The first half of the page at the link is the new article from February 4th, the second half is a reprint of a 1999 article of the professor's on Kosovo; I reproduce only the first part of the February 4th article, with some comments, cleaning up a few punctuation and formatting issues.
While the European Union and the US have acknowledged that they would be "opposed" to a " unilateral" declaration of independence of Kosovo, the secession of Kosovo from Serbia is already de facto. It is part of a US-NATO military agenda. It is the culmination of the 1999 NATO led invasion. It responds to US-NATO strategic objectives.
Moreover, the "compromise" Ahtisaari Proposal under the helm of the former Finnish Prime Minister to establish a "multi-ethnic" Kosovar State has little to do with "national sovereignty" or "independence". It is a copy and paste replicate of the structures imposed on Bosnia-Herzegovina under the 1995 Dayton agreements. It essentially sustains the authority of the military occupation. Under proposed blueprint, all the major decisions pertaining to public spending, social programs, monetary and trading arrangements would remain in the hands of the NATO-UN occupation administration.
The re-election of a "pro-Western" president Boris Tadic in the Serbian elections is likely to "legitimize" Kosovo's de facto secession. Boris Tadic's Democratic Party takes its orders from Washington. In 2000, it actively participated in the ousting of Slobodan Milosevic from the Serbian presidency. Moreover, Boris Tadic as Serbian president, is also the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. He is unlikely to act without consulting Washington and Brussels in the event of a unilateral declaration of independence.
Since the 1999 NATO invasion, Kosovo has become a territory under foreign military rule. Kosovo remains under UN administration, In practice, however, it is under NATO military jurisdiction. Secession from Serbia would reinforce the control of the NATO-UN occupation authority.
The civilian government of the province is headed by Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci, former leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) (Ushtria Çlirimtare e Kosovës or UÇK in Albanian). Known for its extensive links to Albanian and European crime syndicates, the KLA was supported from the outset in the mid-1990s by the CIA and Germany's intelligence agency, the Bundes Nachrichten Dienst (BND). In the course of the 1999 war, the KLA was supported directly by NATO.
The links between the KLA and organized crime are known to readers of my blog.
Albanian mafia groups have gotten a good foothold in the crime world by trafficking women for use as sex-slaves (forced prostitution); these groups also traffic weapons and narcotics.
It is not surprising that a group traffics in more than one illegal commodity -- whatever one is smuggling, the routes often are the same, the corrupt government officials often are the same....
Prime Minister of Kosovo Hashim Thaci, who now heads the Democratic Party of Kosovo was known in the 1990s to be part of a crime syndicate, involved in drug trafficking and prostitution. During the Clinton administration, he was a protégé of Madeleine Albright. In the 1990s, Thaci founded the so-called "Drenica-Group", a criminal syndicate based in Kosovo, with links to the Albanian, Macedonian and Italian mafias. These links to criminal syndicates have been acknowledged both by Interpol and the US Congress.
In 1997, the KLA was recognized by the U.S. as a terrorist organization linked to the drug trade. President Clinton's special envoy to the Balkans, Robert Gelbard, described the KLA as, "without any questions, a terrorist group".
I have previously documented all of this -- instead of providing links to past posts, I encourage you to do an internet search, including searching among government documents and Congressional testimony, and find the evidence yourself.
In the late 90's, the Clinton Administration was conducting the foreign policy initiatives in the Balkans that tied us in to organized crime and Islamic extremist terrorists, so the Republicans were good at documenting it for a while, and their talking points can still be found online.
At some point, the Republicans got on board with supporting the KLA, and now we are supposed to believe the KLA & their political heirs are freedom fighters, even though these people have extensive ties to al Qaeda and to heroin-traffickers.
The Democratic Party of Kosovo is integrated by former members of a terrorist organization. It has maintained its links to organized crime. In fact, a large part of the political spectrum in Kosovo is dominated by former KLA members. Kosovo's previous prime minister Ramush Haradinaj and head of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, elected in 2004, is also a former commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army. In addition to his links to organized crime, Hadadinaj was also indicted in 2005 for war crimes by the The Hague ICTY Tribunal.
The NATO occupation of Kosovo responds to US foreign policy objectives. It secures a heavily militarized US zone of influence in Southern Europe. It ensures the militarization of strategic pipeline routes and transport corridors which link Western Europe to the Black Sea. It also protects the multibillion dollar heroin trade, which uses Kosovo and Albania as transit locations for the transshipment of Afghan produced heroin into Western Europe.
Kosovo is home to one of America's largest military bases, Camp Bondsteel.
Bondsteel was built on contract to the Pentagon by Halliburton, through its engineering subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR). Camp Bondsteel is considered to be "the largest and most expensive army base since Vietnam." with more than 6000 US troops."Camp Bondsteel, the biggest 'from scratch' foreign US military base since the Vietnam War (...) It is located close to vital oil pipelines and energy corridors presently under construction, such as the US sponsored Trans-Balkan oil pipeline. As a result defence contractors—in particular Halliburton Oil subsidiary Brown & Root Services—are making a fortune.
In June 1999, in the immediate aftermath of the bombing of Yugoslavia, US forces seized 1,000 acres of farmland in southeast Kosovo at Uresevic, near the Macedonian border, and began the construction of a camp.
Camp Bondsteel is known as the 'grand dame' in a network of US bases running both sides of the border between Kosovo and Macedonia. In less than three years it has been transformed from an encampment of tents to a self sufficient, high tech base-camp housing nearly 7,000 troops—three quarters of all the US troops stationed in Kosovo.
There are 25 kilometres of roads and over 300 buildings at Camp Bondsteel, surrounded by 14 kilometres of earth and concrete barriers, 84 kilometres of concertina wire and 11 watch towers. It is so big that it has downtown, midtown and uptown districts, retail outlets, 24-hour sports halls, a chapel, library and the best-equipped hospital anywhere in Europe. At present there are 55 Black Hawk and Apache helicopters based at Bondsteel and although it has no aircraft landing strip the location was chosen for its capacity to expand. There are suggestions that it could replace the US airforce base at Aviano in Italy.
(See Paul Stuart, Camp Bondsteel and America’s plans to control Caspian oil, WSWS.org, April 2002, http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/apr2002/oil-a29.shtml)
Camp Bondsteel was not the outgrowth of a humanitarian or "Just War" on behalf of Kosovar Albanians. The construction of Camp Bondsteel had been envisaged well in advance of the bombings and invasion of Kosovo in 1999.
The plans to build Camp Bondsteel under a lucrative multibillion dollar DoD contract with Halliburton's Texas based subsidiary KBR were formulated while Dick Cheney was Halliburton's CEO.
Construction of Camp Bondsteel was initiated shortly after the 1999 invasion under the Clinton administration. Construction was completed during the Bush administration, after Dick Cheney had resigned his position as Halliburton's CEO:The US and NATO had advanced plans to bomb Yugoslavia before 1999, and many European political leaders now believe that the US deliberately used the bombing of Yugoslavia to establish camp Bondsteel in Kosovo.. According to Colonel Robert L. McCure, "Engineering planning for operations in Kosovo began months before the first bomb was dropped." (See Lenora Foerstel, Global Research, January 2008)
One of the objectives underlying Camp Bondsteel was to protect the Albanian-Macedonian-Bulgarian Oil pipeline project (AMBO), which was to channel Caspian sea oil from the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Burgas to the Adriatic.
This AMBO project is also well-documented, although I have not yet addressed it here.
Coincidentally, two years prior to the invasion, in 1997, a senior executive of Brown & Root Energy, a subsidiary of Halliburton, Edward L. (Ted) Ferguson had been appointed to head AMBO. The feasibility plans for the AMBO pipeline were also undertaken by Halliburton's engineering company, Kellog, Brown & Root Ltd.
The AMBO agreement for the 917-km long oil pipeline from Burgas to Valona, Albania, was signed in 2004.
Criminalization of the State
The KLA was set up as a paramilitary group in the mid 1990s. It was a US-NATO sponsored insurgency. The objective was to destabilize and ultimately break up Yugoslavia. The KLA had extensive links to Al Qaeda, which was also involved in military training. Mujahideen mercenaries from a number of countries integrated the ranks of the KLA, which was involved in terrorist activities as well as political assassinations.
In this context, what are the implications of the "Ahtisaari Plan." which envisages the formation of a separate multi-ethnic Kosovar State?
The proposed Kosovar political setup is integrated by criminal elements. Western politicians are fully aware of the nature of the Kosovar political project, of which they are the architects. . .
We are not, however, dealing with the usual links of individual Western politicians to criminal syndicates. The relationship is far more sophisticated. Both the EU and the US are using criminal organizations and criminalized political parties in Kosovo to reach their military and foreign policy goals. The latter in turn support the interests of the oil companies and defense contractors, not to mention the multibillion dollar heroin trade out of Afghanistan.
At the institutional level, the US administration, the EU, NATO and the UN are actually promoting the criminalization of the Kosovar State, which they control. In broad terms we are also dealing with the criminalization of US foreign policy. These criminal organizations and parties are created to ultimately serve US interests in Southern Europe.
Ring any bells?
The last paragraph that I will quote from Professor Chossudovsky's article:
Kosovo independence would formally transform Kosovo into an independent mafia state, controlled by the Western military alliance. The territory of Kosovo would remain under US-NATO military jurisdiction.
The Western Powers, especially the United States, have dismantled a lawfully-recognized nation and member of the UN, Yugoslavia. In the power-vacuum created, Islamic extremists and organized crime have moved in. The Balkans are now a hub and transshipment point for narcotics, weapons, slaves and extremist terror.
This policy began under the Clinton Administration, and has continued full-force under the Bush Administration; American foreign policy in the Balkans works at a cross-purpose to what we would expect in a War on Terror, or in a War on Drugs, and this is a pattern of behavior that goes all the way to Afghanistan: American troops are in harm's way, fighting a war that they are not allowed to win, while heroin trafficking has become a $1,000,000,000,000-a-year industry under their watchful eyes; meanwhile, we are being given every excuse imaginable why that narcotics-trafficking, which benefits Al Qaeda and kills Europeans and Americans, cannot be stopped.
This is everything the Sibel Edmonds case is about.
American foreign policy has been hijacked by The Shadow Realm, and now serves the interests of Big Narcotics, which in many ways coincide with the interests of Big Terror -- it is as if the fire marshall were ordering that a fire be extinguished with gasoline.
If caught, these guys are going to plead that they are serving the interests of Big Oil -- which can be a legitimate foreign policy objective, assuming it is done with wisdom and within the bounds of international law.
But, of course, the Bush Administration long ago stopped worrying about abiding by international law, or any other law for that matter -- the Bush Administration's morality is about as good as the Clinton Administration's was: Can we get away with it?
I leave you now to read the rest of Professor Chossudovsky's article, The Criminalization of the State: "Independent Kosovo", a Territory under US-NATO Military Rule, at the link provided, as I begin a label that I should have begun long ago: The Balkans.