The International Action Center – 2008-02-22 23:35:07
A Giant US Military Base and Total Domination
Is the Reality, NOT Independence
Serbian Demonstrators Show Resistance
To US Colonial-Style Land Seizure
(February 22, 2008) — The demonstration of over 500,000 people in Belgrade and the attack on the US Embassy show the depth of outrage and anger over the seizure of the Serbian province of Kosovo. In the past three days two Kosovo border posts were destroyed, one by fire the other in an explosion, along with ten McDonald’s outlets and several Western banks and other hated targets.
The Western media had overwhelming applauded the US destruction in 1999 and it now has a responsibility to explain the reason for the mass anger of millions of people. The outrage is because the province of Kosovo is not actually being granted “independence.” Millions of people see this week’s recognition of Kosovo “independence” as an effort to legitimize a direct US colony and to permanently secure a giant US military base in the region.
Regarding the hypocritical condemnation by Washington that angry demonstrators had targeted the US Embassy, it should be remembered that when the US bombed Serbia for 78 days in 1999,
destroyed the Chinese Embassy. Nineteen other diplomatic and consular missions were damaged in the US bombing, along with 480 schools and 33 hospitals, heating plants, sewage plants, bridges, communications, the electric grid and other civilian targets.
The “declaration of independence” by Kosovo, a province of Serbia, and its immediate recognition as a state by the US, Germany, Britain and France, is a fraud. Three things should be understood about the events this week.
First, Kosovo is not gaining independence or even minimal self-government. Kosovo will be run by an appointed High Representative and bodies appointed by the US, European Union and NATO. An old-style colonial viceroy and imperialist administrators will have control over all aspects of foreign and domestic policy. Washington has merely consolidated its direct control of a totally dependent colony in the heart of the Balkans.
Second, Washington’s immediate recognition of Kosovo confirms once again that the US government will break any and every treaty or international agreement it has ever signed, including agreements it drafted and imposed by force and violence on others.
The recognition of Kosovo is in direct violation of such law_specifically U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244, which the leaders of Yugoslavia were forced to sign to end the 78 days of NATO bombing of their country in 1999. Even this imposed agreement affirmed the “commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of Serbia, a republic of Yugoslavia.
Thirdly, US imperialist domination does not benefit the occupied people. Kosovo after nine years of direct NATO military occupation has a staggering 60 percent unemployment rate. It has become a center of the international drug trade and of prostitution rings in Europe.
The once humming mines, mills, smelters, refining centers and railroads of this small resource-rich industrial area all sit silent. The resources of Kosovo under NATO occupation were forcibly privatized and sold to giant Western multinational corporations. Now almost the only employment is working for the US/NATO army of occupation or U.N. agencies.
The only major construction in Kosovo is of Camp Bondsteel, the largest US base built in Europe in a generation. Halliburton, of course, got the contract. The US base guards the strategic oil and transportation lines of the entire region.
Over 250,000 Serbian, Romani and other nationalities have been driven out of this Serbian province since it came under US/NATO control. Almost a quarter of the Albanian population has been forced to leave in order to find work.
The plan under which Kosovo’s “independence” is recognized by the U.S, Germany, France and Britain not only violates U.N. resolutions but it is consolidates a total colonial structure. It is similar to the absolute power held by L. Paul Bremer in the first two years of the US occupation of Iraq. The documents setting out the new government for Kosovo are available at unosek.org/unosek/en/statusproposal.html. A summary is available on the US State Department’s Web site at state.gov/p/eur/rls/fs/100058.htm
An International Civilian Representative (ICR) will be appointed by US and E.U. officials to oversee Kosovo. This appointed official can overrule any measures, annul any laws and remove anyone from office in Kosovo. The ICR will have full and final control over the departments of Customs, Taxation, Treasury and Banking.
The E.U. will establish a European Security and Defense Policy Mission (ESDP) and NATO will establish an International Military Presence. Both these appointed bodies will have control over foreign policy, security, police, judiciary, all courts and prisons. They are guaranteed immediate and complete access to any activity, proceeding or document in Kosovo.
These bodies and the ICR will have final say over what crimes can be prosecuted and against whom; they can reverse or annul any decision made. The largest prison in Kosovo is at the US base, Camp Bondsteel, where prisoners are held without charges, judicial overview or representation.
The recognition of Kosovo’s “independence” is just the latest step in a US war of re-conquest of this strategic region. But as yesterday’s massive demonstration shows this reckless and illegal maneuver may unleash a whirlwind of opposition and resistance.
International Action Center sent a delegation to Serbia during the US/NATO bombing in 1999 and has published several books on the crisis in the Balkans, including Hidden Agenda: US/NATO Takeover of Yugoslavia, NATO in the Balkans: Voices of Opposition, and The Defense Speaks for History and the Future — all available from Leftbooks.com.
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