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Why French Troops Stood by as Albanians Burned a Serbian Village to the Ground

Dispatch from Agence France Presse,
21 March

EC Comment by Jared Israel
[Posted 21 March 2004]


EC Comment

Really, could it be clearer?

As most of our readers are probably aware, for the past five days Albanian terrorists have raged through Kosovo, beating and killing Serbian residents, destroying their homes and property, burning Serbian Orthodox churches to the ground, attacking nuns and priests.

Below is a dispatch sent out today, 21 March, by Agence France Presse. It describes how French NATO "peacekeepers" sat in their military base on top of a hill and watched for hours as Albanian thugs burned a Serbian village to the ground. The French troops evacuated some Serbs, but otherwise they did nothing. 


Obviously, the French, with all the weapons of a modern army, could have stopped the thugs in five minutes: they only needed to use those weapons. But although they managed to evacuate Serbian residents before any were killed (or so we are told), they allowed the Albanians to burn everything down. Of course this means the French troops had orders from NATO not to intervene.  Indeed it means more: it means the Albanian thugs *knew* that the French had orders from NATO not to intervene.  For unless the thugs were *sure*  French troops would refrain from taking appropriate action - i.e., doing whatever was necessary to stop the attack - the thugs would never have dared launch a several-hours long assault on the Serbian village. In other words, the NATO troops and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) terrorists have a division of labor.  NATO oversees; the KLA does the dirty work.

According to Agence France Presse, the Serbian residents were confused about the French role. Thus one Serb, furious at the French, is quoted as follows:

"We were friends," he said of the French troops. "We knew they were there to protect us. Unfortunately, when the biggest problem arose, they turned their backs on us."

But he is quite mistaken. The French were *not* there to protect the Serbs. 

Sure, some French troops were friendly to individual Serbs - if you have met any Serbian farmers you know they are as likeable as anyone on earth.  But NATO has a dark strategy: the fostering of a fascist movement among Albanians.  To that end, NATO troops were sent into Kosovo. Up until now they have had three purposes:

a) to make sure the Yugoslav Army does not return;

b) to guarantee that the KLA functions - as they do indeed function - as the government of Kosovo;

c) to foster a fascist political base for the KLA among Albanians.

This last - fostering fascism among Albanians - has been the most important.  

In order to strengthen the KLA as a fascist movement, so it can be used by NATO for various purposes in the Balkans, and to encourage similar forces elsewhere - for example, the Chechen terrorists whom NATO uses against Russia -  the KLA must be made to feel and appear powerful. Thus KLA leaders were told to stage this massive pogrom, and they were allowed to do so successfully.

All over Kosovo, Albanian terrorists, returning home from burning down villages such as Svinjare, are telling other Albanians, "You should have been there.  NATO just sat and watched.  It was like shooting ducks in a barrel. Nothing can stop us."

In 1929 fascist agitators incited Arabs to murder Jews in the city of Hebron, in the Palestine Mandate area. To embolden would-be murderers, the fascists told them, "The government [meaning the British government] is with us!" [1]

 The current message is that the Western powers may decry terrorism, but in fact "the government is with" the fascist terrorists.  This message of 'hope' will not be lost on similar forces in the Gaza Strip or Chechnya or Kashmir or Algeria. Or Western Europe...

Jared Israel
Emperor's Clothes


Smouldering Serb village in Kosovo gutted in sight of NATO peacekeepers

Agence France Presse, March 21

Agence France Presse; Section: International News; Headline: Smouldering Serb village in Kosovo gutted in sight of NATO peacekeepers; Byline: Jean-Eudes Barbier; Dateline: Svinjare, Serbia, March 21


Houses in the Serb village of Svinjare in northern Kosovo continue to smoulder days after an attack by ethnic Albanians in plain view of a NATO peacekeeping base.

Smoke rises from the ruins of the village -- situated between two ethnic Albanian towns three kilometres (two miles) south of Kosovska Mitrovica -- where not one of the 130 houses was spared by Albanian extremists in the attack on Thursday afternoon.

It was destroyed in a matter of hours. The Albanian flag flaps above some of the soot-blackened houses in a sign of defiance by the arsonists.

On some walls graffitti had been scrawled: the word "Drenica", the central Kosovan region where the Albanian separatist movement was born.

The carcass of a pig lies in the middle of the street, another in a grass ditch.

Ethnic Albanian men and children continued to pick through the carnage and loot what they can. The animals have already gone.

One boy wheeled off a wheelbarrow loaded up with plastic bags, another a satellite dish.

Less than one kilometre away is a base housing a French contingent of the NATO peacekeepers that have been deployed in Kosovo since the end of the 1998-99 war.

Yesterday hailed by the 600 or so Serb villagers for their kindness and geniality, the soldiers are today the target of scathing criticism.

"It's a shame for France!" screams one Svinjare resident, Ilinka Simic, who was out shopping in Kosovska Mitrovica when the village came under attack.

Simic, seething with anger, accused the French soldiers of "doing nothing to stop the Albanians from setting fire to everything... It's unbelievable."

As the violence escalated, Simic said the French troops evacuated his son, daughter and her two small children "at the last minute" to their camp.

"They saw everything from the hill, the destruction of all our worldly goods," Simic said.

"We were friends," he said of the French troops. "We knew they were there to protect us. Unfortunately, when the biggest problem arose, they turned their backs on us."

"We survived for five years but were chased out in 30 minutes," lamented Simic, one of 80,000 Serbs living in UN-adminsitered Kosovo, which has an ethnic Albanian population of 1.8 million.

"All I ask is that they give me a tent which I can pitch in my garden, that they allow me to rebuild my house, that they protect me. Svinjare is where I belong and I'm not going anywhere," he said.

Father German, an Orthodox priest whose monastery in southern Kosovo was burnt to the ground, thinks only of returning there as quickly as possible.

"I'm going back to Prizren at the first chance," Father German told AFP, adding that the church had taught him "not to hate its enemies."

"I would maybe have been able to live one day in an independent and truly democratic Kosovo, but after all that's happened over these last few days, that's no longer possible," he said in reference to the inter-ethnic clashes that have left at least 28 dead and more than 600 injured.

"From now, I will fight all my life against this province's independence from Serbia," he said.

The seven monks in the monastery were evacuated by NATO peacekeepers just before the attack late Wednesday, said the priest, currently in Kosovska Mitrovica, which has a 15,000-strong Serb population.

Father German said that 22 Orthodox churches and monasteries have been reduced to rubble since Wednesday and 19 Serb villages have been forcibly evicted.

The priest said NATO peacekeepers have never been in a position to stop the actions of extremist Albanians, whom he accused of having either partially or totally destroyed some 130 religious buildings since 1999, not including the latest wave of violence.

"Five years on, nothing is normalised. Quite the contrary," he said. "If neither NATO nor the UN can defend us, they must allow forces from Belgrade to return."

Copyright 2004 Agence France Presse  * Posted for Educational Purposes Only

[Footnotes and Further Reading Follows The Appeal]


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Footnotes and Further Reading


For EC articles on Yugoslavia, please go to 

[1] For eye-witness accounts of the events of 1929 in Hebron, see "'The Government is With Us' - The Hebron Pogrom of August 1929" at
Please notice especially the testimony of reporter Pierre Van Paassen, from his book, 'Forgotten Ally.'  You will find this by scrolling a bit more than half way down the page. Van Paassen's account of the attitude of the British official who was clearly under orders to permit the slaughter of Jews, but who didn't want to admit it, even to himself, gives one some insight into the possible mentality of the French soldiers, who are friendly to the Serbs, and yet *are under orders not to do their job* when the Albanians attack. 

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