Ah the problematic Islamic Community and its “traditional Kosovo ways.”

Kosovo Islamic Body Accused of Tolerating Extremists (Balkan Insight, Oct. 29)

At a round table in Kosovo, theologians and researchers criticized Saudi Arabia and Kosovo’s official Islamic Community concerning the rise of religious radicalism.

Ervin Qafmolla BIRN Pristina

A round table that sought to raise awareness of traditional Islam vs. religious extremism in Kosovo saw harsh accusations made at the expense of the Islamic Community of Kosovo, the BIK.

The event was held by “Fol Tash” (“Speak Now”), a Kosovar media portal run by moderate Islamic theologians, researchers and imams, who seek to explain traditional Islamic values as opposed to the violent practices of organisations such as the Islamic State.

Most of the participants felt that Kosovo’s official Islamic body had failed to prevent the growth of extremism and the emerging Wahhabist ideology backed by Saudi Arabian funds.

More than 200 fighters from Kosovo have reportedly joined the ranks of ISIS and Al Nusra in Syria and Iraq. Around 40 hardliners, including imams and alleged former fighters, are being tried in courts following a crackdown on suspected groups and individuals from autumn 2014 to spring 2015.

“Not jihad through war, but jihad through the pen is what we need [HUH?],” [Zuhdi Hajzeri, an imam from the city of Peja and editor of the website,] noted, explaining the common misinterpretation of the traditional Islamic concept of holy war.

Blerim Rama, from the police’s antiterrorism department, said that youngsters who pursue their studies in Saudi Islamic universities were a source of serious concern… “They are not guided by the principles and values of the Kosovo believers’ community,” Rama said.

[Oh, I think they got a good sense of the Kosovo believers’ community principles and values from its behavior in the 90s toward the non-Muslim infidels in its midst. (As ISbanian leader Lavdrim Muhaxheri pointed out.) They’re merely taking the behavior they observed to its logical conclusion.]

…While the security official said that their main partner in combating extremism “had to be” the BIK, other speakers did not agree.

… “The BIK is not doing its job to duly manage mosques, because 99 per cent of the participants in the war in Syria – both recruiters and the recruited – came out of these mosques,” Avni Islami, a researcher into security affairs and a practising Muslim, said.

Saudi funding for certain mosques and for the BIK itself was also described as a source of concern.

When BIRN contacted BIK spokesperson Ahmet Sadriu, he would not comment on any of the claims raised.

Some years ago the BIK issued an internal regulation that forbids imams from talking to the media. The move attracted criticism from journalists who viewed it as censorship and an obstacle to the fight against religious extremism.

Fol Tash’s website (foltash.com) is considered a media channel that bypasses BIK’s communication embargo, and allows moderate imams and scholars to talk to the general public without censorship.

Below is an old email from Melana, who used to run Serbblog. I found it as instructive today as ever, so I’m finally posting it, though I’d meant to do so when she first wrote it back in 2008:

I had mixed feelings about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for a long time. While I had always admired brave little Israel — a sort of David against the Goliath Arab-Muslim world surrounding it — I had also met some Palestinians (some of them Christians) with horror stories about what happened to them at the hands of Israelis some years ago. Then one day, I met an Armenian woman from Lebanon who sort of set me straight.

This Lebanese Christian woman told me that she too had sympathized with the Palestinians (as had many Lebanese) — until they destroyed her country. Lebanon had been the Switzerland of the Middle East — beautiful, prosperous and comfortably multi-religious — until they took in the Palestinians when none of the other Muslim Arab countries would.

But the Palestinians used their new ‘home’ in Lebanon as nothing more than a base to launch attacks on Israel and to eventually start a civil war between Muslims and Christians in Lebanon. She thinks that this was part of their plan — and this is why Palestinians came to a mixed Christian/Muslim country and not to another purely Muslim country like Jordan (which was actually the ’settlement land/country’ in return for the founding of Israel.) It was part of the Muslim plan to get Lebanese Christians to hate Israel as much as Muslims hated Israel, so that eventually all Christians and the Western World might hate Israel, too. (Much like hating the Christian Serbs for what happened to Muslims in Yugoslavia, at the same time when we in the U.S. are fighting radical Islamic terrorists who perpetrated 9/11. Divide us against ourselves and we spend our energy fighting each other, instead of fighting our real enemy — militant Islam.)

She then asked me if I ever intended to visit The Holy Land and I said that I did. She wondered whom I would rather ask for permission to visit The Lord’s Birthplace — the Israeli government, or some Muslim sharia government? Because those were the only choices. If Israel gets condemned every time it defends itself, then Israel cannot survive, and Muslim fanatics will win.

The Muslim Palestinian fanatics are not going to stop until they are either stopped by Israel and by the rest of us who stand up to them — or until they totally destroy Israel. If Israel gets destroyed, we’ll be wearing burkahs to visit the Sea of Galilee and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (unless the Muslims decide to destroy that too). And with the Muslim hatred of all things Jewish, most remnants of Old Testament history would likely be destroyed in the process too, if it is considered ‘unessential to Islam.’

There is no peaceful co-existence with Islam, as our 1990s partner in the Balkans, the late fundamentalist Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic said and wrote, though we chose not to believe him. Either you fight them with all you’ve got — or you surrender and get annihilated. Those are the only choices for Israel and those are the only choices for all of us. Our ancestors were not wrong or ‘backward’ when they shut the gates of Europe to Muslims centuries ago!

Apropos to ‘the barbarians at the gate’: Somewhere this week I read a sentence that went something like: Western leaders’ solution for barbarians at the gate: “Open the gate!”


The same year, days after Kosovo’s UDI, writer Daniel Greenfield also explained the Balkans as a sort of road map for the destruction of civilization:

Kosovo and Islam’s Balkanization of the World (Feb. 20, 2008)

Even as the world rushes to embrace the newly manufactured Kosovo as a country, the rise of a splinter Muslim country in Europe can’t help but give hope to Islamic terrorists fighting to create breakaway states in Thailand, the Philippines, Israel, India and Kenya among many others.

Balkanization, or divide and conquer, has always been a key element in bringing down countries and with a global Islamic war, each country with a Muslim minority, natively converted or imported, is on the same track as Yugoslavia.

What Hitler did with the Volksdeutsche, ethnic Germans, across Eastern Europe, his former Muslim allies are doing across the world with Muslim populations. With the Volksdeutsche, before a single soldier of the Reich even set foot in a country, the Volksdeutsche would radicalize and foment unrest that would either carve up the target country or justify military intervention to “liberate” them. When the country was conquered, the Volksdeutsche would quickly become occupation forces.

With Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood to the Ayatollahs either being direct allies of Hitler or influenced by Nazism, it’s no surprise that Muslims have adopted Nazi tactics and Kosovo and its Muslim population that had formerly collaborated with the Nazis, is their greatest victory, a Muslim state carved out of the heart of Europe through ethnic cleansing, with the world’s approval.

Whether in Gaza or the Paris riots, Kosovo or Kashmir, Balkanization is Islam’s greatest weapon. Lacking a Nazi Germany to invade on their half behalf, Muslims practice violence and terrorism combined with manipulative publicity aimed at the world to convince them to take their side. And time and time again it has worked.

Kosovo and the Palestinian Authority are both triumphs of terrorism, victories by racist nationalists whose aim has always been religious and ethnic cleansing who have nevertheless managed to portray the countries they have torn to shreds as racist nationalists practicing ethnic cleansing.

Time and time again, Muslims continue to transform nation after nation into Czechoslovakia, convincing the world that there will be peace if a country is carved up and they are given a peace [sic]. Yet even as Western Europe itself is being balkanized, its leaders give little thought that tomorrow’s Kosovo is Paris or London or Oslo. That the sacrifices for tomorrow’s peace will come from their own territory
The Balkanization track follows the same pattern.

Stage 1: Political Grievance - In the first stage of Balkanization, the Muslim population is increased if it’s not native and radicalized if it is. Political organizations are set up and claims of oppression and discrimination become constant to set the grounds for future action.

Stage 2: Violence - Terrorist groups begin operating in conjunction with political groups offering the authorities a choice, either comply with their political demands or face violence.

Governments commonly fall for this trap believing that they can resolve the problem by empowering the moderate political groups and in doing so weaken the terrorists, little realizing that it’s like competing in a wrestling match and giving in to your opponent’s right hand to weaken his left hand. The political groups serve to shield the terrorists while cooperating with liberal organizations and turning them into a fifth column. The terrorist groups serve as the stick forcing a surrender to the political groups.

Stage 3: Secession - With political and terrorist groups operating now, governments belatedly attempt some sort of half-hearted crackdown. This only serves to justify greater violence and extremism on behalf of the terrorist and political groups. Claiming discrimination, they begin to demand either secession through autonomy or outright rule. Falling into the same trap all over again, governments begin seriously pondering autonomy refusing to realize that both choices lead to the same place.

Stage 4: War - With or without an autonomous state, the violence drastically escalates into the next phase of Mao’s phases of guerrilla warfare, with armed militias in the field. While these militias pose no serious threat, they tie up large numbers of government troops and carry out atrocities against the civilian population. Meanwhile any response by the government troops quickly becomes a propaganda moment and is broadcast around the world along with cries for intervention.

The government’s attempts at moderation accomplish nothing except to cause the guerrillas to believe in their own immunity and give them time to regroup after every defeat. Government action typically contains enough force to make for good propaganda but not enough to actually make a difference. The civilian population grows weary of the fighting, international organizations call for intervention and peace talks and the government begins to defer to their wishes.

Stage 5: Surrender - Peace talks begin slowly carving up the country on the enemy’s terms which are promptly accepted on behalf of the country by various superpowers. If the country resists, it’s bombed. If it gives in, it’s constantly accused of dragging its feet. The autonomous territory becomes an independent state. The native population becomes dispirited and loses hope. The country’s academic and media circles accept defeat as inevitable and welcome the coming peace.

Stage 6: Conquest - The war continues this time from the independent state. Ethnic cleansing is used to purge non-Muslims from Muslim territory while any territory within the country with a Muslim minority is added to the list of demands. Atrocities and terrorism become habitual. Any government response is condemned worldwide as brutal and warmongering. Backed into a corner the country may try to fight for its survival, but it has spent too long being undermined and its bravest and brightest have learned apathy and its new generation only wants to leave. The result is a complete surrender followed by a butchery.

Stage 7: Misery - The country is carved up and renamed by its former minority and its identity ceases to exist. The former terrorists are typically corrupt and incompetent, vital services decay, crime soars, ethnic cleansing destroy the most productive elements of society and the place becomes a miserable sinkhole under a tyranny whose prime purpose is to support the terrorists who are doing Stage 1 or Stage 2 in the country across the border.

This is what we are now facing today. Yugoslavia and Israel are both teetering between Stage 5 and Stage 6. Europe is well into Stage 2 and well on the way to Stage 3. Thailand and the Philippines are in Stage 3 and moving toward Stage 4. America is between Stage 1 and Stage 2, though if Obama becomes President I imagine we’ll be skipping a couple of steps. In the end though the trajectory is all the same and unless something is done, country by country will fall.

Muslims command two great weapons, a potent birthrate and the ability to lie and believe their own lies. The former is less significant but the latter is quite powerful indeed, as a short glance at the evening news will quickly show you.

And they’re carving up the world country by country, land by land and territory by territory. Hitler’s opening gambit has become Islam’s opening gambit. Kosovo is the sordid triumph of imagined human rights by carving up a country and turning it over to Muslims who have made it their own by ethnically cleansing Christians, Jews and Roma (gypsies) from its borders.

Around the world the moral authority has fallen into the bloody hands of the terrorists of Paris, London, Ramallah Ridyah, Tehran, Damascus, Kashmir, Oslo, Kosovo and Beslan — because the moral and culture decay of civilization has left it unable to reason or resist.

Balkanization is the tool of the rats in the walls of our countries gnawing through the mortar bit by bit, knowing that undefended, even the mightiest structures must fall. Knowing that the only thing that might stop them would be if the mortar was renewed and the walls stood strong again.

Since we seem to be back in 2008 this year, I’m going to use it as an excuse to blog an exchange I had in September of that year with a young lady who was then working as a translator for the Serbian news agency Tanjug. I hadn’t gotten around to it at the time, and while there are no great revelations here, I did want to have a record of what she told me, given that Serbia’s detractors historically have tried to paint Tanjug as “Serbian propaganda,” despite its record of showing great deference to Serbia’s enemies, even in wartime.

Dear Miss Gorin,

I work as a translator at a Belgrade news agency…and amid piles of politically-monotonous (or should I say, narrow-minded and maliciously biased) articles from mainstream British, US, French and Italian press we are translating every day, some time ago I ran into a refreshing one written by you and defending Serbian stance on Kosovo. I was shocked to see a piece of writing on us that did not contain omnipresent phrases like ‘’nationalists, genocide, ethnic-cleansing of Albanians - or should I say ‘’Kosovars'’ whoever those are - etc.

Although I’ve just graduated recently and have been working only for a year and a half, I’ve already got used to translating things like an travelogue from [UK Telegraph] which claimed that Montenegro is much better off without tourists from Serbia since they used to come in trucks full of chickens and then would slay one for the dinner every day (!). The same article also claimed that “Dubrovnic” is the capital of Croatia, but those hapless chickens are what really got to me…

What I meant to say by this long-winded prologue is that I’m pretty sick of the media idiocy (including the auto-destructive, cowardly Serbian media who do not dare raise their voice against the blatant lies) I (un)willingly participate in as a translator…

Tanjug is basically a state agency, which means that the government imposes the CEO (if you’re not a member of a political party in Serbia you won’t get anywhere) and he dictates the house policy. And since our government at the moment is a most uncanny motley crew, with only one thing in common — they all have a lot of political (some of them maybe even criminal) baggage or are simply wusses, so they’ll swallow up any insult, humiliate themselves and the country just so as to not anger the ‘’international community'’. So, that’s the policy of Tanjug as well, I guess — accept everything with a smile.

However, only a small portion of articles we translate ends up in Serbian dailies, even if the said dailies are as self-loathing as you get. I suppose they don’t want to raise tensions among the people - there’s just so many humiliations you can stand.

Meanwhile, this may be wrong-headed, but one does get some small satisfaction that “Jug” (as in Jugoslavia) is still the root word of the agency name. It seems almost like a small act of subversion or insolence to the New World Order.

One person on the planet wrote a commentary responding to Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders flaunting his ignorance about his support for the Kosovo war. Jack Cashill, of course, of the singular WND, of course:

Bernie’s Kosovo lie (Oct. 14)
Exclusive: Jack Cashill notes truth about claimed ‘genocide’ of European Muslims

Granted, Kosovo is not a burning issue.

[Oh, Albanians are feeling the burn. The fire under their bottoms to get the heck out was so hot, it propelled them right into the thick of the EU’s Middle Eastern refugee hell.]

If asked, the handful of people who watched the CNN Democratic debate on Tuesday would likely identify it as exotic vegetable.

Still, it was the one place on the map that Sen. Bernie Sanders, a belligerent quasi-pacifist, thought best justified spilling American blood.

“Under what circumstances would you actually use force?” Anderson Cooper asked.

“Well, obviously, I voted, when President Clinton said, ‘Let’s stop ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.’ I voted for that.”

Sanders came back to Kosovo later in the debate. “I am not a pacifist, Anderson,” he insisted. “I supported President Clinton’s effort to deal with ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.”

“I happen to believe from the bottom of my heart that war should be the last resort, that we have got to exercise diplomacy,” said Sanders piously. “But yes, I am prepared to take this country into war if that is necessary.”

If Kosovo is a President Sanders’ idea of “necessary,” the nation could be in for a bellicose four years. Yugoslavia had no WMDs, no terror arm, no ambitions on its neighbors, no grudge against the United States, no sheltered terrorists, not even any oil.

What Yugoslavia did have was a world-class Islamic PR machine running overtime against it and a United States president who desperately needed a distraction from his Monica problems.

What Yugoslavia also had arrayed against it were self-deluding prigs like Bernie Sanders who were as susceptible to crude propaganda as the average Munich hausfrau circa 1933.

Despite Sanders’ claim to have “voted” to endorse military action, President Clinton did not bother getting Bernie’s approval – or anyone’s for that matter – before unleashing America’s air power.

Sanders and his cronies trashed George Bush’s actions in Iraq in no small part to attack Hillary Clinton who supported that action, but Hillary, at least, got to vote. Sanders had to lie about voting.

To bolster public support, Clinton and his people began a drumbeat about mass graves, ethnic cleansing and even genocide.

The State Department’s David Scheffer was the first to claim a six-figure death count, specifically “upwards of about 100,000 [Islamic] men that we cannot account for” in Kosovo.

A month later, the State Department upped the total to 500,000 Kosovo Albanians missing and feared dead.

On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Secretary of Defense William Cohen repeated the 100,000 figure and claimed that the war “was a fight for justice over genocide.”

President Clinton compared the work of the Serbs in Kosovo to the German “genocide” of the Jews during the Holocaust and assured America that “tens of thousands of people” had been murdered.

The New York Times helped Clinton amplify his message. No fewer than 375 articles would contain the combination “Kosovo” and “genocide,” most of those making a direct equation.

In the war’s wake, however, international teams could find no signs of genocide. The ethnic Albanian dead numbered in the hundreds, not in the hundreds of thousands.

Spanish forensic surgeon Emilio Perez Pujol would tell the British Sunday Times that the talk of genocide was “a semantic pirouette by the war propaganda machines, because we did not find one – not one – mass grave.”

In 2001, a United Nations court ruled, as the BBC noted, “Serbian troops did not carry out genocide against ethnic Albanians.”

So upset was Sanders staffer Jeremy Brecher by his boss’ empty-headed hawkishness over Kosovo that he resigned in disgust…Clinton had U.S. forces bomb Yugoslavia from high enough altitudes to avoid taking casualties, but too high to bomb with any precision.

As a result, the constitutionally unauthorized bombing killed more than 500 civilians, and destroyed bridges, industrial plants, public buildings, private businesses and even a TV station in a Christian nation that had no grudge against us.

When asked to identify the nation’s “greatest national security threat” on Tuesday, Sanders cited “the global crisis of climate change.”

Now there is a war for a conscientious objector. In the short haul at least, about the only thing it will kill are jobs.

On the point of crude propaganda, meanwhile, let’s just note one of many parallels between, as usual, Serbia and Israel. In Israel’s case, it comes out easily enough these days that media and other anti-Israelites get their “facts’ directly from Hamas et al. (see below) Whereas people STILL don’t know that media AND Western governments got their facts and stats directly from the KLA and its minions (willing and not).

As per the KLA’s own handbook, via Tablet magazine on March 10, 2015:

During this summer’s war, the press gave prominent place to charges that Israel was firing at Gaza indiscriminately. Notoriously, the New York Times in the first week of the war began quoting estimates that civilians were over 80 percent of the deaths in Gaza, using casualty figures had been transmitted to the United Nations by Hamas, and which were proven to be vastly inflated (the actual ratio was about 50-50).

Let’s also notice yet again the way Kosovo, residing somewhere in the recesses of the public and political consciousness, is there just to be dredged up for utility’s sake, when convenient. With absolutely no awareness, naturally, of how it all turned out. But if not for political hacks, we’d have no elections at all.

A refugee riot puts a German town on edge (Washington Post, Oct. 1, by Anthony Faiola and Souad Mekhennet)

CALDEN, Germany — This German town renowned for its rococo palace threw open its doors to arriving waves of refugees. Donations from clothing drives filled four garages. The volunteer fire department pitched in to build a tent city at the airport that now teems with 1,400 migrants.

But like other Germans in a country that has rolled out the welcome mat for Europe’s largest wave of asylum seekers since World War II, residents here are having second thoughts.

That is especially true after the riot. In this quaint municipality of 3,000 inhabitants, the chaos started at lunchtime Sunday when a 19-year-old Albanian cut in the food line at the town’s new tent city, prompting a reprimand from a 43-year-old Pakistani. Pushes degenerated into punches. Soon, 300 migrants wielding pepper spray and metal pipes were attacking each other in rival mobs.

A caravan of ambulances and SWAT team vans careened down streets lined with gawking residents. More than 50 police officers struggled for hours to restore order, with three hospitalized with injuries, according to witnesses and local officials.

“You know, when the refugees started coming, I was one of those who saw people needing help and I thought we have to help,” said Harry Kloska, 46, a shaggy-haired instructor in the skydiving club based at the airport. He and his stunned clients huddled inside his office as the violence flared, Kloska said.

Germany is the single largest destination for the asylum seekers pouring into Europe, taking in more than half a million so far this year.

In Calden, 242 miles southwest of Berlin, the tent-camp riot over the weekend followed another incident in August in which Syrian and Albanian asylum seekers clashed.

Local police say there has been no noticeable increase in overall crime. [Give them a minute!] Nevertheless, nervous residents say they have started locking their doors at night. In town, one mother angrily complained that the newcomers sexually harassed her 17-year old daughter at a bus stop. “Of course we are afraid,” she said.

Mayor Maik Mackewitz said “several young women” have stopped jogging in the nearby woods “because they are afraid of all these groups of men walking around.”

Boy if that don’t sound familiar. A refrain starts to form in the mind: We are all Kosovo now…

The local Edeka grocery store, meanwhile, has hired security guards for the first time because of concerns that refugees open packages of food without paying, the mayor said. On a recent afternoon, the store’s new guards were unsuccessfully trying to eject six beer-drinking Albanian migrants from a bench in the parking lot as two elderly German women tut-tutted nearby.

“It’s chaos,” Mackewitz, 38, a former officer in the German army, said at the entrance to the refugee camp.

…A group of Afghan, Iraqi and Syrian men [in the central city of Suhl], officials say, chased the Christian man after he tried to flush pages of the Koran down the toilet at a refugee center. Six police officers were wounded trying to stop the mob.

“This has been a big shock,” said Fred Jaeger, the Suhl police spokesman. “Never before have our police been physically attacked like this.”

“There is no security, no safety here [at the camp in Calden]; nobody knows what’s happening or who to ask for what,” complained Salim Firas Shafeeq al Omari, a 40-year-old Iraqi who said he sheltered two Pakistani youths in his tent during the riot to save them from gangs of Albanians going tent to tent. “Of course there are going to be problems.”

Pakistanis need sheltering from Albanians. You got it?

The article above came with a graph showing refugees’ countries of origin and the countries taking them. If you count them up, you find there are almost a third as many Albanians fleeing their achievement, Kosovo, as there are people fleeing Syria. The number of proud but fleeing “Kosovars” is about the same as the number of fleeing Afghanis.

Meanwhile, here was an article appearing last month, specific to the fleeing Albanians:

EU Shuts the Door on Kosovans Dreaming of a New Life (AFP, Sept. 26, 2015)

(I thought Kosovo was supposed to give them that new life. Washington still says Kosovo independence is a fix-all.)

They don’t come from a war zone, they’re not fleeing persecution, and the EU doesn’t want them. [Well, they are fleeing their own victory, their hard-won prize.] But for thousands of Kosovans fleeing unemployment and poverty, northern Europe is the only place to go.

As Europe creaks under the weight of a massive influx of refugees and migrants, it is the plight of those fleeing bloody conflicts in the Middle East that have captured the public’s attention.

But among the masses are thousands from the Balkans escaping economic misery.

“There is no law or regulation that can prevent the poor, the unemployed and the hungry from trying to find a better life,” says 26-year-old Mirnije Fejzullahu, an out-of-work lawyer from Pristina.

[But isn’t that what all the Serb-killing was about?]

“If it is not possible here, they will seek it in the European Union,” she told AFP.

[Watch out, EU. As with Yugoslavia, they’ve come for your better life. Except as with Yugoslavia, they might again try to make it even better. And you’ll have to hightail it out of there. And then a decade later they’ll hightail it out of there themselves.]

Like many Kosovans, Etem Bajrami has no job but must still find a way to feed his two young children, and he sees no future for his family in this impoverished country of 1.8 million.

“Here, nobody cares about our destiny,” says this 29-year-old technician.

“That’s why I will try to travel to the EU.”

[Ah, so an Albanian realizes it was never about improving life for the individual Albanian. He was just supposed to cheer on the collective. Like a good little Borg.]

Many are hoping to reach Germany, which is seen by many as the promised land.

Of the 200,000 asylum requests made in Germany in the first half of this year, 40 percent were filed by people from Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia. But the numbers of people arriving have exploded over the summer, with Berlin now saying it expects over a million asylum applications by the year’s end.

The numbers of Kosovans seeking asylum there have soared from 3,000 in the first half of 2014 to 32,000 in the same period this year, while Albanian asylum requests leapt from 4,500 to 29,000.

[So if you add the Albanians to the Albanians, you get 61,000 this year fleeing the Greater Albanian paradise.]

But as Europe struggles to cope with a never-ending flow of newcomers, the EU is taking steps to separate those fleeing war from those fleeing economic hardship, setting up reception centres to determine who is a bona fide refugee, and proposing a list of “safe countries of origin” to which migrants can be returned because there is little risk of persecution.

The proposed list would include Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey.

Since late last year, Kosovo has witnessed an exodus of an estimated 50,000 people, driven out by an economic crisis in a country where four out of 10 people live below the poverty line and unemployment stands at around 40 percent.

It is the biggest number of departures since the end of the 1998-1999 war, reflecting widespread disillusionment among the population just seven years after Kosovo broke away from Serbia and declared independence.

[Who could have seen that coming?!]

Despite heavy investment in infrastructure, Pristina has failed to establish a clear and effective economic policy, leaving it heavily dependent on international aid.

Many people have simply given up and hit the road west, with Eurostat figures showing that in 2014, Kosovo was the third biggest source of asylum requests after Syria and Afghanistan.

“Germans pay your stay at the reception centres, a monthly sum that far exceeds our income at home,” he said.

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic suggested recently that Germany should “significantly reduce” its financial assistance to migrants from the Balkans, saying it would solve the problem of economic migration “very quickly”.

Germany is also speeding up the procedure for examining applications from the Balkans, and in the first seven months of the year it deported 9,915 people.

Several countries have welcomed their inclusion on a safe list, with Pristina saying it would send “a powerful message”…[S]o far this year, around 14,600 Kosovans had been repatriated from around the EU, up from 4,600 in 2014. […]

So they were forced back to their Albanian paradise. And what are they to admit now about Kosovo? That the Albanians’ problems didn’t lie with any outside “oppressors” but with Albanians themselves?

Bosnia jails 4 over bid to join IS in Syria (France24, Oct. 6)

A Bosnian judge on Tuesday jailed two men for trying to join jihadists in Syria and another pair for helping them, in the first verdict over Islamic State recruitment in the Balkan country.

Nevad Husidic, 29, and Merim Keserovic, 19, both received a year-long sentence for planning to join the Islamic State group in Syria.

And Husein Erdic, 33, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years for organising their trip, which took about a year.

Husidic and Keserovic were arrested in February at Sarajevo airport as they were about to travel to Turkey where a network was in place to help them reach Syria.

“Beginning in February 2014, Erdic led and organised — with others in Turkey — the journey of Nevad Husidic and Merim Keserovic to the Syrian front, with the ultimate goal of illegally joining the Islamic State terrorist organisation,” said Judge Biljana Cukovic.

She also sentenced a fourth man, 67-year-old Midhat Trako, to 18 months in prison for financing the trip.

Of the four, only Erdic was present for the verdict at the Sarajevo court.

Bosnia adopted a new law last year allowing for jail sentences of up to 20 years for jihadists and their recruiters.

“We are particularly pleased because this is the first time that a court has delivered a verdict in this type of case,” prosecutor Dubravko Campara told reporters.

About 200 Bosnian nationals have joined jihadist groups in Iraq or Syria, according to intelligence estimates quoted in local media earlier this year. Nearly 30 of them have been killed while another 40 or so have returned to Bosnia. […]

A few week ago, I wrote the following two letters to two newspapers, responding to a pair of unrelated articles. I don’t think either was published, but in case the authors have a Google alert on their names, I wanted to reprint them here. (I did forward the first letter to the writer’s place of business, and my note introducing the letter appears below first). The bio for Mr. Duncan, writing for The UK’s Independent, says that in addition to selling Kosovo tours, he performs in a traveling production of the musical “Hair Spray.” The world would be better served if he stuck to that.

Dear Sirs,
Since I wrote the letter-to-the-editor below a bit too late, it’s unlikely to get published. Still, I wanted Mr. Duncan to know that the astonishing ignorance and callousness displayed in his Independent article of Sept. 14 didn’t go unnoticed by everyone. Below was the letter I submitted to the editors. If Mr. Duncan knew or cared one fig about the Albanians’ century-old supremacy and macabre racism, he would rag on them as mercilessly as I do instead of promoting tourism to boost their ethnically cleansed “Pristine” state.
Thank you.
Julia Gorin, U.S.A.

Dear Editor:

In a year that started with headline news about the mass exodus from Kosovo (50,000 since last year, out of a country of only 1.8 million), it is certainly a puzzle how The Independent could print Peter Duncan’s tone-deaf article (“Kosovo: Harmony prevails in this corner of the Balkans,” Sept. 14.) As Albanians flee their ill-gotten but supposedly beloved “Newborn” that the U.S. and UK helped them secure by virtually dismantling the post-WW2 international order, they cite the futureless existence there. And yet Mr. Duncan writes, “The Kosovans display the energy of a people that are fixed on a secure future.”

A reader’s eye-rolling doesn’t end there, as Mr. Duncan next dutifully repeats the simplistic blood libel that the Serbs had tried “to remove the ethnic Albanians from the region.” Really? Belgrade tried to empty a province of 90 per cent of its population? Even the international criminal tribunal reluctantly found this absurdity was never the case. After all, where were the millions of eager Serbian sophisticates lining up at the border to fill up the empty land and tackle peasant life?

Mr. Duncan nonetheless credits that late-‘90s canard for Kosovo’s statehood. As if Albanian Yugoslavs hadn’t been warning about the nationalists’ irredentist plans since the 1970s; as if the first attempt at secession in 1991 never happened; and as if NATO wasn’t already on the ground in Kosovo by early 1998, even though the Serbs’ supposed first atrocity didn’t happen until January 1999 (the Racak “massacre” that was proven to be a firefight between police and rebels).

Then Tony Blair is hailed for breaking with international norms on Albanian behalf (by acting without a UN resolution, along with Bill Clinton), even while George W. Bush is (correctly) berated by the same minds for doing the same with Iraq (the latter at least made an effort at appearances).

I realize it’s just a travel piece, and that Mr. Duncan has an interest in hyping a place he sells trips to, but a little fact-checking, please. A newspaper should still have standards. Then again, when it comes to Kosovo, there never have been any. That’s how the “standards before status” requirement for statehood was nixed and Albanians were simply given their second state despite the ongoing violence they pursued against non-Albanians. It’s certainly easy, and bizarre, to speak of “harmony prevailing” where there are virtually no other ethnicities to have harmony with. “Now the country is at peace,” Mr. Duncan closes, “the minarets have been restored.” Indeed. They’ve doubled.


Dear Editor:

Congratulations to The Globe for being brave enough to publish Stephen Kinzer on Russia (“Russia is Not the Enemy,” Sept. 19). The accompanying artwork — a fearsome (Russian) bear baring its teeth at a terrified American family that doesn’t see the hand of Uncle Sam inside the puppet — was pitch perfect. I would adjust only the part where Mr. Kinzer says that what gets our goat is Russia not playing by our rules: actually, we’re the ones who haven’t been playing by our rules: for 25 years the Cold War’s sore winner went about dismantling the post-WW2 international order — of which it was itself an architect — while Russia took numerous stands to uphold it. We promptly dubbed this Russian obstructionism.

After lying prostrate for years as we bombed and encircled its neighborhood, Russia is finally delivering the war that Washington has spent 25 years poking it in the eye to achieve, comfortable as the latter is with a familiar enemy while at a loss on how to deal with real ones. Enemies that profess themselves such on a daily basis, and do kill Americans. Too many of us have fallen for the decoy, Russia, and it’s too bad that innocent Americans — like hapless third worlders who are victims of their unrepresentative leaders’ policies — will pay the price of Washington’s intrigues. Mr. Kinzer is right that imagined enemies can be more dangerous than real ones.

Among the flurry of support that the latest Muslim provocateur — 14-year-old faux-clock-bomb maker Ahmed Mohamed — received earlier this month was a posting by facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, reading, “Having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest. The future belongs to people like Ahmed.”

He can say that again. The future belongs to young Muslim males making what look like bombs. That writing has been on the wall for so long, it’s fading. Moral of the story: If you see something, say something. Unless of course you’re a teacher and one of your students brings something that looks like a bomb to class. Then you definitely shouldn’t say anything. Especially if the student has a Muslim name.

What a luxury for all of Ahmed’s supporters to be able to chime in on his side, when they weren’t the ones faced with a possible threat to their lives and the decision of what to do, if anything. Zuckerberg even invited the hoaxer to visit facebook headquarters, just as Obama invited him to visit the White House. Maybe Ahmed is saving the real bomb for one of those occasions, as was perhaps the ultimate goal of this family-planned stunt in the first place. In which case I hope Zuckerberg doesn’t do anything gauche like call police or duck.

Ahmed’s big plans for September were to go to Mecca and the White House. One is surprised the two aren’t yet a single destination.

As I’ve often said, the lack of media freedom in the U.S. is voluntary.

I’m not sure how this came to my attention only last year, but in 2012 a book by former NY Times foreign correspondent Daniel Simpson came out, called A Rough Guide to the Dark Side. Below is a transcript of Simpson’s portion in a very interesting interview with RT, which explains, or confirms, a couple things.

First, it confirms the ability of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people to all keep a secret — without directly working in concert or the rules being laid out explicitly. So, more suppression than secrecy. Yet my detractors have scoffed at the possibility of such a phenomenon having been at work in Kosovo.

Second, the interview accounts for the long familiar phenomenon of the Balkans subject generally being a yawn to news and opinion editors, even if (sometimes especially if) written from a different perspective with bombshell revelations. But not a big enough yawn to keep them from dusting off the subject for another round of the same old, same old.

…I thought I was going to be holding people in power to account, and it turned out instead that when I joined in 2002, New York Times was very much engaged in doing exactly what those in power wanted them to do and printing fake intelligence information to start the war in Iraq.

I was in a part of the world, the Balkans, Former Yugoslavia, where there was no longer much interest in hearing about what was happening on the ground. Except once in a while I was supposed to write stories about how Serbs had been responsible for breaking up Yugoslavia by supporting wars of aggression that didn’t need to happen, based on fake intelligence and manufactured enemies. So I was watching what I was supposed to say about something that happened 10 years ago, being repeated by the United States Government in the pages of my newspaper, which was denying me any space to write about what I saw happening on the ground or what I thought about American foreign policy. So it seemed pretty glaringly obvious to me that the news fit to print was pretty much the news that’s fit to serve the powerful.

With regard to Serbia …they had a very fixed view of the situation based on what had happened in the 1990s, when there had been some really gruesome wars taking place on European soil, and they had come to some pretty fixed ideas about who was responsible for those wars, and they were not interested in analyzing the effects that subsequently Western involvement had had on those conflicts. [See the desperate, lobotomized cognitive-dissonance-avoiding ploys that journalists use in reporting on Bosnian and Albanian ISIS recruits, which they just can’t seem to square with the 1990s “understanding” of the Balkans.]

And at the time I got there in 2002, this is all ancient history to them. So they have their fixed narrative line, which basically establishes the U.S. as the good guys who had gone in to fix the problem. And absolutely no interest of course in looking at how not only has the problem not been fixed, but new problems have been caused by this intervention, whether it be bombing Serbia in 1999 over Kosovo, or even the way in which the intervention in Bosnia took place that basically divided the country and meant the war at some point could yet restart, because nothing has really been resolved.

And I tried to write about these things in the tentative, nuanced way that you’re allowed to when you’re critiquing American policy in the paper, and even that was tough to get past editors. And yet at the same time there were all these extraordinarily credulous lines that were being peddled about, the supposed weapons of mass destruction program in Iraq, and I was actually asked at one point to invent one myself from the Balkans, initially by the American embassy in Belgrade, but also backed up by a reporter at the time, Judith Miller, who wanted me to say that that Serbs were selling Saddam Hussein weapons of mass destruction delivery systems.

Now, it turned out that what they were actually selling were spare parts for planes. And that the only real plausible explanation for what these might be used for would be to put those aging planes back in the sky, where they’d been banned from being for the past 12 years while the U.S. went about bombing Iraq on a fairly regular basis, to ensure there was no such thing as an Iraqi defense when it came to the time that the U.S. would next pick up that war that it left off in the early 1990s. So basically, the Americans could have made a case to say that yes, Serbs are helping Iraq get its air force airborne. But instead they were looking for every possible way of getting this mass destruction story into the news media, and The Washington Post very keenly jumped on that line. And so I came under enormous pressure from my bosses to start looking at it the same way, and I couldn’t see any evidence for doing that, so I tried to say, “Well I see it this way…”

…In a way I was just so disgusted by this situation that I didn’t want to play the game anymore. I’d been very keen to play the game in my career up to that point. And I think most journalists are painfully aware of how many people are breathing down their necks and so you learn, you internalize these little phrases that you apply to other countries, like Serbia is nationalist or engaged in extremist policies. But the United States is never doing these things, of course, and you wouldn’t put them in a story. You’d never frame a story that the United States has started a war of aggression. Instead, it’s engaged in a foreign policy project.

…The way the papers’ senior staff think is exactly like those in power. In fact, its their job to become their friends. And Howell Raines, the editor when I was there, he wrote a long article after he lost his job in 2004, where he said at great length: I think basically The New York Times is the indispensable newsletter of the United States political, governmental, academic and professional communities. So basically he sees his newspaper as being this propaganda megaphone for those that run the world.

This was an item from the summer, circulated by Liz, which I’d meant to briefly dissect:

Polish MEP Janusz Korwin-Mikke gives Nazi salute and shouts facist slogan in EU parliament (International Business Times, July 10)

Right-wing Polish MEP Janusz Korwin-Mikke stunned fellow members in the European parliament when he rose to his feet during a debate on transport and gave a Nazi salute.

“Ein Volk, ein reich [one people, one empire],” Korwin-Mikke proclaimed as the parliament debated a German motion to standardise bus and train tickets across the EU.

The slogan was one of the most repeated phrases in Nazi Germany and was usually followed by “ein Führer,” (one leader), a reference to Adolf Hitler. Korwin-Mikke had meant to mock the standardisation which he said was a blow to European diversity. However his point was somewhat overshadowed by the display.

In the past Korwin-Mikke, who is fiercely pro-Putin, has decried the EU as a “communist project” and said the European Commission building would be better used if it was turned into a brothel. [Agreed.]

He has also not hidden his contempt for democracy and said he had sought political position for diplomatic immunity, a large pay cheque and an office in the European parliament. [The first honest MEP?]

In the past Korwin-Mikke, who has been an MEP since July 2014, has also used the n-word in parliament, said women had evolved to be less intelligent than men, and socialist[s] were more stupid than monkeys.

Well who ever said monkeys were stupid? Socialists, on the other hand…

OK, so his woman and n-word comments notwithstanding, it’s too bad he wasn’t yet an MEP in July 2013, or he might have offered the same display in honor of Croatia’s entry into the EU, which official Poland was a little too happy about.

Some interesting things about the July item:

1. The fact that there is at least one MEP who admits the EU project is Hitler’s dream come true while also being blatantly commie in nature. (As we know, the two rivals — fascim and communism — have always dovetailed, ergo the initial alliance between them.)

2. The fact that this is a wayward Pole. While Poland is being used as a tool against Russia, he is pro-Russian. He is also anti-communist. Which lays bare Zbigniew Brzezinski, the reputed and professed “anti-communist-slash-anti-Soviet” who turned out to be, simply, anti-Russian-slash-anti-Orthodox. How else does one explain our continuing Russia-loathing policies (under his eternal tutelage) even as Russia’s leader criticizes Soviet policies, and as we take the USSR’s place behaviorally? Mind you, this Pole is anti-communist and pro-Putin while also being anti-fascist. Whereas Washington and “the Allies” lacked the imagination to figure out how to be against one without being for the other. Even after that WWII Serbian guerrilla general showed them how it was done, the one we forsook in favor of communism — Mihailovic.

Poland was billed throughout the 1980s as anti-communist, and yet it has again taken center stage in the U.S. war against a non-communist Russia. So the “anti-communism” ran a bit deeper than that, as embodied in Brzezinski. Korwin-Mikke is the consistent Pole, someone who really does hate communism per se, rather than using it as camouflage for hatred of Russia. Unlike all the Western pretenders, who are just building a more expansive, commie-hued totalitarian empire, and resent Russia for standing in the way.

I’m also glad to be reminded of the “ein Fuehrer”reference, because it evokes yet another parallel with the most prominent current fascism we face, the Islamic one: Similar to “one leader,” I’m referring to that ubiquitous Muslim index finger in the air meaning “one god,” theirs.

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