has been forced to admit that allegations by people such as William Cohen, the US defence secretary, that 100,000 Kosovo Albanian men were likely to have been murdered by Yugoslav forces – the kind of outrageous lie that was used to ‘justify’ NATO’s criminal war in Kosovo – have been proved completely baseless. Jonathan Steele in an article published on 18 August 2000 reports that the “
As war crimes experts from Britain and other countries prepare to wind down the exhumation of hundreds of graves in Kosovo on behalf of the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague, officials concede they have not borne out the worst reports.”
“The final toll of civilians confirmed massacred by Yugoslav forces in Kosovo is likely to be under 3,000, far short of the numbers claimed by Nato governments during last year’s controversial air strikes on Yugoslavia”
Not only, however, is the number of bodies that can be found infinitesimally smaller than the figures bandied about by western imperialist warmongers when mobilising for its war of aggression against Yugoslavia, but in addition “
officials will not say how many of the 2,799 bodies exhumed show clear sign of being victims of summary execution such as being shot in the head from close range”
). And furthermore,
“No Nato government has sought to produce a definitive total of murdered ethnic Albanian civilians since the Serb offensives began in March 1998, a year before the bombing. ‘No one is interested,’ complained a senior international official in Kosovo … Nato doesn’t want to admit the damage wasn’t as extensive as it said. Local Albanian politicians have the same motive. If you don’t have the true figure, you can exploit the issue'”
In the face of this evidence, Mark Laity, the acting Nato spokesman, is reduced to saying:
“The point is did we successfully pre-empt or not”
in other words, did Nato’s terror bombing, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, etc., manage to get in to kill thousands first, before the Yugoslav government did, or did the Yugoslav government have not the slightest intention of killing anybody other than a small minority of traitors actively engaged in terrorist activity in Kosovo? Given that there was an imperialist-inspired civil war being waged in Kosovo by the drug-dealing so-called Kosovo Liberation Army, for 3,000 people to have been killed in a year – presumably from both sides of the conflict – is not unexpected. But the deaths must be laid at the door of the imperialist powers who incited and armed the Kosovo Liberation Army to bring havoc to a region that had previously been peaceful, and it is they who should be facing an international war crimes tribunal, not those who acted on behalf of the Yugoslav government.
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