It all started with Bill Clinton’s war on women
The governor of Arkansas had raped a woman and somebody had to pay. The wheels of justice grind slowly, but somebody would eventually pay. Most crimes have statutes of limitation that prevent prosecution if charges have not been brought for a sufficient number of years. And the statute of limitation on this rape had run, but somebody did pay–the Serbian people. The sad part is that the culpable governor was not a Serb at all!
By that time, the rapist governor of Arkansas had become president of the United States. Not just any president of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton was only the second US president to be impeached. The Democrats in the Senate made it clear that Clinton would stay in office no matter what facts came out at the impeachment trial, but a few more felines had slipped out of the sack. One newly-disclosed secret could have brought down Bill Clinton even after he had survived the impeachment trial.
It was early 1999. The impeachment trial was over and talk of sexual activity was everywhere. Clinton and his minions had put out the word: “everybody lies about sex.” It seemed like promiscuity was the norm. The whole Constitutional process had been hijacked. The fact that the President of the United States had committed the high crime of perjury seemed immaterial. Democrats are almost always excused for sexual misconduct, while Republicans are always put out of office. It takes something more than mere adultery to derail a Democrat.
Juanita Broaddrick had something more, a credible tale of rape. She appeared on national television and sounded very credible. Clinton had a serious problem. He could have gone down in history as the first President to be impeached twice. Even if he stayed in office, his last year would be seriously marred. His wife, Hillary, made no secret of the fact that she was hoping to become the second President Clinton. As the wife of an unfaithful husband, she might even get sympathy votes. As the wife of a rapist, she might not be perceived in such a good light. And the same liberals who had just agreed that adultery was an OK thing would have to either endorse a man’s ‘right’ to rape, or turn on Bill Clinton.
When in trouble, stir up a crisis and don’t let it go to waste
What could Clinton do? He had to do what presidents in serious trouble – or who want to make a name for themselves – normally do: stir up a crisis and go deal with it. Franklin Roosevelt created new public spending programs that flew in the face of the Constitution. John Kennedy focused on his space race to the Moon. Lyndon Johnson started a war in Vietnam. Richard Nixon went to China. Gerald Ford printed up some WIN (Whip Inflation Now) lapel buttons. Jimmy Carter assured anyone who would listen that the energy crisis was ‘real.’ Clinton needed a way to look important and to take the focus off the fact that he was a rapist.
So, what could he have done? Osama bin Laden was at large and had already attacked US embassies. Clinton had missed a few chances to capture him before, so now he could have simply grabbed him and perhaps prevented the 9-11 attack. But the general public didn’t know much about bin Laden or al-Qaeda yet. Clinton could have focused on the problems that were brewing at the Mexican border. He could have worked with a then-functioning Mexican government and States bordering Mexico to clear up the problem, thus halting the increase in violence and drug cartel activity, and, perhaps, helping our neighbor to the South remain stable. Or Clinton could have publicly repented. He could have declared himself a sex addict and asked for forgiveness. He could have called for America to reassert itself as a Christian nation even if that required a Constitutional amendment.
Instead, Clinton reached for a juicier target. In a world that that still felt that Hitler should have been stopped earlier, Clinton sought to create a new ‘Hitler,’ a new ‘nationalistic people,’ and find a new war to start to prevent a ‘new Holocaust’. But where could he look? It had to be a relatively small country, as he could not afford a big war. It had to be a people with a substantial amount of modern technology, as nobody seems to care about the next genocide in the third world. It had to be a distant culture that Americans knew little about. And he had to be able to concoct a clearly definable goal, as blundering into a new Vietnam would only make things worse for him. But where could Clinton find this dog to wag?
Then it dawned on him: Yugoslavia! He could make Slobodan Milosevic into his new ‘Hitler.’ He could accuse the Serbs of excessive ‘nationalism.’ While the Serbs had committed no genocide of any kind, he could invent a new term that would imply it: ‘ethnic cleansing.’ Of course, the term didn’t make any sense, but who cares; this is Bill Clinton, one of history’s smoothest liars; some call him the godfather of lies.
What about the clearly definable goal? That seemed simple enough. Yugoslavia was breaking up faster a Hollywood marriage of the 1950s. In the poorest, most seemingly insignificant part of Yugoslavia, the Serbian Christian population was disappearing and the Albanian Muslim population was increasing. It was the perfect goal. Clinton wouldn’t even have to rely on the troops on the ground. He would merely bomb the Serbs until they agreed to give up Kosovo entirely. It would be like asking a beautiful American city to give up its most impoverished neighborhood, or so he thought.
The Holy Land of Kosovo
Not very many people in a American had ever heard of Kosovo or knew what it meant to the Serbian people. For that matter, not many Americans knew what a Serb was; for all they knew, the Serbs could have been a political party in Yugoslavia or a social/cultural movement in the Balkans. The Serbs’ homeland had been known as Yugoslavia since the 1920s. Indeed, Americans who were poorly versed in European history frequently confused Serbia with Siberia.
No, it is impossible to stop being a Serb.
As a typically ignorant American, Clinton was in for a real surprise. It turns out that Serbs are an ethnic people. Well, not only an ethnic people, but an ethnic people with cohesive religious ties. Sort of like the Greeks are expected to be Greek Orthodox. Or how the people in Ireland are expected to be Roman Catholic. Much like the Jews can be thought of as a people or as a religion, but normally they are both. Those who know Serbs know that Orthodoxy is every bit as much a part of their culture as it is to the Greeks. Clinton’s paint-the-Serbs-as-Nazis strategy had nothing to do with the facts. If anything, Clinton marched in Hitler’s footsteps by scapegoating and demonizing the Serbs.
Another real surprise was that Kosovo was not some insignificant impoverished province that the Serbs would be money ahead just to jettison. It turns out that Kosovo was the most important part of Serbia. The Serbs’ history, faith and heart were all centered in Kosovo. Kosovo was a land of monasteries and monks, of churches and of worship, of beautiful scenery and beautiful national memories. Asking the Serbs to give up Kosovo was like asking them to give up their very souls.
Go Ahead Bomb Us! We Have Traveled This Road Before
The reaction of the Serbian people was almost unprecedented. They politely told the world, “Косово је Србија.” In English, that is “Kosovo is Serbia.” Young people went to parties. Workers reported for work every day. Families went about their lives almost like nothing out of the normal was going on. Serbs have a stoic turn of mind, so they made jokes, sort of a weird gallows humor, about their current situation.
The city of Belgrade surrounds the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers. Several large bridges tie the city together. One bridge was considered vital, so the Serbs devised an interesting defense program. Volunteer citizens agreed to keep a vigil on that bridge every night, a human shield against the bombing. It reminds us of the martyrs of the Early Church recorded in the Bible, and even the Jewish martyrs in the Old Testament. Note that those martyrs usually waited for the authorities to round them up; they didn’t tend to go out looking for an opportunity to give their lives for the faith.
Martyrdom is nothing new for the Serbian people. Fighting against an aggressor is in the Serbian genes. For example, during World War I, the Serbian people suffered more civilian combat causalities than military combat casualties. No, I do not mean, “collateral damage” causalities. These were actual civilians who took up arms for the defense of Serbia and were killed or wounded in action.
The Land Where Empires Die
The Ottoman Turkish Empire conquered the Serbian people. They held the Serbian people in slavery for roughly five centuries. What happened to the Ottoman Turks? The Serbs and their allies defeated them in World War I and there is no more empire and no more Ottomans.
The Habsburgs and their Austro-Hungarian Empire attacked the Serbs during World War I. World War I also brought and end to the Habsburg Dynasty and its empire.
Hitler and his Nazis had a powerful empire in the 1930s and early 1940s. The American aviator, Charles Lindbergh, called the Nazi war machine “unbeatable.” Well, the Serbs and their allies put an end to Nazis in World War II.
Survivor of Nazi German bombing of 1941
waits for NATO/Nazi bombs
at the main square in Belgrade, April 1999.
After World War II, a great Communist empire reached its tentacles as far as the Balkans. Decades went by with the West fearing nuclear war. Appeasement and detente seemed like the best that could be hoped for. Few dreamed that it would ever crumble. Once Communist seemed to mean always Communist. At first, Tito’s regime was synonymous with Soviet Communism, if not out-and-out Stalinism. Even after Tito broke with the Soviet bloc, Yugoslavia remained Communist. In Yugoslavia, any Serb who would dare even refer to himself as a “Serb” risked imprisonment. From the point of view of preserving one’s faith and culture, the Communist slavery was possibly the worst that a Serb might ever endure. Heck, the Ottoman Turks may have put you in chains, raped your daughters, kidnapped your sons and made them in to Janissaries, but they never prevent you from calling yourself a “Serb.” Yet, as the 1980s drew to a close, Tito died, and so did the Communist empire in Europe.
These empires all died, yet the Serbian people survived. One wonders: Which will last longer, the Serbian people or the US government? If history is any guide, you know how to place your bet.
The US Ran Out of Bombs, So Clinton Agreed to the Serbian Terms
Before Clinton and his NATO allies unleashed their bombing raid on the Serbs, he gave the Serbs an ultimatum. It is kind of funny that the first big war of the twentieth century and last big war of the twentieth century both started the same way. One of the greatest superpowers of the day gives the Serbian people an ultimatum and the Serbs say, “No, we would rather die than sacrifice our principles.”
Both the ultimatum that lead up to World War I and the ultimatum that lead up to the Kosovo had a lot in common and could not be accepted by any independent nation. Yet, the 1999 ultimatum differed from the 1914 ultimatum in one hideous respect, Kosovo. In 1999, the Serbs were told that the “reasonable” Albanians in Kosovo had already accepted an agreement for the future of Kosovo. All the Serbs had to do was sign on to it without a single word of input from the Serbian side. Never mind that giving up Kosovo was illegal back in Belgrade. “Just sign the paper and go home a criminal, Slobo! It is that or war!”
The Serbs had agreed to take their army out of Kosovo, to bring in the international KFOR “peacekeepers”, but they could not relinquish it. The Serbs had already granted the Albanians living in Kosovo many special rights, but they could not give up their holy land.
So, Clinton and his NATO forces bombed the Serbs for 78 days and 78 nights. Reports of damage were everywhere. America expected a quick victory as they had achieved in the 1991 Operation Desert Storm. The superior US weapons were supposed to bring the Serbs into submission. But the defiance continued. Clinton was getting nowhere.
The American people were ambivalent toward the war. The liberals were not protesting; no surprise, as it was a liberal Democrat’s war. The so-called “peace movement” showed its true colors as a left-wing extremist movement, which often hijacks legitimate sentiment against fruitless adventures. But from another standpoint, the war was indeed a success: after two and a half months, the American people had forgotten about the rapist-in-chief’s misadventures in Arkansas.
Further to the east, Red China was rumbling; they might have to take back Taiwan as Lincoln had taken back the American South. The White House responded: “Hey, that was different!” However, a lot of people in Dixieland know that is not. Other hot spots in the world were bringing a sobering reality to that mansion on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. What if the US were to face a real crisis somewhere? Where are the bombs going come from to deal with it?
So, to stop wasting bombs on the Serbs, Clinton decided that if Milosevic would just take his army out of Kosovo, then Kosovo would remain part of Serbia. Once the KFOR “peacekeepers” are in place and the dust settles, the Serbian army would be permitted come back into Kosovo to defend the monasteries and religious shrines.
So, did the Serbs keep their part of the bargain? Yes, the army left Kosovo immediately. Did those KFOR “peacekeepers” jump right in and keep the peace? Well, not so much. That weekend in June saw a bit of a delay with the KFOR. Fortunately, one country did come in for a time to prevent the Albanian Muslims from killing off countless Serbs. Thanks, Russia! We knew we could count on you when the chips are down. Just as the Russians took the lead fighting the Nazis in World War II while Western powers kept their ground forces off the European continent, the Russian KFOR jumped into Kosovo while the rest of the world slept.
How about the rest of the bargain; did the US keep it? Just ask any American Indian how well the US government keeps its bargains!
Church of the Dormition of the Mother of God in Musutiste (Suva Reka),
built in 1315,before the destruction (source)
Church of the Dormition in Musutiste,
burned and later completely demolished by explosive, July 1999 (source)
What Was Learned in the Aftermath
During the 78 days of bombing, the western lame-stream media reported considerable damage to Serbia. But, when the dust cleared, it was mostly damage to civilian targets. The Western media claimed that most of the Serbs’ 200 tanks in Kosovo had been destroyed. Yet, after the war, about 250 Serbian tanks actually left Kosovo. It turned out that many of the “destroyed” tanks were old discarded tanks or other objects used as decoys. The Serbs deployed convincing decoy aircraft as well. Evidence was found that many of the roads “destroyed” during the bombing were just lines painted to look like roads from the sky. It was learned that Serbs had rigged microwave ovens to run with their doors open. The bombers’ instruments thought they detected a nice juicy military target that was really just a microwave in the middle of nowhere. The Serbs had proved to be masters of deception and caused the NATO forces to waste a lot explosive power bombing valueless decoys.
Of course, we were promised all sorts of evidence of “ethnic cleansing” which was billed as a new holocaust. Given that a war had been ragging in Kosovo for years, the actual number of recent deaths was fairly low. All the so-called “mass graves” turned out to contain mostly Serbian bodies. Often these so-called “mass graves” were actually individual graves at cemeteries where burials had been performed in the normal manner. Other sites proved to contain human remains from the Second World War or earlier.
After the second War with Iraq, the left-leaning American media complained incessantly about the lack of evidence that the Iraqis had any weapons of mass destruction. Yet, more than a decade later and we still have no evidence of any pogroms committed by Serbs in Kosovo or anywhere else. Over a decade on, the media takes pains to avoid that topic.
If this article seems a little one-sided and simplistic, GOOD! What you have heard about the Balkans in the American media has been extremely pro-Muslim and made to seem overly complicated. Had the truth been known, American foreign policy relating to the Balkans would have been considerably different for the past 60 or even 70 years. Learn the truth and spread it. It is never too late to change course.
- 1389 Blog: Balkans for Dummies category link
- American Council for Kosovo
- Julia Gorin – Republican Riot
- The Lord Byron Foundation for Balkan Studies
- Stella L. Jatras: An Open Letter to Lieutenant General Michael Short
- Kosovo, the Land of the Living Past
- Srpska Mreza – Serbian Network
- Serbian Unity Congress
- Gray Falcon – Nebojsa Malic
- Serbian Orthodox Church
- Emperors Clothes
- Rick Rozoff
- Sorabia (Yahoo group)
- Novi Mostovi (New Bridges, Yahoo group)