"Butcher of the Serbs" or "war hero?"

More on Agim Ceku's ascent to the throne of Kosovo politics.

Here's the email I received from an officer in Kosovo, who spilled the beans a good 24 hours before any announcement in the press or at the U.N.:

[mailto:XXXXX] Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2006 1:09 PMTo: XXXXX:
Agim Ceku will take over prime minister role from Kosumi, Contact group does not find Kosumi appropriate for the status talks and as a leader.
Lufti Haziri will be is deputy, lufti will mentor ceku, because lufti knows how to play politics.
Truly amazing...the butcher of serbs in croatia...


[mailto:XXXXX] Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2006 2:27 PM
Antisaari stated to the news via his japanese spokesman,"the first to leave the table will lose Kosovo" If Ceku joins the negotiation, I hope the serbs sit and laugh, rather than be stubborn and aggressive and walk away. I believe that is the reason for appointing ceku, if true, to try and anger serb side enough to walk away. This is all psychology, I hope the serbs learn their enemy a lot faster...

Ceku is an ethnic Albanian who became a top commander in the Kosovo Liberation Army (once described by the Clinton adminstration as a terrorist group, before they partnered with them to bring 'peace' to the Balkans). He was a general in the Croatian Army before that and was accused by some of presiding over the August 1995 "Operation Storm" -a massive bombing campaign in a predominantly Serb area of Croatia called the Krajina. Hundreds of thousands of Serbs fled in what was termed by a UN official as "ethnic cleansing." (Peter Brock notes the press was never very interested in stories about Serb victims, preferring stories about Muslim or Croat victims. Brock is author of the new book "Media Cleansing: Dirty Reporting.")

Ceku wound up being trained by the United States. He has been tied by various reports to Military Professional Resources, Inc. which was accused by some of heavy involvment in the planning of "Operation Storm." Jane’s Defense Weekly describes Ceku as "one of the key planners of the successful ‘Operation Storm.’"

The Krajina story got more play in Canada because Canadian peacekeepers witnessed the atrocities and engaged Croat forces in a firefight to try to stop some of it. Mother Jones magazine quoted from the Candian press: “A drunken Croat soldier emerged from a building and staggered toward [a Canadian soldier],” begins one section. “A girl could be heard screaming inside the house. Draped on the drunken soldier's head was a pair of blood-soaked panties.”

Ceku is considered a hero by many ethnic Albanian Kosovars and a war criminal by Serbia, who must now face him at the negotiating table. I'm sure Ceku credits Clinton and his U.S. military/NATO allies for a good deal of his success.

Downplayed by the media seems to be the role the international community played in getting Ceku in... Reuters: "Former guerrilla commander Agim Ceku was nominated as Kosovo's new prime minister on Wednesday after Bajram Kosumi bowed to domestic and international pressure to resign." The press did not elaborate on the reason for international pressure...

[Photograph: The KLA's Hashim Thaci- the U.N.'s Bernard Kouchner- Lt. Gen. Michael Jackson- Brig. Gen. Agim Ceku- Gen. Wesley Clark] Posted by Picasa