24 March 1999 was a day of gross shame and ignominy in the historical annals of Britain and America. It was the day when the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation became the North American Terrorist Organisation. NATO, for the first time since its founding in 1949, launched a vicious, unprovoked and illegal attack against the sovereign nation of Yugoslavia, in a preplanned act of aggression sponsored by US President Bill Clinton.
The 78 days of NATO air strikes took place without the necessary UN Security Council authorisation. It is equally loathsome that Clinton’s violence against the Serbs, who were our gallant allies in the battle against Hitler and the Nazis in World War II, was aided and abetted by his subservient poodle, the then British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
At one stroke NATO overturned the fundamental purpose of its founding charter, which committed it to assuring the freedom of its constituent members by means of a purely defensive system of collective security against the threat of the then Soviet Union. Instead, it acted, in collusion with the United States, as the tool of war of the European Union, whose German-led policy actively pursued the dismembering of Yugoslavia.
The policy was a resurfacing of the historical persecution of Serbia by Nazi Germany and the Vatican, when during World War II the fascist puppet state of Croatia perpetrated the most horrendous crimes against the orthodox Serbs.
Belligerence driven by German policy
NATO’s German General Klaus Naumann, who honoured his country’s Nazi past by demanding that the gravestones of World War II German soldiers, including those of SS members, should have their ranks displayed, told Der Spiegel in 1995: “German troops will be engaged for the maintenance of the free market and access, without hindrance, to the raw materials of the entire world.”
Such unashamed belligerence reflected the metamorphosis of Germany’s military psychology from being purely defensive in the 1950s to openly aggressive in the 1990s.
In 1999, at a London conference marking the 50th anniversary of NATO, Naumann made clear his future plans for the organisation, and specifically Germany’s role within it, by threatening: “[…] anyone who dares to raise his weapons against NATO will not have a good time in the long run.”
Vatican aggression against the Serbs
As an excuse for its bombing campaign, NATO invented fictitious Serb ‘aggression’ in Kosovo. This lie was demolished by the fact that the so-called Kosovo ‘Liberation’ Army (KLA) had already been pursuing a relentless campaign of terror against Serbia. 60,000 Serbs had been the victims of KLA-conducted ethnic cleansing in the previous few years, a fact which understandably provoked Serbia into justified retaliatory self-defence; but the Western media manipulated the truth and falsely portrayed Serbia as the assailant.
The Serbs, like the Protestants of Northern Ireland, have been a consistent thorn in the flesh of the Vatican, particularly in its plans to establish an EU Superstate. During the Hitler era, under the auspices of Archbishop Stepinac – that mass murderer whom the Pope beatified in 1998 – the fascist Roman Catholic statelet of Croatia systematically slaughtered a quarter of a million Orthodox Serbs, and forcibly converted over a million of them to Roman Catholicism.
The KLA was a very convenient pawn in the Vatican’s obsession to dismember Yugoslavia and attack Serbia; indeed, the whole campaign against Yugoslavia, beginning with the illegal secession of Slovenia and Croatia in 1991, was aptly described by the Russian nationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky as “a Vatican plot”. In 2001 he told the Duma (the Russian Parliament): “A march to the East via the Catholic Church is actually taking place: NATO expands to the East, the Catholic Church expands to the East.”
The Vatican’s Nazi-sponsored crimes against the Serbs by the Croatian Ustashi in 1941-1943 are best documented and illustrated in Avro Manhattan’s book The Vatican’s Holocaust
and Monica Farrell’s Ravening Wolves – neither to be read by the faint-hearted. In some countries Manhattan’s book is still on the banned list.
In a campaign reminiscent of the Nazi propaganda machine of Goebbels and foreshadowing the similar portrayal of the Ukraine crisis of 2014, the Western media systematically distorted and manipulated the facts, methodically maligning and punishing the Serbs. World TV stations showed pictures of columns of refugees – not only well-dressed, but also photographed in strangely contradictory climatic conditions – allegedly fleeing Serb persecution. Remarkably, this spectacle was never seen before the NATO attack, for in reality these unfortunate people were forced to take flight from NATO bombing.
The Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Aleksy II, rightly accused NATO of starting the war and of committing “a sin before God” and “an act of aggression against a sovereign state [Yugoslavia]” without the UN authorisation required by international law. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov got it right too when he said on 26 March 1999 that NATO had “perpetrated a double crime on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – aggression and genocide of innocent people”, including “serious infringement of the Geneva Convention of 1949”.
The Pope’s “blessed silence”
The world-renowned Austrian author Peter Handke well knew the ultimate source of this aggression: on 25 March he sent an open letter to the media in which he sarcastically ‘thanked’ the Pope for his “blessed silence”! It should be remembered that the Vatican’s silence in two World Wars indicated its complicity with German Nazi militarism.
How symbolical that, on 27 March, in the first wave of the NATO attack, it was German tornado aircraft that dropped four huge 900-kg bombs on Sumarice, where in 1941 the fascists killed 7,000 Serbs in one single day, including 300 schoolchildren. In the words of Serbia Information, the “new world fascists”, “new barbarians” with “perverted minds”, who had “never heard” about Sumarice, “returned to the scene of the crime”.
This fully vindicates the claim that what the Germans failed to achieve in Yugoslavia during World War II they were now attempting to finish off – with the help of their former enemies Britain and America – an analysis echoed by Radio Yugoslavia’s announcement on 1 April: “With the aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the use of enormous military and destructive potentials, the governments of the US, Great Britain and France have humiliated and discredited the historic alliance and friendship between the nations of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the nations of their states, and the German government has once again harmed the unhealed wounds of World War II.”
NATO – the tool of European neo-fascism
As in today’s Ukraine, the defence-turned-aggressor alliance NATO was doing the dirty work of the neo-fascists of Europe. Radio Yugoslavia announced: “Around 5 a.m. on Thursday, 1 April, the NATO criminal aviation tore down the bridge across the Danube river, located some 500 metres from the centre of Novi Sad. […] The bridge was also torn down by Hitler’s fascist army in 1944.
With the bombing of this bridge, the NATO aggressor has once again confirmed his fascist strategy based on the destruction of civilian facilities and relevant infrastructure links, [while] presenting its public with a false picture of destroying only military facilities.”
This raid was a symbolical repetition of history; for it also damaged the monument to the victims of the notorious 1941 Novi Sad raid in which Hungarian fascists killed and disposed of the bodies of over 4,000 Serbs and Jews by throwing them into the icy waters of the River Danube. The bridge which Radio Yugoslavia said “has been razed by the fascists of the New World Order”, is scarcely 100 metres away from this monument.
Instrumental in the anti-Serb plan of action was the then US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, whose life was saved by the Serbs in 1939 after she escaped from the Nazis and found refuge in the Serbian village of Varnatchka Bana. 60 years later this village was bombed by NATO and the same people who hosted her as a child were forced to flee. An unexploded bomb in the village was adorned with the graffiti message “Thank you, Mrs Albright, for the gift sent to us in exchange for our hospitality.” It is not widely known that in 1998 Albright had explicitly stated that the UN Charter respecting the international sovereignty of states was no longer recognised by the United States.
In other words, the bombing of Serbia was conducted in the full prior knowledge that it was in breach of international law.
Tearing up its own Charter
NATO, that once great organisation which effectively protected the West in the days of the USSR, had thus become an instrument of belligerence and terror, despite the fact that the provisions of its charter are exclusively defensive. The charter describes NATO’s purpose as “to promote the common values of its members” and “to unite their efforts for collective defence” (Preamble), the “peaceful resolution of disputes” (Article 1) and the use of members’ armed forces for “collective self-defence” only (Article 5). All signatory countries accordingly made a solemn declaration that they would never attack another State, yet on 24 March 1999 they collectively and systematically assaulted Serbia.
It was Washington-led political gang rape, a mega-cowardice operation characteristic of the mentality of Clinton – the man who lacked the courage to do his national service – a man who never wore military uniform in his life and yet by some mind-boggling process became the Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful armed forces in the world.
The Russians, who were provided with a forum for consultations with NATO through the North Atlantic Co-operation Council of 1991, were rightly angry that their approval was not sought; for not only did Britain and America ignore the provision for “joint consultations” (Article 4) and therefore act illegally, but they did so in the absence of a situation where “a member is threatened” (Article 4).
The Serbs had threatened no member of NATO. They are a small Balkan nation who demonstrated the greatest courage, endurance and stability in the course of the chequered history of Europe. Furthermore, the NATO Charter (Article 7) provides for the actual precedence – not just the affirmation – of members’ obligations under the United Nations Charter, which expressly forbids both direct and indirect interference in the internal affairs of a UN member State. This violation justifiably provoked the anger of the then Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Prelude to Ukraine
The symbolism of the Balkans War was ominous. It was there that World War I had its beginning, there too that the Germans and their Croatian collaborators perpetrated some of their most barbaric World War II atrocities. For the first time since 1945 German planes and bombs rained down on Serbia, and then as now Britain and America treacherously abandoned their former allies and supported their historical enemies.
In their manifest lack of historical knowledge, from which their ignorance of Serb sensitivity must flow, Clinton and Blair were accused by the Russian President of creating a chaotic situation which could trigger World War III. Soon their illegal campaign of aggression against the Serbs expanded the violence into neighbouring Balkan countries and dramatically worsened the situation in Kosovo, which seceded from Serbia in 2008 without a referendum – despite [Barack] Obama’s ignorant reference to “the referendum in Kosovo”.
There are striking similarities to the present situation in Ukraine, where Washington, Brussels and NATO are once again deploying gross propaganda rhetoric designed to obscure the facts and provide a ‘moral’ basis for aggressive action. This time the scapegoat is Russia. They pretended that the aim of the bloody coup which they sponsored in Kiev involving militants from the neo-Nazi Right Sector was to achieve ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’; yet now, when the illegal coup administration in Kiev has itself attempted violent military suppression of the democratic protests by Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the country’s south-east, there is not a cheep of condemnation from the West.
History is attempting to repeat itself. An anonymous proverb says that every time history repeats itself the price goes up – both the price demanded by the terrorists, and the price paid by the innocent. NATO vandalism in Ukraine sponsored by Obama with the moral support of Hague, like NATO vandalism in Serbia sponsored by Clinton and Blair, must be stopped before it inflames another world conflict.
Happily, the difference this time is that such sheer hypocrisy and double standards, facilitated by the blatant lies of the mainstream Western media, have more than met their match in the calm and mature statesmanship of President [Vladimir] Putin. Faced with dangerous provocation, he has become the world’s most respected leader today. It is thanks to his diplomacy that the West’s geopolitical scheming is being thwarted.