The War God’s Own

It may not have been obvious in the beginning, when the smoldering ruins of the Towers in New York and the burning ring of the Pentagon loomed large in people’s minds, but the war that followed Black Tuesday three years ago was doomed from the start. For a brief moment, there was a historic opportunity to disavow the fundamentally anti-American project of global hegemony, including the support for terrorists who attacked potential rivals. Instead, the Imperial project cloaked itself in the guise of "War on Terrorism" and gained a new lease on life. Needless to say, such a war was subverted in its purpose from the very beginning: while Afghanistan and Iraq were devastated in the name of fighting Islamic terrorists, such terrorists enjoyed American support in places such as Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Chechnya.

As the third year of the unwinnable war draws to a close, the tragedy in Beslan testifies that the world is far from being safer; it has instead become a darker and more dangerous place.

Rumblings in Kosovo

One genie had been left out of the bottle in 1999, when the U.S.-led NATO attacked and occupied the Serbian province of Kosovo, after an illegal 78-day bombing campaign ostensibly aimed at protecting the "human rights" of ethnic Albanians. KLA, an Albanian terrorist organization whose claims NATO supported, moved in with NATO troops and proceeded to ethnically cleanse the province. Some 200,000 non-Albanians were expelled while "peacekeepers" looked on, while the evidence for an alleged "genocide" failed to materialize.

Five years later, 50,000 Albanians rampaged throughout Kosovo while frightened NATO troops and UN bureaucrats looked on again. After two days of terror, 5,000 more Serbs were displaced, and the number of Orthodox churches and monasteries destroyed since the occupation climbed to 150.

A recent report by special UN investigators revealed that the pogrom "overwhelmed the United Nations’ mission [UNMIK] and NATO peacekeepers [KFOR] to the point of near-collapse" and that "the 18,000-strong NATO force cannot currently maintain safety and security in Kosovo."

"The [UNMIK] line staff reflected a sense of futility, compounded by a sense of deep frustration over what they experience as an operation adrift, with an organizational culture that inhibits communication, frowns on candor and stymies initiative," says the report, describing the state of mind of Kosovo’s occupiers.

Even as the report came out, the outgoing German commander of KFOR tried to minimize the March pogrom, which German forces singularly failed to stop. Last week, the command of the occupation force passed to a French general. On that occasion, the French defense minister said: "We’re entering a period of maximum risk. … The situation is calm but extremely fragile."

If anything, that is an understatement. Albanians are already sensing blood in the water and speaking out for UNMIK’s removal. Needless to say, they envision an independent, Albanian "Kosova" in the aftermath, rather than a return of the occupied province to Serbia, where it belongs under international law. Oblivious to this self-evident desire, the EU is demanding the remaining Kosovo Serbs to legitimize the occupation by taking part in local elections. NATO troops, on the other hand, believe that putting up billboards will enhance security. It seems the UN report was but a brief flash of sanity in a place where the Imperial agenda demands persistent delusions.

Volatile Macedonia

Another clear-cut case of Empire supporting terrorism against its official policy is Macedonia, where in 2001 the U.S. and the EU forced an isolated government to surrender to demands of a KLA branch. Under the "agreement" signed in the resort of Ohrid, Macedonia was supposed to be "decentralized" in order to give more power to Albanian ethnic parties on both the local and national level. The recent proposed redistricting of Macedonia, designed to favor Albanians, provoked protests and even riots, ultimately leading to a referendum.

One would think that Brussels and Washington, posing as paragons of democracy, would support a referendum on such a radical redefinition of a country. But then, one would have also thought countries that oppose terrorism with words and bombs would not help terrorists – yet they did. Hence, the EU is pressuring Macedonia to drop the referendum, even as agitators for Greater Albania – the driving force of Albanian terrorism – work freely, and with the support of pro-Imperial organizations. Macedonia is in a truly explosive situation, while the Empire is merrily tossing matches around.

Muzzling Justice

Aggression and occupation in Kosovo, and the support for terrorism in Macedonia aren’t the only Imperial contributions to the ongoing unraveling of civilization. The so-called "international war crimes tribunal" in The Hague does its best to maim any notion of international justice through its show trials of Balkans war crimes suspects. Its theory that a "joint criminal conspiracy" of Serbian leadership was supposedly behind all the Balkans wars of the 1990s is the pinnacle of absurdity. But its parallel attacks on Serbs and justice in general continue unabated.

Just last week, as former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic was beginning his defense, the Inquisition imposed on him two defense counsels, Steven Kay and Gillian Higgins. "These … are not my lawyers," Milosevic shot back, "They are your lawyers. … I have no intention of exercising any rights as Mr. Kay’s assistant." Then his microphone was cut off.

Michael Scharf, a U.S. jurist who helped create the ICTY in 1993, advocated the muzzling of Milosevic in a Washington Post editorial on Aug. 29. Four days later, the ICTY did exactly what Scharf "suggested," and with the same exact justification. This is but one sliver of evidence that the Inquisition is a political tool, controlled by the Empire.

From Bosnia to Beslan

Claims of "genocide" during the (admittedly bloody) civil war in Bosnia, which the Inquisition promotes with its whimsical verdicts, served as justification for thousands of Islamic mujahideen to descend upon the separatist republic from all over the world. Many were "Afghans" – terrorists with previous experience in Afghanistan, where their jihadi against the Soviets was organized and funded by the U.S. government. Their jihad in Bosnia also had U.S. support. Given access to the world through American-backed "wars of [Muslim] liberation" in Bosnia and later Kosovo, these militants then launched a jihad against their misguided handler: the United States – first in Kenya and Tanzania, then in Yemen, then in New York and Washington.

Whenever another alleged al-Qaeda operative or Islamic militant is seized, his biography almost inevitably contains fighting experience in Bosnia, and sometimes Chechnya. Some, like Australian David Hicks, even fought in Kosovo. Even Muslims native to Bosnia have been known to join the jihad in Chechnya.

One might be forgiven for having the impression that the Empire’s "war on terror" is aimed at defeating these Islamic militants. But behind the rhetoric of Imperial courtiers lies a harsh truth: this is simply not the case. In Washington’s book, a "terrorist" is anyone who opposes the American Empire; those who serve it, such as the KLA and the Bosnian mujahideen, or some of the Chechens, never merit the name.

The jihad is real, though some critics of the Empire wish it weren’t. It is smaller in scope and power than hysterical pronouncements from Washington make it seem (remember Niger yellowcake?), but it would be a mistake to dismiss its existence. It is religious fanaticism that motivates terrorists to murder innocents, whether their deity is Allah or the State.

Fear and Terror Unleashed

In the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, America cried havoc, and let slip the dogs of war. Given the damage they had done in the Balkans (to bring up just one instance) while still somewhat leashed, it was almost inevitable that the world would soon feel the full force of their depredations. That this happened under the guise of a "war on terrorism" is cruelly ironic. The pet beasts of the ancient Greek war god Ares, the dogs Shakespeare mentioned in that memorable phrase from Julius Caesar, were Phobos and Deimos: Fear and Terror.

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.