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FTR #159 Update on the Kosovo Conflict

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MP3 Side 1 [1] | Side 2 [2]

As the for­mal hos­til­i­ties drew to a close in June of 1999, the out­lines of the polit­i­cal real­i­ty deter­mined by the war began to take shape. The pro­gram begins with dis­cus­sion of the back­ground of Sergie Stepashin, who became Russ­ian Prime Min­is­ter dur­ing the bomb­ing. Mr. Stepashin under­took a review of Sovi­et era intel­li­gence files con­cern­ing the col­lu­sion between the Rea­gan-Bush cam­paign and the Khome­i­ni forces in Iran. Under­tak­en at the request of a U.S. con­gres­sion­al inves­tiga­tive sub­com­mit­tee, Stepash­in’s review con­clud­ed that Ronald Rea­gan, George Bush, Robert Gates and William Casey had been prin­ci­pal­ly involved in the con­spir­a­cy. (This find­ing con­sti­tut­ed High Trea­son on the part of two Pres­i­dents and two direc­tors of the CIA.) The sub­com­mit­tee that request­ed the report dis­re­gard­ed its find­ings and con­clud­ed that no con­spir­a­cy took place, despite mas­sive evi­dence to the con­trary. The selec­tion of Mr. Stepashin to fill this impor­tant post at this time may well be sig­nif­i­cant. Some observers feel that the Rus­sians are seek­ing to use their knowl­edge of U.S. covert oper­a­tions of the Cold War era as a bar­gain­ing chip and/or lever in their deal­ings with the Unit­ed States. Next, the pro­gram high­lights evi­dence that Amer­i­can diplo­mats delib­er­ate­ly craft­ed the Ram­bouil­let Accord in such a way as to make it impos­si­ble for Milo­se­vich to sign. Unnamed U.S. diplo­mats con­fid­ed that they “set the bar too high” for the Serbs in order to pre­cip­i­tate mil­i­tary action against Yugoslavia. The sec­ond half of the pro­gram sets forth the mas­sive eco­log­i­cal dam­age done to Yugoslavia by the bomb­ing. Unre­port­ed by major U.S. media, this dam­age amounts to an eco­log­i­cal cat­a­clysm, with the large amounts of tox­ic and/or radioac­tive con­t­a­m­i­nants com­pound­ing the impend­ing prob­lems of famine and expo­sure. With crit­i­cal crops hav­ing gone unplant­ed and the util­i­ty infra­struc­ture of the coun­try destroyed, the cit­i­zens of what is left of Yugoslavia face the prospect of a dev­as­tat­ing win­ter. It should be not­ed that much of the water sup­ply for neigh­bor­ing East­ern Euro­pean nations comes from Ser­bia and that the sup­ply has been seri­ous­ly con­t­a­m­i­nat­ed. The last sec­tion of the broad­cast exam­ines the Koso­vo con­flict as an exten­sion of Hitler’s pol­i­cy for the region. Ger­man troops enter­ing Koso­vo were greet­ed by the eth­nic Alba­ni­ans as heroes, in part because many remem­bered them fond­ly from World War II. Dur­ing the Axis occu­pa­tion of the Balka­ns, Koso­vo was reunit­ed with Alba­nia as part of the greater Alba­nia that many Koso­vars dream of. The pro­gram con­cludes with a look at the fas­cist antecedents of the Koso­vo Lib­er­a­tion Army (KLA). Many of the KLA’s recruits are the sons and grand­sons of vet­er­ans of fas­cist mili­tias that fought along­side Ger­mans and Ital­ians, as well as the Skan­der­berg Waf­fen SS divi­sion, large­ly com­posed of eth­nic Alba­ni­ans. The KLA’s deci­sion to dress its police in black fatigues and (ini­tial­ly) to use a fas­cist salute harken back to its polit­i­cal antecedents. (The KLA changed its salute to the stan­dard Amer­i­can mil­i­tary salute in an attempt to mask the fas­cist ele­ment of its her­itage.) (Record­ed on 6/13/99.)