March to Stop NATOby Umberto Pascali
Breakup of Macedonia
A demonstration of thousands of Macedonian-Americans waited for hours in front of the U.S. State Department on Aug. 9, while its leaders met with U.S. officials within. The Kosovo Liberation Army, effectively supported by NATO, was running amok just over the border, in the north of Macedonia, and Macedonia's sovereignty was at risk.
On Aug. 8, the Macedonian government had de facto accepted the proposal (essentially, an ultimatum) of the "international facilitators"—UN Ambassador James Pardew and European Union envoy François Léotard—which could lead soon to a process of national partition. Under this "deal," the KLA then committed its largest massacre to date against Macedonian soldiers, and its worst atrocities against civilians in the Tetovo area, north of the capital, Skopje.
The KLA has been able to hit Macedonian military targets with the utmost precision. Recently the German magazine Der Spiegel, in an exposé that included interviews with the present and past German defense ministers, dealt with the issue of the KLA's communications. "Thanks to U.S. assistance the KLA's command center was set up in Arachinovo [on the outskirts of Skopje], with direct satellite phone connection to the Pentagon," wrote the magazine. "The U.S. forces in the Balkans has low-orbitting satellites and its own mobile communications system that enables encrypted telephone calls.... The KLA however, can use the Americans' exclusive communications network with a radio circuit of its own."
An Aug. 10 KLA operation showed the use of these intelligence capabilities available to the terrorist gangs: Mines were placed on the road from Skopje to Tetovo, immediately before an Army convoy was to pass, killing eight soldiers and wounding as many. Macedonians discovered a well-organized KLA operational base in Skopje; according to official reports, the KLA team had been prepared to murder relevant Macedonian officials. The team had been preparing its attacks in Arachinovo. When Macedonian police raided the base, among the casualties was the head of the team, "Commander Teli," an Albanian (not Macedonian) citizen, wanted for terrorist acts by several countries.
The situation of virtual civil war, led to the resignation of the Macedonian Army Chief of Staff, while, despite the immense, public pressure from Western governments, President Boris Trajkovski stated that the Armed Forces were launching an offensive to push the KLA guerrillas behind the July 5 cease-fire line "guaranteed" by NATO. NATO spokesmen had in fact admitted that they "cannot do much" about the KLA's open violations of this "guaranteed" cease-fire of "facilitators" Pardew and Léotard.
The peace deal between the Macedonian and the ethnic Albanian parties, to be signed on Aug. 13, is based on the clause that NATO will deploy 3,500 men in Macedonia to disarm the KLA. But "NATO has no mandate to use force" against the KLA, NATO ambassador Hans Jorg Barry said. And NATO spokesman Barry Johnson continually confirms that position: "NATO's role in the whole process is only to facilitate, and if possible to promote the cease-fire agreement. We are limited, so you cannot use such strong word as guarantee."
The Meeting with Armitage
It was in this dramatic situation, that a delegation of six Macedonian Americans met wtih Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. This was the first time ever that a Macedonian-American delegation was received by the administration, despite the fact that all administration officials, from the President down, declare that Macedonia has been a friend, actually a "close friend" of the United States since the early 1990s. The meeting, which was supposed to take place with Secretary Colin Powell, was deferred to Armitage. However, an Albanian-American delegation having been received by Powell, fairness and protocol should have suggested the same level of reception.
Every Macedonian knows almost by heart the words of Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski, denouncing the complicity of "so-called Western democracies" with the KLA, or the statement by his spokesman that "the mask is now off." They had also in mind high-level admissions, starting with the characterization of the KLA by James Bissett, the former Canadian Ambassador to Yugoslavia, that "we have created a monster."
"We now know that long before the bombing of Yugoslavia [in 1999], it was NATO countries themselves that were inciting violence in Kosovo and attempting to destabilize that province." Bissett wrote. "As early as 1998, the Central Intelligence Agency, assisted by British special armed services, were arming and training KLA members in Albania. The KLA terrorists were sent back into Kosovo to assassinate Serbian mayors, ambush Serbian policemen and do everything to incite murder and chaos. The KLA then turned its attention to Macedonia. The tactics were the same—assassinations, ambush and intimidation of the local population. Again, as in Kosovo, the KLA is armed and equipped by Western powers. Even more alarming is the fact that the KLA in Macedonia continues to receive assistance and military help from NATO countries."
Transcripts of the July 24 dialogue between Lyndon LaRouche and the Macedonian leader Nestor Oginar, had circulated widely in both languages in the United States and in Macedonia. Professor Oginar was a prominent member of the delegation, and later led the march to the White House and addressed to the demonstrators, pointing an accusing finger at Zbigniew Brzezinski, Henry Kissinger and Lord David Owen. At the State Department meeting, Professor Oginar asked what the United States intended to do, noting that his own family was at that moment hostage to the KLA in Tetovo. Armitage reportedly accused Macedonians of "mob" action at the U.S. embassy in Skopje; but this led to a substantive discussion on why more and more U.S. embassies are being transformed into bunkers under siege, and how to change that situation and go back to the favor and sympathy U.S. once enjoyed.