What's My Line

Jim heartfield jim at heartfield.demon.co.uk
Tue Apr 13 07:05:36 PDT 1999

In message <00b401be859f$b9ad7700$5501050a at de.diamondmm.com>, Johannes Schneider <Johannes.Schneider at gmx.net> writes

>If you go to
>http://www.zik.com/english/kla8.htm you will find out the UCK has been
>frequently demanding independence.

But when I go to the site it is clear that the KLA only ever raises the demand for independence' as a negotiating counter to rally the West to intervene. In every practical respect the KLA is a Washington based lobby demanding Western intervention. It's relations to International Agencies clearly more important to it than its relations to the Kosovars.

The following is all reproduced with my comments interpolated in [brackets].


14th Political Declaration

We ask from NATO and UN to force the Serb retreat from the territories of Kosova and enable the refugees a safe return back to their destroyed and robbed homes. Otherwise, the Kosova Liberation Army will continue their fight for independence.

[Note here that the fight for independence is cited not as a principle, but as a negotiating counter to pressurise Nato.]

[Then the KLA goes on to the important business of monopolising the opposition with thinly veiled threats against political opponents:]

1. The General Headquarters of the Kosova Liberation Army remind the international relevant institutions that the most significant factor in discussing the future of Kosova among Prishtine, Belgrade and International Community is KLA and as such, it will punish anyone who dares to sign any agreement that means less than the decision made by the people of Kosova in the 1991 Referendum.

[The overwhelming preoccupation here is the KLA monopolising the right to represent the Albanians to the international community. This is not addressed to ordinary people as to WHY they should support KLA, only to rivals on the grounds that they had better support KLA]

[And then this fascinating intervention into Albanian politics. Here the frustration with Albania is palpable.]

6. The General Headquarters of KLA invite all the political groups in Albania to stop their political quarrels that only cause intra-national divisions; these divisions only delay the development of Albania and its economy, at the same token, their help to Kosova.

[Having denounced the rival politicians in Kosovo and Albania, the KLA addresses its key demands to Nato and the OSCE, indicative of its orientation:]

8. The General Headquarters of KLA demand from the international community to offer groups of experts who will be able to research all the crimes committed in Kosova. Also, for all the criminals to be sentenced in the Hague Tribune.

[Not surprisingly the KLA realizes the importance of its Western sponsors. It should do, they are its entire strategy. Demands to internationalise the conflict represent a demand for the subordination of self-determination to realpolitik.]

9. The General Headquarters of KLA, realizing the importance of the relevant international factors such as UN, European Community, NATO, the USA, England and other western countries, offers its full support to the North Atlantic Alliance in order to establish freedom, peace and democracy everywhere where there is needed. Our help contains the human factor that is necessary for peace and democracy anywhere in the world. Prishtine, October 16, 1998 15th Political Declaration

[This declaration finds the KLA entirely cast in the role of enforcers of the UN security council, Nato and the Contact group:]

The General Headquarters of the Kosova Liberation Army, based on the 1199th Resolution of the Security Council of UN and the decisions made by the Contact Group and NATO, demands from these institutions to:

[Pointedly for an "independence" movement, the KLA's demands are for the surrender of police investigations to foreing agencies:]

* To establish satisfactory conditions for the professional teams of the Hague Tribune to do crime research in Kosova;

[and then comes this blanket surrender of Kosovan independence to the OSCE:]

* To allow the OSCE verifiers do independent work.

[The only demand relating to the rights of Kosovans, as opposed to international agencies, is the right of the KLA to sole representation of the Kosovan people, representation to international agencies, that is.]

* The negotiations on the future of Kosova to be led by the Kosova Liberation Army. Any other kind of negotiations will be unacceptable by the KLA;

[And then, like an afterthought, comes the liberation part of 'Kosovan "Liberation" Army', but not as a goal, but once again as a negotiating counter.]

Not fulfilling these demands will mean a continuation of the liberation fight for freedom and democracy in the Kosova Liberation Army part that has protected this nation so far.

Prishtine, October 10, 1998

[The KLA's crank historiography contains the usual confusion between Albanian nationalism and Kosovan nationalism:]

Albanians in general, especially the ones from Kosova, are one of the oldest nations in the Balkans and Europe, they are ancestors of the Illyrians, authentic to the land, and with history as ancient and plentiful as Greek and Latin; Albanians are a nation with a different identity from the Serbs; Kosova has had its identity of a state since the ancient past (Dardania), in the times of the Ottoman time as the Vilajet of Kosova, in the AVNOJ Yugoslavia;

[So, they're Albanians, who are especially Kosovans. Albanians are a nation, Kosovans had a state 'under the Ottoman Empire', and now, perhaps under the Nato Empire.]

During WWII Kosova had its own political subjectivity.

[Interesting, care to expand...]

The Albanian representatives

[the who? not the Kosovan representatives, then, but the Albanian...]

in the Bujan Conference, held on December 31, 1943 and January 1 & 2 1944 decided to have Kosova become part of Albania.

[Is this what Kosova's 'own political subjectivity' means, then, that the Albanian representatives decided to have Kosova become part of Albania.]

[And then of course the usual hymn of praise to the sponsors:]

The Kosova Liberation Army has always respected the international mechanisms, diplomats, military and humanitarians, respects the war and peace conventions, and this way respects the 1199th Resolution of the Security Council of UN, the decisions made the Contact Group, NATO and European Union.

[And who are the KLA's demands addressed to? To the people of Kosovo? Or to the leaders of Europe and the US?]

KLA ... expects from the international community to come up with a fair and standing solution to the Kosova problem.

[And on what grounds does it expect this?]

Albanians, like any other world nation, has rights to their independence and to live free and independent in their own country and to decide for themselves.

[Granted, indeed Albanians are a nation. Arguably Kosovans are part of that nation. But even the KLA does not expect anyone to believe that Kosovans are a nation. But then why does the KLA not call for union with Albania?]

-- Jim heartfield

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