Understanding the Balkan Wars

By Pierre-Marie Gallois
Sunday, 5 Sep 2010

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Address given by the late General Pierre-Marie Gallois on March 25, 2009, at Salle Lumiere in Paris, at a commemoration marking the tenth anniversary of NATO’s bombing of Serbia.
Today we meet over a very unfortunate anniversary – ten years since 1999, when western democracies, lead by Germany, England, USA and France, bombed the state of Yugoslavia, severely violating the international justice, UN Charter, Helsinki Accords and rules of border inviolability, when they entered the war, without the UN Security Council mandate and consultation of their own parliaments. In short, this series of violations of international justice, is a black mark on the morality of western countries which behaved like autocracies, ignoring their own employer.
It should be noted that the dismemberment of Yugoslavia was an operation long prepared in Germany. This was not merely about anticipating President Tito’s departure in 1980 but it was also necessary to prepare the subsequent period, exploiting his absence, dislocating the territories Germany considered not to be national but territories composed of various ethnicities and religions. Of course, Germany was very eager to get support for the intended territorial secession.
It happens that I was indirectly involved in the course of these talks by frequently attending the meetings of Franz Josef Strauss, German Defense Minister and later a Minister of Finance, which have regularly been taking place in 1976 and 1977 in Germany, on a small farm near Munchen. The discussions usually lasted for two or three days and were attended by a dozen of figures and dealt with world affairs. There was the British representative, Brian Crozier, the Spanish representative, a former minister Sanchez Bella, the Vatican representative…
M. Violet, a lawyer. I was the French representative. We talked about everything and nothing for the whole two days. I still well remember the discussions when my German neighbors regarded Yugoslavia as inanimate and considered that the different kind of territorial organization should be prepared after Tito’s death. In my opinion, the reason why Germans, otherwise very good geopoliticians, expressed particular sensitivity in regards to this matter, were as follows:
First of all, German desire to get back at Serbs who fought on the side of Allies in WWI and WWII against Germany. Besides, in 1941, Serbs, initially led by Mihailovic and then Tito, managed to hold off numerous German divisions, which were otherwise very precious for the Moscow front and then Leningrad. So, Berlin, at the time it was Bonn, thought that Serbian resistance contributed to German defeat in world wars. These people were to be punished.
Secondly, the next German idea was to reward Croats and Muslims who joined Germany and occupied certain positions in France during the war, to thank them because they chose German side. Thus, to favorize Croats and Bosnian Muslims.
Thirdly, the third German idea was for Croatia and Slovenia to enter economical sphere of EU, which, at the time was presided over by Germany. In this way, a possibility would open up for Germany to further its interests in the Dalmatian coast and thus gain access to the Mediterranean.
In addition to these reasons, there’s a German conviction in American intervention considering the importance of leading position in NATO. In military terms, it was a well-planned campaign.
In my opinion, these were the motives which caused Germany to play its role. It was also necessary to bring the US and France onboard. Back at the time, Mr. Kohl had a certain influence over Mitterand, who, exhausted and sick, was preoccupied with the struggle for public opinion over the actual Constitution. In February 1994, along with his Foreign Minister Juppé, he joined German military coalition on behalf of Croat-Muslim federation. The purpose of this federation was to expel Serbs from the territory they inhabited for centuries, to reduce their territory in Bosnia from 64% to less than 40%. I’ll comment on the accompanying powerful propaganda campaign a bit later. It was this famous French démarche which followed a German one.
The US intervention ensued. The US initially hesitated suspicious of the future landscape. There was also a doubt considering the 1939-1945 war and the resistance of Serbian people under German occupation. They suspected embarking on a very delicate and difficult adventure. Above all, they were the hostages to Saudi and Iraqi oil much more than the hostages of the future traffic of oil via Danube and Belgrade, down the Corridor 8 stretching from Caspian Sea to the Durres on Albanian coast. All this seemed so far away and they were not interested. Finally, under German pressure, they recognized that there was an interest for their engagement.
What kind of interest?
First of all, to prove Europeans that they are not capable of acting on their own; because, if the US kept out of it, there would be a chaos, disorder, the war, which would force them once again to return to that place. Such display of force would merely demonstrate the need and necessity of NATO.
On the other hand, there was Russia which needed to be humiliated in advance as much as possible. At the time, Russia was in the hands of Yeltsin and Harvard brainiacs who were supposed to implement the market economy in place of the old planned economy. The entire venture was supposed to be undertaken in a way to test the expression of Slavic solidarity.
Since Germany matured quite a bit at the time, one idea was that it would be interesting to occupy a certain area in the Balkans. Hence, the famous Bondsteel. Which area to give priority to; whether Albania, Durres or the pipeline junction of Corridor 8, which, some day, would be transporting oil from the Caspian basin to the Adriatic Sea? For these reasons, Americans got interested and soon completely took charge of the operations. German, English, Italian and French troops are placed under the command of American Mediterranean Fleet. This whole operation was of huge significance to them because it, essentially, represents the precedent for their future operations in Iraq.
Balkan operations were conducted in a following manner; primarily, the loudness of disinformation campaign: telling utter lies in a way to establish a fixed victim in public so that its defense would be conducted with the full consent of public opinion. This is why it was necessary to fabricate Serbian crimes. One of the first fabricated crimes was the rape of 48,000 women. American experts on Balkans later changed this figure into 4,000 women, later on it turned into 40 and these 40 probably turned into 4 after the investigation was underway. The fabrications went on, from the bomb explosion in Vasa Miskin St. to the Markale Market massacre which was blamed on Serbs, even though Muslims were targeting their own, on purpose, in order to accuse Serbs of this crime.
A myth was also concocted on how Serbian army invading Sarajevo, getting ready for an imminent destruction which was absolutely necessary to prevent, of Sarajevo being occupied and demolished by the Serbs. All this was a lie and I was personally one of the witnesses because I went to Sarajevo at the time and was received by a municipal president whom I joined for lunch. The city was split in two, a Bosnian Muslim zone and a Serbian zone. There was no siege; that was a pure lie which still remains ever since it was launched.
Then, there was Racak, claiming that Serbs committed a crime, which, again, was not true, but it served marvelously as a pretext to begin the bombardment.To go into action and bomb this unfortunate country, including its civilian population and to use depleted uranium without taking into account fatal consequences of such operations, in short, means to sacrifice the people.
This entire scheme was conducted in planned stages. First of all, extreme maltreatment of the nation accused of crimes; secondly, the destruction of economic resources in order to break the spirit of resistance which eventually happened; thirdly, bomb the economic apparatus of the country, so it would have hard time consolidating later on; fourthly, conduct a full-scale occupation as suggested by Rambouillet Agreement and, once there, profit from the misery the people were plunged into, establish political leaders that would be sympathetic to the aggressor’s cause.
This four-stage system was conducted consecutively, industriously, intelligently and some of its elements were employed in Iraq. It’s fair to say that the Balkans were American strategic lesson for Iraq. As we all know, all this in Iraq ended up in bombing, torture, wounds, prisons and maltreatment, all the things to some extent used for experimentation in the Balkans. All this was to the benefit of the West which in both cases behaved autocratically. To save one by oppressing the other? This was the operation which deeply shocked me because it was a kind of model based on the public opinion which could absorb all this disinformation, which is really disturbing because it allows for all kinds of incidents in the future.
Today, we reflect upon a tragic decade when Europeans demonstrated their willingness to kill each other, partly incited and supported by this broad German initiative, which was only recently unified in 1990 and 1991, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and found no other options but to commence this famous war. Anyways, in 1999, following the Dayton Agreement, after Mr. Milosevic refused the Appendix B which called for NATO occupation of Serbian territory for an unlimited period of time, offering the aggressor all possible benefits, airports, roads, railways and everything free of charge, all of which was refused, this Rambouillet charade then ended up in bombardment.
An unfortunate epoch, an unfortunate period, we today reflect upon with great sorrow because the western world demonstrated its capability of utter perversions in order to conform to a German obsession which put an end to all that was left of the treaties of Versailles and Trianon, which, first of all, means Yugoslavia and then Czechoslovakia, which is exactly what happened in order for Germany to erase the map of territorial and political organization, drawn out by the Allied victory in a way that nothing remains of it. And France, certainly, joined this, allowing Mr. Kohl to say that Dayton Agreement and everything that ensued was a great victory for Germany.
Provided that Mr. Mitterrand understood this, which was not the case, he should’ve added that this was a great mistake for France. The grave mistake of the dismemberment of Yugoslavia and the removal of results of dearly paid military victories through massacres and sacrifices in order to justify operations which were not supposed to have taken place by all means and under any circumstances.
In this case, the westerners performed absolutely unethically, which caught me off guard because I didn’t expect this from the creators of the concept of human rights, from France, England and even Germany. Nevertheless, this old demon, summoned mostly by Germany, reemerged and turned to the already existent chaos in these lands, whether it is Republika Srpska or Kosovo.
In Kosovo, of course, the very heart of Serbia, in a very short time, Muslims destroyed dozens and dozens of religious art masterpieces of Serbian people which basically amounts to the massacre of Serbian people, the same way French would be massacred by the destruction of Loire Valley and its castles or Ile-de-France. So we live in very unfortunate times and I’m not sure how we’re going to pull through morally. In any case, we have proven our deceitfulness. That’s not something to be proud of