Bill Clinton’s Most Abominable Freedom Fighters Uncloaked

by

Former president Bill Clinton continues to pirouette around the world as a visionary humanitarian and senior statesman. But the sordid truth about some of his favorite “freedom fighters” is finally becoming undeniable.  A European Union task force last week confirmed  that the ruthless cabal he empowered by bombing Serbia in 1999 has committed atrocities including murdering individuals to extract and sell their kidneys, livers, and other body parts.

Clint Williamson, the chief prosecutor of a special European Union task force, declared that senior members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) had engaged in “unlawful killings, abductions, enforced disappearances, illegal detentions in camps in Kosovo and Albania, sexual violence, forced displacements of individuals from their homes and communities, and desecration and destruction of churches and other religious sites.”

A special war crimes tribunal is planned for next year.  But the New York Times reported that the trials may be stymied by coverups and stonewalling:  “Past investigations of reports of organ trafficking in Kosovo have been undermined by witnesses’ fears of testifying in a small country where clan ties run deep and former members of the KLA. are still feted as heroes. Former leaders of the KLA. occupy high posts in the government.”  American politicians have almost entirely ignored the growing scandal.  Vice President Joe Biden hailed former KLA leader and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci in 2010 as “the George Washington of Kosovo.” A few months later, a Council of Europe investigative report tagged Thaci as an accomplice to the body trafficking operation.

The latest allegations might cause some Americans to rethink their approval of the 78-day bombing campaign against Serbia that killed up to 1500 civilians. In early June 1999, the Washington Post reported that  “some presidential aides and friends are describing [bombing]  Kosovo  in  Churchillian  tones, as  Clinton’s ‘finest hour.’” Clinton administration officials justified killing civilians because the Serbs were allegedly committing genocide in Kosovo.  After the bombing ended, no evidence of genocide was found, but Clinton and Britain’s Tony Blair continued boasting as if their war stopped a new Hitler in his tracks.

Kosovo was wracked by a civil war in which both the Serbs and their opponents committed atrocities.  The KLA’s savage nature was well-known before the Clinton administration formally christened them “freedom fighters” in 1999. The prior year, the State Department condemned “terrorist  action by the so-called  Kosovo Liberation Army.”  The KLA was heavily involved in drug trafficking and had close to ties to Osama bin Laden. But arming the KLA helped Clinton portray himself as a crusader against injustice and shift public attention after his impeachment trial.    Clinton was aided by many congressmen anxious to portray U.S. bombing as an engine of righteousness. Sen. Joseph Lieberman whooped that the U.S. and the KLA “stand for the same values and principles. Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values.”

After the bombing ended, Clinton assured the Serbian people that the U.S. and NATO agreed to be peacekeepers only “with the understanding that they would protect Serbs as well as ethnic Albanians  and that they would leave when peace took hold.”  In the subsequent months and years, American and NATO forces stood by as the KLA resumed its ethnic cleansing, slaughtering Serb civilians, bombing Serbian churches, and oppressing any non-Muslims as well as ethnic Albanians who did not support the KLA. Almost a quarter million Serbs, Gypsies, Jews, and other minorities fled Kosovo after Clinton promised to protect them. By 2003, almost 70 percent of the Serbs living in Kosovo in 1999 had fled, and Kosovo was 95 percent ethnic Albanian.

In 2009, Clinton visited Kosovo’s capital, Pristina, for the unveiling of an 11-foot tall statue of himself.  The allegations of the KLA’s involvement in organ trafficking were already swirling but Clinton made no mention of the grisly record of his hosts.  Instead, he stood on Bill Clinton Boulevard and lapped up adulation from supporters of one of the most brutal regimes in Europe. A commentator in the U.K. Guardian noted that the statue showed Clinton “with a left hand raised, a typical gesture of a leader greeting the masses. In his right hand he is holding documents engraved with the date when NATO started the bombardment of Serbia, 24 March 1999.” Regardless of the persecution that followed the bombing, the authorizing documents for the aggressive war were presumed to be as holy as the stone tablet  with the Ten Commandments that Moses purportedly received.

Shortly after the end of the 1999 bombing campaign, Clinton enunciated what his aides labeled the Clinton doctrine -“whether within or beyond the borders of a country, if the world community has the power to stop it, we ought to stop genocide and ethnic cleansing.” In reality, the Clinton doctrine was that presidents are entitled to commence bombing regardless of whether their accusations against foreigners are true.  As long as the U.S. government promises great benefits from bombing abroad, presidents can usually attack who they please.

Clinton’s war on Serbia was a Pandora’s Box from which the world still suffers. Because politicians and most of the media portrayed the war against Serbia as a moral triumph, it was easier for the Bush administration to justify attacking Iraq and for the Obama administration to bomb Libya.  Both interventions sowed chaos from which continues to curse the purported beneficiaries.

The bombing of Serbia also revealed prior to 9/11 that the American media would uncritically parrot the U.S. government’s war propaganda.  In the mainstream media, no one did more to oppose and denounce the war than the late Counterpunch co-founder Alexander Cockburn.  In his columns in the Los Angeles Times and elsewhere, he debunked one justification after another for attacking a foreign nation that posed no threat to America. And, in pieces sometimes co-authored by Jeffrey St. Clair, he revealed how the war had utterly failed to achieve Clinton’s lofty-sounding goals.  Cockburn also pointed out that “Hillary Rodham Clinton was an enthusiastic advocate for the cluster bombs that now litter the Serbia and Kosovo landscapes, set to kill or cripple for the next half century.”  (A roundup of articles by Cockburn and St. Clair on the Serbian war can be found in the 2004 book,  Imperial Crusades: Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yugoslavia.)

Unfortunately, Bill Clinton will never be held liable for killing innocent Serbs or for helping body-snatchers take over a nation the size of Connecticut. Clinton is reportedly being paid up to $500,000 for each speech he gives nowadays. Perhaps some of the well-heeled attendees could flourish artificial arms and legs in the air to showcase Clinton’s actual legacy. And at least the KLA’s defenders can still praise the terrorist group for not being cannibals.

James Bovard is the author of author of Public Policy Hooligan,Attention Deficit DemocracyThe Bush BetrayalTerrorism and Tyranny, and other books.  More info at www.jimbovard.com; on Twitter @jimbovard

 

 

James Bovard, a policy advisor to the Future of Freedom Foundation, is the author of Public Policy Hooligan, Attention Deficit Democracy, The Bush Betrayal, Terrorism and Tyranny, and other books. More info at www.jimbovard.com; on Twitter @jimbovard

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
August 04, 2015
Vincent J. Roscigno
University Bureaucracy as Organized Crime
Paul Street
Bernie Sanders’ Top Five Race Problems: the Whiteness of Nominal Socialism
Herbert Dyer, Jr.
Is White Supremacy a Mental Disorder?
Ramzy Baroud
The Palestinian Bubble and the Burning of Toddler, Ali Dawabsha
Pepe Escobar
Reshuffling Eurasia’s Energy Deck — Iran, China and Pipelineistan
L. Michael Hager
The Battle Over BDS
Eric Draitser
Puerto Rico: Troubled Commonwealth or Debt Colony?
Colin Todhunter
Hypnotic Trance in Delhi: Monsanto, GMOs and the Looting of India’s Agriculture
Benjamin Willis
The New Cubanologos: What’s in a Word?
Matt Peppe
60 Minutes Provides Platform for US Military
Binoy Kampmark
The Turkish Mission: Reining in the Kurds
Eoin Higgins
Teaching Lessons of White Supremacy in Prime-Time: Blackrifice in the Post-Apocalyptic World of the CW’s The 100
Gary Corseri
Gaza: Our Child’s Shattered Face in the Mirror
Robert Dodge
The Nuclear World at 70
Paula Bach
Exit the Euro? Polemic with Greek Economist Costas Lapavitsas
August 03, 2015
Jack Dresser
The Case of Alison Weir: Two Palestinian Solidarity Organizations Borrow from Joe McCarthy’s Playbook
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
The Atomic Era Turns 70, as Nuclear Hazards Endure
Nelson Valdes
An Internet Legend: the Pope, Fidel and the Black President
Robert Hunziker
The Perfectly Nasty Ocean Storm
Ahmad Moussa
Incinerating Palestinian Children
Greg Felton
Greece Succumbs to Imperialist Banksterism
Binoy Kampmark
Stalling the Trans-Pacific Partnership: the Failure of the Hawai’i Talks
Ted Rall
My Letter to Nick Goldberg of the LA Times
Mark Weisbrot
New Greek Bailout Increases the Possibility of Grexit
Jose Martinez
Black/Hispanic/Women: a Leadership Crisis
Victor Grossman
German Know-Nothings Today
Patrick Walker
We’re Not Sandernistas: Reinventing the Wheels of Bernie’s Bandwagon
Norman Pollack
Moral Consequences of War: America’s Hegemonic Thirst
Ralph Nader
Republicans Support Massive Tax Evasion by Starving IRS Budget
Alexander Reid Ross
Colonial Pride and the Killing of Cecil the Lion
Suhayb Ahmed
What’s Happening in Britain: Jeremy Corbyn and the Future of the Labour Party
Weekend Edition
July 31-33, 2015
Jeffrey St. Clair
Bernie and the Sandernistas: Into the Void
John Pilger
Julian Assange: the Untold Story of an Epic Struggle for Justice
Roberto J. González – David Price
Remaking the Human Terrain: The US Military’s Continuing Quest to Commandeer Culture
Lawrence Ware
Bernie Sanders’ Race Problem
Andrew Levine
The Logic of Illlogic: Narrow Self-Interest Keeps Israel’s “Existential Threats” Alive
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Kos, Bodrum, Desperate Refugees and a Dying Child
Paul Street
“That’s Politics”: the Sandernistas on the Master’s Schedule
Ted Rall
How the LAPD Conspired to Get Me Fired from the LA Times
Mike Whitney
Power-Mad Erdogan Launches War in Attempt to Become Turkey’s Supreme Leader
Ellen Brown
The Greek Coup: Liquidity as a Weapon of Coercion
Stephen Lendman
Russia Challenges America’s Orwellian NED
Will Parrish
The Politics of California’s Water System
John Wight
The Murder of Ali Saad Dawabsha, a Palestinian Infant Burned Alive by Israeli Terrorists
Jeffrey Blankfort
Leading Bibi’s Army in the War for Washington