November 2008


I recently stumbled onto the blog of a college sophomore named Caleb Posner. Between him and our new friend Natalie, there’s hope for the future. For an American to have the remotest awareness that the “Serbian genocide against Bosnians” wasn’t all it was cut out to be is exceptional, so the rest of Caleb’s analysis is just the icing on the cake. I reproduce his post in full below:

Bosnia’s Legitimacy (Or Lack Thereof)

Recently, I wrote an article about the ahistoric and doomed nation of Bosnia, which prompted quite a stir. Unsurprisingly, it compelled one reader to draft a guest editorial weakly attempting to refute my claims or second guess my underlying intentions. I could not let this go unchallenged, but I decided that getting lost in the comment section of another website probably wasn’t the best option in addressing the statements made by Edip Oncu. Thus, what follows are quotes from his article, and my response to them.

Where relevant, I have linked to sources that validate my claims. Feel free to read them if you so desire.

—————

At a time when the United States is celebrating its historical moment of having an African-American President-elect in its own challenge against its racial and religious prejudices, it is disappointing to see a biased article in an international affairs section regarding a European nation’s fate. In Caleb Posner’s column (Student Life, Nov. 5) he discusses Bosnia and Herzegovina’s nationhood or “historical validity” and proposes that the Bosnians should be denied of their independence and statehood. His claims are poorly-based and biased.

Since I write as an editorial columnist, it ought to be unsurprising that my writings do, in fact, reflect my personal opinion. Undoubtedly then, my column is biased, in the same way [as] something written by Julia Gorin or Jonah Golberg. But that does nothing to undermine the statements of fact contained within the article. And the claim made in Mr. Oncu’s opening paragraph proves invalid, as his subsequent objections are essentially groundless.

Posner attempts to negate the biggest achievement of the Clinton administration, to stop the Serbian genocide against the Bosnian people, and Richard Holbrooke, just because he thinks Bosnia is a breeding ground “for jihad and Islamism” requires serious consideration. (What is Islamism anyways? There is no political movement called Islamism in any kind of literature; did he mean radical Islamists? Or Islamic terrorists?)

Clearly, Mr. Oncu has an agenda. I say this because he speaks of the “Serbian genocide against the Bosnian” people as though it were indisputable fact, and was a one-sided slaughter where only the Serbs were guilty of inappropriate action. The truth is, while the Western media has sided overwhelmingly against Serbia, there is not a factual consensus on either of these issues. Even the most famous incident of the supposed slaughter of the Bosnians is heavily disputed. And even if we accept his claim that such a genocide occurred, no honest individual can claim that the Bosniaks were devoid of any guilt, since we know they had Jihadist militants fighting for them. They even had suicide units.

Now, to answer the parenthetical questions posed, Islamism is the ideological system of an Islamist. That is, one who seeks to modify existing law and culture to impose the values established in the Quran and Islamic law. While the potential for Islamism to become a powerful force has been there since the Turkish occupation of the Balkans centuries earlier, and has on occasion proven a problem, it manifested itself anew in a serious fashion during the war, when Al-Qaida got involved, and continues to this day (even the US recognizes this).

1. Posner writes, “Truth be told, Bosnia has no historical legitimacy.” How can any authority prove the historical legitimacy of a state? Who legitimizes a nation?

Well, a starting point we be a unified culture developed over time by a group of people who have consistently inhabited the region, and integrated the concept of nationhood into their identity. This does not, in any way, describe Bosnia. It plays host to three distinct groups. First and second are the Serbs and the Croats, both of whom have ethnic identities linked closely to neighboring states, and have a historic presence in the region. Third though are the Bosniaks. They are the Islamic individuals who identify themselves as Bosnian, chiefly because they have no other obvious group with whom to associate. It turns out though that Bosniaks are most closely linked with the Turkish (who, as noted in the above links, supplied many of the Jihadists that fought for the pseudo-nation). Indeed, the very term Bosniak is of Turkish origin. Of course, this influence only tells us so much. More important is the constantly changing status of Bosnia, which has historically been under the domain of others, usually linked to Serbia based on ethnic composition.

2.He next argues, “Bosnia is not a nation of historic validity, but a disputed buffer region.” Again, who validates if a nation is historically valid or not?

And is a nation a geographical term determined by buffer zone? Even if you use that ill-definition of buffer zone, Croatia was the buffer zone for centuries between the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg Empire. If Bosnia is artificial, so are Serbia and Croatia, since all those were created by Jozip Tito after WWII artificially.

Credit must be given to our Turkish friend Mr. Oncu for his attempts to use Serbian and Croatian legitimacy as a defense of Bosnia. Unfortunately, this does not hold up. As established previously, Serbia and Croatia both have legitimacy and historic precedent. This includes having distinct, coherent cultures of their own. The same cannot be said of Bosnia, which takes land that might otherwise belong to its neighbors, and establishes a new state for the purpose of militarily restraining two historic enemies. If Mr. Oncu wishes to draw a parallel, then the nation which Bosnia most closely resembles is the Western European state of Belgium. It too was created with the purpose of undermining the power of neighboring nations that were rising to challenge a foreign power (the UK), and is comprised of two distinct peoples who have little cause for unity.

3.Dayton Accords did not create that federal system as Posner argues; it was a system going far back to Ottoman times which was equally applied by Tito. The Bosnian lands becoming battlegrounds was the guilt of Serbian leaders, who ruthlessly and systematically applied means of genocide to claim majority in Bosnian lands. And all of those leaders went on trial for their part in genocide.

The federal system, AS IT PRESENTLY FUNCTIONS, was a product of the Dayton Accords. Nobody disputes that there were systems somewhat similar applied during previous times. But note that in none of those cases was Bosnia an independent nation free to act as it wishes. The creation of a federal Bosnian country is very much a late 20th century exercise in American political power that closely mirrors the British creation of Belgium.

As for the other claims, I have already taken issue with the general allegations of genocide on the part of the Serbs. So, rather [than] speak more to that invalid claim, I would instead note that the Bosnians have much to answer for, which our friend has conveniently forgotten about. Moreover, the bias of the ICTY, which is conducting the trials mentioned, is quite clear.

4. Posner claims that “Bosnia would be kept in check; its ability to provide a breeding ground for jihad and Islamism would be reduced by threat of invasion from neighbors.” This sentence explains Posner is against Bosnian independence just because there are Muslim people living in Bosnia. But, what kind of Islam do Bosnians practice, and are there any accounts that Bosnian people support any kind of terrorism? Any reasonable and informed person would know that Bosnian Muslims are generally tolerant and mild—it is one of the reasons they were butchered so easily by the Serbian soldiers.

It requires a special insanity to misconstrue my concerns about Islamism in Bosnia as meaning that I oppose Bosnian independence based exclusively on the population’s Islamic faith. My original article stated quite clearly that I do in fact support an Islamic state in the region following the return of parts of the country to Serbia and Croatia.

Again Mr. Oncu speaks of Islam in Bosnia, and the alleged criminal actions of the Serbs. I could once more note how the Jihadist problem in Bosnia is established fact or how it is they, not the Serbs, who owe us an explanation, even if the international community is unwilling to enforce justice.

My final question is this: Is Posner trying to justify Serbian genocide just because Bosnia has a sizeable Muslim population? What kind of an approach is it that leads to an American sophomore trying to deny a nation from its nationhood and proposing that that nation be swallowed up by its neighbors?

There is nothing to justify, though for the record, I would never endorse genocide based on a population’s religious identity. The issue here though is national validity, of which Bosnia has none. But I concede that present demographics require that an Islamic state remain in between Serbia and Croatia, even if it is the bastard child of the Ottoman empire.

Croatian president Stjepan Mesic is considered a Democrat and anti-fascist, despite his speech 11 years ago stating that Croatia won with Hitler and won again with the Allies by being allowed to sit at the victors’ table. Then it won yet again in the 90s when the West repeated Hitler’s move and recognized an independent Croatia.

Since that slip, Mesic has been more careful and has gained a reputation for being a real Democrat — to the extent that Croatians can be — for he has had to butt heads with the Ustashism of the Croatian masses, if only to fool the EU, making him unpopular with the nation of nationalists.

So here, in June (sorry to be so late), this as-good-as-it-gets-in-Croatia leader said the following:

Serbs victims of Milošević, not Croatia
25 June 2008 | 10:16 | Source: Tanjug

VIENNA — Croatian President Stjepan Mesić says that Serbs driven from Croatia during Operation Storm were victims of Slobodan Milošević’s policies, not Croatia.

“It is said that after wars, history is written by the winners. Milošević duped everyone. The world, on the one hand, when he claimed he was fighting for Yugoslavia. The Serbs on the other, by instilling in them the hope that they’d one day live in a united country. He openly called for a battle for Greater Serbia,“ Mesić told Vienna daily Standard.

Note: Even a 3.5-year trial at the Hague was unable to find any evidence of Milosevic expressing a desire or plan to create a Greater Serbia, in fact admitting that he never did. Yet this guy continues to yap unchallenged.

“The Serbs who, after the war in our country, after the Storm operation to liberate the country, fled to Serbia, are in fact victims of Milošević’s policies, not Croatia’s,” the president said in response to criticism from Republic of Srpska (RS) Prime Minister Milorad Dodik regarding Croatia’s role in the conflict.

“I don’t want to get into a debate with Dodik, but the messages he’s been sending are unacceptable. One of his messages to Serbs in Croatia was that if they were unhappy they should move to the RS. That’s a resumption of Milošević’s policies…

So encouraging Serbs who don’t want to get axed to death by their neighbors, to return to where it’s safe is advocating a “Greater Serbia.” Got it.

Mesić acknowledged that it was a problem that exiled Serbs had not returned to Croatia, adding that his country was doing everything in its power to accelerate returns.

“When our citizens, regardless of ethnicity, return to Croatia, then that will be true proof that our society is democratic,“ the Croatian president surmised.

But the Serbs’ expulsion will still be celebrated every year as a national holiday. What Serb wouldn’t want to return to such a country?!

Italian PM says truth of S. Ossetia conflict must emerge

MOSCOW, November 6 (RIA Novosti) - The international community should be told the truth about the August war between Georgia and Russia over Tbilisi’s breakaway republic of South Ossetia, the Italian premier said on Thursday.

“I would like citizens of Europe and the world to learn the real facts that led to this conflict,” Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said following Russian-Italian intergovernmental consultations.

Berlusconi, one of the few western leaders who said that Russia’s actions at that time were a response to Georgia’s aggression, said Rome’s position on the conflict in South Ossetia was solely based on facts.

“It turned out that we were able to find them [the facts] out, and I believe that this knowledge should help the international community to understand and overcome the international disinformation,” the Italian premier said.

Russian politicians have repeatedly accused Western media outlets of bias in their coverage of the five-day conflict, and many Western powers of hypocrisy.

Russian political commentators have pointed out that the Georgian attack on South Ossetia, which led to Russia’s military response was barely mentioned in mainstream Western media reports, and that Russia was portrayed as the sole aggressor in the conflict.

Reports in the Russian media have also said that CNN broadcast footage of damage in South Ossetia claiming it was Georgia. [Sound familiar? See Bosnia, Kosovo, and Croatia.]

Russia recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another Georgian breakaway republic, as independent states on August 26. Medvedev said that the move was “the only way to protect people’s lives.” Western powers called the decision unacceptable.

More inconvenient Albanian honesty:

KOSOVO COMMENTARY CRITICIZES ALBANIAN PREMIER FOR OPPOSING NATIONAL UNIFICATION
BBC Monitoring International Reports - October 9, 2008 Thursday

Text of report by Pristina-based weekly Vetevendosje website, on 6 October

[Commentary by Basri Kodra: “Prime Minister’s History”]

…While browsing the internet, I stumbled upon a news report about a statement that the prime minister had made for TV Klan. The poster of this report said that Berisha had made these comments only a few days after Serbian President Boris Tadic had spoken about the possibility of the partition of Kosovo… “Albanians do not want to unite in a single state,” he said. This is because, according to him, “the desire for unification has received a negative response in Kosovo and in Albania.” According to him, the Kosovo Albanians fought for independence, not for unification, and, as early as in 1992, their politicians demanded independence and not unification with Albania!

These words, however untrue, unjust, and inhumane, do not surprise me because I know who has uttered them, but I am surprised by another fact. What motivates the prime minister to make such statements? He appears to fear a possible unification. But, why should Sali Berisha be afraid of his unified nation? Is it possible that he does not know that his life, not only as prime minister but also as a human being, it too short compared to the eternal life of the Albanian people and its fatherland? Only in light of all this is it possible to see how deep the majority of our politicians, blinded by the luxury that power brings, have sunk. Is it possible that Sali Berisha is not aware that even a schoolboy can disprove such statements? By what criterion did Sali Berisha measure the willingness of the Albanian people to live in a single country? Have all Albanians ever been allowed to express their will in a referendum? He himself answers this question by saying that “the desire for unification has received a negative response in Kosovo as well as in Albania!” We should ask the prime minister: with the exception of the referendum of September 1991 in Kosovo, when have the Albanian citizens ever voted in a referendum on this issue?

…In order to prove what the Kosovars fought for, one has only to read the oath of the UCK [Kosovo Liberation Army] soldiers (See text below)…We have said hundreds of times and we will repeat it again: the struggle of the Albanian people outside Albania for unification began when it became necessary, that is, in 19[12]/1913 and this struggle continues to this day…

[Text of UCK oath: I pledge that, as a member of the Kosova Liberation Army, I shall fight for the liberation of all occupied Albanian territory and their unification; that I shall always be a reliable soldier, a worthy freedom fighter, cautious, courageous, disciplined and always ready to fight to defend all the interests of the fatherland, even without regard to my life. If I violate this oath, I am ready to be subjected to the harshest laws of war, and if I betray it, may by blood be forfeit.]

December 6, 1999 — Excerpts of 2000 Republican primary debate, Arizona

Moderator Judy Woodruff, of CNN:

Mr. Keyes, another Kosovo question. You have said that you thought the scale of Serb atrocities there was grossly overstated and that what the U.S. did through NATO in intervening was more dangerous than what happened inside the province itself. My question is that there is a new report just out that [comes from] a neutral organization that confirms an overwhelming, brutal Serb campaign to drive out a million Albanians from Kosovo. Do you still stand by your view that the U.S. through NATO should have stood by and done nothing?

Alan Keyes responds:

I understand the report, it confirms an intention, Ma’am. It’s not entirely clear to me we react in foreign policy to intentions. We’ve got to react to facts. And the facts as they have been established on the ground do not support all the reports that came out in the course of that war, and you and I know it. The Pentagon has said so, others have said so. We have got to be very careful to not lower the threshhold of intervention. It was the pretext of the abuse of minorities in Poland and elsewhere that Hitler used for his aggression, that other countries have used for their aggression. If we are to maintain the principle of non-aggression that has been the bedrock principle for which Americans have died, then we have got to be very careful not to set an example ourselves that allows an easy pretext to be out there in the world for would-be aggression. It’s gonna cause far more trouble than the trouble we resolve, as we are discovering, I believe, right now in Kosovo.

[Applause.]

(Notice this one is actually black. Not 50% white and 43% Arab. But the real thing.)

Car bomb in Croatia kills two journalists

ZAGREB (Reuters) – A car bomb killed two journalists in central Zagreb on Thursday in the latest of a series of violent incidents that have hit the capital this year.

President Stjepan Mesic said the blast, which killed Nacional weekly editor Ivo Pukanic, 47, and a Nacional manager, meant “terrorism has become a fact on the streets of our capital.”

Pukanic, the owner of the Nacional, which often exposed corruption and human rights abuses, earlier this year reported an assassination attempt against him.

A visibly shaken Prime Minister Ivo Sanader told a news conference: “I shall not allow Croatia to become Beirut. This is no longer merely a fight against organized crime. This is something all of us in Croatia will rise up against.”

Sanader sacked the interior and justice ministers earlier this month and announced a set of tough ‘anti-mafia’ laws as part of a bid to tackle organized crime, following a string of unsolved beatings and murders in Zagreb.

Fighting organized crime and corruption is one of the key requirements Zagreb has to meet if it wants to complete European Union accession talks next year, but analysts said the latest incident did not bode well.

“Unfortunately, this means that the state has lost this round of crackdown on crime. This is big blow to Croatia’s political system, it shows the system’s inefficiency in fighting crime,” said Davor Butkovic, an editor of wide-selling Jutarnji List daily.

Earlier this year Pukanic told the police an assailant had fired a gun at him from close range while he was walking in the street, missing him by inches. A police investigation has proved inconclusive and police revoked his protection two months ago.

Earlier this month, the daughter of a well-known lawyer was shot twice in the head in the stairway of the building where she lived, not far from the Zagreb police headquarters.

Also this year, a prominent crime reporter was beaten up on the street, a member of the Zagreb city administration was beaten up with baseball bats and the chief executive of a major construction firm was assaulted with iron bars in September.

Local media have urged a tough crackdown on organized crime, calling for a large-scale police action similar to a crackdown that neighboring Serbia launched against criminal gangs after its Prime Minister, Zoran Djindjic, was assassinated in 2003.

Related: Nazis Just Can’t Help but to Keep Repeating History:

Croatia starts oil exploration in Iran

TEHRAN, June 23 (Xinhua) — The Croatian state-owned INA oil and gas company has begun exploration activities in an oil block in northwestern Iran, Iran’s English-language Press TV reported on Monday.

“The Croatian firm started work in the Moghan-2 Block on June 21,” Hossein Roshandel, director for exploration affairs of Iran’s National Iranian Oil Company was quoted as saying.

The Croatian company signed a deal with NIOC on April 9 to carry out exploration in the 3,230-square kilometer area, Roshandel said, adding that the 142-million-dollar project aims to discover new hydrocarbon reserves in the block located in the Caspian region near Iran’s border with Azerbaijan.

The company which must drill an exploration well and appraise the seismological data of the block within a span of four to five years, will be in charge of exploration and development activities in the block for a 25-year period in case of a commercial discovery, he said.

In the 1960s, four exploration wells were drilled in the area, two of which contained significant amounts of oil.

INA currently conducts exploration and drilling projects in Croatia, Angola, Egypt and Syria.

Austria and Switzerland, too, of course. Rather than isolate the next Holocauster, the world invests in it, as it did last time. As Knesset Member Ephraim Sneh told the Swiss and Austrians, these are high-risk investments, and will go up in flames soon enough.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Montenegrin Arrested in Kosovo for Wearing a Montenegrin Hat

Slobodan Vujičić was arrested on Saturday night in the Gebo nightclub, when security asked him to remove a Montenegrin cap he was wearing.

After he refused, he was received threats and the police arrived, taking him downtown, Vujičić told Podgorica’s Republika daily.

He was also wearing a t-shirt reading, “Independent Montenegro, wild beauty”, and had a Montenegrin flag in his bag.

Vujičić sees none of this as “provocation”, because, in his words, he has the right to display the national symbols.

Ethnic Albanian policemen with the Kosovo police asked him “what he wanted”, and “whether he supported Ramush Haradinaj or Hashim Thaci”, also telling him, “recognize [Kosovo], and we’ll recognize you and your constitution”.

After this, Vujičić said, other policemen apologized, and begged him not to file a complaint against them.

Vujičić, who is the leader of the recently founded Association of Kosovo’s Montenegrins says he feels indignation over the events in “the multi-ethnic town of Priština”.

He will now go ahead and file a complaint against the Kosovo police and the night club for “damaging of reputation and causing ethnic and religious intolerance”, Beta news agency says.

At least there were policemen who apologized and begged him to not file the complaint. The gentler side of Kosovo officialdom…until the deal is sealed, of course.

Has anyone else noticed that the press-hungry Clintons haven’t made any public statements of elation over the Obama victory? (Unless I missed it, so please tell me if I have.) While Hillary was among the first to call Obama and offer her congratulations, neither Clinton made any statements to the press over the sweeping Democratic victory. I’m on her email list (by necessity because of my humor book), and it wasn’t until two days after the election that I got anything in my inbox about the victory, such as “We did it” or “Thank you for supporting the Democratic ticket.” Generally, email reactions from Camp Clinton happen within minutes of a debate, victory, or other election-related event. Even in this Nov. 3rd video Hillary and Bill did to get out the vote, they once again didn’t say the word “Obama” even once.

Their secret desire for a McCain victory so that Hillary could finally become the first female president in 2012 is touched on here and here.

“The United States will eventually fly the Communist red flag … The American people will hoist it themselves.” — Nikita Khrushchev, July 19, 1962

“I can prophecy that your grandchildren in America will live under socialism…Our firm conviction is that sooner or later Capitalism will give way to Socialism. Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you.” — Nikita Khrushchev, July 1957

True story: Overheard in the ‘hood — A dean at a Washington Heights high school tells a girl to get to class. She replies, “Obama says I don’t have to.”

Upon hearing that Barack Obama won the American election, hundreds of would-be undocumented workers approaching the U.S. border turned around and headed back to Mexico. Indeed, Obama’s plans to bankrupt the country are secretly his solution to unchecked immigration.

True story: Some bulls, goats and a chicken were slaughtered today in the Kenyan relatives’ celebration of the Obama victory. One sacrificial goat, a gift from a London Times reporter, was named John.

A Yahoo! headline today read, “Obama Faces Daunting Challenges.” It is indeed a daunting task to dismantle a country’s entire security and intelligence apparatus.

Another Yahoo! headline read, “First Truly Global U.S. President.” As Susan Sarandon told her kids on 9/11, we’ve just joined the rest of the world.

Now that Americans are citizens of the world and not just America, what with our first truly global president, does this mean that when Janeane Garofolo shows up on Bill Maher’s show wearing a tank top, we can stone her afterwards?

Obama’s white grandmother died a day before she could give her racist grandson the satisfaction of seeing him elected president.

Stunned by their overwhelming victory, bewildered Democrats could be heard reflecting, “Wow, we could have totally skipped the voter fraud this year.”

From a teacher at a Washington Heights high school: “The celebrating today has been out of control. Kids are certain that now there will be no testing, there will be legalized pot, and relaxed drug laws as far as punishment is concerned, and much much more. The dregs of society are partying today. And the 14-year-old girls of Washington Heights will be celebrating Obama’s victory by getting pregnant.”

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