Unhappy Anniversary

On March 24, 1999, at 1858 GMT, NATO warplanes attacked Yugoslav positions outside Pristina and Belgrade – and the Albanian juggernaut was launched. By March 24, 2001, that juggernaut will have rolled deep into Macedonia, while the suddenly “non-interventionist” Americans and Brits stand aside and let their KLA pit bulls tear Macedonia asunder. The once hyperactive American “hyperpower” is now strangely passive in the face of the aggressive Albanian advance: but then again, perhaps it is not all that strange. Before you give Team Bush credit for staying out, consider that for the US to intervene against the Albanian “National Liberation Army” would amount to intervening against itself. For the “National Liberation Army” is entirely the creature of the United States and its “allied” vultures, who have been feeding on the carcass of the former Yugoslavia and are now ready for a second helping in Macedonia. The road from the Kosovo war to the Macedonian sequel was a perfectly logical straight line. Kosovo was the beginning, but Macedonia is not the end. LOOKING THE OTHER WAY

As the “disbanded” Kosovo Liberation Army mobilizes conscripts in Kosovo villages bordering Western Macedonia – levying what they call the “blood tax,” one able-bodied fighter per family – a military fighting force trained and equipped at US taxpayers’ expense is embarking on a campaign of conquest in the Balkans. Not that anyone – least of all myself – can blame the KLA fanatics for their relentlessly murderous activities: they are merely doing what they said they would do all along, and that is build a “Greater Albania” with the blood and bones of their Slavic enemies. This was the original doctrine of the coalition of Hoxhaite leftists and pre-World War II fascists who went on to become the core leadership of the KLA, and it was never abandoned: it was simply not talked about in the West, except among Serbian-Americans, and a small circle of foreign policy experts, who were all too familiar with this variety of virulent obscurantism. The news about the KLA – that they’re the type who give gangsters a bad name – didn’t hit the “mainstream” media until long after it was too late. Now that the NLA-KLA-CIA is on the march to Skopje, everybody is supposed to be so damned surprised. Give me a break, willya? With 37,000 NATO troops in Kosovo, and tens of thousands more stationed nearby, do you mean to tell me that the NATO-crats were caught unawares by the Albanian invasion? Kosovo is not that big: 10,887 square kilometers. With all those “peacekeepers” roaming the hills and dales of NATO’s newly-“liberated” domain, how is it that they failed to notice the mass mobilization and numerous cross-border deployments of KLA fighters? Easy: they just looked the other way.


Imagine, for a moment, what would happen if Yugoslav President Kostunica had organized a “Slavic Liberation Front” to protest the “second class citizenship” afforded Serbians in the Macedonian system, which has failed to recognize them as an official minority. Moving across the border with the full knowledge – and under the full protection – of the Yugoslav military, SLF units “liberate” villages and raise the Serbian flag. How long would it take for NATO to move? A few hours, at most. In that case, Belgrade might suffer another round of bombing and perhaps an extra dose of depleted uranium. But a far different standard is applied to NATO’s Albanian attack dogs, which is why both the US and Britain have refused to intervene. Not because they have been suddenly converted to the cause of peace, but because they are already intervening – on the other side.


I was alarmed to see that the Brits, in lieu of sending anything that might actually deter the Albanian invasion – such as arms – have sent a military delegation to “advise” the Macedonian government. The [London] Times reports that

“A group of ten British officers flew to Skopje last night with the aim of reporting back to London by the weekend. Sources emphasised that the Macedonian Government has made no request for military assistance. The most significant option under consideration by Britain is the possibility of sending up to two dozen Royal Marines from 45 Commando to advise on counter-insurgency tactics. . . . Another two British officers flew out to Skopje last night to advise the Macedonian Ministry of Defence, joining Brigadier James Short, who has been seconded to the ministry from Britain for several months.”


If I were the Macedonians, I would take any advice from the Brits – and do the complete opposite. It was, after all, the British SAS, a unit of the British special forces, who trained the KLA at two camps on the outskirts of Tirana, Albania, as reported in the [18 April 1999] London Sunday Telegraph. SAS-trained KLA units infiltrated Kosovo, and, using satellite and cellular telephones, guided NATO’s bombs to their targets. Now Macedonia is faced with a similar assault, with the KLA using the skills they learned in Tirana against the government that London is now “advising.” This, it seems to me, is not a good plan.


We’ve been getting a lot of hits from Macedonia in recent days: it has displaced Japan as our up-and-coming area of expansion. And so I want to address all you Macedonians out there directly: get those damn British spies out on the next plan to London! Forget about getting any help from the West: they are your enemies. There’s only one hope for the Balkans now. Macedonian Slavs must look to Mother Russia – to Vladimir Putin and the Russian military, who, alone, could defend the last Slavic outpost in the southern Balkans if they chose. The Russians brought up the matter in the Security Council, which issued a pro forma denunciation of Albanian aggression, but it is up to Moscow to give the resolution some teeth. The US and Britain are bombing Iraq daily on the basis of a few ambiguously-worded UN resolutions. But why is it only the US and its allies that get to unilaterally interpret and enforce the edicts of the UN’s highest body? As a member of the Security Council, and a nuclear power, Russia could decide to get up off its knees. In the past, this seemed a vain hope: Yeltsin was a weakling, in more than just his character, and the country he presided over was still in shock from the sudden collapse of the Soviet system. Russia fiddled while the Balkans burned, and the illusion that Mother Russia would come to rescue the beleaguered Balkan Slavs quickly dissipated. But as a Russian spy scare sweeps the US government, and Putin’s diplomats are sent packing back to Moscow by the dozen, the reversion to a cold war atmosphere makes Russian self-assertion more likely.


The Times notes that the Macedonian government has not asked London for direct military assistance, and hopefully the same is true as far as the US is concerned. I’m no Carl von Clauswitz, but it seems to me elementary that, in war, one ought never to ask the enemy for either aid or advice – for they just might give it you. Instead, I would look to my friends, or potential allies, and this means Russia. If Skopje asked for aid, even if it were only symbolic, Russia would be drawing a line in the sand. Would the West dare to cross it?


On this anniversary of the heinous crime that heralded the Islamicization of the Balkans, Russia has a key role to play. As the historic defender of Christian Orthodoxy against the Muslim invaders, Russia was the bulwark against which the Ottoman hordes were dashed. If the Slavic communities of the southern Balkans are to be saved from the fate suffered by their Serb brethren in Kosovo, then Russia must play this role again. As Russian planes land at Skopje airport and take up positions around the rebel strongholds, let us hope the NATO-crats keep up the pretense of “non-intervention” – at least long enough for the KLA to be driven back to their “refugee camps” in Kosovo, straight into the arms of their CIA handlers.


I received a lot of mail from outraged Macedonians about my March 19 column, who wanted to know where I got off saying that there really isn’t any such country as “Macedonia,” never was, and, it looks like, never will be. I also got letters from not-so-outraged Macedonians who simply disagreed with my skepticism when it comes to defining a uniquely “Macedonian” nationality and language, but agreed with the other points made in my piece. Okay, look, guys: I’m perfectly willing to accept the idea that it is possible to create a national myth out of a disparate number of only vaguely-related historical facts: if you consider yourselves Macedonians then, by God, you are Macedonians. I won’t quibble about the linguistic issues, and please spare me the historical lectures. In any case, a people is in large part defined by their enemies, and surely this is one nation-building material that Macedonia is hardly lacking. If Macedonian “nationhood” is the chief obstacle to the Albanian conquest of the Balkans, then I say: Hail Macedonia!

Author: Justin Raimondo

Justin Raimondo passed away on June 27, 2019. He was the co-founder and editorial director of Antiwar.com, and was a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute. He was a contributing editor at The American Conservative, and wrote a monthly column for Chronicles. He was the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement [Center for Libertarian Studies, 1993; Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2000], and An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard [Prometheus Books, 2000].