Moral Low Ground

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Why the U.S. Supported Islamic Terror in Europe

Yesterday’s headlines that US-backed Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci is an alleged international criminal in charge of a mafia-like organization that trafficked in drugs, guns and human organs from murdered Serbs raised many an eyebrow in the United States. But it shouldn’t have. Washington has a long history of supporting Islamic terrorists when they serve America’s policy goals. Thaci was once chief of the most powerful faction of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), a terrorist organization fighting for independence from Slobodan Milosevic’s Serbia. That made him a natural, if extremely unsavory, ally for the United States.

The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was formed in the 1990s by ethnic Albanian Kosovars from southwestern Yugoslavia. Emboldened by the success of other nationalities that were winning their independence from Belgrade as Yugoslavia crumbled, the KLA began to violently expel as many non-Albanians from Kosovo as they possibly could. Gypsies, Jews, Turks and, above all, Serbs were all victims of KLA ethnic cleansing.

The American special envoy to Bosnia called the KLA “without any question, a terrorist group” and the U.S. State Department accordingly added the group to its list of terrorist organizations. Veteran fighters  from the Islamic jihad against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan who traveled to the Balkans to fight alongside their Muslim brothers in Bosnia rushed to the aid of the KLA in nearby Kosovo. Backers included Osama bin Laden and other Islamic radicals; the group funded its terror via the international heroin trade as well as by human trafficking, sex slavery and prostitution.

Despite this nastiness the KLA endeared itself to Washington by fighting against the despised and defiant Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic. By this time Yugoslavia, once composed of eight nominally autonomous republics, had been reduced to a rump of Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo by years of bloody civil war and secession. To Serbs, the dominant ethnic group in what remained of Yugoslavia, Kosovo is regarded as the very birthplace of their nation. Belgrade wasn’t about to let Kosovo go without a fight and everyone knew it, including President Clinton.

Holbrooke’s “pact with the devil.”

American intelligence agents trained and funded the KLA even as it stepped up its campaign of terror in Kosovo and southern Serbia. NATO called the KLA “the main initiator of the violence” in Kosovo and top U.S. diplomat William Walker admitted to a “deliberate campaign of [KLA] provocation.”

US diplomat Richard Holbrooke likened working with the terrorists to making a “pact with the devil.” American intelligence informed top Clinton officials that the KLA was deliberately provoking harsh retaliatory strikes by the Serbians in order to draw the United States and NATO into the conflict. But Bill Clinton wasn’t listening. It wasn’t long before NATO began a devastating bombing campaign that targeted the people of Serbia as much as it did that country’s government and armed forces.

As the people of Yugoslavia were being terrorized by NATO’s air war, the terrorists of the Kosovo Liberation Army stepped up their atrocities against Serbs and Gypsies in Kosovo. Shockingly, the NATO troops deployed there to keep the peace often failed to intervene to protect these ethnic minorities from the KLA’s brutal campaign of beating, kidnapping and murder. More than 164,000 Serbs were driven from the Albanian-dominated province. By the summer of 2001 KLA ethnic cleansing had rendered Kosovo almost entirely Albanian with just a few die-hard Serb holdouts living in fear and surrounded by barbed wire.

The KLA soon expanded its war into neighboring Macedonia. NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson called the KLA “murderous thugs” but the United States– now with George W. Bush in charge– continued to provide invaluable support to the terrorists. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice personally intervened to force Ukraine to halt arms sales to the Macedonian army, the KLA’s new nemesis. And when a group of 400 KLA fighters found themselves surrounded at Aracinovo in June 2001, NATO ordered Macedonian forces to hold off their attack while a convoy of U.S. Army buses rescued the besieged terrorists. It was later revealed that 17 American military advisers were embedded with the KLA fighters at Aracinovo. Remember that the KLA counted among its backers Osama bin Laden and other sworn enemies of the United States.

But apparently that didn’t matter as much as securing America’s interests in the Balkans. The events of September 11th three short months later would remind America that when you deal with the devil, hell is the price you pay.

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