||This article appears in the June 22, 2001 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
British `New Berlin Congress'
Behind Macedonian Civil War
by Umberto Pascali
[PDF version of this article]
Macedonian civil war threatens, and the specter of a new Balkans boundary war behind it, as the Kosovo Liberation Army is now with mortar range of Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. In successive waves of attack and with little Macedonian government response, the well-armed, well-trained, well-supplied, well-protected and Albanian mafia-connected terrorist gangs have placed their artillery literally four to five miles away from the Presidency and Parliament building. The threat of an endless escalation of violence is being used to build support for the proposals of Britain's Lord David Owen, for a "New Congress of Berlin," like that which redrew the map of the Balkans in 1878. The reason for the British strategy, now as then, is geopolitical control of Europe.
The "commander" of the KLA gangs in Macedonia, known as "Hoxha" (a common Albanian name, but reminding one of Albania's fanatic, cult-like dictator, Enver Hoxha), feels secure and supported enough to spend his time giving interviews to international correspondents. "Commander Hoxha's" fans are the journalists working for media outlets owned by financial speculator George Soros, who worked closely with U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in 1999 to elevate KLA leader Hashim Thaci as the leader of Kosovo, to supplant elected President Ibraham Rugova. It was through one of the many Soros outlets that Hoxha made his latest ultimatum to the government of Macedonia. "If [Prime Minister] Ljubco Georgievski does not stop harming our people, we will strike Skopje. Now I've got weapons within range of Skopje, so why shouldn't I shoot against him?" he asked, in a grotesque attempt to claim the moral high ground. His men had already started bombing Macedonian villages, like Cresevo, just four miles from the capital, and had created a reign of terror in the predominantly Albanian-inhabited Kumanovo area, 25 miles northwest of Skopje, which they have occupied for more than a month.
"We have 120 mm artillery pieces and we have rockets, too," Hoxha bragged. "We will fire on the airport, the country's only oil refinery, the government building, the Parliament, and police posts. We will shoot every place where there are police." Hoxha delivered another ultimatum through Katharine Graham's Washington Post. Shortly afterward, the Macedonian Army suspended its attempts to re-take the area of Kumanovo and the government declared a unilateral cease-fire.
No State To Rely On?
Despite the protestation of the Presidential Security Council Adviser, Nikola Dimitrov, that the unilateral cease-fire was prompted by humanitarian considerations, the decision collapsed the government's credibility and provoked a sense of demoralization, insecurity, and rage among the Macedonians. "The next step," a local observer explained, "could be the decision that one has to defend oneself; then you will have a situation of real ethnic confrontation, anarchyviolence provoked by fear. And no state institution to rely on. Indeed, appeasement to injustice never brings peace."
There are already cases of ethnic street battles, and of Macedonians going to the local police stations asking for weapons. Many are abandoning those areas of Skopje that are vulnerable to KLA mortars. On June 6, the city of Bitola exploded in anti-Albanian riots after three townspeople were killed, while performing their duty as reservist soldiers, in an atrocious KLA ambush near Tetovo, in the northeast of the country. In the incident, the KLA ambushed a jeep bringing food to the soldiers stationed in the area, killing one and wounding another. These two were used as "bait." The gang waited for the medical help to arrive and carried out a massacre. Five were killed and several seriously wounded. In retaliation, Albanian shops and business were assaulted, especially those establishments considered to have connections to the "Albanian mafia" illegal activities.
From their headquarters and staging area in Kosovo, which is under control of NATO troops, the KLA receive, with astonishing regularity, anything they need, including newly trained recruits who can easily cross the Kosovo borders. No real attempt is made to stop the terrorists, notwithstanding the many public statements from NATO Secretary General Lord George Robertson, appealing to the "men of violence" to "depose their weapons."
Macedonia Defeated the First Assault
What a contrast with the first Macedonian counterattack: The Macedonian Army (ARM) had been caught unprepared by the first KLA assault at the beginning of the year. The invasion of its territory, the constant pressure from Lord Robertson to choose "peaceful means," the fact that the NATO apparatus in neighboring Kosovo did not intervene to stop the terrorists from crossing the borders, all this had momentarily paralyzed the government.
However, shortly afterward, the Macedonians fought bravely and reported a clear victory last April. "Experts" such as former U.S. National Security Council official Ivo Daalder, now with the Brookings Institution, had vociferously asked the Macedonia Army to "just step aside" and open up Macedonia to NATO troops. The Brookings experts stressed that the U.S. Army had the capability to fight such guerrillas, because of its long Vietnam experience.
This advice, along with the hypocritical recommendations from the "international community" to negotiate with the terrorists and accept partition of the country, was rejected. The only help Skopje received, was a supply of a few Russian gunship helicopters delivered by Ukraine, and the suggestion from Russian President Vladimir Putin, that Macedonia should rely on their forces and fight the assault against their territory.
At that time, the KLA, attempting to besiege Tetovo (whose majority is ethnic Albanian), was forced to abandon their state-of-the-art weapons, artillery, uniforms, and cultist paraphernalia, and to precipitously withdraw into the safety of the NATO protectorate of Kosovo. The Macedonian government and its Army had achieved what the "experts" said was impossible. There was not one single civilian casualty.
What has then changed so drastically in less than two months? The answer is simple, as a well-informed Macedonian source put it: "The leaders of the country are not so impressed with the KLA. The guerrillas are the pawns, the puppets. They fear, though, their puppet-masters!" A second source referred to the statement of a top Macedonian official, when confronted with the lack of initiative, verging on national suicide, in fighting the KLA. The official reportedly stated: "I do not want end up in front of The Hague War Crimes Tribunal!" He apparently was referring to the strong pressures to negotiate a form of surrender put on the government by the "international community": the European Union's Javier Solana, NATO's Lord Robertson, the British Ambassador, and U.S. Ambassador Robert Frowick, with a long career in the Pentagon, in the NATO U.S. Mission, in the Balkans, and lately, Balkan envoy for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Ambassador Frowick was forced to hastily leave Macedonia under the threat of being declared persona non grata, after it was revealed, on May 23, that he had sponsored a secret and illegal pact of "cooperation and joint action" between the ethnic Albanian leaders, members of the Macedonian government, and KLA leader Ali Ahmeti. The pact was signed in Kosovo, following secret talks encouraged by Frowick, while Macedonia was at war with the terrorists.
The U.S. Responsibility
Frowick carries a huge responsibility for the present situation. However, no informed person in Skopje believes that he could have run such a destabilization operation alone, without the knowledge of the main elements of the "international community." Frowick's ouster represented the last impulse of national sovereignty. After that the "great power" pressures escalated, in parallel with the KLA provocations.
Caught between two fires, the Macedonian government, after its initial victory, witnessed the KLA coming back en masse from Kosovo and occupying an even greater around Kumanovo. A dramatic test of strength between the government and the foreign powers took place when Macedonia exploded into something very close to a popular uprising following the June 5 KLA massacre.
That day, Prime Minister Georgievski announced that he was going to ask the Parliament to approve a state of war because, as his spokesman stated, "It is not possible to respond otherwise to the threats against Macedonia's security and sovereignty." But the "international community" was well prepared to intervene. As a leading U.S. news service reported: "The European Union and the United States hurried to discourage Prime Minister Georgievski from making the formal request." The European Union's Solana stated brutally, that declaring war against the aggressors "would only be playing into the hands of the extremists." And U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher stated: "We don't see that a declaration of a state of war would serve to advance this kind of political reconciliation, political solution. We reiterate the importance of the measured response." Another U.S. diplomat, William Walker, who was in Kosovo before the NATO bombings in 1999, was more explicit: "They should definitively communicate with [the guerrillas] to find out what their grievances are."
Lord Owen, Kissinger, and the Real Game
"The Kosovo Liberation Army and even its mother organization, the all-powerful 'Albanian mafia,' are only instruments," explained a Macedonian source. "An instrument used to achieve a goal. What is the aim? The aim is a radical, insane re-drawing of the borders of the Balkans along racist criteria: the so-called ethnic purity. This, emphatically, includes the creation of a Greater Albania and the nightmarish emerging of mono-ethnic states. Lord David Owen is very explicit in this. But, besides the Nazi-like barbarism of such a plan, we should ask ourselves: Do they really think they can achieve stability with these methods? Don't they see that this is the sure way to trigger a spiral of war with no precedent, even in the Balkans?"
As the accompanying map from the KLA's website makes clear, the terrorists' offensive is, in fact, coordinated with the "New Berlin Congress" offensive launched by Lord Owen, the former British Foreign Secretary and former EU Balkans plenipotentiary. On March 13, Owen made his proposal in the Wall Street Journal with his commentary, "To Secure Balkan Peace, Redraw the Map." He wrote: "What is needed today is a Balkans-wide solution, through a present-day equivalent of the 1878 Congress of Berlin, with pre-agreed boundary changes endorsed by the major powers."
Note the date of the map of "Greater Albania" advertised on the KLA site.
That 1878 Congress, pushed by the British Empire, but staged in Berlin, resulted (aside from its African looting agreements) in a Balkan carving party that created untold misery, waves of displaced refugees, and created the precondition for what became known as "balkanization." All in the name of the creation of stable ethnic areas.
Owen's official proposal had been preceded on Feb. 26-27 by a U.S. Army War College seminar on "The Future of U.S. Presence in the Balkans." One participant reported: "Scholars and U.S. military officers attending the two-day seminar, appeared to be in almost unanimous agreement that current state boundaries in the Balkans should be redrawn to create 'smaller, more stable mono-ethnic states.' According to the delegates, new boundaries enshrining homogeneous ethnic entities would follow the historical patterns and 'natural instincts' of Europe, as witnessed over the past 300 years."
Former U.S. Secretary of State Sir Henry Kissinger is a precursor of Lord Owen's "geo-racism." On Sept. 8, 1996, in a commentary in the Washington Post, Kissinger explained that ethnic cleansing in the Balkans could not be reversed, and so it should be accepted as a stabilizing factor. "With extensive ethnic cleansing [in Bosnia], only the most insignificant remnants of other groups are left in each area," he wrote. Thus, ethnically pure areas have been created. "To force these now ethnically homogeneous regions into a common entity, guarantees another round of ethnic cleansing. Realistically, a separate Muslim entity may be the best achievable outcome. It would be a solution most conducive to long-term stability. The other ethnic groups should have the same option to join the mother countries."
Lord Owen's most acute concern appeared to be the status of Kosovo and Macedonia. He clearly advocated the creation of a pure Albanian area, as a NATO policy: "The serious fighting on the Yugoslav and Macedonian borders surrounding Kosovo should be a warning to NATO. It is a demonstration that the Kosovo Albanians are not prepared to acquiesce in Kosovo remaining within Yugoslavia. Also, their militants are linking the Albanian communities over the frontiers to their struggle for an independent Kosovo. The more the NATO-backed Kosovo Force (KFOR) contingent deployed there is seen to be preventing independence, the more likely it is that NATO troops will be in the firing line."
In fact, while Macedonia was engulfed in violence and aggression, "one could hear in the background, this continuous eerie refrain of the New Berlin Congress," as one insightful Macedonian journalist put it. "It was like someone launching trial balloons, one after the other, to check how strong was the resistance to the plan. The KLA aggression seemed to supply the shock to, somehow, force the people to swallow the hemlock."
On May 30, the Macedonian daily Vecer came out with a shocking proposal from members of the Macedonian Academy of Science: a "land and people swapping" between Macedonia and Albania, illustrated by a large map.
The general reaction was incredulity and outrage. Macedonia's ambassador to Bulgaria and former candidate for President, Ljubisha Georgievski, denounced the proposal as "absolutely infantile." He told EIR, "It is along the lines of the old proverb: 'The way to Hell is paved with good wishes.' It is the same political naïveté as transpires from one of those proposals by Lord David Owen. It is impossible to change any [national] border in all human history, without a war."
But the following day, the leading daily Nova Makedonija reported that a plan presented jointly by Kissinger and Lord Owen had been discussed in the United States, and will be implemented in a "New Berlin Congress," in Berlin in May 2002. According to the paper, the plan includes carving up parts of Macedonia to be given to Albania, and vice-versa. Kosovo would become part of Albania, while a small part in the north (the Mitrovica area) would go to Serbia. Pieces of Greece and Bulgaria would also be cut and pasted, in a complicated map featured on the newspaper's front page. Bosnia would be fully divided, and its Republika Srpska go to Serbia.
The elaboration of the new borders will be discussed, according to Nova Makedonija in Warsaw, at a conference organized by the non-governmental organization Citizens Alliance for Eastern Europe. The plan was, reportedly, presented in Washington last March 28, to a meeting of high officials from the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, and the CIA. The unsigned article concluded: No matter what the reaction will be, a carving-up Congress will take place, "because the new American strategy has decided what the new map of the Balkans should look like."
Finally on June 5, Lord Owen reiterated the need of a "New 1878 Berlin Congress" in an interview with the Berliner Zeitung. The Balkan nations "will be consulted," he intoned, but, he insisted: "Something must be done in any case to accommodate the Kosovo Albanians' will of independence," otherwise, "the moment will come when the Kosovo Albanians will go after NATO, because they will realize that NATO hinders their independence."