The War on Yugoslavia, Kosovo “Self-Determination” and EU-NATO Support of KLA Terrorists: Dietmar Hartwig’s Warning Letters to Angela Merkel

It seems that the recent developments in Europe, and in particular the rising secessionism (Catalonia, Flandreau, Corsica, Veneto, Scotland), rings a bell, or rather is reminiscent of certain events. The ensuing ones are shedding more light on the roles of the EU (EEC), the USA, Great Britain and Germany. One wonders to what extent those democracies have been guided by the principles of international law and democracy pertaining to the Kosovo crisis.

How much did they appreciate the reports of their (expensive) missions in Kosovo and Metohija (КDОМ, КVМ, ЕCMM) depicting the realities on the ground?

To what extent have they been defending the right to self-determination and human rights and to what extent using separatism for expansion of their geopolitical interests?

As strategies are slow to evolve, recollections of the past may help better understanding of the interests and roles of the USA, Germany, NATO, EU and other geopolitical players in the ongoing Kosovo negotiations in Brussels paired with Serbia’s accession to the EU.

Over a longer period of time, the leading members of both, NATO and the EU, have been supporting the terrorist KLA[1] by political, financial and logistic means. This was particularly visible in 1998. In June that year USA abandoned previous position that KLA was terrorist organization and proclaimed it as liberation force[2]. OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM) with personnel of about 1.300[3], from October 1998 to March 1999 was just an imposed and imported umbrella for preparation of the ensuing military aggression. This period was particularly exploited for recuperation and equipping KLA with modern NATO equipment. Subsequently, NATO treated KLA as its ground force in launching military aggression against Serbia (FRY), country which in no way was threatening any other country or organization.

The aggression in clear breach of the UN Charter, without even trying to get consent of the UN Security Council, was a turning point in the world relations towards globalization of the interventionism without authorization of UN SC. To sum it up, the countries and integrations whose highest representatives swear that they have always been upholding the principles and rule-based policies, back in 1999 had provoked the strongest blow to the global legal order and to the United Nations since the end of World War II.

The policies pursued by governments of those countries and by integrations thereof during the Yugoslav and the Kosovo crises have provoked the spread of secession movements, expansion of Islamic extremism and terrorism. Double standards policy toward separatism and terrorism backfire today in Europe and beyond.

By violating the basic principles enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act, in the UN Charter and in international conventions and treaties, NATO and EU member countries have induced a lasting instability in the Balkans as the most vulnerable part of Europe. Siding with the extremist, terrorist and criminals of KLA, in one hand, and condemning, satanizing and even bombing Serbia, in other hand,  had been anything but token of democratic, humanistic, law based, anti extremist or anti terrorist policy. Such EU and NATO key members’ policy ought to be invoked today if we have a will and courage to explain at least some causes of the current spread of extremism, terrorism, organized crimes and separatism in Europe and beyond. If we are ready to face extremists and terrorist in proper way.

Presently, USA, Germany and Great Britain are exerting pressure against Serbia, the one they have been demolishing, deceiving and humiliating by recognizing the forcible capture of her state territory in the form of an engineered unilateral and illegal secession of Kosovo, and requesting that Serbia erases it all from track-record and forgets it all “for the sake of her European future”! What kind of future could it possibly be built upon such foundations!?

The separatist and terrorist genie that the leading countries of NATO and the EU have unleashed from the battle in Kosovo and Metohija back in 1998/99 for the purpose of furthering the geopolitical goals of the USA, Germany and the UK keeps spreading over Europe, while the EU and NATO believe they would be able to push it back into the bottle clearing they names and revive their dented unity by scarifying once again (interests of) Serbia! The real tragedy for Europe is the reasoning that truth is only what the EU commissioners declare to be the truth! The dominance of such reasoning is preventing the genuine understanding of historical maelstrom that has engulfed the Old Continent!

“War on the FRY was waged to rectify an erroneous decision of General Eisenhower from the Second World War. Therefore, due to strategic reasons, the U.S. soldiers have to be stationed there.” This was the explanation given by American representatives at a NATO conference held in late April 2000 in Bratislava, noted by Willy Wimmer, former State Secretary in the German ministry of Defense, in his report to Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder dated 2 May 2000.

The first point in this report is an explicit U.S. request that NATO members and candidate members recognize ‘independent state of Kosovo’ as soon as possible, whereas the tenth, last point, reads that ‘the right to self-determination takes precedence over all others”. Should one be surprised now by the present referendum on secession of Catalonia? Or, to save their faces, Europeans should continue to keep repeating USA false, shortsighted claim that “Kosovo is unique case”?

Wimmer’s report also notes the U.S. declared position at the Bratislava Conference was that the 1999 NATO attack on Yugoslavia without UN SC authorization is “a precedent to be invoked by anyone at any time, and which is going to be invoked”. This renders any allegations of a principled and rule-based policy utterly dubious: if the military aggression launched in violation of the UN Charter is declared to be a precedent then unilateral secession being direct result of such aggression can hardly be claimed “unique case”! Normally, if the logic and principles have any place in NATO&EU geo-policies!

In the eve of NATO 1999 aggression on Yugoslavia two major international missions had been actively engaged in the Province of Kosovo and Metohija. One under auspices of OSCE known as Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM), headed by American diplomat William Walker and the other under the auspices of EEC (EU) known as European Community Monitoring Mission (ECMM), headed by German diplomat and army officer Dietmar Hartwig. The author had opportunity to meet Mr. Hartwig in 2002 in Belgrade, on his request. This was about three years following the end of his EU assignment in Kosovo and Metohija. He demanded consultations on his intention to be witness in ICTY process against former President Slobodan Milosevic. In the prolonged talks during his stay in Belgrade, Mr. Hartwig stated several times that during his assignment in Kosovo and Metohija before the NATO attack his KVM counterpart ambassador Walker surprised him by his harsh, highly provocative behavior and aggressive instructions to his subordinates. “You should all know that there is no such thing as high cost to deploy NATO in Kosovo. Any cost is acceptable” – was one of apparently Walker’s typical instruction to his subordinates before the aggression started on March 24rth, 1999, according to Hartwig.

NATO aggression – illegitimate act

After Kosovo Albanian leadership declared unilateral illegal secession in 2006, Dietmar Hartwig in 2007 sent four letters to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel urging her that Germany should not recognize such unilateral illegal act. In his letter of October 26, 2007 Hartwig says:

“Not a single report (of ЕCMM) submitted from late November 1998 up to the evacuation (of ЕCMM, KVM) just before the war broke out (March 24rth, 1999), contains any account of Serbs having committed any major or systematic crimes against Albanians, and not a single report refers to any genocide or similar crimes… Quite the contrary, my (ECMM) reports have repeatedly communicated that, considering the increasingly more frequent KLA attacks against the Serbian executive authorities, their law enforcement kept demonstrating remarkable restraint and discipline. This was a clear and persistently reiterated goal of the Serbian administration – to abide to the Milošević-Holbrooke Agreement (of October 13, 1998) to the letter so not to provide any excuse to the international community for an intervention. In the phase of taking over the Regional Office in Priština, colleagues from various other missions – KDOM, U.S., British, Russian, etc. – confirmed that there were huge ‘discrepancies in perception’ between what said missions (and, to a certain degree, embassies as well) have been reporting to their respective governments and what the latter thereafter chose to release to the media and the public of their respective countries. This discrepancy could, ultimately, only be understood as an input to general preparations for war against Kosovo/Yugoslavia. The fact is that, until the time of my departure from Kosovo, there has never happened anything of what have been relentlessly claimed by the media and, with no less intensity, the politics, too. Accordingly, until 20 March (1999) there was no reason for military intervention, which renders illegitimate any measures undertaken thereafter by the international community.”

“Kosovo place of restlessness”

“The collective behavior of the EU Member States prior to, and after the war broke out, certainly gives rise to a serious concern, because the truth was lacking, and the credibility of the international community was damaged. However, the matter of my concern is exclusively the role of the FR of Germany and its role in this war and its political objective to separate Kosovo from Serbia…”

“The daily political news reporting over the previous months (before October 2007) made it progressively more evident that Germany not only supports the American desire to see Kosovo independent, but also actively engages on its own in dividing the Serbs…You are to be considered responsible for this. The same goes for your foreign minister, in particular, who knows perfectly well what is going on in Kosovo, and is presently pursuing your political directives by tirelessly advocating Kosovo’s independence and, thus, its secession from Serbia. Instruct him, rather, to promote a durable solution for the Kosovo issue which is in line with the international law… It is only if all states choose to observe the applicable rights, we can have the foundations for the common life of all nations. Should Kosovo become independent, it will be perpetuated as the place of restlessness… Contribute to achieving the solution for Kosovo on the basis of the endorsed UNSC Resolution 1244 pursuant to which Kosovo remains a province of Serbia. American wishes and active efforts to see Kosovo secede from Serbia and see Kosovo and Kosovo Albanians achieve full independence, are contrary to the international law, politically deprecated and, on top of all, irresponsibly expensive…”

Others to claim “Kosovo solution”

“Kosovo’s secession from Serbia guided by ethnic criterion would constitute a dangerous precedent and a signal for other ethnic communities in other countries, including in EU Member States, who could rightfully request the ‘Kosovo solution’” – says Dietmar Hartwig in concluding his letter to Chancellor Merkel.

Enough said about the ‘humanitarian intervention’ and the concerns for the protection of rights of the Albanian population as the features of the “uniqueness of the Kosovo case”. American Military base “Bondsteel” in the vicinity of the town of Uroševac, surely by a pure chance, happens to be among the largest U.S. military bases outside the USA! Perhaps their anxiety over being potentially spied on from the Serbian-Russian Humanitarian Center in the City of Niš uncovers awareness that “Bondsteel”  is illegally built there?!

Aerial photo of Camp Bondsteel, KFOR, Task Force Falcon Public Affairs Office (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

It was the U.S.A, the EU and NATO, not Serbia, who froze the conflict following the armed aggression of 1999. They and kept it frozen for the past 18 years by not allowing complete implementation of UN SC resolution 1244. They pressed Serbia to fulfill all its commitments insisting on the legally obliging character of the resolution while exempting them and the Albanians from any obligation therein. They realized that full implementation of UNSCR 1244 means preservation of sovereignty and integrity of Serbia, values which do not suit their geopolitical objective of expanding to the East (Russia) and South-East (Mediterranean).

At present the West, primarily Germany, insist that Serbia ‘unfreezes’ Kosovo “independence process”. How? By compelling Serbia to sign a ‘legally binding agreement’ with Pristine, to recognize a illegal unilateral secession, legalize illegal 1999 aggression, permanently accept over 250.000 dislocated Serbs and other non-Albanians from Kosovo and Metohija and essentially assume responsibility for all what has happened or may happen in the future!

The German case

French General Pierre Marie Galois, close assistant to the late French President General De Gaulle, is very interesting and reliable witness of the Germany’s politics toward Yugoslavia, particularly toward Serbia and Serbs. In his address to the Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals on occasion of the 10th anniversary of NATO aggression he recalls that “dismantling of Yugoslavia was an operation that had been planned in Germany for a long time. They were not just waiting for the death of President Tito in 1980, but were preparing succession and profiting from his departure by reorganizing this territory[4].” To explain and support this assessment, General Galois considers three key motives behind such German geopolitics:

First, “there was obvious (Germany’s, aut.) desire to exert revenge on the Serbs who twice, from 1914 to 1918 and from 1939 to 1945 joined with allies against Germany”…“Second, Germans wanted to reward the Croats and the Bosnian Moslems who had joined Nazi Germany”…Third, they wanted Slovenia and Croatia in the sphere of Germany’s interests (EEC) as well as access to the Mediterranean via Adriatic.

Historians will certainly judge objectively the validity of General Galois’ arguments, but it is beyond any doubt that he was exceptionally capable and highly respected military and political strategist in the post WWII France, with access to very important sources of information. Also, his assessment does not contradict other available information. Let it be noted, for instance, that in the eve of civil wars in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina at the beginning of 90-ies of the last Century thousands of tones of military hardware from former GDR was illegally exported from Germany to Croatia arming its paramilitary forces. In addition, Germany was the first country to recognize unilateral secessions of Slovenia and Croatia. It was done December 23rd, 1991 by Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher who disregarded call of UN SG Perez de Cuellar who urged Germany to wait for recognition to be part of the peace plan. The rest of the 12 EEC members followed Genscher’s step.

In the period of 90-es of the last Century Germany was the source of financing separatists and terrorists in Kosovo and Metohija (KLA). So called “Kosovo government in exile” headed by Bujar Bukosi had an office and network of collecting funds in Germany and other West European countries (Belgium, Switzerland, Italy) for recruiting, training and arming the terrorists. In various occasions and on various diplomatic levels this problem was presented to German authorities in order that they stop anti Serbian (FRY) activities from their territory and comply with the diplomatic rules, national and international laws, including specific decisions of the UN Security council. Unfortunately, these interventions had no effects.

On December 9-10th, 1997,the  Council of the Peace Implementation in Bosnia and Herzegovina was convened in Bon (Dayton-Paris Peace Agreement). The Yugoslav Delegation, headed by Political Director of the Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Dragomir Vucicevic was well prepared for participation, particularly having regard that FR of Yugoslavia was one of the guarantors of the Dayton-Paris Peace Agreement. However, German Minister for Foreign Affairs Claus Kinkel, after opening the Conference, insisted that the agenda of the Conference be expanded to include consideration of the issue of Kosovo and Metohija which had no relevance to the Dayton-Paris Peace Agreement. Kinkel’s method of fait-a-complie, naturally, was unacceptable from the point of the framework of the Conference, practice applied at the preceding conferences and principle of transparent preparations. In addition, Serbia (FRY) had maintained position that Kosovo and Metohija is an issue of internal nature which will be resolved by political methods respecting territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia (FRY). Therefore Yugoslav Delegation abandoned Bon Conference.

Unitarization of Bosnia and fragmentation of Serbia

Interestingly, Bon’s final document is one of the most extensive of all Council’s documents and so called “Bon’s Full Powers” made the High Representative the ultimate legislative and executive authority in Bosnia and Herzegovina – above the Parliamentary Assembly, Presidency, governments. So called Bon’s 1997 principles made the whole Dayton-Paris system deformed, non-functional, non-delivering, and so up today. If there is a single or key cause for Bosnia and Herzegovina being dysfunctional and unstable today, than it is Bon’s “Full Powers” originating from Germany’s Foreign Ministry and its geopolitics. Using and abusing Bon’s “Full Powers” the High Representative had been imposing laws systematically curbing authority of the entities and transferring the power to Sarajevo thus reopening process of centralization and unitarization, destabilizing political system as laid down in Dayton. This process has been particularly directed to deprive the powers of Serbian entity Republica Srpska entrusted to it by Deyton-Paris Peace Agreement.

Aforesaid, perhaps, would not be of much use if today we wouldn’t be faced with similar German geopolitics and demands. Serbia, naturally, does not recognize illegal unilateral secession of its Province. Under UNSCR 1244 and under current Constitution Kosovo and Metohija makes integral part of sovereign Serbian state territory. Nevertheless, Germany insists that Serbia signs “legally binding document on normalization and good neighborliness” with Kosovo! In fact, such “legally binding” document would equal recognition of the illegal secession. This would also mean that Serbia will not object Kosovo’s membership to the UN, UNESCO, OSCE, CE and other international organizations. Finally, by signing such a document, Serbia would “a posteriori” grant amnesty to NATO for its 1999 military aggression, i.e. for all human victims, enormous destruction and war damages. Interestingly, German diplomats have already prepared the draft of such an agreement which most likely will be presented in the way “take it or leave”. Perhaps, the authors of the draft agreement are the same who in 1997 drafted Bon’s “full powers” for High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina? The same ones who initiated Kosovo and Metohija to be part of Agenda of the Bon’s Peace Implementation Council’s meeting convened to consider implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina, in December 1997?

Objective – to bind Serbia only

UNSCR 1244 (1999) is legally binding document of the highest rank in the hierarchy of international public law. It provides guaranty for sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia as well as substantial autonomy for the Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia. Serbia has long ago fulfilled all her obligations from this legally binding document. The others, including UNMIK, KFOR and particularly Kosovo Albanian leaders have not. For example, about 250.000 of displaced Serbs and other non-Albanians from Kosovo and Metohija 18 years after have no possibility as yet to freely and safely return to their homes and lands in the Province! Why? Many Serbs, including school children, harvesters, bus passengers and others have been abducted, or killed in the period since the Province got under the UN mandate. Nobody has been found guilty. Why?

In the Brussels negotiations process under EU auspices in the last several years a number of agreements have been reached. Again, Serbia has fully complied with all its obligations, the others have not.

So, even if Serbia would sign any new legally binding document which what in the opinion of the author Serbia should not do, it would bind only Serbia, not anybody else. All who supposedly would offer guaranty that this time it would be different have lost their credibility long ago, EU including.

Accepting legally binding agreement with Kosovo Serbia would be permitted to come to the door step of EU by 2025. Mere signature would not be enough for EU membership. Full implementation is required before. What happens if Serbia signs such an agreement and EU, or any of 27 member countries come with new demands and preconditions which Serbia would not be able to fulfill? Let us not be mistaken – the history of Serbia’s relations with EU and with a number of neighboring countries abound such examples. Who is enough credible to guaranty to Serbia that this is excluded? Is it possible that Serbia delivers everything that she is required now and finally gets nothing?

Kosovo and Metohija, birthplace of Serbian state, culture, religion, and identity should not be considered commodity to exchange for EU membership.                                    

German diplomacy evokes “Germany’s case” wherein both, West and East Germany (GDR) had been UN members while not formally recognizing each other. This reference is meant to be only face saving for the government in Belgrade, which keeps giving in substantial concessions and at the same time declaring it will never recognize Kosovo as sovereign state. It is, however, quite clear that there are no similarities to compare between FR Germany and GDR, in one hand, and Serbia and Kosovo, on the other.

On April 12, 2007, German ambassador to Serbia Andreas Coble at the European Forum’s conference in Belgrade stated that “if Serbian Government continues to insist that Kosovo is integral part of Serbia, it is possible that the question of Vojvodina[5] may be opened. Hungary might insist on Vojvodina. And not only that. There would be possibility for opening of the question of Sandzak (Raska)”[6]. Could really such elaborated statement be just of personal invention of visionary, well-intended diplomat, or perhaps he has learned about those “possibilities” in the course of preparations for his Belgrade ambassadorial post?

His successor Ambassador Andreas Mass in December 2011 gave astonishing public advice to Serbian nation to teach their children to love NATO because NATO bombed Serbia in 1999 for good of Serbia. Mass did not comment 4000 Serbian citizens killed by NATO, including by German bombers, killing children, train passengers, hospital patients. He did not mention use of missiles with depleted uranium, destroyed schools, hospitals, monuments. Nevertheless he was certain that Serbia will be member of NATO anyway.

“The question is not whether but when Serbia will become NATO member” – said Mass.

Present German ambassador Aksel Ditman in the interview to the Belgrade weekly “NIN” on November 11th, 2017, stated that Germany supports membership of unilaterally conceded Kosovo to the UN and other international organizations. In fact, Ambassador does not even pretend to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the receiving country which is all but diplomatic.

It is long time since Dietrich Genscher and Claus Kinkel were ministers of foreign affairs of Germany. But the same “good geopolitics” concerning the Balkans and especially Serbs and Serbia, remain firmly implanted in Berlin.

Notes:

[1] Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of FR of Yugoslavia 1998-2000. Chairman of the Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals

[2] Head of EU  (EEC) Monitoring Mission in Kosovo and Metohija (ECMM) from 1998 until March 20th, 1999

[3] Kosovo Liberation Army

[4] Special USA representative Richard Holbrook met KLA commanders June 20th, 1998, in Junik, Kosovo and Metohija, Serbia

[5] Of 2000 planned

[6] Message au People Serbe, Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals, p. 36, Belgrade 2009

[7] Another Autonomous Province of Serbia partially populated by members of Hungarian national minority

[8] Populated by Moslems (Bosniaks) ethnic community


Originally published on 2017-12-19

Author: Živadin Jovanović

Source: Global Research

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With rare exception, the question of whether the atomic bombs were necessary to end World War Two is debated only deep within the safety of academic circles. Could a land invasion have been otherwise avoided? Would more diplomacy have achieved the same ends without the destruction of two cities? Could an atomic test on a deserted island have convinced the Japanese? Was the surrender instead driven primarily by the entry of the Soviets into the Pacific War, which, by historical accident, took place two days after Hiroshima—and the day before Nagasaki was immolated? But it is not only the history of the ...
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Cold War Then, Cold War Now
The anti-Russian/anti-Soviet bias in the American media appears to have no limit. You would think that they would have enough self-awareness and enough journalistic integrity -– just enough -– to be concerned about their image. But it keeps on coming, piled higher and deeper. One of the latest cases in point is a review of a new biography of Mikhail Gorbachev in the New York Times Book Review (September 10). The review says that Gorbachev “was no hero to his own people” because he was “the destroyer of their empire”. This is how the New York Times avoids having to say anything positive about life ...
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The Myth of Hiroshima
Cold War Then, Cold War Now