THE PURPOSE OF ISSUE 32 IS:
1) BACKGROUND TO THE KOSOVAN CRISIS: Reprises the history of Kosova UNTIL the bombing of Serbia and Kosova by the imperialists. We use two articles to do this. We re-print extracts from an article of Alliance - upon Hoxha, Tito, Stalin and the Kosova; and a masterly overview of the entire Kosova crisis by W.B. Bland of the Communist League and the National Committee for the Marxist-Leninist Party (NCMLP) of Britain.
2) AN OPEN POLEMIC: We will contrast these Marxist-Leninist views - to those of various organisations and parties whose dereliction of Marxist-Leninist principles is manifest. In particular we wish to highlight the two independently conducted but parallel polemics between Alliance and CEMOPI on the one hand; and that of Editions Democrite of France.
"Our struggle", Enver Hoxha said, "Did not begin after the entry of the Soviet Union into the war, but after the entry of the Soviet Union into the War, our people felt that the blood that they shed would be not be in vain."History of The PLA. p. 81-2.As the PLA History puts it, the most:
"Decisive external factor of the historic victory of the Albanian people was the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union and its great victory Over fascism.. Under the leadership of J.V.Stalin, the Soviet Union bore the brunt of the Second World War and played the principal role in the destruction of fascism." PLA, Ibid, p.241.Under Enver Hoxha, the Party Of Labour of Albania (PLA) did not retard the national liberation revolution, but immediately launched the socialist stage of struggle. In this they remained close to the CPSU led by Stalin. Both the Yugoslavian revisionists under Tito, and the Bulgarian revisionists under Dimitrov - halted the revolution after the national liberation and did not launch the second stage. Stalin urged both the Yugoslavs and the Bulgarians to proceed on to socialism, but Tito violently rejected Marxist-Leninism and vituperated Stalin. (See Alliance 12 : "On Georgii Dimitrov";
POST-WAR IMPERIALIST MANIPULATIONS ON ALBANIA - GREECE.
The Great Powers had always interfered in Albania, setting up their version of her borders. In the secret Treaty of London of April 26th, 1915 - Britain, France, Italy, and tsarist Russia had divided Albania into 3 parts; two of which were to be directly under Italian control and one under Greek control. (From British Foreign Office Records, Kew Gardens, FO371/3148/6163/199287. Cited Bland and Price; "The Tangled Web"; p.6).
But after the war, the mass class mobilisation led by the CPA made it difficult to manipulate Albania. Therefore, after the Second World War, after crushing the Greek revolution, the British and American imperialists used the Greeks as pawns to disrupt Albania. The Greeks revived the specious claim to South Albania that they called the "Northern Epirus". As an British Foreign Office memorandum urged :
"The State Department.. are inclined to consider that there might be justification for limited action by the Greek army just inside Albanian territory.. There is much to be said.. for hinting unofficially to the Greek military authorities that a minor incursion of this nature should be winked at."(Bland and Price, "The Tangled Web"; Ibid; p.235-236. Kew Documents: FO371/78444/10390/R7696)Hoxha pointed out to Stalin, that the British and the USA imperialists were anxious to continue swallowing Albania, just as before the war. In addition the Greek and Italian and Yugoslavs had designs upon Albania. The advice of Stalin was to steadily proceed with the fundamental matter - the building of socialism. "With Stalin", Ibid, p.116-117).
In summer 1941, the CPA established links with the CPY. Background relations, between Yugoslavia and Albania were "embittered":
"This whole grievous legacy built up over decades had been created by no fault of the peoples and the Albanian people in particular have never been to blame for it. The blame for this rests on the anti-Albanian policy of the monarchs of Serbia and princes of Montenegro who wanted to gobble up Albania.. The monarchs of Italy, Austro-Hungary, Greece, Serbia, Montenegro, and Bulgaria rushed to grab whatever they could from "The periphery of the (crumbling-ed) Ottoman Empire.".. In particular the Serbian and Montengrin hordes assailed the Albanian territories.. occupied the outermost region of Kosova.. expelling about 3000,000 Albanians.. In 1912 the Albanians won the great victory - the independence of Albania... (But-ed) then Albania was cut in half-Kosova and other Albanian regions were violently annexed to Yugoslavia.. the anti-Albanian policy of.. great-Serb reaction was intensified.. Yugoslavia once again sanctioned its de jure its "rights", to the occupied Albanian territories.. and tried new ways of .. gobbling up the whole of Albania. It was precisely the Serbian monarchs who came to the aid of King Zog who had fled from Albania in June 1924.. Zog carried out the counter-revolution in December 1924. In return Zog initially gave the Serbs other pieces of Albanian territory, such as Vermsoh and Shen-Naum."The Titoites", Enver Hoxha, Tirana, 1982. p.4-9.However at that stage, the CPY was fighting German fascism, and the CPA felt it important to establish links. But, the CPY over the next years consistently attempted to attempt to swallow Albania.
"Only unrelenting war against the fascists and their collaborators will lead to the solution of our national problems, an integral part of which is the putting right of historical injustices. For this our Communist party is fighting and the CPY likewise is leading the peoples of its country on the same course." p.78, Titoites).As Kosova was now occupied by the Fascists (Balli demagogues even claimed that this "represented a liberation" from the Serbs) this was a principled stand of the CPA. Of course, either one of the CPA or the CPY could have led the Kosovan struggle. In fact :
"The CPY demanded that the population of Kosova and the other Albanian regions of Yugoslavia should be mobilized in the fight under its leadership and immediately after the war, this population should decide its own future on the basis of the Leninist principle of the right of self-determination. This demand we considered reasonable and fair.. We agreed to make a concession.. so that this question could not be used even as a "pretext" by others.. this was not the time to explain the peculiarity of Kosova etc.. the main thing was to arouse the peoples in the general war against the fascist occupation. later, when the communist parties were in power, then yes, then everything would be decided justly and would be settled finally, according to the will of the peoples themselves." ("Titoites", p.79-84).But the CPY reneged on its promises for a self-determination. During the war nonetheless, the CPA unsparingly showed the Kosova people, that struggle they must - against the fascists. This line persisted, despite serious and false Yugoslav charges of "Great Albanian chauvinism" (See Titoites p.97-116).
"Albanian people of the Kosova and the Dukagjin Plateau, will have the possibility to decide their own future through the right of self-determination up to secession."(See Titoties p. 97-116).But the CC of the CPY headed by Tito, erased this from the written resolutions; but this fact was kept secret from the CPA. ("Titoites", Ibid p.121). Further unprincipled acts of the CPY followed. After the CPA had lit the torch in Kosova, Albanian partisans of the CPA helped actively in battle to achieve the liberation of Kosova. Now, Tito ordered the CPA and Kosova partisans, to pursue the Nazis into the North. This allowed the Titoites to enter Kosova un-hindered. But the population rose against this. The Titoites for a while backed down, but then under another pretext asked the Albanian partisans to go towards Greece, and then they were not allowed to re-enter Kosovan territory despite the wishes of the population:
"Enter Kosova, without meeting the resistance of the Albanian insurgent forces, Kosova was liberated by the forces of the CPA army and the Kosova forces. Tito eliminated the national liberation councils that had been set up and launched unrestrained mass terror against the Albanians. These unprecedented reprisals of the Titoites quite rightly caused a great popular revolt which put the "New Yugoslavia" in doubt. In this extremely difficult position the patriotic people of Kosova demanded the return of the Albanian patriots.. Tito.. was obliged to agree to this demand, and the partisans returned.. after this Tito planned new manoeuvres.. it was necessary for him that our forces should finally withdraw from Kosova and return to Albania..But how? The direct withdrawal of our forces from Kosova .. would create unpleasant and grave scenes for the Titoites. The people of Kosova might rise in revolt again.. Tito staged the "need to pursue reactionary bands towards the South, towards Greece"; and for this he sought the aid of those forces of ours. We .. ordered our divisions to act. After they reached the Southern most borders of Macedonia our forces were told there "was no further need" for them to stay in Yugoslavia. The border was crossed in the zone of Korca and Prespa, far from the eyes of the people of Kosova. Tito and Rankovic were left free to operate as they did, with their barbarous methods against the martyred Kosova."(p.212-4. Ibid)CPY CONTINUES TO ATTEMPT DISRUPTION OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY ALBANIA LIBERATION STRUGGLE
Meanwhile, the Yugoslavs actively recruited agents,
such as CPA CC member Koci Xoxe, later exposed as a dupe of the CPY. All
activity was directed against Enver Hoxha who had constantly exposed the
Yugoslav emissaries and obstructed them. Even during the war, the Yugoslavs
attempted a coup, by using these secret agents in the CPA Polit Bureau.
The thrust was that Hohxa had been sectarian. But this occurred just as
the Liberation of Berat and the South of Albania showed the correct policies
of the CPA and Hoxha.
On the eve of liberation of the entire country, the 2nd Plenum of the CC of the CPA was held in Berat, on November 23rd. This marked the naked attempts by the previously concealed Yugoslav revisionists to disrupt the Albanian party. Prior to the Plenum, the Yugoslavs had captured a hidden majority on the CC of the PLA. These hidden agents were led by Koci Xoxe, and also included Nako Spiru and Sejfulla Maleshova. The immediate object was to "Open the Front" to include the Balli, who were by now exposed. The Second objective was to remove Hoxha. An initial victory at the Plenum was scored by hidden agents, who labelled Hohxa as:
"The synthesis of all the mistakes observed in the political and organisational line"; and the line of the party as falling from "sectarianism into opportunism". ("Titoites", Ibid, p.187-191)The PCY delegate manipulating the agents, Stojnic, gave away the future agenda. He addressed the conference to say:
"You cannot go ahead without Yugoslavia and in particular, without the Yugoslavia such as has now been created in the Balkans and in Europe..The perspective of Yugoslavia is the perspective of the Balkans and of Europe.. you speak very little about us, therefore in the future you should speak more about Yugoslavia and Tito."(Titoites, Ibid,p. 214-5)Another future agenda - alliance with the Western Great powers was also made clear. Stojnic said in the debate before the CPA Plenum:
"The great Allies which plays a decisive role in this war should all be looked on in the same way, by the new state." How?", asked Hoxha. "By putting the Soviet Union on the same footing with the other two?"Hoxha firmly refuted this sabotage in his speeches. Although the Berat Conference was a major set back; in one goal, the CPY failed. They did not eliminate Hoxha from the leadership, as the respect of the Plenum was so high for him. Hohxa was still able to push the correct line, which was to maintain the independence of the Front, and to now face the fact:
"From the State viewpoint yes", Stojnic explained. "The policy of a true state makes no differentiation. In an unofficial way for example through party channels the Soviet Union can be considered as the main and most natural ally, but not through state channels, America and Britain are always allies, and their present policy is positive and in our own interests."("Titoites" Ibid, p. 220.)
"That the question of state power is the central question for the party..we must strengthen the councils and purge them of alien elements." ("Titoites," p.218.)Despite these treasonous acts by a supposed fraternal party, after the liberation of Tirana on the close of the Berat Conference, the Albanian army pursed the Hitlerite forces into Yugoslavia and helped to liberate Montengro, Sandjak, and Bosnia. (PLA History, Ibid, p.231).
"As early as the beginning of 1945, one of Tito's closest collaborators,Mosa Pijade demanded that the new chancellery of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in Belgrade should have not 6, but 7 cabinets. According to the Titoites, the 7th Cabinet was for the "Yugoslav Republic of Albania."Titoites, p.231. )Tito and Kardelj and other Yugoslavs; expressed to their hidden agents in the CC of the CPA (Mehmet Shehu, Kristo Themelko Koci Xoxe, Sejfulla Maleshova) the Titoite revisionist views:
"On the "stages of revolution", the Yugoslavs thought that since the stage of the bourgeois democratic revolution has still not been completed, we should delay the transition to the second stage of the proletarian revolution", that "the road of transition from the former to the latter stage is the road of reforms"; that the "national liberation councils are organs of the bourgeois democratic revolution"; and that "one of the distinction between the October Revolution and the Yugoslav Revolution is that in the Yugoslav Revolution the bourgeois is a member, a participant in the front"; that "Tito has enriched Marxism with the tactics of the national liberation war." p.240, Ibid)The strategy of which Berat was one part, was becoming clear. The Berat Conference upbraided the CPA for Sectarianism in the Democratic Front. Now, the "innovative" views of Tito about the "stages of revolution", justified the agents of Tito in obstructing the second stage of revolution in Albania. The line given out was: "Comrades Tito, Kardelj and Djilas.. advise us not to skip the stages." (See p.245-7). Now the CPY even pressured the CPA to accept the ex-King Zog's treaties concluded with the imperialists.
"He aimed to and struggled to annex the whole of the Balkan including Albania into Yugoslavia.";(Titoites, Ibid, p.287).A treaty of friendship and Mutual Aid, as well as a Economic Convention was indeed signed between Albania and Yugoslavia. Though Hohxa obstructed talk of the Balkan Federation, this pressure continued. Stalin effectively stopped this manoeuvre. As Hoxha said:
"Xoxe, Kristo, and Themelko exerted considerable pressure on me to seek to enter the "Balkan Federation"; which in their head meant that we should unite with Yugoslavia. I did not encourage them. One day about the beginning of 1948, they came to me and said:The reality of Tito's "Aid", soon became clear:
"The Balkan Federation is being formed between Yugoslavia and Bulgaria!".
We wrote to the CPY.. we never received any reply. Stalin who had divined Tito's expansionist plans drew Dimitrov's attention to them and at the beginning of 1948 the latter declared publicly that he had been wrong in his views about the Federation of Yugoslavia with Bulgaria.";(Ibid, p. 287-88).
"In the first year after Liberation we had trade relations only with Yugoslavia.. the trade was virtually one-way and in our disfavour. We gave more than we received, We gave good products and received rubbish. We expropriated the big merchants of their property and sold the fabric to the Yugoslavs at prices which they set, while the razor blades and minor things of this type which they sold us cost us the earth. We imported grain from them because we were short of it, some leather and iron plough shares and these they sold to us at their internal prices which were very high. We sold them olives, cheese, olive-oil.. when we did not have enough of them for ourselves."; ("Titoites, p.302).Of course the Albanians wished to transform their state into a socialist one:
"We had to lead the country consistently forward on the road to the construction of socialism in all fields and in the concrete instance, in the sector of the economy too. We knew that the fundamental factor for the socialist transformation of the country was the internal factor; we knew that the external auxiliary factor would be the Soviet Union of Stalin, in the first place, but specifically in the conditions when we had still not established the necessary direct link with the Soviet State, we turned with open hearts to our neighbouring friends the CPY."(Titoites, p.302).But the CPY had different ideas, revolving around a semi-colonial basis for Albania in relation to Yugoslavia:
"The CPY said: "This is not the time for transformations of a socialist character".. Our "friends" greatly hindered and misdirected us also on the question of the Land Reform.. We were advised that we should not "fall out" with the former landowners, they told us to take a bit of their land (someone even "advised" to pay for it with money) and to leave them a good part of the land which in fact represented areas ten or 20 times larger than those of the "poor".. As for industry.. we were advised : "Later, we shall see what can be done with the mines and the oil, but for the time being record what you have, supply us with raw materials and we shall supply you with ample finished products".. "Agriculture - that is what you should go in for as the backward agrarian country you are!("Titoites", p.304-5).The credits were arranged via Joint Stock Companies.These agreements were signed on November 27th, 1947. Increasingly the Yugoslavs violated the agreement by:
"Albania is like a clock, it cannot work with all kinds of tools, Some may be better, others may be worse, but whatever they are they must be of one brand! Not some Yugoslav and some of another production. Since a Yugoslav foundation has been laid in your country, everything that will be built upon it must be Yugoslav alone."(Titoites; p.349-50).Finally an "Ultimatum" was put by Yugoslavia to Albania in November 1947:
"The CC of the CPY insisted that the relations of Yugoslavia with Albania ought to be characterised every day by the idea that our union should be sounder and our friendship should move in the direction of the fraternization and collaboration of our peoples, including Bulgaria to. Because of its backwardness the Albanian economy is not capable of developing independently. The criterion of this aid is that you should not take everything ready and rely on us in parasitic way! You will advance yourselves more strongly with us, and our CC thinks that the Yugoslav aid will be greater when we bring about an economic union between our countries!"(Ibid, p. 360).At the 8th Plenum of the CPA, the PLA was forced under Yugoslav pressure, to say that a new pro-Yugoslav line was to be taken. The Plenum was also being pushed towards discarding Hoxha. This all culminated in accepting the leading role of the Front, thereby discarding the leading role of the Party; as the Yugoslavs had wanted . (See"Titoites";, p.459 Ibid.)
"I think that as Marxist-Leninists in the future too we must attack the anti-Marxist views and actions of Tito and the Yugoslav leadership, but I stress that in no way should we ever interfere in their internal affairs. That would not be Marxist. The Yugoslav communists and the Yugoslav people must attend to that matter; it is up to them to solve their problems of the present and the future of their country. It is in this context also that I see the problem of Kosova and the Albanian population living in other parts of Yugoslavia. We must not leave any way for the Titoite enemy to accuse us later of allegedly waging our fight to break up the Yugoslav Federation. This is a delicate moment and needs very careful handling, because by saying - "See, they want to break up Yugoslavia,". Tito not only gathers reaction around him, but also tries to win the patriotic elements over to his side."With Stalin,"; Ibid, p.142-43).Now it became easier to expose the Titoite agents in Albania. The 9th to the 11th Plenums of the CC of the CPA dealt openly with the history and repercussions of the Titoite penetration of the party. The way was clear for the continuation of the road to consolidate socialism. Stalin's aid continued as discussed above. But even now Stalin warned about the Yugoslav danger:
"In the present situation, you should guard against any danger from Yugoslavia, The Titoites have their agents in your country, indeed they will smuggle in others. They want to attack you, but cannot, because they fear the consequences. You should not be afraid, but must set to work to strengthen the economy, to train the cadres, to strengthen the party, and to train the army and must always be vigilant. With a strong Party, economy and army, you need fear nobody."("With Stalin", Ibid, p.205).Stalin's forewarning was correct. As Khrushchev came to power, dismantling socialism in the USSR, the Titoites renewed their assaults on socialism world wide, but especially upon Albania.
The present crisis in Kosova - 'Kosovo' in the Serbian language commenced in March 1998 when:
"Serbian police swept through ethnic Albanian villages in Kosova province"And left :
('The Guardian', 2 March 1998; p. 12).
"An estimated 75 people dead". ('The Guardian', 20 March 1998; p. 15);In what 'The Times' called in its headline a:
"Massacre by the 'ethnic cleansers"'. ('The Times', 4 March 1998; p. 1).However, the roots of the crisis go back to at least the beginning of the century.
(1) THE PARTITION OF THE
The Albanian people, who are descendants of the Ancient Illyrians, form a nation whose language evolved from Illyrian. Following the defeat of the Turkish Ottoman Empire in the First Balkan War, a conference of the Great Powers of the period - Austria-Hungary, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Russia - convened in London in December 1912 and took it upon themselves to draw the frontiers of the new states which came into being as a result of the war. However:
"The Great Powers largely ignored demographic realities". ('New Encyclopaedia Britannica', Volume 14; Chicago; 1997; p. 617).In particular, only about half the Albanian nation was placed in the newly created state of Albania, the rest - composed mainly of the region of Kosova - being placed within Serbia. The Great Powers
"Ceded the vast region of Kosovo to Serbia". ('New Encyclopaedia Britannica', Volume 14; Chicago; 1997; p. 617).Thus, today 1.7 nillion ethnic Albanians live in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and 0.4 million in the Republic of Macedonia. And out of a population of 2.0 million Kosovars,
"around 1.7 million or 85% of the total." are ethnic Albanians. ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 34; p. 35,785).After the First World War, in December 1918, the victorious Allied Powers created the 'Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes', renamed 'Yugoslavia' in October 1929, and installed on the throne Aleksander, Regent of Serbia, who formally became:
"King in August 1921"('Europa World Year Book:1997', Volume 2; London; 1997; p. 3,661).In October 1934 Aleksander was assassinated in France, and his brother, Prince Paul, was made Regent until Alexander's son Peter should come of age.
"Assumed dictatorial powers in January 1929". ('Europa World Year Book : 1997', Volume 2; ibid.; p. 3,661).and under the Serb-dominated monarchy, ethnic Albanians:
"Did not even enjoy the most basic national and democratic rights - the right to use the Albanian language in public business, the right of having schools in their mother-tongue,.. the right of publishing in their own language, and so on. Nothing was done for the schooling of the Albanian national minority. Moreover, even those schools which had existed previously for teaching in the Albanian language were closed. In 1939 there were only three public libraries with 6,000 books (all in the Serbo-Croat language)"; (Ali Hadri: 'The Albanian Population of Kosova between the Two World Wars', in: Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Albania: 'The Truth on Kosova'; Tirana; 1993; p. 131, 136).As a result of this policy,
"More than 90% of the Albanian population were illiterate," (Ali Hadri: ibid.; p. 131, 136).But even worse, the monarchist government adopted a programme of 'ethnic cleansing'. Disguised as 'agrarian reforms', a series of 'colonisation' laws took land from Albanian peasants in order:
"To settle these parts with 'sound nationalist elements"' (Ali Hadri: ibid.; p. 128).from Serbia or Montenegro. A semi-official report submitted in March 1937 by VASO CHUBRILOVICH, who later became a Minister in Titoite Yugoslavia, to the Serbian Club of Culture, concluded that:
"The only effective method for solving this problem (the alleged 'problem' of Kosova -- Ed.) is the mass deportation of the Albanians. When the state wants to intervene in favour of its own people in the struggle for land, it can be successful only if it acts brutally". (Vaso Chubrilovich: 'The Expulsion of the Arnauts', in: Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Albania: op. cit.; p. 184).The official position of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia during the Second World War was expressed in a resolution of the 1st Conference of the National Liberation Council for Kosova and Metohija held at Bujan in December-January 1944:(3) KOSOVA IN THE RANKOVICH PERIOD
"Under the leadership of the Provisional Committee of the CPY for Kosova." (Enver Hoxha: 'The Titoites; Historical Notes' (hereafter listed as 'Enver Hoxha (1982)'; Tirana; 1982; p. 117).This resolution pledged as follows:
"Kosova and the Dukajin Plateau is a province inhabited for the most part by an Albanian population which today, as always, wishes to be united with Albania. . . . The only way for the Albanian people of Kosova and the Dukagim Plateau to be united with Albania is to fight together with the other peoples of Yugoslavia in the war against the bloodthirsty Nazi occupiers and those in their pay, because this is the only way to win the freedom.. to decide their own future through the right of self-determination up to secession."On the basis of this resolution, Albanian partisans assisted those of Yugoslavia in the armed struggle to liberate Yugoslav territory from German occupation.
('Resolution of 1st Conference of National Liberation Council for Kosova and Metohija', in: Enver Hoxha (1982): ibid.; p. 117).
because of:It was in accordance with this revisionist policy that, after the liberation of Yugoslavia, the leadership of the CPY reneged on the pledge of the Bujan Conference, and brought about the arbitrary "Inclusion of Kosova, the Dukagjin Plateau and other Albanian regions within the 'new federal Yugoslavia." (Enver Hoxha (1982): op. cit.; p. 120).
"Deviations from Marxism-Leninism, of pursuing a policy of 'nationalism' and "Trotskyism".('Keesing's Contemporary Archives', Volume 7; p. 9,381).
"The Tito clique is following the sane line and the same methods in Kosova and Macedonia as those used by their counterparts - King Aleksander and others in the past...The Belgrade clique . . . is using large-scale terror there, with mass deportations, arrests and forced labour, . . as well as expropriation."In November 1952, "The CPY was renamed 'the League of Communists of Yugoslavia' (LCY)... A new Constitution was adopted in January 1953, with Tito becoming President of the Republic, a post which he held until his death in 1980". ('Europa World Year Book: 1997', Volune 2; op. cit.; p. 3,161).
(Enver Hoxha: 'With Stalin: Memoirs'; Tirana; 1979; p. 108).
(4) KOSOVA IN THE KARDELJ PERIODIn June 1966, a: "Crisis inside the League of Communists was reported to have been brought to a head by the accidental discovery..of a hidden microphone in President Tito's private apartments." ('Keesing 's Contemporary Archives', Volume 15; p. 21,567).
Rankovich: "As State Secretary for Internal Affairs from 1945-53 and President of the Committee for Internal Affairs from 1953-63 had been primarily responsible for the organisation of the security police (generally known as the UDBA)." ('Keesing' s Contemporary Archives', Volume 15; p. 21,567).So, in July 1966, Rankovich was expelled from the Executive Committee and Central Committee of the LCY, and: "Subsequently resigned as Vice-President." ('Keesing's Contemporary Archives', Volume 15; p. 21,567).
"To a certain degree, limited Serbian competence over Kosova". (Anon: ibid.; p. 29).The adoption of the new constitution "Was followed by the formation of .. supreme courts, territorial defence, Albanians were engaged in police forces and army forces and many of them were even given General's ranks". (Anon.: ibid.; p. 29).
(5) THE DISINTEGRATION OF YUGOSLAVIABut the multinational state of Yugoslavia, under the basically capitalist regime of the Kardelj period, was inherently unstable.
"The Communist Party of Yugoslavia, from the very beginning, was not built on the bases and teachings of Marxism-Leninism. With each passing day it was becoming clearer that a socialist society of the Leninist type was not being built in Yugoslavia, but that capitalism was developing instead. How does the problem of nations and nationalities in Yugoslavia stand? The Yugoslav Federation inherited deep-rooted conflicts in this field. Tito and the renegade Yugoslav clique around him did not develop a Marxist-Leninist national policy. . . . On the contrary, . . this policy served to fuel the hatred and feuds among the nations and nationalities of Yugoslavia". (Enver Hoxha: 'Yugoslav Self-Administration' - A Capitalist Theory and Practice', in: 'Selected Works', Volume 5; Tirana; 1985; p, 272, 274, 313-14).By the beginning of the 1990s, it was clear that the rise of national antagonisms between the constituent nations of this federal state had MADE THEIR RETENTION WITHIN A SINGLE STATE NO LONGER POSSIBLE.
(6) KOSOVA IN THE MILOSHEVICH PERIODAs, in the late 1980s, the old Yugoslav Federation approached disintegration, the Serbian capitalist class plotted to replace it with a new federation which they would dominate. SLOBODAN MILOSHEVICH:
"Became president of the Serbian League of Communists in 1984. . . . As a hardline party leader in the pre-perestroika mould", (Melanie Perry: 'Chamber's Biographical Dictionary'; Edinburgh; 1997; p.1,286).This did not mean that Miloshevich had the slightest sympathy for the ethnic Albanian majority in Kosova. On the contrary, HE HAD USED DEMAGOGIC ANTI-ALBANIAN RACISM AS A STEPPING STONE TO POWER. Miloshevich:
He was: "An unrepentant champion of a 'Greater Serbia'", (Melanie Perry: ibid.; p. 1,286).
WHICH WOULD INCORPORATE WITHIN ITS FRONTIERS ALL THOSE PARTS OF THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA WITH A SUBSTANTIAL SERB POPULATION.
"(himself of Kosovar origin) . . had undertaken a hard-line and on occasions an openly nationalist campaign for the extension of Serbia's rights over its provinces (i.e., over Kosova and Vojyodina)". (Melanie Perry: ibid.; p. 34).In June 1987:
In February 1989:"An indefinite ban on all mass gatherings in Kosova was imposed". ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 34; p. 36,622).
"Rioting continued.. when Vlasi was arrested in early March. Some 25 people were reported to have been killed during clashes with the police'. ('Europa World Year Book: 1997', Volume 2; op. cit.; p. 3,662).In March 1989, the Kosova Provincial Assembly:
In April 1989: "It was reported . . that the Yugoslav authorities were offering financial incentives to Serbs wanting to settle in Kosova". ('Keesing' s Record of World Events', Volume 35; p. 37,156).and this position became the centre of his power base for the next few years. In January 1990,
In May 1989, Miloshevich: "was elected President of the Serbian State Presidency ('Europa World Year Book: 1997'. Volume 2; op. cit.; p. 3,662).
In May 1990: "The Serbian leadership announced new proposals for constitutional amendments that would remove Kosova 's autonomy entirely".In June 1990, the 180-member Kosova Assembly was
('Europa World Year Book: 1996; Volume 2; op. cit.; p. 3,662).
And in the same month,
(7) SERBIAN AGGRESSION AGAINST CROATIAThe Yugoslav federal army had long been controlled by Serbia, and its officers were predominantly Serbs:
"The majority of officers (in the Yugoslav Federal Army - Ed.) are Serbs". (Economist Intelligence Unit: 'Country Report: Yugoslavia', No, 1, 1991; p.5).Furthermore, Serbia was
"The Serbs are endowed with an embarasssing wealth of heavy weapons and endless supplies of ammunition". ('The Guardian', 16 April 1993; p. 12).In mid-1991, therefore, SERB 'IRREGULARS', ARMED, SUPPLIED AND SUPPORTED BY THE YUGOSLAV FEDERAL ARMY, INVADED CROATIA.
THE YUGOSLAV FEDERAL ARMY WAS THUS A READY-MADE INSTRUMENT TO TRY TO BRING ABOUT THE 'GREATER SERBIA' DESIRED BY THE SERB CAPITALIST CLASS.
(8) SERBIAN AGGRESSION AGAINST BOSNIAShortly after the proclamation of Bosnia's independence, the Serbs permitted the UN to arrange a CEASE-FIRE WITH CROATIA. In other words,
Then: "Serb troops, backed by the Yugoslav army, stormed into eastern Bosnia, capturing a string of . . . towns"; ('The Guardian', 8 February 1992; p. 15).The Serbian aims were:
"General Radko Mladich, the former Yugoslav army officer, Greater Serbian nationalist and Bosnian Serb military chief . ". is . . . one of the architects of the Serbian programme of 'ethnic cleansing', first on Croatia in 1991 and now on a much larger scale in his native Bosnia. The Miloshevich camp in Belgrade armed, organised and supplied the Bosnian Serbs. Over the next four months Gen Mladich's forces went on a rampage of killing, raping, looting and expelling Bosnia's Muslims from their homes". ('The Guardian', 14 April 1993; p. 8).By mid-1992. Serbian forces had occupied 70% of Bosnia:
'The Observer' calls this 'ethnic cleansing' by its proper name - "Serbian fascism". ('The Observer', 18 April 1993; p. 23).
"The Serbs . . have overrun 70% of Bosnia in nine months of war". ('The Guardian', 16 January 1993; p. 11).And in September 1992,
(9) THE 'REPUBLIC OF KOSOVA'Rejecting the new constitutional proposals, in July 1990, a group of 110 delegates to the Kosova Assembly DECLARED KOSOVA TO HAVE REPUBLICAN STATUS WITHIN THE YUGOSLAV FEDERATION:
"a group of 114 ethnic Albanian delegates to the Kosova Assembly issued a statement," . in which they declared that Kosova was now independent of Serbia, and that it was instead a full constituent republic within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY)". ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 36; p. 37,621).In September 1990. Serbia's new Constitution entered into force. It:
"Abolished almost completely the attributes of statehood which the . . . Yugoslav federal Constitution had granted to the provinces of Kosova and Vojvodina within the Serbian republic. The new constitution proclaimed the 'Republic of Serbia', dropping the adjective 'socialist''. ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 36; p. 37,725).In response,
"A general strike brought Kosova virtually to a standstill". ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 36; p. 37,725).It was:
"Called to protest against the mass dismissals of ethnic Albanian officials". ('Europa World Year Book: 1997', Volume 2; op. cit.; p. 3,662).In the same month:
"The Kosova Provincial Assembly . . . was re-formed unilaterally by 111 of its . . . deputies at a secret session . . . in the village of Kacanik. . . ": Serbia immediately declared the proclamation illegal . . . and the Prishtina public prosecutor's office announced that criminal charges would be brought against those Assembly deputies involved". ('Keesing 's Record of World Events', Volume 36; p. 37,726).Also in September 1990, Serbia's repression of the Kosovar Albanians was:
"Condemned by the minority leader in the United States, Senator Robert Dole, following his visit to Prishtina at the head of a delegation of US Republican congressmen"; ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 36; p. 36,726).In September 1991, 6,000 Albanian teachers were:
"Threatened with dismissal for refusal to comply with the Serbian curriculum. . . . The Serbian authorities were also preventing 350.000 Albanian pupils and students from re-entering school because they had followed an Albanian curriculum".('Keesing' s Record of World Events', Volume 37; p. 38,420-42l).In October 1991, the Kosova Assembly (illegally, according to the Serbian authorities):
[Added April 2002: NO REPLY WAS EVER RECIEVED - EXCEPT THE OUSTER OF ALLIANCE FROM THE "MARXIST-LENINIST LIST" AIDED BY ONE GEORGE GRUENTHAL]."Organised a referendum . . . on sovereignty for the . province of Kosova, and proceeded . . . to elect a provisional coalition government headed by Bujar Bukoshi. .The referendum was reported as recording an 87.01% turnout and 99.87% approval for sovereignty for Kosova". ('Keesing 's Record of World Events', Volume 37; p. 38,513).In May 1992:"Elections were held in Kosova", . to a 130-member provincial assembly. The 'Democratic Alliance of Kosova' (DAK) secured most seats in the elections (which were declared illegal by the Serbian authorities) and their leader, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, was elected 'President' of the self-proclaimed 'Republic of Kosova'. However, Serbian security forces prevented the assembly from holding its inaugural session". ('Europa World Year Book: 1997', Volume 2; op. cit.; p. 3,663).In June 1992, Serbian troops:"Surrounded the building and arrested several deputies". ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 38; p. 38,970).In July 1992, the President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Dobrica Cosich"Nominated Serbian-born US businessman Milan Panich as Federal Prime Minister"; ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 38; p. 39,013).In August 1992, Prime Minister Panich"Revoked the state of emergency in Kosova, which had been in effect since the unrest of 1989-90".('Europa World Year Book: 1997', Volume 2; op. cit.; p. 3,663).He emphasised, however:"That he was not yet proposing any withdrawal of federal troops from the province ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 38; p. 39,037).In October 1992, Federal Prime Minister Panich:"visited the Kosova capital Prishtina . . . for talks with Ibrahim Rugova . . . on the rights of ethnic Albanians. Panich's visit followed two days of clashes in Prishtina . . . between police and unarmed Albanians demanding the right to education in the Albanian language and the reopening of Albanian schools". ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 38; p. 39,150).Also in October 1992:"In what appeared to be an attempt by his power, Serbian police led by Nihail Kertes, one of Miloshevich's aides, seized and retained control of the FRY Belgrade". ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 38; p. 39,150).In May-June 1993."a group of more than 20 writers and journalists staged a hunger strike.. in protest against censorship and against restrictions on Albanian language publishing". ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 39; p. 39,518).In August 1993:"tension rose... in Kosova, with numerous reports of beatings, house searches and arrests, including searches of party offices."('Keesing s Record of World Events', Volume 39; p. 39,606).the same month, the UN Security Council:"called on the Yugoslav government to reconsider its decision not to allow the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) to continue its monitoring work in Kosova"; (Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 39; p. 39,606).In September 1993, the Yugoslav government:"ordered the closing of the 58 secondary schools and 21 of the 350 elementary schools in the Albanian language". ('Keesing' 5 Record of World Events', Volume 39; p. 39,646).In November 1993, at the inaugural conference of the Serbian (SSJ), paramilitary commander Zeliko Raznjatovich ('Arkan'):"threatened that if he secured a seat in Kosova, Albanian nationalists would be expelled". ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 39; p. 39,745).In elections to the Serbian legislature in December 1993:"less than nine-tenths of the 1,000,00 strong Kosova electorate was reported to have voted". ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 39; p. 39,785).In February 1994, Ibrahim Rugova:"met US President Bill Clinton ..during a visit to the USA". ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 40; p. 39,872).In the same month, the Serbian authorities in Kosova announced "the immediate closure of the 'Academy of Sciences and Arts of Kosova'. The Academy had continued to function despite its official abolition in 1992". ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 40; p. 39,872).
In December 1994,"in the largest wave of arrests since 1990 in the . . province of Kosova, Serbian police detained 170 ethnic Albanian former policemen". ('Keesing s Record of World Events', Volume 40; p. 40,327).(10) INSTABILITY IN SERBIA PROPER
In early June 1996:"several new appointments to the Serbian Government were carried out. All the new ministers appointed were members of the increasingly influential 'Yugoslav United left' (YUL), led by Miriana Markovich, the wife of President Miloshevich". ('Europa World Year Book: 1997', Volume 2; op. cit.; p. 3,664).Municipal elections in Serbia in November 1996 were contested by an anti-Miloshevich coalition 'Zajedno' (Together) and:"provisional results . . . indicated that 'Zajedno' had gained control over 14 principal towns, including Belgrade. . . . However, most of the opposition victories were annulled by (SPS-dominated) municipal courts and electoral commissions. Mass demonstrations in protest at the Government 's refusal to recognise the results of the municipal elections were subsequently staged by students and other 'Zajedno' supporters in Belgrade". ('Europa World Year Book: 1997', Volume 2; op. cit.; p. 3,664).The demonstrations quickly became general:"protests against the regime of Serbian President Miloshevich. The demonstrations were the largest witnessed since . . . March 1991". ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 42; p. 41,414).and by December 1996 developed:"into violent clashes between protestors and members of the security forces in Belgrade. It was reported that two people had been killed and a further 58 injured". ('Europa World Year Book: 1997', Volume 2; op. cit.; p. 3,665).Subsequently:"The Ministry of Internal Affairs.. ordered a ban on demonstrations, which the security forces attempted to enforce; nevertheless, anti-government rallies continued". ('Europa World Year Book: 1997', Volume 2; op. cit.; p. 3,665).At the end of December 1996:"A delegation from 'the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe' (OSCE) . . . issued a report upholding the results of municipal elections that had been invalidated".('Europa World Year Book: 1997', Volume 2; op. cit.; p. 3,665).In late December 1996:"reports in the Western press suggested that Miloshevich was becoming increasingly isolated". ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 42; p. 41,415).In January 1997, for example:"the Serbian Orthodox Church (which had hitherto supported Milosevich) issued a statement urging him to acknowledge the results of the municipal elections"; ('Europa World Year Book: 1997', Volume 2; op. cit.; p. 3,665).Throughout January 1997:"mass protests against the regime of Serbian President Slobodan Miloshevich continued. Students continued to hold daily rallies in Belgrade (the capital) throughout January, despite an Interior Ministry ban on marches". ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 42; p. 41,454).In mid-February 1997:"the Serbian Parliament passed legislation.. which recognised victories by the opposition coalition 'Zajedno' in municipal elections held in November ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 43; p. 41,503).Thereupon:"the leaders of 'Zajedno' announced an end to the daily anti-government demonstrations". Students, however, continued to demonstrate throughout February in support of their demands for political reform... Teachers also began strike action in February in support of their demand for increased pay"; ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 43; p. 41,504).In March 1997, the 'Agence-France Presse' news agency reported:"that the Serbian authorities were taking steps to drive the privately-owned TV station 'BK Television' off the air. 'BK Television' had been one of the few domestic media outlets which had provided extensive coverage of the anti-Miloshevich protests which had engulfed Serbia from November 1996 to February 1997".In April 1997:
('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 43; p. 41,555)."the Serbian government bowed to widespread pressure and dropped a controversial section of a proposed new media law which would have permitted private radio and television stations to broadcast to only 25% of Yugoslavia's total population".In early April 1997, informal talks on Kosova were held in New York:
('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 43; p. 41,606)."The talks, between Serb and ethnic Albanian officials, ended without any significant agreement".In June 1997, Miloshevich made an:
('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 43; p. 41,606)."Attempt to move his power-base from the Serbian presidency to the presidency of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). .The ruling Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS).. officially nominated Miloshevich (the party's president) for the federal presidency".The impetus for the move:
('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 43; p. 41,705)."lay in the fact that he was barred by the Serbian constitution from running for a third term as Serbian President when his current term ended in December 1997." ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 43; p. 41,748).In July 1997:"Miloshevich formally resigned as President of Serbia", ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 43; p. 41,748).In September/October 1997, elections in Serbia resulted in the election to the post of President of Serbia of: "Milan Milutinovich", ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 43; p. 41,978); the outgoing Foreign Minister.
"was elected unopposed to the post of President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia"; ('Keesing's Record of World Events',Volume 43; p. 41,748).
The 'Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe' OSCE) which monitored the election, issued a report in late December which claimed that the contest had been 'fundamentally flawed'. ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 43; p. 41,978).In Kosova, ethnic Albanian electors:"largely boycotted the polls". ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 43; p. 41,978).In October 1997:"a large demonstration was held . . . by students in Prishtina",In the capital of Kosova:
('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 43; p. 41,978)."The students, who had been boycotting Prishtina University for some six years, had organised the demonstration to press the Serbian authorities to implement the 1996 agreement which had provided for the restoration of Albanian-language education at all levels in Kosova. The demonstration was broken up violently by police". ('Keesing's Record of World Events', Volume 43; p. 41,875).CONCLUSION
(1) THE ATTEMPT OF THE SERBIAN RACISTS TO DEPRIVE THE ETHNIC ALBANIAN PEOPLE OF KOSOVA EVEN OF THE LIMITED FREEDOMS THEY EXPERIENCED IN THE KARDELJ PERIOD IS FUTILE AND DOOMED TO FAILURE.
(2) ON THE OTHER HAND, THE ATTEMPT OF RUGOVA AND MOST OF THE IMPERIALIST POWERS TO RESTORE TO THE KOSOVARS MERELY THE LIMITED AND OBVIOUSLY FRAGILE AUTONOMY THEY EXPERIENCED IN THAT PERIOD DOES NOT GO FAR ENOUGH TO SATISFY THE ASPIRATIONS OF THE GREAT MAJORITY OF KOSOVARS.
(3) FURTHERMORE, THE STRATEGY OF TRYING TO ACHIEVE EVEN THIS THROUGH MILITARY INTERVENTION FROM OUTSIDE, AS A GIFT FROM 'PHILANTHROPIC' POWERS, IS A DANGEROUS ILLUSION. THE IMPERIALIST POWERS ARE INTERESTED IN KOSOVA ONLY AS THEY ARE INTERESTED IN BRITAIN - AS A SOURCE OF PROFIT!
(4) THERE CAN BE NO VALID REASON FOR TRYING TO REDRAW, AT THE END OF THE 20th CENTURY, THE PURELY ARTIFICIAL AND DIVISIVE FRONTIERS WHICH THE GREAT POWERS WERE ABLE ARBITRARILY TO DRAW AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CENTURY.
(5) THINKING PEOPLE IN KOSOVA HAVE IN RECENT YEARS LEARNED THAT IT IS NOT ENOUGH - EXCEPT IN THE RAREST OF CIRCUMSTANCES - MERELY TO DEMAND LIBERTY.
LIBERTY HAS TO BE FOUGHT FOR WITH FORCE OF ARMS AND THOSE KOSOVARS WHO HAVE LEARNED THIS LESSON FROM EXPERIENCE HAVE GIVEN IT TANGIBLE FORM IN THE KOSOVA LIBERATION ARMY, WHICH MUST RECEIVE THE SUPPORT OF ALL PROGRESSIVE PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.
THE DIFFERENCES IN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNIST MOVEMENT OVER KOSOVA
(from the International Bulletin' of "CEMOPI"; Le Mans, France,
(The Study Centre on the International Worker and Peasant Movement)
New Series no. 8-9 (July - December 1998) (translated from the French and abridged by Bill Bland)
Kosova is region of Europe inhabited, so far as the great majority of its population is concerned, by Albanian-speaking people, but which at present forms part of the state of Serbia. Its limited autonomy was taken away by the Serbian government in 1989. According to traditional Marxism-Leninism. therefore, Kosova forms an oppressed nation with the right of self-determination, of SECESSION.
This right of self-determination is demanded by the Army of Liberation of Kosova (UCK), which has taken up arms to fight for its achievement.
The state of Serbia is controlled by the Serbian capitalist class headed by Slobodan Miloshevich. It has long claimed the right to unite all Serbs into a single state by imposing a policy of 'ethnic cleansing' on areas where Serbs live, as well as the right to maintain Kosova as a 'historic' part of Serbia. It denounces the UCK as 'separatists' and 'terrorists' in the pay of foreign powers.
The comprador bourgeoisie of Kosova, headed by Ibrahim Rugova, also calls in its propaganda for independence for Kosova, but it rejects armed struggle, which alone can bring independence, and blurs the distinction between genuine independence and mere autonomy within Serbia. It hopes that the imperialist powers will press Serbia into restoring such autonomy to Kosova.
For their part, the imperialist powers are opposed to any independence for Kosova and, although they make threats as a form of pressure against the Milosevich government, they are anxious to avoid armed conflict with the Serbian armed forces, claiming that this would lead to a 'humanitarian catastrophe'. They therefore accept a restoration of limited autonomy to Kosova within the Serbian state as 'a just settlement of the problem.
The traditional Marxist-Leninist position of full support for the struggle, including armed struggle, of the Army of Liberation of Kosova is supported by organisations in Western Europe, such as (CEMOPI, the Eugene Pottier Collective and Proletarian Publications, as well as the Communist League in Britain).
TOWARDS THE FORMATION OF A PRO-SERBIAN INTERNATIONAL
A number of organisations and parties calling themselves 'Marxist-Leninist' reject the traditional Marxist-Leninist view of the national question in relation to Kosova and put forward a view which is essentially that of the Serbian government.
These parties and organisations include the New Communist Party (Britain), the Party of Labour of Belgium, Democritus Publications (France) and the Communist Party of Australia.
The general trend of this material is to present the national liberation struggle of the people of Kosova as 'an artificial, reactionary movement created and supported by the Western imperialist powers', and to support the retention of a semi-colonial Kosova within Serbia.
In June 1998, Democritus Publications organised, jointly with the publishing house of the Party of Labour of Belgium (PTB), a public meeting the aim of which was to defend Serbia in general, the new Yugoslav Federation (that is to say, Serbia) and the maintenance of Kosova as a veritable colony at the heart of this Federation. The pretext for this meeting was the publication of a book by Michel Collon, a journalist on 'Solidarity', the weekly newspaper of the PTB.
Since this date, the pro-Serbian movement has developed, while Michel Collon's articles in 'Solidarity' have become more and more hostile to the national liberation movement in Kosova and their support for Serbia more and more open. Democritus, for its part, has come to devote more and more pages in its monthly, Press Information Bulletin (BIP), to the defence of Serbia, organising in France a 'Committee of Support' for Miloshevich, and co-operating in a pro-Serbian campaign with parties and organisations throughout the world with a similar orientation.
In France, this propaganda has been widely circulated through the 'International Mail', of which the director is a former member of the French Communist Party (PCF), Alexandre Adler. Its issue of 5 November 1998 publishes an interview with a member of the Academy of Sciences of Serbia, Dusan Batakovict(.-) described as a 'moderate nationalist opposed to Miloshevich and close to the Orthodox Church'. To the question: 'What, in your opinion, does the Army of Liberation of Kosova represent?', Batakovich replied:"It is a chaotic guerilla movement equipped with a strange ideology. It has, for example, a Maoist wing composed of late offshoots of Enver Hoxha. Others form part of the Mafia usually operating in Switzerland and Germany. But the majority are undoubtedly poor country lads who like to play with guns".Democritus Publications in its Bulletin of Press Information (BIP) No. 49 of 29 October 1998 publishes an 'Open Letter to the President of the United States' which contains this passage:
To another question: 'Do you feel that the West has more to fear from the Albanian guerillas than of Serbia?', he replied:
"Yes.The Yugoslavia of President Miloshevich is certainly an authoritarian regime, but the nostalgic Maoists of Enver Hoxha are worse"."Kosova has always been part of Serbia. For years, following the Turkish and Italo-German fascist occupations, a policy of enforced Islamisation and Albanisation was pursued in this region. You wish to complete there the ethnic cleansing which others began before you. Everyone knows that your presence augurs war in the Balkans".'The enforced Albanisation' of the ethnic Albanians of Kosova is such an absurd invention that it alone reveals the character of its authors!
Similarly, the Communist Party of Australia declares:"It is clear that the Western governments have promoted and supported the separatist movement in the Yugoslav province of Kosova and have utilised this movement as a pretext to intervene militarily heralding a possible military occupation of Yugoslavia. The extension of NATO towards the East, far from bringing peace, would exacerbate the conflicts and intensify the long-term military occupation of a number of Balkan countries. This extension is also directed against the revolutionary working class, which is growing in the Russian Federation and the former Republics of the Soviet Union".The Party of Labour of Belgium has no hesitation in offering its services to the Serbian government as mediators. In its newspaper 'Solidarity' of 7 October 1998, Michel Collon writes:"It is absolutely necessary to find a compromise. It is necessary to establish a dialogue. The problem is that if any responsible Albanian accepts dialogue, he will be killed. Can we help a little to re-establish this dialogue?" (Michel Collon, In : 'Solidarity', 7 October 1998).
ARTICLE 4: POLEMIC BETWEEN "LES EDITIONS DEMOCRITE"; (FRANCE) AND ALLIANCE (MARXIST-LENINIST):
a) "ON THE QUESTION OF KOSOVO-METOHIJA" -
The Editorial Committee of the Dossiers du B.I.P. [Translated by Alexander MOUMBARIS]; (Les dossiers du BIP n. 48 page 3 18 September 1998); Les "Editions Democrite" Editions Democrite, FRANCE
- Fascist Serbs do exist, but not all Serbs are fascists.
- All Albanians Kosovars are not Marxist-Leninist or democrats, there are also Albano-German fascists in the pay of the CIA.
- Supporting the integrity of the Yugoslav borders does not necessarily mean supporting Great-Serb nationalism.
- Attaching Kosovo-Metohija to Albania could well favour Great-Albanian nationalism.
- When Albanians call for the independence of Kosovo, Western press applauds, but what way is it different from national cleansing, a term apparently reserved to the Serbs, even though Croatians and Muslims are all of the same Slav ethnicity and only
differ by their religion[In the sense of cultural background].
To say that a territory belongs to some, is just the same as saying that it does not belong to others, that it must be exclusive. It is this same process that forces the inhabitants of one region, either to emigrate, or to change religion, name, nationality so as to adapt themselves to the new imposed circumstances.
We have assisted in these last years in the breaking up of the Federative Republic of Yugoslavia; the secession of Slovenia and Croatia, of ex-Yugoslav Macedonia, of Bosnia-Herzegovina and even of Krajina, a process prepared from long ago by Western imperialist powers in collaboration with their internal allies. The international Press, the NGOs, the Catholic church, the Muslim fundamentalists, have all played a role in the continual hysteria accusing the Serbs of national cleansing while in the fact it was the opposite that was happening, Krajina, Bosnia.
Whatever one may say of Yugoslav socialism, its replacement by the present order meant, for the populations involved : death, misery, hatred, civil war, economic destruction, added to which is the menace of even more devastating wars in the Balkans, as well as elsewhere, further away or closer by.
Who are the instigators? Who benefit from these changes? Certainly not the Workers nor the Peoples.
Yugoslavia is dismembered, ex-USSR is in shreds, Czechoslovakia is split in half
What has happened to Yugoslavia these last years would not have happened had the USSR still existed. Consequently, the process of international social regression, the establishment of the imperialist New World Order, goes on.
The secession of Kosovo-Metohija, is part of the of the same ongoing imperialist logic of dismemberment of Yugoslavia, the annihilation of a country that once claimed itself socialist.
Just as there is an Albano-Kosovar minority, there are also Albano-Turkish, Turco-Bulgarian, Greco-Albanian, Turco-Greek, Turco-Cypriot minorities. To the national differences are added differences of religion. We could have easily described the conflict in the form of an anti-orthodox alliance, in the present instance against the Serbs, while the Bulgarians, the Greeks, the Cypriots, the Rumanians and the Russians could well become the next victims.
The only way for the Workers and the Peoples not to lose in this conflict is to defend Peace, and to oppose to imperialist designs, the stability of borders, the fraternity of Peoples, the Class struggle.
To respect the existing borders may not be the ideal solution, but it does not stir national territorial conflicts that are not ours, and that ought to be avoided because there is nothing to be gained by them.
The "right of nations to self determination" for the Albanian national minority in Yugoslavia, is a principle, but a principle subordinated to that of the Class struggle, to the interests of the
Workers and the Peoples and in this precise case the defence of Peace in the that region.
Where does the interest lie for the inhabitants of Kosovo-Metohija to become part of Albania?
To what nation are we refering to?
While examining various points of view calling for the "independence" of Kosovo we realise that there is some confusion over the terms that are used.
The region of Kosovo was until 1989 called Kosovo-Metohija, or Kosmet.
From time to time we hear references to Illyria and more often of Great-Albania. These are the areas they cover:
- Illyria (Actual Albania, actual Croatia, Dalmatia)
- [Great] Albania (Albania, Kosovo,)
- Kosovo (Kosovo, Metohija)
There is some confusion concerning the Albanians of Kosovo. Among the Albanians in Kosovo, many are Albanians from Albania, who either arrived recently or were elements opposed to communist Albania including survivors of two Albanian SS divisions that the Yugoslav government settled there after the war. It is difficult to determine the exact number of Albanians of Yugoslav nationality.
Moreover a large number of Serbs have been forced to leave Kosovo. I do not think that there is any serious claim based on Illyrian nationalism and territory. On the other hand Albanian nationalism (the attachment of Kosovo-Metohija to Albania), and Kosovar nationalism (the maintenance of Kosovo either within Yugoslavia or as an independent republic) are frequently encountered. The distinction between Albanian and Kosovar nationalisms is often deliberately blurred so as to hide the intention of using the autonomy, or the independence, of Kosovo-Metohija within Yugoslavia as a stepping stone towards an eventual attachment to Albania.
There are in consequence two fundamental positions: One that aims at autonomy within the territory of the State of Yugoslavia; while the other aims integrating, in one or more stages, Kosovo-Metohija into Albania.
The right of Albanians in Kosovo to speak their own language and live their own culture is justified, is undeniable and goes in the direction of their class interests. The territorial autonomy of Kosovo-Metohija, all nationalities included (Albanians, Serbs, Montenegriansà.) within a Yugoslav national economy, is legitimate and democratic even if taking place within the context of national bourgeois institutions.
To satisfy the claim by the Kosovar Albanians, by German, United States, Turkish citizens of Albanian origin, who do not even speak Albanian, supported by Western imperialists, and thus cause a new break-up of Yugoslavia and Serbia, all in the name of Albanian nationalism, can under no circumstances mean progress for the populations concerned.
This conflict is a national conflict. Under the present circumstances, where there is no communist camp to defend, what is of importance, is to simply avoid any weakening of the working class, avoid the strengthening of imperialism. Setting the Balkans on fire will have much more murderous consequences than what has already happened in Yugoslavia.
The analysis of the situation would have been easier had we had knowledge of the positions of Yugoslavian and Albanian communists concerning this question. Some years ago when Albania was a socialist regime as compared to the regime in Yugoslavia, we could have said:
Yes such a transition would be beneficial to the Kosovars. But today to defend the principle of the right of nations to independence when it is only a community of language and culture on a contested territory, without its proper economy, and to want to attach it to another state, to another economy, subject to another bourgeoisie, to another capitalist regime in crisis, with no immediate progressive perspectives and used as an advanced U.S. military-base, would in our view, mean going from bad to worse.
How is it possible for communists to support the UCK (Kosovo Liberation Army) helped and supported by Western imperialism and particularly Germany, the CIA?
How is it possible for communists to be on the same side as the NATO forces of intervention ?
Is it not curious for communists using Marxist, Leninist, Stalinist arguments, to arrive at positions identical to those disseminated daily by the bourgeois Press in the service of Capital?
AN OPEN REPLY TO COMRADES OF BIP FROM ALLIANCE;
a reply first sent to the BIP in the Marxist-Leninist internet newsletter.
Comrade Alexander of the French BIP pointed out that Hari Kumar had been
in correspondence with him regarding their views of Kosova. The following
is a specific rejoinder to their posted message upon Kosova, from Alliance
(Marxist-Leninist) (North America).
Of course others - notably "Workers World" - have tried in a less straight forward manner, to cast aspersions upon the national struggle of Kosova: pointing out that the USA Kosovan representative currently, MR WILLIAM WALKER (who became prominently involved in the Balkans, when he was sent to investigate the Serb massacres of Kosovars at Racak in Jnauary 1999)is a career imperialist. This contention is of course true, but does not counter the specific question: "Is there a genuine national liberation struggle in Kosovo today?" \
To be frank, we are less worried about "Workers World" - since it is still unclear (at least to Alliance) whether they really even consider themselves Marxist-Leninist - if that entails in any way upholding Stalin! This certainly does not seem to be the case from the writings of SAM MARCY, who though now dead, formed the major theoretical drive and leadership of the "Workers World"; as seen in this following citation.
"It is true that millions of peasants suffered as a result of the forced character of Stalin's collectivisation"; Ibid; p.210;
"The Central Committee meetings wasn't confronted with voting up and down on resolutions which would politically explain the divergent positions of the groupings... This democratic procedure which was so scrupulously followed during the Leninist era was subsequently abandoned in the Stalin era"; Ibid; pp.297-298.
"Supporting the integrity of the Yugoslav borders does not necessarily mean supporting Great-Serb nationalism."Versus:
-"Attaching Kosovo-Metohija to Albania could well favour Great-Albanian nationalism."This attitude - is a "pre-determined" position that ignores objective reality and logical arguments - and is one termed as BIAS in both the sciences and in the law. Taking a biased position is very remote from a making a dispassionate Marxist-Leninist scientific analysis. Even the term for Kosova being used is that one that is solely favoured by the Serb chauvinists (Please note BIP: Of course, this term does not mean ALL Serbs). As Malcolm puts it:
"The Western half of Kosova is known to Serbs as the Metohija.. derived from motchia (Byzantine Greek for monastic estates... Kosova Albanians.. resent the use of this name... (calling it) Dukagjinit.. (from) a medieval Albanian family .. in Northern Albania." Malcolm, Noel; "Kosova- A Short History"; 1998; London; p.3.We note that the comrades of the BIP found this a difficult topic since they openly say:
"The analysis of the situation would have been easier had we had knowledge of the positions of Yugoslavian and Albanian communists concerning this question."Well comrades, we do not know how much literature exists in French, but as judging from the articles of "Centre d'etude sur Le Mouvement Ouvrier et Paysan International" [CEMOPI-Center for International Studies Of Workers and Peasants] - there should be enough information available for you to KNOW the "positions of Yugoslavian and Albanian communists concerning this question". In any case most people are well aware that the current crisis in the Balkans is an extension of previous problems, and essentially stems from the NON-MARXIST-LENINIST LINE OF TITO.
"Relative to the rest of Yugoslavia, Bosnia stagnated and declined during the 1950s and the 1960s with its per capita social product falling from 79% of the Yugoslavia average in 1953, to 75% in 1957 and 69% in 1965. In 1961 much of Bosnia was officially declared an under-developed region.. By the early 1970's Bosnia had the highest infant mortality rate of any part of Yugoslavia except Kosovo; the highest illiteracy rate (except Kosovo again); the highest proportion of people whose only education was three years of primary school (except Kosovo); and the smallest proportion of people living in towns (except Kosovo)." Malcolm N; "A Short History of Bosnia"; London; 1994; p.20).Perhaps the postings we have provided, and will provide, may help overcome the apparent information gap in the French literature. We will try to deal in most detail with the three central confusions at the heart of the matter, as listed above. But first we will recapitulate the themes of the BIP, and try at least in brief to respond to each point as we see it.
"When Albanians call for the independence of Kosovo, Western press applauds, but what way is it different from national cleansing, a term apparently reserved to the Serbs, even though Croatians and Muslims are all of the same Slav ethnicity and only differ by their religion [In the sense of cultural background].(See Preface BIP document above).Reply:
"What is a nation? A nation is primarily a community, a definite community of people. This community is not racial, nor is it tribal. The modern Italian nation was formed from Romans, Etruscans, Greeks, Arabs and so forth. The French nation was formed from Gauls, Romans, Britons, Teutons, and so on. The same must be said of the British, the Germans and others, who were formed into nations from a people of diverse races & tribes". "Marxism & The Nation"; 'Works" Volume 2; Moscow 1946; p.303.To Alliance it seems that there is an attempted evasion of the fundamental question: "WHAT IS A NATION?"
"A nation is a historically constituted, stable community of people formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life, and psychological make-up manifested in a common culture." (J.V.Stalin 'Works; Moscow; 1956; Vol 2; "Marxism and the National Question"; p. 307.)We maintain that Kosovo fulfills these criteria.
"Among the Albanians in Kosovo, many are Albanians from Albania, who either arrived recently or were elements opposed to communist Albania including survivors of two Albanian SS divisions that the Yugoslav government settled there after the war. It is difficult to determine the exact number of Albanians of Yugoslav nationality. Moreover a large number of Serbs have been forced to leave Kosovo. I do not think that there is any serious claim based on Illyrian nationalism and territory. On the other hand Albanian nationalism (the attachment of Kosovo-Metohija to Albania), and Kosovar nationalism (the maintenance of Kosovo either within Yugoslavia or as an independent republic) are frequently encountered. The distinction between Albanian and Kosovar nationalisms is often deliberately blurred so as to hide the intention of using the autonomy, or the independence, of Kosovo-Metohija within Yugoslavia as a stepping stone towards an eventual attachment to Albania.";We Respond:
"To satisfy the claim by the Kosovar Albanians, by German, United States, Turkish citizens of Albanian origin, who do not even speak Albanian, supported by Western imperialists, and thus cause a new break-up of Yugoslavia and Serbia, all in the name of Albanian nationalism, can under no circumstances mean progress for the populations concerned.";
(i) UPON THE SS LINEAGE OF KOSOVARS: We suggest that this is an attempt to defame the Albanian majority of Kosova and somehow "devalue" their claims. We must ask for proof of this allegation. We would also refer readers to some independent evidence, rather than bar-room gossip - to Noel Malcolm:
"One large scale recruitment effort (by the Germans) .. created the 'Skanderbeg' volunteer SS division. This sprang from discussions between the German authorities & Bedri Peja who offered to raise a large military force to fight against the communists; at one point he claimed he could gather up to 150,000 men. But the recruitment drive, carried out in early 1944, was a disappointment: in the period up to the beginning of the German withdrawal only 6,491 men joined the division. According to the commanding officers' report the main obstacle had been the "invisible resistance of the beys and agas which resulted in inactivity on the part of the prefects and majors who were controlled by the beys, and in a whispering campaign against recruitment." (Malcolm; "Kosova-A Short History"; London; 1998; p.309).(ii) UPON TERROR AIMED AT SERBS:
"The discussions among senior civil servants at the "Serbian Cultural Club" in Belgrade.. According to minutes of these debates.. One member of the club, Orestije Krstic proposed:"The land must be brought from the Albanians, but of course only when it cannot be taken from them without compensation,"; another, Djoka Perina , thought it necessary to create a 67.5% majority of Serbs in Southern Serbia" for which purpose he advocated introducing 470,000 colonists and expelling 300,000 Albanians. ... Vaso Cubrilovic.. A former member of "Mlada Bosna" .. Who planned the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand..submitted a, long policy paper to the Yugoslav government in 1937. Recognising the limitations of the colonisation programme, he wrote:"If we assume that the gradual displacement of the Albanians through our progressive colonisation is ineffective, then we are left with only one course - that of mass emigration.... at a time when Germany can expel tens of thousands of Jews.. The shifting of a few hundred thousand Albanians will not lead to the outbreak of a world war"; Malcolm; In "A Short History of Kosovo": Ibid; p. 284.(iii) UPON THE CIA: To charge the involvement of the CIA in the Kosovan movement - surely is inadequate (??? Please correct me if comrades think otherwise). For ML-ists, as serious scientists of the world who seek to change it, at least SOME proof is required. Again one must point out that an assertion however loudly and elegantly or forcibly put- IS NOT FACT. This is a serious allegation offered by the BIP, and cannot be lightly bandied about without a serious attempt at proof. Merely saying it serves the interests of one set of imperialist is not enough. After all - there was clearly an inter-imperialist dispute about whether or not to support the break-up of Yugoslavia. (Please see below for extracts from Alliance Number 1; where we explicitly discuss the inter-imperialist war aspects of the Bosnian Question).
(iv) WHERE DO MOST KOSVARS LIVE? It is an interesting point that we accept - that many Kosovars are domiciled OUTSIDE of Kosova - driven out by a combination of starvation, hopelessness and stagnation borne of imperialism. A QUESTION: Is Comrade Alexander aware of the feelings of emigrant generations that have not even seen their place of "origin"? What does Comrade Alexander say to the children of Kurdish descent growing up in Toronto, or Paris or Hamburg - Would he say:
"You are NOT any longer "Kurdish";? "You have no say in matters Kurdish?"I would sincerely like to know what Comrade Alexander thinks is the experience of emigrant workers and how Comrade Alexander thinks their links to their origin are to be classified?
(2b) CONFUSING NATIONS WITH
SAYS THE BIP:
"Just as there is an Albano-Kosovar minority, there are also Albano-Turkish, Turco-Bulgarian, Greco-Albanian, Turco-Greek, Turco-Cypriot minorities. To the national differences are added differences of religion. We could have easily described the conflict in the form of an anti-orthodox alliance, in the present instance against the Serbs, while the Bulgarians, the Greeks, the Cypriots, the Rumanians and the Russians could well become the next victims.";WE REPLY:
Again - the matter of nationality is not to be confused by irrelevancies, such as the matter of religions. Lenin and Stalin were quite explicit about this. It is not offered as a reason for independence by the Kosovans.
(2C) DENYING THAT EVEN THE BOUNDARIES OF KOSOVA CAN BE DEFINED:
SAYS THE BIP:
"Where does the interest lie for the inhabitants of Kosovo-Metohija to become part of Albania? To what nation are we referring to? While examining various points of view calling for the independence of Kosovo we realise that there is some confusion over the terms that are used. The region of Kosovo was until 1989 called Kosovo-Metohija, or Kosmet. From time to time we hear references to Illyria and more often of Great-Albania. These are the areas that cover:WE RESPOND:
- Illyria (Actual Albania, actual Croatia, Dalmatia)
- [Great] Albania (Albania, Kosovo,)
- Kosovo (Kosovo, Metohija). There is some confusion concerning the Albanians of Kosovo."
"Only.. (this) will lead to solution of our national problems, an integral part of which is the putting right of historical injustices. For this our Communist party is fighting and the CP Yugoslavia likewise is leading the peoples of its country on the same course." (p.78, "Titoites"; Enver Hoxha; Tirana; 1983).Kosova was then occupied by the Fascists. Balli demagogues claimed that this "represented a liberation" from Serbs. But the CPA repudiated this and correctly called for a united attack against the fascists. Either the CPA or the CPY could have led the Kosovan struggle. But the CPY demanded that Kosova and other Albanian regions of Yugoslavia be placed under CPY leadership. But Tito promised that immediately after the war, this population should decide its own future on the basis of the Leninist principle of the right of self-determination. The Party Labour Albania (PLA):
"Agreed to make a concession..this was not the time to explain.. Kosova etc.. the main thing was to arouse peoples in.. war against the fascist occupation. Later, when communists were in power..then everything would be decided .. according to the will of the peoples themselves." ("Titoites", p.79-84).During the war, the CPA showed the Kosova people, that struggle they must - first against fascism. This line persisted, despite serious and false Yugoslav charges of "Great Albanian chauvinism" (Titoites p.97-116). But the CPY continually exposed it's aggrandizing motives. The Ist CONFERENCE OF THE NATIONAL LIBERATION COUNCIL FOR KOSOVA AND METOHIA, was held in Bujan December 31st, 1943 to January 2nd 1944. This Conference under CPY leadership for Kosova proclaimed:
"Albanian people of the Kosova and the Dukagjin Plateau, will have the possibility to decide "their own future through the right of self-determination up to secession." (Ibid, p.119).But Tito erased this from the written resolutions (Titoites, Ibid p.121). Then after the CPA lit the anti-fascist resistance in Kosova, Albanian partisans of the CPA battled to liberate Kosova. Tito, now ordered CPA and Kosovans, to pursue the Nazis into the North. This allowed Tito to occupy Kosovo. But following revolt by the Kosovans, Tito then engineered the despatch of the CPA partisans, to leave Kosova undefended. Thus was Kosova taken into Tito's Yugoslavia :
"Enter Kosova, without meeting resistance of Albanian insurgent forces. Kosova was liberated by forces of the CPA army and Kosovans. Tito eliminated the national liberation councils that had been set up and launched unrestrained mass terror against the Albanians. These unprecedented reprisals of the Titoites quite rightly caused a great popular revolt which put "New Yugoslavia" in doubt.. the patriotic people of Kosova demanded the return of the Albanian patriots.. Tito.. was obliged to agree..the partisans returned.. after this Tito planned new manoeuvres.. It was necessary for him that CPA forces should finally withdraw from Kosova and return to Albania.. But how? The direct withdrawal of our forces from Kosova .. would create unpleasant and grave scenes for the Titoites. The people of Kosova might rise in revolt again.. Tito staged the "need to pursue reactionary bands towards the South, towards Greece.", and for this he sought the aid of those forces of ours. We .. ordered our divisions to act. After they reached the Southern most borders of Macedonia our forces were told there "was no further need" for them to stay in Yugoslavia. The border was crossed in the zone of Korca and Prespa, far from the eyes of the people of Kosova. Tito and Rankovic were left free.. with their barbarous methods against the martyred Kosova." ("Titoites"; ;Ibid, p.212-4).Contrary to Tito's promises during the war, Kosova was annexed to the Republic of Serbia. It was not even granted "autonomous status". Later ALEXSANDR RANKOVIC at the extraordinary meeting of the Anti-Fascist Convention of Serbia in April 1945 stated that the annexation:
"Is the best answer to those who trumpet about the danger of the partitioning of the Serbian territory, who make the accusation that the Nation Liberation War will weaken the Serbs in the interests of the Croats and the others." ( "Borba", April 8th, 1945 Cited "About Events in Kosova"; Ibid; p. 53.)The people of Kosova were not satisfied. In 1968 they once again raised the issue and demanded status as a republic. In October 1968, during discussion on the amendments to the Yugoslav Constitution, the people of Kosova demanded once more Republic status. Tito refused a petition on this question. The result was massive demonstrations in November 1968. The Kosovans demanded equal status for Albania as for Serbian and the establishment of an Albanian university, and the right of self-determination. The Yugoslavs were forced to grant a bilingual status, a national flag, and the University of Prishtina. But republic status was rejected. In 1981, March 11- 26th, the people erupted again, with the same demand-Republic status. Not even secession mind, but republic status! They were brutally suppressed, hundreds killed and wounded.
(ii) Moreover the fact that the BIP is anxious to avoid playing imperialism's game, should have alerted it to the fact that the present geographical boundaries of Kosova, were set by imperialist powers to dismember the rebellious Albanian nation. This has been well documented in "A Tangled Web-A History of Anglo-American Relations with Albania"; BY Bland B & Price I; (1912-1955); London; 1986; ISBN: 327.410496.5); and also by Noel Malcolm. The "Great Powers" had constantly interfered with Albania and the Balkans. In 1913, the London Conference of Ambassadors of the imperialists, formally partitioned Albania. Despite large scale protests and armed opposition, the North-Eastern part- Kosova and other Albanian inhabited regions was annexed to the Kingdoms of Serbia and Montengro. This was perpetuated after the War. We here will cite Malcolm, and the former PSRA, in describing the events of the Treaty of London:
"The Peace Conference of Versailles in 1919, ignoring the just demands of the Albanian people reconfirmed the partitioning of the Albanian territories.. And left them to the Serbian-Croatian-Slovenian Kingdom which it created.("The Status of Republic For Kosova Is A Just Demand" "Zeri i popullit" May 17th, 1981 In: "About The Events in Kosova"; Tirana 1981; p.45.) "The Great Powers (Austria-Hungary, France Germany, Italy and Russia) discussed the territorial changes in a conference in London which started in December 1912. It was quickly agreed that Serbia would not extend to the coast, and that an autonomous Albania would be created: Austria-Hungary argued that all Albanian inhabited lands should be included in it, but was opposed by France and most strongly by Serbia's protector power, Russia.In return , Russia conceded Shkodra to the Albanians, and also the Luma district to the south-west of Prizen. The last town on Austria-Hungary's list to be given up was Gjakova, which was yielded on the specific condition that there would be effective protection for the Albanian and Catholic minorities in the new Serbian and Montenegrin territories."Needless to say, the specific protection clause for Albanians was blatantly flouted.
(See Malcolm, N; "Kosova- A Short History"; as cited above; p. 256.)
(3) AN ARGUMENT THAT DISPARAGES
THE GOALS OF A NATIONAL STRUGGLE AS EXPANSIONIST
"Supporting the integrity of the Yugoslav borders " does not
necessarily mean supporting Great-Serb nationalism.
- Attaching Kosovo-Metohija to Albania could well favour Great-Albanian nationalism."
This is only bias as we said before, and simply does not square with the evident oppression that the Kosovans have suffered under Serb tutelage.
(4) ARGUMENTS SUPPORTING SERBIA AS THE MAINTAINER
OF "YUGOSLAV SOCIALISM".
This argument goes: That the previous state of Yugoslavia was socialist; that its "break-up was linked to the disappearance of the USSR; and that the preservation of its borders is currently necessary; and that Western capitalists have created in former Yugoslavia "death, misery, hatred, civil war, and economic destruction etc." :
SAY THE BIP:
(i) "Whatever one may say of YUGOSLAV SOCIALISM, its replacement by the present order meant, for the populations involved: death, misery, hatred, civil war, economic destruction, added to which is the menace of even more devastating wars in the Balkans, as well as elsewhere, further away or closer by."
(ii) "We have assisted in .. the breaking
up of the Federative Republic of Yugoslavia; the secession of Slovenia
and Croatia, of ex-Yugoslav Macedonia, of Bosnia-Herzegovina and even of
Krajina, a process prepared from long ago by Western imperialist powers
in collaboration with their internal allies. .. in the continual hysteria
accusing the Serbs of national cleansing while in the fact it was the opposite
that was happening, Krajina, Bosnia".
(iii) "What has happened to Yugoslavia these last years would not have happened had the USSR still existed. Consequently, the process of international social regression, the establishment of the imperialist New World Order, goes on. The secession of Kosovo-Metohija, is part of the of the same ongoing imperialist logic of dismemberment of Yugoslavia, the annihilation of a country that once claimed itself socialist".
Of course, if "YUGOSLAV SOCIALISM" has been "replaced" one must legitimately ask: "What is the definition of the "socialism" that existed in the state of Yugoslavia?
In replying to the question of Comrade McKinsey who wished to know the orientation of BIP, Comrade Alexander replied: "Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist".
Well if so - one asks Comrades of BIP:
What was the relationship of the former USSR to
the former Yugoslavia?
And finally, what was the attitude of Stalin to the former Yugoslavia and what was the attitude of the post-Stalin leadership of the CC of the CPSU(B), to Yugoslavia?
We must say that objectively the position of the BIP here is to sow confusion about the nature of socialism and upon the role of Stalin.
BUT SOMEHOW THE BIP DRAWS BACK, as they then say:
"Some years ago when Albania was a socialist regime as compared to the regime in Yugoslavia, we could have said : Yes such a transition would be beneficial to the Kosovars. But today to defend the principle of the right of nations to independence when it is only a community of language and culture on a contested territory, without its proper economy, and to want to attach it to another state, to another economy, subject to another bourgeoisie, to another capitalist regime in crisis, with no immediate progressive perspectives and used as an advanced U.S. military-base, would in our view, mean going from bad to worse."WE RESPOND:
(5) ARGUMENTS THAT SAY THE
DISMEMBERMENT OF "SOCIALISM" HAS NOT HELPED WORKERS:
The BIP points out that it is definitely not the workers who have benefited from recent changes:
"Who benefits from these changes? Certainly not the Workers nor the Peoples. Yugoslavia is dismembered, ex-USSR is in shreds, Czechoslovakia is split in half".WE RESPOND:
Does the BIP think that a state of anti-democratic
suppression, that has continued for generations is preferable? Until and
when the national oppression is lifted, the workers will not think necessarily
Moreover, again - are illusions upon the nature of the Yugoslav state better than the national solution demanded by the Kosovans?
(6) ARGUMENTS THAT SUPPORTING
KOSOVAN LIBERATION IS TO SUPPORT IMPERIALISM;
SAYS THE BIP:
FIRSTLY we say that our position is not the same as that of the imperialists. We show below that they do not want to solve the national problem. They aim at a tension ridden Balkans, that will never re-create a socialist Albania, and that they can use to control the Mediterranean. They aim to do this in the classic imperialist way - they divide nations. They did this in Bosnia and they aim to do so again in Kosovo. The BIP will agree that this is not how Marxist-Leninist view the situation.
SECONDLY: How is it at all possible to avoid imperialism from stepping into the middle of any struggle going on for its' own sake? When the USA stepped in and (very late) supported the ANC's position vis-a-vis elections in former South Africa - did that automatically make the national aspirations of the Black peoples of South Africa - redundant? When the USA stepped in and basically supported the moves towards ultimate re-unification of Ireland - are we thus to say that the unification of Ireland is tainted & must be rejected?
FINALLY : the basic question remains: Is there a nation present that perceives itself as oppressed? In fact - do any moves of imperialism avoid a simple answer to the question: "Is there a nation state existing?" We also refer to point (8) below.
(7) THAT FUNDAMENTALLY THE "NATIONAL STRUGGLE" DISTRACTS FROM THE "CLASS STRUGGLE".
THE ESSENCE OF THE BIP LINE IS THEN TO COUNTER-POSE "NATIONALISM" TO "CLASS WAR": "This conflict is a national conflict. Under the present circumstances, where there is no communist camp to defend, what is of importance, is to simply avoid any weakening of the working class, avoid the strengthening of imperialism. Setting the Balkans on fire will have much more murderous consequences than what has already happened in Yugoslavia."
"Restriction of freedom of movement, disfranchisement, repression of language, closing of schools, and other forms of persecution affect the workers no less, if not more, than the bourgeoisie. Such a state of affairs can only serve to retard the free development of the intellectual forces of the proletariat of subject nations. One cannot speak seriously of a full development of the intellectual faculties of the Tartar or Jewish worker if he is not allowed to use his native language at meetings and lectures, and if his schools are closed down."(Stalin; Ibid; p. 304.)Therefore the National Liberation struggle was a key issue for the workers movement. But the national liberation struggle must also be supported for another reason. Because the national struggle is diversionary and obscures, it diverts, from the real workers struggle - for socialism:
"The policy of nationalist persecution is dangerous to the cause of the proletariat .. It diverts the attention of large strata from social questions, questions of the class struggle, to national questions, questions "common" to the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. And this creates a favourable soil for lying propaganda about "harmony of interests", for glossing over the class interests of the proletariat and for the intellectual enslavement of the workers. This creates a serious obstacle to the cause of using the workers of all nationalities". (Stalin; Bid; p.320-321.)And linked to this, moreover, Stalin argeus that "nationalism" allows a policy of "divide and rule", again diverting from the main struggle:
"The "system" of oppression to a "system" of inciting nations against each other to a "system" of massacres and pogroms.. Of course the latter system is not everywhere and always possible, but where it is possible- in the absence of elementary civil rights - it frequently assumes horrifying proportions and threatens to drown the cause of unity of the workers in blood and tears. The Caucasus and the South Russia furnish numerous examples. "Divide and rule"- such is the purpose of the policy of incitement. And where such policy succeeds, it is a tremendous evil for the proletariat and a serious obstacle to the cause of uniting the workers of all the nationalities in the state."(Stalin; ibid; p.321).The Leninist position, and Stalin's own position, was always that Nations should have the full Right to Self Determination.
"The right of self-determination means that a nation may arrange its life in the way it wishes. It has the right to arrange its life on the basis of autonomy. It has the right to enter into federal relations with other nations. It has the right to complete secession. Nations are sovereign, and all nations have equal rights." (Stalin; Ibid; p.321.)The BIP thinking appears sadly to be rather common currently amongst Marxist-Leninists. There is no question that the Marxist-Leninist - MUST approach national question from the point of view as to whether they should be supported from the viewpoint of the working class and the peasantry.
"lost sight of the most important thing - the difference between countries where bourgeois-democratic reforms have long been developed and those where they have not." p. 576; Ibid.In this context - it is impossible NOT to argue that the rights of the Kosovans (& by the way the Bosnians, Macedonians etc) were totally dis-regarded and stamped upon by the Serbs under the false "socialism" they erected. In such a context - naturally national democratic aspirations will be felt.
IS THIS IN ANY WAY IN CONTRADICTION TO THE "CLASS WAR"? LET US HEAR LENIN:
"The working class supports the bourgeoisie only in order to secure national peace (which the bourgeoisie cannot bring about completely and which can be achieved only with complete democracy), in order to secure equal rights and to create the best conditions for the class struggle. Therefore it is in opposition to the practicality of the bourgeoisie that the proletarians advance their principles in the national question; they always give the bourgeoisie only conditional support." p.579; Ibid.It is true that Lenin points out that there is NO universal answer as the proletariat is unable to discern in advance whether a given struggle will end in secession or not, & the proletariat is primarily interested in the class struggle. But Lenin points out that it is precisely this, that dictates that the RIGHT of EVERY nation to secede is crucial rather than the right of any single or PARTICULAR nation to secede (see p.580).
"The bourgeois nationalism of ANY oppressed nation has a general democratic content that is directed AGAINST oppression and it is this content that we UNCONDITIONALLY support.." (Emphasis in original; p. 581).In fact elsewhere Lenin and Stalin repeatedly point out that unless the proletariat take up legitimate national grievances, the CLASS STRUGGLE WILL BE RETARDED.
"Marx questions a socialist belonging to an oppressor nation about his attitude to the oppressed nation and at once reveals a defect COMMON to the socialists of the dominant nations (The English & the Russian): failure to understand their socialist duties towards the downtrodden nations, their echoing of the prejudices acquired from the bourgeoisie of the "dominant nation". p.601.We say to the BIP and to others taking a similar stance - that in fact it is your duty to advocate to the Serbian worker to support Kosovan liberation - because unless the Serb workers can do that., they can not achieve their own true socialist revolution. As Marx said about the Irish struggle in 1869:
"It is in the DIRECT AND ABSOLUTE INTERESTS OF THE ENGLISH WORKING CLASS TO GET RID OF THEIR PRESENT CONNECTION WITH IRELAND.. I am fully convinced of this.. For a long time I believed it would be possible to overthrow the Irish regime by English WORKING CLASS ASCENDANCY... Deeper study has now convinced me of the opposite. The English WORKING CLASS WILL NEVER ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING UNLESS THEY GET RID OF IRELAND." Letter Marx to Engels; Volume 43; Collected Works; Moscow; 1988; Number 271; dated 10.12.1869; p.398.(8) THE ONLY ANTI-IMPERIALIST SOLUTION IS TO MAINTAIN THE BORDERS AS THEY ARE :
"There are in consequence two fundamental positions: One that aims at autonomy within the territory of the State of Yugoslavia; while the other aims integrating, in one or more stages, Kosovo-Metohija into Albania.WE RESPOND:
"The right of Albanians in Kosovo to speak their own language and live their own culture is justified, is undeniable and goes in the direction of their class interests. The territorial autonomy of Kosovo-Metohija, all nationalities included (Albanians, Serbs, Montenegrins.) within a Yugoslav national economy, is legitimate and democratic even if taking place within the context of national bourgeois institutions."
"The shameless approval, mock sympathy, or idiotic indifference, with which the upper classes of Europe have witnessed the mountain fortress of the Caucasus falling a prey to, and heroic Poland being assassinated by Russia; the immense and unresisted encroachment of that barbarous power whose head is at St.Petersburg. And whose hands are in every Cabinet of Europe, have taught the working classes to master themselves the mysteries of international politics; to watch the diplomatic acts of their respective government; to counter them, if necessary, by all means in their power; when unable to prevent , to combine in simultaneous denunciations, and to vindicate the relations of private morals and justice which ought to govern the relation of private individuals, as the rules paramount of the intercourse of nations.";We do not think that the BIP have understood the motives and the games of the imperialists. It is enough for them to hear the imperialists utter the words: "we will protect those in danger" - to believe that the imperialists really do call to defend the Kosovars.
Marx: "Inaugural Address of the Working Mens International Association";(September 1864; In; Collected Works Marx & Engels; Moscow; 1985; Volume 20; p.13.)
"Bosnia will be the key test of American policy in Europe.. Continued inaction carries long-term risks which could be disruptive to US-European relations weaken NATO increase tension in Greece and Turkey, and cause havoc with Moscow;"The overriding objective was to stay in Europe as explained on pages 364-365:
(Memo January 13th 1993; Richard Holbrooke to Warren Christopher and Tony Lake; Cited Ibid; p.50).
"Long before the Bosnian negotiations began I argued that an unstable Europe would still threaten essential security interests of the United States". Ibid p. 365.The moment that the EEC faltered in their goal of keeping a hold of the Balkan initiatives, the USA jumped in:
"A debate broke out within the Western alliance over whether or not to stay in Bosnia.. Canada and Great Britain began talking openly of withdrawing.. As in the spring of 1995 .. Many countries began to talk openly of withdrawing from the UN force, the Pentagon and NATO completed Op Plan 40-104.. To support a UN withdrawal.. (But) It was not an overstatement to say that America's world war II security role in Europe was at stake. Clearly we had to find a way to avoid a disastrous UN withdrawal. That meant a greater US involvement."As early as August 1995, after the public relations pressure from the Serbs massacre of Bosnian Muslims at Srebenica, the USA were able to easier pressure NATO to take action (Ibid. P.72); but even as early as that, the LAKE-TARNOFF policies of the USA advocated a partition of Bosnia. As Holbrooke told the President Clinton:
(Ibid; p. 65-67).
"No vital interest of the United States was directly affected by whether Bosnia was one, two, or three countries.";Ibid; p.363.THIS IS CLEARLY NOT AN ADVOCATION OF THE NATIONAL STATUS OF BOSNIA, as alleged by pro-Serb chauvinists.
In all this Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali resisted the US, while his "best deputy" Kofi Annan assisted the USA (p.99). No doubt this assisted his later promotion. As Holbrooke says:
"I have no doubt that the Europeans would have blocked or minimised the bombing (of Operation Deliberate Force) were it not for Washington's new resolve."(Ibid p.103).But continually the French were dealing with Mladic and the Serbs, undermining any consolidated position against the vicious attacks of the Serbs (p.120). Come the talks at Dayton, the:
"Bosnians did not like what they saw. From their point of view the military Annex 1-A seemed to imply that IFOR would enforce partition rather than create a single state. The Bosnians had a point". (Ibid p.253).But under a barrage of threats disguised as "negotiations" - the unhappy Bosnians were effectively forced to sign (pages 288-312). As for the International War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague - the farce is unbelievable. Thus far despite the CIA and those old hands like Walker (yes the same Walker noted to be in the Balkan by "Workers World") - no significant war criminal has been taken to trial. Merely a few well publicised - but inconsequential lower rank peons, deluded workers in a uniform.
IN PREVIOUS ISSUES OF ALLIANCE, WE HAVE SHOWN HOW THE USA REFUSES TO ACCEPT THE NATIONAL STATUS OF KOSOVO, FEARING THAT A "GREATER ALBANIA" MIGHT ARISE - AND FEARING FROM THAT A NEW SOCIALIST REPUBLIC.
Because it is only after solving some of these national problems - in the current situation in the Balkans - that the socialist agenda can be re-embarked upon.
Under the argument of rejecting imperialist manoeuvres,
the BIP have adopted a LUXEMBURGIST position.
This is proven by history to be counter to the class struggle and not for
it as the BIP argue.
Finally - as the argument of an edition of Alliance asked:
DOES ONE SUPPORT THE LEGACY OF TITO OR THE LEGACY OF STALIN?
With Sincere Fraternal Greetings.