It seems like just yesterday that President Clinton’s moralizing humanitarian interventionists were taking the US into an illegal war in partnership with the terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army (a 1990s version of current US partner, the “Free Syrian Army”).
Now in Kosovo, where you can stroll down Bob Dole Street and Bill Clinton Blvd. while admiring the hulking and grotesquely cartoonish statue of our 42nd president, the “liberators” of that tiny mafia state have returned to collect their rewards for bathing the Balkans in blood. Madeleine Albright‘s Albright Capital Management is duking it out with a firm tied to James W. Pardew, Clinton’s special envoy to the Balkans, to secure purchase of the state telecommunications company. The deal could be worth nearly a billion dollars and would be particularly beneficial to Albright, as she is already a shareholder in the only competitor telecommunications firm in Kosovo.
General Wesley Clark, who commanded the NATO attack on Serbia, is heavily invested in the Kosovo mineral sector. He bristles when it is suggested that his “liberating” Kosovo had anything to do with his incredible financial success in the liberated land. “My business is aboveboard, transparent and helps the Kosovar people,” he told the NYT.
Mark Tavlarides, who was legislative director at the Clinton White House’s National Security Council during the war on Serbia, is also in on the action. In 2010 he lobbied (successfully) on behalf of Bechtel to gain a one billion dollar contract to build a major highway in Kosovo. He has since found his way to the firm of John Podesta, Clinton’s former White House chief of staff, which enjoys a $50,000 monthly contract with the Kosovo government, advising it on communications and strengthening Kosovo’s ties to the United States government. According to a Congressional Research Service report, Kosovo received $85.4 million in aid from the US government in fiscal year 2012. Not a bad return on investment of that monthly $50k spent lobbying for continued aid.
This is how it works: US gives aid to foreign recipient country which in turn hires powerful lobbying firm packed with former and future senior government figures who are paid well to know the ropes. That firm proceeds to lobby and propagandize the US government and people for yet more aid and assistance. And round and round it goes.
The New York Times puts it well:
“So many former American officials have returned to Kosovo for business — in coal and telecommunications, or for lobbying and other lucrative government contracts — that it is hard to keep them from colliding.”
This is why the war machine is so loved on both the Left and Right among those in power in the United States. The Left can moralize about “humanitarian interventionism” and the Right can bloviate about geo-strategy and hard-power. But at the end, those screaming loudest end up profiting the most. War is a racket, but unfortunately it appears the game is far from up.
Follow me on Twitter @DanielLMcAdams.8:15 am on December 12, 2012 Email Daniel McAdams