from the book

The CIAs Greatest Hits

by Mark Zepezauer


The bloodshed and chaos that have engulfed Yugoslavia since its breakup have been portrayed as the inevitable result of bottled-up ethnic tensions. But there's considerable evidence that both the breakup and the warfare were encouraged by Western intelligence services-including Germany's BND, the successor to the Gehlen Org.

Germany's interests in the region date to World War II, when the Bosnians and Croats allied with the Nazis against the Serbs, who the Nazis regarded as untermenschen (subhumans). After Germany reunified in 1989, it began to take a more expansionist attitude toward Eastern Europe, and Yugoslavia in particular. In 1990, it urged the Bush administration to help it dismantle Yugoslavia.

Bush was happy to comply, since the US had longstanding plans to overthrow Yugoslavia's government. Yugoslavia had recently renounced the market-oriented "shock treatment" prescribed for it, which had been causing social unrest, so it was a prime candidate for further destabilization.

The Germans encouraged Croatia to secede from Yugoslavia, and Bosnia soon followed. Germany immediately recognized the new nations, forcing the hand of the European Community, which had wanted to take a more cautious approach. The new Croatian state adopted the flag and anthem of its WWII Nazi puppet regime-and, in some cases, the same personnel.

Virulently fascist Croats had long been active in the World Anti-Communist League and other exile groups nurtured by the CIA. Many Eastern European Nazis had gone on to work with the CIA, either in the US or in covert operations abroad. With the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe, many of these aging chickens came home to roost. Neofascist movements are active in Lithuania, Hungary and Romania, as well as in much of Western Europe (notably Italy).

Despite an official arms embargo against Croatia and Bosnia, Western powers immediately began covertly arming them, which would have been impossible without the knowledge and acquiescence of the CIA and the BND. Mercenaries from Britain, Germany and the US are said to be serving alongside the Croat militias-a sure sign of an ongoing covert operation. In fact, in 1994, the CIA opened a new base in Albania to monitor troop movements and "potential targets."

CIAs Greatest Hits

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