The Untouchables

Last Wednesday, former KLA commander Agim Ceku was arrested in Slovenia on an Interpol warrant forwarded by Serbia. The following morning, after the intervention of Kosovo’s UN viceroy Harri Holkeri, fierce protests in Pristina, and even (reportedly) threats of terrorism against Slovenia, he was released.

According to agency reports cited by Reality Macedonia, Holkeri told the Slovenians, and then the Albanian-run Kosovo TV, that “Serbia-Montenegro no longer had jurisdiction over the citizens [sic] of Kosovo.” The Albanian-dominated “Kosovo Parliament” proclaimed on the same day that “all arrest warrants and court rulings issued by Serbian institutions” were null and void. Though this far exceeded their authority, they faced no censure from the UN.

The beaming Ceku was greeted by a jubilant crowd at the Pristina airport, where he declared that the “whole world should see that Serbia has no authority in Kosovo.”

Not only have Holkeri and Ceku thus declared their utter contempt for international law, but this affair exposed as hypocritical and licentious the renewed baying of the Hague Inquisition for more Serb heads, and proved that despite recent propaganda, Imperial policies in the Balkans have not changed one bit.

Yanking DOS’s Leash

Ceku’s arrest and triumphant release were all the more aggravating coming at the heels of a shocking announcement on the 21st that the Hague Inquisition has indicted four top Serbian military and police officials – two former, two current – for partaking in the fictitious “joint criminal enterprise” in Kosovo. The indictments of General Pavkovic and former police chief Vlastimir Djordjevic did not irritate the Dossie camarilla that much, since both were close to the deposed president Milosevic; Pavkovic was arrested this spring on spurious charges, and Djordjevic has disappeared. What really stuck in their craw was the inclusion of current top cop Sreten Lukic and General Lazarevic, who had successfully resisted NATO and KLA attacks and enjoys great respect in the military.

While the Dossies have no problem delivering as many heads as the Inquisitors may require, they did object to the announcement’s timing, even before the Ceku affair. The Dossie government is currently in the midst of a messy collapse, with parliamentary filibusters, rampant electoral fraud and even calls for a coup d’etat; the last thing they needed was the ICTY yanking their leash.

Also Prime Minister Zivkovic thought he had made a deal with the Inquisition to deliver Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic, in exchange for no further indictments. This was vehemently denied by Hague mouthpieces. Meanwhile, futile Mladic hunt was merely seized upon as “proof” he had been in Serbia all along.

Dossie incompetence, stupidity and servility are a topic for some other time. Suffice to say that the recent joke finally explained the quisling coalition’s name. Originally the “Democratic Opposition of Serbia,” it remained unchanged for the past three years of their rule. Critics point out that they need not change the acronym, or even the name, only the preposition: they ought to be known as the Democratic Opposition to Serbia.

Protecting the KLA

The real issue here is that the Inquisition continues to insist on collective guilt of the entire Serbian government for an alleged conspiracy they have consistently and spectacularly failed to prove – yet the KLA leaders like Ceku are bailed out by Imperial authorities in violation of perfectly valid international warrants.

This is not the first time something like this happened. In July, KLA leader Hashim Taqi was arrested by the Hungarian authorities, also on a Serbian arrest warrant dating back from 1999. Kosovo’s viceroy at the time, Michael Steiner, secured Taqi’s release then by calling up not only Budapest, but also Belgrade. And the very same Dossies who fume at “catch-and-release” in Ceku’s case had agreed to trample their arrest warrant for Taqi just four months ago, as a way of cozying up to UNMIK and NATO (and the real edifice behind both, the Empire).

This time Steiner’s successor didn’t even bother calling Belgrade, either knowing the pathetic excuse for a government there will submit if threatened, or trying to show their opinion was irrelevant; given his TV statement, probably the latter.

Sign in a Pristina store window, occupied Kosovo

Carla DelPonte can thus tell Serbia it should “abandon hopes” it would be “allowed” to try high-ranking government officials; only her Inquisition is properly equipped to handle the exquisite pressures of putting on show trials. Or perhaps also the UNMIK “judiciary” in Kosovo, which can on rare occasions dare to brave Albanian rage and indict some KLA for crimes against other Albanians, and try to reach a verdict before all the witnesses are brutally murdered or intimidated into silence.

The ICTY’s occasional mumbling about indicting senior KLA figures have been no more than a cover for its dedicated persecution of Serbs. When it does accuse non-Serbs, it does so only for the sake of feigning impartiality. For years, the ICTY denied there was an investigation of Alija Izetbegovic, based on mountains of evidence gullible Serb governments had sent to The Hague, only to announce – on the day of Izetbegovic’s funeral – that there had been an investigation, but it obviously had to be stopped now. How very convenient.

There is no point in arguing that the ICTY is “biased.” It is an illegal, illegitimate, arbitrary and tyrannical pseudo-institution, not a court at all.

But while such a monstrosity besieges Serbia by demands to trash its judiciary – admittedly, DOS has done it already for its own purposes – and deliver more sacrifices at the altar of Imperial Justice, it treats the KLA to the ultimate “Get out of jail free” pass, with UNMIK’s help.

Support for Destruction

Needless to say, this sort of support only emboldens the KLA-led efforts to ethnically cleanse Kosovo and eradicate all non-Albanian presence in the province. For example, a War Street Journal editor recently upbraided the Serbian Orthodox Church for objecting to the wholesale destruction of its heritage, urging the Serbs to “arrive at a modern way of living with reality.” That such complete drivel is printed in the leading neo-Jacobin paper goes a long way to smash the argument that Bushites are in some way different from their predecessors when it comes to Balkans policies.

Some Albanian Catholic clergy go even further, claiming that Serb Orthodox shrines are really Albanian Catholic churches, converted in the late 19th century at the start of “Serbian occupation”! Such claims have no relationship to the truth whatsoever, but did UNMIK condemn them? Or the Vatican? No.

Empire Held Hostage?

Feeling immune from criticism, the KLA act with impunity not only against the Serbs – attacks on whom no one in the West regards as a particular outrage any more – but against the KFOR troops as well. Just this Saturday, a patrol was mobbed in a village near Srbica, when they parked close to the home of the Jashari clan, the reputed founders of the KLA.

The Jasharis claimed the soldiers were drunk and disorderly, so they had to attack them with axes. KFOR disagreed. Since the house from which the attackers came was the home of the regional “Kosovo Protection Corps” commander, Bashkim Jashari, the KFOR brigade commander in the area requested a meeting with the KPC’s leader, the aforementioned Agim Ceku. Yet Ceku never came to the meeting, showing the KFOR general he thought as much of him as he did of international law. Needless to say, Ceku was in no way censured by his nominal employer, the UNMIK.

The incident near Srbica shows an ominous undertone to the KLA’s relationship with the NATO occupiers, whom they had thanked profusely over the past four years for enabling them to seize and claim Kosovo as their own. Ever since UNMIK insisted they meet Belgrade representatives in Vienna earlier this month, the Albanians have not hidden their displeasure with the “liberators” they no longer feel they need.

Do KFOR and UNMIK live in fear the KLA would go all Fallujah on them, and turn their “protectors” into mincemeat? That question has been hanging in the air ever since some troops got in the way of KLA-sponsored mobs charging Serb-inhabited Kosovska Mitrovica in 2000. It has never been answered directly, but given UNMIK and KFOR’s extreme sensitivity to any perceived Albanian discontent, the conclusion is obvious: the “liberators” are in large measure hostages of the terrorist cabal on whose behalf they “liberated” a piece of someone else’s territory in flagrant breach of international law and the Nuremberg principles. They are also hostages to their commitment to the inexcusable and morally corrupt venture this occupation represents.

Force, Law and Justice

Holkeri’s declaration about Serbian sovereignty – or lack thereof – in occupied Kosovo was a flagrant violation of his mandate and the UN Security Council Resolution 1244. But it is worth recalling that UNSCR 1244 was but a fig leaf for NATO’s undisputedly illegal invasion and occupation. Serbia’s right to Kosovo is merely reaffirmed in 1244, it does not derive from it. Under the 1913 Treaty of London, the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, the post-1945 boundary agreements, and even the outrageous 1991 ruling by the self-appointed Badinter Commission declaring artificial Yugoslav republics to be sovereign states, Kosovo is a part of Serbia. KLA’s terror, NATO’s bombs and UN viceroys’ pompous proclamations cannot alter the letter of international law, only ignore it. Force only solves the issue of power, not right. And that only until one power is replaced by another.

That’s something the champions of force and destroyers of law ought to keep in mind.

Author: Nebojsa Malic

Nebojsa Malic left his home in Bosnia after the Dayton Accords and currently resides in the United States. During the Bosnian War he had exposure to diplomatic and media affairs in Sarajevo. As a historian who specializes in international relations and the Balkans, Malic has written numerous essays on the Kosovo War, Bosnia, and Serbian politics. His exclusive column for debuted in November 2000.