March 24th was held the 10th anniversary of Nato bombings against Serbia.While remembering this intervention I would like to highlight some basic issues before, during and after bombings 1999:
- Public justification was based to fabricated, manipulated and one-sided reports by U.S. like earlier in Bosnia and after e.g. in Iraq-case.Although reliable figures are beginning to emerge, the final death toll from the Kosovo war remains unknown, and has become the focus of considerable debate. Some Western government and NATO officials suggested during the war, when figures went as high as 100,000;The New York Times reported, “On April 19, the State Department said that up to 500,000 Kosovar Albanians were missing and feared dead. Through its own research, Human Rights Watch documented 3,453 killings by Serbian or Yugoslav government forces. (More in HRW report )
- The bombings and later orchestrated unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) of Kosovo Albanians were against international law and violation of the UN Charter, Helsinki Accords and a series of UN resolutions including the governing UNSC resolution #1244
- The big refugee problem started during Nato bombings, after one week from start 300.000 refugees, in April 850.000 refugees. Earlier before -90s Serbs had moved out from Kosovo partly because they felt themselves as discriminated by Albanian majority; during -90s Albanians moved out due the same reason.
- The actions of the Nato campaign – named as Merciful Angel – were offically directed toward “interruption of violent attacks being carried out by the Serbian Army and special police forces and the reduction of their capabilities”.Nato planes destroyed 4 % of its military targets during bombing – partly because for avoiding own casualties they cowardly launched missiles so high that could not make difference between wooden decoys and real weapons.Instead of military targets the main damage was made against civilian targets. Nato destroyed e.g. an embassy (China), a prison (Istok), three column of Albanian refugees (81 dead March 13th and 75 April 14th), radio-tv station (Belgrade, 16 civilians dead), a passenger train (Grdelica bridge, 14 dead), also a number of infrastructure, commercial buildings, schools, health institutions, media houses, cultural monuments were damaged or destroyed.Some 2.500 people (mostly civilians) were dead, material civil infrastructure damage is estimated to be some 30 billion dollars.
- Bombing civilian targets, using cluster and DU (depleted uranium) bombs can be seen as war crimes or at least violations of international law and the Geneva Conventions in particular.
- Just after bombing Albanians started ethnic cleansing of Serbs under eyes of KFOR peacekeepers who had made “humanitarian intervention”. The vast majority of those people – Serbs, Roma and Gorani – were forced out by ethnic violence and intimidation and still live in dreadful conditions in camps and emergency housing in Serbia.
- After bombing almost all Albanian refugees have returned while only tiny fraction of Serb refugees – or officially internally displaced persons – have returned to Kosovo. The remaining Serbs in Kosovo are barricaded into enclaves keeping their lives mainly with help of international KFOR troops or in de facto separated Serb majority region in North Kosovo.This has changed former multi-ethnic province more mono-ethnic one.
- The same ethnic cleansing was repeated March 2004 and again UN Mission in Kosovo was bystander and could not bring perpetrators up for trial. (More in my article “Pogrom with Prize”)
- The aim of international community was to build “standards before status”,on 2005 the task was seen impossible so the slogan changed to “standards and status”.Even this was unrealistic so Feb. 2008 “European”standards were thrown away to garbage and “status without standards” precipitately accepted by western powers.
- According western powers the UDI was said to “unique” – instead it serves as precedent to nearly 5.000 ethnic or separatist groups in the world.
- A state normally needs statehood structures, executive power over own territory and sustainable economy.In Kosovo two first elements are on hands of international outsiders and the export of province can cover 5-10 % of import – the rest is covered mainly by international aid and organized crime.
- The outcome today is a quasi-state with good change to become next “failed” or “captured” state if international community does not firm its grip in province.Today’s Kosovo is already safe-heaven for war criminals,drug traffickers, international money laundry and radical Wahhabists – unfortunately all are also allies of western powers.
It’s easy to blame the situation today in Kosovo on U.S foreign policy.After implementing its failed attempt to please Muslim countries, after increasing the profits of its military-industry-complex and after creating one of its biggest military complex in Europe U.S. is covering its track record an leaving he whole mess to its lapdogs in EU.As a result of EU’s short-sighted post-conflict management policy they must again throw away few billions of EU taxpayer money to keep flag in international protectorate and safe haven of drug cartels – in artificial creature with no realistic visions nor exit strategy.
From my point of view the solution could be to finally put that reset button and go go back to Jan 2008.The exit strategy could start by U.S. withdrawing it recognition of Kosovo UDI.After this the real talks between local stakeholders can start without predestined outcome.The compromise can be any of countless different territorial autonomy models, the parties can even create a new one or agree some partition of province.The only important thing forsake of sustainability would be that local parties make the deal and outsiders only facilitate it.This process could also reset the international law, prevent similar violations in future and put focus from old wrongdoings towards future.