Term ”humanitarian intervention” came wide distribution during Yugoslav secession wars in mid-90s. Today it is possible to have a critical look at the role that the US, NATO and the EU played in the tragic breakup of a once peaceful and prosperous European state – Yugoslavia. “Humanitarian intervention” was a practical fasade covering the true reasons behind Western intervention in the Balkans. The new perspective on Western involvement in the division of the ethnic groups within Yugoslavia shows that the war was forced from outside — regular people wanted peace – in all cases the biggest beneficiary has been U.S. military-industrial complex.
Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo are good examples how fasades were created with help of U.S. PR-agencies and mainstream western media.
Srebrenica is an example of (humanitarian)intervention context as well modern media war used more or less successfully in conflicts around the world during last decades. The Aim of PR game played by Bosnian Muslims was to get US to fight aside of them. One part to achieve US involvement was to gain sympathy in West by implementing attacks towards its own citizens.
There is also many arguments about political PR game behind exaggerated death numbers, misrepresentation of early reports and manipulated pictures. Indeed President Izetbegovic according mentioned UNSG Report told in 1993 that he had learned that a NATO intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina was possible, but could only occur if the Serbs were to break into Srebrenica, killing at least 5,000 of its people.” So from here are the numbers originating – two years before events in Srebrenica. (Source: UN report The Fall of Srebrenica )
The myth of 8,000 executed men and boys is busted. It was planed well before to get U.S.involvement with war against Serbs. An essential part of narrative was the death toll of 8,000 and that the victims were civilians. However the figures after decade and half intensive bodycount don’t match. Besides numbers it has came clear that most of the military-age men from Srebrenica assembled in the village of Susnjari and from there under-took a 60 kilometer trek through minefields and Serbian ambushes to Tuzla as they were affraid Serb revenge due their atrocities against Serbs during preceding two years. As for the women, children, and elderly, they were left behind and deposited at the UN compound in Potocari. Quite possibly that was done as a convenient bait to the Serbs to perpetrate the anticipated massacre, but whatever the ultimate motive behind it may have been, on the whole nothing sinister occurred. The 20,000 or so enclave residents dumped in Potocari were put by the Serbs on buses and evacuated safely to Muslim territory.
Also the presence of radical Muslims in Balkans is linked to the advent of mujahedeen foreign fighters who joined Bosnian Muslims in their battle against the Serbs in Bosnia’s 1992-95 independence war. After Dayton Saudi-backed charities were funding the movement as well investments and Wahhabis have been establishing a permanent presence in Macedonia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Serbia, Croatia and even in Bulgaria.
Despite international community’s state building efforts in Bosnia the country is splitting parts. Since war mid-90’s foreign aid has exceed USD 80 bn for artificial creature designed in Dayton agreement aiming multi-ethnic state with EU perspective. As a result Bosnia is now even more divided, with less national identity, 20 percent of population living under the poverty line, with a nightmare triple administration plus international supervising making the country as worst place in Europe to do business west of Ukraine, even as it seeks to join the European Union.
More in Srebrenica again – Hoax or Massacre? and NIOD Report on Srebrenica )
In Balkans Srebrenica was not only case being part of bigger political came and fabricated manipulation; few years later the same tactic was implemented in Kosovo e.g with the Racak case was similar. After over decade it is still difficult in western media to admit that also Serbs were victims of war crimes – instead from year to year media repeats one sided picture about Serbs created mid 90s when US selected its side. Also the same manipulated approach was later applied in Kosovo.
Before the war, 12% of Croatian citizens were of Serbian nationality. Half of them lived in the region called Krajina. Krajina was created by Austrians in 16th century as a military zone to protect the Christian West from the advance of Muslim Ottoman Empire. Serbian peasants that escaped Ottoman rule were given free land there in exchange for their military service. The Republic of Croatia declared its independence on June 25, 1991. By the end of the year, the Yugoslav People’s Army and different Serb forces took control of more than one third of the country, proclaiming their own independent state: Republika Srpska Krajina (RSK) with a capital in Knin.
In January 1993, Croatian forces – between 17,000 and 20,000 troops – launched a surprise attack against the Serb-held Krajina. The Serbs fought back and as part of a ceasefire agreement the area became a so-called “Pink Zone” placed under UNPROFOR protection, and within which the warring factions pledged there would be no fighting. No final agreement was concluded until July 16. Croatian President Franjo Tudjman ordered all United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) units to leave Croatian territory by March 31, 1995. The move, supported by U.S., gave the Croatian Government a green light to start their ethnic cleansing.
In 4th August 1995, 200,000 Croat army and police troops from Croatia attacked the United Nations protected zones (safe havens) with Serbian population in northern Dalmatia, Lika, Kordun and Banija. They were helped on the Bosnian side by the Bosnian Muslim fighters and had the operation backed, coordinated and logistically supported by the leading Western powers. During this operation, 2,650 Serbs (mainly civilians) were killed and some 250,000 were “ethnically cleansed” from their ancestral homes. In Europe this was the largest refugee crisis since the Holocaust, since World War II and until Kosovo war 1999. These war crimes and cleansing were passed over in silence in western media as Croatia was being advised by a shadowy group of retired American officers who had been sent to Croatia to help it fight against the Serbs. In fact especially western mainstream media actively and carefully ignored and covered up the war crimes that its allies committed in Croatia and later in Bosnia and Kosovo.
Croatia’s Operation Storm in 1995 against Serb-held areas in the Krajina would not have been feasible had not “Srebrenica” prepared the ground for it, morally and psychologically. The Srebrenica narrative and the outrage it produced served as a convenient veil to shield atrocities committed during the Croatian offensive in August of 1995 from substantial public examination or criticism.
(More about issue e.g. in my articles Krajina – Victory with Ethnic Cleansing and Operation Storm – forgotten pogrom )
In Kosovo U.S. with help of western media used the same best practice as earlier in Croatia and Bosnia. The main elements were need of humanitarian intervention, multiplying (with 10-50) civilian deaths and fabricating massacres.
In the village of Racak, Kosovo, 45 Albanian civilians were reportedly massacred by Serbian forces on January 15, 1999. US diplomat William Walker, who at the time was the chief of the OSCE ceasefire verification mission to Kosovo, first reported the event and said it was a “crime against humanity”, and that the victims were civilians. There is a widespread belief, that Walker’s role in Racak was to assist the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) in fabricating a Serb massacre that could be used as an excuse for military action. The theory was that the KLA had gathered their own dead after the battle, removed their uniforms, put them in civilian clothes, and then called in the observers. (More in High pressure to fabricate Racak reports )
William Walker is the man who sold the world the story of the Racak so-called massacre, used to create a climate to justify the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999. Walker had some earlier experience about clandestine U.S. dirty operations. He was U.S. ambassador to El Salvador in November 1989 when massacres were made by the Atlacatl Battalion/the Salvadoran Army, which was recruited, trained, and deployed by the U.S. military. Before that, he was deputy chief of mission at the embassy in Honduras when U.S. authorities were recruiting officers from Somoza’s deposed National Guard to establish the Contras, and forming military death squads that murdered hundreds of Honduran workers, labor organizers and students.
Walker’s OSCE mission was crawling with CIA operatives and employees of two US paramilitary companies (Dyncorp and MPRI) that had close ties to US military intelligence and to the CIA at least since Bosnian war a half decade earlier . This personnel was there to establish close links with the KLA, to train them, and to prepare the ground in advance of the NATO bombing. Also the CIA had been training the KLA already, since early in 1998, in Albania, where the KLA had its bases. So the decision to bomb had been taken long before. What was needed was an excuse to start, and furnishing that excuse was Walker’s job.
In case of Kosovo U.S. officials claimed that from 100,000 up to 500,000 Albanians had been massacred. When the figure later was near 10.000 from all ethnic groups together the bombings were already over.
In Kosovo since intervention international community has worked with capacity building of Kosovo administration and the outcome I have summarized as follows:
“as Serbian province, occupied and now international protectorate administrated by UN Kosovo mission; as quasi-independent pseudo-state has good change to become next “failed” or “captured” state; 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”.
As described earlier Bosnian Muslims, Croatians, Kosovo Albanians and their hired lobbyists made very successful media campaign for their case in western mainstream media and in capitals of West. However the campaigns might not have been so effective unless the politicians were so amenable to campaigner’s views. In my opinion this receptivity is linked to geopolitical changes and interests. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, US big business was focusing on reshaping all of Europe. Nato had lost its enemy and military-industrial complex was afraid to lose its old markets. Nonaligned Yugoslavia was no longer needed in this context. The interest of US Military-industrial complex and Pentagon’s was in creating weak, dependent puppet regimes to Balkans, Black Sea region, Caucasus in order to dominate these regions and their energy sources and transportation routes – economically and politically. Without this political and business interest it would not be so easy for PR-agencies to demonize the Serbs, to hide the reality of Croatian fascism, to canonize the Bosnian Muslims, and to whitewash OC-clans in Kosovo.
My conclusion is that the great powers implement interventions whenever and wherever they see it beneficial for their military, economical and/or political interests with or without UN approval while humanitarian and legal aspects are serving only nothing but a facade.
I would draw following time axis about some core events with this campaign:
- U.S. practising intervention first in the Bosnian War 1992-95 and selecting terrorist/OC-groups to U.S. allies (More e.g. Srebrenica again – Hoax or Massacre? and Krajina – Victory with Ethnic Cleansing )
- Racak fabrication and “humanitarian intervention” aka since WWII first ever full scale bombing operation in center of Europe 1999 ( High pressure to fabricate Racak reports and 10th anniversary of Nato’s attack on Serbia )
- Guaranteeing results with pogroms 1999-2004 creating one of the biggest refugee problem in Europe by complete ethnic cleansing Serbs out of Kosovo ( Forgotten Refugees – WestBalkans and Kosovo March/February 17th: Pogrom with Prize )
- Creating a quasi-independent puppet state for safe haven for terrorists and OC ( e.g. Quadruple Helix – Capturing Kosovo and Balkan Route – Business as usual )
- Today’s outcome a frozen conflict and captured pseudo-state (more e.g. Kosovo: Two years of Pseudo-state and Captured Pseudo-State Kosovo )
- As side result U.S. created Bondsteel, one of the biggest U.S. military base in center of Europe – completely outside European/international jurisdiction – to serve also as secret torture/detention/investigation center of CIA.