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By Attorney Richmond C. Odem, J.D.  

April 4, 2002

In 1998, the U.S. DEA reported that the world's busiest and most infamous drug-trafficking trail, "The Balkan Route," was being protected by a loose-knit group of mercenaries who called themselves the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). KLA members ranged from grizzly, battle-worn veterans of the Afghan-Soviet wars of the 1980s, to seventeen and eighteen-year-old petty thieves who chose to enlist rather than serve time in prison.

The KLA's other function was to provide "security" for the perennial migration of Albanians into Kosovo, where they would help package opium, heroin, and hashish for distribution in the West. For years Slobodan Milosevic's constitutes begged and pleaded with him to do something about the scourge of the Balkan Route, the western terminus of which was their home land. And for years Milosevic stopped short of giving orders to his Army to give them the option of leaving the country or paying the price for refusing to leave.

Finally, in 1997, Milosevic told his Generals to essentially "do whatever it takes" to rid Kosovo of the plague of Albanians and the drug trade. To outsiders, the resulting conflict was a "holy war" between the predominantly Christian Kosovars, and the predominantly Muslim Albanians. To extent that was true, but it was much more. Not only did the Kosovars not want the Albanians to continue their support of the illicit drug trade in the Kosovars' own back yard, all under the protective watchful eye of the KLA, they were also bothered by the fact that the Albanians were being paid by the drug traders, and Kosovo was in the midst of a serious economic depression.

As a result of Milosevic's order, his soldiers began killing the Albanians who refused to leave the country. A couple of years, and a thousand or so dead Albanians later, then-President Bill Clinton cut a deal with NATO, whereby the U.S. military would help oust Milosevic from power, and insure that whatever ruling faction was inserted in Kosovo, would meet NATO's approval. After the defenestration, Milosevic was arrested and charged with genocide. The group anointed by the Clinton Administration to take reigns in Kosovo, with NATO's consent, was the KLA. Thus, with assistance from the U.S. military, the armed militia of mercenaries whose job it had been to protect the world's largest drug-trafficking ring, became the ruling authority in the very country which had tried so desperately to rid its borders of that pariah.

Slobodan Milosevic's wife appeared on a CBS News special -- an interview with Dan Rather -- in 1999. During the interview she explained, concisely and articulately, that her husband had tried to use peaceable means for years to deal with the Balkan Route, the KLA, and the Albanians, without success. She also said that had he not given the go ahead to his army, to begin giving the Albanians the option of leaving or being shot, the army would have ousted him, and installed its own martial regime. She added that many Albanians had been armed, and had actually fired first on Kosovar soldiers.

Until the Taliban wrested control of Afghanistan, that country was the main supplier of opium and heroin to the Balkan Route. The Taliban outlawed the cultivation of poppies, severely constricting the flow and supply of opiates worldwide. Once the Taliban was ousted, Afghan peasant farmers once again began supplying opiates to the Balkan Route. 

Contrary to common belief, minerals are not the most cost-effective high-profit materials to be produced. It can easily cost a couple of million dollars to drill for oil or gas. Once a pocket is located, an expensive pump jack is placed on the well head. Pump jacks have movable parts that require periodic maintenance. Comparing the price fetched per barrel of sweet crude oil, and the cost of obtaining it, to the cost of farming poppies and preparing opium and heroin for sale, and street value they fetch, the facts are obvious. It costs thousands of times more to produce and sell oil and gas, than it does to produce and sell drugs. Does this relate to the events of 9/11/01? If so, how?

Richmond Odom, All Rights Reserved

Attorney Odom graduated from Louisiana State University, B.A. with honors, 1979. O.W. Coburn School of Law, Oral Roberts University (now Regent University), 1982, J.D.  Served in U.S. Marine Corps, 1972-78. Honorable discharge. Crew chief on CH 46 helicopter.

Licensed to practice by Okla. Supreme Court 1982. U.S. District Court, Northern District of Okla., 1983. U.S. District Court, Western District of Okla., 1984. La. Supreme Court 1986. U.S. District Court, Middle District of La., 1986. U.S. District Court, Eastern District of La., 1988. U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, 1986. Member, Okla. Bar Assoc. 1982-1991. Member, La. Bar Assoc. 1986-date.

Author of: "New Gods for a New Age",  "Circle of Death: Clinton's Climb to the Presidency" [Huntington House] Sold Out:  His Latest  Book, "A Presidential Legacy" [Due to be published in 2002]. Writes a monthly column: "Baton Rouge Parents Magazine" since 1999.    

Contact: Richmond C. Odom, J.D., Post Office Box 66862, Baton Rouge, LA 70896-6862;  E-Mail:  [email protected]