From the beginning of the unrest in North Africa, your humble blogger held the opinion that America would get involved and it would be carried out along the lines of our action in Kosovo.
If you take the time to see the connections, this is indeed the most accurate comparison. Observe:
1986: Albanian majority (who just happens to be Muslim) are reportedly oppressing Serbian minorities (who happen to be mostly Christian). The slow collapse of the Soviet Union is leaving a power vacuum likely to be filled with whoever can buy the most guns.
1987: Slobodan Milosevic, new political leader of the region, visits Kosovo. Persecuted Serbs have been pouring out of the area, hampering the economy and causing tension in the streets. Milosevic’s government removes local leadership to impose more political control.
1989: Mass protests and organized strikes slow down the economy. Persecution of Serbs gets worse. Labor unions, communists, and other “community organizers” are encouraging the drama. Unemployment hits 59 percent.
1990: Police have violent confrontations with rioters. Milosevic’s government claims radicals infiltrated the Albanian population. Officials claim they want to bring harmony but can’t because of the radicals. Milosevic imposes a curfew and other steps to oppress Albanians.
1992: Serbs and Albanians are essentially living in segregation. Milosevic gains more power in a new election.
1996: Hardline Muslims, radical revolutionaries, and defected soldiers drift toward each other and eventually come to be known at the Kosovo Liberation Army. This group claims to be made of oppressed Albanians looking to destroy Milosevic’s control. Government officials offer evidence that Islamic mercenaries from the Middle East have infiltrated. The KLA begins guerilla warfare tactics of bombing buildings and vandalizing offices.
1997: America initially labels the KLA a terrorist group. The armed insurgency steals military equipment and wages urban warfare against Milosevic’s government.
1998: Both sides kill each other in haphazard violence. Human Rights Watch documents civilian massacres carried out by both hands. America deems the government violence more egregious, removes the KLA from the terror list, and begins to side with the rebels.
January 1999: The Serbian military massacres 45 Albanian civilians. NATO decides to take military action against Milosevic’s government.
March 22, 1999, President Clinton gives this public statement to justify American military action in the region:
It is 12 years to the day that NATO bombing began in Kosovo. The campaign lasted almost three months before Milosevic forfeited.
In the aftermath, Russian forces, supposedly there to retain the peace, seized a major airport and immediately began to jockey for control of the region. American General Wesley Clark was furious by the move and ordered NATO forces to repel the Russian unit. According to BBC News, Clark was outnumbered by other generals who were afraid that a direct attack on Russian troops would start World War III.
Last December, the UK Guardian revealed ongoing investigations that former KLA operatives, who now work in the Kosovar government, had funded the rebel campaign through drug trafficking, arms dealing, and other illegal ‘mafia’ activity.
Today, the United Nations remains in Kosovo while political planning continues. America and Western allies recognize a two-state arrangement of the Republic of Serbia sitting next to the Republic of Kosovo. Shockingly, some other UN members do not recognize these as independent nations. I’ll give you one guess as to who those people might be.
In 2011, what do we have? A Clinton running the show while NATO forces side with Muslim rebels to oust an abusive government. Russia and China are opposed to NATO intervention. The American media side against the government, fill the airwaves with images of Gaddafi’s war crimes, and show very little of the radical influence within the rebellion.
I’ll give you one guess as to how this operation will probably end up.