August 31st 2009 02:00:43 AM
Stripped of any standards, expectations or hopes I may have had at least for the conservative side of our intelligentsia — by virtue of their being too lazy to learn the truth about the Balkans — several years ago I transferred those expectations and hopes to the next generation of thinkers, namely college students.
Since the grownups in no single field — not the journalists, the politicians, the literary world, the military, the artists, the memorialists, or the filmmakers — have made any room to accommodate the truth about the former Yugoslavia, I hoped that perhaps academia could be the one area wide enough for some truth to trickle in, if only incidentally.
My hopes were not in vain, as Caleb Posner, a student at Washington University in St. Louis whom I’ve cited before, repeatedly proves. Though the credit is no doubt all his rather than some professor’s or curriculum’s. He was about to score a major coup by having the piece below published in the student paper, which would have exposed the topic to a mainstream audience. But as cosmically happens with almost all impending Balkans-related revelations, he was foiled at the last minute, and so far the piece has not run.
I reproduce it below, with the added note that it is the most succinctly stated yet thorough piece I’ve ever read on the subject not only of Srebrenica but of the overall picture of the prevailing mindset, which is farcical. The next time you run into someone who doesn’t have time for the truth about the former Yugoslavia, this article is all you need to show them:
Srebrenica: More Myth than Massacre
As the saying goes, history is written by the winners. And when it comes to the former Yugoslav peoples, that can readily be described as everybody but the Serbs. So it is unsurprising then that they have been vilified throughout the West, labeled as war criminals and butchers whose unmitigated xenophobia caused the collapse of a great multi-ethnic state and the bloodiest set of wars Europe had witnessed in a half century. Yet much as Joe Biden and other Serbophobic politicians who called for the repeated bombing of Serbia during the Wars of Yugoslav Secession might believe that summary to be accurate, the facts simply do not lend themselves to such a conclusion. This may be no better demonstrated than by looking at Srebrenica, which has long been Exhibit A in the court of world opinion in the case against the Serbs.
Officially, the story goes that around 8000 innocent Bosnian Muslims were, without any provocation, slaughtered indiscriminately by genocidal Serbs with revanchist aims, who were unmoved by the civilian status of their victims, or that the area they attacked was to be a safe haven managed by the unbiased and above reproach United Nations. As far as making a case for the bloody violence the Western allies would unleash on the Serbs, that did the job rather well, as it played to the sympathies of the emotionally-driven masses. Of course, with respect to capturing the truth, the governmental line is rather inadequate.
So what exactly is the truth? Alexander Dorin, a Swiss researcher who just recently sent his book “Srebrenica – The History of Salon Racism” to print in German (Serb and English translations are planned in the future) said in an interview that, “After 14 years of investigating events that took place in Srebrenica in 1995 I can attest there was no genocide over Muslims in that enclave — the myth about the massacre of Muslims was invented by the late Bosnian Muslim war leader Alija Izetbegović and then-U.S. president Bill Clinton.” Questionable as that allegation may sound to many, it is important to recall that the United States actively armed Izetbegović and his ragtag jihadist army during the war…and sought actively to create a Bosniak state where one had not traditionally existed (for the land falls within the bounds of historic Serbia). Much of this, especially the sale of arms, was documented heavily even by the liberal American media at the time. And indeed, once the other factual inaccuracies become apparent, it seems quite evident that there was not a Srebrenica massacre, but rather a military engagement that, like many US operations, involved some inadvertant civilian casualties, that has been mythologized to give political cover to the warmongers that led us into battle on intelligence information more questionable than any ever utilized by the Bush administration.
For instance, the real number of dead bodies uncovered was closer to 2000. Some 3000 names of alleged victims were alive enough to vote in the 1996 elections. And many other dead bodies were found to be from previous gun battles or from non-violent ends more than a decade before the event in question. Still unaddressed though is guilt. Among the 2000 dead discovered were a very large number of soldiers who, under the leadership of jihadist Naser Orić killed some 3000 Serbian civilians beforehand. That raises perhaps the most important point: Srebrenica was not a purposeful slaughter of innocent civilians, but an effort by Serb forces to save the lives of their countrymen from an enemy army that had already spilled ample blood, and which was cowardly seeking refuge in protected civilian areas that were supposed to be unarmed, and therefore demilitarized. That there is no record of any military orders relating to civilians, or even mandating the execution of enemy soldiers is telling, in that it makes evident the aim was not to inflict unnecessary brutality, but to take control of the area such that the nearby Serb civilians they were charged with defending could go about their business unmolested instead of living with a paralyzing fear that the destruction of their village was imminent. Indeed, the size and weaponry of the Serb forces present would’ve proven insufficient for anything more grand. The physical evidence confirms as much, for of the dead [Muslim] soldiers discovered, a good number of them died not from execution, but from untreated wounds that came about during the two-sided military engagement.
All things considered then, we must realize that Srebrenica’s infamy is deserved not because it was home to an act of genocide in post-Holocaust Europe, but because the events that unfolded there amidst a highly misunderstood war have been so grossly distorted that the popular myth has overpowered reality, and in turn has given the Serbs a reputation for neanderthalic brutality and bigotry that is entirely undeserved. Even today, with the violence having long come to an end, the Serbs remain villainized and subject to undue scrutiny because of this and other associated lies. It is therefore important that the record be set straight and that the Serbs cease to be made a pariah simply because they were on the losing side of a war our country made much worse.
August 26th 2009 07:47:57 PM
Yesterday, God lost his battle to keep Ted Kennedy away from him. Mary Jo Kopechne has been waiting a long time for this reunion with her killer.
While God is deciding what to do with this latest drop-off — recycle it or throw it in the landfill — this defecit to humanity will be going through purgatory at the bottom of Poucha Pond. Which, apparently, was only seven feet deep. And yet he couldn’t “risk” his Kennedy-minted life to get the girl out.
As news reports profiling his life and career gush on, most of them mention the Chappaquiddick incident and then quickly move on to all the good that he did, in a manner suggesting that such an event might have derailed someone else, but it didn’t derail this crusader. Indeed, to be derailed by such a thing would have required character.
As one article was quick to move on: “[H]e worked to protect civil rights, give federal help to the poor, contain the spread of nuclear weapons, raise the minimum wage, expand health coverage and improve America’s schools.”
That’s exactly what I would do if I killed someone.
Indeed, it’s very much the Bill Clinton approach: after raping an unknown number of women (at least two that we know of, and probably Hillary, according to Ed Klein’s book), he became an advocate for the poor, the fat, the AIDS-infected, and the weather. Such things always help a person to not look back. Conspicuously, Clinton never set up any rape crisis centers or other violence-against-women outfits — or anything at all related to his crimes. Just as Ted Kennedy never joined Mothers Against Drunk Drivers.
August 25th 2009 08:08:56 PM
Underrated heroine Rachel Ehrenfeld reports that libel tourrorist Khalid bin Mahfouz died on Saturday at the age of 60. Every one of the 40 American writers (and their publishers) that he sued surrendered to him, save for Rachel — in what should have been the story of the new century in 2007-08.
Meanwhile, the craven, not-so-Great Britain bowed before his gold. And, as we learn from Ehrenfeld, the traitorous piece of shit called James Baker did as well, indirectly abetting terrorism and blighting the Reagan and Bush administrations forever:
Death of a Libel Tourist
Saudi billionaire Khalid bin Mahfouz died in Jeddah last Saturday. The 60-year-old former owner of the Saudi National Commercial Bank and banker for the Royal family also owned a charity, the Muwafaq (blessed relief) Foundation that funded al-Qaeda and Hamas, to name but a few. He should be remembered not only because of his involvement with the shady Bank for Commerce and Credit International (BCCI) aka “banks for crooks and criminals” and the illegal purchase of the First American Bank in Washington, DC, in the early 1990s, but mostly because inadvertently he led Americans to better protect their free speech rights.
Using British libel laws that allow foreigners to sue other foreigners in British courts, a practice known as libel tourism, Mahfouz became a serial suer. The gay and drug-addicted Saudi , sometimes together with his sons, sued more than 40 writers and publishers — mostly Americans — because he did not like their criticism. Singlehandedly, on behalf of his royal masters Mahfouz made libel tourism a multimillion-dollar industry for the British Bar, and London the “Libel Capital” of the world.
Many will miss him. In Riyadh, the billionaire will be missed by the ruling members of the royal family who once used his National Commercial Bank as their own piggy bank, and often used him and his family members as fronts for their business and to fund their favorite organizations and terrorist groups. Likewise, those shady characters who run the Saudi-funded Muslim World League, the International Islamic Relief Agency, and the Rabita Trust of Pakistan will miss him.
Georgetown alum (1968) Prince Turki bin Faisal, former Saudi ambassador to the U.K. and the U.S. and director of Saudi Arabia’s General Intelligence Department from 1977 until ten days before 9/11, and overseer of Saudi financial aid to the jihad in Afghanistan, will have lost an old friend.
Mahfouz will certainly be missed by a circle of notorious Saudi plutocrats who make an appearance in the annual Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest citizens. Like Mahfouz, many [were] listed defendants in the lawsuits filed by the victims of the 9/11 attacks. There are the Rajis, the Bin Ladens, Al Amoudi, and such other disreputable individuals as designated terrorist Yassin al Qadi, who ran some of Mahfouz’s businesses and charities that funded al-Qaeda, Hamas and Abu-Sayyaf, to name but a few.
Al Qaeda, Hamas and Taliban leaders must be worried; will his sons be as generous as he was?
It is supposed that Mahfouz retained a powerful friend in Washington in James A. Baker, III. Baker, who served as chief of staff to Ronald Reagan and Secretary of State under George H. W. Bush, joined Mahfouz during the roaring seventies when Houston was known as Riyadh-west. They worked together through the heady days and even through the bankruptcy of the second-largest banking organization in Texas, MCorp, in the late nineteen eighties. During the dark days of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), Mahfouz could count on Baker, his man in the White House, as well as other Washington friends to keep him out of jail, no matter how persistent the pressure applied by New York District Attorney Robert Morganthau.
Obviously, the ruling family of Abu Dhabi will be thinking different thoughts as they recall the $596 million they paid for the privilege of purchasing Mahfouz’s shares in BCCI, as they were then left holding the bag as the bank went under.
Irish politicians, particularly disgraced former prime minister Charles Haughey, will recall those wondrous days in 1990 when he received $85,000 from Mahfouz so that Mahfouz and nine members of his family would pay $1 million each to obtain an Irish passport — thus allowing easy commercial entree to the European market.
On the West Coast, Boeing directors must recall with fondness the 5% they paid Mahfouz, the fixer, to win perhaps their largest contract ever. And the middlemen in Saudi Arabia who also benefited from their involvement with Mahfouz in clinching the deal must be reminiscing.
As for Osama bin Laden, wherever he is, the al Qaeda leader probably remembers with some affection the days spent with his brother, Salem bin Laden, and Mahfouz at their jointly-held River Oaks estate in Houston, TX. With Mahfouz gone, Osama’s “golden chain” of wealthy Saudi funders has been reduced by a link.
The international law firm, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, must be sad to have lost this wealthy and most litigious client. Likewise, the English Bar must be rather upset, especially those lawyers who represented Mahfouz.
Justice David Eady will surely miss Mahfouz. The cases he brought before Eady and Eady’s judgments made both (in)famous for making libel tourism a weapon to silence critics of Saudi Arabia the world over. Even the U.N. human rights commission warned Britain last year that its libel tourism industry has become a tool to suppress the media’s free speech rights and that it endangered national security.
The serial libel tourist Khalid bin Mahfouz is dead. But the jihad against the West he helped fund, together with pernicious British libel tourism practices, are alive and well. Unfortunately, the U.S. government did nothing to stop his activities on either front when he was alive. Now Congress has the opportunity to reverse Mahfouz’s legacy of libel tourism. New York State, Florida and Illinois have already passed anti- libel tourism laws, and another was just passed unanimously by the California legislature.
A law to protect Americans free speech is a legacy Mahfouz never intended. He was so successful in his efforts to stifle reports about him that amazingly the Western media refrained from reporting his death. However, his libel tourism led to the Free Speech Protection Act 2009, now pending in the Senate. It should pass the bill as soon as it reconvenes so that U.S. based investigative journalists, researchers and publishers no longer fear foreign libel lawsuit, but resume to expose the likes of Mahfouz before they do us more harm.
August 25th 2009 06:45:58 PM
My friend Alicia Colon, former columnist for New York Sun, has launched a website that will attempt to do the seemingly impossible: reform New York — by kicking the bad people out of government.
Infuriated by a clip of Sen. Chuck Schumer saying that American people don’t care about “itty bitty pork amendments,” she checked when he would be up for reelction — and found that more than just this fixture’s term is up: both New York senators, Governor Paterson, Rep. Charles Rangel, half of the City Council, and half of the state assembly.
Realizing what an opportunity this presents, Alicia started the website ChangeNYin2010.com, which will give voters the facts about who these corrupt politicians are and offer links to their opponents.
As she wrote:
We can vote them out if we can generate enough tea party people. Voter turnout is always low in non-presidential races so even though it sounds like a pipe dream, I’m tired of doing nothing. I’ve recruited a few people who will send me info to put on the site. If you have contacts in upstate NY, that would be nice.
So she’s looking for people who know people anywhere and everywhere in New York State, to get them involved in spreading the word about this effort — and to let them know that ousting the corrupt freaks who run the state is doable. A flyer reads:
DON’T LEAVE NEW YORK
FIGHT TO CHANGE IT
YOU HAVE THE POWER TO DO IT
AND IT WON’T COST YOU A CENT
CHANGENYIN2010.COM WILL SHOW YOU THE WAY
DON’T JUST COMPLAIN ABOUT HIGH TAXES — YOU CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT THEM
TAKE BACK NEW YORK FROM CORRUPT POLITICIANS WHO ONLY CARE ABOUT STAYING IN OFFICE-NOT ABOUT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
“When the people fear their government there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” — Thomas Jefferson
Her mission statement:
The American people have forgotten that the Constitution of the United States empowers the people to control their government. Whatever crisis we are presently in, the solution is staring at us in the mirror.
For too long, we have been complacent about what happens in Congress and the White House. There is no excuse for allowing the corruption in our state houses and Washington, D.C. to continue when all we have to do is pay attention.
The mainstream media has abdicated its responsibility to provide the truth about political campaigns objectively and has elected instead to promote the agenda of one party.
ChangeNYin2010.com will fill that information void. We will provide voters with videos and quotes from incumbent politicians to demonstrate how they have lost touch with their constituents. We will provide links to the sites of their opponents so that the voter can make an informed choice come Election Day. We will also be conducting interviews of new candidates and asking them questions on issues that concern the voters now.
2010 is the year that nearly all the New York politicians are up for re-election. We can change the office of the Governor. We can elect new senators and congressional representatives; we can change the majority in the state Assembly and Senate. We can also change the City Council. These are the offices that have control of our lives and all it takes for us to wrest control from them is the vote.
We here at Changenyin2010.com urge American citizens to register to vote. Do not wait until the last minute so that you will not be disenfranchised.
Change was the big theme of the 2008 campaign but the only thing that has resulted is that Americans have been left out of the process. We must always remember these words of Abraham Lincoln:
…. that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
August 24th 2009 02:23:49 PM
An appeal from filmmaker Ninoslav Randjelovic, geared especially to those who have church contacts and/or other organizational affiliations:
As an independent filmmaker, for the last 12 years I have been producing documentary films regarding endangered Christian heritage and human rights violation in Kosovo and Metohija. Several DVD editions of my documentary films have been issued in the USA and Europe. The most recent video publication, “Three Kosovo Films for the U.N.”, was printed in NYC this March (in NTSC video format). Serbian Orthodox Church has recently issued another edition in Belgrade (in PAL video format). More information about this exclusive video document — which details the willful destruction of the heritage of Western civilizations, and the endangered Christian (Orthodox) churches in Kosovo and Metohija — is available on the web site: www.daysmadeoffear.com
In April, 192 Missions of the U.N., and relevant political and cultural institutions received copies of the video, with a request to support public broadcast of this document. So far, this proposal has received recommendations from 124 U.N. Missions as well as from 57 academic and political institutions worldwide.
In an effort to enhance the distribution of this document, I am asking you to consider purchasing a package of 25-50 copies of this new publication for a price of $10 per copy.
Your support will help me cover the cost of the production of this publication, as well as to produce new translations of the films presented on this publication — in German, Italian, Portuguese and Greek language.
Thanking you in advance, for your consideration and any support you can provide.
Some background about these video project(s) and Nino’s struggles with them:
The general idea is to present this publication as exclusive documentary evidence about the unresolved issues regarding the Kosovo crisis — persisting security problems and enduring threats to the Orthodox Christian cultural heritage of Serbia — with the goal of reaching a wide European audience within the next few months.
The Church will receive 600 copies and distribute them further and the rest of the copies will be sent to various political and cultural institutions and media outlets in Europe.
Since I haven’t managed to raise enough funds to cover the expenses of the publication printed in NY (Three Kosovo films for the UN), I still owe to the studio in Belgrade the sum of 7,000 euros ($10,000) and also have 800 dvd discs of that edition in the boxes in my apartment in New York. The discs should have been purchased (for the agreed price of $10 per disc) by the ministry of foreign affairs of the Government of Serbia and sent to the diplomatic offices in the USA and Canada. This would have helped me come out of this project almost without any more debts regarding the production costs. Unfortunately, it is not the case.
My hope is that this present publication issued by the Serbian Church and prospective support of various Orthodox Churches in the world might generate some further interest in this document and therefore could help distribution of the discs I have in the States, at least among Christian audience.
I will be in NY in September and hopefully, will meet with the representatives of the Orthodox Church of America as well as with the representatives of some other Christian organizations in America regarding their possible support in further media presentations of these films in the USA.
I also hope that the prospective broadcast of these films on television in Europe might generate some further (and more substantial) interest in the issue of endangered christian heritage in Kosovo.
At my recent meetings with the representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church I have suggested that new new video material should also be produced that would document the actual situation of the endangered Christian churches and monasteries in Kosovo and Metohija that have not been visited or recorded so far.
If everything works well, I hope to be able to travel to Kosovo and Metohija after I return to Serbia from the States, to immediately start producing this new video footage.
I hope that some of that new footage can be produced as soon as possible so that it could be presented to the world’s audience during the media campaign of my Kosovo films in Europe which will start at the end of October.
August 23rd 2009 12:43:27 PM
Investors Business Daily published an excellent piece on Friday by a fellow Russian immigrant. I’ve highlighted the killer lines:
The Perspective Of A Russian Immigrant
By SVETLANA KUNIN
In the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, I was taught to believe individual pursuits are selfish and sacrificing for the collective good is noble.
In kindergarten we sang songs about Lenin, the leader of the Socialist Revolution. In school we learned about the beautiful socialist system, where everybody is equal and everything is fair; about ugly capitalism, where people are exploited and treat each other like wolves in the wilderness.
Life in the USSR modeled the socialist ideal. God-based religion was suppressed and replaced with cultlike adoration for political figures.
The government-assigned salary of the proletariat (blue-collar worker) was 30%-50% higher then [sic] any professional[’s]. Without incentive to improve their life, professionals drank themselves to oblivion. They — engineers, lawyers, doctors, teachers — earned a government-determined salary that barely covered the necessities, mainly food.
Raising children was a hardship. It took four to six adults (parents and grandparents) to support a child. The usual size of the postwar family was one or two children. Every woman had the right to have an abortion and most of them did, often without anesthesia.
There is a comparative historical reality that plays out the consequences of two competing ideologies: life in the USSR and in America. When the march to the worker’s paradise — the Socialist Revolution — began in 1917, many people emigrated from Russia to the U.S.
In the USSR, economic equality was achieved by redistributing wealth, ensuring that everyone remained poor, with the exception of those doing the redistributing. Only the ruling class of communist leaders had access to special stores, medicine and accommodations that could compare to those in the West.
The rest of the citizenry had to deal with permanent shortages of food and other necessities, and had access to free but inferior, unsanitary and low-tech medical care. The egalitarian utopia of equality, achieved by the sacrifice of individual self-interest for the collective good, led to corruption, black markets, anger and envy.
Government-controlled health care destroyed human dignity. [my link]
Chairman Nikita Khrushchev released facts about Stalin and his purges. People learned of the horrific purge of more than 20 million citizens, murdered as enemies of the state.
Those who left Russia found a different set of values in America: freedom of religion, speech, individual pursuits, the right to private property and free enterprise. The majority of those immigrants achieved a better life for themselves and their children in this capitalist land.
These opportunities let the average immigrant live a better life than many elites in the Soviet Communist Party. The freedom to pursue personal self-interest led to prosperity. Prosperity generated charity, benefiting the collective good.
The descendants of those immigrants are now supporting policies that move America away from the values that gave so many immigrants the chance of a better life. Policies such as nationalized medicine, high tax rates and government intrusion into free enterprise are being sold to us under the socialistic motto of collective salvation.
Socialism has bankrupted and failed every society, while capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty than any other system.
There is no perfect society. There are no perfect people. Critics say that greed is the driving force of capitalism. My answer is that envy is the driving force of socialism. Change to socialism is not an improvement on the imperfections of the current system.
The slogans of “fairness and equality” sound better than the slogans of capitalism. But unlike at the beginning of the 20th century, when these slogans and ideas were yet to be tested, we have accumulated history and reality.
Today we can define the better system not by slogans, but by looking at the accumulated facts. We can compare which ideology leads to the most oppression and which brings the most opportunity.
When I came to America in 1980 and experienced life in this country, I thought it was fortunate that those living in the USSR did not know how unfortunate they were.
Now in 2009, I realize how unfortunate it is that many Americans do not understand how fortunate they are. They vote to give government more and more power without understanding the consequences.
Svetlana Kunin, Stamford, Conn.
Editor’s note: Mrs. Kunin, an IBD subscriber, is a retired software developer. In the Soviet Union, she was a civil engineer.
August 19th 2009 03:20:15 PM
Reader Nancy recently got back from taking her grandson to Disney World:
…We only saw a few (2 in 4 days) costumed characters out and about because it was too hot for them to
stand around and suffer heat stroke.
[We also saw] two Moslem women (one in maybe her twenties and one in maybe her fifties — who can really tell??).
Anyway, they were walking around in the Magic Kingdom in the 94 degree heat, covered up with long DARK colored dress/coat garments with long sleeves, long pants under that and a dark head coverings tight and restricting. WOW!
Here is where the interesting parts comes in: the women had a man and two pre-teen boys with them in shorts, sneakers, light colored tee shirts and ball caps. They were dressed weather appropriate. There was a little girl about 6 or 7 dressed like a Western European Disney-world idea of a “princess” with a rhinestone crown, in pink sheer fabric with fluffy skirt, poofs, lace and ruffles with sequins. A real eyecatcher!! WOW!! What a contrast in styles and attitude.
The thing that was the most noticeable to me was the stuffed animal carried by the little “princess”. Why, it was PLUTO the DOG!!!!! A dirty animal by koran standards. LOL!!
Grown women dressed to suffer in the heat and a little girl carrying the FORBIDDEN DOG…. might as well been PIGLET from Winnie the Pooh!! LOL!!
There were a few other moslem women and their owners here and there but not too many. At the Typhon Lagoon there was one muslim gal dressed with the long black dress with pants and a black headscarf sitting in the sand and the SUN by a very cool wading lagoon… while her man and two sons waded and splashed around and the old man very obviously, eyed the bikini-clad young gals walking by. And there were MANY.
I watched all this from my low beach chair placed in the water at the side of the wading lagoon, it was a lovely garden spot, by the way.
FORTUNATELY for the “beached” moslem woman staked out in the SUN, it started to get cloudy and thunder, then rain came on quickly. So she could ESCAPE and could get off the “beach”, out of the SUN and 94 degree heat…Me and mine, and the other sane folks made for the cover of the wooden shelters. The muslims just walked off in the heavy, heavy rain, lightning and thunder claps. Guess they did NOT want to be cheek to jowl with all of us “dirty kiffers”crowded under the shelter for safety.
August 18th 2009 02:27:23 PM
From blogger Sultan Knish:
When it comes to Muslims, Europe, Israel, America and every country infected with the Islamist plague retains only one real option, to deport them or to surrender to them. Europe has chosen to surrender. Israel has chosen to partition itself, thereby only dragging out the pain. America has chosen to pretend the problem doesn’t apply to it. And by doing so, all of them are paving the way for their own destruction.
That quote comes from an article that the blogger wrote for the Assyrian International News Agency, and it also includes the following two paragraphs:
…Muslim areas will expand as black holes of crime, governed by no police but Muslim police. There, bombs will be built, rabid sermons delivered, stolen cars dropped off at chop shops and drugs smuggled through for distribution outside its borders. Murders, gang rapes, and every sort of crime will happen there without knowledge or recourse. These black holes will also pour forth a constant outcry of racism. And every now and then when the mood strikes them, the “youth” will pour forth to burn and loot.
In time the cries of racism and the riots will give way to calls for an autonomous territory, a state within a state. And the politicians will nod their heads and say, “Yes, this is the best solution to the problem. It isn’t as if we control the territory as it is.”
…And then Europe will have its own Palestinian states in Paris and Oslo, in Manchester and Brussels. States that will soon become countries in waiting, from which rockets will shell, suicide bombers will go forth, and the blood will flow, until enough compromises are made to Sharia law and to Muslim rule, that Europe will finally become Eurabia.
August 09th 2009 02:25:49 PM
Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) has introduced a Bill to award the Congressional Medal of Honor to Arthur Jibilian for risking his life to rescue downed U.S. airmen in German-occupied Serbia in 1944.
As usual, only the local TV station WTOL in Ohio has carried this story of national and international proportion.
However, about a week ago there was a huge breakthrough when the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran the most extensive bit of history to ever see mainstream print on this subject. I reproduce it in full, since the revelations are stunning, including that Winston Churchill himself said that his biggest mistake in WWII was the way he handled Yugoslavia. We also learn from this article just how much of an “ally” England was to us. And we are introduced to the role here of the Tuskegee Airmen, “the pioneering squadron of black fighter pilots” without whose assistance the rescue would not have been possible. Finally, we learn of an Arab-American colonel named Lynn Farish, thanks to whose insistence on American-run radio operations in Yugoslavia we found out what the Serbs were trying to tell us but the Brits were obstructing: American pilots were alive in enemy territory.
Trying to right a wrong
WWII airmen honored for role in rescue operation
Friday, July 31, 2009
By Jack Kelly, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
OSHKOSH, Wis. — Art Jibilian hoped his presence here at the largest private air show in the world would, in a small way, help right a terrible wrong that had been done so long ago.
Mr. Jibilian, of Fremont Ohio, and surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen, the pioneering squadron of black fighter pilots, were honored here yesterday at AirVenture 2009 for their roles in Operation Halyard, the greatest rescue of downed American airmen in World War II.
Two former Western Pennsylvania men also played prominent roles in planning and executing that 1944 mission in the former Yugoslavia.
Mr. Jibilian recounted that rescue yesterday to members of the Experimental Aviation Association at the suggestion of Brian McMahon, a Toledo real estate developer and EAA member. He also presented a plaque honoring the black airmen who flew cover while C-47 transport planes landed and took off from a runway hacked out of a mountain by hand.
“This means so much, not for me but for General Mihailovich,” Mr. Jibilian said yesterday, referring to the guerilla leader whose involvement in the rescue was largely suppressed until recent years.
Mr. McMahon said he was fascinated to learn about the former Toledo man’s prominent role in Operation Halyard after picking up a copy of “The Forgotten 500,” a 2007 book by Gregory A. Freeman about the mission.
Mr. McMahon previously arranged for the University of Toledo, from which Mr. Jibilian was graduated in 1951, to honor him. His next target is Hollywood.
“This story would make a heck of a movie,” Mr. McMahon said.
Between Aug. 9 and Dec. 27, 1944, rescuers spirited 512 airmen, most of them Americans, out of the former Yugoslavia under the noses of the Nazis. To accomplish the daring mission, members of the Office of Strategic Services — the forerunner to the CIA — had to fight not just the Germans, but the British, who tried to sabotage their efforts.
Many of the American fliers had been shot down while striking at oilfields in Ploesti, Romania, the principal source of oil for the Nazi war machine.
As the radio operator on the OSS team, Mr. Jibilian, then 21, was crucial to the success of the mission. Even more critical was the involvement of former Western Pennsylvanians George Vujnovich and the late George Musulin.
An Ambridge native who later became an executive with Pan American World Airways, Mr. Vujnovich ran OSS covert operations in Yugoslavia from the 15th Air Force base in Bari, Italy during the war. Mr. Vujnovich wanted to lead the rescue mission himself, but was forbidden to do so.
So he turned to Mr. Musulin, a giant of a man who played tackle for Pitt’s Rose Bowl team in 1936 and later played for the Pittsburgh Steelers before joining the OSS from the Office of Naval Intelligence. After the war, the native of Franklin, Cambria County, joined the CIA, from which he retired in 1974. He died in 1987.
The biggest hero of Operation Halyard, however, was Gen. Draza Mihailovich, the leader of Chetnik guerrillas in Yugoslavia. It was mostly Gen. Mihailovich’s men who assisted American fliers who parachuted from crippled airplanes, and fed and hid them from the Nazis at great risk to themselves. They also helped the fliers and OSS men construct a makeshift runway near Gen. Mihailovich’s headquarters in Pranjane from which they were airlifted to Italy.
But it was Allied policy to deny Gen. Mihailovich and his Chetniks support, or even credit for their contributions to the Allied cause. That’s why the British tried to stymie the mission, and why — after it succeeded — the British and the U.S. State Department insisted it be hushed up.
That policy was chiefly the work of James Klugmann, a Communist mole in the Special Operations Executive, the British counterpart of the OSS.
As an intelligence officer for the Yugoslav section of the SOE, Mr. Klugmann was in a position to invent triumphs for the Communist Partisans, to attribute to the Partisans victories over the Nazis that were actually won by Gen. Mihailovich’s Chetniks, and to fabricate “evidence” of Chetnik collaboration with the Nazis.
“Every time a message came in from Musulin about some success Draza Mihailovich had, (Klugmann) assigned it to the Communists,” Mr. Vujnovich, now 93 and living in New York, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “The next day it would be on the BBC.”
Mr. Klugmann was able to censor messages from OSS operatives in Yugoslavia because the OSS relied on British radio operators in the early days of the war. The British had much better radios for clandestine communication and the OSS had few radio operators in the region.
That was why Mr. Jibilian’s arrival was so important to the success of Operation Halyard.
For Americans, World War II was a fight against Germany, Italy and Japan. In Yugoslavia, things were more complicated.
Yugoslavia was cobbled together from parts of the Austro-Hungarian empire after its collapse at the end of World War I. Its largest population was Serbs, but it also had Croats, Slovenians, Bosnians and Montenegrins, many of whom disliked being in a kingdom ruled by Serbs.
When Germany invaded Yugoslavia on April 6, 1941, the Serbs opposed the invaders. But the Nazis received a friendlier welcome in other parts of Yugoslavia. Although the Royal Yugoslav Army was quickly crushed and surrendered unconditionally on April 17, 1941, Draza Mihailovich, then a colonel, kept on fighting.
Also opposing the Nazis were Communist Partisans under Josip Broz — a Croat [and Slovene] better known by his nom de guerre, Tito — although they didn’t join the fight until after Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941.
Tito wanted to rule a Communist Yugoslavia after beating the Nazis. Gen. Mihailovich, a royalist inclined towards the West, stood in the way.
In November, 1941, the Partisans attacked the Chetniks. From that point, the two guerrilla armies fought each other more than they fought the Germans.
In addition, Gen. Mihailovich found himself in a four-sided civil war. This was the stew of ideological and ethnic hatreds into which Art Jibilian parachuted on March 15, 1944.
“Jibby” had been drafted into the Navy in March, 1943. He was at the Great Lakes Naval Station near Chicago learning to be a radio operator, when an OSS recruiter came to visit.
The OSS desperately needed radio operators, the recruiter said. Was he willing to volunteer for hazardous duty behind enemy lines? He was.
While waiting in Cairo, Egypt, for his first assignment, Mr. Jibilian volunteered again when he heard Col. Lynn Farish was looking for a radio operator for a team he was taking into Yugoslavia. After being forced to rely on British radio operators to get out reports during an earlier mission, Col. Farish insisted upon an American radio operator this time, even a rookie.
The mission, into territory controlled by the Partisans, went badly after the Germans located the OSS position through direction-finding equipment.
Dodging bombs and bullets, the three-man OSS team fled higher into the mountains, running so fast they had to jettison their equipment, including the radio. After six nights of cold and hunger, they evaded their German pursuers.
As they made their way back down the mountain, peasants told them about American airmen hiding from the Germans. They found a dozen, and were able to contact their base in Cairo. On June 16, the airmen and the OSS team were rescued.
Airmen await help
George Vujnovich learned from his Serbian-born wife, Mirjana, who’d escaped from Yugoslavia earlier in the war, that many more downed airmen were hiding in Yugoslavia. Gen. Mihailovich had been sending radio messages about the airmen for months, but the British ignored them.
One of those messages was intercepted by an American listening post in Algiers, which passed it on to the Yugoslav embassy in Washington, D.C., where Mirjana was working.
“She wrote me a letter with the names of the airmen and asked me what we could do about it,” Mr. Vujnovich told the Post-Gazette.
After graduating from Ambridge High School in 1934, George Vujnovich went to Yugoslavia, from which his parents had emigrated to America in 1912, to attend medical school. He and his wife-to-be were in Belgrade when the Germans attacked.
Because America wasn’t yet in the war, Mr. Vujnovich could leave the country. Despite their hasty marriage, it was dicier for his wife. The Gestapo was looking for Yugoslavs with connections to the Americans or the British, and she was on their list.
After a risky, roundabout trip through Bulgaria, Turkey, Egypt and West Africa that took more than a year, Mirjana made it to Washington, D.C., and George joined the OSS.
When he proposed the rescue mission, the British and U.S. State Department opposed it. But Gen. Nathan Twining, commander of the 15th Air Force, wanted to get “his boys” back, and OSS chief Bill Donovan lent crucial support. Still, President Roosevelt agreed to a demand from Prime Minister Winston Churchill that Mr. Vujnovich not be permitted to lead the expedition. Though few in the OSS knew Yugoslavia better, George Vujnovich was too fond of Gen. Mihailovich, too suspicious of Tito for British tastes.
“I was [angry],” Mr. Vujnovich said. “But I couldn’t do anything as a soldier, because I was under orders.”
In addition to Mr. Musulin, who had spent months with Gen. Mihailovich the year before, the OSS team also included Mr. Jibilian, who volunteered to go back despite his harrowing experience weeks before.
They almost didn’t make it. The team relied on British air support, but four attempts to drop them were aborted. The British pilots, apparently deliberately, twice flew to the wrong coordinates. On the fifth attempt, the British tried to drop the team into an ongoing battle.
“They were hoping we would just drop into the battle and just disappear,” Mr. Jibilian recalled. “They obviously didn’t want us to go in there.”
A furious George Musulin insisted upon an American plane with American pilots. On their sixth attempt, on Aug. 2, 1944, the OSS team landed successfully.
In Pranjane, just 30 miles from a German garrison, 200 airmen and 300 Chetniks built, with their bare hands, a 700-foot dirt airstrip on a plateau just 50 yards wide halfway up a mountain. That was the absolute minimum length needed to land the C-47s that were to carry the airmen to safety. The plateau was surrounded on all sides by mountain ranges just two miles away.
Four C-47s made it in on the night of Aug. 9 and carried several dozen airmen to safety, barely clearing the woods at the end of the runway. But the night operations were dangerous, and took so much time that Mr. Musulin worried the Nazis would notice. He decided to gamble all on a daylight rescue.
At dawn on Aug. 10, six C-47s and an escort of about 30 fighters, most of them P-51s flown by the Tuskegee airmen, arrived. The fighters bombed and strafed German positions within 50 miles while the C-47s circled for landing. No sooner were they airborne than another six C-47s appeared. A total of 272 airmen were rescued without a casualty.
“This was an extraordinary feat of airmanship,” said Jeff Underwood, the historian for the National Museum of the Air Force at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton.
For the airliner version of the C-47 (the DC-3), the minimum distance required for takeoff was 900 feet, and 1,600 feet to land, Mr. Underwood said.
Mr. Musulin was ordered out of Yugoslavia after the rescue. He also was threatened with court martial for disobeying an order to offer no aid to Gen. Mihailovich because he arranged for shoes to be brought in for mostly barefoot peasants in the area.
Mr. Jibilian remained behind. The rescue scenario was repeated several times until the last of the airmen under Gen. Mihailovich’s protection — 512 in all — were evacuated on Dec. 27.
“We asked Mihailovich to come out with us,” Mr. Jibilian said. “In fact, we begged him. He said no. ‘I’m a soldier, this is my country,’ he said.”
Gen. Mihailovich was captured by the Partisans and accused of collaboration with the Nazis. After a show trial, he was executed on July 17, 1946.
The airmen he’d rescued and members of the OSS vigorously protested the arrest, demanding the right to testify at his trial. But Tito refused, and the State Department offered no help.
Art Jibilian was one of the few OSS members to work with both the Partisans and the Chetniks.
“Having spent two months with the forces of Marshal Tito, and six months with Mihailovich, the contrast was amazing,” he said. “The Partisans shadowed us, never leaving us alone with the villagers. They were always tense, and the villagers seemed ill at ease in their presence.
“On a few occasions we were able to shake our guard and talk to the people,” he said. “One question they always asked us is ‘Why are the Americans backing the Partisans?’ “
“It was night and day between the two,” Mr. Jibilian said. “When we were in Mihailovich territory, we were free to go wherever we wanted, talk to anyone we wanted. It was clear the villagers loved Mihailovich.”
The official silence about Gen. Mihailovich continued because the State Department was trying to woo Tito from allegiance to the Soviet bloc. Mr. Churchill later told a Belgian newspaper his handling of Yugoslavia was his biggest mistake during the war.
At the insistence of Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, President Harry S. Truman in 1948 awarded the Legion of Merit, the highest award the United States can give to a foreigner, to Gen. Mihailovich posthumously. But the award remained secret until 1967, when former U.S. Rep. Edward Derwinski of Illinois demanded it be made public.
In 2005, a delegation including Mr. Jibilian and Mr. Vujnovich went to Belgrade to present the Legion of Merit to Gen. Mihailovich’s daughter, Gordana.
Originally scheduled as a public event with media coverage, the medal presentation was changed to a small affair in a private home, attended by no representatives from the U.S. embassy in Belgrade.
“Embassy personnel told us they couldn’t do anything because the State Department wouldn’t allow them,” Mr. Vujnovich said.
But the historical record was corrected two years ago with the publication of Mr. Freeman’s book.
“I first became aware of this during the conflict in Bosnia,” Mr. Freeman told the Post-Gazette.
“The story was amazing, and so was the fact that it had hardly been told, But I didn’t want to tell it in the context of the violence that was going on then, so I put the project off for five years.”
Jack Kelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1476.
August 06th 2009 02:21:37 PM
First, note the strategic, on-program layout and writing of this item. A caption reads: “EU to propose end to visas for Serbs, not Bosnians”, followed by “Bosnian Serb war-crimes suspect still at large.”
Critics slam EU plan to let in Serbs, not Bosnians (July 14)
* EU to propose end to visas for Serbs, not Bosnians
* Bosnian Serb war-crimes suspect still at large
By David Brunnstrom
BRUSSELS, July 14 (Reuters) - A plan to end EU visa requirements for Serbians but not for Bosnian Muslims who suffered at Serb hands in the bloody break-up of Yugoslavia will deepen ethnic divisions in the Balkans, critics said on Tuesday.
Of course, no one suffered at Bosnian hands, certainly not the Serbs whose heads the Bosnians used for soccer balls nor the Croatians whose necks were severed slowly with a knife by Bosnian units during the war.
The Green group in the European Parliament termed the planned announcement, days after the 14th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre of more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys, “hypocritical and morally abject”.
Christian Schwarz-Schilling, a former international high representative for Bosnia, called it “a mockery and a blow against all European values”.
The main European value being self-deception, including that ubiquitous refrain about “8,000 men and boys.”
The executive European Commission plans to unveil on Wednesday a proposal to allow citizens of Serbia, as well as those of Montenegro and Macedonia, to travel to the European Union without visas from the start of next year.
It says a similar proposal covering Bosnia and Albania could follow in mid-2010 — once they meet EU standards.
…Schwarz-Schilling, a former German minister and high representative in Bosnia from 2006 to 2007, told the German newspaper Bild it was “an incredible political blunder” to exclude Bosnia, a country NATO, the United States and the EU had taken military action to defend.
Bosnia’s best-selling daily Dnevni Avaz said the EU was sending a dangerous political message by rewarding Serbia, a country it said was still sheltering war-crimes fugitives.
“Does it mean the European Union (with some honourable exceptions) has never been interested in punishing war crimes committed in Bosnia and the Balkans?” it asked.
“How come a legal system that is sheltering the worst war criminals is eligible for the EU and Bosnia is not?”
Hmm, that’s a tough one. Let’s think hard. Thinking, thinking, thinking…Ah, I think I may have an answer. Perhaps what makes Bosnia different from Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia is all those mujahedeen holding Bosnian citizenship? I wonder why those irrational Europeans might be squeamish about having unrestricted travel for mujahedeen — or the Wahabbis who are gaining ground in Bosnia and beating on gays? I mean, it’s not like there will be different passport types to distinguish Bosnian Wahabbis from Westernized Bosnian sluts. Then again, those lines are blurring rapidly, as Mountain comes to Mohamed. Of course, Europeans worried about having their throats sliced is just “discrimination.”
…Citizens of the former Yugoslavia used to be able to travel visa-free to Western Europe until Yugoslavia’s break-up in the 1990s. Of the ex-Yugoslav states, only Slovenia is an EU member, but neighbouring Croatia already has visa-free status.
And of course no one suffered at Croatian hands either, not the Serbs or Bosnians held in Croatian concentration and rape camps, nor whoever’s ears those were on the Croat’s necklace mentioned toward the bottom of this article. But why bring up non-Serb crimes and confuse the public?
A silly boy named Tobias Heider, a research student at Berlin’s Free University, wrote the following bit of brainwashed pabulum for some outfit called “The European Voice”:
A passport to division
By Tobias Heider
…The [European] Commission’s position on Albania is understandable: it has not transformed its system as much as Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia have. So too is the reluctance about Kosovo, since not all 27 member states have recognised Kosovo as a state. But why should Bosnia and Herzegovina not benefit from visa liberalisation?
Again, let’s think hard on that one.
…The reality is that a decision to allow visa-free access is fundamentally a political act. Certainly, the political motivation in the case of Serbia is clear: before Serbia’s parliamentary elections in May 2008, EU foreign ministers indicated that they would reward a pro-European vote with a visa-free regime.
That political rationale was sound. In Bosnia’s case, though, the EU’s politics is bad.
Morally, the symbolism of the new visa regime could barely be worse: three days ago, thousands of people mourned the slaughter of 8,000 or more Bosniaks killed at Srebrenica.
This will worsen attitudes towards the EU. [Translation: Even more of those “secular” Bosnians will “suddenly” turn toward the East, not the West.] Many Bosniaks will see this as the EU repeating mistakes it made in the war — helping political extremists to legalise and institutionalise ethnic division in Bosnia.
Huh? Oh, he tries to explain:
In spring 1992, a European Community peace conference led to José Cutileiro and Peter Carrington proposing constitutional reform in Bosnia based on three ethnic cantons, a move accepted but later rejected by Bosniaks, who wanted to preserve a unitary and multiethnic system.
He’s calling the secession from Yugoslavia by fundamentalist Muslim president Alija Izetbegovic — who wanted Muslims, Serbs and Croats to all live under one Sharia roof — “preserving a unitary and multiethnic system.”
…[The West’s] policy in Bosnia can only be effective if its carrots and sticks are credible.
It’s interesting that valuing credibility of the carrot-and-stick policy only arises now, in reference to Bosnia, when the West has been famously offering carrots to Serbs and hitting them with the stick anyway after they comply. The example of EU ministers following through with the promised visa-free status as a reward for Serbia’s pro-European parliamentary elections marks just about the first time that Serbia got the promised carrot. And this happened mostly thanks to the absence of any influence by a Serbophobic U.S. in the visa matter.
Politically, the reasoning for the EU should have been simple: Bosnia does not warrant different treatment from its neighbours, and Bosniaks should not be treated differently from Bosnia’s Croats and Serbs…
Little Tobias is free to cling to his illusions. But maybe, just maybe, his fellow Europeans have a bit more experience of Serbs and Bosnians, making them slightly more qualified to sort them out. Maybe Europeans know what Bosnian tourists are like. My friend Svetlana relates an experience she had at a Vienna hotel:
When we were checking out of our hotel, the owner popped up to confirm we were Serbs (she had our passports with her) and we looked at each other thinking: here we go, now we’ll have to explain why did we rape and kill everybody in former Yugoslavia and we just said Yes, bracing for an attack, and she started to shower us with praises for being sooooo “clean”, soooo nice etc… One of the receptionists, seeing how surprised we were, explained they had a lot of Yugoslavia Muslims staying there and the groups of men ruined their rooms, some were even cleaning the mud from their boots with the drapes. But being that the German and Austrian media were soooo anti-Serb (and still are), I think the owner had simply formed a horrible opinion of Serbs to begin with and was grateful we didn’t rape and kill anyone in her hotel; at the same time, being told over and over that “poor Yugoslav Muslims” are being exposed to “genocide” by the ugly Serbs, she didn’t expect them to behave like pigs in her clean and safe little hotel.
And an American reader named Nancy relates her Bosnians-in-Middle-America experiences:
My husband and I helped to re-settle hundreds of Serbian refugees in our city and even helped them start one of their Churches too. But at least 2 years before that, we had helped some 15 Bosnian families; they came at least 2 years before the Serbs. I am now ashamed to say I even set foot in a Bosnian home/hovel/apartment, but we had no idea what we [were] up against at the time. Just “dumb ol’ American do-gooders”!!
There were no Serbs here then and to tell you the ABSOLUTE truth, we had not followed the civil war over there for many reasons. The first being that we were just surviving ourselves at the time due to serious finacial conditions in our lives. Right before we were approached by a local Church group to help re-settle Bosnians, our LUCK had changed for the better and we wanted to “make a difference” in some refugee’s life.
OH! GOLLY!! BOY! Did we get an education about Bosnian Muslims and IT WAS NOT PRETTY.
Anyway, it is an involved story. But, let me conclude with this…we stopped helping any refugees for awhile after our Bosnian experience. So when the agency BEGGED us to help some Krajina Serbs we did so with great concern!! However, the Serbs we met turned out to be some of the best folks we had ever met. I found they were very clean and decent people and saw how hard they would work to get things for their families. My husband and I and our daughter who had just moved back home from NYC, enjoyed their company and we all remain friends with many of them.
When I pressed Nancy for some details, she offered the following:
My entire immediate family and many friends were involved in helping re-settle refugees from various places in the world. My bad experiences with Bosnains were mainly related to the abuse of very young children (aged 2, 4 and 6) who were left unattended for hours at a time while the mother was out with other Bosnian women (also mothers of small kids) shopping for food and other things. It was not as if there [were] no sitters available. The apartment complex, which was a part of the re-settlement program, had a short term day care center for kids under 10 just for refugee residents. Granted there was a 3 hour time limit, but those Bosnians did NOT want to leave their kids with NON-MUSLIMS!! So to heck with them!! They ate pork, ham and drank beer so what’s up with playing the NON-MUSLIM card in regards to child care?
My daughter and one of her boyfriends were threatened by Bosnian men when they brought foodstuffs and a table over for some of the “lost boys from the Sudan” who lived in a “mixed” refugee apartment complex. My daughter was asked WHY she was helping “niggers”????? She was told if they ever came back something might happen to their car. See, Bosnians are like thugs. It is all for them and nothing for anybody else.
Another lady was followed by a Bosnian man and shouted at, as she was bringing candy and toys to a mixed Croat/Bosnian family’s kids. She went back but would pick up the family down the block and take them some place for outings and shopping.
The list is endless actually…
No Serb, or Croat for that matter, ever threatened us after we started helping them. But, the agency did not place the Serbs with the Bosnians most of the time.
The Serbs and Croats never asked me for money for cigs, beer or just money as “gifts” as did Bosnian Muslims.
I know one Bosnian muslim man, a young fellow, who had many problems with other Bosnian muslims. He was a follower of that other Bosnian politician. The one who was a moderate, the Serbs tell me… he was named [Fikret Abdic — the actual moderate who was sabotaged by the West]. Anyway, the young man hung around with Serbs all the time.
Let me once more point out the irony in the common push by the former Yugoslav republics to be part of the EU — after declaring war on each other in order to not be part of something bigger, but to establish their own ethnically pure statelets. There are currently 27 nations that are EU members. When I asked a Jewish man from Kosovo, named Branko, how many nationalities make up Yugoslavia, he answered “27.”
This is not nostalgia for old communist Yugoslavia, especially coming from an anti-communist. It’s merely a point about irony and futility. Once Bosnia, Albania and Kosovo are formally EU members and have all the goodies that go with that, the EU will suffer Yugoslavia’s fate, only on a grander and bloodier scale. Might as well let Turkey join the party.
In closing, I go back to Svetlana to underscore this point, and the inversion that articles like the two visa-related items above perpetuate:
Of all the bad things one can say about Serbs, one thing no one can deny is that Serbs are extremely egalitarian as a nation — to their own detriment, as it turns out. This is part of the reason why the accusations of “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing” are so incomprehensible and hurtful to us… Why would we want to “purify” Croatia and Bosnia and Kosovo of Croats, Muslims and Albanian Muslims, when we have no such thing anywhere in Serbia, and we never had it? I played as a child with Hungarians, Romanians, Croats, Jews, Armenians and who knows who else — we were all an entirely carefree bunch and no Serbian parents of most of us who are ethnic Serbs gave a rat’s ass of who’s who there! I studied with Greeks, people from Africa and every ethnicity from the region; my parents gave their bedroom to a Yugoslav Hungarian girl (from Vojvodina, at the north of Serbia) who could barely speak Serbian, because my father got somehow acquainted with her father, heard his daughter wants to study in Belgrade but they had no money to rent her a room, so I had to teach her Serbian, put up with her moods (she was manic-depressive and a complete neurotic) and “translate” parts of her medical books into less difficult words she could understand… And all of a sudden, Serbs are Nazis everywhere and can’t stand anyone else around them! Give me a break!
And, interestingly enough, all those “democrats” that formed their banana republics on the territory of former Yugoslavia, like Slovenians and Croats, have somehow ended up with entirely ethnically pure states (Bosnian Muslims have tried to do the same with their “minority” Serbs, but failed), while the “genocidal” Serbs are the only ones who have preserved the ethnic, cultural and religious diversity and have the most multicultural and multi-ethnic country on the entire Balkan Peninsula. And the only one with over 1.5 million refugees from all the regions of former Yugoslavia, of all ethnicities and faiths.
Check out the reaction of Bosnian politicians and religious leaders to being excluded from visa liberalization:
EU “Hypocrisy” Radicalises Bosnian Muslims (July 21)
The Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) religious leadership and media and many European officials and politicians warn that the EU’s visa-liberalisation plan could lead to the radicalisation of Muslims in Europe and seriously destabilize the entire region.
“Bosniaks feel squeezed into a corner from which they do not see a way out. In this situation, outbursts of aggression are a wholly normal reaction,” Sead Numanovic, editor of prominent Sarajevo daily, Dnevni Avaz, wrote in his Tuesday column.
“European hypocrisy cannot be understood,” the leader of the influential Bosnian Islamic Community, Mustafa Ceric, said during the interment of identified remains of Bosniak war victims near the western town of Prijedor on Monday.
Both comments reflect ongoing public criticism, across the region and in Europe, of a visa-liberalisation plan presented by the European Commission (EC) last week. The EC suggested to the EU Council of Ministers and European Parliament that the bloc’s visa-free regime be extended to Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, while excluding Albania, Bosnia and Kosovo.
Most critiques of the plan have focused on the fact that Serbia was offered visa-free travel whereas Bosnia was not, although both countries were at a similar stage in fulfilling EU requirements.
While EU officials tried to portray the plan as a purely technical issue, many local and international commentators alleged it was more a political tool that showed the EU’s ignorance with regard to Bosnia and bias towards Serbia.
While most local media in Bosnia stressed that the main responsibility for their country’s failure to acquire the visa-free status lies with local leaders, they all claimed that Serbia was offered incorporation in the plan purely in order to boost Serbia’s pro-western leadership.
The criticism was intensified by the fact that exclusion from the visa-free regime will almost solely affect Bosniaks, since most Bosnian Croats already have Croatian passports and most Bosnian Serbs can easily obtain Serbian passports.
Public sentiment in Bosnia holds that the new visa plan rewards the aggressors and punishes the victims, a feeling exacerbated by the timing of the EC announcement which was made only days after the fourteenth anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre.
“After everything that you have seen, now you tell us from Brussels that we cannot go to Europe with visas,” Ceric said in his Monday address. “Now you have rewarded our killers.”
The visa-liberalisation plan has seriously divided both the regional and European political scenes and has triggered a number of public petitions demanding changes. Germany’s Social Democratic Party, SPD, has launched a challenge in the Bundestag.
Fears have been expressed in the domestic media and by international officials that the visa recommendations plan could lead to the ghettoisation of Bosnian Muslims, triggering a hardening of their positions and promoting long-term instability in the region.
“There needs to be a fundamental critique of the [EU] Balkan policy of the last five years,” an EU official told Balkan Insight.
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