Essays, EU, Kosovo, latest, Serbia
Comments 35

Jacques Hogard: Europe has died in Pristina

Colonel Jacques Hogard in the European Parliament, via GeoStrategy

Conference: “KOSOVO AND METOHIJA – A EUROPEAN  CASE  OF  VIOLENT  SECESSION”

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am pleased to be here today, in the European Parliament, at the invitation of the Center for Geostrategic Studies in Belgrade.

As a senior French officer, I served in Macedonia and then in Kosovo in the first half of 1999. When I was assigned to the French Special Operations Command, I was appointed as the head of the joint special forces group that intervened before the French KFOR Brigade’s deployment under the command of NATO.

It is for this reason that I am speaking today, having published a few years ago a book with a deliberately provocative title: “Europe has died in Pristina”. If you have not read it, I recommend you to do it! There you will find my testimony on this tragic period.

Hogard

If one speaks of Kosovo, its full name Kosovo-Metohija, it is indeed not possible to ignore the past of this region, the ancient past, the cultural and religious history, the history of the Serbian and Orthodox identity always present through the innumerable and very old monuments, churches, Serbian monasteries found throughout the province, but also the recent past, and especially the events of the 1990s that culminated in 1999 during the war that was imposed on Serbia, with the support of NATO and the European Union to the Albanian KLA rebellion.

It is in this context that I myself intervened in Kosovo at the head of French special forces under British command.

What struck me in Kosovo in 1999 was, first of all, the very large misinformation that preceded and justified the NATO aggression.

Indeed, it is because the word “genocide” was pronounced by the American president Bill Clinton and his secretary of State Madeleine Albright — who gave the fatal and false figure of “100,000 dead” in Kosovo — that NATO will allow itself to attack Serbia in March 1999, after the unacceptable demands made by the Allies to the Serbs during the Rambouillet negotiations which forced them to refuse the Diktat the Allies wanted to impose on them.

However, it would be seen after the 1999 war that the number of the victims from all origins, all ethnic groups, civil or military, was less than 6,000.

Which is far too many of course, but which has nothing to do with a “genocide”.

Today Kosovar authorities practice a sneaky hostile policy to the Serbian, Roma and Gorani minorities. In particular, they are hostile to the maintenance of Orthodox monasteries and religious communities who live there and pray there.

On a daily basis, it is not good being a Serbian, Roma or Gorani in the province of Kosmet today.  Persecutions, vexations, spoliations, physical violence are possible at any time.

It has been seen many times recently, during the visit of the Serbian High Representative Marko Djuric, who was arbitrarily arrested by the Kosovar police while visiting Serbian enclaves in Kosovo; we saw it during the arbitrary arrest of the French Arnaud Gouillon, president of the remarkable French NGO “Solidarité Kosovo”; we saw it again last Friday at dawn with the violent intervention of this same “Kosovo police” against Serbian citizens of Kosovska Mitrovica, whose fate is unknown until today. And finally, the authorities in Kosovo recently introduced high taxes on all products coming from central Serbia, even medication and food, which puts at risk the health and lives of  many Serbs in the province.

Obviously, the so called “republic of Kosovo” is anything but a state of law, a democratic state, where the rights and dignity of the human person are respected.

The fact that this puppet state is today supported with large amounts of European public money by the European Union is for me a real subject of shame and indignation. I allow myself to say so here.

It is also true that seeing the  president of Kosovo welcomed in Paris with great pomp and ceremony during the Centenary of the 1918 Victory is also a subject of shame for me, as a grandson of two French officers badly wounded during the Great War and as a grand nephew of a young officer killed in 1917 in the north of Macedonia.

Moreover, I learned yesterday that the Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama, presented at a joint meeting of the governments of Kosovo and Albania in Pec the idea of ​​a “national project of unification of Albania and Kosovo”.

Edi Rama invited the Kosovan Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj to start developing a “joint strategy for the unification of Albanians by 2025“.

Is the old dream of the League of Prizren about to be realized?

In any case, I have never personally thought that the “Republic of Kosovo” has a future; I said it and wrote it: this puppet state has no other solution than to join back the motherland, Serbia, or to merge with conquering Albania.  The latter would be a piece of real robbery, iniquitous and scandalous, which promises to be achieved in a quarter of century by the mafia clans of Kosovo with the blessing of international institutions.

If that were to happen, it would certainly be the beginning of a period of very great unrest in the entire Balkans.

We, the French people, saw in 1871 what happened to Alsace-Lorraine unduly annexed by Germany!

It took almost 50 years, then a world war and its millions of dead for these French provinces to finally return to France, their motherland.

Let us be clear, it will be the same with Kosovo in due course.

That is why, if we want to avoid kindling another war in the region, it is essential to return to the fundamentals that the UN Resolution 1244 expresses very clearly in its own way.

Kosovo and Metohija is an integral and inalienable part of the Republic of Serbia.  That it has a certain autonomy is perfectly understandable, but with respect for the sovereignty of the Serbian state.   The latter must be restored and the European Union will grow by helping this with its influence.

This would be the only real means of guaranteeing future generations in this part of Europe a just and lasting peace.

Finally, let me add that reconciliation between the different communities populating Kosovo is only possible if the whole truth of history is restored and the responsibilities of each party are well defined.

That is why it seems essential to me that the judicial procedure initiated within the European Union a few years ago, in 2013, concerning the war crimes of KLA and in particular the abominable organ trafficking crimes denounced in the Dick Marti Report, which was expected to give results in 2015, be reactivated and completed.

The credibility of the European Union is at stake.

Thank you for your attention.

Colonel Jacques Hogard
Brussels, European Parliamen, November 28, 2018.


35 Comments

  1. I see some of the off guardian regulars have shown themselves to be utter shills with this one article

  2. Emrulla Gashi says

    there are serious problems with your origins, your veins with Serbian blood, which means that the history of events sees you from the heart of Belgrade, the shame you have served in the first humanitarian Alliance mission, please unfold in the historical facts, scientific and factual about the issue of Kosovo, its genocide, its history and ultimately the relationship between Serbian politics and aggression in the Balkans, Napoleon Bonaparta would be ashamed if it were in the ranks of his army, and the fathers would also be ashamed and offended threw the first ideas of forming the nation over the three famous principles of freedom, fraternity, egalitarianism!

    6
    17
    • u should be ashamed of ur Albanian propaganda
      Everything the above mentioned article alludes to is all documented on the UN archives between 1993 -2000. I know because I wrote a dissertation on the Balkan war and the majority of my references came from UN and Nato documentation namely Wesley Clarke.
      Hence put that in ur NATO centric ?????????????????
      MENSOGNEROAs Tolstoi aptly stated “History would be a wonderful thing if only it were true”

      6
      2
  3. Antonym says

    Off Guardian is under the same spell as the Graun itself: don’t mention Islam. Can Persian Gulf money/ Stockholm syndrome/ a CIA strategy hypnotize all European “intellectuals”? Here ATL and BTL regarding Kosovo nothing about this core issue of Islam in the Balkan, a real feat of twisted mental gymnastics.
    The US Cabal will always mingle in some Russian treat in to avoid criticism (and competition to) of its main financial crutch – Persian Gulf oil controlled by sheiks and Wahhabi mullahs.
    Anybody ever seen an Atlantic effort to rescue a group of Christians in the ME? Jews yes, but Christians, never. NATO and the EU were lined up like dummies to support Islam in Europe over (Orthodox) Christianity, with Germany in the lead – worse than absurd. Why support the present world’s most intolerant ideology?

    8
    8
    • John says

      Do you mention Jews? Your obsession with Islam is a direct consequence of America nato and her lackeys. Before 9/11 you wouldn’t have said shut about Muslims mate

  4. William says

    I am very surprised to see that there is still media out there that will publish such a BIAS losing its own credibility after the whole world knows the facts what serbia did in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and at the end in Kosova.
    This retired officer that could not pay off his mortgage while on duty found a shame way to be mortgage free!!!

    In today’s technology this Bias doesn’t sell. Public is very well informed. This article is just a selfsatisifiying shame total out of reality

    My answer to this officer, and to this media and all of this supporters is.
    GOD BLESS USA
    IN GOD WE TRUST

    8
    48
    • You’re so bland boring and beige. If you trust i god don’t end surprised if any daughters you have are you ornif you have to fight 10 headed dragons because hatsbin you’re bible. That famous book translated from Hebrew into another language and edited then re translated again by people who couldn’t speak the other’s language then edited agin a few times andnd now we have the King James Version which edited out all the shit he didn’t like. Some word of god you’ve got there. How the fuck can you believe that

  5. Shqiponja says

    Shame on you @loverat. Your nicknanme tells a lot of who you are and what you kove. Shame on that rat colonel that betrayed for your filthy money the bigest alliance in Europe, NATO. Kosova is free thanks to US and NATO forces that helped her. For you and your well-deserved dead colonel Kosova is and will be free. Albanians now will live free in their Illyrian lands. You have learned nothing from the bombs of NATO. You have been and continue to be a barberic people with no civilized culture. The world did the right thing by stoping the genocide that you masterminded toward albanians and all other nationalities in the Balkans. You serbs are sick people in your mind. You should be ashamed for everything you have done torward kosovar albanians. Facts speak volumes about you.There is no colonel or anyone that can justify what you did. You have frozen in time. You are stuck in your past and are doomed by the Lord. Nothing can save your dirty and bloody souls. You also are pathetic liars of history. Now the world knows the truth about illyro-epirotic albanians and their ancestry. You are thiefs of history that live unjustly in illyrian-albanian lands.

    8
    43
  6. Alba Jessica says

    Dear Guardian readers…I have already read all the comments about this article. Albanians have written that everything is lie. But what about facts? You can’t write whatever is on your mind! I still live in Kosovo and I am Serbian. I live in the southern part of KOSOVO. It’s important to point out that I don’t hate Albanians. Some of them are my very close friends. The problem here is very deep, but people in some way live together and cooperate. The main problems come from politicians. Albanian politicians lie their people that will be better economic situation if the Kosovo independence is confirmed , and Serbian politicians lie Serbians who live in Kosovo that they have the future and normal life here. All politicians will do nothing good for these people, Serbians and Albanians, I am quite sure in it. LOVERAT : About 115 000 Serbs live in Kosovo today and 2/3 of that number live in the central and southern parts of Kosovo . The fact is that about 200000 Serbs ran away to Central Serbia and abroad after war in 1999. Very small number of people got back during these 18 years… Those are the official data! The solution is to accept the real situation and Albanians will have everything that they have already had, except the independent country! Serbians will get only that they live in the same country as before the war! Each other solution will bring another conflict and war that can be disaster for both, Serbians and Albanians. I think about 8000 Albanians lost their lives during 1998 and 1999. About 5000 Serbians were killed during the war and after it. My message is WE CAN LIVE TOGETHER !

    33
    2
    • Loverat says

      Alba Jessica

      Appreciated for that insight.

      The information I’ve looked at suggests most Serbs in Kosovo live in the north. You seem quite sure though and I wonder where the figures suggesting otherwise come from. Having said that the figures seem to differ depending on what source you look at.

      I wonder if perhaps there is uncertainty over the true figures due to the movements during and after the war – or/and boycotts of the last census.

      Interested also to read about the different Serbian communities from north, central and south. Some communities seem to have a better relationship with Albanians and improvements made. One example I read about of good relations was Štrpce in the south. Others not so -.so I guess likely to be differing Serbian viewpoints on this depending on which part you live.

      3
      7
  7. Kemajl Matarova says

    You are not a human you are not even an animal so do me a favor don’t make mokery of humanity where whole world saw what happen but pigs like you not having touch of humanity 😡.

    6
    34
    • archie1954 says

      I believe him as he was there. I never understood the American penchant for violent upheaval and invasion related to other nations’ internal affairs.

      31
      6
  8. Year19 says

    It looks like Dacic wrote this article and paid this “colonel” to sign it at the bottom. Very soon the delusional serbian dream that they are desperately trying to keep alive will be hit with another dose of reality with the dialogue agreement.

    13
    41
  9. Year19 says

    It is absolutely shameful that a person that was in the region could have such a delusional view of the real situation. This is Serbian propaganda buying people to talk against Kosova. It is old serbian tactic that does NOT work anymore. This person thinks that over 100 free democratic countries that recognized Kosova are wrong and he is right?! It is quite pathetic that Serbia is still mentally stuck in 1999 and has not accepted the reality! Serbian populitation in Kosova is between 1-2% if that, Kosova Albanian population is between 95-97%. So, can anyone tell me how in the world Serbia could claim that Kosova was ever part of Serbia when they are a tiny minority in the country. This person is very misinformed or has been paid to do this.

    15
    52
    • Loverat says

      Kosovo reognised by US, UK, France and Germany – those which waged war to break up the region. Recognised by Turkey, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar – those which start and pursue wars using terrorism.

      Funny that – that’s not the same lot who’ve been waging war in Syria this last 7 years and rampaging across the Middle East?

      With that lot backing you, I bet you can be really certain that Kosovo will remain independent and free of meddling. Kosovo, if you want to call it a state is a client state of all the above collective evil – which incidentally is mentally stuck in colonial times well before 1999.

      49
      6
      • archie1954 says

        The US never does anything unless it benefits the US. The attacks on Serbia caused total turmoil in the Balkans. It also riled Russia which has an historical connection with Serbia and it created the conditions for the Balkan states to be admitted into NATO.

        30
        3
    • john says

      Regardless of the population of serbs in the region, it should be respected that the historical ties of the region are far more connected with serbia and serbs, rather than albanians and albania. Just take a look at the majority of historical sites based around kosovo.

      2
      1
  10. Vedat Januzi says

    You are not a colonel,you are a shame,remem rem you people are so brave that it took Germany only 3 days to occupy your whole country,if it hadn’t been for the USA, you would be speaking German now.As far as bullshit claimes of Kosovo being Serbia,never was never will be.Thats why they’re called southern Slavs because they came from Carpathian regions where their mother rasha is.So no place for them to call Kosova their home or part of their heritage.If you base your and their claims on churches you have Greek Orthodox churches in France, so I suggest you write on how you are going to give back some parts of France to Greece or Russia.And in the end, for all dreaming people,wake up.Kosovo now is a free and independent country,with an army and some allies,USA,Germany, Turkey,and Britain,and many others I don’t need to mention to make a point.Its your fault if you want to dream otherwise.Thank you.

    13
    55
    • Loverat says

      Well,at least there is some fight and spirit in the people of France as can be seen in the demonstrations today.

      And what a nice bunch of allies – Turkey which determined your religion and massacred millions over the centuries, Nazi Germany – well you couldn’t beat them so you collaborated with them and US and UK – sponsors of the KLA terrorist human traffickers and Al Qaeda.

      The Albanians of Kosovo throughout their history have been dominated and got others to do their dirty work for them. And now you’re free in a non-viable corrupt hell-hole. Congratulations.

      37
      7
  11. Egzon says

    How are you people so not educated? I mean do you ever fucking read anything? Or an article going to show you the whole history? This is an article obviously sponsored by the Serbian Government as this “colonel” got some good retirement money from them. If you chose to read a book, or actual facts you can see that there are 98% albanians here in Kosovo, why would we want to join with Serbia that killed over 8000 people in last war ? And there are mothers that still can’t find the bodies of their most beloved ones? You should be ashamed of yourself, that you are paid to write fake articles with fake facts! And as well as the website that allows any irrelevant not true data be shown on it.

    12
    53
    • bevin says

      ” there are mothers that still can’t find the bodies of their most beloved ones?’
      Probably sold ‘for parts’ by the KLA.

      41
      12
  12. BigB says

    Excellent presentation of fact by Colonel Hogard. Given his audience, it is unremarkable that in summation he said:

    “The credibility of the European Union is at stake.”

    Re: the recent forum here, the reputation of the EU is, in fact, in tatters. Here is further evidence that the EU is a sub-imperial civil-military ‘peacebuilding’ vassal of NATO. After NATO/EU illegally and unilaterally enforced Kosovo’s ‘independence’ – and installed the mafia KLA Clinton puppets (the Thaci regime) in the pseudo-state – where was the largest US base on foreign soil erected overnight? Camp Bondsteel, with its satellite camps Monteith and Able Sentry (Macedonia). Why is there? Apart from training global terrorists – such as the MEK – it strategically controls the Balkans, and the oil and gas supply routes into Southern Europe. Add in the Trepca mines, the only target not bombed into the stone age on the faked-genocide P2P (aka crime of aggression; crime against the peace; crime against humanity – contemporaneously known as the ‘Bliar Doctrine’ [sic]). The ongoing occupation of Kosovo-Metohija is a disgrace to humanity (unemployment >60% last time I checked). Will the EU do anything truly positive about the criminal pseudo-state (now an ‘EU Protectorate’) it helped birth? Will it f€ck!

    45
    10
    • archie1954 says

      This US created discretionary Balkan war underlines American perfidy and hypocrisy. The US violently separated an integral part of Serbia from it. Now fast forward to 2014 and Russia’s quiet and peaceful acceptance of Crimea back into the Russian Federation. The US is howling ,as if the World just ended. Hypocrisy, thy name is America!

      27
      2
  13. Driti says

    I cannot call the whole article differently but strange!!! Strange at least frkm someon who actively was engaged in Kosovo and saw the situation, but yet to come with an article fully sponsored by serbian lobyist parties and of course full of lies!!!
    Some facts before the war: all albanian student expelled from schools, all albanian workers laid off, all administration run by serbs-even in 100% populated municipalities; the right of the police to torture albanians in Kosovo and even killings without any repercussion!!!
    During the war: destroyed more than 100,000 homes, killed more than 13,000 people (not 6,000) and burried some of their bodies in the special unit force backyard in Belgrade and other places, expelled close to 1 million people to Macedonia and Albania!!! And you dare to qualify the NATO intervention as unjust, feeling a shame from what the west has done for Kosovo??? I think your predecessors should feel e shame from you!
    Last comment: I wonder, how much you have been paid for this article???

    15
    51
  14. harry stotle says

    The Balkans like Israel and Palestine has come to be defined by ancient and intractable problems, none of which are amenable to peaceful solutions given the amorality of global power structures, or depths of antipathy between local actors.

    I think the short answer is to lower expectations, especially of western military instruments, or politicians who espouse their value since both are little more than bit-part players in an overarching, US-driven neoliberal project.

    20
  15. I saw the maps of proposed land swaps on ethnic lines outlined in the Guardian last week. Ethnic cleansing, peaceful or otherwise, is never a good idea and states founded on ethnicity are one day bound to fail; Israel is the prime example. The only solution is the one proposed by the general here; restoration of Serbian sovereignty. It might not happen soon but it must always remain on the agenda.

    33
    6
  16. King Kong says

    It is a tragic-comical situation, that the obscenity Kosovo is hailed by Brussels and Crimea is subjected to hate. The hypocrisy and rot is deep in western Europe.
    I have given up on the west, if I could I would move to the east.
    When will the forest come to Brussels?

    39
    2
    • eddie says

      Thailand has a fairly strict financial criteria for long-term residency; however, if you hold a US, Canadian, or Argentenian passport, a 10-year visa for China is very easy to obtain.
      The quality of life in China has been a pleasant surprise, with a reliable VPN.

  17. TroutMaskReplica says

    Could Kosovo be split in a way which puts the maximum possilble number of people in their prefered country?

    1
    12
    • Jen says

      Why is partitioning still the preferred option? Constant slicing and dicing will gain nothing if villages that have lasted for centuries, with people of different ethnicities and faiths living and working together, are now broken up simply to satisfy an agenda. People’s attitudes to the lands where their ancestors and home communities lived for centuries can’t be shunted aside and ignored because they happen to be in a minority in their home territory. Can such people easily be persuaded to give up their homes and move to an area where people of their ethnicity are in a majority?

      Splitting up Kosovo means all parties, including the current government, have to agree to the partitioning. Suppose the Kosovar government refuses to agree?

      10
      2
      • Loverat says

        Certainly the break-up of Former Yugoslavia was a great shame. It should never have happened.

        And Kosovo is an integral part of Serbia which was broken up illegally. But you have to look at the reality.- Albanian and Serbs who don’t want to live together. I’m not sure what the Serb population is now but I don’t think it’s been above 10% since the war.

        I guess Bosnia might be similar in terms of mutual dislike and distrust – once you had a situation where the communities hate each other through war and all the foreign interference pitting one against the other – the Serb parts should have been allowed to join Serbia. Look at it now – a weak state where all the groups have to agree to get anything done. But at least the Dayton deal wasn’t as bad for Serbs.

        So, agree 100% – countries should not be torn up in the way Yugoslavia was. But since it was and the west are largely to blame for escalating the crisis time to re-think.

        FYI In Kosovo, Serbs mainly live in the north on the ‘border’ with Serbia. I believe there is a smaller community in the south.

        Finally, Nagorno-Karabakh possibly some similarities to this situation – that’s been simmering for years too and about time it was resolved so people can get on with their lives. The problem is nowadays, diplomacy is a thing of the past – it’s all about alliance blocks and spreading influence than resolving disputes justly.

        14
        4
        • Jen says

          For partitioning to work – because it will mean moving families, even whole communities – all parties have to agree to it, and to the forms that partitioning will take. Moreover, all parties will have to resolve to respect the results of partitioning and border changes, and this means also giving up claims (even future claims) to the territory given up.

          But one thing people overlook when speaking of partitioning, and that is, how did the different communities living in the area to be partitioned come to live together in the first place, how did they manage to last decades, even centuries living together, and why is it that within the last 100 years these communities now can’t live together?

          One other thing particular to the Kosovo situation: as far as I am aware, there seems to be no inclination on the part of Albania or Kosovo to suggest a political union of their countries.

          2
          1
  18. Loverat says

    Interesting read about tragic events.

    Certainly right to mention the aggressive propaganda used as a pretext for attacking Serbia. I recall the NATO spokesman trotting out lie after lie about the conflict – and particularly about NATO progress in their bombing campaign which was far from having the success claimed.

    But what to do about Kosovo now?

    I’m against the breaking up of states, the attempts we are seeing in Syria and elsewhere today. But Kosovo is a different prospect and I guess you have to work with the situation 18 years later.

    Perhaps the best outcome (still unlikely in the current regional and world political climate) is for some deal whereby parts of northern Kosovo are allowed to unite with Serbia. Not something the Serbs will be happy with but looking at the current government in Belgrade it looks as if they will become another US puppet in time. Hopefully the Serbian people won’t allow that to happen.

    One positive which might encourage a settlement is Kosovo is still not recognised by many states – and if I’m correct 4 EU countries. It is not even recognised by much of the muslim world. And some states have withdrawn recognition recently.

    12
    7
    • bevin says

      ” I recall the NATO spokesman trotting out lie after lie about the conflict – and particularly about NATO progress in their bombing campaign which was far from having the success claimed.”
      As I recollect Alistair Campbell was drafted in to assist NATO in its presentation of propaganda, of the ‘drunken lie’ variety.

      18

Please note the opinions expressed in the comments do not necessarily reflect those of the editors or of OffG as a whole