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NATO's 15 Years in Kosovo. Part 2

6-07-2014, 19:30

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Young Lions

Washington knew it could rely on its partners in Kosovo such as the province's nationalist writers and former youth communist organization leaders, but still needed desperados, preferably with connections in the Albanian diaspora in Europe and overseas, to keep a tight grip on the local “liberation movement”. Hashim Thaçi from Drenica was the first to be invited to join the project. A thorough description of the character can be found in a paper published in Belgrade-based Farti (1). He was born in 1969, attended the University of Pristina, admired the totalitarian socialist model of the neighboring Albania and was involved in organizing a radical Marxist circle. Thaçi graduated in 1991, and, the same year, became a member of the Drenica guerrilla group which subsequently emerged as the core of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). Thaçi routinely traveled abroad and met with the functionaries and bosses of the Albanian mafia thriving on the sales of drugs and firearms. Officially, Thaçi was enrolled at the University of Zürich to study the history of East and South European countries, but was, at the time, active in the firearms business. Those were the years when Switzerland was home to VENDLINDJA THERRET (“Motherland Calling”), the main foundation providing financial support to Kosovo separatists.

Known as “Snake”, Thaçi returned to Kosovo in 1997 and converted the Broja village into a real fortress. The place was intended to serve as a stronghold of Albanian separatism, but initially Thaçi was preoccupied with infighting within the Albanian community, while the struggle against the Serbian security forces only loomed at the background. Thaçi's commandos held the locals in a state of permanent terror and enabled him to ultimately gain centralized control over all of the guerrilla groups that used to act independently in the region. Thus the KLA swelled to unprecedented proportions, recruiting 10,000 new members already in the summer of 1998. Arms were supplied to the formation continuously from Albania, where army arsenals had been looted massively during the 1997 anti-government uprising.

Thaçi headed the Kosovo team at the Rambouillet negotiations in France (their first round took place on February 6-23, 1999). US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright apparently decided at the moment that Thaçi was the optimal partner in the process, and, at Washington's instigation, he completely derailed the talks with Belgrade, so that NATO airstrikes on Yugoslavia followed on March 24, 1999.

Thaçi delegated the operative field command to Albanian from Croatia Agim Çeku. Çeku was born in 1951, graduated from a military academy in Belgrade, and fought against the Serbs in Krajina, expelling 200,000 Serbs from the region in the course of two weeks of fierce fighting.

On June 12, 1999, NATO forces entered Kosovo and the province was turned into a NATO protectorate. Thaçi then popped up the Democratic Party of Kosovo (DPK) and helped Çeku set up the National Guard corps. Thaçi lost local elections to Ibrahim Rugova in 2001 but made it to the parliament in late 2001. Thaçi took part in organizing the fighting in Serbia and in Macedonia in 2001 and 2002 by supplying firearms, artillery, and terrorist forces to the regions.

In May, 2005, Thaçi announced that his DPK had formed a “shadow government” for the province. He was seen as a candidate for the post of the Kosovo premier after the death of Rugova in January, 2006 but jumped to it only in January, 2008. The independence of Kosovo was proclaimed almost immediately, on February 17, echoed by a recognition from Washington.

Ramush Haradinaj is another figure prominent in the current political elite of Kosovo. He was born in the village of Glogjan in central Metohija in 1968, finished school in Gjakova, and gained admission to the University of Pristina to study atomic physics. Haradinaj also served in the chemical corps of the Yugoslavian army in the rank of platoon commander. Haradinaj left to join his relatives in Switzerland in 1989, then briefly returned to Kosovo and was arrested for taking part in an anti-government rally. He was back to Switzerland in 1991 and, at the time, met Albanian ambassador Petrit Bushati who took the role of Haradinaj's main political tutor. In late 1991, Haradinaj was trusted as the main agent with the arms acquisitions for KLA. Haradinaj harvested donations for the cause in Italy in the form of the 3% “Motherland calling” tax which is mandatory for Albanians worldwide, and also stayed for long periods of time in France, Finland, and Sweden.

In November, 1994, Haradinaj took a training course at the US Army base in Albania and returned to Kosovo with a large shipment of weapons. Haradinaj was the key connection of the US and British spies during the guerrilla campaign against the Yugoslavian army and the 1999 NATO aggression against Yugoslavia. According to a series of eyewitness accounts, Haradinaj ordered to detain and torture Serbs and personally took part in committing those crimes. He chaired the nationalist Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), a movement with a constituency mostly consisting of guerrilla warfare veterans. Haradinaj became the Kosovo prime minister in December, 2004. He was indicted on charges of mass crimes against humanity but acquitted twice on the pretext of “lack of convincing evidence” by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

To be continued

 

 

(1) http://fakti.org/globotpor/siptari/kosovo-je-drzava-klana-osmani-cije-je-kljucni-covek-taci-221

шаблоны для dle 11.2
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  • NATO's 15 Years in Kosovo. Part 4
  • NATO's 15 Years in Kosovo. Part 3
  • NATO's 15 Years in Kosovo. Part 1
  • Kosovo’s masters of puppets
  • The Kosovo problem From the Standpoints of Military Policy and International Law
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