Monday, July 18, 2011

How the U.S. Got Involved in Yugoslavia

The country of Yugoslavia was formed in 1919 by the Treaty of Versailles. Several small countries were glued together to become one larger state: Bosnia Herzogovina, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Kosovo. These smaller countries weren't exactly happy about begin merged together, and it took the ruthless grip of dictator J.B. Tito to keep the citizens part of one country against their will. When Tito died, and Communism in eastern Europe began to disintegrate, Yugoslavia dissolved itself into the smaller nations again. Fighting also broke out, as the animosities which had been held back since 1919 erupted again. As these small nations warred with each other, President Bill Clinton had to decide if, and how, the United States would be involved. Harvard's Thomas Woods explains:

"Throughout the 1990's," writes correspondent Srdja Trifkovic, "the U.S. government aided and abetted al-Qaeda in the Balkans, long after [Osama Bin Laden] was recognized as a major security threat to the United States." The Clinton administration, which should have stayed out of the conflict in the first place, consistently supported the cause of the Bosnian Muslims against the Serbs, a policy whose end result was "the strengthening of an already aggressive Islamic base in the heart of Europe that will not go away."

The word 'Balkans' refers collectively to the six small states because they are nestled in and around the Balkan mountains. President Clinton was giving money, weapons, and other assistance to al-Qaeda at the time that the plans for the attack on the World Trade Center were being formulated.

In the course of assisting the Bosnian Muslims, moreover, Clinton aided in transporting thousands of mujahideen - radical Islamic fighters - to the region from the Middle East. When the fighting was over, most of them refused to go home, disappearing into the local population instead. U.S. officials from Clinton's day to the present have identified the mujahideen as a source of instability and terrorism in Europe, and European diplomats of all stripes have complained that Bosnia has become an important terrorist staging ground. Greece has declared that al-Qaeda agents in Bosnia are a threat to its national security.

Although Clinton was aiding (wittingly or unwittingly) an enemy of the United States, it turned out that much of the damage was done to European nations: attacks on subways and trains in England and Spain, assassinations in Denmark, and other strikes were organized in Bosnia.