KOSOVO AND METOHIJA - ONE STAGE IN U.S.
Following the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the end of Cold War, borders in Europe were greatly changed. The new world order, the U.S. role of world policeman and its decision to declare itself the Cold War winner have led to its playing a decisive, negative role in Europe's restructuring.
The war that the United States is now waging against sovereign Yugoslavia that has never been an aggressor in its history, which is centuries-older than that of the United States, is fully in line with U.S. aspirations towards Europe and the world, defined as far back as 1991. The then U.S. president George Bush said that, after each war, the winner had the right to lay foundations for the future, foundations for the 21st century.
In 1992, the U.S. Foreign Affairs Committee adopted a conclusion stipulating that the Kosovo issue should be re-activated whenever Belgrade is to be pressured into making some concession. Only a year earlier, the then Secretary of State James Baker stated that Serbia should be reduced to the borders which it had had before the First and the Second Balkan War.
In the case of Yugoslavia, the laying of foundations for the 21st century meant the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia, the support for and recognition of secessionist republics and the imposition of sanctions. The support for ethnic Albanian terrorists in Kosovo and Metohija has continued through threats, blackmail and, finally, bombardments. Yugoslavia has at the same time been the target of a fierce media campaign that has ignored all rules of journalism.
In order to fully understand the U.S. interest in Kosovo and Metohija, it is necessary to clarify the military-strategic and geopolitical position of the province and to shed light on its natural resources. Only in the light of these facts, the U.S. political and military engagement should be considered. The human rights issue and constant referring to humanitarian categories are nothing but a smokescreen for the true goal which is to put Serbia under control, to weaken its military and political potential and to enable allies in neighbouring countries to use its major economic potential.
It is evident even to a not-so-thorough analyst that Serbia is only the first step in securing the U.S. domination over Europe and in eliminating once and for all Russia as a world power. It is a historical fact, however, that Serbia has won all wars that it waged to defend both its territory as well as Europe.
GREAT POWERS' POLICY TOWARDS BALKANS
The Balkans has always been a region where the great powers' conflicting interests have been most manifest. Being the target of such interests, the Balkan peoples have developed a strong sense of pride. In the Balkans, liberty has a high price that these peoples have often had to pay in their frequently tragic history.
In 1991, the then Bulgarian president Zhelyu Zhelev said that the Balkan peoples were the pawns in the great powers' game and that the region's bloody history reflected the Balkan peoples' desparate attempt to take control over it.
A crisis that breaks out in a Balkan country automatically sparks similar processes in the territory of its neighbours. The sanctions imposed on Yugoslavia have affected also economies of other Balkan countries. The war devastation of Yugoslavia is bound to have economic, communicational and psychological effects on its neighbours. No country, still less Balkan country, will be able to plan peacefully its future after this happening to Yugoslavia at this point.
The international community's role, especially as regards the Balkans, will have to include exclusively efforts to settle all hotspots through peaceful methods, and in line with relevant international rules and conventions and through the strict respect for the Balkan countries' sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is only natural that European and Balkan countries should have a united approach to the issue.
However, the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia has shown that events in the Balkans are beyond the great powers' understanding and beyond the ability of their diplomacies. France, Great Britain and the United States placed themselves in the service of the interests of united Germany. Germany for the first time independently acted on the international scene by recognising Croatia and Slovenia and bypassing its allies in the process.
It was evident already at that point that the great powers' policy towards the Balkans should be thoroghly reconsidered and all consequences that an inadequate policy might cause taken into account. The former Yugoslavia as well as Kosovo and Metohija clearly show that the West's policy is exclusively based on the carrot and stick approach, with the stick being reserved for the Serbs only.
Today, European countries are in the service of the U.S. interests. A united Europe is definitely not in the United States' interest. The stick is still reserved for the Serbs only, while all Balkan and Europan countries will have to pay the price for their inability to anticipate consequences this time. The consequences of such one policy should be clear to anyone, even to a person that is only slightly familiar with the situation in the Balkans. For, the support for and encouragement of secessionist tendencies, punishment of sovereign countries and bombing of those that do not allow that their territory be dismembered is bound to spur similar aspirations in neighbouring countries. This means, that the issue of ethnic Hungarians in Romania and Slovakia and of ethnic Turks in Bulgaria will be aggravated as well as similar problems faced by Cyprus, northern Ireland, Corsica and the Basque Provinces. Bad examples are easily 'transmitted,' according to Kamdel, Russia's expert on the Balkans. How many countries would have to be bombed should they decide to protect their territory, history, culture and identity? This is the question that the Balkan countries should ask themselves immediately because it might be late to do so tomorrow.
DOSIJE: NATO HAS NO FUTURE
In April 1949, an agreement was signed in Washington to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) whose goal was collective defence of member states.
Article 5 of the agreement, considered to be the most important article, envisages that the NATO member states protect any member against attack.
In mid-March 1991, the Warsaw Pact was dissolved. Already in early December of the same year, NATO adopted a new strategic concept providing for the setting up of rapid reaction units to be engaged in case of a danger.
In 1994, NATO decided to expand under the U.S. leadership. A decision to this effect was taken at a NATO summit held in Brussels in January. U.S. President Bill Clinton visited Europe four times during that year, stating that the issue was not whether the alliance would expand but how and when it would expand.
In February 1994, NATO for the first time opened fire outside the member states' territory. U.S. aircraft raided Bosnian Serb military as well as civilian targets.
In December 1995, the alliance launched its first ground operation, deploying 60,000 troops to Bosnia-Herzegovina for the period of one year within the Implementation Force (IFOR).
In June 1998, NATO aircraft held manoeuvres in Albania and Macedonia. This was the first time ever that the alliance tried to threaten a sovereign state by holding maneouvres in neighbouring countries' territory.
In late 1998, a series of debates on NATO's new role and its 21st century strategy were held. It has been planned to adopt the strategy in ceremonies marking the alliance's 50 anniversary.
In March 1999, NATO launched aggression on the sovereign Federal Republic of Yugoslavia without any consultations or a debate in the United Nations.
The fact remains that unprecedented NATO and U.S. military operations have for the largest part been carried out in Europe's territory and directed against the Serb people, and Serbia and Yugoslavia which is a sovereign state and signatory to the U.N. Charter.
At the turn of the century, Europe is divided thanks to the U.S. and NATO patronage and is on the threshold of World War III, threatened by a large-scale ecological disaster and faced with a stream of refugees on its borders. This Europe has resulted from carrying out a plan for the continent's new security structure that Richard Holbrooke referred to in an article published in 1995 by the Foreign Affairs magazine. He said that active U.S. engagement would still be needed in the 21st century because unstable Europe would continue to pose a threat to U.S. security and national interests. He also said that the United States had become a more powerful force in Europe than that referred to within traditional claims about U.S. engagement on the continent.