Holbrooke’s Legacy

As the panegyrics to Richard Holbrooke spread over the internet like a thickening fog, the real legacy of this State Department apparatchik came across the news wires a few hours after his death:

“Kosovo’s prime minister is the head of a “mafia-like” Albanian group responsible for smuggling weapons, drugs and human organs through eastern Europe, according to a Council of Europe inquiry report on organized crime.

“Hashim Thaçi is identified as “the boss” of a network that began operating criminal rackets in the run-up to the 1999 Kosovo war, and has held powerful sway over the country’s government since.

“The report of the two-year inquiry, which cites FBI and other intelligence sources, has been obtained by the Guardian. It names Thaçi as having over the last decade exerted ‘violent control’ over the heroin trade.”

It was Holbrooke, one of the chief architects of the Kosovo war, who midwifed the KLA regime in Kosovo, and created a gangster state. When Strobe Talbott, then acting Secretary of State, called him for his recommendation on the Kosovo “crisis,” Holbrooke replied:

“You put us down as unanimously asking for bombing. Put us down as people who want bombing for peace. Strobe, this is very important. This is a critical moment for us personally. A responsibility of the nation. And the right thing to do. If the negotiations fail because of the bombing, so be it. Bombing is the right thing to do.”

I vividly recall Rep. Nancy Pelosi answering critics of her support for the war by uttering a single word as her bug eyes popped out of her head: “Genocide!”

It was all a lie, of course. There was no “genocide,” only a civil war in which no more than 10,000 people from both sides were killed. Hardly the sort of conflict that conjures up visions of the Holocaust, and yet that was precisely the imagery very effectively utilized by the War Party to hype the need for US intervention: we were told that as many as 50,000 Kosovar civilians were being systematically slaughtered by the Serbs. So, what happened to the bodies? Nowhere to be found. Where is the evidence of a Kosovar “holocaust”? There isn’t any, because no such event ever took place.

It was under the Clintons, and Holbrooke, that the US first embarked on its post-cold war crusade to inflict righteousness on the world’s peoples and export “democracy” at gunpoint. In a PBS documentary entitled “Give War a Chance,” which tells the story of Holbrooke’s career juxtaposed to that of Admiral Leighton “Snuffy” Smith, who was on the ground in the Balkans as the Clintonites rushed to war, the Admiral tells viewers how the preening Holbrooke screamed that he and his IFOR troops must stop the burning of Sarajevo. As the Bosnian Muslims carried out their program of ethnically cleansing the Bosnian capital, the Serbs set fire to their own homes before they fled, and Holbrooke wanted it stopped. As Admiral Smith recalls:

“Holbrooke said we stood by, as they burned their houses down. This is how they burned their houses down. They would turn the gas on in the house, light a candle, close the windows, and leave. Tell me how you’re gong to prevent that from happening. How do you stop somebody from being an arsonist in his own home? I mean, there are all kinds of way to start a fire, and if you don’t have a way to put the fires out, how in the living hell are you going to stop them?”

Our troops weren’t and aren’t firefighters, they’re soldiers – and there was no IFOR fire department. After repeated requests from IFOR, the Bosniak “fire department” was deployed, briefly, but gave up, says Smith, as soon as “the Serbs took a couple of shots at them.” The reality is that our Bosnian Muslim sock puppets let the city burn: it was better for them to have the world see Sarajevo burning, so as to evoke sympathy from the Western community.

When Admiral Smith – who described the Bosnian intervention as “the biggest damn mess in the world: absolutely, completely unworkable” – told the Clinton administration that they had run out of Level I targets to bomb, Holbrooke called him a liar. “If we can’t say precisely what we think to the political people,” said Smith to PBS, his face reddening with anger, “that give us the orders, and say, ‘Look, this is not a good idea,’ if we can’t tell them what it’s going to cost in terms of commitment and time, commitment and resources, lives; if we can’t be honest with the politicians and have them accept it as a professional military judgment, we are in a sorry state of affairs.”

Holbrooke, and the Clintons, weren’t interested in anyone’s professional military judgment: they wanted Serb blood. Holbrooke pushed back, hard, and demanded more intrusive and intense bombing raids. Smith told him he didn’t take orders from either Holbrooke or his military aide, Wesley Clark, but from NATO headquarters. Holbrooke went directly to the President, and the rest is some pretty bloody and shameful history.

Flash forward to 2010:

“Figures from Thaçi’s inner circle are accused of secretly taking captives across the border into Albania after the war, where a few Serbs are said to have been murdered for their kidneys, which were sold on the black market.

“Legal proceedings began in a Pristina district court today into a case of alleged organ trafficking discovered by police in 2008. That case – in which organs are said to have been taken from impoverished victims at a clinic known as Medicus – is said by the report to be linked to Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) organ harvesting in 2000.”

This ghoulish regime is the legacy of Richard Holbrooke, and, indeed, of the bloody “humanitarian” interventionists of the Clinton era, who are, today, running our foreign policy. Kosovo is a nightmarish society in which human vampires, aided and abetted by the US-installed-and-supported “government,” tear out their victims’ organs and sell them on the open market. During the US-supported war of “liberation,” KLA units captured Serbs, spirited them across the border to Albania, and harvested their organs, the inquiry revealed. Also exposed: “Prime Minister” Thaci is the “boss” at the center of Europe’s vast heroin smuggling trade. Critics of the Balkan intervention long ago identified the KLA as nothing more than a criminal gang, yet this has never been officially acknowledged up until now. Indeed, Carla del Ponte was prevented from investigating the crimes of Thaci and the KLA: the Council of Europe’s inquiry was commissioned when she threw in the towel.

Reacting to Holbrooke’s death, Thaci sent a telegram to the State Department, declaring: “For citizens of Kosovo, the death of Richard Holbrooke is a loss of a friend, of a voice that protected the interest of the Republic of Kosovo.”

If Holbrooke meets the victims of his friend Thaci in the afterlife, he’ll have a bit of explaining to do. Where Holbrooke is going, however, I doubt they’ll let him have many visitors.

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].