In Pristina, the capital of the make-believe country of Kosovo, there is a street named after Bill Clinton, and a statue of Bill – done in the Socialist Realist style – towers over the main square. They also named a boulevard after George W. Bush, perhaps to hedge their bets after the Republicans took the White House. You couldn’t ask for a more “pro-American” country than this one: but that’s just on the surface. Undercurrents of rabid nationalism – and real resentment of the Americans and Europeans who have been baby-sitting the Kosovars all these years – is now breaking out that threatens whatever modicum of stability Kosovo has ever known.
Kosovo declared its independence in 2008, but in reality it is the US Embassy, rather than the Parliament building in Pristina, that is the epicenter of governance in what amounts to an American protectorate in the heart of Europe. And this essentially colonialist relationship, combined with Bill Clinton’s decision in the 1990s to unleash the often violent spirit of Albanian nationalism, is rupturing the fragile state apparatus.
Twenty or so years after the American “liberation” of Kosovo forcibly separated it from the former Yugoslavia, the country is a mess. Unemployment is massive: crime is pandemic; and an ultra-nationalist movement, Vetevendosje, is on the rise. Vetevendosje wants to achieve the dream of the old Kosovo Liberation Army: a “Greater Albania.” Toward this end, the ultra-nationalists, who polled some 14% of the vote in the last elections, are demanding union with Albania – just as the KLA did. Their leader, one Albin Kurti, disdains representative democracy, which he sees as an instrument of “neo-liberalism”:
“We think that representative democracy is not enough – direct participatory democracy ensures a more vibrant society. Representative democracy is illegitimate, it creates alienation and limits choice.”
In short, Kurti and his comrades want mob rule. Furthermore, they want a crackdown on what they see as Serb irredentism: a recent agreement, presided over by the US and the European Union, granted beleaguered Serbs in the northern part of the country the right to form a union of Serb municipalities. The nationalists abhor this, and have launched a series of violent protests, not only in the streets but also in the halls of the Parliament. Vetevendosje MPs have let loose with tear gas grenades at least nine times, by my count, in order to bring the proceedings to a halt.
The latest violence occurred this month when 10,000 Albanian nationalist demonstrators converged on government headquarters, set it afire, and went on a rampage that didn’t end until police dispersed them with ample quantities of tear gas. Opposition leaders have said they will not relent until either new elections are called, or a referendum on union with Albania is scheduled. The government responds with the assertion that the protests are designed to drag the whole country into “crime and anarchy.”
Yet one could easily make the case that “crime and anarchy” has been the rule ever since Kosovo was “liberated” US force of arms. Since “liberation day,” the minority Serb population has been subjected to murder, confiscation of property, the burning of their churches, and their effective marginalization within the new order. Indeed, in the north, where a small number still hang on, they must be protected by KFOR troops, including 641 American soldiers rotated in from US bases in Germany. In view of the recent violence, and perhaps in anticipation of more, it looks like that number is being beefed up with National Guard units.
Indeed, Kosovo has been deemed a “Mafia state” by none other than the Council of Europe, which has been investigating the trafficking of human organs by highly placed members of the Kosovo government, including Prime Minister Hacim Thaci, the KLA commander and Albanian Mafia “godfather” who is the most powerful man in Kosovo. As the Guardian reported:
“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 organised crime.
“Hashim Thaçi is identified as the boss of a network that began operating criminal rackets in the runup to the 1998-99 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. Figures from Thaçi’s inner circle are also accused of taking captives across the border into Albania after the war, where a number of Serbs are said to have been murdered for their kidneys, which were sold on the black market.”
This has been systematically covered up by Kosovo’s American and British overlords, but the Germans are not so tolerant. A report in Die Welt traces the jailing of three German intelligence agents in Kosovo to revenge for Berlin’s compilation of “ a 67-page long, hard-hitting analysis by the BND about organized crime in Kosovo and a confidential report contracted by the German military, the Bundeswehr.”
Die Welt goes on to inform us that:
“In contrast to the CIA and MI6, both German intelligence reports accuse Thaci as well as former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj and Xhavit Haliti of the parliamentary leadership of far-reaching involvement in organized crime.
“The BND writes: ‘The key players (including Haliti, Haradinaj, and Thaci) are intimately involved in inter-linkages between politics, business, and organized crime structures in Kosovo.’ At the end of the 1990s, the report accuses Thaci of leading a ‘criminal network operating throughout Kosovo.’ At that time he was a co-founder of the Kosovo Liberation Army, and led the Albanian delegation at the 1999 conference at Rambouillet that preceded the Kosovo war.”
The US wasn’t blind to Thaci’s criminal career: they just didn’t care. Madeleine Albright was making goo-goo eyes at him, he was hailed by Joe Biden as “the George Washington of his country” and he was lionized by the Clinton administration’s media camarilla. When the Mafia leader came to Washington, he was greeted enthusiastically by Hillary Clinton, who babbled:
“It’s a great pleasure for me to welcome Prime Minister Thaci back to Washington and here to the State Department. The prime minister has shown great leadership, and he has helped to promote democracy, stability, and the rule of law in Kosovo. And he is leading his country toward the future that the people of Kosovo desire and that the United States wants to see for them, full partnership in European and Euro-Atlantic institutions.”
That was in 2012. Today, as Kosovo unravels, and the genie she and her husband let out of the bottle – Albanian ultra-nationalism – threatens to start another war in Central Europe, no one is holding her accountable. Yet it was Hillary who nagged Bill into bombing Belgrade and hooking up with the virulent Kosovo Liberation Army, which today constitutes one of the most powerful criminal gangs in Europe. Kosovo is the heroin capital of the continent, and Albanian ultra-nationalists are pushing for confrontation with neighboring Montenegro and Macedonia, as well as Serbia.
Libya, Syria, Iraq, Kosovo – these countries, which lie in ruins, are grotesque monuments to the criminality of American “regime-change” operations, which have wreaked havoc everywhere they’ve been successful. With a record like this, it’s incredible that the same pack of buzzards in Washington are allowed to go on their merry way, without having to answer to anyone for their crimes. Indeed, the two leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, Mrs. Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders, both supported this disastrous war: Sanders defends his vote in favor of it to this day. Yet is he held accountable by his “anti-interventionist” supporters? Of course not.
In a disgusting display of victor’s “justice,” the leaders of the Serbian resistance to the Albanian onslaught were hauled before the self-styled “International War Crimes Tribunal” at the Hague – a kangaroo court – and sentenced to long jail terms, while thugs like Thaci were elevated to high office and given millions in US “aid” to dole out to their Mafia hit men. That Thaci and his enablers – the Clintons and the European politicians who participated in the rape of Serbia – aren’t behind bars for destroying an entire nation is indicative of the kind of world we live in – a Bizarro World, where up is down, the guilty are hailed as saints, and the innocent are consigned to obloquy.
NOTES IN THE MARGIN
You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.
I’ve written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and David Gordon (ISI Books, 2008).
You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here.