The “love story” between the United States and the KLA has been strengthened by a common interest, Russia’s Sputnik is reporting. For that reason, 18 years on, “it can be said that it has entered the mature phase.”
This cooperation is about to spawn two KLA governments in the Balkans. New Prime Minister of Macedonia Zoran Zaev has picked his cabinet, and in it, members of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and the National Liberation Army (Macedonian acronym: ONA), better known as “the Macedonian KLA.”
Sputnik recalls that Zaev is where he is today thanks to the foresight of Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama and “the Tirana Platform” agreed on by Albanian parties, and used as a condition for their support to the future prime minister of Macedonia.
Thus Hazbi Lika, a former KLA commander for the area of Tetovo, is to be deputy PM in charge of the political system in the new government, while Sadullah Duraku, who was part of the command structure of the ONA, is in charge of the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
Former ONA commander Talat Xhaferi is already president of the Assembly.
When it comes to the government in Pristina – the previous one was led by the current president of the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, who is a former commander and political leader of the terrorist organization KLA.
According to all predictions, the next government to be formed after the upcoming early parliamentary elections will most likely be led by Ramush Haradinaj, a former KLA leader, who was already Kosovo prime minister from 2004 to 2005. What kind of message is being sent by having two governments in the Balkans that have KLA members in their ranks, asks Sputnik.
Macedonian journalist Milenko Nedelkovski told the agency that “many things have changed in the world – ranging from the moral norms to the fact that the international community practically no longer exists.”
In this situation, anything is possible, including that the worst of terrorists, those who committed the most atrocious crimes, become legitimate authority in Kosovo and Metohija and in Macedonia, according Nedelkovski.
“Thus we now we have a situation where a KLA commander, popularly known as Commander Ventili (valves) -because during the conflict in Macedonia in 2001 he shut down the valves on Lipkovo Lake and left Kumanovo without any water supply for two months – is now the minister of ecology. What a travesty,” said the Macedonian journalist.
There are also, added Nedelkovski, other wartime commanders “who came from Kosovo and Metohija, that is, from Bondsteel (US military base in Kosovo).”
“They hold more than eight ministries, which only shows that they are a key part of this new government. All had been there to determine the ‘Tirana Platform’ in Edi Rama’s cabinet in Tirana, who held the meeting with a map of ‘Greater Albania’ on the wall,” Nedelkovski said, noting that the map shows Albania expanded “almost to Nis (in southern Serbia), a large part of Macedonia, Montenegro, and a part of Greece that they call Chameria.”
When asked how the situation came to this, he pointed out it was due to the non-existence of the international community. There is an interest group of people who act outside of every law and resolution.
“If someone is affected by the disregard of the UN resolution on Kosovo it is Serbia, absolutely nothing is respected. Neither that resolution, nor the Dayton agreement for Bosnia, not the Ohrid Agreement for Macedonia – nothing. There is a Big Brother who is in control and says who must and who must not lead a country,” said Nedelkovski.
And now Macedonia will have a government with members of the KLA, which committed the gravest crimes – but then the criminals were pardoned through political consensus – and in the end, Macedonians will be brought before the court, ordinary people who on April 27 entered parliament to try to protect their country, their language, heritage, history, concluded the Macedonian journalist.
According to Milovan Drecun, chairman of the Serbian Assembly’s Committee on Kosovo and Metohija, all this implies that the region will be destabilized in the coming period.
“This is about the obvious strengthening of Albanian nationalism, even, I would say, of Greater Albania nationalism, which is best reflected through those political parties whose leaders are former members of terrorist organizations that caused the wars in Kosovo, in southern Serbia, and in Macedonia. They are, at the same time, leaders of organized criminal groups, so we see a terrifying complicity of organized crime, terrorism and political structures,” says Drecun.
Asked what enabled such a situation, he said that the extremely high tolerance demonstrated by the West towards the structures of the terrorist KLA, and those that are derived from this formation, certainly had the consequence of strengthening the parties in question.
“The failure to prosecute these political leaders, not only for war crimes but also for organized crime, allowed them to be free people, to stand for election, to have a lot of money from criminal activities, to have the ability to intimidate, to control the areas inhabited by Albanians. Then it becomes quite clear why they are so present in political life,” said Drecun.
According to him, Serbia cannot influence these processes.
“All it can do is influence the Serbs in the parliament in Pristina to be united and prevent unilateral moves of Albanians that may lead to destabilization, and to take strong diplomatic activities toward the countries that have a decisive influence on Albanians,” he said.
Sputnik recalled that there was a brief period of animosity between the US and the KLA in 1998, when Washington designated the KLA a terrorist organization. A year later, in spring 1999, the US administration spent USD 25 million to arm and fund 10,000 KLA members during a period of 18 months. It would turn out that in this way, the KLA became one of the most successful terrorist organizations, considering that it managed to realize all its goals of the time in only 18 months, said Sputnik.