Accuracy in Media has a report on another Clark scandal related to the Kosovo War. It’s understandable that the average citizen might jump to the conclusion that if Slobodan Milosevic is the villain, then the Kosovo Liberation Army that opposes him must be a trustworthy ally; many average citizens fail to note that conflicts often pit bad guys against bad guys (Hitler vs. Stalin, Saddam vs. Khomeni).
But a NATO commander should have sufficient intelligence to discern allies from enemies – and Clark failed with regard to the KLA terrorists. AIM tries to cover too many topics in too little space and doesn’t really explain the Clark-KLA connection. That explanation can be found in a Federation of American Scientists 1999 report:
KLA leaders and the NATO-led peacekeeping force signed an agreement late Monday on the demilitarization of the former rebel army and its transformation into a civilian corps, a statement said. “During the meeting the outstanding issues from the previous night were fully resolved. The new civilian organization will have the full title of Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC). It will work under the direction of the special representatives of the (UN) secretary general” and operate under the supervision of the commander of KFOR, the peacekeeping force, the KFOR statement said. It said, “A limited number of weapons will be available for personal protection and the number of weapons available to KPC personnel responsible for guarding and protection duties has been agreed at 200.” In a bid to head off a crisis with ethnic Albanians, NATO sent its top general to Kosovo on Monday to urge KLA leaders to accept a formula for the civilian corps to replace their former rebel army. Gen. Wesley Clark flew unexpectedly to the Kosovo capital after KLA leaders Hashim Thaci and Gen. Agim Ceku refused to sign an agreement accepting NATO’s proposed, 5,000-member civilian corps. As part of Monday’s signing ceremony, Thaci signed a statement agreeing to the transformation process. Bernard Kouchner then presented to Ceku a letter appointing him as provisional commander of the Kosovo Protection Corps. “KLA personnel will cease wearing uniforms and KLA insignia from midnight Sept. 21,” the KFOR statement said.
When was the last time that something like this happened? Answer: when the Palestinian Liberation Army morphed into the Palestinian Authority.
FAS has a copy of a US Senate Republican Policy Committee report that states, among other things, that the KLA has ties to Albanian organized crime and that it embraces totalitarian radical Islam of the Osama bin Laden variety. The Strategic Issues Research Institute of the United States has an archive of articles about KLA’s terrorist activity. This snippet says plenty:
This collection is still spotty, but should serve to give the reader an indication of just how long these xenophobic elements within the Albanian Muslim majority of Kosovo have been intimidating, oppressing, murdering and ethnicly cleansing not just Serbs (230,000 of whom had been cleansed from the province between 1974 and 1989 and tens of thousands more in the last year of KLA terror) but Gypsies, Turks, Circassians, Gorani, and Catholic Albanians.