October 2007


Community Centre Opens in Kosovo Serb Village


Oct. 15 — “US soldiers, representatives from the US Office in Pristina and USAID, and members of KFOR attended Monday’s dedication. Also present were two representatives from the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and from the office for social assistance.” (Could that be our friend Nicki in the front?)

A new culture and sports centre opened this week in Gjilan, southeastern Kosovo. The centre — funded by KFOR and USAID — cost around 147,000 euros to build in the village of Partesh, which is a Serb enclave and a pilot municipality.

Congratulating local residents, Tina Kaidanow, chief of mission of the US Office in Pristina, said that she is in Partesh to support the local community. “This project is a symbol of co-operation between Partesh and [the US government]. This is also a way to demonstrate that we care for the future,” she said.

Symbolism amid the tide of inevitability is important. So is good multi-ethnic-seeming PR amid talk of independence.

Kaidanow also said that co-operation between the Kosovo Serbs and the Kosovo Albanians is expected to increase, which will improve the life of Serbs in Partesh and other parts of Kosovo.

Meanwhile, down the street four days later: “Orthodox church attacked in Kosovo”
(via FoNet news agency)

GJILANE — Police in Kosovo have confirmed that an explosive device was thrown at a Serbian Orthodox church in Gjilane.

The bomb, however, did not explode on impact, leaving only a black trace on the wall of the St. Nikola church, a Kosovo Police Service (SPC) spokesman in the area told journalists.

KFOR, UNMIK police and KPS came out in force to block the part of the town where the church is located.

You bet they did, given Monday’s ceremonialism. Back to that first article for a moment:

According to US General Douglas B. Earhart, commander of the KFOR Multinational Brigade East…the centre is a symbol of the country’s partnership with different agencies, of the partnership with the population and the youth of Partesh, and of the co-operation that will continue in the future. [Note that there is no mention of Albanian officials being present at the opening.]

“I can assure you that the KFOR commitment for your benefit will continue for a long time in order to achieve a peaceful and safer environment in Kosovo,” Earhart said.

Kosovo isn’t peaceful? It needs to be safer? That’s odd coming from General Earhart, who wrote this letter to American Legion Magazine, which appeared in the September issue:

“The Balkan Blowback” — While the author certainly is entitled to her opinions and has a right to express those opinions, it causes me great concern that many of the [arguments] she makes are not true.

As the commander of the Kosovo Forces’ Multi-National Task Force (East), I see first-hand the progress that has been made in the region. I see firsthand the actions of our soldiers and the tireless efforts they make toward maintaining a safe and secure environment for all the people of Kosovo, regardless of their ethnic or religious backgrounds. [Agreed.]

Gorin makes false claims, including “a Serb a day is killed in Kosovo,” that Kosovo Serbs live in “barbed-wire-enclosed, KFOR-guarded perimeters of a few kilometers with NATO protection. We frequently patrol Kosovo Serbian villages, but they are free to leave their homes to shop, to work and to visit friends and family…

In that case, what could Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) be talking about here:

Christian Serbs are confined to NATO-protected enclaves for fear of endemic Muslim Albanian violence…A quarter of a million expellees — some two-thirds of the Serbs, Roma, Croats, and all the Jews — still cannot return safely to their homes. More than 150 Christian holy sites have been burned, blown up or desecrated…

Independence would likely be followed by renewed anti-Serb attacks, at least against the smaller enclaves, if not against Northern Mitrovica, where most of the remaining Serbs enjoy relative security. Unrest in neighboring Albanian-dominated areas of southern Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia, even Greece, could be reignited.

WHY IS BURTON TRYING TO SCARE THE TROOPS’ FAMILIES?!

[I]t is certain that unless we hit the reset button and reevaluate the situation, Kosovo may once again become a trouble-spot requiring American and NATO attention at a time we can least afford it. [LIAR! THIS MAN CLAIMS TO BE REPUBLICAN?! HE CLAIMS TO BE CONSERVATIVE?!]

But back to Earhart:

Gorin goes on to write that “Serbian nuns continue to be killed” and “churches and monasteries continue to be destroyed.” Again, these claims are false. Our contacts in the Serbian Orthodox Church confirmed for us that the last act of violence against a nun or priest in Kosovo was in 2006 when someone threw rocks at the Serbian priest while he was traveling. There have also been no churches or monasteries destroyed in Kosovo since 2004.

[Except for a minor priest-shooting incident a couple weeks ago and a rocket-propelled grenade hurled at a church in April — and the two Molotov cocktails from today — but no, nothing “destroyed” or “killed” since — my gosh — all the way back in 2004.]

The situation in Kosovo is far from perfect. There are still feelings of mistrust between ethnic groups [and occasional feelings of shrapnel], and there is much work to be done to improve the infrastructure and economy. But the important thing is that progress is being made. Every day we see more signs of cooperation between ethnic groups and we see more signs of progress toward a bright future for Kosovo. For anyone wanting accurate up-to-date and first-hand information about our mission in Kosovo, I invite them to visit our public-information Web site at www.kfor8.com. [I’d suggest taking him up on that invitation; that site is definitely a much more pleasant place than my website or SaveKosovo.org.]

Brig. Gen. Douglas B. Earhart
Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo

(He looks like a nice enough guy, and I understand that he’s just trying to make the best of the convoluted mission he’s been assigned to.)

Oops — Kosovo update as I write this, via Deutsche Presse-Agentur:

Kosovo police seize weapons cache

Pristina — Kosovo police said Friday they had seized a major cache of weapons and ammunition and arrested five people in the south of the province.

The weapons and ammunition were found in a raid in Djeneral Jankovic, in southeastern Kosovo, close to the border with Macedonia, police said.

The cache included a recoil-less cannon, an anti-aircraft machine gun, a mortar, a sniper rifle and 1,300 rounds of various ammunition.

The five arrested, aged between 30 and 72, were facing charges linked to smuggling of weapons, police said.

That brings up one of many qualities that Albanians don’t have in common with other Muslims: they’ve got Grandpa in on the act. Which makes sense, given that Greater Albania is an ancient dream that’s finally coming to fruition. The older generation is in fact the force driving the younger generations, as can be intimated even from photos:

Someone at Townhall.com figured out to interview John R. Schindler: Leaping Before We Looked: The Clinton Administration’s Bosnian Failure

With Hillary Clinton surging in the polls and Democrats knifing Bush’s foreign policy and praising Bill Clinton’s, it’s time for a reality check on a supposed triumph: Team Clinton oversimplified a complex situation in Bosnia and ended up aiding and abetting Muslim extremists.

It’s time? Really? Perhaps a little past time? In fact, had conservatives grasped, and then seized onto, the horror of what Clinton’s Balkans wars achieved, conservatives would have been setting the terms of the national debate rather than being in a position of constantly defending their war. And there never would have been even any talk of a Clinton candidacy in 2008. You snooze, you lose.

That’s the conclusion of John Schindler, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College and a former National Security Agency analyst. In his new book, “Unholy Terror: Bosnia, al-Qa’ida, and the Rise of Global Jihad,” Schindler reappraises the 1992-1995 Bosnian war and America’s decision to come to the defense of Muslims in their conflict with Serbs.

Because his conclusions are controversial, his credentials are important: Schindler’s NSA work, he says, showed him that the conventional academic and media wisdom about the Balkans was wrong. “I spent a lot of time in the Balkans and I participated in the culture, spoke the language and met many people. What I learned was that pretty much everything I thought I knew was either wrong or an even more dangerous half-truth.”

Both sides committed atrocities, Schindler notes, but those of Muslims generally went unreported. For example, “The number of Christians murdered in Sarajevo during the war by Muslim military and police, right under the noses of Western journalists, is at least in the many hundreds and probably in the low thousands. Between 1992 and 1995, some 1,300 Serb civilians were liquidated by Muslim troops based at Srebrenica; this was the precursor to the infamous July 1995 Serb offensive against that town.”

The media also slept, either alone or with the enemy. “Western journalists failed to note that the (Bosnia) Muslim ruling party, while portraying itself as thoroughly democratic and impressively multicultural, in fact was run by and for Islamists of a radical bent, whose ideal society was revolutionary Iran. … That the Bosnian jihad was considered a major success by al-Qaida was something no journalist uttered.”

Many of the Bosnian jihadists — including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the al-Qaida planner of Sept. 11 — went on to attack Western Europe or the U.S. Bosnia itself “has continued its seemingly relentless slide into crime, corruption and extremism. Radical Islam has a stronger hold there than ever before, and it remains a mystery to me why Western governments continue to not give this problem, in the heart of Europe, the attention it deserves.”

Nation’s secessionists convene
October 4, 2007

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — In an unlikely marriage of desire to secede from the United States, two advocacy groups from opposite political traditions — New England and the South — are sitting down to talk.

Tired of foreign wars and what they consider right-wing courts, the Middlebury Institute wants liberal states like Vermont to be able to secede peacefully.

That sounds just fine to the League of the South, a conservative group that refuses to give up on Southern independence.

“We believe that an independent South, or Hawaii, Alaska, or Vermont would be better able to serve the interest of everybody, regardless of race or ethnicity,” said Michael Hill of Killen, Ala., president of the League of the South.

The Middlebury Institute and the League of the South are hosting a two-day Secessionist Convention that began yesterday in Chattanooga.

They expect to attract supporters from California, Alaska and Hawaii, inviting anyone who wants to dissolve the Union so states can save themselves from an overbearing federal government.

The Middlebury Institute, based in Cold Spring, N.Y., was started in 2005. Its followers, disillusioned by the Iraq war and federal imperialism, share the idea of states becoming independent republics. They contend their movement is growing.

If and when these movements vote for independence and take action to secede — and the Union responds militarily to keep them from seceding — Americans shouldn’t be surprised when China and Russia threaten to bomb the United States in defense of the Vermonters, using the U.S.-set precedent of Kosovo.

This was going to be a simple blog defending Ann Coulter’s remarks about her faith, which holds that Christianity is the extension of Judaism — the “finished” or “perfected” version. The brouhaha that erupted over this, starting with her host on the program where she made the remarks, Donny Deutsch, is coming mostly from liberal Jews. As Rabbi Yehuda Levin has pointed out, Orthodox Jewish leaders felt no offense or “threat” in what she said and suggested that it was mostly non-practicing Jews who felt threatened by it:

Rabbi Levin, a spokesman for the Rabbinical Alliance for America and the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada, commented… “But the fact that Miss Coulter was asked to try to say that this is now anti-Semitism, I believe is off the mark…” Interestingly talk shows discussing the matter had numerous orthodox Jews calling in to state they were not offended by Coulter’s remarks. Rabbi Levin explained, “The Orthodox are very comfortable in their beliefs of their religion and their practices. The Jews who would be more offended by this are those that are not involved in day to day practice of Judaism.”

This phenomenon recalls the controversy over prayer in school — the minute of silence for voluntary prayer that was being proposed for public schools a few years ago. The most vociferous opponents were secular Jews. Why? As the publisher of Jewish World Review put it to me at the time, “Because secular Jews wouldn’t know what to do during that one minute.” So the objection to Coulter’s remarks are coming essentially from atheist “Jews” who practice Judaism rotely, perhaps only two to three times a year on the high holidays.

The reason that Jews would feel threatened by something as benign as modern Christianity, which gave birth to the very foundations of their liberal thinking, is that it confronts them with having to believe in anything at all. (Other than in their religion of modern leftism, which risks contradiction by Christianity.)

I was also going to add that a follower of any religion is supposed to be a natural supremacist for that religion. Obviously, Hindus think they’ve got it right; Sikhs think Sikhs have it right; Buddhists think they have the answers, and we know what Muslims think — since they say on TV about Islam the same thing that Coulter said about Christianity except they accompany it with promises, followed by acts, of death and destruction. So why should Christians not hold Christianity supreme — the way every other religion does?

And that’s where my blog was going to end. Until I read a piece in yesterday’s World Net Daily. To be sure, one WND article defending Coulter on Friday was perfectly fine. But then I stumbled across a second piece defending Coulter, by a “Christian Libertarian columnist” named Vox Day, which contained a rather troubling passage. Now, the last thing I want to do is pick a fight with a solid Christian conservative-leaning guy, or with WND, which is a Jew-friendly and Israel-friendly publication run by a good-looking Christian Arab named Joseph Farah. So I am willing to hope that Vox Day merely misspoke, or miswrote, what I’m about to quote. Regardless, I don’t like what it reveals about his thinking, and he shouldn’t either:

America is still quite friendly towards Jews, but the incessant attacks on Christianity by the likes of Deutsch, Forman and Abe Foxman have grown increasingly tiresome. Given this irritating behavior, and the historical fact that Jews have worn out their welcome in literally dozens of countries over the centuries, it is the height of foolishness for a small number of misguided individuals to demand that 80 percent of the American population remain silent about the tenets of its religious faith.

Let’s see if we have this straight. Jews have been persecuted by the nations over the centuries because they did something to wear out some kind of welcome? What, Mr. Day — it must have been their liberal Jew politics that brought on the Inquisition and later got them expelled from every Arab nation and fleeing ovens in Europe?

Thankfully, in subsequent paragraphs of the same article Mr. Day seems to contradict what his perplexing statement implies:

…there is no reason why American Jews and American Christians should not get along in perfect amity. Neither Judaism nor Christianity is going to disappear, and it is as absurd for Jews to hold modern Christians responsible for the Jews persecuted in medieval times as it was for those medieval Christians to have held those medieval Jews responsible for persecuting them in ancient times.

Afterwards, however, it appears we’re back to square one with Mr. Day, when he seems to be preemptively justifying (and I dare say threatening) a sort of acquired anti-Semitism in America thanks to idiot Jews like those who are haranguing Coulter:

Despite its flaws, America has been one of the best friends the Jews have ever had. It would not only be a tragedy, it would be a stupid and wasteful one if Americans were provoked into developing the instinctive anti-semitism that currently pervades Europe, the Middle East and so much of the rest of the world.

Thankfully, America has plenty of real Christians, who are capable of telling Jews apart from those who subscirbe to a religion of liberalism, and who are immune to anti-Semitism for all time because of their Good Book. I feel confident that Ann Coulter is such a Christian, but I don’t feel the same way about Vox Day.

Ann Coulter certainly does not need to apologize for anything she said, but Vox Day does.

Meanwhile, it is also troubling that Mr. Day felt the need to inject the following paragraph into his Coulter piece:

As for Israel’s survival, not only are the Israeli Defense Forces perfectly capable of defending the nation against a fourth-rate military power like Iran, but it has the Lord God of Israel on its side. Israel simply doesn’t need the U.S. military to fight its battles for it.

I’m willing to chalk this up to the typical Libertarian complex which I can’t hope to cure him or any other Libertarian of. How many times can one explain that Israel’s wars are our wars and that the Jews of the Middle East have been serving as human shields for Americans for decades, absorbing fire that would otherwise be more frequently, and more directly, directed at us. Iran is a threat to more than Israel, and abandoning reliable allies is not the way to keep allies. This is Statecraft 101. But apparently, while there are rules of statecraft, the rules change when Jews are involved. Thanks a lot.

Croatia vs. Kosovo Contest: Who Can Destroy the Most Serb Homes

October was off to a fierce start:

Kosovo: Serb house destroyed in fire

KOSOVSKA VITINA, Oct 1 (Tanjug) - A local Serb’s house burned in a fire that broke out late Sunday in the village of Klokot, near Kosovska Vitina.

The house belonged to Milan Nedeljkovic, who escaped unharmed. Locals suspect that the incident was the work of arsonists.

Villager Trajan Trajkovic told KiM Radio that the fire broke out around 11 p.m, adding that the Nedeljkovic family moved to their old house because it is located in “a better protected part of the village.”

“This is the second attack in just one week and we feel very insecure and request the protection of KFOR, more frequent patrols in the village, and the setting up of checkpoints,” Trajkovic said.

A week ago, in the same village, unidentified gunmen opened fire on a store owned by local Serb Bora Spasic. Although a dozen people were inside the store at the time of the attack, no one was injured.

Croatia: Six Serb-owned reconstructed houses damaged

BENKOVAC, Oct 1 (Hina) - Six reconstructed houses owned by local Serbs in southern Croatian villages were damaged in the night between 29 and 30 September, the Zadar police reported on Monday [1 October].

A police investigation is under way. Electric wiring, bathrooms, windows and doors were damaged at thee six
houses along the Pristeg-Donje Ceranje road.

The houses in the Zadar hinterland were reconstructed within programmes for the renovation of Serb-owned houses which had been destroyed in the 1990s war.

Touché! But sorry, Croatia. Kosovo still has you beat in other arenas of disquiet:

(Note the differences in reporting. First we have an American AP report which says nothing happened — even sacrificing proper language to add the word “false” to describe a bomb scare (bomb scares aren’t false; bombs often are). Then there’s a British Reuters report, which gives us a little more information. Finally, there’s a report from a Bosnian-Serb news agency, which tells a slightly different story. As with all things Kosovo, one can only guess at the truth.)

False bomb scare prompts UN staff to evacuate headquarters in Kosovo

NATO peacekeepers in Kosovo found no explosives in a car that alarmed U.N. staff in Kosovo on Wednesday and prompted them to evacuate the organization’s headquarters, officials said.

Irish peacekeepers searched the vehicle and found no devices that could threaten the security of the building, police spokesman Veton Elshani said.

In the past, the U.N. has been targeted by ethnic Albanian extremists demanding that the province become independent from Serbia and charging that the U.N. is an obstacle to independence.

UN Kosovo mission evacuated after bomb scare

The main building of the United Nations mission in Serbia’s breakaway Kosovo province was partially evacuated on Wednesday after a bomb scare.

NATO peacekeepers carried out a controlled explosion on the underside of a U.N. police vehicle at the entrance to the U.N. compound, after security guards spotted a suspect object.

“It was a false alarm,” said Kosovo police spokesman Veton Elshani.

Police had cordoned off streets around the mission that has run Kosovo since 1999, when NATO expelled Serb forces accused of the ethnic cleansing of Albanian civilians while fighting separatist guerrillas. [Please note the official switch to merely “accused of”.]

The 16,000-strong NATO peace force and the U.N. mission are on high alert. [Who are they worried about? The enemy Serbs?] The Albanian majority is growing increasingly frustrated with the West’s stalled bid to grant the territory independence in the face of Serbian and Russian opposition. [No — it can’t be! Our Friends the Albanians?]

Some in the province have turned against U.N. authorities, blaming them for the political limbo that has kept Kosovo in poverty. In 2005, a bomb exploded in the car park of the U.N. building, destroying several cars and shattering windows.

Kosovo police find bomb under UNMIK vehicle

The Kosovo Police Service [KPS] found an explosive device under an international police vehicle in Pristina today.

“The device was noticed by the security staff of an official premises at about 1600 [1400 gmt] while the vehicle was parked in the main street in the centre of Pristina,” Kosovo Police Service spokesman Veton Elshani told SRNA [news agency].

An investigation at the scene confirmed that this was an explosive device and a request was sent to [NATO-led] Kfor [Kosovo Force] to engage special units for the disposal of explosive devices.

It is presumed that the explosive device was planted during today’s protest organized by students in Pristina centre.

In closing, here’s me lying again (and really, everything in this blog post is, like, soooooo 2005!):

Serbs and Roma live in horrible conditions in Kosovo

BRUSSELS, Oct 12 (Tanjug) - Serbs, Roma and other non-Albanian population in Kosovo-Metohija continue to live in horrible conditions in Kosovo and Metohija, eight years after the arrival of international administration in Serbia’s southern province, participants of the session on “Multi-ethnicity, KFOR and UNMIK in Kosovo,” organized by the Independence and Democracy group in the European Parliament, have concluded.

Members of the European Parliament from France Patrick Luis, who is also the organizer and moderator of the meeting, opposed independence of Kosovo, evaluating that it would open Pandora’s Box of secessionism and might have serious consequences for Europe.

Members of the Paris-based Civic Collective for Peace in Kosovo and Metohija also addressed European Parliament representatives.

Representative of the Roma community in France Nedzmedin Meziri said that the status of the Roma in Kosovo is catastrophic, giving a number of shocking examples of discrimination and limited movement of the Roma in Kosovo.

Ivana Bacvanski analyzed the link between politics and organized crime in the province, which seriously endangers the principles of the rule of law.

I guess these folks didn’t get the same tour that those visiting American Legion members got.

One night sometime after the 9/11 attacks, my husband and I were driving in Manhattan and as we passed the Empire State Building he asked me:

“So, do you think it’s gloating now that the competition is out of the way, or does it feel guilty?”

I answered that perhaps it’s the Bill Clinton of skyscrapers: One minute it’s looking toward downtown, biting its lower lip and shaking its lowered head; the next minute it turns around and says to itself, “But I’m looking goooood!”

It turns out that not only is the building full of false sympathy, not only is it gloating, but to add insult to injury, over this end-of-Ramadan weekend the supreme New York skyscraper was lit green in solidarity with the supremacists who killed the competition.

As I’ve written before, we had our foreshadowing that this was the direction we were headed in when, just two months after 19 of their people killed 3,000 of ours, Muslims complained that the new postage stamp for Eid al-Fitr wasn’t included in a U.S. Post Office poster advertising holiday stamps. And a new poster was promptly printed.

Anyway, now that the Empire State Building has converted, we’d better kiss its ass.

Here we see how the U.S. is dealing with the uncomfortable 800-pound gorilla in the room, that is the creeping reality of a Greater Albania. (Mr. Lambros is Lambros Papantoniou, a Greek journalist and naturally therefore the only reporter to recognize the critical effect that Kosovo will have on every region of the world — and therefore the only reporter to ask about it. Tom Casey is the deputy spokesperson for the State Dept.)

Daily Press Briefing
Tom Casey, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 12, 2007

MR. CASEY: Okay, Mr. Lambros, on Kosovo.

QUESTION: On Kosovo. The Albanian Government has decided to give Albanian citizenship to all Kosovars. What is the U.S. position since this move is a big step for the creation of “great Albania.”

MR. CASEY: Mr. Lambros, I’m not aware of what the Albanian Government may or may not have — have chosen to do. Certainly each country is entitled to determine who is or isn’t entitled to citizenship under their own appropriate laws and regulations. But the important issue for us, of course, with Kosovo is that we continue to work through the Contact Group and the troika on discussions between the Government of Serbia and the Kosovars on an equitable solution that’s agreeable to all sides to the situation there.

Certainly, as we’ve said, if by the end of the established negotiating period in December the parties have not been able to come to an agreement, what we expect would happen would be a decision to move forward with supervised independence for Kosovo that is in keeping with the outlines of the Ahtisaari plan. I am not aware of anyone in this country or anyplace else that believes that independence for Kosovo would somehow result in or would lead to some kind of greater Albanian state.

[Insert laugh track here.]

QUESTION: (Inaudible) FYROM [Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia] Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski and the Albanian leader of FYROM Ali Ahmeti declared the other day the unification, “great Albania” all the Albanians in FYROM. Any comment?

MR. CASEY: No.

[Insert laugh track.]

QUESTION: Because that contradicts whatever you are doing in order to find a solution (inaudible) –

[Insert applause break.]

MR. CASEY: Mr. Lambros, you’re — I think you’ve exceeded your quota for today.

[Laugh break.]

But look, we support the territorial integrity of the states in the region, of Albania, of Macedonia, Greece, the other players. [But not Serbia! That doesn’t count as a state.] Kosovo, as you know, is a unique circumstance. [Because we say so!] It’s a unique circumstance because of the way the conflict occurred. [We were TOTALLY duped into taking the wrong side…what are we supposed to do — admit it?!] It’s a unique circumstance because of the current status of it, which falls under the outlines of UN Security Council Resolution 1244. No one views Kosovo and its probable independence as a precedent for any other conflicts. [Except rational thinkers and every country with minorities eager to rip a piece off for themselves, such as Russia, India, China, most of Africa, half of Latin America, the rest of the Balkans and a whole lot of Europe.] We certainly are not trying to reopen discussions that I think most of us believe were long settled over other borders.

Watch Bill Maher be at a loss for words as he interviews former CIA agent Michael Scheuer, who wishes Israel well…on its own in the world. Maher is similarly caught off-guard by Janeane Garofolo’s attack on Israel. As he is by the supportive reaction of much of his audience (though there are some boos as well, most likely from Jews). I’ve often wondered if Maher ever notices that whenever he makes a pro-Israel joke (one that comes at the expense of Palestinain terrorists and terror sympathizers), his audience is very quiet.

This is from the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, with video.

In a recent post titled “Have You Shot a Serb Today,” I mentioned that some Albanians picking fruit from the garden of a church ruin shot at two priests who were there — but that no one was hurt and so, I assured military mouthpieces Nicki Fellenzer and Brad Staggs, they could go back to sleep. I added the word “together” to make it funnier, and linked a photo for readers who weren’t aware that the two are a couple.

Imagine my surprise to learn the next day that Fellenzer and Staggs are in fact not a couple. Through the trusty Google Alert system, the next day I found that Staggs had scribed an indignant post accusing me of committing a “personal attack” — though I honestly thought the two were married or engaged — I just wasn’t sure which. (I suppose if I’d followed either’s blog more regularly, I’d know they were not “together”, but that’s not the case.) I assumed the two were a couple because of the tone of their bios, which describe how they met and how they became a writing team — punctuated by a lovey-dovey photo. So, readers, for the record: Fellenzer-Staggs is NOT a couple. With that in mind, please feast your eyes on Drama Queen Brad’s post correcting me on this point:

Julia Gorin Gets Personal

This is the photo. This is the photo which has caused Julia Gorin to declare that Nicki and I are sleeping together. Where is her proof? Why, this photo, of course.

And where did Ms. Gorin find this photo? It is the photo we posted under the authors section at the website for our book Ashmadai. That’s right, out in the open for all to say. That must be proof that Nicki and I are sleeping together.

(For some reason, Brad thinks it’s an important point to make that he and Fellenzer are the providers of the photo in question, but this merely attests to the innocuous nature of my referring to it.)

When we originally responded to Ms. Gorin, Nicki and I were responding to falsehoods she was perpetuating about American Soldiers via an article in American Legion Magazine. I don’t care what her views on Kosovo are. I don’t care why she has those views. As a Soldier, I will fight to protect her right to have her own views if need be.

Thanks! But readers, go to the Legion article and try to find where I write something awful about “American soldiers” specifically, as opposed to the general conflict-evasion policy that KFOR soldiers as a whole are encouraged, and sometimes ordered, to practice. But apparently, “soldier” means “American soldier”, and “KFOR troops” means “American troops” — and impugning a multinational policy means impugning American soldiers. And I thought I was ethnocentric!

The original post set off a firestorm of people presenting their own views on Kosovo independence, Serbian vs. Albanian, right and wrong going back several centuries, and just about everything else they could think to say about and to each other.

Even a post I did about my trip to the beautiful Decani Monsastery was met with hatred and derision.

Awwww! What’d the poor chap expect? He scheduled the trip immediately after slamming my Legion article — that is, in the midst of the controversy, to cover his behind; it was a damage-control trip. Here was my very apt — and entertaining — post on that.

However, none of what has been said about me has bothered me. Ms. Gorin and her ilk have no power over my life in any way and I refused to be part of their back and forth sniping.

As he should have done from the beginning, given that he didn’t even know that the Kosovo “genocide” was a fraud. (See the bottom third of this blog.)

Maybe that’s why she has now decided to make unfounded accusations about Nicki and me. I have said and will continue to say that I don’t care what is said about me. I have a good life and nothing she can say about me will change that. But now she is trying to affect the life of my best friend.

That’s right, best friend. Ms. Gorin says in her latest blog post about two Priests being shot at in Kosovo “Phew! That was close. Nothing to be alarmed about, Nicki and Brad; you can go back to sleep together.” She links the word “together” to our authors page in order to show the picture, proving that we sleep together.

Let me say, for the record, that Nicki and I are NOT having an affair or sleeping together. She and I are best friends who have written a fiction book together. Not only would our sleeping together be against the Uniform Code of Military Justice, it would also betray the friendship I have with her husband and children. I babysit for them.

The personal attacks on Nicki and me are based on a single photo which her husband has seen and is on the back dustjacket of our book. It is a baseless accusation from somebody so desperate to make us look bad that she will stoop to personal attacks. Nicki’s husband and Nicki can respond, if they so wish, in their own way, but I just see this as another way that Ms. Gorin is proving that she writes only from a reactionary stand-point. She ruins her credibility by throwing out personal slams which miss their mark, which in turn hurts her “cause” more than helps it.

EXCUSE ME? What was that? Could you please repeat that?

She ruins her credibility by throwing out personal slams which miss their mark, which in turn hurts her “cause” more than helps it.

Hear ye! Hear ye! Let the record show: Brad Staggs has just announced that Julia Gorin has credibility.

This — after all this:

Ms. Gorin may be a funny lady, but her commentary is filled with wild accusations, inaccuracies, distortions and downright lies that serve only to hurt our peacekeeping mission in Kosovo and shed a negative light on the Soldiers who are carrying out said mission.

It is difficult to say where Ms. Gorin is getting her erroneous information, or whether she’s simply using her rather fertile imagination as a substitute for checking facts.

What was published by Gorin were insulting lies that do a great disservice to every Soldier who is serving here, away from home and family.

Julia Gorin is entitled to her own opinion. However, if you’re going to publish lies about Soldiers and their missions, at least have the facts to back you up. [Linguistic gems such as this are Nicki’s.]

complete fabrication

Ms. Gorin is quite the liar.

talk about a “would-be journalist.” LOL!!

attention seeker

Her article gets published with these lies and misrepresentations.

The issue is debating the outright lies published by Gorin in her article for the American Legion magazine.

this woman doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude to admit her mistakes. She doesn’t have the guts to reply to anything that is posted here or on Brad’s blog. She simply fabricates stories and claims “government conspiracy” as an explanation for her lies. Here’s your tinfoil hat, Julia. You’ve earned it.

what she’s doing is lying about our Soldiers.

Gorin’s crap in the American Legion magazine….She screwed us for her political agenda. Told lies about us, in particular, that are not true. [Another linguistic gem from Nicki.]

supporting her stance with lies about American Soldiers just destroys her credibility and paints her (accurately, I might add) as a lying sow.

Hatred and bigotry are just two of my pet peeves. [Ain’t Nicki an original!] I wouldn’t have taken her seriously anyway, just based on what I’ve read of her writing.

the accusation she randomly hurls

It’s one thing to have a contention you passionately believe is true. I’m not impugning that. It’s quite another to promote lies about those who defend your right to promote those contentions to further your political agenda. [They never did inform me what my political agenda is.]

I’m not at all worried about Gorin or the lies she spews.

Whether Ms. Gorin’s position is right or wrong is not the point. The point is she uses lies about what we are doing here to support and bolster it.

In addition to this sustained attack, Staggs-Fellenzer thought it could tattle on me to publications I write for, circulating letters like this to them.

So here we are. After accusing me of being a liar and having no credibility, Brad Staggs is concerned I could lose my credibility. Folks, we’re not exactly dealing with towering intellects here.

Say what you want about me, I don’t care. But if you’re going to talk out of your butt about Nicki and say things to hurt her family, you do nothing but make yourself look like an ignorant ass.

My ass is ignorant for thinking two people are a couple!

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the last time I’m going to dignify Julia Gorin with a response. It’s just not worth the wasted effort.

I could have sworn he promised to stop dignifying me before — like in August or something. So stop responding already, and take what you’ve got coming like a man. I’ve got at least another two years in me on this; you’ll get tired.

Meanwhile, I call readers’ attention to a letter posted by Fellenzer’s real husband. He too was positively compelled to weigh in on this oh so serious matter. (That is, on my thinking that Fellenzer was Staggs’ yenta instead of his.) So here’s Drama Queen #3:

I have seen this picture and several others similar to it. As Brad has stated he and Nicki are friends!!! I am not sure where your accusations are coming from but all it shows to me is your small mindedness and in inability to refute the facts presented by Nicki and Brad.

Here I think he’s confusing me with Nicki and Brad, who never refuted my refutation of their ignoramus press release. The daily developments in Kosovo further refute his wife’s and her other husband’s “facts” (i.e. quotes from military spokespeople). Again, we’re not dealing with towering intellects here, but at the same time let’s not assume anything; for all I know, there may be reading disabilities involved here.

Nicki had asked me to stay out of this and I should most likely should have listened, but you are attacking my family. As Nicki and Brad have both said you can attack them both personally all you want but to stoop so low as to try and destroy a family and marriage of over ten years because you have your facts wrong and refuse to admit it. That to me is just completely reprehensible!

Now I have nothing else to sat on this matter other than I do not believe they are having an affair! They are both too honorable to do that!

Wallace Fellenzer

Why would an easy mistake to make threaten to “destroy a family”?

Below the distraught Mr. Fellenzer’s letter there is also a psychoanalysis of me posted by someone who goes by the handle “Sailorcurt”. Again, keep in mind that this psychoanalysis was necessitated by the fact that I thought Brad and Nicki were a couple. The drama, the dramaaaaaaaaaaa!

Anyway, let’s hope that Fellenzer-Staggs sticks to its promise of not dignifying my sniping any further, so that I might have fewer distractions.

(For those who are interested, I just came across Fellenzer’s post on this matter. Skimming it, I’ve learned a few new words; she should have been a sailor.)

name = victim
comments = to whom it may concern julia here is a story for u during the war my family left kosova as we where walking the serb army stop a bunch of albanains lined them up and shot them in cold blood/? you serbs are no better then albanians show me one prove that the kla killed woman and children during the war ?you cant because kla never belived in killing woman and children but you keep denying that the serb army did nothing may god have mercy on ur lying soul! remmber god is one he will judge the nation your nation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Readers, am I misreading this? Did he just say that the KLA does not kill women and children? That they have some standard of what they “believe” in? If so, why do male, female, young and old witnesses at the trials of accused Albanian war criminals hide their identities and require witness protection? Because they’re not worried about their families being killed by KLA, even in its various, “legitimate” postwar “former KLA” incarnations?

Dear “Victim”,
(How perfectly does that name illustrate the Albanian mentality?!)
Being the kind of Albanian who gives Albanians a bad name, you obviously haven’t been following the trial of your KLA heroes, particularly the current trial of Ramush Haradinaj. Here is just a microscopic set of examples which happened to be under my fingernails at the moment you emailed and which show what the KLA did to Albanian women and children (not to mention Serbian ones!). If reading these doesn’t help your perspective, and it turns out that Denial really is just a river that’s as borderless as Greater Albania, then kindly refrain from wasting the time of the smarter children reading this blog at an advanced level.

First, here’s a blog from a few months ago, citing a Spiegel article:

A strange grave lies in the midst of a large meadow in the village of Crni Luk. There are no names on the four gravestones, and the inhabitants of [the] village of 3,000 react with distrust to questions about the dead. “This is where we buried the charred remains of the Krasniqi clan,” says a young Albanian man and adds immediately with a wave of his hand: “But I do not know more than that.”

Twenty-four Albanians were shot, among them 13 children, and their houses were burned down…The four Krasniqi brothers were considered “loyalists to the Serbian regime” and worked in Serbian companies; one of them was even [a] journalist for the Serbian language newspaper “Jedinstvo”.

So already just from that everyone knows Victim is an asshole. Watch him grow. This is from a blog post that I had just last week, quoting Hiding Genocide in Kosovo and mentioning an Albanian father and son who were killed, along with a Serbian teenager and others:

The UCK followed up this attack with raids on the Serb villages scattered in and around Novo Brdo. In the village of Klokubar they killed a father and son from the same family, the Simic family. Their bodies were disposed of and have never been recovered. An Albanian father and son, the Bunjakus, (Agim and Bislim) were also killed, because they had friendly relations with their Serb neighbours before the war and their crime was to have worked in the police force before 1999. An old lady from Klokubar, Dragina Stankovic, was executed and her body was later found dumped in a well. A Serb farmer from Klokubar, Stanko Stojanovic, was beaten and hanged in front of his house, after having animal faeces stuffed into his mouth. Zivojin Peric, a man from Trnicevce village, was killed and his body was found dumped in a garbage container in Gnjilane. Sava Stojkovic of Labljane village was killed in an attack on the village, and out of panic and fear the villagers buried him in his lawn and not in the cemetery. Zivkon N. of Paralovo village was found hanged in front of his house. Aleksander Jovanovic was killed in Bostane village on June 21, 1999 while keeping guard near his house, and Blagonja Stankovic of Ljestar village was axed to death. Vojislav Timotijeic of Stara Kolonija was murdered while Zoran Anjelkovic of Nova Kolonija and Sasa Tasic of Boljevce village disappeared and their bodies have never been found.

In the village of Trnicevce the UCK killed a teenage boy and dumped his body in a garbage container. Several villagers in the village of Labljane were killed and the Serb residents of Nova Kolonija were terrorised to the extent that they all fled. Their apartments were immediately distributed by the PDK (the political party established by Hashim Thaci, UCK leader and very special friend of Madeleine Albright), to local loyal members of the UCK.

More witnesses withdraw from testifying against ex-Kosovo PM in Hague trial

Two more witnesses decided not to testify at the [Ramush] Haradinaj trial citing fear for personal safety, the Hague tribunal has said.

Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte’s team on Thursday [22 February] asked the court to prevent UNMIK [UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo] chief Joachim Ruecker from meeting Haradinaj, as well as to block Haradinaj’s interview with the Associated Press.

The prosecution claimed that otherwise the Kosovo public might have been led to believe UNMIK was backing Haradinaj, at the same time displaying no willingness to protect the lives of the witnesses in the case.

However, the Tribunal rejected the prosecution’s request and Haradinaj met with UNMIK and Kosovo officials yesterday.

Son of kidnapped, murdered Serbs takes stand

Note to Victim: The “s” on the end of “murdered Serbs” means both parents were killed, and one of those would have to be a woman. (Unless he had two fathers. While that’s definitely possible in America and the rest of Europe, it’s unlikely to be the case in Kosovo, where they persecute homosexuals and most likely haven’t passed any gay marriage laws.)

In this item we have a witness whose sister was killed, another kidnapped, and his mother injured.

As a bonus, here is a typical KLA incident — not one that involves killing women or children, but just killing Albanian men married to Serbs. So I’m sure Victim wouldn’t find such standard KLA tactics reprehensible since, as far as this diaspora Albanian is concerned, the KLA is still worth defending.

Haradinaj trial: Witness testifies to abduction

The trial of Ramush Haradinaj, Idriz Balaj and Lahi Brahimaj continued with the testimony of an elderly Albanian man, who gave his evidence as Witness 8, with image and voice distortion. [What’s he scared of?!]

In his 15-minute long testimony, the witness confirmed he was from the Đakovica area and he was present on the bus from which the two Albanians — Isuf Hoxha and Hajrullah Gashi — were taken off near Mališevo.

Ramush Haradinaj and other uniformed KLA members under his command allegedly entered the bus on 20 July 1998, saying they were looking for Hoxha and Gashi, two Albanian men married to Serb women.

They took Hoxha and Gashi off the bus and drove them in the direction of Glođani in a black Golf vehicle. Their bodies were found in a canal near the Radonjić Lake later that year.

Hey, these bodies were serving the greater good! They helped get the Serbs bombed! Meanwhile, let’s make a point that doesn’t get made enough. We’re dealing with a war criminal — one who is indicted, who personally participated in crimes in addition to giving orders for crimes to be committed, and who is now intimidating witnesses. Yet this war criminal’s name is unknown to the world.

Here’s just something related: “Ramush Haradinaj has eliminated the majority of witnesses” (from KiM info newsletter, no longer available)

The majority of witnesses in the court case against Ramush Haradinaj being conducted before the Hague tribunal have changed their mind or decided not to give testimony, Radio KIM and Glas Juga have learned.

The Tribunal’s prosecutor’s office had a relevant number of witnesses at its disposal until the moment when it became clear that Ramush Haradinaj would return to Pristina and defend himself while at liberty, that is, be allowed to take part in political and public life…

A characteristic example is that of the family of Skender Kuci, who was abducted and killed by the Kosovo Liberation Army in the Pec area. [I wonder if that family had any women or children in it?] The members of his family have changed their statements and do not wish to testify. They are rejecting cooperation with the Tribunal with the explanation that Skender was killed by Serbs. [That’s definitely the safer way to go!]

Ramush Haradinaj’s defense has in the recent past visited the majority of witnesses prepared to speak against him in The Hague. It is the opinion of some attorneys close to the Tribunal that this has resulted in compromising the families of the victims, which today are no longer willing to testify.

Some of the witnesses have in the recent past died a natural death, while others, such as Tahir Zemaj, have been murdered…Kujtim Berisha died recently in a traffic accident in Podgorica. Some potential witnesses have, in the meanwhile, received large sums of money, switched sides and become members and officials of [Haradinaj’s] Alliance for the Future of Kosovo. [What a bright future that will be!]

Hasan Rrustemi, an UNMIK protected witness, was murdered at the farmer’s market in Mala Krusa near Prizren with the message that all those working against the KLA would fare similarly.

My God! With Albanians killing so many Albanians, it’s amazing there are any Albanians left to carry on the Albanian supremacy!

As I wrote last week to Albanians who are free to think differently and speak out about the thuggery and butchery faced by their fellow Albanians and all non-Albanians in Kosovo — yet still shill for the KLA: this is the worst kind of tribalism, one that has no place in the free world, and one that will damn you to Hell.

And as I wrote yesterday: for allowing all this to go unnoted — indeed, for not even knowing that the Haradinaj trial is happening, much less that witnesses are intimidated or killed — the blogosphere is one big loser.

(To qualify what I mean by “blogosphere”, I’m obviously not referring to sites that are partly or completely devoted to Balkan issues, such as 1389, SerbBlog, Serbianna, Gray Falcon and Byzantine Sacred Art. I’m referring to the “mainstream” blogosphere, especially the A- and B- List bloggers.)

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