The Criminalization of the
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
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
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.
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
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".
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 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
"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.
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 &
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
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.
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
The 1999 NATO led Invasion of Kosovo
In 1999, many sectors of the Left both in North America and
Western Europe were tacitly supportive of the NATO led invasion.
Many progressive organizations upheld what they perceived as "a
humanitarian war" on behalf Kosovar Albanians.
Media propaganda and disinformation contributed to distorting
the real causes and consequences of the wars directed against
the Yugoslav federation.
The anti-war movement was in disarray. At the height of the NATO
bombings, several "progressive" writers described the KLA as a
bona fide nationalist liberation army, committed to supporting
the civil rights of Kosovar Albanians.
The KLA, as confirmed by the OSCE observer mission to Kosovo in
late 1998, had been involved in countless terrorist acts and
atrocities directed against Serbian and Albanian civilians as
well as minority groups in Kosovo.
Without evidence, the Yugoslav government headed by president
Slobodan Milosevic was presented as being responsible for
triggering a humanitarian crisis in Kosovo. The alleged
violation of human rights of ethnic Albanians was used as a
pretext for the extensive bombing of Yugoslavia. In a cruel
irony, the most intense bombing raids were carried out in
Kosovo. A majority of the victims of these raids were Kosovar
The invasion and subsequent military occupation was upheld as a
humanitarian endeavor, geared towards preventing ethnic
cleansing in Kosovo directed against the Kosovar Albanians. The
war on Yugoslavia was presented as a "Just War". by Professor
Falk, a leading "progressive" intellectual endorsed the 1999
NATO bombing of Yugoslavia on moral and ethical grounds:
The Kosovo War was a just war because it was undertaken to avoid
a likely instance of "ethnic cleansing" undertaken by the Serb
leadership of former Yugoslavia, and it succeeded in giving the
people of Kosovo an opportunity for a peaceful and democratic
future. It was a just war despite being illegally undertaken
without authorization by the United Nations, and despite being
waged in a manner that unduly caused Kosovar and Serbian
civilian casualties, while minimizing the risk of death or
injury on the NATO side."
Several progressive media condemned the "Milosevic regime",
while expressing mitigated support for the KLA:
At present, the only armed force capable of defending the
Kosovar Albanian villages that remain is the Kosova Liberation
Army (KLA). Despite political shortcomings born of the state of
lawlessness into which the 90% Albanian majority has been thrown
over the last 10 years, since Milosevic abolished Kosova's
autonomy, the KLA last year managed to organise an army of up to
Much left debate centres on its potential and political program
and on the desirability of armed struggle in general. For
example, Stephen Shalom, in an article on ZNet (its contributing
editors include Noam Chomsky and Edward Said) that incisively
sums up the case against both NATO and Milosevic, states: “I am
sympathetic to the argument that says that if people want to
fight for their rights, if they are not asking others to do it
for them, then they ought to be provided with the weapons to
help them succeed. Such an argument seemed to me persuasive with
respect to Bosnia.”
Michel Chossudovsky, a professor of economics at the University
of Ottawa, has set out the most meticulous frame-up in a piece
entitled “Freedom Fighters Financed by Organised Crime”, which
has been doing the internet circuit. Full of half-truths,
assumptions and innuendoes about the KLA's alleged use of drug
money, Chossudovsky's article seeks to discredit the KLA as a
genuine liberation movement representing the aspirations of the
oppressed Albanian majority.
(Michael Karadjis, Chossudovskys frame-up of the KLA, Green Left
Nine years and two wars later, the Kosovo issue has re-emerged.
It is an integral part of the broader military roadmap. It is
intimately related to the post 9/11 US led wars in Central Asia
and the Middle East.
The Balkans constitute the gateway to Eurasia. The 1999 invasion
establishes a permanent US military presence in Southern Europe,
which serves the broader US led war. Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and
Iraq: these three theater wars were waged on humanitarian
grounds. Without exception, in all three countries, US military
bases were established.
Below is my original April 1999 article on the Kosovo Liberation
Army (KLA), published barely three weeks after the onslaught of
the NATO bombings, almost nine years ago.
Kosovo "Freedom Fighters" Financed by Organised Crime
By Michel Chossudovsky -
10 April 1999
Heralded by the global media as a humanitarian peace-keeping
mission, NATO's ruthless bombing of Belgrade and Pristina goes
far beyond the breach of international law. While Slobodan
Milosevic is demonised, portrayed as a remorseless dictator, the
Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) is upheld as a self-respecting
nationalist movement struggling for the rights of ethnic
Albanians. The truth of the matter is that the KLA is sustained
by organised crime with the tacit approval of the United States
and its allies.
Following a pattern set during the War in Bosnia, public opinion
has been carefully misled. The multibillion dollar Balkans
narcotics trade has played a crucial role in "financing the
conflict" in Kosovo in accordance with Western economic,
strategic and military objectives. Amply documented by European
police files, acknowledged by numerous studies, the links of the
Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) to criminal syndicates in Albania,
Turkey and the European Union have been known to Western
governments and intelligence agencies since the mid-1990s.
" ... The financing of the Kosovo guerrilla war poses critical
questions and it sorely tests claims of an "ethical" foreign
policy. Should the West back a guerrilla army that appears to
partly financed by organised crime."
While KLA leaders were shaking hands with US Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright at Rambouillet, Europol (the European Police
Organization based in The Hague) was "preparing a report for
European interior and justice ministers on a connection between
the KLA and Albanian drug gangs." In the meantime, the rebel
army has been skillfully heralded by the global media (in the
months preceding the NATO bombings) as broadly representative of
the interests of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.
With KLA leader Hashim Thaci (a 29 year "freedom fighter")
appointed as chief negotiator at Rambouillet, the KLA has become
the de facto helmsman of the peace process on behalf of the
ethnic Albanian majority and this despite its links to the drug
trade. The West was relying on its KLA puppets to rubber-stamp
an agreement which would have transformed Kosovo into an
occupied territory under Western Administration.
Ironically Robert Gelbard, America's special envoy to Bosnia,
had described the KLA last year  as "terrorists".
Christopher Hill, America's chief negotiator and architect of
the Rambouillet agreement, "has also been a strong critic of the
KLA for its alleged dealings in drugs." Moreover, barely a
few two months before Rambouillet, the US State Department had
acknowledged (based on reports from the US Observer Mission) the
role of the KLA in terrorising and uprooting ethnic Albanians:
" ... the KLA harass or kidnap anyone who comes to the police,
... KLA representatives had threatened to kill villagers and
burn their homes if they did not join the KLA [a process which
has continued since the NATO bombings]... [T]he KLA harassment
has reached such intensity that residents of six villages in the
Stimlje region are "ready to flee."
While backing a "freedom movement" with links to the drug trade,
the West seems also intent in bypassing the civilian Kosovo
Democratic League and its leader Ibrahim Rugova who has called
for an end to the bombings and expressed his desire to negotiate
a peaceful settlement with the Yugoslav authorities. It is
worth recalling that a few days before his March 31 Press
Conference, Rugova had been reported by the KLA (alongside three
other leaders including Fehmi Agani) to have been killed by the
Covert financing of "freedom fighters"
Remember Oliver North and the Contras? The pattern in Kosovo is
similar to other CIA covert operations in Central America, Haiti
and Afghanistan where "freedom fighters" were financed through
the laundering of drug money. Since the onslaught of the Cold
War, Western intelligence agencies have developed a complex
relationship to the illegal narcotics trade. In case after case,
drug money laundered in the international banking system has
financed covert operations.
According to author Alfred McCoy, the pattern of covert
financing was established in the Indochina war. In the 1960s,
the Meo army in Laos was funded by the narcotics trade as part
of Washington's military strategy against the combined forces of
the neutralist government of Prince Souvanna Phouma and the
The pattern of drug politics set in Indochina has since been
replicated in Central America and the Caribbean. "The rising
curve of cocaine imports to the US", wrote journalist John
Dinges "followed almost exactly the flow of US arms and military
advisers to Central America".
The military in Guatemala and Haiti, to which the CIA provided
covert support, were known to be involved in the trade of
narcotics into Southern Florida. And as revealed in the Iran-Contra
and Bank of Commerce and Credit International (BCCI) scandals,
there was strong evidence that covert operations were funded
through the laundering of drug money. "Dirty money" recycled
through the banking system--often through an anonymous shell
company-- became "covert money," used to finance various rebel
groups and guerrilla movements including the Nicaraguan Contras
and the Afghan Mujahadeen. According to a 1991 Time magazine
"Because the US wanted to supply the mujehadeen rebels in
Afghanistan with stinger missiles and other military hardware it
needed the full cooperation of Pakistan. By the mid-1980s, the
CIA operation in Islamabad was one of the largest US
intelligence stations in the World. 'If BCCI is such an
embarrassment to the US that forthright investigations are not
being pursued it has a lot to do with the blind eye the US
turned to the heroin trafficking in Pakistan', said a US
America and Germany join hands
Since the early 1990s, Bonn and Washington have joined hands in
establishing their respective spheres of influence in the
Balkans. Their intelligence agencies have also collaborated.
According to intelligence analyst John Whitley, covert support
to the Kosovo rebel army was established as a joint endeavour
between the CIA and Germany's Bundes Nachrichten Dienst (BND) (which
previously played a key role in installing a right-wing
nationalist government under Franjo Tudjman in Croatia). The
task to create and finance the KLA was initially given to
Germany: "They used German uniforms, East German weapons and
were financed, in part, with drug money". According to
Whitley, the CIA was subsequently instrumental in training and
equipping the KLA in Albania.
The covert activities of Germany's BND were consistent with
Bonn's intent to expand its "Lebensraum" into the Balkans. Prior
to the onset of the civil war in Bosnia, Germany and its Foreign
Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher had actively supported secession;
it had "forced the pace of international diplomacy" and
pressured its Western allies to recognize Slovenia and Croatia.
According to the Geopolitical Drug Watch, both Germany and the
US favoured (although not officially) the formation of a "Greater
Albania" encompassing Albania, Kosovo and parts of
Macedonia. According to Sean Gervasi, Germany was seeking a
free hand among its allies "to pursue economic dominance in the
whole of Mitteleuropa."
Islamic fundamentalism in support of the KLA
Bonn and Washington's "hidden agenda" consisted in triggering
nationalist liberation movements in Bosnia and Kosovo with the
ultimate purpose of destabilising Yugoslavia. The latter
objective was also carried out "by turning a blind eye" to the
influx of mercenaries and financial support from Islamic
Mercenaries financed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait had been
fighting in Bosnia. And the Bosnian pattern was replicated
in Kosovo: Mujahadeen mercenaries from various Islamic countries
are reported to be fighting alongside the KLA in Kosovo. German,
Turkish and Afghan instructors were reported to be training the
KLA in guerrilla and diversion tactics.
According to a Deutsche Press-Agentur report, financial support
from Islamic countries to the KLA had been channelled through
the former Albanian chief of the National Information Service (NIS),
Bashkim Gazidede. "Gazidede, reportedly a devout Moslem who
fled Albania in March of last year , is presently 
being investigated for his contacts with Islamic terrorist
The supply route for arming KLA "freedom fighters" are the
rugged mountainous borders of Albania with Kosovo and Macedonia.
Albania is also a key point of transit of the Balkans drug route
which supplies Western Europe with grade four heroin. Seventy-five
percent of the heroin entering Western Europe is from Turkey.
And a large part of drug shipments originating in Turkey
transits through the Balkans. According to the US Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA), "it is estimated that 4-6
metric tons of heroin leave each month from Turkey having [through
the Balkans] as destination Western Europe." A recent
intelligence report by Germany's Federal Criminal Agency
suggests that: "Ethnic Albanians are now the most prominent
group in the distribution of heroin in Western consumer
The laundering of dirty money
In order to thrive, the criminal syndicates involved in the
Balkans narcotics trade need friends in high places. Smuggling
rings with alleged links to the Turkish State are said to
control the trafficking of heroin through the Balkans "cooperating
closely with other groups with which they have political or
religious ties" including criminal groups in Albanian and
Kosovo. In this new global financial environment, powerful
undercover political lobbies connected to organized crime
cultivate links to prominent political figures and officials of
the military and intelligence establishment.
The narcotics trade nonetheless uses respectable banks to
launder large amounts of dirty money. While comfortably removed
from the smuggling operations per se, powerful banking interests
in Turkey but mainly those in financial centres in Western
Europe discretely collect fat commissions in a multibillion
dollar money laundering operation. These interests have high
stakes in ensuring a safe passage of drug shipments into Western
The Albanian connection
Arms smuggling from Albania into Kosovo and Macedonia started at
the beginning of 1992, when the Democratic Party came to power,
headed by President Sali Berisha. An expansive underground
economy and cross border trade had unfolded. A triangular trade
in oil, arms and narcotics had developed largely as a result of
the embargo imposed by the international community on Serbia and
Montenegro and the blockade enforced by Greece against
Industry and agriculture in Kosovo were spearheaded into
bankruptcy following the IMF's lethal "economic medicine"
imposed on Belgrade in 1990. The embargo was imposed on
Yugoslavia. Ethnic Albanians and Serbs were driven into abysmal
poverty. Economic collapse created an environment which fostered
the progress of illicit trade. In Kosovo, the rate of
unemployment increased to a staggering 70 percent (according to
Poverty and economic collapse served to exacerbate simmering
ethnic tensions. Thousands of unemployed youths "barely out of
their teens" from an impoverished population, were drafted into
the ranks of the KLA ...
In neighbouring Albania, the free market reforms adopted since
1992 had created conditions which favoured the criminalisation
of state institutions. Drug money was also laundered in the
Albanian pyramids (ponzi schemes) which mushroomed during the
government of former President Sali Berisha (1992-1997).
These shady investment funds were an integral part of the
economic reforms inflicted by Western creditors on Albania.
Drug barons in Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia (with links to the
Italian Mafia) had become the new economic elites, often
associated with Western business interests. In turn the
financial proceeds of the trade in drugs and arms were recycled
towards other illicit activities (and vice versa) including a
vast prostitution racket between Albania and Italy. Albanian
criminal groups operating in Milan, "have become so powerful
running prostitution rackets that they have even taken over the
Calabrians in strength and influence."
The application of "strong economic medicine" under the guidance
of the Washington based Bretton Woods institutions had
contributed to wrecking Albania's banking system and
precipitating the collapse of the Albanian economy. The
resulting chaos enabled American and European transnationals to
carefully position themselves. Several Western oil companies
including Occidental, Shell and British Petroleum had their eyes
riveted on Albania's abundant and unexplored oil-deposits.
Western investors were also gawking Albania's extensive reserves
of chrome, copper, gold, nickel and platinum.... The Adenauer
Foundation had been lobbying in the background on behalf of
German mining interests.
Berisha's Minister of Defence Safet Zoulali (alleged to have
been involved in the illegal oil and narcotics trade) was the
architect of the agreement with Germany's Preussag (handing over
control over Albania's chrome mines) against the competing bid
of the US led consortium of Macalloy Inc. in association with
Rio Tinto Zimbabwe (RTZ).
Large amounts of narco-dollars had also been recycled into the
privatisation programmes leading to the acquisition of state
assets by the mafias. In Albania, the privatisation programme
had led virtually overnight to the development of a property
owning class firmly committed to the "free market". In Northern
Albania, this class was associated with the Guegue "families"
linked to the Democratic Party.
Controlled by the Democratic Party under the presidency of Sali
Berisha (1992-97), Albania's largest financial "pyramid" VEFA
Holdings had been set up by the Guegue "families" of Northern
Albania with the support of Western banking interests. VEFA was
under investigation in Italy in 1997 for its ties to the Mafia
which allegedly used VEFA to launder large amounts of dirty
According to one press report (based on intelligence sources),
senior members of the Albanian government during the presidency
of Sali Berisha including cabinet members and members of the
secret police SHIK were alleged to be involved in drugs
trafficking and illegal arms trading into Kosovo:
"(...) The allegations are very serious. Drugs, arms, contraband
cigarettes all are believed to have been handled by a company
run openly by Albania's ruling Democratic Party, Shqiponja
(...). In the course of 1996 Defence Minister, Safet Zhulali [was
alleged] to had used his office to facilitate the transport of
arms, oil and contraband cigarettes. (...) Drugs barons from
Kosovo (...) operate in Albania with impunity, and much of the
transportation of heroin and other drugs across Albania, from
Macedonia and Greece en route to Italy, is believed to be
organised by Shik, the state security police (...). Intelligence
agents are convinced the chain of command in the rackets goes
all the way to the top and have had no hesitation in naming
ministers in their reports."
The trade in narcotics and weapons was allowed to prosper
despite the presence since 1993 of a large contingent of
American troops at the Albanian-Macedonian border with a mandate
to enforce the embargo. The West had turned a blind eye. The
revenues from oil and narcotics were used to finance the
purchase of arms (often in terms of direct barter): "Deliveries
of oil to Macedonia (skirting the Greek embargo [in 1993-4] can
be used to cover heroin, as do deliveries of kalachnikov rifles
to Albanian 'brothers' in Kosovo".
The Northern tribal clans or "fares" had also developed links
with Italy's crime syndicates. In turn, the latter played a
key role in smuggling arms across the Adriatic into the Albanian
ports of Dures and Valona. At the outset in 1992, the weapons
channelled into Kosovo were largely small arms including
Kalashnikov AK-47 rifles, RPK and PPK machine-guns, 12.7 calibre
heavy machine-guns, etc.
The proceeds of the narcotics trade has enabled the KLA to
rapidly develop a force of some 30,000 men. More recently, the
KLA has acquired more sophisticated weaponry including anti-aircraft
and anti-armor rockets. According to Belgrade, some of the funds
have come directly from the CIA "funnelled through a so-called 'Government
of Kosovo' based in Geneva, Switzerland. Its Washington office
employs the public-relations firm of Ruder Finn--notorious for
its slanders of the Belgrade government".
The KLA has also acquired electronic surveillance equipment
which enables it to receive NATO satellite information
concerning the movement of the Yugoslav Army. The KLA training
camp in Albania is said to "concentrate on heavy weapons
training--rocket propelled grenades, medium caliber cannons,
tanks and transporter use, as well as on communications, and
command and control". (According to Yugoslav government sources).
These extensive deliveries of weapons to the Kosovo rebel army
were consistent with Western geopolitical objectives. Not
surprisingly, there has been a "deafening silence" of the
international media regarding the Kosovo arms-drugs trade. In
the words of a 1994 Report of the Geopolitical Drug Watch: "the
trafficking [of drugs and arms] is basically being judged on its
geostrategic implications (...) In Kosovo, drugs and weapons
trafficking is fuelling geopolitical hopes and fears"...
The fate of Kosovo had already been carefully laid out prior to
the signing of the 1995 Dayton agreement. NATO had entered an
unwholesome "marriage of convenience" with the mafia. "Freedom
fighters" were put in place, the narcotics trade enabled
Washington and Bonn to "finance the Kosovo conflict" with the
ultimate objective of destabilising the Belgrade government and
fully recolonising the Balkans. The destruction of an entire
country is the outcome. Western governments which participated
in the NATO operation bear a heavy burden of responsibility in
the deaths of civilians, the impoverishment of both the ethnic
Albanian and Serbian populations and the plight of those who
were brutally uprooted from towns and villages in Kosovo as a
result of the bombings.
1. Roger Boyes and Eske Wright, Drugs Money Linked to the Kosovo
Rebels, The Times, London, Monday, March 24, 1999.
3. Philip Smucker and Tim Butcher, "Shifting stance over KLA has
betrayed' Albanians", Daily Telegraph, London, 6 April 1999
4. KDOM Daily Report, released by the Bureau of European and
Canadian Affairs, Office of South Central European Affairs, U.S.
Department of State, Washington, DC, December 21, 1998; Compiled
by EUR/SCE (202-647-4850) from daily reports of the US element
of the Kosovo Diplomatic Observer Mission, December 21, 1998.
5. "Rugova, sous protection serbe appelle a l'arret des raides",
Le Devoir, Montreal, 1 April 1999.
6. See Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast
Asia, Harper and Row, New York, 1972.
7. See John Dinges, Our Man in Panama, The Shrewd Rise and
Brutal Fall of Manuel Noriega, Times Books, New York, 1991.
8. "The Dirtiest Bank of All," Time, July 29, 1991, p. 22.
9. Truth in Media, Phoenix, 2 April, 1999; see also Michel
Collon, Poker Menteur, editions EPO, Brussels, 1997.
10. Quoted in Truth in Media, Phoenix, 2 April, 1999).
12. Geopolitical Drug Watch, No 32, June 1994, p. 4
13. Sean Gervasi, "Germany, US and the Yugoslav Crisis", Covert
Action Quarterly, No. 43, Winter 1992-93).
14. See Daily Telegraph, 29 December 1993.
15. For further details see Michel Collon, Poker Menteur,
editions EPO, Brussels, 1997, p. 288.
16. Truth in Media, Kosovo in Crisis, Phoenix, 2 April 1999.
17. Deutsche Presse-Agentur, March 13, 1998.
19. Daily News, Ankara, 5 March 1997.
20. Quoted in Boyes and Wright, op cit.
21. ANA, Athens, 28 January 1997, see also Turkish Daily News,
29 January 1997.
22. Brian Murphy, KLA Volunteers Lack Experience, The Associated
Press, 5 April 1999.
23. See Geopolitical Drug Watch, No. 35, 1994, p. 3, see also
Barry James, in Balkans, Arms for Drugs, The International
Herald Tribune, Paris, June 6, 1994.
24. The Guardian, 25 March 1997.
25. For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, La crisi
albanese, Edizioni Gruppo Abele, Torino, 1998.
27. Andrew Gumbel, The Gangster Regime We Fund, The Independent,
February 14, 1997, p. 15.
29. Geopolitical Drug Watch, No. 35, 1994, p. 3.
30. Geopolitical Drug Watch, No 66, p. 4.
31. Quoted in Workers' World, May 7, 1998.
32. See Government of Yugoslavia at http://www.gov.yu/terrorism/terroristcamps.html.
33. Geopolitical Drug Watch, No 32, June 1994, p. 4.\