Republican Riot


There being no institutional memory anymore — and the dummies at Washington Times therefore having no idea they ever published “The Blackmail of America: How the US Became the Albanian Mafia’s Enforcer” — last month they published longtime Albanian hire David L. Phillips on why Serbia simply must recognize Kosovo as a state. (Something Serbia was assured by the Western bosses it would never have to do, including as a precondition for EU membership — until of course it was told it would.)

I was a bit late with the letter, sending it on Sept. 27th, so perhaps that’s why it didn’t get published. Though when one writes against the grain of American “thinking” on the Balkans, one doesn’t need to look for excuses for being ignored.

Below is the letter — just for the record — with brackets containing reinserted parts I’d removed for space considerations.

**********

Dear Editor:

Dr. Pravica’s letter (“Serbia Entitled to Resolution Carrot,” Sept. 13) in response to Albanian-lobby stalwart David Phillips (“Why Serbia Must Recognize Kosovo’s Independence,” Sept. 4) was too respectful.

[There is a striking similarity between the Kosovo/Bosnia conflicts and our current Yugoslavia Redux known as Russiagate: Right is indistinguishable from Left on this. And so Mr. Phillips’ byline — a staple of Huffington Post, NY Times and Washington Post — infects the comparatively more sensible Washington Times, as if it hasn’t already published articles long debunking the “facts” upon which Mr. Phillips’ perspective is based.

“Perspective” is in quotes because the view of this “Albania Project” director is paid for, something The Times should let readers know. Like other mouthpieces for the ever-expanding Albanian cause, Mr. Phillips offers nothing more than a wholesale graft of the ultranationalist, we-can-kill-Serbs-with-impunity-because-our-cause-is-just view.]

Without lending too much credence to the 2004 story in German-owned tabloid Blic that Mr. Phillips hosted Washington darling and president-slash-organ-trafficker Hashim Thaci at a lobbyist brainstorming dinner on advancing Kosovo independence (less than a week before the organized pogroms that expedited precisely that outcome), one must point out that indeed Kosovo leaders and Mr. Phillips’ good friends were notorious for the ability to turn Kosovo violence on and off like a switch.

Violence that Mr. Phillips hailed as a tactic in 2011, writing, “Kosovo Albanians have a track record of using violence to advance their political goals…: create a crisis, get the international community involved, and enlist foreign mediators in service of Kosovo’s agenda.” Mr. Phillips encouraged Barack Obama to follow the Clinton-Bush lead by “restoring Kosovo’s sovereignty and stabilizing the Western Balkans.” (At the time, some not-yet-cleansed Serbs were still trying to remain citizens of Serbia rather than supremacist, Serb-slicing Kosovo.)

This oft-repeated mantra “stabilizing the Balkans” is codespeak for giving Albanians what they want lest they resort to the means they know best, an M.O. Albania’s prime minister Edi Rama is now threatening all of Europe with if Albania is left out of the EU (while alternately threatening to merge with Kosovo, a goal we’d dismissed as “Serbian propaganda” in 1999).

[But if Mr. Phillips knows that “violence has served a purpose [in Kosovo] by mobilizing international mediation,” then surely he knows how Kosovo the state came to be. Analyst Jim Jatras last month offered an apt summary: “In the late 1990s, western intelligence services and their friends in the Islamic world, notably Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, and Turkey, as well as al-Qaeda-linked Islamic ‘charities’, pumped weapons into Kosovo to support armed terrorist groups known as the ‘Kosovo Liberation Army’ (KLA). Headed by kingpins in the Albanian mafia, the KLA attacked Serbian officials and civilians, as well as murdered insufficiently militant Albanians, in a bid to invite a [Yugoslavian] government crackdown which would serve as a pretext for intervention by the international community, meaning the U.S. and NATO, to stop a fictional Serbian genocide of Albanians.”

Or maybe Mr. Phillips really doesn’t get it. How else to explain his tweet, in the aftermath of the Charlottesville clash, to “Read my article @HuffPost calling for dialogue & action to counter intolerance, bigotry, & hatred.” Intolerance, bigotry and hatred form the framework that birthed his Kosovo, and the glue that holds it together.]

Mr. Phillips, an early pal of Bosnia’s mujahedeen-importing Haris Silajdzic, is whom The Times publishes in all seriousness even as he’s struggled, in a nod to the intractability of the monster he helped create, to explain away the Islamismc radicalism taking hold of Albanians. Which of course couldn’t be related to the nationalist Albanian radicalism that got us here in the first place. That, we were told, was Serbian radicalism; God forbid 20/20 hindsight be a revelation that maybe that’s not what it was. But one can’t be an “expert” without failing to connect the dots.

And so we make do with some isolated admissions, such as this from Mr. Phillips in 2015: “The Government of Kosovo is partly to blame [for radicalization]. Kosovo is known for its corrupt governance and dysfunctional politics. Criminality is widespread. Public officials cavort with gangsters, rather than acting as role models.” As if this wasn’t the predictable logical conclusion of a KLA-run Kosovo.

Such is the beast Mr. Phillips demands Serbia recognize even as ‘Kosovars’ flee their dream state in droves. [What do we call them, then? Do they revert to just being Albanians?] And lest he sound momentarily objective above, Mr. Phillips immediately redirects the blame, to US policies — now “fuel[ing] support for ISIS” among Albanians, if you can imagine, by requiring any compromises at all from the Albanian side. “Religion offers a clear identity and a sense of belonging to Kosovars who feel abandoned by Western countries,” he wrote in 2015. Weren’t we asked to believe that our intervention on Albanian behalf would preclude such sympathies?

Perhaps Mr. Phillips’ most senile article — published this year on Huffington Post — raged that France would even consider honoring a Serbian warrant for Ramush Haradinaj, one of Kosovo’s endless streams of KLA-terrorists-turned-statesmen. Mr. Phillips actually cited Haradinaj’s two acquittals at The Hague — in trials notorious for witnesses dropping dead or dropping out. Good going, Washington Times.

I missed this item from a few months ago, which finds Albanians overtly exporting their Kosovo M.O. to the rest of Europe, making the kinds of threats they’d previously made for an independent Kosovo:

EU NIGHTMARE: Albania threatens Brussels ‘give us membership or prepare for CHAOS’ (By Vincent Wood, UK Express, Apr. 18, 2017)

THE EU will face a “nightmare” scenario if it does not allow Albania and other Balkan states to join the bloc, the Albanian Prime Minister has claimed.

Albania is a formal membership candidate for the EU, but the process has been slowed by the crumbling bloc and member states who do not want to allow new countries into the 28 member union.

Now Prime Minister Edi Rama, a self-avowed friend of Tony Blair, has claimed the Balkans could “go crazy” if their role in Europe is not appreciated.

He warned the bloc rolling back its membership offer could wreak havoc on the continent, saying “the alternative would be a nightmare for the people and countries of Europe.”

Mr Rama said: “There is a lack of understanding, or a lack of vision in not realising that this region needs Europe, but Europe needs this region too, for a secure and safe Europe.

[What’s that saying? “You need us to not wreak havoc”?]

“How can the union be secure and safe if the Balkans will go crazy?

“How can the European Union allow at its own heart a grey zone where other actors can have a larger influence than the EU itself?

“This is nonsense in terms of security, in terms of safety.”

It comes as the county considers creating a union with Kosovo, which has a majority Albanian ethnic population, despite it being explicitly disallowed by the Kosovan constitution.

Speaking to Politico, the Albanian leader claimed the move could be a “possible alternative” to EU membership.

[As if they’re not going to go for the Kosovo-Albania merge one way or the other. In fact, the first threat to Brussels after EU membership will be if it doesn’t let Albania have its union within a union. ]

Mr Rama added: “The only way to keep the Balkans in this peaceful and cooperative mode is to keep the path to the EU open, to keep the perspective clear, to keep emotions about the EU positive.

[’You don’t want Albanians for an enemy. Just look what happened to Serbia.’ Indeed, they’re only “peaceful and cooperative” so long as you’re giving them what they want.]

“No one would like to turn in on themselves and look for smaller unions, everyone would like to unite in the big union.

“But if there’s no hope, no perspective, no space, then, of course, little unions may happen.”

It comes after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned over instability in the Western Balkans.

Mr Juncker said to the US Vice President Mike Pence last month: “If we leave them alone - Bosnia-Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, Macedonia, Albania, all those countries — we will have war again.”

Unlike the last time we didn’t leave them alone?

Just to refresh our memories on what underlies all this Western talk of “stability vs. instability,” here is a flashback to a BBC item from Jan. 2011:

[T]he United States and leading EU countries reacted differently to the [Dick] Marty report [which uncovered a murder-for-organs operation by the KLA that involved current Kosovo leaders] — after repeating in unison from the beginning that Kosovo should be given independence because this was a precondition for stability.

But [London School of Economics’ James] Ker-Lindsay said that none were willing to publicly admit that the greatest danger posed to stability were in fact threats made by Kosovo’s Albanians that they would “return to violence” unless given independence.

The British expert also noted that Hashim Thaci was “long believed to be of key importance” in preventing such violence. [i.e., he turns the violence on or off with a snap of the fingers; yet here he is talking about “fighting crime and organized corruption.”]

Now, however, Europeans are beginning to go with the stance that Priština must first fulfill those standards “that were insisted on before independence” [a little late for that], said Ker-Lindsay, adding that “American interests in Kosovo are different from those of Europe”, and that this difference meant the EU “truly wanted Kosovo to grow into a democratic state that respects human rights”, whereas Washington “still insisted on stability”.

What that’s saying is, for Europe Kosovo is a reality in its midst, whereas for us it’s a sweepable-under-the-rug abstraction to be used politically as needed, since it’s not our neighborhood that’ll be disrupted by a dysfunctional criminal state. And yet it’s this dysfunctional state that the dysfunctional Albania seeks to unite with — even as Albanians have expressed just how united they feel with Kosovo by fleeing it in droves.

And the band marches on, to make sure there’s no stopping the Kosovo fait accompli: Though technically it’s not even a country yet, the fast-tracked calamity called Kosovo is being insinuated into all kinds of memberships normally reserved for real countries. Real countries such as Serbia, for example, which doesn’t issue threats and which — unlike Kosovo, apparently — isn’t ready for EU membership, according to craven politician Eliot Engel:

“Lobbyists drafting resolution to make Pristina UN observer” (B92, Sputnik, Sept. 8, 2017)

According to Sputnik, lobbyists in America are working on the draft, helped by the Clinton Foundation, and their plan is for Kosovo to gain the status of “an observer state,” modeled after Palestine.

The United States allegedly intends, as Sputnik claims, to in this way circumvent the UN Security Council [just like we did with Kosovo “independence”], whose members have veto power — and if Pristina, with the help of the United States, succeeds in achieving its goals before the end of the negotiations in Brussels, talks between Belgrade and Pristina “would exit their status-neutral format.”

At the same time, “Clinton’s America” is in a hurry to realize this idea as soon as possible also because of Turkey, i.e.,”the growing support of Istanbul to the project of ‘Greater Albania’ — because official America is not in favor of redrawing borders in the Balkans.”

[What was that PM Rama was saying about keeping outside influences out?]

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci recently said the United States should officially join the negotiations in Brussels. Also, a letter from US Congressman and Albanian lobbyist Eliot Engel has surfaced, sent to the head of EU diplomacy, Federica Mogherini, that stated Serbia was “not ready for the EU.”

“The whole initiative that is coming from Washington, Brussels and Berlin looks like a desire to prevent the creation of ‘Greater Albania’, because, regardless of previous interpretations, the creation of any large state in the Balkans does not suit America, or other great powers. The strengthening of Kosovo’s independence and the presence of Pristina internationally ensure that such a scenario will not happen [really?] and I think it is the interest of the United States to be involved in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina,” [political science professor Stefan] Surlic said.

Asked if, and to what extent, negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina would change if Pristina succeeded, with the help of America, in “grabbing the UN (chair) in any form,” Surlic said:

“First of all, this initiative should be preceded by a serious diplomatic struggle to secure the votes of two-thirds of the members of the UN, and that would…represent very strong pressure on Serbia. The mere fact that more than two-thirds of the world’s countries would recognize Kosovo as a separate state would mean defeat for Serbia and additional pressure to make concessions to Pristina,” he believes. […]

Always the same solution: Pressure Serbia. Get additional concessions from Serbia. Defeat Serbia. It’s like watching a protracted and exponential version of the Oslo “peace process.”

Is there a limit to how many times you can leave a place? ( “Please, Ma, can we do it again?”)

New Kosovo branding slogan: A place worth leaving more than once!

It’s the roller coaster you line up again and again to *not* ride.

Koso-Go! First stop: “Genocidal” Belgrade

Bus departures canceled as 100s of Albanians leave Kosovo (B92, RTS, Tanjug, Sept. 8, 2017)

For several nights in a row, hundreds of people have been arriving at the bus station in Pristina, looking for ways to reach the countries of Western Europe…Many people are at the station when there are no departures, except for Belgrade — and Belgrade, they say, is the first step on their way to Western Europe.

I thought they told us Belgrade was a step backwards, the first step on the way to the Dark Ages. Meanwhile, can you imagine Jews trying to get to Germany in the years after WW2? “Genocide and ethnic cleansing” indeed.

“…The youth have no perspective [prospects], there is no hope that it will get better. We are going, but nobody knows where it will be,” says Skender Lugici.

The Kosovo economy wouldn’t be so bad if Albanians could get back-pay per Serb killed. (Sort of how they got money for every dog tail they brought in after slaughtering the province’s dogs a few years ago.)

“I appeal to anyone who can leave Kosovo to do that because there is no perspective,” said one of the Albanians who left Pristina.

A few hundred people gathered at the bus station welcomed the arrival of the first bus bound for Belgrade with ovations.

Those who have already tried once to go abroad, but have been returned, are among those gathered at the bus station now. They are not giving up, and want to leave Kosovo again.

What’s the matter? Is Wesley Clark Avenue not working out for them? Life on Tony Blair Street too rough? Maybe Bill Clinton Boulevard is too pricey, but what about Madeleine Albright Street or George Bush Square? Are there no jobs on Eliot Engel Blvd? How about on Bob Dolt Avenue?

Say, if all the Albanians bolt, and since their rule is “A place belongs to those who live there,” then do the 100,000 remaining Serbs get to keep Kosovo? Or does it go to the almost-as-many American troops inhabiting the U.S. base that inhabits Kosovo? (Talk about a state within a state!)

…Most arrive to learn about the conditions for leaving Kosovo.

That is how it started two years ago when more than 50,000 people left Kosovo in a two-month wave. […]

Ah yes I remember two years ago, when “Kosovars” felt the Seven Year Itch and left their betrothed Kosovo for something more fun, and we ended up with Exodus II.

Now, 50,000 is an interesting number. That’s how many Serbs the Albanians cleansed in just four days during the March 2004 pogrom.

Indeed, it seems that after crying Ethnic Cleansing while cleansing almost all non-Albanians, Albanians are now ethnically cleansing themselves from their NATO-minted Albanian paradise. A case of Careful What You Wish For, if ever there was one.

Here was the item on it in NY Times, which in the ’80s knew who was attacking and expelling whom, but in the ’90s kept its own work buried so its president could have his war and create this cesspool. Guilty as all the hellbound politicians above.

Kosovars who fought for land are now eager to leave (NYT, March 7, 2015)

The extended Cakaj family has built a few dozen homes here, along Tony Blair Street, between the Dubai supermarket and the French peacekeepers base, in a clannish faith that closeness would bring security. But recently the family of Kosovo Albanians has begun to splinter, as a disastrous economy, static politics and a newly created opening in the border with Serbia have enticed tens of thousands of Kosovars to leave their troubled land in search of opportunity and work.

Afrim Syla, 48, of Pristina, who makes pancakes for a living and recently had a son join the exodus, concurred: Once, Kosovars were laying down their lives to stay here. “Now,” he said, “we have come to a situation where we leave of our own free will.”

Sixteen years after NATO, in its only war [so far], drove out Serbian security forces so 850,000 Kosovo Albanians expelled [sic] by the Serbs could return home, the flow of Kosovo Albanians has reversed. For months now, buses have been bringing Kosovo Albanians through Serbia to the porous land border with Hungary, in the European Union.

The Albanians cross on foot, often undetected. When picked up by Hungarian officials, they have been detained only briefly. Many are enticed by the promises of a paid Serbian “guide” or have a friend or relative in Austria, Switzerland, Germany or Scandinavia and, moving freely among European Union nations, make their way toward them.

But Kosovo’s Albanians, most of whom are Muslims, are not being greeted with open arms. In another twist, they are being forced back to their land, deemed too physically — if not financially — secure to warrant asylum status.

[So many ‘unforeseeable’ “twists” in the ongoing Kosovo saga!]

…At Pristina’s grim bus station, the flow of buses leaving each night is down to two, from a reported 12. There, a large notice lists 10 reasons not to emigrate, first among them that the Kosovo state for which Albanians fought so hard needs people if it is to exist. [’ And we’ve gotten rid of everyone else!’]

No one seems to know exactly when and why the exodus started, but it has been startling in its swiftness and intensity. Officials in Austria and Germany sounded alarms in January, after registering huge increases in Kosovo Albanians seeking asylum. [Couldn’t happen to two nicer countries.]

European-brokered agreements last fall…created more entry points for Kosovars to enter neighboring Serbia and freer passage across Serbia, as well as broader mutual recognition of identity documents. The buses started to roll northward.

While Kosovars felt hope in the aftermath of their brutal war with the Serbs and their declaration of independence in 2008, many — particularly the young — say they now see few prospects.

Ah but there is blame to be thrown in a non-Albanian direction yet! Wait for it…here it comes:

Many feel a stifling sense of uncertainty rooted, in part, in the territory’s status. Russia, a longtime ally of Serbia, does not recognize it, and some nations see its independence as a signal to their own separatists [imagine that!]…

Austria registered 1,901 asylum applications from Kosovo citizens in 2014, but saw 1,029 in January alone…By mid-February, Germany had some 18,000 applications from Kosovars since Jan. 1. Within Kosovo, the Education Ministry counts some 5,600 absent pupils. [Look in Syria or Iraq.]

But Western Europe is already swamped with refugees….some Kosovo arrivals were housed in old United States Army barracks in Heidelberg, Germany. In Germany, the flood from Kosovo has now slowed to about 200 arrivals a day, from 1,400 a day in early February.

Prime Minister Isa Mustafa, 63, now faces the challenge of keeping Kosovo Albanians at home….[H]e said he hoped to ease youth discontent by spreading the city’s sports and cultural facilities across Kosovo — a region that broils in summer, but still has no public swimming pool — and improving education. [No public pool in all of Kosovo? Just open up one of Thaci’s, Haradinaj’s or Ceku’s.]

For the Cakaj family, the problems have prompted some reinvention. Isa Cakaj, 42…has a degree in geological engineering, but Kosovo’s mineral mines are either drying up, or still untapped. So he is retraining in forensics…[What does Kosovo need forensics for suddenly?! That’s defeating the purpose.]

“If you don’t have connections and know people, there is no way for you to get a job,” said Isa Cakaj’s father, Sherif….In his 75 years, he insisted, things had never been so bad. “The worst thing is when you are alive, but you are dead,” he said. “If I was not so old, I would leave myself.”

Let’s hear that again: In his 75 years, things had never been so bad. 75 years includes quite a bit of pre post-Yugoslav times. Which means Albanians, like everyone else there, being ruled from Belgrade. Wasn’t so bad, was it? So what did our vital, violent dismantlement fix, exactly?

Meanwhile, it’s interesting that Prime Minister Mustafa, who just left office this month, had “the challenge of keeping Kosovo Albanians at home.” Because apparently he couldn’t even keep his family at home:

Kosovo PM says brother, other relatives, tried to migrate to EU (Reuters, March 20, 2016)

Kosovo’s prime minister said on Sunday his brother and some nephews and nieces were among tens of thousands of Kosovars who tried to enter the European Union last year fleeing poverty and unrest in their homeland.

Confirming a report by Pristina-based news portal Insajderi, Prime Minister Isa Mustafa said his own brother Ragip was among those who had tried to get into the EU.

“I read that my brother was an asylum seeker to get medical help. This is true,” Mustafa wrote on his Facebook page. “On the wave of migration, I want to be open with you, nieces and nephews also went but they are back now. This shows that my family members also face the same destiny as other citizens,” he said.

In the six months to March 2015, some 70,000 Kosovars — more than any other nationality — sought asylum in the European Union.

Ragip Mustafa first applied for asylum in France and made another application in June 2015 in Germany, Insajderi said. [Yes, the brother of the PRIME MINISTER actually made an ASYLUM gambit.]

Up to 800,000 Kosovars are estimated to be already living and working in western Europe, mainly in Switzerland and Germany, as part of an exodus that began in the late 1990s. [Careful they don’t all decide to live in one province.]

The medical sector is in a miserable condition and those who want better medical treatment have to pay [or bribe] for private care in the region or in EU countries.

And here it’s interesting that the medical sector in particular is mentioned. Maybe this March 2000 NY Times item helps explain its dismal state:

Albanians are singling out the dwindling number of educated Serbs in an effort to expel all Serbs from the province, [UN Kosovo administrator] Mr. Kouchner said…[H]e told the story of a Serbian gynecologist who chose to stay in his town, Gnjilane, after the war ended. The doctor, Josef Vasic, was one of two remaining Serbian doctors in the city, the American troops’ main Kosovo base, and was shot and killed one Sunday morning as he left his clinic. He had spent much of his professional life treating Albanian women, and was one of the moderate Serbs working with Mr. Kouchner to try to build a functioning multiethnic Kosovo. “He was my best ally,” said Mr. Kouchner, who founded the humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders.

The Times of London also mentioned this doctor:

Six centuries ago it was the Turks who were rampant. Now, as Nato and the United Nations look on bewildered, it is the Albanians. Ethnic cleansing continues unabated and Vasic, a gynaecologist with three young children, was its latest victim….”I heard four shots,” said his widow, Dragana. “He had already been beaten up once and had a grenade thrown at him. I didn’t think it could happen a third time.” … Apart from Nato-led Kfor peacekeepers, the only organisation fighting the losing battle to contain Kosovo’s anarchy is the UN international police force. Their two commanders in Gnjilane, an American and a Russian, have admitted that little can be done to halt such cold-blooded assassinations. If an Albanian wants to murder a Serb, UN sources say, he can do so with virtual impunity. Any attempt to find the perpetrator is lost in the conspiracy of silence…[of] a province in the grip of a powerful Albanian mafia.

Such was the fear of further attacks that the doctor could not be buried in Gnjilane. Under heavy Kfor protection, Dragana Vasic and the couple’s daughters…were taken to Gornje Kusce, two miles to the north. This is one of several villages that serve as havens for the Serbs. All have an Orthodox church or monastery, ringed by barbed wire…Much of the UN organisation in Kosovo appears apathetic, but [American Gary] Carrell and [Russian Valeri] Korotenko provide an uplifting example of international co-operation.

Let’s see what nuggets we can glean from some of the other reporting at the time: Oh, here was Reuters on Feb. 6, 2015:

…More than 15 years after NATO bombs wrested Kosovo from Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic, the young Balkan country is witnessing a dramatic surge in the number of its citizens smuggling themselves across Serbia’s border into Hungary to reach the European Union.

Since September, more than 30,000 have been caught in Hungary, compared with 6,000 for the whole of 2013. Almost all apply for asylum, and use the time it takes to process their applications to give overstretched immigration authorities the slip and push westwards to the likes of Germany and Switzerland through the EU’s borderless Schengen zone.

Aided by a relaxation of entry rules to former master Serbia, families travel by bus for 15 euros per person to the Serbian capital, Belgrade, then again by bus to the northern town of Subotica, from where they take a taxi to the border and walk across, through a water-filled ditch and then kilometers of forest.

“This is the gateway to Europe,” said Zoltan Salinger, a 23-year-old Hungarian border ranger. “I spoke to old hands on the border; they told me, in 1998, a total of 34 migrants were caught. Now we get 500-600 every day.”

Let’s hear that again. 1998 — that desperate time of running for their lives from a “monster” named Milosevic: 34 Albanians a day; 2015: 500-600 a day.

“Those two planks you see leading across that ditch,” he said to a reporter, “that’s the Schengen border.”

At the border, men removed their shoes and trousers to wade through three feet (a meter) of water in the ditch, carrying children. The walk to the nearest town is 10 km (six miles), through forest and snow that began falling on Friday afternoon.

Kosovo’s president went to Vushtrri the same day to urge residents to stay.

“You should not leave; you have to stay with us here and find solutions,” Atifete Jahjaga told a crowd of people.

One man yelled back, “I’ll go tonight to Hungary.” Another said: “Madam president! Find me a job and I won’t leave Kosovo.”

Authorities, however, are at a loss to explain the sudden jump in numbers since September. Migrants spoken to by Reuters reporters suggest smugglers have found safer routes across the border, and word of mouth has triggered an exodus.

Gazmend Xhema, 28, said he, his wife and three-year-old daughter had tickets for…one of at least 10 packed buses leaving every night for Belgrade…Once in Hungary, he said, “I’ll tell them: ‘Kill me, just don’t turn me back to Kosovo, because there’s nothing here.’”

From the horse’s mouth: better dead than in the Albanian paradise. Meanwhile, like the Kosovo “president” Jahjaga, the Yugoslav president also once called on Albanians to stay home, to not leave. That was in 1998-99, but they took off anyway, and it was called “ethnic cleansing.” And that president, Milosevic, was hauled before an international tribunal. So should it be now, no? Especially since in this case — unlike the posthumously exonerated Milosevic — the ruling class really was complicit in the project forcing Albanians to flee: an independent Kosovo.

Ah but wait. Some would say I’m not looking at this the right way. See, this was precisely Milosevic’s long-term plan all along — one to survive his death: Provoke a NATO intervention whose bombs would send people running, which in the immediate term would result in the desired expulsions and deaths of Albanians (See “[Milosevic Prosecutor Geoffrey] Nice Loses his Mind and Accuses Milosevic of ‘Allowing’ the NATO Bombing“). In the long term, though, Milosevic just knew that this all would leave Kosovo in the West’s hands, to be handed over to a criminal Albanian leadership that would make life in Kosovo impossible, resulting in an outflow of the Albanians in the end, emptying out the province so the Serbs could move back in.

More from Exodus 2015:

Kosovo PM calls for end to exodus on sombre anniversary (AFP, Feb. 17, 2015)

Kosovo marked a sombre seventh anniversary of independence from Serbia Tuesday with Prime Minister Isa Mustafa urging citizens not to quit the mainly ethnic Albanian territory as it grapples with a deep economic malaise.

Apart from a reception by President Atifete Jahjaga for foreign diplomats and local officials, the parliamentary session was the only official event planned to celebrate the territory’s unilateral breakaway from Belgrade in 2008.

Not a single Kosovo flag was flying on the main street in Pristina. [You know things are bad if an Albanian is without a flag.]

In the past, Kosovo independence anniversaries have been celebrated with military parades attracting thousands of people. […]

More coverage: Kosovo Albanians flee misery for EU promised land (Feb. 12, 2015) [I thought Kosovo was the promised land.]

… “We have independence, but our stomachs are empty,” said Hasan Fazliu, 27, who was making the 10-hour trip with his wife and his one-year-old son Liridon.

“It is hard to leave your country, but it is even harder to live in it,” Ilir Sejdiu, a 20-year-old construction worker said.

Once in Palic, the migrants are at the mercy of Kosovo smugglers working with local criminals, who charge an average of 300 euros ($339) per person smuggled into Hungary and demand exorbitant prices for lodging.

For their part, Kosovo authorities have done little to stem the flow apart from issuing warnings against using Serbia as a transit route to enter the EU illegally. Serbian authorities have also come under fire for failing to act.

…Serbian officials say they’ve recently received more than 60,000 requests for Serbian passports. Kosovo citizens still need a visa to travel in the EU, while Serbian nationals can travel freely in most of the bloc’s 28 member states.

Let’s go over this. I covered the 2010 crush for Serbian passports, but let’s state it plainly here for the record: Opportunistic though the reasons may be, Albanians are lining up to become Serbian citizens. Even as we hear the mantra: “Kosovo will never be ruled from Belgrade again!”

In an interview on the occasion of Albanian Kosovo’s 7th anniversary, London-based commentator Marko Gasic put forward the following:

…[T]he key thing here is that the population of Kosovo appears to be voting with their feet and leaving the failed Kosovo project…There is of course another school of thought that suggests that the leadership in Kosovo perhaps is helping this crisis to occur in order to give the EU a choice between billions of euro of aid going to Kosovo, or half a million refugees going to the EU. So everything is possible…We had scenarios in the past of crises in Kosovo which have been manufactured….The EU together with NATO has attempted to manage the Kosovo project and has utterly failed to do so. If Kosovo had been under Serbian control, the Serbians would be to blame for these consequences; we would be hearing all sorts of accusations…[I]n 16 years the EU and NATO have delivered nothing to Kosovo in the way of prosperity…Even the EU itself is now accused to be part of the corrupt society that they have helped to create in Kosovo…But from NATO’S point of view Kosovo still meets [a goal:] the ability of NATO to relocate from Germany into the biggest military base since Vietnam, that’s Camp Bondsteel sitting there in the heart of Kosovo which doesn’t require anybody’s permission as it continues its encirclement of strategic targets further east. So Kosovo still fulfills NATO’s demands for its function even if doesn’t fulfill any demands of the population, and any demands for what economic prosperity should involve.

Kosovo’s joy now despair on anniversary of independence (AP, Feb. 17, 2015)

Jubilant throngs gathered around gigantic letters spelling “NEWBORN,” when Kosovo declared independence from Serbia seven years ago. Today, there’s a new national symbol: The bus stop where hundreds of people gather every day to flee a country they’ve given up on.

High hopes have turned to despair as Kosovars on Tuesday mark the anniversary of their dream of nationhood coming true…The departures, coupled with violent January protests, threaten to export Kosovo’s economic and social troubles beyond its borders.

“I am so disappointed with my own place, I just want to leave,” said Bislim Shabani, an ethnic Albanian heading to Germany with his wife and four children.

Lured by promises of a secure future abroad, many are happy to turn their backs on a country with rampant unemployment and corrupt officials — who critics say enjoy the protection of a justice system that caters to the elite.

Mirsad Muliqi waved goodbye to his brother and his family boarding a bus to Serbia, then said: “They just want to get out of this filthy place.” The unemployed Muliqi said he would follow as soon as his brother settles down in Germany.

Serbia’s rejection of Kosovo’s independence has prevented further recognitions and helped to isolate it internationally.

The ease of travel to Turkey has also encouraged hundreds of Kosovo Muslims to join the ranks of Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria….

Political analyst Dukagjin Gorani blames the simmering troubles on former rebel leaders… “Kosovo has … been systematically robbed and enslaved in the name of liberation,” Gorani said, referring to officials from the Kosovo Liberation Army who fought the separatist war and are now in leading positions…[N]o sentences have been handed down — triggering claims that the accused have strong-armed the fledgling legal system. Gorani said the situation could explode into unrest at any time.

“You know how it is with the Balkans,” he said. “It is always a powder keg and at the heart of which Kosovo remains with a very short fuse.”

‘Kosovo exodus – lesson for West not to meddle in other countries’ affairs’ (RT interview with political analyst Aleksandr Pavic, Feb. 24, 2015)

…RT:Kosovo’s biggest daily newspaper has published a full-page appeal from Austria not to waste time and money trying to get asylum in the EU. What do you make of that?

Aleksandr Pavic: That is just a continuation of the real Western hypocrisy….They encouraged independence of a territory which absolutely cannot sustain itself. They encouraged civil war within the country. They did all that and gave those people false hopes, and now they are turning them back. It’s really cynical. And now what? They [Kosovans] lived much better in one country when they were part of Serbia. [Now] their living standards are about 10 times worse. But now Serbia is supposed to take care of them, but Austria and Western countries were encouraging them to secede from Serbia.

RT: Austria and some other Western countries gave a green light to Kosovo’s declaration of independence in 2008. So why does the West refuse now to take responsibility for their actions?

AP: Austria is afraid of people who have become absolutely desperate; people who since their so-called independence was declared in 2008 have lost all hope, because Austria as well as other Western countries gave power in Kosovo to the mafia, to terrorists. Ordinary people who just want to live a normal life have absolutely no chance to earn a living whatsoever. There is no industry in Kosovo: whatever worked has been destroyed either in the war or afterwards during the so-called privatization transition…And as a result you have desperate people who are just trying to make a living, and Austria doesn’t want to provide for them. It shouldn’t have been offering them false hopes to begin with.

RT: We see the similar situation happening in Ukraine right now. Shouldn’t there be any lessons learned after conflict in Kosovo?

AP: The lesson that should be learned here is that…when you start meddling in other countries’ problems you cause problems for that country and for your own country as well…Kosovo is just one example of a territory that has been instrumentalized for the purposes of others. We have a similar example now in Ukraine….I don’t think that Ukrainians…would choose today’s Ukraine over Ukraine before other countries meddled in their own affairs and cause a civil war…So, the key lesson is: mind your own business…[and] respect international law…

RT: What do you think is the best way to resolve the long-running complex situation in Kosovo?

AP: The best way to resolve the situation is to give up on the project of so-called independent Kosovo. Kosovo Albanians and Serbs lived in the same country for decades, they lived peacefully, and it was a prosperous country compared to what it is now. If they stopped with the project of independent Kosovo and just told the Albanians that if they want to live peacefully they should make arrangements with their neighbors, with Serbia and just not interfere. And I’m sure that Serbs and Albanians would much more quickly come to an understanding — as would Ukrainians and Russians — without outside meddling. So just give up on your own projects that serve your own interests and let other people settle their difference between themselves.

Based on these eminently predictable developments, in June of 2015 Canadian military reporter Scott Taylor offered some advice to Ukraine: “The people of Ukraine who see their salvation in the form of a NATO intervention should take a good look at NATO’s ’success’ in Kosovo.”

A few interesting tidbits here:

The exodus appears to have been abetted by an EU-encouraged easing of travel rules in Serbia, which since 2012 has allowed Kosovars to enter with Kosovo-issued documents that Belgrade previously rejected given that it does not recognize its former southern province as independent.

Again, this was part of the arm-twisted “progress” in relations between Serbia and Kosovo, a series of Western-overseen agreements that climaxed in April 2013, making eventual Serbian recognition of Kosovo inevitable. Let the West continue enjoying the fruits of its coercive brokerings. But back to the blame game:

Kosovo declared independence in 2008 and is recognized by more than 100 countries. But Serbia’s refusal — backed by U.N. veto-holder Russia — to do so has impeded Kosovo’s international integration and therefore its economic development….Kosovo Interior Minister Skender Hyseni…appealed to [EU ambassadors] to speed up procedures for processing asylum requests to discourage would-be migrants. He pinned the blame on the smugglers, saying: “There are criminals who are profiting on the misfortune of Kosovo’s citizens.”

The smugglers, of course, merely respond to new circumstances. And those are created at the top. More blame, and the solution to Albanians leaving: make it easier for them to leave (or, er, “travel”):

[M]inister for European integration [Bekim Collaku] sees their anger as the fault of the EU. “This generation is extremely frustrated,” he said. “Kosovo has a huge diaspora, yet just to get an appointment for a visa takes six months. People feel trapped.”

Kosovo is the only country in the region not to have a visa waiver scheme within the Schengen area – even Moldovans can travel without a visa, which rankles in Pristina. But surely the exodus is due to his government’s economic and political policies, rather than the visa situation?

“It has been a worrying situation, but now the numbers leaving are falling,” he said.

Washington Times coverage mentioned another distinction:

…50,000 people left this tiny Balkan country of 1.8 million since late last year, according to the Kosovo Intelligence Agency, though unofficial estimates are twice as high….In March, the United Nations ranked Kosovo as the fourth-biggest source of asylum-seekers in the world after Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, with Kosovo the only country on the list not facing mass violence and civil war.

Even as all these Exodus headlines have been coming out, the pressure on Serbia to recognize the disaster of a state only intensifies, while permanent Congressman Eliot Engel drafts a resolution to give it “observer” status at the UN like its almost-as-fictitious counterpart Palestine. Just this month Washington Times got duped into publishing longtime Albanian shill David L. Phillips’ “Why Serbia must recognize Kosovo’s Independence,” and Kosovo’s fanatical leadership continues its PR, from its own little world:


Hashim Thaci: Even Serbia Will Recognize Kosovo in the Not So Distant Future
(Novinite Insider (Bulgaria) interview, Feb. 18, 2015)

Kosovo became a state only 7 years ago and is now recognised by the majority of UN members. We became members of international bodies such as IMF and World Bank as well as International Olympics Committee. Independence of Kosovo helped Balkans become a stable and peaceful region. I think that after a long and dark century under Serbian occupation and communist rule, as well as genocidal war in 1999, Kosovo today can stand tall and proud of its position in the new regional geopolitical architecture….Recognition of Kosovo is a one-way street. One day in not so distant future even Serbia will recognise Kosovo and our flag will wave in Belgrade because EU will demand full and good neighbourly relations between candidate countries aspiring EU membership.

(Later in 2015 Thaci called the EU-forced relations-normalizing dialogue what it was, saying Serbia has already “de facto recognised Kosovo is an independent state”. “Every day Belgrade has been taking steps which bring it closer to the official recognition of Kosovo.”)

Nor did the bad news from Kosovo chasten it out of again asking — the same month as all the Exodus news — for the coveted recognition it’s always sought: Kosovo seeks recognition from Israel (World Jewish Congress, Feb. 26, 2015)

In a speech before the Israel Council on Foreign Relations (ICFR), which operates under the auspices of the World Jewish Congress, Enver Hoxhaj, chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Relations…said that the rise of the State of Israel was seen as a model for Kosovo in its struggle for independence and expressed admiration for the achievements of the Jewish state in many fields of endeavor. He stressed that as a student at the University of Vienna, he had become well acquainted with the writings of Theodor Herzl and these had served as an inspiration to him and some of his compatriots. […]

Theodor Herzl. Yasser Arafat. George Washington. Kosovo was inspired by them all — it just depends on who the audience is. Indeed, Kosovo is the geographic Bill Clinton.

Perhaps the funniest part of it all is that when reading about the Exodus you’ll often find a sponsored link on the page listing “Flights to Kosovo.” The travel industry hasn’t gotten the memo that all the flight is FROM Kosovo.


(Oh, he’s waving good-bye.)

1999:

2015:


Kosovans from the city of Pristina walk on a street in [Albanicidal] Belgrade…Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

1999:

2015:


Serbian border police stop Kosovars trying to cross the border to Hungary, as they walk in a field near the town of Subotica, (REUTERS/Marko Djurica)

1999:

2015:


Kosovar children cry after they crossed illegally the Hungarian-Serbian border with their family (REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh)

1999:

2015:


A Kosovo man carries his baby as he illegally crosses the Hungarian-Serbian border near the village of Asotthalom (Reuters)

Am I the only one who finds these images hilarious? They’re visual documentation that ethnic supremacy can backfire. And that fake tears can lead to real ones.

In five months we’ll see how Kosovo’s 10th “anniversary” goes. Hold on to your hijabs.

From the late Stella Jatras’s letter to legendary radio broadcaster Paul Harvey, Oct. 20, 1996:

I personally heard you say that Serbs had committed that terrible atrocity and even after it was discovered that Islamic terrorists had bombed The World Trade Center, you didn’t have the decency nor the character to apologize to Americans of Serbian descent. With your inexcusable lie, you helped to unjustly further the demonization of the Serbian people, a people…who fought as allies in two world wars against Hitler’s fascist Croatians and Muslims, where over a million Serbs, Jews and Gypsies were exterminated so brutally in Croatia’s death camps….

For a true analysis of the Bosnia conflict, I suggest you read Yossef Bodansky’s book, “Offensive in the Balkans: The Potential for a Wider War as a Result of Foreign Intervention in Bosnia-Herzegovina,” and his latest book, “Some Call It Peace.”

We have just witnessed one of the biggest con games in recent history and as a result, the deliberate destruction of a sovereign nation and the needless deaths of thousands of innocent people, on all sides, although to read our media, we are led to believe that only the Croats and Muslims have suffered. Because of the lies that have been fed to the American people, we have a President, drunk with power, that was able to send our troops, with incredibly little resistance from our politicians and the American people, to a place where he wouldn’t have gone himself as a young man. Our venture into Bosnia also advances a One-World Concept, a concept that is, unfortunately, the agenda of both parties.

Our politicians and media are playing a dangerous game. A game that may eventually take us into a Third World War, which is not out of the realm of possibility, according to many European analysts and scholars. It is a game we may very well live to regret.

The Catholic Church is an organization with millions of members doing countless good works. As in any organization, the saboteurs and the rot cluster at the top.

The following item from May passed me by at the time, but Robert Spencer of JihadWatch lays bare the Church — now, and then: U.S. Catholic bishops complicit in Muslim persecution of Christians (JihadWatch.org, May 10)

Recently I was interviewed about the persecution by Catholic bishops of Catholic priests who enunciate unpopular truths about Islam.

“Leave them; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)

“Islamic Expert: US Bishops Complicit in Muslim Persecution of Christians,” by Anita Carey, ChurchMilitant.com, May 8, 2017:

DETROIT (ChurchMiltant.com) – A prominent Islamic expert is comparing the bishops’ silence on terrorism to sex abuse cover-up. Robert Spencer, an Islamic terror expert and author of 16 books on Islam, released an editorial Sunday excoriating the U.S. bishops’ actions to punish clergy and schoolteachers who speak out against Islam, including Spencer himself.

“The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops moves actively and swiftly to silence and demonize voices that tell the truth about the Muslim persecution of Christians,” Spencer noted, naming various bishops who’ve refused him, as well as other Muslim critics, a platform in their dioceses.

“You can reject every element of the Nicene Creed and everything the Church teaches, and still the U.S. Catholic Bishops will consider you a Catholic in good standing,” he continued. “But if you believe that Islam is not a religion of peace, you have no place in the U.S. Catholic Church.”

So, it seems that whatever the current Fascism, the upper echelons of the Catholic Church protect it. In WWII, it was Hitler’s fascism and exterminations; today it’s Islam’s. The only difference is that the Pope hasn’t yet signed an actual piece of paper like the 1933 Concordat that officially directed all men of the cloth to do as told by the emerging new masters of the universe.

…CM: Knowing the historical conflicts between Islam and Christianity, why would the bishops be so quick and severe toward those who are informing the laity? Why would they want the laity ignorant?

RS: This mystifies me, but my best assessment is that this is an outgrowth of the spirit of Vatican II, which called upon Muslims and Christians to set aside ancient antagonisms and find common ground. There is a general assumption among the bishops that just as Christianity has changed since the time of the Crusades, so also has Islam, and dialog will iron out any remaining differences.

In reality, this is an unfounded assumption, as Islamic teaching has not changed, and still contains an imperative to wage war against Christians and subjugate them under the rule of Islamic law. I would expect that most bishops, however, would dismiss the idea that Islamic teaching contains such an imperative as an “Orientalist” and “Islamophobic” false claim. They, however, are the ones who are ignorant.

CM: What do you think the bishops’ problem is with your talks and position on Islam?

RS: I’m told that Bp. Nicholas Samra believes that I am “spreading hate,” and since I was a member of his diocese, he himself told me that many bishops had approached him at the USCCB conference telling him that he had to “do something” about me. They apparently believe that I am harming the dialog they are conducting with Muslims, and they apparently also think that this dialog is producing results, even though Muslim persecution of Christians has increased exponentially since it began.

For my part, I reject the charge that I am spreading hate, and challenge Samra or any other bishop to quote a single hateful statement from my work. I am exposing facts that many would prefer to keep concealed; the “hate” charge is simply an attempt to make people of good will turn against my work.

CM: If the bishops do start to speak out against Islam, will it make Christian persecution worse or start an all-out war?

RS: In Islamic law, Christians must live in subservience and submission to Islamic law. If they speak out about their plight, it will get even worse for them, and their lives could be forfeit. Thus they generally adopt an attitude of publicly praising and siding with those who persecute them, so that it won’t get even worse for them. This is the attitude that the bishops now appear to have adopted as well: Samra himself told me that I shouldn’t speak out against Muslim persecution of Christians, as doing so would only make matters worse for Middle-Eastern Christians.

Where have we heard THAT before? Again, see WWII. A cop-out then, a cop-out now.

Meanwhile, imagine if antibiotics worked on this principle: Don’t hit the microbe in its early stages of development; let it fester, spread, get stronger, and multiply before you even consider moving against it, so that it’ll definitely be too late.

While I am aware of that possibility, at the same time to dissimulate about the nature and magnitude of that persecution only misleads Christians outside the Middle East into complacency. It also just validates and reinforces violent intimidation. It is incumbent upon the bishops as messengers of the truth to tell the whole truth about what is happening to the Christians of the Middle East, and to reject a submission to Islamic intimidation that would condemn our children and our children’s children to slavery. To accept that intimidation and lie or remain silent because of it is only to encourage more such intimidation. They could speak out while working to ensure that the United States and other powers do everything they can to protect the remaining Christians in the Middle East from further persecution.

CM: What can the faithful do to influence the bishops or fight back against the liberal media?

RS: Call them to tell the truth. When they issue statements about Islam that are dishonest and misleading, challenge them. I have been severely criticized for criticizing bishops. Many Catholics seem to think that to do so is disloyal to the Church. On the contrary, I believe that not to call out bishops when they are sinful and wrong is even more disloyal to the Church. It is the kind of thinking that led to the pedophilia scandals.

Like most everyone else on the planet, the bishops don’t speak out even while it’s still relatively safe to do so (though in 2017 it’s less safe than it was last year, and last year was less safe than the year before, and so on). And yet every last person answers the famous allegorical question with “Yes of course if I lived in Hitler’s time and knew his plans I would kill him.”

Ha!

We’re also supposed to believe the Catholic Church did all it could for the unfortunates of WWII even as it stayed on friendly terms with the darkness. Then too the lower priests who actually stood up got either no support, or reprimands, from the Church, with some even finding themselves in concentration camps.

******UPDATE******

Keeping with the theme:

Catholic Churches in Jerusalem blame Israel for Muslim violence, deny Biblical roots of Temple Mount (JihadWatch.org, July 24)

This is the classic dhimmi mentality, the mindset of those who have been subjugated for so long under Muslim hegemony that they can’t imagine viewing the world in any other way. For centuries, Christians in Muslim lands were inculcated with the idea that if they criticized Islam in any way, even the slightest negative word, they would be killed. They got used to praising their masters and overlords, however contrary to fact the praise may have been, simply as a matter of survival. Then the Arab nationalist movement, which was begun in large part by Christian Arabs as an attempt to place themselves on equal footing with the Muslims on a secular and ethnic basis, thereby mitigating the institutionalized discrimination of the Sharia, resulted only in the Christian Arab communities completely adopting Muslim political perspectives, and identifying themselves with the jihad agenda.

Meanwhile, the Ottoman policy of keeping the dhimmi communities mutually antagonistic, so as to guard against the possibility of their uniting in revolt against their masters, followed by the Arab nationalist unity of the Christians with the Muslims as Arabs opposed to Zionism, both reinforced Christian antisemitism.

These attitudes have perdured through generations. This is the result. If these Christian leaders in Jerusalem could free themselves from their mind-forged manacles and look at the situation objectively, they would realize that the Islamic agenda requires their subjugation no less than it requires that of the Jews, and they would unite with the Israelis in an alliance for their mutual freedom. Instead, this.

“Catholic Churches in Jerusalem Blame Israel for Muslim Violence, Deny Biblical Roots of Temple Mount,” by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, Breaking Israel News, July 23, 2017 (thanks to Cheryl):

Amid the intensifying battles surrounding the Temple Mount, the Catholic Church expressed its concerns in terms that placed the blame entirely on Israel while referring to the site exclusively by its Muslim name. One bishop stated in an interview on Vatican Radio that there has, in fact, been no Palestinian violence.

On Sunday, Pope Francis addressed the crowd gathered in the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Square, telling them that he viewed “with trepidation the grave tensions and violence” surrounding the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

“I feel the need to express a distressed appeal for moderation and dialogue,” the Pope said, calling on the people to pray for the sake of Jerusalem.

The violence the Pope is referring to began ten days ago when three Palestinian terrorists murdered two Druze Israeli policemen while they guarded the entrance to the Temple Mount. The Israeli police entered the site and, after a gunbattle, killed the three terrorists.

The Israeli government closed the site to all visitors until Sunday, when it reopened to Muslims with increased security measures that included walk-through metal detectors. The Islamic Waqf, the Muslim trust which controls the Temple Mount, called for a boycott of the site. Muslim crowds rioted last week and three Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli police.

On Friday night, a Palestinian, citing the situation at the Temple Mount as his motivation, entered the town of Halamish. There, he murdered a 70-year-old grandfather and his middle-aged son and daughter while they sat at their Sabbath table. He also seriously wounded the 68-year-old grandmother.

In the wake of the growing violence, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem released a statement. Signed by the heads of all 13 Christian communities in Jerusalem, it condemned the recent escalation of violence at the Temple Mount, but did so in language that clearly favored the Palestinians and condemned Israel. The statement referred to the site by its Arabic names, disregarding any Jewish or Christian connection to the site. […]

In what has become a holiday tradition in Kosovo — on every holiday–the US embassy issued the following warning:

United States Embassy Pristina Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Heightened Caution During Religious Holidays (Apr. 13, 2017)

The U.S. Embassy in Pristina urges U.S. citizens to exercise particular caution during upcoming religious holidays and at large festivals or events. Terrorists in the region have previously sought to attack soft targets, to include churches and other places of worship, pedestrian malls, sports arenas, concert halls, and public gatherings.

Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.

Terrorists? In American-made Kosovo (literally, “Kosovo, USA,” as the Bondsteel bunch sign their missives)? Couldn’t be!

Well well well. It took exactly a decade, but it seems The Baltimore Sun, which rued the day it published my since-famous article “When Will the World Confront the Undead of Croatia” (because of the firestorm that buried history unleashed), has come around. Last month, thanks to Liz Milanovic’s circulation list, I caught the following piece about a “little known WWII concentration camp.” (Imagine, as little-known as Jasenovac still is, that single article in 2007 was one too many.) Below the article is the letter I sent to the paper and the writer, Jonathan Pitts, which to my knowledge wasn’t published.

Family resurrects rare account of little-known WWII Croatian concentration camp (Baltimore Sun, June 16)

jonathan.pitts@baltsun.com
twitter.com/jonpitts77

Every time Ruth Bloch’s favorite uncle traveled from his native Yugoslavia to visit her in the United States, he struck her as one of the gentlest, most thoughtful, most optimistic people she had ever met.

She never knew, because Berger never told her, that he’d endured nearly four years in one of the most barbaric — but least remembered — of the major concentration camps in World War II Europe.

Berger was one of the few survivors of Jasenovac, a camp in Croatia where tens of thousands were abused, tortured and killed. Even Gen. Edmund von Horstenau, Hitler’s envoy in the capital city of Zagreb, called the place “the epitome of horror.”

At least 80,000 people, including 50,000 Serbs and 20,000 Jews, were killed at the camp.

Berger died in 1988, but not before leaving a lasting mark: “44 Months in Jasenovac,” a gripping and unusually explicit Croatian-language account of the atrocities he witnessed and suffered.

The memoir, which was published in Zagreb in 1966, went out of print years ago. But Bloch, 80, is now bringing its contents to a new audience.

The Mount Washington woman, a retired businesswoman and grandmother of five, has spent the better part of four years spearheading a project to to get the work illustrated, translated into English and published in the United States.

The result is a fast-moving, excruciatingly detailed 77-page version of the memoir from the vanity publisher Sentia Press that is finding an audience among scholars of the Holocaust.

The Yad Vashem Center, a Holocaust studies institute in Jerusalem, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington have added it to their collections.

“It’s another strand in the tapestry of knowledge we have about the Holocaust,” says Beth Luers, a retired humanities professor at Garrett College in Western Maryland who has spent 30 years researching the genocide….Luers has made multiple trips to Europe over decades of studying the Holocaust. But she says she had never come across the story of Jasenovac, a collection of five detention and extermination facilities in a remote stretch of the Sava River about 60 miles south of Zagreb.

Historians say the fascist Ustase government, the puppet regime of Hitler’s Third Reich that ran Croatia during the war, kept few records of their deeds and twice incinerated what they did have — once in 1943, then again as they leveled the camp toward war’s end in 1945.

Political and ideological conflicts in the region in the decades since have made it hard for researchers to authenticate and verify counts of victims. One Serbian-American historian, Carl Savich, argues that historical and scholarly accounts of the atrocities committed at Jasenovac have long been “censored, suppressed, and covered-up in the U.S. and the West” for political reasons.

Good thing, then, that about 600 desperate prisoners, all on the verge of starvation, decided to stage a do-or-die mass breakout in April 1945.

As the prisoners breached the walls, machine gun-wielding Ustase guards shot about 520 to death. The rest, including Berger, made it to freedom.

Historians have used the escapees’ reports to help reconstruct what happened at Jasenovac, including an assessment of the numbers killed.
Elizabeth White, a historian with the National Holocaust Museum, says the remains of 80,000 victims have been identified on the former grounds of the camp. Many were in mass graves that had been described by escapees.

More than half of those officially accounted for were ethnic Serbs, a population the Ustase sought to exterminate. Thousands of Roma and members of the Croatian resistance were also victims.

But it fell to Berger and his fellow escapees to communicate what really happened at the Auschwitz of the Balkans. The details are grisly.

White says the Ustase regime, which never established full control over Croatia, was notoriously chaotic and violent, and bloody disarray ran rampant at Jasenovac.

Unlike in German camps, which used machinery such as gas chambers to kill prisoners on a larger scale, Jasenovac guards and officials were allowed to slaughter inmates at any time, for any reason, by any means they chose.

In Berger’s telling, they did so often, and with relish.

Guards used axes, mallets and sledgehammers on their victims. They sliced prisoners’ abdomens open and threw them, weighted down with stones, into the Sava.

They used the custom-designed, wrist-mounted knives they called Srbosjek — “Serb-cutter” — to dispatch victims, tossed prisoners into incinerators alive, boiled many in cauldrons, and placed bets on who could invent the most creative means of slaughter.

Unlike the Nazis, they routinely brought children to the camp, and exposed them to those and many other torments.

“It was unusually cruel and chaotic, an extremely brutal place,” says White, who spent nearly 30 years as a Department of Justice investigator on international genocide cases, including Nazi war crimes.

Historians say most Jews brought to Jasenovac were put to death immediately. But camp officials apparently kept the physically fit Berger alive in order to put him to work.

He writes of Ustase guards forcing him to help build a dam and several buildings in which fellow prisoners would later be tortured and exterminated.

He wasn’t the only family member brought there. Two of his brothers, Otto and Hugo, died at Jasenovac, both of starvation-related illnesses. Another brother, Leon, was a rare solo escapee.

Berger was also forced to dig graves. One cold winter day, he was ordered to move and bury some of the bodies that constantly littered the camp. He stumbled on the remains of an older man.

It was his father, Leopold. His throat had been cut. Egon had to dump the body in an open grave.

In April 1945, as reports circulated that the camp would soon be liberated, Berger and other prisoners feared the guards would kill them all.
They made crude knives and wirecutters and attempted their escape.

Berger got out, then survived in the nearby woods for two weeks before soldiers of the National Liberation Army and Partisan Detachments of Yugoslavia, an anti-fascist Communist force better known as the Partisans, rescued him. […]

Dear Editor:

Thank you for publishing the very graphic “Family resurrects rare account of little-known WWII Croatian concentration camp” by Jonathan Pitts. As soon as my eyes fell on the adjective “little-known,” I knew it was about the Jasenovac camp system, and was heartened that the obscure word had finally made it to the pages of a mainstream American newspaper — without benefit of my advocacy. I first introduced Sun readers to Jasenovac in January 2007; the Croatian backlash was swift and organized, your staff enduring a barrage of calls, emails, faxes and letters for three weeks while the op-ed editor at the time found himself having to justify printing historical fact. You see, the West-duping heirs of the Croatian Ustase were unaccustomed to seeing themselves in U.S. media as anything other than victims of Serbs, complacent as they’d been that this unexposed but darkest corner of WWII was so deeply buried no one would understand that 1991 had picked up where 1945 left off. History became invertible. Sadly, even our glistening Holocaust museums fell for the propaganda of the 90s, the 1993 opening of the DC museum featuring exclusively Croat and Bosniak victims of those republics’ in-progress secessionist wars, and no Serb ones. Meanwhile, as recently as 10 years ago at Yad Vashem — more than 60 years after WWII ended –displays about wartime Croatia and the Ustase were conspicuously absent. All of which helped Croatia in 2013 sail into the EU, which now finds itself regularly putting out small fires sparked by Nazi hiccups from its newest member. It may sound twisted, but seeing on your page the word “Serb-cutter” — an instrument that for years plagued my imagination until I started to doubt the existence of such a macabre, sadistic, ethno-specific weapon — was sanity-affirming.

******UPDATE******

Jasenovac came up again just this week, thanks to a book coming out by an Israeli professor who spent the last two years studying the WWII Croatian camp as well as the WWII archbishop of Zagreb, Aloysius Stepinac:

Greif: Croatian death camp Jasenovac was “worse than Auschwitz” (InSerbia/B92, Jul 26, 2017)

The canonization of Croatian Catholic Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac would be itself a crime, says Israeli Holocaust expert Professor Gideon Greif.

Greif, the chief historian of the Israel Institute for Education, Documentation and Research of the Holocaust Shem Olam, told the Belgrade daily Vecernje Novosti in an interview that he and Rabbi Avraham Krieger, who heads the institute, came to Belgrade to express their opposition to Croatian attempts to revise history.

“When it comes to Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac, I will tell you briefly: his canonization is a crime in itself, and people who intend to canonize him are criminals mocking the victims. Anyone who has supported a criminal regime like the Ustasha one does not deserve any reward,” said Greif.
He noted that it was devastating that many of his colleagues, historians, do not know anything about Jasenovac.

They do not even know which state it was in, let alone locating it. And the history of those killed in Jasenovac is not only a history of death, but a history of atrocities, of evil, sadism, inhumanity…” the daily quoted Greif as saying.

He added that Jasenovac and other camps in its “system” were different from other Nazi camps because, according to the testimonies of the survivors, torture there was much more monstrous than in Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps. It is also different because it was established and operated without the involvement of German soldiers.

“It was hell on earth. That is why in Jasenovac, the Croatian hands are completely covered in blood,” Greif said.

The professor has been studying Jasenovac for the last two years, and has announced the publication of his book, “Jasenovac – the Auschwitz of the Balkans.” He observed that Jasenovac was unique in having death camps for children.

“The Germans had camps for women, men or mixed, where children were with the adults, but the Croats went a step further and even had children’s camps. Horror,” said Greif, adding that “the terrible and indisputable truth” is that even German officers visiting Jasenovac and other camps in Croatia were stunned by the brutality of they saw.

The professor then recalled that on July 10, 1941, the German military attache in Zagreb, Edmond von Horstenau, wrote to Heinrich Himmler that the German troops were “silent witnesses to the brutality of the Ustasha over the Serbs, Jews and Roma.”

The professor said that because of all the horrors he learned about the victims of Jasenovac over the past two years, he decided to devote some of his work to their lives, pointing out that he was certain that “their killers the Croats and their friends” will not succeed in “erasing the traces of the crime, rewriting history, and twisting the facts.”

Vecernje Novosti also published an article on Wednesday stating that the documents that hide the true truth about the role of Alojzije Stepinac are locked in the Zagreb Catholic Archdiocese, and inaccessible.

All compromising documents have been taken out of the Croatian State Security’s dossier on Stepinac and ended up locked away, instead of in the Croatian State Archives, the daily said.

This “triage” of documents was done by top Croatian Catholic officials, “while some documents were taken out by Croatia’s first president, Franjo Tudjman.”

The documents remain unavailable to researchers and historians, including the members of a mixed commission made up of representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) and the Catholic Church in Croatia, who have been in dialogue for a year hoping to clarify the role of Stepinac during the Second World War.

The SPC is opposed to the canonization of Stepinac, which is why Pope Francis last year suspended the proceedings.

In berating UK opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn for not having shown the “moral courage” to support the unprovoked 1999 attack on Serbia, Conservative MP Dominic Raab misses the irony when he writes that Mr Corbyn’s pacifism is “no way to defend Britain or international law.” (“Pacifist or not, Jeremy Corbyn is not fit to be labelled the heir to Robin Cook,” May 12)

But no one was attacking Britain or any member of the ostensibly defensive NATO alliance when it ganged up on Yugoslavia — breaking not only every international norm and law to do it but a number of postwar agreements, and for good measure rearranging the international order that European and American blood was spilled to establish.

Thanks to our inscrutable and ultimately self-defeating Balkan wars — based on the always prudent doctrine “Well do something!” — a precedent was set (among others that have backfired in Ossetia and Crimea), that the international community can decide a parcel of a sovereign state’s land no longer belongs to it. Mr Corbyn’s “pacifism” in 1999 is precisely the way to defend Britain and international law.

Even Mr Corbyn’s wrongheaded bandwagon desire to see Bashar al-Assad prosecuted for war crimes isn’t wrongheaded enough for Mr Raab, who wants to altogether take down this lone stabilizing force in Syria. Mr Raab also wrote of Mr Corbyn’s willingness “to collaborate with Russia and China” — as if it’s worse than collaborating, as we are, with the people who slaughter us regularly.

Richer still, Mr Raab adds that the late Foreign Secretary Robin Cook “would have shuddered at Mr Corbyn’s recent questioning of UK military support for our NATO ally, plucky Estonia, faced with the real menace of Vladimir Putin on its doorstep.” I shudder to think that Mr Raab wrote this with a straight face, given that scholars have been warning us for years that former Soviet satellites have a psychological need to treat Russia as the enemy and we shouldn’t buy into it. For almost a decade already, some have been mockingly putting forth a hypothetical that “The United States is serious about risking a thermonuclear war for the sake of, say, Estonia’s border with Russia.” And yet here is Mr Raab bringing the joke — rather verbatim –to life.

Moral courage isn’t going after an easier, less threatening target when you’re too cowardly to deal with the real but more intractable enemy. A.k.a. the Clinton formula, which didn’t treat the 1993 World Trade Center bombing as an act of war but did go after an eastern European country for securing its borders in the midst of an insurgency by domestic and foreign terrorists. Incidentally, Slobodan Milosevic — in whose Hague plight Mr Raab delights — was quietly exonerated last year, a decade after fatally succumbing to the toll of our collective lynching. (The tribunal wasn’t able to show even the intent of “genocide and ethnic cleansing” in Kosovo.) As a member of a government that took part in an attack justified through vilification of him, MP Raab should have noticed.

As for Mr. Raab’s contrasting Mr. Corbyn with Robin Cook as the standard-bearer, that is perhaps the saddest part. Naturally, Raab ignores Nicholas Rufford’s Oct. 31, 1999 article in The Sunday Times of London “Cook accused of misleading public on Kosovo massacres.” Cook had cooked the numbers, you see, parroting that paragon of integrity Bill Clinton’s “100,000 dead” slander in order to justify the NATO bombing. Forensic pathologist Emilio Perez Pujol — whose Spanish team expected to perform 2,000 post-mortem examinations — ended up doing 187 and estimated the total number of dead would come to 2,500. (In the end, it was 2,108, on both sides,“including lots of strange deaths that can’t be blamed on anyone in particular,” Pujol said.)

The following month the UN added that some deaths were caused by the bombing itself, and some by gun battles between the Albanian insurgents and the Serbs. “The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia,” the Times article continued, “reported earlier this month that the notorious Trepca mines in Kosovo, where 700 ethnic Albanian bodies were reportedly hidden, contained none…Alice Mahon, the Labour MP who chairs the Balkans committee, said yesterday… ‘When you consider that 1,500 civilians or more were killed during Nato bombing, you have to ask whether the intervention was justified.’” Upon Cook’s death in August 2005, Canadian former ambassador to Yugoslavia, James Bissett, pointed out that Cook “resigned over the invasion of Iraq without UN approval, but took the lead in bombing Serbia without that approval, because he was not independently minded enough to stand up to Madeleine Albright.”

Perhaps most insidious was a factoid that emerged during the Bosnia portion of the Milosevic trial, just a month before the defendant died in his cell. In February 2006, Balkanalysis quoted the pro-intervention IWPR: “The disinterest of Western leaders in the full reality of the wars in Yugoslavia reappeared with one telling vignette. When speaking about Bosnia, [Former UK Guardian journalist Eve-Ann] Prentice spoke of a visit to Pale, where ‘she was surprised to find that a large number of non-Serb refugees were being given shelter there. Before she actually visited Bosnia she had believed what the rest of the media told her about the Serbs….She recounted one occasion where she tried to convince Robin Cook to visit Pale so that he could see for himself that non-Serbs were living freely in the Bosnian-Serb capital. Cook, who was on a fact finding mission, told her that he would not visit Pale because he thought the Serbs were “monsters.”’”

The great conundrum today for the sane — namely those who, like Mr Raab, resent Mr Corbyn’s apologism for Hamas, but unlike Mr Raab see nothing kooky about Mr. Corbyn’s wanting to close down bellicose NATO (whose casus belli disappeared in 1991 which is why it so used Yugoslavia) — is that there is No One.

Ever since we started treating Slavs as a bigger threat than jihadists — feigning fear over a manufactured threat while being too scared to even admit fear over a real threat — a messy world has become messier still. No government and no individual in the world can straighten out the tangled web we’ve woven.

Double Standards and the Benefit of the Doubt

A page one story in the May 3 edition of the Fauquier Times (“Fauquier man seeks truth of attack on USS Liberty 50 years ago”) uncritically accepts as an established fact that the Israelis deliberately attacked the USS Liberty, an American intelligence-gathering vessel, on June 8, 1967, during the Six-Day War.

Responsible journalism would have required at least a pro-forma reference to 50 years of Israeli assertions that the attack was a mistake — that the Liberty was thought to be an Egyptian ship. This letter is not an attempt to rehash the facts of the case. Rather, it’s an exploration into double standards. Who gets the benefit of the doubt and who doesn’t?

I was in Vietnam on June 8, 1967, so I have no firsthand knowledge of the Liberty incident, but I know something of the chaos of war. On May 7, 1999, Bill Clinton bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, a building that was sitting in one place and not moving around the ocean. This was during a leisurely 78-day elective war against the Serbian people, who posed no threat to the United States, not a frantic struggle for survival against an enemy bent on your annihilation.

Accidental American bombings of Afghan and Yemeni civilians have become almost too numerous to mention, so I’ll note only four. On Oct. 3, 2015, the United States bombed the Kunduz Trauma Center in Afghanistan, run by Doctors Without Borders, killing 42 and wounding more than 30. Four days previously, the doctors had contacted U.S. military officials, reconfirming the precise location of the hospital. On July 6, 2008, the United States bombed a wedding procession in Deh Bala, Afghanistan, killing 47 civilians, 39 of them women and children, and wounding nine. On Nov. 3, 2008, a U.S. airstrike on a wedding party at Wech Baghtu, Afghanistan, killed 37 civilians along with a number of Taliban. And on Dec. 12, 2013, a U.S. drone strike on a wedding convoy in Yemen’s al-Baydah Province killed some 15 civilians (accounts differ) and wounded about 24 others.

Why is the world ready to believe that Americans currently operating with the latest technology make honest mistakes but resolutely insist that Israelis who operated a half-century ago with 1950s-era French technology could not possibly have made a mistake?

Louis Marano, The Plains

I’m more active on twitter these days than on this blog, but since there is no room for letters on twitter, I’m publishing them here.

Sent to NY Post Apr. 13 and again on Apr. 18th:

Dear Editor:

What a predictable disappointment to read the following sentence in Mike Gonzalez’s “Why the ‘Trump’ State Dept still loves George Soros” (Apr. 7): “Soros’ Open Society Foundation and network of groups does some good in some places — by fighting Vladimir Putin’s bullying of Ukraine, for example.”

There is no contradiction between the things Mr. Gonzalez doesn’t like about Soros, and Soros “standing up to Putin’s bullying of Ukraine.” Both things are bad. Mr. Gonzalez needs a reminder of the Ayn Rand maxim: If you encounter a contradiction, check your original premise, because it’s probably wrong.

Soros isn’t just some leftist figure about whom “conservatives find some things repugnant,” as Mr. Gonzalez also writes. He is a malevolent force of nature who in addition to toppling economies — which everyone does know about — works in the shadows as an unofficial arm of the U.S. and UK “deep state” to topple governments.

The Western narrative on Ukraine (and on Russia in general) — like its cartoonish narrative on the 1990s Balkans wars — is made out of whole cloth, for gullible American consumption. Soros’s people were instrumental in toppling the democratically elected Ukrainian government of Viktor Yanukovych, yet another of our hands-on revolutions, after which we had the nerve to force the issue of whether Russia meddled in our election. Seriously? It’s that latest US meddling that pushed ethnic Russians in Crimea to have a referendum to rejoin Russia, as they didn’t want to be governed by our approved Ukrainian fascists. We labeled Russia’s engagement in this as “aggression.” Never mind the Kosovo blueprint we laid out for it — much less justifiably and self-relevantly than Russia in Ukraine, but more violently –18 years ago. That’s where this all began. And yet we insist on bringing it full circle.

What the public caught onto with the 2016 election was the parody of the blame-Russia canard. But this was not just some DNC foible; it was an over-the-top expression of an already in-place, bipartisan target-Russia mentality that made the Democrats feel they could take it to satirical levels with a straight face.

And so here we are. Allied with Islam against a fellow-infidel nation that tried to be our partner in what everyone in ‘91 agreed was a new era of US-Russian cooperation against a common global threat. We chose the threat, sending the message that we’ll take barbarians over Slavs. Nice. The last time there was near unanimity on an illegal bombing of a sovereign nation (in this case Syria), we inexplicably leveled Yugoslavia and unleashed jihad. Keep digging, America.

I come from a family of refusenik escapees from Russia, and was raised a Russophobe. But this is ridiculous. Shame on America for out-propagandizing and out-Sovietizing the USSR’s successor state, which has been on the right side of international legality for the past 20 years as we’ve dismantled the very order we helped build after WWII, while “democratizing” the world right back to the 7th century.

Submitted to Washington Times on Apr. 19 & 20th:

Dear Editor:

Tammy Bruce disappoints (“Hillary Clinton’s Revenge Tour, and Nikki Haley’s Ascent,” Apr. 12). What Ms. Bruce hails in Haley is the very thing that made Hillary Clinton so dangerous, voted Most Likely to Lead us to Nuclear War. Ms. Bruce refers to Haley’s “virtuoso handling of an international crisis, replete with chemical weapons, mass murder, terrorist groups, Russia and Iran…She did not bend, she controlled the environment, and led.”

The reason Russia’s UN rep had such a disgusted look on his face during Haley’s “leadership” display is he knew the charade that was playing out, the “crisis” manufactured (the rebels had every reason to stage a chemical attack while Assad had every reason not to).

Enter the plethora of columns like Ms. Bruce’s, unwittingly reinforcing America’s road to perdition. Haley’s laudable UN-scolding aside, she represents continuity not only of Obama’s Russia-hawk pentagram of harpies — Power-Rice-Jarrett-Nuland-Clinton (“If women ran the world there’d be no war”?) — but also of stuck-in-cold-war Obama supporter Condoleezza Rice, who likewise did the chest-thumping thing where it wasn’t deserved or constructive (toward Russia), while glad-handing our Islamic “friends.” The former hasn’t killed an American in decades, while the latter…well, you do the math. Rice herself was a continuity of Clinton-era Madeleine Albright, who led the march toward our Target-Russia mentality when she targeted the previous designated villain — those surrogate Russians known as Serbs — in a war that’s proving to have been a dry-run against Russia. Indeed, the last time we saw this kind of near unanimity on foreign policy, we leveled Yugoslavia and unleashed jihad.

I’m sorry, but this “toughness” is Foreign Policy for Dummies, and these days that includes my previously exalted fellow conservatives. In fact, the toughness masks a pusillanimity: reluctance to fight the more intractable and politically sensitive but more real, hostile and deadly threat — which professes itself such hourly.

Like many conservatives, Bruce and Haley are inclined to believe that in foreign affairs we’re the “good guys.” The bullet-points that Haley (and everyone else) is hitting Russia with are not eliciting current US actions and responses; they are responses to U.S. actions, intrigues, broken promises, and trampling of the postwar order we ourselves helped build. The sleeping bear is finally, belatedly behaving the way we poked and poked at it to behave. This was all scripted a long time ago. Just because Americans weren’t paying attention to U.S.-Russia relations until cued to do so by our Political-Intel-Media Axis — as it conveniently started the clock for us at Crimea 2014 — doesn’t mean some of us didn’t notice (and futilely warn) that the stage was being set all along.

Sending the message that we prefer barbarians to Russians — and the enmity of the former to the friendship of the latter — tells Russia there’s no place for it in the civilized world, so forage elsewhere. Enter the ever-closer relationship with Iran. My father scoffs that he once scoffed at the prophecy pamphlet the missionaries handed him when he came to this country in 1974: the Soviet Union would fall; airplanes would fly into buildings; and Russia would help Iran build a nuclear bomb.

What a sick twist that it’ll be Trump — clearly goaded into “showing strength” (while showing Muslims he cares) — who will prove prophecy inescapable. After all, we voted against the candidate enthusiastically leading us toward it while Trump had the instincts to avoid it.

Ms. Bruce concludes with, “Everyone at the U.N. now knows who is in charge. And it’s not the boys from Syria, Russia or Iran.”

Actually, it will be. Because when you’re playing war games and justifying them with shallow rhetoric packaged for American consumption, you’re going to get schooled by more ancient nations. Nations which, incidentally, have lived with Muslims in their midst a lot longer and smarter than we have.

As an escapee from Russia, I was raised a Russophobe, but this is ridiculous. I’m sorry for the lesson coming to America, but we asked for it.

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