ed at the federal level under Tito’s communistrnconstitution of 1974. Why arndead red dictator’s arrangements—neverrnfreely negotiated, or voted upon by thernpeople concerned—should be acceptedrnas inviolable principles a quarter of arncentury later is left unexplained.rnAfter Kosovo becomes a federal republic,rnthe Croatian/Bosnian scenario for secessionrnwould be duly applied: the assemblyrnin Pristina will call a referendumrnon independence, with the result a foregonernconclusion. The proceedings willrnbe eagerly ratified by the assorted worthiesrnfrom the “international community,”rnand jbresto!—another slice will be cutrnfrom the Serbian salami, with the facadernof legality maintained by the powersthat-rnbe inside the Belhvay. If the Serbsrntry to resist, they will be branded, yetrnagain, as “aggressors” against a new U.N.rnmember. A greater Albania will comerninto being without a single editorial writerrnever using the term, let alone consideringrnits implications.rnThe Kosovo conflict has been brewingrnfor some time. Down to the end of thern19th century, the region was overwhelminglyrnSerbian, although Turkish authoritiesrnhad encouraged Albanian immigrationrn—and violence —as a threat againstrnan independent Serbia. Even down tornWorld War II, the Serbs were in the majority,rnbut Tito encouraged Albanian nationalismrnas part of his divide-and-rulernstrategy against the Serbs.rnThe Albanians’ savage and unremittingrnabuse of the Serb minority attractedrnthe attention of Slobodan Milosevic,rnwho went to Kosovo and promised thernSerbs, “No one will ever beat you again.”rnIt was this stance that marked the beginningrnof Milosevic’s reputation as a Serbrnnationalist.rnIn the current conflict, however,rnMilosevic appears to be on board thernAmerican ship. Whatever he does, herncannot risk offending the “only remainingrnsuperpower.” Milosevic depends onrnU.S. backing to preserve his power in thernremnant of Serbia. As events unfold, hernwill present defeat to his long-sufferingrnpeople as a victory, because the leader ofrnthe Kosovo Albanians, Ibrahim Rugova,rnwill temporarily muzzle his uncompromisingrndemand for full independence inrnfavor of the federal status within Yugoslavia.rnBut a few months later, whenrnRugova follows the example of Tudjmanrnin 1991 and Izetbegovic in 1992, Milosevic’srnacceptance of the fait accompli willrnbe justified by foreign pressure. He andrnAlbright need each other.rnThis clever ploy made in Foggy Bottomrnmay cause a destabilizing chain reactionrnthroughout the Balkans. Its mainrnvictim will be the former Yugoslav republicrnof Macedonia, where the restivernAlbanian minorit’ comprises a third ofrnthe total population (as opposed to onlyrnone-fifth in Serbia). Oddly enough, thernUnited States supports Skopje’s policy ofrncentralization, and does not object to thernrefusal of the government of Kiro Gligorovrnto grant autonomous status to itsrnAlbanians. But by encouraging ylbaniansrnnext door in Serbia to strive for fullrnautonomy, and paving the way forrnindependence, the United States willrnhave unleashed a revolution of risingrnexpectations among Macedonia’s Albaniansrnthat will be impossible to contain.rnQuite apart from practical policyrnconsiderations, American encouragementrnof Albanian intransigence in Serbiarnis flawed in principle. If the Albaniansrnare allowed full autonomy leading tornsecession on grounds of their numbersrn(85 percent in Kosovo), will the same applyrnwhen the Latinos in New Mexico orrnTexas eventually outnumber their Anglornneighbors and start demanding full autonomy,rnor even secession?rnIf the principle of full territorial autonomyrnfor minorities is imposed on Serbia,rnwill it not be demanded by the Himgariansrnin Rumania (more numerous thanrnSerbia’s Albanians), the Russians in thernUkraine, or the Kurds in Turkey? And finally,rnif action by Serbian police againstrnarmed terrorists is condemned by Washingtonrnin the name of human rights andrnmoral principles, what will Washington’srnresponse be when the next Kurdish villagernis razed by the Turkish arm}’ or thernnext Palestinian terrorist’s home is blownrnup by the Israeli Defense Force?rn— Srdja TrifkovicrnTIMOTHY MCVEIGH may havernbeen sent oIF for life, but the OklahomarnCity bombing case is far from over. Itrnlooks like the federal government knewrnall along that Oklahoma Cit)’, if not thernAlfred P. Murrah building itself, wouldrnbe the target of a terrorist attack, andrnsomehow^ (or for some reason) failed tornprevent it. The alleged source of this informationrnis none other than U.S. CongressmanrnErnest Istook (R-OK), who wasrnat the scene of the blast and spoke carelesslyrnto a reserve deputy. The mainstreamrnmedia have tried to ignore thesernallegations, but the New American, in arnseries of articles, won’t give up the bone.rnIn fact, the articles have caused a majorrnspat between Oklahoma State RepresentativernCharles Key and Congressman Istook,rnwho could teach President Clintonrna thing or two about the art of damagerncontrol.rnAccording to the February 16 issue ofrnthe New American, David Kochendorfer,rna reserve deputy with the sheriffs department,rnwas driving near the Murrahrnbuilding at the time of the blast and wentrnimmediately there to help in the rescuerneffort. When he spotted CongressmanrnIstook, he approached him and startedrntalking about the tragedy. Apparentlyrnmistaking Kochendorfer’s uniform forrnthat of a highway patrolman, Istook casuallyrnremarked, “Yeah, we knew this wasrngoing to happen.” When a stunnedrnKochendorfer asked him how he couldrnhave known, Istook replied, “Well, werngot word there’s an imdercover . . . rightwing,rnMuslim, fundamentalist group operatingrnin Oklahoma Cit)’ . . . an informationrnsource thought that a federalrnbuilding was going to be bombed.”rnMeanwhile, Kochendorfer’s partnerrnDon Hammons was speaking with localrnattorney Lana Tyree, who was illegallyrntaking pictures at the scene. She said Istookrnhad asked her to take the picturesrnand had told her that a bomb threat hadrnbeen made ten full days before the attackrnwhich killed 169 people.rnWhen Rep. Charles Key, who hasrnlong been skeptical of the official stor’ ofrnthe bombing, met with the two deputies,rnhe was impressed with their solid personalrnbackgrounds and their willingness torntake a lie detector test to back up theirrnstor’. Kochendorfer, who agrees with Istook’srnstance on abortion, school prayer,rnand other issues, and had even consideredrnhimself a fan of the congressman,rncould hardly have wanted to smear Istookrnfor political reasons. And so Ke’ decidedrnto take up the deputies’ case, for asrnhe told the New American, he “couldrnfind no ulterior motive or reason forrnthem to concoct this stor’.”rnNor do the facts contradict them. ThernNew American, in its February 16 coverrnstory, presents plenty of evidence pointingrnto prior knowledge of the blast.rnMany eyewitnesses, for example, claimrnto have seen bomb squad trucks and personnelrnaround the Murrah building beforernthe explosion. Convenientiy, manyrnBATE agents were absent from their officesrnin the building when the bombrn6/CHRONICLESrnrnrn