Kosovo: toward the end of the experiment?

In-depth Report:

What is going to happen in Kosovo?

The official spokesmen, the experts have been wrong so many times in the last many months that they have achieved, paradoxically, a positive result: normal people have lost any remaining confidence in their credibility.

The once omnipotent Marti Ahtisaari had put his hand on the fire proclaiming the unstoppable “independence” of the province. He lost that hand. Washington political and diplomatic leaders from George Bush on down had spoken in the curt language characteristic of the “sole superpower” that the Olympus had taken a decision and minor gods (such as those lingering around the UN Palace) had to accept the fait accompli or else.

The European gnomes from London to Berlin to Paris, like the cat in Pinocchio kept repeating the last words of the US fox explaining to the naïf Balkan natives the unchangeable and unchallengeable nature of the decision taken by the supreme powers: “It’s a done deal, see? Nobody can change the decision.”

Instead, it was all but a done deal! Ahtisaari has been forced to abandon the stage where he tried to play the part of the hero in an historic drama. On the contrary, rotten eggs, tomatoes, and cat calls have put an end to a pathetic farce of corruption and shame.

Still, no “done deal”.

It was the moment, then, to deploy the local messengers of Olympus. The “experts” dutifully obliged writing in newspapers and enjoying the sound of their voice on TV: there is nothing anybody can do., Kosovo will be “independent.” Is there the risk that this will become a precedent that destroys some basic tenets of international law? So what? The antiquated discussion on what is right and what is wrong has been abandoned long ago. It is a new world now. For our own good, the rule now is Might Makes Right.

Still, no “done deal”.

Then the threat arrived: If you people do not accept what has been decided for you then there will be an explosion of violence. The UCK – remember the UCK – could reemerge bigger and bloodier than ever. The Albanians could start mass violence if they do not get what they want. And you Macedonians, do you remember how things started in Tanusevci after the Kosovo war of ’99? Things can start again, and who will defend you then? Better you push for an immediate and unconditional implementation of the decisions. This threat was accompanied by the sub-threat of the partition of Macedonia if the “independence” of Kosovo was not realized according to the decisions. If, for example, an area of Kosovo was to be administered by the Serbian population.

And still, no “done deal”.

On the contrary, Serbia, that had been democratized and westernized, now seems not be even interested in the offer of membership in NATO and European Union that once were the idols in front of which all the former so-called eastern European countries would genuflect and pray. Now, the Serbian leaders are challenging the decision taken in Washington. They are closing ranks with Russia and are openly accusing Washington of establishing, not an independent and democratic regime in Kosovo, but … a NATO puppet state. The revelation of the secret everybody knew but no official leader dared to say began with Aleksandar Simic, an adviser to Serbia’s Prime Minister Kostunica: “it can be concluded that the implementation of Ahtisaari’s plan would call for Bondsteel to practically be the capital city of an independent Kosovo.” Of course, Camp Bondsteel, is the enormous US military basis whose construction started when Kosovo and Serbia were still smoking from the 1999 bombing (i.e., the blueprint must have been ready before the Kosovo war).

The Macedonian public knows very well how strategic is the position of Bondsteel in the context of the transportation corridors and pipelines running north-south and east-west in the Balkans. Few can believe that such a gigantic base would be built only for a temporary operation and then, the sovereignty would be given to the independent Kosovo government. Before going to Moscow to discuss the Kosovo issue, the Serbian Minister for Kosovo Slobodan Samardzic urged Washington to give up “the project of creating a satellite, army barrack, state on foreign territory.” The “creation of the NATO state” was the real goal of NATO’s 1999 air war against Serbia over Kosovo.” And the spokesman of Kostunica, Branislav Ristivojevic insisted in his nationalist rhetoric: “We won’t give up Kosovo, nor one inch of Serbian territory, for any kind of international integration process, whether it’s NATO, the European Union or anything else… Kosovo’s real capital would be Camp Bondsteel.”

Behind Serbia, the Russia of Vladimir Putin stands firm with its warning of using its veto power in the UN if the issue of independence is put to vote. China, one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council is reportedly ready to do the same. The US, that fought its most ferocious war (1861-65) to stop the secession of the southern states, tried to threaten a unilateral recognition of Kosovo’s “independence.” It soon had to back down and deny it ever did so. Meanwhile, Russia is stating every day in more clear terms its opposition to any unilateral declaration of independence, and the more the US and the Euro-bureaucrats call for respect of the decision, the more a subtle but increasing split is becoming visible in Europe. Officials in several European capitals are expressing their opposition to the hard line on independence while in publish the dissent is taking the form of the research of a not-better-defined compromise.

Why is the Sole Superpower not able to impose a “done deal”? Why does the normalized Serbia talk back to Washington and say publicly what was supposed to be discussed only in private? And more in general: how come that until now the Anglo American strategy ended up winning all the games and now it is shooting more and more blanks?

End of the Hegemony

The answer to this question is the solution to the present Kosovo paradox. The Kosovo situation is not the consequence of local factors, just as it was not local factors that produced the main wars and strategic cataclysms in the Balkans since before WWI. The main cause was the clash of several empires fighting for supremacy in that geo-strategically crucial area, often manipulating local population to fight each other, and always determined to keep the area divided, “balkanized”.

After the fall of the end of the Soviet Union, there was only one cowboy left with a big gun in the global saloon: the Anglo-American pistolero. No matter how short sighted, wild, and brainless, the lone gunman started and won all the fights he felt like provoking. The international institutions set up as compensation chambers among the international powers (read U.N.) came to resemble more and more the impotent drunk sheriff of old western movies. The Anglo-American gunman created new justification for his undisputed hegemony. A vast and unbridled propaganda machine could transform overnight an old tool (e.g. Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden) into the personified evil, perfect to justify a war with any means and no legalistic restrictions. All the other unarmed cowboys would fall on each other in the attempt to propitiate the gunman.

All over the globe, and in Europe and in the Balkans in particular, several semi-demential experiments were set up with the declared purpose to reshape the map of the world. Countries were to be dismembered, ethnic and religious groups incited to fight each other, powerful imperial bases placed as control centers in the most strategic areas (such as Camp Bondsteel), no obstacle, even a potential one could have been allowed to survive. Every too strong a country was to be cut into pieces, defanged and boxed into a “defensive alliance” (NATO) dominated by Washington and London.

In the crucial area of the Balkans it was not difficult to find ethnic, religious, cultural differences to be manipulated. After the first moment of euphoria in which the victorious US forces brought democracy and freedom to the oppressed people taking over the historical mission from the impotent Europeans, the “oppressed peoples” began to realize that they had been given neither freedom, nor democracy. Rather, they had been boxed in to an unstable situation in which the future was always more dangerous and scary than the present.

The Kosovo war, for example, was followed by the surfacing of the UCK Mafioso-terrorist structure that had acted as a paramilitary force in the army of Wesley Clark and Madeleine Albright. The post-war became more dangerous that the pre-war. The UCK took over Kosovo and pushed away any moderate force. At this point Kosovo is a mixture of military power mostly emanating from Bondsteel and a mafia-like economy that includes every sort of criminal and illegal activity one could find in a penal code. As always, a mafia structure is contagious, the corruptive power of huge sums of money rapidly accumulated in the hands of the top criminals is infecting broader and broader areas. The booming opium production in the liberated Afghanistan is distributed in the form of heroin by the Albania or Kosovo mafia. Misery, instability, oppression presented as freedom, pending threats of future violence and wars is the daily reality.

This has been the result of the great experiment organized by Washington and London. Like in the old horror movies when the mad scientist conducts his atrocious experiments, Kosovo “independence” was just a necessary step toward a greater horror. However, something strange happened. The guinea pigs refused to follow the script and begin to rebel. No independence. The power of the mad scientist is called into question. The experiment is stopped.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization

The reason that the independence scenario has been blocked for the moment at least, is not due to a moral rebellion — to the fact that what has been imposed is repulsive and criminal. The very large majority in Macedonia and many other countries knew how wrong and immoral the scenario was. Various unharmed prophets repeated things that were well known. This, however, did not stop the criminality. What stopped it was the creation of a counter power, the arrival in the global saloon of another armed cowboy.

This new counter power, this bizarre Machiavellian prince, took the form a of an alliance between Russia and China, the two final victims of the worldwide balkanization plans. China and Russia started a series of meetings seven years ago creating a progressively more institutionalized organization that includes also four other Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The last meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) took place in the middle of August in Kyrgyz Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The official observer countries included India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia.

A total of ten presidents of member and candidate countries were present. Many others sent observers and asked to be considered for membership. The novelty this year was that the SCO also became a military alliance — Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) — and Vladimir Putin and the Chinese President Hu Jintao presided over substantial military maneuvers, “Peace Mission 2007,” with mostly Russian and Chinese troops that intended to demonstrate that local countries are going to defend and patrol” their strategic space, without need of US or NATO. Reportedly, the US asked to participate as observers. But their request was rejected. At the end of the first ever military maneuver of this kind, Putin announced: “I have decided that Russia’s strategic aviation will resume patrols on a permanent basis. At midnight today, August 17, 14 strategic missile carriers, support and refueling aircraft took off from seven air force bases in different parts of the Russian Federation and began a patrol involving a total of 20 aircraft. As from today, such patrols will be carried out on a regular basis. These patrols are strategic in nature.”

The US and European media were not able to come out with a clear line on the Shanghai group. Political and military spokesmen were at a loss to quantify what had just happened. Someone called it, the NATO of the East. Others called it a new Warsaw Pact. But such definitions are, both at the same time limitative, and overblown. The new alliance is just making the first steps and it is not comparable to either NATO or the defunct Warsaw Pact. At the same time, the implication of such an alliance (with many countries formally allied with the US knocking insistently at the door of the new organization to be accepted.

First of all, it is remarkable that China and Russia concluded such a substantial alliance. The traditional mistrust between the two countries is well known. Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon were able in the 70’s to play the China Card against the Soviet Union playing on that mistrust. It was the beginning of the end for the Soviet empire. Recently an insider observed that the Shanghai Group was exactly what Kissinger and Nixon did everything to prevent. And yet, the crazy Anglo-American cow boy succeeded in forcing Moscow and Beijing to overcome any disagreement and conclude a solid alliance. More solid than the wild mixture known as NATO.

The new alliance is not an ideological entity. Its raison d’etre is, first and foremost, the necessity to defend oneself from the unchained and irrational hubris of the present Anglo-American elites. The Russian elite indeed tried to become “capitalist.” To accept privatizations and rock& roll, free market and McDonald’s. We know how the Yeltsin adventure ended up: a bankrupt country, taken over by corruption and organized crime and ready, in the opinion of geopolitico supremo, Zbigniew Brzezinski, to be partitioned into several chunks and used as a producer of raw materials controlled by Western companies. China was to end up in the same way. The Russian elite does not have any doubt, at this point, that the Anglo-American elite does not hate communism, it hates Russia. A similar way of thinking dominates in Beijing. This is why no matter which threats will be unchained against the new alliance, Russia and China will not surrender. They have already done that and they know that they would be smashed. No diplomatic magic can change that.

A superficial observer could conclude that the China-Russia alliance corresponds to a simplistic East versus West scenario. Accustomed to the reductionist formulas of the dominating propaganda, a geographic location becomes an ideology and a philosophy. In fact, there are plenty of leaders, factions, institutions in the West that are looking with great hope to the new counter-power. Anything but the destructive irrationality of the crazy cowboy. The more, for example, Putin confronts his strategic rivals, and the more the so-called Atlantic solidarity shows cracks and breaks.

The question of Kosovo made the point clear. Just few weeks ago Europe was aligned and obedient. Now, after Moscow repeated that unconditional independence is not going to be accepted, we see different opinions and dissent, both in private and publicly. What can Washington do? The fait accompli of unilateral recognition? It would lose even more allies. Military means? A campaign of boycott and propaganda against Putin the “dictator”? Already tried; and it doesn’t really work. It doesn’t work because now, contrary to 1999, there is a real force capable of defending itself on several fronts: diplomatic, political, propagandistic, and military. This is going to decide what will happen in Kosovo. Even the option of unchaining violence through UCK and other mercenary forces is not a totally practicable option. Special operations such as non-orthodox warfare can only work if there are none capable or willing to react. by denouncing. When there is an institutional entity with intelligence and media capabilities, a special operation could easily become a liability because it can be publicly revealed and its controllers unmasked. This is the objective limit in the use of terrorist cut out. It could lead to its controllers.

Even if some form of independence is accorded to Pristina, it will not be the end of a process; it will be the beginning of a new confrontation because there is an independent power able and willing to challenge the fait accompli.

To be noted that the only Asian country totally aligned with the Anglo-American elites, Japan, has recently dropped its anti-China line and called publicly through its new Prime Minister for closer relations with Beijing.

China’s Nuclear Option

Indeed the clash between the former Sole Superpower and the new emerging Russian-Chinese alliance does not concern only the political and military aspect. Actually the most important front is the economic and financial one. The Anglo-American elite took a decision long ago to de-industrialize their countries, use cheap (or slave) labor from Third World countries, mostly China, and thus stop paying normal wages to their countrymen. In the immediate term this meant gigantic profits. China was producing goods for almost nothing. But in so doing, the genial economists achieved two things; first, they all but destroyed their qualified labor, and second, they gave to China the goose that that lays the golden eggs, i.e. their productive apparatus.

The masochistic geniality of these financial experts contemplated also the idea of issuing an infinite number of US Treasury Bonds that could finance an increasing mountain of debts. Who would buy it? Well, mostly the Chinese. So, in a sort of vicious circle, the Chinese labor would do most of the work from which US companies would extract a large profit. The money accumulated by the Chinese would then go to finance further US debt.

This system, presented here in a simplified form, could work while the dollar system could impose itself with the political and military strength controlled by Washington. There is only one Achilles heel in all of this. If China, or all the other countries that have huge reserves in US treasury bonds and dollars (Russia, Saudi Arabia, European Countries, and every rich producer of oil and raw materials including Venezuela and Iran) decide one day to dump them, then the whole genial scheme that allowed them to become rich without working, would collapse.

This, however, was not even considered a possibility. The military power of the US was without comparison and anybody who could even remotely challenge it would be smashed. Besides, there was a grand strategic design that would put the whole world under their direct control. Once the Soviet Union had been dismantled, it was time to smash the most populous and doggedly cohesive developing countries, the Muslim countries. It was called the Clash of Civilizations. Then, once the last vestige of independence in those countries was canceled and there was no obstacle to full looting of oil and other materials, it was the moment to start the long march to take over Russian and China. The countries would have been partitioned, balkanized and then used as a reserve of raw material and semi-slave labor.

The Balkan strategy with the enlargement of NATO was only part of a new Operation Barbarossa to encircle, isolate and then take over Russia. No raw materials were to be exported from Russia independently, without the mediation of an Anglo-American company. This made Kosovo and Macedonia, — points of transit for transportation corridors and pipelines — crucial locations.

Even if the continental European countries do not know it or try not to see it, they were the last stage in this deranged grand design.

All of this depended on the ability to prevent the establishment of even a limited form of independent power. But the clumsy strategists relied mostly on computer and formal logic, forgetting history and culture. In 1999, it was the NATO/US victory in Kosovo that triggered deep changes inside the Russian leadership that had concluded that Washington could not be trusted. The result was the rapid eclipse of Yeltsin and the emerging of the unknown Putin who took over Russia with the mission of re establishing its independent power with every means. But already during the last phase of the Kosovo war, the Russian military had taken over the Pristina airport. Their determination, even at that low point gave a healthy scare to the British General Michael Jackson who refused the order given by the American general in charge, Wesley Clark, to stop the Russians with the words: “I’m not going to start the third world war for you,”

Eight years later, the danger highlighted by the British general, is possibly more real than it has even been during the whole cold war. China and Russia (and possibly silent partners in high places in Europe and elsewhere) have put together an unrefined but effective military power and are expanding it as fast as they can. It is a desperate race in which they think they cannot surrender. The military dimension, again, is only a part of the game. The financial side of this war is even more important.

China gave a demonstration of it. After having been pressured by US to continue its role of playing sewer system for US debts and after having been asked to sacrifice its economy and risk financial destabilization by buying the worthless sub-prime mortgage, the Chinese went for the “nuclear option”. If the US insists in destabilizing our financial system, the academician He Fang stated, Beijing “could be forced to sell the dollar… which may lead to a mass depreciation of the dollar. Another official, Xia Bin, declared that the huge Chinese reserves in dollars and treasury bonds could be used as “bargaining chips.”

The pressures on China stopped for a while, while a campaign on the danger of Chinese produced toys was launched in the US media. However, in the US stock market the Dow Jones index went down after the statements. The US monetary authorities were forced to go for a policy of low interest rates that will provoke a growing inflation. When the worthless sub prime mortgage collapsed, Beijing announced proudly that they had disinvested from that sector. The threat this time had not worked. An immense self created weak flank, the growing mountain of treasury bonds and dollars that can be dumped at time, has become a reality of the ongoing war.

Comment on Global Research Articles on our Facebook page

Become a Member of Global Research

Articles by: Umberto Pascali

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Centre of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post Global Research articles on community internet sites as long the source and copyright are acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original Global Research article. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected]

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]