Monday, December 27, 2010

Thaci is proving himself guilty

I am a bit amazed about the reactions to the Marty report. For me the most striking allegation was not that Thaci may have known and even ordered the organ harvesting. That is the past. The world knows more former guerrilla leaders who had made their hands dirty but who proved to be great statesmen later on. Begin in Israel is a good example. The real interesting conclusion was that Thaci still is a mobster and still is involved in heroin trade and other illegal activities. If that is true then Western politicians who are supporting Thaci are not only obstructing justice regarding some war crimes but also doing Kosovo a bad favor by obstructing the rise of cleaner politicians who might be able to help Kosovo to clean its act so that finally the economy can take off. In diplomatic terms: it is no longer in the benefit of Kosovo's stability that Thaci stays on.

In this context I also want to highlight the position of US ambassador Dell. Normally ambassadors are regularly rotated in order to prevent them from "going native" and seeing the world too much from the point of view of their host government. However, Dell, who was appointed US ambassador in july 2009 was before that head of the US mission in Kosovo in 2000-2001. This was only one year, but it was in the emotional period shortly after the war: hardly a time to keep one's distance and objectivity. Besides that he had been in the region since 1997 as Deputy Chief of Mission in Bulgaria and may have had some involvement with Kosovo from there. If the US would have any inclination to make Kosovo a normal country it would have sent someone fresh who would be capable of criticizing Kosovo's politicians without feeling awkward because he had previously cooperated with the same guys in rebuilding Kosovo after the war.

We know Thaci's reputation and the widespread fear of retaliation against witnesses against former guerrilla leaders (Marty on witness security, impartial probe). In that light the demands for more evidence by some seem not the right answer. I suppose EULEX made those demands because James Albrecht - its main responsible for corruption and organized crime - was recently target of what looked like a warning. It may have been no coincidence that that day elsewhere in Kosovo a KPS cop was killed. Now it looks like EULEX is afraid and only wants the case when all the evidence is already there. Marty has already suggested that the ICC or a special tribunal should deal with the case.

The West should deal with Thaci like it dealt with Milosevic. Although it was clear to anyone what that Milosevic had a rather detrimental effect on the conflicts in former Yugoslavia even the ICTY never produced a smoking gun that linked him directly with war crimes. This didn't prevent the West from pushing for his departure and indictment. I think we should deal similarly with Thaci. Marty has produced some evidence and pointed to to intelligence reports that suggest Western governments know much more. If our governments believe those to be true they should do everything they can to keep Thaci as far away from power as they can.

In the mean time it looks like Thaci is trying to look like the mobster he is accused to be. He has threatened both Marty and Marty's witnesses. The announced publication of the names of those who spoke with Marty can only be seen as a threat not to cooperate if the EU or UN might decide to have the case investigated by a prosecutor.

I am very curious whether Wikileaks will turn up any interesting cables about Kosovo. There must have been some communication about the anarchic situation after the 1999 war. They might also shed a better light on Ambassador Dell's actions at that time.

* B92 has the awkward habit of changing its links. For that reason I mention for B92 articles also the title so you can look them up with Google when necessary.

1 comment:

navy said...

I was not only 1998 in Albania. Everybody, secreet service, osce knows everthink over hashim Thaci and the Drenica croups and in September 1998, everything, over his killer swadron in albania. including the arm smuggling from Salih Berisha, and bevor over the diesel smuggling up 1994.