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Interview with author Pierre Pean (Politika)

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Interview:  Pierre Pean, author of the book “Kosovo: the ‘just’ war for mafia state”

Fourteen years after NATO bombed Yugoslavia, French journalist Pierre Pean investigates the background of the conflict, with particular interest in France’s role in it. For a good part of his, life this journalist was dedicated to uncover the background of the French military and political engagement in the world. He is of those intellectuals who are not afraid to challenge the dominant political vision. Therefore, his books often cause a national controversy, such as the book “The World according to K”, about Bernard Kouchner, former French minister and administrator of Kosovo and Bernard-Henri Levy, the loudest advocate of this vision, on the French political scene.

Intrigued by what he discovered while working on a book about Kouchner, about the media manipulation as one of the ‘main weapons’ in the wars in the former Yugoslavia, Pean decided to write a book on Kosovo, in which he spares no one, neither the media nor media intellectuals, even “experts” for Balkans such as Jacques Rupnik, or state leaders.

“Today’s wars are possible due to the support of public opinion. It was necessary, therefore, to “work” on public opinion, which required forgetting the role of Serbia in the First and Second World Wars. An analogy with II World War was made where Serbs became Nazis, Milosevic new Hitler, and those who fight against them had the same name as in the Second World War – Allied forces.”

It was not easy because the Serbs were on the side of those who fought against the Nazis. Being able to convert the Ustasa descendants in freedom fighters – requested a real work.

How did France forget the part of our joint history-based on alliance, friendship, the fight for the same goal?
This, of course, is very sad. That is the simple fact that people do not know their history. A public opinion was created by famous persons, which referred to the great topics, like human rights. Human rights are both, the best and worst thing. Who in the world can accept that one nation, one country, genocide people? No one, of course. Influential people such as Bernard-Henri Levy from France immediately stood up to say that the massacre and genocide are ongoing. People accepted it without reservation; all but few, who knew the history and who were dealing with it.

It is always the same group of people like Bernard-Henri Levy (BHL), (Andre) Glucksmann … I saw how they did it in Africa. I worked a lot in Rwanda and the parallels are obvious. They made from Tutsis good, and from Hutu genocidal people. The principle is the same. All these influential voices that are in harmony with Washington, in the end won.

What is the role of France in this conflict?
One of the key reasons why France joined the conflict in Kosovo is that at that time France began to integrate into NATO and led the negotiations to gain command of the entire Mediterranean basin, from Naples. The book shows that it is primarily a war of Madeleine Albright. She decided to go to war in the spring of 1998, perhaps even earlier. At the beginning, on the French side was resistance, but it did not last for a long time. An example of the war in Kosovo showed weak maneuver of countries like France, compared to the United States, despite all the speeches and linguistic acrobatics of politicians aimed to show that they are independent.

It is a period of increased abandoning De Gaullist vision, and with it the principles of state sovereignty and national independence, in which France turns towards pro-Atlantic vision. The supporters of the war were those who were pro-Atlantic oriented, and they were on the left and on the right. We wanted to be in NATO and Kosovo was very important for the survival of this military alliance, the existence of which no longer had an excuse, after the fall of the Berlin Wall. On Kosovo, NATO has completely changed the nature and from the shield turned into a sword, from a defensive role moved to the attack. France entered the war because of international politics, but I have tried to show that its soldiers did not forget the history, that the Serbs were historical allies of France.

Members of the intelligence service (DGSE), however, were opposed …
There was the division within the Ministry of Defense into those who were for the KLA – the then defense minister Alain Richard (who is just appointed as the “economic diplomat” with the Balkan countries – prim. reporter), along with members of the secret services, led by General Rondo, while the Supreme Command was against it.

UN Resolution 1244 does not provide independence and requires that military forces in Kosovo are impartial, and preserve the peace. However, we see that each party has a different interpretation of the resolution. French soldiers had completely different instructions from the Anglo-Saxon soldiers. Immediately after Kumanovo Agreement, Brigade unit “Leclerc” on several occasions was found at ‘gunpoint’ of British SAS, who was with KLA. Based on the testimony of French soldiers, in regards to the British troop’s behavior, I could reconstruct certain events in which it is clear that the Americans and Brits completely sided with the KLA and Resolution 1244 didn’t interest them, at all. I cited specific examples where the poor people asked Anglo-Saxon a KFOR to protect them, and they left them to be massacred. Nothing has been done to prevent massacres and crimes, and nothing was done to find the culprits.

All the contradictions of the war broke to the surface, which eventually led to the situation where French soldiers fired in self-defense to those who were trained by members of the French secret service. It is totally incomprehensible and shows all the duplicity of this war and the decision to participate in it. France is the country where mentioned duplicity, was mostly expressed.

Chirac said he was able to protect civilians…
Chirac believed that he had more independence in decision-making than it was actually the case. The two main actors of intelligence that I met, Arno Danzan and Pierre-Antoine Lorenzi, say the opposite. They claim that they are deciding which targets will be attacked. They suggest NATO which targets to bomb.

At that time, the two agents were very young. Danzan was close to thirty…
Very young.

And very warlike?
Very warlike. They wanted to bring Serbia to its knees. From the moment when it was clear that the politicians gave the green light for war, the intelligence requested to make contact with Thaci and other KLA members. There was the belief that France was late after the Americans.

This contact was established during the Rambouillet conference?
That was the beginning. Danzan and Lorenzi were in charged for it.

From that moment did the French intelligence service support the KLA, logistically and militarily?
Yes, they train Thaci’s guard, jointly organize operations, with the prospect to make Thaci the main leader of future Kosovo. These operations about Thaci took place during and after the bombing.

Danzan is today one of the deputies in the European Parliament …
Yes and he is performing an important job, he is in charged for the Board for the security and defense of the European Parliament (within the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament). Danzan very angrily confronted Dick Marty when he presented the report on organ trafficking in front of the European Parliament.

Organ trafficking is the central theme of your book …
I wanted to show that those who after the NATO bombing campaign came in power in Kosovo are connected with organized crime and their brutality exceeds everything imaginable. I can understand when Lorenzi and Danzan say they are not interested in finding where the money comes from. In all wars, terrorists that are transferred in “freedom fighters” have the money that comes from somewhere. But this is not just a classic organized crime, trafficking of cigarettes, cars, gasoline. That exist as well, but they go much further. Organ trafficking is so symbolic that I took it as the main thread of the book in order to show, on one hand, which profile of people took over the power, and the other side to point out to the responsibility of the West which brought them to power, despite the fact that they knew what they were able to do. They knew it for the long time, at least since the beginning of the 2003, as evidenced by the documents that I presented.

How is it possible that no government reacted and opened an investigation into allegations made by Dick Marty?
This war was fought in the name of values, in the name of morality. It was illegal, but legitimate, supposedly justified because of the need to prevent genocide. If Westerners recognize that the Serbs suffered the crimes of so monstrous proportions that would mean questioning their own decisions, the whole phraseology used by them, calling into question the very roots of the war. Everything was done to quell the affair and it is the case today. If two Swiss kamikaze, Dick Marty and Carla Del Ponte, wouldn’t appear, that issue would not be discussed. They might actually be able to suppress the story, but will encounter obstacles. After the Marty’s report, which is the result of an investigation led by Carla Del Ponte, is not easy to stop it.

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  • Published: 11 years ago on 12/08/2013
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  • Last Modified: August 12, 2013 @ 1:28 pm
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