The legacy of NATO's illegal attack against Yugoslavia
Kosovo has never been closer to a civil war. The mutual trust, the bortherly relations, the inter-cultural friendship which co-existed between Serbs and Albanians was destroyed by the KLA, aided and abetted by the USA in its criminal interference and intrusion into the internal affairs of a sovereign state. The result, five years on, is visible.
At least 22 people are dead and more than 500 injured, many seriously, after the worst ethnic violence in the history of Kosovo-Metohija, causing hundreds of UN police and NATO soldiers to be drafted into the area.
The violence started when a Serbian boy of 18 was shot dead in Caglavica by Albanians driving past in a car. The following day, a group of Serbs chased three Albanian children, who drowned in the River Ibar. On Wednesday, there were mass riots between the communities involving machine-gun fire, grenades and small arms.
This was not an isolated incident. There were attacks against Serbs and burnings of Serb houses in Mitrovica (north), in Lipljan and Gnjilane (east), in Caglavica and Kosovo Polje, near the capital, Pristina (centre) and in Belo Polje and Pec (west), provoking a series of demonstrations across Serbia.
Harri Holkeri, the UN administrator of Kosovo, called the incident a "black day". However, it was far more than this. Since NATO attacked the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999 for its campaign to oust the terrorist organization KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army, or Ushtria Clirimtare e Kosoves, in Albanian), in what was, is and always has been an integral part of Yugoslavia and the cornerstone of the Serb nation (Kosovo Polje), there has been an indiscriminate campaign by Albanians to force out the Serbs who remained.
200,000 Serbs fled their homes in the wake of the NATO attack and the extremists aim to keep them away, as Albanians pour over the frontier from Albania itself, to have children in Kosovo and therefore gain their birthright, a practice which has happened for decades in an orchestrated attempt to build a Greater Albania. Whether or not NATO (the USA) was blind or party to this is not clear, however what is known is that leading members of the terrorist organization, KLA, were wined and dined at the House of Congress in Washington before the NATO attack.
Serbia's Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica stated yesterday that "events in the northern part of Kosovo-Metohija reveal the true nature of Albanian separatism, its violent and terrorist character". A bomb defused outside the UNMIK Headquarters earlier this month gives rise to fears that international terrorist cells are among the Albanians, trying to sow the seeds of chaos in the area to create the conditions to force out the remaining Serbs and the UNO so that the core business of the KLA - drugs, arms and human trafficking - can proceed without disturbance.
This is what Slobodan Milosevic was trying to halt, before his country was savagely attacked by NATO and before he was kidnapped and taken to The Hague.
What happens next? Vojislav Kostunica favours a division of Kosovo-Metihija into cantons, while the Albanians are against any separation at all. None would have been necessary if NATO had not interfered in the delicate and complex fibre of the Balkans' unique political and ethnic mix with its imperialist and warmongering policies.
There is now serious doubt as to whether anything will be resolved by the elections next autumn.