When thieves fall out
by Jeff Elkins
Interesting details are emerging regarding a wartime tiff between General Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander and General Sir Michael Jackson of Britain, former commander of NATO “peacekeeping” forces in Kosovo.
The criminal NATO bombing campaign had finally ceased and Serbian military forces had agreed to withdraw from the province of Kosovo. General Jackson was preparing to move troops under his command into Kosovo from their base in Macedonia. The operation was due to begin on June 12th, 1999. However, unbeknownst to NATO, a Russian fly was about to spoil the Allied ointment.
A token force of 200 Bosnian-based Russian troops entered Kosovo from the north and occupied the Pristina airport, laying the groundwork for airborne reinforcements from Moscow – and red-faced embarrassment for General Clark, Madeleine Albright and then-President, William Jefferson Clinton.
Stunned and angered by the Muscovite maneuver, General Clark requested and received clearance from the Pentagon to prevent the Russians from solidifying their control of the Pristina airport. A mere 200 troops were nothing a handful of ragtag Russians could be easily overcome, but reinforcements from Moscow were totally unacceptable and could drastically change the Kosovo equation. Clark was prepared to prevent their arrival by any means necessary, even risking open war with Russia.
Supreme Allied Commander Clark swiftly developed a plan utilizing Apache helicopters and troops under the command of General Jackson to put paid to the Russian’s insolent interference in the Allied war. However, a minor problem occurred: General Sir Michael Jackson told General Clark to bugger off!
As revealed in Clark’s new book Waging Modern War, a heated exchange developed between the two NATO leaders. Meeting in Jackson’s headquarters, located in an abandoned shoe factory in Macedonia, Jackson flatly refused to obey Clark’s orders. His mission was twofold, said Jackson: peacekeeping and resettlement of Kosovarian refugees, not waging war against Russian troops.
According to General Clark, General Jackson was “angry and upset”, and the meeting was a “rapid-fire exchange and became too personal.”
Jackson: “Sir, I’m not taking any more orders from Washington,”
Clark: “Mike, these aren’t Washington’s orders, they’re coming from me.”
Jackson: “By whose authority?”
Clark: “By my authority as Supreme Allied Commander Europe.”
Jackson: “You don’t have that authority.”
Clark: “I do have that authority. I have the Secretary-General behind me on this.”
Jackson: “Sir, I’m not starting World War Three for you.”
Clark: “Mike, I’m not asking you to start World War Three. I’m asking you to block the runways so that we don’t have to face an issue that could produce a crisis.”
Jackson: “Sir, I’m a three-star general, you can’t give me orders like this.”
Clark: “Mike, I’m a four-star general, and I can tell you these things.”
Stung by Jackson’s mutiny, General Clark telephoned General Sir Charles Guthrie, Britain’s Chief of Defense, who seconded his subordinates refusal to risk war with the Russian bear. Up the diplomatic ladder it went, eventually “resolved” by what was essentially a slap to Clark’s already embarrassed face; British and French troops were put on so-called “high alert.” No Apache helicopters or Allied troops were deployed for a possibly disastrous confrontation with the Russians and Moscow now had a seat at the high stakes Serbian poker game.
And so it goes.
According to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the United States has an “inescapable responsibility to build a peaceful world and to terminate the abominable injustices and conditions that still plague civilization.”
To accomplish this, the corrupt Clinton regime launched a brutal 78 day bombing campaign followed by the subsequent occupation of Kosovo; pitting mighty NATO against tiny Serbia, a country that posed no threat whatsoever to the supposedly defensive alliance formed to protect Europe from Russian tanks.
Unknown to us at the time, the commander of NATO was willing to launch an attack that could bring about the very conflict that his organization was founded to prevent: Armed conflict between East and West.
Quoting Sir Roger L’Estrange’s translation of Aesop’s fable, A Wolf and a Fox:
‘Tis with Sharpers as ’tis with Pikes, they prey upon their own kind; and ’tis a pleasant Scene enough, when Thieves fall out among themselves, to see the cutting of one Diamond with another.”
Pleasant scene? When carried out on a global scale, it’s anything but. We were fortunate that in this particular falling out General Sir Michael Jackson had intestinal fortitude enough to tell Wesley Clark to go to hell; our luck continued to hold when Jackson’s superiors backed him up.
But as any gambler can tell you, good luck eventually runs out.
May 28, 2001 www.elkins.org