATO spokesmen and the cheerleading press
spun, lied, and fabricated to show otherwise (unfortunately, with altogether too
much success), there was nothing noble in NATO's aims. It attacked Yugoslavia
for the same reason then-Emperor Bill Clinton enjoyed a quickie in the Oval
Office: because it could.
Most of the criticism of the 1999 war has focused on its conduct (targeting
practices, effects, "collateral damage") and consequences. But though the
conduct of the war by NATO was atrocious and the consequences have been dire and
criminal, none of that changes the fact that by its very nature and from the
very beginning, NATO's attack was a war of aggression: illegal, immoral, and
unjust; not "unsuccessful" or mishandled," but just plain wrong.
There is absolutely no question that the NATO attack in March 1999 was illegal.
Article 2, section 4 of the UN Charter clearly says:
"All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the
threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political
independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the
Purposes of the United Nations."
Some NATO members tried to offer justification. London claimed the war was
"justified" as a means of preventing a "humanitarian catastrophe," but offered
no legal grounds for such a claim. Paris tried to create a tenuous link with
UNSC resolutions 1199 and 1203, which Belgrade was supposedly violating.
However, NATO had deliberately bypassed the UN, rendering this argument moot.
Article 53 (Chapter VIII) of the UN Charter clearly says that:
"The Security Council shall, where appropriate, utiliz such regional
arrangements or agencies for enforcement action under its authority. But
no enforcement action shall be taken under regional arrangements or by
regional agencies without the authorization of the Security Council." (emphasis
Furthermore, Article 103 (Chapter XVI) asserts its primacy over any other
regional agreement, so NATO's actions would have been illegal under the UN
Charter even if the Alliance had an obligation to act in Kosovo. Even NATO's own
charter ? the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949 ? was violated by the act of war in
"The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United
Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by
peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and
justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international
relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with
the purposes of the United Nations.
"This Treaty does not affect, and shall not be interpreted as affecting
in any way the rights and obligations under the Charter of the Parties which are
members of the United Nations, or the primary responsibility of the Security
Council for the maintenance of international peace and security."
The attack violated other laws and treaties as well: the Helsinki Final
Act of 1975 (violating the territorial integrity of a signatory state) and the
1980 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (using coercion to compel a
state to sign a treaty i.e., the Rambouillet ultimatum).
Yugoslavia had not attacked any NATO members, nor indeed
threatened the security of any other country in the region; it was itself under
an attack by a terrorist, irredentist organization. What NATO did on March 24,
1999 was an act of aggression, a crime against peace.
Perfectly aware that the bombing was illegal, NATO leaders tried to
create justifications for it after the fact. They quickly seized upon a mass
exodus of Albanians from Kosovo, describing it as "ethnic cleansing" and
even "genocide." But as recent testimonies of Macedonian medical workers who
took care of Albanian refugees suggest, the Western press was engaging in crude
deceit, staging images of suffering refugees and peddling the most outrageous
tall tales as unvarnished truth.
Stories abounded of mass murder, orchestrated expulsions, mass rapes,
seizure of identity papers, even crematoria and mine shafts filled with
dead bodies. Little or no evidence was offered ? and not surprisingly,
none found afterwards. The stories were part of a Big Lie, aimed to justify the
intervention, concocted by professional propagandists, and delivered by
the KLA-coached refugees. The KLA ran every camp in Macedonia and Albania, and
there are credible allegations they organized the exodus in many instances.
Albanians who did not play along were killed.
Eventually, the "genocide" and other atrocity stories were debunked as
propaganda. But they had served their purpose, conjuring a justification
for the war at the time. They had allowed NATO and its apologists to
claim the war ? though "perhaps" illegal ? was a moral and legitimate affair.
But there should be no doubt, it was neither.
Even if one can somehow gloss over the illegal, illegitimate nature of
the war and the lies it was based on, would the war still not be justified, if
only because it led to the return of refugees? Well, which refugees?
Certainly, many Kosovo Albanians and quite a few from Albania, it appears
came back, only to proceed to cleanse it systematically of everyone else.
Jews, Serbs, Roma, Turks, Ashkali, Gorani, no community
was safe from KLA terror, not even the Albanians themselves. Those suspected of
"collaborating" were brutally murdered, often with entire families.
According to the Catholic doctrine of "just war," a war of aggression
cannot be just. Even if one somehow fudges the issue, "the use of arms must not
produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated."
The evil conjured by NATO's and KLA's propaganda machine was indeed
grave. But it was not real. In contrast, what took place after the war ? i.e.,
under the NATO/KLA occupation ? is amply documented. At the beginning of NATO's
aggression, there were fewer dead, fewer refugees, less destruction, and more
order than at any time since the beginning of the occupation. NATO has replaced
a fabricated evil with a very real evil of its own.
Monument to Evil
What began six years ago may have been Albright's War on Clinton's watch,
but both Albright and Clinton have been gone from office for what amounts to a
political eternity. For four years now, the occupation of Kosovo has continued
with the blessing implicit or otherwise of Emperor Bush II, who launched his own
illegal war in Iraq. Kosovo is not a partisan, but an imperial issue; that
is why there has been virtually no debate on it since the first missiles were
Six years to the day since NATO aircraft began their onslaught, Kosovo is
a chauvinistic, desolate hellhole. Serbian lives, property, culture, and
heritage been systematically destroyed, often right before the eyes of
NATO "peacekeepers." Through it all, Imperial officials, Albanian lobbyists, and
various presstitutes have been working overtime to paint a canvas that would
somehow cover up the true horror of occupation.
Their "liberated" Kosovo represents everything that is wrong about the
world we live in. It stands as a monument to the power of lies, the successful
murder of law, and the triumph of might over justice. Such a monument must be
torn down, or else the entire world may end up looking like Kosovo sometime down
the line. If that's what the people in "liberal Western democracies" are willing
to see happen, then their civilization is well and truly gone.