Chossudovsky: AMERICA AT WAR IN MACEDONIA

2001-07-27

Richard Moore

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Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2001 21:14:26 -0500
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Subject: America at War in Macedonia

Subject: America at War in Macedonia
    Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2001 19:07:06 -0400
   From: Michel Chossudovsky <•••@••.•••>
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AMERICA AT WAR IN MACEDONIA

by Michel Chossudovsky
Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa


See map at  http://www.bsrec.bg/taskforce/SYNERGY/oilprojects2.html.

Washington's covert war in Macedonia purports to consolidate America's sphere of
influence in southeastern Europe. At stake is the strategic
Bulgaria-Macedonia-Albania transport, communications and oil pipeline "corridor"
which links the Black Sea to the Adriatic coast. Macedonia stands at the
strategic crossroads of the oil pipeline corridor.

To protect these pipeline routes, Washington's goal is to install a "patchwork
of protectorates" along strategic corridors in the Balkans.  The promise of
"Greater Albania" used by Washington to foment Albanian nationalism is part of
the military-intelligence ploy.  Amply documented, the latter consists in
financing and equipping the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and its National
Liberation Army (NLA) proxy to wage the terrorist assaults in Macedonia.

The development of America's sphere of influence in Southeastern Europe --in
complicity with Britain-- supports the interests of the oil giants including
BP-Amoco-ARCO, Chevron and Texaco. Securing control and "protecting" the
pipeline routes is paramount to the success of these multi-billion dollar
ventures:

AA successful international oil regime is a combination of economic, political,
and military arrangements to support oil production and transportation to
markets.1

The Anglo-American consortium which controls the AMBO Trans-Balkan pipeline
project linking the Bulgarian port of Burgas to Vlore on the Albanian Adriatic
coastline largely excludes the participation of Europe's competing oil giant
Total-Fina-Elf. 2 In other words, US strategic control over the pipeline
corridor is intent upon weakening the role of the European Union and keeping
competing European business interests at arms' length.

WHO IS BEHIND THE TRANS-BALKAN PIPELINE?

The US based AMBO pipeline consortium is directly linked to the seat of
political and military power in the United States and Vice President Dick
Cheney's firm Halliburton Energy.3   The feasibility study for AMBO's
Trans-Balkan Oil Pipeline, conducted by the international engineering company of
Brown & Root Ltd. [Halliburton's British subsidiary] has determined that this
pipeline…will become a part of the region's critical East-West corridor
infrastructure which includes highway, railway, gas and fiber optic
telecommunications lines.4

And upon completion of the feasibility study by Halliburton, a senior executive
of Halliburton was appointed CEO of AMBO.  Halliburton was also granted a
contract to service US troops in the Balkans and build "Bondsteel" in Kosovo,
which now constitutes "the largest American foreign military base constructed
since Vietnam".5 Coincidentally, White and Case LLT, the New York law firm that
President William J. Clinton joined when he left the White House also has a
stake in the AMBO pipeline deal.

MILITARISATION OF THE PIPELINE CORRIDORS

The AMBO Trans-Balkans pipeline project would link up with the pipeline
corridors between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea basin, which lies at the hub
of the World's largest unexplored oil reserves (See map of
http://www.bsrec.bg/taskforce/SYNERGY/oilprojects2.html). The militarisation of
these various corridors is an integral part of Washington's design.

The US policy of  "protecting the pipeline routes" out of the Caspian Sea basin
(and across the Balkans) was spelled out by Clinton's Energy Secretary Bill
Richardson barely a few months prior to the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia:

"This is about America's energy security… It's also about preventing strategic
inroads by those who don't share our values. We're trying to move these newly
independent countries toward the west… We would like to see them reliant on
western commercial and political interests rather than going another way. We've
made a substantial political investment in the Caspian, and it's very important
to us that both the pipeline map and the politics come out right."6

The Anglo-American oil giants, including BP-Amoco-Arco, Texaco and Chevron
--supported by US military might-- are competing with Europe's oil giant
Total-Fina-Elf (associated with Italy's ENI) which is a big player in
Kazakhstan's wealthy North East Caspian Kashagan oil fields. The stakes are
high:  Kashagan is reported "so large as to even surpass the size of the North
Sea oil reserves."7 The competing EU based consortium, however, lacks a
significant stake and leverage in the main pipeline routes out of the Caspian
Sea basin and back (via the Black Sea and through the Balkans) to Western
Europe. The key pipeline corridor projects  --including the AMBO project and the
Baku-Cehyan project through Turkey  to the Mediterranean-- are largely in the
hands of their Anglo-American rivals, which rely heavily on US political and
military presence in both the Caspian basin and the Balkans.

Washington's design is to eventually distance all three AMBO countries, namely
Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania from German-EU influence through the
installation of full-fledged US protectorates. In other words, US militarisation
and geopolitical control over the projected pipeline linking Burgas in Bulgaria
to the Adriatic port of Vlore in Albania is intent upon undermining EU influence
as well as weakening competing Franco-Belgian-Italian oil interests.

Negotiations concerning the AMBO pipeline have been supported by US government
officials through the Trade and Development Agency's  (TDA) South Balkan
Development Initiative (SBDI) "designed to help Albania, Bulgaria and FYR
Macedonia further develop and integrate their transportation infrastructure
along the east-west corridor that connects them."8

The TDA points to the need for the three countries to "use regional synergies to
leverage new public and private capital [from US companies]" while underscoring
the responsibility of the US government  "for implementing the initiative."
With regard to the AMBO pipeline, it would appear that the EU has largely been
excluded from the planning and negotiations. "Memoranda of understanding" (MOU)
have already been signed with the governments of Albania, Bulgaria and Macedonia
which strip the countries' national sovereignty over both the pipeline and the
transport corridors  by providing "exclusive rights" to the Anglo-American
consortium:

" …[The] MOU states that AMBO will be the only party allowed to build the
planned Burgas-Vlore oil pipeline. More specifically, it gives AMBO the
exclusive right to negotiate with investors in and creditors of the project. It
also obligates … [the governments of Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania] not to
disclose certain confidential information on the pipeline project.9

"EAST-WEST CORRIDOR 8"

The AMBO pipeline project is linked up with another strategic project entitled
"Corridor 8", initially proposed by the Clinton Administration in the context of
the "Balkans Stability Pact". Of strategic importance to both the US and the
European Union, "Corridor 8" includes highway, railway, electricity and
telecommunications infrastructure. In turn, the existing infrastructure in these
sectors is slated for deregulation and privatisation (at rock bottom prices)
under IMF-World Bank supervision.

Although rubber-stamped by EU transport ministers as part of the process of
European economic integration, "Corridor 8" feasibility studies were conducted
by US companies financed directly by the TDA. In other words, Washington seems
to have set the stage for the takeover of the countries' transport and
communications infrastructure. American corporations including Bechtel, Enron
and General Electric (with financial backing from the US government) are
competing with companies from the European Union.

Washington's design is to open up the entire corridor to US multinationals in a
region situated in the European Union's "economic backyard", where the power of
the Deutschmark tends to dominate over that of the US dollar.

"EU ENLARGEMENT"

In early 2000, the European Commission began negotiations on EU associate
membership status with Macedonia, Bulgaria and Albania. And in April 2001, at
the height of the terrorist assaults, Macedonia became the first country in the
Balkans to sign a so-called "stabilisation and association agreement" (SAA)
constituting an important step towards full EU membership. The agreement
provides the basis for "trade liberalisation, political co-operation, economic
and institutional reform and transplantation of EU legislation." Under the SAA,
Macedonia would (de facto) be integrated into the European monetary system, with
full access to the EU market.10

The terrorist assaults coincided chronologically with the process of "EU
enlargement", gaining momentum barely a few weeks before the signing of the
historic "association agreement" with Macedonia. Amply documented, the US has
military advisers working with the terrorists.  Was this a mere coincidence?

Also, Robert Frowick, "a former US diplomat", was appointed to head the OSCE
mission in Macedonia in mid-March, again barely a few weeks before the signing
of the "association agreement." In close liaison with Washington and the US
embassy in Skopje, Frowick initiated a "dialogue" with NLA rebel leader Ali
Ahmeti. He was also instrumental in brokering an agreement between Ahmeti and
the leaders of the Albanian parties, which form part of the government
coalition.

This agreement negotiated by Frowick has largely contributed to destabilising
political institutions, while at the same time jeopardising the process of EU
enlargement.11 Moreover, the deteriorating security situation in Macedonia has
provided a pretext for increased US political, "humanitarian" and military
interference, while contributing to weakening Skopje's economic and political
ties to Germany and the EU. In this regard, one of the "binding conditions" of
the "association agreement" is that Macedonia conform to "EU standards on
democracy".12 Needless to say, without a "functioning government" in Macedonia,
the EU association process with Brussels cannot proceed.

The puppet governments installed in Tirana, Skopje and Sofia, while largely
responding to US diktats, are currently being swayed in the direction of the
European Union. Washington's intent is ultimately to curb Germany's "Lebensraum"
into Southeastern Europe.  While paying lip service to "EU enlargement", the US
has consistently favoured "NATO enlargement" as a means to pursuing its
strategic interests in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, while Germany and France
have opposed it.

While the tone of international diplomacy remains mannerly and polite, US
foreign policy under the Bush administration has become distinctly
"anti-European".  According to one observer:

"At the heart of the Bush team, Colin Powell is [considered] the friend of the
Europeans, while the other ministers and advisers are considered arrogant, hard
and indisposed to listen or to give the Europeans a place."13

GERMANY AND AMERICA

Amply documented, the CIA is behind the KLA and the NLA rebels, who are waging
the terrorist assaults against the Macedonian security forces. While the CIA's
German counterpart the Bundes Nachrichten Dienst (BND) collaborated with the CIA
in overseeing and financing the KLA prior to the 1999 war, recent developments
suggest that the BND is not involved in Washington's military-intelligence ploy
in Macedonia.14    Barely a few weeks before the signing of the "association
agreement" with the European Union, German troops stationed in Macedonia in the
Tetovo region were (mid March 2001) "accidentally" targeted by the NLA.  While
the Western media --echoing in chorus the official statements-- maintains that
German troops were "caught in the cross-fire", reports from Tetovo suggest that
the NLA shelling "was deliberate." In any event, the incident would not have
occurred had Germany's BND been working with the rebel army:

 "Up to 600 German troops were forced to leave Tetovo overnight after their
barracks… were caught in crossfire… [They] were too lightly armed to defend
themselves against the Albanians. The Germans will replace the departing troops
with a Leopard tank squadron [belonging to the Panzer-Artillerie-Batterie
division stationed in Nordrein-Westphalen]. …[T]he new [German] firepower may be
used to knock out Albanian positions now established around Tetovo,…" 15

In a bitter irony, two of the commanders responsible for the terrorist assaults
in the Tetovo region had been trained by British Special Forces:

"Embarrassingly for KFOR, it emerged that two of the Kosovo-based commanders
leading the Albanian push [into the Tetovo region] were trained by former
British SAS and Parachute Regiment officers in the days when NATO was more
comfortable with the fledgling Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).  A former member of
a European special forces unit who accompanied the KLA during the Kosovo
conflict said that a commander with the nom de guerre of Bilal was organising
the flow of arms and men into Macedonia, and that the veteran KLA commander Adem
Bajrami was helping to co-ordinate the assault on Tetovo. Both were taught by
British soldiers in the secretive training camps that operated above Bajram
Curri in northern Albania during 1998 and 1999."16   These same British trained
rebel commanders view Germany as the "enemy" because Bundeswehr troops stationed
in Macedonia and Kosovo --rather than  providing "protection"  to NLA "freedom
fighters" in the same way as their British and American KFOR counterparts--
frequently detain "suspected terrorists" at the border:

 "A spokesman for the Albanians' National Liberation Army (NLA) in Pristina
warned the Bundeswehr its involvement would constitute 'a declaration of war by
the Federal Republic of Germany'". 17

In response to NLA threats, the Bundeswehr sent in its own Special Forces, the
Fallschirmjäger (Parachutists) to work with its Panzer-Artillerie-Batterie
squadron.18 German Defence Minister Rudolf Scharping confirmed that "he was
ready to send more tanks and troops to bolster Bundeswehr forces".19 Yet in
recent developments, Berlin has chosen to withdraw most of its troops from the
Tetovo region and not in any way challenge the US military-intelligence ploy in
support of the NLA rebels.  Some of these German troops are now stationed on the
Kosovo side of the border.

While the NLA received a shipment of brand new advanced weaponry "made in
America", Germany donated (mid-June) to the Macedonian Security forces all
terrain vehicles as well as weapons "for sophisticated infrared tracing in the
battlefield."  According to a report from Macedonia, the small contingent of
German troops which still remains in the Tetovo region "was under heavy attack
from the terrorists who attacked them with mortar from the mountains above
Tetovo. That is probably the response of yesterday's [14 June 2001] donation to
our army made by the German government".20

While divisions between "NATO allies" are never made public, Germany's Foreign
Minister Joschka Fischer --in a strongly worded statement to the Bundestag
directed against "the Albanian extremists in Macedonia"-- has called for "a
long-term arrangement, aimed to make the whole region closer to Europe." (i.e.
free of US encroachment). The German position is in marked contrast to that put
forth by the US, which requires the Skopje government to grant amnesty to the
terrorists, modify the country's constitution and incorporate the NLA rebels in
civilian politics:

"The pact reportedly called for the rebels to stop their fight in exchange for
amnesty  guarantees. The rebels would also have the right to veto future
political decisions regarding ethnic Albanian rights. The accord was reportedly
mediated by Robert Frowick, a former U.S. envoy who currently served as a Balkan
representative for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe." 21

THE ANGLO-AMERICAN AXIS

The clash between Germany and America in the Balkans is part of a much broader
process which affects the heart of the Western military-industrial complex and
defence establishment.

 From the early 1990s, the US and Germany have acted jointly as NATO partners in
the Balkans, coordinating their respective military, intelligence and foreign
policy initiatives. While maintaining in their public statements a semblance of
political unity, serious divisions started to emerge in the wake of the Dayton
Accords (1995), as German banks scrambled to impose the Deutschmark and take
over the monetary system of Yugoslavia's successor states.

 Moreover, in the wake of the 1999 war in Yugoslavia, the US has reinforced its
strategic, military and intelligence ties with Britain, while Britain has
severed many of its ties (particularly in the area of defence and aerospace
production) with Germany and France.

Launched in early 2000, U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen and his British
counterpart, Geoff Hoon, signed a “Declaration of Principles for Defense
Equipment and Industrial Cooperation''. 22 Washington’s objective was to
encourage the formation of a “transatlantic bridge across which the DoD [US
Department of Defense] can take its globalization policy to Europe."23

The US defence industry --which now includes British Aerospace Systems (BaeS)--
is clashing with the Franco-German defence consortium EADS  --a conglomerate
composed of France's Aerospatiale Matra, Deutsche Aerospace, which is part of
the powerful Daimler group, and Spain's CASA. In other words, a major split in
the Western military-industrial complex has occurred with the US and Britain on
one side and Germany and France on the other.

Oil, guns and the Western military alliance are intimately related processes.
Washington's design is to eventually ensure the dominance of the US
military-industrial complex in alliance with the Anglo-American oil giants and
Britain’s major defense contractors.  These developments evidently also have a
bearing on the control over strategic pipelines, transport and communications
corridors in the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

In turn, this Anglo-American axis is also matched by increased cooperation
between the CIA and Britain’s MI5 in the sphere of intelligence and covert
operations as evidenced by the role played by British SAS Special Forces in
training KLA rebels.

WAR,  "DOLLARISATION" AND THE NEW WORLD ORDER

"Protection" of the pipelines, covert activities and the recycling of drug money
in support of armed insurgencies, militarisation of strategic corridors, defence
procurement to "Partnership for Peace" (PfP) countries are all an integral part
of the Anglo-American axis and its quest to dominate oil and gas routes and
transport corridors out of the Caspian sea basin and from the Black sea across
the Balkans.

More generally, what is happening in the broader region linking Eastern Europe
and the Balkans to the former Soviet republics is a relentless scramble for
control over national economies by competing business conglomerates. And behind
this process is the quest by Wall Street's financial establishment --in alliance
with the defence and oil giants-- to destabilise and discredit the Deutschmark
(and the Euro) with a view to imposing the US dollar as the sole currency for
the region.

Control over "money creation"  --imposing the rule of the US Federal Reserve
system throughout the World-- has become a central feature of US expansionism.
In this regard, Washington's military-intelligence ploy not only consists in
undermining "EU enlargement", it is also intent upon weakening and displacing
the dominion of Germany's largest banking institutions (e.g. Deutsche Bank,
Commerzbank and WestDeutsche Landesbank) throughout the Balkans.

In other words, the New World Order is marked by the clash between Europe and
America for "colonial control" over national currencies. And this conflict
between "competing capitalist blocks" will become increasingly acute when
several hundred million people from Eastern Europe and the Balkans to Central
Asia start using the Euro as their "de facto" national currency on January 1st
2002.

See map at http://www.bsrec.bg/taskforce/SYNERGY/oilprojects2.html).

NOTES

1 Robert V. Baryiski, The Caspian Oil Regime: Military Dimensions, Caspian
Crossroads Magazine ,Volume 1, Issue No. 2, Spring 1995.
2. Reference to the European Union in this article should be interpreted as the
"European Union minus Britain".
3 See Albanian Telegraph Agency, Tirana 28 July 1998 and Milsnews, Skopje, 23
January, 1997 available at http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a379fb721329c.htm.
4. Milsnews, op cit.
5. See Karen Talbot's incisive analysis: "Former Yugoslavia: The Name of the
Game is Oil, People's Weekly World, May 2001 at
http://www.ecadre.net/pages/news/stories/990197752.shtml, see also Marjorie
Cohn, "Pacification for a pipeline: explaining the US Military presence in the
Balkans, The Jurist, Legal Education Network, June 2001,
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/forumnew22.htm.
6. George Monbiot, A Discreet Deal in the Pipeline, The Guardian, 15  February
2001.
7. Richard Giragosian, "Massive Kashagan Oil Strike Renews Geopolitical
Offensive In Caspian", The Analyst, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, Johns
Hopkins University-Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, 7
June, 2000, http://www.soros.org/caucasus/0059.html.
8. See the Trade and Development (TDA) by Region at
http://www.tda.gov/region/sbdi.html.
9. Alexander Gas and Oil Connections,
http://www.gasandoil.com/goc/news/nte04224.htm, October 2000.
10.   Under so-called "asymmetric trade preferences" with the EU.
11.  For further details on the role of Robert Frowick, see Michel Chossudovsky,
"Macedonia: Washington's Military-Intelligence Ploy". June 2001
12. See AFP, 10 April 2001.
13. According to Pascal Boniface, director of the Paris Institute of
International and Strategic Relations, UPI, 11 April 2001.
14. For details on CIA-BND support to the KLA see Michel Chossudovsky, "Kosovo
Freedom Fighters Financed by Organised Crime", Covert Action Quarterly, Fall
1999 also available  at http://www.heise.de/tp/english/inhalt/co/2743/1.html),
15 Tom Walker, NATO Troops caught in a Balkan Ulster, Sunday Times, London, 18
March 2001,
16. Ibid.
17. Ibid.
18. See Deutsche Fallschirmjäger nach Tetovo, Spiegel Online, 24 March 2001, see
also, Bundeswehr verlegt Soldaten ins Kosovo, Spiegel Online, 23 March 2001.
19. Deutsche Press Agentur, 19 March 2001,
20.  Information transmitted to the author from Skopje, June 2001.
21.  Facts on File, World News Digest, 30 May 2001.
22. Reuters, 5 February 2000.
23. The agreement was signed (according to a Pentagon official quoted in
Muradian) shortly after the creation of British Aerospace Systems resulting from
the merger of BAe with GEC Marconi. British Aerospace (Bae) was already firmly
allied to America’s largest defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Boeing. For
further details see Vago Muradian,  Pentagon Sees Bridge to Europe,  Defense
Daily, Vol. 204, No. 40 Dec. 01, 1999.

 Recent articles by the author on the Balkans:
"Washington Finances Ethnic Warfare in the Balkans", April 2001, at
http://www.emperors-clothes.com/articles/choss/fin.htm or
http://www.canadiandimension.mb.ca/extra/x0404mc.htm

"Economic Terrorism", May 2001 at
http://emperors-clothes.com/articles/choss/eco1.htm or
http://alainet.org/active/show_news.phtml?news_id=1225.

© Copyright by Michel Chossudovsky, Ottawa, June 2001. All rights reserved.
Permission is granted to post this text on non-commercial community internet
sites, provided the essay remains intact and the copyright note is displayed. To
publish this text in printed and/or other form, contact the author at
•••@••.•••, fax: 1-514-4256224.

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