July 29, 1999 - "Peace" 24
Washington 1. The "Clinton General," Our "Victorious" NATO
Commander, Gets the Boot
London 2. RAF Admits to Air Campaign Failure: Only Seven
(Not 13) Serb Tanks Hit After Over 36,000 Sorties
Washington 3. Would You Trust (Big) Brother Clinton to
Protect Your Rights?
Gnjilane 4. American Troops in Kosovo Repair Toppled
Prince Lazar Statue
Rome 5. Police Arrest Italian Mobster in Albania
1. The "Clinton General," Our "Victorious" NATO Commander, Gets the Boot
WASHINGTON, July 28 - "U.S. Decides to Remove Head of NATO Command," screamed a front page headline in todays Washington Post. After months of tension with the Pentagon over the conduct of NATO's war against Yugoslavia, Army Gen. Wesley Kanne Clark was abruptly informed yesterday (July 27) that his term as the alliance's top commander will end in April.
Clark had expected to stay at least a full three years until July 2000, and possibly longer, because most of his predecessors as the supreme alliance commander in Europe served in that post for four years or more. The White House declined to comment on the Pentagon decision.
The Pentagon sources told the Post said the timing of Clark's departure had been dictated by a desire to move Air Force Gen. Joseph W. Ralston, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, into the NATO job. Ralston had been planning to retire to Alaska when his term as the Joint Staff's second-highest ranking officer ends in February. Defense Secretary William S. Cohen, who values Ralston's skills as a military and diplomatic trouble-shooter, was particularly eager to retain the Air Force general, aides told the Post.
While Clark was Cohen's pick to take over as NATO commander in 1997, there were tensions between the general and the Pentagon leader over how to deal with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Clark favored a tougher U.S. and NATO posture toward Milosevic, with the use of force if necessary.
During NATO's 11-week air campaign last spring, Clark repeatedly pushed for more aircraft and a broader assault. He also urged the Pentagon to allow him to plan a ground invasion of Kosovo if the air strikes failed to drive Yugoslav forces from the Serbian province.
Controversy has followed Clark throughout his career, the Post said. While he has a reputation for intelligence, and moves comfortably between diplomatic and military worlds, he also has drawn resentment from military colleagues for being "too political" and for micromanaging subordinates.
TiM Ed.: Which is a kind way to put it. At the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Clarks subordinates derisively nicknamed him the "supreme being" (also check out "Meet the Real Gen. Clark: Vain, Pompous, Brown-noser... Clinton's Pal, and Now His Fall Guy?" - S99-68, Day 44, Update 2, Item 2, May 6, and "Another Albright Story: Gen. Wesley Clark, Grandson of Russian Jew, A Mass Murderer with Personal Vendetta" - Issue S99-63, Day 41, Item 3, May 3).
That Clark has become Clintons and Cohens fall guy for NATOs Kosovo "victory," a.k.a. debacle, is not surprising. The TiM May 6 headline had him pegged as such (" Gen. Clark Clinton's Pal, and Now His Fall Guy?"). But the fact that Clark took it on the chin, and still agreed to stay on as a "lame duck" NATO commander for another nine months, only helped strengthen the case of his critics.
The man evidently does not have much honor and personal self-esteem to go with his big ego. Which was also evident during his last visit to Capitol Hill, when Clark was snubbed by a number of Senators, whose empty chairs spoke volumes about what they thought of such "victories" (only six of 19 Senators were in their seats when Clark arrived for the hearing - see "No Ticker Tape Parade for War Criminal General; No Tough Questions, Either" - S99-119, "Peace" 13, Item 1, July 4).
By the way, Cohen also told the Post that he had spoken to the White House about maybe getting Clark an ambassadorship, obviously so as to soften the blow to NATO "supreme beings" ego. Not a bad idea, provided, of course, Clark is posted as the U.S. ambassador to Yugoslavia, with the mission to clean up the mess he had made. But we think that that would be only the second best post for Clark. The position for which Clark is best qualified is a front row seat at a war crimes trial. Along with his bosses (Clinton, Cohen) and other fellow-war criminals, such as Madeleine Albright, Sam Berger, Tony Blair, etc.
2. RAF Admits to Air Campaign Failure: Only Seven (Not 13) Serb Tanks Hit After Over 36,000 Sorties
LONDON, July 25 - Serious failings in intelligence, training, weapons and other hardware lay behind NATOs disappointing performance in Kosovo, according to extracts from an RAF paper seen by The Telegraphs defense correspondent, Andrew Gilligan.
Intelligence reports about Serb troop and equipment locations took up to three days to reach frontline attack squadrons, by which time the Serbs had changed position. Many pilots found themselves "bombing old tank tracks" or civilians as a result, the document says. American intelligence "bureaucracy" is blamed. Secure communications were sometimes inadequate, meaning that vital information could not be passed to RAF attack units for fear of the Serbs hearing it.
The paper is a detailed British account of the hitherto unknown reasons behind the West's almost complete failure to hit Serb forces in Kosovo. NATO has already conceded privately that its planes failed to damage Serb forces, but the RAF paper details for the first time the reasons why this was so. It is a contribution to a massive "lessons learned" exercise launched by the Ministry of Defense (MoD) almost as soon as the Kosovo war ended.
The draft paper, compiled by a senior RAF air commodore closely involved in the bombing campaign, is a contribution to a substantial Ministry of Defence inquiry into the lessons of Kosovo, led at brigadier, commodore and air commodore level in each of the three services. The MoD is attempting to conclude the exercise swiftly. Commanders have been asked to submit final papers by September.
The exercise has been given greater urgency by evidence that the 11-week Nato bombing campaign did almost no damage to Serb fielded forces in Kosovo. Even the widely-quoted Serb figure of just 13 tanks destroyed by Nato may be an overestimate, MoD insiders admitted. The true figure is believed to be closer to seven.
TiM Ed.: Only seven tanks hit after flying over 36,000 combat sorties and dropping thousands of bombs! No wonder Clark is being dismissed. He and his Pentagon and Whitehall colleagues have helped make the "worlds most powerful military alliance" the laughing stock of the world. Except, of course, for the relatives of the thousands of Serb civilians which they have managed to kill.
No wonder, there is no shortage of scorn being poured on NATO now, in the aftermath of such a "victory." "After blowing a cool $4 billion on bombs and missiles, NATO didnt do the demo job as hyped," Col. David Hackworth wrote in his July 13 nationally syndicated column. "Pound for pound of enemy gear destroyed, this was America's costliest war."
3. Would You Trust (Big) Brother Clinton to Protect Your Rights?
WASHINGTON, July 28 - "Would you trust (Big) Brother Clinton to protect your rights?" If not, you need to hit the phones and your keyboards, and sound an alarm - fast! And complain both to the White House, and to your congressional representatives (who may be blissfully ignorant about the latest assault on our liberties).
So whats all the fuss about? Komrade Klinton is up to no good. Again. (Big surprise, right?). "The Clinton Administration has developed a plan for an extensive computer monitoring system, overseen by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to protect the nation's crucial data networks from intruders," the New York Times reported in a front page story today.
A draft prepared by officials at the National Security Council last month, calls for a sophisticated software system to monitor activities on non-military Government networks, and a separate system to track networks used in crucial industries like banking, telecommunications and transportation, the Times said.
The plan calls for the creation of a Federal Intrusion Detection Network, or Fidnet, and specifies that the data it collects will be gathered at the National Infrastructure Protection Center, an interagency task force housed at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Government officials told the Times that the National Security Council was conducting a legal and technical review of the plan and that a final version is to be released in September, subject to Clinton's approval.
But the Clinton administrations plan strikes at the heart of a growing controversy over how to protect the nation's computer systems while also protecting civil liberties -- particularly since it would put a new and powerful tool into the hands of the F.B.I., the Times said.
The draft of the plan "clearly recognizes the civil liberties implications," James X. Dempsey, staff counsel for the Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington civil liberties group, told the Times. "But it brushes them away."
For the full New York Times story, check out http://www.nytimes.com.
4. American Troops in Kosovo Repair Toppled Prince Lazar Statue
GNJILANE, July 28 - A statue of the Serbs' most hallowed hero, smashed by Albanians, has been repaired by American Navy and Army welders belonging to the NATO peacekeeping force in Kosovo, the London Telegraph reported on July 28.
American officers say that the work on the face of Prince Lazar, who led the Serbs to a legendary defeat in the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, is intended to show Albanians and Serbs that cultural monuments must be protected. But senior Albanian rebel officers say they cannot give NATO peacekeepers any assurances that the statue will not be torn down again.
Prince Lazar fell face first on to his nose and crown on Saturday (July 24) when several hundred Albanians threw a lasso around his neck in Gnjilane, the headquarters of the American sector in eastern Kosovo, and pulled him over. U.S. naval engineers, assisted by the army colleagues, took the statue to their base camp, where repairs on the crown and face began over the weekend.
American officers say they are looking for a "dignified moment" to put the 30ft statue back in place in the center of Gnjilane. "This is a symbolic effort on our part and if the Albanians try to bring him down again we'll just put him back up," Capt. Larry Kaminski of the First Battalion, the 26th Infantry, stationed in Germany, told the Telegraph.
"People need to understand that you can't destroy their culture and think that they will respect yours." He said that the facelift was also intended to win the confidence of the embattled Serb community. "We hope the Serbs will see it as a good effort on our part and that they won't retaliate against any Albanian monuments."
TiM Ed.: But perhaps the most startling comment in the Telegraphs Prince Lazar story had nothing to do with ancient history. The London daily said that, "three-quarters of the province's Serb population has already fled revenge attacks by ethnic Albanians." This would put the figure of the Serbs who have been "ethnically cleansed" under NATO "peace" auspices at about 150,000 - the highest figure cited so far by the western sources (also see http://www.truthinmedia.org/Activism/nyt7-27-99.html for more on this).
5. Police Arrest Italian Mobster in Albania
ROME, July 27 - Police in Albania arrested a top Italian mob boss on July 27 with the help of investigators from southern Italy, Italian police officials told the Associated Press in Rome. Authorities allege that Giuseppe Muolo leads a clan of the United Sacred Crown, a crime syndicate based in Puglia, the region that makes up the "heel" of the Italian "boot."
For years, investigators have said mobsters from southern Italy have enjoyed a cozy relationship with criminals across the Adriatic in Albania. Crime gangs on both sides of the sea are believed to cooperate in trafficking in arms, drugs and contraband cigarettes as well as smuggling into Italy illegal immigrants.
Authorities said Muolo was spotted in a villa belonging to an Albanian crime boss in Durres, Albania's main port, and arrested when he headed to Tirana, Albania's capital. Muolo is wanted in Italy on seven warrants for murder. Investigators believe he is responsible for the slayings of several rival bosses in southern Italy and for dousing the bodies with gasoline and setting them on fire.
Also, check out... Truth in Media Statement on the Kosovo War, "Wither Dayton, Sprout New War?", "On the Brink of Madness", "Tragic Deja Vu's," "Seven U.S. Senators Suggest Ouster of Milosevic", "Biting the Hand That Feeds You", "A Balkan Affairs Potpourri", "Put the U.N. Justice on Trial", "International Justice 'Progresses' from Kidnapping to Murder", "Milosevic: 'A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery'...", "Kosovo Lie Allowed to Stand", "New World Order's Inquisition in Bosnia", "Kosovo Heating Up", "Decani Monastery Under Siege?", "Murder on Wall Street", "Kosovo: 'Bosnia II', Serbia's Aztlan", "What If the Shoe Were on the Other Foot?", "Serb WW II General Exhonerated by British Archives," "Green Interstate - Not Worth American Lives", "An American Hero or Actor of the Year?" (A June '95 TiM story) and/or "Clinton arme secrètement les musulmans bosniaques", "Kocevje: Tito's Greatest Crime?", "Perfidious Albion Strikes Again, Aided by Uncle Sam"
Or Djurdjevic's WASHINGTON TIMES columns: "Chinese Dragon Wagging Macedonian Tail," "An Ugly Double Standard in Kosovo Conflict?", "NATO's Bullyboys", "Kosovo: Why Are We Involved?", and "Ginning Up Another Crisis"