July 2007

Last week, I received a letter from someone calling himself “a Serbo-Croatian friend”, complimenting my work. I became curious as to whether this “Serbo-Croatian” was a Serb or a Croat or both, so I asked him. Following is a composite letter that combines the heartbreaking emails he sent me in response:

Yes, I am what you call a “half” man from Zagreb; half Serb and half Croat. However, I would rather not talk about myself here but only mention that both my side of the family were financially, emotionally and even physically damaged in this war. Our family ties were severed, in particular on my Serb side of the family, never to repair again. My Serb cousins have abandoned the Serbian Orthodox Christian faith and replaced it with the Evangelical Christian or Catholic. The Cross against the Cross…. disgrace. This is what happens to people in mixed marriages. We don’t talk to each other because in today’s Croatia it is shameful to be a Serb. Even Serbs are ashamed to be recognized by other Serbs. Serbs of Krajina that live in Zagreb, many of them, speak like Zagrepcani (people from Zagreb) or even Zagorci (poeple from Zagorje) in order to conceal their own identity. Serbs in Croatia are strangers in their own land. The negative image of the Serbian culture and identity, generated by the Croatian media over the years and perpetuated by Serbs and Croats alike, will take years to change. Sadly, self-hate is terrible form of self-oppression. That is why I have decided to emigrate from Croatia once and for all….so that I don’t have to hate “half” of myself, “half” of my family, “half” of anything.

I know you didn’t invent the “half” term yourself, but I dislike it because it is misleading. In the Balkans, we are all very mixed but dislike admitting our belonging to the “other” side. We like to form our national identities with preferable disregard to our real roots. That is why many of us stress that, for example, his or her uncles had fought in Ustasha army and hide away the existence of his or her father who fought for partisans. To me this is unspeakable. The example I used does not employ one’s nationality but ideology as a basis for forming one’s identity (The person I used in this example is Croatian economist Ljubo Jurcic, the potential candidate for the Prime Minister’s position)…but I hope you got the point. There were and are many “half” men living, working and fighting in and for Croatia: Stipe Mesic, Ico Voljevica, Josip Broz Tito, Ante Starcevic, Ljudevit Gaj, Goran Ivanisevic, Mira Furlan, Josip Juraj Strossmayer, Nikola Zrinski, Lucija Serbedzija etc. Even Franjo Tudjman’s grandson Dejan Kosutic is a “half” man. I can go on and on.

Unfortunately for many, the Balkan wars necessitated selecting a particular national identity (Croatian, Serbian, Muslim, Albanian etc.) with disregard of some of our cousins, grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers, fathers, a few uncles etc. In fact, historically speaking, Croatian nobility intermarried with Hungarian, Italian, Polish and Serbian nobility as was the custom at the time. So who, among today’s Croats, can claim the “Limpieza de sangre” or “cleanness of blood”??? Nobody…However, this collective identity formation (i.e. the creation of Croatianness) has been done in order to restrict the encroachment of all things foreign upon the Croatian national being. Yet, the formation of Ustasha identity and equating it with the real Croatian identity required infiltration and encroachment of foreign elements such as Nazism, anti-semitism, xenophobia upon the Croatian national being. What has happened to “Dobro mi dosel prijatel” kind of Croatianness? (“Welcome my Friend” – a Croatian song celebrating friendship) Who are present-day Croatian friends? Unfortunately, there are none. Some might say Austrians or Germans, but then how to explain Kapfenberg and Bad Blue Boys’ attack on this little Austrian town? Friends do not act like that. [Bad Blue Boys are soccer fans of Dinamo Zagreb, the biggest soccer club in Croatia. Three weeks ago they caused mayhem in Kapfenberg, Austria when they clashed with police and town people. Since Austrians supposedly represent Croatians’ most valuable friends, an attack on innocent Austrian bystanders is outrageous.]

Please, Julia…if you are going to post my thoughts about Croatia, include this song for all honorable Croats and Serbs alike to enjoy….

(This is a rough translation of the song…Zagorje is a region next to Zagreb.)

Dobro mi došel prijatel
(Welcome, my Friend)

vu skromni zagorski dom,
(to a modest Zagorian home)

budi kak doma vu vlastitoj hiži,
(feel free as you do in your home)

tu pri pajdašu si svom.
(you are with your friend here)

V hiži toj kaj si poželiš,
(in this home you can have whatever you want)

to moje srce ti da,
(my heart offers it to you)

zagorci da su prijateli pravi,
(Zagorians are true friends)

to denes celi svet zna.
(the whole world knows that to be true)

Nek je stara hiža ova,
(This house is old)

al’ još navek tu stoji,
(but it still stands firm)

ne možeš srušit ovog krova,
(nobody can ruin its roof)

taj se nièeg ne boji.
(so don’t be afraid)

dobro mi došel prijatel . . .
(welcome my friend)

Zagorec bu navek prvi,
(Zagorian will always be first)

za pajdaštvo život dal,
(for friendship to give his life)

sve do zadnje kaple krvi,
(until the last drop of blood)

…By the way…I was in Borovo Selo, which is a Serbian village, when the whole thing started in Croatia. I have an aunt there. Luckily I left Croatia…I don’t want to go back to Croatia because I want to show them that Croats, especially those with militant Ustasha outlook are not right (to be honest, Ustasha mentality is the mainstream now in Croatia. An attack on Marko Perkovic Thomson or even Tudjman is like an attack on everything Croatian).

I don’t feel as an economic, but as a political emigrant. My mother is Croatian from Vukovar and she and her side of the family suffered as well. My grandmother and my uncle, who are both Croats, were forced to labour for the Serb villagers from 1992-96 and my uncle’s house was burnt (now repaired) by a Serb militiaman. So…things are not black-white…they never are.

On my father’s side everything is ruined…everything….we just don’t exist as a family. Houses in Dvor na Uni are burnt and my dad’s side of the family left for Belgrade. Those that remained live in Zagreb, but we don’t talk to each other, primarily because they consider themselves Croatians now and I can’t stand that coat-turning…and they probably think I am too radical or something, just for fighting for the rights of Serbs of Croatia. But maybe I am wrong to be so critical of them because I don’t live in Croatia anymore and don’t walk in their shoes. It is hard to judge people like that.

My wife’s side of the family is Serbian from Vojisnica, Croatia (near Vojnic) and they now live in Banja Luka and Belgrade. Her grandfather, who decided to stay and not leave with the others for Bosnia, was shackled by the Croatian army and badly beaten. He was 70-something at the time. Luckily, he survived the war. Their houses were also burnt but repaired now (badly should I mention). However, since there are no jobs, they are looking to emigrate to Canada.


Note these two sentences:

In the Balkans, we are all very mixed but dislike admitting our belonging to the “other” side. We like to form our national identities with preferable disregard to our real roots. That is why many of us stress that, for example, his or her uncles had fought in Ustasha army and hide away the existence of his or her father who fought for partisans…I want to show them that Croats, especially those with militant Ustasha outlook are not right (to be honest, Ustasha mentality is the mainstream now in Croatia. An attack on Marko Perkovic Thomson or even Tudjman is like an attack on everything Croatian).

Countless Croatians have written me objecting to my painting the pro-Ustasha mentality as being Croatia’s mainstream. Many told me that their grandparents fought for the Partisans. I replied on my blog at the time that these should be the Croatians who would share my concerns about modern-day Croatia, built on a war that revived Ustasha patriotism and symbolism. But now I understand. In Croatia, it’s fashionable to claim an Ustasha connection, and not a Partisan one. So in Croatia, they are pro-Ustasha, but in dealing with a member of the Western press, they either deny having Ustasha sympathies — with one reader even claiming that the Ustasha regime of WWII enjoyed only 2 percent support from the Croatian population.

It sounds like the same game that Croatia is playing with the EU for membership: the country will be who the West wants them to be for the moment, as it serves them. This explains a country that can have a sign for returning Serbian refugees, reading “Welcome Home, Serbs” while at the same time have a national holiday that celebrates the cleansing of 300,000 Serbs from its borders.

Croatians also like to blame the Serbs for Communism when it was a half Sloven-half Croat (Tito) who brought Communism to Yugoslavia and executed Draza Mihailovic, whose Royalist Chetniks actually fought both the Communists and the Nazis. AND YET Croatians manage to find fault with Mihailovic and the Chetniks, blaming them for everything as well. The funniest part, of course, is that they continue trying to perpetuate the outrageous myth that Mihailovic was a Nazi collaborator. (Yeah — like America would award a Legion of Merit to a Nazi collaborator.) It all amounts to a desperate attempt to diminish Croatians’ Fascist guilt by equating the Serbs with themselves. Meanwhile, we know that Croatia during the Third Reich was an Axis power and went beyond “collaboration”, the Ustashas forming long before Hitler’s rise and waiting for an opportunity to wipe out the Serbs, which WWII provided. In fact, if I were Hitler I’d feel quite used.

A Croatian movie which made it to American theatres this year illustrated, to a degree, the modern-day Croatian dilemma. It was called “I Love You.” This was the short NY Times review, titled “In Croatia, an Empty Life in Full View”:

“I Love You,” a bleak drama from the Croatian writer and director Dalibor Matanic, is an unusually perceptive scrutiny of absence and emptiness. Set in the filmmaker’s hometown, Zagreb, the movie follows a young advertising hotshot named Kreso (Kresimir Mikic), whose life is a thoughtless round of drinking, drugs and sex. When he gets into trouble, his lawyer father bails him out; when he is lonely, his gym buddies are preferable to the live-in girlfriend he barely speaks to. Then he learns he is H.I.V.-positive.

…As Kreso’s life is stripped away (“The company has to be clean, both inside and out,” says his unrepentant boss as he shows him the door), Kreso’s surroundings appear increasingly insubstantial and his connections with others more raw and violent…Opening and closing beneath the clinical glare of hospital lights, “I Love You” conjures a disaffected post-Communist life of casual hedonism and emotional bankruptcy. In its simple, unforced way, the movie is as much about the loss of a generation as the redemption of an individual.

In other words, Communism sucked — but so does “hedonistic” democracy, according to this Croatian film. No wonder Croatia longs for its fun-filled days as a Nazi satellite. Life had meaning and identity.

Pregnant Palestinian attempted terror attack

JERUSALEM — Israel’s security forces announced they arrested a pregnant mother of eight on the way to commit a suicide attack. Another woman, a mother of four, also on the way to commit a terrorist attack, was caught on the same occasion. Both were sent by the Islamic Jihad.

Fatma Yunes Hassan Zak, 39, a resident of Gaza who was pregnant with her ninth child, had been responsible for an Islamic Jihad Gaza women’s employment office for four years.

The Shin Bet maintains that the two were due to meet with an Islamic Jihad militant there, where they would be given explosives belts and taken to the sites of the planned attacks.

I guess eight kids was OK, but NINE? Too much, too much…

Or maybe she heard about that statistic that’s sometimes true and sometimes not: Intelligence supposedly degenerates with each birth, so that the more children you have, the dumber they get — and by the ninth child, there’s a good chance of retardation or learning disability.

And if a Muslim child is learning disabled, you might not be able to teach it to be a terrorist. And what use will he/she be then? This mother didn’t want to take any chances.

But it underscores a point I’ve been making since 2001: Planned Parenthood and all the abortion activists we have on this side of the hemisphere really should channel their energies in a more easterly direction. That’s where we need abortion activists. Now, I don’t support abortion; killing kids is wrong under almost any circumstances. But if you’re going to devote your life to it, pick the right friggin’ kids!

This incident also reminds me of a fundamental difference between infidel women and Muslim women. When an infidel woman doesn’t want to have any more children, she might have her gynecologist install an IUD. When a Muslim woman doesn’t want any more children, her husband might have her gynecologist install an IED. Because she’s useless to him now!

Like I was saying, terror-sponsoring countries have their eye on the Balkans:

Emirates to invest US$ 40mn in Bosnia

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is to invest US$ 42mn in Bosnia aimed at economic development and return of war refugees.

Uh-huh (wink-wink): economic development and return of war refugees.

A delegation of visiting UAE officials had agreed to invest US$ 41.7mn [in] a Bosnian bank for favorable loans to small and medium businesses, education, and housing, Bosnian presidency said in a statement.

The money was to be invested through Bosnia Bank International (BBI), the only bank in the country that operates on Islamic principles.

The statement was issued following a meeting of the UAE delegation and Haris Silajdžić, a Bosniak member of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency.

Silajdzic is the Bosnian leader who, as I quoted a true moderate Bosnian Muslim last month, denies that there’s any kind of concerted terrorist “problem”:

In Bosnia, meanwhile, the Muslim member of the country’s three-person presidency, Haris Silajdzic, is fostering radical Islam and protecting terrorists connected to al-Qaeda by “using his influence and his party’s infrastructure to treat terrorism as isolated incidents, instead of being put on the agenda as a real problem,” as one moderate Bosnian publicist complained last month.

Here’s another kind of investment that the UAE has going in the Balkans, as told to me by an American peacekeeper in Kosovo: 200 Euros per month to families for every member who adopts a radical version of Islam. (That would be the same UAE that our president and the Wall St. Journal defended as an “ally” during the controversy over one of its companies taking over operations at several U.S. ports.)

Sherrie Gossett’s February article in The Objectivist Center’s magazine The New Individualist would seem to confirm this:

Into this vacuum of lawlessness have come radical Wahhabi Muslim groups from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. These groups flooded into the area after the bombing and invasion, offering financial aid to Albanians, sometimes on strict conditions: ‘They had to wear the head scarf and bow to Mecca five times a day, or allow the Wahhabis to build a mosque,’ [Former OSCE official Tom Gambill] recounts. The burly ex-Marine also showed this author security records logging complaints by Albanian school teachers who said they were being kicked out of their classrooms for hours at a time, so that Wahhabis could teach the Koran to their students.

Poll: Europeans see Jewish influence

The report released Monday found that significant numbers of people in five European countries continue to hold anti-Jewish stereotypes, said Abraham Foxman, national director of the U.S. group

The survey of 2,714 people in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland found that 51 percent of respondents believe Jews are more loyal to Israel than to the countries in which they live.

The statement that “Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust” was seen as “probably true” by 58 percent of poll respondents in Poland, where many of the World War II Nazi death camps were located. The average for the five countries polled was 47 percent in agreement.

Thirty-nine percent of respondents in Poland also said they somewhat agree or strongly agree that the Jews “are responsible for the death of Christ.” Overall agreement with that statement was 20 percent.

An average of 44 percent of those surveyed said Jews “probably” have too much influence in international financial markets, while close to half believed that “American Jews control U.S. policy in the Middle East,” the report said.

On the Israeli-Arab conflict, a majority of respondents believed Israel had no right to use military force against Lebanon last summer after Hezbollah fighters captured two Israeli soldiers, the report said. More than a third likened Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to that of blacks in South Africa during the apartheid era.

Italy was the only country whose residents expressed more sympathy to Israelis than Palestinians, the report said, though most respondents in all five countries said they supported neither side in the conflict.

As an American, I have a respect for the Polish people — for loathing Communism and for staying the course in the war on terror and in Iraq. In my stand-up routine, as I bemoan the Islamic takeover of Europe, I express interest in visiting Poland, since it’s practically the only country in Europe that hasn’t been taken over by Muslims yet and is the last place in Europe that a Jew can visit safely. Of course, the main tourist attraction is concentration camps.

That’s why, as a Jew, I must appeal to the Poles (and I don’t mean Americans of Polish descent; I mean current-day Poles) to make a decision. Pick whom you’re going to hate more — the Jews or the Muslims. One hopes that the following recent news item will help you make that decision. One hopes.

Palestinian arrested in Poland for al-Qaida links

Poland’s military secret service has arrested a Palestinian man for allegedly having links to the al-Qaida, the Polish Dziennik newspaper reported Monday. The suspect is accused of having received instructions to plan a terror attack in Poland, the daily added.

The Palestinian had already been under surveillance for several days and was arrested late Wednesday night, an intelligence agency employee was quoted as saying.

Many Albanians who write me claim that they just want to be “free” finally, that “we are fighting for our freedom” by severing Kosovo from Serbia, and that this is what Bush is supporting and this is all very American. But if the goal is, as they claim, simply an independent Kosovo (as opposed to a unified Greater Albania), how does one explain the Kosovars’ attachment to the Albanian flag:

Kosovo Confused Amid Efforts to Choose a New Flag
Kosovars say future flag will represent their state, while Albania keeps their allegiance.

“I wouldn’t use the Kosovo flag in my wedding, even if I would be the one to design it,” said Besnik Nuli, a graphic designer from Mitrovica.

Nuli plans to enter an international competition to design Kosovo’s future flag and emblem. But he said whatever the designs will be, it will represent Kosovo’s government, not the national feeling of Kosovo’s 90 percent ethnic Albanian population. Instead, their hearts will beat faster for the flag of neighbouring Albania.

Most of Kosovo’s Albanians will apparently see the new flag as a standard sought by the international community. They say they are willing to accept a Kosovo state flag, but that will not change their feelings for what they consider their true national flag.

Elbunit Krasniqi, a graphic designer from Pristina, also plans to enter a design in the contest. But he said for him the work will be detached from any feelings.

“I am applying because of the money,” Krasniqi said. “However, it will be hard to design a proper proposal, due to the strict criteria…I would use a light green background and a toilet sign,” jokes Krasniqi. “That’s a proposal that would fit the [multi-ethnic/Euro-oriented] criteria.”

For Krasniqi it doesn’t matter how the future Kosovo flag will look. “I will still use the Albanian national flag, the one with black double-headed eagle and the red background,” he says.

My favorite part of the article: “According to Ahtisaari’s plan, Kosovo should have national symbols that will reflect its multi-ethnic character.” In that case, a purely Albanian flag would do it. As this recent editorial attests:

“Reunification” of all Albanian lands “necessity” - Albanian paper
BBC Monitoring Europe (Political) - July 3, 2007 Tuesday
Text of report by Albanian newspaper Ballkan on 2 July
[Commentary by Mona Agrigoro: “Slav and Greek Deceptions Are Being Refuted”]

Milosovski is just as ludicrous when he tries to separate the question of the Albanians of Kosova from that of the Albanians of Macedonia. There is no question of the Albanians of Macedonia, or the Albanians of Serbia, or the Albanians of Northern Highlands, or the Albanians of Greece, or the Albanians of Montenegro! There is only the question of the Albanians, as an indivisible nation whose liberation and reunification into a national Albanian state in the Balkans has become a necessity of the time if ever we want the Balkans to lose once for all time its powder keg appellation and if ever we want to have peace, security, and stability in Europe, which can be achieved only with the establishment of ethnic states, such as ethnic Albania, ethnic Bulgaria, ethnic Greece, and - why not? - ethnic Serbia.

Yes, this writer has just called for Greece and Serbia to ethnically cleanse their non-Greek and non-Serb populations.

One has to at least appreciate the writer’s consistent application of the supremacist standard that she allows for Albanians. It’s certainly a contrast to the double standards of the international community — America at the helm — which makes up the Balkan rules as it goes along and allows separatism and ethnic cleansing for every Balkan player at the expense of the Serbs.

Now, remember — I get these every day, but just don’t have time to post them all. Also keep in mind that only some incidents are reported since Serb-cleansing is the whole point of the peacekeeping effort, so this could be happening several times a day:

Serb farmer attacked near Kosovska Mitrovica

Dušan Perić was attacked by a group of ethnic Albanian teenagers while tending to his crops near Kosovska Mitrovica.

Kosovo police said they detained three Albanian minors, but released them after taking their statements.

Perić was taken to the hospital in the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica yesterday after being pelted by rocks, hospital director Marko Jakšić said.

Jakšić said that Perić suffered head injuries and was operated on, adding that he is now in stable condition.

Meanwhile, here is the peacekeeping mission’s latest progress: Kfor wants Serbian flags taken off monasteries

ORAHOVAC, July 17 (Tanjug) - Bishop of Raska and Prizren Artemije said on Tuesday that the Austrian contingent of Kfor had demanded Serbian flags be taken off the bell tower of Saints Kozmo and Damjan monastery in the village of Zociste near Orahovac, because local Albanians don’t want to see it.

“I advised, resolutely, the monks that is out of the question, that the flag is there because this is the state of Serbia, and because we have a right to that,” Artemije told Tanjug and pointed out that no one is preventing ethnic Albanians from using the flag of another state in our state.”

He said that Kfor members said ethnic Albanians threatened to attack the monastery, and pointed out that “it is Kfor’s job to protect the monastery, and not to meddle in the issue of the flag.”

“This is a message to expelled Serbs whose houses have allegedly been rebuilt in Zociste. This is a message not to return, because if such a violence is applied on monks, what can returnees hope for if they came to live in the same village with ethnic Albanians as neighbours,” Artemije said.

But don’t worry. A Kosovo newspaper titled Dailies reports that former Serb-killer and current “prime minister” of Kosovo Agim Ceku “guarantees a better life for Serbs in Kosovo”:

Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Çeku and the head of the British Office in Pristina David Blunt have guaranteed Kosovo Serbs living in Shillovo a life, perspective and future in Kosovo.

“Kosovo will be an example of good interethnic relations and you should believe that you will be living in good conditions in this country,” said Prime Minister Çeku.

The 800-pound gorilla in the Kosovo room being, as always: If the province’s security organs aren’t able to protect Serbs today, under direct international control, how will they protect them when the province gets independent state power? And what will be the incentive?

Writes Serbianna’s Mickey Bozinovich: “Peculiar how Muslims and the UK seek to convince Serbs not to worry, that despite past decapitations and killings, the Chief Muslim guarantees their life if they accept Islamic domination — a definition of Dhimmi.

Svetlana Novko is on top of this developing situation, and I can’t say it any better than she has. So I’ll just cite her site, and I’ll rip off this fabulous photo, which has a silver briefcase like the silver one Ahtisaari received his Albanian cash in:

U.S. State Department Unable to Deny Ahtisaari Corruption
Excerpt From July 13 Press Briefing

Mr. Lambros.

QUESTION: On Kosovo. Mr. Casey, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov suggested today Martti Ahtisaari unfitness* to mediate further talks based on a bunch of reports that Albanian mafia bribed the UN Kosovo mediator, something which has been most* confirmed by Washington-based Global Information System, GIS, and Gregory Copely of Defense and Foreign Affairs Institute. Given the U.S. Government concern about corruption at the UN, should the U.S. Government be calling for an investigation into this matter? How do these allegations impact U.S. confidence in Ahtisaari’s fitness to mediate further talks in Kosovo?

MR. CASEY: Mr. Lambros, I think that the reports you’re referring to probably fall into the category of spurious. [German Intelligence and GIS reports are “spurious”?!] But look, Mr. Ahtisaari is a distinguished former head of government of Finland, a person with a tremendous amount of experience and a track record in working on these issues. He has the full confidence of the Secretary General who appointed him UN and certainly the plan that Mr. Ahtisaari put forward has the full endorsement of the United States as the basis for moving forward…I don’t see any reason why there should be any question about the work that he did…

QUESTION: One more on the same issue. According to reports, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon already started an investigation about these payments, confirmed the existence by a report prepared for him by the German intelligence agency BND unit assigned to the UN mission in Kosovo. Any comment on it?

MR. CASEY: Mr. Lambros, you’re free to go ask the UN what investigations it has or hasn’t started. […] If you’d like to pursue shadows, feel free to talk to the UN about it.

Far More Than “Shadows” — Gregory Copley: Ahtisaari’s Corruption Confirmed Beyond Doubt:

In [a] July 14 exclusive interview with [the] Belgrade daily Vecernje novosti, the President of the International Strategic Studies Association Gregory Copley confirmed that everything published about Martti Ahtisaari being bribed by the Albanian mafia to propose independence for southern Serbian Kosovo province is correct…

QUESTION: Is the information about Ahtisaari being bribed reliable?

MR. COPLEY: First of all, we have seen the BND report. We then inquired with our sources if we can get an independent confirmation about the Ahtisaari corruption. Few intelligence sources from different states involved in Kosovo process were either suspecting or had evidence about Ahtisaari’s involvement with Albanian organized crime.

QUESTION: How long were you on Ahtisaari’s trail?

MR. COPLEY: We have been observing him ever since he was appointed a UN special envoy for Kosovo status, because we knew he came to that post after working for the International Crisis Group, established by the financier George Soros. We also knew that Soros, as well as the ICG, is firmly backing the independence of Kosovo province. This meant that Ahtisaari obviously wasn’t an impartial person for this position.

QUESTION: Has any particular government ordered the investigation of the Ahtisaari case?

MR. COPLEY: Our association conducts independent investigations. We do not work for any particular government and that is why many governments trust our neutrality. We have conducted a large number of investigations pertaining to the Balkan events, the results of which were considerably different from the picture created by the media. This has made some of the governments skeptical, but most of them have now arrived at the position that our reports have been confirmed over time.

QUESTION: In your experience, how much could a revelation such as this one influence the concrete politics?

MR. COPLEY: We’ve had many requests for confirmation and for further information by the large number of governments and international organizations overseeing the Kosovo process.

QUESTION: From the Serbian Government?

MR. COPLEY: Not from the Serbian Government.

QUESTION: From the American Administration?

MR. COPLEY: All I’m going to say is — not from the Serbian Government, but from [a] large number of governments and the international organizations.

QUESTION: What do you expect now?

MR. COPLEY: We expect the United Nations to evaluate Ahtisaari’s position. Unfortunately, it seems that the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon lacks the guts to acknowledge the situation created by the KLA threats of renewed violence. I am disappointed with the fact that the new UN Secretary General has no courage to clean his own backyard. This shows that there is a lot of corruption within the UN that also existed during [the time of] Ban Ki-moon’s predecessor.

QUESTION: According to the Fokus article, it was the UN Secretary General that requested the investigation of Ahtisaari’s corruption?

MR. COPLEY: Soon after he requested the investigation, he demanded quick resolution of [the] Kosovo issue and he failed to undertake clear steps to suspend Ahtisaari, or to examine his work. He was obviously shocked by the initial accusations, which German intelligence confirmed beyond any doubts. But it should also be taken into consideration that Ki-moon is right now under enormous pressure — not just from the KLA which threatens the entire region with violence, but from the U.S. State Department which acts like a KLA agent in promoting Kosovo independence.

Great going, USA: Young Albanians reject Serb friendship (from April)

Sixty-five percent of young Kosovo Albanians say they would never be friends with Serbs, a UN survey showed.

Reuters reports that the poll underscored the province’s divide despite Western promises to create a multi-ethnic society.

“The ethnic-based conflicts of the 1990s had a significant impact on young people’s ability and inclination to interact with people from other communities,” the UN Development Program (UNDP) said in the report released on Wednesday.

Twenty-five percent of young Serbs rejected the idea of being friends with Kosovo Albanians.

Just over 54 percent of Kosovo Albanian youths questioned said they would not want to be neighbors with Serbs.

I wonder if the following has anything to do with it: the American-initiated NATO peacekeeping force has been keeping the peace by checking off areas as “cleansed” once the last Serbs have been pushed out. I’m not making this up; it’s going to be mentioned in a book that’s due out very soon, written by a UN worker there. Peacekeeping “progress” literally happens when there are no Serbs left in an area of Kosovo.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: When Americans take on that “global” outlook the world wants them to have, they are conned into sponsoring tribalism and ethnic supremacy.

After the wife of Croatian rocker Marko Perkovic, a.k.a. Thompson, wrote a letter to Efraim Zuroff (Israel Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center) threatening legal action over his criticisms of the Ustasha enthusiasm displayed by the singer’s fans, the following open letter from Zuroff appeared in Globus newspaper (translated from the Croatian):

11 July 2007 “An Open Letter to Marko Perkovic”

I am probably the last person you were expecting to hear from these days, but in the wake of the controversy and polemics surrounding your recent concert in Maksimir Stadium, I thought that the best way to clarify the important issues being debated would be to turn to you directly. Before I pose my questions, I have to admit that you have inspired the love and support of Croatians all over the world, many of whom have rushed to defend you against my criticism. I have received letters from Australia, Canada, Germany and other places as well as from Croatia. While some were stupid in an abusive way (spelling my family name in small letters with the exception of a big “U”) and a few were simply anti-Semitic (”Za dom spremni” and nothing else or “What have you done to stop killing poor Palestinians?”), most were written by reasonably intelligent people who are convinced that you are neither a fascist nor an anti-Semite. They claim that your sole motivation is pure and noble Croatian patriotism and love of family and the Catholic Church. They urged me to review all your lyrics to search for any trace of racism and some sent me the words of one of your songs. None of them could explain, however, why so many young people feel that your concerts are an appropriate place to appear in Ustashe uniforms and display Ustashe symbols.

Rather than attempt (without any opportunity to speak to you directly) to analyze your ideological philosophy and psychological make-up, which in my opinion hold the key to unedrstanding who you really are and being able thereby to determine whether you are part of the problem or part of the solution in insuring that Croatia will be a model democracy and not a proto-fascist state, I decided to share my concerns with you and offer you an opportunity to once and for all make clear where you stand on a number of critical issues.

Let me begin with the song “Jasenovac/Stara Gradiska.” Everyone knows that you have sung it in the past, although not at your recent concert in Zagreb. Do you have any idea how painful its lyrics are to members of minorities living in Croatia? Can you imagine how a Serb, Jew, or Gypsy whose families were decimated by the Ustashe must feel hearing someone like you, the most popular singer in Croatia, a veritable cultural icon, sing of nostalgia for Ante Pavelic? Can you understand that one can be a 100% genuine Croatian patriot and unequivocally reject the NDH and the Ustashe? Or is Croatian patriotism, in your opinion, one indivisible package which begins with the Ustashe and continues to the present with every nationalist included, regardless of whether they behaved dishonorably and/or committed atrocities? That is something that urgently needs clarification.

In this regard, the fact that you have never apologized or expressed regret for singing “Jasenovac/Stara Gradiska” is very telling. It basically means that you stand behind those lyrics which more or less glorify Ustashe murderers, call for the elimination of Serbs, the replacement of President Mesic with an ultranationalist like Tudjman and the resestablishment of the NDH. I would add that the fact that you have never spoken out against the ubiquitous displays of Ustashe symbols at your concerts is another indicator that you personally have no objection to such paraphernalia. This could be for two possible reasons. The first might be that you identify with such symbols and are a “true believer” in the Ustashe ideology of Croatian ultranationalism. A more cynical explanation might be that you realize that those sporting Ustashe symbols are your greatest supporters and for practical/utilitarian reasons, you do not want to offend them and risk losing their support. Either reason does not put your behavior in a positive light.

I hope you realize that your success brings with ita large degree of responsibilty, and especially because you have gained your popularity by addressing political issues. (if you were a celebrity because of success in sports or as a performer singing insipid love songs it would be different.) Thus many Croatians, and especially numerous youth, look to you for guidance and inspiration on the important political issues facing the country. And this is precisely why it is a tragedy if your concerts inspire displays of support or nostalgia for the Ustashe, rather than support for a pluralistic, tolerant Croatian democracy.

It is precisely because your patriotic credentials are absolutely impeccable that you must be among those who clearly and unequivocally reject the legacy of the NDH and the Ustashe. This will send a clear message to Croatians of all ages that one is not betraying his or her country by condemning the atrocities committed by the NDH and that one can be the most noble patriot by building a homeland which will be a model democracy which accepts minorities and fosters tolerance among different ethnic groups.

It is true that by doing so you will no doubt alienate at least some of your most fanatic supporters, but at the same time you will have gained something far more important-the respect and admiration of the numerous Croatians and others who until now could not have possibly identified with your message. Your forthcoming concert in Split at the end of this month would be a golden opportunity to finally let us all know what kind of future “Thompson” wants for his country.

— Dr. Efraim Zuroff

Dr. Zuroff reports that he has been “getting terrific feedback from those sympathetic to [his] arguments in Croatia and elsewhere,” and he is told that Thompson would be inviting him to his concert in Split on July 27th. (Unfortunately, that is a Friday night and Dr. Zuroff observes the Sabbath.)

Just a note on Globus, which deserves some kudos. Dr. Zuroff says that years ago as a young reporter, the publication’s current editor was “tremendously helpful” in tracking down and prosecuting Nada Sakic (female guard at the Stara Gradiska concentration camp) and in other cases that SWC was involved with in Croatia. The Wikipedia entry for Globus seems to support the newspaper’s objectivity and fair-mindedness:

The magazine was started in 1991, having some of its first issues published during the Croatian War of Independence. Originally devised as tabloid, it never took an openly chauvinist approach…and always tried to give the appearance of objectivity. Gradually, its articles began to deal with shady aspects of privatisation, abuses against ethnic Serb citizens and other topics not covered by mainstream media in Croatia. As such, Globus is credited for introducing investigative journalism in Croatia.

Malaysia to issue rules for astronaut

Malaysia has issued guidelines for Muslim astronauts on how to pray in outer space, to increase the likelihood that they’ve got Mecca’s location right. Can you imagine? Picture a Muslim in space: “Hey, which way is Mecca?! It keeps moving! Somebody stop that damn thing!”

Maintaining Islamic beliefs “is mandatory for Muslims in every situation, time and place,” Mustafa Abdul Rahman, who heads Malaysia’s state-run Department of Islamic Development, said in the guidelines. “Circumstances on the ISS [International Space Station] which are different from circumstances on Earth are not an obstacle for an astronaut to fulfill a Muslim’s obligations,” he said.

I was wondering about that myself. Because last year in Vegas I saw a group of Muslim women in full hijab at the Rio Hotel/Casino — coming out of Chippendale’s! What’s with the selective submission, I wondered. Then I read about how all these Saudi Arabian rich guys leave the Kingdom and go to other countries to drink and have sex with prostitutes.

Turns out that for the privileged of Saudi Arabia, Allah apparently sees only what you do when you’re in the Middle East. Elsewhere, Allah can’t keep as close tabs on you and doesn’t know what you’re up to, so what you do doesn’t count as much.

Can you picture this? Allah is like, “Hey, where’s Abdullah?! I just saw him a second ago. He was getting on a plane…”

So much for an omniscient Allah, who is apparently nearsighted. But at least religious Muslims are like the rest of us in one respect: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

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