The USA and the Kosovo question (3): The face-off between Adem Demaci and Draza Mihailovic

Dragan Bisenić
Source: N1 Info

Writing for Kosovo Online: Dragan Bisenic, journalist

Thomas Lantos (1928 - 2008) was an influential Democratic congressman from 1981 - 2008 and for a time the chairman of the Foreign Policy Committee of the House of Representatives. He was born in Hungary, where as a Jew he was sent to a concentration camp after the German occupation of Hungary in 1944. He joined Raoul Wallenberg's network that saved Jews from German liquidation. Lantos was a frequent sponsor of proposed congressional resolutions on Kosovo and the position of Kosovo Albanians.

Lantos said about himself that he was "not only a friend of the Albanians but a man who respects the achievements of the Albanians".

"The Albanians are the most hardworking people in every society, modest and with the greatest spirit for the common good that anyone can find. You are a tremendous asset to the United States, one of the greatest civilizations in Europe, and what you are capable of doing will be respected and valued throughout the world. The Albanian struggle is a broad struggle for human rights in the whole world. All over the world, just because of religion, nation, language, and politics, people are not given a fair chance, and they are not supported to use their God-given talents. They are left behind not because they are inferior, lazy, or incompetent, but because they have not been given an equal chance to succeed. I and my daughter, Catherine Sweet, will help the Albanians wherever they live in the Balkans to overcome their historical disadvantages in order to succeed, prosper, and live in respect. Your question is fair and the human rights community should respond to your request," Lantos said.

DioGuardi made significant efforts to prove that the Albanians are anti-fascists and fighters against the Holocaust and that Serbs are Nazis, collaborators, and direct perpetrators of genocide. In 1990, he visited Albania with Senator Tom Lantos, to whom Ramiz Alia then gave documents from the national archive, which contained evidence that Albanians saved 2,000 Jews during the short period when the Germans occupied Albania after the capitulation of Italy in 1943-1944. DioGuardi on the other hand, provided the Jewish community with the text of Vasa Cubrilovic, whom he called "an ultra-nationalist Serbian academic and political leader whose evil philosophy and teaching created the satanic Aleksander Rankovic and Slobodan Milosevic and who presented his written plan in Belgrade for all Albanians. He then cited page 7, which talks about resettlement models, to show where "Milosevic and his communist compatriots found savage ideas to ethnically cleanse Yugoslavia and create a Greater Serbia." For DioGuardi, it was "hard to believe that this plan survived in written form until today. "We translated it from the original Cyrillic script and distributed it widely, especially to the leaders of the Jewish community who suffered unspeakably at the hands of another dictator," then tried to "convince the US and NATO to understand that it was Milosevic's idea to implement his mentor's plan," DioGuardi said. He said that the Serbs had come up with such a plan even before Hitler himself and that it had survived longer!

"Unbelievable that the plan was written two years before Hitler's "final solution", and that it "survived another 50 years, so that Milosevic would start implementing it in Kosovo immediately after coming to power", creating "the second Warsaw ghetto in the center of Europe", ethnic cleansing and genocide, emphasized DioGuardi. "Due to the hard and effective work of our fruitful lobby and with the help of the Jewish community in the USA, our State Department finally managed to get NATO to do the right thing after ten years of accepting Milosevic, which was to bomb Serbia in the same way we did with Saddam Hussein and Adolf Hilter," DioGuardi exclaimed in the US Congress.

The Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Organizations, however, unanimously accepted the debate on the proposed resolution, and DioGuardi was praised for his strong commitment to human rights and especially for offering such an initiative. Subcommittee Chairman Gus Yetron and Senator Gerald Solomon confirmed this in a letter.

Republican Senator Gerald Solomon, however, in just a few days, appeared as the proposer of his resolution number 221 regarding the state of human rights in Yugoslavia. On October 29, 1987, DioGuardi first, supported by 17 other congressmen, proposed a resolution on revoking the status of the "most privileged nation in trade with the USA", then proposed resolution 441 on Adem Demaci. That year, the real Albanian battle for the Congress began. Robert Dole proposed resolution 65 on the position of the Albanians in Yugoslavia. On the other hand,

Republican Philip Crane responded by proposing Resolution 443 to erect a monument to Draza Mihailovic in the District of Columbia for the role he had played in saving over a thousand US pilots in World War II. On February 4, 1988, Republican Dan Burton proposed resolution 961 to ban the import of cars from Yugoslavia due to "violations of internationally recognized workers' rights." Philip Crane was even more radical - in his resolution 5537 of October 19, 1988, he requested a ban on both imports from Yugoslavia and exports to Yugoslavia. In the spring of 1988, on March 23, DioGuardi sent resolution H RES 411 regarding Adem Demaci, which was forwarded to the Committee on Foreign Policy, the Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East, and the Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Organizations.

Yugoslav People’s Army in the eighties - preparations for the disintegration of the country
Bearing in mind the place and role of the Yugoslav People’s Army in the internal political life of Yugoslavia, as well as its importance, which the USA always took into account in the European balance of power and the decisive influence during the fifties on its strategic positioning in Europe, a formally "neutral" and "non-aligned" country, but within NATO's strategy, events concerning the Army have always been a central issue for assessing the future development of Yugoslavia. The US Army as well as the CIA were working out scenarios in which the Army could appear, more or less, as an arbiter of political processes in Yugoslavia or even as an independent entity that would further determine the direction of the country's development. Let's recall that in 1972 the analysts of the RAND Corporation developed 12 alternative scenarios for the future of Yugoslavia.

They included the following options: 1. United, communist, balanced Yugoslavia, 2. United, communist, pro-Western Yugoslavia, 3. United, post-communist, balanced Yugoslavia, 4. United, post-communist, pro-Western Yugoslavia, 5. United, post-communist, pro-Western, and in state of emergency, 6. Disunited, communist, balanced Yugoslavia, 7. Disunited, communist, pro-Western Yugoslavia, 8. Disunited, post-communist, balanced Yugoslavia, 9. Disunited, post-communist, pro-Western Yugoslavia, 10. Confederate Yugoslavia, 11. Disintegrating Yugoslavia: localized conflict and 12. Yugoslavia in disintegration: broad conflict. All these scenarios implied a certain role of the Army and elaborated the behavior of the US and NATO in the event of a Russian response and countermeasure. That is why it was quite clear that the fate of the Yugoslav Army had far-reaching consequences for the fate of the country. After Tito's death and the rebellion in Kosovo, the army leadership realized that it had to think about the use of forces in the event of "extraordinary circumstances in the country in conjunction with military intervention from outside".
Since the reality two decades after the RAND study followed the worst-case scenario, we will repeat its most important parts in order to see as clearly as possible the actions of the most important actors. RAND predicted in its 12th scenario, "Nationalist unrest spreads, but republican authorities are unable or unwilling to suppress it.

Fearing that the federal authorities would intervene and act in the republics, pre-emptive secessionist attempts were made - for example in Croatia and Kosovo. The Yugoslav People’s Army units in the affected military areas undertake actions either under the command of the "truncated Presidency" or by order of the General Staff, which represents itself, on behalf of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, as an institution for the preservation of the state. The Yugoslav People's Army quickly restored order with limited casualties, and the Presidency or the Army installs new leaders in the renegade republics and attempts to rebuild Yugoslavia on a more centralized basis. Alternatively, federal intervention leads to unrest and prolonged civil war.

The territorial defense forces of the republics are fighting Yugoslav People’s Army units, which are facing widespread desertion. Crimes occur. The renegade republics are preparing to secede from Yugoslavia. Other republics are preparing to secede from the crumbling Yugoslav federation. The secessionist regions are calling for security guarantees, perhaps first in the West, and then from the East. Retired senior Yugoslav People’s Army officers and security chiefs called on the USSR to end the bloodshed. Alternatively, if the civil war continued, the "truncated Presidency" or the Yugoslav People’s Army itself could seek help from Moscow.

Tomorrow: Bitter debate between Ambassador Kovacevic and the Albanian lobby