Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #701 Update on Kosovo

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Intro­duc­tion: High­light­ing devel­op­ments in the “inde­pen­dent” Koso­vo nation, the pro­gram illus­trates con­ti­nu­ity between fun­da­men­tal aspects of Axis pol­i­cy in that part of the Balka­ns and the regime spawned by the Koso­vo Lib­er­a­tion Army, heirs to the Skan­der­beg (21st Waf­fen SS) divi­sion. (Troops of this Alban­ian [Mus­lim] Waf­fen SS divi­sion are pic­tured at right.) Both dur­ing the Sec­ond World War and at present, Ger­many has been the actu­al or de fac­to colo­nial mas­ter of Koso­vo. The Fed­er­al Repub­lic spawned the KLA, serv­ing as a base for the desta­bi­liza­tion of that and oth­er parts of the for­mer Yugoslavia. Sub­se­quent­ly, Ger­many has per­pet­u­at­ed its sup­port for the Koso­var regime, despite the indict­ment of the for­mer Koso­vo prime min­is­ter, Ramuysh Harad­i­naj, for war crimes.

In vio­la­tion of the UN char­ter and Res­o­lu­tion 1244, the Ger­man, U.S., NATO and EU annex­a­tion of Koso­vo has been exe­cut­ed, despite dis­sent on the part of sev­er­al EU states, much of the UN and grow­ing evi­dence that Harad­i­na­j’s eth­nic cleans­ing was typ­i­cal of poli­cies pur­sued by the KLA and by for­mer off­i­cals of that army, who became lead­ers of the “inde­pen­dent” repub­lic. The “peace­keep­ing” and over­sight admin­is­tra­tive forces in Koso­vo have been com­plic­it in the anti-Serb, anti-Roma eth­nic cleans­ing per­pe­trat­ed by Ger­many’s pro­teges.

The fun­da­men­tally law­less nature of the Ger­man, U.S., NATO and EU par­ti­tion­ing of Yugoslavia/Serbia is prompt­ing a chal­lenge to that pol­icy in the UN. Ger­many and its client states (includ­ing the U.S.) are for­mally dis­re­gard­ing attempts at rolling back Koso­var “inde­pen­dence.”

The Fed­eral Repub­lic is explic­itly endors­ing that polit­i­cal law and real­ity are estab­lished “on the ground.” In that regard, Ger­many is print­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of Koso­var “pass­ports” and “dri­vers’ licens­es” to con­fer osten­si­ble legal and bureau­cratic legit­i­macy to its crim­i­nal pro­tege state.

Putting the touch­es on its Balka­ns Frankenstein’s Mon­ster, the Ger­man mil­i­tary is active­ly trans­form­ing the KLA fight­ing for­ma­tions into a Koso­var Army. In addi­tion, the geno­ci­dal, mafia offi­cials of the KLA are being trans­formed into the main func­tionar­ies of Kosovo’s new gov­ern­ment.

Solid­i­fy­ing the metaphor of Koso­vo as a “Frankenstein’s mon­ster,” the pro­gram con­cludes by not­ing that the Koso­vo regime is turn­ing on its Ger­man and BND mas­ters. (The BND is the Ger­man intel­li­gence ser­vice that helped spawn “inde­pen­dent” Koso­vo and par­tic­i­pated with the KLA in ter­ror­ist inci­dents in the past.)

Recent­ly, the gov­ern­ment of Koso­vo has charged sev­eral BND oper­a­tives with com­plic­ity in ter­ror­ism. Per­haps this is a reac­tion to BND analy­sis division’s report on the ongo­ing crim­i­nal­ity of the Koso­var regime and the vil­lains who inhab­it it.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Review of Koso­vo as what the UNPO con­sid­ers its major “suc­cess;” the numer­ous for­mer KLA war crim­i­nals who have been rein­vent­ed as offi­cials of the new gov­ern­ment of Koso­vo; analy­sis of the Koso­vo oper­a­tion as the con­clu­sion of Ger­many’s suc­cess­ful sub­ju­ga­tion and re-occu­pa­tion of the Balka­ns; analy­sis of the war crimes of Hashim Thaci (Prime Min­is­ter of Koso­vo); the piv­otal role of Alban­ian exiles in the U.S. and Ger­many in the desta­bi­liza­tion of the for­mer Yugoslavia.

1. A mea­sure of the “suc­cess” tout­ed by the UNPO is the war crimes tri­al of for­mer Koso­vo Prime Min­is­ter Ramush Harad­i­naj, who appears to have faith­ful­ly exe­cut­ed the lega­cy of the 21st Waf­fen SS prog­en­i­tors of the KLA.

As the tri­al draws to a close–with lit­tle or no cov­er­age in the Unit­ed States–we should not fail to notice that the crimes with which Harad­i­naj is charged were instru­men­tal in pre­cip­i­tat­ing the NATO inter­ven­tion in 1999.

Of note is the close rela­tion­ship between Harad­i­naj and the Ger­man UN admin­is­tra­tor in Koso­vo! Note also that poten­tial wit­ness­es against Harad­i­naj were alleged­ly intim­i­dat­ed by ele­ments of the UN admin­is­tra­tion for Koso­vo.

An out­growth of Harad­i­na­j’s activ­i­ties is the crim­i­nal net­work he direct­ed and f0rmed under aus­pices of KLA, and which appar­ent­ly has sur­vived his incar­cer­a­tion and indict­ment. Oper­at­ing on a vast and internati0nal scale, it is inex­tri­ca­bly linked with the Koso­van gov­ern­ment and has pro­found con­nec­tions in Ger­many, and out­growth of the role of the Fed­er­al Repub­lic as an oper­a­tional base and spawn­ing ground for the “inde­pen­dence” of Koso­vo.

The tri­al against a close col­lab­o­ra­tor of Joachim Rueck­er, the Ger­man UN admin­is­tra­tor in Koso­vo, is draw­ing to a close with the con­clud­ing dec­la­ra­tions before the Inter­na­tion­al War Crimes Tri­bunal in The Hague due to begin this week. The Inter­na­tion­al War Crimes Tri­bunal for the for­mer Yugoslavia had charged the for­mer Koso­vo Prime Min­is­ter Ramush Harad­i­naj with order­ing — and even par­tic­i­pat­ing him­self in — tor­ture and numer­ous mur­ders of Serbs, Roma and Koso­vo Alba­ni­ans in 1998, a year pri­or to NATO’s aggres­sion against Yugoslavia. While being a com­man­der of the KLA, Harad­i­naj, accord­ing to intel­li­gence cir­cles, was also the leader of a pow­er­ful Mafia orga­ni­za­tion. He enjoys close ties to the Unit­ed Nations Inter­im Admin­is­tra­tion Mis­sion in Koso­vo (UNMIK) includ­ing its cur­rent Spe­cial Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the UN Sec­re­tary Gen­er­al, Joachim Rueck­er. In a dis­cus­sion with german-foreign-policy.com, the jour­nal­ist Boris Kan­zleit­er explained that high rank­ing UN offi­cials helped intim­i­date wit­ness­es due to tes­ti­fy in The Hague against Harad­i­naj. The struc­tures of orga­nized crime in Koso­vo, in which Harad­i­naj is said to play an impor­tant role, extend all the way to Ger­many. It is being report­ed that Ger­man gov­ern­ment author­i­ties pre­vent­ed inves­ti­ga­tions of Koso­vo Alba­ni­ans resid­ing in Ger­many.
Com­mand Head­quar­ters
Last week the pros­e­cu­tor of the Inter­na­tion­al War Crimes Tri­bunal in The Hague demand­ed 25 years impris­on­ment for Ramush Harad­i­naj and two of his clos­est col­lab­o­ra­tors. The indict­ment is deal­ing with inci­dents in 1998 that led to an esca­la­tion of ten­sion in the south­ern Ser­bian province of Koso­vo and served to legit­imize NATO’s aggres­sion in March 1999. These inci­dents took place in the moun­tain­ous Duk­agjin region in West­ern Koso­vo bor­der­ing Alba­nia and Mon­tene­gro, the home of the Harad­i­naj-Clan. In 1997 and 1998, “the Harad­i­naj fam­i­ly estate (...) had been expand­ed to become a com­mand head­quar­ters for the KLA,” reports the jour­nal­ist Boris Kan­zleit­er in a dis­cus­sion with german-foreign-policy.com.[1] Kan­zleit­er has been doing research in the coun­tries of the for­mer Yugoslavia since sev­er­al years.
Total Con­trol
The indict­ment of the War Crimes Tri­bunal in The Hague charges Harad­i­naj, who, in 1998, com­mand­ed KLA oper­a­tions in the Duk­agjin region from his fam­i­ly estate and his close col­lab­o­ra­tors: “The com­mon crim­i­nal pur­pose of the JCE (Joint Crim­i­nal Enter­prise) was to con­sol­i­date the total con­trol of the KLA over the Duk­agjin Oper­a­tional Zone by the unlaw­ful removal and mis­treat­ment of Serb civil­ians and by the mis­treat­ment of Koso­var Alban­ian and Koso­var Roma/Egyptian civil­ians, and oth­er civil­ians, who were, or were per­ceived to have been, col­lab­o­ra­tors with the Ser­bian Forces or oth­er­wise not sup­port­ing the KLA.”[2] The indict­ment also states: “over the course of sev­er­al days fol­low­ing 19 April 1998, KLA attacks forced out or killed vir­tu­al­ly every Serb civil­ian remain­ing in the KLA con­trolled parts of the Duk­agjin Oper­a­tional Zone.” The mur­ders were aimed at the elim­i­na­tion of all non-Alban­ian mem­bers of the pop­u­la­tion to edi­fy an “eth­ni­cal­ly pure” state struc­ture.
All the Way to Ger­many
Fol­low­ing the end of NATO’s war against Yugoslavia in 1999, Harad­i­naj trans­formed his con­sol­i­dat­ed posi­tions, estab­lished with the help of the KLA dur­ing the aggres­sion, into a polit­i­cal pow­er base. In 2000 he found­ed his own polit­i­cal par­ty, the “Alliance for the Future of Koso­va” (AAK). In Decem­ber 2004 he was even elect­ed Prime Min­is­ter of Koso­vo, but had to vacate that posi­tion in March 2005 because of his tri­al pend­ing in The Hague. Even today in Koso­vo, Haradinej is seen as the leader of an influ­en­tial group in orga­nized crime (OC). The Ger­man Fed­er­al Intel­li­gence Ser­vice (BND — Bun­desnachrich­t­en­di­enst) clas­si­fied him in 2005 as a “key play­er” in the net­work between pol­i­tics, busi­ness and inter­na­tion­al­ly oper­at­ing OC struc­tures in Kosovo.[3] The BND drew the con­clu­sion that Haradine­j’s net­work of smug­glers was oper­at­ing “through­out the Balka­ns”, extend­ing “into Greece, Italy, Switzer­land and all the way to Germany.”[4]
Close Part­ner and Friend
Irre­gard­less, the UN admin­is­tra­tion in Koso­vo (UNMIK) main­tains very close ties to Haradenej. The for­mer head of UNMIK, Sören Jessen-Petersen referred to him as a “close part­ner and friend”. Boris Kan­zleit­er told german-foreign-policy.com, “Jessen-Petersen’s suc­ces­sor, the Ger­man diplo­mat, Joachim Rueck­er, also has a close rela­tion­ship to him. Rueck­er rein­forced Harad­i­na­j’s posi­tion pri­or to the open­ing of the tri­al in The Hague through an osten­ta­tious meet­ing with him in Pristina.[5] “Over the past few days, accu­sa­tions were made that high-rank­ing UNMIK func­tionar­ies were direct­ly involved in the intim­i­da­tion of wit­ness­es,” says Kan­zleit­er. These accu­sa­tions are to be tak­en seri­ous­ly in light of the fact that last year a wit­ness against Harad­i­naj was killed in an unsolved auto acci­dent. Back in 2002 three wit­ness­es and two inves­ti­gat­ing offi­cials were assas­si­nat­ed in the con­text of the tri­al against Harad­i­na­j’s clan.
Con­trary to what one could be led to believe through the tri­al in The Hague, Harad­i­na­j’s activ­i­ties in Koso­vo are not out of the ordi­nary. Sev­er­al Ger­man secu­ri­ty admin­is­tra­tions’ reports have been pub­lished in excerpts. They point out that there are sev­er­al pow­er­ful Mafia orga­ni­za­tions seek­ing to attain polit­i­cal offices in the south­ern Ser­bian province that is prepar­ing to pos­tu­late its state­hood. In a study con­tract­ed by the Bun­deswehr (Ger­man mil­i­tary) and com­plet­ed at the begin­ning of 2007, it was report­ed that “under the noses of the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty, sev­er­al mul­ti-mil­lion Euro orga­ni­za­tions have devel­oped out of old KLA struc­tures” link­ing polit­i­cal ambi­tions with their crim­i­nal activ­i­ties and “exer­cis­ing exten­sive con­trol over the gov­ern­men­tal machinery.”[6] Back in 2005, the BND named sev­er­al peo­ple with lead­ing posi­tions in the orga­nized crime of Koso­vo, includ­ing the cur­rent Prime Min­is­ter and a mem­ber of the cur­rent par­lia­men­tary exec­u­tive board.
Straight From Berlin
Up to now this infor­ma­tion of the secu­ri­ty admin­is­tra­tion has had no con­se­quences. Mean­while com­plaints of an insuf­fi­cient pros­e­cu­tion of sus­pect­ed Koso­vo crim­i­nals are even being heard in Ger­many. The pub­li­cist Juer­gen Roth report­ed in 2006: “already in the sum­mer of 2005, the State Offices of Crim­i­nal Inves­ti­ga­tion of Bavaria and Low­er Sax­ony tried to con­vince the Fed­er­al Office of Crim­i­nal Inves­ti­ga­tion to open a cen­tral­ized inves­ti­ga­tion con­cern­ing the known [Koso­vo-Alban­ian — author’s note] clans and indi­vid­u­als in Ger­many” because “many crim­i­nal cul­prits from the entourage of the KLA have set­tled in Germany.”[7] “Yet this demand was refused, even though the Aus­tri­an Fed­er­al Office of Inves­ti­ga­tion and the Ital­ian police strong­ly insist­ed that their Ger­man col­leagues final­ly ini­ti­ate these inves­ti­ga­tions. The rejec­tion (...) — accord­ing to a con­fi­den­tial source in the Aus­tri­an Fed­er­al Office of Crim­i­nal Inves­ti­ga­tion — came straight from the Inte­ri­or Min­istry in Berlin.”
Mas­sive Sup­port
In fact, back in the 1990s, Ger­many was used by for­mer KLA com­man­ders and present day Mafia boss­es for their prepa­ra­tions of the seces­sion­ist strug­gle against Bel­grade — which is an often used expla­na­tion for the cur­rent con­spic­u­ous impuni­ty. Accord­ing to Erich Schmidt-Een­boom, a spe­cial­ist on intel­li­gence ser­vices, the KLA was being financed “with mil­lions since the begin­ning of the 90s most­ly orig­i­nat­ing from Alba­ni­ans in exile in the USA, Switzer­land and Germany.”[8] “These activ­i­ties were not just tol­er­at­ed, they were mas­sive­ly sup­port­ed” [9] writes the pub­li­cist Juer­gen Roth, “lead­ing, to say the least, to polit­i­cal friend­ships.”
Roth dealt also with a Koso­vo Alban­ian fam­i­ly clan from North­ern Ger­many that was sus­pect­ed of involve­ment in the KLA financ­ing in the lat­ter part of the 90s. The clan is also accused of var­i­ous ille­gal dealings.[10] The accu­sa­tions have yet to be final­ized through the court. Still, accord­ing to research pre­sent­ed by KFOR, the clan had close busi­ness rela­tions with Ramush Harad­i­naj, on tri­al in The Hague, occa­sion­al­ly through high-rank­ing con­tacts in gov­ern­ment cir­cles. Accord­ing to Roth, “both the for­mer Ger­man For­eign Min­is­ter, Klaus Kinkel (in 1998) and lat­er the direc­tor of the BND, August Han­ning, met with the head of the North­ern Ger­man clan.” Today Han­ning is State Sec­re­tary in the Min­istry of the Inte­ri­or.

“Polit­i­cal Friend­ships”; german-foreign-policy.com; 1/21/2008.

2. The Ger­man, U.S., NATO and EU pol­i­cy is in vio­la­tion of the UN Char­ter and Res­o­lu­tion 1244, a restate­ment and reas­sur­ance of Yugosla­vian ter­ri­to­r­i­al integri­ty! Once again, jour­nal­is­tic cov­er­age of this in the U.S. is non-exis­tent.

Koso­var Prime Min­is­ter Hashim Thaci has become the appar­ent head of Kosovo’s vast crim­i­nal appa­ra­tus, inex­tri­ca­bly linked with the KLA and the Ger­man, and Alban­ian exile ele­ments who gen­er­at­ed the “inde­pen­dence” move­ment.

The bla­tant­ly ille­gal Ger­man-spon­sored and U.S., NATO and EU sup­port­ed actions have gen­er­at­ed con­sid­er­able con­tro­ver­sy, even with­in the Ger­man for­eign min­istry. Six EU mem­ber states have resist­ed Ger­man pres­sure to send occu­pa­tion con­tin­gents to Koso­vo, in part out of fear that they may ulti­mate­ly be par­ti­tioned as well.

Not sur­pris­ing­ly, the occu­pa­tion forces have failed sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly to inves­ti­gate war crimes and inci­dents of eth­nic cleans­ing, accord­ing to Amnesty Inter­na­tion­al. Thaci is sus­pect­ed of being behind much of the crim­i­nal­i­ty.

With Ger­many’s suc­cess­ful desta­bi­liza­tion of Yugoslavia, con­clud­ing with the mid wiv­ing of Kosovo’s “inde­pen­dence,” the Ger­man neu­tral­iza­tion of Ser­bia and estab­lish­ment of hege­mo­ny over South­east Europe has been real­ized.

Sun­day, after Berlin’s years of prepa­ra­tions, the South-Ser­bian province, Koso­vo, declared its seces­sion in vio­la­tion of inter­na­tion­al law. Koso­vo is “inde­pen­dent” of Ser­bia, declared Hashim Thaci, the Prime Min­is­ter of the Provin­cial Admin­is­tra­tion in Pristi­na. The Ger­man gov­ern­ment intends to rec­og­nize the seces­sion soon. Berlin will there­by be par­tic­i­pat­ing in the vio­la­tion of the UN Char­ter and oth­er valid legal norms, just as the Ger­man police and judi­cial offi­cers, who will be dis­patched to Koso­vo with­in the frame­work of a so-called EU mis­sion. Their deploy­ment will be with­out a valid, inter­na­tion­al­ly rec­og­nized legal basis and will there­fore con­sti­tute an ille­gal occu­pa­tion. The objec­tive is to estab­lish an infor­mal pro­tec­torate, while keep­ing its nation­al­ist forces in check. Kosovo’s seces­sion is the pre­lim­i­nary finale of a pol­i­cy seek­ing the parceliza­tion of the Balkan states along the lines of alle­giance, which began with Berlin’s recog­ni­tion of the Croa­t­ian seces­sion. Each of the EU states, after brief hes­i­ta­tion, joined this pol­i­cy and along with Wash­ing­ton, mil­i­tar­i­ly attacked what was left of Yugoslavia in 1999. Since that time, Berlin has been fos­ter­ing the Koso­vo nation­al­ists, whose rep­re­sen­ta­tives in Pristi­na are des­ig­nat­ed as the boss­es of orga­nized crime. One of them is the cur­rent Prime Min­is­ter Thaci. On the murals cel­e­brat­ing Thaci’s procla­ma­tion of seces­sion, one reads “Thank You Ger­many!”

With yes­ter­day’s pro­claimed seces­sion the provin­cial admin­is­tra­tion in Pristi­na has con­clud­ed what Berlin has been prepar­ing for years — at first with covert secret ser­vice sup­port for the KLA, then with par­tic­i­pa­tion in the mil­i­tary aggres­sion against Yugoslavia in March 1999 and final­ly with­in the frame­work of the UN Admin­is­tra­tion in Pristi­na (UNMIK) (german-foreign-policy.com report­ed [1]). The seces­sion of Ser­bia’s south­ern province was car­ried out in vio­la­tion of the UN Char­ter — guar­an­tee­ing all UN mem­ber states the sov­er­eign­ty and ter­ri­to­r­i­al integri­ty — and in dis­re­gard of the deci­sions tak­en by the UN Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil. Most sig­nif­i­cant is the Res­o­lu­tion 1244 explic­it­ly recon­firm­ing to Bel­grade the integri­ty of its sov­er­eign ter­ri­to­ry. The Ger­man gov­ern­ment intends to rec­og­nize the seces­sion soon and demands that all EU mem­ber states do the same. Berlin there­by proves once again that it is the dri­ving force behind a grow­ing degen­er­a­tion of inter­na­tion­al law, bla­tant­ly exalt­ing the despo­tism of pow­er to the high­est prin­ci­ple of for­eign pol­i­cy.
With the aid of fan­ta­sy the for­eign min­istry seeks to cov­er up the Ger­man gov­ern­men­t’s renewed breach of inter­na­tion­al law. In its state­ment before the For­eign Rela­tions Com­mit­tee of the Ger­man Par­lia­ment, the min­istry alleged that the guar­an­tees of Ser­bia’s sov­er­eign­ty and integri­ty, laid down in UN Res­o­lu­tion 1244, refer mere­ly to a “tran­si­tion­al gov­ern­ment” in Koso­vo and does not pre­clude seces­sion. A read­ing of the text proves this auda­cious fab­ri­ca­tion to be ground­less. Accord­ing to the For­eign Min­istry, the UN Res­o­lu­tion — except for the guar­an­tees for Ser­bia’s sov­er­eign­ty and ter­ri­to­r­i­al integri­ty — is still in force, so as not to jeop­ar­dize the legit­i­ma­cy of NATO’s and the EU’s deploy­ment, because if the res­o­lu­tion were no longer valid, it would mean that the west­ern coun­tries’ occu­pa­tion of Ser­bian ter­ri­to­ry would be depen­dant upon the “invi­ta­tion” of their Koso­vo vas­sals in Pristi­na, an embar­rass­ing depen­den­cy that Berlin and Wash­ing­ton would like to avoid.[2]
This ludi­crous approach that degrades UN Res­o­lu­tions to non-bind­ing sug­ges­tion lists, from which one can pick and choose to apply claus­es at pref­er­ence, meets open con­tra­dic­tion even with­in the entourage of the For­eign Min­istry. Warn­ings of incal­cu­la­ble counter-mea­sures are being heard. “Uni­lat­er­al inter­pre­ta­tions of Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil Res­o­lu­tions con­sti­tute (...) cas­es of prece­dence that, under oth­er cir­cum­stances, can be turned against the west­ern nations,”[3] a mem­ber of the For­eign Min­istry’s Coun­cil of Inter­na­tion­al Jurists wrote in a news­pa­per arti­cle.
Ger­man legal arbi­trari­ness can also be seen by the way the deci­sion was tak­en to dis­patch a so-called police and judi­cial mis­sion to Koso­vo. In spite of mas­sive pres­sure from Berlin, six EU mem­ber states are still reject­ing the seces­sion, because their own sov­er­eign­ty is threat­ened by sep­a­ratists. With the refusals of Spain, Slo­va­kia, Roma­nia, Bul­gar­ia, Greece and Cyprus to active­ly sup­port the new “EU-mis­sion”, the modal­i­ties for deci­sion mak­ing were changed with­out fur­ther ado and the dis­patch­ing of 2000 police and judi­cial offi­cers was vir­tu­al­ly tak­en by decree. In Brus­sels one could hear con­cern­ing the deci­sion-mak­ing, that the dis­patch­ing had been pro­posed and “for­mal­ly adopt­ed” when the time-lim­it for lodg­ing an objec­tion — at mid­night on Sat­ur­day — had expired with­out a veto from an EU mem­ber state. With this new vot­ing tech­nique, final approval becomes super­flu­ous. Berlin had made it clear that it would accept a veto under no cir­cum­stances. To demon­strate its deter­mi­na­tion, Ger­many had already cho­sen its first 63 police offi­cers for the “mis­sion” before the time-lim­it had expired.[4]
Amnesty Inter­na­tion­al has recent­ly pub­lished a report on its research con­cern­ing the “police and jus­tice mis­sion” being con­duct­ed in the name of the Unit­ed Nations, but also under west­ern con­trol. The con­clu­sions are dev­as­tat­ing for the numer­ous ‑among them also Ger­man — police and judi­cial offi­cers who have been deployed in Koso­vo since 1999. Accord­ing to Sian Jones, Amnesty Inter­na­tion­al’s researcher on Koso­vo, “hun­dreds of cas­es includ­ing mur­ders, rapes and enforced dis­ap­pear­ances have been closed, for want of evi­dence that was nei­ther prompt­ly nor effec­tive­ly gath­ered” by the UN Mis­sion. There is per­sis­tent “impuni­ty” for war crimes and crimes against human­i­ty in the south­ern Ser­bian province claim­ing to be an inde­pen­dent state and about to be rec­og­nized by Germany.[5] Accord­ing to Amnesty „no progress is ever made”, quite the con­trary, the sit­u­a­tion has wors­ened in recent months. Amnesty Inter­na­tion­al “urges the UN not to under­take any sim­i­lar inter­na­tion­al jus­tice mis­sions in the future until effec­tive steps have been tak­en to ensure that none of the exten­sive flaws iden­ti­fied in this report are repeated.”[6]
The cur­rent Koso­vo Prime Min­is­ter Hashim Thaci is among those per­sons whose past could shed light on what Amnesty con­sid­ers “exten­sive flaws”. Wash­ing­ton and Berlin’s close ally pro­claimed the south­ern Ser­bian province’s “inde­pen­dence” in Pristi­na yes­ter­day. If the UN police and judi­cial offi­cers would have accom­plished their mis­sion, Thaci would have been brought to tri­al long ago. Already in 1997, Ser­bian judges had sen­tenced him to ten years in prison — for sev­er­al mur­ders. “Thaci had ordered liq­ui­da­tions with­in his own ranks,” two for­mer KLA fight­ers report about their for­mer leader.[7] In the eyes of the Ger­man For­eign Intel­li­gence Ser­vice (Bun­desnachrich­t­en­di­enst), the cur­rent Prime Min­is­ter is one of the heads of the Koso­vo Mafia and a spon­sor of a “pro­fes­sion­al killer”.[8] A sur­vey com­mis­sioned by the Ger­man Bun­deswehr asserts that “in intel­li­gence cir­cles” Thaci “is con­sid­ered to be ‘far more dan­ger­ous’ ” than Ramush Harad­i­naj, who is indict­ed for war crimes [9], “because the for­mer KLA leader has an exten­sive inter­na­tion­al crim­i­nal net­work at his disposal.”[10]
Last Ques­tion
With the Koso­vo dec­la­ra­tion of seces­sion, that, in vio­la­tion of inter­na­tion­al law, has grant­ed crim­i­nals their own state, Ger­man efforts to achieve the dis­em­pow­er­ment of its tra­di­tion­al oppo­nent, Ser­bia, has attained its objec­tive. Bel­grade has lost the con­trol over most of the ter­ri­to­ry of what had for­mer­ly been Yugoslavia, has been deprived its access to the sea and is sur­round­ed by hos­tile states. On the oth­er hand, through a new war against Bel­grade and the break-up of Ser­bian ter­ri­to­ry, Berlin was able to suc­cess­ful­ly reassert its claim as hege­mon­ic pow­er in South­east Europe. With yes­ter­day’s dec­la­ra­tion of seces­sion, accord­ing to the Ger­man gov­ern­ment, the “last remain­ing open ques­tion con­cern­ing the dis­in­te­gra­tion process of Yugoslavia (...) has been resolved.”[11]

“ ‘Thank You Ger­many!’ ”; german-foreign-policy.com; 2/18/2008.

3. The fun­da­men­tal­ly law­less nature of the Ger­man, U.S., NATO and EU par­ti­tion­ing of Yugoslavia/Serbia is prompt­ing a chal­lenge to that pol­i­cy in the UN. Ger­many and its client states (includ­ing the U.S.) are for­mal­ly dis­re­gard­ing attempts at rolling back Koso­var “inde­pen­dence.”

The Fed­er­al Repub­lic is explic­it­ly endors­ing that polit­i­cal law and real­i­ty are estab­lished “on the ground.”

In that regard, Ger­many is print­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of Koso­var “pass­ports” and “dri­vers’ licens­es” to con­fer osten­si­ble legal and bureau­crat­ic legit­i­ma­cy to its crim­i­nal pro­tege state.

Because of a Ser­bian UN ini­tia­tive, Berlin’s Koso­vo pol­i­cy is threat­ened with seri­ous defeat. Bel­grade is request­ing that the UN Gen­er­al Assem­bly peti­tion the Inter­na­tion­al Court of Jus­tice in The Hague (ICJ) for an advi­so­ry opin­ion on Kosovo’s seces­sion from Ser­bia. The Assem­bly is expect­ed to vote on Wednes­day. Ger­many was unsuc­cess­ful in mobi­liz­ing a major­i­ty against Ser­bia’s ini­tia­tive. For the first time, UN mem­ber states have announced the inten­tion of revers­ing their recog­ni­tion of Koso­vo, if the ICJ should con­firm its seces­sion was ille­gal. While EU func­tionar­ies declare that the Inter­na­tion­al Court’s deci­sion would be of no con­se­quence to them, Berlin is con­tin­u­ing its aid in con­sol­i­dat­ing Kosovo’s ille­gal sov­er­eign­ty. State offi­cials, who, with West­ern help, had been brought to pow­er in Pristi­na, are con­front­ed with new accu­sa­tions. Accord­ing to reports, new evi­dence has sur­faced per­tain­ing to crim­i­nal trade in human organs in Koso­vo. Kosovo’s “prime Min­is­ter” is sus­pect­ed to be impli­cat­ed in this crime. One of Pristi­na’s des­ig­nat­ed “ambas­sadors” to a Euro­pean coun­try is also accused of seri­ous crimes.

Ser­bia has placed a demand that the UN Gen­er­al Assem­bly peti­tion the Inter­na­tion­al Court of Jus­tice in The Hague (ICJ) for an advi­so­ry opin­ion con­cern­ing the seces­sion of its south­ern province. For the time being, Bel­grade is there­fore renounc­ing legal action against Pristi­na and those states that have rec­og­nized its seces­sion. The UN Gen­er­al Assem­bly is expect­ed to vote on Ser­bia’s request on Wednes­day. A sim­ple major­i­ty will suf­fice. Already back in July, the Ser­bian For­eign Min­is­ter, Vuk Jere­mić, point­ed out that “nev­er before” [1] has “the Gen­er­al Assem­bly pre­vent­ed a mem­ber state from seek­ing an ICJ advi­so­ry opin­ion.” But gov­ern­ments of sev­er­al West­ern states are attempt­ing just that.
Refusal of Loy­al­ty
Ger­man and US Amer­i­can attempts to pre­vent the ICJ advi­so­ry opin­ion are doomed to fail­ure. West­ern pres­sure, which already last sum­mer were the top­ics of inter­views in the media,[2] could not pre­vent the Ser­bian gov­ern­ment from intro­duc­ing its res­o­lu­tion in New York. And all attempts to tone down the for­mu­la­tion of the res­o­lu­tion have failed. Wash­ing­ton and Berlin plan to either vote “No” or abstain. But in a test vote, approx­i­mate­ly two thirds of the 192 UN mem­ber states are refus­ing loy­al­ty, endors­ing an ICJ advi­so­ry opin­ion on Kosovo’s secession.[3] The Ser­bian Pres­i­dent report­ed a few days ago that West­ern states con­tin­ue their efforts to obstruct the vote by try­ing to induce more states to rec­og­nize Kosovo’s inde­pen­dence. In spite of mas­sive pres­sure from large EU mem­ber coun­tries and the Unit­ed States, only 47 coun­tries — not even a fourth of the UN mem­ber states — have rec­og­nized Koso­vo as a sov­er­eign state.
Lat­est Tricks
Berlin is there­fore faced with a seri­ous defeat. Since the legal ques­tions are clear — Kosovo’s seces­sion was obvi­ous­ly in vio­la­tion of the UN Char­ter — the West is uncer­tain about how to pre­vent an ICJ rul­ing in Ser­bia’s favor. Accord­ing to Chris­t­ian Tomuschat, pro­fes­sor of law in Berlin, there would be pos­si­bil­i­ties when the con­crete for­mu­la­tion of the demand is decid­ed in the UN Gen­er­al Assem­bly’s sub-com­mis­sion, where con­tro­ver­sial ques­tions are often exclud­ed. Then “the ICJ would not even have the pos­si­bil­i­ty of for­mu­lat­ing an opin­ion on the pri­ma­ry issue.”[4] The sub-com­mis­sion will be con­vened on Mon­day. If Ser­bia’s for­mu­la­tions still pass, the only thing left would be mas­sive pres­sure on the ICJ.
Cre­at­ing Facts on the Ground
If this option is also unsuc­cess­ful, Ger­man experts are plead­ing for dis­re­gard­ing inter­na­tion­al jurispru­dence. Nei­ther the ICJ nor the UN can cre­ate facts on the ground, alleges the polit­i­cal advi­sor, Franz-Lothar Alt­mann. “A nation’s inde­pen­dence can only be estab­lished through recog­ni­tion by indi­vid­ual states.”[5] The EU’s spe­cial emis­sary to Koso­vo sub­scribes to the demand that the arbi­trari­ness of the mighty be lift­ed to the glob­al prin­ci­ple of design in cen­tral ques­tions of sov­er­eign­ty. “Kosovo’s inde­pen­dence is a fact and can­not be changed, even if Ser­bia’s ICJ ini­tia­tive should prove successful.”[6] Until now the larg­er EU nations and the USA have been rel­a­tive­ly iso­lat­ed in this stand­point. Now nations that had already rec­og­nized Koso­vo, are begin­ning to serve notice that in the case of a neg­a­tive ICJ ver­dict, they would con­sid­er rescind­ing their recognition.[7]
All of the dis­pute notwith­stand­ing, the Ger­man gov­ern­ment is cre­at­ing facts on the ground and is push­ing the estab­lish­ment of an inde­pen­dent “Koso­vo” nation. Along­side the polit­i­cal accom­pa­ni­ment, in mid-Sep­tem­ber Berlin had promised fur­ther sup­port for the devel­op­ment of the infra­struc­ture of Koso­vo and ear­marked a total of 40 mil. Euros from its devel­op­ment bud­get for the rest of the cur­rent year. For 2009, 60 mil. Euros more have been reserved. These mea­sures are not lim­it­ed to con­struc­tion aid, but extend to the con­sol­i­da­tion of Pristi­na’s qua­si-state struc­tures. For exam­ple, 600,000 pass­ports and 400,000 dri­ver’s licens­es that the Inte­ri­or Min­istry in Pristi­na has begun to issue have been pro­duced by the Giesecke and Devri­ent Corp. in Munich. “By issu­ing pass­ports, we are estab­lish­ing the legal basis for a sov­er­eign Koso­vo,” declared Kosovo’s “Inte­ri­or Min­is­ter” — pro­vid­ing an indi­ca­tion that the crim­i­nal accu­sa­tion of abet­ting an ille­gal act of seces­sion can be raised not only against the gov­ern­ment, but even against employ­ees of pri­vate firms.[8]
Trade in Human Organs
Seri­ous accu­sa­tions are recur­ring­ly being raised against Kosovo’s new ruler, placed and main­tained in pow­er by Berlin. Exten­sive press research has rein­forced the sus­pi­cion that the for­mer Koso­vo ter­ror mili­tia, UCK, killed Ser­bian pris­on­ers and sold their organs.[9] Months ago this was report­ed by Car­la del Ponte, for­mer head pros­e­cu­tor of the Inter­na­tion­al War Crimes Tri­bunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, cit­ing numer­ous wit­ness­es. Pristi­na’s “Prime Min­is­ter” and for­mer head of the UCK, Hashim Thaci, is said to be impli­cat­ed in this affair.[10] There is also con­tro­ver­sy over the “ambas­sadors” Pristi­na wants to dis­patch to sev­er­al Euro­pean nations and to the USA. Kosovo’s des­ig­nat­ed “ambas­sador” to Switzer­land is being accused of hav­ing col­lect­ed mon­ey in Switzer­land to finance the UCK­’s war on Ser­bia and there­by run into con­flict with the Swiss author­i­ties. It is alleged that even black­mail was involved.[11] The Swiss For­eign Min­istry denies how­ev­er that these accu­sa­tions have any mean­ing­ful bear­ings on exis­tent reser­va­tions con­cern­ing this “ambas­sador.” The accred­i­ta­tion nev­er­the­less is still pend­ing.
Not Iso­lat­ed Cas­es
The accu­sa­tions against mem­bers of Pristi­na’s elite are not iso­lat­ed cas­es. As just recent­ly report­ed in an appraisal of Kosovo’s human rights sit­u­a­tion by the OSCE, it is not only a ques­tion of grave short­com­ings of appli­ca­tion in con­di­tions of rule of law.[12] Par­tic­u­lar­ly the strug­gle against orga­nized crim­i­nal­i­ty and the slave trade [13] are mak­ing lim­it­ed progress. On the oth­er hand, the new polit­i­cal elite is inter­fer­ing to a grow­ing degree in the work­ings of the jus­tice, the police and even the media. The new pow­er in Pristi­na is cre­at­ing its realm of the arbi­trary.

“Arbi­trari­ness in Pow­er”; german-foreign-policy.com; 10/03/2008.

4. Putting the touch­es on its Balka­ns Franken­stein’s Mon­ster, the Ger­man mil­i­tary is active­ly trans­form­ing the KLA fight­ing for­ma­tions into a Koso­var Army.

In addi­tion, the geno­ci­dal, mafia offi­cials of the KLA are being trans­formed into the main func­tionar­ies of Kosovo’s new gov­ern­ment.

Inter­est­ing­ly, the com­man­der of the Ger­man “peace-keep­ing” force in Koso­vo was the son of a major Nazi war crim­i­nal.

Accord­ing to the sep­a­ratist “gov­ern­ment” in Pristi­na, the Ger­man Gov­ern­ment is pay­ing mil­lions in mil­i­tar­i­ly equip­ment to trans­form the for­mer UCK (Koso­vo Lib­er­a­tion Army — KLA) ter­ror­ist group into a Koso­van army. Ger­man sol­diers are pro­vid­ing “manned sup­port” and the Ger­man Bun­deswehr the mil­i­tary hard­ware. The new troops, oper­at­ing under the name of the “Koso­vo Secu­ri­ty Force” (KSF), due to be oper­a­tional by next June, are being recruit­ed from the cur­rent “Koso­vo Pro­tec­tion Corps” (KPC), the suc­ces­sor orga­ni­za­tion of the KLA. In the future, they can be deployed around the world with­in the frame­work of NATO inter­ven­tions. Not only the future army of Koso­vo, but even the seces­sion­ist gov­ern­men­t’s new “min­is­ter of defense” Feh­mi Mujo­ta have their roots in KLA tra­di­tion. The cur­rent “prime min­is­ter” was once the mili­ti­a’s polit­i­cal leader and oth­er cur­rent top politi­cians in Pristi­na had also been active in the KLA. Charges of seri­ous war and post­war crimes raised against them have remain unset­tled. Berlin is broad­en­ing its coop­er­a­tion with these for­mer mili­ti­a­men and begin­ning to arm them — in strict accor­dance with NATO stan­dards.
As a first step, the Ger­man gov­ern­ment has ear­marked sev­en mil­lion Euros for the cre­ation of the “Koso­vo Secu­ri­ty Force” (KSF). This was report­ed by the Koso­van “gov­ern­ment” fol­low­ing nego­ti­a­tions in Pristi­na with the Ger­man Defense Min­is­ter Franz-Josef Jung. Jung had vis­it­ed the Bun­deswehr troops sta­tioned in Koso­vo at the begin­ning of the week and also held talks with the “Prime Min­is­ter” and the “Min­is­ter of Defense”. As announced by the Ger­man Defense Min­istry, the Bun­deswehr is also pro­vid­ing “manned sup­port” — with 15 sol­diers, for the time being. Ulti­mate­ly Berlin will also be par­tic­i­pat­ing in equip­ping the KSF with mil­i­tary hard­ware. The planned deliv­ery is rat­ed as volu­mi­nous by the Defense Ministry.[1]
Offi­cial­ly the KSF is at first sup­posed to be only engaged in “cri­sis man­age­ment,” “civ­il defense” and dis­pos­al of ordi­nance. Lat­er it is sup­posed to take on more exten­sive tasks, that gen­er­al­ly fall with­in the realm of army duties.[2] This is also writ­ten into the “con­sti­tu­tion” of the Koso­van seces­sion­ist regime, which states in Arti­cle 126 that the KSF “shall pro­tect the peo­ple and Com­mu­ni­ties of the Repub­lic of Kosovo.”[3] It fur­ther states that the KSF “may send its mem­bers abroad” — an indi­ca­tion of future for­eign inter­ven­tions of the Koso­van army. Against this back­ground, it is sig­nif­i­cant that it is under the aus­pices of the NATO that the KSF is being built up, trained and armed — with light weapons, for the time being — but in accor­dance with NATO standards.[4] Oth­er NATO states, par­tic­i­pat­ing with Ger­many in these mea­sures include the Unit­ed States, France and Great Britain. Coun­tries not tak­ing part are Slo­va­kia, Roma­nia and Spain, who have refused to rec­og­nize Kosovo’s seces­sion. The KSF is sup­posed to be oper­a­tional by June 2009.
The KSF will ini­tial­ly be a force of over 2,500 with 800 reservists. The per­son­nel is main­ly tak­en from the 5,000 man strong “Koso­vo Pro­tec­tion Corps” (KPC), which is to be offi­cial­ly dis­band­ed by Decem­ber 10. It is a direct suc­ces­sor of the for­mer KLA ter­ror troops. Hav­ing served NATO as ter­rain cog­nizant ground forces dur­ing its aggres­sion against Yugoslavia, the KLA, was only for­mal­ly dis­band­ed after the war, but trans­formed in fact into the KPC mili­tia. Though offi­cial­ly clas­si­fied as a “civil­ian emer­gency man­age­ment orga­ni­za­tion,” it per­ceives itself to be the nucle­us of a Koso­van army in the mak­ing. Accord­ing­ly KFOR sol­diers com­plained that the mem­bers of the KPC, in vio­la­tion of their offi­cial assign­ment, were going around heav­i­ly armed in pub­lic. One was not sup­posed to inter­fere, it was said; the NATO lets them do it. In fact KPC mem­bers and KFOR troops — includ­ing Ger­mans — were car­ry­ing out com­mon train­ing maneu­vers. The Bun­deswehr was equip­ping the KPC, for exam­ple with Ger­man mil­i­tary ambu­lances. Already in the spring of 2007, while offi­cial­ly, the sta­tus of Koso­vo was still being “nego­ti­at­ed”, the KPC spokesman announced that the trans­for­ma­tion of his forces into a reg­u­lar army had already begun.
The types of per­son­nel that went from the KLA to the KPC, with some now being tak­en on as mem­bers of the KSF, can be judged from exam­ples of some promi­nent indi­vid­ual mili­ti­a­men. Agim Çeku was very sig­nif­i­cant for the KPC. He had fought against Bel­grade already in the first half of the 1990s — in the new­ly cre­at­ed Croa­t­ian army — to then join the KLA at the begin­ning of 1999. Dur­ing the war, he rose to the rank of the high­est mil­i­tary com­man­der. The war crimes charges lead­ing to an arrest war­rant against him in Ser­bia date from this peri­od. Through sev­er­al direct inter­ven­tions, the West has thwart­ed court pro­ceed­ings against him. Instead, already in 1999, Çeku became the first leader of the KPC, and always main­tained close coop­er­a­tion with KFOR. In March 2006, he rose to the office of “Prime Min­is­ter” in Pristi­na.
Hit Man
In the mid 90s, Çeku’s suc­ces­sor Hashim Thaçi was one of the KLA’s main orga­niz­ers and was con­sid­ered its polit­i­cal leader. First sen­tenced to sev­er­al years of impris­on­ment in 1997 for var­i­ous acts of ter­ror­ism, he was again placed on the want­ed list in 1999 because of sev­er­al oth­er ter­ror­ist attacks. “After one year of KLA-lead­er­ship, Thaçi was in con­trol of an exten­sive net­work of gun­run­ners, trained hit men, sol­diers and for­mer crim­i­nals,” wrote a promi­nent expert on Yugoslavia at the time.[5] Unlike oth­er KLA mem­bers, Thaçi did not join the KPC, but launched a polit­i­cal car­ri­er — in spite of the fact that the Ger­man Fed­er­al Intel­li­gence Ser­vice (BND) sus­pect­ed him of close ties to orga­nized crime.[6] But most like­ly his name will not be men­tioned in the next edi­tion of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion’s annu­al Koso­vo Report, due in Novem­ber. It will be focused on orga­nized crime in Kosovo.[7]
High Posi­tions
The Pristi­na seces­sion­ist regime’s new “Defense Min­is­ter”, charged with the trans­for­ma­tion of the KPC into the KSF, came not only from the same par­ty as the “Prime Min­ster”, but also like Thaçi from the KLA. He is also had charges raised against him. The same goes for Thaçi’s “right hand” man, Fat­mir Limaj, for­mer KLA com­man­der and cur­rent “Trans­porta­tion Min­is­ter”, who was mirac­u­lous­ly acquit­ted in The Hague. Jakup Kras­niqi also fought on the side of the KLA dur­ing the war — as its spokesman. Today he serves as Pristi­na’s “Par­lia­men­tary Pres­i­dent”, while his for­mer com­rades make up the hard core of the new Koso­van army.
Quite noble terms are being applied to describe the legal sta­tus of Ger­many’s sup­port for the KSF. KFOR is assum­ing the “respon­si­bil­i­ty” for “the estab­lish­ment and the train­ing of the future ‘Koso­vo Secu­ri­ty Forces’ (KSF),” announced Defense Min­is­ter Jung at the Cen­tral Con­fer­ence of the Ger­man Mil­i­tary Attachés last Mai.[8] This is more than mere­ly anoth­er vio­la­tion of inter­na­tion­al law. After all, the KSF will be an ille­gal mil­i­tary arm of the ille­gal seces­sion­ist regime in Pristi­na. That this is being orga­nized through the KFOR is also an affront, because even though the UN Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil legit­imized KFOR’s pres­ence in Koso­vo, it explic­it­ly did not rec­og­nize its seces­sion. The aid fur­nished by KFOR per­son­nel to train and arm the KFS is one of the West­’s innu­mer­able vio­la­tions of inter­na­tion­al law in Koso­vo — and it will sure­ly not be the last.[9]

“In Accor­dance with NATO Stan­dards”; german-foreign-policy.com; 10/31/2008.

5. Solid­i­fy­ing the metaphor of Koso­vo as a “Franken­stein’s mon­ster,” the pro­gram con­cludes by not­ing that the Koso­vo regime is turn­ing on its Ger­man and BND mas­ters. (The BND is the Ger­man intel­li­gence ser­vice that helped spawn “inde­pen­dent” Koso­vo and par­tic­i­pat­ed with the KLA in ter­ror­ist inci­dents in the past.)

Recent­ly, the gov­ern­ment of Koso­vo has charged sev­er­al BND oper­a­tive with com­plic­i­ty in ter­ror­ism. Per­haps this is a reac­tion to BND analy­sis divi­sion’s report on the ongo­ing crim­i­nal­i­ty of the Koso­var regime and the vil­lains who inhab­it it.

The arrest in Koso­vo of sev­er­al agents of the Ger­man Fed­er­al Intel­li­gence Ser­vice (BND) shines the spot­light once again on the polit­i­cal crim­i­nal hap­pen­ings in this west­ern pro­tec­torate. The three men, work­ing for a front com­pa­ny of the Ger­man for­eign espi­onage ser­vice, are charged with involve­ment in sev­er­al bomb attacks against facil­i­ties of the EU and the UN. As a mat­ter of fact, the BND had been impli­cat­ed in crim­i­nal intrigues in Koso­vo in the past. It assist­ed in set­ting up the UCK (Koso­vo Lib­er­a­tion Army — KLA) ter­ror orga­ni­za­tion and main­tained con­tact to orga­niz­ers of the Koso­vo-Alban­ian Pogroms that caused numer­ous deaths in March 2004. The objec­tive in both cas­es was to have a deci­sive influ­ence on polit­i­cal devel­op­ments in the region. It remains to be seen if this is also the case now. Observers are not exclud­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ty that the arrests had been ini­ti­at­ed by the Koso­van Mafia. On var­i­ous occa­sions, the BND has report­ed on orga­nized crime in Pristi­na. Sev­er­al mem­bers of the “gov­ern­ment” are from this milieu, such as the cur­rent “prime min­is­ter.” Berlin is pri­mar­i­ly respon­si­ble for the crim­i­nal con­di­tions in Koso­vo. With the col­lab­o­ra­tion of the BND, Ger­many pre­vailed in the for­ma­tion of a Koso­van “state” under the lead­er­ship of sus­pect­ed gang­sters.

The obscure occur­rences that led to last week’s arrests of three sus­pect­ed BND oper­a­tives in Pristi­na, expos­es once again the polit­i­cal crim­i­nal char­ac­ter of what is tak­ing place in that pro­tec­torate. The agents are charged with impli­ca­tion in the Novem­ber 14, bomb­ing attack on the Koso­vo EU head­quar­ters. The men had already been placed under sur­veil­lance in con­nec­tion with oth­er attacks car­ried out on insti­tu­tions of the UN Mis­sion in Koso­vo (UNMIK), the Orga­ni­za­tion for Secu­ri­ty and Coop­er­a­tion in Europe (OSCE) and the Koso­van Par­lia­ment. They will prob­a­bly be also indict­ed for espi­onage for a for­eign ser­vice, which car­ries up to a 20 year sen­tence, if found guilty. Accord­ing to anal­o­gous reports from sev­er­al intel­li­gence sources, the three were employ­ees of a BND front com­pa­ny, the “Logis­tics Coor­di­na­tion Assess­ment Ser­vices”, which alleged­ly offers invest­ment con­sul­ta­tion to Ger­man com­pa­nies in Koso­vo. Pristi­na is obvi­ous­ly seek­ing to cre­ate a scan­dal around the BND activ­i­ties. Where­as the Ger­man for­eign min­istry had hoped to clear up the mat­ter with­out too much pub­lic atten­tion — also by refer­ring to the sig­nif­i­cant role played by Ger­many in Kosovo’s seces­sion — the Koso­van press has pub­lished not only the names, but also pho­tos of the agents.
Con­tro­ver­sy over EULEX
This scan­dal was pre­ced­ed by com­pli­cat­ed dis­putes con­cern­ing Pristi­na’s seces­sion. The press reports that, “for the first time, since the begin­ning of the Koso­vo Cri­sis in the ear­ly 90s” not the Ser­bian, but the Alban­ian side has come under inter­na­tion­al pressure.[1] The bone of con­tention is EULEX — the 2,000 police and cus­toms offi­cers, jurists and admin­is­tra­tive per­son­nel that the EU, under the label of Euro­pean Union Rule of Law Mis­sion (EULEX), wants to send into the South Ser­bian province. EULEX is sup­posed to trans­form the Koso­van author­i­ties into a state appa­ra­tus, there­by mak­ing Pristi­na’s seces­sion irrev­o­ca­ble. Accord­ing to Berlin and the EU’s orig­i­nal plans, the EULEX was sup­posed, to pri­mar­i­ly replace the UNMIK, lit­er­al­ly plac­ing Brus­sels in con­trol of the Koso­van trans­for­ma­tion. This has so far been unsuc­cess­ful due to resis­tance from with­in the Unit­ed Nations, in spite of mas­sive obstruc­tions set up also by Berlin (german-foreign-policy.com report­ed [2]).
Protests in Pristi­na
Two mem­bers of the UN Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil (Rus­sia and Chi­na), as well as the major­i­ty of UN mem­ber nations, still refuse to rec­og­nize Pristi­na’s ille­gal seces­sion, which is why the trans­fer has not suc­ceed­ed. To the sur­prise of the West, UN Gen­er­al Sec­re­tary Ban Ki-Moon has been sup­port­ive and has been refus­ing for months his accord for an imple­men­ta­tion of the EU plans, if there are no con­ces­sions to Bel­grade. Already a while ago, Ban tabled a propo­si­tion that took the Ser­bian min­i­mal posi­tion into account. Accord­ing to his propo­si­tion, EULEX was to be active in the Alban­ian-speak­ing areas of Koso­vo, while UNMIK would main­tain con­trol over the police and jus­tice in the Serb-speak­ing regions of the province. EULEX would also be for­mal­ly oblig­at­ed to remain “sta­tus neu­tral” and not pro­mote Pristi­na’s inde­pen­dence. Brus­sels has now agreed to Ban’s con­cept, to avoid fur­ther delay and speed up the EULEX engage­ment. Pristi­na rejects this medi­at­ing pro­pos­al and protests, for the first time with­out west­ern back-up. Last Wednes­day, thou­sands of Koso­vo Alba­ni­ans demon­strat­ed against Ban’s plans and the EU’s approval.
Polit­i­cal Objec­tive
Observers ini­tial­ly sup­posed that the bomb attack on the EU head­quar­ters in Pristi­na — just two days after Brus­sels made known its approval to the EULEX restric­tions — was also in protest of the EU’s con­ces­sions to Bel­grade. If it is proven that the Ger­man intel­li­gence agents were impli­cat­ed in that attack, it would not be the first time. Already in March 2004, dur­ing the large scale pogroms against Serbs and Ser­bian insti­tu­tions, a BND informer played a note­wor­thy role. The man was one of the orga­niz­ers of the pogroms while serv­ing as an informer of the Ger­man intel­li­gence service.[3] Only two weeks before the pogroms began, the BND sup­pos­ed­ly broke con­tact with their informer. “I sup­pose that the BND cer­tain­ly must have informed the Ger­man gov­ern­ment” said the intel­li­gence ser­vice expert, Erich Schmidt-Een­boom, at the time and con­clud­ed that “the Alban­ian attacks on the Serbs were tol­er­at­ed” by the Ger­man side.[4] Nine­teen peo­ple were killed, approx. 4,000 dri­ven from their homes, over two dozen monas­ter­ies were severe­ly dam­aged dur­ing these pogroms. But the pogroms had a polit­i­cal effect: Berlin and Brus­sels demand­ed Kosovo’s accel­er­at­ed secession.[5]
With Crim­i­nal Means
Since the begin­ning of the 1990s, the BND has been pur­su­ing polit­i­cal objec­tives in Koso­vo with crim­i­nal means — through its sup­port for the KLA ter­ror troops. Accord­ing to reports, the BND estab­lished con­tact to Koso­vo Alban­ian mil­i­tants in 1992 [6] and soon after­wards helped “in train­ing and arm­ing the rebels (...), to con­sol­i­date Ger­man influ­ence in the Balkans.”[7] These close ties were advan­ta­geous dur­ing the aggres­sion against Yugoslavia, with the KLA replac­ing NATO ground forces and help­ing to van­quish the Ser­bian adver­sary. It soon became clear that Berlin and the rest of the West would not be able to shake off their deputy, a mili­tia of crim­i­nals. For­mer KLA com­man­ders have been able to pre­vail not only as boss­es of the Koso­van Mafia but also in high polit­i­cal posi­tions.
Get in the Way
For years, the BND — the orga­ni­za­tion that, with its sup­port for the KLA in the 90s, made its rise pos­si­ble in the first place — has been reg­u­lar­ly warn­ing against the Mafiosi struc­tures in Pristi­na. The BND had report­ed back in 2005, in a paper des­tined for the pub­lic, that Hashim Thaci — today’s “prime min­is­ter” — had ear­li­er been a boss of the Koso­van Mafia. Two years lat­er, anoth­er study, whose authors seem also to have had access to BND sources, says that “at the inter­na­tion­al lev­el” Thaci has access to wide-rang­ing “crim­i­nal networks.”[8] Also oth­er Koso­van politi­cians are seen as crim­i­nals by the BND. The intel­li­gence ser­vice expert Udo Ulfkotte, explains that an impor­tant task of the “Logis­tics Coor­di­na­tion Assess­ment Ser­vices” front com­pa­ny of the BND, was to gath­er infor­ma­tion on mon­ey laun­der­ing, drug traf­fick­ing and sex­u­al slav­ery in Koso­vo. Ulfkotte sees the cur­rent arrests in Pristi­na as a counter-attack by the Mafia: “The BND men got in some­body’s way.”[9]
In Both Cas­es
If Ulfkotte proves to be right, the cur­rent scan­dal will be the hard­est counter-strike deliv­ered to date by the crim­i­nal struc­tures put into pow­er in Pristi­na by Berlin and the West. The only thing left to acknowl­edge — also if the BND agents’ involve­ment is proven: Berlin can no longer rid itself of the crim­i­nal forces, it called into being in the 90s, to end Ser­bian con­trol over Koso­vo.

“The Sor­cer­er’s Appren­tice”; german-foreign-policy.com; 11/24/2008.


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