Sorcerers’ apprentices and Frankenstein (NATO and UCK)

by Yiannis Marinos [*]

(“Vima ”, March 25, 2001)

Two years ago, in Marbella, Spain, the former Prime Minister of Sweden, Carl Bild (UN representative in Yugoslavia) warned 150 members of the European Parliament that unilateral intervention by NATO and the European Union in favour of the Albanian majority in Kosovo and against the Serbs would not only not solve the problem of the various minorities in the region but would encourage an explosion of nationalist feeling and would lead to a broader and bloody conflict. Few in the audience applauded his impressive analysis, one which attested to a profound knowledge of the subject. The less well informed Europeans, believing in the morality and efficacy of reacting with force to the wholesale persecution of the Albanians of Kosovo by the Serbs of Milosevic, and submitting to the strategic designs of the USA in the Balkans as they were being implemented by NATO, decided to play safe and adopt the role of Goethe’s sorcerer’s apprentice. The Germans, moreover, were the first to open this Pandora’s Box, encouraging Kosovo to secede from Yugoslavia and attempting to cover up massacres of Serbs by Croatians just as deplorable as the slaughter ordered by Milosevic. In fact two Croatian generals were recently convicted by the International Court, but their conviction passed almost unreported by the biased news media.

But now the Financial Times has remarked on something which a few intelligent individuals, unaffected by skilful propaganda, have been aware of for some time: ‘The West’s campaign in Kosovo, which has imposed a change in the frontiers by force, has created a dangerous precedent, whose consequences we now see in Skopje. The threat of Albanian nationalism is the greatest obstacle to stability in the Balkans and the US must give this parameter very serious consideration’.

Yet how can the US take this into serious consideration, when it is they themselves who are encouraging this phenomenon? A year before the NATO (i.e. American) air intervention in Yugoslavia, President Clinton described the UCK in Kosovo as terrorists and drug dealers, who were killing Serbs with their guns and Europeans with their narcotics. But when the Serb reprisals began, ending – quite unacceptably – in a form of ethnic cleansing of the Albanian-speaking population, the extremists of Kosovo were armed and supported by the Americans, who were thus creating a kind of Frankenstein, reawakening and providing new stimulus to the dream of a Greater Albania, an objective being covertly promoted by the Albanian leadership among the Albanian-speaking populations of the Balkans as well as the people of Albania itself.

But there remains the very reasonable question of whether it would have been right for the Americans and Europeans to stand by and permit the genocide of the Albanian population of Kosovo. Of course it would not have been right; their intervention was justified. Their tragic mistake was to have confined their actions to punishing the Serbs, and particularly the civilian population of Serbia, and shamelessly supporting the ethnic cleansing plans of the UCK and more generally of the whole Muslim element in the Balkans, thus fomenting dreams of new borders and of the revenge of the once mighty Ottomans.

‘The Albanian fighters who have now unleashed attacks on the borders of the FYROM interpreted NATO support in 1999 as a sign of approval for Albanian nationalism’, observes the Times of London. And the German Welt also remarks that ‘the West has begun to understand that the most serious threat to stability in the Balkans comes from the Albanian extremists and the nationalist movement which is working for the creation of a Greater Albania’. So they’ve finally understood? In which case, why aren’t they bombing Tirana with depleted uranium, as they did in Belgrade, or even Kosovo? As long as the West confines itself to expressions of concern, the Albanians will assume that they are being given the green light to realize their dreams. Moreover, both the US and NATO are describing the problem as an internal matter for the FYROM. The fear of losing even one of their soldiers has led them to bury their heads in the sand. What this really means is indirect support for the objectives of the UCK, which appears to be moving towards the establishment of the first state in the history of modern Europe to be composed of gangs of organized criminals, a state whose main exports will be hashish and heroin, a state which recklessly endangers the peace of the region.

We can only hope that the recent expressions of anxiety by the West do in fact augur an imminent change in policy.

*Yiannis Marinos is a European MP for the New Democracy Party.


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