There have been numerous stories about conservatives called “neocons” and their role in getting the U.S. into the Iraq war. A March 5th Nightline program was completely devoted to this. Ralph Hallow of the Washington Times wrote that the war was a major foreign policy victory for the neocon world view, but critics charge that neocons are motivated by a desire to protect Israel.
In 1999 the neocons supported the NATO war on Yugoslavia launched by President Clinton. That benefitted a Muslim terrorist group, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), with links to Osama bin Laden. The KLA has become the Kosovo Protection Corps, a police force operating under the protection of the United Nations and a NATO force, known as the Kosovo Force or KFOR, which includes 3000 American troops.
Israeli experts warned at the time that Western intervention in Kosovo was a mistake, and that it might lead to pressure on Israel to accommodate the Palestinians. But neocons backed Clinton, urging a war to “liberate Kosovo” by driving all Serb forces from the province. Bill Kristol’s Weekly Standard said Serb forces were “slaughtering civilians and threatening the stability of the region?” It said if NATO didn’t intervene it would lose its purpose and go out of business.
Clinton justified the war by claiming Serbs had massacred rebel Albanians in Kosovo. Between 2000 and 3000 died, including several hundred Serbs. To avoid war, Slobodan Milosevic was offered a deal he couldn’t accept?to withdraw his forces from Kosovo and give NATO access to the whole country. Milosevic had been hailed by Clinton as a statesman for helping arrange a peace deal in Bosnia, but some senior U.S. officials were fueling war fever, claiming that he may have killed over two hundred thousand Albanians. Foreign teams that searched for mass graves after the war found fewer than three thousand bodies.
Serbs claim that NATO’s 10 week bombing campaign killed 15,000 civilians. The War Crimes tribunal rejected Serb demands that those responsible be prosecuted. The tribunal said the killing was not intentional. Many Serbs, who are Christians, have fled Kosovo, and more than 100 Christian churches have been destroyed by Muslim extremists there. Amnesty International interviewed a few Serbs who remain in Prizen, a city in Kosovo. Their house is surrounded by a fence topped with barbed wire and they’re guarded by KFOR so they won’t be murdered.
Congress did not authorize the Kosovo war under the War Powers Act, making it illegal. Most Republicans had voted against it. NATO survived, but its future is now at risk because of the Iraq war that many conservatives, including Kristol, supported. Iraq was far more of a threat to the U.S. than a civil war in a far-away province of Yugoslavia. President Bush got the support of Congress for the Iraq war. The neocons have not disavowed their support for Clinton’s illegal war. It was a war which did not benefit America, Israel or NATO. It only benefited the Muslim terrorists in the KLA, further destabilizing the region. Today, former KLA members enjoy American protection while the Serbs still flee.