Thursday, April 15, 2004

Kosovo news via Berkshire, UK

The lead says, "The most wanted man in Kosovo was behind bars this week following a dramatic security operation involving Berkshire soldiers."

Naturally, I was curious. Who is the most wanted man in Kosovo? NATO troops were chasing down Karadzic in Bosnia earlier this month. But I don't know yet whether the KFOR troops and the UNMIK bureaucrats have decided whether the Serbs or the Albanians are the aggressors in Kosovo. The current thinking seems to be that neither side is worth dying for. But it takes time for an army to change sides in a conflict it never should have entered in the first place.

It turns out that the most wanted man in Kosovo was involved in the assassination of a United Nations policeman--"and other criminal activities." I wonder what those are--Drug running? Money laundering? Armed robbery?--or maybe murder, rape, kidnaping, ethnic cleansing, destruction of historical and religious properties? The article doesn't say.

At least the Royal Gloucestershire Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment captured three suspects after a high-speed car chase.

In a classic case of "It was a warm and sunny day when the Apaches rode into town . . ." with the last paragraph delivering the news that everybody in the town was killed, the article ends with this tidbit:
But there was little time for celebration.

At 4 a.m., the next day Major Griffin and his company of soldiers were back in action, carrying out a series of swoops on houses and flats in Pristina.

By breakfast time rocket launchers and guns had been seized by the soldiers.

Is anybody following the trail of rocket launchers in Kosovo? These are not just enraged citizens blowing off steam; these are ununiformed warriers armed for battle.

I'm a middle-aged woman with an expired passport sitting in front of my computer reading news from small towns in the UK, and I don't have confidence that the people who are responsible for where our soldiers go, what they do, and what happens to them have as much interest in what's happening in Kosovo as I do. Frankly, it's as scary as it is frustrating.

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