SIRIUS: The Strategic Issues Research Institute
Benjamin C. Works, Director; 
--Speak the Truth and Shame the Devil--


SIT 4-18; April 18, 1999

In this Issue:  Complications, Credibility and Incredible Nonsense

Iraq is back in the business of harassing US aircraft in both no fly zones.  
In the middle of Operation "Allied Force"  --"Allied Farce" as critics 
increasingly call it-- NATO commander General Wesley Clark --"The Supreme 
Being" as sarcastic NATO staffers now call him-- had to revive patrols over 
northern Iraq, transferring combat planes back to Incirlik from Italy.  He 
had pulled those Incirlik aircraft to Italy on March 20. 

But something must be up in the air and on the ground in northern Iraq.  And 
in the wake of the assassination of Lieutenant-General Ali Sayyad-Shirazi. 
Sayyad- Shirazi, Iran's Deputy Chief of General Staff and advisor to Iran's 
supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on April 10, there appear to be troops 
massing along the common Iraq-Iran border on both sides.

NATO & Credibility: Many have taken up the position that "once your are in 
it; you must win it."  The credibility of NATO and the United States are at 
stake, many argue, including Al Haig, Henry Kissinger, and of course, John 
McCain.  David Hackworth and I, along with other more sensible minds, reject 
the argument as specious, given that it was misbegotten from the beginning.  
"Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em," and never reinforce failure.  
NATO is betting the ranch on a pair of deuces.

NATO cannot lose its credibility as a defensive treaty, and has no 
credibility as an aggressor.  If any credibility is at stake, it is the 
intellectual credibility of the current members of NATO's committees of 
ambassadors, Foreign ministers and Defense ministers.

As to the United States, its credibility would not be at stake if it accepted 
a realistic way out of the bombing campaign, but its honor hangs in the 
balance of history if we were to launch a punitive ground war against 
Yugoslavia, based on a badly skewed view of the facts, as the SIRIUS archives 
and other unbiased observers continue to demonstrate.

Albanian Society --No Centers of Gravity in Never-Never land

I received two reports on April 14 of banditry in Northern Albania.  These 
are now included in a new archive (Albania-KLA-Crime.html as #15 and #16).  
In one from the BBC, three TV newspeople near Kukes were robbed of everything 
but the news videotape they had shot of refugees coming over the border.  
Thus, the KLA's refugee parade was allowed by patriotic bandits, to air in 
Britain and throughout the world that night. 

The other report, by the Boston Globe's Ann Kornblutt, confirmed refugees, 
relief workers and OSCE observers were getting car-jacked and robbed.  She 
further confirms that local gun dealers are playing king  --warlords is the 
classic term.  Of course, Sali Berisha is the high warlord and KLA godfather 
in this Never-Never land  -never go there, never expect much to come from 
there (same new archive #,1 and in KLA-Ideology-Leaders.html archive).

Albanians have no real modern civic sense yet; they remain largely immersed 
in their tribal-village culture, which includes the ritual violence of 
vendetta murder under the 15th century "Kanun of Lek Dukagjin."  A reporter 
in the New York Post this week described Albania's capital, Tirana, as 
"dysfunctional. There is no well-developed sense of "civitas," no abiding 
centers of gravity for to support a larger society. The deeper that NATO digs 
itself into the Kosovo question, the deeper it gets into an extended and 
expensive effort at "nation-building" in Albania

Lies, Damned Lies and Photographs

Operation Allied Force has descended to silly face-saving while remaining 
homicidal in its ability to kill innocent civilians much faster than it can 
damage the Yugoslav army. Dissembling and disinformation continues to mix in 
with propaganda and naked lying by KLA supporters among the refugees.

Friday morning at the NATO briefing, Jamie Shea again waxed eloquent, this 
time regarding the KLA, which is rising from the ashes like the Phoenix, he 
avowed.  Mr. Shea's macho assertions are very entertaining.

But there is a new KLA, which is trying to train up thousands in a compressed 
time.  They are no real threat but I am informed that European jails are 
being combed for Albanian criminals to deport home to flesh out the KLA's 
ranks, while others volunteer, and some refugees are combed out of convoys 
and dragooned into the ranks. Twice rumors have swirled that "Arkan" (Zelko 
Raznjatovic) was emptying jail cells in Serbia for recruits for his "White 
Eagles" paramilitary, but it seems that Europe's court systems are more than 
ready to rid themselves of violent-minded refugees in the name of the KLA 
cause and to the purpose of saving NATO's reputation.

 The German CIA equivalent has been behind the KLA for some time now, and 
other "black operations" groups may also be involved.  We already know that 
the British Special Air Service commandos are attempting to operate as 
target-spotters inside Kosovo, from reports in last weekend's London 
Telegraph newspaper.

These men are getting two weeks' training, one hears.  Grossly inadequate.  
"Shake and bakes soldiers" will not be effective against the Yugoslav Army 
even with Apaches and A-10s flying cover.  Many may have prior reservist 
training, and could improve their skills in a compressed course, but the 
world's armed forces know it takes 6 months to properly prepare soldiers for 
combat:  this is a matter of law in the United States.

If NATO could get thousands of KLA guerrillas back inside Kosovo, they would 
try to force Serb troops out in the open --a mini-set-piece battle 
stratagem-- where the Yugoslav forces could be strafed, bombed and rocketed 
by NATO air forces while the fairest flower of Serbian and Geg manhood is 
butchered.  This is beyond cruel.

Indeed, any encouragement of the KLA, which can no longer be entirely defined 
by its original hodgepodge of bizarre authoritarian ideologies and its heroin 
connections, is a mistake in that it perpetuates the warlord-dominated chaos 
of Albania and its armed survivors would dominate Albania and Kosovo in the 
aftermath of a hypothesized NATO success.  Congress should think through the 
consequences of creating a large guerrilla army out of this culture.

On the other hand, survivors of the battles this winter and spring, now have 
some field-craft skills.  Armed with cellular phones these teams are trying 
to operate inside Kosovo, to provide target information for ground attack 
aircraft.  The BBC showed one such team inside Kosovo on Friday night.

"Mass Graves:"  Mr. David Scheffer, US Ambassador-at-large for War Crimes 
Issues is making the rounds with photos of a second new burial ground, this 
time at Izbica.  Indeed, it appears that there have been about 150 individual 
graves dug and filled there since mid-March.  As with the group burial at 
Pusto Selo, shown in Monday's New York Times, there is no attempt by Yugoslav 
authorities to hide the burials and one expects the circumstances are well 
documented.  Other such sites will be found, and deaths are certainly in the 
hundreds in the near-four weeks of fighting underneath NATO airstrikes .  
Again I note that the buildings around the burial appear to be intact, rather 
than burned out, despite NATO allegations that 400 villages have been 
torched.  These group burials are not mass graves; Babi Yar and Auschwitz had 
mass graves.

It appears that the new graves are oriented towards Mecca, as Muslim custom 
is to bury the head toward that Holy city.  This would indicate the presence 
of Muslim clergy at the interments. The police established this practice last 
March at Srbica.

Mr. Scheffer, in an interview with Tony Snow on Fox News Sunday, recycled a 
lot of allegations that have never panned out; particularly about a hundred 
thousand missing men; who are visibly in all the refugee camps, or reportedly 
dragooned into the KLA if they have not been jailed as war prisoners.  Strobe 
Talbot continued the US government spin on NBC's Meet the Press in a 
conversation with Tim Russert.  In this case Talbot put an Orwellian 
counter-spin on prior remarks made by Yugoslav UN-Ambassador Jovanovic.  
Talbot characterized the Serb's inexpert defense as a combination of little 
lies and a big lie, continuing the Clinton Administration's own big-lie 
allegations that Yugoslavia is practicing genocide on a massive scale, 
without presenting any graphic evidence that there is anything other than 
retail death caused by a nasty little civil war.  Though the graves will turn 
out to have been dug by back-hoe, as with most graves in Kosovo and New York 
City's cemeteries, NATO came up with some lurid tales of Muslim labor gangs 
being forced to dig the graves.  A novelist could not make this stuff up and 
sell it, but Jamie Shea's flack shop can and does. And they have the temerity 
to accuse Belgrade of Orwellian spin.

Friday night on The Crier Report, David Hackworth and I discussed the absence 
of satellite images to document the allegations of large concentration camps 
in soccer stadiums, of 400 burned-out villages, of a pattern of butchery of 
tens of thousands. "Show me the pictures," we demanded.

As to Liddy Dole, she made a high-profile visit to the refugees on the 
Macedonian border.  Just before she went on air with a FoxNews reporter and 
an innocent little victim girl --yep, another Berisha-- Fox had to shift the 
camera angle so as not to show a group of young Albanian men playing 
basketball just behind her left shoulder --those men have been sorted out to 
an unknown destinations and fate after all, we are repeatedly told.

Attacking John Simpson: In this Orwellian swirl of NATO-US-British propaganda 
"spin cycle," it is appropriate to note that the Blair Government has even 
gone so far as to attack integrity and veracity of senior BBC world affairs 
editor John Simpson, now reporting from Belgrade, of swallowing Serbian 
propaganda and failing "to show skepticism."  This is interesting as the BBC 
was the model for the Ministry of Truth in Orwell's 1984, but somebody in the 
BBC is being objective and is under attack by the government which is 
propagating lies upon exaggeration, upon dissimulation. 

It is interesting that one might call this "The Arnett Strategy," as when the 
Bush Administration and loyal Americans attacked Peter Arnett for his 1991 
Baghdad reports during "Desert Storm."  Only this time, the BBC stands behind 
its man.

The propaganda barrage is all too incredible; and disingenuous. It is 
dispensed by most leaders in the major NATO nations.  This goes beyond Mr. 
Clinton's personal corruption, it stems from the contempt our governing 
classes hold their peoples.  Many Americans and others may wish, for 
self-esteem reasons, to believe that "fruits of the poisonous tree" are 
yummy, but I choose to believe that good policy does not come from a bad 
subset of "facts" and that good leadership and policy does not come from 
corrupted and self-deluding leaders.

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