BBC Documentary: US-KLA Provoked War With Serbia

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Offline spangler

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BBC Documentary: US-KLA Provoked War With Serbia
« on: February 28, 2010, 01:04:30 PM »
British documentary substantiates US-KLA collusion in provoking war with Serbia

Related Sunday Times article alleges CIA role

By Chris Marsden
16 March 2000


On Sunday, March 12, Britain's BBC2 television channel ran a documentary by Alan Little entitled "Moral Combat: NATO At War". The program contained damning evidence of how the Clinton administration set out to create a pretext for declaring war against the Milosevic regime in Serbia by sponsoring the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), then pressed this decision on its European allies. The revelations in the documentary were reinforced by an accompanying article in the Sunday Times.

Little conducted frank interviews with leading players in the Kosovo conflict, the most pertinent being those with US Secretary of State Madeline Albright, Assistant Secretary of State James Rubin, US Envoy Richard Holbrooke, William Walker, head of the UN Verification Mission, and KLA leader Hashim Thaci. These were supplemented by many others.

The documentary set out to explain how "a shared enmity towards Milosevic" made "allies of a shadowy band of guerrillas and the most powerful nations on earth”.

Ever since the Bosnian war of 1995, the KLA, seeking to capitalise on popular resentment among Kosovan Albanians against the regime in Belgrade, had pursued a strategy of destabilising the Serbian province of Kosovo by acts of terrorism, in the hope that the US and NATO would intervene. They ambushed Serb patrols and killed policemen.

"Any armed action we undertook would bring retaliation against civilians," KLA leader Thaci explained. "We knew we were endangering a great number of civilian lives." The benefits of this strategy were made plain by Dug Gorani, a Kosovo Albanian negotiator not tied to the KLA: "The more civilians were killed, the chances of international intervention became bigger, and the KLA of course realised that. There was this foreign diplomat who once told me, 'Look, unless you pass the quota of five thousand deaths you'll never have anybody permanently present in Kosovo from foreign diplomacy.'"

Albright was receptive to the KLA's strategy because the US was anxious to stage a military conflict with Serbia. Her series of interviews began chillingly with the words: "I believed in the ultimate power, the goodness of the power of the allies and led by the United States." The KLA's campaign of provocations was seized upon as the vehicle through which the use of this power could be sanctioned.

A March 5, 1998 attack by the Serbian army on the home in Prekaz of a leading KLA commander, Adem Jashari, in which 53 people died, became the occasion for a meeting of the Contact group of NATO powers four days later. Albright pushed for a tough anti-Serbian response. "I thought it behoved me to say to my colleagues that we could not repeat the kinds of mistakes that had happened over Bosnia, where there was a lot of talk and no action," she told Little.

NATO threatened Belgrade with a military response for the first time. "The ambitions of the KLA, and the intentions of the NATO allies, were converging," Little commented. He then showed how a subsequent public meeting between US Envoy Richard Holbrooke and KLA personnel at Junik angered Belgrade and gave encouragement to the Albanian separatists. General Nebojsa Pavkovic, the commander of the Yugoslav army in Kosovo, states, "When the official ambassador of another country arrives here, ignores state officials, but holds a meeting with the Albanian terrorists, then it's quite clear they are getting support."

Lirak Cejal, a KLA soldier, went further, "I knew that since then, that the USA, NATO, will put us in their hands. They were looking for the head of the KLA, and when they found it they will have it in their hand, and then they will control the KLA."

By October 1998 NATO had succeeded in imposing a cease-fire agreement, partly by threat of force and partly because of Serbia's success in routing the KLA. A cease-fire monitoring force [the Kosovo Verification Mission] was sent into the province under the auspices of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and headed by William Walker.

The interview with Cejal is the only reference to US control of the KLA in Little's documentary, and then it is only anecdotal. It seems that the BBC for its own reasons chose to back-pedal on this issue, given the article in the Sunday Times that ran the same day Little's documentary was aired.

Times journalists Tom Walker and Aidan Laverty wrote: "Several Americans who were directly involved in CIA activities or close to them have spoken to the makers of Moral Combat, a documentary to be broadcast on BBC2 tonight, and to The Sunday Times about their clandestine roles ‘in giving covert assistance to the KLA' before NATO began its bombing campaign in Kosovo."

The Sunday Times explained that the anonymous sources "admitted they helped to train the Kosovo Liberation Army". They add that CIA officers were "cease-fire monitors in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999, developing ties with the KLA and giving American military training manuals and field advice on fighting the Yugoslav army and Serbian police.”

The Times article continued: "When the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which co-ordinated the monitoring, left Kosovo a week before airstrikes began a year ago, many of its satellite telephones and global positioning systems were secretly handed to the KLA, ensuring that guerrilla commanders could stay in touch with NATO and Washington. Several KLA leaders had the mobile phone number of General Wesley Clark, the NATO commander."

The article goes on to cite unnamed "European diplomats then working for the OSCE" who "claim it was betrayed by an American policy that made air strikes inevitable." They cite a European envoy accusing OSCE head of mission Walker of running a CIA operation: "The American agenda consisted of their diplomatic observers, aka the CIA, operating on completely different terms to the rest of Europe and the OSCE."

Walker was the American ambassador to El Salvador when the US was helping to suppress leftist rebels there and is widely suspected of being a CIA operative. He denies this, but admitted to the Sunday Times that the CIA was almost certainly involved in the countdown to air strikes: "Overnight we went from having a handful of people to 130 or more. Could the agency have put them in at that point? Sure they could. It's their job."

The newspaper cites the more candid comments of its CIA sources: "It was a CIA front, gathering intelligence on the KLA's arms and leadership," one says. "I'd tell them [the KLA] which hill to avoid, which wood to go behind, that sort of thing," said another.

To back up these claims, the Sunday Times notes that Shaban Shala, a KLA commander now active in the campaign to destabilise ethnic Albanian areas in Serbia, claims to have met British, American and Swiss agents in northern Albania in 1996.

Little's BBC documentary makes no such explicit suggestion of CIA backing for the KLA, but it does put flesh on the bones of how the cease-fire became the occasion for strengthening the separatists' grip on Kosovo. He explains that wherever the Serbs withdrew their forces in compliance with the agreement, the KLA moved in. KLA military leader Agim Ceku says, "The cease-fire was very useful for us, it helped us to get organised, to consolidate and grow." Nothing was done to prevent this, despite Serbian protests.

Little explains that the BBC has obtained confidential minutes of the North Atlantic Council or NAC, NATO's governing body, which state that the KLA was "the main initiator of the violence" and that privately Walker called its actions a "deliberate campaign of provocation". It was this covert backing for the KLA by the US which provoked Serbia into ending its cease-fire and sending the army back into Kosovo.

The next major turn of events leading up to NATO's war against Serbia was the alleged massacre of ethnic Albanians at Racek on January 15, 1999. To this day, the issue of whether Serbian forces killed civilians in revenge attacks at Racek is hotly contested by Belgrade, which claims that the KLA staged the alleged massacre, using corpses from earlier fighting.

It is certainly the case that when the Serb forces pulled out after announcing the killing of 15 KLA personnel, international monitors who entered the village reported nothing unusual. It was not until the following morning, after the KLA had retaken control of the village, that Walker made a visit and announced that a massacre by the Serbian police and the Yugoslav army had occurred. Little confirms that Walker had contacted both Holbrooke and General Clarke before making his announcement.

Racek was to prove the final pretext for a declaration of war, but first Washington had to make sure that the European powers, which, aside from Britain, were still pushing for a diplomatic solution, would come on board. Talks were convened at Rambouillet, France backed by the threat of war.

Little explains: "The Europeans, some reluctant converts to the threat of force, earnestly pressed for an agreement both the Serbs and the Albanians could accept. But the Americans were more sceptical. They had come to Rambouillet with an alternative outcome in mind."

Both Albright and Rubin are extraordinarily candid about what they set out to accomplish at Rambouillet. They presented an ultimatum that the Serbian government could not possibly accept, because it demanded a NATO occupation of not just Kosovo, but unrestricted access to the whole of Serbia. As Serbian General Pavcovic comments: "They would have unlimited rights of movement and deployment, little short of occupation. Nobody could accept it."

This was the US's intention. Albright told the BBC: "If the Serbs would not agree [to the Rambouillet ultimatum], and the Albanians would agree, then there was a very clear cause for using force." Rubin added, "Obviously, publicly, we had to make clear we were seeking an agreement, but privately we knew the chances of the Serbs agreeing were quite small."

KLA leader Thaci was the only problem, because he was demanding the inclusion of a referendum on independence. So Albright was despatched on St. Valentines Day to take charge of winning him over. Veton Suroi, a political rival of the KLA involved in the talks, gives a candid description of Albright's message to Thaci: "She was saying, you sign, the Serbs don't sign, we bomb. You sign, the Serbs sign, you have NATO in. So it's up to you."

After three weeks of discussions, Thaci finally agreed to sign the Rambouillet Accord. The path was cleared for the US to begin an open war against Serbia, a war that had been prepared with the aid of CIA dirty tricks and political manoeuvring with terrorist forces.




link


Moral Combat - NATO at War - Part 1

Offline spangler

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Re: BBC Documentary: US-KLA Provoked War With Serbia
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2010, 01:07:27 PM »
Full Transcript Part I


"MORAL COMBAT : NATO AT WAR"
A BBC2 special, 9pm Sunday 12 March 2000
Reporter Allan Little


ALAN LITTLE      
It is almost a year since NATO went to war in Europe.

CAPTAIN PAT MCKENZIE, USAF
It was an amazing feeling. I felt very proud to be doing what I was doing.  A war not for self-
interest, but for a noble ideal.

PRESIDENT CLINTON ON TV
Our Mission is clear - to demonstrate the seriousness of NATO's purpose..

LITTLE
This is the story of the bitter divisions which emerged among those tasked to fight it..

LT GEN MIKE SHORT
COMMANDER, ALLIED AIR FORCES
I thought, I just cant I can't do this anymore. I don't, I don't believe that we're doing this right

President Clinton On TV
..to deter an even bloodier offensive against innocent civilians in Kosovo.

LITTLE
.. of those who'd learned the stark and terrible lesson that liberation would require sacrifice..

DUGI GORANI
KOSOVO ALBANIAN NEGOTIATOR
Every single Albanian realised that the more civilians die, intervention comes nearer..

LITTLE
…of how a moral crusade brought a last frenzy of terror.

VALENTINA HAKLAJ
He tell me if you don't call your father I will kill you, or your family. I will kill all of you…

UPSOF PILOT
There's cloud in the area, but you may be able to get the drop in - okay.

TONY BLAIR
BRITISH PRIME MINISTER
The moral purpose was very simple. A gross injustice had been done to people, right on the
doorstep of the European Union, which we were in a position to prevent and reverse, and we
had to do that…

LITTLE
It is the story of a bold experiment to match military might to moral purpose, .of how that
experiment spun dangerously out of control, and of how high ideals, in the end, walked hand
in hand with revenge.

Kosovo, November last year.  Five months after NATO won its war to end the oppression of
one group by another, a Serbian family drove, by chance, into a crowd celebrating Albanian
Independence Day.

Anonymous woman
This group flipped over the car, set the gas tank on fire, the car started to burn, so my parents
had a choice either to burn alive in the car or to get out.   These bunch of people just grabbed
them and started to hit them with fists, punched them, with metal bars with everything … the
rest were just standing watching and cheering. It was a lot of people, it was a big crowd. They
were determined to kill them. And then somebody shot my father.

LITTLE
Her father died instantly. His wife and her mother were beaten to unconsciousness.  One
British UN police officer saw the mob make murder part of their festivities.

BERNIE COWAN
UN POLICE
It was like a victory for them, the fact that this - they were celebrating their independence for
the first time for so many years - this was like the icing on the cake for them and you could
see it in their faces.

LITTLE
Vengeance has been unleashed in Kosovo - in streets patrolled by NATO troops.

BERNIE COWAN
That night I just thought these are three innocent Serbian people. Just how could they do that
to three innocent people?

LITTLE
Dragoslav Besic was a professor of civil engineering  who'd taught  at the Universities of
Oxford and Berkeley.

Anonymous woman 
It was basically a highlight of their celebration. It was a lynch.  It was not an ordinary killing.

BERNIE COWAN
They were chanting UCK!   I found out, later on, through one of the interpreters, that they had
been chanting: "three more Serbs dead".

LITTLE
UCK is Albanian for KLA, the Kosovo Liberation Army.  The KLA hold the whip hand here
now. There is a state of lawlessness that grew directly out of the manner of Kosovo's
liberation.  The KLA sprang from the desperation of a brutally oppressed people for whom
peaceful resistance had failed. The war in neighbouring Bosnia taught them the value of a
resort to the gun.  Even the children understand it.

VETON SURROI
KOSOVO ALBANIAN POLITICAL LEADER
There is a message that is being sent to the Kosovars - if you want to draw international
attention you have to fight for it. That is exactly it. You need to use violence to achieve your
goals.

LITTLE
From the remote wooded hillsides of rural Kosovo, they embarked on a strategy to draw the
world's most powerful military alliance into their struggle.  They began in the villages from
which they sprang, a shadowy civilian militia force emerging from - and melting back into -
the civilian population that sustained them.  They aimed to make the roads that held Kosovo
together too dangerous for the Serb forces to control them.

DUGI GORANI
KOSOVO ALBANIAN DELEGATE
It was a hit and run strategy, done usually by very small groups of three to four people and the
aim of these ambushes was to promote themselves.

GENERAL NEBOJSA PAVKOVIC
COMMANDER, YUGOSLAV ARMY IN KOSOVO
We saw the KLA as a serious threat as something which could endanger the Yugoslav army.

LITTLE
They began to ambush Serb patrols, killing policemen, then disappearing as rapidly as they
had struck, an invisible Commando force.  Serb casualties mounted. Would the West see them
as victims of terrorism, or of legitimate peoples' uprising?

JAMIE RUBIN
US ASST SECRETARY OF STATE
Killing postmen or killing Serb civilians in cold blood - those are terrorist acts that we do
believe were wrong and unfortunately that was what the KLA was pursuing at the time.

LITTLE
It was a calculated but dangerous gamble. The KLA's political leader Hashim Thaqi now
admits that he knew the Serbs would retaliate against innocent civilians.

HASIM THACI
KLA LEADER
Any armed action we undertook would bring retaliation against civilians.  We knew we were
endangering a great number of civilian lives.

LITTLE
Their desperate calculation was to draw the world into Kosovo's feud.

DUGI GORANI
KOSOVO ALBANIAN NEGOTIATOR
The more civilians were killed, the chances of international intervention became bigger, and
the KLA of course realised that.  There was this foreign diplomat who once told me 'Look
unless you pass the quota of five thousand deaths you'll never have anybody permanently
present in Kosovo from the foreign diplomacy.

LITTLE
The western world was still haunted by a profound collective guilt: it knew it  had waited too
long to intervene in Bosnia. Now one woman  resolved not to make the same mistake again.

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT
US SECRETARY OF STATE
I believed in the ultimate power, the goodness of the power of the allies and led by the United
States.  We were dealing which such a basic evil, that could not be tolerated.

LITTLE
That evil was the Milosevic regime. For more than a decade, he had wrapped himself in the
symbols of Serb identity. He'd persuaded the Serbian  people that they were surrounded by
predatory enemies, and led them to war against their neighbours. Milosevic needs conflict to
stay in power.  The world had failed to defend the Bosnians against Milosevic. In 1995, Serb
forces marched into Srebrenica and murdered seven thousand Bosnian Muslim men and boys.
In the west, many came to believe that the lessons of Bosnia could now be applied to the very
different circumstances of Kosovo.

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT
Milosevic was the same, evil Milosevic who had started this whole thing actually in Kosovo
by denying them of their rights. And that we just had to stand up.

LITTLE
On March 5th 1998, Serb forces began an action that illustrated that very point of view. They
attacked the home of a leading KLA commander called Adem Jashari, in the stronghold of
Prekaz. The Serbs regarded this as legitimate anti-terrorist policing. It was the start of a brutal
campaign that would lose them Kosovo.

VILLAGER
About six o'clock or seven o'clock in the morning we just saw about two thousand or two
hundred soldiers or police, they were coming up…

LITTLE
As their home was being destroyed even the Jashari children  understood the value of
appealing to the world.  As though heirs to an ancient tradition of epic tale telling.

BESARTA JASHARI
No-one is taking action in Kosovo. A war has started. They are burning our houses, they are
killing people, children. They are burning our houses.  No-one is taking action for poor
Kosovo. They are burning the women and children and dumping them in the woods.  The
woods are surrounded so we cannot collect the bodies, no one is helping us.  We are suffering.
What did we do to Serbia, to deserve this?  They burnt our houses.

NEBOJSA PAVKOVIC
COMMANDER, YUGOSLAV ARMY IN KOSOVO
There was a standard police operation in that village, I don't know all the details.  I know it
involved the arrest of a notorious criminal, someone condemned for criminal offences. And
that it was successfully executed.  I don't remember the other details.

LITTLE
These are the details he doesn't care to  remember. Fifty three members of the Jashari family 
were killed. What were KLA ambushes compared to this? Albanian leaders appealed to the
wider world.

VETON SURROI
KOSOVO ALBANIAN POLITICAL LEADER
As soon as we got the photographs we put them on the internet because that was the most
horrendous thing we had seen until then. Kids, shot dead, were images of a war that people
needed to see. We were shocked and we thought that other people needed to see this because
this was getting out of control.

LITTLE
Four days later, foreign ministers from allied countries met at Lancaster House in London:
The ghosts of Bosnia were there too.

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT
Not only was it a deja-vu about the subject generally, but we were in the same room that we
had been in during Bosnian discussions. I thought it behoved me to say to my colleagues that
we could not repeat the kinds of mistakes that had happened over Bosnia, where there was a
lot of talk and no action and that history would judge us very, very severely.

ROBIN COOK
FOREIGN SECRETARY
She was very vigorous in making it clear that we had to prevent Milosevic from repeating in
Kosovo what he had attempted to do in Bosnia.

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT
I think I probably seemed quite harsh to my colleagues. But I decided it was worth it.

LITTLE
A shared enmity towards  Milosevic was making allies of a shadowy band of guerrillas, and
the most powerful nations on earth. The ambitions of the KLA, and the intentions of the
NATO allies, were converging.   The massacre at Prekaz made popular heroes of the KLA.
Kosovo's Cornfield Cavalry grew exponentially.  It was openly challenging the mighty
Yugoslav Army to do its worst. Thousands answered the call to arms. They were ill-
disciplined, and untrained.  It was a spontaneous uprising of village militias.  Milosevic
regarded the KLA as a terrorist organisation funded by drug barons. But the US wanted to
reach out to them. Richard Holbrooke - the US envoy who'd brokered Bosnia's peace deal -
went to seek them out.

VETON SURROI
KOSOVO ALBANIAN POLITICAL LEADER
The idea was Holbrooke wanted to come and see for himself what was going on.

RICHARD HOLBROOKE
US BALKANS ENVOY
I made a trip out to the Albanian border and we went out to a small town called Junik which
was under siege and completely surrounded by Serb forces.

VETON SURROI
We had consulted whether it would be good to go together and meet the KLA there. And then
we went,  and he wanted to see himself how the KLA looked like.

RICHARD HOLBROOKE
US BALKANS ENVOY
It was a benchmark event. But it wasn't planned. Every once in a while things happen which
aren't planned.

VETON SURROI
It was prepared beforehand, the KLA were notified that we were going to be there… so they
sent one of their officers there.

RICHARD HOLBROOKE
We got into this Albanian village, we met with the village leader and as we were meeting with
him seated in his living room upstairs, on the floor , Albanian style a guy sat down, wedged
himself in between him and me cradling his Kalishnikov. This guy was very good at photo ops
and he got photographed with me. He understood how to handle the world media beautifully
and this photograph became the first official photograph of an American official with a
member of the KLA.  Snap!

VETON SURROI
Holbrooke was not very much impressed by that meeting - it didn't leave much breathing
space, physical breathing space to Holbrooke either, because they were so compressed with
each other.

RICHARD HOLBROOKE
I was not happy, because you don't like to be surprised in a situation like that. This sent all
sorts of confusing signals to people round the world. Milosevic was furious. I was meeting
with these rebel terrorists as he put it.

GENERAL NEBOJSA PAVKOVIC
COMMANDER, YUGOSLAV ARMY IN KOSOVO
When the official ambassador of another country arrives here, ignores state officials, but holds
a meeting with the Albanian terrorists, then it's quite clear they are getting support.

RICHARD HOLBROOKE
Albanians were very encouraged.

LITTLE
KLA Albanians in particular understood its importance to them.

LIRAK CELAJ
KLA FIGHTER
I knew that since then, that USA, NATO, will put us in their hands. They were looking for the
head of the KLA and when they found it they will have in their hand and then they will
control the KLA.

LITTLE
With renewed confidence that the world was now at last taking heed, the KLA made
astonishing advances From countryside strongholds they now held major cities in their sights.
In the city of Pec, half the population was Serb. The rise of the KLA terrified them.  Pec is the
home of Serbian Orthodox Christianity.  They call it the cradle of Serb identity.

FATHER MIRJLKO KORICANIN
PARISH PRIEST, PEC
Serbs could not move around freely during the day, let alone at night.  Our youth couldn't stay
out after 10pm. We panicked if they weren't back on time.

LITTLE
This is a predominantly Serb neighbourhood. But Albanians lived here too, among the Serbs,
as neighbours.  Valmir and Valentina, an Albanian brother and sister, had grown up here,
counting Serbs and Albanians alike as friends.  The Rajcavic family next door were Serbs. 
But good neighbourliness would not survive the fear and suspicion that was sweeping in from
the surrounding countryside.

VALMIR HAKLAJ
We used to play basketball together - go to each other houses to watch movies together.

LITTLE
Mladen Raicevic and his brothers were policemen.  One night that summer his youngest
brother was wounded in a KLA ambush. Mladen turned his anger on his neighbours.

VALENTINA HAKLAJ
He came here, and came with his brother Obrad, in our house. He told my father 'If somebody
upset my family, my woman or my child, I will kill all of you..

VALMIR HAKLAJ
He said 'I am warning you. It's your choice'. As they left his brother slapped me.

LITTLE
It was a chilling forewarning  of what lay ahead.  The KLA's summer confidence didn't last
long. Milosevic responded with a ruthless and indiscriminate  counter-offensive.  The KLA
were immediately in the run.  But not only the KLA.

Refugee man (unknown)
Look ten people are sleeping here!

LITTLE
Hundreds of thousands of Albanian civilians fled. As the autumn chill closed in, they faced
starvation and disease. These pictures pushed international opinion over the edge. NATO told
Milosevic to pull his forces back to barracks.  For the first time they backed it with a threat to
bomb.  Richard Holbrooke went to Belgrade to deliver that threat in person.

RICHARD HOLBROOKE
We had the planes on the run way in Italy fuelled up. We picked the targets. At my request the
Joint Chiefs of Staff sent with me on the second half of the negotiating effort. General Short,
the actual commander who was going to do the bombing. Milosevic had never met the
General before.

LT GENERAL MIKE SHORT
COMMANDER, ALLIED AIR FORCES
I don't want to say that I was thrilled because I wasn't. Or that I was impressed because I
wasn't. This man is a mass murderer.  We had just sat down when Milosevic leaned forward
without any small talk or breaking of the ice and leaned forward and said 'So you are the man
who is going to bomb me'. And I will admit that I was stunned.

RICHARD HOLBROOKE
So using a line we had practised on the plane, Short said 'Mr President, I've got U2s in one
hand and B52s in the other. It's up to you which I'm going to use'.

LT GENERAL MIKE SHORT
Because if you cause me to start a bombing campaign your country will never be the way you
see it today again. And in fact, we ought to stop the negotiations now, and you ought to go out
and ride around Belgrade because the way it is today, it'll never be that way again. And I
genuinely believed that.

LITTLE
Milosevic agreed to an immediate cease-fire.  He agreed to allow international observers into
Kosovo and to limit his troop numbers. It seemed that the threat of force had worked.   But
Milosevic had another reason for agreeing to the cease-fire: his fight, he believed, was over
for now. He had completed his military task.

GENERAL NEBOJSA PAVKOVIC
COMMANDER, YUGOSLAV ARMY IN KOSOVO
All the terrorist strongholds were liquidated, the terrorists scattered. Most of them handed
over their weapons, some left the weapons and ran away.

LITTLE
Milosevic pulled his troops back to barracks.  Diplomacy backed by force - appeared to be the
way to deal with him.  But it was a miscalculation.  When the allies were to try it again just
four months later, it would lead them to war.  In a world with only one Super Power - Kosovo
was becoming a global crisis.  A senior American diplomat was summoned to the State
Department. The head of the political office made him an offer that surprised and offended
him.

WILLIAM WALKER
HEAD, KOSOVO VERIFICATION MISSION
I remember thinking to myself he can't be serious sending me to Kosovo. I'm a very senior
career officer.  How could Kosovo be important enough to require my services?

LITTLE
The cease-fire agreement made it important enough. In October Walker was received by
Milosevic. His job was to make sure that Milosevic's forces complied with the cease-fire.  He
set up the headquarters of the Kosovo Verification Mission in the capital Pristina. It was
conceived as an independent, international body.  But Walker had spent a life time loyally
serving the US State Department. He saw the world from Washington's perspective. 

RICHARD HOLBROOKE
The selection of Bill Walker was made by the Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. She
knew him.. and made the choice herself.

CAPTAIN  ROLAND KEITH
KOSOVO VERIFICATION MISSION
Ambassador Walker was not just working for the OSCE. He was part of the American
diplomatic policy that was occurring which had vilified Slobodan Milosevic, demonised the
Serbian Administration and generally was providing diplomatic support to the UCK or the
KLA leadership.

LITTLE
Walker's cease-fire monitors drove round Kosovo in brightly- coloured orange vehicles. 
Their job was to watch  as Milosevic withdrew his police and returned his troops to barracks.
In the beginning, he complied. The German General Klaus Naumann had helped broker the
cease-fire deal

GENERAL KLAUS NAUMANN
CHAIRMAN, NATO MILITARY COMMITTEE
He really did what we asked him to do, he withdrew within 48 hrs some 6,000 police officers
and the military back into the barracks.  This was also confirmed by the OSCE Verification
Mission.

LITTLE
This was much harder to monitor.  Where the Serbs withdrew, the KLA moved forward,
filling the vacuum. For the cease-fire agreement had a fatal flaw. It was one sided. It had
required nothing verifiable from the KLA.

GENERAL AGIM CEKU
KLA MILITARY LEADER
The cease-fire was very useful for us, it helped us to get organised, to consolidate and grow.

WOLFGANG PETRITSCH
EU  SPECIAL ENVOY TO KOSOVO
They were really growing ever stronger from day to day, and there was nobody to really stop
them.

GENERAL AGIM CEKU
KLA MILITARY LEADER
We aimed to spread our units over as much territory as possible, we wanted KLA units and
cells across the whole of Kosovo.

LITTLE
At Podujevo, in the north of Kosovo, the KLA now filled the very positions the Serbs had
vacated. The pattern was repeated across the province.  William Walker's Deputy was a
British General. He and his colleagues could see what the KLA was doing, but had no means
of stopping or even discouraging it.

MAJ GEN JOHN DREWIENKIEWICZ
KOSOVO VERIFICATION MISSION
The Kosovo Liberation Army infiltrated forward.

WOLFGANG PETRITSCH
EU SPECIAL ENVOY TO KOSOVO
The KLA basically came back into its old positions that they held before the summer
offensive.

MAJ GEN JOHN DREWIENKIEWICZ
KOSOVO VERIFICATION MISSION
And this started to be a factor in dealing with the Serbs. Because the Serbs said to us, well
hang on, the deal was that we withdrew from these things, and you were going to police the
agreement. So can you just get these Kosovo Liberation Army out of the trenches that we were
in a month ago?

LITTLE
But they couldn't.  At NATO headquarters there was growing disquiet.  We've obtained
confidential minutes of the North Atlantic Council or NAC, NATO's governing body.  They
talk of the KLA as "the main initiator of the violence and state…" It has launched what
appears to be a deliberate campaign of provocation".  This is how William walker himself
reported the situation then, in private

GENERAL KLAUS NAUMANN
CHAIRMAN, NATO MILITARY COMMITTEE
Ambassador Walker stated in the NAC that the majority of violations was caused by the
KLA..
 
LITTLE
Walker didn't admit that in public at the time.  He still doesn't.

WILLIAM WALKER, HEAD KOSOVO VERIFICATION MISSION

Q: You told the North Atlantic Council that it was the KLA side who were largely
responsible.

A: I Would have to go back and re-read my notes.  I don't remember. most of the briefings I
gave to the North Atlantic Council was that both sides were in non-compliance.  Both sides
were doing things that were wrong.  Obviously it was easier to point at the government.

JAMIE RUBIN
US ASST SECRETARY OF STATE

Q: How far did the KLA have to go to jeopardise international backing?

A: Well again there would have been a point.  I don't know where that point came they
obviously never reached it..

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT
Q: There was no clear mechanism to punish them if they failed to behave in what you call a
reasonable way?

A: Well I think the punishment was that they would lose completely the backing of er the
United States and the Contact Group.

LITTLE
With US backing for the KLA now barely concealed, Milosevic sent the army back into action
to clear the KLA out of Podujevo. The doomed procession to war with NATO had begun. 
The KLA continued to smuggle arms over mountain passes from Albania. Albanian civilians
were press ganged  into service.  Before dawn on the fifteenth of December, they walked into
a well prepared  Serbian ambush.  Most of those taken by surprise fled back into Albania. But
31 Albanian  men were killed.  Later on the same day in an apparent act of revenge, what
remained of ethnic co-existence in the city of Pec nearby, was to be torn apart. A group of
hooded, masked men drove up to this bar which was popular with young Serbs.

LAZAR OBRADOVIC
The doors opened and then we heard the machine gun fire …"

LITTLE
Lazar's teenage son, Ivan, was in the bar.  He was a bright and promising school boy, who'd
come top of his class..

LAZAR OBRADOVIC
It was a horrifying sight.  We tried to help those that were still moving.  There was blood
everywhere.  Ivan didn't stand a chance. He was sitting right by the door. So he was the first
one to be hit.

FATHER MIRJLKO KORICANIN
PARISH PRIEST, PEC
The situation in Pec became unbearable. The Serbs couldn't stand the Albanians because they
had killed 6 children.  And the Albanians couldn't stand the Serbs.  Nobody knew what would
happen next.

LITTLE
Walker condemned both the ambush on the border and the killings in the bar in equal
measure.

WILLIAM WALKER
HEAD, KOSOVO VERIFICATION MISSION
It really looked like this was a tit for tat again.  KLA hearing about their people being killed
up on the border had done this in Pec.

WILLIAM WALKER

Q: There is a huge difference, isn't there, between people killed in a legitimate military
exchange and a bunch of hooded unknowns walking into a bar and killing some teenagers..?

A: I think the point is, we really didn't know what had happened in Pec. Yes the government
was saying it was KLA gangsters who had come in and sprayed this bar. When you don't
know what has happened, it's a lot more difficult to sort of pronounce yourself.

LITTLE
One month later Walker was to break this rule to spectacular effect. He pronounced himself
with absolute certainty about a massacre that occurred here, in the village of Racak.  Even
now, more than a year on, important questions about what happened here remain unanswered. 
This is the story of that massacre, of the political uses to which it was put, of how it
galvanised the west to go to war,  and of the pivotal role played by William Walker. There is
nothing remarkable about Racak. Except that by January 1999, the KLA had moved in, most
of the villagers had fled, and trenches had been dug on the edge of the village.

PAULA GHEDINI
UN REFUGEE AGENCY
We encountered many villages where the villagers themselves told us in very clear terms that
they would prefer to be left completely alone. Often times they felt that if a KLA group were
to come into their village, that would put them under greater threat.

LITTLE
From camouflaged positions near Racak the KLA launched well prepared hit and run strikes
against Serb patrols. In early January, they killed four Serb policemen.

ZYMER LUBOVCI
KLA FIGHTER
We saw them coming, so we prepared and opened fire.  But it was guaranteed that every time
we took action they would take revenge on civilians.

LITTLE
Racak did not have to wait long for the retaliation.  The attack began on the morning of
January 15th.

HASIM THACI
KLA LEADER
A ferocious struggle took place. We suffered heavy losses, but  so did the Serbs.  They set out
to commit atrocities, because a key KLA unit was based in this area.

LITTLE
International observers watched from safe high ground as Serb forces took control of the
village. They moved from house to house. Most were empty. The KLA had gone. When the
Serb forces pulled out in the afternoon, they announced they'd killed 15 KLA men in action. 
The international monitors entered the village and reported nothing unusual. Only next
morning did the full force of Serb retaliation become apparent. William Walker went to see
for himself.

WILLIAM WALKER
We progressed up the hill and about every 15 or 20 yards there was another body as we kept
going up the hill, and I don't know how many bodies we passed before we got to a pile of
bodies.

LITTLE
By the time Walker arrived the KLA had retaken control of Racak

WALKER [archive]
I think its going to take me a few minutes to determine what I really should say, and I'd like to
hold a press conference in Pristina later this afternoon.

Walker [archive]
The facts as verified by KVM include evidence of arbitrary detentions, extra-judicial killings,
and the mutilation of unarmed civilians of Albanian ethnic origin in the village of Racak by
the MUP and VJ.

LITTLE
In other words, he blamed the Serbian police and the Yugoslav army.  Walker was supposed
to be an independent international official.  But did he seek direct instruction now from the
Americans?

WILLIAM WALKER
Without calling any of my capitals I told what I thought I had seen, which was the end result
of a massacre.

RICHARD HOLBROOKE
William Walker, the head of the Kosovo Verification Mission, called me on a cell phone from
Racak.

WILLIAM WALKER
Q.    But you don't remember calling Washington at all?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK
SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER EUROPE
I got a call from Bill Walker. He said there's a massacre. I'm standing here. I can see the
bodies.

WILLIAM WALKER

(No reply to question)

Q: And you didn't speak to Gen Clark or anybody like that?

LITTLE
Walker's comments gave America the green light to enter Kosovo's war.   The KLA had
pulled in it's mighty ally.

DUGI GORANI
KOSOVO ALBANIAN NEGOTIATOR
With Racak, and with lots of others, the Serbs were playing into KLA hands. It will remain I
would say an eternal dilemma whether the KLA initiated these battles in the civilian inhabited
areas because it knew that the Serbs will retaliate on them. Personally I don't think so, but of
course, it was a war.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK
Clearly, after Racak, extraordinary measures had to be taken.

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT
It clearly is a galvanising event, and the President really felt that we could then move forward,
make clear that the US was going to be a part of an implementing force.

LITTLE
But Albright knew that the galvanising effect of  Racak  would not last long. She had to get
her European allies on board.  She insisted there could be no more diplomacy without the
credible threat of force. The Europeans agreed.  There would be one last diplomatic effort.
The mesmerising splendour of the Chateau Rambouillet near Paris became the most luxurious
last chance saloon in diplomatic history?  Would the grandeur of Rambouillet beguile and
seduce old foes to reconciliation?

DUGI GORANI
KOSOVO ALBANIAN DELEGATE
We became used to rare wines. We became used to delicious and I suspect tremendously
expensive French specialities.  We became used to a luxury which the main aim was to see us
taking up a pencil and signing a piece of paper.  So luxury was there, everything was there :
you just sign the damned document.

LITTLE
As the delegates arrived, the last ditch nature of the talks became clear.  The atmosphere was
tense, it was the first time these old enemies had sat in the same room.  The Europeans, some
reluctant converts to the threat of force, earnestly pressed for an agreement both the Serbs and
the Albanians could accept.  But the Americans were more sceptical.  They had come to
Rambouillet with an alternative outcome in mind.

JAMIE RUBIN
US ASST SECRETARY OF STATE
The second acceptable outcome was to create clarity where previously there had been
ambiguity. And clarity as to which side was the cause of the problem and clarity as to which
side NATO should defend and which side NATO should oppose and that meant the Kosovar
Albanians agreeing to the package and the Serbs not agreeing to the package.

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT
If the Serbs would not agree, and the Albanians would agree, then there was a very clear cause
for using force.

LITTLE
The Europeans clung to the formal purpose of the talks - an agreement by both sides.
 
ROBIN COOK
FOREIGN SECRETARY

Q:  At the end of the day it was much more important for the Albanians to say yes than for the
Serbs to say yes?

A: NO it was important for both to say yes. After all this was not a tactical exercise to prepare
the ground for a  reaction this was a genuine attempt to find the peace formula  that the Serbs
had said they wanted.

JAMIE RUBIN
Obviously, publicly, we had to make clear we were seeking an agreement, but privately we
knew the chances of the Serbs agreeing were quite small.

LITTLE
The Serbs did not object to the political aspects of the peace plan - including wide ranging
autonomy for Kosovo. But their delegation refused even to consider the military part - a
NATO peace implementation force.

GENERAL NEBOJSA PAVKOVIC
They would have unlimited rights of movement and deployment, little short of occupation. 
Nobody could accept it.

JAMIE RUBIN

Q:  There must have been a bottom line.. how far would you have gone to appease Serb
anxieties? Would you for example  have compromised on the question of NATO's role in that
force?

A:  No . the force had to be NATO because if it weren't NATO it weren't going to work!

LITTLE
Focus now shifted to the Albanian delegation.  They'd elected the young and inexperienced
KLA man Hashim Thaci as their leader. The entire delegation urged him to accept. But he
refused because the agreement on offer did not include a referendum on independence.

DUGI GORANI
The delegation appointed Thaqi for a leader not knowing they may become his prisoners.

VETON SURROI
KOSOVO ALBANIAN POLITICAL  LEADER
It was a formidable yes on all sides. Except when it came to Thaci - who was very strained
and he said no.

DUGI GORANI
Thaci was really blunt to the delegation stating that look this document this actual
presentation is completely unacceptable.

VETON SURROI
He used language which could be threat.. could be understood as threatening.

DUGI GORANI
And whoever signs it now, I would treat him or consider him as the enemy of the nation.

LITTLE
It was a graphic illustration of the power the gun now wielded among the Kosovar Albanians. 
Thaqi's intimidation of his fellow delegates did not stop a warm relationship developing
between him and his international sponsors.

JAMIE RUBIN
He was somebody who was a younger member of the delegation more my age and so there
was a certain natural rapport. I think I used to tease him a little bit about how he might look
good in a Hollywood movie and I think he appreciated that sort of basic teasing back and
forth.

LITTLE
Thaqi did not respond to this flattery. The Americans sent for their diplomatic big gun.
Madeleine Albright arrived on St Valentine's Day. She was absolutely focussed on getting a
yes from Thaqi. She spent four days wooing him.

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT
When we got there, it was very evident that Mr Thaqi was kind of a leader and we actually
compared him to Gerry Adams

DUGI GORANI
she insisted on him making a sort of a symbolic choice.

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT
Perhaps here was a leader who had a goal who was able to be part of a political solution.


VETON SURROI
..which Thaqi partly liked, and more disliked. He liked the idea of Ok, now he's being ushered
into politics.

LITTLE
(Night time Rambouillet)
Deadlines came and went, Thaqi still held out

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT
I must say I was unbelievably frustrated. We needed clarity then and there.

VETON SURROI
She was saying you sign, the Serbs don't sign, we bomb. You sign, the Serbs sign, you have
NATO in. So it's up to you to say. You don't sign, the Serbs don't sign, we forget about the
subject it was very explicit.

LITTLE
It took three weeks, but America's chief diplomat got there in the end. The Serbs said no. The
Albanians, finally, said yes.  It was the unambiguous clarity the Americans had sought. 
NATO, led by the US, could now wield the credible threat of force against Milosevic, in the
confident belief that the threat alone would be enough.  They were wrong.  In Kosovo, Serb
forces moved into position, the international monitors prepared to leave.

WILLIAM WALKER
The personal security of the international verifiers was our highest priority. No country in
Europe, no country in North America wanted to lose any of its people.

LITTLE
Walker called his local Serb and Albanian staff together for a surprise announcement.

WILLIAM WALKER
We had to say, look, I've been told by the minister that we're pulling out. We can't offer to
take you out, even if you wanted to go.

BEATRICE LACOSTE
KOSOVO VERIFICATION MISSION
You know I'm really sorry to leave you behind.  You've done a great job, but hey we'll be
back in a few days.  It'll be a little tough, but we'll be back.

WILLIAM WALKER
Let's get on with the shredding.  Let's not leave too much behind.

BEATRICE LACOSTE
I was very unhappy. I could imagine that there would be a lot of retaliation.
Walker gets into car

CAPTAIN ROLAND KEITH
KOSOVO VERIFICATION MISSION
There was a lot of disquiet as our very lengthy convoys of international orange vehicles
motored out of the province. I guess foreboding of what was coming next.  I personally felt
frustration, betrayal?  Yes to some extent.

WILLIAM WALKER
We got out in record time. we sort of congratulated ourselves on being even more organised
than we thought we were.  And it wasn't till a few days later that we realised that Milosevic
and his troops had been anxious for us to leave, and sort of cleared the way, made sure we did
get out in record time, so that they could start the campaign that kicked off immediately.

LITTLE
In Pristina, the local staff who'd been left behind now paid the price of their loyalty to the
international community.

BEATRICE LACOSTE
Some of the guards who had been given two weeks pay and asked to stand outside the
building of the OSCE, one of them was shot down and another one was very badly beaten up,

LITTLE
In the absence of international observers, Serb forces began to pillage and burn and kill with
the casual cruelty they had taught the world to expect of them.  Kosovo was sliding into chaos.

ZELIHE REXHEPI
They said "If you even move we will slit your throats or shoot you.  We didn't dare move.

LITTLE
This is what that remains of the village of Chirez. There was no military purpose to this.  It
was wanton, wilful destruction, a pre-emptive campaign of revenge for NATO's threat.  This
group captured on camera the undiluted pleasure they took in their barbarity.
 
ZELIHE REXHEPI
They took my daughter away with a young girl and an old woman. When I heard the gunshots
I knew they had killed her. Her little son cried on my lap.

LITTLE
The credible threat of force as a tool of diplomacy collapsed amidst this depravity.  Its bluff
was called.  In Belgrade, there would be one last attempt to salvage the doomed policy of
coercive diplomacy.

RICHARD HOLBROOKE
We sat alone in this vast white palace surrounded by Rembrandts or fake Rembrandts who
knows, and we were totally alone and I said "You understand what will happen when I leave
here?" and he said very flatly, no emotion, Milosevic said "Yeah, you're gonna bomb us,
you're a big powerful country, you can do anything you want". And I said "Well that's it Mr
President I have to go now". And there was dead silence in this room where there had rarely
been silence. And he said as we walked out "I wonder if I'll ever see you again". And I said
"Well that depends on your actions Mr President". And we shook hands and that was it. The
bombing started twenty nine hours later.

LT COLONEL RODRIGUEZ
Every last detail every second, every manoeuvre transitions through your brain, through your
hands, through your eyes very quickly so that when the right time comes, call it the push time,
everything starts to click like clockwork

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK
We got the Go message and go tomorrow unless something stops it.

LT COL. CESAR RODRIGUEZ
US AIR FORCE
We had the chaplain give us a few words of wisdom which were very encouraging, and then
we suited up and prepared to do the mission..

CAPTAIN PAT MACKENZIE US AIR FORCE
As I stepped into the jet the nerves took over a little bit. I think one of the things I will not
forget is the fact that there was an individual that was standing on the flight line waving an
American flag as we taxied out. I mean it just sent chills down my spine. It was just amazing

LT COL CESAR RODRIGUEZ
I myself personally experienced moments of extreme fear.  At times you kind of question
whether you're ready for it

SQUADRON LDR  CHRIS HUCKSTEP
ROYAL AIR FORCE
I can remember thinking this is it. In a couple of miles in a couple of seconds I'll be over the
border I'll be over enemy territory. They'll be trying to shoot me down. I'll try and prosecute
the target then, and drop bombs on them. I threw up a little prayer: Lord you've got to help me
this is it I can't do any more now.

GENERAL NEBOJSA PAVKOVIC
At about 7pm I received an anonymous phone call. A voice said: I must avert the attack on my
country, that it would be worse than the one on Iraq. I hung up.

LITTLE
From ships in the Adriatic, the first cruise missiles targeted Yugoslavia's air defence system
to try to make the skies safer for NATO pilots.  Phase One of the campaign began with a very
limited list of targets. Each missile carried a camera in its nose, recording an image of its
target until the moment of impact.
 
CAPTAIN PAT MCKENZIE
US AIR FORCE
I knew exactly when I was crossing into what we call bad-guy's side and the adrenaline started
flowing a little bit.  Once we  saw the Triple A coming off the ground, the training kind of
took-over.   This Triple A over there is not a factor.  This Triple A over here could be a factor
to me. 
Whatever the case may be.  And that's - that's um training.

WING CDR TIM ANDERSON
ROYAL AIR FORCE
Perhaps more worrying were the surface-to-air missiles and when they came then definitely
you were very focussed on where they were going, what they were doing and how you were
going to defeat them.

LITTLE
In Washington in the last of the day's spring sunshine, the White House went on a full war
footing.  President Clinton was preparing to address the nation. Now that hostilities had
begun, the National Security Adviser, Sandy Berger became Clinton's key lieutenant. Power
in the cabinet had shifted away from Madeleine Albright.  Together they worked out 3 basic
aims.  Those aims were not to last beyond the first few days of the air campaign.
 
PRESIDENT CLINTON  [Speech]
My fellow Americans, our mission is clear:  to demonstrate the seriousness of NATO's
purpose so that the Serbian leaders understand the imperative of reversing course...

SANDY BERGER
US NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR
There was the hope that the use of force by NATO in a strong way would cause him to stop,
would deter him from going through, but I think that there was no illusion that  that was by
any means a certainty even perhaps a probability

LITTLE
The second aim astonished NATO's military leaders. They'd already warned the politicians
that it could not be achieved.

[Clinton speech ]
... To deter an even bloodier offensive against innocent civilians in Kosovo

GENERAL HENRY SHELTON
CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF
The one thing we knew we could not do up front, was that we could not stop the atrocities or
the ethnic cleansing through the application of our military power ..

LITTLE
And the third would prove so hazardous to implement that it threatened to tear apart the
NATO alliance itself.

[Clinton Speech ]
.. and if necessary to seriously damage the Serbian military's capacity to harm the people of
Kosovo.  That is why we acted now because we care about saving innocent lives.

GENERAL KLAUS NAUMANN
CHAIRMAN, NATO MILITARY COMMITTEE
I said on one occasion the Council, we cannot stop this by using air power alone.  It's
impossible.  No-one in the political arena should have had the illusion that we could do it, but
as soon as a statement is done, it's there.

SANDY BERGER
US NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR

Q: So you knew that air power alone couldn't necessarily prevent the mass murder and mass
deportations that everybody knew he was capable of?

A. Well I'm not quite sure it would, we knew that it was that, that a military response would
not necessarily cause him to stop and if he didn't stop that we had to be prepared to destroy
him.

LITTLE
The Generals had to produce military action that could match that rhetoric. When the threat of
force became actual force, the diplomatic aims stayed the same. The generals were not yet
given clearly  defined and achievable war aims for one simple reason:



link

Offline spangler

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Re: BBC Documentary: US-KLA Provoked War With Serbia
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2010, 01:08:52 PM »
Full Transcript Part II


GENERAL WESLEY CLARK
It wasn't a War . There was no declaration of War. It wasn't legally a War. And we weren't
going in there to conquer territory. It was simply one plank of the diplomatic strategy.  And I
don't think there was a single member government of NATO that sought to go to war with
Slobodan Milosevic.

LT GENERAL MIKE SHORT
I certainly acknowledge that there were people within the Alliance who felt we weren't at war
but as a commander of young people going in harms way every day and very night, my
mindset was that I was at war, the people under my command were at war and that was how
we had to do our business.

LITTLE
It certainly felt like a war beneath those NATO flight paths, the Albanians of Pec were about
to pay the price of winning NATO's support - in a programme of mass and systematic
revenge.

VALMIR HAKLAJ
ALBANIAN
The Serbs knew that they couldn't fight NATO, so they took it out on us instead.  Through the
windows we saw smoke and flames.  They were burning Albanian houses.  I was horrified
because the same fate awaited us. They were going to expel us from the home and then burn it
down.   I felt desperate.

LITTLE
Valmir and his sister Valentina remembered the threats their Serbian neighbours had issued
earlier. Now their neighbours turned on them again.

VALENTINA HAKLAJ
Five minutes after we went to bed someone banged on the door.  A man shouted in Serbian:
Its the police, open the door.

VALMIR HAKLAJ
We knew that voice.  It was our neighbour.

VALENTINA HAKLAJ
He was either going to kill us or do something terrible .

LITTLE
That night they were herded with thousands of others into a sports stadium.

VALENTINA HAKLAJ
It was a horrific sight. The whole city, or rather our half of it, was there. There were old
people, babies, the sick, the disabled: but they wouldn't let anyone leave. They said:  you
wanted NATO now you can pay for it.

LITTLE
The next day they were driven, on foot, from their country. The first trickle of what would
soon become a flood of humanity, changing the dynamic of NATO's moral crusade. 
Valentina thought only of returning, and revenge.

VALENTINA HAKLAJ
I asked God: will you be merciful. May the day come when we do the same to them.

LITTLE
NATO's first priority was not to help the likes of Valentina but to make the skies safe for their
own pilots.  Using cluster bombs they struck Yugoslavia's air defence systems. But some MiG
fighter planes made it into the air.

LT COL CESAR RODRIGUEZ
US AIR FORCE
We'd located a MiG 29 that was coming out of the Pristina airspace.

LITTLE
High above Yugoslav airspace, air controllers in AWACS surveillance planes carefully
choreographed the movements of hundreds of aircraft.

LT COL CESAR RODRIGUEZ
There was some confusion amongst the controller in our formation. The confusion comes
from not having trained together. The confusion comes from a slight language barrier.  I
handed  him off to my wingman who was very young, his very first combat mission, goes by
the name of Wild Bill.  I've got the threat on my radar scope. I'm monitoring him. We'll take
the shot.  We can't see very far and we're not really equipped with night-vision equipment. 
But when the MiG 29 explodes , the large orange fireball that erupts, it illuminates and
reflects off the western mountains, lighting up the sky. First blood had been drawn on night
one:

LITTLE
NATO  was not to lose a single pilot in combat throughout the campaign. But the Yugoslavs
were much more effective adversaries than NATO had expected.  That first objective to
destroy Serb anti-aircraft positions, was supposed to take just 3 days.  In fact it was never
achieved. NATO couldn't even locate, far less destroy, all the anti-aircraft missile systems.
Missiles remained a threat every single night, forcing NATO to fly higher.

GENERAL NEBOJSA PAVKOVIC
We knew that they would try to make a good start by hitting our units, our command and
control centres. So we undertook all necessary measures to protect our soldiers and
equipment.
We made them unreachable, untouchable.

LT GENERAL MIKE SHORT
The key is that we were never able to get to the point where I could look him in the eye and
say Okay, the risk isn't there any longer from radar missiles: we have killed them all. That
never occurred.  They had to assume they were in a threat range- all the time . That makes the
hair stand up on the back of your neck all the time.

LITTLE
Short insisted that his pilots stay above 15,000 ft, 3 mile above the ground.  On the ground the
chaos that was sweeping the countryside was about to hit the capital. Unhindered by NATO
air strikes, armed police and paramilitaries began to spread terror among the civilian
population - looting as they went.

GENERAL NEBOJSA PAVKOVIC
We couldn't allow attacks on the police or army from inside Kosovo. As soon as NATO
started attacking civilian targets, there was a mass population movement out of Kosovo. This
favoured our defensive deployments.

LITTLE
Armoured police vehicles patrolled the streets as, systematically, the civilian population were
given a few hours to leave.  These pictures were taken secretly by an concealed Albanian
photographer.

GENERAL NEBOJSA PAVKOVIC
We tried to dissuade them, and sometimes we succeeded. A great number stayed in Kosovo
and were protected by our units.

LITTLE
The whole world could see that that was a lie.  General Pavkovic's units were in fact
organising the biggest programme of forced deportation in Europe since the second world
war.  It was bound by the sheer force of the image to evoke memories of Nazi Germany.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK
We knew that there would be have been some effort to retaliate against the population. But
what we didn't foresee is that it would be calculated in a way that would have generated the
massive refugee outflow

LITTLE
The scale of it was breathtaking.  Milosevic had dramatically raised the stakes.  These images
bore alarming testimony to the failures - so far - of the air campaign. Everywhere the reaction
was the same.
 
IVO DAALDER
US NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL 1995-96
Shock. .In many ways, the - it made the team that had been - led the President into this
decision was shell-shocked. They never thought that this was going to happen.

LITTLE
In Washington, the recriminations began.  How and why could a war that had been launched
so boldly, so confidently, now seem so out of control? On March 30th, six days after the war
began, there was  a crisis meeting of Clinton's cabinet.  Washington  turned its heat on
Madeleine Albright.

IVO DAALDER
There was a sense that in fact she had led the Administration down this path and had failed.
Madeline's War, as it became called, all of a sudden didn't look so good.

JAMIE RUBIN
ASST US SECRETARY OF STATE

Q: A lot of people said this was Madeline's war and it was going all wrong. Was she under
pressure?

A.: Absolutely.  (laughs)   That was a very, very difficult time. There were a lot of people who
were looking for scapegoats when things didn't go well quickly.  Washington has become a
very impatient place where if success isn't achieved instantly then knives go out.

IVO DAALDER
They always thought that at worst, this would take a bombing campaign of about 12 days and
then it would be over, then he would give in. They never considered that in fact, rather than
giving in or even hunkering down, it would escalate.. escalate to these massive proportions.

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT
All of us knew that this was not going to be easy. I mean I think there is so much
misinformation about there, that we thought this was going to be an easy military campaign..

LT GENERAL MIKE SHORT
I was being told, again quote, "Mike you're only going to bomb for two or three nights, that's
all the Alliance can stand, that's all Washington can stand".

LITTLE
But Madeleine Albright had herself handed fortune a hostage. On the opening night of the
campaign she had given the clear impression that it would be short. She appeared
unconcerned - almost casual.

MACNEIL LEHRER
Can you give us any time frame in our own mind, the ideal situation, as to how long it might
take to get where you want to go?

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT
I don't see this as a long-term operation. I think  that this is something that the deter and
damage,  is something that is achievable within a relatively short period of time.

LITTLE
Among the military, the knives were also coming out. Some believed NATO was fighting a
war by committee, and moving at the pace of the slowest member.

LT GENERAL MIKE SHORT
This is my first time fighting a war with 19 partners. But I've heard the term "lowest common
denominator" used. It's probably overused but you don't have a better one.

LITTLE
All the military men agreed the need for political consensus was hindering the military effort.

LT COL CESAR RODRIGUEZ
The first phase of the -the Kosovo operation, it'll be looked at as a failure, because we did not
employ our assets in a swift and lethal fashion, so as to bring the enemy to - to sue for peace,
in an early fashion.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK
Once you begin to use force you should use it as decisively as possible as rapidly as possible
but that is based on some prior understandings.. those understandings weren't there.

LITTLE
But a nineteen member coalition is unwieldy in a more sinister sense.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK
We got additional assets coming in now, and it's very good results..

LITTLE
Each morning Clark convened a video conference. He grew increasingly concerned about the
security of information.  The Serbs were evading the effect of bombing so well, that they
appeared to know not only what was to be bombed, but when.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK
..and I think the real thing for today is to make sure..

LITTLE
The Serbs were evading the effect of bombing so well, that they appeared to know not only
what was to be bombed, but when.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK
There was a lot of effort put forward  by the Serbs I'm sure to try to figure out exactly what
the targets were.  We did have some very good data. But mainly our predictions were accurate.
There are things which remain secret, which I cannot discuss.  In some cases we had some
indications maybe they did have some information, about some specific things that were being
targeted.

LITTLE
There was alarming precedent. Six months earlier the Serbs had been passed a copy of the Top
Secret Operations Plan. It told them precisely what targets would be hit in the opening phase
of the campaign.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK

Q.     On that first night did the Yugoslav regime know the targets, that were going to be?

A. I think they knew the categories of targets, and I think they understood exactly what we
were coming out after the first night.  A - in at least one proven case, the operations plan had
been given to the Serb government by an officer assigned at NATO headquarters.

Q.    How do you know that?

A.    This officer basically confessed to this.

Q.    How damaging was that?

A. Well I think it was it was one of the factors that helped the Serbs have greater confidence
that they would know what NATO was going to do.

LITTLE
That information had been passed by a French officer called Pierre Henri Bunel.  The question
was - was it still happening.  Clark thought  it was.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK
We looked for all indicators that the Serbs might have known what we were doing.  We
worked these back into what else could we do to tighten operation security?

LITTLE
We've learned that an internal US air force investigation conducted after the war concluded
that the Serbs were being passed the highly sensitive air tasking orders.  Those orders list the
targets to be hit, the flight paths and the timings. Clark ordered access to the air tasking orders
to be restricted.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK
There were certain elements that certain people who didn't get an air tasking order, and we
restricted who had access to it and we tightened it down.  We kept certain sensitive items that
didn't need to be on the air tasking order, off the air tasking order.

LITTLE
We've learned that initially, no fewer than six hundred people had access to the air tasking
orders. This was then cut to a hundred. The internal investigation concluded that when this
was done the impact on what the Serbs appeared to know, was immediate.  No spy has yet
been caught. In the skies above Kosovo unmanned projectiles called 'drones' photographed
the tragedy below.  They confirmed the worst fears.

RODRIGUEZ
There's no doubt there were - you could see through the fires on the ground that here was in
fact pain and destruction down there.

LITTLE
Streams of refugees were being herded along the roads. The reality was stark - the air
campaign could not stop this.

CAPTAIN PAT MCKENZIE
US AIR FORCE
It was frustrating. When you see a building go up in flames and you go 'wow I wonder what's
going on down there'. And as you continue to watch this target area you see the house next
door go up in flames.  As I'm watching these houses burn there's really nothing I can do based
on the rules.

LITTLE
It made the moral imperative greater than ever.  The unfolding tragedy demanded action.  The
politicians had become prisoners of their own confident eve-of-campaign assertions.

BLAIR [Speaking in Commons]
We must act to save thousands of innocent men, women and children from humanitarian
catastrophe, from death, barbarism and ethnic cleansing by..


ROBERTSON [at MoD press conference]
The military objective of these operations is absolutely clear cut. It is to avert an impending
humanitarian catastrophe by disrupting the violent attacks ...

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK
We had men and women on the ground, Albanian men and women being cleared out of their
homes, families fleeing to the forests. Naturally there was a great desire on the part of the
political leadership to go after those forces that were directly involved in perpetrating these
atrocities.

LITTLE
Tony Blair went to NATO headquarters, shocked at the sense of drift that now prevailed.  He
wanted the Army in Kosovo hit, and NATO's PR  sharpened up.

TONY BLAIR
I certainly believed that we had to take a grip on the whole way the thing was run and
organised because it was a big - it wasn't just a military campaign it was also a propaganda
campaign and we had to take our public opinions with us.  You know you had a NATO
Alliance, a bureaucracy that simply  wasn't tuned up.  Organising it was a problem and I felt a
bit like.. you know, at the beginning of a big political campaign, where you know your
officials were all assembled in different places and no one had ever quite done like this before 

LT GENERAL MIKE SHORT
I think the pressure on General Clark was absolutely intense from the political leadership of
the alliance. There was a moral imperative to be seen to attack the Third Army in Kosovo, to
respond, quite frankly, to public pressure to be bombing those forces that were committing the
atrocities.

TONY BLAIR
The moral purpose was very simple. A gross injustice was being done to people right on the
door step of the European Union which we were in a position to prevent and reverse.

LT GENERAL MIKE SHORT
I don't wish to be impertinent but I don't think most of our civilian leadership generally
understands air power and how it should be employed. Their exposure to it has been films of
the Gulf War which looked very much like a video game. And what they were seeing on
television was ethnic cleansing - streams of refugees being forced out of their homes.

LITTLE
What the politicians wanted was very clear. But the pilots could not deliver it.

SQUADRON LEADER CHRIS HUCKSTEP, RAF
We were flying, every day every night we were flying missions and yet you knew that there
were still refugees pouring out, horrendous stories of what was going on, on the ground, in
Kosovo and while we were doing everything we could, we weren't actually stopping it
happening. The Serbs weren't leaving and that was painful. You'd get back to your hotel at
night and watch the news and you knew you were doing everything you could and it was still
going on. So that hurt sometimes.

LITTLE
At fifteen thousand feet NATO's pilots were safe but so were the Serbs they were trying to
find.  General Pavkovic commanded the Third Army in Kosovo. This was not an army on the
run. It was calm, defiant, and secure.

LT GENERAL MIKE SHORT
The Serbs dictated the pace of events, they dictated the battle rhythm. They came out to burn
villages when they wanted to, they hid when the weather was good.  His troops had dispersed.
His Command and Control capability was out in the field or in tents or in the trees or
wherever they needed to be.

GENERAL NEBOJSA PAVKOVIC
We used other measures too: miniaturisation, camouflage, decoys.  We created many false
targets, and it was mainly these that NATO aircraft destroyed.

LITTLE
It was Kosovo's guerrilla fighters that took to flight.  Lirak Chejna's unit found itself isolated
and vulnerable,  mystified that their mighty enemy seemed unaffected by NATO action. They
struggled and failed  to protect fleeing civilians against retribution.

LIRAK CELAJ
KLA FIGHTER
I had some pictures which I shoot with camera. I will never forget these pictures. People
which didn't have enough to eat, who are sleeping in the car. I saw children suffering. We
decided to organise them in a big convoy to send them to Pristina. It was very sad to let your
people go in the Serbs' hands. We couldn't protect them any more.

LITTLE
The end of the convoy was too slow.  Serb paramilitaries surrounded it near the town of Koljic

JEHONA LUSHAKU
I remember my father was so, so afraid. He said to us 'Oh my God what I have done'.

LIRAK CELAJ
When the Serbs arrived in Koljic they already found some Albanians because the convoy was
too long.

JEHONA LUSHAKA
It was a paramilitary forces, have separated us and they want to execute all my family.  Then
my father paid 1000 DM to rescue us.

LITTLE
Those who couldn't pay were not spared. Dozens, perhaps as many as eighty, were murdered.
The aftermath of this atrocity was caught on camera. How many others were not?

LIRAK CELAJ
We sent our reports every night of Serb position and Headquarter.  They were supposed to
pass it to NATO.  They were all out in the field.  It was I think very easy to attack this, but
they never did.

LITTLE
The mismatch between real military achievement and the resolute confidence of the
politicians was clear.

OOV ROBERTSON
Day and night, the regularity of pounding is already having an effect, is severely depleting
their capability of carrying on this violence.  They are being hurt very badly on the military
front

TONY BLAIR
There is no doubt at all it has been hugely inhibited his policy of ethnic cleansing and as a
result of the destruction of his air defence systems his military infrastructure, his supplies, we
are of course, halting that machine…

Q:  We weren't really having a fairly devastating effect at that time were we?

A:  Well it is true that in terms of what he was able to do in Kosovo, we were hindering him
rather than stopping him, at least in the initial stages. And that was because of the limitations
of that type of military action.


GENERAL WESLEY CLARK
So those we didn't destroy, we degraded their operations. I think it had a huge impact on their
army.

LT GENERAL MIKE SHORT

Q:  What impact did that strategy have on his ability to carry out ethnic cleansing?
A:  I don't think it impacted him at all. Clearly all the targets that we struck - at least in my
mind, that we struck in Kosovo, he had evacuated long before.

LITTLE
The pilots found these small mobile targets so hard to find that on some days they dropped
half  their bombs on so-called 'dump sites' known to be empty. The head of the air campaign
himself so despaired of being forced to chase such elusive targets that he considered resigning.

LT GENERAL MIKE SHORT
As any human being dealing with kind of frustration there were a couple of times when I
thought I can't do this any more. I don't believe that we're doing this right and I owe it to my
people to stand up and say we're not doing this right.

LITTLE
Short believed there was an alternative. He wanted to go outside Kosovo and hit major
strategic targets that would directly hurt the Milosevic regime. He pressed the political leaders
to let him do it.
 
LT GENERAL MIKE SHORT
But their reaction was 'we need to strike at those troops that were committing the atrocities'.
That's an understandable reaction. I believe our military reaction should have been 'No Mr
Prime Minister, Mr President, Mr Chancellor, we need to strike at Milosevic, and you need to
give me permission to do that tonight!

LITTLE
To the people of Serbia, NATO's war came out of the blue. They were told nothing about
atrocities in Kosovo - Milosevic told them NATO's campaign was an unprovoked war against
ordinary Serb people.

SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC
We are facing the danger of a NATO attack.   Every citizen must contribute to the defence
of the country.

LITTLE
Serbian Radio and Television played to the worst fears of a paranoid population. Day and
night it evoked the horrors of the 1940s when Nazi Germany occupied Yugoslavia.  Belgrade
itself had not yet been bombed. That was about to change.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK
We talked about the need to move into targeting facilities, Command and Control facilities in
Belgrade. After all, this is where the ethnic cleansing was being driven. This is the central
headquarters of the Interior Ministry there. And there was no reason why we shouldn't be
striking it.

LITTLE
Bombing Belgrade meant moving to Phase Three of air campaign.  A  dramatic escalation. 
Could the consensus of NATO  hold together? The question was expertly side-stepped.  The
North Atlantic Council was never asked to give its approval.  The decision was made by the
Secretary General and his top military advisor.

GENERAL KLAUS NAUMANN
Phase three could have been seen as an all-out air war against Yugoslavia and the NATO
nations, well not all NATO nations were prepared to go as far…and for that reason we never
took the risk to ask the question knowing that we may run into some problems.

LITTLE
All out war came to Belgrade on April 3rd - Day 11. NATO hit the Interior Ministry, the
campaign headquarters of Kosovo's ethnic cleansers.  For the head of the air campaign, the
real war had finally begun. But it was to prove a false start. 

LT GENERAL MIKE SHORT
We were going to Belgrade but Belgrade was in flames. We attacked the proper target sets. 
The issue from that point on was to stay after it and we had some difficulty doing that.

LITTLE
That difficulty came from France. Paris claimed not to have been consulted. President Chirac
was furious to learn of the attack only afterwards.  He and his foreign minister determined
they would be consulted from now on.
 
HUBERT VEDRINE
FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER   
We wanted political control when we changed phases, that is to say when we changed targets.

LITTLE
A French general moved into Clark's office - to scrutinise the targets in advance.
 
GENERAL WESLEY CLARK
I had a French 2-star that stayed there with us the whole time who came round to my house
virtually every night, and we talked about progress and he liased  for me.

LITTLE
These new tensions in the Alliance were made worse by Belgrade's response. Far from being
cowed, the population of the city rallied. They consciously taunted NATO,  testing its nerve.


LT GENERAL MIKE SHORT
For strategic reasons and, quite frankly, for signal reasons, I wanted to strike what had
become.. called the rock 'n roll bridge, the bridge that the Serbs were dancing on during the
campaign to demonstrate their defiance.  I wanted to bring that bridge down, and by one
country we were denied the ability to strike that bridge.  And in fact, what was relayed to me
was that, the leadership of that country had said "Don't even ask". 

Q:  Which country?

A:  It was France.

HUBERT VEDRINE
FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER
 We tried hard to avoid targets affecting the economic life of the country, in other words
people's day-to-day lives in the most fundamental sense.

LT GENERAL MIKE SHORT
I never had anything but the greatest support both moral and material from the French Air
Force. I cannot begin to offer opinions on why their government made the decision that they
did.

LITTLE
They made those decisions because they knew that a major targeting error down town could
cause so many casualties that public support for NATO would ebb away.  In Belgrade, as in
the west, public opinion was a weapon.  Radio Television Serbia - RTS - transmitted anti-
NATO propaganda day and night.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK
Nations beginning to ask us, in the region, said please get rid of Serb Television it's  just a
huge propaganda weapon for Milosevic, its the way he maintains command and control.  It's a
legitimate military target you need to disable this.  And so we looked at a number of different
techniques that could have been used to disable it.  We finally concluded that the best way to
do it was to bomb it.

LITTLE
RTS pictures were beamed around the world.  Western television journalists in Belgrade used
them too.

CNN 2-way
Presenter: CNN's Alessio Vinici is there - Alessio.

Alessio: Serbian Television reported that the bombing heavy bombing went on all night.

LITTLE
The American network CNN was based in the RTS building itself.

ALESSIO VINCI
CNN, BELGRADE
We started talking to our colleagues in Atlanta, to some contacts again in Washington and
Brussels and we heard more and more that RTS was coming up on the target list.

LITTLE
When these pictures hit western television screens they became a real threat to NATO's
ability to sustain the war.  Whenever NATO made mistakes Western journalists were taken to
film civilian casualties. At Djakovica, the allies bombed a convoy of Albanian refugees,
wrongly believing it to be a Serbian military column, RTS pictures had an impact around the
world.

ALESSIO VINCI
CNN, BELGRADE
We also heard from sources in Brussels and Washington that there was - a lot of people were
unhappy with the way RTS was broadcasting their own part of the story.
It was also a time when NATO started making the first mistakes, hitting civilian areas, and
RTS was obviously prominently showing that... they were concentrating 99.9 per cent of their
coverage on the mistakes or so-called mistakes that NATO would do.....and of course we were
using those pictures because they were the only pictures that we had available.

TONY BLAIR
This was one of the problems about waging a conflict in a modern communications and news
world...we were aware that there would be pictures coming back, the convoys were the, in
many ways the worst of the refugees, that were hit by NATO bombs. We were aware that
those pictures would come back, and there would be an instinctive sympathy for the, for  the
victims of the campaign.
 
LITTLE
RTS journalists  openly taunted the west.

Newsreader
Let Clark take a shot, we are waiting for him. Our address is 10 Tarkovska street, I wont give
you the co-ordinates,  you'll have to work them out yourselves.

ALESSIO VINCI
CNN, BELGRADE
And then at some point we were told that it was better to just leave the building altogether,
because the risk of staying there, even during the day was too high because NATO had started
24-hour bombing, and that  there was no way to find out when exactly RTS may get bombed.

LITTLE
Although the foreign journalists had pulled out local technicians continued to work their
nightshifts.  Kasenja Bankovic was among them.  She believed that if the building was to be
bombed the RTS bosses would warn the staff in advance.

BORKA BANKOVIC
She was never scared of going to work at the TV building. Somehow she felt that she was safe
there. She said 'Mother,  I'm leaving'. I looked at her saying 'Okay, take care.' She replied
"don't worry, I will take care..."

LITTLE
At six minutes past two, on the morning of April 23rd, an American  stealth bomber did
indeed target 10 Tarkovska Street.  RTS was broadcasting a pre-recorded interview with
Milosevic.  Kasenja's mother rushed to the bombed building.  No one from the RTS
management offered help or information.

BORKA BANKOVIC
I had the crazed look of a person searching through a crowd. Someone asked, Madam, was
someone you know working here tonight?  I said yes, my daughter.

LITTLE
Ksenija Bankovic and fifteen others, mostly technicians, died.
 
LITTLE
When Belgrade woke the next morning, RTS was triumphantly back on the air.  They were re-
running the interrupted Milosevic interview.  RTS had made a contingency plan in the event
of bombing.  It did not include evacuating their own staff.

ALESSIO VINCI
CNN, BELGRADE
One can only wonder why those technicians and why those people were kept there, especially
at night when everybody at that time, especially you know so late into the war, knew that RTS
was going to be a target.

BORKA BANKOVIC
They were sacrificed. I don't know why. You'll have to look for an answer elsewhere.

Q:  Where?

A:  Well, first of all with the people at RTS, and then from the government at all levels.  I
don't know.

LITTLE
To what end did Kasenja Bankovic die.  Her family believe she was deliberately sacrificed by
the Serbian regime for whom civilian deaths produced valuable propaganda.  NATO derived
no benefit at all from the bombing.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK
We knew that when we struck it there would be an alternate means of getting out the Serb
television.  There's no single switch to turn off everything.  But we thought it was a good
move to strike it and the political leadership agreed with us

TONY BLAIR
They could have moved those people out of the building. They knew it was a target and they
didn't; I think that was probably for you know very clear propaganda reasons: but there's no
point. I mean there's no way of waging a war in a, you know, in a pretty.. it's ugly, it's an ugly
business.

BORKA BANKOVIC
This was an outrage.  I can't just condemn RTS and say NATO was right, because NATO
killed my child and RTS were accomplices.  NATO is the murderer.

LITTLE
It is an inherent weakness when democracies go to war. Western publics must confront the
innocent suffering inflicted in their name.

LT GENERAL MIKE SHORT
If we allowed this butcher, murderer and dictator to defeat the most powerful alliance on the
face of the earth because we didn't have the stomach for collateral damage and we didn't have
the stomach for unintended loss of civilian life, then we were going to cease to exist as an
alliance.

LITTLE
Public opinion in the west grew more sensitive as the bombing campaign was stepped up. But
how far could public support be pushed? When NATO  struck the Chinese embassy
mistakenly, they claim the politicians again reigned in the military. They imposed a five mile
no-bomb zone around Belgrade.
 
HUBERT VEDRINE
FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER
I think political control was in the end maintained in the correct manner. But I also think that
to a large extent this was thanks to France.

LT GENERAL MIKE SHORT
A nation clearly had the ability to say 'no-one can strike that target'.  Not just us, not just you,
no-one can strike that target set.  And what their motivation was in making that decision
certainly no-one ever shared with me.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK
My military colleagues have got to understand that there will be political in  which targets are
struck and that we want political  approval for these politically sensitive targets.
 
LITTLE
American stealth bombers flew missions directly from bases inside the united states.  The
French government accused the Americans of flying unilateral bombing raids of their own
outside the NATO command structure.


HUBERT VEDRINE
All the countries s in the Atlantic Alliance acted as part of NATO, with full discussion about
what  to target, but the US was also carrying out a separate American operation. They
deployed national forces, with a national decision-taking mechanism commanded from the
US, and the European allies did not know about these other actions.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK
With all due respect the French foreign minister that's incorrect.

Q:  Why would he say it?

A:  It's incorrect I am not going to speculate on his motives.  I can simply tell you it's not
correct.  I commanded all assets and all assets were integrated into the NATO plan.

LITTLE
NATO unity itself was under growing strain.  For America the legacy of Vietnam is a simple
rule: put crudely - no body bags.  But as the air war dragged on, Britain began to press
America to plan for a possible ground invasion. The problem was, Clinton had ruled it out on
the very first night.

 
BILL CLINTON
If NATO is invited to do so our troops should take part in that mission, to keep the peace. But
I do not intend to put our troops in Kosovo to fight a war.

LITTLE
Sandy Berger had put that sentence in the President's speech.

SANDY BERGER
US NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR
Had there been at the beginning a debate about  ground forces, we would have started this
campaign not with a solid NATO facing Milosevic, we would have started this campaign with
a NATO with its guns pointed at each other.

LITTLE
NATO had sent twelve thousand troops to neighbouring Macedonia, to go into Kosovo only
once Milosevic had agreed to a peace deal.  Britain now argued that they could be turned into
a ground invasion force.

TONY BLAIR
I became convinced that we had to have that option there, and I became convinced even more
so once I had visited NATO and sat down and talked to the guys who were fighting the
campaign.
 
LITTLE
Blair's intervention had redefined the political aims of the war. They were blunt - Serbs out,
NATO in, refugees home.  He now wanted to redefine the means to achieve those aims.

TONY BLAIR
You had to prepare for all contingencies. Which was a you know euphemism for making sure
that you had the ground force option there if you needed it.

JAMIE RUBIN
US ASST US SECRETARY OF STATE
There was certainly irritation at the very public way the British Government was pushing the
ground troops issue, it was interesting, especially because the kind of option that was a serious
option, meant they were pushing essentially for the deployment of American ground troops.

TONY BLAIR
People used to say to me occasionally well for goodness sake Tony just don't talk about it at
all, I'd say look it's quite difficult; I mean you're out there and people ask you; and as I say we
don't have Milosevic's media and jolly good thing that we don't.  But the fact is my guy's
asking me, and your guys ask you, and you know you're expected to have some sort of answer
to this.

LITTLE
In April the Allies gathered in Washington, for NATO's 50th anniversary summit.  The issue
threatened to expose NATO as weak and divided. The Americans told the British bluntly to
stop talking about it in public.

JAVIER SOLANA
SECRETARTY GENERAL, NATO
We meet at a time of crisis in Kosovo

LITTLE
Clinton told Blair that NATO would not be allowed to lose. Blair took this to mean that US 
troops would be committed if needed.

TONY BLAIR & OOV
I was never in any doubt that they would do what is right. America does do what is right, in
the end the President would have taken the decision necessary to make sure this thing was
seen through.

LITTLE
But in the Pentagon there was intense opposition. When General Clark took a ground invasion
plan to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he was cold shouldered.
 
GENERAL WESLEY CLARK
I showed them the assessment that we'd made. They weren't actually the plans, they were the
assessment of how a plan like this would be done.


GENERAL HENRY SHELTON
CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF
What he had at that time was somewhat analogous to the sport section out of the entire
Sunday newspaper that you normally anticipate in a military plan.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK
They were very appreciative of receiving then information. I didn't ask for a decision. So they
didn't make a decision.

GENERAL HENRY SHELTON
CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF
That was not sufficient to allow us to make a strong recommendation to the political
leadership as to whether or not we should be undertaking a ground option.

LITTLE
The American military was closing off Blair's ground option.  Instead, the alliance stepped up
the bombing campaign. Graphite bombs cut off the electricity. The targets were no longer
purely military.

LT GEN MIKE SHORT
The impact that it had on the leadership cadre around Milosevic I think is extreme.

LITTLE
But the leadership cadre stayed calm. They believed that the heavier the bombing the greater
the chance that the Alliance would crack, and that danger was real.  This was militarily
effective, but politically risky.  Some of the European allies believed they could not carry
public opinion with them much longer.

PROF KARL KAISER
ADVISOR TO GERMAN CHANCELLOR
It was not easy for Germany. This country was particularly interested in getting the war ended.
There was a possibility that the crisis could evolve in a way that could end up in a tragedy.

LITTLE
NATO now turned to an old adversary for help. The Russian envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin
opened a new diplomatic channel with his US and European counterparts. He saw it as  an
admission of NATO's growing desperation.


VIKTOR CHERNOMYRDIN
RUSSIAN PEACE ENVOY
They were looking for a way out. They realised that it would not be over in two or three
months.

LITTLE
But it wasn't Chernomyrdin that mattered to Belgrade.  Milosevic believed he had potential
allies in the powerful old security establishment: the military, the secret police, and the
successor to the KGB.

GENERAL LEONID IVASHEV
RUSSIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY
NATO, led by the USA, was flouting all the principles of international law. These principles 
had been in place since World War Two.


PROF KARL KAISER
ADVISOR TO GERMAN CHANCELLOR
Chernomyrdin represented, so to speak, the government, President Yeltsin. But to Milosevic,
whose conception of power and whose relationship with the security services was of a very
special nature, it was extremely important that the security part of the Russian power structure
said the same, in fact said even more.

LITTLE
Russian security forces co-operated with Germany to open a secret back-channel to Milosevic
himself.  It relied on the connections of an inconspicuous Swedish financier called Peter
Castenfelt.  Peter Castenfelt went to Moscow to meet the security forces.  What he was told
there would be crucial in bringing the war to an end.

PROF KARL KAISER
Peter Castenfelt, having given advice to the Russian government, including Yeltsin, had the
full trust of the Russian leadership, and the intelligence and security site there.  He waited for
a signal, the signal came, the Russian secret service took him to the border and there the
Yugoslavs  were waiting and a car was there and avoiding the bombs  took him to Belgrade
where he then met Milosevic.

LITTLE
For four  days, Castenfelt held a series of secret meetings with Milosevic. He delivered a
message that ended the Serbian leader's dream's of a  Russian intervention. The Russian
government was about to agree a peace plan with NATO and the Russian security forces had
accepted it.

PROF KARL KAISER
It was so to speak a message that he would take more seriously than any other message from
the Russians because those were the people that formed the power apparatus around him.
The security apparatus in Moscow said 'End the War. Or 'here are some conditions that look
acceptable to us, and we cannot help you beyond it, so exit now'.

LITTLE
Ahtisaari and Cherno arrive.  The official international envoy was now the Finnish President
Marti Ahtisaari. He went to Belgrade with Chernomyrdin carrying the joint NATO Russian
peace plan.

PRESIDENT MARTTI AHTISAARI
EU PEACE ENVOY
Both he and I didn't believe for a moment that we could get agreement in Belgrade.  We drove
through the city. First of all the city didn't look so damaged as one might have thought.  We
went to the guest house where he was waiting and he looked and he looked like I would have
met him yesterday. He took politely us and we decided to go straight to the negotiating table. 
I actually read the peace offer, and he said "can we have a copy?".  They got it, and then they
asked me if they could start improving the proposal. I said, unfortunately not, that this is as
good as we can come up with, and if we can't agree on this, then the next offer will be worse
than this, from your point of view.

LITTLE
NATO had agreed two key  compromises.

PRESIDENT MARTTI AHTISAARI
For them I think the important points were the whole thing would happen under UN auspices
and secondly that Kosovo would remain a part of Yugoslavia.  That made the deal acceptable
to the Russians. It also gave Milosevic something that had not been on offer before the
bombing started: a UN mandate.  There was a sort of sigh of relief, and I congratulated
Chernomyrdin, and hugged him in a brotherly fashion.

LITTLE
But the  relief was premature. The Russian military had expected their own sector of Kosovo,
independent of  NATO. They now felt double crossed.

GENERAL LEONID IVASHEV
RUSSIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY
I felt as if I were the defeated one.  That was the feeling I had, as if I myself had been 
defeated. I felt that evil was triumphing over good.

LITTLE
They  decided to try to take what they had been denied.  Russian troops stationed in Bosnia
rolled towards  Kosovo.

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK
They had informally conveyed information that they might be an advance party for an airborne
operation that would go into Pristina Airfield and potentially partition the country.

LITTLE
The question was - could they be stopped?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK
I called the Secretary General and told him what the circumstances were. He talked about
what the risks were and what might happen, if the Russians got there and he said: Of course
you have to get to the airport. I said do you consider I have the authority to do so. He said of
course you do, you have transfer of authority.

LITTLE
There was a way to stop the Russians. In  a Macedonian cornfield, Clark put five hundred
British and French paratroopers on immediate standby to launch an air-borne assault.  But
Clark's British subordinate told him the plan risked sparking World War Three.

LT GEN SIR MICHAEL JACKSON
COMMANDER, KOSOVO FORCE
We were standing into a possibility - let me put it no more strongly than that – a possibility of
confrontation with the Russian contingent, which seemed to me probably not the right way to
start off a relationship with Russians who were going to become part of my command.

LITTLE
British and French objections thwarted Clarks plan. The two hundred Russian troops passed
through Kosovo and were greeted as liberating heroes by local Serbs.  They took the airport
unopposed. The world watched nervously. The Russians were planning to fly in thousands of
paratroopers, who would then cut Kosovo in half, leaving Milosevic in control of the North.

GENERAL LEONID IVASHEV
The Defense Ministry already had plans, proposals, ready to put into action.  Let's just say that
we had several air bases ready. We had battalions of paratroopers ready to leave within 2
hours.

LT GENERAL SIR MICHAEL JACKSON
There was concern that there may be Russian aircraft inbound, and that one answer to this
would be to block the runways at Pristina airfield, and what was looked at was putting some
armour, tanks, on the runway.

Q:  Were you in favour of that?

General Wesley Clark:  I believe it was an appropriate course of action.
 
LITTLE
But Clark's plan was again overruled by Britain.  Instead Clark asked neighbouring countries
to try to stop Russian aircraft flying towards Kosovo.  The Rumanian defence minister took
great pleasure in warning Moscow not to try to fly over his country.
   
GENERAL WESLEY CLARK
He said you could do that of course, but we would be obliged to send an aircraft up to
intercept your aircraft. And there are only two buttons on our aircraft, and if the pilot pushes
the wrong one,  he'll shoot down your transport plane with all of these people on board.  Of
course, that would be a crime, he said, and he would be prosecuted under our law.  He'd be
convicted and would be sent to jail, for seven years. But he would also be a national hero.

LITTLE
June 12th 1999, Force Entry Day, With the agreement of Slobodan Milosevic, fifty thousand
NATO troops entered Yugoslavia at last.  They went more in relief than in triumph.  It had
taken 78 days of non-stop bombing.  Militarily undefeated and defiant to the last - the Serb
forces who'd so laid waste to Kosovo pulled out unimpeded and unpunished for what they'd
done.   Serbs out.  NATO in. Refugees home.

VALENTINA HAKLAJ
People could hardly wait to go home and see what had happened to their land.  There was
nothing left to see. It was horrible. The small of war, burning and gun powder hung over the
city.
 
LAZAR OBRADOVIC
Before leaving Pec we visited my sons grave. I will never forget that moment as we wept and
asked "Ivan, will we ever be able to come and visit your grave again?"  That was hard, really
hard.  It can't get any harder than that.
 
LITTLE
The Kosovo Liberation Army recruited NATO to its cause. An old  injustice was defeated
here.  But NATO's moral war rewarded those who took up arms.

RICHARD HOLBROOKE
I don't believe that any of the liberation forces, or guerrilla forces of our lifetime moved more
rapidly, or more successfully, from total obscurity to international standing and recognition
than the Kosovo Liberation Army

LITTLE
The Serbs that remain live in ghettos now. At  Gorazdevac, near Pec, six hundred Italians
stand between them and the vengeance of their old neighbours.   The war started as a moral
crusade to end such intolerance.  But in the end it wasn't about morality. It wasn't even about
Kosovo.  It was about saving NATO from collapse.

TONY BLAIR
The bottom line was we couldn't lose.  If we lost, it's not just that we would have failed in our
strategic objective; failed in terms of the moral purpose - we would have dealt a devastating
blow to the credibility of NATO and the world would have been less safe as a result of that.

LITTLE
And NATO's leaders did not know, when they led us into it, that that is what they were
jeopardising.  How closely they courted catastrophe, or how hollow the moral victory amid the
ruins of a Kosovo where the oppressed, once liberated, themselves oppress.


THE END


19


link

EvadingGrid

  • Guest
Re: BBC Documentary: US-KLA Provoked War With Serbia
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2015, 08:51:29 AM »
Moral Combat Serbia VS Nato True Story PART ONE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9E_xKCOgDHM

worcesteradam

  • Guest
Re: BBC Documentary: US-KLA Provoked War With Serbia
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2015, 11:05:41 AM »
I see that Milosevic cited the documentary:

Quote
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. I asked a question. General Naumann, do you know that what you're

20 claiming that I said happened in 1945 and 1946 does not correspond to

21 historical truth?

22 JUDGE MAY: I'm not going to allow this. This is an argument that

23 you are putting the whole time with the witness. The witness knows

24 nothing about the history apart from what he's read in the books. This is

25 what he says that you said. That's the importance of the evidence,

Page 7042

1 whatever the history of it is. Now, he can answer no further, so there's

2 no point going on putting the same question again. Move on to another

3 topic.

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation] Very well.

5 Q. The BBC, on the 12th of March, 2000, broadcast a special programme

6 entitled "Moral Combat; NATO at War," which was prepared by Alan Little.

7 In that programme, to make a long story short, I have your quotation in

8 answer to his question, which was: "Ambassador Walker, in the NATO

9 council, presented the fact that peace was generally being violated by the

10 KLA."

11 Did you say that?

12 A. If you have the quotation of the BBC, I said it --

13 Q. Yes.

14 A. I can't recall it at the moment, but I would like to make one

15 point, Mr. Milosevic. I said in my evidence, and you may have heard that,

16 that in the phase between beginning of November 1998 and December 1998,

17 the majority of incidents was triggered, to the best of my knowledge, by

18 the KLA. But I also stated that the response by the Serb security forces

19 was again and again characterised by disproportionate force -- use of

20 force. And that, I think, explains what I said and what I used as

21 quotation of Ambassador Walker to which you referred to.

22 Q. And are you aware, Mr. Naumann, how many people were killed,

23 citizens in Kosovo, by the KLA, both Serbs and Albanians and Turks and

24 Romas? How many policemen were killed, how many soldiers, throughout that

25 time, prior to your intervention? And are you bearing all this in mind

Page 7043

1 when you're talking about the disproportionate or proportionate use of

2 force?

3 A. Yes, Mr. Milosevic, I bear that in mind. And I think I said also

4 in my written evidence which is in front of this Court that I have spoken

5 to German police officers who were serving in Kosovo, who reported to me

6 that KLA/UCK elements really misbehaved grossly in killing and torturing

7 Serb police officers. And that is simply intolerable.

http://www.icty.org/x/cases/slobodan_milosevic/trans/en/020613ED.htm